To make sense of everything that's in store, CBR News has broken down ten of the biggest revelations from the Marvel NOW! Previews catalog, pointing out all the major changes coming to your favorite Marvel characters, and bringing to light many, if not quite all, of our burning questions.
If you don't see your favorite characters or series in the listings -- we're looking at you, X-fans!!! -- don't worry! Marvel has informed CBR that this is just a taste of what's in store for the Marvel Universe as 2016 closes out. The X-Men, Wolverine, Spider-Man and more will all be seen in their regular series when October's solicitations roll around later in July.
Of course, there's more than just ten major announcements here, so if you saw something we didn't cover here, sound off in CBR's Marvel Comics forum with your thoughts!
It's been nearly two years since the "Gamora" ongoing was announced, and it finally looks like the series will see the light of day this fall. From "Guardians of the Galaxy" co-writer Nicole Perlman and artist Marco Checchetto, "Gamora" series will offer a lens into the solo exploits of the badass Guardians of the Galaxy heroine. Considering her parentage, we're expecting a close connection to the "Thanos" ongoing that's also part of the Marvel NOW! slate, in addition to the "Star-Lord" and "Rocket Racoon" solo series. With "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" right around the corner, "Gamora" is definitely a series to watch as anticipation mounts for director James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel, hitting theaters next year.
Well, we definitely know Hawkeye makes it through "Civil War II." Not only will the archer be back starring in a title, but he'll be leading a very unique spin on Earth's Mightiest Heroes in "Occupy Avengers," by writer David Walker and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Joined by civilian protestors on the first issue cover, the series looks to be a political take on the Avengers franchise, focusing on Hawkeye's pursuit for social justice, with the teaser specifically touting that Hawkeye will be "Taking Back Justice." The presence of this series in the Marvel NOW! lineup indicates that the fallout of "Civil War II" might not sit well with some heroes and civilians.
Venom is back in his own book -- but this isn't the Venom we've been used to seeing. The teaser art features a classic take on the Venom costume, most popularly worn by the original Venom, Eddie Brock. Lately, the guise has been taken up by Flash Thompson, who sports a more militaristic version of the costume. Could the return to the classic symbiote suit mean a return of Brock, or perhaps signal a new bearer of the Venom mantle? Either way, it's great to see that tongue back in action.
Prowler stock has gone way up over the last few years. Since the All-New All-Different relaunch of "Amazing Spider-Man" -- which saw Peter Parker become the wealthy CEO of Parker Industries -- Prowler has impersonated Spider-Man when Parker needed to appear alongside the wall-crawler in public. Now, he'll be in his own comic series, for the second time since 1994, from writer Sean Ryan and artist Jamal Campbell. Curiously, the teaser art for the new "Prowler" series features one Prowler burying another Prowler, accompanied by the tagline "You Only Live Twice." Could this indicate a return of the Ultimate Prowler (and villainous uncle of Miles Morales) who bit the dust some time ago?
Despite revamps from the last decade suggesting otherwise, people are cool with seeing their heroes married. With last summer's "Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows" "Secret Wars" tie-in, fans got a window into the life of a married Peter Parker (with Mary Jane, of course) and his daughter Annie. While it was a solid story in its own right, "Renew Your Vows" really proved that Spider-Man could have a family and still be a blast to read. Now that the timeline is being resurrected, or possibly merged with the current Marvel Universe, we'll be able to get a dose of a wholesome Spidey on a monthly basis from classic "Spider-Man" scribe Gerry Conway and artist Ryan Stegman. Based on the fun it's been to read Superman as a father and husband over at DC Comics, we can hardly wait to delve into the lives of the Parker family when "Renew Your Vows" launches this fall.
Get ready for the next big superhero romance -- Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and Spider-Gwen. The juiciest piece of info from the Marvel NOW! Previews catalog has to be the strong suggestion at a budding relationship between the two teenage wall-crawlers. Both characters are incredibly fun to read, so having them together is no doubt a recipe for monthly entertainment. The "Spider-Gwen" #15 cover by Robbi Rodriguez features both Spiders swinging side-by-side, while the "Spider-Man" #12 cover by Sara Pichelli and Jason Keith boasts a full-on kiss between the duo. Will this last, and could it have ramifications on the launching in the same month?
Marvel NOW! 2.0 looks to be bringing a lot of characters who don't usually get attention to the forefront of the publisher's line, but the catalog does lack a huge part of the Marvel Universe -- the X-Men. Finally releasing in October is "Death of X" from writers Jeff Lemire & Charles Soule, and artist Aaron Kuder. The series is set to reexamine the battle between the X-Men and the Inhumans that resulted in the death of Cyclops. Perhaps "Death of X" will clear up the disappearance of the X-Men when it releases this fall...
And, as stated earlier, Marvel assures us that this is not the only X-title to be published in the fall. The rest will appear in the monthly solicitations, as always.
After a well-received multi-year run, it seems "Guardians of the Galaxy" will wrap up this year with a story from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Valerio Schiti. The final arc will see the team back on Earth in a tale that's teased as "Guardians of the Galaxy Grounded." It's unclear at this point if a new "Guardians of the Galaxy" series will launch in the fallout, but we do know that the adventures of Star-Lord, Gamora and Rocket Raccoon will continue in their own ongoing series launching this fall. Additionally, with the tease of Nova's classic helmet -- worn by the original Nova, Richard Rider -- and a new "Thanos" series in the works, there's plenty of cosmic stories in the works that see more than fit for an appearance from the Guardians. Plus, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" comes out next year, so they can't be gone for too long...
If you can believe it, this fall will see the first-ever ongoing series with Wasp in a starring role. "The Unstoppable Wasp" will follow the superhero exploits of Nadia Pym, the daughter of the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, who most recently made a splash in "All-New All-Different Avengers." Releasing over a year ahead of 2018's "Ant-Man & The Wasp" film, the series will likely serve as an entry point for the character before she makes her live-action debut in the film (as teased at the end of "Ant-Man"). While the movie Wasp is named Hope Pym, Nadia bares a strikingly close resemblance to Evangeline Lilly, who will portray the Wasp in her first film appearance. The series hails from writer Jeremy Whitley ("Princless") and Elsa Charretier ("Starfire") who will be producing their first major work for Marvel with the series.
Deadpool's Mercs for Money have a high profile these days. Not only did the Mercs graduate from a miniseries to the own ongoing, but this fall three new ongoings are spinning out of that title -- "Foolkiller" by writer Max Bemis and artist Dalibor Talajic, "Solo" by writers Gerry Duggan & Geoffrey Thorne and artist Paco Diaz, and "Slapstick" by writers Reilly Brown & Fred Van Lente and artists Brown & Mike Norton. Don't fret, the core "Deadpool & The Mercs for Money" title is sticking around, with a few new recruits. Among the additions to the team are Domino, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Hit Monkey, Gorilla-Man, and someone in a Deadpool costume (Bob, Agent of Hydra, perhaps?) With Negasonic Teenage Warhead on the team it looks like Marvel's trying to capitalize on the success of the character from the "Deadpool" film, while the presence of Domino could point to the classic X-Force character's appearance in a movie down the road...
Regardless of all the relaunches coming our way this fall, there are still a lot of titles sticking around through Marvel NOW! 2.0. The presence of so many returning series in the lineup might indicate a publishing strategy on Marvel's part -- one that involves slowly unrolling new titles, rather than restarting everything all at once, like DC Comics did with "Rebirth." Though "Rebirth's" sales model was clearly very successful, it'll be interesting see if the Marvel Way has more lasting power on the sales chart...
What are you most excited for from the upcoming Marvel NOW! releases?