Can you believe it’s almost time for San Diego Comic Con again? I certainly can’t. Seems like mere days ago that I was getting excited for the comic book announcements from the 2016 show, and now it’s time to do the same thing again!
What’s that? You didn’t know they still made comic announcements at SDCC? Well, they do! While they can sometimes get lost in the sea of trailers, San Diego is still the biggest venue of the year for comic books, and publishers always try to bring their biggest announcements to impress fans with next year's projects. Which also means it’s fun to guess at what they might be bringing to the table!
We’re starting our speculation with Marvel, the self-proclaimed House of Ideas. Many of my guesses from last year proved to be true (though not all were announced at SDCC), with new series for Elektra, Cable and a push for the X-Men line all having come true since last July. Still waiting on that S.H.I.E.L.D. and Blade news, though!
Despite not getting all of my wishes, this year I have five completely new announcements I’m hoping to hear from Marvel at San Diego. Marvel is at a very different place than they were a year ago, and hopefully some big bombshells will help to turn things around after a rough few months for the industry’s biggest publisher. Read on for my hopes, and then let us know what you want from Marvel at SDCC in the comments below!
1. WHAT IS LEGACY ACTUALLY ABOUT?
The reaction to Marvel’s big unveiling of their “Legacy” initiative was lukewarm at best. Fans weren’t satisfied with clever variant covers and confusing numbering schemes, and were hoping for something of more substance. Marvel can fix that by giving a more coherent explanation of the initiative at the show, telling fans if someone (or four someones, hint, hint) is returning to the Marvel Universe, if there is a driving theme or plot to it, and what will be different inside the books, not just on the covers. There are a handful of Legacy books I may take a look at, but as of now, it largely looks like the same series by the same people, and I need Marvel to give me something different. Whether that’s announcing new books, new creative teams or revolutionary new storylines, Marvel needs to give fans something about Legacy to get excited about.
2. WHEN IS THE RETURN OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR?
This is what fans have been begging for more than anything else from Marvel for the last couple of years, ever since the first family of the Marvel Universe disappeared following 2015’s Secret Wars. The Fantastic Four are the foundation of the MU in a lot of ways, and to have a line-wide initiative celebrating the company’s legacy without them would be a crime too heinous to imagine. The time is right, and the demand for the team has never been higher, so Marvel would be foolish not to capitalize on that and get back some much-needed goodwill. Assuming we can’t get Jonathan Hickman back, my personal pick to take the writing reins of the Fantastic Four series would be Dan Slott, who has proven he can handle the heart and cosmic craziness of the title in his acclaimed runs on Thing and Silver Surfer. I’d love it if he brought his current Amazing Spider-Man collaborator Stuart Immonen with him, but I’d also enjoy seeing Chris Samnee, Wilfredo Torres or Evan Shaner on the title.
We’ve never needed the Fantastic Four—a team that celebrates family, science, exploration and imagination—more than we do right now, and Marvel would be crazy not to bring back one of the most important franchises in their catalog. We’re getting Ben and Johnny in Marvel Two-In One, but can the full family be far behind?
3. WHERE ARE THE REST OF THE RUNAWAYS?
We recently learned that fan-favorite teen team the Runaways will be given a new series this fall, after a long time away. Writer Rainbow Rowell and artist Kris Anka promised a reunion of original members Chase, Molly, Karolina and Nico, as well as the return of Gert, but what about the rest of the team? There are several members that are currently missing that would make great additions to the team, or antagonists for them. Xavin and Klara have been missing for a long time, Victor Mancha was last seen in rough shape in his “brother” the Vision’s book, and Alex was the villain for the last arc of Power Man and Iron Fist. These characters all could use some attention too, and it would be great to hear something from Marvel about whether they will be appearing in the new series as well.
4. WHO IS ON THE NEW MOON KNIGHT SERIES?
One of the “new” books announced as part of Marvel Legacy was a new volume of Moon Knight. The most recent series concluded in May, and the latest in a line of series by name creators. Rick Remender, Brian Bendis, Warren Ellis, Brian Wood, Cullen Bunn and Jeff Lemire have all written the series in recent years, while David Finch, Alex Maleev, Jerome Opeña, Declan Shalvey, Francesco Francavilla and Greg Smallwood have drawn it, among others. So the precedent is set for the character to get only the best of the best, but who will it be this time? I’d love to see someone new to Marvel like Donny Cates take a stab at the series, though someone who has a proven record on street-level stuff, like Charles Soule, would be good as well. And the artist could be anyone depending on the tone of the book, but what if it's legendary Moon Knight artist Bill Sienkiewicz, who illustrated the cover? The possibilities here are exciting, and I’m hoping the streak of quality for the character continues.
5. WHAT’S NEXT FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA?
The star-spangled sentinel of liberty has had a rough year, becoming the biggest villain in the Marvel Universe during Secret Empire. But how will Marvel rehabilitate Captain America? How does a position once revered and respected come back from being taken over by the forces of fascism and oppression? It could be a long road ahead for Steve Rogers to regain the lofty spot he once held in the Marvel Universe, but that tale of redemption could prove just as interesting—if not more so—than his fall from grace. But it’s going to take a lot of work for the creative team involved, and will take a careful touch so as to not damage the Captain America franchise any further. Sam Wilson is returning to his roots as the Falcon with one of the creative minds behind The Boondocks at the helm, so hopefully Steve Rogers gets the same kind of creative-but-out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to his next series.