Marvel has come out with their August 2023 solicitations. Continuing the trend from the previous summer months August is being filled with “big event” comic books. There is just no escaping Marvel flooding the market with all these different events. In addition to those events August will feature a some teases for Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti’s Marvel project, Thor relaunch, end of Daredevil, and much more. Let’s take a look at the ten takeaway from Marvel’s August 2023 comic book solicitations.
1) WOLVERINE VS SPIDER-MAN HEADLINE MARVEL’S EVENT HEAVY AUGUST
Marvel is not giving any sort of consideration to their fans wallets. Because if they did than there wouldn’t be 100 comic book events happening in the month of August. While that is an exaggeration its not far from the truth. Because in August alone we have Ultimate Invasion, Fall Of X, Contest of Champions, Death Of The Venomverse, and a Wolverine and Ghost Rider crossover happening. That is on top of the eight comic books that will have tie-ins to the Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti’s ‘G.O.D.S.’ project. Then there are all the non-big-event mini-series also coming out in August.
To say that Marvel is cluttering the market would be an understatement. This type of scheduling does make it so the non-big event mini-series and other titles not tying into one of the Marvel events hard to get fans attention that they didn’t already have. But that is also part of Marvel’s strategy as they seem to just care about flooding the market and don’t show care about promoting titles that aren’t a big event comic book.
You certainly see that with the example of how we see Spider-Man and Wolverine in several of these events. That includes a battle between Spider-Man and Wolverine being at the forefront of Contest Of Champions. At least that one-shot will do well compared to other Contest Of Champions. And that can b said by most titles as it will be hard to see all these doing well given the cluttered August market Marvel has created for themselves.
2) JONATHAN HICKMAN BEGINS “WHO ARE THE G.O.D.S.?” STORY
Ahead of the release of Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti’s ‘G.O.D.S.’ project for later in the fall we are going to get bonus pages across eight different Marvel titles releasing in August. Titled “Who Are The G.O.D.S.?” we are going to see Uncanny Avengers, Immortal Thor, Moon Knight, Venom, Guardians of the Galaxy, Scarlet Witch, Fantastic Four, and Doctor Strange each have a bonus page tying into Hickman and Schiti’s project.
Right away this makes the eight Marvel titles a must buy for those interested in the upcoming Hickman and Schiti project. It won’t be surprising if we will see Uncanny Avengers, Immortal Thor, Moon Knight, Venom, Guardians of the Galaxy, Scarlet Witch, Fantastic Four, and Doctor Strange get a sales bump because of this.
From a marketing perspective it’ll be interesting to see if Marvel will have the eight one page “Who Are The G.O.D.S.?” teasers be where we learn our first concrete details about Hickman and Schiti’s plans. Having this type of mystery isn’t something Marvel is known to be able to do well. Just look at a lot of recent things like the Amazing Spider-Man #26, though that was something their hands were forced. With San Diego Comic-Con happening in July that is likely where we will see more of these pages. No matter what, this should provide Hickman and Schiti an opportunity to build moment for their new Marvel comic book project.
3) CHIP ZDARSKY & MARCO CHECCHETTO RUN ON DAREDEVIL ENDS
Something that was apparent but no easier to learn is that Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto’s run on Daredevil is ending in August. Daredevil #14 will mark the official end of Zdarsky and Checchetto’s run on the series. As a big fan of their run this is a sad announcement.
To Zdarsky and Checchetto’s credit this is an end they have been preparing Daredevil fans for from their storytelling on the series. The current storyline featuring Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios as co-Daredevils was closer to an end than beginning or middle of a story. This month’s Daredevil #11 teased Matt sacrificing himself in order to end the whole The Hand vs The Fist war he and Elektra have been involved in.
Matt actually dying is something that will be something that is a “believe it when I see it” moment. Especially considering Marvel is pushing another big superhero death right now in Kamala Khan’s death over in Amazing Spider-Man doing that same thing with another hero isn’t likely. Though this is Marvel and they love using the character death angle as a sales stunt to boost sales numbers. So I guess anything is possible. Again, we will have to wait and see.
4) WHAT IS THE ‘CLASSFIED’ MARVEL TITLE?
Marvel is trying, and failing, to keep secrets. The reveal of Kamala Khan’s death in Amazing Spider-Man #26 was already spoiled and Marvel confirmed it ahead of the release of that ASM issue. We know that after that Amazing Spider-Man #26 at the end of May we will have a one-shot titled Fallen Friend: Death Of Ms. Marvel that will follow-up on that development.
Because of that there is even more attention on what exactly the comic book Marvel list’s as ‘Classified’ in August will be. All we know is that the actual title will be revealed at some point in July. Which does align with San Diego Comic-Con where Marvel is likely to make this type of announcement if ‘Classified’ is a major deal.
The timing also does align with Fallen Friend: Death Of Ms. Marvel coming out in July. Given that we have The Marvels is releasing in November it would not be surprising if ‘Classified’ turns out to be the Return Of Kamala Khan. Especially considering by the time The Marvels comes out we won’t have a Captain Marvel ongoing series going the timing all works. And with ‘Classified’ being a four issue mini-series that means the final issue will come out in November, the perfect time for Kamala to return from her short experience with death for the launch of a new Captain Marvel series that could be titled The Marvels.
5) UNCANNY AVENGERS LEAD FALL OF X BEGINNING
The Fall Of X storyline will be in full affect for August. Along with all the ongoings of X-Men, Immortal X-Men, X-Men Red, and others telling the story of Fall Of X we are getting several new mini-series. Uncanny Avengers, Astonishing Iceman, Dark X-Men, Children Of The Vault, Alpha Flight, and Realm Of X will all be joining the X-Men franchise publishing plans to tell the Fall Of X storyline. Outside of Spider-Man, the X-Men franchise has been Marvel’s most consistent franchise for sales. So it is not surprising we are seeing several new titles, including Uncanny Avengers and Invincible Iron being tied to the Fall Of X.
Uncanny Avengers is one series that stands out from the Fall Of X announcement. The Uncanny Avengers being brough back during the Fall Of X storyline does indicate that Captain America is taking what Cyclops told him in their previous interactions to heart. No longer sitting to the side on mutant conflicts Captain America is going to try to step up.
This time it the new Uncanny Avengers roster is mostly made up of X-Men with Quicksilver as the lone Avenger on the team other than Captain America. Having Rogue, Deadpool, Psylocke, and Monet on the team are all strong choices to make this feel like a premiere team. Though not having another Avenger like Wasp on the team does standout. Captain America may try to have the Uncanny Avengers secondary mission statement be to help the X-Men be seen in a positive light through his roster selection.
6) AL EWING & MARTIN COCCOLO BEGIN IMMORTAL THOR RUN
When Donny Cates run on Thor came to what felt like a premature end as Cates moved on to his creator-owned work we’ve been waiting for a new creative team to be announced. Torunn Grønbekk did step up in a big way to provide a fill-in work that has worked well within what Cates was doing. But for how well Grønbekk work on Thor has been Marvel hasn’t committed to her being the permanent writer for the series.
Now we know who the new Thor writer will be as Al Ewing, along with artist Martin Coccolo, has been tapped to work on Immortal Thor. Ewing writing Immortal Thor is not a surprise given that Ewing did co-write a few issues of Thor alongside Cates. Ewing has also been one of Marvel’s most consistent writers with his work on Guardians Of The Galaxy, Immortal Hulk, X-Men Red, and Wasp well-received comics.
It appears that Ewing will be keeping Thor’s status quo of being All-Father of Asgard going. Though the change appears to be that we will see Thor, at least partially, operating on Earth. Outside of his time on the Avengers, we haven’t seen Thor being an Earth-based hero. Jason Aaron and Donny Cates have focused Thor on being more of a cosmic superhero. How the last few years along with his current status of All-Father changes how he operates when he is on Earth as a solo hero is a new angle for the character that is hopefully explored.
7) LOUISE SIMONSON LAUNCHES JEAN GREY MINI-SERIES
The Hellfire Gala is going to be sending shockwaves throughout the Marvel Universe in ways the previous year’s event did not. One of the biggest things that appears to be happening is the murder of Cyclops by someone who stole the Captain Krakoa suit. We saw that in Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day 2023: Avengers/X-Men #1, that gave us a tease of the Hellfire Gala with Cyclops murder taking place there.
This is a big blow to the X-Men as Cyclops has been a major figure head during the Krakoa era from his time as Captain Of Krakoan Captain to co-leading the X-Men with Jean Grey. While it is not mentioned in the solicitation it appears that Cyclops death will a driving force to the new Jean Grey mini-series by Louise Simonson and Bernard Chang.
Based on the solicitation for Jean Grey #1 we won’t be seeing her in the third X-Men roster as a leader. Instead, Jean appears to be taken off the board as she goes on a journey through her own life. With Simonson writing the series we could see the Jean Grey mini-series bring back her ties to the Phoenix. That is at least teased in the cover for the series. Which would make Jean’s return to the forefront of the X-Men franchise after her mini-series provide an opening for how Cyclops is brought back during the Fall Of X storyline.
8) CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY COMES TO AN END
In what is the least surprising move, Captain America: Sentinel Of Liberty is coming to an end in August. That is being done with a Captain America Finale one-shot by series writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. This news is not surprising for multiple reasons. Marvel’s plan to have two Captain America titles never worked. Given that outside of Ed Brubaker’s run, Captain America has always struggled to sell consistently well with one solo title, having two ongoings just split the small fan base in half.
Marvel is at least aware of this as after just over a year of this publishing strategy Captain America: Sentinel Of Liberty is ending. There is no news on Captain America: Symbol Of Truth. Though its noticeable absence from the August solicitations is not good news.
It would honestly be best for the franchise, if the plan is to have both Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson as Captain America, to do go the Action Comic route. Have a Captain America series that’s a bit oversized with several stories involving Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, and others. Maybe then we can see several characters within the Captain America franchise build momentum in their own way. Because right now Marvel’s Captain America have not worked.
9) MILES MORALES JOINS STRANGE ACADEMY
One of the best titles Marvel has been publishing the last few years is Strange Academy. The magic school created by Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos has been filled with imagination. Its given Marvel’s magic corner a new avenue for it to be explored by a cast of new characters that have their own identity. Now Miles Morales will be joining in on the fun for Strange Academy to continue what is a busy month for Spider-Man.
While it is exciting that Strange Academy is continuing in some form it is disappointing that it appears Young and Ramos are done with the series. In their place Carlos Hernandez and Juan Cabal are stepping in. Cabal is a solid artist but Hernandez name does not stand out at all. Maybe Hernandez will surprise by continuing the legacy created by Young and Ramos. It is certainly a wait and see for this new comic book.
Strange Academy: Miles Morales also is marketed as a one-shot rather than a mini-series. Based on the solicitation Miles may be the first of three different superhero visitors to the Strange Academy. That hopefully means that Hernandez and Cabal are taking a one-shot approach with the storytelling rather than telling a traditional three issue story arc with interchangeable headliners.
10) DO WE STILL HAVE AN X-MEN SUPERHERO TEAM?
Given that Cyclops is supposedly being killed off and Jean Grey being lost in time the current X-Men co-leaders will be MIA. With their absence one would think this would give Synch or another former X-Men the chance to step-up as the new leader of the team after the Hellfire Gala. That is something we will not learn in August as X-Men #25 will not feature the new team roster. Instead the issue is going to be focusing on Kate Pryde returning to being Shadowcat for at least one mission.
Based on the cover the returning to her Shadowcat identity isn’t about her returning to her roots. Instead, Kate as Shadowcat will be using her training from mentors like Wolverine to become an assassin. That is at least the vibe the cover for X-Men #25 gives. Becoming an assassin as Shadowcat seems to be coming from a need for the X-Men to have someone other than Wolverine that can get these type of missions done.
The question is if we will see the X-Men series become a solo series during Fall Of X that will spotlight characters like Shadowcat and Synch? Or will we see the a new X-Men team take the spotlight during the Fall Of X storyline with a new leader? That is all up in the air right now.