The heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe are going to be extremely busy as they begin the new year. Because as we are shown in Marvel’s January 2022 comic book solicitations they are looking to start the new year as loud as possible with several major events and developments across the Marvel Universe. We can expect the many lives and deaths of Wolverine, Fantastic Four in the middle of the Reckoning War, Wilson Fisk’s Devil’s Reign continuing, and much more coming in the new year. Let’s take a look at all the notable things coming in the new year based off Marvel’s January 2022 solicitations.
X LIVES AND DEATHS OF WOLVERINE TURNED INTO EVENT
A weekly X-Men is something that has been teased to be taking place soon. Now we know that weekly X-Men event will bet X Lives Of Wolverine and X Deaths Of Wolverine. Based on its structure this 10 week Wolverine event will be structured similar to House of X and Powers of X. Though unlike House of X and Powers of X this is completely focused on Wolverine going through a mysterious trip throughout his long history. The only other characters that are teased to be involved is Charles Xavier based on the solicitations information and Jean Grey, Sabretooth, and Mystique based on the main covers for each comic book.
Just hearing a weekly event starring one character does not excite me whatsoever. What does make X Lives Of Wolverine and X Deaths Of Wolverine something I am intrigued by is the fact Benjamin Percy is writing this entire weekly event. Percy has impressed me with his work on Wolverine and X-Force thus far. I am behind on these comics as I’ve been reading them through the Marvel Unlimited app. But even experience both Percy comics this way it is clear he has a strong understanding of how to write Wolverine’s character.
These two Wolverine comics could also provide Percy and Marvel the opportunity to have a fresh start with Logan’s official history after all the reboots that were caused to the X-Men continuity during House of X and Powers of X. Logan’s history before becoming Wolverine has been something Marvel has gone back-and-forth with whether to explore deeper or not since first doing it during the 2001 Wolverine: Origin six issue mini-series. This new weekly series could help better refine Logan’s confusing history as one of Marvel’s oldest living heroes.
SHE-HULK GOES SOLO AGAIN
She-Hulk has had her profile elevated the last few years as she has been one of the core members of the Avengers. This has led her to play a big part in several Marvel events along with guest starring in various comic books. But the one thing that she has been missing that she previously had was her own solo series. That is being fixed as Jennifer Walter’s is getting a new She-Hulk solo series.
Now I must admit I am not at all familiar with Rainbow Rowell’s writing whatsoever. I don’t know how her background and writing style as a novelist will transfer to writing an ongoing comic book series. But I do hope that she will do well and explore She-Hulk’s character that expands on all her developments since becoming a core Avenger in the current team. Because there is a lot of untapped potential in the more personal aspects of Jennifer Walters character after all she has been through in the past several years.
MARVEL VILLAINS BACK KINGPIN’S DEVIL’S REIGN
Even though Devil’s Reign has yet to begin what I’ve been most impressed with how its been promoted thus far is how all of the Marvel’s villains are going to be used during the event. For a long time now Marvel has had a villain problem in all of their comic books. There are very few villains who have been able to maintain a strong status as major threats in the Marvel Universe.
But from the looks of things Devil’s Reign will change all that. Which will all be thanks to Wilson Fisk going all in on his anti-vigilante agenda and recruiting a big number of villains like Doctor Octopus, Crossbones, Taskmaster, and Kraven to be part of his big status quo shift for New York City. Bringing all these villains along elevates them as we see that this unified villain force Wilson Fisk has created is forcing all the heroes into hiding to bide their time.
By positioning all of the Marvel villains of New York in this way it makes looking forward to all the comics Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto and all the creative teams are working on for Devil’s Reign. No one appears to be safe, not even the Avengers and X-Men, as Wilson Fisk has something on all of our heroes to make him tough end boss to defeat.
ELEKTRA IS DAREDEVIL: WOMAN WITHOUT FEAR
In the middle of Devil’s Reign Chip Zdarsky will continue to explore Elektra Natchios as she will have her own solo mini-series during the event. This new three issue mini-series will likely explore what Elektra’s Daredevil is doing during Devil’s Reign as it looks like Matt Murdock’s Daredevil takes point in the main series. While I do hope that Elektra is a big part of the main Devil’s Reign series I am glad that we are seeing her get her own mini-series along with all her other appearances as Daredevil.
Making Daredevil: Woman Without Fear even more exciting is seeing how Elektra as Daredevil deals with fighting other big Marvel villains. We’ve seen in the current Daredevil series that Elektra has adjusted her fighting style to be less lethal to honor Matt. But can this new fighting style end up impacting her when going up against major Marvel villains? Daredevil: Woman Without Fear can answer that.
DOCTOR OCTOPUS VS SPIDER-MAN BEYOND
Spider-Man Beyond is going to be slowly testing Ben Reilly personally and professionally. The more we see of him as Spider-Man it is clear that Ben is going to building his confidence back up as Spider-Man. Because even with initially being presented as a cocky Spider-Man during Amazing Spider-Man #75 that is not who he really is. And with the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 Ben Reilly will face his biggest test when he goes up against Doctor Octopus.
From the looks of it after his experience in Sinister War and being part of Wilson Fisk’s regime in Devil’s Reign we are seeing Doctor Octopus back to his full villainous ways. Which is how I honestly prefer Otto Octavius. Sure, it was interesting to see him as Superior Spider-Man but after a while the well dried up on that novelty. Otto back to his full Doctor Octopus form is just the right direction to better explore the character in the modern age now that there has been so many changes in the Spider-Man franchise since he served that role full-time.
While Ben Reilly will be having his hands full as Spider-Man it does not mean that Peter Parker will be MIA forever. And we see with Amazing Spider-Man #87 that Captain America and Black Cat will try to get Peter back to being Spider-Man once again. What’ll be interesting to see is if the Beyond Board will continue to play up his current injuries as not just being radiation poisoning and something else that will keep him from being back as Spider-Man.
MARY JANE AND BLACK CAT TEAM-UP
Along the way to exploring Peter Parker’s future as Spider-Man we see that Mary Jane Watson and Black Cat will be teaming up in a special one-shot. This won’t be the first time that they team-up in some fashion but the Mary Jane & Black Cat: Beyond one-shot will feature the first time that is the main focus of a comic book. Which hopefully does just focus on MJ and Felicia working together with Peter only playing a minor or no role at all.
Jed Mackay writing the one-shot has me excited for the comic book as he has done a great job with Felicia Hardy’s two ongoing Black Cat comics over the last few years. Exploring the dynamic MJ and Felicia should give fans a fun comic book that further expands on the current Spider-Man: Beyond direction.
BLACK PANTHER VS STORM ON PLANET ARAKKO, FORMERLY MARS
One of the big sub-plots I have been waiting for someone at Marvel to explore further is the relationship between Black Panther and Storm. Because during the X Of Swords crossover event we saw Ororo Munroe steal the Skybreaker sword from Wakanda, though she eventually brought it back. This action by Ororo caused a major rift between her and T’Challa that hasn’t been addressed since X Of Swords ended. The only clue into the status of their current standing with each other is when one of Wakanda’s ambassadors turned down Krakoa’s for friendly relations when Mars was turned into Planet Arakko.
Now finally with Black Panther #3, that will officially be Black Panther #200 in Marvel’s Legacy numbering, John Ridley will be having Black Panther and Storm reunite. Specifically, we see that T’Challa has ulterior motives for coming to Planet Arakko outside of meeting with Ororo. What these motives are and how they could impact the shaky ground Wakanda and Krakoa stand with each other will be interesting to see play out.
SILVER SURFER IS BACK
Silver Surfer has always been a cool character. His entire design is simple but striking. That said, he hasn’t been a major deal for quite some time. Sure, there have been some solid comic books over the years like Silver Surfer: Black but the character has largely been positioned as a supporting player within the Marvel Universe at best. It is well overdue that Silver Surfer got some form of prominence once again.
That is where legendary creators Ron Marz and Ron Lim will possibly step in with their new Silver Surfer Rebirth mini-series. Based on the solicitation for Silver Surfer Rebirth #1 we will at least see the character come up against major players in the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe like Thanos. What I’ll be interested to see at all addressed is Galactus in this new series. Because most recently Galactus was taken out by Thor but we know that no character is gone forever. Could we possibly see Galactus return in the Silver Surfer Rebirth series?
FANTASTIC FOUR RECKONING WAR BEGINS
The big event Dan Slott has been building towards during his Fantastic Four run is finally here. With January 2022 being the start of the Fantastic Four event titled The Reckoning War. This event looks be a culmination of what Slott has been doing with all of these characters. And based on the covers for Fantastic Four: Reckoning War Alpha and Fantastic Four #40 the Watchers will play a major role in the event.
What’ll I will be interested to see is how much of the Marvel Universe will be involved in The Reckoning War story. This is the one event story that we could see it just be focused on just the Fantastic Four. Though we do know that at least She-Hulk and Silver Surfer will be involved in some way. Which is fitting since they have strong ties to the Fantastic Four. Other characters may be to busy with their own things going on to be properly involved in this event. But hey, maybe Slott will eventually get assigned a co-writer in the middle of The Reckoning War that will help bring other Marvel heroes into this big event.
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