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Membership: First incarnation (1958 - 1973): Black Fox (Robert Paine), Blackjack, Effigy (Velmax), Firefall, Frank (see comments), Katyusha (Anya), Liberty Girl (Beverly), Major Mercury (Makkari), Kid Justice (Tim Carney), Nightingale, Oxbow (Sam Matonabbe), Pixie, Rebound, Reflex, Templar (Ian Fitzwilliam Dare), Vulcan, Yankee Clipper (Pat Carney)

Second incarnation (early-1980s - a few years prior to the modern era (see comments)):
(Black Fox, Blackjack, Dr. Mime, Effigy, Eternal Brain (William Carmody), Firefall, Flatiron (Russell), Mr. Justice (Tim Carney), Morph, Nightingale, Oxbow, Pixie, Positron (Veronica), Rapunzel, Reflex, Templar, Walkabout, Yeti)

Purpose: To be mankind's first line of defense against any and all metahuman threats (pre-modern era)

Affiliations: Mary Carmody, Agent Colby, Dr. Stephen Strange, Jim Fitzpatrick, Gadfly (T. Ruth MacRae), Hipster/Captain Hip (Fred MacRae), Princess Khadijah, Cassandra Locke of Reality-700, Mako, Monster Hunters (Ulysses Bloodstone, Dr. Druid/Anthony Ludgate, Namora/Aquaria Nautica Neptunia, Zawadi), Namor the Sub-Mariner, Riot-Act, Squire (Fitzwilliam Dare; first name unrevealed), Sunshine (Autumn MacRae), Thor Odinson, Venus (Aphrodite);
    brief and limited alliance of convenience with the vampire Nocturne against the Skrull armada (he stowed aboard their ship to oppose the Skrulls);
    multiple unidentified characters in final battle against the Skrulls, including (numerically identified purely for ease of reference) character 1, character 2, character 3character 4, character 5, character 6, character7

Enemies: Axis, Chimera (Zuhn), Deviants (including Warlord Kro), Howler (Luke Garrow), Jameel, Kang the Conqueror (Nathaniel Richards (see comments)), Korya, Warlord Kro, Nocturne, Nocturne's Zombie Invaders & Red Skull, Red Front, Rumor, Scimitar, the Scythe, Skrull invasion forces, Typhoon, Fritz von Voltzmann (Karl von Horstbaden), Yellow Claw (Plan Chu), Princess Zafina, Zankor
    formerly Blackjack, Dr. Schreiber, Positron, Venus

Base of Operations: Formerly Carmody Institute, New England;
    formerly First Line "Hideaway" headquarters, Colorado Rockies

First Appearance: Marvel: The Lost Generation#12 (March, 2000)



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History: (Marvel: The Lost Generation#1 - BTS) - When former All-American athlete turned engineer Patrick Carney was heading home after a day's work at Project: Deep Freeze, he almost hit Cassandra Locke, 22nd century historian of Reality-700, who had had been traveling progressively back in time and had time-warped right in front of his car. Locke, seriously wounded during her last jump, told Carney he was to be the first of a new generation of super-heroes, telling him he'd even start a team. After she eventually succumbed to her injuries despite hospitalization, Locke left Carney her tachyon belt. Unaware of the belt's full functionality, it took him a year to use it to enhance his own strength. Calling himself the Yankee Clipper, he had several adventures during the late-1950s, eventually joined by his girlfriend Beverly who became the costumed heroine Liberty Girl. 

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#2) - In 1958, government agent Jacob Scott (secretly the Skrull Velmax) assembled the adventurers Black Fox, Liberty Girl and the Yankee Clipper to investigate a security breach at a Long Island research facility where an alien space ship was being studied (actually Velmax's vessel, in which he crashed on Earth in 1947). Joined by the Monster Hunters, the heroes fought one of the researchers, Dr. Schreiber, who had accidentally been turned into a monster when he was exposed to the bio-moleculizer aboard the Skrull ship. At the same time, the facility was invaded by Velmax's old commander Zuhn (in human guise), who wanted the vessel for himself. Zuhn had hired mercenaries Blackjack and the Scythe as muscle. They fought off the heroes, while Zuhn shot Velmax with the bio-moleculizer when he tried to board the vessel. Zuhn escaped, leaving Velmax to violently spasm, shifting forms uncontrollably when he was found by the Yankee Clipper. The heroes took him to a nearby hospital, where Effigy was cured thanks to the efforts of Nightingale, an enigmatic, empathic healer the Clipper had met during a recent solo mission. Pretending that the incident had granted him shapeshifting abilities, Velmax supported the Clipper's idea to form a superhero team. The Clipper, who coined the name First Line (of defense) was joined by Liberty Girl and Nightingale. The Black Fox liked the notion, but refused membership because he planned to marry and retire from super-heroics.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#3 - BTS) - From 1958 onwards, the First Line gained traction. The team was granted government clearances in the late-1950s or early-1960s, as well as the "Hideaway," a fully equipped and outfitted base in the Colorado Rockies. The Black Fox -- who had re-dedicated himself to crime-fighting and had adopted a more grim costume and demeanor after the vampire Nocturne had slain his intended fiancee Miriam -- joined the First Line and the team accepted the Clipper's younger brother Tim on the team as Kid Justice, albeit on a preliminary basis.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#3) - Among the recorded cases of the First Line (Black Fox, Effigy, Kid Justice, Liberty Girl, Nightingale) in 1961 were a confrontation with the (presumably communist) villains known as Red Front. The team also traveled to San Francisco in the Spring of 1961 to thwart a scheme plotted by the Yellow Claw and his associate von Voltzmann--during this mission, they encountered the Hipster (Fred MacRae), and had a brief encounter with the amnesiac Sub-Mariner (Namor McKenzie), whom the Claw had mentally manipulated.main image




(Marvel: The Lost Generation#4 - BTS) - By 1963, Kid Justice was granted full membership while the First Line's rogues gallery increased with confirmed altercations with Blackjack and Howler.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#4) - In late November, 1963, the First Line (Black Fox, Effigy, Kid Justice, Liberty Girl, Nightingale), traveled to Dallas, Texas following an ominous premonition of Nightingale's and a heads up from the FBI about their old enemy Howler heading there as well--this, plus the fact President John F. Kennedy was scheduled to speak there the next day was reason enough to worry. Howler had been hired to help the Skrull Zuhn (disguised as the polymorph villain Chimera) steal a navigational array from a local Stark Industries facility. The First Line opposed the villains, but at a price: Liberty Girl was mortally wounded by Chimera, while a chance encounter with Cassandra Locke caused the Yankee Clipper to be thrust 22 years into the future. Nightingale--caught in the temporal tempest when Locke and the Clipper's belts interacted--was left an incoherent mess. The First Line, beaten and demoralized by their losses, headed home even as Lee Harvey Oswald proceeded with his assassination attempt on JFK.





(Marvel: The Lost Generation#5 - BTS) - Surviving the loss of two of their founding members, the First Line added new recruits such as Oxbow, Pixie, Rebound and Major Mercury (secretly the Eternal speedster Makkari). They were also joined by Frank, a supremely powerful yet childlike creature that resembled the classic Frankenstein's Monster (see comments). Kid Justice, dedicated to his brother the Clipper's heroic legacy, changed his codename to Mr. Justice and became one of the team's field leaders. During the 1960s, the First Line went on several undocumented missions where they encountered other super-powered vigilantes such as the husband and wife hippie hero team Captain Hip and Sunshine.main image


(Marvel: The Lost Generation#5) - During 1967's "Summer of Love," the First Line (Black Fox, Effigy, Frank, Major Mercury, Mr. Justice,  Rebound, Oxbow, Pixie) assisted Captain Hip and Sunshine in investigating strange happenings at a music festival hosted by a woman calling herself Venus, the goddess of love. The Nazi villain Rumor was secretly trying to get the youth of America to revolt, causing chaos and anarchy. His scheme was thwarted by the First Line and the visiting Asgardian thunder god Thor. In the aftermath, the Black Fox tried to recruit Thor, who dismissed the offer, claiming he had no interest in the affairs of mankind. Sunshine and Hip also declined membership because they had just learned Sunshine was pregnant.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#6 - BTS) - As the 1960s drew to a close, the First Line's line up was expanded once again when the fire-generating Firefall joined. Another far more surprising, recruit was the team's old enemy Blackjack--the mercenary had decided to reform, and was now eager to prove himself on the side of the angels.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#6) - By mid-July of 1969, the First Line (Blackjack, Effigy, Firefall, Mr. Justice, Nightingale, Oxbow, Pixie, Reflex) learned of an imminent threat (instigated by Skrull agents in human form) to the Apollo-11 mission scheduled to land on the Moon. Using the alien spaceship (actually Velmax's old vessel) they encountered during their formative mission in 1958, the team reached the Moon on July 20, in time to fight off Axis, Howler, Positron, and Typhoon who had been hired by the Skrulls to act as their muscle. Howler, Axis, Typhoon and the Skrulls all apparently perished during the conflict, while the First Line took Positron and the Scythe back to Earth as prisoners.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#7 - BTS) - The early-1970s were symbolized by an influx of international First Liners. The team welcomed the Russian defector Katyusha, as well as Scottish heroes Templar and Vulcan. Rounding out the new recruits was Reflex whose reverse-kinesis force-field repelled enemy and ally alike. While the heroes did their duty, the increasingly paranoid President Richard Nixon figured it was within his authority to use the First Line against his political enemies.

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(Marvel: The Lost Generation#7) - Meanwhile, life for the First Line went on as normally as possible. The team (Katyusha, Mr. Justice, Oxbow, Pixie, Reflex, Templar, Vulcan) fought Nocturne and a group of his zombies disguised as the Red Skull and the Invaders in Cleveland. Templar got married and decided to quit the business. The Black Fox infiltrated the White House to tell President Nixon off personally, which so infuriated the President he cut all official government ties with the team and rescinded their security clearances. With this move, he effectively turned the team into an unsanctioned band of outlaws. 

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 - BTS) - President Nixon's actions caused the team to fall apart, even as he himself was brought down during the Watergate scandals (instigated by Effigy, who leaked crucial evidence to reporter Bob Woodward as "Deep Throat"). The "Hideaway" in the Colorado Rockies was mothballed, though members like Pixie and the Black Fox regularly went to their old headquarters to check on the security measures they left in place. During one of these visits around 1975, Pixie happened to be in the communications center when a call came in from CIA agent Colby. The intelligence operative wanted to alert the First Line their old enemy Nocturne was active in Romania.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#8) - Pixie and the Black Fox traveled to the Romanian town Petralova after consulting with Agent Colby in Washington D.C. Teaming up with sorcerer Stephen Strange, an old acquaintance of the Fox, the two heroes fought Nocturne in Castle Diablo--the vampiric villain had been holed up there in recent times, trying to use the undying alchemist's potions to restore parts of his lost humanity. Pixie used her petrifaction power to send Nocturne running in the end, albeit with one arm missing.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#9 - BTS) - As the 1970s drew to a close, the First Line was only sporadically active as team. During this period, they welcomed two new members: the reformed super-villain Positron, who resumed her relationship with Blackjack, and Flatiron, a Detroit engineer who built a formidable suit of combat armor in his own basement.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#9) - Some time in 1980, Mr. Justice was captured by Halwani forces following a failed rescue attempt of three American diplomats. Under-secretary Scott (Velmax/Effigy) decided to bring the First Line together to go and rescue Justice in Halwan. First, Scott took the team (Blackjack, Black Fox, Flatiron, Nightingale, Oxbow, Pixie, Positron, Reflex) to the estate of William Carmody, a brilliant bio-geneticist who had only recently become the powerful telepathic Eternal Brain. With unusually heavy solar flares interfering with satellite communications, the Brain's telepathy was needed to facilitate communication during the mission. According to information Scott/Effigy obtained through the state department, Justice was being held in the Lion's Throne, the Halwan royal palace outside the capital of Kamillabad. While the team was rescuing Justice, a group of CIA operatives freed the diplomats who were held in the capital itself. However, the diplomats had been moved to the royal palace as well and got rescued by Mr. Justice, who after freeing himself with help from Princess Khadijah, hijacked a jet and headed for Israel. The First Line was not informed of this and attacked the palace anyway, which led to the death of Blackjack at the hands of the Halwani operative Scimitar (Blackjack had tried to save the time-traveling Cassandra Locke, who herself was trying to prevent any fatalities among the heroes). After creating a ruse (Effigy imitated Halwan's ruler Zafina, pretending to be Oxbow's hostage), the First Line managed to gain safe passage out of the country in time to learn Mr. Justice had arrived safely in Israel. While visiting him at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Medical Center, the Black Fox was furious with Effigy for the botched rescue mission, feeling the shapeshifter had willingly led the team into a set-up, only using them as a distraction to help destabilize Halwan's regime. After making sure Mr. Justice was alright (thanks to Nightingale's administrations), the Black Fox quit the team, which led long-time member Pixie to remark that this could really be the end of the First Line. 

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 - BTS) - At some point during the 1980s, Effigy and the Eternal Brain decided to reboot the First Line, figuring there was still a need for them. Re-imagining the team as a loose confederation operating more covertly rather than as a tightly-knit team like in their previous incarnation, the two started to lay the groundwork to achieve this goal. Construction started on the Carmody Institute, an impressive structure off the coast of Maine in New England--to help assure secrecy, the work was divided among a great number of contractors. However, despite Carmody and Effigy's emphasis on security, the government became aware there was a new First Line in the works and ordered CIA operative Nick Fury to investigate. During the construction of the Institute, the team itself was being rebuilt and expanded as well. The savage, volatile Yeti of the Inhumans joined, as well as the outspoken Rapunzel, who used her living hair in combat. The shapeshifter Morph was the third new recruit, along with the Eternal Brain and Walkabout, a sentient robot created by Carmody to increase his own mobility; long-time members Oxbow and Pixie rounded out the new First Line. The team had apparently encountered the time-traveling conqueror Kang (Nathaniel Richards) at some unspecified point in their past (see comments).

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(Marvel: The Lost Generation#10) - Nick Fury tried to infiltrate the Carmody Institute, but was easily captured by Walkabout, who brought him to meet Carmody, Effigy, Oxbow and Pixie. Their discussion was cut short by the arrival of a small army of Deviants (led by the unseen Warlord Kro), who bored their way up from underground to attack the Eternal Pixie. Fury and the First Line joined forces to fight their monstrous enemies, even as Cassandra Locke time-jumped into the Carmody Institute. When Effigy realized the Deviants were mostly after Pixie, he took her aside and demanded to know why (Pixie's Eternal origins were only known to Oxbow). Pixie's protective partner forcefully shoved Effigy aside, which almost led to a fight if not for Locke running in and forcing them to stop. Before they could find out who their newest visitor was, the First Line had to deal with Yeti, who had lost control during the battle and was ripping apart the Deviants--Rapunzel used her hair to calm him down long enough for the Deviants to try to retreat. Not wanting his men captured, Kro "purified" (incinerated) his forces before retreating back to Lemuria. The First Line and Fury then focused on Locke, who -- after convincing them she really was from the future -- proceeded to warn them about a coming Skrull invasion she'd just witnessed several years in the future--this news greatly upset the secret Skrull Effigy, though his teammates had no idea why. When Locke decided to continue her journey into the past, the First Line and everyone who met her instantly forgot all about her and her warnings (due to a 22nd century counter-measure to prevent creating divergent realities).

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#1) - In late 1985, the Yankee Clipper reemerged in Manhattan after being bounced across time from 1963 (following his encounter with Cassandra Locke). As luck would have it, he ran into his kid brother, who was chasing down some criminals in an armored battle wagon through the crowded city streets. Initially shocked to see Tim all grown up and now calling himself Mister Justice rather than Kid Justice, he nonetheless immediately jumped into action to help him out. After a brief but emotional reunion, the brothers Carney went to see Bob Paine (the Black Fox, though he had retired his costumed identity by then). Surprised to find the First Line was by now mainly working underground, Pat Carney shot down his brother's idea to use the Clipper's return to restore the team to its former glory. Pat declared he wasn't ready for that and that he doubted the world was either. Paine made arrangemenst with Pixie to have the Clipper stay with the Eternals until he got used to his new life.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#11 - BTS) - The new First Line continued to operate for several years as a covert organization. Either solo, in smaller groups, or as an entire team, they went where they were needed, though they preferred to work as anonymously as possible. Over time, former First Liners like Firefall and Mr. Justice returned to the fold, while Walkabout received improved outer shielding that greatly increased his combat capabilities. Yeti left the team in disgrace over something described only as the "Rapunzel Tragedy" and retreated to his hideout in the Himalayas. One of the few new recruits was the enigmatic Dr. Mime.   

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(Marvel: The Lost Generation#11) - When Reed Richards helped capture an amnesiac Skrull spy called Zankor, he was sent to the Carmody Institute for questioning. However, the team (Dr. Mime, Effigy, Firefall, Mr. Justice, Oxbow, Pixie, Rapunzel, Walkabout) was involved in multiple other cases. Oxbow was off on a solo mission to the Far East, while Mr. Justice was working in the Caribbean. Dr. Mime and Rapunzel were teaming up to deal with an unspecified case, while Walkabout, Firefall and Pixie were in New York to take care of Nocturne and his latest threat: a mutating Alchem-Tech virus that threatened to consume the city. Only Effigy was available to question Zankor, and by the time most of the team returned to the Institute, the shapeshifter had learned the Skrull's mission was to confirm whether or not the planned invasion of Earth could commence. Effigy assured Zankor the First Line and their allies would do anything to stop the Skrulls.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#11 - BTS) - Unbeknownst even to Zankor, a second operative was active on Earth--the female Skrull Korya sought out Yeti in the Himalayas, and managed to befriend him to further her goals. 

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#12 - BTS) - With the First Line aware of the imminent Skrull invasion, preparations started to deal with the coming crisis. During these years, Nocturne was able to restore himself after the Alchem-Tech incident saw him reduced to rubble. The Black Fox was lured out of semi-retirement by the playful, mischievous vigilante Gadfly (T.Ruth MacRae), who harbored a not-so secret crush on the aging crime-fighter. When the First Line members obtained sufficient evidence of the Skrulls heading for Earth (possibly due to encounters with Korya and Yeti), they put out a general call for help among the superhuman community. The team asked past members such as Black Fox, Templar and his son Squire, other allies, and even adversaries like Gadfly, Mako and Riot-Act to help out. In the end, an undisclosed but considerable number of Earth's metahumans boarded several space-worthy vessels to combat the alien threat head on. However, the Skrull armada shot down at least two of the ships, causing them to crash and burn on the Moon. The deaths of the unrevealed passengers were briefly acknowledged by Uatu the Watcher and Dr. Stephen Strange. The Watcher also drew the time-traveling Cassandra Locke to his lunar abode. She decided to use her tachyon belt to transport herself to the Skrull flagship in order to observe the battle firsthand.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#12) - The only vessel to make it through to the Skrull flagship contained, among others, Black Fox, Effigy, Eternal Brain, Firefall, Gadfly, Flatiron, Katyusha, Mako, Mr. Justice, Morph, Nightingale, Oxbow, Pixie, Positron, Riot-Act, Reflex, Squire, Templar and Walkabout; Yeti and Korya were already aboard the Skrull flagship, and after Korya was mortally wounded, Yeti fled with her back to Earth in an escape-pod. Unbeknownst to the heroes, the team's archenemy, Nocturne, had stowed away to help out as well, even though he did take the opportunity to apparently kill the Eternal Brain and Walkabout when he had the chance. The First Line was hopelessly outmatched by the Skrulls' superior firepower. As the final conflict approached, Effigy, Oxbow and Pixie were the only members still left alive. Effigy set up a resonance overload in the Skrull ship's warp-feed phase-shifters that would cause the engines of every ship in the armada to explode, but he was fatally shot before he could activate it. As Effigy lay dying, Pixie finally learned the First Line's leader had been a Skrull all along. He left it to her to throw the switch, even as Oxbow fought off the Skrulls. Just as Pixie was about to hit the switch, Cassandra Locke showed up to get her to stop. Not able to persuade Pixie, Locke decided to travel into the past to inform the First Line what was going to happen. With Locke gone, Pixie engaged the overload that destroyed the Skrull armada and most of the First Line as well.

(X-Men: The Hidden Years#16 (fb) - BTS) - Through unrevealed means, Yeti and Pixie were the only (confirmed) surviving First Line members.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#1 (fb) - BTS) - When the Yankee Clipper used his power belt to make a time-jump from the late-1980s to the modern era, he met up with Pixie and learned of the fate of the First Line.

(Marvel: The Lost Generation#1) - Because the worlds' governments had decided to keep the aborted Skrull invasion under wraps, the First Line's heroic last stand was prevented from becoming common knowledge as well. This meant the team's public reputation suffered a tremendous blow, with people feeling left and abandoned by the heroes who, as far as they knew, simply disappeared one day. Early in the Fantastic Four's career (ironically after their first fight against the Skrulls (@ Fantastic Four I#2)), the First Line was mentioned by J. Jonah Jameson in his Daily Bugle editorial, when he called them "proof" superheroes could not be trusted. 

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(X-Men: The Hidden Years#16 (fb) - After helping the X-Men deal with the unstable Yeti following an unprovoked altercation near his Himalayan home, his fellow First Liner Pixie told the young mutants what had truly happened to the First Line. Learning the truth about the heroes of their early childhood stunned the X-Men, especially Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), who recounted how her father felt as if one day their heroes had just left them. Aware of the final, tragic finale of the First Line, the neophyte heroes headed home.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks).

    Ahhh, the First Line, we hardly knew ye. All we got from Earth's mightiest pre-modern heroes were twelve months of all too brief, tantalizing glimpses of what we have missed. An assignment here, a hero joining there, one or two skirmishes with Nocturne... Still, the decision to base the series on established historic events is an inspired one--from JFK's assassination, to the "Summer of Love " to Apollo-11 landing on the Moon, Byrne and Stern added it all to the mix in order to create a rich, inviting tapestry. It's truly a testament to the artists' creative talents that they managed to make the one-off style First Line adventures, with an ever-changing cast and time settings, feel like you're flipping through random issues of a decades long comic series like Avengers. One rapidly becomes familiar with all the characters, even if they were barely more than background players. Everyone gets a chance to shine, one can only hope the First Line itself will get to do so someday.

    However, a comeback doesn't seem all that likely. For one, Marvel's executive editor Tom Brevoort has gone on the record to express a particular dislike for the Lost Generation.

    Asked about Marvel: The Lost Generation on his FormSpring page, Brevoort had the following to say: "I felt, like most, all of the drop-in characters felt like thin, watered-down versions of other characters, both Marvel ones and other people's, and I felt like the premise of the series started to get bent when we got into stories where Reed Richards was the scientist who finds the alien and so forth; if the mandate was to build something that was going to be tethered to a particular period in time, the real-world 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, then it needed to be able to remain tethered there while the rest of the Marvel universe continued to move forwards in time as "Marvel Time" constantly readjusted itself. But mostly, I just didn't think any of the characters or stories were all that great."
    Nearly forty years (at the time) after the creation of the Fantastic Four and over 60 years after the start of the Golden Age, it's pretty hard to come up with unique characters who aren't derivative of others. That being said, I think there were plenty of pretty unique characters, and the characterization made them individuals. The criticism of the stories not being that great is pretty interesting to me, considering the stories produced by some VERY popular writers at Marvel...for the attention-deficit-disorder generation. Flash and shock value over substance, repetitive panels, and repetitive dialogue without respect to characterization is not quality story-telling. I can't fault Marvel for backing writers who consistently sell well, because, at the end of the day, it's a business. But criticizing much more thoroughly thought-out stories rings REALLY hollow to me. And, I'm pretty certain from comments I've seen that at least a portion of it ties to a general dislike of one of the writers.
    Tethering to the sliding timescale is another matter altogether, though. That was fine when the series came out, but even as I write this in 2014, the characters are 14 years older than they were when the series was written. Black Fox, instead of nearly 70 is now a full 80 in #12. Gadfly, meant to be around 20 years old in #12 now turns out to have been 32 years old in college before she got directly involved with the Black Fox. For Squire to have been only 16 or so in #12, he would have to have been born in 1984, instead of shortly after his parents' marriage. None of this is impossible, and you can concoct a reason why each of them wouldn't be as old as they might have otherwise seem, but it just gets less feasible and even potentially ridiculous as time rolls on. Ultimately, I think the best solution (as pointed out by Ronald Byrd), will be to declare as topical the meetings with Reed and anything else tied to the modern era/sliding timescale and leave the Skrull Invasion battle fixed in time around 1988...but, for now, we don't have that resolution anywhere. What we need is a sequel...maybe Roger Stern and John Byrne will put something together for a 15, 20, or 25 year anniversary...we can dream, can't we?

    When asked about the various unidentified First Line characters seen during the First Line's final battle, co-plotter and scripter Roger Stern was nice enough to explain he and Byrne had no additional back story written for any of those characters.

    The Rumor profile in Thor: Asgard's Avenger, erroneously notes the Venus who was involved with Rumor to have been the siren. The Venus/Aphrodite/goddess profile in her Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entry confirms this to have been the goddess. The Rumor entry is in error.

    Additionally, it's not clear whether Frank from the First Line is definitely the Frankenstein monster or not. The First Line and Frankenstein Monster profiles in the OHotMU are contradictory in this regard, with the former saying they are the same and the latter saying it is "unidentified."
    As the head writer of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe at that time, I can tell you, the official policy is:
Frank of the First Line is apparently either a Frankenstein monster ( meaning a creature created in the manner of Victor Frankenstein's first creation ) or just a being with a similar appearance and abilities who adopted the name Frank due to the notable similarities. However, it as yet remains unrevealed whether Frank is actually the original creation of Victor Frankenstein, aka "the Frankenstein monster." Previous entries referencing Frank as "Frankenstein monster" were unclear in specifying/clarifying this point.

In regards to the First Line's encounter with Kang: The details of this event were never depicted in the series, nor was it mentioned exactly when it occurred in the team's history. In issue #10, when the time-traveling Casandra Locke appeared in the team's headquarters, she explained that she was from the future, to which Pixie replied, "Like that Kang guy?!". From her response, we can assume that at least Pixie was familiar with Kang, but since she joined the First Line at some point in the early- to mid-1960s, and her mention of the time-traveling conqueror occurred  sometime in the 1980s, it's unclear exactly which incarnation of the team Kang might have faced (...and that's assuming Pixie didn't just meet him on a solo adventure). Also, it was unclear if it was the "traditional" Kang (Nataniel Richards) (@ Avengers I#8)--for all we know, it could have been one of the Council of Kangs or even one of the Cross-Time Kangs.-- Ron Fredricks

OK, who's left from the First Line?

    The First Line received entries in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Teams 2005 and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover#4 (2008), covered with minor corrections/updates in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z softcover#4 (2012).

Profile by Norvo.

The First Line has no known connections to

Carmody Institute

Several years after President Nixon forced the First Line underground (circa 1973), Effigy reunited a handful of members to go on a rescue mission to Halwan in the early-1980s. Following that mission, Effigy became convinced the team should continue. Conferring with the Eternal Brain (William Carmody), Effigy concluded the new First Line should be more of a loose federation rather than a tightly-knit team like its previous incarnation. They chose the newly-constructed Carmody Institute off the coast of Maine as the team's new base of operations. The Institute was equipped with state-of-the-art technology, as well as individual living quarters for the First Line members, and a commissary for both the team and the personnel at the Institute. During one of their first adventures, the First Line fought off a small army of Deviants led by Kro that had burrowed a tunnel into the Institute to capture Pixie. That hole was later used to construct an access way to a submarine pen.

-- Marvel: The Lost Generation#9, Marvel: The Lost Generation#10

Rocky Mountains Hideaway

Shortly after establishing themselves as a team, and supported by several government agencies that gave them the necessary security clearances (and funding), the First Line took up residence in their first headquarters somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Nicknamed "The Hideaway," the facility functioned as the team's base of operations as early as the spring of 1961. The Hideaway came equipped with a meeting room, living quarters for the individual members, and a gym that sported a radiographically-controlled training robot for sparring purposes. The Hideaway's communication facility was top-notch, and the hangar was large enough to house a Skrull saucer. After President Nixon rescinded the First Line's security clearances and turned the team into outlaws some time in 1973, the Hideaway was abandoned. The First Line made sure to secure their base against possible looters, with members frequently checking in to see everything was still in working order for most of the 1970s. During one of these routine checks, Pixie answered a call from CIA operative Colby, who tried to reach the team after uncovering evidence their archenemy Nocturne might still be alive.

Marvel: The Lost Generation#3, Marvel: The Lost Generation#4, Marvel: The Lost Generation#6, Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 (BTS)

Unidentified First Line character I

This bald Skrull was seen ever-so briefly on the cover of Marvel: The Lost Generation#1 and amidst the First Line's final battle against the Skrulls. His true identity and allegiance remains unrevealed.

Marvel: The Lost Generation#12

Unidentified First Line character II

 An unidentified Deviant warrior joined in the defense of Earth, but was fatally hit by a Skrull energy blast straight to the chest.

Marvel: The Lost Generation#12

Unidentified First Line character III

An unidentified Deviant warrior joined in the defense of Earth, using an iron rod to beat on the alien invaders

Marvel: The Lost Generation#12

Unidentified First Line character IV

Part of the First Line's defense was this unidentified robotic creature.

Marvel: The Lost Generation#12

Unidentified First Line character V

Among the many members and associates the First Line had gathered over the years was this unidentified character, who fought the Skrulls during the team's final mission.

Marvel: The Lost Generation#12

Unidentified First Line character VI

 Among the many members and associates the First Line had gathered over the years was this unidentified character, who fought the Skrulls during the team's final mission.

Marvel: The Lost Generation#12

Unidentified First Line character VII

Among the many members and associates the First Line had gathered over the years was this unidentified character, who fought the Skrulls during the team's final mission.

Though, considering his apparent speed, it might as well have been the Eternal Makkari as Major Mercury (The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe states that both Pixie and Makkari survived the final conflict against the Skrulls)

Marvel: The Lost Generation#12

images: (without ads)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#9, cover (main image, 1980 Halwan lineup)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#2, p9, pan1 (1958 initial meeting)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#4, p11, pan3 (early-1960s lineup)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#5, p11, pan4 (mid-1960s lineup)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#7, p1, pan1 (1970s Nixon-era lineup)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#10, p20, pan1 (interrogating Cassandra Locke)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#11, p13, pan1 (Pixie, Walkabout, Firefall)
X-Men: The Hidden Years#16, p19, pan3 (1980s second incarnation lineup)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#11, p21, pan3 (second base Carmody Institute)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#11, p20, pan2 (second base Carmody Institute submarine pen tunnel)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#6, p5, pan4 (Colorado headquarters)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12, p2, 1 (unidentified member or associate)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12, p3, 1 (unidentified member or associate)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12, p2, 1 (unidentified member or associate)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12, p3, 1 (unidentified member or associate)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12, p2, 1 (unidentified member or associate)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12, p16, 1 (unidentified member or associate)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#12, p16, 1 (unidentified member or associate)

Marvel: The Lost Generation#12 (March, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#11 (April, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#10 (May, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#9 (June, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 (July, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#7 (August, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#6 (September, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#5 (October, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#4 (November, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#3 (December 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#2 (January, 2001) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#1 (February, 2001) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
X-Men: The Hidden Years#16 (March, 2001) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Jason Leibig (editor)

First Posted: 05/01/2014
Last updated: 12/04/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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