Monday, February 3, 2014

Marvel Does A Re-Relaunch

True believers, you may have heard about this thing going on with Marvel relaunching a ton of titles. What was that? Marvel NOW? Oh, no no no, I'm talking about another slew of relaunches Marvel has dubbed the All-New Marvel NOW (seriously, though, when did "all-new" become a thing?) and this one is as big as the other relaunch about a year ago. There are a ton of new titles, some that are just renumbering from #1, and others that are labeled as part of the All-New Marvel NOW that are carrying #1 status on the cover, but remain numbered in continuity with the existing title (e.g. Avengers 24.NOW also having #1 printed on the cover so you know where the ANMN series begins).

While there's been some confusion as to why certain series are starting over with a true #1 issue, others make complete sense. The biggest news to come out of the relaunch is the return of Peter Parker and the Amazing Spider-Man title to be released in April! This has sparked a ton of speculation about the fate of Superior Spider-Man. At first, series writer, Dan Slott, was non-committal, then didn't deflect a question of Superior ending, but now, Marvel has released their solicits for April and Superior is, indeed, going to be ending at issue #31, according to

Though Peter Parker's return from the dead is the biggest news, it may not necessarily be the best, depending on your personal favorite Marvel series. Moon Knight will be returning with Warren Ellis taking up the writer's pen! With all due respect to past writers, this may be the best pedigreed writer to take up Marc Spector's story since Doug Moench. Also returning for their own series are Iron Fist (you wouldn't believe how many people I've spoken with are really excited about this), Magneto, Punisher, Loki, Black Widow, a new Ms. Marvel, and the New Warriors. Another oldie but goodie making its way back into regular circulation is the team of Namor, Captain America, Winter Soldier, and the *original* Human Torch(that's right, the android human torch...don't get me started) in All New Invaders being written by James Robinson (recently departed from DC's Earth 2) and drawn by Steve Pugh (Animal Man). That's a lot of relaunchy goodness to be had right there.

Wondering about some of the other titles? Daredevil is moving to San Francisco, so he gets a new #1. Wolverine as well as Wolverine and the X-Men are also seeing new #1s. Carol Danvers will continue as Captain Marvel, but there is also a new teenage Ms. Marvel in Kamala Kahn. Of particular interest is that our new Ms. Marvel is a Pakistani Muslim from a culturally conservative family, bringing plenty of interesting plot points and stories to tell from how she deals with her newfound powers and how does she balance that with school, her family's reactions, and the big baddies that will inevitably cross her path? An All New X-Factor has just been released with Polaris leading a team that includes Gambit and Quicksilver as a group hired by a corporation which has society's best interests at heart (yeah, right. I've got a bridge...). She-Hulk returns with her own #1, as do the Fantastic Four, also being penned by Robinson, with their fancy shmancy new RED costumes! And let's not forget about the Hulk returning in, wait for it....Hulk. Hulk is still being penned-in-excellence by Mark Waid who has mapped out a new transition for Bruce Banner and the green goliath, so don't miss that.

One of the most anticipated titles labeled for the ANMN release blitz was supposed to spin out of the Infinity event and link into the Inhumanity tie-ins currently being released. Inhuman was to follow the Inhumans dealing with the fallout of the detonation of the Terrigen bomb on Earth with new heroes, villains, and Inhuman-powered abilities galore. The trick is, Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans is gone, so who will step up and take the reigns? However, Hollywood Reporter published that Marvel has postponed the release of this series. Rumors abound about the reasons why, but it's hoped that Matt Fraction stays on board as the writer. 

Believe it or not, there are still more titles that weren't even named above. Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Deadpool, and even more are all being included in the All New Marvel NOW relaunch, though their titles aren't being renumbered. As you can see, there's plenty going on with Marvel these days. And we haven't even mentioned the death of Uatu, aka The Watcher. Wait, what?

- David Berck