Marvel entered 2021 with a lot of things already in development. From King In Black to the Avenger’s Phoenix event to the X-Men’s Reign of X, there are already big things in play. Now it looks like what Marvel has been cooking up towards the end of 2020 and first quarter of 2021 will begin to take shape this coming April. That includes major comic book runs like Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s Venom and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther are coming to an end. What else is Marvel planning for the rest of 2021? Let’s find out by taking a look at Marvel’s April 2021 solicitations.
DONNY CATES AND RYAN STEGMAN BOOK OF VENOM COMES TO AN END
Both Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s names have been growing in the comic book industry bigger than any other. A big part of that is what will go down as a legendary run together on Venom. Venom has been one of Marvel’s most popular characters since he was created. But Cates and Stegman have taken the character into a whole new level with their work on what has been called ‘The Book of Venom.’ Now this legendary run is going to be coming to an end with Venom #200
What will be interesting to see from the perspective of the Venom character is what state Eddie Brock will be in after King In Black. As of now Eddie Brock has passed away in the pages of King In Black. We know that comic book deaths are not a forever thing so it would not be surprising if Eddie Brock comes back to life when all is said and done. But that brings it back to the question where Cates and Stegman will leave Eddie’s character in the end? Based on the cover it does look like Venom may be taking over Knull’s title of ‘King In Black.’ If that is the case could the next creative team take a much darker turn for Venom after he has been more established as falling in the hero realm over the last few years?
NIGHTCRAWLER LEADS THE WAY OF X
Nightcrawler has been positioned as one of the most important mutants on Krakoa as he is one of the members of the Quiet Council. While he has held that position since the Quiet Council was founded in House of X/Powers of X we have not seen Nightcrawler do all that much in the X-Men comics. Outside of a few one-shot stories Nightcrawler has largely been a supporting cast member. Now that is going to change as Nightcrawler is the lead of his own ongoing series titled ‘Way of X.’
Based on the name of this title and what we know of Nightcrawler’s character this will likely lead to Kurt establishing a religion of sort for other mutants on Krakoa to possibly follow. It would be appropriate given how we have seen Nightcrawler grow since being created as a deeply spiritual person. This would also tie into the memorable scene right before Wolverine and Nightcrawler died in House of X where we see Wolverine turn to Nightcrawler to ask about the afterlife. Si Spurrier could build off that moment to give Nightcrawler a bigger role within Krakoa beyond having one of the seats on the Quiet Council.
NEW ‘THE MARVELS’ SERIES BY KURT BUSIEK AND YILDIRAY CINAR
Marvel has been getting a lot out of ‘The Marvels’ line the last year. We’ve seen more from this comic book by Kurt Busiek than we did in since the original version released. That is once again happening in April 2021 as Busiek is teaming up with Yildiray Cinar for a new volume of ‘The Marvels.’ Unfortunately, this time around it does not pop out as a standout in Marvel’s new solicitations since we’ve gotten so many of these comics already. As Marvel has done with so many of their events, ‘The Marvels’ title has lost what once made it a memorable and special title. At this point it is now feeling like ‘The Marvels’ is just spinning its wheels until one of them actually becomes a hit like the original.
TA-NEHISI COATES ENDS RUN ON BLACK PANTHER
After the continuation of his run was delayed due to the Covid pandemic and the hiatus the comic book industry went on during the spring and summer months of 2020, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run on Black Panther is finally going to be allowed to reach its end point. I was lucky to get the majority of Coates run when Marvel released a large number of Black Panther comics for free and have caught up by buying the remaining issues in this run. After going through and reading all of Coates’ Black Panther run I’m excited to see how he will end his story as it is sure to be epic. Black Panther #25 will definitely be a comic book that Marvel fans will want to pick up. Because when all is said and done Coates will have a run fans will remember.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY RISE WITH NEW ROSTER
The Guardians of the Galaxy have been a weird team to follow from afar the last decade. Just about every year it feels like we are getting a relaunch or a new team roster showing up. That is once again happening with Guardians of the Galaxy #13 as Hulkling and Wiccan are joining the team alongside Nova, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Groot.
What makes this move interesting is that it does look like Guardians of the Galaxy is the only comic book Marvel is publishing that is still dealing with the fallout from Empyre. Even though Marvel made a big deal out of that event the impact Empyre had has not really been felt in any of the Marvel titles. Maybe with Hulkling and Wiccan on the Guardians of the Galaxy we will see more of a deep dive into the political state of the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe.
MILES MORALES DEALS WITH HIS OWN CLONE SAGA
While it won’t be his first experience dealing with a clone crisis Miles Morales will now be on the road Peter Parker knows very well as he is getting his own ‘Clone Saga.’ This is not going to be good news for Miles as anything to do with Clones when it comes to Spider-Man. Things are sure to be as confusing as all other clone stories that we have seen Peter Parker as Spider-Man go through.
What I’ll be interested to see is if Saladin Ahmed does get Peter involved in Miles’ ‘Clone Saga’ story. There is a lot of potential there in having Peter provide help and support for Miles in what will likely be a dark period in his life. The relationship between Peter and Miles has really only been explored in Insomniac’s Spider-Man games. This is the opportunity to start tapping into the potential of exploring what it means for Miles to have someone in Peter that has gone through similar events as Spider-Man.
AVENGERS PHOENIX ADVENTURE LEADS TO NEW REBOOT?
The Avengers have a very odd publishing schedule for April 2021. The Avengers ongoing series will see the release of two issue. The first will be Avengers #44 which will conclude the ‘Enter The Phoenix’ storyline that currently going on. Right after that, rather than dealing with the fallout to ‘Enter The Phoenix,’ Avengers #45 will be a tie-in to the King In Black event. What makes this tie-in especially weird is that while the Avengers #45 solicitation makes it sound like it is releasing in the middle of the event, by the time this issue is released King In Black will already be over. Even Venom #200, which is coming out in April, references that King In Black is done. It seems that Marvel had the content of Avengers #45 done but could not nail down the scheduling and caused this odd publishing schedule for what is supposed to be one of their premier titles.
Now as for Avengers #44, the finale of ‘Enter The Phoenix’ will likely be what leads to the Marvel’s Heroes Reborn line that they have been heavily promoting the last few days. I have bigger thoughts on the whole Heroes Reborn direction we have been getting teased. But for the Avengers series itself I do wonder if the end of ‘Enter The Phoenix’ will set the stage for Jason Aaron’s final arc on the series. That is what feels like is being teased with everything he has done with his Avengers run thus far. And that could play into what Heroes Reborn is intended to be.
CAPTAN MARVEL GETTING UPGRADE AND NEW COSTUME
Of all the covers that we get from Marvel’s April 2021 solicitations the one that immediately stood out was the cover for Captain Marvel #28. The new costume that seems to merge Carol Danvers Captain Marvel and Stephen Strange’s Doctor Strange costumes is absolutely badass. Even if Carol can’t keep Doctor Strange’s cape I would not mind if the design for the Captain Marvel costume stays like the one we see on the cover for this issue moving forward.
The story teased for Captain Marvel #28 also captures my interest. We’ve seen Carol be put through the ringer with one crisis after another happening in her life. What Kelly Thompson does next as she is now directly dealing with a weakness of Captain Marvel is something to keep an eye out for.
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