Over a year ago, DC Comics stepped up their game with the “New 52.” Continuity was changed, characters got major makeovers, creators took classic characters to new and interesting directions, and ever title got a new #1 and same day digital release. Since them, they’ve given Marvel a run for its money in both units and dollars.
Ever since Marvel announced their Avengers vs. X-Men event, they promised major changes for the entire Marvel U. This week, we finally got a glimpse of Marvel’s future with the announcement of the Marvel NOW initiative. Through media outlets like Entertainment Weekly, Comic Book Resources, and the official Marvel Website, Marvel has announced several changes to its publishing line starting in October 2012 and ending in February 2013.
So far, four titles have been announced: First is the flagship title, Uncanny Avengers; written by Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force) and drawn by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men), the series has stars X-Men and Avengers, with AvX fresh in everyone’s mind, taking on the Red Skull whose on a crusade to kill all mutants.
Next up is All New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, New Avengers); starring the time displaced first class of X-Men: Beast, Cyclops, Angel, Iceman, and for the first time in years, Jean Grey. The team arrives in the present and are not pleased with the current state of things regarding themselves and the world.
Finally is Avengers and New Avengers, written my Johnathan Hickman (Fantastic Four). The Jerome Opena illustrated Avengers will feature a massive 18 member roster (including Master of Kung-Fu Shang Chi) and cosmic level storylines. It will feature multiple artists and ship on a bi-weekly schedule. New Avengers will be drawn by Steve Epting (FF), but Marvel is keeping everything else under wraps.
While similar to DC’s “New 52,” these creative changes won’t come at the expense of continuity, though Marvel promises new titles will be new reader friendly. One or more new series will release weekly for five months, giving creators time to wrap up ongoing stories. Characters will also be sporting all-new costumes to go along with this new era.
Marvel continues to tease fans leading up to Comi-Con International, where more information will be shared. With AvX past its halfway point, the landscape of Marvel is sure to look very different in the months to come!