Marvel unveiled their plans to start the new year hot with the release of their January 2020 solicitations. There are several things that were solicited that we knew from New York Comic-Con. Joining those announcements was reveal that there is possibly a new Spider-Man event being built by Nick Spencer starting in January. Along with that we got a surprising new Avengers series, more trouble for the X-Men and other things in development across the Marvel Universe. Let’s take a look at what big things Marvel’s January 2020 solicitations revealed.
Before getting to that, see our breakdown on the new Iron Man Guardians of the Galaxy Thor, Captain Marvel’s spinoff Star series, Marvel’s “The End” and Star Wars relaunch that we spoke about during our New York Comic-Con coverage.
ABSOLUTE CARNAGE LEADS TO RUINS OF RAVENCROFT EVENT
One of the things I missed out on talking about from Marvel’s New York Comic Con announcements was the Ravencroft event starting in January 2020. Ravencroft is a place that is not often used in Marvel’s comics. It’s actually been rare location to be a major part of a story. So for Marvel to pick the beginning of 2020 to have an entire event centered around Ravencroft is an interesting choice.
Though the event does not scream must have, both the Ravencroft mini-series and the Ruins of Ravencroft tie-ins can start building the long-term future of the building. Hopefully that is the intention of this event centered around Ravencroft. Because Marvel could potentially build a lot of bigger stories down the line for characters like Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Daredevil that can make great use of the Ravencroft location. Having that kind of investment can be good for the Marvel Universe as a whole since there aren’t many iconic locations being utilized right now.
OLD THREAT RETURNS FOR THE X-MEN
Outside of the Sentinels and world government officials we still are in the dark of what kind of big time threats the X-Men will be dealing with in this new continuity created by House of X and Powers of X. The build up to what big threats the X-Men are going to be dealing with seem to be a big focus for the January issues of X-Men, X-Force, New Mutants and Marauders. Having groups like the Shi’ar Empire in particular can highlight how the X-Men must be prepared for things beyond Earth to be successful in their current vision.
More intriguing will be the old threat that is being teased for X-Men #5. Charles Xavier and Magneto have assemble the majority of villainous mutants to join the X-Men on Krakoa. Thus far we’ve only seen Sabertooth still playing the same villain he has always been. Bringing in another big X-Men villain that isn’t being used could elevate that character up given the current status quo. Who that will be is anyone’s guess right now.
BUILD TOWARDS NEW SPIDER-MAN EVENT BEGINS
Ever since the “Hunted” storyline Amazing Spider-Man has been going down a direction of building other comics like Amazing Mary Jane, Absolute Carnage and the 2099 brand. To his credit, Nick Spencer has done a fine job using these last half dozen issues to develop Peter Parker’s life in an interesting way. But there is only so much time Amazing Spider-Man can spend building others rather than itself.
That looks to be what will happen starting with Amazing Spider-Man #37, which will build towards a storyline called “Last Remains.” Given the story title “Last Remains” is likely to center around Kindred, who has been a major part of Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run thus far. It would be a smart thing to do because the Kindred storyline finally gained some momentum during the Absolute Carnage tie-in issues. Spencer must use that momentum to go all in on building towards the confrontation between Spider-Man and Kindred.
Also, given how the Spider-Man franchise now dominates Marvel’s monthly releases it won’t be surprising if Amazing Spider-Man #37 starts teasing a big Spider-Man event. The Spider-Man franchise, in the comic book realm, has never been hotter with how many successful comics it has. 2020 may be the time to bring together Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, Venom, Black Cat and others together for a big Spider-Man Family event.
AVENGERS DISCOVER A NEW STARBRAND
Avengers has been on such a weird position since relaunching with Jason Aaron as the new writer. There have been various events or other storylines it has been tied into. It is only now that it feels like Aaron’s Avengers is starting to gain its own momentum. Which is very much needed since the Avengers should be the third pillar along with X-Men and Spider-Man for Marvel. Having a storyline centered around a new Starbrand is the type of big cosmic story to provide the Avengers a sense of importance. Though I’m still not sold on an Avengers team made up of Brood Thor, Captain Corsair, the War Widow, the new-look She-Hulk and Blade. That roster isn’t a big selling point but with Avengers being Aaron’s main focus now I trust he can make it work to build towards something bigger.
APOCALYPSE SETTING HIS PLANS IN MOTION
While most of the X-Men are busy with various new threats and business dealings the Excalibur series seems to be placing a big emphasis on what Apocalypse is doing. One of the many things that stood out from House of X and Powers of X was the use of Apocalypse. Even though he is now working with Xavier and Magneto it still seems like Apocalypse has his own motives at play. There is no way that someone like Apocalypse would simply follow Xavier and Magneto’s direction for the mutants future.
Excalibur #5 and Excalibur #6 indicates that we will be seeing what Apocalypse plans are. It would not be surprising if the ritual he is performing in those Excalibur issues lead to him creating his own endgame. Rogue, Gambit and Jubilee standing behind Apocalypse as he sits on a throne while Captain Britain kneels before him further points to that possibility.
MATT MURDOCK IS DAREDEVIL AGAIN
Looks like the training under Elektra will finally payoff for Matt Murdock as he steps back into his old black Daredevil costume in January 2020. The build up towards Matt returning to being Daredevil has been well handled thus far by Chip Zdarsky. It has felt like a true journey of Matt rediscovering the fire he once had rather than forcing himself to be something he isn’t ready for. Elektra being the key person to lead Matt back to being Daredevil is fitting.
Even more interesting is the fact that rather than calling him Mayor Wilson Fisk, the solicitation for Daredevil #16 specifically states “Kingpin plans to rekindle some alliances of his own.” Given Fisk’s most recent action of brutally killing one of the country’s elite for pissing him off maybe we will see him return to being the Kingpin full-time. How that works with him being Mayor of New York City will be very interesting to see play out.
ALEX ROSS & JIM KRUEGER REUNITE FOR MARVELS X
I have to admit that the Earth X trilogy are one of the big Marvel comics that I have yet to read. For whatever reason, I have not gotten around to reading the Earth X comics yet. That said, seeing Alex Ross and Jim Krueger return to tell a brand new Earth X story with Marvels X immediately stood out. There is just something about seeing Alex Ross as part of the main creative team that will always get my attention. His work when working as a writer or artist on a comic is always notable. Maybe now I’ll read the Earth X trilogy in anticipation for the Marvels X prequel comic.
SPIDER-MAN TRANSFORMS INTO IMMORTAL HULK
It has been incredible to see how the Immortal Hulk series has risen up in prominence as one of Marvel’s best selling monthly comics. It speaks to how Al Ewing’s quality work has paid off that the series has gained so much acclaim that fans can’t resist picking it up. Highlighting how popular the Immortal Hulk series is the fact it is getting a spinoff one-shot with Spider-Man assuming the role of Immortal Hulk. Seeing Spider-Man take on the Immortal Hulk look is immediately eye catching. Having Tom Taylor and Jorge Molina on board as the creative team help further grab that attention as both have turned in strong work during their time working for Marvel.
AVENGERS OF THE WASTELAND RISE UP
While Dead Man Logan seemingly ended Old Man Logan’s time in the spotlight it did not stop that Marvel Universe. We’ve recently seen Marvel publish an Old Man Quill for Star-Lord. Now Marvel is giving the Avengers the same treatment with Avengers of the Wasteland. From the solicitation for Avengers of the Wastelands, it does look like this series will directly tie into the original Old Man Logan storyline. The question is which other characters outside Dani Cage’s Thor, Ant-Man and Hulk will end up showing up in this new series? There is a lot of room to explore what the Wasteland Marvel Universe is like without the classic Avengers or X-Men around. Ed Brisson can tap into that like has done with his previous Marvel work.
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