Four Spideys, the Return of Wolverine, A Whole New Hulk and More Teased in Post-Secret Wars Marvel Reboo… uh… ‘Refresh’
Marvel will launch about sixty new #1s in the four months after the end of Secret Wars according to a series of interviews with Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso this morning. Set eight months after the events of the current storyline, the new titles will feature an all-new Hulk, and a Wolverine who may or may not be the resurrected Logan.
First-look promotional art by David Marquez suggests that both the Miles Morales Spider-Man and the Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman will take their place in the Marvel Universe alongside the Peter Parker and Jessica Drew versions. The promotional art also confirms that Sam Wilson will remain as Captain America, and the female Thor (whose identity was recently confirmed) will keep her hold on Mjolnir.
Also in the spotlight in this first image from the 'All-New, All-Different' Marvel; Phil Coulson, Black Panther, the aged former Captain America, a retro Iron Man, a Mardi Gras-looking Vision, Scott Lang's Ant-Man, Ms Marvel, and... Red Wolf! The new Hulk and Wolverine are being saved for future teases, and the current Nova is the only member of Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar's All-New All-Different Avengers roster missing from this promo. Future movie stars Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans are also absent.
Talking to Fast Company, Alonso promised that the upcoming changes are not a reboot, a word that Marvel is markedly skittish about hearing. "Comics publishing is slowly evolving into more of a seasonal model. ... We're allowed to hit a refresh button --- not a reboot button, but a refresh button --- which allows for the beginning of new stories, new creative teams, new directions, much the same way you see with your favorite binge-worthy cable-television show."
This mention of a "seasonal model" suggests that Marvel is wholly embracing the idea of finite runs tied to specific concepts and creative teams, an idea that I've advocated for in the past.
Alonso has suggested that characters, artifacts, and even regions from the Secret Wars world will find their way into the Marvel Universe. He told the New York Post, "This is the Marvel Universe you know with a few constructive tweaks. ... There may be some new characters. There may be some changes to the relationships. But it’s the Marvel Universe. It’s just the next chapter."
In addition to familiar names like G. Willow Wilson, Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Mark Waid, Dan Slott, and, sure, CM Punk, Alonso promises that the new series will feature emerging creators who represent "diversity in terms of gender and ethnicity." That's essential if Marvel is sincere about reaching out to new audiences, and it will be interesting to see if the publisher can outperform DC's recent diversification in its outreach efforts. Alonso notably didn't mention LGBTQ diversity, and the promo image does not feature any known LGBTQ characters.
Marvel's current queerest heroes, the X-Men, are almost entirely missing from the conversation, but for the mention of a new Wolverine, who might plausibly be Sabertooth, Daken, X-23, or Wolverines new boy Shogun. As for the new Hulk, there are literally no clues to go on, but who hasn't been a Hulk yet? Let's say it's Marlo Chandler.
Red Wolf's appearance on the promo art is curious. He's Marvel's first Native American superhero, but he's never been a prominent player. With his tracking powers and bow and arrow, he's also dangerously cliche, but that doesn't mean he can't become something great --- Luke Cage was a cliche too --- and it's encouraging to see Marvel interested in developing any of its Native characters.
Expect more news about All-New All-Different Marvel to emerge in the coming weeks, though Marvel says it won't be releasing daily teases. The publisher will instead unveil the whole lineup in a special edition of Marvel Previews released on July 1.
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