<p>It may still be cold outside, but Marvel looks to be heating up things with their plans for June 2014. According to their <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/20614-marvel-comics-june-2014-solicitations.html>advance solicitations</A> released earlier today, they’re turning their summer event series <I>Original Sin</I> up a notch as well as prepping for the landing of the <I>Guardians of the Galaxy</I> movie. Come June Peter Parker will be back among the living, and Dan Slott has already got some bad news for him to deal with. <p>The Newsarama staff banged their heads together to come up with the top tidbits learned in these June 2014 solicitations, and we whittled it down to 10. New creators, new villains, new Avengers teams, time travel, and a potential ending for one of the company’s most popular series. See what we think by clicking “next,” then tell us what you think in the comments section.
Marvel looks to be harvesting a bumper crop of new talent come June. C.B. Cebulski and Marvel’s talent department look to be working overtime, as we count five new creators coming to roost at the House of Ideas. Military fiction novelist Kevin Maurer is joining the team of <I>Punisher</I> for a special issue, Monty Nero writing <I>Amazing X-Men Annual #1</I>, and the one-shot comic <I>Uncanny X-Men Special #1</I> features the Marvel debut of cover artist Gary Choo and interior artist Ron Ackins. <p>In addition to that, Marvel has made a stage for well-known artists Sean Chen and Steve Lieber to step into comics writing with <I>Uncanny X-Men Special #1</I> and <I>The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #14</I>. The latter might be a result of delays by regular series writer Nick Spencer, as an earlier issue has a fill-in team – or this could be the new status quo for the book. <p>Also, several artists who just broke in at Marvel in recent months are doing more – Christian Ward doing covers for <I>Iron Man</I> and <I>Ultimate FF</I>, <I>Prince of Cats</I> Ron Wimberly drawing <I>She-Hulk</I>, and <I>Noah</I> artist Niko Henrichon returning to Marvel to do covers after years away.
Dan Slott sure knows how to put Peter Parker through his paces. He killed him – and his ghost – and now just after news came out that he’s bringing him back to life in the relaunched <I>Amazing Spider-Man</I> this April, the June 2014 solicits tell us that Slott and Humberto Ramos are pitting him against what may be his toughest challenge yet: Mary Jane’s new boyfriend. <p>And by the way, he’s a firefighter. <p>So the newly living Peter Parker finds out his old flame is carrying a torch for a card-carrying flame fighter? Not an easy day for the ol’ webcrawler. And if that wasn’t enough, another ex-girlfriend is back in the picture – Black Cat – and wants revenge for what Doctor Octopus did in Peter’s name (and body).
In 2011 readers got a look at an previously unknown 1950s iteration of the Avengers in a <I>New Avengers</I> by Brian Michael Bendis and Howard Chaykin, and now it seems <I>Mighty Avengers</I> is taking a look at another unknown iteration of Marvel’s flagship team – from the swingin’ ‘70s. <p>In <I>Mighty Avengers #11</I>, Al Ewing and Greg Land are promised to showcase a retro supergroup in 1972 staffed by the vampire hunter Blade, a pre-superhero Blue Marvel, the Bear from <I>Iron Man</I>, a former Doctor Strange</I> villain, a new reporter character, and best of all – Luke Cage’s dad. Described as a “cop on the edge,” James Lucas looks to be channeling Shaft on the cover with a full afro and a revolver. “Power Man” or “Power…. Man!” We’ll see.
In June’s <I>Avengers #31</I>, Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu are taking a look at the team 50 years from now. Billed as an <I>Original Sin</I> tie-in, the solicitation text hints that we’ll see some unintended side effects to the team’s current deeds in 2014. And the cover shows three colored crystal with different faceted pictures of Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow in current and – presumably future – time. <p>Last time the Avengers got a good look at the future was in Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr.’s <I>Avengers #1</I> from the Heroic Age, showing that mind-bending timeline of future events. It was then we glimpsed then-future events, and also learned Tony Stark has poor handwriting. What could this next glimpse into the future hold for the Avengers?
Marvel’s key summer event series <I>Original Sin</I> was announced as a bi-weekly eight-part series with tie-ins to other Marvel books, but in June 2014’ solicits we learned that there’s more to it than that. Of course there’s tie-ins to six ongoing books, but Marvel doing more. <p>Marvel is doing four Point One issues for <I>Original Sin</I> in June with a rotating creative team of <I>Hulk</I>’s Mark Waid and Mark Bagley and <I>Iron Man’s Kieron Gillen and Luke Ross</I>. The publisher has revealed no details (or even covers)about these issues besides the monolithic quote “EVERYBODY HAS ONE…” in ALL CAPS lettering. Maybe they should have underlined it and bolded it too. <p>The second part of this surprising <I>Original Sin</I> development is a stealth series with a similar name: <I>Original Sins</I>. You know, plural – because it’s even scarier than singular. It to carries the ALL CAPS “EVERYBODY HAS ONE…” but doesn’t list a creative team or cover. It’s five issues, double-shipping in June – and has an “S” on the end of its name.
Say it ain’t so, Marvel. If the solicits to June’ s <I>Hawkeye #21</I> are to be believed, it’s the beginning of the end because it’s titled “The Finale, Part 1.” Inquiries to Marvel about this have not been answered as of yet, but this seems to signal a countdown towards an end for Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu’s award-winning series – and possibly an end to Fraction’s tenure at Marvel. <p>Back in January Fraction was interviewed by IGN’s Joshua Yehl, and the writer hinted as a possible ending for this critically acclaimed series. <p>“I think if you're reading the book you see where it's going, and I'm getting kind of close to the end of this particular story,” said Fraction. “There will be more, but it feels like the whole Tracksuit Dracula story is kind of boiling now, and I want to make sure that I stick the landing. So right now I just want to focus on that. I spent a lot of time with Inhuman, and now to be relieved of that is, I have to re-get my bearings. It happened right before the holidays. I'm talking with some folks there about what to do next. There's been some intriguing offers and ideas, and there are still characters I have on my to-do list. So I don't know right now. I just want to stick the landing on this Hawkeye thing, and we'll go from there.”
It’s no shocker that Uatu the Watcher is going to die in <I>Original Sin</I>; that’s the opening salvo, so to speak, of this summer event series. Instead, the story is a “whodunit?” by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato Jr., and up until now we had no information on who committed the act. But inside the litany of solicits in Marvel’s June 2014 releases, we have three new pieces of information to help us and the readers begin to piece together the mystery, <I>True Detective</I> style. <p>The first clue comes from the solicits for <I>Original Sin #3</I>, which reveals that the murderer is a male – dubbed “He Who Holds the Eye”. That cuts down the suspect list to only about half of Earth’s humanoid population. Aunt May, you’re clear to go. <I>Original Sin #4</I> posits one additional factor – that his identity would be shocking, saying “But he… how is that even possible?” <p>The second tidbit is that this male murderer isn’t acting on his own – that same solicits reveal that he has a “boss,” whom Marvel describes as a “villainous mastermind.” It could be one of Marvel’s big bads like Doctor Doom or Red Skull, or Marvel could be literal there and it be the X-Men villain Mastermind. Stretching, perhaps? Whomever it is, it is someone who can’t – or didn’t want – to get blood on their hands themselves to kill the Watcher and raid his lair. <p>The third clue is that the Watcher isn’t the only one who will die in <I>Original Sin</I>; in the third issue, “the Winter Soldier leads a team that uncovers the most bizarre murder of all.” Winter Soldier’s seen some strange stuff, working as sidekick to Cap, assassin for the USSR and now on his own – so to qualify as something bizarre by his standards, it’d have to be something pretty eye-opening. And that sounds right up Mike Deodato Jr.’s alley to draw.
Did you know Marvel is releasing a <I>Guardians of the Galaxy</I> movie this August? I’m being sarcastic, but by the time June rolls around you’ll really know it. That month, in addition to their regular ongoing comic series, the Guardians has four reprint collections coming out, one hardback prose novel, and be guest starring in the new <I>Silver Surfer</I>. Not bad for a team whose title was cancelled just four years ago for low sales. <p>Marvel’s previous movies have been about heroes who were already stalwarts and appearing heavily in various titles each month, but given the Guardians’ relatively small role in comics compared to the Avengers, these ramped-up efforts to get comic books and collections about them on the shelves is a very noticeable shift. <p>If the <I>Guardians of the Galaxy</I> movie does well then these comic book collections could ride on that tide of success, but the printing of these is speculation – speculation that, if the movie fails to live up to Marvel’s hopes, could leave a lot of these books sitting in the back rooms of comic shops around the world.
<p>If you’re a fan of the pot-headed superhero parody Forbush Man, then you’ll like the month of June. It’s then that Marvel will reprint the satirical superhero’s <I>Not Branch Echh</I> series from the late 1960s. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to be pure satire in the vein of what later fans remember from <I>What The-?!</I>, Forbush Man has come in and out of Marvel Comics since 1955 and popped up in everything from the classic <I>How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way</I> to being a key figure in 2006’s <I>Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.</I>. <p>This new Marvel Masterworks edition, <I>Not Branch Ecch Vol. 1</I> will feature the series’ full 13 issue run, as well as back-up stories from five annuals from the time period featuring these parody stories. Forbush Man will be joined by the memorable Charlie America, the Revenger, and even Scaredevil. <p>Could this presage a return of Forbush Man to modern comics continuity? Marvel seems to be on a roll reviving old heroes for new titles, cameos, and fodder for the Marvel Cinematic Universe – why not Irving Forbush?
<p>Are the Avengers just a Boys’ Club? If you look at the cover to the upcoming <I>The Avengers Vol. 1</I> Marvel Masterworks hardcover reprint that seems to be the case. This reprint features an updated version of the cover to <I>The Avengers #1</I>, showing the founding Avengers facing off against Loki. Wasp remains on that cover, but above the title the publisher lists all of the heroes involved: Thor! Ant Man! Hulk! Iron Man! <p>But no Wasp. <p>Then again, some could argue that the House of Ideas is merely trying to be authentic – as the original <I>The Avengers #1</I> cover this Masterworks edition reprints lists only the male heroes. But Marvel hasn’t been completely authentic, as this new version has been re-colored with all text – including those character names – redone digitally. <p>So what do you think? Should Marvel have stepped up to give Wasp equal billing on this reprint edition?