Marvel’s year continues with their latest solicitations for their April 2022 releases. Like with the three months prior it looks like 2022 is a big relaunch year for much of their line as we have a large number of new runs beginning. That includes a new era for Amazing Spider-Man with Peter Parker back in the role and both Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers sharing the Captain America name. What other things does Marvel have planned to be released in April 2022? Let’s take a look with their latest month of solicitations
EVERYONE HATES PETER PARKER AGAIN INCLUDING MARY JANE WATSON
After a good six month run the Beyond Era will end and in its place is a newly relaunched Amazing Spider-Man series with Peter Parker back in the role. Based on one of the teasers for Timeless it looks like Ben Reilly will be taken out of New York City and moved to Los Angeles at the conclusion of the Beyond Era. That leaves room for a healthy Peter Parker to reclaim the role of Spider-Man.
While the Beyond Board will be dissolved Zeb Wells will continue on with Amazing Spider-Man as the sole writer of the series with John Romita Jr. joining him for the first arc of the relaunched series. Wells is a good choice to take over Amazing Spider-Man. He has shown as part of both the Brain Trust during the Brand New Day and Beyond Board that he knows how to write great Spider-Man stories. So I’m confident Wells will be able to carry the Amazing Spider-Man into a direction fans will like.
Though the beginning of Wells solo run looks to place Peter Parker in a familiar spot of being alone. Because as is teased in Amazing Spider-Man #1, Peter will do something in that first issue that where the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and even Aunt May are not at all happy with him. If that wasn’t enough the solicitation for Amazing Spider-Man #2 teases a possible break-up for Peter and MJ is coming. That is not a great new start for Peter coming off the heels of a near death experience that took him out of commission for six months.
SAM WILSON & STEVE ROGERS SHARE CAPTAIN AMERICA MANTLE
It was only a matter of time before Marvel finally brought back an ongoing Captain America series. They’ve been keeping up Captain America’s appearances in the Marvel Universe through the Avengers title and various mini-series since Ta-Nehisi Coates end his run on the most recent ongoing series. The break between ongoings looks to have been used to develop the new idea behind the new status quo for Captain America. That new status quo is to have both Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson share the Captain America mantle at the same time.
This is no doubt being done to closely align the comic books with the Marvel Cinematic Universe where Sam Wilson just recently became Captain America. But to help differentiate themselves from the MCU we will have both Steve and Sam in the role with each one getting their own Captain America title.
All of this will begin with Captain America #0 that will have the writing team of Tochi Onyebuchi, Jackson Lanzing, and Collin Kelly and artwork by Mattia De Iulis. After the April zero issue Tochi Onyebuchi and R.B. Silva will be working on Captain America: Symbol of Truth launching in May that will star Sam Wilson. Meanwhile Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Carmen Carnero will be working on Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty starting in June that will star Steve Rogers.
Given the fact we live in a world where there can be multiple Spider-Man and Batman running around in different titles I do not mind their being two Captain Americas. I honestly prefer it over the alternative that we’ve already been through once with Steve and Sam. Especially with how much legacy has become a thing that Marvel is trying to explore heavily with their characters, having both Steve and Sam as Captain America at the same time will help further explore the heroes legacy. It will also give an opportunity for the Captain America legacy to be explored from two different perspectives from friends that have great respect for each other.
HULK VS THOR WAR BEGINS
With Donny Cates working on both Thor and Hulk it was only a matter of time before he decided to work on some sort of crossover between the two titles. That is a crossover that always feels destined to happen as Thor and Hulk are complementary characters to one another. The latest crossover story between these two Avengers will begin with a one-shot titled Hulk vs Thor: Banner of War Alpha #1.
Based on the solicitation this Banner of War crossover will continue to spotlight the current problems Thor is having with his rule as All-Father of Asgard. Which is understandable given that one of the next big Marvel events that is being built is around the crisis of the future vision Thor was given by the Black Winter at the beginning of Cates run on the series. Adding in Hulk to that story will present a new while card that I’m sure will spice things up.
ELEKTRA 100TH ISSUE CELEBRATION
With some clever Legacy accounting that Marvel just loves using to find a way to release a celebration issue we are getting Elektra #100. By counting up the various ongoing and mini-series issues that have had Elektra in the title Marvel was able to get to the 100 issue mark for the character. To celebrate this occasion Marvel is bringing back legendary creator Ann Nocenti to write Elektra #100. There is no one else that should have this honor as Nocenti has such a rich history with the Daredevil franchise.
While Elektra #100 is something to celebrate one thing that I’m a bit sadden by this comic book is that it looks like Elektra will no longer be Daredevil moving forward. That is disappointing because I have really enjoyed seeing Elektra become Daredevil as a progression of her character. Hopefully whatever Elektra #100 does to set up the characters future it will continue the evolution of her character from her time as Daredevil.
X-MEN NEW UNIVERSE ORDER
March was the beginning of what the post-Jonathan Hickman era for the X-Men franchise would be. That new direction continues to develop in April as X-Men: Red, Legion of X, and Knights of X join the slate of new titles being released for the franchise. As with Immortal X-Men and Marauders in March, these three titles will feature new teams that will have their own missions as part of the Krakoa direction post-Inferno.
With X-Men: Red, the series looks to be replacing S.W.O.R.D. as it will feature Storm, Magneto, Sunspot, Abigail Brand, Vulcan, and from the SWORD series. Given what we recently learned about Agent Brand being a triple agent secretly working against Krakoa it will be very interesting how her narrative is developed. The cover for X-Men: Red #1 certainly gets Agent Brand a haunting presence. Which should will make Storm continuing her reign as Regent of Sol that immediately makes X-Men: Red one of my most anticipated new titles of the year.
Both Knights of X and Legion of X also have interesting directions based on their respective solicitations and covers. The titles look to be taking the place of Excalibur and Way of X that were recently ended. Though given how many titles I already have on my pull list both Knights of X and Legion of X will be comics that I’ll be reading as they come out on Marvel Unlimited, as I’ve done throughout the Krakoa Era for the majority of X-Men titles.
JONATHAN HICKMAN WRITING MOON KNIGHT STORY
Marvel has really gotten into making the Black, White, and Red branding their form of anthology series for their characters that lean towards the Marvel Knights branding. Continuing that trend is Moon Knight who will be getting an anthology series titled Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood. This is understandable since we will have the MCU version of Moon Knight debuting in his own Disney+ series starring Oscar Isaac. Having an anthology series around Moon Knight is a good way of having a new reader friendly series those that become fans of the character through the Disney+ show to pick up at comic book stores.
What is going to make me pick up at least the first issue of Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood is the fact that Jonathan Hickman will be writing one of the stories in this anthology comic book. Hickman’s name alone sells me on the comic book. And given that his Marvel work has had him mostly with their iconic heroes I’m looking forward to what Hickman will do with a character like Moon Knight that isn’t a traditional hero.
STRANGE ACADEMY NEW BEGINNING
From various reviews and features I’ve talked about how Strange Academy has been one of my favorite titles Marvel has been releasing since the series first started. Strange Academy has ben such a refreshing comic book that has introduced us through a whole school of fun and intriguing characters with iconic magic users like Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch helping to elevate them. Now it looks like with Strange Academy #18 everything will be changing with the series. The issue isn’t marked as the final issue like is normal when Marvel ends a series, though I’m still worried that may happen since I’ve seen Marvel pull that trick in the last minute.
For now I’m going to just view Strange Academy #18 as the series fully dealing with the aftermath of the Death of Doctor Strange event. Without the founder of Strange Academy around that leaves both the students and staff in a completely different spot. Recent issues have started to explore that but Strange Academy could begin the full deep dive in this new status quo for the magical corner of the Marvel Universe.
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