All-New, All-Different

“All-New, All-Different” Marvel Universe Reboot Revealed (Updated!)

Comic Books Entertainment Geek Culture
All-New, All-Different
Image courtesy of Marvel

We knew that Marvel was setting us up for something big, and Mashable dropped the details this morning. Once the current Secret Wars event has wrapped up, Marvel will completely reboot its comics, with every title starting over at #1. Some will be going away, some will be coming back, some will be brand new. Eight months will have elapsed in-universe since the Secret Wars event, and every character will be changed fundamentally by the fallout.

For those who have multi-verse whiplash, here’s the full list of characters revealed, starting left and going clockwise:

With the exception of Red Wolf, there’s a very pointed focus on characters featured (or soon to be featured) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and cartoons. Does this mean we’ll be seeing more comics that mirror what’s happening in multimedia? If so, it’s a savvy move, one that would give Marvel the opportunity to tell stories in those formats that are enhanced, rather than muddled, by the comics. At the very least, it’s a chance to align the comics so that they reflect what’s becoming the more familiar face of the Marvel Universe.

That said, I can’t help but notice who’s not a part of this announcement. While Wolverine was given lip-service in the Mashable interview, there are no mutants featured in the Universe reveal. The X-Men are, of course, a part of the reboot, but it seems Marvel is content to let its merry mutants play second-fiddle to those properties to which it owns the cinematic and TV rights. It’s a far cry from a decade ago when you couldn’t swing a (shadow)cat without hitting an X-Men member…and Wolverine.

Change for change’s sake is always worrisome when it comes to comics; but the vibe I get is that this streamlining is what the Marvel comic universe needed to revitalize itself. The editors and creators are respectful of what’s come before, so we Marvelphiles don’t need to bemoan the loss of our deep trivial knowledge just yet. Much like when the Ultimate universe was launched, I’m excited to see what things look like when we start fresh this fall.

Update: This evening, Marvel dropped a second teaser image that shows off some of the other characters that will be launching in September. There’s Thing! And X-23 sporting a very Wolverine-y outfit! And Citizen V? And is that Thor’s godkiller axe that Dr. Strange is wielding? Coooooool.

Wolveriiiiiiiiiines!
Wolveriiiiiiiiiines!

A lot has been said, here and elsewhere, about diversity in comics, mostly implying that it’s a bad thing. This is my take: if all you do is pander to your current audience, you might keep them happy; but you’re probably not going to attract fresh fans.

This evening, it was all I could do to keep my kids from fingerprinting up the screen as they asked questions about the characters. They’re excited in a way that I rarely see – and I’m talking about kids who could properly identify Dr. Strange at the age of 4. Marvel is an entertainment company and the way they stay in business is to keep people engaged. If you don’t see anything in these images that interests you, well, then it’s possible you’re not the target audience anymore. You either need to shift your expectations and embrace some new possibilities, or stick to your back issues.

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13 thoughts on ““All-New, All-Different” Marvel Universe Reboot Revealed (Updated!)

  1. They should rename them Minority Comics, since they are so hell-bent on changing what has worked for decades to include a more diverse cross section of peoples in costume. What would have been better would be to reboot to go along with the movie franchises that have been seen by WAY more people than the comics.

    Crisis on Infinite Marvels can’t be too far down the road. Ah, well, at least I still have my old back issues…

    1. So clearly you’re not actually reading the books, or you’d know Secret Wars is, essentially, Crisis on Infinite Marvels. And it’s very, very well done.

      With almost half the readers of comics being women and a huge portion of non-WASP readers, it’s nice to see Marvel actively work to represent their readership, and to do so in good stories.

      Because that’s the kicker. The current Thor run? Good story. The current Cap run? Good story. Ms. Marvel? Feels like classic Spider-Man.

      And sales are indicating that the public likes it, so you know, sorry you’re not enjoying the comics you’re not reading.

      1. I have read every issue of Thor since JIM 83. I cannot agree with your assessment of the New Thor Run. Jason Aaron is just not good for Thor. He is Doing a good job on Star Wars, though not as good as Gillen on Darth Vader.

        Thor has suffered under his penmanship.

        The sales of the Thoress cannot be compared to Thor because you cannot isolate the variables. Thor never had a publicity stunt like ‘The View’ to motivate sales.

        1. I cannot disagree enough about your opinion about Aaron’s Thor run. Especially the God Butcher and God Bomb storylines, those had me glued to the series ever since. It doesn’t hurt that the artwork has been fantastic to boot.

    2. “They should rename them Minority Comics, since they are so hell-bent on changing what has worked for decades to include a more diverse cross section of peoples in costume.”

      You say that like it’s a bad thing? Comics actually having some representation for minorities aside (and really, does it looks like there’s a lack of white males in those teaser images?), change is good. We’ve had the same characters for decades, like you said, repeating the same stories. Bringing in a breath of fresh air is good for comics, and like you said, it’s not like the comic police are coming to make you hand over your old back issues.

  2. Man, I’d love to leave a reply that has all my thougths and feelings on this, but the web site keeps reloading the page every couple minutes for some reason so I’ve now lost a few paragraphs… twice… 🙁

    I’m glad they’re rebooting. I never had much chance to get into the comics (as much as some), so being able to get in as they’re starting is a wonderful thing. Same with my Wife (who’s just starting her own comic book journey).

    Still iffy on the new Thor, but excited about most everything else. Also iffy on this whole “new Hulk” they’re talking about in the article. … and the apparent lack of my favorite hero right now, Captain Marvel…

  3. You only think it’s worked for decades because it works for *you*. It wasn’t working for everyone.

  4. While all this agenda-oriented retconning runs rampant, great characters like The Black Panther, White Tiger, Sunfire, Sunspot, Misty Knight, The Prowler, Binary, Puck and many, many more languish in obscurity or are relegated to meaningless, nostalgic cameos. Stop changing characters and instead focus on the pre-made ones that are just as good, but under used.

    I mean, really WHY IN THE HELL HASN’T THERE BEEN A BLACK PANTHER MOVIE YET? We get Ant Man instead? Really?! And you’re telling me Sunfire couldn’t have withstood the Sentinels of Days of Future Past?

    I think Uatu must be running “Marvel” Comics these days, because more and more their storylines read like bad issues of What if-?!

  5. The thing I HATE Most about the cinematic universe is when they get things wrong , or are unaccurate. Reading the history of a character makes them seem almost…..real. When you change things it robs the fans of that illusion.
    No fan of Ms Marvel want to see a new Ms Marvel. They want to see what happens next.
    Jane Foster is an important character to Thor’s story. BUT SHE’S NOT THOR. So every page of her book all I’m doing is waiting to see Odinson. The incursions was a good story line. But the new Marvel Universe has made me stop reading.

  6. The people handing down the orders to the comic editorial staff don’t give a damn about comicbook mythology or even the characters that inhabit said world. What these superheroes are to them is what they are to business a property or commodity to be sold just like a hamburger. They don’t care about your love of these things or the poor editors that try to salvage something good out of the orders from the top. They are pimps tricking out what they’ve got to sell. In a few years these characters and titles you love will be left on the side of the business highway like a sex crime victim, then the editors will dust them off and be able to tell good stories again when the general mob of casual drive by readers are gone and no one cares but the life-long readers.

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