Comic Book Resources is reporting that Marvel is set to debut a new Ms. Marvel title in spring 2014, featuring a brand-new character taking on the mantle and, much to the surprise of many in the internet community, it will feature a Muslim teenager and be written by a female writer. You’ll have to excuse me while I take this all in. You see, on the same day that the internet shat it’s collective trousers over Brian Michael Bendis tweeting out a photo of the Marvel retreat that featured a solo female, we get a new title featuring a POC lead written by a female writer, and a hell of a talented one at that. G. Willow Wilson wrote Air for Vertigo a few years back and it was a damn fine piece of graphic literature. It didn’t last nearly long enough in my opinion and I am happy to see someone with such talent creating and shaping a new character and title at one of the mainstream comic companies.
I don’t normally spend much of my time bemoaning the lack of diversity in media. This blog has almost no reach. I feel like I’m shouting in a room filled with stuffed animals I believe are real when I start to pontificate too heavily. That having been said, there is a serious lack of diversity in mainstream comics. We don’t have nearly enough A-list female talent, or roundly beloved creators that aren’t old white dudes honestly. I mean, as a crusty white dude myself you would think I’d want to keep my mouth shut but I’m also a reader of comics. And part of the reason so many titles run together for me and fail to keep my interest is because the point of view of the person holding the pen is the same as twenty of his peers. I am happy that we have our Gail Simones rallying female creators for projects like Legends of Red Sonja. I am happy we have people like Kelly Sue DeConnick changing the public dialog about what diversity in comics really means. And G. Willow Wilson taking on Ms. Marvel puts a big ol’ smile on my face as well. She obviously has a lot she wants to say with the character.
The new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, will reportedly be a New Jersey native with relatives in Pakistan and be a huge fangirl for Carol Danvers, the previous Ms. Marvel and current Captain Marvel. The character is described as a shape-shifter and according Wilson admires Danvers because she leads the existence that the young Kamala wishes to attain. As Willow said, “She’s strong, beautiful and doesn’t have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and ‘different.'” Willow herself having some familiarity with that conflict, as she herself converted to Islam even going so far as to release a memoir about the experience.
The book will be released in February 2014 and feature artwork from original Runaways artist Adrian Alphona. We can only speculate as to whether the fan support this book will have can equal the momentum of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and the “Carol Corps.” I’ll begin drafting ideas for the fan group name now, anyway.
- All-New Invaders by James Robinson
- Secret Avengers gets a new # 1 issue with the new creative team of Ales Kot and Michael Walsh.
- Avengers World by Nick Spencer and Jonathan Hickman with art by Stefano Casseli.
- Avengers Undercover, a replacement for Avengers Arena by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker
- Loki – Agent of Asgard by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett
- A new Black Widow book by Nate Edmondson and Phil Noto
- She-Hulk by Charles Soule and Javier Pulido
- Silver Surfer by Dan Slott and Mike Allred
- Iron Patriot by Ales Kot and Gary Brown
What are you most looking forward to? Personally, Black Widow and She-Hulk look the most promising and I cannot wait to see the internet explode over Dan Slott’s Silver Surfer. I’m not sure we needed ANOTHER Avengers title to go with Avengers, New Avengers, Avengers Assemble, et. al. But seeing Hickman filtered through Spencer could make for some interesting stories.
As I type this I am staring at the ten volumes of the last volume of She-Hulk sitting on my shelf, begging me to re-read them. I consider the run to be the pinnacle of Dan Slott’s career. (Let’s not make this a Superior Spider-Man debate. That book is more of a punchline than anything now, regardless of quality) Well it seems that Chris Soule is stepping up to the plate to take his own swing at writing Jen Walters exploits as the All-New Marvel Now initiative that I mentioned a little while ago is now slated to include new She Hulk series written by the Superman/WonderWoman scribe and pencilled by Javier Pulido. Soule is a good fit for the title considering he ACTIVELY PRACTICES LAW IN NEW YORK CITY.
Anyway, he had this to say about the series;
“One of the things I want to explore is the fact that she wants to be exceptional at everything she does, but that’s not always possible. You can spread yourself too thin. She’ll be out on her own, without much of a support group at first, a total underdog trying to make good. I love stories like that — Jen’s going to be very easy to root for.”
And now I’m excited and have another book to add to the pull-list. Good job Marvel.
Marvel Now! is apparently Marvel Then, because All-New Marvel Now is set to debut this January, giving us a second wave of relaunched titles and characters in the wake of Jonathan Hickman’s Infinity mega-event. Thankfully, running titles don’t seem destined for a relaunch. Currently published titles will get .NOW issues to lead into the new wave. Marvel released a full-page press release to CBR hyping up the event.
The most popular characters. The most acclaimed creators. The most ambitious stories. This is the recharged All-New Marvel NOW!.
This Winter, the Marvel Universe heads in an exciting all-new direction, as the industry’s top creators like Brian Michael Bendis, Rick Remender, Dan Slott, Jason Aaron, Kieron Gillen & more, join the top Super Heroes– Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine and other Marvel heroes– to deliver the best comics on the market with all-new ongoing series, AND must-read .NOW entry #1 issues for all readers!
It all starts in December with Avengers #24.NOW(=Avengers #1 in All-New Marvel NOW!), from the blockbuster creative team of Jonathan Hickman (Infinity, Avengers) and Esad Ribic (Thor: God Of Thunder, Uncanny X-Force), leading the Marvel Universe in a bold new direction by launching new series—often more than one—every week with unique mission statements, epic scales, and bigger conflicts than ever before.
Marvel then goes on to talk up some of their new titles, including a relaunched Invaders book and Matt Fraction’s long-gestating Inhuman title;
Then in January, All-New Marvel NOW! heads to the battlefront with All-New Invaders #1! From Eisner Award-Winning writer James Robinson (Starman, Earth 2) and red-hot artist Steve Pugh (Animal Man) comes a bold reimagining of your favorite Marvel Heroes. Brothers-in-arms Captain America, The Winter Soldier, Namor, and the Original Human Torch re-band for an all-new, all-different kind of war! But when the Kree Empire discovers a way to weaponize Norse Gods, can these timeless allies survive the deadly cosmic trenches? Find out as Marvel’s most enduring icons take to the stars in All-New Invaders #1!
But the start of the new year only gets bolder, as All New Marvel NOW! asks, “Are You Inhuman?” with Inhuman #1! Superstar creators Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Invincible Iron Man) and Joe Maduiera (Avenging Spider-Man, Savage Wolverine) thrust the Inhumans into the spotlight as the newest power players in the entire Marvel Universe! Unfolding out of the cataclysmic events of Infinity, new Inhumans spring up around the globe forcing the once-secret society of Inhumans out into civilization! With Avengers-level powers and abilities, will they chose to stand with Earth’s Mightiest…or against them? As the chaos consumes the globe, discover the fate of King Black Bolt and his royal family as the world becomes Inhuman!
Sounds interesting to me, but even more interesting seems to be how hard Marvel is hammering their digital output. They’re running heavy with the digital codes, this time with an added twist;
Every FIRST ISSUE bearing the All New Marvel NOW! branding includes a code for a free digital copy of that same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. But that’s not all! Select .NOW! titles will also come with a digital code for the entire first collection of that series ABSOLUTELY FREE!
That’s right, buy the .NOW title and you could get a code to download the first collection of that series to boot. That’s an incentive that I can see driving more than a few people to pick up some titles they otherwise might skip. It’s a smart move by Marvel, one that pushes their digital presence and gives incentives to try out new books readers hadn’t previously thought of reading. Bravo, Marvel. You done good on this one.