Heads Up: Marvel Comics Previews – March 2012

Being a comic fan can be tough. With so many publishers printing more and more books, canceling titles and starting new ones, it can be daunting when you head to the comic book shop on a Wednesday to know exactly what’s coming out.

The current system of presenting and ordering comics three months ahead of their release as set forth by the sole comics distributor, Diamond Comics, doesn’t make it any easier either. We’re not a fan of that system, we think it’s slowly strangling comics to death, but we realize it’s a harsh reality of how the industry works and we definitely don’t want you to miss out on any of the cool comics being published.

And so, as opposed to regurgitating the list of comics solicited in Previews each month, we present to you some of the highlights of things you probably won’t want to miss out on.

SPOILER WARNING – In order to get people to order comics, the publishers have a funny habit of revealing what’s happening in the books. If you don’t want anything at all to be spoiled, then you’ll probably want to skip this post and take your chances with your pre-orders and/or your shopping.

 No, THIS Is Where It Begins

Avengers vs. X-Men is the Marvel event of 2012, and this zero issue promises to be one of at least 3 different starting points to the event.  Regardless, when you’ve got Bendis and Aaron jamming on an issue with Frank Cho art, that’s something to keep an eye out for.

Avengers vs. X-Men #0
Story by Brian Michael Bendis & Jason Aaron
Art & Cover by Frank Cho
Phoenix Variant By Stephanie Hans
Wraparound Variant Cover By Jimmy Cheung

• The Return Of The Scarlet Witch! What Does This Mean For The Mutant Messiah Hope?
• Three Of The Hottest Names In Comics Kick Off The Biggest Event In Marvel History!
• And Did We Mention Frank Cho On Art?!

40 Pgs./One-Shot/Rated T+ …$3.99 *Issue Will Be Polybagged


You’d Think There Was A Movie Coming Out…

All eyes are on May when Marvel’s The Avengers hits theaters, and to prepare for the deluge of fans going from movie theaters to the comic shops, Marvel offers up the latest Avengers book featuring the heavy hitters in the movie. Bendis and Bagley are a known quantity, so you can be sure that if you want some fresh, jumping on point Avengers goodness, then search no more. AND it’s IN continuity! *head explodes*

Avengers Assemble #1
Story by Brian Michael Bendis
Art & Cover by Mark Bagley
Variant Covers By Arthur Adams & Marc Silvestri
Blank Variant & Retailer Variants Also Available

• The Avengers Versus The *Brand-New* Zodiac!
• One Of The Greatest Avengers Villains Of All Time Gets Reinvented For The Modern Age Just In Time For The Blockbuster Movie Event Of The Summer!
• A Perfect Jumping-On Point Featuring The Cast Of The Summer Blockbuster But In Marvel Universe Continuity!

32 Pgs./Rated T+ …$3.99 *Issue Will Be Polybagged


Ones To Watch For

Mark my words people, Remender and Hardman on Secret Avengers is going to be one of the best books of 2012. From what I’ve seen and heard about what they have planned, you’re going to be talking about this from the get go, so might as well get on board now.

Secret Avengers #24
Story by Rick Remender
Art by Gabriel Hardman
Cover By Arthur Adams

• Hawkeye’s Leadership Put To The Ultimate Test After An Avenger Dies!
• The Secret Avengers Trapped In An Automaton City In The Center Of The Earth!
• Father And His Descendants Begin Their Plans To Spread Contagious Robot Evolution!
• A New Avenger Joins To Save Our Wayward Squad, But Will He Get There In Time?

32 Pgs./Rated T+ …$3.99


Still no Joe Mad on Avenging Spider-Man, but at least we’re past Greg Land, as Leinil Yu comes on board for this team up of Spider-Man with Captain America

Avenging Spider-Man #5
Story by Zeb Wells
Art & Cover by Leinil Yu

• Spider-Man Meets Captain America…And It May Hurt A Lot!
• Special Guest Artist Leinil Yu Brings Together The World’s Two Favorite Super Heroes As The Most Action Packed New Book Of The Year Continues!
• You’re Going To Need New Pants After This One.

32 Pgs./Rated T+ …$3.99 *Issue Will Be Polybagged


As if Remender and Hardman on Secret Avengers wasn’t enough, but in March we also get Remender joined by long time art collaborator Tony Moore for the climax of the big Venom event that began in February.

Venom #14
Story by Rick Remender
Art by Tony Moore
Cover By Stefano Caselli

• Mephisto Offers A Deal The Heroes Might Not Be Able To Refuse.
• Before Ghost Rider’s Decision Rips This New Team Apart, Can They Work Together To Stop Blackheart?
• Cap And The Avengers Might Have Something To Say About The Fallout.
• Reteaming All-Stars Rick Remender And Tony Moore

32 Pgs. (Each) /Rated T+ …$2.99 (Each)


If Jonathan Hickman has done anything this past year, he’s made us care about Fantastic Four more than we have in years. And while issue #600 was a major accomplishment, here with Fantastic Four #604, we see his entire story come to a conclusion.  I can only imagine what’s in store…I’m not sure my brain can handle it.

Fantastic Four #604
Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Steve Epting
Cover By Mike Choi

• Forever Part 5: Four-Ever
• Extra Sized Issue!
• The Epic Conclusion Of Our Three Year Story.

40 Pgs./Rated T …$3.99

All I can say is that I never want the time traveling Thunderbolts story to ever end.  Thankfully, Jeff Parker and Kev Walker are granting me that wish for one more month at least.

Thunderbolts #171
Story by Jeff Parker
Art & Cover by Kev Walker

• As The ‘Bolts Continue Their Escape Through Time, Songbird Escapes For An Island Vacation.
• But In Tahiti, A Mad Scientist Sets His Sights On Melissa Gold – But He Ain’t The Only One Mad About It!

32 Pgs./Rated T+ …$2.99


For some reason, I’m compelled to highlight whenever Michael Lark is doing art on a comic. This month, he fills in for Terry Dodson on Defenders #4, where we get yet another attempt to give Dr. Strange a life.  But…But…what about the Night Nurse?

The Defenders #4
Story by Matt Fraction
Art & Cover by Michael Lark
Cover By Terry Dodson
I Am A Defender Variant Also Available

• Who Is The Great Lost Love Of Dr. Strange’s Life?
• Why Does A Young-Gun Magician Have Strange In His Sights?
• What Is The Concordance Engine?

32 Pgs./Rated T+ …$3.99


I’ve been waiting patiently for Marvel to give Havok and Polaris a purpose now that they’re back on earth, and having them back in X-Factor, written by Peter David just feels right.  I can’t wait to see where this goes as I come to terms with life after Madrox.

X-Factor #233
Story by Peter David
Art by Leonard Kirk
Cover By David Yardin

• Havok And Polaris Take The Reins Of X-Factor Investigations!
• Featuring The Return Of X-Factor Foe The Isolationist.

32 Pgs./Rated T+ …$2.99

Remember Disney?

Slowly, but surely, the Marvel/Disney relationship is bearing fruit, and the future of Disney Comics from Marvel seem to be a reality.

Toy Story #1 (Of 4)
Story by Tea Orsi
Art by Antonello Dalena & Teresa Quezada-Geer
Cover By Marco Ghiglione & Silvano Scolari

• All-New Four Issue Mini Series! New Adventures Featuring Woody, Buzz Lightyear And More!
• Andy’s New Puppy, Buster, Loves To Play With The Toys — But If Woody, Buzz And The Gang Can’t Control The Playful Pooch, All That Chewing And Shaking Will Damage Them For Sure!

32 Pgs./All Ages …$2.99

Because the World Needs More McKelvie

One of the most anticipated releases of 2012 is finally here. The modern retelling of the X-Men’s origin, written by newcomer Dennis Hopeless with art by the talented Jamie McKelvie. We’ve seen some preview pages, and if you follow McKelvie on Twitter, we’ve seen glimpses of this project. Just enough to build the anticipation to a fever pitch.


Welcome to the X-Men’s first year — hope you survive the experience!

Professor Charles Xavier has recruited five of the most powerful mutants he’s ever seen to save a world that hates and fears them. But there’s only one problem: They’re teenagers who have to survive hormones and uncontrollable super-powers, all while fighting for their very lives. So right now’s the perfect time for Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants — along with the Sentinels, Unus the Untouchable and more — to make their bids for control of the world, right? The first class of X-Men are forged in the fires of combat in ways you’ve never seen before. You only think you know the story!

Also features UNCANNY X-MEN (2012) #1 by Kieron Gillen and Carlos Pacheco!

136 PGS./Rated T+ …$24.99

Just when we thought Secret Avengers was a lost series, Warren Ellis comes in and teams up with some of our favorite artists like Jamie McKelvie, David Aja and Michael Lark, to deliver a bunch of one and done stories that reminded us that Secret Avengers can be cool.  If you missed out on this issues, don’t miss it in this collection.




Warren Ellis pens six standalone tales that plunge the Secret Avengers into a world of underground black-ops insanity they could never have imagined! A forgotten underground metropolis, Yugoslavian bio-terror, a world-threatening bomb from a broken universe, an ancient and terrible threat mined by drug lords, a time-travel adventure to save the team, and a dangerous investigation into the offices of O*N*E — can the Secret Avengers triumph over the hidden horrors of the world?

Collecting SECRET AVENGERS #16-21.

144 PGS./Rated T+ …$24.99

Collections Of, The Way Life Used To Be

It’s hard to believe that’s been more than a decade since Ultimate Spider-Man made us eat our words about the Ultimate universe. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s your chance to start in one, enormous Omnibus edition, collecting the first 3 years of Ultimate Spider-Man. Whenever someone asks what good comics are, you can just hit them over the head with this tome.

Penciled by MARK BAGLEY

In 2000, Marvel launched the Ultimate Universe, reinventing Spider-Man for a new millennium. Now, the first three years of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s fan-favorite, award-winning take on the web-slinger are collected in one oversized volume!

Relive Peter Parker’s early days as Spider-Man, learning to fight crime by trial and error as he struggles to balance his new life with the demands of high school: puberty, homework and dating! Even with the help of his best friend and confidante, Mary Jane Watson, Peter has a heavy load to bear. But the neophyte Spider-Man is making enemies left and right — including the Green Goblin, the Kingpin of Crime, Dr. Octopus, Kraven the Hunter and the maniacal Venom — and unless he can rise to the occasion, he may not survive until prom!

Collecting ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (2000) #1-39 and #1/2.

1000 PGS./Rated T+ …$99.99


Remember when I said that Avengers vs. X-Men starts with that #0 issue? Well, that may not be totally true. It may have started here in this maxi-series that took nearly 2 years to complete, but oh was it worth it for the Jim Cheung art alone.  The long awaited return of Allan Heinberg to the Young Avengers brings us right back into the thick of things with the Scarlet Witch and lays the groundwork for Marvel in 2012.


The Young Avengers return in an epic saga by series creators Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung! When Wiccan’s reality-altering powers begin to rival those of the Scarlet Witch, the young hero sets out on a quest to find her that spans the Marvel Universe and pits Wiccan against both the Avengers and the Young Avengers. But will Wiccan’s desire to solve the mystery of his parentage be his salvation or his undoing? With three words, the Scarlet Witch changed the world forever — and with her return, nothing will ever be the same for the Marvel Universe. This self-contained event reintroduces and redefines the Young Avengers and the Scarlet Witch for the Heroic Age, and is essential reading for any Avengers fan.


248 PGS./Rated T+ …$34.99


Those of you may remember the text pieces that ran in the back of Avengers and New Avengers a while back. Personally, I really dug them and thought it was a neat idea, so it’s cool to see them collected here into a complete book, giving us a different way to relive the best and worst moments of Avengers history.  If anything, it’s an excuse to see some sweet art by some of the best Avengers artists of all time.


A new, prose retelling of the history of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes — as told by the team members themselves! Written by AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS scribe Brian Michael Bendis — and featuring illustrations by all-time great Avengers artists including Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, John Buscema and more. Collecting the backup features from AVENGERS (2010) #1-12 and NEW AVENGERS (2010) #1-11.

120 PGS./Rated T+ …$14.99


For more, check out the full list of Marvel Comics in March 2012 over at CBR .


  1. Sweet re-jumping on point on Avenging Spider-Man. That Secret Avengers cover is crazy good. Can’t wait for most of this stuff!

  2. Hooray for Ultimate Spider-man Omnibus!

    And a Children’s Crusade collection mere weeks after the last issue ships!

    Talk about service.

    • wait there’s no way this actually comes out in march, right? aren’t they bi-monthly? the issues are only on #8

    • I think it’s only a 9 issue series, and given the bimonthly schedule, I suppose they could have most of the collection prepped and ready to go?

      Amazon has a March 28 release date listed (however accurate that is).

  3. Ultimate Spiderman Omnibus…yay, but also *cry* its only the first 39 issues….so many more..millions of dollars to have them all!

  4. If Madrox is indeed departing X-Factor…man…I don’t know what to think. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not jumping off the series or anything. He’s just my favorite non-Nate Grey character.

  5. Damn, Lark on Defenders. Too bad it’s a Fraction book.

  6. So #604 is the last Hickman Fantastic Four? Ever? Will he continue on FF?

  7. Even with the books I do buy from Marvel, this batch for March doesn’t really impress me. I mean they should be good from Daredevil to Fantastic Four….I don’t know, I just feel ‘blah’ about the whole month.

    But apparently Rick Remender has already won ‘Writer of the Year’ for 2012 considering the tounge lashing that I just read.

  8. I have been waiting to see Children’s Crusade collected so I could actually read the whole thing in a way that I don’t completely forget what goes on between issues.
    I have been waiting for Secret Avengers to come our digitally but I will take that trade for some good self contained comic adventure.

    • Same thing RE: Children’s Crusade. I am curious to read the story, but I highly doubt that I would’ve been able to sustain an interest in this particular story with the gap between the issues. I am looking forward to it rounding out my Young Avengers trade collection, however.

  9. Sod the world, my eyes need more McKelvie.

  10. Avengers Assemble #1 looks familiar – layoutwise… where I have seen something similar recently… where was it, where was it… hmmmm…..

  11. All over that Warren Ellis Secret Avengers collection.

    Where are the oversized hardcover Ultimate Spider-Man collections for Volume 2???

  12. At least Bagely is drawing Hawkeye’s new costume better than anyone else I’ve seen draw it so far. He’s drawing the purple area on his chest to look like a vest (I love vests), whereas other people have been drawing it to be fat arrows pointing down towards his crotch.

  13. Definitely excited for X-Factor, Fantastic Four and Defenders!

  14. An actual original avengers team book….. Yay!

  15. Finally! They collected the oral history of the Avengers! And it’s gonna be extra special, as I’m the only person on Earth (besides Ron, apparently) to own it!

  16. I hate myself for thinking what I thought when I read that Toy Story title.

  17. The combination of decompression storytelling fatigue, 20 pages of story and the $3.99 price tag, have made me drop the Bendis Avengers titles.

  18. That Avengers 1, you think it’s gonna be as clear as the DC Relaunch number ones? Or do you think people (Like me, who hasn’t been in continuity for a while) are gonna need to know shit loads before reading it?

  19. I’m standing over here in my very lonely corner, with an Art Adams banner in one hand, and a Longshot flag in the other, waving both emphatically. It’s nice to see the creator and the character both continuing to get a little love. 😀