UPDATE: The full story is up now with lots of quotes and official information.

The other shoe has finally dropped at Marvel, where talk of a reboot or relaunch has been circulating for a while—it’s more a soft relaunch and retitling of a number of key titles than a reboot. Probably because Marvel fans just wouldn’t allow it. Details are dropped in EW’s Hobbit-covered Comic-Con Preview issue, which presumably has a few copies floating around the office.

The relaunch will run from October to February, starting in October with UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 by Rick Remender and John Cassaday, making the latter’s return to regular comics penciling. New titles will roll out every week, with the new titles featuring new costumes, new backstories, and so on. According to MTV Geek, which has the most confident version of events.

That’s a minimum of about 20+ new titles. There will be both relaunches of existing titles and the return of old favorites we haven’t seen in a good long while. Some characters will get new costumes, weapons and identities, and even the covers themselves will get a design makeover. The key words here are “shake-up,” “change” and “new” — but don’t call it a “reboot.” Marvel insists that this is not an abandoning of their rich past — but rather making it more accessible to as many readers as possible.

So far titles mentioned include:

Uncanny Avengers #1 (October)
by Rick Remender & John Cassaday
From the “ashes” of “Avengers VS X-Men” the two teams come together for the first time to fight a new deadly foe — the Red Skull, who wants to “x-out” the mutant race! Expect Captain America and Wolverine to be members, as well as a few “wild card” surprises!

All New X-Men #1 (November)
by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen
Everything old is new again…after the original five X-Men suddenly reappear in the present! How do they get to the current time-period? What do they think about the events of Avengers VS X-Men? All I know is — this definitely means the return of Jean Grey!

Avengers #1 (December)
by Jonathan Hickman & Jerome Opena
Details are sketchy so far on this relaunch, other than that the team lineup promises to be waaay different, and their focus will be more on threats to the universe, rather than just Earth. Can we expect some Thanos action here?

And so to answer Steve Morris’s anxious question, this is ACTUALLY Jean Grey. A young, innocent teenaged Jean Grey.

The above image has been scanned from an image and been floating around on Tumblr and so on. As you can see people have new/old costumes. The Hulk looks like the barbarians Hulk. The Invisible Girl is a John Byrne Throwback. Spidey looks like…Spidey. And Nick Fury has been retconned to the Samuel L. Jackson version.

Observation: While we’ve all known this was coming soon, one would imagine it has to have left many execs at Marvel breathing a sigh of relief. With everyone’s job on the chopping block due to owner Isaac Perlmutter’s insistence on huge margins, having a “New 52” style relaunch in the back pocket had to be seen as a Hail Mary pass.

More details to come soon, we’re sure.


  1. I spent 10 minutes in barnes and noble explaining which ultimate spiderman series comes before what. This reboot crap is killing them. They need to refocus the x-men and avengers lines, pair down the books, end these huge utopia x-men stories that have been going on for years, and give people a real jumping on point and I don’t see any of that here.

  2. That’s the Nick Fury Jnr. version. White Nick Fury is still alive and well last time I checked Brubaker’s Winter Soldier.

    Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova are getting the movie push.

  3. One advantage of a reboot, accompanied by some paid-for promotion, is that it can attract new and lapsed readers. A relaunch doesn’t do anything except, maybe, persuade existing readers to buy titles they weren’t buying before. If a buyer’s budget stays the same, he has to stop buying some titles, though, so Marvel can end up competing with itself: relaunched titles vs. non-relaunched ones.

    A reboot would allow the designer to do something like putting the Kree, Skrull, Shi’ar, and human races in one galaxy. I’d ban single-timeline time travel stories forever, but there’s as little chance of that happening at Marvel, I suppose, as there is of a reboot.


  4. “And Nick Fury has been retconned to the Samuel L. Jackson version.”

    That’s Nick Fury’s son, introduced in Battle Scars. In that story he lost an eye, gained the Infinity Serum, chose the code-name “Nick Fury”, and took over SHIELD. It was about as good as you’d expect but it’s not a retcon.

  5. Synsidar, here we go again. Why can’t they all exist in the same universe WITHOUT a reboot or relauch or anything else? They control the characters, storylines and the entire population for the entire Marvel U. If there’s anything Marvel knows, its retcon.

    I see this as a blatantly obvious effort to increase sales and nothing more. Good for them…I hope they see a sales increase. Who knows maybe some of it will be great.

  6. I’m a lapsed comic reader. Quit last year when Fear Itself started, never picked up a single New 52 book. I see nothing here to entice me back to Marvel. It’s all a mish mash of what’s been going on for the past 5-7 years.

  7. And just to give you a conniption fit…a reboot and relaunch are exactly the same thing.

    No, a relaunch is merely a new first issue and, at most, a re-dating of the origin of the character without changing his past or invalidating past events. A reboot involves changing the premise of the story or series. If a pilot flops, and the producer, et al. rework the pilot, adding characters, dropping others, changing names, changing the star’s occupation, etc., that’s a reboot of the pilot. If a writer can’t sell a story, and he changes the plot, changes the hero’s age, gives him a new girlfriend, and so on, he rebooted, so to speak, his unpublished story.

    The new STAR TREK movie was a reboot, since Vulcan was destroyed and stories that were set there in ST:TOS can’t be remade, even if they wanted to remake them.

    Putting all the Marvel races in the same galaxy, not universe, would simply modernize the setup. In the ’60s, it might have been easy to write about the Kree galaxy, the Skrull galaxy, etc., but they gave no thought to how far apart the galaxies are. One of the more ridiculous aspects of AvX was having the Phoenix Force in the Kree galaxy (or Greater Magellanic Cloud, according to would-be fixer-uppers) and having the heroes say “Oh, no, the Phoenix Force is headed to Earth!”, when they couldn’t be aware of its whereabouts.

    If a reboot was handled well, nothing would be damaged. The environment for creators would just be improved. A retcon might be aimed at doing the same thing as a reboot, in enabling a particular story to be written, but the retcon is messy.


  8. A reboot and a relaunch aren’t the same thing.

    Why are people saying this???

    Relaunching Thor from issue 1 is just a re-numbering, DC telling us that the last 70 years of Superman never happened is a re-boot.

  9. “I spent 10 minutes in barnes and noble explaining which ultimate spiderman series comes before what.”

    Are you Americans really so out of the line you can’t figure out whether the older book is supposed be read before the newer one or after?

    Because this is just silly.

  10. @DanK – I understand where you’re coming from. It’s very hard to read Marvel’s core titles these days. A lot of good, fun books have died in the name of having half their runs co-opted by major crossovers.

    So, OK, fine. We need to have a couple ongoing titles for major characters. How about a month-to-month long-arc title for each character and a second book dedicated to short arcs and “This changes everything” crossovers?

    I think I would appreciate that, even as a pretty hardcore Marvel comics fan.

  11. @Cylon- My thoughts exactly. Maybe, I’m old but as Tom Brevoort said on Formspring, I don’t know when this much hand holding was required when reading comics. Its like people need everything to be spelled out to them letter by letter.

  12. Charles and Synsidar, a reboot is exactly the same thing as a relaunch. For the purposes of comic books, those words can be used interchangeably. And these rules you’ve dictated are just hilarious and IMO, completely wrong.

    Its up to the creative people to decide WHAT changes are made in a reboot/relaunch–whether its just a new costume or a new origin story or anything else.

    Charles, simply slapping a #1 on an issue without making any changes to the book could be referred to as a re-launch or a re-boot but yes, I’d refer to it as a simple re-numbering. (The way Marvel and DC both did and flip-flopped back to the old numbers as their flagship titles started to approach a milestone issue.)

    But to use your example, slapping a #1 on Thor is just re-numbering. What if there’s a new creative team? Or what if they add new characters that have been in mothballs for a long time? Or what if they kill a character? What if they RETCON the universe? At what point does it become appropriate to change the classification from a reboot to a relaunch? Some would argue that Spider-man’s Brand New Day was a relaunch.

    As I said, in regards to comics, the two terms can be used interchangeably and until one knows more details about a specific reboot/relaunch, its impossible to know exactly what it means…a renumbering, a new origin, a new universe, etc.

  13. @Cylon + Charles: The point is, when someone is making an initial buy, you want to make it as easy as possible for them. People complain about “hand holding” but the truth is the comics industry is shrinking rapidly. Why make it even slightly more difficult for readers to find their way?

    And Ultimate Spider-Man does have a bit of confusion to it. When a new customer comes in looking for the first trade of Ultimate Spider-Man, there isn’t an easy answer to give them. “Did you mean Ultimate Spider-Man vol. 1 (Peter Parker,) or Ultimate Comics Spider-Man vol. 1 (Peter Parker), or Ultimate Comics Spider-Man vol. 1 (Miles Morales)?” There are literally 3 TPBs that purport to be a variation of Ultimate Spider-Man vol. 1. It may not be insurmountably confusing, but it is confusing.

  14. alex: I think you are the only person in the universe who uses “relaunch” and “reboot” interchangeably.

    Even though they’re shipping over such a long period of time, I hope Marvel announces all of the Marvel Now titles at SDCC. Doling out the information piecemeal is one way to assure people like me will be bored with the idea before it even gets here.

    Oh, and here’s hoping for a Silver Surfer title. It’s been too long!

  15. Yeah Hickman and Opena on a book has me interested. That book being Avengers, interest diluted. Opena will be on that book for what maybe 5 or 6 issues?

  16. Cylon, I’m glad you got to feel superior for a hot second, but the Ultimate line, which has been both “Ultimate (insert title here)” and “Ultimate Comics (insert title here)”, would be beyond confusing for anyone without a phd in shitty comic rebranding moves.

  17. “I spent 10 minutes in barnes and noble explaining which ultimate spiderman series comes before what.”

    I’m with Cylon in that.

    First Peter Parker, then Miles Morales. What it took, 3 seconds? Choosing between 3 different titles is not complicated either. Must be difficult if you’re shopping online, but in good comic shop?

  18. Since it seems like Marvel is tacking towards its movie properties with these designs and configurations, I thought we all agreed that screen adaptations didn’t do a damn thing to raise the circ of a print book. If that were true, the Avengers should be selling in MILLIONS after last month.

  19. A quick Google search of, “Marvel Reboot” and another search of “Marvel Relaunch” BOTH come back with tons of examples of interchangeable usage. (even in the same paragraph of some of today’s articles) So, right or wrong, I’m not the only “person in the universe” to do it.

    And I still think Synsidar’s definition provided above is far from useful. Despite this, Heidi, I always defer to you on “all things nerdy” and abide by your decree, however, as the judge jury and executioner, you could use a little…refinement. In other words, ouch that stings.

    Have a great 4th of July everyone!

  20. Martin: “would be beyond confusing for anyone without a phd in shitty comic rebranding moves.”

    This is again, just silly.

    I am an average guy and most of the comic book readers are average guys, too. Most of us are not Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy, we are just normal dudes.

    And. We. Have. No. Problem.

    ANYBODY was once new.

    And. We. Had. No. Problem.

    What you’ve put down is just a classic case of denial, when a person think how smart he isn’t and how the “thing” is confusing. While in reality, the “thing” is absolutely normal, only that the person is simply dumb and/or lazy.

  21. Scott: Yeah, but that’s simply how it is when one picks up a new hobby. Being brand new to playing a guitar or fishing is not any easier.

    If you want to get into it, you have to invest something first. Comic books are not like movies or music, where you can just sit back and wait for mega-corporations to deliver it under your nose and will never be.

  22. @Talmidge

    “This reboot crap is killing them. They need to refocus the x-men and avengers lines, pair down the books, end these huge utopia x-men stories that have been going on for years, and give people a real jumping on point and I don’t see any of that here.”

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

  23. I was initially excited about this. A lapsed Marvel guy… still love their characters, but don’t buy their books anymore. Still, this news perked me up.

    Maybe I was in dreamland — but I was kinda hoping Marvel had wised up *at last* to their doldrums and the market. You know, the need for entry-point books – maybe even reboot their universe, so it’s a clean slate. Heck, even set their books in the cinematic universe. Why not? It’s a brand the mainstream most recognises. With the $$$$ raking in, Marvel can be afford to be bold with their publishing.

    Alas, there’s no boldness in these books. I mean – time travelling X-Men? More Avengers? Are they going to be $3.99? Double-shipping? Decompressed?

    I dunno, but the feeling I get here is Marvel missing a cool opportunity.

  24. @Cylon (and others) You’re missing the point, I think. Marvel has launched and relaunched their series so many times over the last decade that it’s difficult to figure out which books come in which order without a scorecard. Add to this the fact that Marvel has ceased numbering volumes of many series (or, even worse, reduplicated numbering for a title after the relaunch), and it can be a nightmare. Impossible? No, but far more work then it has to be.

  25. kard said: heck, even set their books in the cinematic universe. why not? it’s a brand the mainstream most recognises.

    why not? because the mainstream does not buy comics of characters that they just saw in a movie. if that were the case, the avengers’ books should be selling in the millions.but as mr. bill scurry has said above, it’s not the case (and there are avengers books solely based on the movie). gotta love the idea of getting rid of current established continuity in favor of new continuity for the sake of bringing in new (or lapsed) readers without any regard for longtime readers and the time, effort, and money they’ve invested in the books. when dc pulled that crap, i dropped all dc books, if marvel does the same, i’ll drop them too, and you know i won’t be alone. just ask dc, which did great in the short term, but now seems to be leveling off to pre-52 levels.
    which brings us to the reboot/relaunch (RB/RL) issue. remember when number one issues were something special? remember when a comic getting to issue one hundred was something a comic book company could brag about? seems those days are gone forever. whats really telling about all these RB/RL “events” is the increased frequency at which these “events” are taking place. the time between them seems to be growing shorter and shorter. what’s so special about a number one issue of xyz-man if a number one issue comes out every year and a half and the only people buying it are long time comic book fans? it’s not a good sign. what’s the next step, RB/RL events every six months. these short term fixes do absolutely nothing to help with the long term goal of sustaining a large and steady readership. have to agree with talmidge above, refocus, pare down, and tout jumping on points without all the hyped up RB/RL nonsense, oh, and bring down the damn price of the books. thanks for letting me rant! :)

  26. I wish someone would write a tell-all book about this period of comics and finally reveal officially that both DC and Marvel have been operating in a reactionary mode to each other the entire time, and we could finally dispense with the fiction that these endless reboots and relaunches are, in any way, the culmination of any kind of plan other than “well, that seemed to work for the other guys…”

  27. I agree with ya Paul! Well… the sad thing for me is, comics are pretty much dead now. No one who’s anyone, really cares anymore. Kids these days don’t even mutter the word “comics” because it’s no longer the cool thing. It’s rapidly shrinking. Very sad because I used LOVE LOVE LOOOVE comic books. But truth be told, these companies are getting way too reckless and greedy just to sell a book. Where’s the passion?

  28. “Nerd Court has spoken. You may step down from the witness stand.”

    Heidi, thanks for the good chuckle. One of the reasons I keep coming back to the Beat is that you manage to maintain a mostly friendly environment with a good sense of humor about it all.

  29. With the New 52, DC lost me. That’s 33 years of my 36 years of life. I stayed after COIE when I was nine, despite my favorite heroes were killed off and to me, a child, the very simple issue of multiple earths. When Kara Zor-El came back my inner child was once again as excited as I had been as a child, and with the Multiverse brought back, and the more streamlined combination of Modern and Pre-COIE, I was finally really feeling the awe and creativity and everything else I once had as a child … To me, the kind of feelings a comic should inspire in someone.
    Then, New 52, which is far different from the previous Crises and Zero Hours because not only did it erase what came before, it really erased everything. Instead the DC Universe is 1990’s Image with bright day-glo EXTREME shock and violence. These “heroes” are the very heroes Alex Ross satirized in “Kingdom Come,” and all the added sex, sexism, violence, and everything else to overcompensate men who need bigger “weapons” do not dictate a good story. Granted, there are some good additions, but overall, it was unnecessary. It brought in only approximately 5% new readers, half their titles aren’t in the Top 100, they’ve alienated many readers, and are now selling at the levels of 2010 — some of the previous series are selling better than their current runs!
    I dropped Marvel for their gimmicks and “Events”, and as a Jessica Drew fan, I was upset after investing money on books that didn’t actually feature her, then get a series that wasn’t. This recent relaunch does and doesn’t make sense for the movie money. I don’t think many movie goers are going to buy these, and if they do, won’t they be confused by the extra members of Avengers who “aren’t” Avengers? I can understand why they want to bring in extra cash from their movie fame, but it’s disconcerting that that is their bigger focus. Yes, comic book companies have always been businesses seeking profit, but there was very much the desire to tell stories and reach out to their readers. Now it’s to the elusive mainstream readers who will give them their respect and hard earned money, new readers, and cause existing readers to sit up like a hungry puppy for a treat. Events used to matter, in the sense they WERE something to be excited about, when it happened through annuals or once a year or longer, but now, with both big companies it’s never-ending. That should be a sign that something is wrong if they have to do gimmicks again to maintain readerships. When reading comments by new fans, there’s such disrespect for what came before, including the fans, and it bothers me a lot. Maybe some veteran fans can be the same but needless to say, all of the above makes me regret ever having picked up a comic book. Yes, there are some great titles out there, and yes, not every company is DC and Marvel, but overall, I’m done. I’m just done. I’m keeping some of my collections, and possibly getting a few back issues, but overall nothing, and getting rid of a lot. It’s disheartening to say the least, that such a big part of my life is where it is, but maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe some people are right, it’s time I grew up. If not, it’ll save me money, lol.