Marvel Responds to New 52 with ‘Marvel NOW’

A relaunch without being a reboot, Marvel busts out a massive new jumping on point for new readers.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Marvel NOW

Building on this tease, Entertainment Weekly's Comic-Con issue is revealing that Marvel is responding to DC's New 52 by doing their own company wide relaunch, but are quick to assure fans that it's not a continuity-destroying reboot like DC's thing was. They're calling it Marvel NOW, and a lot of the rumors appear to be true.

After Avengers vs. X-Men finishes shaking things out, this is apparently what we're going to get:

Uncanny Avengers from Rick Remender and John Cassaday in October – a new flagship title with both X-Men and Avengers on the same team, including Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, Rogue, Havok and more taking on the Red Skull, who hates mutants. Remender calls it “a bridge book, something that can delve into both worlds. It has a natural purpose for existing after AvX, where we can focus on human-mutant relations. The broad strokes are: Captain America comes out of AvX and recognizes that he hasn’t done enough to help the mutants.”

Also, this Red Skull isn't going to be Sin. It's going to be a clone of the real deal, straight from the height of Nazi times. “In 1943, Arnim Zola, who was this bio-fanatic engineer, recorded the Red Skull’s consciousness, and set it to wake up 70 years later," Remender says. "So the Red Skull is right out of 1943-44. Prime Nazi scumbag. In his mind, he’s taking that vitriol and hate and Nazi horror and methodology, and pointing it at the mutant species.” He also notes that he's mashing upt he villains as well as the heroes, creating stakes so high that it mandates a superteam like this.

All New X-Men from Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen in November – about the original five X-Men time-traveling to the future and not liking what they find. Bendis compares it more to Pleasantville than Back to the Future.  "If they saw what the Marvel universe was now," Bendis explained, "well, it’s so much worse than the Days of Future Past that they’re always worried about. This would scare the crap out of them."

Bendis also says he's answering a longtime fan demand. “It’s the one thing X-Men fans have always asked for is: They want Jean Grey back," he said. "But they want Jean Grey. Not reincarnated Jean, or the ghost of Jean. Well, you’re getting Jean back. And Jean is gonna be looking at a world that rattles her. I love feisty redheads. I’ve been married for many years to a very feisty redhead. But I’ve never applied that to writing before. I didn’t even realize what I was doing, but Stuart Immonen is drawing the book, and looking at it I realized: ‘Ha ha, I’m doing my wife!’”

Avengers from Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña in December – a bi-weekly featuring more than 18 members with a lot of one-shots as well as massive cosmic story arcs. Hickman thinks big, so we're talking seriously cosmic – and yet, the only member of the roster he's revealed is Shang-Chi.

There will also be a lot of new #1s, and a lot of redesigning of costumes and covers to make them more "cinematic." Here's an image from Joe Quesada himself showing you what they mean.


Marvel NOW


Apparently, Hulk needs shoulder pads… and it looks like Cyclops actually has one eye in the middle of his forehead now? Weird. And what's that floating helmet thing? Will that be the Worldmind hanging out with the new Nova in Skeets-form? Well, here's what Quesada says about this "tip of the iceberg" image.

“There’s a reason Sue Storm is there,” says Quesada. “And why there’s a floating robot near Hulk. We’re trying a lot of fun and new different things, we’re exposing characters who we’ve had in our toy chest for a long time.” That likely means Rocket Raccoon is getting his profile raised in time to be the marketing cornerstone for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

So, what do you think? Is this how DC should've done theirs? Or did Marvel not really NEED to respond to the New 52 at all?