Marvel looks to be leading into the summer with major developments going on. The biggest one we see from Marvel’s May 2023 is the new creative team taking over the main Avengers series. There is also the promise of “The Most Shocking Issue Of Amazing Spider-Man In 50 years” that Marvel is now heavily marketing coming in May. That along with other major developments set May to be the biggest month of 2023 that Marvel has. Let’s break everything down by taking a look at Marvel’s May 2023 comic book solicitations.
AVENGERS RELAUNCH WITH NEW CREATIVE TEAM
The Jason Aaron era is over and it is time for Jed MacKay to begin his run as the writer for Avengers. Joined by C.F. Villa will be joining MacKay as the artist for Avengers. This is a great creative team to start off a new era for the Avengers. I’ve been impressed by all of MacKay’s work. I was particularly a big fan of MacKay’s run with Black Cat. Recently he has also been doing a lot of great work with the Moon Knight and Strange series that shows he can work with big mythologies that are cosmic and magic based.
The Avengers team that MacKay and Villa are starting off with has a good balance with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Iron Man, Thor, Sam Wilson’s Captain America, Scarlet Witch, and Vision. The one question I do have is how Captain Marvel will do as the leader of the team. I haven’t been impressed when Captain Marvel has had a chance to have a leadership role. Maybe MacKay will be the writer to finally show Captain Marvel as a strong leader for the Avengers like Captain America and Wasp.
As impressive as the roster is I do hope that MacKay does give himself flexibility and isn’t committed to one team roster. With most of the Avengers on this team having their own solo books it would work to the series’ benefit if we had some rotating members like Tigra, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Starbrand, and Photon also on the team depending on the story. Having that flexibility could lead to a lot better stories and not let character arcs be hamstrung by most of the initial roster having their own solo comic books.
FINALLY ANSWERING WHAT PETER PARKER DID
We know that after over a year and 25 issues, Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr. are finally going to answer what Peter Parker did to turn everyone against him and yet another break-up with Mary Jane Watson. The answer will likely never satisfy the haters of the current Amazing Spider-Man run but as Rokk has shown with the sales ranking there is no denying that there is a lot of interest in the current direction. Whether that interest comes from loving or hate-reading Amazing Spider-Man is up to whoever wants to argue it in their corner of the Internet bubble.
Marvel is certainly making us believe that both Amazing Spider-Man #25 and Amazing Spider-Man #26 are the biggest issue in the last 50 years of Spider-Man’s history. That is a major statement that Marvel is making since we’ve had a lot of big moments in just the last decade from Doctor Octopus stealing Peter Parker’s body to Ben Reilly’s return in multiple villain forms to Harry Osborn digging himself out of Hell. That’s not even counting events like Spider-Verse that have become so important to the Spider-Man mythology.
With all that in mind, it does appear Marvel wants us to believe there will be a major death that will happen. There are multiple choices that Wells and Romita are planning. If it is a death that is planned to be what is leading Marvel to market these two issues of Amazing Spider-Man as “The Most Shocking Issue Of Amazing Spider-Man In 50 years” that won’t cut it. There needs to be a more meaningful story choice since we know that in comics no one stays dead forever or even for a few years.
CINDY MOON TAKES HER SILK TALENTS TO LOS ANGELES
Silk is getting a new mini-series with Emily Kim and Ig Guara as the creative team. I’ve been very impressed by what Emily Kim has done with the Tiger Division series. It is definitely a series that Marvel fans should be looking out for when it is collected in trade. Ig Guara has also delivered a lot of great artwork with Ghost-Spider, Captain America, and Moon Girl.
Silk is also a character that while not selling the numbers of Amazing Spider-Man and other Peter Parker titles has been gaining more and more fans. It’s been a build that Marvel has clearly shown signs of investing more in having Cindy Moon be more on the level of popularity Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and Gwen Stacy have. The move to Los Angeles will further help to build Silk away from the Spider-Man characters and grow her own supporting cast that isn’t reliant on Peter’s cast.
Making this new Silk series something Spider-Man fans should look to pick up is the teased connections to the Spider-Verse. We’ve seen how Dan Slott and Mark Bagley’s current Spider-Man series is building to some big Spider-Verse Endgame story. Silk #1 teases connections to having Cindy dealing with the Multiverse. So followers of the current Spider-Verse story should check out Silk as well.
CARNAGE REIGN BEGINS
With Venom dominating having one big story after another, it was only a matter of time got back to telling an event with Carnage event. There was a major success with the Absolute Carnage event. Since then Carnage has been mostly sticking to the background even as Venom’s popularity has continued to grow.
That is all changing with May seeing the start of a new event titled Carnage Reign. That event kicks off with Carnage Reign Alpha #1 by Alex Paknadel and Cody Ziglar. This one-shot zero issue looks to be taking an anthology direction as a number of artists will be joining Paknadel and Ziglar to kick off the event.
Carnage Reign also appears to be an event that won’t be headlined by Venom or Peter Parker’s Spider-Man as the heroes. Instead, we see that Miles Morales’ Spider-Man and Iron Man are going to be the ones dealing with the latest return of Cletus Kasady. With this just being an Alpha issue expect more heroes to get involved. Though it’s not clear the size of Carnage Reign will impact other ongoing titles outside of Miles Morales: Spider-Man for now.
SPIDER-VERSE EXPANDS WITH EXTREME VENOMVERSE
With Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse out in June Marvel is looking to fully tap into that Spider-Verse well. We see that with a new Edge of the Spider-Verse mini-series. Now Venom is getting in on the fun with the new Extreme Venomverse mini-series. Because you know what if Spider-Man can do Multiverse storytelling then, of course, Venom can do so 10 years later.
Jokes aside, things like Extreme Venomverse can be a fun way to explore the Multiverse concept. Marvel has done a good using the Spider-Verse to introduce audiences to new Marvel Universes. Given Venom’s current popularity Extreme Venomverse could be a hit. The Spider-Verse comics have sold well thanks to fans wanting to add these new Spider-Man characters to their collections and possibly sell them later on. If Venomverse can create characters like Spider-Gwen then we may see more from this spinoff series later.
STORM GOES SOLO AFTER SINS OF SINISTER
After Wolverine, if there is one X-Men character that should always have a solo series is Storm. Storm has been a breakout character since she debuted and has shown to be one of the most important characters in the Marvel Universe. That said, Marvel seems to have continued to miss the boat on Storm being established as a solo hero along with being an X-Men.
Now that will be changing with Storm getting a solo mini-series. Would it be great if this was an ongoing from the start? Yes, but this is a good start to have fans rally around a Storm solo series to show Marvel there is interest. We saw over at DC Comics this worked for Poison Ivy as her mini-series was upgraded to maxi-series and then ongoing status. Storm has even more potential to carry a solo ongoing series and hopefully, we see fans buy this new series.
Marvel bringing on Ann Nocenti to write the series is a huge plus. Nocenti has underrated runs on Daredevil and Uncanny X-Men. Recently Nocenti showed she still has it with her work on several various Elektra one-shots. I fully expect Nocenti to deliver a great story with Storm.
GROOT JOINS THE SOLO TRAIN
By far the best Guardians of the Galaxy is the one by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. They created what we see in the modern-day version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Now Dan Abnett is back to work on a solo Groot series.
When it comes to writing classic superhero stories Abnett has always done a solid job after his Guardians of the Galaxy run. Setting the Groot series in the past is smart as that makes it so the storytelling isn’t reliant on the Guardians of the Galaxy run. Abnett can have more room to just explore Groot’s character. This also means showing Groot through all of his ages, which fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have enjoyed from the character.
NICK FURY JR NEW ATTEMPT AT GLORY
Even with how iconic of a portrayal Samuel L. Jackson has given the MCU version of Nick Fury the comic book counterpart hasn’t had the same success. Established as the son of the iconic comic book version of Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD, Nick Fury Jr has failed to catch on. Even when the character has shown up Nick Fury Jr. has lacked the gravitas that his father held for decades in the Marvel Universe. It has been a massive failure on Marvel’s part, especially with how blatantly they replaced Nick Fury with his son.
With all that said, not all is lost. Marvel has certainly shown they are all in on Nick Fury Jr. and that will not be changing any time soon. With that in mind Marvel needs to show quality investment in Nick Fury Jr. Which makes it smart that for the latest Nick Fury one-shot they have tapped Al Ewing as the writer. Ewing is one of the best, if not the best, writer working for Marvel right now. He has done a great job with his runs on X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Wasp. If there is a writer Marvel has that can get Nick Fury Jr. over more than he ever has it is Ewing. That is at least what I hope.