They say spring is when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love. But what about early fall-ish, when comics publishers start to roll out their next big titles/projects for the coming months? Marvel clearly had its readers swooning earlier this week when they announced a suite of books for late 2021/early 2022. With new offering featuring the Fantastic Four, Wolverine, She-Hulk, and more, alongside creators like Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Jason Aaron, and Carlos Pacheco, among others, Marvel is gearing up for a massive run.
But what can we expect from these books? Their own press hinted at some things, albeit with vague, SEO-friendly explanations and phrases, but there’s just not enough yet known about these huge titles. So, that’s where we step in. We’ve assembled several staff members to both raise some vital questions and then provide likely answers and/or conjecture. Whether we’re right or not, one thing remains undisputed: it’s a great way to pass the time until these books actually hit the shelves.
And as always, we’d love to know what you think, so leave a comment below with your questions/answers, theories, hopes/dreams, etc.
Q: We know this is centered around Kingpin having enough with superheroes and enacting some kind of revenge, which honestly makes a lot of sense. If you read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Captain America wrap-up, you can see how Kingpin has been rather subdued, but not anymore. My biggest question is, how does Kingpin rise up to achieve his goals?
A: Since this is Chip Zdarsky writing, one might conclude it’ll be mostly centered on Daredevil, but maybe it’s all about calling back to the classics and bringing in Typhoid Mary and Bullseye. Best guess!
Q: Spider-Man: Reign is an amazing, under-appreciated story. Plus, comics don’t share titles without having some connection back (no matter how flimsy or tertiary that connection may ultimately be). So, with superheroes outlawed, could we get a gritty, slightly older/grizzled Daredevil story? The heart screams yes!
A: This is the perfect event to shuffle some players around. Could we see Matt Murdock stepping away from Daredevil for good — a central theme to Zdarsky’s run on Daredevil? Or, really, any other similar shakeups?
Hard to tell about Murdock. Maybe, though, it’ll be Elektra who reigns supreme, and becomes the new Kingpin of New York’s criminal underground.
Q: How will the Stromwyn Siblings, Quinn and Una, play into this series? In issue #19 of the current Daredevil series, the siblings showed Wilson Fisk that he really wasn’t in charge, so could they finally push Fisk to the edge?
A: With this volume of Daredevil written by Zdarsky, and the Stromwyn Siblings are his fiendish creations, I would say it is safe they show up. Zdarsky has a lot going on in the Daredevil book, and we haven’t seen much of them since the Battle of Hell’s Kitchen back in the “Truth/Dare” arc. The siblings are the only ones who have caused Fisk to do some very questionable things, emasculate him, and even push him to murder. If you read the Spider-Man/Venom FCBD issue, then you know Fisk will not be afraid to get his hand dirty; he seems like a man over the edge.
Q: Avengers Forever is an excellent 12-issue comic book series from the late 1990s that ruled hard. How does this story connect with Kurt Busiek’s classic? Is this another Heroes Reborn-style book that has absolutely no connection to the original work it references?
A: My guess is…it has nothing to do with Busiek’s Avengers Forever.
Q: Jason Aaron’s done some cool things with Moon Knight and The Phoenix, offering new insights and “takes” on these long-running characters. Who gets the same treatment now?
A: There’s some press stating that in this series, “hope is a four letter word.” So could that mean some Multiverse hijinks with one Hope Summers? Maybe not. If nothing else, let’s just have more more of Aaron writing Thor.
Q: How will this differ from DC’s Infinite Frontier and Justice League Incarnate?
A: This feeling might be for the few, but I honestly love when the two companies do similar stories. In my comic buying habits, I’ve noticed that I am getting less and less issues from the big two in the last couple of years.
That change was alarming when I stopped buying Justice League and Avengers, as those were the books with the best hero-to-dollar ratio out there. Yet with the direction of DC’s Infinite Frontier, there is a great cause to recognize the history of their characters while embracing new legacies and representation. I think Marvel can capitalize on this; they can give us heroes that we know but now might be even more familiar with who we see in our communities.
To piggyback off of Chris’ observations, Jason Aaron has been doing some fantastic “treatments,” so this could be a great way to “test the waters” on the classic heroes of Marvel. If I’m daring enough, what if we could have some DC vs. Marvel Multiverse throwdowns and team-ups? Just imagine!
Q: Since this is written by Jed MacKay, it’s safe to say this spins out of “Infinite Destinies” and Black Cat’s mission to steal the Infinity Gauntlet (and all the stones with it). Given the title, though, how does Kang factor into all this?
A: I’d love to see Kang somehow get a refresh or new take, especially after the new series gave him an exciting new flashback.
Q: Where should I look for clues to Timeless’ potential?
A: I agree with Dave about looking towards “Infinite Destinies,” and I suggest you also check out the Kang the Conqueror mini. Potentially, you should also check out Defenders since that has Dr. Strange and came from a previous Marvel anniversary event, Marvel Comics #1000, which would make for some great synergy between Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fun fact, Marvel Comics started as Timely Comics, a perfect title for an anniversary event.
Q: With the talk of a new timeline and Kang protecting his centuries-long work, what else can we expect from this series in terms of featured/starring characters?
A: No, I don’t just mean “are we going to see everyone in the MU,” ’cause that seems obvious (it’s about the entire 616 timeline, after all). Instead, I think we could see the TVA — it was just featured on Loki — and even the Time-Keepers. And could this be a chance to address Marvel’s sliding timeline? I sure hope so!
Q: It’s bold of Marvel to call this the next “age of Krakoa.” So what the heck does that mean? And why is Wolverine the center of it?
A: I’d love to see Ben Percy play around with the concept of Wolverine living for so long, never dying, but also now having the ability to die over and over. There’s a paradox in there somewhere.
Q: Press mentioned that this project features two “interlocked” stories. Are we going to get two sides of the same story, or a story told by two Wolverines that “meets in the middle?”
A: My hope is that each book features its own Wolverine as protagonist and they interact somehow across both books. Perhaps in some kind of Looper situation.
Q: Is this where we get a chance to streamline and/or overhaul the long, complicated life of Wolverine?
A: Maybe. There’s some contradicting info bounding across his personal timeline (his healing factor is hugely inconsistent, and it’s hard to tell what memories are real or implanted), so it might be time. And, depending on the story itself, the “stories” and “deaths” told could at least shine a light on the most important bits of his extended existence.
Q: What does it mean that Wolverine’s “past meets his future?”
A: Honestly, the title just feels so House of X/Powers of X to me, and with the “Wolverine’s past” angle, I wonder if they aren’t actually referring to our Wolverine’s past. Maybe we’ll see the Wolverine from Moira’s previous life in House of X/Powers of X. I have to wonder if this title is the “Moira solo” we had heard so much about since this era started, only now it’s reworked to center around Logan. The idea of having some of Moira’s past life (and by extent, Logan’s) finally start to matter in the current Krakoan age could be super exciting — especially if it catches up with our current Logan somehow.
Q: The blurb for this series says that She-Hulk “gets Back To Bashing” after a “friend from her past comes knocking with a mystery she can’t resist.” Could that be any one of her many romantic partners over the years, which includes Hercules, Luke Cage, and even Iron Man.
A: OK, long shot here, but maybe it’s Howard The Duck, one of her old teammates in the Fearsome Four (see Fear Itself). It’s a playful enough choice to work, and the more Howard in the MU, the better things are overall.
Q: Last September, She-Hulk starred in the genuinely entertaining Immortal She-Hulk #1. In the book, Al Ewing gave Jennifer Waters the “Immortal” treatment, using the issue to explore the Hulk squads’ relationship with death and immorality. So, we can export more story, and more answers, in this new series?
A: Hard to tell. This new series looks to get back to She-Hulk’s street-level legal work. Plus, with the TV series debuting sometime in 2022, now may not be the time for more existential ponderings. Still, this series does promise a “mystery,” and what better head-scratcher then if Hulks will continue to elude death (and for how long)?
Q: Can we finally get a kick-ass version of Ally McBeal?
A: Yes — if the show follows in line with the forthcoming Disney+ show. Some rather genius pundits have interpreted Kevin Feige’s comments about the show to mean it’s a “semi-satirical legal comedy,” or “Deadpool by way of Ally McBeal.” And a comics version would be amazing, especially since Rainbow Rowell handled Runaways with a great mix of humor and musings on adolescence.
Q: I want to see Darkhawk involved. Is he actually involved?
A: Probably not, but the logo treatment for this thing screams, “Darkhawk!”
Q: Dan Slott had mentioned that this is a kind of “sequel” to an event he read as an 8-year-old fan. So, what event could that actually be?
A: If he was 8 circa 1973, that could be Avengers/Defenders War or Thanos War. Either way, some real interesting options on the table.
Q: Dan Slott’s run on Fantastic Four was genuinely well received. But one common complaint was his portrayal of Doctor Doom, including his overall look and presence. So, can Slott give us a better Doom?
A: Assuming Doom shows up, it seems at least feasible. Especially given all of the talk about reigniting the “secret war” — albeit not the original, but the 2015 storyline — which featured a generally dope take on Doom creating his own Battleworld. Am I scrambling for an epic Doom? You know it!
Q: Given the info we know, and this lists Marvel-Team Up as being a main factor in this series, how does Marvel mix up the team-up concept in a new way?
A: The last iteration of this series was already filled with guest appearances, but maybe this story ages Lunella Lafayette a bit so she’s no longer so young? It’d be neat to see her in middle school.
Q: Can we expect a collabo/cameo from Reptil?
A: If your book promises to have “dino-sized shockwaves,” it only makes sense to include Marvel’s only other (?) young, dinosaur-themed hero.
Q: Without spoiling too much, Dark Ages #1 places Lunella Lafayette in a position of great significance. More specifically, she figured out a, um, certain problem before everyone else (not empowered by radioactive spiders). Can we expect more of the same A-list treatment?
A: I sure hope so! If you’re going to make her the world’s smartest person, let’s make sure Ms. Lafayette is dealing with some massive baddies and world-threatening challenges.
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