What to Watch For

While much of the comic book industry is getting ready for Comic-Con International in San Diego next week, publishers are looking towards the month of haunted houses and pumpkin patches, better known as "October." <p> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/18333-marvel-comics-october-2013-solicitations.html>Marvel's October 2013 solicitations</a> hit the Internet Thursday, and with it came a whole bunch of things that observers didn't already know about, in a month with <i>Infinity</i> continuing to roll. Some series are beginning. One is ending. "Arms of the Octopus" (pictured) is happening, and what's "Cataclysm"? <p> As we do every month, we dove way deep into the Marvel solicitations to suss out what's worth knowing. Here are 10 things we learned from Marvel's October 2013 solicitations.


Two months ago, in Marvel's August solicitations, an acrostic hint was hidden in the text description of <i>Nova #7</i> — which happen to spell out "New Warriors," a team that shares a lot of history with both the Nova legacy and series writer Zeb Wells. <p>Well, following some advance pages that contained Justice and Speedball, the solicitation for October's <i>Nova #9</i> dropped any pretense as to their inclusion in the series: "The events of INFINITY have Sam Alexander in over his head, but he’s about to get back up from some Nice Entertaining Wallflowers Who--okay, this is exhausting. They're a couple of dudes from the New Warriors."


<i>Astonishing X-Men</i> started in 2004 with the elite creative team of a pre-<i>Avengers</i> Joss Whedon and artist John Cassaday, followed by creators including Warren Ellis, Phil Jimenez, Daniel Way, Christos Gage, Greg Pak and current writer Marjorie Liu. <p>Yet that lofty legacy is coming to an end — for now, at least — with the final issue, #68, announced for October. The finale is listed as, "It all ends here as Marjorie Liu bids a fond farewell to the Astonishing team!"


Back at New York Comic Con 2010, Marvel announced an <i>Astonishing Captain America</i> miniseries from Andy Diggle and Adi Granov. We even <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/6264-nycc-2010-astonishing-captain-america-is-an-army-of-one.html>talked to Diggle about it here</a>, and <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/6316-adi-granov-on-illustrating-an-astonishing-captain-america.html>Granov about it here</a>. <p>Only snag is, it never came out. But nearly three years later, it's back on Marvel's schedule, albeit now with the title <i>Captain America: Living Legend</i>. Two issues are slated for October, the first drawn by Granov, and the second (and presumably the next two of the four-issue series) illustrated by Agustin Alessio.


<i>A+X</i> started its run following the end of <i>Avengers vs. X-Men</i>, to show that the Avengers and X-Men can work together just as well as they can fight. <p>As it starts its second year, the format — two short, done-in-one stories in each issue from different creative teams — is changing up a bit, with a six-part story starting in October's issue #13 from Gerry Duggan and David Yardin, featuring two heroes at the center of the <i>AvX</i> conflict last year: Captain America and Cyclops. <p>Yet, it's still sporting two stories in each issue, with #8 bringing Emma Frost and Black Widow together in a tale written and illustrated by Howard Chaykin, dubbed "the sexiest story in A+X history."


Just a few months ago, Al Ewing was best known for work on British titles like <i>2000 AD</i>, and taking over Dynamite's <i>Jennifer Blood</i> from Garth Ennis. <p>But he's making major inroads in the world of American superhero comic books, which started with the <i>Age of Ultron</i> tie-in issues of <i>Avengers Assemble</i>. Things didn't stop there, though, as he was announced last month to be writing the September-debuting <i>Mighty Avengers</i>. <p> One month later, he's also writing <i>Avengers Assemble #20</i> — no word yet on how many issues he'll be on the book for, as there's been no announcement regarding regular series writer Kelly Sue DeConnick.


There was a big character death in <i>Fearless Defenders #6</i> this week — no spoilers here, but keep reading Newsarama for more on it — but it looks like the book is going to be adding to its cast shortly after subtracting from it. <p>In October's <i>Fearless Defenders #10</i> — an <i>Infinity</i> tie-in — a new character is listed as making her debut, specifically, "A gifted young woman discovers she has amazing... but terrifying... powers." (Though the solicitation makes clear that the crucial question of whether or not those powers will be used for good or bad remains to be answered.)


Sure, Doctor Octopus's brain is inside Spider-Man's body — we all know that, <i>Superior Spider-Man</i> and all. But what of his body, which was in pretty rough shape when it finally gave out in <i>Amazing Spider-Man #700</i>? <p>That question will evidently be answered in the three-part "Arms of the Octopus" story, running through <i>All-New X-Men</i>, <i>Indestructible Hulk</i> and <i>Superior Spider-Man Team-Up</i> specials in October. The story is written by IDW <i>G.I. Joe</i> comic veteran Mike Costa, and is said to involve another villain coming back from the dead: The Abomination.


A couple of months ago, Marvel's solicitations revealed the Horsemen of Death: Resurrected versions of Sentry, Daken, Grim Reaper and Banshee, all characters with major grudges against members of the <i>Uncanny Avengers</i>. <p> They wouldn't be very effective at being "Horsemen of Death" if nobody died, though, right? And it looks like that's taking place in October's <i>Uncanny Avengers #13</i>: "Against his masters' orders a deranged and vengeful Sentry kills an Uncanny Avenger! No hoax, no dream and only the first casualty of many!"


Just about every month, the solicitations for <i>Superior Spider-Man</i> promise something major happening. And given how eventful the series has been thus far, it's hype that's probably worth paying attention to. <p>For October's issues #19, there's said to be a "moment that changes world of Spider-Man-- and the Marvel Universe for years to come." Then in #20, out later that month, "SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #20 is where it all starts! Do NOT miss this one!" <p> Series writer Dan Slott took to <a href=http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rla29u>Twitter</a> to emphasize these issues further, addressing retailers with the advisory, "I'm just here to tell you that NONE of that is empty hyperbole."


Following the end of <i>Age of Ultron</i>, the premise of the previously mysterious <i>Hunger</i> miniseries was revealed: The classic Marvel Universe Galactus arriving in the Ultimate Universe, looking to do pretty much what you'd expect (try to eat it). <p> It looks like the <i>Hunger</i> miniseries won't be the end of that story, with the solicitation for issue #4 — the finale — reading, "• A hero reborn? The road to CATACLYSM starts here!" <p> While <i>Cataclysm</i> hasn't been revealed to the public yet, a #0.1 issue of it — with a classified description and creative team — was also solicited for October (plus, a poster). More information is surely coming soon, so keep reading. <p>(Possibly relevant: There's no issue of <i>Ultimate Comics Ultimates</i> solicited for October.)

What We Learned From MARVEL's October 2013 Solicitations

Date: 11 July 2013 Time: 08:21 PM ET