Update, 3:50 p.m. eastern: Entertainment Weekly's website has updated with an expanded version of the Marvel NOW! news, with further details on the publishing venture and three initially announced titles. "It's not hype when we say that AvX is the culmination of a lot of stories we've done over the last several years," said Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso in the article. "Characters are redeemed or not. Characters are changed. The X-Men and the Avengers are both repositioned for the future. What better time to shake things up?" Of Uncanny Avengers, Rick Remender is quoted as saying, "Captain America comes out of AvX and recognizes that he hasn’t done enough to help the mutants." The team will include Captain America, Thor and Havok as noted, as well as Wolverine. "Havok’s always been the black sheep rock-and-roller of the Summers family," Remender told EW. "He can’t do that anymore. You’re going to see Havok become one of the biggest players in the Marvel Universe." The villain of the initial Uncanny Avengers arc will be the Red Skull, specifically the Red Skull's consciousness from the midst of World War II, recorded by Arnim Zola. "Prime Nazi scumbag," Remender said of Red Skull. "In his mind, he’s taking that vitriol and hate and Nazi horror and methodology, and pointing it at the mutant species." As noted earlier, Avengers will have a team roster of "18 or more," including, as revealed by EW, Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu and recent Secret Avenger. “The obvious solution is for the heroes to become something bigger and larger, a more appropriate response to an ever more dangerous time," Hickman said in the article.
All-New X-Men writer Brian Michael Bendis describes the X-Men as "a tough nut to crack," and said that the rough concept for the book — the original X-Men traveling to the present and viewing what they find as a Days of Future Past-esque dystopia — had been kicked around at Marvel writers' retreats for a while now.
"No Danger Room, no imaginary story," Bendis said in the piece. "This is actually happening. Here’s the big question that the original X-Men are gonna be faced with: We’re gonna grow up, and this is what we’re going to get? That is not acceptable."
With the original team traveling to the present comes the return of Jean Grey, long-dead in contemporary storylines.
"It's the one thing X-Men fans have always asked for is: They want Jean Grey back," Bendis said. "But they want Jean Grey. Not reincarnated Jean, or the ghost of Jean. Well, you're getting Jean back. And Jean is gonna be looking at a world that rattles her."
Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada commented in the article on the teaser image he illustrated, saying, "There’s a reason Sue Storm is there. And why there’s a floating robot near Hulk. We’re trying a lot of fun and new different things, we’re exposing characters who we’ve had in our toy chest for a long time."Original story: It's been evident for months now that Marvel had big plans for their publishing line following Avengers vs. X-Men. Now it's clear what that is: An initiative dubbed "Marvel NOW!" that will include multiple series launches/relaunches and creative team shifts starting in October.
"This ain't no reboot," Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said in the Entertainment Weekly print article revealing Marvel NOW!, seemingly differentiating it from DC's "New 52" revamp last year. "It's a new beginning!"
Starting in October, Marvel will launch or relaunch one or more series each week through February 2013. Three titles were announced by EW:
Uncanny Avengers: A blended Avengers/X-Men book written by Rick Remender and illustrated by John Cassaday , with a cast including Captain America, Thor, Rogue and Havok. Remender is quoted by EW as calling the series a "bridge book" "that can delve into both worlds," though post-AvX tension will be apparent. Starts in October.
All-New X-Men: As long-rumored, Brian Michael Bendis is writing the X-Men, specifically the original five. Still teenagers, they time travel to the present-day Marvel Universe, and aren't pleased with what they find. "It's not a time-travel story like Back to the Future," Bendis is quoted. "It's a time-travel story like Pleasantville," the writer says, with character drama more important than the sci-fi aspect. Art from Stuart Immonen; starts in November.
Avengers: Now a biweekly series written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Jerome Opeña, the book will include "18 or more" Avengers team members, and, as the article states, "feature a combination of one-off stories and longer, galaxy-spanning multi-issue arcs." Starts in December."Marvel NOW!" is also an extension of the digital "ReEvolution" initiative announced earlier this year, with AR recaps on the cover of each #1 issue under the banner, plus codes for free digital copies as Marvel has been providing with each of their $3.99 titles since June.
The EW piece also includes a full look at the Joe Quesada-illustrated image glimpsed on Monday, including new costumes for multiple characters including Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Cyclops, Spider-Man and the Hulk; Cable with an eyepatch; prominent placement of "cosmic" Marvel heroes Nova and Rocket Raccoon; the new Nick Fury introduced in Battle Scars; and what appears to be a floating helmet.
Keep reading Newsarama in the coming days for much more on Marvel NOW!.More from Newsarama:
- 10 Best Things About the Current MARVEL Universe
- 10 Worst Things About the Current MARVEL Universe
- 10 Possible AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Endings
- Marvel Studios Exec Talks AVENGERS Sequels, Spin-offs