I don’t think “Civil War” needed a sequel, but it looks like we’re getting one anyway. After all, there’s a new “Captain America” movie using the title of that event coming out in May. Marvel also needs any sales boost they can get in light of the fact that most of their new relaunches are settling in at levels lower than what their previous incarnations were selling at. This event is also coming to us courtesy of the (now former) “Invincible Iron Man” team of Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez. Despite offering better dialogue, Bendis didn’t provide an entirely superior take on another Mark Millar concept -- “Old Man Logan.” However, if this new “Civil War” allows him to dig into a socially relevant idea, that’s more up his alley. I’ve got no concerns about Marquez, as he has done stellar work on “Ultimate Spider-Man” these past few years and this could finally be the project that vaults him onto the A-list of comics artists.
It’s also worth noting that the first “Civil War” led into “The Death of Captain America.” While it’s not certain that history will repeat, there are two circumstances worth considering: Next year is Cap’s 75th anniversary and the sales of the current Sam Wilson as Cap series, written by Nick Spencer, are already below those of the previous one written by Rick Remender. I guess what I’m saying here is that if you don’t want history to repeat itself, consider showing the current Cap series some sales support over the next few months.
International Iron Man #1: While “Invincible Iron Man” was positioned as the flagship title of the most recent Marvel relaunch, it didn’t hit the sales heights of “Uncanny Avengers” from a few years back. Sales have also softened to the point where they’re comparable to Bendis’ “X-Men” run. What I’m getting at here is that I don’t think that the market will support a second ongoing “Iron Man” title even if Bendis is writing it and his frequent collaborator Alex Maleev is illustrating it. I’ll admit that I’m intrigued by the claims of the solicitation text that this is going to be more in line with their classic run on “Daredevil,” but I’m kind of doubtful that this will last more than a year. Two at most. Also, I’m still waiting on the next volume of “Scarlet” from these creators and this just makes it seem less likely that we’ll ever get it.
Hyperion #1: Does the Marvel Universe’s most prominent ersatz Superman really need an ongoing title? Even if it’s from the guy who wrote the “Star Wars: Aftermath” novels, Chuck Wendig? My money is on the answer being “No.” Expect this to be gone within a year.
X-Men ‘92 #1: The throwback to the animated series from “Secret Wars” is made into an ongoing title. I’ll withold my judgment on whether or not this is a good thing until I’ve read the collection of the miniseries. But I want to be optimistic about this.
Black Widow #1: Marvel are clearly determined to make an ongoing series with Natasha Romanov work. To the point where they’re throwing the “Daredevil” creative team of writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee at it. Their involvement is going to get me to pick up the collected editions when they arrive. And if it doesn’t work… well, I’ll admit that after “Daredevil” I have a hard time seeing how that could happen. It’d take something really special for this series to miss the mark after Waid and Samnee’s recent work.
Kanan: The Last Padawan #12: The final issue of this series and the first ongoing “Star Wars” title cancellation at Marvel. Originally a miniseries that would explore the past of Kanan Jarrus from the “Star Wars: Rebels” TV show, it was upgraded into an ongoing title. An awkward fit considering that it was clearly meant to tell that specific story and tie into the TV show, but it couldn’t actually be a “Rebels” series. At least the first volume was good. The second looks like it’ll give us another interesting flashback while tying up the present-day story in good form. At least, that’s what I’m expecting it to.
Avengers: Time Runs Out HC: An omnibus collection of the four volumes of “Time Runs Out” for $50. That’s half the price if you had bought those volumes when they came out (like I did). Well, at least I enjoyed those four volumes. Everyone who’s been waiting to read Hickman’s “Avengers” epic in its most affordable format -- this one’s for you.
All-New, All-Different Avengers vol. 1: Mark Waid takes over with Mahmud Asrar and Adam Kubert handling the art. After the utterly epic heights of Hickman’s “Avengers” run, Waid looks to bring things back down to Earth with a smaller team and an approach that looks to emphasize the dynamics between its new members. While Iron Man and Vision are the same, we’ve got the new Sam Wilson Cap and Female Thor, along with youngsters Sam “Nova” Alexander, Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan, and Miles “Spider-Man” Morales. Much as I enjoyed Hickman’s run, you can’t really “go bigger” after the entire universe has been destroyed and rebuilt. A new perspective like Waid’s strikes me as the right way to go here, so I’ll be checking it out when this volume arrives.
Star Wars: Vader Down: The first crossover between Marvel’s “Star Wars” titles asks the question, “What happens when Darth Vader crash-lands on a planet and has to face the entire Rebel Alliance?” I’m betting the answer to this question is that he shows them why a Dark Lord of the Sith is not to be trifled with even when he’s at a disadvantage. Expect a major loss for the Rebels as they try to seize what should be a golden opportunity to take a major Imperial threat off the board, only for it to blow up in their faces. But expect lots of fun to be had as Vader’s associates -- Aphra, and torture droids Triple Zero and BT-1 -- meet up with Luke, Han, Leia, and company for the first time. Should be great fun, even if the nature of the event appears to dictate that things are going to go quite badly for the good guys.