The Marvel Universe Stands Divided In Marvel NOW Promo Art
Recently, Marvel has been releasing teaser images with the tagline "Divided We..." featuring two characters separated by shattered imagery, and all we knew was that it pointed to the publisher's fall slate of comics set to be unveiled later this month under the Marvel NOW banner. Today, Marvel released a complete teaser titled "Divided We Stand," featuring two distinct groups of heroes and villains separated by a literal divide.
The complete teaser by Mike Deodato was unveiled today via Fast Company, which also conducted an interview with Axel Alonso in which he stated that the characters featured will either appear "in a solo series, or they'll be a key member of a team, or they'll do something that you will be talking about in a Marvel book that will bring them into a position of prominence."
The first half of the image features the characters Solo, Foolkiller, Jessica Jones, Maria Hill, Captain Marvel, Elektra, Odinson, the restored Victor Von Doom holding an Iron Man mask, Slapstick, Steve Rogers, Black Panther, Gamora, Cable, and a giant reptillian foot that may belong to Fin Fang Foom.
The second image features Gwenpool, new hero Mosaic, Squirrel Girl, Ms. America, The Wasp, The Prowler, Moon Girl, Iron Man supporting character Ri RI (who is expected to become the new War Machine), Hawkeye, The Hulk, Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel and Doctor Strange.
It feels like Marvel isn't just drawing a line in the sand between its heroes, as it has been doing for over ten years now; it's actively drawing a line in the sand between two prominent divisions of comics fandom. The first grouping of characters is overwhelmingly (but not completely) white and has at least three characters who kill people with big guns. The second grouping of characters are lot younger, more diverse, and feature characters such as Squirrel Girl, Gwenpool and Moon Girl whose books offer a lighter approach to superhero stories. Mike Deodato's "house style" does wonders for the likes of Cable and Odinson, but it notably struggles to capture the fun exuberance of characters like Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel.
It's also worth noting that there are a lot of prominent absences in these two teasers, most notably Tony Stark, who is represented in both, but present in neither. Steve Rogers is featured, but not Sam Wilson, Jessica Jones, but not Power Man or Iron Fist, Miles Morales, but not Peter Parker, and Odinson but not Thor.
There are still two weeks before Marvel release the full details of its new slate of books, but it seems very odd that the publisher would make such a plain division in its line, especially as Fast Company suggests that the two groups depicted here are not actually opposing sides in an upcoming storyline. Still, it's great to see characters such as Jessica Jones, Ms. America and Moon Girl cementing their place in the All-New All-New, All-Different Marvel NOW. Presumably some hardcore Foolkiller fans will be super jazzed too.