We've been hearing plenty of Marvel news coming out of FanExpo in Canada over the course of the last couple of days, so we've decided to summarize a few of the biggest reveals. As you may already know, MARVEL: NOW isn't just going to shake up different characters on different titles, it's going to shuffle creators on different books, as well. We already discussed the fact that Matt Fraction will be leaving INVINCIBLE IRON-MAN and THOR and will be joining artist Mark Bagley on FANTASTIC FOUR and Mike Allred on FF, but that's not all. In fact, according to Marvel Editor Stephen Wacker, this is the biggest "shake-up" the company has experienced since Joe Quesada came on the scene over a decade ago.
"The last time there was an initiative this big was when Joe [Quesada] came on board 10 or 12 years ago. Marvel has always had a very simple philosophy for what we do: It's great characters, great creators, great comics. This just really goes back to that."
These "shake-ups" are bound to freshen up the Marvel universe. UNCANNY AVENGERS, for example, will feature the talents of Rick Remender who is leaving UNCANNY X-FORCE and will follow Wolverine as the new leader of the team as he strives to create a new team of Avengers and X-Men characters. Remender will be joined by artist John Cassaday on the title. But that's not all. Marvel is also releasing a "point one" issue that will feature a plethora of some of their biggest names all on one book. According to Newsarama, the book will feature the talents of Brian Michael Bendis & Steve McNiven, Matt Fraction & Mike Allred, Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness, Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie, Nick Spencer & Luke Ross and Dennis Hopeless & Gabriel Hernandez Walta. The upcoming Point One issue will likely answer a lot of questions about the upcoming changes, including what Nick Fury Jr.'s role in the Marvel Universe is.== TEASER ==
The publisher also revealed that since the AvX: VERSUS books did so well, that they will be releasing A+X, which will feature team-ups of Avengers and X-Men characters in 10-page stories by some of Marvel's biggest names. The stories will feature team-ups of an Avenger and an X-Man working together. Some of the stories we might see include Hulk and Wolverine, Captain America and Cable, Spider-Man and Beast and Kitty Pryde and Iron Man. Kitty and Tony Stark? Now that should be interesting.
Marvel also discussed their plans for their ALL NEW X-MEN book that will feature the return of a young Jean Grey and will focus on the original five X-Men. Marvel revealed Stuart Immonen's stunning interlinking covers in one image, and on it we see the "Phoenix Five" -- with the exception of Colossus and Namor.
It's clear that the Marvel: NOW! initiative is an attempt to get people excited about reading Marvel comics as well as a way to bring new comic readers into the fold, which would definitely be great for the publisher. Many people have compared 'Marvel: NOW' to last year's 'New 52' relaunch from DC Comics -- including Marvel Editor In Chief Axel Alonso. Alonso compared the initiative to DC saying that the publisher [DC] did not have enough confidence in their writers.
"…One of the faults of The New 52, for me, was that they had such non-confidence in so many of their writers that by the fourth or fifth issue, they were shaking up the relaunches. You will not see this. The writers are there for the long road."
It's an interesting observation, and Alonso does in fact have a point. Many of DC's books were either canceled after the first wave, or they received new creative teams (THE FURY OF FIRESTORM, VOODOO, HAWKMAN, DEATHSTROKE and so on).
And although these announcements pertain to a lot of the bigger titles and characters at Marvel, the publisher also unveiled plans for a new ongoing series that will focus on a more obscure Marvel character -- namely, Morbius. Marvel editor Stephen Wacker stated that creators Joe Keatinge and Rich Elsing will be teaming up for a new series that will focus on Morbius and will launch in January. According to The Beat the new series will "spin off of the recent Lizard/Morbius/Spider-Man storyline in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and will be set up in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 699.1 in December."
Thats a lot of announcements and a lot of shifts and changes on the upcoming titles, but what do you think? Do you think change is good, or do you feel that if it's "not broke, don't fix it"?