With The New 52 gaining plenty of attention and publicity for DC Comics, it’s no surprise that Marvel would want to attempt a similar outing. With Avengers vs. X-Men currently being the company’s big event, many are wondering just what will surface in the aftermath of the series after it wraps up in September. Marvel is planning to unmask plenty of film and comic-related materials next week at San Diego Comic-Con, and it seems they’re ready to let some cats out of the bag a little early. Today, they’ve announced a new comics initiative called “Marvel NOW!”, which will shake up the status quo of the Marvel Universe.
Revealed by EW, Marvel NOW! is seen to be a fresh start for new fans to enter into the classic Marvel series without rebooting the entire universe. Marvel editor-in-chief called Marvel NOW! “a new beginning” and will seek to shake up stories by bringing new titles, relaunching old ones, new suits, and all-new stories for each of Marvel’s major heroes.
With the new initiative, Marvel’s key talent will be shifting roles for the creative change. “Brian Michael Bendis is leaving the Avengers for a new X-Men book; Jonathan Hickman will end his run on Fantastic Four before kick-starting a new twice-monthly, jampacked Avengers book; and Rick Remender will begin work on the flagship title of the new era, Uncanny Avengers, a book that will blend Avengers and X-Men characters into one superteam.”
In the announcement, Marvel has revealed three titles that will go under the initiative:
Uncanny Avengers: By Rick Remender and John Cassaday; Will star Captain America, Wolverine, Havok, and more. The first villain will be Red Skull, and the story will follow Captain America as he realizes that following AvX he should lend his heroics to helping out mutants. The first issue will hit shelves in October.
Avengers: From Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena, the now bi-weekly series will have 18+ heroes the will bring “a diverse mix of popular characters, B-listers, and new characters” together under one title. The story is currently under some wraps, but the first arc will be called “Avengers World” and will follow “the heroes to become something bigger and larger, a more appropriate response to an ever more dangerous time”. The only revealed teammate at the time of reveal is Shang-Chi. The series will being in December.
All New X-Men: By Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen; In the wake of AvX, the time-travel story finds the five original X-Men of Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, and Marvel Girl (Jean Grey) coming to the present time under an unknown circumstance. ”They’re seeing their older selves, and they don’t all like what they see.” Furthermore, with the bringing of Jean back into the Marvel tale, it’ll create some interesting points for teenagers Jean and Hope Summers to possibly bond over their fates regarding the Phoenix. Bendis promises that this is “No Danger Room, no imaginary story. This is actually happening.” Will launch in November.
While more series are on their way, one confirmed relaunch will be that of Punisher: War Zone this October as the titular character sets his sights on the current roster of The Avengers for some unknown reason, as teaser posters have indicated.
Furthermore, every Marvel NOW first issue will feature AR enchanced recaps, special features, and a free code for a digital download all through their Marvel AR app. The service was introduced earlier this year, and has really begun to take effect on most major titles for the company so far. Along with the AR additions, each book will feature “new cinematic cover designs”, as shown by the first piece of art of CCO Joe Queseda (below, click to enlarge).
There is plenty more to be unveiled in the coming weeks, and we’ll bring you the latest updates straight from San Diego Comic-Con. But if you’d like to hear more about the newly announced titles, you can read the full EW spread here.