Despite whatever weather you may be experiencing right now, the summer solstice doesn't happen for another week; specifically Friday, June 21. <p> Yet for the purpose of this list, we're skipping right past the summer months and into September, leaping into fall and back-to-school season with our monthly examination of <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/18089-marvel-comics-september-2013-solicitations.html>Marvel's solicitations</a>. <p> While, as usual, plenty has been announced in advance of the solicitations, which were released on Thursday — like Iron Man villain-centric tie-in miniseries <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/18088-infinity-means-a-big-score-for-iron-man-villains-in-the-heist.html><i>Infinity: The Heist</i></a> and <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/18038-jock-goes-sci-fi-writing-drawing-savage-wolverine-arc.html>Jock taking on <i>Savage Wolverine</i></a> — there's still plenty to talk about, including multiple series coming to a close, a comic surfacing after seven years, and new info on the upcoming X-Men crossover. Here are 10 things worth knowing from Marvel's September 2013 solicitations.
The first issue of Lee Weeks' three-part story in anthology miniseries <i>Daredevil: Dark Nights</i> is now, and as of the September solicitations, we know what creator is on deck: David Lapham. <p>Lapham is likely best known as the writer and artist of his acclaimed creator-owned independent work <i>Stray Bullets</i>, but he's written fairly regularly for Marvel in the past few years, most recently the <i>Age of Apocalypse</i> ongoing. For <I>Dark Nights</i>, he's both writing and drawing (with a cover by Klaus Janson) a multi-part story titled "What a Day, What a Night," featuring The Shocker.
Readers have known that the end of <i>X-Factor</i> has been coming for a while, and in fact the book is now in the midst of a storyline titled "The End of X-Factor," which began with issue #257 of the uniquely beloved title. <p> "It's a series of small stories focusing on the individual characters and crises going on in their lives," series writer Peter David <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/17622-peter-david-readies-the-end-of-x-factor.html>told us in April</a> of the last story arc. "Each issue focuses on one (or two) of them at a time." <p> Now we know what the final cover, by David Yardin, will look like. It features main character Jamie Madrox turning around the "Sorry, we're closed" sign on the door of X-Factor Investigations — not unlike <a href=http://youtu.be/p1qmNyxDqXM>the last scene of the final episode of <i>Cheers</i></a>.
Following the end of <i>Avengers Academy</i>, Hank Pym wasn't seen much around the Marvel Universe. Then during <i>Age of Ultron</i>, Wolverine went back in time to kill him, which was also something of a set back. <p> It's been clear that he makes it out of the event alive, and now it's clear that he's going to be around quite a bit. He's already been announced as one of the main <i>Avengers A.I.</i> cast members, and he's co-starring in <i>Infinity: The Hunt</i>, a revisiting of the <i>Contest of Champions</i> concept from writer Matt Kindt and artist Steven Sanders. Plus, he's listed in the <I>Daredevil #31</i> solicitation as delivering news. <p> So, Hank Pym fans, if recent months have had you bummed: Despair no more.
<i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i> already has a lot going for it: Brian Michael Bendis as writer, Steve McNiven and now Sara Pichelli as artist, and the fact that there's a Marvel Studios movie based on the characters and concept coming in 2014. <p> But wait, there's more: September's issue #7 promises a "special digital variant cover activated by the Marvel AR app." The comics industry has seen digital variant covers before, for Archaia's <I>Cyborg 009</i>, but that was for a specifically digital product. <p> (Also worth noting: The length of Neil Gaiman's stint as <i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i> co-writer, which starts with #5, hasn't yet been specified, but he isn't listed on the book for September.)
As previously announced, artist Carlos Pacheco is joining writer Rick Remender on <i>Captain America</i> with issue #11, starting the "Loose Nuke" storyline, and following John Romita Jr., who illustrated the first 10 issues of the series. <p> But Pacheco's not the only creative team artist joining a Marvel book in September: Salvador Larroca is listed as illustrating <i>Uncanny Avengers #12</i>, but that doesn't mean he's leaving his <i>Cable and X-Force</i> post, as he's billed to be drawing issue #14 of that series that same month. <p> Also in September, Pat Oliffe, known for his work on <i>Untold Tales of Spider-Man</i> and <i>Spider-Girl</i>, is on board <i>Captain Marvel #16</i>, an <i>Infinity</i> tie-in.
For those of you desperately craving more symbiotes in your life — and we know you're out there — September's <i>Venom #40</i> and #41 appear to be exactly what you've been looking for. <p> Those issues are poised to introduce Mania, a new, female "symbiote-powered character." She appears to be on good terms with Venom, which definitely isn't always the case with him and other symbiotes. (See "Maximum Carnage," <i>Venom vs. Carnage</i>, "Minimum Carnage," et al.)
If it seems odd that Leinil Yu would be drawing a two-part Punisher story written by Marc Guggenheim the same month he's illustrating two issues of <i>Avengers</i> — well, you're right. <p> So what's the deal with <i>Punisher: Trial of the Punisher</i>? It originally started life as a one-shot titled <i>The People v. Castle</i>, announced <a href=http://comicon.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=363859>way back in 2006</a>, when Marvel was still in the midst of <i>Civil War</i>. At the time, Guggenheim told Comicon.com, "Basically, the story is the Punisher on trial for his crimes. That's something we've never seen before."
Three ongoing Marvel series are coming to an end in the near future. It's been known that <i>Gambit</i> has been coming to a close with issue #17 for about a month, with the wrap-up said to deal with the following: "Torn between his separate lives - mutant hero and master thief – Gambit is forced to make a choice between the two, with major consequences for what comes next!" <p> September also sees the last installment of <i>Morbius, The Living Vampire</i> with issue #7. And one book that isn't seen in the September solicitations at all is <i>Journey Into Mystery</i>, which Marvel has confirmed to us ends in August with #655, the "planet-shattering conclusion to Seeds of Destruction!"
Marvel's July-debuting <i>Hunger</i> miniseries — originally solicited under the enigmatic title of <i>Age of Ultron U.C.</i> — is still very much a mystery, and there hasn't even been a cover released for September's issue #3. (What's pictured here is the same promo image that's been around for a couple months now.) <p> But we do now know a <i>little</i> bit more about it. In case there was any doubt about it — and given the purple lettering and the word "hunger" — the solicitation to #3 confirms that Galactus is involved, and apparently has new heralds. Plus, he's targeted — seemingly successfully — the Chitauri (first introduced in the Ultimate Universe, immortalized on the big screen in the <i>Avengers</i> film, and now a part of the Marvel Universe proper as of <i>Nova #4</i>), Kree and Captain Marvel.
<i>Infinity</i> isn't the only event happening at Marvel this fall. As <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/17623-battle-of-the-atom-future-x-men-cross-over-into-the-present.html>first announced this past April at C2E2</a>, September is the start of the latest X-Men crossover (and the first of this nature since 2010), "Battle of the Atom." <p> So now that we have solicitations for the first five issues in the 10-part story — which involves the X-Men of the future traveling to the present to bring the original X-Men back to the past — what have we learned about it? <p> Well, things are kicked-off due to "something truly horrible" that happens to the All-New X-Men. And teen Scott Summers and Jean Grey apparently are making things difficult, since they want to stay in the present. And there's division ("schism," maybe?) among the X-Men; as some think the Original Five should stay in the present. Plus, a "huge twist" is teased for <i>Wolverine and the X-Men #36</i>, the halfway mark of the story. <p> So, maybe not a <I>ton</i> of new info — but it's still three months away, y'know?