At C2E2 2017, Marvel and DC previewed their upcoming titles.
Marvel discussed plans for the X-Men and Inhumans in a RessurXion panel, and went into their upcoming Marvel Legacy series in another. In the aftermath of their Inhumans vs X-Men storyline, there will be several X-Men titles going forward. There will be three “main” X-Men titles: X-Men Blue, X-Men Gold, and The Astonishing X-Men. Each of these teams will have their own “Wolverine,” whether it’s Old Man Logan, Laura Kinney, or Jimmy Hudson. On top of this, Generation X will return, and there will be additional series for Jean Grey, Cable, Iceman, and the original Wolverine (Weapon X).
Marvel’s Inhumans lines are also shaken up, with the Inhuman Royal Family heading to space in The Royals and a new team of heroes made up of Quake, Ms. Marvel, Karnak, Inferno, and Moon Girl (with Devil Dinosaur, of course) starring in Secret Warriors. Black Bolt will get a solo series.
In addition to the X-Men and Inhumans, many of Marvel’s characters have been through major alterations. Although not everything has been announced, several classic heroes will return in Generations and Legacy. Generations will team up new versions of heroes with their classic counterparts, while Legacy will bring at least one of them back for good and re-align the Marvel timeline with previous titles. Marvel also promises to bring back some classic Marvel mainstays for Legacy: Value Stamps and FOOM Magazine.
DC, meanwhile, has decided to take a different route and introduce brand-new characters and series. After stating that “TV and movies are doing comics better than us,” DC co-publisher Dan DiDio committed to bringing lapsed readers back into the fold along with new ones by “[showing] them how it’s done.”
DC built creative teams that combine long-standing giants like Jim Lee, Adam Kubert, and John Romita, Jr. with newer names like Scott Snyder and Kenneth Rocafort. The result is a line of comics going under the banner of Dark Matter, which builds from two DC events this summer. These stories, Dark Days and Dark Nights, will include established characters like Batman and Superman.
Dark Matter will start in September with The Silencer, by Dan Abnett and John Romita, Jr., and Sideways, by Dan DiDio, Justin Jordan, and Kenneth Rocafort. In October, The Immortal Men, by James Tynion IV and Jim Lee, and Damage, by Robert Venditti and Tony S. Daniel, will launch. Finally, in December, Scott Snyder and Andy Kubert’s New Challengers will begin.
DC also announced that these titles will all start at $2.99 per issue and will not feature things like variant covers. DiDio stated his love of classic covers and belief that a single iconic cover is better than several collectible, but forgettable, ones.
It’s interesting to see two industry titans take very different approaches to deal with the shrinking comic book market. While Marvel has chosen more complex stories in order to hold reader interest, DC has chosen to simplify their lines in an attempt to broaden their audience. It will be interesting to see the results.
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