Getting into comics can seem difficult to the newcomer. What are the different universes and why are there so many? Lets look at the Image Universe…
Or rather the six or less roughly connected studios that make up the Image Universe.
Image Comics was founded by six creators starting with their own studios and their own characters in the early ninties:
- Rob Liefeld (Extreme Studios) – Youngblood, Badrock, Bloodstrike, Brigade, Glory, Prophet, Supreme, Troll and New Men.
- Erik Larsen (Highbrow Entertainment) – Freak Force, Savage Dragon, SuperPatriot.
- Jim Valentino (ShadowLine) – ShadowHawk.
- Todd McFarlane (Todd McFarlane Productions) – Spawn and related characters.
- Marc Silvestri (Top Cow Productions) – Cyber-Force, Witchblade and The Darkness.
- Jim Lee (WildStorm Productions) – WildC.A.T.s, Stormwatch, Wetworks and Gen¹³.
There were some crossovers, but the characters from different mostly studios kept to themselves and some contradictions occurred.
Shattered Image (1996) was a four issue mini-series about a cataclysm separating the Image Universe into 6 parts. The point was the bring 5 of them back together, but to release the Wildstorm Universe from the others, which it did. However, between issues #2 and #3 company politics lead to Rob Liefeld and his Extreme Studio leaving Image Comics altogether, meaning the Extreme Studios characters disappeared mid-story.
Altered Image (1998) was a three issue mini-series playing with time and dimensions and homaging ideas previously used by other companies. I brought together Savage Dragon, Shadowhawk, Spawn and Witchblade from their respective parts of the Image Universe with Majestic from Wildstorm and The Maxx (published by a number of companies including Wildstorm at Image and DC) who was seemingly part of his own universe.
United Image (2009 – 2010) was a incomplete mini-series again featuring Savage Dragon, Shadowhawk, Spawn and Witchblade, and return of Rob Liefeld characters from Youngblood characters, (which had to Image in 2007 after 9 years) but not Majestic – or any Wildstorm characters (who were now owned by DC). Whilce Portacio who created Wetworks for Wildstorm created a new character called Fortress for the series.
This blog is meant to iron out issues and help understanding of comic book terms and ideas. However, it also uses many terms and ideas new readers may be unfamiliar with. For clarifications or corrects, comment below.