Just as War of the Realms came to an end things are heating up for the Marvel Universe in July 2019. Marvel is bringing in some big guns as Jonathan Hickman starts his X-Men comics. Along with that Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Gwen and others have some major events going on in their lives. In addition to that Marvel and Disney launch the next phase of their Star Wars comic book line. Let’s take a look at everything coming down the pipeline from Marvel that was revealed in their July 2019 solicitations.
KURT BUSIEK AND ALEX ROSS MARVELS EPILOGUE
The Marvels comic by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross is one of the must read comics that Marvel has published. It is that special. So for Busiek and Ross to return with Marvels Epilogue #1 in July is a big deal. Ross’ artwork alone will make this issue worth purchasing.
Having Marvels Epilogue #1 be an X-Men story is perfect timing given Disney’s acquisition of Fox Entertainment just recently being finalized. With the X-Men fully back into the fold Marvel is showing they are going all in with the franchise once again. Marvels Epilogue #1 is just another example of that.
JONATHAN HICKMAN KICKS OFF HOUSE OF X AND POWER OF X
One of the biggest announcements that Marvel has made recently was Jonathan Hickman writing X-Men comics. Now in July we are going to see Hickman’s House of X and Power of X finally release. Both comic books look to be exploring the past, present and future of the X-Men in different ways. With how Hickman showed how he was able to masterfully weave an epic story between Avengers and New Avengers there is no doubt he can properly juggle two X-Men comics telling similar stories at the same time.
What is particularly interesting about both comics is what Hickman’s work will mean for the X-Men franchise once all is said and done. This could easily define what the X-Men will be for the foreseeable future. With the X-Men in dire need of a reset after all their complicated history Hickman can help in streamline the franchise when by the end of his run.
X-MEN FRANCHISE PUT ON HOLD
With Jonathan Hickman working on House of X and Power of X it does create the question as to what will be going on with the rest of the X-Men line during the next few months. The solicitation for Uncanny X-Men #22, X-Force #10 and Age of X-Man Omega #1 seems to tease that the franchise will be placed on hold after July. At the very least Matthew Rosenberg and Ed Brisson seem to be putting an end for the major storylines they have been developing. How Rosenberg and Brisson position Uncanny X-Men and X-Force, respectively, will say a lot to what goes on during Hickman’s mini-run with the franchise.
LOKI AND INVISIBLE WOMAN GO SOLO
One thing that Marvel doesn’t get credit enough for is giving various characters to shine in solo comics. They’ve been doing a lot more of that with various mini-series and ongoings, like the recent Iceman comics. Now both Loki and Invisible Woman are being given a shot at carrying their own solo comic. This is a long time coming for Invisible Woman in particular. Sue Storm has been one of the best characters in Marvel’s line-up. It’ll be good to see her get a chance to shine on her own.
The Loki series is a bit more questionable. For one thing it spoils the big death of Loki in War of the Realms. The other thing about this new Loki series is that it was immediately given an ongoing order compared to Invisible Woman only being a mini-series. The Loki comic book seems like something that should also start as a mini-series. This way Marvel can let fans vote with their wallets if the comic deserves to be an ongoing rather than having bad news to announce about its cancelation after only a few issues, like they recently did with West Coast Avengers.
JANE FOSTER IS THE NEW VALKYRIE
I understand why many would be angry that Jane Foster is becoming Valkyrie. This lessens the impact of Brunnhilde death in War of the Realms since it now looks as though she was killed off to make room for Jane taking over the role. Along with that this only continues the trend of Jane taking on the identity another character made famous.
All that said, the reason why I am intrigued is the fact that Jason Aaron and Al Ewing are writing the series. Aaron has shown he knows how to write a great Jane Foster during his Thor run. Ewing has also been rising up the ranks lately with his work on The Immortal Hulk getting a lot of acclaim. Having both writers working on the new Valkyrie series together should mean that it will be a comic book Marvel fans should check out.
IRON MAN AND CAPTAIN MARVEL HAVE A HEART-TO-HEART
Testing Tony Stark’s sobriety is a tale as old as time at this point. Just about every writer wants to tell their own version of “Demon In A Bottle.” Dan Slott and Jim Zub seem to be going down that route with Tony Stark: Iron Man. And as with past attempts, this could be either really great or what could derail their run on Iron Man.
Bringing in Captain Marvel for this story does give a new hook to this story. This will be a continuation of a bigger character arc Marvel has been exploring with Tony Stark and Carol Danvers. These two have been closely connected with each other and Tony possible fall can either strengthen or weaken their relationship.
IS STEVE ROGERS STILL CAPTAIN AMERICA
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Captain America run has been surprisingly been left alone. That has helped make what is going on with “Captain Of Nothing” develop naturally as a Steve Rogers story. Thus far the build up by Coates has made whatever direction he ends up taking something that will leave us intrigued. Even if that means that Steve gives up the Captain America identity there is enough confidence built up to trust what the future of this series will be.
JASON AARON’S TIME WITH THOR COMES TO AN END
With Jason Aaron focusing more on his work with the Avengers and Conan the Barbarian comic books it was only a matter of time before his epic Thor run came to an end. Since War of the Realms is a big Thor event that Aaron is writing this is a good time to wrap up his Thor run. While sad, all things must come to an end. And knowing Aaron, he will make Thor #15 will be a great send off for his epic run on the franchise. That will make Thor #15 more of a celebration no one will want to miss.
GWEN STACY IS SPIDER-GWEN NO MORE
It is a rite of passage for every Spider Family member to be given their own take of the “Spider-Man No More” storyline. Now it is time for Spider-Gwen to finally get her own version of the storyline. Though there is a built in twist in the “Spider-Gwen No More” story since everyone in her universe knows Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman. That will make Gwen giving up being Spider-Woman much harder, especially since her powers come from the symbiote she is currently in possession of. How Seanan McGuire plays with this angle for “Spider-Gwen No More” will be interesting to see.
DEATH OF ROCKET RACCOON
Marvel just can’t resist having a month were one of their characters dies. Death has been more of a normal thing in the Marvel Universe as of late. The latest character to have one foot in the grave is Rocket Raccoon. That is if we are to believe the solicitation of Guardians of the Galaxy #7. How impactful the death of Rocket Raccoon is for fans of the series will be interesting to see since Star-Lord “died” this week. How Donny Cates makes this a big deal will be a real test for his Guardians of the Galaxy run.
MS. MARVEL TAKES THE REINS OF MARVEL TEAM-UP
When Marvel Team-Up launched it wasn’t a big surprise to see the first story arc featuring Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. Spider-Man is the character most synonymous with the Marvel Team-Up series. Ms. Marvel meanwhile is the character that has been chosen as the leader of the next generation of the Marvel Universe, along with Miles Morales’ Spider-Man. So for Ms. Marvel to continue as the face of Marvel Team-Up is not surprising to see. Having Spider-Man pass the torch to Ms. Marvel is the right move since this is a title that can help build her popularity. Pairing her up with Captain Marvel for the second story arc of Marvel Team-Up is also a good move given Carol Danvers rising popularity after her live-action movie and role in Avengers: Endgame.
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