The Men in Black (comics)

The Men in Black (comics)
The Men in Black
The Men in Black - first issue. Cover art by Max S Fellwalker
Publication information
Publisher Aircel Comics
Malibu Comics
Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Mini-series
Publication date January-March 1990
May-July 1991
Number of issues 3
Creative team
Writer(s) Lowell Cunningham
Artist(s) Sandy Carruthers
Creator(s) Lowell Cunningham
Collected editions
The Men in Black ISBN 0944735606

The Men in Black was a comic book created and written by Lowell Cunningham, illustrated by Sandy Carruthers, and published by Aircel Comics. Aircel would later be bought out by Malibu Comics, which itself was bought out by Marvel Comics. Three issues were published in 1990, with another three the following year. It was adapted into the film Men in Black, which was a commercial success, leading to two sequels and various spin-offs, as well as a number of tie-in one-shot comics from Marvel.


Publication history

The first series consisted of three issues and was published in 1990 by Aircel Comics. After being acquired by Malibu Comics a second series appeared in 1991.

Malibu was purchased by Marvel in 1994, and when the first film was released Marvel published a number of one-shots in 1997, including two prequels,[1][2] a sequel,[3] and a movie adaptation.[4]

The first series has been collected into a trade paperback (June 1990, ISBN 0944735606).

Fictional history

The Men in Black are a secret organization that monitors and suppresses paranormal activity on Earth (which includes aliens, demons, mutants, and other such beings), while keeping the populace ignorant of its happenings. Notable members include Zed, Jay, and Kay. An agent named Ecks went rogue after learning the truth behind the MiB: they seek to manipulate and reshape the world in their own image by keeping the supernatural hidden.

An agent will use any means necessary, including murder and destruction, to accomplish a mission. Agents sever all ties with their former lives, and as far as the world is concerned, they do not exist. Agents who go rogue (such as Ecks) are hunted down and eliminated.


The series provided the premise and characters of the 1997 film Men in Black and its sequel and spin-offs. The spin-offs include a soundtrack with an award-winning song, the TV show Men in Black: The Series, a novelization of each film, video games, and an amusement park ride. Men in Black III is set to be released in 2012.

Among the changes in the film version are the focus of the secret organization (only policing and monitoring extraterrestrial activity on Earth, omitting the other paranormal elements), Agent J's race changed to African-American (he was Caucasian in the comics), its methods (using memory erasure rather than killing witnesses), and its goals (merely maintaining order on Earth, rather than directing it). The movie also significantly alters the tone, playing the Men in Black's isolation from society for pathos and the bizarreness of their day to day lives for humor, primarily the latter.


  1. ^ "Men in Black: Initiation" at the Comic Book DB
  2. ^ "Men in Black: Far Cry" at the Comic Book DB
  3. ^ "Men in Black: Retribuition" at the Comic Book DB
  4. ^ "Men in Black: Movie Adaptation" at the Comic Book DB

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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