All today, websites have been putting up bits and bobs from Entertainment Weekly's piece on Marvel NOW! relaunch. Bleeding Cool have had parts of them since February, of course, and a bunch last week but that's the way things go.
Here's the proper visual showing off a number of character redesigns for Marvel NOW! from Joe Quesada, which he describes as "the tip of the iceberg"
And the EW article, finally online, has a bunch of quotes and PR puffery to accompany the news which, well, has been thoroughly disseminated by now. But it looks like they've been adding some new bits.
On the plan for Marvel NOW! to come out over several months, Axel Alonso is quoted as saying
"I feel that it's a much more humane approach for retailers and fans to tell them: 'Look. In the months of October through February, every week you can go into a comic book store and find a few new jumping-on points for the Marvel Universe, a place you're going to like visiting. Or revisiting."
On Uncanny Avengers;
Perhaps appropriate for a team that comprises a vision for the Marvel Universe's future, the Uncanny Avengers' first villain will be, literally, a ghost of the past. "In 1943, Arnim Zola, who was this bio-fanatic engineer, recorded the Red Skull's consciousness, and set it to wake up 70 years later. So the Red Skull [in Uncanny] is right out of 1943-44. Prime Nazi scumbag. In his mind, he's taking that vitriol and hate and Nazi horror and methodology, and pointing it at the mutant species." And Remender stresses that the mash-up philosophy of Uncanny extends beyond the team's lineup. "I'm not just smashing the heroes together, I'm smashing the villains together. It becomes something unlike anything we've ever seen, with stakes that are so huge, it takes a team comprised of the best Avengers and the best X-Men to go take care of it."
Unsurprisingly, Hickman's favorite Avengers stories veer toward the cosmics: the Korvac Saga, the Kree-Skrull War, and the time-scrambling Avengers Forever. Hickman's first story arc on Avengers is called "Avengers World," but even the term "world" sounds a bit too micro for Hickman's ambitions. In the wake of AvX and a new era of Marvel, "The obvious solution is for the heroes to become something bigger and larger, a more appropriate response to an ever more dangerous time." Avengers will be published twice a month, and Hickman is currently planning to mix together longer five-to-six-issue story arcs with one-off stories that focus on individual characters. As for those characters, Hickman is mostly keeping mum about the lineup right now, but he revealed one teammate to whet our appetite. Kids, we've got six words for you: Shang-Chi, master of Kung Motherf—ing Fu.
On All Star X-Men;
Thus: All-New X-Men, a time-travel story with the original X-Men jumping to the present. We're talking Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, Angel, and Marvel Girl. They're teenagers. They're wearing blue-and-yellow outfits. They're seeing their older selves, and they don't all like what they see.
Bendis is literally drawing the teenaged X-Men from a specific panel in the original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby X-Men series, "a moment where they're at their most feisty." And although he can't talk too much about the mechanics that get the old-school X-Men into the present, he promises this is not a dream sequence. "No Danger Room, no imaginary story. This is actually happening." (In a statement guaranteed to calm at least some of the skeptics, Bendis swears: "The space-time continuum is of utmost importance to me.")
And on Jean Grey specifically;
And of course, the time-travel shenanigans at the center of All-New X-Men will bring fan-favorite character Jean Grey back to the mainstream comics continuity for the first time since her (second) death in 2004. "It's the one thing X-Men fans have always asked for is: They want Jean Grey back. But they want Jean Grey. Not reincarnated Jean, or the ghost of Jean. Well, you're getting Jean back. And Jean is gonna be looking at a world that rattles her." And Bendis brings up an intriguing personal connection when he talks about writing the beloved character: "I love feisty redheads. I've been married for many years to a very feisty redhead. But I've never applied that to writing before. I didn't even realize what I was doing, but Stuart Immonen is drawing the book, and looking at it I realized: 'Ha ha, I'm doing my wife!'"
Catch up on all of our Marvel NOW! coverage right here.