Marvel continues to do everything it can to draw in readers. Their September 2019 show that they want to get those strong sales numbers. One thing they are doing is getting a big name director in JJ Abrams to write a new Spider-Man series. Along with that their Marvel Comics celebration issue looks like it won’t just be a one-shot deal. That is all on top of several new comics and big events going on that also continue to go on. Let’s see what else is going on with what was revealed in Marvel’s September 2019 solicitations.
JJ ABRAMS BRINGS HIS FLARE TO SPIDER-MAN
After doing a four day countdown on the Marvel Twitter page fans were all over the place with what Spider-Man announcement that was being teased. They ranged from a comic book version of Sam Raimi’s canceled Spider-Man 4 movie to a new Spider-Man/Fantastic Four series. It was finally revealed in a YouTube video on Marvel’s page that what they were counting down to was the announcement of a new Spider-Man comic that JJ Abrams and his son, Henry Abrams, are collaborating on.
For Marvel this garners some good publicity as JJ Abrams is one of the most well known directors in Hollywood. The fact he is writing this Spider-Man comic with his son will make this a special thing for the Abrams family. The timing is a bit odd given how many Spider-Man related comics are on the market during September. But for hardcore Spider-Man fans and those who like Abrams’ work this will likely be a very appealing comic to purchase.
MARVEL’S STRIKEFORCE ASSEMBLE
Tini Howard is a name that Marvel fans should be on the look out for. Since appearing on the scene she has written and co-written a number of notable comics like Power Rangers: Pink, Marvel Knights 20th Anniversary, Thanos, Age of Conan: Belit and Guardians of the Galaxy Annual to name a few. And this year at C2E2 Howard signed an exclusive contract with Marvel. Given that and the work she has been given Howard is clearly someone Marvel is grooming to be a big creator name in the future.
Now her Marvel credits will be increasing as Marvel is giving Howard, along with artist German Peralta, the new Strikeforce series. The name is somewhat generic but the team roster is actually notable. The roster of Blade, Angela, Spider-Woman, Wiccan, the Winter Soldier, Monica Rambeau and Daimon Hellstrom is a nice assortment of personalities, powers and skills. It is particularly great that Jessica Drew is getting back in the spotlight and wearing her iconic Spider-Woman costume. With how the Spider-Man Family is the most bankable franchise at Marvel right now Jessica Drew is a character that should enjoy that success as the iconic version of Spider-Woman, at least before Spider-Gwen appeared on the scene.
HOUSE OF X AND POWERS OF X TAKE A TURN
Though the first issues of House of X and Powers of X have yet to be released we are getting a good idea of what these series will be. The September issues make it even more clear that Professor Xavier will be a key player in what shapes the X-Men in the future of the Marvel Universe. Both the solicitations for House of X and Powers of X point to this as the latter speaks about Cerebro playing a role in the series. Thus far it has seemed that Powers of X was examining the future while House of X was looking at the present for the X-Men franchise. Now both comics seem to be merging with Professor Xavier front and center at what is going on with all the X-Men.
CELEBRATION CONTINUES WITH MARVEL COMICS #1001
Remember how Marvel Comics #1000 was promoted as CB Cebulski’s big idea to have one comic book to sell over one million single issues? Yeah, well Marvel does and they are continuing the celebration with Marvel Comics #1001. As surprising as this is it looks like Marvel’s editorial is just as surprised. The solicitation for Marvel Comics #1001 indicates that this wasn’t the plan for the big celebration comic book but they just went with the flow. Now it seems as though Marvel Comics #1001 will be setting the stage for some sort of big event. That wasn’t the case with the solicitation for Marvel Comics #1000.
The cover for Marvel Comics #1001 is also a good clue as to what characters are a priority for Marvel. Those include the obvious names like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther and Wolverine. Other names on the cover include Venom, Spider-Gwen, Black Cat and Valkyrie. At least for the rest of 2019 and part of 2020 expect those on the cover for Marvel Comics #1001 to see a majority of attention for who the company prioritizes.
ABSOLUTE CARNAGE TAKEOVER
Absolute Carnage expands its reach with even more comics taking part in the big symbiote related event. Now to Marvel’s credit the majority of these comic books that are tying into Absolute Carnage are Spider-Man related. Of the ongoing comics that are taking part with tie-in issues are Amazing Spider-Man and Venom. Those are the ongoings that are expected to take part in Absolute Carnage. This does give more of a focus on the main series since the story isn’t being told in a bunch of different comic books that don’t have a direct connection to the Carnage character. Hopefully this is the general approach that continues to be taken for the Absolute Carnage event.
MILES MORALES RETURNS TO THE ULTIMATE UNIVERSE
Miles Morales has been part of the main Marvel Universe for several years now. He has firmly established himself a key part of the main Marvel Universe since then. But with Ultimate Spider-Man as a whole hitting a total of 250 issues makes Miles’ returning to the Ultimate Universe appropriate.
The Ultimate Universe still being around is something that was established at the end of Spider-Men II. It is good that Marvel did not forget this and is having Miles at least visit the universe he originates from. Though given that Ultimate Green Goblin is set to return in this Spider-Man anniversary issue we may see bigger plans for the Ultimate Universe set into place for the future.
THE WEB OF BLACK WIDOW APPEARS
Black Widow is a character that has quietly had several solid comic book series since being elevated thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Keeping Black Widow as a solo character helps emphasize her spy background that normally isn’t on display when she is part of the Avengers. Jody Houser is another rising star that Marvel is smart to give more work towards. She has been developing her name quickly with a number of comics from both DC and Marvel.
Black Widow will be a great title for Houser to work with a big name Marvel character. Going with the mini-series approach will also benefit The Web of Black Widow. It’ll give the series a focus on this specific adventure for Black Widow. And if it does well hopefully Marvel spins it off into an ongoing or another mini-series with Houser attached as the writer.
JASON ENDS RUN WITH THE START OF KING THOR’S REIGN
Marvel has been strongly hinting that Jason Aaron’s Thor run is coming to a close. Now we know where Aaron’s epic Thor run will end. That end will come in the form of a King Thor mini-series. From the cover alone it is clear that Aaron will be completing his run on Thor in the way he wants it to end. Bringing back Esad Rubic makes that clear as the overall tone of the cover shows it is bringing together all the ideas Aaron has been working with Thor’s character.
Also having Aaron’s run end in mini-series form will allow King Thor to stand on its own. It does not need to be connected to the current Marvel Universe. And it’ll also allow Aaron to use Marvel’s Multiverse to amplify his story, which he has not hesitated to use in the past.
BLACK PANTHER ASSEMBLES THE AGENTS OF WAKANDA
Black Panther is going to be filling the hole left by SHIELD’s absence for a while now in the Marvel Universe by creating his own Agents of Wakanda. Much like Strikeforce, the line-up is much different than the Avengers. General Okoye is an obvious member of Black Panther’s Agents of Wakanda. The surprising member on this roster is Wasp since she has never been a citizen of Wakanda or tied to the nation. Why she would join Wakanda is an interesting question the first issue should answer. Hopefully it is not just a case that it is because Wasp is not in the Avengers roster that she is given a spot in Agents of Wakanda. Janet Van Dyne deserves to be a big star in the Marvel Universe.
SPIDER-GWEN ON MARVEL UNIVERSE WORLD TOUR
When it was announced that Spider-Gwen would be a part-time member of the main Marvel Universe we were led to believe she would be splitting time between that and her universe. The solicitation for both Ghost-Spider #2 and her annual issue seem to indicate she will be spending more time in the main Marvel Universe. Everything is emphasizing Spider-Gwen’s life there rather than her own universe. I would not mind it if that was the case since, much like Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen is way to popular to stay in her universe.
The concern with the approach Marvel is taking is that they are taking a bunch of half-steps in integrating Spider-Gwen into the main universe. They either go all in or not at all. Because going with the 50-50 split between universe could end up hurting how Spider-Gwen is developed in the long-term.
STEVE ROGERS BECOMES THE SUPER SOLDIER AGAIN
We already knew Steve Rogers would be on the run and likely won’t be running around as Captain America. That makes the return of Steve’s Super Soldier costume on Captain America #14 an interesting choice. Steve originally war the Super Soldier costume while he was Director of SHIELD and Bucky Barnes was Captain America. Steve working under the Super Soldier name is appropriate for the character. And with Captain America not being available to him at the moment this is a good time to adopt the Super Soldier name again while he figures out what is truly going on with the world’s government.
IRON MAN BATTLES ULTRON’S AGENDA
Ultron is finally making his big return in the pages of Tony Stark: Iron Man. Ultron is a great villain that has not been appropriately used for a long time. It is a villain that should be at the top of the villain food chain. “The Ultron Agenda” can help start to put Ultron back into the path it deserves to be in.
It is a little disappointing that “The Ultron Agenda” won’t involve Hank Pym in a way. At least in the information we learned about the story Hank Pym does not seem to be involved. That stays in line with how the MCU made Tony Stark the creator of Ultron. Marvel likely wants to tie Tony and Ultron closely together. That said, I hope we see Hank involved in “The Ultron Agenda” in some way.
BLACK CAT VS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
Black Cat had a solid start to her first ongoing issue. The first issue set up a world filled with potential to explore Black Cat’s background as a thief. Now Jed Mackay is taking things to the next level with Black Cat using her skills to steal from some of the biggest names in the Marvel Universe. The names included on that list from Black Cat includes Doctor Strange and the Fantastic Four. Those aren’t characters that Black Cat can easily steal from. And if it is Black Cat’s father who is planning these heights there will be a lot of questions if he is leading her towards a darker path.
SPIDER-MAN MISSES THE ABSENT DAREDEVIL
Spider-Man is the busiest character in the Marvel Universe. On top of everything he is involved in with Amazing Spider-Man, Absolute Carnage and other Spider-Man Family titles he now has to look out for what Daredevil is doing. Or in the case of the current status quo, Spider-Man must deal with Daredevil’s absence causing the superhero hater, Detective Cole North, to turn his attention to him.
Given that Spider-Man was the one that made Matt Murock come to accept that he cannot be Daredevil with all his mental and physical injuries this is a good way to keep the character around. Spider-Man has long been Daredevil’s closest allies. That hasn’t been the case lately but integrating Spider-Man into Daredevil’s current arc can re-establish that friendship between them.
CHRIS CLAREMON AND BILL SIENKIEWICZ RETURN FOR NEW MUTANTS
When Jonathan Hickman was given full control of the X-Men all the comics in the franchise were canceled. The only new titles we have seen since Hickman got control are his House of X and Powers of X series. That was at least the initial case. But when Marvel can get Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz to work on a new X-Men series that is not something they should hold off on releasing.
Claremont and Sienkiewicz are legendary talents who will always have great attention paid to them when working on a comic book series. That is exactly the case for the New Mutants: War Children series they are working on together. Both creators understand how to perfectly write the New Mutants. Even if it has been a while since they’ve work with these New Mutant characters there is no doubt they can create something magical with this series.
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