The White Event is a cosmic occurrence that has appeared in multiple universes within Marvel. It first appeared in the New Universe line of titles in 1986. It was later re-used as a plot point in the newuniversal re-imagining by Warren Ellis. Recently, Jonathan Hickman has incorporated the White Event and the characters it creates in his current Avengers run.
The event will generally grant humans powers, and always seems to create the same avatars in each universe it takes place in. These avatars are known as:
The cause of the event differs depending on the series. In the original Star Brand series, it was explained that the White Event was caused by the actions of The Old Man, who attempted to rid himself of the Star Brand by transferring it to an asteroid close to Earth. This engulfed the planet in a white light and new heroes were born.
In the current Avengers series, it is explained that the White Event came from a machine in the Superflow and that due to the machine being broken, avatars are not being selected correctly.