If February 2019 solicitations are to be followed then it looks like Marvel has some big plans for the early part of the year. Among the announcement we got a major shift for the X-Men as Marvel continues to revive the franchise back to the prominence they once had. Along with that we are going to see the team of Kurt Busiek and Alexa Ross reunite, an Avengers-led event, a new Thanos and much more. Now let’s take a look at all the big things Marvel has in store for us from what was announced in their February 2019 solicitations.
KURT BUSIEK AND ALEX ROSS RETURN WITH MARVELS ANNOTATED
It is a bit crazy to think that MARVELS has reached its 25th anniversary. The series came out right when I first started reading comic books. I still remember just being in awe of Alex Ross’ artwork as a kid. The story that Kurt Busiek wrote with Ross still holds up now. So seeing the pairing of Busiek and Ross team back up is something to watch. What makes MARVELS ANNOTATED even more interesting is that it will be revisiting the early years of the Marvel Universe with the original Human Torch being one of the spotlight characters. With how Marvel ignores much of this period it will definitely be refreshing to see how Busiek and Ross approach this time period. Hopefully they stick to the 1930s and 1940s period to help MARVELS ANNOTATED stand out even more from its predecessor.
AVENGERS HAVE NO ROAD HOME
Avengers: No Surrender is not one of Marvel’s most memorable events. Though that could be said about many recent Marvel events. So it is surprising that Marvel has decided to revisit the concept around No Surrender with Avengers: No Road Home. Given that Jason Aaron has returned the Avengers back to being a major title with stories that feel like a big event No Road Home feels like an even bigger cash grab from the franchise. The only thing that Avengers: No Road Home has going for it from the cover is that it’ll feature Avengers not being used in any current stories. For fans of Scarlet Witch, Hercules and Vision this could be a good series for you to pick. For everyone else Avengers: No Road Home will likely be an event to pass, especially with other big things going on in the Marvel Universe.
CHIP ZDARSKY AND MARCO CHECCHETTO TAKEOVER DAREDEVIL
We don’t get much information on the relaunch of the Daredevil series other than that the new creative team will be Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto. With how the current “Death of Daredevil” storyline is going the big question of this new series will be if it is Matt Murdock under the mask. While that is a big uncertainty I fully trust the team of Zdarsky and Checchetto to deliver big on Marvel’s most consistently well written and drawn ongoing comic book. Especially with Zdarsky coming off a strong run on Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man this new run on Daredevil will only further elevate his name with Marvel fans.
NEW THANOS RISES
Infinity Wars opened with the surprising death of Thanos. Given that Thanos was the star of Avengers: Infinity War and likely the star of Avengers 4 there is no way Marvel will keep the character dead for long. That is confirmed with Thanos returning in some form in Guardians of the Galaxy #2. Marvel is teasing that this will be a brand new Thanos. Does this mean that someone else will claim the name of Thanos? Or has Thanos’ spirit that has been haunting Gamora in Infinity Wars found a new host to bring him back to life? We won’t know until Guardians of the Galaxy #2 releases but will be fun to speculate.
STAR-LORD PETER QUILL BECOMES AN OLD MAN
The “Old Man” name has become its own title that both Marvel and DC Comics have been using lately after the success of Old Man Logan. We have already seen Hawkeye and Harley Quinn get their own “Old Man” style stories now it is Star-Lord, Peter Quill’s, turn. Star-Lord isn’t exactly the character that I would’ve picked to get a title named Old Man Quill. But given that he has become the most high profile cosmic character thanks to the Guardians of the Galaxy movies its not surprising. Old Man Quill will benefit that it will be giving us a look at how the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe will look in a possible future where current heroes have aged. Though I’m not familiar with Ethan Sacks or Robert Gill’s past work so this may be a trade wait mini-series for me.
MARVELOUS AGE OF X-MAN
When Marvel sees an opportunity to get a cash grab on a concept they go for it. The four mini-series being released under the Age of X-Man banner is a clear example of that. The Age of X-Man hasn’t even started and Marvel is already going to drive the concept into the ground starting in February. With how much momentum the X-Men are building this is an eye-roll decision. And rather than build interest for the Age of X-Man all Marvel is doing is making sure that this is a story and concept is easy to avoid because of the big monetary investment that can go to other Marvel titles.
CYCLOPS AND WOLVERINE TEAM-UP TO SAVE THE X-MEN FRANCHISE
The X-Men are at their best when Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm and Wolverine are the pillars of the franchise. Uncanny X-Men has brought Jean and Storm back to that leadership role they held. Now in February Cyclops and Wolverine will also be returning at a time the X-Men need them the most. From the solicitations for Uncanny X-Men #11 and #12 it looks like “X-Men Disassembled” will the current storyline won’t go well for the current X-Men. Good thing both Cyclops and Wolverine will be returning and surprisingly work together to help rebuild the X-Men. This is a great thing to see, especially after how badly Marvel has treated Cyclops in the last decade. Hopefully this will return Cyclops back to his prominent position as the X-Men’s leader alongside Jean, Storm and Wolverine.
KRAVEN BEGINS AMAZING SPIDER-MAN “HUNTED” EVENT
It wasn’t going to be long before Nick Spencer delivered a new Spider-Man event. That is exactly what he started building towards in his first story arc on Amazing Spider-Man as Kraven the Hunter has been up to something in the shadows. Now whatever Kraven has been planning will start to come to light in February with Amazing Spider-Man #16. Since “Hunted” is being built to be a big event and Kraven having a great history in these type of settings Spencer has a lot to live up to. If Spencer’s current Amazing Spider-Man is to be taken into account “Hunted” could very well be one of Spider-Man’s best recent story.
Before we get to “Hunted” Spencer is also teasing that something big will happen to Aunt May in Amazing Spider-Man #15. The way the solicitation is phrased it seems that Spencer is teasing Aunt May’s death. That is highly unlikely as Marvel and Spencer would have a greater build to such a big event in Spider-Man’s life.
WINTER SOLDIER GETS HIS OWN BUCKY
To help out a young kid it looks like Bucky Barnes will be getting his own Bucky-like sidekick. Positioning Bucky in a mentor-role is not something that at first glance seems to fit with Winter Soldier’s character. But given everything Bucky has been through in his life he may be a surprisingly good mentor as he can relate to being a sidekick who grew up to go from villainous assassin to superhero. Because of that there is a lot of potential in where Kyle Higgins plans to take Winter Soldier from here and how it could set-up the characters future beyond this mini-series.
KAMALA KHAN CELEBRATES MAJOR MILESTONE AS MS. MARVEL
How quickly time passes. It’s incredible to think that in February Kamala Khan will be celebrating her fifth anniversary as a character in the Marvel Universe. It does not feel that long ago that she took over the role of Ms. Marvel. What makes Kamala’s Ms. Marvel anniversary more impressive is that she has been a consistent presence in the Marvel Universe since debut. She hasn’t had the drop off that other new characters Marvel has tried to introduce normally have. The only other character that has shared a similar success in recent memory is Miles Morales. So my hats of to G. Willow Wilson and Marvel for building Kamala up to have a very good fan base that supports the character coming into her own as Ms. Marvel.