What We Learned From MARVEL's AUGUST 2013 Solicitations

Thanks to advance solicitations, comic book publishers allow fans the chance to forget about the present, and even the near future, and instead spend their time speculating about comic books that are coming out in three months. <P>And we're no exception. We're look past June and July and focusing on <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/17830-marvel-comics-august-2013-solicitations.html>Marvel's August 2013 solicitations</a>, which contain some tantalizing teases about what's coming up in their books by late summer. Rawhide Kid guest-starring in <i>Indestructible Hulk</i>? Scarlet Spider vs. Spider-Man? Dazzler, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.? And what's this <i>Hunger</i> thing all about? Here's our analysis of Marvel's August offerings. But before we get to that, click on the full solicits link, and read the Nova solicitation very carefully, specifically the first letter of each word...

DAZZLER, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Brian Michael Bendis has hinted in recent interviews that Dazzler would be joining the <i>Uncanny X-Men</i> cast in the near future, and have something to do with S.H.I.E.L.D., who have played a part in the series since issue #1. <p>The "near future" looks to be August, and her involvement with S.H.I.E.L.D. appears to be a rather direct one: She's on the cover of August's issue #10 in a S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform, and the solicitation reads, "SHIELD has a new agent and she's a fan favorite mutant."

WRITERS RETURN TO MARVEL IN A+X

Marvel team-up series <i>A+X</i> not only features unconventional team-ups between Avengers and X-Men members, it also has brought several creators not part of the usual current Marvel lineup into the fold. <p>Writers Mike Benson and Jim Krueger are both contributing to August's <i>A+X #11</i> — Benson is best known for his work on TV but also wrote <i>Moon Knight</i> in 2008 among other Marvel projects, and Krueger is a comic book veteran likely best known for the <i>Earth X</i> trilogy at Marvel.

JUBILEE = TEEN MOM?

Brian Wood has said from the start that his soon-to-debut <i>X-Men</i> series would heavily focus on Jubilee, and the solicitation for August's issue #4 gives a fairly clear indication of some of the struggles she'll be facing. <p>"Jubilee may still look like a kid, but she finds herself burdened with some very adult responsibilities. What kind of plans can a mutant vampire teen mom make for her own future?" Exactly what qualifies Jubilee for teen mom status — biological or adoptive? — remains to be seen.

WESTERN HEROES IN HULK

"Unexpected guest stars" seems to be the theme for Mark Waid's two ongoing Marvel series in August, with the previously announced Silver Surfer guest appearance in <i>Daredevil #30</i> joined by a few western wildcards in <i>Indestructible Hulk</i>. <P>The time-travel arc that starts in July continues in <i>Indestructible Hulk #12</i>, and not only does it clearly appear to involve dinosaurs (which, given the diverse nature of Marvel Universe, can happen without time travel) also is set to include western Marvel heroes Kid Colt, Two Gun Kid and Rawhide Kid.

CHRISTOS GAGE ON AVENGERS ARENA

<i>Avengers Arena</i> started shortly after the conclusion of <i>Avengers Academy</i>, and has featured several characters from the latter title, like X-23, Reptil, Hazmat, Sentinel and Mettle. <p>So: What's happened at the school since several of its students were abducted and forced to fight to the death in Arcade's Murder World? That question looks to be answered in <i>Avengers Arena #13</i>, written by <i>Avengers Academy</i>'s Christos Gage and illustrated by Karl Moline.

SCARLET SPIDER VS. SPIDER-MAN

Scarlet Spider vs. Spider-Man seems like an inevitable encounter for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Doctor Octopus is currently controlling Spider-Man's body — the same Doc Ock that was murdered by Kaine during "The Clone Saga" (he got better). <P>Kaine is now the star of the <i>Scarlet Spider</i> series, and the two quasi-heroes will cross paths in a two-part story in August, starting in <i>Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #2</i> and wrapping in <I>Scarlet Spider #20</i>. Both series are written by Chris Yost, making this story even more of a natural fit. <p>Also on Kaine's horizon: <i>Scarlet Spider #21</i> is billed as the title character going "face to face" with the long-dead Peter Parker clone (and former Spider-Man) Ben Reilly. The exact nature of this confrontation remains to be seen, but just hearing that name from Marvel is enough to get some Clone Saga fans excited.

MORE SPIDER-MAN STATUS QUO CHANGES

Speaking of Spider-Man: <i>Superior Spider-Man</i> continues to be one of the more eventful titles in Marvel's lineup, having just experienced a major status quo shakeup in <I>Superior Spider-Man #9</i>. <p>There have already been more changes promised, including a new costume for OckSpidey — and August looks to bring even more, using language like "everything in Spider-Man’s life will be changed forever" and "possibly an end for a big chapter in the history of Spider-Man." And this is all before Spider-Man 2099 shows up...

MORE ANGELA CLUES (SORT OF)

Though much of Angela's migration from the world of <i>Spawn</i> to the Marvel Universe is still shrouded in mystery, some clues are offered in the August solicitations. Sort of. <p>As established, her first role post-<i>Age of Ultron #10</i> is in a <i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i> arc co-written by Bendis and Neil Gaiman — and, at least based on the solicitation to issue #6, it looks like she's not appearing as an ally: "Marvel’s newest superstar Angela comes right for the Guardians! Round one is Gamora versus Angela…with an entire universe at stake!"

RED SHE-HULK ENDING, GAMBIT NEXT

<i>Red She-Hulk</i> is absent from Marvel's August solicitations, and the publisher has confirmed to Newsarama that the Jeff Parker-written series is wrapping in July with issue #67. <p><i>Gambit #16</i> is listed as the "penultimate issue" of the book, and writer James Asmus stated on Twitter that the series will indeed be ending in September.

WHAT IS 'HUNGER'?

Last month, Marvel added a book called <i>Age of Ultron #10 UC</i> to their July solicitations, and offered pretty much no further information other than a cover stating "Hunger" in purple lettering — leading to speculation from folks (<a href=http://www.newsarama.com/17566-what-we-learned-from-marvel-s-july-2013-solicitations.html>including us</a>) that it has something to do with Galactus. <p>That remains to be seen, but this month, it's made clear that the series is actually titled <i>Hunger</i>, though it does tie-in to the end of <i>Age of Ultron</i>. The creative team is also revealed: Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Leonard Kirk. <p>Given the "UC" initials, the involvement of <i>Ultimates</i> writer Fialkov and the placement of the series near the Ultimate Comics lineup, could this have something to do with the Ultimate Universe? Let's look at the text: "The fallout from AGE OF ULTRON rips open a dangerous rift in the universe!" <p>Probably worth keeping an eye on this one.

What We Learned From MARVEL's AUGUST 2013 Solicitations

Date: 16 May 2013 Time: 08:06 PM ET