Earlier this morning Marvel promised a line wide fresh start to its comics lineup and they’ve come out swinging with their first big announcement. Superstar creator Jason Aaron (The Mighty Thor, Star Wars, Southern Bastards) will team with artist Ed McGuinness to relaunch Avengers with a new #1 in May.
Aaron’s Avengers will reunite Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Thor Odinson (who is sporting a golden arm and hammer) and see them joined on the team by Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Robbie Reyes, Jennifer Walters-Hulk and, occasionally, Doctor Strange (you can see the exclusive cover and art for the book at IGN). The book, which will ship 18 issues in its first year, is set to follow both the modern day Avengers and the 1,000,000 BC Avengers, first introduced by Aaron in Marvel Legacy #1, as they deal with the threat of the Dark Celestials.
According to Aaron, relaunching the Avengers and establishing it as the ONLY Avengers title was about a return to the heart of the Avengers:
We wanted to get back to a small, core lineup. With big, iconic characters at the heart of that. So we get Steve, Tony, and Thor Odinson back together at the heart of this new team, and the rest of the team we build around them over the course of the first arc. My aim with this series is basically, if you only read one Marvel comic — not that you should read just one Marvel comic, but if you did — if you picked this book up, this would show you the landscape of the Marvel universe issue after issue. We want to feature the biggest characters and go to the coolest, most exotic locations around the Marvel U.
The big 3 are going to be joined by some big hitters and the rest of the roster was filled out with some choices that might be a bit surprising. T’Challa, who has often found himself both allied and at odds with the Avengers, seems to be set to be a key player as the book develops:
I think the Big Three of the Avengers are really, really close to being the Big Four. I think Black Panther definitely deserves to be at the heart of an Avengers team like this, when you’re talking about the biggest, most iconic characters from that lineage. He has a big, big role to play, not just in this arc, but in this book going forward, and it’s really fun to be writing him again.
Readers will know that Tony Stark has been missing for some time since he was punched into a coma by Carol Danvers during the events of Civil War II and, according to Aaron, the two aren’t “exactly all warm and fuzzy with each other” when the series launches. Robbie Reyes seems an interesting addition to the Avengers and seems as though he’ll be a bit of a foil to the veteran Avengers. “Robbie Reyes is sort of the new kid on the block,” says Aaron. “He doesn’t really know any of these other characters, they don’t know him. They know the Ghost Rider, but this is a Ghost Rider not quite like anyone they’ve ever met before.” Jennifer Walters, who recently saw her solo series canceled, was chosen by Aaron for the team despite knowing that her more well-known cousin, Bruce Banner, will be returning from the dead. “You’ll see us playing with her powers a little bit, trying to differentiate her more from the Banner Hulk, and make her a more unique interesting version of the Hulk in her own right.”
Avengers #1 will hit the shelves of your local comic book store this May!