What We Learned From MARVEL's February 2013 Solicitations

<i>by <a href=http://www.twitter.com/albertxii>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>Just like we did earlier this week with <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-things-from-dc-february-solicitations.html>DC's February 2013 solicitations</a>, we're taking a good, hard look at <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/marvel-comics-february-2013-solicitations.html>Marvel's offerings for that month</a>, and analyzing what's coming out then to learn stuff right now. <p>Of course, a lot of details like a new volume of <i>Uncanny X-Men</i>, the debut of <i>Fearless Defenders</i> and Olivier Coipel guest-illustrating <i>Uncanny Avengers #5</i> were revealed by the publisher before the solicitations hit. But there's still more to be discovered, so let's get to it. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>


It's fairly rare to see a comic book artist on two issues in one month. Even rarer? For the two issues to be at two different publishers. <p>Pete Woods can lay claim to that unique distinction in February 2013 he's solicited as the artist on Marvel's <i>Avengers Assemble #12</i>, and he's also drawing <i>Justice League of America's Vibe</i> at DC, which debuts that same month. So basically he's as close to a real-life version of <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Access_%28comics%29>Access</a> as is likely to exist.


DC's <i>Young Justice</i> comic book is ending in February 2013, but it's <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/young-justice-comic-canceled-tv-show-implications.html>unclear at this point</a> what, if anything, that means for the future of the animated series. <p>Marvel is flipping the script the <i>Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes</i> TV show ended its run of original episodes this past Sunday on Disney XD, but the comic book is still scheduled through at least February 2013. And they've got some notable names contributing to issue #11 <i>Glory</i> and <i>Morbius</i> writer Joe Keatinge, <i>Space: Punisher</i>'s Frank Tieri and former <i>Mighty Avengers</I> artist Khoi Pham.


<i>All-New X-Men</i> took the place of <i>Uncanny X-Men</i> as the "flagship" X-Men book, but now <i>Uncanny X-Men</i> is back. In a <a href=http://marvel.com/news/story/19683/marvel_now_qa_uncanny_x-men>Marvel.com</a> interview, Brian Michael Bendis writer of both of those books stated "I feel the audience decides what is or is not a flagship title," but the solicitation text for <i>Uncanny X-Men #1</i> has a very clear position: "The true flagship book of the X-Men returns." <p>Also, it looks like a couple of mysteries are building in that book: A mole on Cyclops' team, and Sentinels operated by a surprising source. <p>But that's not the only X-Men book making news...


Bendis recently mentioned during a Marvel press conference that Mystique would play a major role in <i>All-New X-Men</i> at some point in the near future, and now that point is clear: February's issue #7, where she appears to be getting uncomfortably close with teenage Cyclops. <p>But Mystique's influence looks to be continuing in <i>Wolverine and the X-Men</i>, which in February releases a <a href=http://i.newsarama.com/images/wolvxmen2012025var_col_02.jpg>"Things to Come" variant cover</a> by Ed McGuinness, hinting at a Mystique/Hellfire Club connection and the apparent return of Azazel, from <i>X-Men: First Class</i> and the widely panned <i>Uncanny X-Men</i> story "The Draco.'


Seven months after <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/marvel-comics-july-2012-solicitations.html>originally being solicited</a>, <b>Powers: Bureau</b> originally titled <b>Powers: FBI</b> is back on the schedule, with two issues slated for February. <p><b>Powers: Bureau</b> is the latest incarnation of Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming's long-running creator-owned series (reportedly still in contention as a series on FX), with both Deena Pilgrim and Christian Walker becoming FBI agents.


Though <b>New Avengers</b> doesn't even start until January, we still know a good deal about the series, from Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting mainly that it's an extension of the "Illuminati" concept, and stars Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, Black Bolt, Black Panther, Namor, Beast and Doctor Strange. <p>And come February, one other person, apparently, with the solicitation stating, "a new member joins the Illuminati!" It's a pretty powerful group, so feel free to speculate accordingly who could fit among that crowd maybe the group's first female member?


Speaking of females and the Avengers, a new one is joining <i>Avengers</i> proper in February, and though much of that series is still shrouded in secrecy, we actually do know a little about her. <p>Her name is Smasher, she's "the first human member of the Imperial Guard," plus a new member of the Avengers. And this appears to be her, at the forefront of the image to the left.


Just one month after <i>Superior Spider-Man #1</i>, it looks like the new Spidey whoever that may be is already making the rounds, showing up in <i>Journey Into Mystery #649</i>. <p>Plus, though those involved have made it clear that the new Spider-Man isn't Peter Parker, the February solicitations contained another clue that Pete might make it out of <i>Amazing Spider-Man #700</i> alive: He's billed as appearing in <i>Venom #31</i>. (Though, yes, that story may very well take place before the events of <i>Superior Spider-Man</i>.)


The current volume of the adjectiveleess <i>X-Men</I> started in 2010, and is now ending in February 2013, with issue #41. <p>It's not clear at this point if the book will be the next Marvel NOW! relaunch, but the solicitation text doesn't sound too final: "At the end of an era, Storm puts a team together to search for the start of the next."


The first Marvel NOW! launch out of the gate is only five issues old in February, but it's already taking lives: "The death of a major character at the hands of an Avenger in broad daylight!" <p>So, who will it be? The same issue adds three new characters to the core cast Wasp, Wonder Man and Sunfire and it seems clear based on statements from earlier this week that <a href=http://blog.newsarama.com/2012/11/14/marvel-now-next-big-thing-uncanny-avengers-expands/>writer Rick Remender has long-term plans</a> for all nine of the book's main team members. <p>Presumably, then, (though one can never really assume much in these instances), it's not one of the actual Uncanny Avengers. But still, words like "major," "character" and "death" will surely fuel all kinds of theories for the next three months.

What We Learned From MARVEL's February 2013 Solicitations

Date: 15 November 2012 Time: 08:46 PM ET