Heroes vs Heroes... for a change1 of 12In December, terse words are turning into clinched fists as the tension bubbling under the surface in the Avengers is looking to explode. Some is due to Avengers & X-Men: Axis, some to “Time Runs Out,” some because of “Avengers NOW!” and some… well, just because. All that, as well as signs two classic Marvel heroes tied to Marvel’s movies might be returning first in comics. Not a bad Christmas present.
All that, and more as we present the ten top news items unfolding from the December 2014 advance solicitations from Marvel Comics. If nothing else, to see how Deadpool goes zen.
POWERS Relaunches for 4th Time – In Time For TV Series!2 of 12The long-awaited Powers television series is finally coming out this December on the Playstation Netwrk, and for that creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming are borrowing a page from their publisher’s handbook and relaunching the series. This will be the fourth time this series has been relaunched since its debut in 2000, this time losing the “Bureau” title added to the title in its previous volume.
Getting into the story, the solicitation itself doesn’t give any new insight into the new series past what’s already been known from the previous volume. For some who might be behind on Powers, Walker and Pilgrim are back together and solving cases again. The solicitation does promise the appearance of a unique new superpower that “no one has ever seen before;” we’re not sure if that’s intended to be no one in the Powers universe or wider out to encompass never-before-seen in the superhero genre. I wouldn’t put it past Bendis and Oeming.
This new #1 will be double-sized at 48 pages, and also is promised to contain news and photographs from the set of the Powers TV series.
Zenpool?3 of 12Axis is shaking up the status quos for a number of Marvel heroes, and now we learn its reach extends all the way to Deadpool. In December’s Deadpool issues (and, from the looks of it, Axis #9 as well), we’ll see the so-called Merc with a Mouth renounce his violent ways and take a path of non-violence. Gone are the guns apparently, and replaced by simple tools such as a rake as seen in Deadpool #38’s cover by Mark Brooks.
There’s no word yet if this “inversion” of Deadpool will see go full-on into Zen Buddhism or if he’s taking on just the surface elements, but the idea of a peaceful Deadpool – PeacePool? – is an interesting twist that begs attention.
Dr. Doom: Avenger?!4 of 12Doctor Doom has been many things, but Avenger has never been one of them… until now. Avengers World #16 sees the Latverian leader in charge of a unique Avengers team comprised of Valkyrie, Stingray, U.S. Agent, 3-D Man and NextWave alum Elsa Bloodstone.
Given the solicitation text, it’s presumed that this new arrangement is a result of an “all hands on deck”-style emergency which brings out these admittedly second-tier Avengers and Doom taking on a leadership role.
It’ll be interesting to see how series writer Nick Spencer and new co-writer Frank Barbiere weave that story, given Doctor Doom’s villainous past and the fact he killed Stature, an Avenger, back in <>Avengers: Children’s Crusade.
AXIS #9 – Bigger Than The Beatles?5 of 12Marvel is built on hyperbolic marketing from Stan Lee on to the present day, but some promises in the solicits for Avengers & X-Men: Axis #9 might trump them all. If House of M didn’t crack the internet in half, Axis #9 will purportedly “crack the Marvel Universe to its very core!”
Following that up, Marvel proudly proclaims “If you only read one comic this century – This is it!” While anyone reading this statement has probably read a comic already in the past 14 years, putting this one head-and-shoulders above any other comic since 2000 is quite a feat. That would mean this is more important than “Avengers Dissassembled,” Civil War, any other Axis series or even those comic instructions for emergencies in airplanes. Seriously though, Marvel is pegging this as the ideal jumping-on point for readers as Axis comes to an end.
Ultimate/616 Crossover Expands6 of 12For years Marvel dismissed the idea of the Ultimate universe and Marvel’s core comics universe ever crossing paths, but after teases, misdirection, and minor skirmishes it’s finally happening in All-New X-Men. It’s X-Men versus Ultimate X-Men, with two Icemen and two Jean Greys between them – and Miles Morales in the middle.
Given Bendis’ history with pulling in heroes from other universes (and time periods), it’ll be interesting to see who ends up where in the long term. And that’s not to underscore the story itself, whatever it may be.
Thinking big picture, it’s interesting to speculate if this “face-off” might have fared if done five to ten years ago compared to today given the cooling-off of the Ultimate line.
Adam Warlock & Agent Carter Return In Reprints – New Comics Far Behind?7 of 12It looks like Marvel Comics has been paying attention when it comes to the news and rumors coming out of Marvel Studios’ releases. With the Agent Carter television series coming in a few months and Warlock being teased in recent movies, the House of Ideas has put together collections of foundational material for both heroes – something that, in the past, has been foreshadowing of a character’s return to the mainstream Marvel U with new comics.
The Warlock collection is done in the Marvel Masterworks format, and skips over his debut as “Him” in Fantastic Four and Thor to instead focus on Roy Thomas and Gil Kane’s paradigm shift in 1972’s Marvel Premiere. That revamp had conscious messianic overtones, and Marvel’s newly-written solicitation text does nothing to dismiss that – even going so far as to using the verb “christened”. The series goes on to collect Power of Warlock and the hackneyed conclusion from Incredible Hulk and leading up to the precipice of Jim Starlin’s tenure with the character. It’s interesting that Marvel chose these particular stories, over the Lee/Kirby works or Starlin’s work, as the book to have on the shelves for those wanting to know more about Warlock.
On the Peggy Carter front, Marvel have a relatively lower-cost 104 page collection titled Captain America: Peggy Carter, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. that her first appearance in 1959’s Tales of Suspense and on through to the recent <>Captain America & The First Thirteen one-shot by Kathryn Immonen and Ramon Perez. It’s a concise collection, and looks to whet the appetite of those hoping it will lead to something more substantial in modern-day comics.
Spider-Verse Loses A-List Artist, Replaced by A-List Artist8 of 12One of the big selling points to comic books, particularly “events”, is the artist involved in the series. So it’s unfortunate to see that Olivier Coipel is no longer drawing Amazing Spider-Man’s “Spider-Verse” arc as of December’s #12. Coipiel was advertised to draw the entire arc through to #14, but Giuseppe Camuncoli is listed as the artist of #12. As of now, no announcement has been made regarding the reason for Coipel’s absence from Amazing Spider-Man #12 or if he’ll be missing some or all of the previously solicited #9, #10 and #11 or if he would return to later issues of the series. The good news is, Camuncoli has proven his chops as a top artist of Spider-Man and his amazing adventures.
Before some fans start to blame Coipel, delays and replacement of artists isn’t always the fault of the artist. In the past we’ve seen publishing snafus be the result of delays by writers, and also some impractical publishing timelines result in releases that didn’t match up with the advertised creative team or release date. There are very few artists who can draw a complete book on a monthly basis, nor would fans want to see some artists rush through pages to be monthly at the expense of quality. Until Marvel, Coipel or someone else involved speaks to the reason for the change, it’s all speculation.
Think Superior Iron Man is bad? Wait until you meet the Stark9 of 12Marvel has promised readers will see Tony Stark go bad in Superior Spider-Man, but over in Guardians 3000 writer Dan Abnett is bringing back an entire race of Starks will some less than-savory goals. In the solicits for Guardians 3000 #3, we’ve been promised the return of the Stark – an alien race in the future who based their entire civilization on an errant piece of Iron Man tech that landed on their once-primitive home planet. Taking their name from the tech, the Stark’s civilization skyrocketed into the spaceways and quickly became a major force in 31st century Marvel U.
And if that wasn’t enough, a return for the Stark also opens the door for a return of a Newsarama favorite villain: Taserface!
Newsarama Note: TAAAAAAAAASEEEEEEEERFAAAAAAAAAAACE! Okay, sorry about that
All-New Cap gets All-New Sidekick – Nomad!10 of 12Comic readers are already well aware we’ll see an All-New Captain America in full force in November’s All-New Captain America, but the solicits to December’s All-New Captain America put a face to Sam Wilson’s new sidekick – a Falcon for the former Falcon, so to speak --- in Nomad.
Teased back in July here at Newsarama by Tom Brevoort, this all-new Nomad is Steve Rogers’ Dimension Z foster son, Ian Rogers. Series writer Rick Remender has said in the past that the younger Rogers is “somewhat brash and sarcastic” and a better wielder of the shield than even All-New Cap. Rogers has already debuted as Nomad previously in Captain America, but this cover to All-New Captain America shows the son of Arnim Zola with a revised costume and standing with Wilson.
Time Runs Out = Civil War 2?11 of 12The superhero genre may be built on the idea of “hero vs. villain,” but for Marvel they’ve made themselves unique for the frequent “hero vs. hero” conflicts. And as 2014 ticks down, it looks as if “Time Runs Out” is turning into the unofficial sequel to Civil War as the three main Avengers books -- New Avengers, Captain America & The Mighty Avengers and Avengers -- all feature Avenger-on-Avenger action.
It looks as if the split is built out of the secretive actions of the reformed Illuminati in Avengers, but looks also to be bubbling over from the “inversion” of some heroes as a result of Avengers & X-Men: Axis. It’s interesting that Marvel is running two separate events concurrently, especially when one – “Time Runs Out” – is the flash-forwarded aftermath of Axis. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. But that’s a mighty enticing cake, as the last two major “hero vs. hero” conflicts -- Avengers vs. X-Men and Civil War -- were Marvel’s biggest-selling events in the past decade.
But drilling down, it’s interesting to see the remnants “old guard” of the Marvel U coming up against the “new guard” of All-New Cap, a female Thor, and the “superior” Iron Man, along with a host of others. “Avengers THEN!” vs. “Avengers NOW!”? Perhaps.
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