Marvel’s summer 2020 plans look to be on track to have multiple big storylines in play. The one that will be driving Marvel going into the summer is the ongoing Empyre event. It will still be going strong in June 2020. Along with that major event Marvel is also developing several big stories specifically around the Infinity Stones, Spider-Man, X-Men, Daredevil, and Champions. Let’s take a closer look at Marvel’s plans based on their June 2020 solicitations.
TENSIONS RISE IN MARVEL’S EMPYRE
With Empyre right around the corner Marvel has not been shy about sharing information about what the event is about. The battle for Earth looks to only be intensifying in June’s issues of Empyre. Empyre #4 in particular looks to be taking some inspiration from Avengers: Infinity War as a major battle will be taking place in Wakanda. That timing fits in well with how Wakanda is making its return to Earth in Ta-Nehisi Coates final issue of Black Panther, which will also be released in June. How the experience expanding Wakanda’s power to a cosmic scale will be interesting to see if Al Ewing and Dan Slott use it as part of the story.
The other big development that is being teased for the event is one of Marvel’s fan-favorite heroes revealing their big secret. Given how vague what secret is revealed it could be anything from their identity to a past choice that is revealed. Could the reveal be as big as when Spider-Man revealed he was Peter Parker to the world during Civil War? We don’t know since labeling the character as a fan-favorite Marvel hero is extremely vague as it could be anyone from Miles Morales-Spider-Man to Captain Marvel.
SHANG-CHI FINALLY GETS A NEW SOLO COMIC BOOK
With a live-action movie set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe it was only a matter of time before Shang-Chi got his own comic book series. Starting out with a mini-series is a good choice as it will make sure there is a modern, self-contained story on the shelves ready for new fans to pick up. That is always something that is key when knowing a character is getting a major live-action movie schedule for some point in the future.
Marvel has tapped the right writer for the series in Gene Luen Yang. He is one of the more underrated writers working in the industry right now. His work on Avatar: The Last Airbender comics and Superman Smashes The Klan was fantastic. With both those works and others Yang has shown he knows how to craft fascinating stories within existing worlds.
With Shang-Chi, Yang will have the opportunity to modernize a character who has largely been a supporting character in the Marvel Universe for the last few decades. And as we’ve seen with books like Iron Fist, there is a wealth of storytelling possibilities in Marvel’s martial arts corner. It’ll give greater depth to the Marvel Universe to have Yang through Shang-Chi showcase this part of the Marvel Universe.
MORE PEOPLE WORTHY OF THOR’S MJOLNIR
When it was revealed that Jane Foster was able to lift Thor’s Mjolnir after Thor Odinson became Unworthy it was a massive moment in Marvel’s history. That was the same feeling, made even more so, that seeing Captain America wielding Mjolnir at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Ever since then we’ve seen a rise of people that Marvel is teasing that can also lift and wield Mjolnir. We just saw Captain Marvel using Mjolnir in this week’s issue of her ongoing series. Additionally Donny Cates also teased Loki as also being able to use Mjolnir, which he has briefly done in the past.
Now in June we are seeing multiple comics imply other characters wielding Mjolnir in Thor #7, Empyre: Thor #2, and Avengers #35. The characters we see possibly using the hammer include Moon Knight, Ant-Man and Groot. All of this looks to be a jump the shark moment as Marvel is turning wielding Mjolnir into something that could become like the Green Lantern ring. I would not be surprised if we eventually have an Marvel event that ends with Thor leading the heroes in each using a version of Mjolnir.
CAPTAIN MARVEL ASSEMBLES THE ACCUSER CORPS
Captain Marvel is sure to keep herself busy during the Empyre event. First it was her direct involvement with the event. Then we have seen that she will become an Accuser during the course of Empyre thanks to previous covers of Captain Marvel spoiling that. Now we see with Captain Marvel #20 Carol Danvers will be recruiting War Machine, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), and Hazmat to join her in forming a Accusers Corp.
One thing that Marvel and Kelly Thompson need to be careful about is not making Captain Marvel come across as a character all about gimmick storylines. We’ve seen that happen multiple times in Thompson’s run thus far. In the Captain Marvel’s War of Realms tie-in we saw Carol Danvers wield the powers of Doctor Strange. Then in the recently concluded “The Last Avenger” storyline Captain Marvel used all of the Avengers powers to defeat the villain. Now in Empyre she is going to become an Accuser. All these power adaptions make Captain Marvel come across as the Ditto of the Marvel Universe.
Hopefully once this Empyre storyline wraps up we see less gimmicks and more stories about Captain Marvel as a person. That was the part of “The Last Avenger” that was most enjoyable. And the post-Empyre Marvel Universe could potentially leave the opportunity for that as Captain Marvel has been slowly getting more and more involved with the Kree once again.
MYSTERY CHARACTER APPEARS IN LEAD UP TO NEXT X-MEN EVENT
Before we get to the X of Sword event that will take over the X-Men comics in July there are still things that Jonathan Hickman needs to set up. One of those looks to be a new villain that will be introduced in X-Men #12. This figure has a very mysterious vibe around him based on the cover alone. The design for the character reminds me a lot of Ex Nihilo from Hickman’s Avengers run, except this character is white with black markings rather than gold with black markings. The markings on the character could be a clue into the characters importance. Maybe it relates to the new character letters Hickman has been very meticulous about establishing for mutants on Krakoa.
STORM’S GIANT-SIZE FATE DECIDED
Jonathan Hickman quickly established that the overarching storyline for each of the Giant-Size X-Men one shots would be about the fate of Storm after her involvement with the Children of the Vault. Now in June’s Giant-Size X-Men, which is spotlighting Storm, we will finally get the answers for what direction Hickman is going with this storyline. Seeing how the rest of his X-Men run has gone it is likely to lead to a bigger storyline like X of Swords, which begins the following month.
The bigger question for Giant-Size X-Men: Storm is if Ororo will make it out of her current status quo alive. The Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost issue painted a picture that this situation Storm is in is life-or-death. It may be that Kate Pryde is not the only X-Men who could be faced with her own mortality.
INFINITE DESTINIES BEGIN
While the majority of the Marvel Universe is busy with Empyre and the upcoming X of Swords there is another big story in development starting in June based around the Infinity Stones. The introduction of Star in Captain Marvel clued us in to how the Infinity Stones were going to be taking a new form moving forward. Now we see that take shape as Marvel will be using the annuals for Iron Man, Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man and other ongoing series to tell the Infinite Destinies story.
What makes this take on the Infinity Stones different is that rather than wielding the stones we are seeing new characters born from merging with the Stones. We already saw one instance of this as Star was created by merging with the Reality Stone. Now other new characters will be getting the same treatment.
Personally, this is not the most intriguing direction Marvel could’ve taken with the Infinity Stones. After the disappointing Infinity War the concept around the Infinity Stones needed to be reset. That reset should not be about having characters merge with the Infinity Stones. Rather Marvel should’ve spent time rebuilding the significance of each Infinity Stone over time in their books like Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers. This Infinite Destinies tagline just comes across as a rushed story to get the Infinity Stones back into play.
BLACK WIDOW GETTING MARRIED
Natasha Romanoff getting married is not something that I thought would happen in the early part of Kelly Thompson’s run. But that is what we are getting with the “White Widow” story starting in Black Widow #3. Given Natasha’s character this is likely a fake out as it is part of whatever mission she is on. Otherwise it is odd that Marvel isn’t making a bigger deal of Black Widow, one of their most popular characters, is getting married in the comics. The question is who the groom is as it does seem to be a known character, possibly a villain, given how the solicitation is written. Guess we will see when Black Widow #3 comes out.
SPIDER-MAN’S SINS LEAD INTO BIG ANNIVERSARY
The closer we are getting to the Legacy issue mark of Amazing Spider-Man #850 we’ve seen the solicitations for the series push the fact that it will be a major comic book in the character’s history. With Spider-Man battling Sin Eater in the lead up to Amazing Spider-Man #850 it does not look like he will be in good shape to celebrate any sort of anniversary. The solicitations for Amazing Spider-Man #47 and #48 definitely pushes that narrative.
Which all brings us to if Amazing Spider-Man #850 will begin the payoff to the Kindred storyline that Nick Spencer has been slowly building over the course of his run? All clues point to that as there is no way Spencer wouldn’t make the payoff in Amazing Spider-Man #850 be something that isn’t tied to Kindred. I expect that we could possibly learn who Kindred is, with all signs pointing to the character having a direct relation to Norman Osborn.
CONSEQUENCES FOR DAREDEVIL’S RETURN
Matt Murdock finally returning to being Daredevil is the big moment Chip Zdarsky has done an excellent job in building up to. While it is a big moment it does not look like Matt will have much time to get comfortable being Daredevil again as there are major consequences that await him. Given the cover of Daredevil #22 shows us Daredevil’s mask merge with Iron Man’s helmet Matt’s decision may have greater consequences for the Marvel Universe. We have seen how Zdarsky has been involving characters like Spider-Man and the Defenders in his run. It would not be surprising to see Matt take on an even bigger role as Daredevil that goes beyond just being Hell Kitchen’s resident superhero.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can also catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter.