Continuing the momentum from January Marvel is going to make sure that the beginning of 2022 is something they make as big as possible with their February 2022 publishing line-up. Along with events such as Devil’s Reign, X Lives/X Deaths of Wolverine, and Fantastic Four: Reckoning War a new big event has entered the Marvel ring. That event is the Spider-Gwen multiverse event titled Gwenverse. If that wasn’t enough there are major developments going on in the Spider-Man, X-Men, and other Marvel titles to keep our attention high in the Marvel Universe. Let’s check out all the things coming to us in February 2022 from Marvel’s latest solicitations.
X LIVES & DEATHS OF WOLVERINE REWRITING LOGAN’S ORIGIN
To say that Wolverine has a complicated history would be putting it nicely. Wolverine by far has one of the more convoluted histories for his character alone. When you factor in all the children, clones, and other related characters trying to explain the history of Wolverine is would take several semesters of a History class to take.
It is for this very fact where I could possibly be interested in actually checking out the X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine event that is going at the beginning of 2022. The February 2022 solicitations for both these Wolverine titles heavily hint at exploring Logan’s past, possibly giving us a refined version of his backstory. Which would be very welcomed for a character that has long needed to have his history told in a easily consumable way.
Adding in the Wolverine Family to this event is another smart play. Even though Logan has accepted Laura Kinney, Daken, and Gabby Kinney as his family we haven’t seen them interact with each other very much. Bringing them together for X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine is a good opportunity to explore the family dynamic they all share. Something that should have a wealth of story and character development possibilities that Benjamin Percy can mine from.
SPIDER-GWEN ENTERS THE GWENVERSE
If there is one thing that Marvel is never not guilty of is maximizing successful concepts. Not only do they look to maximize on successes but you could say they drain those success until there is nothing left. That is certainly what it feels like when it comes to the Spider-Verse concept that originally took place back in 2014. Since then Spider-Verse has been one of the most marketable terms that Marvel has. Now they are taking that and giving Spider-Gwen/Ghost-Spider her very own Spider-Verse event titled Gwenverse.
Now for as much as I will call out Marvel for how they just repeat successful storylines in hopes to replicate that sales success I do have to admit that I am going to be picking up Gwenverse. Gwen Stacy as Spider-Gwen and Ghost-Spider has been one of the best things that Marvel has done in a long time. Every Spider-Gwen and Ghost-Spider thus far have been some of the most overlooked titles that deserved to have been more successful as they’ve all been quality reads. So of course I am excited to see Gwen Stacy get her own event after largely playing supporting roles in the events that star Peter Parker and Miles Morales.
I hope that Tim Seeley and Jodi Nishijima understand what has made Gwen Stacy as Spider-Gwen and Ghost-Spider such a fan favorite character. Because I want to see this Gwenverse event be what opens up the opportunity for a new Ghost-Spider series. Or maybe a series with any these alternate universe Gwen Stacy’s as there are a lot of great designs, such as the Captain Marvel Gwen Stacy featured in the Peach Momoko character variant for Gwenverse.
JOHNNY BLAZE RETURNS AS GHOST RIDER
Ghost Rider is one of those Marvel characters that I’ve always understood the appeal of but just have never been able to become a fan of. For all the Ghost Rider comic books I’ve read in an attempt to get into the character I’ve never connected with the character in any of their incarnations. Still I’m always willing to give it a chance because I do want to see if I can find a run that gets me into Ghost Rider.
That is at least the mentality I will be going in with the newest Ghost Rider series that will see the return of Johnny Blaze to the role. While it is cool to see Johnny Blaze back as Ghost Rider what peaked my interest in this new series is that it will be written by Benjamin Percy. I’ve been impressed by Percy’s work on Green Arrow, Wolverine, and X-Force thus far that he has become a creator I will at least try the first issue of one of his new comics. Hopefully this new Ghost Rider series will finally make into a fan of this character.
MADELYNE PRYOR NO MORE, NEW GOBLIN QUEEN RISES
Did you know that Madelyne Pryor was being set up to have a big return in the X-Men comics over in the Hellions series? No. Good because Marvel doesn’t look to remember as they’ve taken the Goblin Queen title that Madelyne Pryor has held for so long and given it to someone else. And it is not another X-Men villain. Instead the new Goblin Queen will be the newest Spider-Man villain that Ben Reilly will be taking on as he continues on as Spider-Man.
What makes the announcement of a new Goblin Queen funny is the fact that Marvel gave away the identity of this new villain not in their solicitation information. Rather they ended up outing the identity of the new Goblin Queen being Dr. Ashley Kafka, who is currently working for the Beyond Corporation where she is serving as Ben Reilly’s psychiatrist, from the Patrick Gleason variant cover for Amazing Spider-Man #88 that specifically has her name as the new villain written at the top of the cover. It definitely does seem like this was an accident because the solicitations and other covers try to play up how there is a mystery behind who the new Goblin Queen terrorizing Spider-Man is.
On a story side of things it is extremely disappointing to learn that Dr. Kafka will be turned into a villain. The Beyond Board, specifically Zeb Wells and Kelly Thompson, did such a good job setting up Dr. Kafka as a strong supporting character for Ben Reilly, something he certainly needed. This certainly takes away all interest in how she is developed leading up to this Goblin Queen turn as we now know she is going to be a villain in the end. Going the villain route with Dr. Kafka just further emphasizes how Ben Reilly’s latest run as Spider-Man feels temporary as we all wait for Peter Parker to get better and reclaim the title.
SECRET X-MEN REVEALED
The current X-Men were elected not just during the Hellfire Gala but also by fans in the lead up to that event. It is how Polaris ended up being part of the new X-Men roster. Now it looks like the ones that Marvel had fans vote on for who would join Cyclops and Marvel Girl’s new X-Men team will be working together. Or at least they will team up for a one-shot series titled Secret X-Men.
This new undercover team will be made up of Marrow, Tempo, Forge, Banshee, Strong Guy, Armor, and Boom-Boom with Sunspot and Cannonball serving as co-leaders. The Secret X-Men are certainly a powerhouse line-up even without any of the iconic X-Men most fans know. And it looks like the Secret X-Men direction is going to deal more with the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe that SWORD is a part of as they go on a mission to save Empress Xandra.
What’ll be interesting to see is if this is a one time team-up or if the Secret X-Men will continue to operate. Especially considering over in the current X-Men series we will have the new Captain Krakoa take over leadership from Cyclops. Now we still don’t know if Captain Krakoa will be Scott Summers new identity or a new character all together. Marvel has surprisingly been secretive with the characters identity. But if Scott Summers is not Captain Krakoa maybe the Secret X-Men could be what he is actually in charge of from the shadows after the recent conversation he had with Jean Grey in X-Men #3.
NEW IRON FIST PUNCHES HIS WAY INTO MARVEL UNIVERSE
Sorry Danny Rand but your Netflix series really did not help your case with getting a new Iron Fist comic book series. But at least it did not mean the end of Iron Fist as a franchise. Because now in February 2022 a new person will step up to take over the Iron Fist identity.
Joking aside, I’m actually interested to see what direction Alyssa Wong and Marvel go with this new Iron Fist. Based on the solicitations there are hints that Danny Rand won’t just disappear. I would like to see Danny actually assume a mentor role for whoever is Iron Fist now. That would be a good progression of his character after all he has been through. Passing along what he has learned as Iron Fist to the next generation hero would also help improve the chances of this new character having long-term success.
SABERTOOTH VENGEANCE TOUR BEGINS
One of the dangling sub-plots from the rise of Krakoa during House of X and Powers of X is the imprisonment of Sabretooth by the Quiet Council in House of X #6. That was a decision that Victor Creed was not at all happy about even though he knows the crime he committed. It was only a matter of time Sabretooth got out of the hole he was put in.
Well now we know the time for his release is February 2022 as Sabretooth somehow makes it out of the Quiet Council’s Pit. And based on the solicitation for Sabretooth #1 that only means bad things for everyone on Krakoa as he is going to be out for revenge. Which is definitely a big change with the current direction of the X-Men being one were we don’t see mutants in a villain role anymore. Sabretooth returning and being positioned as a definitive villain will certainly make him stand out from the pact. What this could mean for the current direction of X-Men franchise has been on is anyone’s guess.
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