Last week Marvel Comics unveiled a timeline of titles and events coming at the end of 2021 and into early 2022. Among those titles was Timeless by Jed MacKay, Kev Walker, Mark Bagley, and Joe Bennett, a one-shot billed as a Kang-centric story in which the time traveller must protect the Marvel U from “a threatening new timeline.” Now Marvel has unveiled new information about the issue, including an unexpected but not altogether surprising creative team change.
Here’s how Marvel describes Timeless:
Kang the Conqueror is a warrior, a destroyer, a subjugator—but even he is subject to the whims and vicissitudes of time itself. When a parallel timeline threatens to overwrite the future that Kang has fought so long and so hard to control, the master of the ages will have no choice but to go to war with time itself, battling through days of tomorrow as he struggles to prevent the end of what is to come!
In a statement accompanying the new info, MacKay described the new challenges Kang will face in the one-shot, which will serve as a springboard for the next year of Marvel stories:
“Kang the Conqueror always knows what happens next- it’s a perk of being from the 31st century. But when chronal chaos throws the future he expects into disarray, the Conqueror finds a new challenge to pit himself against- and he’s delighted by it,” MacKay explained. “In his adventure across the timelines, Kang will reveal things that will happen in the coming years, things that could, and things that should never. He will pit his unstoppable thirst for excellence at all costs against a foe both new and old, and destroy anything in his path to greatness- even if it is an entire world. Some futures will be revealed, others hinted at, and yet others will be annihilated- but which are which?”
Of note in today’s announcement, more than the info about the book itself, is a change to the creative team: artist Joe Bennett has been removed from the lineup, replaced by Greg Land. The inclusion of Bennett in last week’s announcement took many by surprise, considering the hot water Marvel got into earlier this year after Bennett slipped antisemitic imagery into an issue of Immortal Hulk. Following last week’s announcement another piece of older Bennett artwork surfaced. The newly-surfaced image is in support of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, and features Bolsonaro murdering caricatures of his political rivals. The image was described by Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing as “reprehensible,” and Ewing went on to say he would no longer be working with Bennett now that Immortal Hulk has ended. Why the controversy over the initial anti-semitic imagery was not enough to get Marvel to cut ties with Bennett is unclear, but it appears the new image and the resulting backlash to Bennett’s inclusion on Timeless was enough to get Marvel to reconsider and replace him with Land.
Perhaps the alternate timeline Kang must defend against is the one in which Bennett remained as an artist on this issue. Whatever it is, we’ll find out when Timeless #1 arrives in stores on Wednesday, December 22nd.
Edited 8:15 PM Pacific: Marvel has reportedly cut all professional ties with Joe Bennett. The article has also been updated to clarify the nature of the offensive content of the recently-surfaced Bennett political cartoon.