By Steve Morris

The Marvel solicitations for November have been released today, showing a number of interesting points. Faint spoilers below!

The biggest news from the solicitations, which you can find here, is that we now have a confirmed end-date for Brian Michael Bendis’ decade-long run with the Avengers, with both the original and ‘New’ Avengers titles due to conclude in November. The actual end for Avengers seems to be issue #33, drawn by Terry Dodson, as issue #34 is a jam issue — with many of Bendis’ former collaborators joining him for the very last issue.

Meanwhile, New Avengers will operate in much the same way – issue #33 is by Bendis’ long-time collaborator Michael Oeming, while artists like Mike Deodato Jr are leaping on the final issue, #34, for a second jam story. New Avengers actually seems like the more interesting of these two stories, simply because of the cover above — Jessica Jones lying dead? Brother Voodoo returning? A lot of plot threads are going to be wrapped up in this final storyline, it seems.

We also have a confirmation that Matt Fraction’s Defenders series is indeed ending with issue #12, promising deaths and rebirths and a revisit to just about every crazy concept Fraction’s managed to squeeze into that one book.

And, well, the fact the last story arc was called ‘Final Exam’ was perhaps a clue that Christos Gage’s Avengers Academy series would be concluding. And so it proves true, with issue #39 revealing itself to be the last issue before the series concludes. And here ends another incredibly long run – Christos Gage’s work for Marvel looks to be sadly wrapping up. He still has the co-written miniseries ‘First X-Men’, as well as an Astonishing X-Men Annual in November. But at the moment, we don’t have any sign of a new ongoing project for him. Unless he has a trick up his sleeve?

Wolverine and the X-Men seems to be taking the place of Avengers Academy as the main student title in the Marvel NOWniverse. The main story for the rest of the solicitations is the way that every X-Men book now seems dominated by Avengers. AvX is going to end in a rout for Marvel’s Merry Mutants, as the analogues for the unsupported minorities in society get crushed under the boot of Captain America and SHIELD. Avengers show up all over the place, here! The only signs of resistance look to come from Brian Wood’s Adjectiveless X-Men run, which seems to have been extended by Marvel. Everywhere else shows a uncompromising victory for the Avengers.

Marvel Now! will see 20 new titles roll out, and most of them are now visible. But some have yet to be announced, and it’s interesting to see which other books may end in December to make way for them. Secret Avengers and Uncanny X-Force are both notably reaching a conclusion of sorts, suggesting that either Rick Remender is planning to move on, the titles are cancelled, or a revamp is coming soon. Astonishing X-Men also seems to be concluding the current storyline, which may lead us somewhere interesting in December.

But in non-speculating-about-the-end news? Just look at this solicitation for Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man #698….

The end of Spider-Man’s world begins when Doctor Octopus discovers who Peter Parker really is…


  1. Sad to see AVENGERS ACADMEY ending, I used to love that book but dropped it after the awful Hybrid arc.

    Subsequent issues that I’ve read seem to hold out the belief that Gage was just phoning it in at that point and was focusing his creative juices elsewhere. Probably that Neal Adams X-Men mini…

  2. “The main story for the rest of the solicitations is the way that every X-Men book now seems dominated by Avengers.”

    This. This sums up my disappointment with these solicits nicely. “Integrating” the X-world into the larger Marvel universe looks more and more like “becoming Avengers franchises”. And that I am simply not interested in.

    With Uncanny X-Men and New Mutants gone, I don’t see a single book to be excited about. Ordinarily I’d get the X-Factor TP, but with $17 for four issues, I’ve finally had enough. The only thing I’m planning on getting from these solicits right now is the Journey into Mystery TP… and even that’s under protest, as half of it is an irrelevant Thor annual that just gets in the way of my Gillen fix.

  3. Avengers Academy is probably getting reNOWed, and will relaunch in December. Possibly as the teen book with Loki, Wiccan, etc.

    I wonder if Defenders will get reNOWed as well. It hasn’t ranked highly in the sales charts, so that would be more of a surprise if it did.

    Marvel missed a trick with Avengers. #33 would be #600, counting New Avengers Vol 1. They should have renumbered so that Bendis’s run would have been a clean sweep of the 500’s, with #34 becoming Avengers Finale.

    Btw, Remender’s run on Secret Avengers is finishing up at some point, and it will be reNOWed with a new writer, but no news yet on who. And with a title like Final Execution, chances are Remender finishes his run on Uncanny X-Force with #35 or thereabouts. Probably leading to Mighty X-Force #1 in December. That’s complete speculation on my part, but if Avengers can be Uncanny, then an X-Team can be Mighty.

  4. I hate to say this, because I do like Bendis’ dialog – but I’m glad he’s finally leaving the Avengers.

    This recent tendency to stretch out four issue story arcs into multi-title crossover ‘events’ that go on for months… even years… is both costly & tiresome.

  5. I’m actually really looking forward to an Avengers book without Bendis on it. I’ve stayed away for the last few years because I really got tired of his drawn out arcs and convenient endings in the last issue of each arc.

    Also, I really hope Avengers Academy gets a Now! book. Lots of promise.

  6. The Spider-Man solicitation shows that the order of the names matters. Compare “The end of Spider-Man’s world begins when Doctor Octopus discovers who Peter Parker really is…” to “The end of Peter Parker’s world begins when Doctor Octopus discovers who Spider-Man really is. . .” or “The end of Superman’s world begins when Lex Luthor discovers who Clark Kent really is. . .” I’d have gone with “The end of Peter Parker’s world. . .” because Parker has a life without a costume on. The situation with Superman is cloudier.


  7. looking forward to some new blood taking over the avengers titles. love it or hate it, at least it’ll be someone new writing the stories. as for the x-men, considering they are clearly the villains of AVX (taking over the planet “for it’s own good” in the vein of doom, osborn, the skrulls, etc., condoning the genocide of worlds the phoenix force destroyed as it made its way to earth so there can be more mutants on the planet, locking up anyone that stands in their way, etc.), i’m not surprised that there will be a heavy price to pay. on the other hand i am surprised that marvel is taking this route. usually with stories like this, everybody ends up going to a neutral corner and end up carrying on with whatever minor (sometimes major) changes they made to characters and/or their status quo. with these events marvel is showing that the avengers are truly the top dogs of the MU. should be interesting to see what they do with the characters from avengers academy. my guess is that they’ll have them either fight or team up with (probably both) the young avengers.

  8. Gage was writing 2/3rds of the titles I’m buying from Marvel right now, and they’re axing both and giving the AA kids to someone else.


    *sigh* OK, then. Less money to Marvel, more money to Image and various indies.

  9. More illusion of change stuff, right, Steve? As in books ending, but probably starting again?

    I really feel Marvel’s missed a >huge< opportunity here, by not rebooting proper and just giving us these half-hearted alternatives instead. 'Creating proper issue 1s that are accessible to new readers off the back of the Avengers movie' versus 'the usual issue 1 relaunches aimed at existing readers off the back of AvX' = I think these NOW changes would've had more impact, if they'd gone with the former (which is just my fantasy of the direction Marvel should've taken :-)

  10. I think someone has said this before on this blog, or somewhere else on the internet, but the a line-wide reboot, according to some people, would not have the same effect as it would for DC because many of Marvel’s superhero readers are invested in the history that its characters have. From my own observation, partial retro-cons, Marvel’s current method of streamlining continuity, have been met with a lot more scorn than DC’s crises and recent line-wide reboot. DC can eliminate or ignore continuity because their characters are iconic, and so DC’ Comics superhero readers are less invested in the continuity of their characters.

    Marvel and DC are trying to do the same thing. No, they’re not trying to gain new readers outside of their target demographics but they are trying to anticipate how tje characters in their superhero comics will be interpreted by filmmakers and video game developers. If a movie or video game is being made, and has a good chance of being successful, they will publish comics that will reflect liberties taken by the filmmaker or video game developers.

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