For months, Marvel has been teasing major changes to its Avengers titles following the earth-shattering events (and aren’t they always earth-shattering?) of Seige. Thanks to major events going all the way back to Avengers Disassembled, Secret War, House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, Secret Invasion, and Dark Reign, Siege represents the culmination of the ongoing dark times that have colored the Marvel Universe since 2004.
Once Siege ends in a few months, Marvel is promising a new “Heroic Age,” a new time of optimism, when superheroes come out of the darkness and into the light. Nowhere are these changes more present than in the just-revealed details of the Avengers line of titles, which are undergoing some major overhauls across the board, with new #1s and entirely new series. Writer Brian Michael Bendis continues to lead the charge with Marvel’s flagship team, so it ought to be interesting to see what he writes in a brighter, more idealistic era.
Click through for a look at the extensive changes coming to the Avengers…
Among the changes are a new leading series titled simply Avengers, written by Bendis with pencils by John Romita Jr., and debuting in May. This prime Avengers team is being referred to by Marvel as “the most blockbuster Avengers team ever,” and based on the just-released cover of Avengers #2, it looks like the all-star team includes Captain America (Bucky Barnes), Thor, Iron Man (in his new armor), Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye, and Spider-Woman. Don’t expect that line-up to be final; Bendis loves to switch up rosters, so there could be more changes before the team is finalized. The first story arc features Kang the Conqueror alerting the team that they need to travel to the future “to save their own children from destroying the universe.”
Also in May, Marvel is unveiling Secret Avengers, a new ongoing title featuring a team with a roster as mysterious as its premise. No artwork or story details have been revealed about this one. All we know is that Ed Brubaker is writing and Mike Deodato is drawing.
New Avengers restarts with a new #1 in June, with a team that assembles “to take on the threats too dark, too dangerous, and too bizarre for any other team of heroes.” The cover for the first issue shows Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, and Thing as part of the team, but the first story arc is set to reveal a member of the team that was formerly one of the Dark Avengers and now seeks redemption (my money’s on the Sentry). Bendis writes, Stuart Immonen draws.
Avengers Academy, a new ongoing debuting in June, looks set to take the place of Avengers: The Initiative, which ends in May with issue #35. Initiative writer Christos Gage is helming this new series, with art by Mike McKone. The premise finds Hank Pym building a new school where the next generation of heroes can be trained. The twist this time is that the faculty is a rotating roster made up of anyone who’s ever been an Avenger. The first class features six brand new young heroes that have never been seen before.
Both Secret Warriors and Thunderbolts will have shake-ups following the events of Siege, though little is known about how far these changes will go.
Though not directly related to any Avengers titles, two more new series starting in June are spinning out of the Heroic Age. The first is Hawkeye & Mockingbird, written by Jim McCann and penciled by David Lopez, who previously teamed on New Avengers: The Reunion, which starred this husband/wife duo. The ongoing series similarly casts them as superhero/superspies.
Young Allies is an entirely new concept, grouping together five youthful heroes who have gotten lost in all the shake-ups of the last few years. Written by Sean McKeever and drawn by David Baldeon, Young Allies finds these five displaced heroes teaming up to find their place in a crowded world of superheroes. The roster: Araña, Firestar, Gravity, Nomad, and Toro.
The Heroic Age is also spawning a handful of miniseries exploring various facets of Avengers history and future. Avengers: The Origin, a five-parter starting in April, “reveals previously untold details of the historic first meeting of Thor, Iron Man, the hulk, Ant-Man, and the Wasp.” Written by Joe Casey and drawn by Phil Noto.
Avengers Prime, by Bendis and artist Alan Davis, rekindles the friendship between founding Avengers Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Thor, as the world is presented with a threat that only the big three can handle. This five-part epic starts in June.
Lastly, May brings Age of Heroes, a four-part series of preludes that set the stage for much of what’s to come in the Marvel Universe with all of the new titles being launched.