Sorry, sorry, sorry. For those counting at home, that’s three Marvel article in a row. But if we had God Hates Geeks back in July of 2011, you can bet your bottom dollar we would have been in bed with DC Comics that same weekend they killed with the New 52.
Now, or NOW! rather, it’s Marvel’s time to do the whole universal relaunch. At first it appeared to be just a few books, but the further the news broke out, there’s not much of a difference between NOW! and 52 — except that most of what just happened, still happened. Hence the term “relaunch” and not “reboot.”
By far the biggest change to the M.U. is the end of epic Avengers run for Brian Michael Bendis. While his New Avengers far outshone the titular book, the man delivered his own voice to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for a wildly lengthy term. Bendis is also responsible for giving the Avengers the type of hip street cred that allowed that little film with the same name to exist.
Hey, there’s more to just good CGI as to why The Avengers was never made — unless you’re counting that crap with Sean Connery.
Thankfully, Bendis isn’t going anywhere. In fact, along with the All-New X-Men (which strangely parallels the lives of the original X-Men with their current counerparts), the Marvel staple was just announced as the new man with the sci-fi plan — the new writer of Guardians of the Galaxy!
The book, on the heels of the just announced film at San Diego Comic Con, will feature the art of Steve McNiven (Wolverine, Captain America) and is set to be released in February. Even with that, it’s hard not to see a new passing of the torch. Jonathan Hickman is ready to headline Marvel, and if somehow someway you didn’t catch any of his outstanding run on Fantastic Four, then, well, “you’re goin’ to hell nowwww!!”
Sorry, just hadda.
Really, Hickman’s name is more synonymous with “world building” than just about any other writer on the Marvel roster, so handing this guy the keys to Avengers mansion makes as much sense as the Red Sox firing Bobby Valentine — perfect. “Avengers will keep the core (roster) but be bigger than Hollywood can pay for,” Hickman told an amped-up NYCC audience during the MarvelNOW! Avengers panel this morning. “(As for) New Avengers is the title I’m most excited about writing since starting at Marvel.”
The writer also went on to explain that this version of N.A. will be closer to the Illuminati, and that the disparate groups of Avengers will collide sometime down the line — as opposed to them having more or less the same members (i.e. Spider-Man, Wolverine). “We’re looking at 24 Avengers. Though we’ll add (those far too popular heroes) down the line because we like money.”
And to think I complained Marvel never announces anything during the conventions.
More tidbits from our friend Ethan “The Evangelist” during the Marvel panels from Saturday’s NYCizzle:
Keeping the whole intergalactic thing going, there’ll be a new Nova title, as well, with the surprising team-up of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Ed McGuiness. I know this team has their detractors (see: Rulk), but taking a guy who’s grown in popularity through the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom video game, the “Ultimate Spider-Man” animated show, and as a newly adorned savior during the Avengers vs. X-Men comic event is a bright idea. So far, the early sketches look good, as Loeb promises to focus more on the family aspect rather than tackle the enormity of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s run. Perhaps also taking note from the cartoon, Nova will also feature a new kid in the suit, Sam Alexander.
- Uncanny Avengers‘ Rick Remender chose Havok as the leader of his new group because, “you sort of get the sense that Scott Summers was the quarterback in high school, and (his brother) Alex was up in the bleachers smoking a joint.”
- Marvel will have their own “Hunger Games” with Avengers Arena, written by Dennis Hopeless. Arcade — who’s perhaps best known for his humorous appearance in the Ultimate Marvel Alliance video game — will be the one directing all of the island-killing madness. Since little is known about the mainstream ability of Hopeless (he’s written their X-Men: Season One graphic novel), the Rev’s especially dying to see what this man’s up to. If he becomes a new “Jeff Parker,” I can promise my bank account will suffer in return.
- Newly announced Secret Avengers will showcase one-time S.A. writer Nick Spencer (Morning Glories) and Captain America artist Luke Ross, with the attentions of this being Marvel’s S.H.I.EL.D. book. Hawkeye will remain the leader, in addition to Black Widow, Hulk, Taskmaster, Mockingbird, Nick Fury (Jr.?), and Iron Patriot — no surprise since Guy Pearce is set to don the iron-clad suit in Iron Man 3 that Norman Osbourne made so infamous.
- Agent Phil Coulson lives!!!!!!!! Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige announced today during the Marvel Animation panel that Clark Gregg will star and headline the new “S.H.I.E.L.D.” TV show for ABC, as Agent Coulson! Nuff said.