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Last year DC Comics introduced their New 52 which relaunched all their titles with new #1 issues all in one month. After Avengers vs. X-Men, Marvel Comics followed suit with Marvel Now! releasing their titles with new #1 issues over a five month period ending March 2013. Avengers vs. X-Men wraps up nine years of stories beginning with Avengers: Disassembled and bringing both the House of M and Messiah CompleX to a close. Marvel Now! will kick off the next decade of stories. Unlike DC Comics The New 52, Marvel NOW! builds on previously established continuity to serve both existing and potential new readers. Some of the changes include team rosters, costumes, and increasing shipping schedules. This bi-weekly Avengers title by Jonathan Hickman in December, All-New X-Men by Brain Michael Bendis in November, and Uncanny Avengers by Rick Remender which includes members from both the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. The Uncanny Avengers is the direct response of Avengers vs. XMen bringing some heavy mutant hitters to the team including Cyclops, Cable, and Wolverine. However the majority of these titles have been a jumping-off point rather than a jumping-on point. The first event of the Marvel Now! is Age of Ultron which seems to be more art than story. Ultimately Ultron will be defeated by the Marvel heroes however its writer Brian Michael Bendis teases a surprise at the end. It may be better to just wait for the surprise rather than investing in the event to occur. Marvel publishes original graphic novels called Season One following DC Comics success with Superman: Earth One. Marvel also reprints their graphic novels from the 80s including Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky. Imitation is a form of flattery however Marvel Comics which was recently purchased by Disney is taking less risk by following their competitor DC Comics.

Story arcs have been condensing to fit trade paperbacks. The trade paperbacks have been beginning to collect five issues instead of the classic six so you have less issues for the same price. Titles with a print run of 20K are in danger of being cancelled. Generation Hope was cancelled at issue 17. Kerion Gillen left the book at issue 12 where it sold less than 20K. 5 issues later the book is cancelled prior to the Avengers vs. X-Men event. Marvel Comics is creating lead-ins to their main events. Avengers: X-Sanction led into Avengers vs. X-Men similar to Prelude to Schism lead to X-Men: Schism. Crossovers are also a trend as they attempt to raise the profiles of other titles like the mini event between Avenging Spider-Man, Daredevil, and the Punisher. Over what it really boils down too are story and the characters. Two of the best titles of Marvel Now! are Superior Spider-Man and All-New X-Men as they push the titles forward rather than rehashing past dangers and situations. Established long-standing characters are a challenge as they risking the established fan base if the story and characters are not properly told.

Ultimate Universe
Following the Death of Spider-Man, the new Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales takes hold of the Ultimate Universe as mutants are revealed to be created by the government.


The current Avengers run originated with writer Brian Michael Bendis with Avengers Disassembled in Avengers #500 in 2004. Now after nine years on the Avengers franchise, Bendis is ending his titles on a high note in 2012 with Avengers vs. X-Men. The Phoenix Force is returning and Hope Summers maybe its new host while the two teams battle it out for the sake of Earth. The Avengers titles seem to be overexposed with Avengers Assemble, Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy, Avengers Origins, Avengers 1959, and Avengers: Solo titles along with the two main ones Avengers and New Avengers. The Avengers seem to be the X-Men of the 90s where that franchise had numerous titles saturating the market. Both Avengers and New Avengers written by Brian Michael Bendis dealing with the return of Norman Osborn, H.A.M.M.E.R, and the return of the Dark Avengers. In 1987 the X-Men vs. the Avengers written by Roger Stern and drawn by a young Marc Silvestri where Magneto was put on trail for his crimes against humanity. Now the new mutant messiah Hope is the center of attention as the Phoenix Force heads towards Earth. Uncanny Avengers is the outcome of the 2012 event Avengers vs. X-Men which brought the X-Men back into the Marvel Universe. According to Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso Avengers vs. X-Men finishes off a decade worth of stories and sets up the next decade. It also pushes their digital aspirations to the forefront including Marvel ReEvolution, Infinite Comics, and Marvel Augmented Reality (AR).


Writer Dan Slott begins counting down to the 50th anniversary of Amazing Spider-Man with the story arc called Ends of the Earth as well as Amazing Spider-Man #700. Sony Pictures brings the Amazing Spider-Man movie this summer and Marvel Comics will most likely end the original Amazing Spider-Man series with the of Ends of the Earth with issue #688. In 2011 Marvel Studios brought two characters to the big screen with Thor and Captain America while preparing for their inevitable return next year in Avengers. Marvel Comics prepared to capture the residue of fans that may spill into the comic stores by relaunching both Thor and Captain America with new number ones. However their original numbering continued as Thor became the Journey into Mystery while Captain America became Captain America and Bucky. According to this strategy, a new Amazing Spider-Man series is expected to begin with a new issue one to monetize the upcoming film before it returns to its original numbering with issue #700. The Avenging Spider-Man title is the Marvel Team-Up book consisting of rotating writers and artists taking on the web-slinger. Just in time for the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man film in June, current Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott begins No Going Back featuring the Lizard. Amazing Spider-Man ended with 700 issues as Superior Spider-Man is launched as part of Marvel Now!


Following the events of House of M in 2005, the mutant population was reduced by the reality-alternating powers of the Scarlet Witch. The mutant population is slowing growing following X-Men: Second Coming. Now the new messiah comes under the attack of the Avengers as the Phoenix Force heads towards Earth. The fallout of the Dark Angel Saga running through Uncanny X-Force leads into the Age of Apocalypse series beginning in March 2012. The original X-Men return as Brian Michael Bendis takes over the franchise with All-New X-Men.


Marvel creates a platform how both digital and print comics can work together. First they offer a free digital copy for any comic $3.99 and above then presents Marvel ReEvolution where the fusion of both digital and print bring a unique experience. Marvel revealed its digital web store form a ComiXology storefront allowing another platform for readers to purchase comics digitally. Motion comics were the first attempt at figuring out however Mark Waid describes them as bad animation. The original comics were Sunday strips that were collected and reduced. Infinite Comics is the next step for the digital age of comics.

January Publishing Strategies

The start of the year begins with strengthening the Avengers franchise of titles before the start of the Avengers film in May. The Ultimate Comics line finishes their first story arcs. Wolverine hits the milestone 300th issue by writer Jason Aaron who also ends his PunisherMax series. While DC Comics celebrates Jim Lee drawing the Justice League, Marvel Comics publishes the X-Men: Mutant Genesis 2.0 hardcover collecting the first seven issues of the 1991 adjectiveless X-Men series.


February Publishing Strategies

Marvel continues to reprint several classic Avengers tales in hardcover form to promote the upcoming Avengers film. While last years Fear Itself saga also reprints several individual stories, the first two issues of the new Winter Soldier series is released. The first story arcs of the Ultimate Comics line are collected, the each of the titles begins the next one.

March Publishing Strategies

The four issue Avengers: X-Sanction draws to a close as Avengers vs. X-Men begins with a zero issue. Writer Brian Michael Bendis closes out as writer of the Avengers in 2012 by beginning a new series called Avengers Assemble. The 50th anniversary of SpiderMan begins with Ends of the Earth story arc. The three year stories of the Fantastic Four which lead to the death of the Johnny Storm conclude this month. The revelation of Army Ranger Marcus Johnson and his friend Cheese stands revealed in Battle Scars. Marcus Johnson is the long lost son of Nick Fury positioning him as an equivalent to Samuel L. Jacksons Nick Fury in the upcoming Avengers film while Cheese makes his comic debut as Agent Phil Coulson who made his first appearance in the 2008 Iron Man film. An alternative universe X-title is added this month with Age of Apocalypse. Marvel collects all the movie tie-ins from their previous films in Avengers: The Road to the Avengers.

April Publishing Strategies

Marvel releases the first two issues Avengers vs. X-Men as well as a tie-in to expand on the fight scenes within the main series AvX: Vs. Other titles tying into this series includes Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, and Wolverine & The X-Men. Marvel also collects all the issues leading up to Avengers vs. X-Men called Avengers vs. X-Men: Its Coming trade paperback and its prequel Avengers: X-Sanction hardcover. Captain America and Bucky transitions into Captain America and Hawkeye before the Avengers film in May. The Omega Effect begins a 3-part crossover between the Avenging Spider-Man, Punisher, and Daredevil. The Red Hulk enters its 50 th issue in the adjectiveless Hulk. Battle Scars concludes after the revelation of Marcus Johnson being the son of Nick Fury whose real name is Nick Fury, Jr.

May Publishing Strategies

The Avengers film finally premieres as the Avengers vs. X-Men series continues within additional tie-ins including Avengers Academy and X-Men Legacy. The second story arcs of the Ultimate Comics conclude.

June Publishing Strategies

The Ultimate Universe continues and begins its third arc of stories with Brian Wood on Ultimate X-Men. Marvel concludes Act One of Avengers vs. X-Men as Act Two begins. The Thunderbolts transitions into Dark Avengers so another title is added to the Avengers franchise. Meanwhile the Red Hulk takes on the return of the Mayan Gods. One month before the release of the Amazing Spider-Man film Marvel releases the ultra secret five issue limited series Spider-Men as well as the conclusion to Ends of the Earth in Amazing Spider-Man.

July Publishing Strategies

The Punisher is presented into another alternative Marvel Universe in the four-issue Space: Punisher which reimagines the Marvel Universe as a galactic crime saga. Marvel went through a period of too many limited series that were set in continuity however the alternative universe series Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine was nominated for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award. Marvel wanted to produce high quality content that are special and not connected with current continuity. The X-Men franchise is joined by another title X-Treme X-Men while Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi reunite for the sequel to Wolverine: Evolution which resulted with Sabretooth beheaded by Wolverine called Wolverine: Sabretooth Reborn. The female characters of the Marvel universe continue to gain exposure following Fear Itself: The Fearless as Carol Danvers graduates as Captain Marvel. The second act of Avengers vs. X-Men comes to an end. The Ultimate Universe continues its year-long storyline of the fall of America in Divided We Fall. Captain America rejoins the Ultimates as he, the X-Men, and the new Spider-Man team-up to deal with the army of Nimrod Sentinels.


August Publishing Strategies

The penultimate month of Avengers vs. X-Men in the Marvel Universe while the Ultimate Universe faces the Divided We Fall story arc. After finishing Batman Odyssey, Neal Adams brings X-Men: First Class a 5-issue detailing the history before X-Men #1 (1963).

September Publishing Strategies

The Avengers vs. X-Men and their related tie-ins, Avengers Assemble, and Spider-Men come to an end paving a way to a new status quo for the Marvel Universe. Marvel is building the foundation for the next decade of stories after the current one began with Avengers Disassembled (2004) and ended with Avengers vs. X-Men (2012). The Ultimate Universe transitions from their Divided We Fall story arc to United We Stand.

October Publishing Strategies

Marvel ends nine titles as Marvel NOW! begins between October and February. These titles include Jonathan Hickmans Fantastic Four and FF, Ed Brubakers seven-year run on Captain America, Matt Fractions Iron Man and The Mighty Thor, Uncanny X-X-Men and XMen Legacy. Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso promises to keep creators on the titles to prove to readers they are building something to last. Brian Michael Bendis begins his final arc on both Avengers and New Avengers as well as Avengers Assemble.

November Publishing Strategies

The entire purpose of Avengers vs. X-Men was to incorporate the X-Men back into the larger Marvel Universe after years of isolation. However the renumbering following DCs New 52 offers diminishing opportunity costs since many of the Marvel titles have been rebooted multiple times over the past 10 years. The Avengers title has 6 number ones since its 1963 debut (1963, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2010, and 2012). Captain America has been rebooted 6 times (1968, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2005, and 2012). Iron Man has 6 number ones as well (1963, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2008, and 2012). Thor has 1996, 1998, 2007, and 2012. Fantastic Four has four volumes between its initial release including FF (1961, 1996, 1998, 2010, and 2012). Many of Marvels reboots have happened in the past 5 years to take advantage of the characters respective movie from Marvel Studios. However unlike their reboots in the past, Marvel NOW! is a company wide change between titles, writers, and artists offering their best approaches to these characters. After taking over the Avengers in 2004, Brian Michael Bendis brought the franchise to its peak culminating with the Avengers film in 2012. Now Bendis is taking over the X-Men and breaking them down to their basic core elements. He has brought back the original X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Beast, and Iceman) back to the present Marvel Universe which happens to be their impending future. Jean Grey was killed during writer Grant Morrisons run on New X-Men, Angel is no more after the Dark Angel Saga within Uncanny X-Force, Beast drank a potion turning him into a real Beast, Cyclops may meet his end during the current Avengers vs. X-Men run, and Iceman is the only normal one around. The original X-Men realize they are facing their own Days of Future Past within the current Marvel Universe.

December Publishing Strategies

The Avengers come back with a new number one issue by former Fantastic Four scribe Jonathan Hickman. The bi-weekly series is presently mapped out of 60-some issues which put the franchise into its 700 th Milestone issue. The Avengers are sent to take down the Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone in October. The resulting battle will place Frank into the Thunderbolts which is led by the Red Hulk. The current incarnation is a group of heroes who seem to be a non-mutant X-Force. Following the battle in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN, Colossus is on the run and joins Nathan Summers who forges a new X-Force. The chase begins in Cable and X-Force with the Uncanny Avengers in hot pursuit. Meanwhile the Scott Summers who has been imprisoned following the events of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN meet his younger boy scout self in All-New X-Men. Marvel cancels the Amazing Spider-Man as it hits its 700th Milestone, Wolverine, Uncanny X-Force, and Captain America and Black Widow. These titles except for Captain America which is already apart of Marvel NOW! will be relaunched in 2013. SpiderMan franchise releases a Point One issues coinciding with the Amazing Spider-Man milestone. Prepping up for 2013s Iron Man 3, the Iron Patriot debuts in Ultimate Comics Ultimates following the events of DIVIDED WE FALL, UNITED WE STAND.


Marvel Comics Events Timeline

Avengers Disassembled (2004) House of M (2005) Decimation Civil War (2006-2007) World War Hulk (2007) X-Men: Messiah Complex (2007) Secret Invasion (2008) Dark Reign (2009) Dark Reign: Utopia (2009) Siege (2010) X-Men: Second Coming (2010) Heroic Age (2010) Fear Itself (2011) Shattered Heroes (2011) Avengers vs. X-Men (2012) Age of Ultron (2013)


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