Marvel isn’t going to end 2017 quietly. Just as things begin to settle down Marvel is bringing back one of their most iconic characters back to life with the adult Jean Grey returning as the Phoenix. On top of that we are going to see the Spider-Family deal with some serious Symbiote problems, Defenders dealing with Mayor Wilson Fisk, Captain Marvel vs Star-Lord and much more. Let’s take a look at all the notable things coming down the pipeline from Marvel in December 2017.
ICONIC JEAN GREY IN PHOENIX RESURRECTION
One of the biggest takeaways from Marvel’s Generations one-shots came from the end of the Jean Grey & Phoenix issue. In that one-shot we saw the young, time displaced Jean Grey struggle with telling her older self about her fate. That mental struggle led to the young Jean, after some difficulty, deciding not to reveal the fate of her older self. While that is what the young Jean decided to it did catch the older Jean’s attention that there was hesitation in her other self’s way of talking.
Now that seems to be answered as we are going to be getting the return of the older Jean Grey as the Phoenix. With how much time has past since we saw the iconic version of Jean Grey this return now feels like a big deal. This return also has the potential to provide some intriguing shifts in the dynamic of the X-Men. Because as it stands now with the original X-Men team being in the present, Kitty Pryde is leading the X-Men, Logan is in his “Old Man” form and Cyclops is dead after everyone seeing him as a “villain” just to name a few changes. It’ll be up to Matthew Rosenberg and the X-Men team to make sure the return of Phoenix Jean Grey is given its proper treatment.
FANTASTIC FOUR BECOME THE FANTASTIC TWO
One of the worst kept secrets at Marvel is the fact that the Fantastic Four franchise is at the bottom of priority tower for the company. With Disney/Marvel and Fox disdain with one another over character rights the former has made sure that the Fantastic Four name has been out of the minds of their readers for the last few years. Though that does not seem to change a lot we are getting hints at the Fantastic Four returning as Human Torch and the Thing are getting their own team-up series in the form of Marvel 2-In-One.
Of note in this series is the fact that Human Torch and the Thing will possibly learn what actually happened to Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman and their family following Secret Wars. Bringing Doom into the party should ensure that we at least learn what the officially status quo of half the Fantastic Four are. It will also hopefully put Dr. Doom back into the role of #1 villain in Marvel, as the company desperately needs a strong villains for their superheroes to fight.
FATE OF BLACK WIDOW
Coming out of Secret Empire: Omega we learned that Natasha Romanoff may not be dead after having her head caved in by a full powered punch from Captain America. In that issue, we saw that while the world mourned Natasha’s death she may not be dead after all. And the one person that seems to have discovered these hints is Bucky Barnes (aka Winter Soldier). Now it seems like Hawkeye will catch on to the same clues Bucky found. This will be the first time since Brubaker’s run that we see Hawkeye and Bucky interact with one another so what their dynamic is will be very interesting to see.
And With Avengers: Infinity War coming up it won’t be surprising to see Natasha be revived not long after her supposed death. We may end up seeing her return with blonde hair just to match Scarlett Johansson look in Infinity War.
VENOM TAKES OVER SPIDER-MAN COMICS
Is it just me or does it feel like their was a clause in Marvel’s deal with Sony that they had to heavily promote Venom and the symbiote in all their media? Not only are we in the middle of the event no one asked for with Venomverse but we also just had the debut of Black Suit Spider-Man in the new cartoon, just 7 episodes into the series. Now Marvel is having Venom take over two of the major Spider-Man titles as both Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen have symbiote-involved storylines.
Even as a lifelong Spider-Man fan this just feels like too much. I have long been sick of seeing the Venom character around as both it and the symbiote have run their course in creative storytelling. And the fact that Eddie Brock is does nothing to help in making this “Venom Inc.” crossover something look forward to. Hopefully the fact that we are getting 4 parts in this storyline mean that it ends in December because I don’t think I could read more than a month of Venom comics.
NEW MAYOR OF NEW YORK IS WILSON FISK (AKA KINGPIN)
Wilson Fisk becoming the Mayor of New York City is one of the few intriguing plotlines that come from the fallout of Secret Empire. Marvel has been able to put Wilson Fisk in a position of power that is similar to when he was the Kingpin of Crime but on an even more dangerous level. With the former Kingpin now in charge of the city most Marvel heroes protect their is a lot of potential in this status quo shift. Daredevil looks to be the first to be dealing with this fallout but the Defenders are not far behind.
What will be also interesting in this new Mayor Fisk status quo is how the villains in New York try to take advantage of the change. Will we see a new Kingpin of Crime in the form of Black Cat, Hammerhead or another street-level crime boss take over the role? Or will Mayor Fisk figure out a way to be both a government official and the Kingpin of Crime? Some very big questions to have that make the street-level corner of the Marvel Universe even more interesting.