So Marvel NOW! is back – again – with a second round. Some images leaked this past Monday, so Marvel went ahead and released everything about this new Marvel NOW! 2.0 that they’re going to launch – including a list of new titles and what titles are going to keep going.
So as you can see to the left, there’s the general shin-dig, run down, whatever you want to call it that Marvel is doing with Marvel NOW! 2.0 – splitting off from an event/cross over – not another limited series type event like Civil War II or Secret Wars – called Divided We Stand.
Marvel has promised to “shake things up” and “rock the Marvel Universe.” Apparently, no one has told them that “shaking things up” too much feels like there’s little regard for any continuity or real story telling; and just looking to always go for the next big change or shock value. But that’s just me – sick of things being “shaken up.”
So let’s take a look at what’s coming out, shall we? Over here to the right (you can click it to see a larger version, if you can’t read that tiny writing). So we can see that several titles are continuing; while others, that are currently doing fairly well, such as Captain Marvel are yet again getting another reboot. What does that make this volume of Captain Marvel? Like… Volume Six? Seven? It’s getting a little more than ridiculous when a title that’s barely ten or so issues in; is getting yet another reboot in October with a brand new Issue #1. On the flip side, other titles are going to continue their numbering. And Marvel is launching a slew of new books as well. So how about we start going over some of those?
First, there’s The Avengers. Now the cover has the original Avengers standing behind a team of Avengers that Captain America led very early in the original run of the book. All of them look to be wearing the classic versions of those costumes as well. So are we just looking at this random cover that has nothing to do with what’s going to happen in the book; or we going to get some retro stories / untold tales of these Avengers from “back in the day.” Something to note, the issue is numbered as 1.1 (why make things simply by numbering it 0 or 1 or something logical? Why? Because… Marvel). I am willing to at least open this book and see where it’s headed; the cover has me curious. The book has the creative team of Mark Waid & Barry Kitson.
Next we have Champions, which seems to feature Cyclops (a very young one? Is this the time displaced Cyclops, I assume?), Ms. Marvel, Nova (Sam Alexander), Spider-Man (Miles), Awesome Hulk (Cho) and what I am guessing is Vision’s daughter (who I know absolutely nothing about). Now they have it under the flag ship name of Champions – which was originally a great book – very Defenders like – a team that wasn’t really a team. But this? This looks like kids with super powers going to school. And for me, that’s pretty much going to be an easy pass. The only character of interest to me is Nova (Sam Alexander), because I run a New Warriors website; so I’d only be interested what comes of him. But that’s not enough to dump hard earned money into this book. The creative team here is: • Champions #1 by Mark Waid & Humberto Ramos
The next book is Occupy Avengers… and I can’t even begin to guess what this book might be about. If I were to take a stab – maybe this group of people led by Hawkeye (or whatever he’s going to be calling himself, since there’s also a Hawkeye book – but not about him – more on that later!) – holding the Avengers responsible for potential damage they do? Yes? No? Maybe. While I have always been a big fan of Hawkeye – I am not sure what this book is about – and the title sounds entirely too political to even remotely capture my interest, despite it appearing to feature Hawkeye. This one will be another pass for me. The creative team here is: • Occupy Avengers #1 by David Walker & Gabriel Walta
The next book we have is Avengers – and this starts with a #1. So I am not sure if the previously mentioned Avengers 1.1 has anything to do with this book or not. This book seems to feature Captain America (Sam Wilson), Thor (Jane), Vision, Wasp (I just assume it’s not Janet), Hercules (um, with a gun for some reason), and I am not sure who that other character is – sort of looks like Black Panther meets Iron Man meets Ronin. This (other than the fact that Hercules is carrying a gun) looks potentially interesting. I will probably as least flip through the first issue and see if it looks like it might capture my attention. Looks like a pretty solid team, at any rate. And feels as close to a real Avengers book as it’s ever been in the last… what, ten to fifteen years? The creative team here is: • Avengers #1 by Mark Waid & Mike Del Mundo
And then we move onto Uncanny Avengers. This looks to be Brother Voodoo (?), Wasp (?), no idea who the next woman is, then Deadpool, then Cable, Rogue, and not sure who that next guy is, and then Quicksilver… That’s a very, very, very unusual cast of characters that’s thrown together. Sadly, there’s nothing about this title that’s really pulling me to pick it up, despite the unusual cast of characters. It’s good to know that beyond the Death of X that at least some mutants will continue to exist (as you can see from that month of titles listed early; there’s actually no “X” book other than the Death of X – so I was even beginning to speculate that the entire Mutant Gene on Earth would get “muted” and Mutants would cease to exist until Marvel got the movie rights back from Fox or something). The creative team here is: • Uncanny Avengers #15 by Gerry Duggan & Pepe Larraz
I know this book is going to be interesting to someone but that someone is not me. This looks to have Doctor Doom (the guy behind the statue of Liberty – is my guess), along with Cannonball, and – I guess a new character – a female Iron Patriot (What? Marvel swap another character out to make it more diverse? Tell me it isn’t so!), then what looks like a Geth (if you’re familiar with Mass Effect) – is it Iron White Tiger now or something? Then Squirrel Girl (no surprise to see her pushed), and Red Hulk (the mustache? Really?), and Miss Liberty (I believe her name is). I just don’t understand what is interesting about this odd collection of characters. Like I said, I’m sure this book will be a draw for someone; but that’s not me. The creative team here is: • U.S.Avengers #1 by Al Ewing & Paco Medina
The next book is Ultimates – and … I hope the interior artist is better than the cover artist. I mean, the cover is better than anything I could draw – but Captain Marvel and the one standing next to her with the stars on their sleeves – I mean, come on? I only recognize Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and I think Blue Marvel – but I don’t know who the guy with the stars on his sleeve is. I may look through this first issue (if the interior art is better than the cover) and see if it snags my attention. I am not overly hopeful (granted that may be because of the cover art). But I am willing to see what they’re going to do (I’ve always enjoyed a good story that deals with the cosmos and space and all of that). The creative team here is: • Ultimates2 #1 by Al Ewing & Travel Foreman
I am not at all surprised to see The Great Lakes Avengers getting their own book. It seems that these days, Marvel’s go to is for the “over the top, break the 4th wall, strange comedic” books – after the success of Deadpool, then Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Avengers are right up in the same odd ball sense of humor. So Marvel dishing out a book about these unusual heroes is not at all surprising. Because of the odd comedic value of an entire team of losers; I can actually see this book doing well. (If Madcap wasn’t already a member of Deadpool’s Mercs, this would be the perfect book for him). I probably won’t pick up this book; but who knows, I may grab the first couple of issues and see where this goes. Creative team is: • Great Lakes Avengers #1 by Zac Gorman & Will Robson
Over in the pages of Squadron Supreme it looks like someone who died is coming back. I didn’t read the issue where Hyperion (I believe it was) killed Namor; but didn’t he rip Namor’s head off? Whatever the case may be, the cover at least seems to allude to the fact that Namor is coming back (it’s been one year, I think, since he was killed in the same title). Unfortunately, this isn’t the Squadron Supreme that I enjoyed; even though, as I understand it, Blur from DP7 is the new “Whizzer” in this book. But I’ve not been collecting this; and this cover doesn’t do anything for me (I mean, it’s a great cover, but not enough for me to jump on with issue #13). The creative team here is: • Squadron Supreme #13 by James Robinson & Leonard Kirk
The next book is Thunderbolts which I have been collecting. It’s a few issues in; and it’s enjoyable. The only problem I’ve had is with the artist. It’s the same artist who did one of the volumes of New Warriors I didn’t care for the art there (but the story was alright; similar situation). So I will continue picking this up, especially seeing that Songbird will be making an appearance in the book. I really enjoyed how they had developed her in the original series, and do not understand why she’s not been pushed to the front more to get the respect her character deserves. Anyway, curious where this title will go; so far, the story, as I said has been good. Creative team here is: • Thunderbolts #7 by Jim Zub & Jon Malin
So the next book we see that Tony Stark is – whatever or wherever he is – and now there’s a new Iron Man. But it’s woman. So Invincible Iron Man should actually be called Invincible Iron Woman. But, if they did that, they would have to reboot/rename the book for when Tony Stark comes back. So here’s another book – where we have seen a female take the lead of an existing character. And because Marvel is all about diversity to the point the entire Marvel Universe has been changed – we see it’s not only a woman, but an African American woman who now has the mantle of Iron Man. I enjoyed the original run of Iron Man (the really early issues like 60 through about 200) – but never collected any other Iron Man solo series beyond 200 or the many other Iron Man solo titles that ever followed. This is another one that I won’t be picking up, because I can’t help but feel it’s a gimmick and will all be undone eventually. And it doesn’t help who the creative team is (if you know anything about me), because it’s • Invincible Iron Man #1 by Brian Michael Bendis & Stefano Caselli
And to make sure there isn’t any confusion, there’s also an Infamous Iron Man who appears to be Doctor Doom, who has taken over the Iron Man mantle also. I mean, we have two Thors running around, two Captain Americas running around – why not have two Iron Mans (Men? Woman and Man?) running around. How the heck is that ever going to confuse anyone? And hey! Here’s an idea, take one of the most iconic villains of the Marvel Universe and make him Iron Man instead. Because… that makes sense. While I have always enjoyed Doctor Doom, this … this is something I just can’t get behind. So I will not be picking up this title. Again, I feel no loss because the creative team is: • Infamous Iron Man #1 by Brian Micheal Bendis & Alex Maleev
This one is pretty annoying – though Captain Marvel is barely a year or so into her current run – Marvel is “rebooting” her book back to a #1. I’ve collected just about anything that has to do with Carol (dating back to her original Ms. Marvel run, all throughout Avengers), but the last two runs of her book I’ve not picked up. Mostly because the cost of living and the cost of comics have both gone up; and I’ve been forced to be a lot more picky about what I pick up. And the most disappointing thing is that her current run has Alpha Flight (a favorite of mine) in the books (Sasquatch, Puck and Aurora). Why is Marvel rebooting the book back to a #1? I don’t know. I can’t even begin to guess why. Other than perhaps the focus of the book is going to change entirely from being space guardian type title; to more Earth bound. The creative team here is: • Captain Marvel #1 by Margaret Stohl & Ramon Rosanas
So it looks like – as I said earlier – there’s a Hawkeye title coming out that will focus on Kate Bishop, who at least isn’t a “new” character. She was created quite a few years ago and is once again taking the mantle of Hawkeye. Which begs the question in the Avengers 1.1 and the Occupy Avengers; is Clint going to go by the name of Hawkeye or something else? (He briefly adopted the name Ronin while Kate took on the name Hawkeye). Can’t say, despite my interest in the character a long time ago, that it’s enough to pull me in to pick up the book. This is another one I will probably flip through and see if it’s enough to grab my attention and my hard earned money. The creative team here is: • Hawkeye #1 (starring Kate Bishop) by Kelly Thompson & Leonardo Romero
Captain America: Sam Wilson is next. And it looks like he’s going to go after Captain America’s shield? I am guessing because Captain America is currently Mr. “Hail Hydra.” So this looks to be just a story line, of possibly Sam and Steve duking it out over the shield. I’ve not been picking up this book. (And I can’t imagine having Cap’s shield and flying as he has been, with the Captain America costume, will work out… oh, what am I saying! It’s comic book physics!) Anyway, the creative team on this book is: • Captain America: Sam Wilson #14 by Nick Spencer & Daniel Acuna
And moving right in line, next we have Captain America: Steve Rogers with a pretty cool cover, considering everything currently going on in this title (but there isn’t a single person, I hope, that thought that this Hail Hydra thing for Captain America was going to be true). I have not been picking up this title, but I have to give kudos to the artist that came up with this cover. It’s pretty cool. The creative team here is: • Captain America: Steve Rogers #7 by Nick Spencer & Jesus Saiz
The next book I want to cover is Silver Surfer. I used to collect the original run of Fantastic Four (way back in the day, issues #120 through about 200) – and I’ve always enjoyed the character Silver Surfer, especially in Defenders where I got to know the character the most. I’ve not collected this series, because I can’t get past the art. The art style is very similar to X-Statix (and it may even be the same artist), but I’ve never been a fan of that odd style of art. The creative team here is: • Silver Surfer #9 by Dan Slott & Mike Allred
In Black Panther we can see that apparently Storm also survives the Death of X event. She’s clearly seen here with Black Panther, Luke Cage and Misty Knight. I am not sure of Storm’s status in regards to Black Panther; didn’t she marry him at one point? So is she a Queen now? Would make sense why she’s in this title (especially since the month of October shows no X Books being published at all). So at least Storm has found a place to stay. Not been collecting this book. The creative team here is: • Black Panther #7 by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Chris Sprouse
The next book on the list is Jessica Jones. I know nothing (Jon Snow!) about this book, other than what’s been shown in the Netflix series. (Heck, for the longest time, for whatever reason; before the show was released, I was thinking Jessica Jones was actually Jessica Drew; like I thought the show was about Jessica Drew – but forgot her last name was Drew – not Jones), because Bendis has always liked Spider-Woman. Anyway, there’s no surprise that Jessica Jones is getting her own book, because of the Netflix series success; and the upcoming Second Season of the show on Netflix. Like I said, I know nothing about the character; and while I loved the show, I will not be picking up this book. The creative team is: • Jessica Jones #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos & David Mack
Now… the next book, I am curious. I have no idea what Janet is; and I had hoped that when there was a Wasp book announced, that it might be Janet… But seeing this, and the caption of “Nothing’s more unstoppable than a teenage girl” – so… yet again, Marvel has replaced a well respected powerful female character with a brand new character. I am sure that they’re doing this book because of the upcoming Antman & Wasp movie; I am curious, I admit, who this new Wasp is. (I wonder if they’ve brought in Hope from the movie, to make her a comic book character, to sort of give that familiarity between the two). But that might be making too much sense; I don’t know if somewhere in the convoluted mess that is some semblance of “Marvel Continuity” if Pym and Janet ever did have a daughter in the last few years (who for whatever reason is now a teenager) – or if it’s a brand new character entirely. • The Unstoppable Wasp #1 by Jeremy Whitley & Elsa Charretier
The Marvel Cynic,