Sunday, July 8, 2012

Marvel NOW Updates - Behold ... the Uncanny Avengers & More.

Uncanny Avengers by John Cassidy

 There has been A LOT of buzz around Marvel's upcoming relaunch, Marvel NOW. Marvel NOW, for those of you who have been gone all holiday weekend, will be a 22 title relaunch initiative that Marvel will start this October and will have 1 title, every week, till February 2013. Yep. 22 new titles. So it is not a complete, line wide restart.

  Now more news has come out recently about Marvel NOW ... as I am sure it will throughout the next several months as we do not have full confirmations of what all the 22 titles are. In the previous article, we heard that Avengers, All -New X-Men and Uncanny Avengers are among the relaunch titles. It has also been confirmed that Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca will move from Iron Man to Fantastic Four at the end of Jonathan Hickman's run on the title.

 What do we have now? First, as you can plainly see, the full roster of the Uncanny Avengers, which will be written by fan favorite writer, Rick Remender with art by John Cassidy. The roster will include Captain America, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Wolverine, Rogue and Havok. Yep. The book will start with this group coming together, in the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men, as a way to make peace between the two teams. Also, they will have to face off against the Red Skull.

Also, remember we mentioned All-New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis? Yep. We confirmed that it will open with the original 5 X-Men going into the present from the past. And boy, it is gonna be a shocker. But what is even more interesting? Here are comments from Marvel EIC, Axel Alonso made to CBR:

When we first entertained a story that would bring the Lee/Kirby X-Men into the present, Brian was the one who immediately latched onto it. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who reads Brian's work because he has a special gift for writing compelling, nuanced stories featuring young characters that either come to terms with new powers or deal with strange new situations, or both. No one tells a better ground-level story that introduces readers to a world through a young person's eyes -- and that's apparent from the first two scripts Brian's already written -- yep, already written! [Laughs] This is young Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and Angel traveling into the future and seeing what happened to Xavier's dream. And some of them will find out they didn't even make it this far! [Laughs] Imagine you're 17-year-old Jean Gray and you crash-land in the present. It'd be, like, "Why is everyone looking at me so strange...?"
And let me be very clear: Once the Lee & Kirby X-Men come into the present, they're here for the long haul. They're here for the foreseeable future, and that's something they -- and the rest of the Marvel Universe -- will have to come to terms with.

  So yeah. The original X-Men are here to stay for a while. So, Jean Grey is back ... sort of. It is before she died though. And the original 5 will be here for a WHILE. Time paradox anyone?

And Jumping back into the Avengers, Jonathan Hickman will be joined by Jerome Opena for the bi-weekly main Avengers book while it has been confirmed that former Avengers artist, Steve Epting, will return to the Avengers franchise as the new artist on New Avengers. It has been confirmed that all these titles will have new #1s. And the only Avengers that we know for sure on the Avengers will be Captain America, Thor & Shang Chi.

I know you've seen this already but just one more time. Let it sink in.
Any other Avengers, we will have to wait and see down the road how that goes. Yet, before we part, many have often compared Marvel NOW to DC's New  52. Here's Axel Alonso talking about that in his own words to CBR:

Well, one thing we did learn is that slapping a #1 on a bunch of cover sure gets you noticed! [Laughs] Look, DC does what it needs to do; we do what we need to do -- and we've been building toward this for some time. Marvel NOW! hearkens back to 11 years ago, when "NuMarvel" employed the simple strategy of "Great writer, great artist, great character, great hook...GO!" Only this time, we're embracing the #1 on the cover -- and we're determined that each issue is earns it -- and we're very conscious that these stories take place in one universe. We're leaning into the concept of shared-universe; while each title tells an independent story, they're part of a larger whole. 

And a couple things I want to emphasize: Marvel NOW! starts with the creators, so don't expect writer shake-ups across the line by the fourth or fifth issue, or half the titles to get cancelled and replaced by a new #1. We aren't throwing $#!# at a wall, seeing what falls off and then replacing it with more $#!#. [Laughs] We're building books we expect to last. Retailers that order them, and fans that read them, will be purchasing new ongoing titles, not limited series. Also, Marvel NOW! unfolds across four months, not one. Each week, we will be offering at least one new entry-point into the Marvel Universe for readers -- old, lapsed and new. It's a patient rollout that demonstrates respect for the fan and his wallet. 

Hmm .... sounds like fighting words to me. Let's see how it goes. Keep your eyes peeled here, in the Infinite, for more on Marvel NOW and other comic book news.

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