For months, it was clear that Marvel had something big coming post-Avengers vs. X-Men, and last month, we found out what it was: Marvel NOW!.
Of course, for a few weeks after that, we still didn't know much about Marvel NOW!, other than the four initially announced titles and the promise of more new series to come. Now we know, more or less, 12 series that will be a part of the revamp. Eight were announced (to varying degrees of clarity) last week:
Iron Man: Kieron Gillen and Greg Land. Debuting in November; confirmed via Marvel.com on Monday.
Something that certainly appears to be Thor: Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic. (November.)Deadpool: Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan and Tony Moore. Confirmed on Twitter by Poshen. (November.)
Something that certainly appears to be Fantastic Four: Between that shade of "blue" and the word "family," it's difficult to imagine that Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley are working on anything else. (November.)Something widely speculated to be FF: Though there was some doubt as to whether or not FF — a series that originated during Jonathan Hickman's run on Fantastic Four — would stick around after the writer left the franchise, it's highly likely that it's what the Matt Fraction and Mike Allred "Extended" image is teasing (and would keep the pattern of one writer on both Fantastic Four family titles). (November.)
Something widely speculated to be X-Men Legacy: Though it's more on the nose than the rest of last week's teasers (and writer Simon Spurrier has cast some doubt on the subject), the prevailing speculation remains that Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat are relaunching X-Men Legacy in November.
And the four originally announced in early July:
Uncanny Avengers: Rick Remender and John Cassaday. Debuting in October.
All-New X-Men: Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. November.
Avengers: Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña. December.
New Avengers: Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting. January 2013.
Last month, Marvel senior vice president of publishing Tom Brevoort projected that "more than 20" series would comprise the Marvel NOW! revamp, meaning that probably about half of the new books have now been revealed. Looking at what Marvel has released to the public, there are a few educated guesses to be made on the rest.
In June, Marvel solicited a ReEvolution trade paperback for October that, at the time, seemed a bit scattershot, with early work by various current Marvel writers. Now, it's apparent that it was teeing up Marvel NOW! — the initial Marvel NOW! press release called the initiative "the culmination of Marvel ReEvolution" — with stories from many of the creators mentioned above: Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, Rick Remender, Kieron Gillen, Mark Waid and Jason Aaron. The book even has a new title: Before Marvel NOW!.Only one writer included in that book remains unaccounted for: Amazing Spider-Man's Dan Slott, who as recently as this past Sunday commented, "I can neither confirm nor deny my involvement in ASM post Marvel NOW."
Of course, that itself isn't indicative of anything, and last month, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told CBR, "The majority of core titles are involved in this shift, but there is one big title — and I won't [say] what it is — that will remain with the current creative team because their plans for the immediate future include a massive story hook that legitimizes it being a Marvel NOW! title, without the creative change." We know that a big change is coming to Amazing Spider-Man — Slott told us in July that he "never done something as big to a character as what we're doing to Spider-Man in [December's Amazing Spider-Man] #700" — so it's very possible that this is the Marvel NOW! book that isn't getting a creative team change. (Though a new #1 at some point after issue #700 seems at least possible.)Beyond that, the other major clue is October's Marvel NOW! Point One one-shot, which looks to feature five stories, and — based on the cover — stars Nova, Ant-Man, Cable, the Guardians of the Galaxy (or at least Star-Lord) and a group including Kid Loki (from Journey Into Mystery), Wiccan (from Young Avengers) and Miss America Chavez (from Vengeance).
Though there's no guarantee that each of those will lead to new ongoing series, it certainly seems to be a safe bet that Marvel will launch a new Guardians of the Galaxy title before the live-action film hits in 2014; Ant-Man sounds like a possibility for the same reasons.
The announced creative team for the book — writers Brian Michael Bends, Matt Fraction, Jeph Loeb, Nick Spencer, Kieron Gillen and Dennis Hopeless; artists Mike Allred, Ed McGuinness, Steve McNiven, Jamie McKelvie and Salvador Larroca — also help to fuel speculation. Bendis said in late July that fans of Journey Into Mystery (which Gillen is wrapping his run on in October) would be happy with one of Gillen's new projects, so he's a potential candidate to be writing the story involving Kid Loki. Whether Fraction and Allred are both involved due to whatever "Extended" is teasing remains to be seen, though none of the characters on the Point One cover have obvious ties to FF.Bendis also said he has a "couple more very large projects" coming that haven't yet been revealed, and since he's writing the Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers Assemble, he would appear at this point to be a natural fit for the future plans of those characters. Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness were behind the Nova story in the original Point One one-shot in 2011, but they also were the creative team of the Avengers: X-Sanction miniseries that brought Cable back to life, so either of those options seem likely for them — yet unconfirmed at this point. (And it's worth noting that even if ongoing series do arise from these stories, they aren't necessarily going to be have the same creative teams, and Loeb has a busy schedule with his role as head of Marvel TV.)
With "Marvel NOW!" launches said to be taking place through February, there will likely be reveals up to New York Comic Con in October and beyond — and plenty more speculation to be had along the away.More from Newsarama:
- What's New with Marvel NOW? 10 Potential Series
- Exclusive: Brian Bendis on the Marvel NOW! ALL-NEW X-MEN
- Alonso on Why The Time is Right for the MARVEL NOW! Revamp