Things won’t be slowing down for Marvel as they set in motion the stories that will take place over the winter months. To go along with their Infinity Wars, X-Men: Extermination, Death of Inhumans and Return of Wolverine events Marvel is adding a Spider-Man-centric event in the form of Spider-Geddon. With five big events anchoring Marvel’s October plans it can be easy to see how overwhelming it will be to keep up with everything going on in the Marvel Universe. Still, there is plenty of opportunity for other series to break through as Marvel’s October solicitations provided us with a lot of decisions to make for our monthly comic book budget. Now let’s take a look at the notable things from Marvel’s October 2018 solicitations.
SPIDER-GEDDON EVENT BEGINS
Spider-Geddon’s announcement is still a surprise. Nick Spencer just started his run on Amazing Spider-Man and you would think Marvel would want as many Spider-Man fans as possible buying that comic book. But what we think and what Marvel does are two different things, as is the case with the Spider-Geddon event. Not only are we getting Spider-Geddon but also 3 additional tie-in mini-series that will split the Spider-Man audience even more when deciding what to read.
While that will be a big decision that Spider-Man fans will be forced to make Spider-Geddon itself does sound like an interesting follow-up to Spider-Verse. Given how much the Spider-Man franchise has expanded since the original Spider-Verse event there is a lot of potential in seeing the new Spider-Men, Spider-Women and Spider-Girls to interact with each other again. And for fans looking for exactly that Spider-Geddon will deliver that in spades.
SPIDER-GWEN RELAUNCHED AS GHOST SPIDER
At San Diego Comic Con 2018 Spider-Gwen’s name change to Ghost Spider was announced. Now to fully establish Gwen Stacy’s new Ghost Spider superhero identity Marvel is giving her a brand new ongoing series. Given that Spider-Gwen recently ended in a very confusing spot, as you can read in my Spider-Gwen #34 review, it isn’t surprising to see that Ghost Spider #1 is teasing the fact this new series will be a reboot of Earth-65. By restarting things Seanan McGuire and Rosi Kampe will have a greater opportunity to develop Ghost Spider and her world moving forward.
SHURI’S TIME IS NOW
Shuri getting her own series is one of the least surprising decisions Marvel has made. Shuri was a character who gained a dedicated fan following after a strong appearance in the Black Panther movie. What is surprising is that Marvel waited so long to give Shuri a solo series to follow-up on this momentum. It’ll be interesting to see if Shuri’s momentum helps this be a successful launch or if interest is not as strong as it would’ve been if this series released in March or April of this year. Still, it is good to see Marvel make an effort to establish Shuri as her own character and not just as the next in line for the Black Panther identity if T’Challa is not around.
INFINITY WARS BRINGS BACK AMALGAM UNIVERSE
Infinity Wars impact is stretching out even more as we see Marvel launching more mini-series featuring amalgamations of their iconic heroes. Seeing new combinations of Spider-Man and Moon Knight as well as X-23 and Wanda Maximoff does show that Marvel is at least trying to have fun with this event. It is definitely a different direction to take tie-in comics than just seeing other ongoings forced to integrate big events into their creative team’s run.
MORE MINI-SERIES COMICS FROM MARVEL
Another good strategy that Marvel is starting to build with a new EiC at the helm is giving more mini-series to lesser known characters. In previous administrations we saw Marvel just make everything an ongoing series and then disappointing fans of those comics by canceling them after 6 issues later. Going with the mini-series route gives comics like Iceman, Unstoppable Wasp, Shatterstar and Life of Captain Marvel to focus on telling one big story without having to build additional sub-plots. That added focus will help these comics build better word of mouth as the creative teams are more focused with their storytelling.
For comics like Iceman and the Unstoppable Wasp this is chance to build off the good word-of-mouth their previous comics had. With that chance Sina Grace and Jeremy Whitley can show Marvel that these characters can carry a title and possibly turn their mini-series’ into ongoings if sales are strong. And for any comic book a second chance is a valuable thing to have.
CHRIS CLAREMONT RETURNS FOR X-MEN: BLACK
X-Men: Black focusing on five key villains from the X-Men’s history is a great way to re-establish these characters before the franchise relaunches after the Extermination event. What makes X-Men: Black even more exciting is the fact that Chris Claremont is returning to write the Magneto one-shot. Starting off with Claremont writing a character he helped define is a smart way to build the momentum for the other X-Men: Black one-shots. If successful then X-Men: Black could prove to be an important set of content that builds the foundation of the X-Men moving forward.
MARVEL’S WHAT IF….? COMICS RETURN
The “What If….?” comics have a special place in the hearts of many Marvel fans. As one of those fans it has been disappointing to see how Marvel has treated the “What If….?” concept as just a way to tell alternate endings to their big events in the last few years. That direction for the “What If….?” comics is missing out on what made the concept so enjoyable.
Now Marvel is returning to the spirit that made the “What If….?” comics so great in October. Just looking that the cover it is clear that CB Cebulski and company know that they should have fun with exploring stories with Spider-Man as the Punisher, a Blade Runner-esque X-Men and Thor as a Frost Giant instead of Loki. These ideas show that the “What If….?” comics are returning to what they used to be. Hopefully they are as good as the covers and solicitations make them out to be.
FANTASTIC FOUR HOST FAMILY REUNION
The Fantastic Four’s return is something to celebrate. The celebration of Marvel’s First Family is going to continue in October as they host a family reunion with every hero who has been a Fantastic Four member at some point in time. Having Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk, Medusa and others welcome the Fantastic Four back helps push the idea that they are back full time. Interacting with these heroes also could build something interesting sub-plots since characters like Spider-Man have had closer ties with the Fantastic Four than others.
DAREDEVIL VS KINGPIN MAIN EVENT FINALLY HAPPENING
With how much Daredevil and Kingpin have butted heads since Wilson Fisk became Mayor of New York City it was only a matter of time before they came to blows. That is finally happening starting in October as Daredevil is finally forced to try to take down Mayor Fisk’s rule of the city he has sworn to protect. Given that the solicitations keep mentioning the “Kingpin” name in the solicitations we may get a tease of Fisk returning to the name he carried before becoming Mayor. If that is the case the superheroes of New York City may be in even more trouble than when Fisk was just the Mayor of NYC.
ORIGINAL X-MEN DYING IN EXTERMINATION
As we learn more and more about the Extermination event it is starting to become clear that at least one of the five original time displaced X-Men will die in this event. There is still no indication on which of the original X-Men is most in danger. Still, with that hanging over the Extermination event it gives X-Men fans another reason to check it out for who comes out alive by the story’s end.
It’s also interesting to note that the new cover for Extermination shows the present day Jean Grey with a cloaked person. From the costume he looks like the time displaced Cyclops. Or it may be that the present Cyclops is returning since we do not see this person’s face for a reason.
OLD MAN LOGAN COMES TO AN END
It was only a matter of time before the Old Man Logan ongoing series was going to come to an end. What is still not clear is if with the iconic Wolverine’s return if Old Man Logan will be taken out of the main Marvel Universe. From the Old Man Logan #50 solicitations Marvel seems to indicated that OML will die. This would make sense given the fact that Brisson has been building up how Old Man Logan has slowly been losing his healing factor. We are already seeing that his healing factor is working at a much slower rate than it ever has. And with how much he has been beat up by villains like Silver Samurai, Maestro and Kraven, it may be time for Old Man Logan to rest as his younger Wolverine self takes over.