Marvel continues to build hype for the future of their publishing line with the release of their March 2019 solicitations. Just looking over Marvel’s March 2019 solicitations it is clear they have big plans for the Avengers, X-Men and Spider-Man in the near future. Those franchise along with other key series should strengthen the company’s publishing line. Let’s take a closer look if that can be the case with the release of Marvel’s March 2019 solicitations.
BLADE OFFICIALLY JOINS THE AVENGERS
When it comes to naming a new full-time member of the Avengers roster Blade isn’t one that comes to mind. As great of a character that Blade is he has never been on the level of the Avengers. For the most part Blade has stuck to his own corner of the Marvel Universe where he has been free to hunt vampires and other monsters.
Now that is all changing as Blade is going to be part of the team starting with Avengers #16 during the “War Of The Vampires” story arc. This isn’t to surprising since Aaron teased Blade’s membership in the recent big anniversary issue of the Avengers. Adding in a character like Blade with the likes of Iron Man, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk and Thor certainly create a lot opportunities for Aaron to do something new with the character. If that is a good thing is still to be determined.
KRAVEN BEGINS HIS NEW HUNT FOR SPIDER-MAN
After being set up from the very beginning of his run on Amazing Spider-Man, Nick Spencer will officially begin the “Hunted” storyline featuring Kraven. The slow build to this storyline has left a lot to be desired. Thus far, anytime Spencer has placed the building blocks for “Hunted” they have felt to disconnected from what is going on in the rest of Amazing Spider-Man. It may have been better if the build towards “Hunted” was presented as a back-up story for a few issues of the series.
All that said, I am very intrigued to see what Spencer does with Kraven’s character. He is by far one of the best villains in Spider-Man’s Rogues Gallery. There is a special magic whenever Spider-Man and Kraven clash. And this is definitely a much more intriguing storyline that the whole mystical Other-type story that Spencer has also been developing. Hopefully “Hunted” can stand on its own rather than be dragged into the Other-type story that has fallen flat thus far.
CHIP ZDARSKY AND MARK BAGLEY PRESENT SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY
While Chip Zdarsky run on Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man had a rough start it ended on a very strong note. Marvel recognized Zdarsky’s work by giving him the Daredevil series. Now they are giving him even more work with Spider-Man: Life Story. Teaming with legendary Spider-Man artist, Mark Bagley, Zdarsky is going to go back to tell stories involving the old web head in various eras. The concept of Spider-Man: Life Story is actually very intriguing since it will be placing Spider-Man in each time period. Exploring how different Peter Parker, his supporting cast and villains have been throughout the decades gives the series a very good hook to bring in Spider-Man fans.
MARVEL GETS A MAGNIFICENT RELAUNCH
As with every other Marvel title it was only a matter of time before Ms. Marvel’s ongoing was relaunched with a new #1 issue. That is exactly what is happening in March 2019. To go along with the relaunch current Miles Morales: Spider-Man writer Saladin Ahmed is taking over Ms. Marvel after G. Willow Wilson had a very good, long run with a character she helped create.
Though I haven’t read Ms. Marvel’s adventures on a consistent basis Marvel has done a good job slowly building momentum behind the character. From being an Avenger to being part of the Marvel Rising initiative Ms. Marvel’s profile has continued to increase as it has built a strong audience in the young adult crowd. Hopefully Magnificent Ms. Marvel can continue to build on that momentum and find the success it had under Wilson.
DOMINO LEADS A TEAM OF HOTSHOTS
Though I have not read the Domino series I am happy to see Marvel giving Gail Simone more work in the form of Domino: Hotshots. This new series looks to be Marvel’s answer to Birds of Prey. With Domino leading a new team made up of Black Widow, White Fox, Atlas Bear, Outlaw and Diamondback there is a lot of potential in this line-up. Outside of Black Widow all of these characters are blank slates since they haven’t been used in other Marvel titles. Given that fact Simone has a lot of room to explore what the dynamic of this team is. And I would not be surprised if somehow this went from mini-series to an ongoing series given Simone’s history.
DOCTOR DOOM PROCLAIMS THE DEATH OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR
Doctor Doom looking to destroy/kill the Fantastic Four is nothing new. That is the normal thing that fans expect from Doctor Doom. What is interesting coming from Fantastic Four #8 is the fact that the solicitation is written in an almost political propaganda way. The way it paints Doctor Doom as this grand saviour against the Fantastic Four, who are positioned as invaders, definitely speaks to this political slant for the “Herald of Doom” storyline. How Dan Slott handles this is the question since when he did deal with politics in his Amazing Spider-Man run it did not work out well. Hopefully Slott has learned from previous mistakes if he is going the political route for this Fantastic Four story arc.
DARK GUARDIANS SPOIL GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY LINE-UP
One of the major hooks Marvel has been pushing for fans to pick up the new Guardians of the Galaxy series is the fact we don’t know who will be on the roster. With the solicitation for Guardians of the Galaxy #3 Marvel has eliminated Cosmic Ghost Rider, Gladiator, Nebula, Starfox and Wrath from the potential members. It’s actually surprising to see Gladiator as one of the Dark Guardians given the drama with the Shi’ar Empire. Still there is a lot of questions left for who will be on the Guardians of the Galaxy and how they deal with the Dark Guardians to likely intrigue fans of the series.
CYCLOPS AND WOLVERINE USHER IN NEW ERA FOR UNCANNY X-MEN
The return of the Uncanny X-Men series has not been a stellar one, as I mentioned in my review of Uncanny X-Men #5. One of the major problems is that the creative team has pulled the X-Men in way too many directions to quickly. That is not changing in March as the Age of X-Man is continuing to invade the franchise. Making things worse is that the current team in Uncanny X-Men will be out of commission thanks to the role they are playing in Age of X-Man.
Luckily Cyclops and Wolverine have returned to assemble a new X-Men team with Hope Summers, Magik, Multiple Man, Havok, Dani Moonstar, Wolfsbane and Banshee as members. While it is not great to see Uncanny X-Men already change there team less than six months into the new series lifespan I am excited to see Cyclops and Wolverine back. Add the fact that they are both wearing a version of their respective iconic costumes helps things. Now all Rosenberg and the X-Men staff just needs to find a way to have Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine and Storm together again. Because having those four at the core of Uncanny X-Men will make things a lot better.