Marvel isn’t slowing down as they set the stage for 2021 to be big year as December 2020 marks the beginning of several major plot threads. The big one for the month is the beginning of the launch of the Venom event, King In Black. Marvel is going all in for the King In Black as the Avengers and X-Men take part in the event. In addition to that we are going to see the fallout of X of Swords, the start of Avengers’ Phoenix storyline, and other things. Let’s take a look at what big things to keep an eye out for from Marvel with their December 2020 solicitations.
KING IN BLACK REIGNS OVER MARVEL UNIVERSE
All the credit to Donny Cates for rising to become one of the top, if not the top, writer at Marvel right now. We see that with how his latest Venom event is bigger than Absolute Carnage as the King In Black event takes over the Marvel Universe. It’s an amazing thing to see how much Cates run on Venom has grown to be one of the key things going on at Marvel. It is not a spot that I thought Venom would consistently have. That shows the power of a strong creative team can have as Cates and Ryan Stegman have made the character a major player.
Another thing that stands out things about King In Black is how it truly is bringing in all the heavy hitters as it’ll be the first time we see the Avengers and X-Men both featured on the cover of an event. Even though the X-Men did take part in Empyre their involvement was more of a standalone side story than truly being front and center like the Avengers and X-Men were. It’ll be interesting to see how the X-Men work into stories that don’t center around Krakoa but the entire Marvel Universe.
Also given the scope of the event Cates has the chance to solidify the Symbiote planet that Knull rules as a permanent part of the Marvel Universe. Cates has done a good job building up the Symbiote planet as a dangerous place. King In Black can show just how dangerous it truly is. In the process we could see the Symbiotes become part of other stories that don’t involve Spider-Man or Venom in the future.
X OF SWORDS FALLOUT ENDANGERS X-MEN’S RESSURECTION PLOT DEVICE
The upcoming X Of Swords is the first big crossover since House of X and Powers of X launched the Dawn of X direction for the X-Men franchise. And as it is to be expected it looks like Krakoa won’t be left unscathed. The big thing that stands out from all of the X-Men books solicitation is that the resurrection process that Charles Xavier has created to bring back dead mutants will be in heavy danger. That could mean that The Five that Hope Summers is leading will no longer be supporting characters. The Five may possibly be put at the forefront of titles like X-Men and X-Factor in the post-X of Swords status quo.
The Cable and Hellions series also seem to be hit hard in terms of their direction. With Cable we see that the young mutant will now be positioned as a protector of a baby. The solicitation talking about two timelines does seem to tease that we could possibly see the older Cable back at some point. Given that the X-Men have stayed away from time displaced stories during Dawn of X this could be the time we see that story beat revisited.
As for the Hellions, Mr. Sinister’s team seems to have suffered the most from the events of X of Swords as we are teased with how the entire team might have died. That would be a major development given that Krakoa’s resurrection process is implied to be in heavy danger. It may mean that Mr. Sinister will have to tap into his cloning experiments to bring the Hellions and other mutants back. Which would fast track Mr. Sinister’s plot that was teased in House of X and Powers of X.
The character caught my attention most in all these X-Men solicitations is Cyclops. X-Men #16 puts a heavy focus on how Cyclops as the Captain Commander of Krakoa was forced to make a decision that impacts the entire franchise. Though Cyclops is an important character on Krakoa we haven’t seen much of him outside of the main X-Men series. Maybe this decision will see Cyclops step out to be involved in other X-Men comics like Jean Grey, Wolverine, and Magneto are.
WHAT DOES THE CONCLUSION OF KINDRED’S LAST REMAINS MEAN FOR SPIDER-MAN
The “Last Remains” is built up as the biggest event that Nick Spencer has written thus far in his Amazing Spider-Man run. There is still a lot of unknowns with what “Last Remains” will be as Kindred reveals the full extent of his plot to destroy Spider-Man. One of the things that we do learn from this batch of solicitations is that Sin-Eater will still be a major player even after the current “Sins Rising” story in Amazing Spider-Man. That’s a big spoiler since Sin-Eater’s ties to life and his current mystical powers are tied directly to Kindred. How Sin-Eater’s current powers and direction impacts Kindred’s plot will be interesting to see.
The other big thing to come out of the “Last Remains” solicitations is that we get a the first big mention of Mary Jane Watson being involved in the story with Amazing Spider-Man #54.LR. MJ has been purposely separated from Peter Parker by Kindred, which is what launched her first ongoing series. With MJ’s ongoing series canceled her being part of Amazing Spider-Man #54.LR will be her first big appearance since then. That also means that Mysterio will be brought back into play after Kindred used the villain to pull Peter and MJ apart.
COSMIC-LEVEL THREATS RISE IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
The big thing that stands out with all of Marvel’s solicitation is how the company is leaning hard into a more cosmic direction. The King In Black event is an example of that as Venom has morphed into more than just being part of Spider-Man. That expansion goes for other major titles like the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, and Captain Marvel all exploring more parts of the Marvel Universe. This is long overdue as we’ve seen how Marvel is no longer keeping their characters focused on street-level style stories like they were during the mid-2000s and 2010s. Going deeper into the Marvel’s cosmic side in more of their titles will help expand the scope of things that can be done with many of their titles.
Jason Aaron’s Avengers for example is going to be tackling an X-Men story with the beginning of “Enter The Phoenix.” Though this may come across as a forced way to tie the Avengers and X-Men together it is actually part of the epic going back to the Avengers 1,000,000 B.C. team that Aaron introduced even before House of X and Powers of X happened. The “Enter The Phoenix” story could play more into the Celestials story that is being built to explain why there are so many different classifications of super powered individuals in the Marvel Universe. Which is good timing as builds up a big Endgame-style story by the time the Eternals’ movie that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe releases within the next few years.
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