Published on July 5th, 2012 | by Gavin Jones0
Marvel Now! – I Love the Smell of New Comics in the Morning
Anything DC can do, Marvel can do better, or that seems to be the message breaking through with the announcement of Marvel Now!; a massive relaunch/launch of old and new titles spanning the publishers entire range of books. Entertainment Weekly broke the news yesterday that Brian Micahel Bendis will be leaving The Avengers for All-New X-Men, whilst Jonathan Hickman will takeover writing duties on a new biweekly Avengers and Sidekick favourite, Rick Remender will be creating a new Avengers/X-Men team named Uncanny Avengers. Following on from these relaunches in October, MArvel will continue to release new number one issues, either relaunched title or completely new series for the next five months, there will be no reboot a la DC New 52 but there will be new directions, costumes and stories for the affected titles.
It seems Marvel have learned some lessons from the way DC went about their reboot, clearly they don’t want to mess with continuity too much but they do want in on some of that new customer base DC got their hands on and a number one every week for five months surely won’t do their bank balance any harm, although I’m sure the opposite will be true for most comic book buying fans. Bringing the their two biggest franchises, the X-books and The Avengers, closer together after AvX seems like a good idea, at least from Marvel’s point of view, creating a third mega-franchise but one they probably won’t be able to bring to the big screen due to the X-Men movie rights still belonging to Fox. I can’t think of anyone who could do this better than Remender, he’s already almost doing it with Secret Avengers but now he’ll get even biggers players to use as he sees fit, two of whom will be the X-Men’s Rogue and Havok, great to see the youngest Summers brother finally stepping up to the big leagues in a big way.
It was rumored for a long time that Bendis would be taking over at least one X-Men book in the wake of AvX and now we know for sure that it’ll be All-New X-Men which will see the original five X-Men including Jean Grey travel forward in time from their early incarnation to see what they have become…and they don’t like it. My guess is this all a plot to allow Bendis to alter X-history however he likes and give him the team he wants to write, mark my words by the time Bendis is finished with All-New X-Men we’ll have a completely new continuity and completely new team, one where I wouldn’t mind betting that Jean Grey is alive and well.
Clearly Jonathan Hickman’s successful run on the Fantastic Four has put him in Marvel’s good graces as they’ve handed him their biggest title, Avengers, and at two books a month he’ll surely have a hard task on his hands and potentially his pick of the top artists. Who will be in his line-up,is yet to be seen but if I was running Marvel, it would seem the ideal opportunity to reduce the size of the team to mimic the movie line-up. Hickman also has the opportunity to add new characters to the team that may be appearing future Avengers movies, I’m not saying this will happen but it would surely be some canny marketing to do this now and get new readers interested.
So what about all the other titles that are going to be launched over the five months? Judging from the promo image I’m guessing we’ll see new Thor, Fantastic Four/FF, Nick Fury Jr, Hulk, Spidey(?), Cable (with the eye-patch?), Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine(?) and of course Guardians of the Galaxy. Some of these characters may just be getting the relaunch treatment through their various team associations, that’s not clear, I’m sure we’ll get more info from SDCC 2012 though so remember Sidekicks, keep ‘em peeled.