Marvel Unveils its Latest Shake Up of the Marvel Universe
by Brant Fowler
Rumored for weeks and proposed for months, Marvel has finally unveiled their plans for their own soft reboot. Granted, they're not changing a point in the past that alters the entire universe like DC, but many could certainly say this feels like an answer to the DC New 52.
"It's been nearly a year since DC relaunched its entire line of books and now, lo and behold, Marvel has decided to get in on the act with what it's calling "Marvel NOW!" And here's a doozy of a way to open-the return of Jean Grey! But that's just the beginning." said Dan Roth of Blastr.com
Calling this a ReEvolution (something hinted at earlier this year at C2E2), Marvel NOW! sees new #1 issues of relaunched and renamed titles, starting in October of this year and continuing all the way through to February 2013 with a new title almost EVERY SINGLE WEEK! The first of these is Uncanny Avengers #1, launching in October by Rick Remender and John Cassaday.
"There's never been a better time to check out comics than Marvel NOW!" said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment. "This isn't a reboot or a reimagining-Marvel NOW! is all about looking forward, building on our rich history of great stories and delivering new ideas."
The Avengers and X-Men must join forces to overcome the greatest challenge either team has ever faced, one so devastating that neither can afford to do it alone in Uncanny Avengers #1.
In November, we go to the other side of the fence with All-New X-Men #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. Yes, you read that right. Bendis is heading to the X-titles. And this is where things get a bit odd.
Dan Roth from Blastr.com gives his opinon. "Brian Michael Bendis pulls out all the stops with a time-travel story for the ages. The original X-Men (Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Ice Man, and Jean Grey) in their teenaged forms are transported to the present day to face their adult selves. So not only are we getting Jean Grey back from the grave, we're getting the entire original team "at their most feisty." What's the tone? According to Bendis, "Here's the big question that the original X-Men are gonna be faced with: We're gonna grow up, and this is what we're going to get? That is not acceptable.""
So no, it's not a relaunch or reboot, and there's no time-travelling alterations to past or present. Wait, umm...
Avengers #1 follows in December by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena. "With no less than 18 team members and a focus on the cosmic, things are going to get crazy fast, and new readers are going to get a crash course in Avengers continuity." continues Roth
And then in January 2013 we have New Avengers #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting. Yes, another New Avengers #1, people. How many times can they really be new?
"We brought fans the biggest comic book event imaginable in Avengers VS. X-Men and now we're taking the Marvel Universe to an exciting new place, beginning with Uncanny Avengers #1," said Tom Brevoort, SVP, Executive Editor, Marvel Entertainment. "If you're a long-time fan, all the stories you've read will give you even more enjoyment of what's happening now-we're not abandoning our past. But if you're a new reader, this is where you're going to learn just why Marvel comics are unlike anything else you've ever read. And no character is left unaffected by Marvel NOW!."
Personally, I enjoyed the first few issues of Avengers Vs. X-Men, but it didn't take long for it to jump the shark and get convoluted, much like most Marvel epic stories in the past ten years sadly. Great concepts, okay delivery, poor conclusions that leave us all scratching our heads and feeling deprived.
That said, I hope I'm wrong and Dan Roth of Blastr (as well as the Marvel heads) are right and that this does breathe new life into the Marvel U. I'll take a wait and see approach though. This is certainly not the first time Marvel has relaunched all their key titles. In fact, it seems like a cyclical thing with them anymore. It worked well in the 90s, not so much in the early 2000s. Maybe this one will make up for the last. And of course, more details will undoubtedly be released at San Diego Comic Con next week and October solicitations upcoming as well.
Marvel's press release this morning went on with a little more information about digital downloads and such, which you can read below. Before getting to that, though, please give us your thoughts in the comments below on what you think about this "relaunch." Is it just Marvel jumping on the bandwagon in answer to DC? Is it something that's been planned for years and has you excited? Or does it leave you completely cold? Whatever your thoughts, we want to hear them.
Every comic book bearing the Marvel NOW! branding includes a code for a free digital copy of that same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, each issue #1 of Marvel NOW! series features special augmented reality content available exclusive through the Marvel AR app - including cover recaps, behind the scenes features and more that add value to your reading experience at no additional cost.
"This is the natural next step of the Marvel ReEvolution, as we evolve every facet of Marvel publishing," explained Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer, Marvel Entertainment. "You've seen us craft new digital storytelling formats like Marvel Infinite Comics and bring added value to our comics with Marvel AR. Now our print comics leap into the future with a cinematic new look for our covers, exciting new designs for our biggest characters and stories that will send you on the kind of journey you can only get at Marvel."
This October, "Join The ReEvolution" as Marvel NOW! kicks off with Uncanny Avengers #1, ushering in a new era for comics and the perfect jumping on point for new readers. The biggest creators bring you the biggest characters in the biggest stories...and it's happening NOW!
To commemorate the historic release of Uncanny Avengers #1 on Wednesday, October 10th, participating retailers can host special advance release parties the night before! That's right, you can experience the biggest new series launch of the year on Tuesday, October 9th at select retailers, who'll also have limited edition giveaways exclusive to these events.
For more on Marvel NOW!, please visit www.marvel.com and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #MarvelNOW.
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