Marvel is once again relaunching their comics with a new Avengers book and lineup—but how will fans react to their promised "fresh start" this summer? We've heard for years that Marvel Comics was planning to dial back their big events, which too often force comic book fans to read a lengthy list of titles just to get a complete story. Marvel's multiple tie-ins each year have also led to a disquieting habit of relaunching their books every fall. 2015's Secret Wars actually reset the entire universe, and Marvel just got done launching their Legacy initiative that was meant to be a back-to-basics approach akin to DC's Rebirth.
For fans excited by the new and returning titles in Legacy and the reemergence of the classic numbering for long-running books, it looks like Marvel has once again pulled the rug out. To kick off Legacy last year, Marvel released Legacy #1 which featured Jason Aaron transitioning from his work building out Thor's pantheon to explore the Avengers of 1,000,000 years ago. The book also teased the future of Marvel Comics, including the return of Wolverine and his possession of the Space Stone. That arc will play out in Infinity Countdown—meant to capitalize on Avengers: Infinity War this summer—but the ancient Avengers will be coming back to the comics in a new title soon.
IGN has the cover and some art for the upcoming Avengers #1 from Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness. The title will spearhead another relaunch for Marvel and will condense the various Avengers titles following the current 'No Surrender' arc. Check out the cover below, which reveals the 'Big Three' back together with some new and returning faces.
Though it's certainly exciting to see Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor back together in the Avengers after all these years, the social media response to the news hasn't been positive so far. For Marvel, the move comes with a new Editor-in-Chief and a number of new creatives. Key writers have exited, like Brian Michael Bendis did for DC, and it seems Marvel wants to provide yet another entry point for new readers. The problem, however, may be that these reboots tend to alienate established comic fans.
Marvel's fresh start may not be to everyone's liking, but the company is certainly presenting an intriguing team for the new Avengers book. Aside from the Big Three, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange will join the team. The latter character will only be around for a short time, though, as the roster will rotate. As for Black Panther's appearance, writer Jason Aaron made it clear to IGN that he's a big priority for Marvel.
“I think the Big Three of the Avengers are really, really close to being the Big Four. I think Black Panther definitely deserves to be at the heart of an Avengers team like this, when you’re talking about the biggest, most iconic characters from that lineage. He has a big, big role to play, not just in this arc, but in this book going forward, and it’s really fun to be writing him again."
The performance of Black Panther in theaters so far makes it clear he's a major player, and Captain Marvel could prove to be a similar hit when her film arrives next year. And filling out the roster will be She-Hulk and the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider, a character fans have been hoping to see in the MCU and one that made a big splash on TV last year. Their inclusion will also tie into their counterparts in 1,000,000 BC, as the new Avengers story will jump between the past and present of the team. What's more, but Ghost Rider is one of the few Marvel heroes that have never joined the Avengers, and his M.O. is bound to clash with the rest of the team.
We'll have to wait and see whether the latest relaunch will be a success or failure, but Avengers #1 looks like it will be an exciting book.