X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy editor and former Batman editor Mike Marts announced yesterday that he's leaving the Big Two to join a new venture: Aftershock Comics. He'll be working with former Cable and Wolverine writer Joe Pruett, and it seems they have some pretty big plans.

The company's press release includes a mission statement that expresses aspirations to "explore building a shared universe of characters and stories" over time. That's a hugely ambitious objective.

Marts, who will have the title editor-in-chief at Aftershock, discussed his move on Twitter, saying that he's leaving Marvel on good terms, but it's time to move on:



Marts was at Marvel for just about a year.

Deadline notes that Pruett has some experience starting new publishing ventures; he founded Desperado Publishing back in 2004. Deadline also has a list of some of the other executives behind Aftershock, and from the looks of it, movie and TV projects are clearly part of the plan. The company's co-CEOs are Michael Richter, a former Facebook executive and head of development at Fog City Pictures, and reality TV producer Jon Kramer. President Lee Kramer formerly worked at Mandalay Pictures.

The plans to develop a shared universe, plus the executives' film and TV pedigrees, seem to be tip-offs that Aftershock is going to try to quickly whip up a Marvel-style movie and TV universe.

That's no simple task, and it'll certainly take more than one editor and writer to bring to fruition. Expect to hear more about the new company's plans, acquisitions and new hires in the weeks to come.

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