Marvel is going to be entering the second quarter of the year with a big start as War of the Realms takes over the publishing line. If you weren’t convinced Marvel is going all in on this big event than just take a look at their April solicitation for proof. While War of the Realms is taking over there are several other notable comics from Marvel that fans will want to keep their eye on. Which comics are these? Find out in our analysis of Marvel’s April 2019 solicitations.
WAR OF THE REALMS TAKES OVER THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
As I said in my opening, Marvel is going all in on the War of the Realms event that Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman. On top of the main series everyone from the Avengers, X-Men, Venom and even Squirrel Girl are getting involved in this major event. The reach of this event shows that this is not just a Thor event. It definitely sends a message to Marvel fans that they need to keep an eye on War of the Realms.
Part of me is hesitant to be excited for War of the Realms. This is because Marvel’s recent track record with events has not been great. Civil War II, Secret Empire, Extermination and Infinity Wars never lived up to the potential they had to be memorable comic book events. What is different this time is that Jason Aaron is the one behind War of the Realms. His work on the Avengers and Thor have shown that Aaron knows how to right big stories with a ton of characters. If War of the Realms can keep the spirit of Aaron’s Thor run than this will be the best event Marvel has produced in a long time.
EXPLORING GAMORA AND THANOS RELATIONSHIP
Infinity Wars began with a major shake up to the Marvel Universe as Gamora, as Requiem, killed Thanos with her Power Stone-enhanced sword. That was a brutal way to start the event. It also took out one of Marvel’s major villains and the character who was the star of the Avengers: Infinity War movie.
Though Thanos is gone it does not mean his presence within the universe is gone as he continues to haunt Gamora as a ghost. The importance of Gamora and Thanos relationship will be explored starting in April. It’s surprising that Marvel waited this long to have a comic based around this concept. Given their importance in the MCU, this will be a good opportunity to modernize their father-daughter bond for both new and long-time Marvel fans.
ROB LIEFELD CREATES A MAJOR X CHARACTER FOR MARVEL
An interesting surprise that came out of Marvel’s April solicitations was learning that Rob Liefeld was not only writing a new comic but has created a new character for Marvel. The design of Major X definitely screams 90s with how the ‘X’ is all over their costume. With Cable, Wolverine, Beast, Storm and Deadpool on the cover its clear Liefeld intendeds to make him the next breakout star for the X-Men. If that will be the case will be left to be seen. Though I wonder if Marvel has broken the news to Liefeld that they killed the iconic version of Cable and replaced him with a younger version. The cover of Major X seems to indicate that is not the case.
MARVEL TEAM-UP RETURNS WITH MS. MARVEL AND SPIDER-MAN
As a fan the Marvel Team-Up comic will always hold a special place in my heart. Before all the big events Marvel Team-Up was one of the only places that we could find Spider-Man, the X-Men, Fantastic Four and other Marvel characters team up. Seeing the comic back in Marvel’s April solicitation makes their publishing line feel complete in an odd way.
Kicking off the new Marvel Team-Up book with a Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel adventure is the right choice. In many ways Ms. Marvel represents the current direction Marvel is going, just like Spider-Man has represented since he was created. Further helping this is that each time Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel have teamed up over the last few years they have been enjoyable story. And this first Marvel Team-Up story may just be a passing of the torch type moment if done right.
IS SPIDER-GWEN A GHOST SPIDER OR SPIDER-WOMAN
From all of the marketing that has included Spider-Gwen, both in Marvel Rising and in her own comic, Marvel has pushed her as going under the Ghost Spider name. That does not seem to be the case anymore as the latest solicitation pushes Spider-Gwen as still going by the Spider-Woman superhero name. Given that she was a major breakout character in Into the Spider-Verse, having Spider-Gwen still go by Spider-Woman makes sense. She is the most popular version of Spider-Woman at the moment and there was no reason to change her superhero name to Ghost Spider. Still, it is surprising that Marvel seems to be abandoning the Ghost Spider identity not long after they pushed the name for Spider-Gwen.
PETER PARKER AND AUNT MAY TALK THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING
Aunt May is arguably the most important supporting character in Spider-Man’s cast. She has been there since the character was created and has been the rock in Peter Parker’s life forever. That fact made the bombshell of Aunt May being diagnosed with cancer that Tom Taylor dropped on us at the end of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1 a shocking turn of events. Cancer isn’t something that we see dealt with in comic books often, that’s especially the case in Marvel and DC Comics.
Because of that having a major supporting character like Aunt May be diagnosed with cancer is a major development. It’s something that can give a more serious take to Spider-Man within continuity as Peter helps Aunt May through this. I trust Taylor to treat this topic with care for the long-term during his run.
MARVEL SPOILS GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY LINE-UP
We have seen hints of what Marvel’s new Guardians of the Galaxy line-up will look like in past covers and solicitations. But now, less than 24 hours before the release of Guardians of the Galaxy #1, we learn who will be on the team. Thanks to the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #4 we now know Star-Lord, Groot, Phyla-Vell, Moondragon, Beta Ray-Bill and Cosmic Ghost Rider are the members of the team. It is not a bad line-up as they do have a wide array of powers and abilities.
The only disappointment I do have from this line-up is that Richard Rider’s Nova is not part of the team. He is a powerful character that currently does not have a presence in the Marvel Universe. On top of that Richard Rider has a strong connection to the Guardians of the Galaxy as he has bonded with Star-Lord, Gamora and Drax over the years. Hopefully he joins the team at some point.
CAPTAIN MARVEL AND ROGUE HAVE LONG AWAITED REMATCH
It has been many years since it has happened but fans will never forget that at one point Rogue absorbed Carol Danvers’ powers back when she was Ms. Marvel. It is important part of both characters’ history. Since then we haven’t seen Captain Marvel and Rogue interact very often. Its honestly surprising that we haven’t seen them clash in the recent past given how often the Avengers and X-Men have crossed paths.
Kelly Thompson is going to change that in April with Captain Marvel and Rogue finally clashing. Just from the cover of Captain Marvel #4 it does look like the meeting will lead to a big fight. What comes from it could be very interesting for both characters.
PSYLOCKE BETRAYS THE X-MEN
Though I was never won over by the Age of X-Man concept I am sticking around for Uncanny X-Men because of the return of Cyclops and Wolverine. Like Jean Grey’s return, I can’t skipping out on what Cyclops and Wolverine’s returns mean for the X-Men. Now it looks like they aren’t the only characters returning as Psylocke looks to be leading the Mutant Liberation Front. At least that is what the covers of the upcoming issues of Uncanny X-Men seem to imply. What this will mean for the direction of the Uncanny X-Men series will be very interesting to see.
OLD MAN LOGAN MEETS WOLVERINE
Dead Man Logan has not gone the way I thought it would. While the direction has been questionable it is hard not to be interested in the first official meeting of Old Man Logan and the classic Wolverine. This is something that I did not think we would get when Return of Wolverine was announced. It’s not necessarily something I was asking for but somehow find myself excited that it is happening. Maybe it is a meeting both characters need to move forward with whatever Marvel has planned for them next.