The White Event was the name given to a mysterious blinding flash of light which bathed the Earth on July 22, 1986, at 4:22am EST. In the wake of this strange event many people began to develop paranormal powers, and some also mutated physically, in ways which seemed to defy medical science.
It was later revealed that The Old Man, one of the wielders of the immensely powerful cosmic artifact known as the Star Brand, had attempted to rid himself of his unwanted power by transferring the Star Brand onto an asteroid near Earth. However, the Brand required a living being's will in order to control it, and when placed in an inanimate object, a flood of power was released, infusing many human beings with a fraction of the Star Brand's energies. A similar accident called the Black Event would occur on December 19, 1988 when Star Brand wielder Ken Connell tried to get rid of the Brand by placing it onto a free weight, resulting in a massive blast of energy which totally destroys the city of Pittsburgh.
In the new Warren Ellis series newuniversal, a reboot of the New Universe, the White Event is the largest and most recent of four similar events (the previous three have been described as "failed White Events") and occurs at 06.49 UTC, March 2, 2006. Unlike the New Universe version, the effects of the White Event are initially felt mostly on the side of the Earth that was bathed in its light. The Event is caused by the Earth passing into a new area of space with different properties than the norm.
Another such event, the Fireworks, took place on April 26, 1953 at 9:00 EST. The Fireworks created three known superhumans, all North American. It appears that none of them possessed the power of the Nightmask, whose purpose is to guide the world's transition more smoothly. All three superhumans were killed in 1959 by agents of the US government's Project Spitfire.
Project Spitfire believes that a third event took place in 1888, but only created a single superhuman, who later died in World War One. No further details about this event have been revealed.
As part of the Marvel NOW initiative, Jonathan Hickman introduced the White Event as a key element of his story in the fifth volume of Avengers. The White Events trigger the creation of powerful planetary defense systems, particularly the activation of a Star Brand. This White Event was caused by damage in the Builders' superflow, resulting in Kevin Connor receiving the Star Brand instead of a more qualified candidate. The event also saw the full activation of Ex Nihilo's creation Nightmask, who referred to this particular event as the last White Event.
- Warren Ellis (w), Steve Kurth (p), Andrew Hennessy (i). "Tumble" newuniversal: shockfront 1 (July 2008), Marvel Comics
- Warren Ellis (w), Salvador Larroca (a). "Enter" newuniversal 1 (2007), Marvel Comics
- Kieron Gillen (w), Greg Scott, Kody Chamberlain (a). newuniversal: 1959 1 (September 2008), Marvel Comics
- Warren Ellis (w), Salvador Larroca (a). "Mathematics" newuniversal 3 (2007), Marvel Comics
- Avengers Vol. 5 #19
- Avengers Vol. 5 #7