Friday, October 11, 2013

NYCC '13: Marvel Reveals Some Phase 2 Marvel NOW Titles

The Marvel NOW initiative has been pretty successful in what it was intended to do: bring in new readers and bring back old readers.  Phase 1 of Marvel NOW gave a slew of very good titles: Hawkeye, Daredevil, The Indestructible Hulk, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, New Avengers, Uncanny Avenger and Thor: God of Thunder are a handful, or two, of the best books from the initiative.  Infinity is the first big crossover even since Marvel NOW began and it has been an absolutely awesome get together for the Phase 1 heroes and villains.  Infinity, which wraps up in 2 more issues, is going to lead to some huge changes in the Marvel universe; those changes are going to lead into Phase 2 of Marvel NOW, beginning in 2014.  Marvel has been teasing their Phase 2 plans for a while now and are using NYCC '13 to unveil their new titles.  What did we learn on day one of NYCC?
Marvel has 3 days of panels scheduled at NYCC '13 and, it seems, are going to let their new titles out a little at a time.  They've been teasing them with panels released on for some time now, as has become tradition, but until today only 3 titles were confirmed for Phase 2: Inhuman, All-New Invaders and She-Hulk.  In two separate panels, Amazing X-Men and the Marvel Universe and Avengers, Marvel unveiled a few interesting new titles that are sure to draw some buzz and revealed some new arcs that existing books are going to follow during Phase 2. 


The morning session, titled Amazing X-Men and the Marvel Universe, gave readers a few big reason to be happy:

Though this book was announced some time ago, it was discussed, in detail today: after some time running around as a replacement for the Fantastic Four in FF, Jennifer Walters, cousin to Bruce Banner, will get another shot at her own title.  Newsarama sat down with writer, Charles Soule, who is, apparently, a lawyer in his spare time, to discuss what to expect from this all-new series.   Soule gushes about the potential for the book, which will show Walters as a lawyer and a "smart character."  Soule also promises that some of She-Hulks connections to the bigger Marvel Universe will be exploited in this book; in addition to her time in FF she also has done some work with The Mighty Avengers.  She-Hulk #1 will be on shelves in February.

Trial and Judgment...legendary writer Brian Michael Bendis.  Fans knew something big was coming and it will hit shelves in January: a six-part series titled, The Trial of Jean Grey.  This book will feature the All-New X-Men AND Guardians of the Galaxy, still dealing with the fallout from the events of the Phoenix Force's devastation in A v X.

Polaris, Quicksilver and Gambit will take center stage in All-New X-Factor where superheroes get all corporationy.  X-Factor just finished up with issue #260 and All-New X-Factor #1 will pick up right where #260 left off.  Serval Industries, a new company in the Marvel Universe, is branching out and they decide to buy up X-Factor.  This promises to put the team into a number of interesting situations.  I love the idea and am interested to see how it plays out on the page when All New-X-Factor #1 hits the stores in January.


The afternoon session was the Avengers Panel and had quite a few big reveals as well:

The next step for the Avengers in the post-Infinity universe: to get bigger, just like Cap and Tony said.  How big? Big enough for an all-new series called, Avengers World, written by current Avengers and New Avengers writer Jonathan Hickman, along with Nick Spencer, who gave some insight in an interview with Newsarama
In it Spencer points out that this book will not knock a current Avengers-titled book out of print, but will, instead, work alongside Avenger and New Avengers and adds that reading all 3 books will really add to the enjoyment of the reader.  Spencer hints that AIM will likely play a huge part in the book and that the events of the upcoming Inhumanity story will impact the team of Avengers, which will be the same as is in the current Avengers book.

I can't say that I'm not intrigued by the idea of this book.  It's where the series has been heading since the beginning and I like the idea of an expansive roster of Avengers.  I've been a big fan of the current Avengers book, which did focus on AIM prior to the Infinity arc took the focus to space.  I'm sure I'll add this book to my list of titles I'm reading.

"DESCENT" teases the end and the semi-continuation of the popular Avengers Arena storyline as the survivors infiltrate the Masters of Evil.  The story will center on Bloodstone, Hazmat, Deathlocket, Cammi and Anachronism after surviving and leaving Murder Island and heading straight to Bagalia, the nation run by Baron Zemo and The Masters of Evil, including Madam Masque and Constrictor.  Writer Dennis Hopeless, in an interview at Comic Book Resources, explains that the survivors don't set out to go undercover with the Masters of Evil, but that it certainly ends up that way.  Hopeless promises this will be a unique book focusing on some interesting characters with some issues after surviving a place called Murder Island.  

Following her well-received turn on screen in Joss Whedon's Avengers, The Black Widow will get her own standalone series in Phase 2 of Marvel NOW!  Nathan Edmondson will be writing the book, due to debut in January.  Edmondson chatted with IGN about the book and the titular character, calling her "the coolest female character in the Marvel Universe."  Edmondson certainly has some great ideas for the book, which he calls an original idea and not a direct spin-off from the film.  Marvel NOW's Hawkeye series has been a huge hit and, seemingly, gave Marvel the idea to give Black Widow her own book as well.  The book sounds very interesting and I like the idea of giving Natasha the freedom to go off and do her own thing.  Edmondson references Bond and Nikita with some great missions, interesting stories and very intriguing foil he promises to introduce soon.

Are you ready to trust the Prince of Lies? Loki will be getting his own book: Loki, Agent of Asgard! Loki may just be the most popular character in the Marvel Universe right now.  Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki has been ingenious and has given the God of Mischief enough mojo to earn his own comic title. released an interview writer Al Ewing and artist Lee Garbett in which they describe the book which see Loki become a spy in the service of the Asgardians, basically doing what he does best (deception) for a living.  Of course we'll all be waiting to see what schemes Loki has in mind as it is extremely likely he's not doing this for the good of the realm.  I'll pick up an issue or two of this; the character of Loki has rich potential and Ewing admits he had Hiddleston in mind when creating this version of the character.  This is definitely a bold step for Marvel; one I'll be interested to follow as it develops.

MUCH more comic news about current books was revealed today as well but there are still quite a few teases left to be revealed tomorrow at 1:15 PM EST in the Inhumanity and All-New Marvel NOW! Panel.  

I'll be back tomorrow to give a summary of what else to expect from Marvel in 2014.