For the past two weeks, Marvel Comics has teased its upcoming fall Marvel NOW! lineup with a series of teasers, all illustrated by veteran artist Mike Deodato. In each one, two Marvel characters are paired — typically one more recognizable, one less so — with a shatter effect between them, along with the words “Divided we…”
Marvel has now released the payoff image (via FastCompany) to those teasers, also illustrated by Deodato. It’s a group shot featuring two camps on Marvel heroes and antiheroes, proclaiming “Divided We Stand” — seemingly confirming that current event series “Civil War II” ends with a still-fractured Marvel landscape. Other than that, the image raises a lot more questions than answers (click for a high-res version).
The left side of the image features a crew of comparatively morally ambiguous characters, with plenty of former (?) villains and mercenaries. From left: Solo, Foolkiller, Jessica Jones, Quake, Captain Marvel, Elektra, Thor Odinson, American Kaiju or Fin Fang Foom, Victor Von Doom, Slapstick, Captain America (the Steve Rogers version, who was recently and rather famously revealed to be a secret Hydra agent), Black Panther, Gamora and Cable.
The other side features mainly younger and newer characters, along with a veteran, Doctor Strange: Gwenpool, Mosaic, Miss America Chavez, Squirrel Girl, the All-New Wasp, Prowler, Moon Girl, Riri Williams from the current “Invincible Iron Man” series, Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), the Hulk (possibly the current, Totally Awesome version, though he looks a lot more intense than expected from Amadeus Cho), Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Ms. Marvel and the aforementioned Stephen Strange.
It’s also worth pointing out the characters not on this image — not that every big Marvel hero can be represented in a teaser like this, but the absences of Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Thor (Jane Foster), Captain America (Sam Wilson), Daredevil and Deadpool are notable. Most striking is the lack of Iron Man, made more egregious by the fact that Doom is holding his helmet and the fact that Captain Marvel, the leader of the forces opposing Iron Man in “Civil War II,” is seen prominently. What this may mean for the outcome of “Civil War II” remains to be seen — and anything released by Marvel with only two “Civil War II” issues on stands could very well be a red herring.
Cable is the only real X-Men character on either side of the image, but that’s not the only Marvel franchise underrepresented — Gamora is the only cosmic character present, and none of the royal family of the Inhumans are seen (though Mosaic and Ms. Marvel are both Inhumans themselves). While upcoming film stars such as Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and Black Panther are all in the mix, Luke Cage — the star of Marvel’s next Netflix series to debut — isn’t around, though his wife, Jessica Jones, is.
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