Avengers: Coming in January from the creative team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness comes Avengers: X-Sanction. X-Sanction sees the return of Cable from somewhere in the time stream with the sole purpose of kicking The Avengers’ asses. X-Sanction will involve a character shake up in the Avengers with the addition of Storm, that’s right, ladies and gentlemen, STORM IS JOINING THE AVENGERS! The return of Cable also promises an extended father/daughter story line for Hope. Unrelated to X-Sanction is the return of Norman Osborn who the panel promises is coming back “in a big way” with a new version of HAMMER and a new team of Dark Avengers. 2012 promises to be a big year for The Avengers.
The Defenders: In December, the fan favorite The Defenders will be returning. Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson will team up to create this latest incarnation of The Defenders which looks like it will include Namor, the Silver Surfer, Red She-Hulk, Iron Fist, Dr. Strange, and Ant Man (among others). Fraction explained that the initial story arc will be fueled by the Hulk. Hulk seems to have a problem he needs help with so he assembles the only team of heroes who are willing. Namor, who feels Hulk gets the short end of the stick over and over again, Dr. Strange who still feels guilty over that time the Illuminati banished Hulk to outer space, and others whose motivations aren’t quite as clear. While trying to solve the Hulk’s problem, the team uncovers an ancient conspiracy that Fraction says will, “Explain everything that has ever happened in the Marvel Universe, everything that is happening in the Marvel Universe, and everything that will ever happen in the Marvel Universe.”
Fear Itself: Battle Scars: Little was said at the panel about Battle Scars due to its imminent release but the information that was disseminated included attaching writers to the project, including Matt Fraction, Chris Yost, and Scott Eaton. The panelists also shared a teaser of a new character, “Marcus Johnson”, who’s identity will have “drastic effects” on the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Secret Avengers: Marvel revealed at the Shattered Heroes panel that some significant changes to the Secret Avengers book are coming in the next year. For starters, Ed Brubaker will hand writing duties over to Rick Remender (Remender is writing books about two black ops teams in the Marvel Universe? I knew I liked that guy). They also revealed some significant line up changes including the addition of Hawkeye and Captain Britain and teased at the book’s loss of Scott Grady as Ant Man. The panelists also explained the book would see an all new Masters of Evil however declined to offer any more information.
Avengers Academy: This series seems to have a large overhaul in the works for the coming year. The first change mentioned during the panel was the relocation of the Academy to the former West Coast Avengers compound with “the students who survive Fear Itself“, indicating that some of the young heroes may die. After moving to the West Coast, the Avengers Academy opens its doors to any young heroes who wish to control their powers which sets the stage for the rest of the changes announced. Firstly, as of issue 23, X-23 will join the cast of the Avengers Academy which seems oddly appropriate given the purpose of the school and her past. The second is a two issue cross over with the Runaways. That’s right, in anticipation of Marvel’s (rough) 2013 release of a Runaways movie, they’re bringing the characters back for a mini which promises more interaction of groups of young heroes and a new love interest for Carolina (AKA Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds).
Iron Man: Yet another book written by the incredible Matt Fraction, Iron Man sees one new problem after another. Shattered Heroes will see the Marvel Universe finding out that Stark was drunk during the events of Fear Itself which leads to the question “if you were a cop or a doctor working drunk you would lose your job, why do you get to do it as Iron Man?” This event should be particularly hard for Stark because of his hardline position on superhuman accountability during Civil War. Iron Man’s future includes the return of the Madarin, who has been working to update Iron Man’s entire Rogues Gallery. Fraction says the new Rogues Gallery will include every classic villain, one after another, including fan favorite The Living Lazer.
Captain America: very litte was said about this series except that artist Alan Davis would be joining Brubaker as part of the creative team. Also mentioned was the return of Baron Zemo and the Serpent Society.
Journey into Mystery: Kieron Gillen explained the after effect of Fear Itself in this particular book as Loki being Loki. He also said he would be doing a Christmas Special, mostly because he wanted to see Volstaag in a Santa outfit.
The Thunderbolts: The Thunderbolts attempt to escape during Fear Itself, and find themselves transported to 1997 where they have to face off with the iconic Baron Zemo Thunderbolts team.
Overall, the Shattered Heroes panel gave us an explosion of information about the future of the Marvel Universe. Stay tuned tomorrow for coverage of the X-Men: Regenesis Panel, and if today’s panel was any indication, you won’t want to miss it!