Marvel has been all over the news the last few weeks as there are major creative team shifts going on throughout the industry. As part of the shift we are seeing how Marvel is going to be heading into 2022 with a lot of things in development. Insight into those plans are seeing in Marvel’s November 2021 solicitations. That includes a new creative team for Hulk, Ben Reilly’s Spider-Man era continuing, X-Men fighting bigger threats, and a major milestone for the Avengers. Let’s take a look at what is going on in the Marvel Universe based on the November 2021 solicitations.
DONNY CATES & RYAN OTTLEY’S HULK ERA BEGINS
Al Ewing and Joe Bennett delivered one of the modern classic creative team runs with Immortal Hulk. It was exactly what you would hope for as a critical and commercially successful creative run. But now the Immortal Hulk era that Ewing and Bennett brought fans is over. Not missing a beat to pick up on the momentum created by that creative run Marvel has tapped the creative team of Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley to take over Hulk.
Cates and Ottley are certainly an A-List creative team to work on the latest Hulk series. It shows that Marvel understands that Hulk can continue being one their top sellers outside of Spider-Man and X-Men. And based on the solicitation for Hulk #1 the character will no longer be Immortal. What exactly that means for Bruce Banner and the Hulk as they get more reintegrated into the rest of the Marvel Universe again will be very interesting to see.
THE NEXT BIG THING
Ben Grimm’s The Thing is getting to break out on his own with a new solo series in November. Given how much of a team player The Thing has been it’ll be interesting to see how he will be positioned as a solo hero. The solicitation for The Thing #1 doesn’t give us much of a hint as to what kind of things that Ben Grimm will be taking on. The character is versatile as he could be taking on a cosmic or street-level threats.
The good thing is that The Thing will a mini-series. That Walter Mosley and Tom Reilly can just focus on telling a standalone story rather than something that is directly tied to Dan Slott’s current Fantastic Four run. Going standalone would be most ideal for this mini-series to help position The Thing as being able to be his own character. It would definitely allow Mosley and Reilly to explore the greater impact The Thing has to the Marvel Universe as a whole.
HAWKEYE RETURNS TO NEW YORK CITY
With Disney announcing the Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld starring Hawkeye series for Disney+ debuting on November 24th it was only a matter of time we got a new comic book starring these two characters. Timing things well Marvel is going to have a new Hawkeye series starring Kate Bishop with Marieke Nijkamp and Enid Balam at helm coming out in November 2021. Kate Bishop has quietly had many great series written with her as Hawkeye over the years so I have no doubt this could be good. As with The Thing comic, having this be a mini-series will allow Nijkamp and Balam to tell a self-contained story.
That said, Nijkamp and Balam’s Hawkeye: Kate Bishop series will see a big change for the character as she is moved away from Los Angeles back to New York City. While this series will likely be self-contained it does position Kate to be a bigger part of other bigger stories going on in Marvel’s New York City in the future. Which would be best as Kate’s profile will only increase as the Disney+ Hawkeye series will bring greater popularity to the character.
BEN REILLY TESTED AS SPIDER-MAN
Ben Reilly is certainly not wasting time in defining his new run as Spider-Man. The new Beyond Board Braintrust looks to be continuing to push how Ben is trying to prove himself to be a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker. And it is clear that at least for now Ben will be able to do that with Peter off the table as there is no hint of Peter in any of the November solicitations of Amazing Spider-Man.
From just a character standpoint we do continue to see through the Amazing Spider-Man solicitations for the Beyond era that while Ben may want to prove himself better than Peter he isn’t going to take big risks. Rather, Ben seems to be taking a more perfectionist attitude as Spider-Man. That makes the upcoming clash with Kraven the Hunter even more intriguing as many unexpected things will likely be thrown his way that will challenge Ben’s perfectionist mentality as Spider-Man.
AVENGERS CELEBRATES 750TH ISSUE
While the Avengers won’t be officially returning to their legacy numbering November 2021 does mark a major milestone for the franchise. And that milestone is Avengers #750. After all the different relaunches the Avengers has finally reached this major milestone, joining Amazing Spider-Man as one of the only Marvel comics to reach that point.
Now it does not look as though Avengers #750 will be a standalone celebration issue you can pick up. Instead, it will mark the end of the latest major storyline that Jason Aaron is working on for his Avengers run in “World War She-Hulk.” The conclusion taking place in this oversized issue does ensure the ending will have a big event finale feel. Though it being a good jumping on point that won’t likely be what this is. Still, for fans of the current Aaron Avengers run you can expect to see what is next for the series when all is said and done with “World War She-Hulk”
WHAT FORM WILL WANDA MAXIMOFF TAKE FOR RETURN?
Wanda Maximoff’s return to the world of the living of Scarlet Witch was never in doubt. Wanda is to popular and a key part of the greater plans Marvel and Disney have to just be unceremoniously killed off at the very end of Hellfire Gala. So it is not surprising that Wanda will be returning towards the end of X-Men: The Trial Of Magneto. The question will be what form will she be returning as? Will she come back with her mutant history restored?
The other thing to continue to watch out for with Trial of Magneto is what it will mean for the X-Men’s standing within the Earth’s hero community. The X-Men have made a lot of changes to the Marvel Universe that has left their standing with the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and other heroes in question. This Trial of Magneto likely will not help them whatsoever. Wanda’s return could tip the scale one direction or another.
THOR PRESENTS GOD OF HAMMERS
The big plans Donny Cates has for the Marvel Universe are not just starting with his work on Hulk #1. Cates has shown he has major plans still going on with his work on the Thor series. And with November’s Thor #19 Cates and Nic Klein will begin the next big story arc for the series titled “God of Hammers” that will involve Mjolnir going missing.
This mystery about what has happened to Mjolnir has been a major plotline since Cates started his run. We’ve see how Thor’s connection to Mjolnir has come into question. Now this latest storyline looks to be addressing all of this in a major way.
This should also mean we will see an even greater focus on where exactly Thor will stand in the Marvel Universe. Because he is after all the current All-Father of Asgard while still trying to act as the God of Thunder. Maybe this storyline will see Thor finally have to give up that God of Thunder status back to Jane Foster or someone else since being All-Father of Asgard is something that is taking his entire focus.
END OF AN ERA FOR DAREDEVIL
Chip Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil has been one of my favorite Marvel comic books published right now. So learning that Zdarsky’s current Daredevil series is coming to an end with Daredevil #36 in November is sad to learn. Zdarsky has built something truly special with his work on Daredevil. Though it does seem that Marvel and Zdarsky have been careful with the wording of Daredevil #36 to just be the end of this series. We still may see Zdarsky continue his run on Daredevil in a new ongoing series, something we’ve seen happen with past creative teams working on multiple Daredevil relaunched series throughout their runs.
That said, Daredevil #36 itself looks to be a massive issue as Zdarsky will be concluding this volume of the series in a major way with Mayor Wilson Fisk and Mary Walker, aka Typhoid Mary, possibly getting married. Zdarsky has been slowly building the bond between Fisk and Mary over the course of recent issues. How this possibly wedding will define the direction for both characters, particularly Wilson Fisk’s time as Mayor of New York City, will be something to keep an eye on.
Additionally, this final issue looks to finally answer who will be Daredevil moving forward: Matt Murdock or Elektra Natchios. Both Matt and Elektra have been working as Daredevil, with Matt as Daredevil in prison while Elektra is the superhero Daredevil protecting Hell’s Kitchen. Two Daredevil’s being active looks to be over. Personally, I would like to see Elektra continue on as Daredevil. There is so much untapped potential with Elektra as Daredevil that should continue to be explored. Plus, it would give more room to develop Matt’s character beyond the mask and how his time in prison changed him.
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