August 24, 2016
DC and Marvel tend to publish comic book events at the same time, so with Rebirth having officially launched a short while ago, it’s no surprise that Marvel is now doing a relaunch of its own. Marvel NOW! 2016 is essentially the 2.0 version of the Marvel NOW! initiative that launched in 2012 and like its predecessor, there are going to be some very awesome things in Marvel NOW! 2.0. Here are the things we’re most excited about:
- We’re getting more of the new characters that we love like Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, time-displaced Cyclops, and Viv (Vision’s android daughter). These characters are getting a pretty prominent spotlight from Marvel, whether it’s in a team or solo book, and we’re excited to explore this uncharted territory with them.
- …and we’re getting more of our classic favs. After years of delay, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Cage! Is finally getting released – and with the premiere of Luke Cage on the horizon, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. We’re also getting to see Venom back in his villainous state with Venom #1, and the Great Lakes Avengers are also back in action with a new ongoing.
- Doctor Doom is in the spotlight. The Secret Wars villain is finally getting the spotlight he deserves, but the twist is that…
- Doctor Doom is the new Iron Man?! Well, one of them, anyway. Doctor Doom and new character Riri Williams will be filling the Tony Stark void. Hopefully, we’ll see a fun dynamic between them as we learn more about why they’re filling Iron Man’s suit.
- RIP X-Men? We know that we’re going to get a Death of X storyline once October hits, and based on the lack of X-Men in Marvel NOW!, it seems that the X-Men really may be no more. Is it a corporate thing, or is the story just really worth telling? We’ll have to wait and see…
- Marvel is copying DC. One of the big differences between Marvel and DC is that DC superheroes have legacies that are passed down between multiple characters. (Think of Batman and his five Robins, three different Flashes, etc.) We’re starting to see Marvel do something similar with Hawkeye, The Wasp, and Iron Man – as now more than one character will carry those superhero mantles.
- Captain America is still Hydra. In the pop culture-shattering twist that doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon, Captain America looks like he’s going to continue to be a Hydra agent through October.
- More Miles! Miles Morales has been a Marvel mainstay for a while, but he’s making a bigger and bigger splash in the Marvel Universe with increased presence in books – especially in the new Champions We love Miles, so we can’t wait!
- Gwen loves Miles too…? Marvel released a comic book cover of Miles and Spider-Gwen kissing…. Um, what? How? Why?!
- Jessica Jones is back! Thanks to her Netflix popularity, Brian Michael Bendis is back writing a Jessica Jones series – and we can’t wait for her to investigate some new ongoing mysteries.
- Diversity on the page, but not on the masthead. Despite increasing their roster of diverse characters, the talent behind Marvel books is still predominantly white and male. Yes, the company recently hired Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey to write an accompanying Black Panther book, but they still need to put their money where their mouth is and actually diversify their real-life universe, not just the one in comic books.
- But regardless, the Marvel Universe is continuing to grow and expand. With books for obscure characters like Prowler, Solo, and Foolkiller, Marvel isn’t resting on its (many) laurels – it’s working hard to expand its character roster, and that’s an awesome thing. It means that fans will have new, exciting stories for years to come – now just for NOW.