By Steve Morris
Announced yesterday via roundhouse phone call, the replacement team for Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers Assemble title has been revealed as Kelly Sue DeConnick and Stefano Caselli. Their first issue together will be issue #9.
Originally a title designed to capitalise on the popularity of the Avengers movie, the book had the same cast as the movie – namely, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Hulk. Despite the tie to the movie, however, sales figures didn’t exactly set the chart alight, and Bendis was rumoured to be leaving the book since the moment he started on it.
DeConnick’s arrival brings with it a number of immediate changes to the title, all of them suggesting this will become simply a different Avengers book, with many ties to the movie cut. Hawkeye is out of the title, for a start, with Black Widow also leaving for a few issues (although she’ll be back). Replacing them are Captain Marvel, which is a canny move from DeConnick; as well as Spider-woman. That’s an interesting change for a start, because Spiderwoman wouldn’t be able to appear in an Avengers 2 without some severe negotiating going on between Marvel Studios and Sony.
Stefano Caselli leaves his duties as one of the rotating artists for Amazing Spider-Man in order to join the series, which doesn’t have an ongoing premise yet. Much like Astonishing X-Men, this is perhaps a title which exists because it simply does, and the purpose will get locked in at a later date. DeConnick’s interests lay in clashing the personalities of the Avengers against each other – something we haven’t seen in several years, with a ‘lived-in’ feel having slowly descended on the characters over the years. This was one of the key points in Whedon’s movie, and it’s promising to see DeConnick promising to give us some more clashes in this title. Especially fun is the idea that Bruce Banner and Tony Stark will mimic their dynamic from the movie, which was my favourite part.
Wolverine and Spider-Man will also show up at some point. But at least there’s no sign of Havok.
You can read the full transcript over on Marvel.com, if you’re so inclined.