Marvel’s plans for April have been revealed with their latest solicitations. The month looks to be a big one for the Avengers in particular. Because just as Jason Aaron’s run comes to an end in April we will also see the beginning of a big Captain America crossover event. Along with that, we have the Guardians of the Galaxy returning, finally learning what Peter Parker did to ruin his reputation and life, and much more. Let’s take a look at the big things we have to look forward to from Marvel based on their April 2023 solicitations.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY RETURN
The last Guardians of the Galaxy series ended with the team dealing with the Last Annihilation event. Now after over a year since the team’s last ongoing, they are returning with Captain America: Sentinel Of Liberty writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly working with Kev Walker as the new Guardians of the Galaxy creative team. Based on what is said in the solicitation for Guardians of the Galaxy #1 we will be seeing a team that will be clawing their way back up to their former glory. The tone set by the covers does indicate that the team of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Mantis, and Nebula are stuck in a western-inspired world. That sounds like a dream for Star-Lord but not so much for the rest of the team.
The starting point is certainly different from previous Guardians of the Galaxy runs. But what I’ll be interested to see is how this Guardians of the Galaxy team fits into the current status quo of Marvel Universe’s cosmic side. The X-Men have made a major impact on how all of the galactic governments operate and their standing with each other. Even Nova Richard Rider has gained a new role within the current status quo. The Guardians of the Galaxy could fit in well with the current direction and add another perspective on how things are evolving since the X-Men made more of their presence known beyond Earth.
JASON AARON RUN ON AVENGERS COMES TO AN END
Jason Aaron’s five-year run on the Avengers franchise will officially come to an end in April with Avengers Assemble Omega. Aaron’s run on the Avengers is one of the ones that has had a mixed reception. Some enjoy it, others dislike it and don’t read it. How memorable Aaron’s run on the Avengers will be left up to time because we’ve seen even those that had similarly mixed reactions like Brian Bendis looked back on fondly or better received as time passes. That is something that I would not be surprised if it happened with Aaron’s run on the Avengers.
The question is what Marvel plans to do with the Avengers franchise starting moving forward. There are several mini-series in Avengers Beyond and Avengers: War Across Time that is still going on. But the question is who will take over as the creative lead for the Avengers? Marvel does have options as talents such as Al Ewing, Jed MacKay, and Kelly Thompson could be lined up to work on Avengers. We could even see Marvel go with the X-Men route of having two writers each working on their own ongoing series like New Avengers and Mighty Avengers.
Then there is always the possibility of going with others that have had runs on Avengers already like Dan Slott or maybe turning Jonathan Hickman’s secret project into an Avengers comic. Whatever the case the Avengers need to have their momentum rebuilt to compete more with the top-rank sales titles that are filled with Spider-Man and X-Men books.
FINALLY, LEARNING WHAT PETER PARKER DID.
It only took Zeb Wells, John Romita Jr, and Marvel one year and 22 issues but we are finally going to learn what Peter Parker did to change everyone’s perception of him in Amazing Spider-Man #23. Wells certainly took the long way to reveal what really happened to kick off his latest run that found Peter Parker back to his loser ways that Marvel loves to see him forever in. It’s honestly impressive that Wells basically waited for almost two years’ worth of Amazing Spider-Man issues to tell this story. Not impressive in the sense it’s good storytelling. More than he was able to stretch things this long and Marvel was okay with it. But given how well Amazing Spider-Man is doing in the sales charts it’s connected with some of Spider-Man’s audiences.
Along with that reveal, we will also see Wells and Romita doing a deeper dive into Peter Parker and Norman Osborn’s partnership. This is another one of those developments that has not drawn much interest from me. From the eleven issues of Wells and Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man run available on Marvel Unlimited, the partnership has not worked from a story standpoint. It’s just done further damage to how this whole Peter Parker arc is just not connecting with me whatsoever.
Outside of Amazing Spider-Man, we do also see that there is a possibility that the Mary Jane and Black Cat mini-series will be either turned into an ongoing or get another mini-series. That is at least what the solicitation for Mary Jane & Black Cat #5 implies as it states that will be the final issue of the first arc for a series that is still promoted as a five-issue mini-series. If it is getting ongoing status or a sequel mini-series that is great because Jed MacKay has certainly proven he knows how to write a great Black Cat series. So more Black Cat stories with MacKay as the writer is a great thing for the characters and fans.
ROGUE AND GAMBIT VS THE AVENGERS
Leave it to the Avengers to find whatever reason to go after the X-Men and treat them like the enemy. That appears to be the case as they will be coming after Manifold as foreseen by a doomsday vision from Destiny. Now we don’t know why the Avengers would want to capture Manifold since whatever Destiny saw in her vision from the tease in Rogue & Gambit #2 is left a mystery. But definitely yet another case of the Avengers always hesitating to side and work with the X-Men.
That aside it does look like Rogue and Gambit are going to be running through an Avengers gauntlet. That should definitely provide a lot of great action with how Rogue and Gambit normally fight. Black Panther as the first Avenger to step up to Rogue and Gambit should make this a great fight. Though hopefully, the latest Rogue & Gambit series isn’t just them fighting various other heroes. Hopefully, there is a bigger bad on the villain side that is involved because hero vs hero is a story long played out since the original Marvel Civil War ended.
WOLVERINE STEALS SPIDER-MAN’S CLONE SAGA STORY
If there is one story Marvel currently loves it is no doubt the Clone Saga. The current regime has made sure to use the opportunity Spider-Verse opened up to tell multiple different Clone Saga stories with Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Gwen Stacy at the center. Now Wolverine will be getting his own Clone Saga story just to show that if Spider-Man can do that story so can the other top Marvel character.
Logan’s Clone Saga story will all begin in Wolverine #32. Now if there is one character whom it makes sense to get a Clone Saga story is Wolverine. The whole Weapon X program has a clone system built in that has been used against Logan and Laura Kinney in the past. It’s honestly surprising Marvel waited this long to tell a Wolverine: Clone Saga story. Everything was already there to tell the story. And it appears that this Clone saga will be keeping Logan busy as his version of Wolverine won’t be appearing in other X-Men books. We see this as Laura Kinney’s Wolverine is taking his spot on X-Force.
CAPTAIN AMERICA COLD WAR EVENT BEGINS
Marvel’s big spring event and fourth overall event of the promised six events that will happen by the end of summer begins in April with Captain America: Cold War. Marvel has certainly made sure that they fill out their calendar with one big event after another. Most of them have or will be Spider-Man and X-Men related but Captain America is getting in on the fun. This will involve both Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty and Symbol of Truth with Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, and Bucky Barnes as the leads.
The timing also does indicate that Marvel may wait till they announce the next big Avengers run. Because as things stand Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel are all going through big personal things in their respective titles. Marvel likely wouldn’t launch a new main Avengers series with at least two or three of these on the new core roster. So Captain America: Cold War could help set the stage for how the Avengers return as we are likely to have big roster shake-ups from the one used in the last five years.