Reader Don Hutton recently sent me the following via e-mail:
"Just came across this goofy gem of a story idea in AC Comic's "Armageddon Factor" #1 from 1987. The Government passes a law forcing all superheros to be registered and to work for the military. This causes something of a Civil War (tm) to break out. However it then turns out to be a plot by a bunch of green-skinned aliens who've infiltrated the government."
I've never seen The Armageddon Factor, but Don also kindly provided scans of the obscure AC comic in question, and as you can see, it closely parallels recent events in Marvel comics, specifically the Civil War and Secret Invasion epics. It looks like Armageddon Factor had two issues in 1987, then a conclusion "special" in 1990 that suggests that maybe this wasn't the most seamless production in comics history.
So is this a total coincidence, or should we be investigating Mark Millar and Brian Bendis' back-issues for copies of the Armageddon Factor#1? It doesn't really matter. Comic book writers have been mining the past for years now and Marvel and DC have both been re-running their own greatest hits of late, so why not restage a 21-year old crossover from a whole other company? So, conspiracy...or coincidence? You decide.