December looks to be a very odd month of new beginnings and endings for a lot of different comic books Marvel is publishing. On one hand, Marvel is going all-in with their two big events going into the 2020, Incoming and Annihilation: Scourge. These are two big cosmic events that look to shape the entire Marvel Universe. On the other hand, Marvel is ending several high profile books that puts into question some of their plans going into the new year. How do all these things work alongside everything else that is going on at Marvel? Let’s find that out by taking a closer look at Marvel’s December 2019 solicitations.
MARVEL ALL-STAR TALENT BRING INCOMING EVENT
Much like Marvel Comics #1000, it looks like Incoming #1 will bring together the top talent that Marvel has. Just looking at the line-up one has to be impressed with everyone that Marvel has currently working for them. There is definitely at least one, if not more, creators that will stand out for Marvel fans.
The concerning part of about Incoming having such a big creative team is how the event will actually turn out. This seems to be way too many cooks in one basket. Marvel seems intent on having Incoming sell because of the names attached rather on the merits of the excitement for the event itself. That is a big turn off, especially considering how many great titles Marvel is currently publishing with the writers on this creative line-up working solo on those comics.
ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE EXPANDS ACROSS MARVEL COSMIC REALM
Annihilation: Scourge is going down the path of the original Annihilation event by DnA. That is not a bad choice since Annihilation is considered by many fans one of the best Marvel events. Expanding the creative line-up to include the likes of Christos Gage and Dan Abnett is a great choice. Dan Abnett in particular will standcout for fans as he was part of what made the original Annihilation event succeed. Along with that name recognition having Abnett writing the Silver Surfer one-shot is the perfect choice. This should only further help to elevate the spotlight Silver Surfer always deserves to have.
With all these one-shots it’ll be interesting to see if Marvel eventually has one main series that brings the Fantastic Four, Nova, Silver Surfer and others together to fight Annihilus. It would be odd for Marvel to not do this starting in 2020.
SAVAGE LAND HAS NEW SURPRISES FOR THE X-MEN
Jonathan Hickman has made a lot of changes to the X-Men mythos. Now he looks to be expanding on what he has been doing by tackling the Savage Land. This is a very exciting thing to see be made part of Hickman’s X-Men run. The Savage Land has always been a fantastic concept but has overused with the same tired story of it being filled with dinosaurs. Hickman can easily elevate the concept around the Savage Land that can be a big benefit for other Marvel writers to use the location in new, exciting ways in the future.
SHI’AR EMPIRE COME AFTER THE NEW MUTANTS
Speaking of concepts that Hickman is bringing back into the fold we are also seeing the Shi’ar Empire now being turned into the Shi’ar Galaxy. That name change alone freshens up the Shi’ar from the convoluted empire they have become. A restart for the Shi’ar under Hickman can help elevate them as a whole. Which is great timing since Marvel is looking to give more attention to their cosmic corner with Incoming and Annihilation: Scourge. By developing them in the New Mutants series, Hickman can establish why the Shi’ar Galaxy are major players across the Marvel Universe.
JEAN GREY TAKES A PAGE OUT OF PROFESSOR XAVIER’S PLAYBOOK
House of X #5 this week introduced a huge concept behind Cerebro that changes the perception of the device Charles Xavier has been using for such a long time. Learning what we do about Cerebro makes seeing Jean Grey wearing it in one of the new X-Force covers an intriguing thing. This immediately creates questions into how Jean plans to use Cerebro.
Also since Professor Xavier hasn’t been featured in any of the solicitations for the X-Men comics Jean using Cerebro puts further questions into what he is up too. With how Xavier has been developed there is no way he is just hiding in the shadows or dead when the relaunch happens. And if Jean is using Cerebro does that mean there are now multiple versions or did Xavier pass it onto her before disappearing.
MARVEL EXPLORES THE FUTURE IN THE YEAR 2099
Similar to Annihilation: Scourge, the 2099 comics are going with a one-shot direction rather than having one or two ongoing comics. In December we are getting one-shots for Spider-Man 2099, Venom 2099, Ghost Rider 2099 and Doctor Doom 2099. All these 2099 titles seems to culminate in whatever 2099 Omega #1 will be about. The 2099 Omega #1 solicitation points to Doctor Doom running things in the future. Though the solicitation does not say that it is Doctor Doom 2099. If it is the present day Doctor Doom that is controlling things in the future, this would be an interesting spin to that possible future for the Marvel Universe.
DOCTOR DOOM FIGHTS SPIDER-MAN IN NEW YORK CITY AND MEPHISTO IN HELL
Doctor Doom is going to have a busy December. First he will be crossing paths with Spider-Man in the new Amazing Spider-Man comics. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Spider-Man clash with Doctor Doom. Since it does not happen very often Nick Spencer can treat this as a fresh match-up. Having Silver Sable take part of their conflict provides the story with a major wild card in the Spider-Man vs Doctor Doom face-off.
In addition to his fight with Spider-Man, Doctor Doom will also be having a confrontation with Mephisto in Hell. Doctor Doom is no stranger to fighting demons. So Mephisto better prepare himself for someone that can flip the script on him with an offer he can’t refuse. Don’t put it past Doctor Doom that he will become the ruler of Hell after all is said and done.
BLACK CAT GOES TO WAR AGAINST THE THIEVES GUILD
Black Cat taking on the Odessa Drake and the Thieves Guild of New York is something that has been a long time coming. Up until now Black Cat has enjoyed just being a thorn on Odessa’s side. That enjoyment is quickly turning into a form of hate as Odessa has gone directly after Black Cat’s mentor, The Black Fox. Given the fun tone of Black Cat thus far it will be interesting to see Jed Mackay switch Felicia Hardy to be more of a serious and vengeful character. It should show a different side to Black Cat as she will be extra motivated to take down the Thieves Guild.
JASON AARON CLOSES OUT EPIC THOR RUN
December will mark the end of Jason Aaron’s epic run on Thor. King Thor #4 will wrap up everything Aaron has been building since the beginning of his run on the franchise. With how incredible Aaron’s run has been thus far there is no doubt that King Thor #4 will be epic. There really isn’t much more to say than that. Let’s just sit back and be amazed at everything Aaron has done on Thor come December.
CAPTAIN MARVEL BEGINS HER AVENGERS KILL STREAK
Carol Danvers’ turn to the dark side looks to be complete in December as the solicitation for Captain Marvel #13 teases that she has killed one of the Avengers. If that is true that is a major event to happen that completes the heel turn for Captain Marvel. The question from this teased development is who is the first Avenger to fall at the hands of Captain Marvel? Any one of the Avengers would be a big deal that can have great ramifications for the entire Marvel Universe.
There is also the mystery of why Captain Marvel has turned to the dark side in the first place. The solicitations aren’t clear. This may play into why Captain Marvel is going directly for the Avengers rather than other heroes in the Marvel Universe.
SEVERAL COMICS CANCELED INCLUDING TONY STARK: IRON MAN
Marvel has made the odd move to cancel several titles going into the new year. The confirmed canceled titles are Tony Stark: Iron Man, Ironheart and Future Foundation. In addition to those, the solicitation for Guardians of the Galaxy #12 indicates that it could be the final issue of that series, though that is not fully confirmed.
Of these titles Tony Stark: Iron Man’s cancelation is the most surprising. With Dan Slott as the writer and mainstream popularity of Iron Man this cancelation is not one fans would expect going into 2020. This specific cancelation could be due to Slott and Marvel having bigger plans that made them want to relaunch the series under a different name like Invincible Iron Man.
Though it could also be the fact that Slott’s Tony Stark: Iron Man is not selling the way Marvel wants, as the series sells between 30,000 to 35,000 physical copies. Those aren’t the numbers one would expect from an Iron Man series. It should be one of Marvel’s top sellers along with Spider-Man, X-Men and Avengers with how popular the character is thanks to the MCU movies.
MATT MURDOCK FINALLY RETURNING TO BEING DAREDEVIL
Matt Murdock gave up being Daredevil. Though recent issues of Daredevil have shown that Matt is taking the steps to become the Man Without Fear once again. Daredevil #15 specifically indicates that the pull to be Daredevil once again has gotten to the point Matt can’t ignore that anymore. With the state of Hell’s Kitchen right now Matt being Daredevil is definitely needed.
How Detective Cole North factors into this will be interesting to see. As Chip Zdarsky’s run has gone on, Detective North has been developed into a multi-layer character. His current character arc looks to be hitting a new peak as he has a very important dinner in Daredevil #14. This could relate to the talk Detective North and Spider-Man had about what it means to be a superhero and a person that helps others as a whole.
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