Marvel has released their full March 2023 solicitations right before we go on our holiday break. From a major return from Doctor Strange to learning the truth about why Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s latest break-up happened there are a lot of things to talk about what is to come from Marvel in March 2023. Let’s break down the biggest stand outs from Marvel’s March 2023 solicitations.
TRUTH ABOUT PETER PARKER AND MJ WATSON’S BREAK-UP
After almost a year and 20 issues Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.’s run on Amazing Spider-Man we are finally going to be learning the truth about Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s latest break-up. Wells certainly took the long route of revealing why he and Marvel editors decided to yet again arbitrarily break-up Peter and MJ. Waiting almost a full year to explain this has made the decision even worse in retrospect as there has been a major part of both Peter and MJ’s respective character arcs that has been limited creatively.
Now that Wells is finally going to start explaining why Peter and MJ broke up starting with Amazing Spider-Man #21 the reason better be creatively a good one. Because this isn’t just important to explain why they broke up but why yet again Marvel and Wells have gone back to the same exhausting direction of the loser Peter Parker once again. There is a lot of how well fans will look back at Zeb Wells solo creative run on Amazing Spider-Man on this explanation. This is one thing Wells cannot fumble or else it will completely derail everything he has tried to build to sell his run on Amazing Spider-Man on.
PETER MILLIGAN AND MICHAEL ALLRED COMPLETE X-CELLENT RUN
One of the standout comics Marvel released in 2022 was Peter Milligan and Michael Allred’s X-Cellent series. For those that read it you’ll know that they still have some things left to wrap up their work with the roster that made up the X-Cellent team. They are going to get that chance to complete their X-Cellent run with a second mini-series.
The X-Cellent X-Men team is more of what I hope we see from Marvel. Just delivering a fun tale that isn’t afraid to get weird while telling good character stories is more of what we need. There is no limit to what you can do with comic books. Milligan and Allred’s second X-Cellent series will yet again prove that.
DOCTOR STEPHEN STRANGE IS BACK
It was only a matter of time before Doctor Stephen Strange’s death was undone. No one stays dead in comic books, especially someone like Stephen Strange who is a key character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now that return is fully happening in the new Doctor Strange ongoing series that will see Stephen reclaim his Sorcerer Supreme title.
Marvel certainly is positioning Doctor Strange strong with a great creative team of Jed MacKay and and Pasquel Ferry. Keeping Clea to be a major character in the series is good to see as her story should continue after she showed he can hold her own in the Strange ongoing series. Clea along with Wong are a strong supporting cast that should play a big role in the latest Doctor Strange series. And it all will help set things up for whenever we do get the next Doctor Strange MCU movie that will likely feature Stephen Strange, Clea, and Wong.
LAURA KINNEY RETURNING TO X-23 ROOTS
For a while now Laura Kinney has been sharing the Wolverine name with her father Logan. She has shown to both Logan and readers that she has long since earned being the one to continue the Wolverine legacy. But now it looks like the return of the Weapon X program will be forcing Laura to return to being X-23 in a new series titled Deadly Regenesis.
All that said X-23: Deadly Regenesis is not set in the present with all the Krakoa stuff. Rather this new X-23 series is set sometime back during Laura’s days as part of X-Force. Setting it in the past should free up X-23: Deadly Regenesis to be more of a standalone thing rather than having to fit within the current continuity. Which is what we should get more of when it comes to character mini-series as continuity, especially X-Men continuity, could hold back a series.
SPIDER-GWEN JOINS THE CLONE SAGA CREW
Miles Morales went through his own dedicated Clone Saga a few years ago. Now its time for Gwen Stacy to join in on the Clone Saga madness that Peter Parker and Miles Morales have had to deal with as she gets her own version titled Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones. Whether the Clone Saga is well received or not that specific storyline has become a bench mark for members of Spider-Man Family members to hit as solo heroes.
What does appear to set Gwen Stacy’s Clone Saga apart will be that it will not simply be different versions of Spider-Gwen running around. Instead these Gwen Stacys will be adopting the identities of all the members of Spider-Man’s Rogues Gallery. It is certainly a direction to differentiate the way Gwen will have do deal with her clones compared to Peter and Miles.
HELLCAT BREAKS OUT FOR SOLO ADVENTURES
Hellcat is a character that Marvel does seem to want to get behind. We saw her be a major character in the most recent Iron Man run where she almost got married to Tony Stark. While that did not happen Patsy Walker did get her status as a hero reestablished during her time in Iron Man.
Now Christopher Cantwell will get the chance to continue Patsy’s story from the work he did in his Iron Man run with a new Hellcat mini-series. Going with a mini-series rather than ongoing is a good thing. This will keep the Hellcat story focused rather than trying to establish a world for what appears to be an ongoing. Cantwell already showed he can write Hellcat well. If this Hellcat series is successful we could see bigger things for the characters which should be the point of starting out with a mini-series.
THE GREEN GOBLIN FAMILY EXPANSION CONTINUES
Marvel has become obsessed with the idea that Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin needs to have a whole family like Spider-Man. We’ve had Hobgoblin for a long time and Harry Osborn as Green Goblin. But those were the only two for a long time and they were long in development. Now Marvel is just going crazy with the expansion as in just a few months we are getting Gold Goblin, Queen Goblin, Red Goblin, and now Hallows Eve.
I would honestly like to know why Marvel has gotten this idea that they have to drive the whole Green Goblin concept to the ground similar to how DC Comics is handling Joker. It does seem they don’t like the idea that Norman Osborn has proclaimed he is a good person and no longer under the Green Goblin influence. Since that’s happened the villain Goblin has been steadily escalating. Marvel must have gotten research done that showed fans are hungry for more Green Goblin content.
ROGUE AND GAMBIT ARE BACK WITH NEW SERIES
One of the best titles that Marvel has released in the last five years is Mr. & Mrs. X that starred Rogue and Gambit. That series showed that Marvel should’ve given Rogue and Gambit a series a long time ago. They are two characters with incredible chemistry and deserve to be able to shine on their own and as a couple.
Now Marvel is following up on that with a new Rogue and Gambit mini-series. What makes this new series even more exciting is that Stephanie Phillips is the writer with Carlos Gomez handling the artwork. Philips has been doing a lot of great work on Superman, Wonder Woman, and Harley Quinn for DC Comics. She knows how to handle quick, witty dialogue along with big superhero action.
What makes Rogue and Gambit series even more exciting is the new possibilities opened by what they’ve both been through during the Krakoa era. Specifically, how Destiny will factor into all their relationship. Destiny has not hidden her hatred for Gambit and the fact Rogue married him. Gambit for his part has not been bothered by what Rogues mother thinks of him. How Destiny is used as the mother-in-law in this story should be fun to see.