[[caption-width-right:350:The cover of ''Marvel Age'' #47, showcasing the New U cast.]]

1986 was the 25th anniversary of Creator/MarvelComics.[[labelnote:More or less...]]That is, the company itself had existed since 1939, but it started ''calling'' itself Marvel in 1961; similarly, the comic that launched the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'', had started publishing in November of that year.[[/labelnote]] [[ThePowersThatBe The Powers That Were]] decided that it was time for something new.

Thus, The New Universe was launched. It was a new imprint with new heroes operating in a new world. It aimed to be more realistic, with [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness harder science]] and lower power levels than the regular Franchise/MarvelUniverse. The premise was that The New Universe was just like the real world until the PointOfDivergence, a MassEmpoweringEvent called "The White Event", gave extraordinary powers to ordinary people all over the planet, which is why the line's [[{{Slogans}} slogan]] was "The World Outside Your Window".

Problems set in almost immediately. Some writers apparently didn't get the memo that The New Universe was supposed to be just like the real world up until The White Event introduced superpowers; they created comics with pre-existing magic realms, aliens, and powered armor suits as their premises. The line's budget was cut unexpectedly by Marvel Comics higher-ups. After the first year, four titles were canceled. Those in charge tried to salvage the line by having big shake-ups, such as "The Black Event", in which one of the paranormals accidentally destroys UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}}, plunging America into war. Unfortunately, it was no longer "The World Outside Your Window", and readers continued to hemorrhage. In 1989, all The New Universe titles were cancelled.

In more recent years, the whole thing has been looked on with a kind of fondness, despite its DorkAge status in the eyes of readers. In fact, DorkAge status -- in comics -- can be an artistic asset, since the talent can make drastic experimental changes to such a property and there will be few complaints.

The New Universe was revisited in the pages of ''ComicBook/{{Quasar}}'' and ''Comicbook/{{Exiles}}''. In February and March of 2006, Marvel published several ''Untold Tales of The New Universe'', featuring new stories set before the Black Event. In December of 2006, a new series premiered, written by Creator/WarrenEllis and titled ''newuniversal''. While based on The New Universe, it takes place in a fresh continuity, as well as a ParallelUniverse where the differences include UsefulNotes/{{China}} being the dominant power in space exploration. Most of the characters are re-imagined to focus on the original's strengths. Sadly, the series lasted only ten issues before Ellis lost most of his scripts due to hard drive failure. After Marvel moved Ellis to new projects, the series' future was hanging in limbo for several years before its [[http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=13594 inevitable official cancellation]]

Creator/JimShooter, editor-in-chief of Marvel at the time and creator of the New Universe, went on to found another comics universe at Creator/ValiantComics, which can be seen as having similarities to the concept.

In later years, the TV series ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' did well with its [[SpiritualSuccessor similar concept]] of ordinary people in a realistic world gaining superpowers. Also, "The New U" concept is vaguely similar to the ''Literature/WildCards'' novels, which were launched at around the same time.

Something similar to ''newuniversal'' was started in the pages of ''ComicBook/JonathanHickmansAvengers'' with Nightmask and Star Brand appearing in the title. They are a part in the 2013 storyline ''ComicBook/{{Infinity}}'', where a new White Event happens on Earth-616. They eventually got their own title, ''ComicBook/StarbrandAndNightmask''. Although these characters are re-imaginings who are not directly related to the originals, there are plenty of {{Mythology Gag}}s referring to the New U.

!!Titles in The New Universe include:
* ''Star Brand'' - Kenneth Connell, a mechanic from Pittsburgh, is given vast cosmic powers by the titular ArtifactOfDoom. He initially attempts to use them as a genuine superhero, but that doesn't work in this kind of world. He eventually decides to [[IJustWantToBeNormal get rid of his powers]] and lead a normal life. However, his attempt to do so results in the aforementioned destruction of Pittsburgh. It's later revealed that due to a StableTimeLoop, the White Event was caused by Connell's older self making an earlier attempt to get rid of the Star Brand. Storylines eventually explored other wielders of the Star Brand. The series lasted for 19 issues, from October, 1986 to May, 1989.
* ''Spitfire and the Troubleshooters''[=/=]''Codename: Spitfire'' - Jennifer "Jenny" Swensen, a HollywoodNerd girl inventor and professor at the [[IvyLeagueForEveryone Massachusetts Institute of Technology]], develops a PoweredArmor. She goes on to have adventures with a team consisting of her five prodigy engineering students. Less awesome in execution then the premise makes it sound. The title change marks when the Troubleshooters dissolved. One was killed in battle, one permanently crippled, and the other three went into retirement. Under both formats the title lasted for 13 issues, from October, 1986 to October, 1987. Spitfire continued appearing in other books as a member of an ensemble cast, but was eventually mutated to a ChromeChampion.
* ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' - A group of patients at a clinic for newly-mutated superhumans. The series lasted for 32 issues from November, 1986 to June, 1989. There was also an Annual published.
* ''Justice'' - John Tensen is a KnightTemplar who thinks he's from a MagicalLand. In later issues, a RetCon reveals that he's actually a DEA agent who's been under the influence of a delusion induced by one of his enemies. He takes it upon himself to judge his fellow paranormals: "If they are [using their powers properly], he leaves them in peace. If they are not, he leaves them in pieces." With his right hand ("sword hand") able to generate energy blasts of high intensity and heat and his left hand ("shield hand") generating [[DeflectorShields Deflector Shields]], Tensen is typically able to best his opponents. His series lasted 32 issues, from November, 1986 to June, 1989. Through a dimension-traveling adventure, Justice was later added to the world of ''ComicBook/Marvel2099''.
* ''Kickers, Inc.'' - Pro football players form a superhero team. Seriously. (To be fair, only the quarterback had actual superpowers. Even then, he didn't realize he was a paranormal at first; he thought his SuperStrength was the result of a machine his brother had invented.) The title was not overly successful, and its tone (light-hearted adventure a la ''Series/TheATeam'') did not particularly fit with the premise of the New Universe. It lasted for 12 issues, from November, 1986 to October, 1987.
* ''Mark Hazzard: Merc'' - A normal mercenary with a conscience in a world of superhumans. Hazzard is a veteran of UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, and had trouble finding work in areas not related to combat. Part of his series reflects how his mercenary career negatively reflected his marriage and had storylines involving his divorce. His self-contained story ended with his death, though the final issue was an epilogue focusing on the supporting cast. The series consisted of an Annual and 12 regular issues, running from November, 1985 to October, 1987.
* ''Nightmask'' - Keith Remsen is a therapist [[DreamWeaver who can enter dreams]]. Further applications and disturbing implications concerning his powers were explored through his appearances. His series lasted 12 issues, from November, 1986 to October, 1987. But his storyline continued in other books, with Nightmask as part of an ensemble cast.
* ''Psi-Force'' - Teens with PsychicPowers, brought together by a [[MagicalNativeAmerican Native American]] {{CIA}} agent who also has PsychicPowers. The teens can [[AllYourPowersCombined combine their mental energy]] to create a powerful "gestalt entity" called Psi-Hawk. There were several changes in line-up and complex storylines. The series included an Annual and 32 regular issues, lasting from November, 1986 to June, 1989.

As noted, disappointing sales resulted in the cancellation of four titles (''Kickers, Inc.'', ''Marc Hazzard: Merc'', ''Nightmask'' and ''Code Name: Spitfire''). The other titles continued, and Marvel also published some one-shots and mini-series set in the New U, post-Black Event:

* ''ComicBook/ThePitt'' (March, 1988)- A one shot detailing the destruction of Pittsburgh and its aftermath.
* ''The Draft'' (November, 1988) - Another one shot, in which the American military responds to the Black Event by creating an all-paranormal fighting force. There are efforts to have all available paranormals registered, accounted for, and used for military purposes. The one-shot mostly reveals the fate of some familiar faces and introduces new protagonists. Repercussions were explored in the still ongoing series.
* ''The War'' (October, 1989-March, 1990)- A mini-series in which the New Universe [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin goes to war]]. Will this lead to TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt? Blaming the destruction of Pittsburgh on a known group of Soviet paranormals, the United States prepare for war against the [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet Union]]. The first battle of WorldWarIII takes place in Africa. American paranormals are sent to assist South Africa against Cuba, in a conflict based on the historical South African Border War (1966-1989).
!!The New Universe titles provide examples of:

* {{Acrofatic}}: Blur from ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' started this way.
* AdultsAreUseless: In ''Psi-Force,'' the protagonists' adult mentor is killed in the first issue. Other adult characters in the book are inept or evil.
* AllYourPowersCombined: How Psi-Force summons the Psi-Hawk.
* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: Star Brand's more-than-passing resemblance to Franchise/GreenLantern was noted almost immediately, and became the topic of several parodies and critiques of the New Universe. After its cancellation, Jim Shooter admitted in an interview that the earliest concept behind the New Universe was to do the DC universe "Marvel-style", but it mutated along the way; by the time the books reached the stands only Star Brand -- the Green Lantern {{expy}} -- remained from that original idea.
** In the series ''Legends,'' GreenLantern Guy Gardner battles a character called Sun Spot, who looks suspiciously similar to Ken Connell. Sunspot exclaims, "I wield the ultimate power...the power to create a New Universe!" and ends up shooting himself in the foot. This is a jab by Creator/JohnByrne at Creator/JimShooter (see AuthorAvatar, below). Byrne ended up writing the end of the ''Star Brand'' comic.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Star Brand.
* AuthorAppeal: Writer Mark Gruenwald apparently loved his home state Wisconsin -- which was the setting for much of ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}''.
* AuthorAvatar[=/=]SelfInsertFic: It is widely believed that Creator/JimShooter based Ken Connell on himself, making the first seven issues of ''Star Brand'' (written by Shooter) one big SelfInsertFic. Among the similarities between Shooter and Connell were their physical appearances (except for hair color), a hometown of Pittsburgh, and a self-centered ego. Shooter himself even admits Ken's girlfriend Debbie "the Duck" was based on an old girlfriend of his.
** John Byrne inserted himself in an issue, when Starbrand attended a comic-con Byrne was in. Check GenreSavvy and TakeThat entries below for details.
* AxCrazy: John Tensen, whether you're talking about the one in ''Justice'' or in ''newuniversal''.
* TheBabyTrap: In ''Star Brand'', Ken clearly ''wrongly'' accuses his girlfriend Debbie of this.
* Music/TheBeatles: In ''newuniversal'', one of the first indications the series takes place in a ParallelUniverse is a news report saying that Music/JohnLennon is celebrating his 66th birthday--and Music/PaulMcCartney was the Beatle assassinated by a deranged fan.
* BettyAndVeronica: Star Brand had this, with {{Jerkass}} Ken Connell mainly concerned with who he was attracted to more; mom Barbara and TheDitz Debbie "Duck" Fix. He eventually goes with the Duck, because she seems to be blindly devoted to him due to apparent self-esteem issues whereas Barbara and her kids would be in danger from the Star Brand (one of which seems to already have been altered by a Star-Brand powered MindScrew). To be fair, Connell cements his {{Jerkass}} status by being temporarily attracted to Barbara's 15-year-old babysitter and sleeping with AnythingThatMoves.
* {{Capepunk}}: The New U was an attempt at this genre, since it was intended to be more realistic than the mainstream Franchise/MarvelUniverse.
* UsefulNotes/ColdWar: A factor in some of the stories.
* ComesGreatInsanity:
** In ''Psi-Force,'' both Rodstvow and Shivowtnoeh are driven insane by their powers.
** The ''newuniversal'' one-shots ''Conqueror'' and ''1959'' strongly suggest that whoever has the power of Justice will end up AxCrazy.
* ComicBookTime: Intended to be averted but it ended up ZigZagged. Each issue was supposed to occur in "real time" in that a month passes between issues. However, Mark Gruenwald ignored the memo. He decided that the chase story of ''D.P. 7'' was important, so all 12 issues of the first year took place over the course of a few weeks, followed by a TimeSkip to the next year as of issue 13.
* CoolOldLady: Lenore "Twilight" Fenzl in ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}''.
* DreamWalker: Nightmask's power.
* DeusExMachina: [[spoiler: ''The War'' plays this trope pretty straight--The Star Child stops the fighting by disabling every weapon on Earth.]]
* FakingTheDead: Justice does it in his ''Untold Tales'' issue.
* FiveManBand: The Troubleshooters, until most of them were either crippled or killed.
* ForbiddenZone: "The Pitt", the huge crater which is all that's left of Pittsburgh after The Black Event.
* {{Freakout}}: Dennis in ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' had at least one of these, most notably after realizing that his acidic skin secretions meant he could not safely touch another person, much less [[CantHaveSexEver have sex with them]].
* FullyAbsorbedFinale: Got two of them - ''The War'', intended to be the GrandFinale and, later, the ''ComicBook/{{Quasar}}'' storyline ''Starblast''.
* GenreSavvy: Demonstrated by a [[Creator/JohnByrne comic book writer]] [[SelfInsertFic attending a convention]] along with Star Brand (who was at the time attempting to be a masked hero in the traditional mold). The writer methodically dismantled all the comic book tropes that Connell was depending on to demonstrate why comic book-style heroes were unrealistic and unworkable. In particular, he showed just how much identifying information he could get from physically seeing the cowled Star Brand (height, build, eye color, skin color, and the approximate size and shape of Connell's nose, among other details), which he pointed out could then be used to significantly narrow down a search of, say, driver's license records.
* HealingHands: Anastasia Inyushin in ''Psi-Force''.
* HeelFaceTurn: Thomas Boyd in ''Psi-Force''.
* HollywoodAutism: Johnny Do from ''Psi-Force'' is severely autistic. He also has PlayingWithFire powers. This is not [[ManOnFire a good combination]].
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Ken "Star Brand" Connell, Kathy Ling of ''Psi-Force'' and Stephanie Harrington of ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' , among others.
* IntrepidReporter:
** Andrew Chaser, who befriends Tyrone Jessup of Psi-Force and eventually writes a book about the team, ''Power for the Preying''. He also has a memorable run-in with PresidentEvil Philip Nolan Voigt, who threatens his elderly mother.
** Also, the {{Red Shirt Reporter}}s in the helicopter from ''ComicBook/ThePitt''.
* {{Jerkass}}: Kenneth Connell in ''Star Brand'', Dennis "Scuzz" Cuzinski in ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' , Wayne Tucker in ''Psi-Force''.
* KilledOffForReal: As noted, the main character in the last issue of ''Marc Hazzard: Merc''.
* KnightTemplar: John Tensen, aka "Justice".
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Wayne Tucker, Psi-Force's telepath, uses this a ''lot''. Usually to make people forget they saw him and his friends, but occasionally for more drastic purposes.
* MagicalNativeAmerican: Emmett Proudhawk, the CIA agent who bring the members of Psi-Force together.
* MassSuperEmpoweringEvent: The White Event, the source of all the super powers.
* MythologyGag: A number of characters large and small from the main Marvel universe are shown to have counterparts in ''newuniversal''. To name a couple, a General Thaddeus Ross goes after the first confirmed superhuman sighting with GeneralRipper tendencies that equal the main universe version going after [[{{Comicbook/IncredibleHulk}} Hulk]]. One of the NYPD officers looking into another superhuman incident is named Manolis. NYPD Lieutenant Nick Manolis was a significant character in ''[[{{Comicbook/DaredevilBornAgain}} Daredevil: Born Again]]''.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** Averted with ''New Universe''. Two of the people given powers by the White Event were UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan and Ayatollah Khomeini. Several other real celebrities appear (Music/{{Madonna}} performs at a "Pitt Aid" charity concert) or are mentioned (John Tensen tells someone that Justice is his actual first name, "like Judge Reinhold"; a character in a ''Nightmask'' story notes that someone is "deader than Music/TheBeeGees' career!").
** The unnamed President of the United States ''newuniversal'' is a woman who looks a lot like UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton.
* ParentalAbandonment: Happened--violently--to the main character and his sister at the start of ''Nightmask''.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Ken Connell in ''Star Brand''. He accidentally vaporizes Pittsburgh.
** The ''Newuniversal'' version as well. In that version, the ''Star Brand'' is a planetary defense system, meaning if Ken got upset he could do a tremendous amount of damage.
* PowerIncontinence: About half the cast in ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' had problems controlling their abilities.
* PowerTattoo:
** The Star Brand, literally.
** Applies to all the superpowers in ''Newuniversal'', with each character (Star Brand, Justice, Nightmask and Cipher) getting a unique glyph.
* PresidentEvil: Philip Nolan Voigt, a [[TheSociopath sociopath]] hungry for power of any kind, [[Series/{{Heroes}} uses his ability to absorb other paranormals' powers to become President]].
* PresidentSuperhero: An attempt to assassinate UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan fails because the White Event has given him [[HealingFactor regenerative powers]].
* PsychicPowers: All the major characters in ''Psi-Force'' had them. Also, Justice could tell whether other paranormals were good or evil by reading their auras.
* RealTime: At least originally intended to run in this, but the end result varies. Notably when the Exiles visit New Universe, it's still 1987 in there.
** The Exiles visited a counterpart to the New Universe (along with a range of other settings), one that existed in the actual Marvel Multiverse (New Universe was canonically set outside the normal multiverse).
* RetCon: Used to explain away the MagicalLand in ''Justice'' and the aliens in ''Star Brand'', both of which were originally intended to be taken at face value.
* SecretIdentity: Attempted briefly by Ken Connell as Star Brand, until a comic book writer he met at an SF convention demonstrated how unrealistic the standard comic book version was.
** Said comic book writer was Creator/JohnByrne, [[CreatorCameo who wrote that story]] and the title's final story-arc.
* SheFu: In ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' , housewife Stephanie Harrington only knew cheerleader moves from her high school days, but her power gave her a degree of protection, so she was able to use these in combat.
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler:Sedara Bakut of ''Psi-Force'']] kills her father when he betrays her people.
* SphereOfDestruction: What Ken Connell made when he tried to get rid of the Star Brand. It was ''The SOD That Ate Pittsburgh''.
* SuddenlySignificantCity: UsefulNotes/{{Denver}} becomes the American capital after two powerful paranormals trash UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC during a fight in ''Psi-Force''. Possibly a ShoutOut to a similar plot point in Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TheDoorIntoSummer''.
* SuperEmpowering: Anyone that the possessor of the Star Brand touches can get the Brand, too.
* SuperMode: Scuzz from ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' found that he had this when he learned that he could make his body erupt in acidic flames by getting mad. He called himself "Scorcher".
* SuperPowerMeltdown: One of the Star Brands depowers Philip Nolan Voight by overloading him with ''all'' the paranormal abilities on Earth.
* SuperSpeed: The power of Jeff "Blur" Walters from ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}''.
* SuperStrength: Several paranormals had some form of it, most notably David "Mastodon" Landers from ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}''.
* TakeThat: After Creator/JimShooter left Marvel Comics, Ken Connell was depicted as an unrepentant JerkAss, a trend taken UpToEleven in the ''Star Brand'' issues written by longtime critic John Byrne. With Ken being an AuthorAvatar of Shooter, this was obviously the remaining Marvel creators getting some licks in on their former boss.
** Then, ''Byrne's'' AuthorAvatar (as himself) in the comic-con criticized Starbrand face-to-face.
** Even after the title's finale it continued in a comic book of ''another company'': In the Creator/DCComics mini [[ComicBook/LegendsDC Legends]], drawn by Byrne, Guy Gardner beats a villain named Sunspot, who is a transparent {{Expy}} of Star Brand. Guy doesn't even break a sweat, and Sunspot ends the fight by shooting himself in the foot while ranting about why the New Universes he tries to create keep exploding.
** Marvel Comics's "Whu-huh?!", a more comical version of their "What If...?" line. Apparently, the New Universe was created when Galactus ate a bad planet and promptly shat it out.
* {{Teleportation}}[=/=]ThinkingUpPortals:
** Sedara Bakut, a character from later issues of ''Psi-Force'', can create door-like portals in space.
** Another character, Blow Out, has a different version of this power.
** In ''Newuniversal'', the Nightmask can use the superflow to travel across vast distances easily.
* ThereAreNoTherapists
** Averted in ''Nightmask'' as the main character IS a therapist.
** Also averted in ''Star Brand'' because the {{Jerkass}} is friends with a therapist, but constantly ignores or runs away from his sound advice.
** Averted ridiculously in ''ComicBook/{{DP7}}'' since it takes place at a clinic for paranormal research. While there are a few bad apples (mostly in the upper echelons), a large chunk of the staff seem to be on the level.
** And nastily subverted in ''The Draft'' and ''The War''. Sometimes the therapist makes mistakes...
* TranshumanTreachery: A major topic of ''Newuniversal'', where that universe's version of Phil Voight thinks this applies instantly, and will take any method necessary to avert it, either not noticing or not caring that the people he's hunting are all too human. For added irony, the person he outlining this to is one of those post-humans.
* UltimateUniverse: ''newuniversal''.
* UpToEleven: Philip Nolan Voight (aka "Overshadow") can duplicate any paranormal's powers, but ''amplified''. One of the Star Brands eventually depowers him by overloading him and causing a SuperPowerMeltdown.
* VetinariJobSecurity: In ''Spitfire and the Troubleshooters'' #5, Jenny's engineer buddies try to operate the robot without her. Not only do they fail miserably, but they overheat the robot's power pack, and only the intervention of Ken "Star Brand" Connell prevents the resulting explosion from taking out downtown UsefulNotes/{{Boston}}.
** FunnyAneurysmMoment: After he saves their butts, Connell gives the engineers a stern lecture on using their power responsibly. A few months later, Connell's attempt to get rid of ''his'' power results in the destruction of Pittsburgh. It's almost {{Foreshadowing}}, except that "The Black Event" probably hadn't been planned by the writers yet.
* VigilanteMan: Justice.
* TheWatcher: The Witness, a character who dies as a result of the White Event, but continues to exist as an [[{{Intangibility}} intangible ghost]]. He is drawn to places where people are manifesting paranormal powers, but can only watch what happens, unable to intervene in any way.
* YouWouldMakeAGreatModel: Kathy gets this in one issue of ''Psi-Force''; fortunately the others get there before anything worse than being tied to a chair happens to her.