Comics Disassembled: Ten Things of Note from the Past Week in Comics, Led by Marvel…Comics?

New York Comic Con isn’t for another three weeks, but that’s not going to stop anyone from getting their announcements out there already! Let’s dig into some of the earliest announcements from that mix and more in this week’s edition of Comics Disassembled.

1. New York Comic Con, Coming Early for Marvel

Leave it to me to write a feature questioning Marvel’s current environment – I still stand by it, too! – only to see them roll out an intriguing list of new titles shortly afterwards that will be fully announced at New York Comic Con. They include: Ultimate Spider-Man from Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto, an assuredly elite Spider-Man artist and a writer that’s so good yet so unusual for a Spider-Man comic! An upcoming storyline in the X-Men universe that features twin books titled “Fall of the House of X” and “Rise of the Powers of X” from…some mixture of Gerry Duggan, Kieron Gillen, Lucas Werneck, and R.B. Silva! Chip Zdarsky (making his prophesied return) and Daniel Acuña on Avengers: Twilight, a comic I know nothing about but was originally pitched back in 2019, apparently! Al Ewing and Luciano Vecchio on the Resurrection of Magneto, which is also a prophesied return!

Those are all interesting books! Unusually, they also have the air of transition to them, whether it’s comings – Ultimate Spider-Man and Resurrection of Magneto – or goings, meaning the bookend-like nature to the HoX/PoX throwback titles (complete with Gillen nearing the end of his work for hire run with just six scripts left to write across two titles) and Avengers: Twilight feeling like a coda to Zdarsky’s time at Marvel to some degree. That all may be not true. Maybe Gillen’s gaming us and Marvel threw a bag at him to sign a new exclusive, and Chip’s brewing up his Stilt-Man prestige series as we speak. But it’s interesting how these exciting new books – and they are exciting! – have this strange undercurrent of significant change to them. They all do, I guess.

Either way, I’m into all of them, especially Ultimate Spider-Man, if only because I truly am fascinated by the prospect of Hickman writing any version of a spider person on an ongoing basis. I know he’s plenty capable (see: Spider-Man: Full Circle). But while I’m into it for the quality, I’m also into it for the sheer morbid curiosity of…what is that like?

Last point: These announcements feel crazy early! Three weeks before NYCC itself arrives and they’re dropping these bombs. It might be normal for all I know, but I was genuinely a bit surprised that these teasers were so robust in the information they are doling out and that they were already revealed for that convention. It just felt unexpected!

2. Rick Remender, Buying In

They’re making it official: Rick Remender and Image Comics are going exclusive with one another. Not that Remender was publishing anywhere else, but the writer signed a three-year exclusive deal with the publisher that gives him carte blanche to unleash whatever he wants on the comic book world, effectively. I believe that’s the third such deal Image has made, following the one Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips signed (and resigned) and Jeff Lemire did back in 2022, and it’s one that makes sense for all parties. I kind of think that Remender already had the ability to do this and that he wasn’t really looking elsewhere, but making things official is good for all parties I’m sure.

I talk about this a bit on the podcast next week, but it really seems like Remender has a lot of irons in the fire right now. I suspect that we’re just getting the front end of it, and that there’s a lot more where that’s coming from, even if not all of them will be co-written by Andy Samberg. And why not. The guy’s invested in comics, and he’s clearly cooking with gas right now. It makes sense.

One aspect that I thought was interesting about the announcement, though, was how Remender specifically noted that he had recently turned down offers to write both Batman and X-Men, and how taking those would have been him backsliding artistically. That is true, I imagine — it would be super weird to put this in a press release if it wasn’t! — but the fact that it was deliberately put in this release struck me as interesting if only because a) it firmly positions Image as the alternative and creatively superior choice and b) it creates the expectation that whatever he has coming he has enough faith in to wave away those opportunities. It’s a fact, but it’s also marketing, both for Remender and Image itself. Savvy!

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