With the announcement of a number of new titles coming to Marvel with its Marvel NOW “re-launch” (which is more a creative team shuffle than a reboot in the vein of DC’s New 52), we also see a number of titles getting the axe. Many of these are probably to make room (and budget) for the NOW launch, but some may just be coincidental with timing for a cancellation of the series.
These cancellations will occur in October… at the same time that the Marvel NOW initiative launches. The titles we can say good bye to are:
Captain America (ends at #19)
Fantastic Four (ends at #611)
FF (ends at #23)
Incredible Hulk (ends at #15)
Invincible Iron Man (ends at #527)
New Mutants (ends at #50)
Thor (ends at #22)
Uncanny X-Men (ends at #20)
X-Men Legacy (ends at #275)
So what can we take away from this?
Well, we know that the Avengers and X-Universe will be changed once AvX is complete and that there are casualties. The fact that Wolverine and the X-Men is not on the cancellation list, and that he is on the list to be a member of the Uncanny Avengers (along with Cap, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Havok and Rogue) means he survives and that Wolvie’s own X-Title will make the cut. As will, it seems, the most recent X-Men title as well as Astonishing X-Men.
From Marvel’s own teaser poster for Marvel NOW, we can see that the heroes whose titles are being cancelled are still around, and it looks like some are even getting attention as part of the core of the Marvel Universe:
- Rocket Raccoon is there, and with the rumors of Bendis taking on a new Guardians of the Galaxy series we can probably see some cosmic adventure there.
- Speaking of cosmic, it also looks like Rich Rider is around too, so we may see a new iteration of Nova, which is also rumored to be under Bendis’ control.
- Cap, Shellhead, Thor and Hulk are still there, so four members of the movie Avengers are still alive and kicking (although it was also announced that Bendis and Bagley will be leaving Avengers Assemble as of issue #8, but no cancellation of the title)
- Sue Storm is there, so we can assume that the first family of Marvel will return, but no word yet when or under which creative team (although we can probably assume it won’t be with Hickman writing as he is going to be busy with a number of Avengers titles)
- Cyclops is in the poster, but he was not in the poster for Uncanny Avengers and with his… issues with Cap and Wolverine, it’s a fair assumption he isn’t part of that team.
- We know of the original X-Men returning, so we see 1960′s Jean Grey there.
- But we also see the new Nick Fury, fresh from his Battle Scars title. I anticipate seeing him and his partner, Agent Coulson, appear as a regular perhaps in Avengers Assemble to make that the flagship title to bring new readers to Marvel from its movie universe.
Although trimming the line to make things fresh again without starting from scratch is great, I find it a bit ridiculous (as a long-time collector and fan) that titles less than a year old will likely be getting another #1 in the near future. Sure, it can identify a great launch-point for new readers, but remember that us experienced (not old!) readers have been supporting these titles for some time. There’s something to be said for longevity, and every time you need to go back issue hunting you can easily get an issue from the second series when really you needed series three.
Come on, Marvel – make this your last “relaunch.” It looks like you have plans, and as your architects have been tweeting over the last few weeks, you have some great things in store – let’s make it a long-term plan!