Marvel is looking to begin their 2019 strong with a number of new comics hitting the market in January, led by Captain Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy. Along with those big comics releasing in January 2019 it looks like Marvel has big plans for the X-Men as multiple big X-related stories will be taking place to begin the year. That is all on top of everything else going around the Marvel Universe involving the Avengers, Spider-Man and other major characters. Let’s take a look at all of Marvel’s plans for the new year from what was revealed in their January 2019 solicitations.
NEW YEAR, NEW CREATIVE TEAMS WITH FRESH #1 ISSUES
A crop of brand new #1 issue comics for relaunched series is nothing new to Marvel fans. This has been part of the norm of what is expected from Marvel’s publishing line. What makes this latest group of #1 comics is that they feature creators that can make up the future creative group for the long-term of the Marvel Universe. Assigning talented creators like Kelly Thompson, Tom Taylor, Chip Zdarsky and Donny Cates with notable characters from the Marvel Universe is a great way to build their name with audiences. And with Marvel losing many big names over the years, Brian Bendis being the latest, they need to make sure they are doing everything possible to build new names that will help sell comics in the long-term.
Among the new comics that will be released in January 2019 the biggest one is Captain Marvel. While Captain Marvel has never been a big seller this series is positioned to be one of the top tier Marvel titles. That will be due to the upcoming release of Captain Marvel, which Marvel and Disney are pushing heavily to be as successful as Black Panther. With that kind of marketing around the character Thompson’s Captain Marvel will have a lot of attention on it.
The other big title in this group looks to Guardians of the Galaxy. Over the last week Marvel slowly started to reveal the possible members of the new Guardians of the Galaxy team post-Infinity Wars. The new team will be made up of a combination of Groot, Moondragon, Nova, Silver Surfer, Cosmic Ghost Rider, Adam Warlock, Beta Ray Bill, Darkhawk, Star-Lord, Phyla-Vell and Gladiator. Its notable to mention that among the possible members only Star-Lord and Groot are from the team that has been heavily featured since the release of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Personally I would love the new team to be Nova, Star-Lord, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Moondragon and Phylla-Vell. That would be a powerhouse team with a unique dynamic. Though that could be said for any combination of the characters featured on the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #1.
JASON AARON BRINGS BACK CONAN THE BARBARIAN
It’s always great to see when creators get to work on their dream projects. That is the case for Jason Aaron writing Marvel’s new Conan The Barbarian series. If you followed Aaron’s Twitter account since this series was announced he clearly has a deep love for the character. Even though I’ve never read a Conan The Barbarian comic book just seeing the excitement in which Aaron has talked about the character has me interested in checking the series out. And seeing as his work on Thor has been excellent since given reigns to that franchise there is no doubt Aaron can excel with a Conan The Barbarian series.
FANTASTIC FOUR VS DOCTOR DOOM VS GALACTUS
The long-awaited relaunched Fantastic Four series has been a mixed bag so far. Though Dan Slott clearly knows the franchise not everything he has done to this point has been successful. That could change with Fantastic Four #6, if not earlier, as the issue will feature the appearance from Galactus and Doctor Doom. These are the two villains most synonymous with the Fantastic Four. So to have both characters involved in the same story should lead to a big story.
What makes things even more interesting is that the solicitation for Fantastic Four is positioning Doctor Doom as the protagonist and Reed Richards as the antagonist for the story. While this is likely Marvel trying to be creative for their Fantastic Four #6 solicitation it would be cool to see Slott take this direction. It would change things up and open the possibility for new ways to tell stories in Fantastic Four.
MARVEL UNIVERSE WITHOUT DAREDEVIL
If the name “The Death of Daredevil” was not enough to convince you that Daredevil will be dying in the upcoming story than the mini-series Man Without Fear should. This new mini-series will be spotlighting characters that are connected to Daredevil, including Kingpin and the mysterious Guardian Devil. Though it is interesting to note that the solicitations mention that Daredevil is gone, not Matt Murdock. Given that that we have do not know if the upcoming story will only be the end of the Daredevil identity. Since this is comics this is highly likely and with the mysterious Guardian Devil teased for Man Without Fear #5 it won’t be surprising if that is Matt Murdock’s new identity for a period of time.
CYCLOPS BACK FROM THE DEAD…….MAYBE?
Cyclops is one of my favorite X-Men. When he is at his best Cyclops is the ultimate leader that has help carry the X-Men through every dark moment while maintaining the vision Charles Xavier created the team to accomplish. So when Marvel decided to paint Cyclops as Neo-Magneto in recent years I was extremely disappointed. Though there were times Cyclops was written well, this period of the X-Men with Cyclops seen as their greatest villain was a very poor time for the franchise.
Because of how Cyclops has been written in recent years I am cautiously optimistic that Marvel will bring back the classic version of the character back. Having Cyclops return to form will be extremely helpful for the X-Men as they return to prominence. With Jean Grey and Wolverine back into their classic versions, for the most part, we will hopefully see Cyclops get a similar positive return.
AVENGERS BECOME WAKANDA’S MIGHTIEST HEROES
Something that was brought up on the podcast by Rokk and Steven was the fact that the Avengers under Black Panther’s leadership are being integrated with Wakanda. That was a good point (shhh….don’t let Rokk know I complimented one of his comments) that Avengers #12 is going to establish as Black Panther will be setting up his on staff made up of Agents of Wakanda. Now we don’t know what Black Panther’s full staff plans are but this new information from the solicitation does paint the Avengers as being agents for Wakanda when they are supposed to be Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and not tied to just one government. But since I have enjoyed the majority of Aaron’s Avengers run I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt with this for now.
DEMON IN A BOTTLE RETURNS FOR TONY STARK
“Demon In A Bottle” is one of the most iconic Marvel storylines. It is something we have seen revisited in various forms in the Iron Man comics over the years. So it is not surprising that Dan Slott would choose to do his own version of the story in the form of “Digital Demon in a Bottle.” I have not been as invested in Slott’s Iron Man as I originally thought I would be. There is just some things off with the direction Slott is taking the character. That said, it will be hard for me to resist Slott’s “Digital Demon in a Bottle” as it could be a turning point for his run that either gets me fully invested or makes me drop the series entirely.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: WORLD’S MOST WANTED
Though Secret Empire was a massive failure it has provided Ta-Nehisi Coates the opportunity to explore Captain America in a different light. No longer the symbol of all that is right with the world Captain America has been left to question who he is and what the direction of the world is going on. Things will only get darker for Captain America’s journey for redemption as he will now be wanted for murder. That is not a great place for the former face of Hydra to be in and won’t help Steve Rogers regain the support from everyone that he previously had. While not great for Captain America this should lead to an even greater exploration of who the character is by Coates. And it is anything like recent issues this story will be a another win for a series that is quietly becoming one of Marvel’s best comics.
SPIDER-GWEN GETTING POWER BOOST
With so many different Spider-Men and Spider-Woman with the same powers it has been tough for anyone not named Peter Parker and Miles Morales to set themselves apart. Gwen Stacy has done a good job being the one rare character to establish herself as Spider-Gwen, and soon to be Ghost-Spider. Though the character still has the same power problem as all the other Spider-characters. That will change starting in January with Marvel teasing a unique ability for Spider-Gwen in Ghost-Spider #4. From what we learn in the solicitations it seems that this new ability may be lethal if Spider-Gwen does not use it with the proper control.