Marvel is kicking off Summer 2022 by getting ready for several big events that will be taking up a good part of the rest of the year for the Marvel Universe. The big event that Marvel continues to build towards is the crossover event between the Avengers, X-Men, and Eternals titled Judgement Day. That event is now going to be right around the corner as June will see the prelude comic book that will kick everything off. Along with that there is the latest Hellfire Gala, Spider-Man celebrating a major milestone, and more coming in June 2022. Let’s take a look at the big things to expect in the summer with Marvel’s June 2022 solicitations.
FORTNITE BRINGS THE ROCK TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
Fortnite continues to be the biggest thing around. We see that once again as Fortnite is once again crossing over with Marvel’s comic book side in Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War. This is following up on the latest Fortnite season where Spider-Man was heavily featured along with other X-Men skins. Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War looks be continuing that thread as we see Spider-Man and the X-Men featured alongside the Foundation character that is based on Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Given the past success of Fortnite’s previous crossover with DC Comics don’t be surprised if Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War is one of the hotter sellers of the year. Especially if we do see other franchises take part in Fortnite x Marvel: Zero War like Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe did with the previous Fortnite/Batman crossover. Its crazy to think but I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow we get a sneaky cameo of a DC character that goes unnamed in this.
JUDGMENT DAY APPROACHES FOR AVENGERS, X-MEN, AND ETERNALS
Judgment Day is the big crossover Marvel continues to heavily promote since 2022 started. They are clearly going to be going all in on this Avengers vs. X-Men vs. Eternals event with how its being built compared to the last few years comic book events they’ve had. Setting the stage for this major crossover event is A.X.E.: Eve Of Judgment #1 where its being advertised the first shot is being fired in the Avengers vs. X-Men vs. Eternals battle.
Based on this and other promotional material it does look like the Judgment Day event will be re-classifying Mutants as versions of Deviants, at least in the eyes of the Eternals. Marvel does need to be careful with how they try to use the X-Men to elevate the Eternals. Because as they learned with the failed experiment in trying to elevate the Inhumans you do not create new fans for a franchise by vilifying the X-Men. That is definitely a fear I have for Avengers vs. X-Men vs. Eternals as Marvel can’t seem to resist positioning the X-Men in the villain role just because they are trying to survive as a mutant race. If they do indeed go with that direction they’ll make the road even tougher for Eternals to build a strong fanbase, just ask the Inhumans that are now nowhere to be found.
Similarly, Marvel needs to be careful with how the Avengers act during this event. Both from the covers and promotional information it does seem like the Avengers will try to act as peacekeepers. Though based on past experience the Avengers have tended to side against the X-Men as conflicts escalate. Hopefully the Avengers can take their righteous cop hats off that they so normally wear in these types of events to act like the superheroes they are supposed to be.
MAJOR CHANGES COMING FOR DAREDEVIL
While Judgement Day will certainly take a lot of the attention of the Marvel Universe don’t let it distract you from how Devil’s Reign is shaping the street level side of the universe. The way things have gone and will likely end in Devil’s Reign will have a deep impact on many of the heroes living in New York City. Especially as it is looking as though Wilson Fisk turning New York City into a police state during Devil’s Reign is going to be changing the state of things for the superheroes.
The heroes that look to be most impacted will be Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios. Matt in particular has a lot of questions as it is being made public that Wilson Fisk killed him, even though it was actually his once imaginary but now brought to life brother Mike Murdock, in Devil’s Reign #5. Given the solicitation for Daredevil #1 it looks like Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto will be exploring what it means for Matt that everyone believes he is dead. That along with continuing to explore the relationship between Matt and Elektra will be what I’m excited to see all play out in the new Daredevil series.
AVENGERS GOT THE MESSAGE TO DRESS TO IMPRESS FOR HELLFIRE GALA
The Hellfire Gala was one of the biggest events of 2021. It set the stage for everything that took place for the rest of the X-Men franchise in the second half of 2021. Now the Hellfire Gala is back for its 2022 edition with Emma Frost once again hosting and inviting heroes, villains, politicians, and others to the Marvel Universe’s version of the Met Gala. Based on all the covers that are tied into the Hellfire Gala it does look as though the Avengers took note of last year’s event and are going to be upping their style game. Well at least most of the Avengers except Tony Stark, who is surprisingly just wearing a digital bomber jacket showing that he is one of the Metaverse bros.
As a fan of the current X-Men titles I do hope that Gerry Duggan and Marvel don’t completely relaunch the main X-Men team. The current X-Men team has built a great chemistry with one another that it would be a real shame that after just one year there is a complete roster turnover. Instead I hope that Duggan instead of replacing one or more members that he is actually adding members to the current roster. It would give the X-Men series a lot more flexibility with roster construct, especially as the stories in X-Men are escalating and both Scott Summers and Jean Grey are working multiple angles to tackle the growing threats to Krakoa.
JANE FOSTER’S THUNDEROUS RETURN AS THOR
It was only a matter of time before Jane Foster returned to her Mighty Thor form. While Jane has been able to make Valkyrie her own given that she is going to be appearing as Thor in the upcoming Love & Thunder MCU movie they needed her back in the role. This does work into the overall current direction of Thor that Donny Cates is working with as we see that Thor Odinson as All-Father has been struggling with trying to continue to be the superhero God Of Thunder he’s always been. Bringing Jane back into the fold as the Mighty Thor makes sense to help Thor Odinson as his responsibilities as All-Father continue to grow now that Odin is officially dead.
Torunn Grønbekk working on Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor is also an excellent thing to see. Grønbekk has been the lead writer for Jane’s character development in the last few years since Jason Aaron concluded his Thor run. Seeing Grønbekk continue to write Jane’s ongoing adventures will help keep the consistency of her character development as she transitions from being Valkyrie to Mighty Thor.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 900TH ISSUE CELEBRATION
Amazing Spider-Man is going to be hitting a massive milestone as it reaches its Amazing Spider-Man #900 as part of Marvel Legacy numbering scheme. The 900th issue will happen in June’s Amazing Spider-Man #6. Though based on the solicitation Amazing Spider-Man #900 isn’t being a massive celebration issue like Marvel typically does for such landmark comic books. While they are certainly throwing a ton of variant covers it does not feature other writers and artist adding their own one-shot stories to Amazing Spider-Man #900. Instead it will be one story written by current Amazing Spider-Man writer Zeb Wells with Ed McGuinness on art duties. As much as I like McGuinness art style I am a bit disappointed that John Romita Jr. or Mark Bagley, two legendary Spider-Man artists, aren’t working on the story for this landmark issue
For the story itself, this issue will mark the return of the Sinister Six after they’ve been MIA in the fallout of the Nick Spencer’s Kindred Saga. Making things worse for Spider-Man is that the Sinister Six return will mark the debut of a new version of the Super Adaptoid, rebranded as the Sinister Adaptoid. Having to battle a Super Adaptoid with all of the powers of his greatest villains does not sound like a fun time for Spider-Man. How this plays into the greater narrative around the world turning against Spider-Man and Peter Parker will be interesting to see play out.
JESSICA JONES ADVENTURE THROUGH THE MULTIVERSE
One thing I do have to give Marvel credit for with the current offerings they are giving fans options to is the variety of stories. With the success of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Man we’ve seen Marvel take more chances in giving their library of characters different types of stories to be involved in. We see that again with the unexpected announcement of The Variants series that will feature Jessica Jones in her own Spider-Verse-esque story as she teams up with other versions of herself from the Marvel Multiverse. Jessica Jones and the Multiverse is not a story I expect to see but I am totally on board to see how this all goes.
The creative team of Gail Simone and Phil Noto is a major selling point for The Variants. Marvel assembled a strong creative team to tell a fun Multiverse story involving Jessica Jones. The cover art by Phil Noto shows that we are going to see a lot of different versions of Jessica Jones. Hopefully we get some cool new designs similar to all the alternate versions of Spider-Man and Spider-Woman.