It was announced earlier this week that Marvel would be doing a line wide relaunch starting in May. While Legacy just launched late Fall, the poor reviews and even poorer sales have driven Marvel to freshen things up. While little is known about it currently, I will discuss what we do know and what I hope comes out of the event. So first off things will start with Avengers #1/691. Marvel has bounced around between legacy numbering and new numbering, so now we have the best of both worlds. I am a fan of the idea. It will clearly mark what issue it is in the current series, while still pointing out the overall legacy of the title itself.
All Star Writer Jason Aaron will team up with Ed Mcguinness to bring the flagship Avengers book. The book will split time between the current Avengers roster (Captain America (Steve), Iron Man (Tony), Odinson, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Black Panther, Captain Marvel, She Hulk, and Doctor Strange (in what is called a rotating spot). There are things to like and dislike about this team. First off, getting Marvel’s big three back together ahead of Infinity War. The downside is that they feel the need to incorporate the newest Ghost Rider. I guess they want to draw as many parallels between the current roster and Avengers BC which they will be splitting time covering. For anyone who missed it, Avengers BC is the first team up. With the Phoenix Entity, Odin, a brute with the Starbrand (which is telling, as it looks like the current Hulk will be getting it), an early Black Panther, and an early Ghost Rider. While I am all for getting the original gang back together, I am concerned about the recent efforts to include newer characters. The likes of Ironheart, appear to be missing, which is unfortunate. Only time will tell who all the core characters are and where the others may be going.
One thing I do like about the new initiative is that this will be the only Avengers book. Gone are the days of Avengers, Mighty, New, Secret, All New, etc. I believe it will help stream line the audience into one book and drive excellent demand for it, rather than split it up among a half a dozen teams. This should also help with event fatigue. As there will, hopefully, be less of a desire to do multi series crossovers. Something that has become a nuisance for modern comic readers. I am curious to see if this will impact the current X-mean line. As they currently have Weapon X, Blue, Gold, and Red. I expect not, as multiple X titles have been a staple since the 90’s.
This now brings us to upcoming projects. It had previously been announced that Dan Slott would take over the Iron Man title, and it would be expected that Aaron may step back from his long Thor run. I am expecting that these will be apart of it. That was part of what made Marvel Now so exciting back in 2012. It featured long time creators going to different books. Bendis went from Avengers to X-Men, Aaron to Thor, etc. I am curious to see what all they have planned. Though contrary to this Ta-Neihisi Coates will continue his Black Panther run, just with a change of direction and a new number.
Marvel’s new status quo will be quite the different one, and they will have to restructure having lost some of their key creators. Brian Michael Bendis, Jeff Lemire, John Romita Jr, Tom King, and several others have all signed exclusives with other companies and they will no longer be able to use their immense talents. That said, they have recruited what I believe to be the next generation of lead writers. Matthew Rosenberg and Donny Cates have recently gone full time with Marvel. And they join Charles Soule, Jason Aaron, Al Ewing, Dan Slott, Mark Waid an many more. I am excited to see books in new creators hands and at the idea of having Marvel books on the shelf that people can enjoy (and that I can sell).
Now for my personal wish list. This is in no way me trying to predict what will happen, just my personal wants. I don’t read much Marvel, but the concepts listed below would definitely peak my interest. First thing first. Restore the X-Men. I want Cyclops back, I want Madrox back, I want them all back. I like the idea of keeping the color coded teams. I just want a few tweaks to them. Give Cyclops Blue, Wolverine Gold, and Jean can keep Red. While my personal ship will always be Scott and Jean together, but if it means a happy (and well represented Scott, I can accept him and Emma). Next on my bucket list would be a Doom title. He has made enemies of Marvels underworld as of late, and I would like a book where he tries to regain street cred as a villain, in light of his more recent super heroics. Seeing Hank Pym somewhere and not fused with Ultron or being represented like a maniac would also be a welcome sight for me. Finally, I’d love a new Defenders team. In the wake of Bendis’ departure, I would love to see a drastically different team. I would like to see Moon Knight, Daredevil, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, and Cloak and Dagger.
Long winded rant, but that’s what I do. What would you like to see from the new Marvel? What do you think of the changes and what would you like to see?