Robot 6

The Fifth Color | Forward into the past with Marvel solicitations for January 2012

Marvel Teaser - It's Coming

Oh Phoenix Force, we know you...

As most of you CBRians know, Marvel’s solicitations for January 2012 came out last Friday, so our look forward into the past is a little delayed. On the bright side, the first of 2012’s books seem like something that deserve a few more days reflection. After all, 2012 is the year it all comes together! You guys, there’s going to be an Avengers movie. A real, live action, big budget, A-list star Avengers movie! All Marvel’s rather crazy Hollywood ideas are paying off next summer and, with a little hard work, the House of Ideas could come to a beautiful fruition.

So while our celebratory May month is still off in the distance, the recently hung Chrismas decorations let me know that January is just around the corner. Can we get an idea of what next year will look like, through the first books to roll out at the start of the year? Let’s just read along and find out, shall we?

Alright, I’ve got some good news and bad news, and I’ll be honest: “brave” and “bold” are not words I’d use to describe January’s line-up. The Avengers, while obviously the focus of mainstream media in this blockbuster year, should be giving us something different. They should be at least “Road-to-Wrestlemania”-ing their way to the big movie.   By reading books now, we should get a sense of build-up to what May will be like. We had a bajillion Thor comics last year as we got close to the Thor film, showing different aspects of the God of Thunder; Captain America spread his patriotic heroism throughout several one-shots, miniseries and collections well before July, so that by the movie’s debut, there would be a plethora of material for movie-goers to feast upon. So far, January is starting out pretty slow. Yeah, you’ve got your Secrets, your Academies, your New, and Adjectiveless … there are plenty of types of Avengers out there, but what are they all doing?

For example, Avengers Annual #1 brings back the Revengers, returning to let the reader debate whether or not being a strong force in the world makes you a target.  The same idea seems to apply to X-Sanction, albeit with a different creative team and Cable. In Avengers #21, the team battles “the combined forces of Hydra, AIM, the Hand and H.A.M.M.E.R. under the leadership of Norman Osborne.”

Since Disassembled, the message is clear: DO NOT BE AN AVENGER. It’s all conjecture at this point, but January starts with the target squarely on the Avenger’s head rather than leading to a major threat or event (we’ll get to the Phoenix in a moment). They seem to be less “Avenging” and more “Defending,” but that’s a whole different book. If anything, it looks like the same holding pattern we’ve seen before, through seasonal restarts.

More of the X-Men will be inching their way toward box office gold as Cable will return from the grave to annihilate Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Wakandan queen Storm will be joining the Avengers and our pal, the Scarlet Witch, will finally be returning to mainstream continuity with an official game change across both teams. You know, you got your people will live, people will die, nothing will ever be the blah blah blah. Considering the big IT’S COMING teaser shot shown at recent conventions, let’s figure that if the Avengers or X-Men are going to fight something huge in that yearly big event kind of way, it’s coming from the cosmic entity known as the Pheonix Force, and Hope and Wanda are probably involved.

The rest of the X-Men have forgone ramping up for a big change and are instead hauling out the past to settle the Regenesis in a little bit. Remember, just in the month of January, the Phalanx return in an Uncanny X-Men one-shot, the Jean Grey School of Empty Graves will be in full swing in Wolverine & the X-Men, there will be a preview of the new Age of Apocalypse book in Uncanny X-Force, goddammit the Magneto clone Joseph is returning in the Magneto: Not a Hero mini-series, Exodus (really?) will show up in X-Men: Legacy, Havok and Polaris come back to X-Factor and oh yeah, the big looming threat is the Phoenix force.

Story continues below

It’s a lot of old ideas. Again, three months from now, maybe we’ll be hankering for a little slice of the ’90s (Joseph? Really??) but looking forward, I can’t say I can see a brave or bold future on the horizon. In fact, right now my big horizon line is May, not January, so maybe my eyesight’s gone a little funny.

With all the recent changes of the current year and the fallout still left to come, perhaps it’s better that we linger with the toys we have rather than throw them out in anticipation of what’s to come. I know that the Fearless and Battle Scars books will be handling their fair share of Fear Itself fallout and maybe, as much as the X-Men have restructured themselves again, we might want to go back to our roots and see how they fit in with our swanky new teams.

It can’t always be all new and all different. Sometimes, we still have pieces to pick up, ideas to finish, characters to haul out of storage and dust off a little and see if they still work. January seems entrenched in our past as a foundation for all that’s to come in the year and, while certainly not glitzy or glamorous, might be what we need.

Take a look through the solicitations (again) and share your thoughts. Excelsior!



“the Jean Grey School of Empty Graves” > Well done.

Considering that Jean’s only died twice and has not come back from the second death yet, I’ve never understood why she’s the poster child of resurrection being too rampant in comics, especially considering that the whole point of a Phoenix is to COME BACK FROM THE DEAD

Whatever’s “coming” may just have the power to cancel out the effects of the Schism.

Shouldn’t we be glad they aren’t suffocating us with a plethora of movie related crap? The Avengers franchise is fine as it is (Unless of course you’re anti-Bendis). Isn’t it enough to let the movie be the movie and the comics be comics. All I want is the writers and Artists telling us the stories that they want to tell, not barraging us with inter-textual media.

Can I just say that I am ABSOLUTELY tired of Phoenix this, Phoenix that? You know what I want to happen in 2012? I want Jean Grey to return, and this time, NO MORE PHOENIX FORCE. I want an embargo put on using the Phoenix Force in comics, one in place for who knows how many years. I want her to come back, and STAY alive. And I want the Scarlet Witch to be a hero again, no more breakdowns, no more nutjob, just the heroic Scarlet Witch. THIS is why I despise most modern comics.

When I read the original line, my mind immediately shot to “Since Disassembled, the message is clear: DO NOT READ AVENGERS.” :)

Steven R. Stahl

October 30, 2011 at 7:42 am

And I want the Scarlet Witch to be a hero again, no more breakdowns, no more nutjob, just the heroic Scarlet Witch.

Well, if you’ve been reading AVENGERS: CHILDREN’S CRUSADE, in #7 it was asserted that Wanda’s breakdown and new abilities were due to having the Life Force in her body. There are a lot of logical problems with that, but they’re less serious, perhaps, than the logical problems that led to Bendis’s original storyline. Heinberg’s storyline eliminates the basis for Bendis’s (the claim that her power progressively drove her insane is invalid), and the basis for his own version of the twins, since his version depended on Wanda being insane when she conceived them.

A reader could justifiably claim that everything which has happened in the Marvel Universe from “Avengers Disassembled” on is only illusory.


Children’s Crusade is one of the worst series I have ever read. I will be dropping any book with the Scarlet Witch in it as well as the Young Avengers. It is a joke that certain characters are getting total passes for their actions. How many mutants died because of the Scarlet Witch taking away their mutant powers? But it is okay, cause now she can give Rictor back his powers. All is forgiven.

Well said. I’ve only been back into superhero comics for a year and a half and I’m already burned out on events. I got back in during the Heroic Age and now I look back and think “What the hell was the Heroic Age?” I like the idea of all these events but holy moley all the character development that’s supposed to happen in the aftershocks just gets brushed aside to make room for the next big event that’s gonna change everything. Repeat ad nauseam. Fear Itself wasn’t even over when Schism hit! How insane is that? I just want to read some Uncanny X-Men, not Uncanny X-Men event tie-ins. But I haven’t had that opportunity in months. What did the X-Men even get out of Fear Itself? Some stuff happened with Colossus but did it ever really get resolved? And I’m not blaming Kieron Gillen, I actually feel bad that he’s been stuck between all of these events since he came onto Uncanny.

Thankfully Uncanny X-Force is in its own little corner ignored by all these events. The Dark Angel Saga has felt so grand and epic and fun and dark and there’s no tie-ins, the effects aren’t rippling out into the broader universe (just yet…?).

Leave a Comment


Browse the Robot 6 Archives