What You Might Have Missed In Marvel’s December 2016 Solicitations
Every month, comic publishers release their solicitation announcements to provide information to readers and retailers on comics that are coming out in three months’ time, but there’s so much information dropped at once that a lot can slip through the cracks.
This month in Marvel's December solicitations certain characters slip into something a little more comfortable, a modern romance is revisited, and there's a mysterious new Star Wars ongoing.
Perhaps the most intriguing detail from the December solicitations is the news of a brand new Star Wars ongoing by Darth Vader writer Kieron Gillen. The title and all other details are currently classified, except for the fact that it will be drawn by Avengers Arena’s Kev Walker.
With the finale to Darth Vader fast approaching, it’s most likely that Marvel is waiting for that specific release before revealing the next stage in Gillen’s Star Wars plan. However, December is also the month of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story so could the new ongoing have something to do with the biggest film of 2016?
The Iron Man line is in all-new territory post-Civil War II, and it’s no surprise that some of Tony Stark’s allies aren’t too happy about Victor Von Doom taking on the mantle of the hero. Judging by December’s solicits, Pepper Potts will be suiting up as Rescue once more to take the fight to Doom and find out just what he’s playing at by walking around in Iron Man armor.
The concept of Rescue was introduced by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca during the “World’s Most Wanted” arc of their Invincible Iron Man run. The Rescue armor was designed by Tony Stark for Pepper, but contains no offensive capabilities, providing her with a unique way to be a superhero without compromising her own ideals or her desire not to get in any big superhero scraps.
It’ll be interesting to see just how well she does in a fight with Doctor Doom, considering the Rescue armor explicitly isn’t for fighting supervillains, but if any one thing is Pepper Potts’ defining character trait, it’s her resourcefulness.
Aside from maybe the original Jack Kirby & Stan Lee comics of the '60s, Walt Simonson is unquestionably the greatest Thor writer of all time. His run introduced multiple new concepts and character to the franchise, and his stories were densely plotted, interwoven with character drama, and ultimately rewarding in their payoffs.
Which it’s why it’s exciting that Jason Aaron is bringing back two fundamental elements of that run in his two Thor books this December. First, in the pages of The Mighty Thor, Aaron and Steve Epting are introducing an all-new Kurse. If you don’t know who Kurse is, he’s literally The Terminator, but a giant Dark Elf. He was in Thor: The Dark World, but is a lot cooler than that movie made him out to be. If Kurse wants to kill you, he cannot stop until he has.
Secondly, in the pages of The Unworthy Thor with Olivier Coipel, Odinson is teaming up with none other than Beta Ray Bill in his quest for the Ultimate Mjolnir. Beta Ray Bill was introduced in Simonson’s very first issue of Thor, and not only defeated Thor in combat, but proved he was worthy by lifting Mjolnir. Granted similar powers to Thor's by Odin, Beta Ray Bill is one of Marvel’s best characters, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.
The Fantastic Four have been missing from Marvel Comics for nearly a year now, and it’s a hole in the Marvel Universe that is starting to become painfully obvious. While both Human Torch and The Thing are running around in team books, the presence of the FF is something no other comic property can quite replicate.
That’s why, when I was scrolling through this month’s solicitations, my eyes stopped and froze on the cover to December’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, which features Ben Grimm rocking the classic blue and black shorts of the Fantastic Four. Now, the solicit text notes that Ben is defending the honor of Reed as the smartest man in the MU, so he might be wearing them out of nostalgia, but what if this is Marvel dipping its toe into the possibility of bringing back Earth’s Greatest Comics Magazine?
We can hope.
I don’t get caught up in comic book romances all too much, and I’m not much of a shipper (although more power to ya if you are). However, when Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice’s tenure on The Winter Soldier ended with Black Widow having no memory of her relationship with Bucky, and him choosing to not let SHIELD mess with her mind even further to try and bring those memories back, I was devastated.
Seeing Chris Samnee’s cover for Black Widow #9 brought all those feelings rushing right back, and I’m not sure I’m ready to see these two characters in the same comic again. Black Widow is a highly underrated comic that not a lot of people are talking about, but it’s high on action and high on emotional stakes. Add in Natasha’s ex, who she doesn’t know is her ex, and those stakes go through the roof.