Secret Wars is in full swing now, and the events in the main title and the many tie-ins are beginning to have long-term consequences. We still don’t know exactly how everything will turn out in Secret Wars, but over the last few weeks Marvel has been releasing teasers about the direction of the company.
Starting this fall, the “All-New, All-Different” Marvel will begin to debut. Announcements have included as many sixty (or more) individual series being launched or relaunched.
First I would like to comment on the earliest developments and announcements.
All-New All-Different Avengers
The earliest view we were given of the All-New, All-Different Marvel was one of this year’s Free Comic Book Day giveaways.
All-New All-Different Avengers #0 gave us a sneak peak at the Avengers following Secret Wars. The membership included a few veterans: Tony Stark’s Iron Man, Sam Wilson’s Captain America, and the Vision. It also included a few young rookies: Miles Morales’s [formerly Ultimate] Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and Nova.
The inclusion of a racially and sexually diverse group of cross-generational superheroes in the company’s flagship team shows a new direction for Marvel. This may have been part of the reason for the cataclysmic Secret Wars and the launch of the All-New All-Different Marvel in the first place.
All-New All-Different Marvel Previews
On 1 July 2015 Marvel will release All-New All-Different Marvel Previews, a 64-page magazine with more complete details on this fall’s launches.
The teaser images
Within 24 hours in the first week of June, Marvel released two teaser images for the All-New, All-Different Marvel.
The first image builds on what was already known. Five-sixths of the Avengers revealed on Free Comic Book Day are in this image: Iron Man, Captain America, Vision, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), and Ms. Marvel.
We also see several other characters who are widely known from past and future Marvel Studios movies and TV shows: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson, Black Panther, Captain America (Steve Rogers), and Ant-Man.
The new Thor (Jane Foster) also shows up, so we know that Marvel is not reversing any of its recent changes.
In addition to the former Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales, we also see several other Spider-folk: the original Spider-Man (presumably Peter Parker), Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Woman.
Rounding out this image is Red Wolf, a 19th-century character who will presumably be merging into the Marvel Universe, another testament to Marvel’s commitment to much-needed diversity.
The second image also includes Iron Man, front and center, in exactly the same armor and pose. We might conclude that this is also Tony Stark. However, Secret Wars currently has two living Tony Starks.
This Guardians of the Galaxy have a strong presence: Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon both appear. Interestingly the Fantastic Four’s Thing (Ben Grimm) also appears, wearing a Guardians of the Galaxy uniform. Those who are familiar with the Fantastic Four’s origin should not be entirely surprised by this development. Ben Grimm is, after all, the astronaut who flew the Fantastic Four into the cosmic rays that gave them their powers in the first place. A return to space does not seem too extraordinary.
Another Fantastic Four character also appears in this image: Human Torch. Details about the upcoming series Uncanny Inhumans reveals that the Human Torch has joined the Inhumans. Notably missing, however, is Mr. Fantastic.
The Inhumans are also represented by Medusa and Karnak (the hooded character). That is, of course, unless Medusa is there to represent A-Force, another new title. (More on that later.) The Inhumans have been playing a larger role in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, though we have yet to meet the royal family. They may not appear until the upcoming Inhumans film. Other Marvel Studios characters appearing in this image are Daredevil (Netflix series) and Dr. Strange (upcoming film).
We also see two Wolverines. X-23 (Logan’s clone) is wearing a costume reminiscent of, if not identical to, the original yellow-and-blue Wolverine costume. Logan is not in costume, but has the appearance of “Old Man Logan” as he is currently appearing in the Secret Wars tie-in of the same name. This Old Man Logan has just entered a territory with a full cadre of X-Men (including their own Logan) so who knows what will happen with that. Tie-in series E is for Extinction and Inferno will also directly affect the X-teams. Beyond the appearance of Wolverine(s) in this image, no other news about the future of the X-Men has been released.
Finally, the image is rounded out by a few lesser known characters. Hyperion, from the Squadron Supreme/Squadron Sinister is currently clearing out a number of Battleworld counterparts in Squadron Sinister. We don’t know which one this is, other than the announcement that this fall will see a Squadron Supreme series debut. Also appearing in the image are Citizen V from the Thunderbolts and Dr. Spectrum from the Great Society.
To be continued …