|Kevin Maguire front & back cover to Marvel Comics Presents #25|
Nth Man and Alfie O'Meagan first appeared in Marvel Comics Presents #25. The following Nth Man comic book series was meant to last for 24 issues, but cancelled after 16. In spite of this, Hama was able to resolve the storyline early. Ron (Blaze, Morbius) Wagner, who penciled the series (except issue #8 pencils, although Wagner did the cover, done by Incredible Hulk artist Dale Keown) for its entire run, attributes its commercial failure to its being set in a standalone universe.
The series starts in medias res, with American soldiers parachuting into war-torn Moscow, in an attempt to rescue the mysterious Nth Man. Using TV news commentary as a plot exposition device, it is revealed that the war was caused by Alfie O'Meagan, using his psychic abilities to neutralize all nuclear weapons on the planet, upsetting the balance of power.
The storyline is complex, following numerous characters through war zones, plague-ridden post-Apocalyptic landscapes, inside a video game, alien worlds, and various points in time and space. Alfie gains vast power, while losing his sanity. When the Soviet Union launches biological weapons, Alfie's attempt to turn them harmless backfires.
Using a narrative jump of one year (which was forced upon writer Larry Hama in order to wrap up the story, due to the cancellation of the series), we see that the biological weapons were turned into a mutagenic virus, and millions are transformed into psychotic, cannibalistic "moots". The conclusion of the story makes use of a paradox, and Doe and O'Meagan are shown to be responsible for their own origins.
It's a shame this series was never saw it's full 24 issues, or even collected into a trade paperback for that matter. However, you can find the Nth Man origin story from Marvel Comics Presents #25 reprinted in Marvel Firsts: The 1980s Vol. 3 (Highly Recommended Trade Paperback series.)
|Marvel Firsts: The 1980s Vol 3 reprints Marvel Comics Presents #25 Nth Man premier!|
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