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Marvel NOW: 15 Titles Gone Too Soon

by  in Lists, Comic News Comment
Marvel NOW: 15 Titles Gone Too Soon

With “Civil War II” winding down, the second Marvel NOW! initiative is well underway. Because of that, many of the titles that were introduced as a part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel universe last year are finding their ways out the door. When Marvel launched these books after “Secret Wars” last year, the primary goal was to unite the different characters from the multiverse in one singular comic universe. With that, we finally saw characters like Miles Morales connect with the Avengers of Earth-616, the more traditional Marvel world.

RELATED: Marvel Now! 2.0 – The Winners and Losers Thus Far

Whether it’s the fact that some characters are continuing the story under a different title or a certain book has been confirmed as canceled, we’re taking a look back at 15 of the titles introduced under 2015’s “All-New, All-Different” banner that have left or will be leaving us too soon. The titles in this list aren’t listed in any particular order, so just because a book has a higher number than another doesn’t necessarily mean we believe it leaves a bigger or lesser void in the universe.

15. Venom: Space Knight

venom-space-knight

Everyone knows that at one point, Venom was one of Spider-Man’s primary adversaries. That was, of course, prior to being turned into a secret agent and working covertly with the United States government as Agent Venom. Originally appearing as a space knight in “Guardians of the Galaxy” in 2014 in an undercover role for the government, it wasn’t too long before Flash Thompson became a permanent member of the Guardians team.

When he wasn’t busy fighting galactic crime, Flash could be found in his solo “Venom: Space Knight” series going on exciting adventures alongside 803, a suicidal robot, and Pik and Hilla Rollo, a mother and daughter space-panda tag team. Penned by Robbie Thompson throughout its entire 13-issue run, the series featured art from Ariel Olivetti for the first seven issues before switching to a rotating committee of artists for the final six, including Kim Jacinto, RB Silva, Ario Anindito and Gerardo Sandoval.

After the Guardians decided to help out their friend Carol Danvers in the latest “Civil War II” storyline, the Venom symbiote found a new host on Earth to bond with, effectively ending its run as an Agent of the Cosmos. The Venom symbiote and its new host can be found in “Venom,” a new ongoing series by writer Mike Costa and artist Gerardo Sandoval.

14. Rocket Raccoon & Groot

rocket-raccoon-and-groot

This dynamic duo has been a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy since 2008, but starting around the time the “Secret Wars” event kicked off, both were given their own solo series. Even though they were heavily featured in each other’s solo runs, including he origin of how the two met in Jeff Loveness and Brian Kesinger’s “Groot,” the two joined forces once again in a new post-”Secret Wars” ongoing series. “Rocket Raccoon & Groot” took place immediately following the events of “Groot” and saw the duo tell a group of scouts all about their crazy intergalactic adventures.

Through 10 issues of “Rocket Raccoon & Groot,” the series saw a combination of creative teams. Writer Skottie Young wrote the first six issues before Nick Kocher took over the final four books. Artists for the run included Filipe Andrade (#1-#3), Aaron Conley (#4), Jay Patrick Fosgitt (#5), Brett Bean (#6) and Michael Walsh (#7-#10). While the duo’s combined run is seemingly over, you can expect their adventures to continue in “Rocket Raccoon,” penned by Matthew Rosenberg with art by Jorge Coelho. “Rocket Raccoon” is slated to debut later this month.

13. Red Wolf

red-wolf

With All-New, All-Different Marvel came a widely diverse selection of titles, including “Red Wolf,” the first Marvel book of the current line to feature a Native American as the primary character. Displaced after having a run-in with an apparent time traveler, Red Wolf finds himself traveling from 1872 to the present day American Southwest. Over the course of six issues, “Red Wolf” saw the titular character try his damnedest to persuade members of local law enforcement that he is from another time.

In “Red Wolf,” as written by Nathan Edmundson, with art by Dalibor Talajic (pencils), Jose Marzan Jr. (inks) and Miroslav Mrva (colors), we see the protagonist partner up with one of the sheriff’s deputies to fight oil tycoons and corrupt politicians in a storyline reminiscent of the Wild West. Though the Man-Out-of-Time storyline may be complete, fans can continue to follow Red Wolf as he teams up with Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye in “Occupy Avengers,” written by David Walker with art from Carlos Pacheco, Jose Rafael Fonteriz and Sonia Oback.

12. Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.

howling-commandos

In stark contrast to the MCU version of the Howling Commandos that we were introduced to in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the crew introduced as a part of the group in “Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.” included many supernatural-based characters. Led by an LMD (Life Model Decoy) version of Dum Dum Dugan, the team featured in the All-New, All-Different lineup was a part of S.T.A.K.E., the top secret mythical-based arm of S.H.I.E.L.D. The team included Warwolf, Jasper Sitwell (a zombie), Vampire by Night, Man-Thing, Manphibian, Orrgo, Teen Abomination and Hit-Monkey.

Written by Frank J. Barbiere with art from Brent Schoonover and Nick Filardi, “Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.” featured the team facing off against several supernatural threats before the group took part in the “Avengers: Standoff” crossover event and rode off into the sunset. While the rest of the team is just hanging out right now — though they recently appeared in “Old Man Logan” — Man-Thing will be starring in a five issue mini-series this Spring courtesy of “Goosebumps” author R.L. Stine.

11. Guardians of Infinity

guardians-of-infinity

In “Guardians of Infinity,” we not only saw the original Guardians 3000 team consisting of Vance Astro, Martinex and Charlie-27 team up with Rocket, Groot and the rest of the current-era Guardians, we were also introduced to the Guardians 1000, an entirely new Guardians of the Galaxy team from a thousand years ago. Over the course of the eight-issue “Guardians of Infinity” run, the teams are all investigating an ancient spaceship when they realize the ship is so massive, it not only takes up space, it also crosses time as we know it. This allows the teams to cross paths aboard the spaceship.

With writer Dan Abnett introducing an entirely new team of Guardians over this run and with “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” set to hit theaters in just a few months, we anticipate Marvel starting to push out more Guardians-centric titles, so we have our fingers crossed on seeing the Guardians 1000 sometime soon. With Abnett writing, the series also featured Carlo Barberi (pencils), Walden Wong (inks) and Israel Silva (colors).

10. Black Knight

black-knight

The shortest run in All-New, All-Different Marvel came courtesy of “Black Knight” by writer Frank Tieri and artists Luca Pizzari, Antonio Fabela, Kev Walker and Andrew Crossley. In the five-issue “Black Knight” run, we followed Dane Whitman’s adventures in Weirdworld as he was possessed by the Ebony Blade. After a possessed Whitman fought the Uncanny Avengers (led by Steve Rogers), they eventually decided only Whitman could be the bearer of the Ebony Blade and left him to rule New Avalon.

Although Marvel had not mentioned the official cancellation of the book, Tieri, who has written Black Knight stories for the previous decade, announced the cancellation via his Facebook page. The debut issue of the title sold under 40,000 issues in the North American market with subsequent issues selling even less. Thankfully, the creative team was at least able to wrap the story arc within five issues and treat “Black Knight” as a limited series of sorts.

9. Drax

drax

With All-New, All-Different Marvel came a series of firsts, which included the first ongoing series featuring Drax the Destroyer. Although getting a limited four issue mini-series in 2005, “Drax” was introduced in a post-”Secret Wars” Marvel universe and ran its course after 11 issues. The series saw former WWE superstar and current UFC fighter CM Punk team up with fan-favorite writer Cullen Bunn to pen the series, which featured Scott Hepburn on art.

As you probably know by now, if you see Drax on a mission, chances are that mission will be to find Thanos and finally get his revenge for murdering his family. This book was no different. While searching the stars for Thanos, Drax assembles a motley crew of brutes, all of whom find themselves in some pretty hilarious (and harrowing) situations among the cosmos. When he’s not trying to feed his bloodlust for Thanos, Drax can be found stranded on Earth in the current “Guardians of the Galaxy” run by Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti.

8. Nova

nova

One of the newer characters in the Marvel universe is Sam Alexander, more popularly known as the second Nova. Working his way up to being a part of the Avengers, Sam wears his father’s old Nova Corps helmet, which grants him access to the Nova Force, giving him powers such as superhuman strength, flight and the ability to survive traveling in space. “Nova” follows the 15-year-old while fighting to save the world from villains and monsters alike. The series carried a humorous tone with it, showing that sometimes beating up a supervillain hell bent on world domination may be an easier feat than talking to your freshman crush in high school.

Following “Civil War II,” Sam leaves his spot on the Avengers to join Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Amadeus Cho (The Totally Awesome Hulk), Viv Vision and a teenage version of Cyclops to form the superhero group, The Champions, by writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos. While not fighting crime in a super group, Sam can also be found alongside Richard Rider, the original Nova, in “Nova” by Jeff Loveness, Ramon Perez, and Ian Herring.

7. All-New Hawkeye

all-new-hawkeye

Seemingly getting his own title every time Marvel does a reboot, Clint Barton found himself paired up this time with former Young Avenger Kate Bishop when “All-New Hawkeye” hit the shelves. The six issue run featured Bishop rather than Barton. Written by Jeff Lemire with art from Ramon Perez and Ian Herring, “All-New Hawkeye” followed Barton and Bishop as they infiltrated a HYDRA facility to rescue the Project Communion kids, cutting into flashbacks of Bishop’s past, prior to joining the Young Avengers, while also showing flash forwards to a possible future, should Barton and Bishop be unable to rescue the Project Communion kids.

After being acquitted at trial for the events of “Civil War II,” Clint Barton finds himself laying low in the American Southwest, partnering up with Red Wolf in “Occupy Avengers,” by David Walker, Carlos Pacheco, Jose Rafael Fonteriz and Sonia Oback. Kate Bishop, meanwhile, will be featured in her first solo series, “Hawkeye,” as told by writer Kelly Thompson with art by Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire.

6. New Avengers

new-avengers

When Volume 4 of “The New Avengers” launched after “Secret Wars,” it followed a team lineup we haven’t seen in the series before. From writer Al Ewing and artist Gerardo Sandoval, we saw Sunspot, Songbird, Wiccan, Hulkling, Squirrel Girl, Pod, Power Man and White Tiger work for A.I.M., rebranded as Avengers Idea Mechanics in contrast to the former supervillain group Advanced Idea Mechanics. Through the course of this run, Wiccan, Hulk and Squirrel Girl are expelled from A.I.M. and are the last three members remaining as a part of the New Avengers.

“The New Avengers” lasted 18 issues and will be replaced by Al Ewing and Paco Medina’s “U.S.Avengers” come January. “U.S.Avengers” will feature former New Avengers Sunspot, Squirrel Girl, Cannonball, Pod and will add Thunderbolt Ross (as a moustachioed Red Hulk), Iron Patriot (Dr. Toni Ho) and a time-displaced Captain America (Danielle Cage) from an alternative future to team together and form an America-themed Avengers squad.

5. Astonishing Ant-Man

astonishing-ant-man

With “Ant-Man” debuting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2014, it was pretty clear Scott Lang would receive his own ongoing series when Marvel relaunched the universe after “Secret Wars.” We got confirmation of that as “Astonishing Ant-Man” was announced as a new ongoing series from writer Nick Spencer and artist Ramon Rosanas. Through 13 humorous but heart-warming issues, “Astonishing Ant-Man” followed criminal-turned-Avenger Scott Lang as he went up against primary adversary Darren Cross, in addition to lesser-known villains such as Power Broker and Backlash. In this run, Scott Lang also received help from former computer technician Raz Malhotra, who debuted as the fourth Giant-Man in “Ultimates” #2.

While we don’t know what future plans hold for Scott Lang, we do know the Pym family will be returning to the Marvel universe as Hank Pym’s daughter Nadia Pym will be the protagonist of “The Unstoppable Wasp,” by writer Jeremy Whitley and artist Elsa Charretier.

4. Karnak

karnak

In “Karnak,” writer Warren Ellis and artists Gerardo Zaffino, Antonio Fuso, Roland Boschi and Daniel Brown reimagine the historic Inhuman character, a member of the Inhuman royal family and a man who can sense the flaw in all things. The series, which was highly-acclaimed, but fraught with unfortunate delays, turned Karnak into a no-nonsense, badass Inhuman monk who battled both enemies of the Inhuman throne, as well as more esoteric threats to existence.

In his first solo series, Karnak comes across as an anti-hero at times due to his unique ways of getting whatever it is he wants t0 get done. Much to the dismay of S.H.I.E.L.D., we see him murder, and in one of the gnarliest panel sequences of the year, we even see him emit a sound that causes members of a cult to explode. It was brilliant. While waiting for the sixth issue to hit shelves in an anticipated February release, you can expect to see Karnak alongside Quake, Ms. Marvel, Inferno, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur in this Spring’s “Secret Warriors,” under the curatorial direction of Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garron, and as a part of the RessurXion event following “Inhumans vs. X-Men.”

3. Mockingbird

mockingbird

After appearing in a S.H.I.E.L.D. one-shot at the end of 2015 by writer Chelsea Cain, Marvel announced that Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, would be receiving her own ongoing series beginning in 2016. Debuting in March that year, Cain and artist Kate Niemczyk crafted an eight-issue run that followed Mockingbird in her day-to-day operations as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and all the perils that entails. The series was light and refreshing as a standalone book, with Bobbi having a certain gallows humor and uncompromising attitude, but not without her very human vulnerabilities.

After the cover of the final issue of “Mockingbird” showed its titular character wearing a t-shirt saying “Ask me about my feminist agenda,” Cain experienced the ugly side of the internet as a certain subset of Twitter users stood against the message of the cover, ultimately leading Cain to disable her account. Comic books, as an art form, allow writers and artists to display their talents and beliefs. Cain and Niemczyk did all of this to well-deserved critical aplomb, combining a fantastic tone with a great character in Bobbi Morse and a worthwhile message.

2. Nighthawk

nighthawk

Nighthawk is a character who has rarely seen the Marvel spotlight, even though many characters have carried the codename. The current Nighthawk is Kyle Richmond, who originally hailed from Earth-31916; an escapee from a doomed parallel dimension, sentenced to death by Namor and a few others just in the cataclysmic events leading up to 2015’s “Secret Wars.”

Written by David Walker with art by Ramon Villalobos, the six-issue “Nighthawk” run followed the Squadron Supreme member fighting crime in his native Chicago. The Marvel equivalency of Batman, Nighthawk doesn’t rely on his powers, but rather specializes in his intelligence, his hand-to-hand skills and his high-tech gadgets.

Laced into the series, which features a blood-thirsty antagonist known as the Revelator who brutally murders central authority figures around Chicago, there is serious commentary on real-world police corruption and racial tensions. As is exemplified in his current “Occupy Avengers” series, Walker is not shy of addressing societal issues, and he did so unflinchingly within the pages of “Nighthawk.” Combine that with a great character in Kyle Richmond, who will go to any extent to clean up his city, and “Nighthawk” is a book that, while short, will be missed.

1. The Vision

the-vision

With actor Paul Bettany’s live-action version of Vision coming to life in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” it was only fitting that Marvel debuted a solo title featuring the son of Ultron. Much like his Marvel Cinematic Universe counterpart, the Vision of the Marvel Universe sees everything in black and white; that is, until he decides to create a family of his own.

In this 12-issue run, brought to life by current Batman writer Tom King with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, we see Vision build himself a wife (Virginia), daughter (Viv) and son (Vin) that have the same exact powers as he does. Now with a family of his own, the normally straight-laced Vision finds himself in situations where he is forced to make decisions that make him think about his moral code. They say that blood is thicker than water, and that appears to be the case even among the androids in “The Vision.”

Combine a coming-of-age tale with a family-driven psychological thriller and a unique take on the suburban ideal, and you have “The Vision,” one of the most… visionary… comics in the past 10 years. While King had to leave the book due to an exclusive commitment with DC, we’re still left with a complete 12-issue run that is, without question, par-excellence.

What was your favorite All New, All Different book? Is it still around? Let us know in the comments!

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