By Todd Allen
Hachette’s Marvel catalog for May – August 2012 is out and we find a few interesting tidbits that might give us a clue to what Marvel’s up to next. The big question is what’s up with Henry Pym?
He used to be Ant-Man, then Giant-Man/Goliath, then Yellow Jacket, the just Hank Pym, then the Wasp. He was made “scientist supreme,” a sort of analogue to Doctor Strange’s sorcerer supreme, a couple years back in Mighty Avengers. I dig that Marvel’s putting out a lot of Avengers material, since there’s a movie coming out, but Pym isn’t supposed to be in it. I’m thinking, either he’s making an unannounced appearance or (more likely) there’s big doings for the character in 2012. Why? Pym is headlining two books in the summer of 2012.
First up is June’s “Avengers: The Many Faces of Henry Pym,” an anthology of sorts that highlights the above identities. (I also think it’s safe to assume where the catalog says “Tales of Suspense,” they mean “Tales to Astonish.”)
Then you’ve got “Avengers: The Trial of Yellowjacket” in August, a 432 page, $39.99 volume that’s essentially a color Essentials volume. This is the one where Pym does a little spousal abuse and gets divorced, among other things. This is an odd set of issues, from Shooter’s less well-remembered run starting it out to the beginning of Roger Stern’s run and a few things (like a Black Knight centric Steven Grant two-parter) in between. The Yellowjacket business is really just the bookends, and strangely starts two issues into that Shooter run on the book. If this is a $40 book, after a Hank Pym primer, I have to think something big is happening with the character.
McDuffie and Deathlok
The Dwayne McDuffie/ Gregory Wright Deathlok run gets a hardcover with Deathlok: The Living Nightmare of Michael Collins. You’d think if this was a tie-in with the X-Force Deathlok storyline, it would have already come out. More Deathlok developments or just time to reprint this?
Bill Mantlo’s Hulk
This could have something to do with the recent mainstream press on Mantlo’s condition, but Marvel is releasing two volumes of Mantlo’s Hulk.
Incredible Hulk: Pardoned reprints Incredible Hulk 269-285. 400 pages for $39.99, due out in May.
Incredible Hulk: Regression reprints Incredible Hulk 286-300, plus Annual 12. 408 pages for $39.99 in August.
Finally, least you think Marvel has only “virtual” color Essential volumes, Spider-Man: The Ultimate Big Time Collection clocks in at 528 pages, definitely in the Essentials page count range. Marvel is definitely releasing some larger color collections than they used to!
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.