Marvel did not waste anytime with revealing their full slate of plans to close out 2021 as they released their December 2021 solicitations. This is much earlier in the month than Marvel is known to release their monthly solicitations. But it looks like they decided to release December 2021 solicitations early because of all the big plans they have to end the year that will set the stage for 2022. This includes the launch of several big events in the form of Devil’s Reign, Timeless, Fantastic Four: Reckoning War, and a new Star Wars crossover. Let’s see what else Marvel has planned to close out the year based on their December 2021 solicitations.
WILSON FISK DEVIL’S REIGN BEGINS
While Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto will end their current run on Daredevil in November that does not mean it is the end of their Daredevil stories. In particular, it looks as though their Daredevil run was just the beginning of the greater story they have created around Wilson Fisk and his current time as Mayor of New York City. That is all great news for us as the story Zdarsky and Checchetto have been developing grows in scale as they begin the Devil’s Reign event in December.
Based on the information that is released Wilson Fisk will take his whole anti-vigilante agenda to a whole new level that will not just impact Daredevil and Spider-Man. Wilson Fisk is now going all in on launching a new Thunderbolts team that includes the likes of Crossbones, Taskmaster, Typhoid Mary, Shocker, Whiplash, Rhino, and Kraven. That is an impressive line-up for the latest interation of the Thunderbolts. It certainly fits how Fisk’s administration will now also be targeting the Avengers, Fantastic Four and other New York-based heroes. That should all lead to a must-read event if Zdarsky and Checchetto’s Daredevil run is any indication of the type of story we are in store for with Devil’s Reign.
KANG THE CONQUEROR USHERS IN TIMELESS ERA
With Kang the Conqueror set to be the new Thanos of the Marvel Cinematic Universe there was no doubt that Marvel Comics would latch onto telling stories with the villain involved. That is exactly what we are getting as Marvel will be launching another event in December with Kang the Conqueror at the center. This event will be titled Timeless. This new event looks to be the most important out of all the events Marvel is starting in December as it will set the stage for the rest of the Marvel Universe in 2022.
Given the stakes that Timeless is going to be setting up how Kang the Conqueror is firmly established a major player will be interesting to see. Afterall, we’ve seen how Marvel has relied on Thanos as the ultimate big bad for their universe throughout the MCU’s existence. Now Kang is set to be elevated to that level in the comics as well. We’ll just have to wait and see how these plans around Kang unfold.
AVENGERS FOREVER THROUGH THE MULTIVERSE
Jason Aaron is taking his Avengers run to a new level as he will be launching a new series that is bringing back the Avengers Forever title. This isn’t a relaunch of his current Avengers series. That series is still going on. Avengers Forever looks to be Aaron now diving into the greater Marvel Multiverse. Which is fitting with how December will also mark the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going all in on the Multiverse with Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Based on the cover for Avengers Forever #1 every version of the Avengers roster throughout different continuities will be in play be part of the series. That could be an overwhelming cast if to many different Avengers across the Multiverse are used. Selecting one version of each of the iconic Avengers from different Multiverses would be a better way to go. But right now that is not completely clear so we will have to wait to see what Avengers Forever is and what its core roster will be.
THE TRUTH ABOUT PETER PARKER’S STATUS QUO
A major question in all the teases for the upcoming Spider-Man Beyond direction for the franchise is what the status quo for Peter Parker is as Ben Reilly takes over being Spider-Man. We’ll it looks like we got some confirmation on that front in the fact that Peter is not dead as many were thinking. Instead it looks like Peter will be spending the beginning part of Spider-Man Beyond healing from a severe injury or illness that not even his enhanced healing factor can overcome.
Now with the three of the five Amazing Spider-Man issues releasing in December we will see Peter, MJ, and Aunt May be brought back into the fold. Though it looks like they will be confined to the hospital where Peter is recovering. Which could all set the stage for what Peter’s official status quo in 2022 will be as it does seem as though he will start getting back in action because of those who are after him and MJ.
BEN REILLY VS MILES MORALES IN SPIDER-MAN BEYOND
Staying on the Spider-Man Beyond train for a bit more, December will also mark the first big meeting between Ben Reilly and Miles Morales. And unlike the friendly mentor-like relationship Miles shares with Peter it looks like Ben has no interest in letting Miles carry the Spider-Man legacy. This will likely feed into how Ben is being set-up as more of an anti-hero in his latest stint as Spider-Man. Which goes back to how the Beyond Corporation has a firm grip on Ben’s actions as Spider-Man.
Making things even more complicated for Ben Reilly’s return as Spider-Man is the fact that Doctor Octopus is returning to be a major player once again. We’ve seen during the Sinister War that Doctor Octopus is back to playing his own side. Whether that is viewed as good or bad is up to Doctor Octopus. At the very least, Doc Ock is set-up to be a major antagonist for Ben Reilly and the Beyond Corporation.
INFERNO CONCLUDES JONATHAN HICKMAN’S X-MEN ERA
Jonathan Hickman’s time as an ongoing writer on the X-Men franchise is coming to an end with December’s Inferno #4. Hickman and Marvel have been quick to mention that Hickman will still be around helping with constructing the ongoing narrative for the X-Men franchise. But the way both sides have talked about this new role, Hickman appears to be moving into more of a consulting Editor-In-Chief for the X-Men line. Which if we aren’t going to be getting new Hickman written X-Men comics for the time being this is the next best thing. Hickman will be able to help all the creative teams ensure the vision he started for the X-Men franchise will continue rather than Marvel working to undo things as they’ve done in the past with X-Men runs by Grant Morrison and others.
This also should make the ending of the Inferno to be even more meaningful. Hickman has been teasing the fact that Mystique will burn Krakoa to the ground. You cannot blame her given the decisions that Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Moira MacTaggert have made. What will be left in whatever endgame Mystique has in mind could very well shape how 2022 will play out for the X-Men franchise.
OLD MAN LOGAN RETURNS TO THE WASTELAND
For all the different universes that exist in Marvel’s Multiverse there is no universe they like to revisit more than the one from the Old Man Logan storyline. This is by far Marvel’s favorite universe to tell stories in outside the main 616-Universe. And Marvel will be closing out 2021 by taking us back to Old Man Logan’s Wasteland Universe with not just one comic book but five comic books set in that universe.
The five comic books will be solo titles for Wolverine, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Star-Lord, and Doctor Doom. That is a lot to go with considering how Marvel is packing December 2021 with other big events and titles releasing multiple issue in a month. The five Wastelanders comic books should’ve been save for a less crowded month to have a chance to sell well. As it stands all the Wastelanders comics could very well be lost in the shuffle due to bigger and more important events to the main Marvel Universe.
CAPTAIN KRAKOA DEBUTS IN X-MEN
For as much as the X-Men have to be worried about with what is going on in Krakoa they will have plenty to be distracted by with all the threats aiming for them. But those threats may be small fry compared to what the debut of Captain Krakoa means for the X-Men team. The cover and solicitation for X-Men #6 doesn’t clear up who this Captain Krakoa is. Based on the design alone it does look like Captain Krakoa could be Charles Xavier.
This isn’t out of the realm of possibility since Xavier has made it clear he wants to control everything related to mutants. That includes trying to have his fingerprints on the newly launched X-Men team that Cyclops and Jean Grey have formed. With it being mentioned that Cyclops is not at all happy to have Captain Krakoa suddenly appear the likelihood it is Xavier is even higher given their disagreement during Swords of X. But maybe Duggan will surprise us and have it be someone completely different.
FANTASTIC FOUR RECKONING WAR BEGINS
Not to be left out as the only franchise without a big event the Fantastic Four are set to begin their latest major storyline called Reckoning War. The Fantastic Four event won’t actually begin until the beginning of 2022 but that won’t stop Dan Slott from working on prelude chapters. That is what he will be doing with Fantastic Four #39 that is going to set the stage for the start of Reckoning War.
Given how many events are going to be taking place as we enter 2022 it is imperative Slott gets as much momentum going into Reckoning War. Because if he doesn’t start building hype for it than this Fantastic Four could be drowned out by other big events. That is not the spot the Fantastic Four should be as one of Marvel’s big franchises. They should be viewed as major players by fans like Spider-Man, X-Men and Avengers are.
STAR WARS LATEST TRILOGY REACHES SECOND STAGE
For all the big things going on in the Marvel Universe they may all pale in comparison to what is going on in the Star Wars comics. Because we now have learned that the Star Wars comics have become their own trilogy of sorts. Beginning with the current War Of The Bounty Hunters crossover, we are going to begin the second entry in the Star Wars comics version of a trilogy. This second installment comes in the form of Charles Soule and Steven Cummings’ Star Wars: Crimson Reign event.
What immediately stands out from what we learn about Star Wars: Crimson Reign is that Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra from the Solo: A Star Wars Story is returning. Last we saw of Qi’ra was her officially becoming a key person in Darth Maul’s crime syndicate. Given the fact that Star Wars: Rebels established that Darth Maul was finally killed by an aged Obi-Wan Kenobi a couple years before A New Hope we don’t know where Qi’ra has been all this time. But since she is returning for Star Wars: Crimson Reign the death of Darth Maul could’ve elevated her to be an even more powerful character in the Star Wars Universe. We will have to wait and see what Qi’ra’s ultimate role will be in December.
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