As we’ve mentioned in the last two Looking Forward: Marvel posts, the story as far as Marvel Comics is concerned is Marvel NOW! and lots of it. I used this quote a couple months ago, and I still like it. According to Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, "Marvel NOW! is the next chapter in the ongoing saga of the Marvel Universe. From October through February, we’ll provide at least one great reason for readers—old, lapsed or new—to go into a comic store each week: a new issue #1, featuring an exciting new creative team and driving concept, that’s an easy entry-point into the Marvel Universe. Each and every one of these launches is built to last."
And that tells you just about everything you need to know. Marvel is shaking things up, putting out some new titles, and it’s a great time to pick up something new. This month includes one of the most anticipated of those titles: Avengers!
AVENGERS #1 NOW
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Jerome Opena
The greatest heroes in comics together on one unbeatable team! Now shipping twice a month, the Avengers "go large," expanding their roster and their sphere of influence to a global and even interplanetary level. When Captain America puts out his call – who will answer? Big threats, big ideas, big idealism – these are the Avengers NOW!
Writer Jonathan Hickman has worked on some big Marvel projects — including Avengers vs. X-Men and of course Fantastic Four — but this is surely his biggest work to date. he has been handed the reins not only to this Avengers title, but also New Avengers! This is good news, we think. One of the most visionary creators working in comics today, Jonathan Hickman has proven that meticulous plotting leads to epic results.
THUNDERBOLTS #1 NOW
Wriiten by Daniel Way
Art by Steve Dillon
Red Hulk, Venom, Elektra, Deadpool, the Punisher. Forget the courts, the jails, the system – this team of Thunderbolts fights fire with fire, targeting the most dangerous and lethal players in the Marvel Universe with extreme prejudice. Led by General "Thunderbolt" Ross, AKA the Red Hulk, this hand-picked team of like-minded operatives is going to make the world a better place…by all means necessary.
Gotta say, this has to be one of the most intriguing creative teams in all of Marvel NOW! Daniel Way has been busting his butt on Deadpool for many years now and doing a fine job of it. I don’t know if his mettle has ever been tested on a team, so we’re definitely curious on that score. Plus, with Steve Dillon? Awesome. Look out for Punisher Jesse Custer!
CABLE AND X-FORCE #1 NOW
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Salvador Larroca
Cable is back! NOW! with a new X-Force at his side, he must tackle the threats that nobody else can know about. But just who are Cable’s new recruits, and why is his team public enemy number one? Caught red-handed at the scene of a terrorist attack on a major American corporation whose CEO has expressed anti-mutant views, the X-Force is the run, with none other than the Uncanny Avengers in hot pursuit.
It’s a reunion of epic — and possibly catastrophic — proportions as Cable once again saddles up with the team he created! Since 1991, X-Force has been synonymous with proactive missions, rebellious mutant action, and pouches; lots of pouches. But when Cable slipped below radar after 2008′s "Messiah Complex," the X-Force crew took on a new leader (Wolverine), a new mission (ruthless kill squad), and a new style (bye-bye pouches, hello bone-sawing knives). Now, after years spent apart, the former mutant messiah must get the band back together for one last job. Nothing will go wrong, right?
AVENGERS ARENA #1 NOW
Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Kev Walker
Trapped on an isolated island, 16 superhuman young adults (including cult faves like members of the Runaways, The Avengers Academy and Darkhawk) are given a chilling ultimatum by their demented captor: Fight or die…only one will walk out alive! Thus begins a primal battle that will test the skills, stamina and morals of each combatant. Welcome to Murder World, where the secrets are plenty, alliances are fleeting, and the key to victory might be rewriting the rules of the game. Who will survive? The rising star team of Dennis Hopeless (X-MEN: SEASON ONE) and Kev Walker (THUNDERBOLTS) dare you to tune in to your new favorite comic NOW!
Not totally sure who this Dennis Hopeless cat is, but he sure seems to be getting a lot of work! You readers out there are more than welcome to fill us in on his credentials if you happen to know them. At any rate, I have to say I am shocked — SHOCKED — at this title. Is it not Battle Royale? And Hunger Games? And doesn’t Marvel know all that? Even the cover is a nod to Battle Royale. It’s just weird if you ask me (and Shawn agrees). But… BUT… I do like seeing X-23 in there. That’s pretty cool.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Humberto Ramos
Finally, though this one isn’t related to Marvel NOW!, it sort of IS related to Marvel NOW! we think. It wouldn’t surprise us in the least to see Amazing Spider-Man #1 solicited next month. At any rate, writer Dan Slott has done a fantastic job on the title and we’re sorry to see him go. Theories abound on what he has up his sleeve for this issue, but based on everything I’ve read it’s going to be a shocker. Can’t wait!