Marvel looks to be starting out their 2021 the same way they will end 2020 as King In Black will continue to dominate what will be happening across the Marvel Universe. The event only looks to be getting bigger as it will reach its middle chapter. But it won’t all be King In Black’s show to start 2021. As we’ll see a new beginning will start to form for Spider-Man as the franchise deals with the fallout from “Last Remains.” On top of that the X-Men look to be still dealing with the fallout of X Of Swords and a whole new era will begin for the Star Wars comics. Let’s take a closer look at how Marvel will begin the new year with their solicitations for January 2021.
KING IN BLACK DOMINATES THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
As mentioned in the intro 2021 will see King In Black get bigger in its reach as everyone in the Marvel Universe will be involved in the symbiote led event. The more we get into this new event the more it becomes like a typical Marvel event as just about every title gets involved. Looking at the main mini-series itself it is interesting to see Thor battling Knull on the cover for King In Black #3. That visual alone is enough to create hype for that issue. But what will be really interesting to see is how King In Black plants more seeds into the future vision that Thor was shown by Black Winter in Donny Cates’ run in the God Of Thunder’s main series. The visual we got in Thor #6 showed the possibility that the symbiotes will play a factor in what Thor saw.
Along with what will take place in the main series we will also be getting a whole new slate of tie-in mini-series for King In Black. One of the mini-series that caught my eye was King In Black: Thunderbolts. The Thunderbolts team has seen its fair share of intriguing rosters. What makes this roster for the Thunderbolts stand out is the fact that Mayor Wilson Fisk will be responsible for assembling the team. Given how Mayor Fisk has continued to amplify his anti-superhero agenda as part of his administration as Mayor of New York City this could lead to greater developments in the future. We’ll likely see the direct impact of this decision to assemble the Thunderbolts be felt not long after King In Black in both the Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil series’.
The other mini-series that caught my eye was King In Black: Gwenom vs Carnage. It is a nice surprise that Marvel is actually exploring the fact that Gwen Stacy’s current spider powers as Ghost-Spider are thanks to a synthetic symbiote created in her universe. Playing into how there is a symbiote not connected to Knull or the symbiote planet gives this Gwenom vs Carnage mini-series a sense of importance if done correctly. The mini-series can also help set the stage for what Ghost-Spider’s status quo will be now that she is part of the main Marvel Universe.
STAGE IS SET FOR SPIDER-MAN FRANCHISE NEW BEGINNING
While we no doubt will see Spider-Man play a role in King In Black his franchise will also be plenty busy to start the year as they all deal with the fallout of Last Remains. Based on the solicitations for Amazing Spider-Man #56 through #58 it is made clear that there will be a new beginning for the franchise. Last Remains does seem to be the end of everything that Nick Spencer has built his run to be. Now that he’ll be able to close the book on the Kindred story a whole new book is about to take shape.
And looking at the of Amazing Spider-Man #56 it looks like whatever Spencer plans to do next it will heavily involve Norman Osborn and Mayor Fisk. We saw in the beginning of “Last Remains” in Amazing Spider-Man #50 that Norman Osborn was cleansed by Sin-Eater. That has already led to major changes for Norman but like so many other changes the character has been through it does not look to be permanent. The look on Norman’s face for the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #56 does indicate that the old evil Norman Osborn will be returning.
Making that turn a bigger deal is the implication that Norman will be working with Mayor Wilson Fisk in the future. That could be a major team-up between two powerful Marvel villains. Especially with Mayor Fisk reforming the Thunderbolts under his administration bringing in Norman Osborn, who once led the Thunderbolts the post-Civil War era in the mid-2000s. Factoring all that in a team-up between Fisk and Osborn could be something that impacts all the titles with heroes who reside in New York City.
X-MEN EXPANSION INTO SPACE CONTINUES
Much like Spider-Man, the X-Men will also be extremely busy with their own adventures and problems in addition to being part of the King In Black event. One of the things that looks to be something that Jonathan Hickman is going to be doing post-X Of Swords is expanding the reach of the X-Men beyond Earth. Hickman has toyed with that being something in the X-Men’s plans in a few different issues of the main series. Now he’ll be dealing with a major part of the Marvel Universe as he brings the Shi’ar Empire back into the X-Men books. Given how much the Shi’ar Empire have been part of many Marvel cosmic stories in the last two decades there is a lot that Hickman can play with how the three leaders of the X-Men in Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm handle this relationship.
On top of that, after it being teased a while back, we will finally see the release of the Children of the Atom series. Based on the cover and what Vita Ayala and others have talked about this series about it looks like these Children of the Atom will be a team of kids that are inspired by iconic X-Men. This is a very different young team of mutants. With New X-Men and New Mutants we’ve seen how while the core X-Men team do try to provide mentorship the young mutants are brought together because they are part of the school or direction the franchise is taking. Children of the Atom are different in that they are coming together because they want to be like their heroes in the X-Men. Having that distinction to the Children of the Atom does give the series a different tone it can take, especially if the X-Men that inspire these new heroes play a role in mentoring them.
STAR WARS HIGH REPUBLIC ERA BEGINS
As much as is going on in the Marvel Universe there is also a lot of things going on in the Star Wars Universe. Kicking things off in 2021 we will finally get our first dive into the new era of the Star Wars Universe with The High Republic. Marvel is going to take part of this by exploring this era of Star Wars with a comic book series, Star Wars: The High Republic. This comic book will be launching alongside different novels and children books that will all take place in The High Republic time period of Star Wars.
What makes this Star Wars: The High Republic era that Disney is going to be establishing is that for once they are not tying the franchise directly to the Skywalker Saga. While The High Republic will be taking place in the same universe there is a ton of room to tell stories since it is set 200 years before the start of the Skywalker Saga. That gives a lot of room for writers and artists to tell fun, unique stories that aren’t tied to what has already come before the Star Wars Universe. We already have an example of that potential from the Knights Of The Old Republic games that showed us what an era before the Skywalkers ever existed looks like.
It’ll also be fun to just see what the Jedi Order looked like before all the mess they got into in the movies. Setting them up to act like knights from King Arthur’s Court is a cool take to go with to start off. There is a lot of ways that they can develop how the Jedi Order was able to prosper during this period. In addition, we can get a glimpse of how the Sith worked differently from Palpatine’s direction of looking for immortality. All in all, a lot of exciting potential for Star Wars fans to be excited about.
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