Remember Marvel Now!? Or Marvel 2.0? Or All-New All-Different? What about the “Heroic Age?” Well, they’re at it again—this time, they’re calling the relaunches “Fresh Starts.” It kicks off in May, a year-and-a-month after Marvel Legacy promised to rebrand its flagship characters.
Here’s a few tidbits so far:
AVENGERS #1. Cap, Thor, and Iron Man will reunite and join up with…Ghost Rider? More on him below, too. Looks like a bit too much of him, but maybe they’re going to have a go at a movie again. Also, She-Hulk is on the team, with Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange. It will be created by Jason Aaron and king of the muscles Ed McGuinness. Very curious to see how McGuiness approaches this book. Not a big fan of having Dr. Strange on the team, but I get it. He’s in the movies. And you really can’t ask for a better writer than Jason Aaron. He’s a solid corporate creator. All the other Avengers books will be cancelled. It’s about time.
AND SPEAKING OF #1s. It was just a few months ago that Marvel said it would return to its original numbering for its major books. But we’re seeing Avengers #1. Don’t know if that means they’re already abandoning this effort, now that they’ve solicited big issues for Iron Man (#600) and Cap (#700).
EXILES #1. Blink’s team of alternate universe heroes will return with Wolverine from the classic 1990s cartoon,, a version of Ms. “Kamala Kahn” Marvel, Iron Lad, a Peggy Carter version of Captain America Carter from the 2016 Marvel Puzzle Quest game, and a Valkyrie based on the one from the Thor: Ragnarok movie. This feels like it’s trying too hard just in the concept, but we’ll see how it’s executed by Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez. I was a huge fan of Ahmed’s Black Bolt series, so I’m hopeful in the face of what looks like a pretty awful concept.
IMMORTAL HULK. Sigh. It will be a #1, in May, with the creative team of Al Ewing and Joe Bennett. I’m emphatically not a Ewing fan, and I don’t see why we need a new #1 when there’s a great old numbering system I thought we’d be using. Anyway, Banner’s back.
COSMIC GHOST RIDER. The Thanos solo book is pretty good, and in it Marvel launched a future-version of Ghost Rider, who is possessing the body of Frank “Punisher” Castle. Turns out, fans dig it enough that it’s getting a solo book, to be written by Danny Cates, who created the character in the pages of Thanos, and artist TBA. Coming this summer.
MADROX. It looks pretty certain that The Multiple Man will be getting a movie deal, so it makes sense that he’s getting a solo book first. To be written by Matthew Rosenberg and drawn Andy MacDonald. Solicited for July.
UNDOING LEGACY. Tony is back in his armor. Bruce Banner is green again. The original Wolverine is back. So is the original Jean Grey, because twice dead wasn’t dead enough I guess. Jane Foster is (presumably) finally dead of cancer, so Thor has the real Mjolnir back.
ANT-MAN AND WASP. A miniseries by Mark Waid and Javier Garron will arrive in June. It will be about Scott Lang (the old new Ant-Man) and Nadia Pym (the new new Wasp) and their adventures in the Microverse.
LOTS OF OLD GUYS ARE LEAVING. So the old heroes may be returning to replace their younger, legacy versions, but on the creative side we’re losing Chris Samnee, who worked with Marvel for over a decade and has brought out the best of Daredevil, Black Widow, and Captain America with Mark Waid. He’s done after Cap #700. Everyone knows Brian Michael Bendis is leaving, which led to the cancellation of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic he’d been writing since the first movie came out. The Dr. Doom as Iron Man story was really great—it and Jessica Jones are the biggest losses with Bendis’ departure. His black-girl-teen-Iron-Man (Riri, aka Ironheart) is losing her solo book, but she’s moving to The Champions. And Dan Slott is leaving Spider-Man, so maybe Peter Parker can go back to being an everyman instead of a millionaire. (Slott’s not leaving Marvel, though—he’ll take over Iron Man behind Bendis.)
CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 and BLACK PANTHER #1. On July 4, soon after Samnee departs and Mark Waid celebrates Cap #700, Waid is also leaving. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu will start up a new Cap #1. Coates will also keep writing Black Panther, which will also relaunch with a new #1 and anew artist (Daniel Acuña).
LOKI’S GOT THE GAUNTLET. I’m shocked to hear myself say that I like the Marvel Infinity one-shots that Gerry Duggan has been writing. Part of it is having the great Mike Deodato on art, but I’m happy that Duggan’s writing appears to have gotten a lot better since I swore off his Deadpool series. He’s managed to handle the return of Warlock and Magus without making it stupid. Of course, I also read that this is all a Jim Starlin plot that got hijacked by Marvel editorial, so it’s a little bittersweet.