The Watchmen and Dark Knight films have ushered a darker, grittier super hero into our pop consciousness but it looks like Marvel is heading the opposite direction with their comics line.
For months now they’ve been hinting at a brighter, shinier future for their core superhero universe and with the solicitation of May’s Heroic Age branding Marvel has given us a first look at their plans for a post-Siege event
Currently Marvel produces four Avengers books (New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Mighty Avengers, and Avengers: The Initiative) which will all be canceled in lieu of a new core series — simply titled Avengers written by Brian Michael Bendis.
Bendis exclaimed in the story, “The ‘brand new day’ of the Heroic Age presents a tonal shift to optimism, a world filled with hope but quite hellish villains.”
Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada also noted that in the new branding for the Marvel line “heroes will be heroes again” featuring “a throwback to the early days of the Marvel Universe, with more of a swashbuckling feel.”
The announcement represents a major shift in the tone of the publisher’s stories, which have seen huge sales over the past several years for plot lines exploring the darker side of capes and tights following the highly publicized Civil War event to the recent Dark Reign status quo.
The relaunched Avengers monthly title will also start with a new #1 issue rather than pick up the original series numbering which Bendis himself helped end in 2004. No artist or full Avengers lineup was revealed for the book, however we do know it will feature Marvel’s “big three” of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. (Any coincidence they all have movies coming out in the next 3 years?) So far, mums the word on story specifics but I do find it interesting that Marvel promises a “reborn” Captain America, while featuring promotional art by Jim Cheung with Bucky Barnes wearing the Red, White, and Blue rather than the recently revived Steve Rogers. The image also features Clint Barton in his old Hawkeye costume.
DC Entertainment recently announced a similar move for their comic universe with Brightest Day set to begin in April 2010. [Read: What Happens After Blackest Night? ‘Brightest Day’] Everything seems to go in cycles and now it seems we’re headed back to the “brighter hero” cycle.
I’m not entirely thrilled with this new Heroic Age branding but I do like the consolidation of the Avengers books (4 is way too many) and I would read Dora The Explorer if Bendis was writing it, so I will be picking up the new book.
[Source: USA Today]