Marvel’s Heroic Age — “They’re back to being good guys.”

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USA Today and Marvel announce the new Heroic Age era, or event, or change of direction, or Magic Kingdom-ing or whatever:

“Heroes will be heroes again,” says Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada. “They’ve gone through hell and they’re back to being good guys — a throwback to the early days of the Marvel Universe, with more of a swashbuckling feel.”

The change begins with a relaunch of Avengers #1, which will reunite Iron Man, a reborn Captain America and Thor as comrades rather than foes.


Despite the timing of this and Marvel’s focus on women, Quesada says that this is NOT a Disneyfication of Marvel’s gritty, edgy characters:

Quesada says that Marvel’s return to “good guys” was in the works for two years, was finalized eight months ago and that the Disney takeover had no role.

“There is no sanitizing of the Marvel books at all,” he says, promising stories will remain “edgy” and contemporary. “Our philosophy here is to just keep telling good stories.”


Given Marvel’s long range planning, it does seem plausible that it’s just fantastic timing for a return to the basics.

Looking at the above graphic (click for a larger version) it does seem to be a return to the Licensing Era of Marvel when Iron Man was a good guy and Cap was alive. Look at it this way: With order restored, the cycle of destruction and change can begin anew!

Comments

  1. Mike T says:

    Hey, Ken Hale’s with the big boys (and Black Widow)! Now if we could get another Agents series going…

  2. SSSaternye says:

    I’ve read Marvel since the 60’s, but between Norman Osborn getting away with (mass) murder and Mephistos reconning Peter and MJ’s marriage, I doubt I’ve bought more than 5 Marvel comics in all of last year. The Heroic Age is a bit too late for me, I’m afraid.

  3. And it’s about time! :)

  4. What’s up with Captain America’s costume? Is he supposed to be wearing black pants?

  5. That’s the Alex Ross-designed shiny Cap costume that the character has been wearing for a couple of years, now.

    //Oo/\

  6. …which would, I assume, mean that that’s Bucky Cap, not Steve Rogers.

  7. Al™ says:

    And it shows every speck of dirt, abrasion, and fingerprint. It crinkles when he runs, and pulls on his arm hairs. When he is in the sun, people shield their eyes from the reflections off his suit. Ah, the price of ultra realism!

  8. Ah… the gorilla is an Agent of Atlas?

    The poster doesn’t have any dynamism. The title is blah (why the sparkles?) and the design seems a bit unbalanced.

    I’ll be reading the relaunch of Marvel Adventures (two titles with lots of comics goodness), and probably keep this in my peripheral vision.

    Hey… does this mean the Good Guys win in Siege? Guess that’s another series I won’t have to read.

  9. That’s the Alex Ross-designed shiny Cap costume that the character has been wearing for a couple of years, now.

    So it’s not actually Captain America, then, it’s still Bucky?

    And why’s his costume so shiny anyway? Is it coated in mylar or something?

  10. So Clint Barton’s not going to be Ronin anymore. He’ll be Hawkeye again? I hope Ronin comes back as a resurrected Vision with mad ninja skills…

    The image reminds me of an old Neal Adams picture featuring the DC heroes just standing in a similar manner. I think it was Carmine Infantino who showed it to Jack Kirby, and Kirby said (basically) it looks nice but it’s non-dynamic and boring. I love Jim Cheung’s work, but these look like separate figure portraits P-shop’d together.

  11. Kate Fitzsimons says:

    Ah, the dance of renewal and destruction. Someone needs to photoshop Mickey’s head onto Shiva.

  12. “I love Jim Cheung’s work, but these look like separate figure portraits P-shop’d together.”

    Particularly Black Widow and Spider-Man. I realize they are all standing on and in front of “whiteness” but Spider-Man’s feet don’t seem to be touching anything. He looks to be mid-jump. Black Widow is be leaning against something because of her pose and how little support she is getting from one foot, except that she is leaning sort of in front of The Thing and doesn’t seem to be touching him. Awkward.

  13. Jim Engel says:

    I’m not sure Joe Q. would KNOW a “Good Guy” if it radioactively bit him…

  14. Otis T says:

    Hmmm…. I guess when DD & Co. started talking about heading back toward the light, Marvel sensed which way the wind was blowing and had to jump quick. (oh, wait, it was in the works for YEARS! yeah right!)

    Where was the coverage of Brightest Day in USA Today?

  15. Dreamer says:

    oh my class.. how is bendis going to write so many women characters in a team? *rolleyes

  16. “Despite the timing of this and Marvel’s focus on women, Quesada says that this is NOT a Disneyfication of Marvel’s gritty, edgy characters.”

    Gritty, edgy characters? Sorry … drama is one thing … but gritty and edgy don’t cut it the moment they don the spandex costumes.

  17. Go go Gorilla Man! You hit the bigs!

  18. Cool— regular-sized, Adult versions of the MARVEL Squaddies!!!

  19. Where was the coverage of Brightest Day in USA Today?

    With the exception of getting USA Today to carry the first installment of the Wednesday Comics Superman strip, Marvel has been much better than DC at getting their stories covered in mainstream press. Somebody in Marvel’s PR department knows what they’re doing.

    I guess when DD & Co. started talking about heading back toward the light, Marvel sensed which way the wind was blowing and had to jump quick.

    FWIW, Marvel has been advertising The Heroic Age since the retailer summit back in October. This isn’t a startling new development.

  20. Caged Wisdom says:

    So does this mean Stuart Immonen will be out of another job because Marvel has the attention span of a tween on meth? I love the man’s work, was pissed that they cancelled Ultimate Spider-man out from under him but consoled that he’d be doing New Avengers – what happens now?

  21. “Somebody in Marvel’s PR department knows what they’re doing.”

    Yes, they do.

    Too bad the same can’t be said for Marvel’s editiorial department. Then, you’d have excellent PR for excellent books instead of excellent PR for garbage.

    Guess the editorial department is busy counting all those DC covers littering Brevoort’s desk.

    BTW, when did Avengers become Marvel’s greatest francise? I thought that title belonged to X-Men, or better yet, Spiderman. Well, it did for twenty years before Joe Quesada came along and before DC’s Green Lantern slapped the shit out of them on the top ten charts.

  22. Synsidar says:

    BTW, when did Avengers become Marvel’s greatest francise?

    The Avengers titles have had that status for several years now, mainly because of the sales success of Bendis’s NEW AVENGERS and his other Avengers series.

    Historically (’70s– ), AVENGERS has been a mainstay in the Marvel heroes line because of the large number of heroes and villains featured in the series, and storylines considered classics. From ’87 to ’91, there were three Avengers titles: AVENGERS, AVENGERS WEST COAST, and SOLO AVENGERS/AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT. There are several Web sites dedicated to the Avengers series.

    SRS

  23. Brett says:

    That I know, because during that time I was buying Avengers and WC Avengers. They were great sellers but no one ever would have said Avengers was Marvel’s greatest francise, that was a title held by either X-Men or Spider-Man before the Quesada decade.

  24. Yeah, it’s clearly just a bunch of figures photoshopped together. It looks like a mediocre wallpaper. Oh well, I’m just glad Hawkeye looks to be back….

  25. as said above, “it’s about friggin’ time” (ok so i added the “friggin’). this grim and gritty direction of the last seven has lasted seven years too long. grim and gritty works well in books like deadpool, punisher, wolverine, cable, and i guess since the ’80’s, daredevil,to name a few, but to blanket the entire marvel U with these kind of stories, ugh. now i know that there are those that don’t want to see the dark days of the marvel U end, but i’m looking forward to this new (old) direction. hopefully along with the “edge” in the stories will also come a sense of fun that has been missing from marvel books for a long, long time, but i guess we’ll have to see how the writers and editors handle this next wave of relaunches.

  26. ONE female character?

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