One of the growing trends for Marvel in the early part of 2020 is how they are taking a step back to develop a lot of different storylines. 2020 feels like the first year in a long time we aren’t already seeing a big event being built. Marvel’s March 2020 solicitations are further proof of that as other than X-Men/Fantastic Four mini-series everyone in the Marvel Universe is doing their own thing. That is honestly exciting as a Marvel fan since it does seem Marvel is letting Spider-Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange and so many other characters to develop their own stories. Now with that said let’s take a look at what is going on in the Marvel Universe in the near future from diving into Marvel’s March 2020 solicitations.
DOCTOR STRANGE AND SCARLET WITCH OPEN NEW MAGIC ACADEMY
The magic side of Marvel has largely been ignored. Even when Doctor Strange has had some great ongoings and mini-series the magical realm of the Marvel Universe has never been given as much investment in comparison to the other corners of the universe. To be fair to Marvel, Doctor Strange has been more of a niche character even after he got a solo Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still there is a lot of potential given how many great magic users there are in the Marvel Universe.
Now it looks like Marvel is going to give magic users like Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Brother Voodoo and others to get more of a spotlight with Strange Academy. From everything we learn about this series it very much looks like Strange Academy is going to become the Hogwarts of the Marvel Universe. And as a Harry Potter fan that is actually exciting to see Marvel attempt with their own great characters like Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch at the helm.
What else caught my eye from Strange Academy is how I am getting an Avengers Academy vibe from it. Avengers Academy was a great series that introduced a new generation of potential Avengers. If Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos can tap into what worked extremely well with Avengers Academy than Strange Academy is going to be a series that should be on every Marvel fans radar.
SPIDER-WOMAN DEBUTS NEW COSTUME FOR NEW SOLO SERIES
Back in the mid-2000s there was no character that got a bigger push to be one of the key players in the Marvel Universe than Jessice Drew’s Spider-Woman. She was at the forefront of a lot of events going on during that period, including Secret Invasion. But since her time in the spotlight it seems like Marvel has taken a step back on how much of a spotlight has been on Jessica’s Spider-Woman. That has been likely due to Captain Marvel and Black Widow’s heavy involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how Spider-Gwen has quickly become as the Spider-Woman a lot of fans now know.
But even with that there is no reason for Jessica to not shine alongside everyone else. That is hopefully what we get to see starting in March 2020 as she gets a new Spider-Woman solo series by Karla Pacheco and Pere Perez. While I’m not familiar with Pacheco’s writing I am just excited that Jessica is getting a new solo series again that this will definitely be a title I pick up.
That said, the one thing I do not like about this new series from just looking at content released is that Marvel is changing Jessica’s Spider-Woman costume. The black and red costume she is now rocking on the covers for Spider-Woman does not invoke how the original red and yellow has a classic design that standouts among all the Spider-Man Family. With this new costume it looks like it is trying to combine Spider-Man and Venom’s costume into one.
SPIDER-MAN: NOIR RETURNS IN NEW MINI-SERIES
One of the more surprising deaths in the last few years was Spider-Man: Noir’s death in Spider-Geddon. What was shocking about Spider-Man: Noir’s death was that the character was killed off as he got more mainstream recognition thanks to being part of Into The Spider-Verse movie.
Whether that death sticks in terms of the Spider-Verse, Marvel at least sees money with the Spider-Man: Noir character still to be tapped into. We see that with a new Spider-Man: Noir series from Margaret Stohl and Juan Ferreyra. With so many ongoings and mini-series taking place within the main Marvel Universe, Spider-Man: Noir can be a refreshing change of pace for those who want to visit an alternate universe.
MISTER SINISTER ASSEMBLES THE HELLIONS
There have been a lot of X-Men comics for fans to be excited about. One that I’ll be most interested to see if it will have legs is the upcoming Hellions launching in March 2020. While having great characters like Psylocke and Mister Sinister the rest of the roster doesn’t scream must have. The roster of Mister Sinister, Scalphunter, Wild Child, Empath, Nanny, Orphanmaker, Psylocke and Havok just does not sound as exciting as all the other X-Men team rosters.
The one thing that may make Hellions a must have for X-Men fans is Mister Sinister’s involvement. We’ve see through House of X/Powers of X that Mister Sinister is a key player in Krakoa. He, like Apocalypse, seems to have his own plans going on along with the things he is working with Professor Xavier and Magneto with. Hellions expanding on what Mister Sinister is up can be a big selling point for the series for X-Men fans.
X-MEN DEAL WITH SHI’AR AND OTHER COSMIC PROBLEMS
With how Professor Xavier has expanded the mutants reach and power throughout Earth we haven’t seen a lot of what they are involved in with the greater Marvel Universe. Sure the New Mutants are tackling things with the Shi’ar Empire but even that has been more top level stuff. Especially considering that Professor Xavier mentioned during House of X/Powers of X that he is using Shi’ar tech as part of his plans. While that was a quick line within the story for both series Hickman would not throw that Shi’ar reference without having bigger plans for the future.
Those plans look to start forming starting with X-Men #8 as the New Mutants bring the Shi’ar Empire and The Brood to the team’s attention. This could be a good hint at what the X-Men’s reach across the Marvel Universe is and can be. Especially considering that Vulcan has been brought back into the fold and living with his Summers Family on the Moon. Even though he has not played a role in any of the X-Men comics, the Shi’ar showing could be a good chance to have a spotlight on Vulcan and his relationship with Cyclops and Corsair.
MARVEL’S TEEN HEROES BECOME OUTLAWS
During the 2010s something that Marvel invested a lot of time in is developing their next generation of superheroes led by Miles Morales, Kamala Khan and Sam Alexander. Now it looks like these next generation heroes are going to be given their biggest wall to break through as teen heroes are being outlawed by the government. That is not going to sit well with our young Marvel heroes, who have all shown a tendency to rebel.
What’ll be interesting about this is how Marvel will use Outlawed to sets up the potential for several new comic books to launch out of it. Right now only Miles Morales’ Spider-Man and Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel has been able to become breakout characters in this crop of next generation heroes. Outlawed can be a chance for other young heroes, like Sam Alexander as Nova, to get momentum going into a potential new solo series. Having momentum built from Outlawed will be key to building genuine interest in these next generation heroes who have not been hit with fans like Miles and Kamala.
WILL CAPTAIN MARVEL BE THE TRUE LAST AVENGER?
Sometimes the simplest covers can do all you need to build hype for a storyline. That is exactly what happens with the cover of Captain Marvel #19 as we have the visual of Carol Danvers wielding Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer. That is just a badass visual that builds the hype for how “The Last Avenger” will end.
However “The Last Avenger” storyline ends it’ll be interesting to see if it sets the stage for Captain Marvel to deal with more things going on across the Marvel Universe. That would be ideal since we’ve seen Captain Marvel be focused a lot on adventures on Earth the last few years. Expanding Captain Marvel’s scope through the Kree would be a great direction for her character.
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