Marvel Comics has been delivering their “Marvel Now!” initiative for over a year now and I wanted to take a moment to share with you readers some of the brand new first issues that we shall be seeing in February. Clearly there is some exciting stuff heading our way with some long known about heavy hitters and some newer takes on the heroes.
Below you will find the covers to the first issues along with a brief description about the direction that they are planning with the title. I have copied this information from the Official Wikipedia entry for the Marvel NOW! initiative.
Fantastic Four: Writer James Robinson; Artist Leonard Kirk. Robinson said the series is about “a family finding the strength to face adversity through the help and love of each other.” Robinson continued, “We’re going to see the fragmentation of the family due to villainous outside forces that are slowing picking at them and eroding them. The arc I’m going to be telling is basically the fall and the rise of the Fantastic Four, and especially the fall and rise of Johnny Storm.”
Loki, Agent Of Asgard: Writer Al Ewing; Artist Lee Garbett. The series follows Loki, who has been depicted as a teenager in recent years. Ewing said in this series, “Loki isn’t the old self that he used to be. He’s as adult as say Kate Bishop. A young man of stolen wealth and varied taste with the universe as his oyster and a penchant for black nail varnish. So we’re stripping that story right back to the basics and giving him at least the illusion of a fresh start – back to the core of the trickster, the mischief-maker.
She-Hulk: Writer Charles Soule; Artist Javier Pulido The series follows Jennifer Walters’ personal life, life as lawyer and as a superhero. Soule said, “It’s not at all out of character for Jennifer Walters to go out partying all night, or spend a day hanging out at the beach. It’s hard to imagine a story where, say, the Punisher does that. At the same time, one of the things I want to work hard to do in this new series is treat her as a real person. She absolutely has problems, just like most of the heroes of the Marvel U, but she chooses to approach them with optimism and good spirit rather than surrendering to the grim and gritty. It takes a lot to bring She-Hulk down, although we’ll throw a lot at her.”
Ms. Marvel: Writer G. Willow Wilson; Artist Adrian Alphona. The series will Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old American Muslim girl from New Jersey with body-morphing powers. Wilson said, The Ms. Marvel mantle has passed to Kamala Khan, a high school student from Jersey City who struggles to reconcile being an American teenager with the conservative customs of her Pakistani Muslim family. So in a sense, she has a ‘dual identity’ before she even puts on a super hero costume. Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don’t really understand what her home life is like.
New Warriors: Writer Christopher Yost; Artist Marcus To. The series will feature a team initially consisting of Speedball, Justice, Nova and a host new characters including: Sun Girl, a human. Haechi, an Inhuman. Aracely, a Demigod. Water Snake, an Atlantean. And a Clone by the name of Scarlet Spider.
The Punisher: Writer Nathan Edmonson; Artist Mitch Gerads. In the series, Frank Castle, the New York-based vigilante, relocates to Los Angeles. About the setting, Edmondson said, “Los Angeles offers all kinds of fun opportunities. There are mountains, skyscrapers, beaches and slums all in a sprawl big enough to host a variety of villainous antagonists. The southern border may play a part of the story, too. L.A. is a schizophrenic city — it has so many identities, we can never get bored having Frank interact with each of them. And nearby are military bases.”
Winter Soldier: The Bitter March: Writer Rick Remender, Artist Roland Boschi: In the five-issue limited series, set in 1966, two ex-Nazi scientists have developed a top-secret formula that could potentially win the Cold War, but they have been captured by HYDRA. In response, S.H.I.E.L.D. sends in Nick Fury and Ran Shen to collect the scientists, however the Soviet Union sends in the Winter Soldier to try to get them first. About the title character Remender said, “He was a tool who had very little control of his own mind, but I will be exploring how Bucky Barnes is underneath all of it still. Even back then, there was a piece of him trying to stand back up.”
Wolverine: Writer Paul Cornell; Artist Ryan Stegman. The series finds Wolverine reconnecting with his darker side and joining a group of minor super villains as he tries to make his life more simple. Cornell said, “This series is going to look into what it means to be a “villain” and how those guys think of themselves. Logan finds a real comradeship there, and a release—and a relationship.”
X-Force: Writer Simon Spurrier; Artist Rock-he Kim. An X-Force team led by Cable, including Psylocke, Fantomex and Marrow, which works as a “dirty tricks” department for the mutant nation. Spurrier said, “So we’re going to see them on hits. We’re going to see them stealing intelligence, technology and weaponry from other factions. We’re going to see them truffling-out emergent threats and destroying them before they can get started. It’s broadly the same denominator of old — a black ops X-Men team — but with a lot more of an emphasis on International and inter-factional competition.”
Which of these titles do you readers find the most interesting? What ones are you planning on adding to your weekly purchase or what ones do you think you can do without? Let us know in the comments as its always a pleasure to see what our readers think about the comic stuff.
Official Website: www.marvel.com