So the post-Dark Reign landscape of the Marvel universe is slowly starting to take shape, and with the latest solicits on IGN there are a few surprises.
The Heroic Age Magazine #1 cover presents an interesting line up. Some are obvious. We’ve got Black Widow (currently appearing all over the Marvel Universe for several months – she must have gotten Wolverine’s agent – and will no doubt enjoy a big push come the release of Iron Man 2), Spider-Man, Thor and of course, Tony in his new Iron Man armour.
But most interesting in the lineup (and seen in the Avengers posters the other week) is Captain America, who appears to still be Bucky. With Steve’s return and headlining Seige it seemed obvious that this was Steve back as Cap, with Bucky hopefully finding a new costumed identity of some description. Instead its looking like Bucky will be staying on for a bit (hopefully not as a misdirect, only to get killed in issue 1 spurring Steve donning the costume again).
I for one am very happy if Bucky is staying on as Cap for a while longer. He’s been generally well accepted in the role, helped enormously by the strength of Ed Brubaker’s writing in first re-establishing his character and making him interesting, and then slowly bringing him into the role, showing his own unease at taking on Steve’s legacy. When Cap Reborn was announced, I felt that there was still life yet in Bucky as Captain America, so this is a welcome move. I wonder if it means that there’s other plans in place for Steve. I imagine, for example, that they’ll be needing someone to helm the HAMMER replacement once Norman’s booted out.
However, even more excitingly for me, as an Iron Man fan, is the solicitation for Rescue. A new series starring Pepper Potts, back in her armour once again. Pepper’s storyline has been incredibly strong under Matt Fraction’s writing during World’s Most Wanted and Stark Dissassembled, and you really felt for her when it was revealled that Tony’s revival would not only rip away her repulsor generator, but also involved ripping apart her Rescue armour. Seeing Pepper enjoy the chance to finally be a superhero herself, after supporting Tony for so long was a great side-plot by Fraction so, much like Bucky as Cap, I’m really happy to see Marvel giving Rescue some more room to be explored. Who’d have thought I’d be excited at the thought of a Pepper Potts series?
Finally, in amongst the various Deadpool solicitations (I love the character, but I know I’m not alone in fearing Marvel are pushing this one too far), I notice he’s got a team-up with Captain Britain. I’m not sure if Captain Britain’s appeared since the Paul Cornell series was axed, but it’ll be interesting to see if any of MI-13 turn up or are referenced. I hope so, as I’d hate to see Marvel throw away that team.