Marvel formally unveiled its post-Secret Wars 'All New, All Different' line up on Wednesday, featuring a Marvel Universe reconfigured by the experiences of Battleworld, and an eight month time jump that allows the publisher to set up a new status quo for many of its characters. Marvel has never had a better opportunity to shake up its line, so readers had high expectations for a bold, diverse, inventive new direction. With that in mind, we're going to share the new titles with you, alongside some observations on how the new Marvel Universe is shaping up.
We've covered X-Men titles, Avengers team titles, Avengers solo titles, Spider-books and the cosmic books. All that leaves is... the rest. We're into that catch-all category that Marvel tends to call things like 'Marvel Universe', or 'Marvel Knights', or 'Marvel Heroes'. That makes this sound like a clearing house, and the presence of Agents of SHIELD supports that case, but you'll also find some of Marvel's best, weirdest, and most important titles here; they're just titles that don't quite fit elsewhere.
The Totally Awesome HulkGreg Pak (W) Frank Cho (A)
In which Amadeus Cho is not revealed as the new Hulk, but people are going to be pretty disappointed if it's not him, given that both Pak (who co-created the character with Takeshi Miyazawa) and Frank Cho (who used him in his Savage Wolverine run) have a proven fondness for the character, plus the fact that Amadeus Cho is in fact totally awesome. Please let it be Amadeus Cho, is what I'm saying here.
Ms MarvelG Willow Wilson (W), Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona (A)
The inevitable continuation of Marvel's most important title of the last two years, with Miyazawa joining the art team alongside Alphona. Given that this book is a truly standout hit featuring a woman writer and a very new and actually different lead character, it's genuinely surprising that the rest of the 'All-New, All-Different' line doesn't take more of its lead from Ms Marvel. This is a book that's bringing in new readers. This is the book that Marvel needs to emulate if it wants to be truly new, truly different.
DaredevilCharles Soule (W), Ron Garney (A)
Mark Waid will be a tough act to follow, but who else to follow him but one of comics' foremost moonlighting lawyers? Soule gets his shot at writing the other major Marvel lawyer character, and he's teaming him up with... Gambit? The lawyer/thief combo certainly has my attention, but I have to admit I was really hoping to see Soule get a second season on She-Hulk, a book that should have been relaunched, not cancelled.
Doctor StrangeJason Aaron (W), Chris Bachalo (A)
As previously announced. I think it's safe to say that this and the Miles Morales book were the highlights of the announcements, which makes it all the more of a shame that they both came so early and set the bar so high. This is a major creative team on a hotly anticipated book, and I have great confidence that it will deliver. But I also sort of hope Doctor Strange gets replaced by a woman a few issues in, just to really mess with a certain set of fans.
Howard The DuckChip Zdarsky (W), Joe Quinones (A)
The ad acknowledges how ridiculous it is to relaunch this title so quickly, and inadvertently draws attention to the fact that there is no Squirrel Girl #1 in this relaunched line-up, given that Howard and Squirrel Girl launched around the same time. Still, we're happy to have you back, Howard, even though I don't remember you going away!
Howling Commandos of SHIELDFrank Barbiere (W), Brent Schoonover (A)
Dum-Dum Dugan returns from the dead with a monster squad that includes Hit Monkey, Man-Thing, Orrgo, Manphibian, Werewolf by Night, a zombie, Elsa Bloodstone's bottom, Elsa Bloodstone, and Teen Abomination. This is absolutely a book I'd want to check out, except... I think I'm done with books that only have one woman on the team (why are lady monsters so rare?), and I'm double done with books that think we'll only appreciate the one woman on the team if she's showing us her backside. Consign this one to the dustbin of history.
Agents Of SHIELDMarc Guggenheim (W), Mike Norton (A)
Yes, it's weird that one of the showrunners on the CW's Arrow is writing a comic inspired by a Marvel TV show. The cover shows Phil Coulson perhaps literally getting into bed with HYDRA, and being in an evil organization that actually admits it's evil will be quite an adjustment for Phil.
Contest of ChampionsAl Ewing (W), Paco Medina (A)
An honest-to-goodness Contest of Champions revival, with Maestro as the gamesmaster pitting heroes head-to-head in the arena, and a tie-in to a video game that you play on your phone. It's sort of charmingly goofy that this exists, but unless the book finds an audience with the people who play the game, I'm worried it may feel wholly inessential to comics fans.
The 45 titles announced for October are not the entirety of the All New, All Different line-up; expect another 15 or so announcements in the coming months. Hopefully that includes Gamora, the return of Squirrel Girl, Black Panther, Loki, Black Widow, She-Hulk, some more solo X-Men books, and maybe Marvel's first ever ongoing solo book with a gay lead character. (Thus far Marvel has only ever launched ongoing solo books with bisexual leads; more of those would be very welcome as well).
We can also only hope that a diverse raft of new creators will also make an appearance in the remaining titles, and that some of the thrilling talent doing its thing in Secret Wars --- including Noelle Stevenson, Otto Schmidt, Felipe Smith, Chris Sprouse, Sanford Greene, James Stokoe, Juan Gedeon, Alti Firmansyah, Amilcar Pinna, Marcio Takara, Luca Pizzari, and Marguerite Sauvage, will land permanent gigs.