Whenever anyone lately says the words “it’s not a reboot”, it’s a reboot. Call it what you want. Renumbering. Re-imagining. It’s a reboot. Even Doctor Who, taking place in the same canon, is a reboot, at least in tone and format. So even if they’re staying in the classic Marvel continuity, it’s a reboot at heart. Everything changes until the next time everything changes, which will probably be a few months from now. It’s the cycle comics have built up.
I’m scouring Comic Book Resources‘s updates on Marvel’s new “All-New, All-Different” (they really like that phrase, don’t they?) Marvel Universe, after the events of Secret Wars (Mark 2), in which the Marvel and Ultimate Marvel universes threaten to collide. The result will be a unified universe, but unlike Crisis On Infinite Earths this (allegedly) won’t be a reboot. They will retain the continuity. Except for Brian Bendis and any time they find a way to break out Mephisto to change something they don’t like. We’re also told that they aren’t being forced to match the movies. Tell that to Nick Fury. So what will the face of the Marvel Universe be like when this is over?
- X-23 will be the new Wolverine. She can’t be any more annoying than the original. (Watch the writers prove me wrong.)
- There will be a new Hulk. There are so many Hulks right now you could start a basketball team.
- There will be a new Spider-Man. The old one hasn’t been back from the dead a year yet. I saw someone mention Miles Morales since undisclosed Ultimate characters will gravitate to the old 616. We know he shows up as part of a new “young Avengers” style team and there’s speculation that he may be the Ultimate version. However, at the end of Spider-Men Peter did find that Miles existed in the proper MU but in what form we weren’t shown. Just putting that out there.
- We already know that the Human Torch will be joining the Inhumans and romantically involved with Medusa. (I remind you Johnny was involved with her sister Crystal at one point.) I wonder it they’ll somehow try to tell us he’s actually an Inhuman. While Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso tried to convince a crowd that Marvel wasn’t playing games with the X-Men due to the movie rights they’ve never said the same about the Fantastic Four and we know that comic is cancelled. Also, they altered Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s origins so they can use them in the Avengers movies, so don’t think they won’t try it.
- They’re bringing back some character called Red Fox. Never heard of him (her?) or at least I don’t recognize the name.
- Was there really doubt that Kamala Khan, the current Ms. Marvel, would be going away? She’s the biggest thing to hit Marvel in years and fans love her as much as critics. So why was that brought up?
- Sam and Jane are staying Captain America and Thor for a while. I’m betting until their next movies come closer.
There are two things I really want to discuss in more detail. The first is Iron Man as he’s been my favorite Marvel hero for a long time now. Have you seen his new armor design?
I’m not going to be extreme and call it bad. It’s not a bad-looking armor. But have they been breeding out the classic elements all this time and I didn’t notice? The “unibeam” chest area is a dot now, looking like an afterthought and weakening the force it can have. Also, it looks lame compared to the larger chest piece. The face mask just doesn’t fit the theme either with the “face” area having those angles. It doesn’t look like Iron Man’s helmet. Even the two most radical departures, the Silver Centurion and that “Superior” armor he had recently, still got those right. How does he even see out of that thing? I know they don’t want to emulate the movies or whatever, but that armor was based on what was in the comic, is totally awesome, and everybody knows it now. Plus it can turn into other armors. Funny that we’ve been going over the cartoon adaptations because season 2 added that (instead of the component-packing drone from season 1…I liked IRVING) feature so they could still push new toys without slowing down the action for a “clothing change”. Personally not having time to change and being forced to work with what he had made better drama than “not enough power to transform or retain non-base armor form”, but nothing’s perfect. It’s still better than season 1 though. Trust me.
Also, they’re introducing Tony to his actual birth parents. I’ve been against this idea from the start. Why did they have to make Tony adopted this far out? It just feels unnecessary, or at least a trick by one of Tony’s enemies.
The other thing I want to bring up is this line:
The Marvel Universe will be shifting towards a season model reminiscent of TV: “I think that the comics industry — certainly, we are — slowly working into a season model that’s not too unlike what we see in our favorite cable TV shows: a seasonal model that offers accessible entry points for new readers and is respectful of long-term fans,” explained Alonso.
I don’t know about this. This kind of restricts the writers in a negative way. You have to tailor whatever you’re doing to make a jump-on point when your story isn’t ready for it and can’t put it where it should go. I’m not against a good jumping-on point. Some people don’t need them and some do. I like having them, and my fellow Friday Night Fighter Brian Snell thinks they’re unnecessary. We each have our own perspective and they should cater to both. But forcing it unnaturally can hurt a good story that needed to wait on that fresh point. I also don’t think comics should emulate television shows (unless they’re going for some gimmick or theme) but should stop being afraid to be comics. The Marvel Liveverse (again, it’s not “Cinematic” alone if there are TV and internet shows as well forming your continuity) are actually good at not being afraid of the source material (unlike many DC/Warner Brothers productions) so why should the comics?
Overall it seems better than the new DC Youniverse because it doesn’t want to scrap everything that has come before (except the parts they do) but I do wonder how the Ultimate characters will fit into mainstream continuity. Will they have always been there like DC did with Earth-2 and Milestone or will they remember they come from another universe and (since Marvel claims to be more “real) have to figure out how to survive without proper identification? Only time will tell I guess.