The world of comicbooks boasts a vast, interconnected multiverse and alternate storylines that reflect desperately grim possibilities for beloved heroes. Examples include various one-shots and 6-issue series such as The End, cataloging the manic descent of Marvel superheroes like the Hulk, Wolverine, or Fantastic Four within alternate realities.
Months after the dawn of the new millennium, Marvel organized a creative free-for-all, inviting almost 100 commissioned artists to take part. All of this led to the start of Marvel’s “Millennial Visions” project. The artists were given total carte blanche, throwing caution to the wind as they ignored firmly cemented plot-lines. This list below includes 10 examples of concept art that didn’t make the cut. Even though these pieces weren’t used, they did end up influencing the overall storyline of “Millennial Visions.”
Captain America: The Artificial American Dream
This story features a robotic Captain America, driven by his desire for cybernetic revolution. Taking place after mutants and humans have made peace with one another, the robo-Cap bases his artificial moralities on the deceased original Captain. These intelligent robots, called “Perks,” were designed to handle basic errands; however, in Isaac Asimov fashion, the servants rebelled. J.H. Williams III could have very well had the story of I, Robot in mind when he thought up Captain America: The Artificial American Dream.
Spider-Man Vs. The Noxious Nine
Killian Plunket’s extended version of the Sinister Six included Rhino, Scorpion, and Carnage for his take on Marvel Universe 2001 Millennial Visions. The rogue’s gallery ended up decimating Spider-Man during an all-out brawl near a nuclear power plant. The battle not only decided the fate of the heroic web-slinger but Carnage, Mysterio, and Electro as well. As a result of radiation exposure, Doctor Octopus, Vulture, and the Lizard mutated into more animalistic versions of themselves.
Ethan Van Sciver’s and Geoff Johns’ entry into X-Men: Millennial Visions 2001 creates a future where an opportunistic Apocalypse kills Charles Xavier after using his psychic abilities to activate the latent powers of 220,000 mutants. Jean Grey was crippled during the event as her consciousness merged with Cerebro. Storm fell to despicable acts of villainy as anti-mutant protests grew louder. She flooded Washington D.C., while Angel reformed the Hellfire Club, and Beast took over as head of the X-Men, welcoming new members such as former Morlocks Litterbug and Electric Eve. In this future, Gambit and Rogue tie the knot, Wolverine is endowed with adamantium-laced teeth and muscles, and Colossus is newly housed in an unbreakable alloy.