All-New March NOW!1 of 12Okay, we admit it, we're running out of All-New Marvel NOW! puns. Sorry.
Anyway, there are plenty of all-new titles to talk about in March, some character and creator switch-ups, the end of a book, and the possible end of a universe.
Here are the ten biggest things we found from the Marvel March 2014 Solicitations. Chris Arrant also contributed to this article.
Artist Replaced on Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird2 of 12When the unique Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird was announced, there were several things to be excited about – one being a return of artist Karl Moline with a regular book. But in March 2014’s we’ve learned that’s not to be the case, as former Captain Marvel artist Filipe Andrade has been announced as taking over the book with issue #3. Despite the caliber of artist coming in, it’s still a shocker to see Moline off the book.
Andrade is a Portuguese artist discovered during C.B. Cebulski’s international talent searches, and after a number of low-profile works at Marvel seemed to break through to the public with his work on Kelly Sue Deconnick’s Captain Marvel series. Andrade only did five issues for that series, but quickly acquired positive recognition for his fluid and expressive work.
There’s been no word yet on the status of Karl Moline, or if he might possibly return to the book at a later date.
Double Vision in the Marvel Universe3 of 12When you think of the name “The Vision” and Marvel Comics, your mind automatically goes to the android made by Ultron who rebelled and became one of the Avengers’ most trusted members. Well, the Vision is coming to All-New Invaders … but he’s not who you think.
As promised in the advance solicitations for Marvel’s All-New Invaders #3, the original Vision – Aarkus -- is set for a return. The pale, bald-headed hero was a fixture of Marvel Comics in the early 1940s, appearing in Marvel Mystery Comics as well as the short-lived Kids Comics. Originally created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Aarkus is an alien police officer from a world named Smokeworld that comes to Earth after an invitation by a human scientist to help protect his home planet. This original Vision was a member of the Allies – a precursor to the team that would later become known as the Invaders, and was later seen in the 2010 miniseries Invaders Now!.
The latter-day creation of the Vision as an Avenger by Roy Thomas and John Buscema owed much to this Timely-era hero, with much of the character’s costume taken from this earlier version. Their decision to bring the original Vision back full force after a cameo recently in X-Men Legacy shows Marvel continues to dig into the very back of their back issue bins for mothballed characters whose return would provoke interesting stories in comics.
Cyclops & The X-Men Take On S.H.I.E.L.D.!4 of 12The X-Men have crossed paths with S.H.I.E.L.D. numerous times early on in Uncanny X-Men, but by-and-large their confrontations have been kept to a minimum; but in March’s Uncanny X-Men #19.NOW, Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo are bringing them head-to-head.
“…after relentless persecution from a society that fears and hates them, the Uncanny X-Men are going on the offensive! Their target? The international spy organization S.H.I.E.L.D!,” says the solicitations.
In earlier issues we’ve seen X-Men alum Dazzler recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. for the spy shop to keep better tabs on mutants – and specifically Cyclop’s team – but this upcoming issues looks to be trading in the subterfuge and cat-and-mouse antics for some knock-down-drag-out brawling.
Rags Morales Makes His Marvel5 of 12For the past 15 years, artist Rags Morales has called DC Comics home – but in the March 2014 Marvel solicits he’s made it official that he’s making his Marvel. Morales will make his draw his first full-length Marvel comic in March with New Avengers #16.NOW, teaming with series writer Jonathan Hickman on what could be a one-off story but possibly something more. Up until now Morales has only done one piece of work for Marvel in his entire 21 year career: a cover for Avengers way back in 1999.
Morales is one of the rare artists who until recently hasn’t bounced back and forth between Marvel and DC. Morales has worked continuously for the past 15 years at DC, illustrating the event series Identity Crisis with Brad Meltzer, the relaunching of Action Comics with Grant Morrison, and drawing a portion of Geoff Johns’ Hawkman run in the early 2000s. And according to the artist, he would’ve stayed at DC but he the publisher told him “DC was shifting around some chairs and they didn’t have one for me.”
Avengers… Of the Galaxy!?!6 of 12After decades of being a standalone team from the space (and sometimes the future), Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has just been annexed. But they’re in good company.
In Marvel’s advance solicitations for the first collection of the new Guardians of the Galaxy series, the House of Ideas has dubbed the team the “Cosmic Avengers.” While that alone might be considered an off-hand remark and not an official status, the advertising copy for the collection nails it down further by calling them “these galactic Avengers.” Previously Marvel has used the subtitle “Tomorrow’s Avengers” for a Guardians of the Galaxy one-shot, and from the looks of it tomorrow has come.
Is it an issue, or are we arguing over semantics? If we’re writing this, we consider it an issue. We’ve seen Avengers teams in all variety, from locale-based teams like West Coast Avengers and Great Lakes Avengers, to teams differentiated by adjectives from like New, Young, Mighty, Uncanny, Dark and Secret. Although the Guardians of the Galaxy team has waxed and waned as a standalone series during its time, the decision to retroactively annex the team into the Avengers franchise is a surprising move – and also a portent for what might come next. Defenders? The Champions? The Fantastic Four? Force Works?
Maybe that last one would be okay.
More First Issues? More First Issues!7 of 12So, you want to try something new in March, 2014. Well, you're in luck, as thanks to All-New Marvel NOW! there are more new comics than you can shake a stick at (or probably afford).
Putting aside the mysterious Survive #1 for now (more on that later), let's do a quick run-down of the first issues in the month of March.
Captain Marvel #1
Whew! And that's to say nothing of the other All-New Marvel NOW! titles, or the books on only their second or third issue in March. Nowhere to be seen, however? Inhuman #1. For now, click on the titles above for more about each book.
MCU Gets All-New Captain America Story8 of 12Can't wait for Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Well, you're in luck, as Marvel Comics dives into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a special one-shot called Captain America: Homecoming. The story, by Fred Van Lente and Tom Grummett, pairs up movie stars Captain America and Black Widow for a story set in Brooklyn. It also hopes to introduce movie fans to Falcon, who makes his cinematic debut in the Spring, by reprinting his first appearance.
Bendis Ends Another Avengers Book9 of 12And then there was that time Bendis ended an Avengers title. Jeez, man, what do you have against that team?
Jokes aside, Bendis returns to the Avengers - well, an Avenger, as he teams up two phasing heroes, Vision and Kitty Pryde, alongside Kevin Nowlan in what Marvel confirmed to Newsarama is the final issue of A+X.
The other half of the issue is the final chapter of Gerry Duggan and David Yardin's Captain America + Cyclops serialized story.
We'll miss the recap/intro pages most of all.
Uncanny Hook-Up - and OGN Connection?10 of 12We already knew that the mutant home world, dubbed "Planet X" was in fact coming to the pages of Uncanny Avengers, and that somehow Havok and Wasp were central to the story. What we didn't know, however, is that the pair are married on this world, and being hunted by "Magneto and his All-New X-Force."
The mission of Magneto's squad? "No More Humans," a phrase also used in the title of a new in-continuity Original Graphic Novel. Does that mean there's a connection? Not necessarily. What all this does seem to point to, however, is that the events of Uncanny Avengers #14 will probably be largely erased through some good 'ole fashioned time travel.
What the Heck is Survive #1?11 of 12Coming on March 26, 2014 is an issue that wasn't in the Marvel solicitations, but only on the checklist. It's called Survive #1. And that's all we know about it.
Interestingly, however, there are no "Ultimate" titles at all in March. February sees Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand #5 (cover shown here) hit, the final issue of the big crossover event that sees Galactus from the regular "616" Marvel Universe attacking the Ultimate Universe. Does Galactus find success?
If we must place a guess (and yes, we must), we'd say Galactus is at least closer to successful than he's ever been in the 616. The big question is whether the Survival in the title refers to characters trying to survive in the Ultimate Universe, or perhaps characters that originated in the Ultimate Universe trying to figure out how to survive in the main Marvel Universe? We know Miles at least visits 616. Maybe he winds up there to stay...
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