Marvel Comics always has a lot going on. They have the largest market share in the comics industry and a big part of that is the sheer volume of titles they put out month after month, and that’s no different for February of 2020. Last week we saw my compatriot Olly talk about some picks from the Distinguished Competition and today, I’m talking about a few from the House of Ideas. So let’s just jump right in!
Dawn of X Changes
February marks the fifth month of the Dawn of X era of X-Men, and that means some changes. For X-Men it appears that double shipping ends while Jonathan Hickman and Lenil Yu answer one of the most asked questions of this era where death no longer matters – what about the soul? But the biggest changes are in endings and beginnings. Fallen Angels by Bryan Edward Hill and Szymon Kudranski is confirmed as ending in its current form, though the story will continue later, largely due to Hill’s schedule.
That doesn’t mean the line is shrinking though. February sees the launch of Wolverine by Benjamin Percy, Adam Kubert and Victor Bogdanovic, X-Men/Fantastic Four by Chip Zdarsky (making a welcome return to the F4 and his first mark on the X-Men) and fan favorite X-Men artists Terry & Rachel Dodson and Giant Size X-Men by Hickman and Russell Dauterman. It almost makes up for the absence of X-Corp which was accidentally announced in the Captain Marvel letter page last month.
Wolverine is not the only character getting a new series in February though. Several characters are making their grand return while a few get their first ever series!
Falcon & The Winter Soldier by Derek Landry & Federico Vincentini bring together the former Captain Americas in their first team-up series ahead of their Disney+ series in the spring. Scott Lang gets a welcome return alongside his daughter Cassie in Ant-Man #1 from the always welcome Zeb Wells and rising star Dylan Burnett putting the two Avengers up against Swarm in one of the biggest “why hasn’t this happened yet?!” concepts in years. Nebula gets her first ever series courtesy of Vita Ayala and Claire Roe, as does the Marvel 616 version of Gwen Stacy thanks to longtime Spider-creators Christos Gage and Todd Nauck.
Carnage just finished making his biggest mark in the Marvel Universe so far in Absolute Carnage but it appears that Donny Cates isn’t done with him quite yet. Venom #23 by Cates and Mark Bagley continues the Venom Island storyline, which is promoted as planting the seeds of next year’s Venom event. But most notable is the statement “They say there’s no rest for the wicked, and few creatures in the Marvel Universe are as wicked as CARNAGE.” Is Eddie Brock not the only inhabitant of Venom Island?
Marvel has had a reputation for some of the most exciting team-ups in the comic industry. February is no exception to that. Aside from the aforementioned Giant Sized X-Men teaming up Jean Grey and Emma Frost, we spotted three exciting team-ups to watch for.
The surprise runaway hit Black Cat is one of Marvel’s most enjoyable ongoing series, and Jed MacKay and Felicia are joined in February’s Black Cat #9 by superstar artist Kris Anka and Wolverine for a two issue story that’s sure to be a blast. But that’s not Logan’s only stop outside of his regular Krakoan haunts, as Ghost Rider #5 hosts a Hearts of Darkness reunion with Logan, the Punisher and Danny Ketch from Ed Brisson and Juan Frigeri which also promises big changes for Danny! Last and certainly not least, Savage Avengers #0 reprints a classic X-Men tale featuring Kulan Gath, but it adds an all-new framing sequence starring Doctor Strange and Magik by Gerry Duggan & Greg Smallwood!
Robert E Howard takes over the Marvel U
Speaking of Savage Avengers Conan breaks out of that series to make more of a mark on the entire Marvel Universe! First of all, Conan the Barbarian gets a new creative team, with Jim Zub writing and Roge Antonio on art, sending the Cimmerian on a quest unlike any other he’s untaken. Meanwhile in the present day, Conan: Battle for the Serpent Crown sends Conan on a quest across the entire Marvel Universe to find the legendary magical artifact by Saladin Ahmed & Luke Ross. Meanwhile, one of Howard’s other creations gets her first ever miniseries in Dark Agnes by Becky Cloonan & Luca Pizzari!
The Dark Lord returns!
Last and certainly not least, the Star Wars relaunch continues, exploring the era between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. While Star Wars #3 by Charles Soule & Jesus Saiz takes the heroes back to Cloud City, but that’s not the biggest news of the month. Greg Pak and Raffaele Ienco relaunch Darth Vader with a new #1 and a terrifying mission- revenge against everyone who turned his son against him!