Earlier this year, Marvel announced it was dusting off its Marvel Knights imprint -- which had been dormant since 2010 -- with three new comics under its banner. The initial launch of Marvel Knights was unquestionably one of the most significant moments in the publisher's recent history. The imprint's focus on creator driven stories, largely unencumbered by continuity, saw both critical and commercial success, and its effects are still felt today throughout the industry. You could argue that titles like Hawkeye -- which features a "B List" character operating in stories largely unaffected by the rest of the Marvel Universe -- are direct descendants of the initial Marvel Knights launch, which featured Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada's Daredevil and Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Punisher, among others.
Now comes this next wave of Marvel Knights titles, with three miniseries helmed by writers more known for their creator owned work. Each title has an interesting creative team, but the one that stood out most to me is Brahm Revel and Cris Peter on Marvel Knight's X-Men.
In advance of Matt Fraction and Joe Madureira's upcoming Inhuman series, this week Marvel released a new hardcover edition of the highly-regarded Inhumans by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee. The twelve-issue Marvel Knights book, which won the 1999 Eisner Award for “Best New Series,” brought a new level of sophistication to the Lee/Kirby oddballs, activating in them the dormant metaphors of class separation and the coming-of-age ritual. At a time when superhero books seemed to be improving at an explosive rate, Inhumans was one of the most-talked-about comics on the stands; it’s certainly one of Marvel’s defining books of the era, and for most of its run, it was one of my favorites. But there’s something about it that keeps me from labeling it a classic. To quote Maximus the Mad, “there is a flaw.”
Dormant since 2010's Spider-Man: Fever series, as revealed by today's solicitation info the Marvel Knights imprint is coming back in a big way. It's a little bit of a different creature than you might remember, though. The imprint will still feature top-tier Marvel characters, but exclusively in mini-series by creators whose names one might associate with creator-owned work.
Marvel announced three such series today: Marvel Knights: Spider-Man by Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Marco Rudy (Swamp Thing), Marvel Knights: X-Men by Brahm Revel (Guerilla) and Marvel Knights: Hulk by Joe Keatinge (Glory) and Piotr Kowalski (Sex).
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