UPDATE: The full story is up now with lots of quotes and official information.
The other shoe has finally dropped at Marvel, where talk of a reboot or relaunch has been circulating for a while—it’s more a soft relaunch and retitling of a number of key titles than a reboot. Probably because Marvel fans just wouldn’t allow it. Details are dropped in EW’s Hobbit-covered Comic-Con Preview issue, which presumably has a few copies floating around the office.
The relaunch will run from October to February, starting in October with UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 by Rick Remender and John Cassaday, making the latter’s return to regular comics penciling. New titles will roll out every week, with the new titles featuring new costumes, new backstories, and so on. According to MTV Geek, which has the most confident version of events.
That’s a minimum of about 20+ new titles. There will be both relaunches of existing titles and the return of old favorites we haven’t seen in a good long while. Some characters will get new costumes, weapons and identities, and even the covers themselves will get a design makeover. The key words here are “shake-up,” “change” and “new” — but don’t call it a “reboot.” Marvel insists that this is not an abandoning of their rich past — but rather making it more accessible to as many readers as possible.
So far titles mentioned include:
Uncanny Avengers #1 (October)
by Rick Remender & John Cassaday
From the “ashes” of “Avengers VS X-Men” the two teams come together for the first time to fight a new deadly foe — the Red Skull, who wants to “x-out” the mutant race! Expect Captain America and Wolverine to be members, as well as a few “wild card” surprises!
All New X-Men #1 (November)
by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen
Everything old is new again…after the original five X-Men suddenly reappear in the present! How do they get to the current time-period? What do they think about the events of Avengers VS X-Men? All I know is — this definitely means the return of Jean Grey!
Avengers #1 (December)
by Jonathan Hickman & Jerome Opena
Details are sketchy so far on this relaunch, other than that the team lineup promises to be waaay different, and their focus will be more on threats to the universe, rather than just Earth. Can we expect some Thanos action here?
And so to answer Steve Morris’s anxious question, this is ACTUALLY Jean Grey. A young, innocent teenaged Jean Grey.
The above image has been scanned from an image and been floating around on Tumblr and so on. As you can see people have new/old costumes. The Hulk looks like the barbarians Hulk. The Invisible Girl is a John Byrne Throwback. Spidey looks like…Spidey. And Nick Fury has been retconned to the Samuel L. Jackson version.
Observation: While we’ve all known this was coming soon, one would imagine it has to have left many execs at Marvel breathing a sigh of relief. With everyone’s job on the chopping block due to owner Isaac Perlmutter’s insistence on huge margins, having a “New 52″ style relaunch in the back pocket had to be seen as a Hail Mary pass.
More details to come soon, we’re sure.