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“Ultimates” #1 Cover Resurfaces for February’s “Avengers” #41, “Elektra” Ends with #11 & More

by  in Comic News Comment
“Ultimates” #1 Cover Resurfaces for February’s “Avengers” #41, “Elektra” Ends with #11 & More

February looks to be a busy month for Marvel Comics as the publisher wraps up “Spider-Verse” and continues to lay the groundwork for the May-debuting, multiverse-spanning “Secret Wars” event. Here are the major highlights from the just-released solicitations text and covers:

  • While the solicitation text for “Avengers” #41 is as bare minimum as it has been for the duration of the “Time Runs Out” storyline, the cover is certainly curious: It’s the same as Bryan Hitch’s 2002 cover for “Ultimates” #1. As in, the exact same image. Marvel has confirmed to CBR News that this is indeed the cover to the issue — and given that the series is written by “Secret Wars” writer Jonathan Hickman, it’s surely related to that reality-crossing event.
  • There are a lot of “Heroes Reborn” elements in the air: The year-long ’90s event is directly mentioned in the “Fantastic Four” #643 solicitation — which has been ground zero for HR character appearances for the past few issues — and Counter-Earth (the planet created by Franklin Richards where “Heroes Reborn” took place) remains a setting in the relaunched “Uncanny Avengers.”
  • Months before “Ant-Man” hits theaters, Marvel’s publishing side is planing a prequel to the Marvel Studios film: “Marvel’s Ant-Man Prelude,” set during the Cold War of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and starring Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas in the film). Additionally, Marvel announced plans for a prose novel starring the diminutive hero earlier this morning.
  • Marvel’s new “Star Wars” line continues to unfold, with the first two issues of the previously announced Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s “Darth Vader” miniseries scheduled for February — Marvel previously released a look at Larroca’s interiors here. And in a thoroughly unexpected move, award-winning “Bloom County” cartoonist Berkeley Breathed is listed as illustrating a yet-to-be-revealed variant cover for “Star Wars” #2, also out in February. Meanwhile, original “Star Wars” comic artist Howard Chaykin makes his return to the property with his own variant cover for issue #2.
  • Two new “Guardians of the Galaxy” series start in February, as the franchise continues to grow: “Marvel Universe Guardians of the Galaxy,” based on the upcoming Disney XD animated series and featuring “a mix of screen grab and brand new stories;” plus “Guardians Team-Up,” set in the mainline Marvel Universe and written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art and cover for the first issue by the legendary Art Adams.
  • Also in “Guardians” news: “Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: Black Vortex,” a crossover first announced at October’s New York Comic Con set to intersect through multiple cosmic-leaning series, starts in earnest in February with its first four installments.

  • Two Spidey spinoff series, also announced at NYCC, roll out in February: “Silk” and the much buzzed-about “Spider-Gwen.”
  • The “Spider-Man 2099” #9 solicitation contains noteworthy phrasing: “Miguel O’Hara returns to the year 2099 to discover that his future is now… imperfect!” — a clear reference to the cover’s co-star, the Maestro from “Future Imperfect;” the acclaimed ’90s Hulk story also written by Peter David. Given the alternate timeline/realities teases flying with “Secret Wars” looming, the inter-dimensional crossover is certainly conspicuous.
  • As announced last week, the “Thor Annual” contains some surprising names along with regular series writer Jason Aaron: Marvel newcomers such as pro wrestling fan-favorite CM Punk, “Lumberjanes” co-creator Noelle Stevenson and “Chew” artist Rob Guillory.
  • It appears that Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s acclaimed run on “Daredevil” is ending in the near future, with the solicitation text for #13 stating that the team will “begin the climactic final chapter of their beloved, Eisner Award Winning run.” When asked, Marvel had no comment as to whether Waid is remaining on the series beyond this arc.
  • One series is definitely ending: “Elektra,” with #11 serving as the series finale (and the “final round” between Elektra and Bullseye).
  • While the copy for “Moon Knight” #12 calls it the end of “arc 2,” Marvel Comics tells CBR the series will continue past February. As for whether Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood will remain as the creative team, Marvel has not yet responded to inquiries from CBR News.

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