In the last quarter of 2011, DC Comics gave us a bold initiative with “The New 52” relaunch of all their titles. Now it’s Marvel Comics turn to offer up an event of massive proportions with Marvel “NOW!” According to what I have read, this will aim to get new readers into these characters stories but it did not appear to be the same kind of dramatic relaunch as we found DC Comics doing and literally starting us all over on their histories. “NOW!” strikes me as new titles beginning with first issues but continuing along with what longer tenured readers already know.
I copied the run of titles and the summation from their press channels for you all to be more aware about what to expect from them. Check out these plans and the new titles that are heading our way in October.
Uncanny Avengers: The first title announced was Uncanny Avengers by the creative team of Rick Remender and John Cassaday. Uncanny Avengers is a new team of Avengers that features a line-up of both classic Avengers and X-Men including Captain America, Havok, Rogue, the Scarlet Witch, Thor and Wolverine. The team is a response to the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. Remender said, “There’s something that Cyclops said to [Captain America] on Utopia that’s ringing in his head. He didn’t do enough to help. And Steve (Captain America) is taking that to heart. Coming out of AvX with the landscape shifted and changed as much as it is, there are events that lead Steve to recognizing that he needs to do more”.
All-New X-Men: All-New X-Men by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen features the return of the five original X-Men, plucked from different points in time including a teenage Jean Grey, whose adult counterpart died in 2004. Bendis said, “Jean coming back now is unlike Jean coming back before. This isn’t a reincarnated Jean, this isn’t a clone; this is Jean. She is coming here wide-eyed, but you also have to remember she’s coming into a world where she’s died. [It wasn’t] a great death, and I don’t want to spoil anything for AvX but she’s witnessed some things about her friends and loved ones that will make her feel wonderful, but also shock her to her very core and change all of her relationships… She’s going to witness what has happened to the X-Men and what she’ll do to try and change that, at a time when maybe her powers aren’t at their fullest yet”.
Avengers and New Avengers: Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena and New Avengers by Hickman and Steve Epting were the next titles to be announced. Hickman said, “Avengers and New Avengers are really just two sides of the same book, of the same story. Thematically, they’re aligned too. Avengers is about life and New Avengers is about death. That’s what the two books are. It’s a big book. In the Avengers, we tackle the biggest things.
Iron Man: Iron Man by Kieron Gillen and Greg Land debuts in November 2012. Gillen said, “The story will focus on him (Iron Man) questioning things about himself and trying to find out exactly how the universe ticks, what’s this all about and why he does this anyway. It’s going to be one of the major themes of the book going forward.”
Thor: God of Thunder: Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic, is set over the course of a millennium. Aaron said, “ultimately it’s all about Thor, and by showing him in three very different eras of his life—as the young hotheaded god of the Viking Age, as the accomplished and legendary Avenger of the present, and as an aging king of a broken future Asgard”.
Indestructible Hulk: Indestructible Hulk by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu, picks up a few weeks after the events of Jason Aaron’s Incredible Hulk. Waid said, “No one’s seen Hulk or Banner for a few weeks, which has the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. really nervous. S.H.I.E.L.D., in particular, has gone to great lengths in recent years to make absolutely certain that it’s impossible for Banner to stay off the grid for any length of time—and yet, he’s vanished. And this literally affects the entire planet. Every country is on the equivalent of orange alert. Airport security is a nightmare. World leaders are ready to bunker down at a moment’s notice. Surveillance cameras are selling faster than they can be manufactured. Everyone’s tense. Maria Hill, in particular, has taken “Finding Banner” as her own personal mission, and when our story opens, she’s finally taking her first break in weeks. And as it happens, her timing sucks.”
Deadpool: Deadpool is written by comedian Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan and drawn by Tony Moore. In terms of concept, Duggan said, “It starts with a man who has decided that America has a lot of problems that can only be fixed by bringing back our former leaders, our great American Presidents. But that’s not how it works out. Once they’re back, they have a completely different idea of what they need to do and what the country needs. It’s a distasteful job having to send our presidents back, but Deadpool is up for the job and is suited for it.”
Fantastic Four and FF: The next titles to be announced were Fantastic Four by Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley, and FF by Fraction and Mike Allred. In Fantastic Four, the superhero family take a vacation into space to expand their children’s view of life, while FF features a new team consisting of Ant-Man, Miss Thing, Medusa, and She-Hulk. Fraction said that “both titles stand on their own after the initial storyline sets up the status quo for each, but each one relates and interrelates”.
Captain America: Captain America is written by Rick Remender and drawn by John Romita Jr.. Remender described the tone to be “almost like Kirby Sci-Fi Indiana Jones”. “High adventure dipped in sci-fi spy fantasy with heavy focus on the man under the suit. Steve’s fabric and his relationships drive our story and the action is the byproduct. Tonally it’s very serious. You want to make sure the characters go up against things that feel like real threats and [put] them into interesting situations. It’s a lot less of the connection with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the spy work and more big high adventure super hero stuff with sci-fi that I tend to lean into.”
X-Men Legacy: X-Men Legacy by Si Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat is centered around Legion (David Haller), the son of Professor X. Spurrier said, “As far as I know the idea of basing the series round David has been in the works since the plotting of Avengers Vs. X-Men. David’s story grows organically from those events. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s the tale that really needs to be told in the aftermath period. My brief was pretty simple: take a thoroughly screwed-up young character—who’s been handled so differently by so many narrative teams down the years that it’s tricky for anyone to say for sure exactly who he is or what his voice might be and launch him into the Marvel Universe… Show us who he is. What he can do. What he wants to do but can’t yet.”
My Thoughts? I will admit that these titles intrigue me because for the longest time as a comics readers I was always more of a Marvel Comics guy than I was a DC Comics guy. Eventually I came to enjoy the best parts of both sides of the fence and would spend my money accordingly across the two companies with the occasional inclusion of a worthy independent publisher. Still I do lean to the Marvel Comics side whenever possible no matter how much I love Batman, Justice League and Green Lantern. I’m most interested in the Captain America, Avengers and Fantastic Four titles than I am in the X-Men ones, although “New X-Men” does seem really interesting based on the premise. One has to expect that a lot of this stuff will help lead Marvel Comics more into their Cinematic Universe based on the upcoming movies we are hearing about. Avengers did gangbusters in the box office after all and a sequel is imminent after they give us the third Iron Man, and second Thor, Captain America films.
Official Website: http://marvel.com/marvelnow