Marvel Comics May 2021 Solicitation Analysis

Marvel May 2021 Solicitations

While April kicked off the Heroes Reborn direction that Jason Aaron is leading for Marvel we are going to see the full scope of the event in May 2021. For fans looking forward to Heroes Reborn there will be plenty to pick up with this new direction. For fans of other Marvel comic books not named Avengers you won’t have to worry to much. It looks like Heroes Reborn will be an additional comics line to all the Spider-Man, X-Men, and other non-Avengers related comic books you pick up. Let’s take a closer look at what the landscape of Marvel’s May 2021 looks like based on their latest solicitations.

HEROES REBORN REPLACES THE AVENGERS

It is personally a big sigh of relief that Heroes Reborn will not be an event that will be forcing a large majority of Marvel’s publishing line to be a part of. Rather, it looks like Marvel has learned lessons from the recent Empyre and King In Black events that its better to have Heroes Reborn be its own publishing line of comic book series. The only comics that look to have been affected by Heroes Reborn are the Avengers team books along with the Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, and Thor ongoing series’. That makes sense since those solo books would’ve likely gotten involved in Heroes Reborn but instead are being given breaks until this event by Aaron is over.

And from the looks of things Aaron and company are definitely going all in on treating Heroes Reborn as a What If…? style direction for what the Marvel Universe would look like with the their version of the Justice League as the main heroes. Everything from the main Heroes Reborn series to the tie-ins involving Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, the X-Men and others points to being the direction. Given that vibe that we are given I hope that Aaron and Marvel aren’t using this as a shot at DC Comics to show why the Avengers are superior. If this Heroes Reborn direction is to be successful everyone involved should be having fun with creating this as an alternate Marvel Universe like the Ultimate Universe that can stand on its own with or without the Avengers.

FANTASTIC FOUR PREPARE FOR A WEDDING

Fantastic Four #32 Cover

Click for full cover view of Fantastic Four #32.

Heroes Reborn is not the only major event that is going to be going on in May 2021. Marvel and Dan Slott have started to tease a major wedding going down between Doctor Doom and a mysterious bride in the pages of Fantastic Four. We don’t know who the bride is but given how much of a focus is being given to Johnny Storm’s love life in the lead up to Doctor Doom’s wedding this could mean either Crystal or Lyja will be the bride. The solicitation for Fantastic Four #32 seems to point to Crystal. That would be a surprising choice but one that could mean the Inhumans will be brought back into the Fantastic Four banner since that is where they were created.

Lyja being the bride is another possibility that could play into the larger plans for Doctor Doom, who is being teased to be a member of the new expanded Guardians of the Galaxy line-up. Being married to a major member of the Skrull’s could add to the importance of Doctor Doom’s place in the greater Marvel Universe. Especially considering how there is a current alliance between the Kree and Skrull this Fantastic Four wedding could be even more politically driven for Doctor Doom. With the tease of Doctor Doom making an ominous decree in Fantastic Four #32 aligning Latvaria with the Kree-Skrull Alliance would fit being a major announcement that changes things for the entire Marvel Universe.

LIFE STORY OF FANTASTIC FOUR IS TOLD

Sticking with the Fantastic Four for a bit more it looks like following the success of Spider-Man: Life Story that Marvel’s First Family is getting the same treatment. I’ve gushed about how much I love Spider-Man: Life Story. Chip Zdarsky did such a great job using the decades theme to explore what it would be like if Peter Parker and the Marvel Universe was allowed to age from the point Spider-Man first debut in the 1960s. Like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four are such a perfect fit to explore how the Marvel Universe would evolve if we followed their story from the moment they were exposed to cosmic rays in 1961.

There is a lot of opportunity to show how as Marvel’s First Family that the Fantastic Four would grow as a family as they all age. That includes seeing what I would be like with Franklin and Valeria Richards going from being young kids to adults over the course of the later issues of Fantastic Four: Life Story. Their development over the course of each decade we see the rest of the Fantastic Four in has a lot great potential.

Tapping Mark Russell for Fantastic Four: Life Story is a great choice. I’m only familiar with his DC Comics’ The Terrifics and Batman: Gotham Knights. His stories in both series have shown that he knows how to write superheroes under a family dynamic so he should excel with this new mini-series. And now that it seems like the ‘Life Story’ brand is taking the place of ‘The End’ line Marvel previously used I would not mind if the X-Men, Captain America, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel were given this type of mini-series in the future.

SPIDER-MAN AT CENTER OF MARVEL’S GANG WAR

Amazing Spider-Man #65 Cover

Click for full cover view of Amazing Spider-Man #65.

With Mayor Wilson Fisk becoming more of a consistent presence in Amazing Spider-Man we’ve seen Nick Spencer developing the gang war that seems to brewing in New York City. That is something that Chip Zdarsky has been tackling in his Daredevil run with Wilson Fisk making more moves that are showing his true Kingpin colors. Now it looks like with the gang war that will be taking place in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man story, ‘King’s Ransom,’ that we will see Fisk going back to fully embracing his Kingpin persona.

In at least the ‘King’s Ransom’ storyline it does not seem that we will be getting to the endgame for whatever Wilson Fisk is planning. The stories in both Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man and Zdarsky’s Daredevil look to be ramping up whatever Fisk’s endgame is. Which all could mean we are going to be in store for a big crossover event in the near future that will focus on Wilson Fisk going full Kingpin on New York City with Spider-Man and Daredevil at the center of the story.

SHANG-CHI FIGHTS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE

It was only a matter of time before Marvel announced a new ongoing series for Shang-Chi. With a major movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe there was no way that Marvel would miss out on trying to get ahead of capitalizing on the momentum Shang-Chi will soon have. Having Gene Luen Yang on as the writer for the new Shang-Chi ongoing series is a smart move. Yang has already proven that he can write a compelling narrative with Shang-Chi as the lead with the recent mini-series starring the character that just wrapped up.

What was particularly eye-catching from the solicitation for Shang-Chi #1 is how it looks like Yang is setting up the character to be viewed as a villain by Marvel’s superheroes. That could play into how Shang-Chi will be starting out his new series as the leader of the Five Weapons Society. We know from the mini-series that there is much more going on with the Five Weapons Society that Shang-Chi will need to adjust to. How characters like Spider-Man get involved in this story will be very interesting to see play out.

KRAKOA CREATES THE X-CORP AHEAD OF THE HELLFIRE GALA

X-Corp #1 Cover

Click for full cover view of X-Corp #1.

The tease for the upcoming Hellfire Gala that Emma Frost is hosting for Krakoa continues in May 2021 with the rise of X-Corp, a company headed up by Monet and Angel. Having Monet and Angel leading this major company backed by Krakoa is a great choice. Both characters have been major players in the past for the X-Men in various ways. That said, both Monet and Angel have been factored into the plans for the franchise post-House of X/Powers of X. This new series will help bring them into the fold and present them as important characters for the X-Men franchise right away.

X-Corp is not the only series that looks to be building towards the Hellfire Gala. Both the Marauders and X-Men series’ seem to be adding to what the landscape will be by the time this major event in Krakoa will take place. In Marauders it seems we will learn where Storm will stand as she is a member of the Quiet Council but has also been operating in a superhero type role with her work on both the Marauders and X-Men.

At the same time, over in the X-Men series it looks like Nimrod will be making his big return. The time of the return seems to convenient and it would not be surprising if Nimrod and the Sentinels are used in some way during the Hellfire Gala.


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