Based on their latest solicitations October appears to be the biggest creative month for Marvel in 2023. Outside of Fall Of X, October won’t be filled with a ton of events. Instead, October will be a month of new starts with Marvel pulling out all the stops from new creative team runs to big changes teased to begin. Adding in two major Jonathan Hickman projects with G.O.D.S. and Ultimate Universe adds to how big October is shaping up to be for Marvel’s comic books. With so many big things going on here are the ten biggest takeaways from Marvel’s October 2023 comic book solicitations.
1) JONATHAN HICKMAN & VALERIO SCHITI G.O.D.S.
After teasing it for the entire year Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti big mystery project titled “G.O.D.S” will finally begin in October. Based on everything that Marvel has been teasing about this project, G.O.D.S. gives the vibe of Hickman and Dustin Weaver’s S.H.I.E.L.D. comic book series from 2010. Given that Hickman and Schiti are involved we can expect this to be a massive series.
Right out of the gate the way it appears Doctor Strange is going to be used to launch G.O.D.S. is an interesting one. While Hickman has used Doctor Strange in the past this is the first time the Sorcerer Supreme is positioned as a lead for a Hickman series. Though if that is the case is not 100%. As the solicitation for G.O.D.S. #1 states it does appear Doctor Strange is simply being used as a launching point for the Babylon Event that the series will be about. Calling Doctor Strange the “most boring person” in this first issue does indicate that he may not be the long-term lead for G.O.D.S. as you would expect when looking at the cover.
This does bring to the question of who will be involved in handling the Babylon Event that G.O.D.S. revolves around. Hickman has not hidden his love for the Fantastic Four, and Reed Richards in particular, throughout his time working on Marvel projects. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Fantastic Four got involved in some way. Though as we’ve seen from previews it does appear that Hickman and Schiti will be placing a focus on new characters as well. Who these characters are and how they are developed has a lot of exciting potential because of this creative team.
2) ALYSSA WONG TAKES OVER CAPTAIN MARVEL
Alyssa Wong is a writer that Marvel has clearly invested a lot in and has trust in being a future major name for them. We see that as she is currently working on Deadpool and Star Wars’ Doctor Aphra series. Along with her current projects she previously worked on comics with Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, and Carnage. Now Marvel is continuing that investment by having Wong take over Captain Marvel after Kelly Thompson completed her 50-issue run.
Wong and artist Jan Bazaldua will begin their run with a new Carol Danvers getting a new Captain Marvel costume designed by Jen Bartel. The new Captain Marvel costume appears to be utilizing Bartel’s design from Carol’s Hellfire Gala look and what we will be seeing in the upcoming The Marvels movie. The addition of the bomber jacket is a good touch to highlight Carol’s background in the Air Force. The overall design is an upgrade to kickstart the new creative team run on a good note.
One thing that would be great to see from Wong and Bazaldua’s run is them expand on what kind of adventures Carol has as Captain Marvel. Keeping her grounded on Earth limits what her potential is as she is one of the few cosmic-level solo heroes. It would certainly help since as the leader of the Avengers, Captain Marvel already has plenty of Earth-based adventures.
3) JONATHAN HICKMAN BEGINS NEW ULTIMATE UNIVERSE
G.O.D.S. is not the only project that Jonathan Hickman has going for him. Unlike previous runs Hickman isn’t going to just be working within one franchise. That is because Hickman is also continuing what he started with Ultimate Invasion to bring back the Ultimate Universe. This return of the new Ultimate Universe begins with a one-shot that will set up the foundation for the new status quo.
Based on the cover for Ultimate Universe #1 the Ultimates will be who will be a focal point once again as we see Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor front and center of the cover. From the silhouettes of the other characters that will lead the relaunched Ultimate Universe Spider-Man and Black Panther appear to be two of the three mystery characters.
The big question from this is who will be Ultimate Spider-Man. Because while Miles Morales is one of the leads of Ultimate Invasion the solicitation for Miles Morales: Spider-Man #11 does hint at Miles staying in the main 616-Universe. If that is the case will we see Ultimate Peter Parker, who was brought back to life and active as Spider-Man again as seen in Spider-Men II #5. Though based on Ultimate Invasion #1 maybe Hickman is planning on someone else being the new Ultimate Spider-Man for the new universe. With how popular the Spider-Verse is right now there are plenty of versions of Spider-Man to pick from.
4) SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK RELAUNCH
Like her cousin, She-Hulk has found great success with the recent run by Rainbow Rowell. While the title has fallen a bit in the sales ranking it has been a success for Marvel. Recently it was announced that She-Hulk’s current ongoing series would end with She-Hulk #15 releasing at the end of July. Now we know that is just going to be a temporary hiatus as Jennifer Walter’s ongoing adventures will continue in October with the relaunched Sensational She-Hulk.
Rainbow Rowell will continue as the writer for Sensational She-Hulk. That is unsurprising given that Rowell has revitalized She-Hulk as not only a top seller but an award nominated series. Continuing what has worked is a great move by Marvel.
Based on how both Rowell and Marvel are talking about Sensational She-Hulk the new series will be heavily inspired by John Byrne. Rowell was already following what Byrne and other creators have done to make She-Hulk a success. Continuing that direction should help Sensational She-Hulk continue as a top seller now that she is on her own after spending the last several years on the Avengers.
5) IS MS. MARVEL: THE NEW MUTANT MARVEL’S CLASSIFIED SERIES?
One of the worst kept secrets was that Kamala Khan would return as a mutant after being killed off in the terrible story that happened in Amazing Spider-Man #26. As soon as Kamala was unceremoniously killed off there was no doubt that this was all done to set up her return as a mutant. Marvel loves aligning the comic book version of their characters with how they are portrayed in the MCU. Now Marvel has confirmed this is the case as Ms. Marvel is going to be brought back during this year’s Hellfire Gala.
While that is not surprising at all what we don’t know is if Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant is the series Marvel has marked as Classified on their solicitations. That is because though the solicitations for the four issues of Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant match that of the Classified series that is still not clear. Because in Marvel’s October 2023 solicitations, released after the announcement Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant news, the series is still marked as classified.
Does this mean Marvel has a big surprise new series to announce at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend? Or is this a case of miscommunication on the content writers and marketing at Marvel’s office for the Ms. Marvel announcement? I’m guessing it’s the latter.
6) MATT MURDOCK AND ELEKTRA NATCHIOS DIVORCE?
One of the biggest developments in Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto’s Daredevil run was the marriage of Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios. This marriage happened out of both their shared love for each other and trying to take down The Hand as a united front. Now it appears as though there are major question marks if the marriage will last when Saladin Ahmed and Aaron Kuder take over Daredevil.
In the solicitation for Daredevil #2 it is emphasized that after returning to life Matt will be losing a lot of his allies. That is not surprising given all the questionable actions Matt made while leading The Fist in the war against The Hand. The biggest ally Matt can lose is his wife Elektra. We know that when new creative teams take over a series they like having a fresh start when it comes to the series lead’s relationship status quo.
Hopefully that is not the case for Matt and Elektra as a true major development would be the pair staying together and helping each other out even as they lose allies. Rebuilding those relationships while strengthening their own would actually be a refreshing angle in the comic book world.
7) SPIDER-BOY GOES SOLO
Speaking of the Spider-Verse, it looks like Spider-Man’s sidekick is getting his own series starting in October. Spider-Boy’s new series will be written by Dan Slott and art by Paco Medina. Slott working on the Spider-Boy series is not surprising as it’s clear this is a character Slott has invested a lot in creating. And with how much talk there is around the character it’s better to give Spider-Boy a series right away to truly test the popularity of the character.
This Spider-Boy series also continues to show the power of the Spider-Man brand right now. Amazing Spider-Man, even with its terrible creative, is a top seller for Marvel. Miles Morales: Spider-Man has found success, consistently being in the Top 25. Then there titles like Venom, Spider-Verse, Venomverse, Spider-Gwen, Carnage, and the Goblin Family have all enjoyed success as well. How Spider-Boy does in comparison with Marvel publishing as many Spider-Family titles as they do will be interesting to see.
8) YELENA BELOVA GETS HER OWN WHITE WIDOW SERIES
It is long overdue that Marvel gave Yelena Belova her own series. Even as she has made her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Yelena has been positioned more as a sidekick to Natasha Romanoff for the last few years. Now at least Marvel is putting in some effort to see if Yelena can break out on her own with this new White Widow series.
Bringing on Sarah Gailey as the writer for this series is a great call. Gailey has been doing excellent work over at BOOM! Studios and her other indy work. Having proven herself with series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gailey can be expected to deliver an excellent White Widow series. The mini-series being four issues is a good amount to tell a full story without the fluff we get with the normal six-issues Marvel typically assigns for mini-series.
9) SPIDER-MAN BRINGING OUT CAPTAIN AMERICA’S GRUMPY SIDE
To Marvel’s credit they have been progressing Steve Rogers away from the “Man Out Of Time” moniker that has followed his character for a large part of his history. That is where everything Marvel has said about J. Michael Straczynski’s upcoming Captain America run is a bit concerning. While JMS is a talented writer he has shown a tendency to like classic versions of the characters. We are at least seeing that be the case with what the solicitations for JMS upcoming Captain America run seem to emphasize the “Man Out Of Time” moniker.
While not directly stated Captain America #2 emphasizing he is begrudgingly teaming up with Spider-Man to take on the Sinister Six does indicate JMS may lean into grumpy Steve Rogers.
Though to be fair to Steve, he and Peter Parker haven’t been on the best terms lately because of the current creative choices by Zeb Wells in Amazing Spider-Man. So this team-up could be a direct follow-up to that sub-plot. If that is the case hopefully we see Steve and Peter rebuild their friendship in a way during this team-up story.
10) NATASHA ROMANOFF BECOMES THE NEW VENOM
For some reason one character that I did not expect us to see become the new Venom was Natasha Romanoff. Seeing that Natasha is going from being the Black Widow to Venom starting in October was one of the more surprising things out of Marvel’s October solicitations. Based on how the solicitation for Venom #26 is written it does appear that this will not just be for one story arc.
If this is indeed Natasha’s new status quo moving forward it could help boost her comic book popularity. Because right now Venom is one of the hottest properties Marvel has right now. The series has been a top seller for them for years now. While Black Widow is popular in the mainstream thanks to the MCU it has not translated to her comic book sales. Maybe become Venom for a short period will help build more of an audience Marvel’s comic book fans for Black Widow.