October is the first month of the "Marvel NOW!" initiative, and the publisher is getting ready for multiple new series by clearing out several of the old ones. Captain America, The Mighty Thor, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man, Fantastic Four, FF, Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants and X-Men Legacy are all ending in October, and though the first seven were expected, the final two come as more of a surprise. Captain America, Thor and Iron Man have all been announced as receiving new #1s in the Marvel NOW! era, and Fantastic Four and Incredible Hulk certainly seem likely to as well. Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen's All-New X-Men has been established as replacing Uncanny X-Men in the publishing line, and whether or not any sort of FF, New Mutants or X-Men Legacy will exist in the Marvel NOW! future is uncertain (Marvel declined comment on the future of the three series.) Another ending that looks to be coming at some point in the near future is Daniel Way's four-year run on Deadpool, with the words, "Daniel Way’s epic run comes to a head!" appearing in the solicitations for October's issues #62 and #63. Kieron Gillen is leaving Journey Into Mystery in October with issue #645 — "Kieron Gillen bids farewell to the cast of JIM!" — but it's not indicated that the book itself is ending, and Marvel declined comment on the future of the book. October also brings the start of the final arcs — both titled "End Times" — for Bendis on Avengers and New Avengers, which will likely wrap by December and January, when the new Marvel NOW! versions of each series will respectively launch. October's Avengers Assemble #8 will be the last issue for Bendis and artist Mark Bagley, with the tease, "The explosive fallout of the storyline will change one of the Avengers lives forever as a brand-new Marvel initiative spins out of this bombastic series" — implying, perhaps, a new Guardians of the Galaxy series headlined by an Avenger. Speaking of cosmic Marvel, another conspicuous item in Marvel's October solicitations is Spaceknights, a serialized reprint of a 2000 miniseries by Jim Starlin and Chris Batista. This could point to more cosmic-themed Marvel books on the way (though Tom Brevoort told us Marvel is no longer thinking of them as "cosmic books," for fear of separating them from the rest of the Marvel Universe), or perhaps a tie-in to the long-brewing "Age of Ultron" story, as a Spaceknight was found in 2011 prelude book Avengers #12.1. A couple of books that don't appear to being going anywhere for the time being are Avengers Academy — which returns from its "Final Exam" story with a flag football game between Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School — and Wolverine and the X-Men, said in its October solicitation to be starting its second year. Daredevil and X-Factor have already been confirmed as mostly unaffected by Marvel NOW! (though X-Factor cast member Havok is the team leader in Marvel NOW! launch book Uncanny Avengers). Dark Avengers, the former Thunderbolts series which saw a major sales bump after being retitled in June, also looks to be staying on course. Last week on CBR, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso noted that one "big title" would stay with its 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." In an interview with Newsarama, writer Dan Slott promised a significant change coming to Spider-Man in December's Amazing Spider-Man #700, which would seemingly fit the profile of Alonso's hint, though no connection has been confirmed. More from Newsarama:
- Marvel NOW-ledge: What We Know So Far About the Revamp
- Marvel Comics' October 2012 Solicitations - NOW!
- Alonso on Why The Time is Right for the MARVEL NOW! Revamp
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