Marvel NOW! to Relaunch Marvel Comics Universe; X-Men & Avengers to Merge

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 28th, 2013 at 8:11 pm,

 Marvel NOW! to Relaunch Marvel Comics Universe; X Men & Avengers to Merge

The Marvel Comics Universe is about to get a major overhaul. Every summer, Marvel launches a story that ties all of its flagship books together – and in 2012, the Marvel superheroes are embroiled in the Avengers vs. X-Men conflict, which sees the two iconic superteams battling it out. It’s been a geek-pleaser storyline, but the aftermath is looking far more interesting: EW has dropped the exclusive that Marvel will be shuffling their characters and their creative teams, as part of an initiative that has officially been dubbed “Marvel NOW!”

Marvel NOW! will introduce new titles and re-fashion old ones; among some of the more intriguing books in the lineup will be Uncanny Avengers, which will be the first official blending of the X-Men and Avengers into one team. Scroll down to learn more about this bold new rollout – and what it may have to do with Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In an interview with EW, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso made sure to differentiate Marvel NOW! from competitor DC Comics’ total reboot of their universe with the “New 52″ initiative. For one thing, there will not be a sudden halt to the old universe followed by a hard push into the new one – the new relaunches will be unveiled a month at a time. Said Alonso:

“This ain’t a reboot. It’s a new beginning…I feel that it’s a much more humane approach for retailers and fans to tell them: ‘Look. In the months of October through February, every week you can go into a comic book store and find a few new jumping-on points for the Marvel Universe, a place you’re going to like visiting. Or revisiting.”

For a sneak peek at the upcoming Marvel NOW! Universe, check out this artwork by Marvel CEO Joe Quesada, which contains plenty of interesting hints and teases:


Marvel NOW Comic Con 2012 570x804 Marvel NOW! to Relaunch Marvel Comics Universe; X Men & Avengers to Merge

A few of the Easter eggs in the image:

  • Thor has swords
  • Cable has an eye-patch
  • Hulk has space armor (and a robo-orb)
  • Nick Fury is Ultimate Universe Nick Fury [Correction: Apparently that's Fury's illegitimate son(???)]
  • Cyclops has a new uniform and eye-beam
  • Fantastic Four member Sue Richards is out on her own (for once)
  • Iron Man has new armor
  • Marvel Girl (Jean Grey) is back to land of the living
  • Rocket Raccoon and Nova – characters rumored for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie Marvel is developing – are (literally) being brought front and center

For details on the more cryptic elements of this picture, check out the interviews with the Marvel creative team on the following pages – and find out about the new books they will be launching. Needless to say, there are some big surprises in store…

NEXT: All-New X-Men…

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  1. I don’t know how a 18 member avenger team will work.

    • Think Justice League. I’m sure Marvel can pull it off for Avengers. Will be interesting where this road takes a lot of our favorite superheroes and bringing others to the forefront.

      • might be good. Think cap being able to send different teams to different areas based on threats etc

    • I thought about something like this already. As Avengers/Marvel movies progress, there is no reason why, say, the 4th Avengers movie would have to have every single actor/character we have seen up to that point in it. The comic’s team varied quite often, based on the storyline’s needs. In the case of the movies, it would also be about who is most popular and opening space for new characters.

  2. I’m actually okay with this. I like how this is still in the same universe and not just pressing reset on everything. I would have to actually have to read up on it before I make a final conclusion.

  3. Sounds cool.

  4. the black Nick Fury is from the Battle Scars book he’s the original Nick Fury’s son. At least it’s not a reboot/or new 52 bs

    • BS? Have you read any of the new 52 titles? There’s some really great stuff out there. One of my favorites is Jeff Lemire, who’s done fantastic stuff with writing Animal Man, Frankenstein, AOS, and Justice League Dark. Then there’s Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, and David Finch on Batman comics, Gail Simone writing Batgirl, and some great artwork from Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, Gary Frank, and Rags Morales.

      And Marvel’s holding their own with the awesome Avengers vs. X-Men, Dan Slott’s superb run on Amazing Spider-Man, and many others, like New Avengers, Wolverine and X-Men, Uncanny X-Force, and now this exciting news, which means I’ll have to get another job to afford all these comics!

      My point: Marvel and DC are both excellent houses (among others) with great characters and stories. I love them both, wish them both the best, and I’m very happy to see them both succeed.

      • You’re completely right that some of the 52 merits recognition for its creativity. Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Batman, and I, Vampire, IMO, are the best comics right now of the 52. I also really enjoy the new Wonder Woman and Aquaman comics. I also think the retelling of Shazam’s origin will probably translate much better to the silver screen.

        But overall… the 52 has left a bad taste in my mouth. Especially with Rob Liefield on three books… just 90′s overkill. Justice League isn’t exactly great, either. And Superman, while the new costume has actually been good for him, has been the one I think most hurt by the relaunch. They should have had better storytellers on him.

        • yeah, rob seriously has to go, like NOW!

  5. Let’s hope they’ve learned from DC’s mistakes.

  6. Before I saw the fullsize picture of the team I honestly thought Cyclops was DareDevil lol.

    • HA! I thought the same thing! My first thought: Who in blazes would put an ‘X’ over DD’s eyes?

    • Don’t you two know anything? They are going to splice DD with Cyclops in the first issue to create Cydevil……or Dareclops……yeah you get the idea! :)

      • Haha Dareclops. I wanna see more of these hybrids lol c’mon comicon people, get crazy with your costumes.

  7. Am I the only one who noticed that Thor does NOT have swords?

    You also forgot to mention that Captain America has a gun. If it is Steve Rodgers, that is new and different, if it is Bucky (like in secret invasion) not as new or exciting.

    • Maybe that is Nick Fury’s hand now that I look at it again.

      And what is that floating helmet by hulks left shoulder?

    • Thor has a sword behind each shoulder

    • Steve Rogers has used guns in the comics… multiple times.
      Some of the books that featured him in WW2 showed him using machine guns and in the present day (when Bucky took over as Cap and Steve became head of world security) Rogers also uses blasters.
      So it ain’t really new or different either way you look at it.

      • Yes but it’s not really his “shtick” anymore. Cap uses martial prowess to beat his enemies (and his shield is an extension of that). Using guns is just not who Steve Rogers is. This is of course my opinion and Marvel is free to do whatever they like but if they do so they will be losing touch with the original characters which I don’t like. Might as well just equip everyone with a IM suit since he is one of the most powerful members out there, right?

        • Oh I completely agree… Cap shield is a reflection of who he is in some ways. In the comics he said he doesn’t like guns (and in the movie he doesn’t use them as primary weapons either).
          My point was only that he HAS used guns on occasion, when he has to – when there isn’t another option.

          Anywho, it’s irrelevant anyway: In the above pi it’s Nick Fury holding the blaster, not Cap.

          • “In the above pic” not “pi”.

            • Caps uses guns when hes got no other choice (escalation, #of enemies etc). besides I think they’ve got the fire brigade covered with the furball and shield agents (well fury anyways)

    • Looks like he has swords to me. Unless it’s some trick that I can’t see and they are not strapped to his back. Don’t know why the hell he needs swords anyway. Idiotic.

  8. It’s Fury. Not Cap. That is a robo orb floating around Hulk. Says so above in the article.

  9. I am thankful I don’t waste my time buying new issues every month when they pull this type of stuff. I used to buy new issues but I finally wait for the tradebacks to make my decision. I am 50/50 on this ‘Change’ aka reboot. They can call it whatever they want, they’re rebooting the characters. you say they are keeping their histories? Ok, that really doesn’t matter at all because many writers do whatever they want. I will admit, AvsX sucked at first but has really picked up lately (Gulity of reading AvsX). I think a lot of readers will be willing to accept this change depending on how AvsX ends.

    Oh yeah, the money train is well on it’s way. Nova redsign, Rocket Raccoon and new nick fury I guess? Richard Rider better be introduced back into the universe.

    • HEY, I don’t think you used all your punctuation correctly! ;)

  10. As a marvel fan since i was little. Their new looks look stupid. Is marvel running out of ideas or something because no fanboy likes their characters to be screwed with.

    • They hae to keep innovating. Trying new things, wouldnt exactly call it running out of ideas. Marvel’s strenght I find has always been about either internal and/or team/personality dynamics between the characters. Merging and creating new teams and fresh scenarios could pove to be really interesting. What would u prefer? The just keep redoing old stories?

  11. Well structurally this sounds all neat and all but when you try to give it traction, read details that make sense, they’ve got their work cut out for them. Yeah a lot of potential drama, what does future Scott do or feel now that Jean is back and deal with his past self as well? It could quickly turn into an Olympic soap opera. And where do you cut the original X-men and suck them out of the timeline and still have a future Scott, Jean, or anyone else? How long can you make a run like that last? Wouldn’t that imply that somehow they get or put back into the past somewhere in order to get future selves? Wouldn’t the future selves be effected then, because if you figure their past selves grow and change while in the future then how that happens will continually change their future counterparts? You could have a future self literally go from good to evil in the space of one issue. That’s the easy radical idea but what about the more subtle stuff?

    Uncanny Avengers from that first picture looks rather testosterone heavy too for modern times, if you ask me. Well they’re paid to work out all the problems, I guess as consumers we just have to decide whether we like it or not…

    • Id say it would probably end up with the young team going back in time and starting a new alternate universe, leaving the older X-Men intact. The young team with knowledge of how certain decisions and actions end up, would do things differently and create a new future for themselves. Possibly allowing for certain cross overs between the main stream Marvel Universe and the new one. At least, that’s how I’d handle it.

    • Time travel/parallel realities.. Arent necessarity exclusive. Whos to say the past xmen team isnt from a very similar almost identical alternate timeline? Thus a “past” and present cyclops would not conflict. The 616 continuity is the main one, maybe the xmen team got pulled fom the past of the 615 or whatever continuity. Its easily explained and avoid all the paradoxical stuff.

  12. I don’t read marvel only DC. So I am kind of laughing at this move. No matter what you say this is spurred by New 52. I mean Aquaman has been outselling many marvel titles, and at one point he outsold EVERY marvel book. Think about that, AQuaman selling better than spider man. But I must say new x-men does have me interested. So I might, MIGHT, pick that up. But i buy so many DC books probably not. Other than that I don’t find this very interesting, more of “let’s see if we can match New 52 succes”.

    • Which is kind of funny considering DC most likely ripped of the Ultimate line of comics from Marvel. Marvel had great success with Ultimate, a universe where the characters were given updated origins and scenarios, which would been a major influence in DC’s New 52.

  13. I don’t read marvel only DC. So I am kind of laughing at this move. No matter what you say this is spurred by New 52. I mean Aquaman has been outselling many marvel titles, and at one point he outsold EVERY marvel book. Think about that, AQuaman selling better than spider man. But I must say new x-men does have me interested. So I might, MIGHT, pick that up. But i buy so many DC books probably not.

    • Ugh. Stupid thing said it didn’t post. Sorry for double post.

  14. This sounds a pretty interesting to me i like how theyre planning to evolve the characters of Marvel into a more realistic world and all but i’m a little confused as to how this is not a reboot. Aren’t they doing the same thing as the DC comics new 52 it at least reminds of it, if any of you understand this whole thing a lot better than me please explain, thanks a lot.

    • Basically, Jack Kirby didn’t have a cellphone.

      That should explain everything.

  15. I miss the days when comics created the storylines for Hollywood instead of the other way around. The books that once had their own personality are becoming Disneyfied before our very eyes…It’s just sad.

    • Tail wagging the dog??

      • Exactamundo!!

  16. Cyclops looks whack, so duz hulk. Im dwn for wolverine n spidey ne day. Luv how they put raccoon in front make him a fav so ppl go into GOTG likin him

    • My thoughts exactly, they’ll try and force rocket racoon down our throats until people like him.

  17. more garbage.

  18. What’s up with Spider-Man’s eyes?

  19. This is the crap that got me away from mainstream comics. Glad Valiant Comics is back, and Image titles to enjoy and also other independent comics. I tried getting into the New 52 and it just sucked. It’s one big mess. And I’m not going to blame Rob Liefeld this time around.

  20. Gotta have Iron man, Captain America, and Cyclops. Actually, I don’t think this idea will work too well.

  21. Maybe this is what they have to do to get the rights back for all of the marvel characters. And what the hell is a rocket raccoon and if there is a such thing then they might as well bring back Howard the Duck!!! why do they have to get stupid and add a jar jar binks element to the movies

    • If you don’t know who Rocket Raccoon is, stop talking. You’ll come off looking ridiculous if you keep talking. Read Guardians of the Galaxy and leave Howard alone.

  22. im sure there will be some cool things to come from this, but, this looks awful. changing spideys costume? thor with swords? hulk with tech armor? iron man changing colors? Marvel NOW? what kind of lame name change is that?

  23. Here’s what I noticed:

    Spidey’s in red and black not red and blue. And he has metal-rimmed eyes? oookay…

    Cyke finally got a good and drastic redesign. If any prop in the Marvel Universe needed to be retired, it was that damnable visor. Heck, I even liked what Phoenix did to it in AvX.

    Hulk has hair again. I like where Incredible Hulk is heading with the ‘Stay Angry” storyline and can’t wait to see where it ends up. But bald hulk is kind of cool (as long as he doesn’t grow a goatee).

    Iron Man has new Armor. AGAIN. But I like the black.

    Cable is alive, patched and wearing red and black, not blue. Again, another drastic uniform change. Good.

    Where’s Deadpool? is he still killable? Yeah, he’s over-exposed but with the right team, that guy is downright awesome.

    Somewhere along the line, Thor became my favorite character. I think it happened when JMS took over the book, brought Asgard to Oklahoma and really re-ignited the Thunder God’s presence in the MU. I’d love to see him back. That said, Thor here looks fantastic. I’m eager to see where he’s headed.

    This isn’t a DC-esque New 52 and I understand what Marvel is doing. With the success of their movies, they’re working hard to capitalize on Marvel’s popularity and making it easier to get new readers on board while maintaining credibility and respect with the life-long fans. I think this will work. I’ve been reading the New 52 and I’ve never liked DC (except Resurrection Man for some reason) and I think the Marvel NOW will help bring in new readers, and old, into the fold. I wish em luck. I’ll be reading.

    And Rob Liefield can be blamed for Hawk and Dove and is now destroying Grifter. Nuff said there.

  24. An anthropomorphic, gun-wielding raccoon might work in comics, but there is no way that is going to translate to anything workable that a non-geek audience would accept for the big screen.

    Of course, I also thought that incorporating Thor (or any extraterrestrial elements) in to the current Marvel movie universe would be equally as impossible, and I was straight up wrong on that.

    • I’m calling it now. Rocket Raccoon will become the new R2-D2 for the Marvel Universe.

      • Does that mean something?

        • why yes, yes it does :)

          • Lol *thumbs up*

      • For kids under 14 sure. For everybody else he’ll be a slightly more tolerable jar-jar.

        • except that Im an adult who likes RR and he is most definitely NOT an idiotic sidekick and the butt of everyone’s jokes.

  25. I have not read comics in almost 15 years now, aside from a few friends of mine have had. All of this sounds like yet another attempt at righting the ship, which as a former exclusive Marvel reader starting drifting off course after Onslaught and that whole mess. I know the Ultimates line was supposed to be some type of new take on certain titles, and they have some alternate timeline version they did. But if all of this was supposed to help tie up or end a lot of the confusion caused by things done in the 90′s, then why does this sound even more convoluted and confusing?

    This whole desire to cross everything over is what screwed things up back in the 90′s, and turned some fans off. A lot of people only followed certain titles, with some being way more popular than others. They would do minor cross-overs and people who appear in other books, but overall things were allowed to flow on their own. That was until they tried the gimmick over the summer to do those big crossover stories in the Annuals, which worked for about two summers if I remember, but people did not care for having to buy one-shots of books they didn’t collect all year and it didn’t help the sales of the lagging books after the fact.

  26. I think I’m just about done with Marvel Comics :( $3.99 for 20 pages of unoriginal story and terrible art plus 10 pages of adds for kids shoes and Spider-Man stickers? lol, no thanks.
    It really is sad that they can’t do good, independent stories anymore. They depend on their “crossovers” to make money (and while that might work for those who buy every single marvel title, those that only buy a handful like ‘Avengers’ and ‘Captain America’, don’t know WTF is going on).
    DC’s New 52 has been great IMO. ‘Justice League’ is a nice big book with amazing art (Jim Lee FTW!) and a story that keeps me looking forward to the next issue. ‘Batman’ and ‘Nightwing’ are awesome as well IMO.
    Even though DC’s also doing the Talon crossover, you can still read one book and know what’s going on (i.e. the stories can still stand on their own two feet). Whereas, if you pick up the latest Avengers book you’ll be completely lost if you haven’t been reading at least four other titles.

    Back to the topic: I think this “new beginning” will just be like all the other “new beginnings” they have ever f-ing year or two. A crossover, followed by the aftermath, followed by one or two arcs of unoriginal dribble followed by yet another crossover, another aftermath, another bad story arc, etc, etc, [repeat the process until you feel the need to hang yourself].

    I’ll give it a chance, but the moment they mess up with another no-name artist or terrible story, I’m done: no subscription renewals next year.

    End Rant.

    • I wouldn’t say I’m done with Marvel (try Mark Waid’s Daredevil – which is THE best comic out right now) but I’d suggest going trade paperbacks if you’re tired of the advertisements (which I also am, too) and it’s usually more bang for the buck especially if you get them on sale (books are ridiculously cheap these days in the new age of the nook).

      I like some DC, I like some Marvel, but my pull list is definitely getting smaller again… I tend to go for comics that excite me on a monthly basis, and there’s just not enough of that anymore these days.

      Probably just as well, it’s becoming an expensive hobby!

      • Yeah, I’ll probably have to do that then (buy paperbacks).
        The reason I’m currently buying monthly issues is because of what ‘Slayer’ mentioned: I’m a collector. I want my comics to have increased in value when I’m older, but looking at the quality of the comics now, I doubt they’ll be worth anything in a few years, let alone worth more than they are now :(

        Marvel still puts out a few good books (Daredevil and Winter Soldier to name a few of the few), but in the end I just don’t think it’s worth it anymore.
        If I hear about a good arc or story from Marvel, I’ll wait for the paperback and buy that, and just keep on buying my monthly DC titles… until the day Marvel gets their $*!* together (hopefully).

      • I was about to say, yeah, it’s like a technique for generating trade paperback income.

    • People used to collect comics for both the story and for a possible rise in value down the road. It seems like most of what has been made in the last 20 years may not be worth much, and as print starts to fade away the only value might be as a novelty. Hopefully the older stuff will remain valuable just as a rarity, but the new stuff just seems like advertisement for whatever other products they are marketing like movies and video games.

      I for one can’t see how a younger person, or even someone with limited funds at this point, can even keep up with all of these books. DC having 52 new titles sounded crazy to me since I can’t remember Marvel and DC having that many books combined back when comics were more popular. Even then I never knew anyone who bought everything, now it just seems like being particular would be common sense.

      As for all of these re-boots, it just seems like they know they lose fans at a certain point and instead of trying to fix what’s wrong they pull a do-over and hope to draw new people in and retain as many hold-overs as they can.

    • I almost disowned Marvel after the One More Day storyline in Amazing Spiderman. They pissed me off so bad I didn’t read it much longer after that before I put it down. Now I just buy AS here and there when they have a story arc that sounds interesting. Right after the arc is over with I put it right back down. $3.99 is ridiculous for a comic. I’m 32 and still remember when comics were $1. Heck even when they were $2.25 for several years that was still reasonable. Marvel has gone the route of kid friendly too. That was evident after One More Day. That’s what pissed me off so bad. If they hadn’t done that with Spiderman I would still pay the price for it. Marvel needs to take a step back.

      • I don’t really have an issue with the price (I’ll happily pay $4 for a comic book), but I just think that what a person GETS for that money is a rip off:
        I mean, they use the excuse that it’s expensive to print the comics and pay the artists and writers, but is it really?
        I can go to a store and buy a 150page magazine (which features articles and photography from MANY different people who all have to get paid) for the same price of a comics book.

        • The price alone would make me not even bother at this point, I have bills to pay. But it also comes down to something a guy who owned a shop I went to said before I fell out of the whole scene. He said that Marvel and DC had gotten to a point where all they wanted to do was have more books on the racks than each other, and in turn completely push out the independent and smaller companies. Judging by what I saw when I did venture into a comic shop a few years ago it seems like it came to pass.

          If DC has 52 titles out right now and Marvel anywhere near that, at 4 dollars a pop anyone who has a serious comic habit is shelling out a car payment every month for books.

    • Avengers vs xmen has some pretty terrible art I’ll second that sentiment. Marvel should upgrade their comic and their cartoons. DC does mop the floor with them for that.

  27. The plain fact is the actual comics side of Marvel is pretty small potatoes now. Marvel netted more off just one movie than they have made collectively in the in the last 10 years. Yes, this is a somewhat made up figure but I would bet it’s fairly accurate considering Marvel considered making 33 mil. in one quarter just 3 years ago to be great. So at this point the movies are helping comicbook sales and not the other way around.

    What does that exactly mean for the comicbook side? Well that is the big question since the past 50+ years of comic history are now seemingly nothing more than fuel for the movies/animated shows. I don’t know how much it matters anymore what they do in the comics so sure, lets just mash everything together. Maybe this is the end of the comicbook genre as we knew it.

  28. i wish deadpool in it.

  29. IronMan’s armor looks soo sickblack and gold looks waay better then the original.

    • Blasphemy!!