Comic book flashback: The Evolutionary War (1988) #TBT #80sComics

Current issues of Uncanny Avengers (#1-3, so far) have featured the team on Counter Earth fighting the High Evolutionary. This storyline reminds me of “The Evolutionary War,” a self-contained crossover event, running in all of the “annuals” for the year.

It wasn’t the first major crossover event, of course, coming after 1985-86’s “Secret Wars II.” It was a bit different, though. Annuals (at least back then) usually contained single-issue stories not tied into the main series. In 1988, however, a single storyline ran across all of the various annuals—still unconnected to the main issues, but connected to each other.

Avengers Annual

The cover above is from Avengers Annual no. 17 (1988) and features a ragtag group of reserve Avengers, including the (gray) Hulk, Hercules, the Beast, the Captain (Steve Rogers’s alter ego after he was temporarily replaced as Captain America), the Falcon, and the female Yellowjacket. They intervene in a battle between Atlanteans and Lemurians, get aboard the High Evolutionary’s vessel, and try to foil his plans.

Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that this was the end of the Evolutionary Wars storyline. The issue (as did all the others) also has a mini-story at the end featuring the High Evolutionary. The full story can be read in the following issues (in order):

Part 1: X-Factor Annual #3
Part 2: The Punisher Annual #1
Part 3: Silver Surfer Annual #1
Part 4: New Mutants Annual #4
Part 5: Fantastic Four Annual #21
Part 6: The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22
Part 7: X-Men Annual vol 1, #12
Part 8: Web of Spider-Man Annual #4
Part 9: West Coast Avengers Annual #3
Part 10: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8
Part 11: Avengers Annual #17


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