Marvel finally got around to releasing their full solicitations for the books they plan to release in February of 2012 today. (You can read them here).
So, what's going on with Marvel's line? Well, as you've probably already heard, pretty much everyting is canceled, especially their last remaining book starring a female protagonist (Thunderbolts, X-Factor, Avengers Academy and Generation Hope are the only four so-far un-canceled ongoings currently charting lower than the presumably canceled X-23; as all four belong to either the huge line of Avengers or huge line of X-Men books, they all certainly fall into the category of Fat That Could Probably Be Cut).
Yes, everything is canceled except for Avengers collections. As you'll see if you head on over to Comic Book Resources and start skimming the solicitations, seemingly every single Avengers comic book ever published will be available in an expensive hardcover format come next spring.
What else is happening? Let's take a look...
John Tyler Christopher’s cover for Amazing Spider-Man #679.1 is kinda neat, but doesn’t really work for me. If it were black instead of sky-blue, that would work.
And by the way, #679.1…? Jesus.
AVENGERS: THE CROSSING OMNIBUS HC SCHERBERGER COVER
WRITTEN BY BOB HARRAS, TERRY KAVANAGH, BEN RAAB, DAN ABNETT & ANDY LANNING
PENCILED BY VARIOUS
COVERS BY PATRICK SCHERBERGER & MIKE DEODATO
One of the nineties' most notorious narratives! It was a day unlike any other, but in which timeline? Warriors from the future and secrets from the past abound when Kang the Conqueror appears to set the Avengers and Force Works against each other in a game for a prize no one can imagine! Starring Iron Man, War Machine, Crystal and Quicksilver, Hawkeye and the Black Widow, Hercules, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch, Dr. Doom, and more! Collecting AVENGERS (1963) #390-395, AVENGERS: THE CROSSING, AVENGERS: TIMESLIDE, IRON MAN (1968) #319-325, FORCE WORKS #16-22, WAR MACHINE (1994) #20-25 and AGE OF INNOCENCE: THE REBIRTH OF IRON MAN.
792 PGS./Rated T - $99.99
Oh my God. Oh my God. Is that really what the Avengers looked like in the ‘90s? Or are Marvel’s solicits just being sarcastic? Look at Iron Man’s arms, and Liefeld leg posing! Look at Thor! Look at Thor’s hair! Look at Thor’s hair!!!
Nineties Thor's hairstyle makes Nineties Aquaman's hairstyle look like a crew cut.
And man, I don't care how many hundreds of pages are in this thing, I can’t imagine anyone on earth paying $100 for it. There have gotta be back issue bins full of these books all over the country...
AVENGERS: KREE/SKRULL WAR HC
WRITTEN BY ROY THOMAS_PENCILED BY SAL BUSCEMA, NEAL ADAMS & JOHN BUSCEMA
COVER BY NEAL ADAMS
A conflict of star-spanning proportions -- with Earth caught in the crossfire! For those eternal intergalactic enemies, the merciless Kree and the shape-changing Skrulls, have gone to war, and our planet is situated on the front lines! Can Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers, bring about an end to the fighting before humanity becomes a casualty of war? And what good are even a dozen super-powered champions against the vast military machines of two of the great empires of the cosmos? The key to victory lies with the expatriate Kree Captain Mar-Vell and his human host, honorary Avenger Rick Jones! Featuring the trend-setting artwork of Neal Adams, the Kree/Skrull War is universally acknowledged as one of the finest and most important sagas in the Marvel canon. Collecting AVENGERS (1963) #89-97.
240 PGS./Rated T - $34.99
Grant Morrison really talked this one up in Supergods. I can't imagine that it would read the same in a $35 oversized hardcover collection in the year 2011, but young Morrison was apparently really quite affected by it.
Come on now, Marvel; how are we supposed to make fun of your covers if the covers already make fun of themselves this thoroughly? There's nothing I could add that would be any more gratuitous than Ed McGuinness drawing a picture of The Red Hulk raping Cable for some reason.
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #4
ZEB WELLS (W)
GREG LAND (A/C)
Greg Land (Uncanny X-Men) and Hawkeye (Avengers) drop in on the biggest new title of the year!
• Two stars of next summer's biggest films, together.
32 PGS./Rated T+ - $3.99
*COVERS WILL BE POLYBAGGED
What, just the covers…?
MATT FRACTION (W)
TERRY DODSON (A/C)
• Deep inside Wundagore Mountain, the Concordance Engine comes to life, and the Defenders' mission snaps into crystal-clear focus.
• What does this miraculous machine do? What happens if it DOESN'T do its job? And how many more are there around the world?
• The team gains a secret member and discovers a conspiracy ten-thousand years in the making.
32 PGS./Rated T+ - $3.99
Sooooooo Marvel is going to go ahead and charge $4 for a 22- or possibly even 20-page Defenders comic?
Why don't they save themselves some trouble and go ahead and cancel it now?
FEAR ITSELF: DEADPOOL/ FEARSOME FOUR PREMIERE HC
WRITTEN BY CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS & BRANDON MONTCLARE
PENCILED BY BONG DAZO, MICHAEL KALUTA, RYAN BODENHEIM, SIMON BISLEY, HENRY FLINT & TIMOTHY GREEN II
COVER BY RYAN STEGMAN
As the Marvel Universe is wracked with FEAR ITSELF, only Deadpool sees it for what it truly is: a way to make money. Has Deadpool really been chosen as one of the Worthy, granted one of the Serpent's Hammers? Or did he just take any old hammer and go to town with some rhinestones? Either way, when Deadpool hits the street with his shiny new mallet it's -- STOP! Hammer time. Plus: Do you fear- your protectors turning on you? Man-Thing has gone mad as fear consumes the world, and Manhattan will burn. The only heroes that seek to stop him have given into fear themselves, and no one is safe! Experience FEAR ITSELF through the eyes of fallen heroes Howard the Duck, Nighthawk, Frankenstein and She-Hulk! Collecting FEAR ITSELF: DEADPOOL #1-3 and FEAR ITSELF: FEARSOME FOUR #1-4.
168 PGS./Rated T+ -$24.99
Aw, I was kinda interested in the Fear Itself: Fearsome Four trade, but am completely uninterested in the FI: Deadpool trade. And now it seems they’ve gone and up ‘em between the same set of covers? Lame. (Speaking of covers, is that the cover of the collection? Because it leaves out the “Fearsome Four” part. Maybe it’s a flip-book trade…?
NEW AVENGERS BY BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS VOL. 2 TPB
WRITTEN BY BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
PENCILED BY STUART IMMONEN, DANIEL ACUNA, MIKE DEODATO & HOWARD CHAYKIN_COVER BY STUART IMMONEN
The year is 1959. Under presidential orders, Nick Fury assembles the first Avengers: Victor Creed. Namora. Kraven the Hunter. Dominic Fortune. Silver Sable. Ulysses Bloodstone. Their mission? Stop the rise of the Red Skull's Fourth Reich -- or die trying. In the present day, Luke Cage's New Avengers are settling in to life at Avengers Mansion. But as the team begins to gel, Norman Osborn's HAMMER is secretly rebuilding. Stopping these bad guys will test the New Avengers with death and betrayal -- and bring a startling revelation regarding Nick Fury and his 1959 Avengers Initiative. Collecting NEW AVENGERS (2010) #7-13.
168 PGS./Rated A - $19.99
Wait, is this New Avengers Vol. 1 Vol. 2 or New Avengers Vol.2 Vol. 2…?
I think I liked the old Scarlet Spider costume better. Not the hoodie half-shirt, but the spandex suit under the hodie half-shirt. If you'd like to see how artist Ryan Stegman arrived at this design, Comics Alliance has a post exploring his sketches of various Scarlet Spidey costumes.
We’ve seen Ape Beast, Blue Wolverine With Bi-Focals Beast, Cat Beast and Horse Beast, but I believe this cover to Secret Avengers #22 by Arthur Adams is the first time we’ve seen Baboon Beast.
He scares me.
THE TWELVE #9 (OF 12)
J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI (W) CHRIS WESTON (A)_COVER BY PAOLO RIVERA
• THE TIME-STRANDED HEROES OF WORLD WAR II ARE BACK!
• ONE MEMBER OF THE TWELVE WILL FALL!
• WHO'S BEHIND THE MYTERIOUS KILLINGS? THE ANSWER IS ELECTRIFYING!
32 PGS./Rated T+ - $2.99
Right, like I still remember/care what was happening in this 12-part murder mystery starring the publisher’s most obscure characters that Marvel launched in early 2008 and then just quit publishing all-of-a-sudden about three years ago.
UNCANNY X-FORCE VOL. 2: DEATHLOK NATION TPB
WRITTEN BY RICK REMENDER
PENCILED BY ESAD RIBIC & RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
COVER BY ESAD RIBIC
There are innumerable and varying potential futures awaiting mankind. Among them exists only one constant: the rise of the Deathloks! Seeded in our present they grow, spreading across all possibilities, infiltrating the fate of mankind. One thing stands in their way: a man who shouldn't exist. They come in waves, an army of time-displaced Deathlok troopers forged from Earth's greatest warriors -- Captain America, Spider-Man, Elektra, Cyclops, Venom, the Thing, Bullseye -- all soldiers in the army of Deathlok. All operating under one directive: Fantomex must die! Collecting UNCANNY X-FORCE #5-7 & #5.1.
112 PGS./Parental Advisory - $15.99
Is this good? I liked the first volume quite a bit, but I see the artists have changed. Ribic’s name is familiar, but while it rings a bell I can’t conjure any visual memories of his art. Albuquerque’s pretty great, though.
I think I may have gotten my fill of Deathloks in that Wolverine: Weapon X trade.
RICK REMENDER (W)
TONY MOORE (A)
COVER BY STEFANO CASELLI...
• PART ONE OF A SIX PART EVENT!
40 PGS./Rated T+ - $3.99
VENOM #13.1 - #13.4
ISSUE #13.1 - LEE GARBETT (A)
ISSUE #13.2 - SANA TAKEDA (A)
• Hell is spreading across the Earth from out of Las Vegas.
• Ghost Rider is responsible but what price is she willing to pay to save mankind?!
• X-23, Venom & Hulk must defeat their worst enemies, buying Ghost Rider time to stop hell's march across the globe!
• As a clone, X-23 has often wondered if she has a soul. This is where she gets her answer!
• Who is Ichor and why has he targeted Venom for Death?!
32 PGS. (each) /Rated T+ - $2.99 (each)
SSUE #13.3 - JULIAN TOTINO (A)
ISSUE #13.4 - LAN MEDINA (A)
What the hell…? What does Marvel have against whole numbers all of a sudden, and why do they love decimals so damn much?
WINTER SOLDIER #1
ED BRUBAKER (W)
BUTCH GUICE (A)
COVER BY LEE BERMEJO
• Winter Soldier and Black Widow are the super-spies of the Marvel U!
• Ex-Russian Sleeper Agents awaken, but under who's control?
• Is that Dr. Doom? Uh oh._32 PGS./Rated T+ - $2.99
Wait, I thought Bucky died again in Fear Itself…? Or is this series set in the past…?
Wow, that’s quite a cover on Wolverine and The X-Men #6…