Over the past month, Marvel Comics has been teasing the return of Marvel NOW! The line-wide rebranding initiative first began in 2012 in the wake of “Avengers vs. X-Men” and gave birth to books like “Uncanny Avengers.” A new, shattered Marvel NOW! logo was next, followed by a series of “Divided…” teaser images, the first featuring Captain America (Steve Rogers) and new Inhuman character Mosaic. The trend continued, with the majority of images featuring one established character and one newer or less prominent character, and “Divided…” expanding to “Divided we…” as the series progressed.
After nearly two weeks of teases, the future of the Marvel Universe has become a bit more clear thanks to a Mike Deodato-illustrated teaser branded with “Divided We Stand.” With the Marvel Universe seemingly fractured in the wake of “Civil War II,” two very distinct factions have emerged. On the one side are primarily veterans, gathered behind Doctor Doom; on the other, mostly newer heroes, with 15-year-old Riri Williams standing in front.
Below, CBR delivers a who’s who of the heroes standing with Riri Williams, comprised primarily of newer Marvel players including the soon-to-defect young Avengers and one veteran in the form of Doctor Strange.
13. Riri Williams
Riri Williams takes point for one of the two teams. Like Doctor Doom, she seems inspired by Iron Man and his suit of armor and has featured briefly in Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato’s “Invincible Iron Man.” Not much is known about the character just yet, other than the fact she is a 15-year-old MIT student who built her own suit of armor.
Along came a Spider-Gwen, and then a… Gwenpool?! But this version of Gwen is no Stacy. Gwen Poole comes from a world just like ours, where Marvel characters exist only in comic books. After she’s transported into the Marvel Universe, Gwen becomes a vigilante called Gwenpool despite the fact she has no obvious powers and encounters a handful of popular Marvel heroes.
Morris Sackett is one of the many people who discovered their latent Inhuman genes after Black Bolt doused the Earth in the Terrigen mists. Once a successful professional basketball player (and a bit of a jerk), Sackett becomes a free-floating entity that needs to occupy other people’s bodies in order to survive following his transformation. He’ll star in “Mosaic,” his own series by Geoffrey Thorne and Khary Randolph, starting in August.
10. Miss America
She’s beauty. She’s grace. She’ll punch you in the face. Miss America Chavez is a former Young Avenger and multiverse traveler with superhuman strength and durability as well as the ability to fly. She’s also known to kick holes in reality, which enables her to pass into alternate dimensions. Currently, she’s on the Ultimates alongside Captain Marvel.
9. Squirrel Girl
Squirrel Girl! Squirrel Girl! She’s a human, and also squirrel! Doreen Green may have a silly name, but her powers are nothing to laugh about. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has fought (and defeated!) notorious villains like Doctor Doom, so he better watch out this fall. In addition to her prehensile tail, she has an arsenal of superpowers that includes superhuman strength, agility and an extensive knowledge of squirrel language.
8. All-New Wasp
Say hello to Nadia Pym. Allegedly the daughter of original Ant-Man Hank Pym and his first wife Trovaya, Nadia has mastered Pym particle technology and assumed the mantle of her step-mother Janet van Dyne. She can change size just like her father, and — though the Avengers are aware of her existence — she’s currently learning about her powers from the best: the original Wasp.
Hobie Brown currently enjoys a business partnership with Peter Parker, where he poses as Spider-Man whenever Peter needs to hold a press conference. As Prowler, Brown dons a suit of his own design, which is equipped with all manner of enhancements. For instance, his cape can go rigid, allowing him to glide short distances; his boots enable superhuman leaps; and his gauntlets can shoot projectiles.
6. Moon Girl
Here comes Moon Girl! Like Mosaic, Lunella Lafayette is an Inhuman, though she possesses the ability to swap bodies with her co-lead, Devil Dinosaur. She’s also crazy smart, leading to many frustrations with her current status as a middle school student. A skilled inventor and engineer, Moon Girl can also whip up useful gadgets when needed.
5. Hawkeye (Kate Bishop)
Kate Bishop is Hawkeye, not the Hawkguy. Like Clint Barton, Kate may not have superpowers, but that doesn’t make her any less super. She’s a master archer and Young Avengers co-founder, and she recently ended up on the wrong side of a very bad man: her father, Derek Bishop, a publishing magnate with deep organized crime connections.
4. Totally Awesome Hulk
Move over, Bruce Banner! Amadeus Cho — the seventh smartest man in the Marvel Universe — is now the Hulk, though he’s shown he can control the beast a bit better than Banner usually can (with a few slipups, of course). Alongside his sister Maddy, Amadeus hunts down monsters all over the world, using his tech and his strength to take on challenges he wouldn’t have been able to as a mere human.
3. Ms. Marvel
A latent Inhuman, Kamala Khan took her name in honor of Captain Marvel, who formerly went by Ms. Marvel (and currently sits on the other side of this divide). The Terrigen mists turned her into a metamorph, which enables her to embiggen (that is, change size) and shapeshift to some degree. She uses her abilities primarily to help out her hometown in New Jersey, though she recently joined the Avengers — a membership she may revoke sometime soon.
2. Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
As Spider-Man, Miles Morales is an Avenger alongside Ms. Marvel, though he seems to be quitting soon as well. Miles is originally from the Ultimate Marvel Universe, though the events of “Secret Wars” brought him into the Main Marvel Universe and restored his mother back to life. Like Peter Parker, he received his abilities from a spider bite; unlike Peter, he has the ability to camouflage himself and emit an electrical “venom strike” that causes temporary paralysis. While Peter travels the world as the Parker Industries CEO, Miles generally sticks closer to New York City.
1. Doctor Strange
The Doctor is in! Stephen Strange wields the Eye of Agamotto, which negates evil magic. The Cloak of Levitation also enables him to fly, while the Book of the Vishanti provides him with a complete knowledge of white magic. As Sorcerer Supreme, he defends his reality from any otherworldly threats, including the demon Dormammu. His magic gifts him with a variety of super abilities, up to and including intangibility, teleportation, astral projections, illusions and protective shields.