Marvel Comics February 2018 Solicitations Analysis

It’s taking the company a bit of time to get fully into the Marvel Legacy direction. A big reason for that is that we are seeing a lot of creative teams trying to undo or have readers forget about the damage done by Secret Empire. That has proven to be easier said than done. But from taking a look over Marvel’s February solicitations it looks like we are going to start seeing things come together early in 2018. That is just in time for the entire company to prepare for their biggest movie to date with Avengers: Infinity War coming up in the summer. Let’s take a closer look at all the notable things coming out in February 2018 from Marvel.

X-MEN GET RED HOT WITH JEAN GREY LED TEAM

It has not been an easy time to be an X-Men fan the last few years. In the last year Marvel has tried to make things right by the X-Men by returning the franchise more towards its roots. Unfortunately none of the current crop of X-Men comics, specifically X-Men: Blue, X-Men: Gold and Astonishing X-Men, have been able to click. Though the X-Men comics haven’t been particularly bad, all actually being solid, there hasn’t been a standout core title that helps the entire franchise rise to greater heights.

Now that can all change in February with the release of the iconic Jean Grey-led team in X-Men: Red. Having the iconic Jean Grey immediately gives an aura that the X-Men are heading into the right direction. Having Nightcrawler, Namor and Wolverine (Laura Kinney version) helps give the series familiar, powerful faces to make the series standout. Along with them will brand new character Trinary and the young Gabby, Laura Kinney’s younger sister/clone, to add some fresh faces to the X-Men team. This combination of X-Men looks to be a good mix of a wide variety of personalities and powers.

To make X-Men: Red a series to purchase is the fact that Tom Taylor will be the writer of the series. As a big fan of Taylor’s work on All-New Wolverine and Injustice it is great to see Marvel giving him more work. He is a talent who is a rising talent that Marvel is smart in investing with a big X-Men ongoing series.

DOCTOR STRANGE LEADS HIS OWN EVENT

Thanks to the Doctor Strange movie we are seeing the character get more involved with everything going on in the Marvel Universe. That emphasis on the character now seems to finally give the character his own big event of sorts to lead. Doctor Strange’s side of the Marvel Universe does lend itself well to having a big event centered around it. Characters like Mephisto still have a special aura around him as he has maintained a big threat look. It helps that the Mephisto has been largely left unused in the last few years even though he is a major villain. Though I will admit that seeing Nick Spencer’s name attached to Doctor Strange: Damnation makes it less likely that I will check out the event given how bad Secret Empire turned out.

WHAT DOES IRON MAN’S RESURRECTION MEAN?

After months of teasing it looks like Tony Stark will finally return to the Marvel Universe after spending the last year and a half as walking hologram. That is a big deal since it has felt as though Marvel has been missing something without the actual Tony Stark around as Iron Man. The hologram Tony just didn’t cut it during Secret Empire. Now that Tony is returning as Iron Man the Marvel Universe will feel more complete. At the same time it, Tony’s return will further help Riri Williams continue to develop as she has begun to be accepted as Ironheart. What Tony and Riri’s relationship is like moving forward will be very interesting to see.

In addition, it looks as though Marvel is going to moving Doctor Doom back into the role of a villain. That has been something that Doom has not been since Secret Wars ended. Instead Marvel has been exploring Doom as more of a anti-hero in the Iron Man realm. With the Iron Man and Marvel-2-In-1 teasing Doom’s fall and his search for Reed Richards legacy his return as a villain will be a welcome sight.

CAPTAIN AMERICA ABANDONS THE PRESENT FOR THE FUTURE

The post-Secret Empire life for Steve Rogers has been an odd one. The first issue of Steve back as the one and only Captain America wasn’t as well executed as one would hope (read our review here). Now it looks like Steve’s return as a heroic Captain America will be taking an odd turn as Mark Waid and Chris Samnee freeze him and take him to the future. That is not exactly what one would think is something that Captain America needs to recover his previous status within the Marvel Universe. That said it could lead to something completely fresh for the character if Waid and Samnee just go wild with what this future Marvel Universe looks like.

NORMAN OSBORN GOES MAGICAL

Norman Osborn’s evolution has reflected whatever the direction Peter Parker has taken Spider-Man. It is a relationship that has become much more like what Batman/Joker is over in the DC Universe. Now Dan Slott is taking that further by not only returning Norman back to his Green Goblin identity but also having him face off against some magical characters in Doctor Strange and Loki. These are two characters that you would not expect Green Goblin to ever clash with. At the same time this is perfectly in line with who Green Goblin has become as Norman is even more obsessed with power. How Peter reacts to this as Spider-Man should be very interesting since he is busy trying to reclaim his normal life outside his superhero one.

BLACK WIDOW BACK FROM THE DEAD

We all knew that Natasha Romanoff’s death was not going to last long. As one of the main Avengers who will be featured in Avengers: Infinity War there was no way Marvel would keep Black Widow dead. The question will be is how exactly Black Widow survived having her skull cracked open by a strike from Captain America’s shield. Also it does make her look suspicious that she would be acting from the shadows for as long as she has. The answers will most likely only be complicated by Bucky Barnes and Hawkeye getting involved in the search for these answers.

5 Comments

  1. Having Jean Grey is kind of meh to me. I am wondering if they are going to have her get together with the newly resurrected Wolverine though. Tony Stark returning also isn’t a big deal for me. With AI Tony around it hasn’t actually felt like he’s been gone. Like he’s just been written as Tony and then coloured blue at the last minute. Osborn going down the magical angle is interesting to me and it is something he’s dabbled with in the past in things like the Gathering of Five.

    I think it speaks volumes about the current state of Marvel when they are “resurrecting” Iron Man, Black Widow and Jean Grey all in the same month. Add to that the potential comeback of Bruce Banner, the Fantastic Four and Odinson returning as Thor. Seems like some major reset buttons are being pushed.

    • These first few months of Marvel Legacy look to be all about cleaning up/forgetting about the damage caused by Civil War II and Secret Empire. Its almost as if Marvel is just now starting their real reset for their universe that should’ve happened after Secret Wars concluded.

      I agree that Tony and Bruce’s return don’t spike my interest but I do want to see what Marvel does with the Fantastic Four and Jean Grey-led X-Men. There has been enough time without the Fantastic Four that given the right team they can be fresh again. And Chip Zdansky has done a good job on Spectacular Spider-Man so maybe he could do well with Fantastic Four.

      And as for Thor, I’m actually in the middle of catching up with Aaron’s run. I’m quiet enjoying it and don’t mind if Odinson returns as Thor because it is part of the full circles long-term story that Aaron is telling with the franchise with Jane Foster adding a wild card element as the female Thor in the middle of his Asgard epic.

  2. really excite for X-Men Red but kinda hope Surge Broo and Krakoa are on this Team

    • Agreed, I want to read an ongoing X-Men series and Red looks like it could be that book. The team has a good mix and could be special with the rising talent that Tom Taylor is right now.

  3. I’m interested in why some of the X-Men Red members are there. Wouldn’t be surprised if Namor is just interested in the power of the Phoenix ala AvX. Laura and Gabby don’t really have a history with Jean Grey (as far as I recall) so they seem a bit random (other than for cynical marketing reasons).

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