Secret Empire’s takeover of the Marvel Universe looks to be complete when June 2017 hits. The latest Marvel blockbuster event is taking over the majority of the universe. Though that isn’t the only thing that is happening in June. There is also a big crossover between the Wolverine and Hulk comic books along with the beginning stages of Weapons of Mutant Destruction. Then there is also Marvel going Mary Jane Watson happy throughout June. What other notable things did Marvel introduce during their June 2017 solicitations? Let’s find out.
Marvel Goes All In On Secret Empire
As is the case with every event they hold, Marvel is not showing satisfaction with Secret Empire telling the whole story. In addition to a number of tie-in issues for in their ongoing comics they are also releasing 5 new mini-series tie-in comics. Though Marvel believes that Secret Empire will help build interest for the entire Marvel Universe it is actually doing the opposite. A big factor in this is the fact that it wasn’t long ago that a lot of these characters were involved in Civil War II and are now forced to take a break from their newly started ongoing stories to make Nick Spencer’s event feel big. That’s not really a great way to build a consistent readership as they feel obligated to read other comic books rather than want to out of their own interest.
With that mini-rant out of the way (for now), the most interesting thing from a story standpoint, the Magneto variant cover notwithstanding, is the teased return of Tony Stark as Iron Man. Given how big of a deal Marvel made out of Riri and, to a lesser extent, Doctor Doom taking on the role of Iron Man at the beginning of the year this return is not very exciting. Though I would not doubt this will be the case given the realistic rumor that Marvel is looking to return the classic versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man and others to be the main characters everyone sees in the comic books.
Mary Jane Watson’s Big Future In The Marvel Universe
As much as June is about Secret Empire, it is also the month of Mary Jane Watson. Though Mary Jane isn’t being featured in any big stories, that we know of yet, she is going to be featured in the variant covers for the majority of Marvel’s June releases. Though this is obviously a cash grab it could actually be something much bigger. It wasn’t that long ago that Marvel went all-in with a similar marketing plan for Gwen Stacy after Spider-Gwen quickly rose to prominence. This could actually mean that Marvel is testing the popularity of Mary Jane assuming the role of a Marvel superhero, like Spider-Gwen before her. If I had my pick Mary Jane would make a great Nova. It would help build out the Nova Corps with a notable Marvel character and instantly create another big female superhero, one who isn’t taking over someone else’s mantle but adding to what is already being built on. She already looks fantastic in the Nova costume from the variant cover featuring that version of the character.
Spider-Man Is Going Back To Basics
It’s no secret that I’ve enjoyed what Dan Slott has been doing with his run on Amazing Spider-Man. That said, I know that a lot of fans don’t like the Tony Stark-like direction the character has taken. Now it looks like Marvel is looking to please those fans that want to see a back-to-basic version of Peter Parker with Spectacular Spider-Man. Spectacular Spider-Man is a great title for the new series given the love fans have for the cartoon by the same name. This would also be a great entry point for the Spider-Man character, especially with his movie out soon, since Slott and Bendis’ titles don’t really fit that bill for new readers.
While that is great news June also sees the end of the big Osborn Identity story arc and Spider-Man clashing with the new and improved Doctor Octopus. Given how much Slott has built up Norman Osborn it’ll be very interesting to see how much finality there is to this arc. By the solicit description it is easy to see how Norman may go into hiding after escaping while Spider-Man is busy dealing with Secret Empire and Doc Ock’s involvement with Hydra.
Marvel Unleashes The Defenders
The rise of Marvel’s street level corner continues with June adding a Defenders ongoing series. Though Iron Fist, in the first six episodes of the show that I’ve watched, has not been close to reaching the level of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage’s series on Netflix it is exciting to see a Defenders comic book. This is exactly the type of team book that Brian Bendis should excel, especially with his experience writing Daredevil and Jessica Jones solo comics and being responsible for Luke Cage’s rise to prominence in the Marvel Universe. With that experience I fully expect that Defenders could be amongst Bendis best work since joining Marvel. With long-time collaborator David Marquez onboard to do the artwork that very well should be the case.
Doctor Doom’s run as Iron Man since Tony Stark has been taken out of action has been interesting in the fact that not much is made out of it. Most of the attention has been on Riri’s version of Iron Man. Even in the promotion for all the things going on Doctor Doom hasn’t been front and center in any of that. And even in his history as one Marvel’s greatest villain, Doctor Doom doesn’t seem very present in Secret Empire. That said, it does look like Marvel is going to try to integrate Doctor Doom in more with his possible Avengers membership. It would be an interesting move but one unlikely given the rumors of what Marvel’s future is going to be like.
X-Men Go All In On Old Man Logan
It’s no surprise that after kicking all sorts of ass at the box office, earning more than $500 million in the box office, that Marvel would go all in with Logan. On top of starring in his own ongoing, X-Men: Gold and Weapon X, Old Man Logan is going to be popping into X-Men: Blue and Totally Awesome Hulk, through the Weapons of Mutant Destruction crossover. That is a lot of Logan that is reminiscent to how much the character dominated the X-Men franchise when he was going by Wolverine.
As a fan, June is a bit of a sad month as Jeff Lemire will no longer be writing Old Man Logan. As I’ve stated in my reviews for the series, Lemire has done a fantastic job with the ongoing Old Man Logan series. I will stick around and give Ed Brisson, a writer I am not familiar with at all, a chance to win me over. Hopefully he is able to deliver on the level that Lemire brought to the series. Bringing in The Maestro for his first big arc is not a bad way to start for Brisson on Old Man Logan.
This was just some of the things that stood out to me as notable from Marvel’s June 2017 offerings. There were a few other things like what is going on in the other non-Secret Empire related comic books. What are you looking forward to from Marvel in June 2017?