Marvel Comics May 2020 Solicitation Analysis

Marvel Comics May 2020 Solicitation Analysis

Marvel is going to enter May 2020 with Empyre well underway. If you thought that there were already a lot of Empyre related titles then you are in store for even more in May 2020. As Empyre reach touches just about every Marvel comic book there are other big storyline developments that will take place in May. That includes Spider-Man dealing with a major threat from his past, a big return and death for the X-Men franchise, and much more. Let’s find out what Marvel has planned for fans in May 2020 based on their new batch of solicitations.

EMPYRE TAKES OVER THE MARVEL UNIVERSE

Empyre #3 Cover

Click for full view of Empyre #3 Cover.

If you thought Marvel would not go all in with Empyre you would have been fooling yourself. As we see from Marvel’s May 2020 solicitations, they are going all in with getting everyone from the Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men and everyone in between involved in the story. There is no character that is not being involved in this cosmic level storyline.

On one hand you can view this as a positive as Marvel is not just treating this as another Avengers event with other heroes playing supporting roles. The Fantastic Four, X-Men and other heroes seem to be extremely tied to what is going on with the Empyre event. This gives Empyre a grander scale, similar to War of the Realms, that makes it deserve being known as a big blockbuster event.

But on the other hand for those that do not care about Empyre this complete takeover means there may be a few months of comics you just skip. That is part of the danger that Marvel always runs into when they decide that a good portion of their ongoing titles must have tie-in stories to their big events. Hopefully Empyre does not derail the momentum of many books have been getting as creative teams on titles like X-Men and Captain Marvel have found their individual groove before Empyre began.

NEW UNION RISES IN EMPYRE

The Union #1 Cover

Click for full view of The Union #1 Cover

Now with that top level look at Empyre out of the way there are some notable takeaways from the comic books that are involved in Marvel’s big event. One of those comics is The Union. This tie-in mini-series for Empyre will unite the United Kingdom’s greatest heroes to defend the country. That includes the likes of Union Jack, Snakes, Kelpie, Choir, and Brittania.

What makes The Union stand out is that it does seem Marvel is using Empyre to see what the fan interest is in a team that is not based in the United States. Outside Black Panther and the current X-Men titles, we don’t see Marvel explore what is going on with heroes in other countries for their Earth based comic books. Using Empyre to test the waters on a title like The Union is actually smart to test fan interest. It will at least give unused characters like Union Jack, Snakes, Kelpie, Choir, and Brittania a chance to shine on a big stage.

GHOST RIDER AND HULK JOIN THE FANTASTIC FOUR

Click for full view of Fantastic Four #22 Cover

With the core Fantastic Four likely busy being involved in the main conflict of Empyre it seems Dan Slott is using this as an opportunity to bring back the New Fantastic Four together again. We already knew that Spider-Man and Wolverine would be joining Valeria and Franklin. Now we see with Fantastic Four #22 that Ghost Rider and Hulk are joining the family reunion. 

It’s team ups like this that play right into my childhood heart. Even if I’m not reading Slott’s run on Fantastic Four seeing Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider reunited will be hard to pass up. I have a lot of fond memories reading the comics these four teamed up as the New Fantastic Four. 

CAPTAIN MARVEL BECOMES SUPREME ACCUSER

Click for full view of Captain Marvel #18 Cover

From saving a large number of people stranded on an island to fighting all of the Avengers, Kelly Thompson has not given Carol Danvers much time to breathe. Carol’s ongoing adventures as Captain Marvel do not look like they will be slowing down anytime soon as Thompson is going to have the character become one of the new Accusers. This is a major character shift for Captain Marvel.

With Empyre involving the Kree and Skull Empires it is not surprising that Captain Marvel would get heavily involved with the Kree side of things. Seeing Captain Marvel wielding an Accuser hammer immediately creates a lot of questions for how this will affect Carol’s overall direction. Given what is currently going on with The Last Avenger storyline this period as an Accuser will likely feed into a grander cosmic narrative that Thompson is crafting on Captain Marvel.

MADELYNE PRYOR MAKES HER BIG RETURN

Hellions #3 Cover

Click for full view view of Hellions #3 Cover

The mutant community has never been more united than they are right now. But as as the days go by we are seeing some threats rise within the mutant community. That includes the possibility of Mystique giving motives to go against Charles Xavier and Magneto. Now in May we will see the return of a major X-Men villain in the form of Madelyne Pryor, aka the Goblin Queen. With the current state of the mutant community Madelyne Pryor returning now is a chance to elevate her to be a top level villain. That is not something she has been before but the window is now open for her to claim that title.

While Madelyne Pryor is returning in Hellions I do hope that this is just the beginning for the character. With the current direction of the X-Men we could see a bigger storyline down the line that delves into her connection with Cyclops, Jean Grey and Cable. Those three are important X-Men in the current direction for the franchise. Madelyne could play a major wild card in the state of the X-Men’s standing.

DEATH OF KATE PRYDE

Click for full view of Mauraders #11 Cover

One of the bigger storylines going on with the X-Men is the current direction of Kate Pryde. We’ve already seen that Kate is unable to travel to Krakoa through the normal portal means. Kate has also gone all in on her new pirate direction as we see a darker edge to the current version of Shadowcat.

Now it looks like everything that Kate has been involving herself in as Marauders leader and the Hellfire Trading Company may lead to her death. With how heavy handed both the solicitation and cover for Marauders #11 is about Kate’s death. It would not be surprising if this is all a big misdirect. Considering Kitty Pryde is one of the most well known X-Men there is no way Marvel would not make a bigger deal in the lead up to her death. Even with the announcement of Marauders #11 Marvel has been relatively quiet with Kate Pryde’s death. That all points to be this being part of a big con in the grander picture of the Marauders.

FANTASTIC FOUR BECOME SPIDER-GWEN VILLAINS

Click for full view of Ghost-Spider #10 Cover

In recent issues of Ghost-Spider we’ve seen Seanan McGuire introduce the Earth-65 versions of Sue and Johnny Storm. This version of half of the Fantastic Four are very different from their Earth-616 counterparts. On Earth-65 Sue and Johnny Storm have been introduced as social media influencers with a darker backstory.

With the backstory that has been established and the cover of Ghost-Spider #10 showing Sue and Johnny with their classic powers they may become villains on Earth-65. We already saw a big villain turn for Earth-65 Daredevil. Invisible Woman and Human Torch of Earth-65 becoming villains would be a good twist to the characters. It would also provide an intriguing new challenge for Ghost-Spider. Especially with how Gwen is currently traveling between Earth-616 and Earth-65.

KURT BUSIEK, ALEX ROSS AND YILDIRAY CINAR TEAM-UP FOR THE MARVELS

The Marvels #1 Cover

Click for full view of The Marvels #1 Cover

Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross’ Marvels series is one of the most iconic comic books in the company’s history. In many ways it is Marvel’s version of Kingdom Come, at least in terms of status. Teaming Busiek and Ross up again, along with the highly talented Yildiray Cinar, on a new The Marvels series will grab plenty of fans attention. Those names on the cover of The Marvels #1 will immediately sell plenty of copies. The only thing I hope is that The Marvels is not lost in the sea of titles that Marvel is releasing in May 2020. It may have been best to release a title like The Marvels after Empyre ended. But with the comic now solicited I hope The Marvels can get the attention it deserves with the creative team of Busiek, Cinar and Ross on board.

SPIDER-MAN’S SINS RISING

Amazing Spider-Man #45 Cover

When Sin-Eater was brought back to life by Kindred in Amazing Spider-Man #37 it was only a matter of time before he started terrorizing Spider-Man’s life again. That is what is going to start happening with Amazing Spider-Man #45. Sin-Eater represents one of the darkest periods in Spider-Man’s career, being responsible for the death of Jean DeWolff. 

One thing that “Sins Rising” has going for it on the positive side is the covers for Amazing Spider-Man #45 and #46. Both main covers capture how dark things are likely to get with Spider-Man and Sin-Eater clashing once again. It is one of those times that the cover is all that is needed to sell the story as a must buy for Spider-Man fans.

BLACK CAT STEALS FROM IRON MAN

Black Cat #12 Cover

Click for full view of Black Cat #12 Cover.

Black Cat has not hesitated at all when it comes stealing from other superheroes. She has already stolen things from Doctor Strange and Fantastic Four. Both instances Black Cat successfully used her skills and personality to get what she needed from Doctor Strange and the Fantastic Four. Now she will be up against the big challenge of Iron Man. Though this may not be a tough job since Black Cat can easily distract Iron Man given Tony’s personality. What will be the tough part will be if she is able to use Iron Man’s armor give all the safeguards Tony has in place if this type of thing happens to him.

WILL SHARON CARTER DIE SO PEGGY CARTER CAN LIVE?

Captain America #22 Cover

Click for full view of Captain America #22 Cover.

Peggy Carter return was a big deal when it was revealed she was the mysterious character helping her niece, Sharon Carter, and the Daughters of Liberty. It is surprising that Marvel waited this long to have Peggy be part of Captain America’s present. Now it looks like there may be a cost to Peggy being in the present that Sharon will have to pay. It would be sad if that price was Sharon dying as Coates and other writers have done a great job developing Sharon as a leader since leaving SHIELD.

What role Captain America plays in whatever price that Sharon has to pay so that Peggy can live will be interesting to see. Captain America has extremely close ties to both Peggy and Sharon. The possibility of losing one or both will deeply impact Captain America. We’ll just have to wait to see how all this ends up playing out.

DAREDEVIL FINALLY MAKES HIS RETURN

Click for full view of Daredevil #21 Cover.

The war for Hell Kitchen’s soul is not going to end anytime soon. To make sure he can not only win but survive this war Matt Murdock needs to get back to his full Daredevil form. Now it looks like that is what is going to happen in Daredevil #21, as we see Matt returning to his iconic crimson costume. It is to Chip Zdarsky’s credit that seeing Matt back in his iconic Daredevil costume looks like it will be a big moment. There has been so many intriguing things that have already happened during Zdarsky’s Daredevil run. This is will surely be another one of those big moments that will add to the fact Zdarsky’s Daredevil is the best ongoing comic book Marvel is publishing right now.


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