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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Marvel NOW! - Uncanny Avengers & All New X-Men, cancellations and relaunches!

Impacting on all Marvel characters, Marvel NOW! is a relaunch program that will include returning and redesigned characters, and new teams, running from October 2012 through Feb 2013, and will see a brand new or relaunched Marvel book every week (these won't reboot continuity, though, Marvel says Marvel NOW! is about making their line accessible to as many readers as possible without doing that).

Most of the line are still to be announced, but in October, from the ashes of Avengers Vs X-Men, the two teams come together for the first time, and merge, over a bunch of books, spearheaded by Uncanny Avengers--written by Uncanny X-Force writer Rick Remender and illustrated by John Cassaday.

[UPDATED 9/28/12:] Uncanny Avengers #1 is released on October 10th, a number of retailers will be throwing special launch parties for it, and those that do will be able to order this Deadpool Call Me Maybe Variant cover edition:


As someone that, for the most part, lost interest in the core X-Men books, partially because I found their world too insular, this is a good way of breaking people like myself and others back/in. Remender won't be bringing our boy Deadpool with him from Uncanny X-Force, but there will be a Deadpool 'Call Me Maybe?' Ltd. Variant cover to Uncanny Avengers #1, and his pal Cable will be joining another Avengers team...


Among the A 'n' X-amalgamated new Avengers number will be Cable, Captain America, Wolverine, Rogue, Havoc, the Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Hulk, a time-displaced young Marvel Girl (a.k.a. Jean Grey)(!), the new Nova, Iron Man, Rocket Raccoon, Invisible Woman, Cyclops, Thor and Nick Fury Jr. For those unaware of what went down in the Battle Scars mini-series, Fury's son Army Ranger Marcus Johnson was contrived into becoming the new Nick Fury of the Marvel Universe, losing an eye in the process--and a new Marvel Point One one-shot coming in October looks set to establish Fury Jr. as a major player.

The cover shows Mini-Nick throwing out five dosiers on five soon-to-be-heavy-hitters that he wants to keep an eye on (no pun intended when I typed that, but there is now ;) in the Marvel Universe.


Star Lord, leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy; Kid Loki from Journey into Mystery, Wiccan of the Young Avengers & Miss America from the Vengeance mini-series (teamed together); Nova; Ant Man (who's in the costume TBA); and Cable. Like Fury Jr., Cable's also now wearing on eye patch, but it's on the other eye, so they won't clash.

With the Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy movies on the way, it makes sense that Marvel would want to raise the profiles of Anty and their cosmic characters, but as for Lil' Loki & friends and Cable (currently in a coma after the events of the Avengers Vs X-Men-setting-in-motion Avengers X-Sanction), I'm intrigued as to what roles they'll play.

We already have a clue for Cable, though, as we know he's gonna be in one Avengers team or another. Possibly he, and almost definitely some of the others featured in the earlier promo pic, will find their place in December, when acclaimed Fantastic Four writer Jonathan Hickman will be shaking up the main Avengers book, bi-weekly--promising a huge, as-yet unconfirmed, team--with Jerome Opena (also from Uncanny X-Force) on the art.


But ahead of that, in November, tying into Uncanny Avengers, All New X-Men hits, bi-weekly, written by Brian Michael Bendis with its first 6-issue arc illustrated by New Avengers' Stuart Immonen. The original five teenage X-Men time-travel to the present day, where in a post-Avengers Vs X-Men world, they come face to face with their grim future--and decide they're not gonna accept it. You can check out Bendis talking to Newsarama about his plans here!


For those who aren't already aware, Bendis will be leaving his Avengers books and, as well as breathing new life into the X-Men, will be writing a new Guardians of the Galaxy series ahead of their 2014 movie. Ms. Marvel's Kelly Sue DeConnick is confirmed as his replacement on Avengers Assemble.

I'm looking forward to all the above books, but not crazy about them continuing the trend of having heroes simultaneously members of multiple teams. Does this mean Spidey and Wolverine are now going to be in three Avengers teams (and God knows how many X-books for the latter)? There hadn't been any word on the fate of New Avengers--the most 'Bendis-flavored' of his Avengers books--but it's now been confirmed that it will be continuing (albeit relaunched in a third volume)--written by Jonathan Hickman, who's looking like being Marvel's new 'go-to guy', and illustrated by Captain America's Steve Epting.

It's also now been announced that both Avengers Academy and Secret Avengers will continue without relaunch, but that Captain America, both Fantastic Four titles, Invincible Iron Man, Mighty Thor, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Legacy, New Mutants and Incredible Hulk will all be ending their runs; with Incredible Hulk rumored to be relaunching with Marc Waid also writing, and Leinil Francis Yu (New Avengers) on the art. The other (Red) Hulk comic will be changing into a Red She-Hulk book, and you can find out more about this in writer Jeff Parker's interview with Newsarama here.

I was aware of Red She-Hulk from the 'Too Many Hulks' crossover (I don't think that was its official name ;) I'd seen promos for and didn't think much to the concept, but having been introduced to her in the Defenders, one of my favorite books at the moment, I'm aleady digging her character and looking forward to this.


Presumably most of the concluding comics above will relaunch shortly after as part of the weekly-new-series-launch program--but I'd speculate that X-Men Legacy and New Mutants, at the least, won't be a part of that; and as someone that's recently returned to reading New Mutants with issue #44's 'Fear the Future' Part 1--which guest-stars the Defenders and sets the beginning of the end in motion--I'd recommend checking that book out. Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (recently best known for their cosmic books for Marvel, including The Thanos Imperative) and illustrated by Leandro Fernandez, the cover art and solicitation for September's issue #49 are what sold me on the book...


"A terrible event has changed the course of the New Mutants' history, and the more they try to fix it, the worse it gets!"

Issue #50 will be where the New Mutants comes to its climactic conclusion, and with this coupled with the story arc's ominous title, it's looking like the stakes are high!

Writers Abnett and Lanning recently spoke to Comic Related about the book and had this to say:

"[The current arc,] 'Fear the Future,' as well as the subsequent 'Fight the Future' running issues #47 through #49 will bring the New Mutants back to their mandate of resolving the X-Men's 'unfinished business' in a big way.

"That's where the next arc goes plus the stories we're building up to issue #50," affirms Lanning. "We like to do stories and then only later on you realize how significant bits of those stories were in the long term."

"Exactly what 'unfinished business' they've got to finish next will take you by surprise," adds Abnett. "You'd be amazed what sort of business isn't finished yet. But will be. And when it is, what a problem that will be."

The New Mutants' Magma is currently having an affair with Spidey-marriage-erasing Devil-incarnate (no, not Joe Quesada ;), Mephisto. There's no way that ends well.


Thanks to X-Men Havoc and Polaris recently rejoining the team, X-Factor is another book I've got back into. I was a big fan of Peter David's first new line-up of the team, of which they were a part, and I never dug Madrox being the team's new leader--but it's now been revealed that, despite not even appearing in the original Marvel NOW! Avengers promo pic, Havoc will be the Uncanny team's leader! With the Scarlet Witch in the mix, too, this looks like an exciting line-up, but does it mean Havoc's going to be leaving X-Factor again or will he be doing double duty, too? And with Guardians of the Galaxy slated to return, Rocket Raccoon's gonna be in two teams?!? George Costanza, you ain't seeing things this time!

You can find loads of new Marvel NOW! Stuff a my MN! Facebook Fanpage!

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