Marching On1 of 12
Marvel's March solicitations herald big returns for the X-Men and Fantastic Four, while creative shake-ups will lead to some major departures behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, Avengers' "No Surrender" chugs along into its third month with a betrayal, a dark secret, and a resurrection, and several "Legacy" titles come to their end.
If all of that sounds like a lot to parse, fret not - Newsarama has taken it upon ourselves, as we do every month, to break down exactly what we learned from Marvel's March 2018 solicitations.
End of Eras2 of 12
With Brian Michael Bendis’s departure from Marvel for his DC Comics exclusive on the horizon, it’s no surprise that he and artist Michael Gaydos’ departure from Jessica Jones would come as soon as March’s #18, as revealed in the solicitation, but there’s another apparent exodus coming that might shake things up all over again.
The solicitation for Amazing Spider-Man #797 infers the exit of series writer Dan Slott, saying its Green Goblin return (and Red Goblin debut) is the story Slott has been “saving for last.”
It’s not an outright confirmation like Bendis and Gaydos’ departure, but it would be a major shake-up for Peter Parker, with Slott having worked on Amazing Spider-Man as its primary (and usually only) writer for a decade.
Another Kind of Legacy3 of 12
Sabretooth offering Wolverine a beatdown on his birthday is a tradition that goes all the way back to classic X-Men scribe Chris Claremont – but Weapon X #15 will put a new spin on the old trope by pitting Sabretooth against Old Man Logan.
It’s unclear if this means Sabretooth’s anti-hero days are numbered, or if he’s just giving into his baser nature. Either way, it ain’t gonna be pretty.
Rebels4 of 12
March's Doctor Aphra #18 continues the integration of Star Wars multimedia stories into one extended canon, brining Star Wars: Rebels' Hera Syndulla into the Star Wars comic book universe.
In the story, Aphra will infiltrate a Rebel training ground, putting her in direct conflict with the Rebellion-era hero.
X-Men Removed5 of 12
March represents a big month for the X-Men, as numerous titles go in new directions, old villains return, and a set of variant covers celebrating the New Mutants all solicited for the month.
The New Mutants covers, which spotlight classic team members, make perfect sense with a new iteration of the team debuting in March, and their self-titled film on the horizon for April.
As for the directions the teams are taking, X-Men Gold #23 brings in a new squad altogether as the line-up its had thus far are put in jail, while X-Men Blue #23 leaves the team in deep space after “Poison X” – but brings in a host of new takes on classic X-Men characters at the same time as Miss Sinister, Havok, Emma Frost, and Bastion “hatch their devious plans,” and Polaris once again becomes possessed by the villainous Malice.
Then in X-Men Blue #24, Magneto will take on another classic X-villain, Sebastian Shaw as Polaris/Malice and the other villains close in.
Marvel's M.I.A.6 of 12
A handful of Marvel “Legacy” titles are ending in March, and a few more are missing from the month’s solicitations.
Meanwhile, America, Secret Warriors and Luke Cage are all missing from March’s solicitations entirely, with no confirmation of their fates yet offered. Captain Marvel is missing in March as well, though Carol Danvers appears on the cover of Ms. Marvel #28 wearing Kamala’s costume – though that seems more symbolic than an indication of Carol’s direction, as writer Margaret Stohl has confirmedCaptain Marvel is not cancelled.
Also missing is Defenders, though given writer Brian Michael Bendis' recent life-threatening illness, the title may simply be delayed.
Finally, though the solicitation for Poe Dameron #25 sounds like the series will come to a close, writer Charles Soule confirmed on Twitter that this was not to be the case.
From a story perspective, it seems as though the Champions may be on their last legs as well, with the solicitation for Champions #18 saying that the team are considering disbanding.
Creative Changes7 of 12
As always, March marks some creative shifts for Marvel. Along with the big changes with Jessica Jones and Amazing Spider-Man we previously mentioned, some other titles will get shake-ups as well.
First, Christos Gage will take over co-writing duties on Daredevil #600, though the solicitation doesn't make it clear whether he's on the main story or writing a back-up for the oversized milestone issue. Then, Fred Van Lente joins his previous Hulk and Hercules writing partner Greg Pak on Weapon X starting with #15.
Over on Iron Fist #78, Damian Cuceiro takes over art duties, while artist Szymon Kudranski takes over for Rod Reis on Doctor Strange: Damnation #2.
Fantastic Four-ish8 of 12
Now that the Fantastic Four movie rights are potentially coming back to Marvel Studios, we’re keeping our eyes extra-peeled for any signs of life from Marvel’s First Family – and the March solicitations definitely delivered some news.
First off, in Moon Girl #29, Ben Grimm, Johnny Storm, and Lunella Lafeyette are on the hunt for a fourth member of their apparently official new team, with H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot, Silver Surfer, and even Galactus all potential new recruits.
That might just have to wait, however, as the solicitation for Marvel 2-In-One #4 sends Ben and Johnny into the multiverse to search for the Richards family.
No Surrender9 of 12
Avengers' "No Surrender" is shaping up to include some major moments in its penultimate month, with Jarvis’ fate in the balance – along with a “terrible secret” he’s been keeping – in Avengers #683, while the oversized Avengers #684 promises the return of a very angry Bruce Banner as the “Immortal Hulk.”
Then, in Avengers #685, a traitor among the Avengers’ ranks will be revealed, and in #686, the “cosmic game” at the story’s hear will conclude, leading to the “war for Earth” in the story’s final month.
The Fall of the House of Stark (or will it be Doom?)10 of 12
Marvel might be referencing Game of Thrones when it says either “House Stark” or “House Doom” will fall in Invincible Iron Man #598, but the implication is that a Marvel dynasty – be it Tony Stark or Victor Von Doom – is going to look drastically after #600’s milestone issue.
What that change will look like, though, is a much tougher question to answer. With the return of the Fantastic Four presumably on the horizon (especially since the obstacle of their film rights is looking like a non-factor), Doom seems to be a key player in Marvel’s immediate plans. And imagining that Marvel would move forward with a double-bluff on Tony Stark’s return seems like a stretch.
On the other hand, the “fall” of Stark or Doom doesn’t mean one of them will die. We could take it more literally and assume one of them (let’s be honest, probably Doom) will lose their standing in the Marvel Universe.
Damnation11 of 12
Doctor Strange: Damnation may have been shortened to four issues from five, but the series will spin-off into a crossover, with Scarlet Spider #15 and #16 tying directly into the story to pit Ben Reilly against Mephisto himself, while Doctor Strange #387 and Iron Fist #78 also tying in.
Likewise, the original Ghost Rider will get his own Damnation tie-in with the Damnation: Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider one-shot – just as Doctor Strange: Damnation #3 sends Wong’s unlikely “Spirits of Vengeance” team against “a whole platoon of Ghost Riders.”
1 of 12
2 of 12
3 of 12
4 of 12
5 of 12
6 of 12
7 of 12
8 of 12
9 of 12
10 of 12
11 of 12
12 of 12