Marvel’s next big publishing initiative was just revealed a couple of weeks ago, so naturally it was assumed that a lot of new info about what would be happening during this revamping of the Marvel Universe would hit during San Diego Comic-Con. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get too much, but we do have some bits and pieces as to what to expect as far as cancelled books, rebooted books, new creative teams, books that won’t be touched, and more.
Until we get more official info on what to expect in the coming months, I’ll be wrangling together all the info we’ve been given so far, so read on!
Foremost, Marvel NOW! is not DC’s New 52. They aren’t claiming to be rebooting their universe, but rather telling the next stage of their characters stories after the events of Avengers VS X-Men. Characters won’t be the same, but it’s not a reboot; it’s natural progression, which is a breath of fresh air for those who might worry about having another confusing semi-reboot on their hands. We will, however, be getting plenty of new #1 issues with new creative teams handling familiar characters, and it won’t be forced onto us all in one month as Marvel plans to stretch the debut of Marvel NOW! across October of 2012 to February of 2013, allowing writers to bring their current runs to their natural conclusions. The best part, though, is that not every series will be renumbered or experiencing a creative shift.
For the past few months we’ve been receiving little hints at big things coming, but mostly it was just rumors and news about creators bringing their long-running creative tenures to an end. One of the first among them was for Jonathan Hickman’s run on both Fantastic Four and FF, which we were told would come to a close in October of this year. Along the way there were rumors all over the place about Matt Fraction closing off his Invincible Iron Man series, and then we saw Kieron Gillen drop in an interview that after the “Everything Burns” crossover with Fraction’s The Mighty Thor that his Journey into Mystery series was coming close to its conclusion. Finally, we got word that Ed Brubaker would be bringing his extremely long run with Captain America to an end, also in October, though he’d continue writing Bucky Barnes in Winter Soldier.
Marvel’s October solicitations, brought confirmation of all those endings for Fantastic Four, FF, Invincible Iron Man, and Captain America, as well as showing us that The Mighty Thor, Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants, X-Men Legacy, and The Incredible Hulk would all be having their final issues. Plus, we’re seeing hints that Journey into Mystery is nearing its finale, and solicitations reveal that Brian Bendis’ Avengers and New Avengers series’ are both going to be in their final arcs. On top of that, Bendis will also be leaving the new series, Avengers Assemble, after his first arc on the book, which focuses on the team featured in the Avengers movie.
The only four books we know will be hitting the stands for sure during Marvel NOW! are Uncanny Avengers, All New X-Men, Avengers, and New Avengers. Uncanny Avengers by Rick Remender and John Cassaday is said to be the book that will finally bring the X-Men and the Avengers together, having Captain America realizing he hasn’t done enough over the years to help the mutants in their many struggles.
All New X-Men brings Brian Bendis to the X-Men for the first time and he brings Stuart Immonen with him. Bendis’ story revolves around the original First Class of X-Men coming into the future and deciding they really don’t like the way that the world’s become. It’s been described like a “Days of Future Present” story, which actually sounds really awesome.
Both Avengers and New Avengers will be written by Jonathan Hickman, and they seem to be the reason he had to leave the Ultimates title a few months ago. As far as the stories go we don’t have much info, but apparently Hickman is bring with him his usual high-concept storytelling, and he’s reportedly expanding the Avengers roster to 18+ members!
Aside from those titles the rest is unknown, and we don’t even really know how many new titles to expect, but it has been mentioned that several of the titles that will end in October will be featuring new #1 issues, including Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. Presumably The Hulk and Fantastic Four will have new #1’s as well being that they’re A-list titles at Marvel, but regardless, we still have no idea what the creative teams will be for any of these titles. There’s been no mention in regard to X-Men Legacy, FF, or New Mutants, though they have said on the latter that readers haven’t seen the last of those characters.
As far as the titles that won’t be touched go, Marvel has specifically mentioned Daredevil and X-Factor, saying that both of the books are still doing really well and remain fresh, telling new and exciting stories. There’s also been word that both Secret Avengers and Avengers Academy won’t be canned or changed either. It also seems like Marvel won’t be messing with any titles which have recently started new runs, or titles that have recently started, including Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Gambit, X-Men, and Astonishing X-Men, among others. Also, judging by solicitations in October, it seems that Wolverine and the X-Men will be sticking around.
Some titles will also be featuring changes not related to NOW! Greg Rucka’s Punisher series will be ending with a final story called “War Zone”, which has the Punisher go up against the Avengers. Jeff Parker’s Hulk series will be switching its focus to another character as it is renamed as Red She-Hulk. Scarlet Spider and Venom will crossover for Minimum Carnage, and in the fallout of Avengers vs. X-Men we’ll be seeing new minis such as Avengers + X-Men.
If I missed anything, readers, feel free to let us know in comments or reblogs! And let us know how you feel about Marvel NOW! What writers do you want to see writing certain titles, and which titles do you hope go untouched?