Marvel Comics has released its solicitations for May 2016, and with “Civil War II” kicking off, Steve Rogers returning to his Captain America identity and “Standoff” wrapping up, it’s obvious the publisher is planning for a big summer.
And while there’s something happening in every book Marvel is releasing in May, some twists, turns and revelations stand out a little bit more than others. Here are the big developments that stood out to us.
- “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” #5 is the Marvel Comics debut of Grant Ward! What this means for fan theories/hope that the show would reveal him to be the Marvel cinematic Universe’s incarnation of Taskmaster remains to be seen..
- Marvel is celebrating its hip-hop variants with a hardcover collection featuring 70 of the covers.
- “Hercules,” “Karnak” and “Angela” all missing from the solicitations. Marvel has not yet responded to CBR’s inquiries regarding the status of the series.
- With the character’s profile set to rise thanks to his role in Netflix’s “Daredevil” Season 2, Frank Castle returns with a new “Punisher” series, this time from writer Becky Cloonan and classic “Punisher” artist Steve Dillon. And the “Daredevil/Punisher” miniseries makes its debut as well.
- Meanwhile, the Thunderbolts reunite for a new series, and Squadron Supreme member Nighthawk, billed as “one of the most brutal super heroes of the Marvel Universe,” launches a new, solo series.
- “All-New, All-Different Avengers” #9 features the debut of all-new Wasp, who may or may not be Janet Van Dyne.
- Though he’s already appeared in small asides in “Amazing Spider-Man,” Issue #12 sees Regent (from the “Secret Wars” series “Renew Your Vows”) takes center stage and finally meets Spidey. The All-New All-Different Avengers guest star in the first issue of the new arc, titled “Power Play.”
- Ultron returns in “Uncanny Avengers” #9, but this time, he’s under Hank Pym’s control. We’re sure that’ll turn out just fine. And, after the series’ recent tease, in “Uncanny Avengers” #9 Rogue and Gambit do reunite. “We promise.”
- Marvel celebrates Star Wars day, saying May the Fourth be with you by offering a number of $1 True Believer reprints, including “Star Wars” #1, “Darth Vader” #1, “Droids” #1 and more.
- “Invincible Iron Man” #9 and “International Iron Man” #3 are both being hyped as “Civil War II” prologue stories.
- “Captain America: Sam Wilson” #9 explores what will happen to Sam’s new costumed career now that with Steve Rogers is back as Cap, himself. “Can the country handle two Captain Americas?”
- In “Guardians of the Galaxy” #8, Brian Michael Bendis reunites with the Skrulls, eight years after “Secret Invasion.”
- Kevin Maguire provides art for “Howard the Duck” #7, Andre Aruajo is on “Spidey” #6, and Mike Choi draws “Totally Awesome Hulk” #6.
- In “Spider-Man” #4, the “media is growing obsessed” with Miles’ skin color, and a “hot new mutant” appears.
- As promised, Bendis and Alex Maleev’s “Scarlet” returns after a three year hiatus.
- Speaking of Bendis, before he was Miles Morales’ “dad,” he wrote a number of acclaimed, black and white comics. In May, Marvel celebrates Bendis’ early, independent crime comics with a “Goldfish” / “Jinx” / “Fire” / “Torso” omnibus.
- “Astonishing Ant-Man” #8 teases the debut of the “superior foes” of Ant-Man.
- In “All-New Inhumans” #7, Ana Kravinoff — the daughter of classic Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter — joins the cast.