Marvel Ushers In the Heroic Age

Since 2010 started, it seems as if there's been a ton of comics news from every angle. DC Comics has been super busy telling you about what to expect in ths coming year, but Marvel as been curiously quiet.  Sure we heard about their anti-Blackest Night/pro-Deadpool promotion, but aside from that, not much more.  Now on a day that's going to have the comic world buzzing with news in a few hours (something to do with a new gadget from Apple), Marvel officially unveils details behind the next major status quo change in the Mavel Universe, the Heroic Age.  Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada gave USA Today the details of what's to come for the Marvel Universe, starting with the Avengers.

As we predicted when we talked about the end of the Avengers books in April, Marvel announced that in May 2010, Avengers #1 will be released and officially usher in the end of the past 7 years of grim and gritty, morally ambigous stories in the Marvel Universe.  Marvel provided us with the following quote from Quesada:

“Our heroes have experienced some of their greatest trials and tribulations recently, but now there’s going to be a renewed hope among their ranks,” said Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer & Editor-in-Chief Marvel Entertainment LLC. “As our heroes emerge from the darkness, the Marvel Universe is going to be a more optimistic place than we’ve seen in a quite awhile. But that doesn’t mean we’re making things easy for our characters!”

What I found interesting in the USA Today article was that they also spoke with writer Brian Michael Bendis and made the distinction that this is not a reboot, like what Quesada previously did with Amazing Spider-Man.

They also revealed an awesome image of The Heroic Age by Jim Cheung (below), which one could assume could be the roster of the Avengers in Avengers #1. That isn't stated anywhere in the press materials, so this could just be an image that represents the heroes of Marvel.  Who knows? Only time will tell.  What we do know based on this image is that Bucky Captain America is Captain America, not Steve Rogers; and it looks like Josh will be happy as that appears to be Hawkeye, not Ronin.  Oh, and Deadpool is nowhere to be found in the image below, thankfully.  But interestingly enough, Beast from the X-Men and Gorilla-Man from Agents of Atlas is there alongside the Black Widow.  If these are the new Avengers, I could get behind this.

So there you have it, what you have to look forward to in May of 2010. What do you think?



  1. the gorilla seems like an odd choice since this is Marvel and not the DC U….

  2. Beast?!?! I’m officially interested in an Avengers book again. If this is indeed the roster for the next book, then I just might start reading it again. Cool stuff.

  3. This would be a fantastic Avengers roster.. although I am sad to lose Luke Cage. The banter between McCoy and Spider-Man is promising, though!

     Also, prediction for the post-Siege world: Steve Rogers is in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D.  

  4. can someone tell me what was the point of bringing Steve Rogers back if he isn’t even going to be in the Avengers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy Bucky’s in but it just feels like the whole Reborn thing was a waste of time.

    I’m stolked to have Hawkeye back in his blue and purple garb and the Thing is pretty interesting choice as well. I wonder if he’s going to be pulling double duty with the FF or if he’s leaving that team again. I am a little disappointed Luke Cage is missing though, I really grew to love that character in New Avengers. Here’s hoping this means we’ll get a Power Man and Iron Fist reboot

  5. So, Bullseye is going to be an Avenger?

  6. I’ll be surprised if this is the final lineup.

  7. Gimme gimme gimme!

    I agree with @mikegraham6 – I’m going to miss Luke Cage. I’ll also miss Ms. Marvel. Seems the heroic age is mostly woman-free.

  8. If this is the avengers line up then color me even more excited than i was.

  9. Nice to see the Thing getting some

  10. I bet Clinton Barton fans are wetting their pants with the idea that he’s gonna take up the Hawkeye mantle again!

  11. Where’s Mickey?  He’s chock-full of optimism.

  12. If this is indeed the roster come post-Siege, I’m just excited that Bucky is still sticking around as Cap.  

  13. Anyone know who designed this logo?

  14. Well now.

  15. If the Thing really is in the Avengers, I’m already excited for a FF/Avengers cross-over, especially if Hickman and Eaglesham are a part of that. But I’m getting waaaaay to far ahead of myself with that speculation. Either way, welcome back Avengers! I’ll be picking up that first issue for sure.

  16. @josh On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy did this picture make you?

  17. So…Josh’s dream of Clint back as Hawkeye going to come true!

  18. From the article:

    "It also could mark a major shift in comic book storytelling, which took a turn to grittier stories after the success of DC’s The Dark Knight Returns and Marvel’s more adult take on Daredevilin the 1980s."

    They do know there was already a shift against this that’s been going on for the last 15 years right?


  19. @JJ – I think, if I read correctly, Marvel has one designer guy who handles all their promo materials (like the Embrace Change ad campaign and those that came before it), and of course I’m forgetting his name. I’ve seen his DeviantArt page before, and I think that’s is probably his work. I’m not…crazy about that header.

    I’m expecting this isn’t the Avengers roster, so much as just a backhanded teaser for their entire line (which would tie in to already big pushes for Agents of Atlas, and Hickman’s Fantastic Four etc.). Notice how Cap, Thor and Tony are all standing together where the others are just kind of arranged across the page? This could be a roster, but I’m anticipating it being a line-wide promo instead.

     Also this is the first time I’ve seen Iron Man’s new armor that wasn’t a rough digital painting. I’m still not ga-ga over it, but oh well.

  20. Interesting. I like the idea of keeping Bucky around, I agree with Josh that I like his banter with some of the other characters such as Sam.  Although I hope they make him step forward more.  I stopped reading New Avengers before Immonen took over on art duties, but it felt like Bucky mostly stood in the background.

  21. is that hawkeye with a metallic arm due to siege or is that bucky??

  22. I’m officially excited by this, lots of my favorite characters seen in that picture. Part of me wishes for a much smaller team though but if that’s the roster I’m sure it will be great.

    I’m looking forward to some simple good guys versus zaney bad guy, no strings attatched fun.

  23. I am SHOCKED that Logan is not in the image.

    Also, could that be Steve Rogers with the shield?  I know that we have been told it is Bucky (and I would prefer it that way), but those eyes are blue behind that mask.  Also, where is his luger??

  24. My problem with Marvel, or DC comics for that matter, hasn’t been their tone or moral ambiguity but rather that they’ve been characterized by events rather than stories.  We also have tons of "optimistic" comics from The Silver Age.  Now, could this be a first step to better align the company with Disney?  That I could be see.  But the irony is that the "All Ages" comics that Marvel (and DC, again) produce tend to be more enjoyable reads not because of their "clear morality" (the opposite of "moral ambiguity," I suppose, since comics are now an open tool of moral indoctrination) that are generally all self-contained stories with super-heroes fighting super-villains and because they’re aimed at kids, there’s the sense of wonder that’s missing from the more "mature" books. 

    However, way to throw the works of Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Frank Miller, and Greg Rucka into the same "grim and gritty" heap as all of their pale imitators.  Look, the 90’s were grim and gritty because of the success of "The Dark Knight Returns" and "Watchmen," the "Aughts" were/are grim and gritty because of 9/11,  Iraq/Afghanastan/Abu Garib/Guantanimo Bay, The Patriot Act, increasingly aggressive partisanship, and finally economic collapse.  The stories were gritty and sometimes a little too real (well, at least when it came to the women, poor Sharon Carter…), but they were a product of a certain time and brought comics into the mainstream. 

     Marvel is retreating back to the safety of "The Heroic Age," which I’m sure already has gained them media exposure for now, but we’ll see how long it lasts and whether or not it alienates the people who started reading "Captain America" or "Daredevil" or "The Avengers" because they WEREN’T kids’ stories.  

  25. Happy to see Beast on the Avengers, which is not suprising given his feelings towards the current state of the X-men. Not sure how/why Gorilla Man and Thing fit into the Avengers? I’m assuming the Thing will be a member of both F4 and the Avengers.

     Sad to see Wolverine go b/c I loved the banter between him and Spiderman.

  26. Thing has been an Avenger before; bringing in Gorilla-Man might be an attempt to give Agents of Atlas a bigger role in the Marvel Universe.

  27. Yay! Beast on Avengers fills me with pure joy. 

  28. @rayclark  thats a covering for his arm, i forget what they call it since i’ve never fired an arrow in my life but it’s to protect his arm when using his bow. thats clint, he’s used that thing before

  29. Sometimes I feel Poncho-Cap will haunt this era the way Mullet-Superman haunted the mid-90s.  

  30. Nit-picks aside, I’m really looking forward to reading all this on my apple Ibrain-plug.  

  31. awesome, also it makes me happy that as time goes by artist always seem to tweak beast back to his more classic look little by little

  32. I’m excited by the potential, and I’ve been weirdly eager to see Beast on the Avengers for some time, despite the fact that I never read the book the first time he was in it.

    On the whole, though, as this approaches I find myself feeling like I felt when Alias was ending. I get why this has to happen, and I know my favorite characters aren’t dying or anything, but I still feel a loss. The Luke Cage/Spider Woman team and its spirit have been a highlight of my monthly reading for a long time now, and this sounds distressingly like an unwelcome PG-ing. Still, these are the same creators I respect and enjoy, so I will hold on and enjoy the ride.

    This comment may be the rough draft of a future iFanboy article.

  33. @Jimski  I agree, though I think it remains to be seen how much of this announcement is a substantive change and how much is cosmetic. 

    Though if we’re just talking cosmetic, does ‘heroic’ HAVE TO mean, ‘only one woman and nobody who’s not white?’ 

  34. Why does everyone assume that Hawkeye is Clint Barton? Maybe, it is possible, during the Siege Bulleye finally had saw the errors of his evil ways and decided to be become good?

  35. That’s not a metallic arm on Hawkeye. That’s to protect his arm from the bow string.

  36. I just want the classic Avenger line up back.

  37. i don’t really see the point of having both Gorilla-Man and The Beast on this team. Correct me if im wrong but they both basically have similar powers except Hank will act as the Scientist on the team. I’m not really familiar with the character but maybe someone can explain to me what role can Gorilla-man fill that’s not already better served by both Hank and The Thing? isn’t he just redundant? maybe Bendis Is just using him as a means to promote Agents of Atlas….

  38. Look at Hawkeye’s Arm – looks like bucky’s arm.

    I think Bucky will be taking up the role of Hawkeye and Steve is still Captain America, just with the new costume. 

  39. Well lets see how Marvel can screw this up. Cap is steve, Bucky is Hawkeye and Clint is the ape

  40. Hello new desktop wallpaper!

  41. @mikegraham6 Gorilla-Man (Ken Hale) will probably be there as a little extra muscle and for good banter with Spider-Man.  I’m not sure i see him as an Avenger.  If you were going to take one AofA into the Avenger’s fold, i’d say the Urainian is the better pick.


  43. Not crazy about the gorilla or Ben being an avenger but I think it’d be interesting to have beast as an Avenger.

  44. @tex  bucky has a real looking arm now

    thats clint with a protective cover around his arm to protect it from the bow string, just like josh said

  45. @RoiVampire

    Yeah, that akes more sense. I just suddenly thought I’d struck gold looking at the image and got a bit too excited. Not that the return of Clint as Hawkeye isnt awesome enough!

  46. Hm, like Caroline, I’d be surprised if this was the final line-up, but then again — Bendis does like to go with unusual match-ups, and he seems more interested in what characters create interesting conflicts rather than "what team would match nicely" — which I appreciate. So we’ll wait and see, I guess. But I do love that Clint’s Hawkeye again. That’s the best thing out of this image. 🙂

    Oh, and yeah, that logo is pretty atrocious. I really hope that’s not the banner going across all the books…

  47. So Ronin’s donning the Hawkeye costume? That sucks. I love Ronin. Ronin should have his own book. He’s that awesome.

  48.  As long as Clint is back as Hawkeye then all be right the world.

  49.  Here is the corrected version:

     As long as Clint is back as Hawkeye then all be right with the world.

  50. The right side of the image is perfect for me. That is a team in itself.

    But the left side with Beast, Thing, Black Widow, and Gorillia Man….Huh? I mean I know Beast and Black Widow have been on the team before. But still, when you see just the left side of the image and nothing else…..That is the most bizarre pairing of heroes ever.

    Still I am excited for this to happen. Clint will be Hawkeye again and the Avengers can be a great tea to read again. This can’t come quicker!?

  51. This looks awesome, as expected. 

    @TNC – You can’t read this, it’s written by Bendis!  Where’s the bastrd to spread some of the hate! 🙂

  52. I don’t care who writes this. I want THE Avengers again. Not another spilt of the team or just a fake team. THE Avengers.

  53. @TNC: How do you define "The" Avengers?

  54. @conor: Just one team in general is a start.

    No ‘West Coast’, ‘Dark’, ‘New’, ‘Mighty’, ‘Young’, or anything else. Just 1 Avengers team.

    Plus have members that actually matter. That’s why Cap, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, Hawkeye, even Beast are perfect. Thing and Gorilla Man? Not sure about that.

  55. I like the team minus Gorilla Man.  Anyway I will get the first issue.



  56. @TNC: The Avengers have a long hisory of multiple teams.

    Also, I’m not convinced that that is the Avengers up there; it could be a line-wide promo. But, I’d be perfectly happy if it was the Avengers.

    You know, once Steve is Captain America again.

  57. im gonna call this if steve is not cap then maybe the head of sheild

  58. sausage fest

  59. Seems like they’re just rearranging the deck chairs … the notion that any one publisher can singlehandedly introduce a new "age" of comic books is the height of pretension and hubris … if this is the best that Marvel can do, then the superhero genre is truly played out …

  60. Super hero comics are built on hyperbole.

    There are a lot of other outlets for super hero comics.

    And if you are relying on Marvel to save a genre, than you seem to be grudgingly giving them more credit than you seem to intend.

    I’ll wait to see what kind of comics are produced out of this before I judge.

    And I don’t think that banner represents any one team.

  61. I’m not expecting Marvel to "save" anything … and I certainly didn’t mean to imply that they are the only source of superhero comics … but they and DC also do happen to be the two biggest players right now … and with all due respect DC’s loyal followers, it says something about the industry that a crossover storyline involving a B-list character like Green Lantern was THE event of the year …

    My original point remains relevant … "ages" in comic books don’t revolve around the predilections of a single publisher … they are highly dependent on reader buying habits, independent creators, government attempts at regulation (in the days of the CCA at least) … and if this is the best that Marvel has to offer, then they can expect to continue to lose market share.

  62. @cahubble09: I think you might be taking the marketing — and that’s what calling it "The Heroic Age" is — a little too seriously. Also, Marvel isn’t losing market share. Market share pretty much stays the same.

  63. @Conor: points taken … 

  64. @caphubble09  Dude, it’s just a name. Their not talking about "age" as in Golden Age or Silver Age. They’re just saying "Hey the heroes are back and they’re here to stay"

  65. "if this is the best that Marvel can do, then the superhero genre is truly played out …"

    I’ll assume if Marvel can do better, then the superhero genre wouldn’t be played out anymore.

    That to me sounds like you rely on Marvel to gauge the quality of one type of comics.

    I’d also advise caution in writing off a company based on a title.

  66. Is it racist to not want 2 hairy heroes in the roster? I welcome them, I have nothing against furry heroes, or rock ones. I welcome diversity. Or maybe some of u are just crybabies. Don’t know which yet. Ken is awesome!

  67. The absence of Logan points to a classic take on the book. But I feel like there’s going to be more to the story. No Hank Pym or Young Avengers? No Carol Danvers or Mockingbird? This might be the main cast, but there are going to be some more supporting characters, I’d bet. I kno wit’s only promotional, but how great would it be if Cheung was doing the interiors? tI’m also looking forward to seeing what they have planned for the new mansion.

    p.s. How awkward is the Peter/Tony reunion going to be?

    "Hi. Uh. Have we met?"

    "Long story." 


  68. I don’t think that’s the Avengers since Beast is wearing an distinctly X-Man suit and Thing is still wearing his classic trunks with a big 4 on it.  It looks more like an "Across the Marvel Universe" pic to me specifically picking some of the more "principled" heroes like Beast and Thing to represent their respective teams as if to say no more morally gray.

  69. also beast looks a little less cat like to me

  70. Captain America is too shiny…

  71. You know what would be better? If Jim Cheung actually did the art for upcoming Avengers monthly.

  72. Like some, I’d be surprised if this is the final Avengers line-up only because this promo refers to the Heroic Age as a whole not the Avengers.  I’m surprised to hear that Avengers won’t be taking the ASM approach and go thrice monthly.  Either way, it’s cool with me for them to spice things up.  I look forward to a more simpler time for Marvel stories.

  73. I had no idea Ben Grimm was on the Avengers before. I thought it was just a random placement, but no he was on the Avengers at some point. Crazy….Still don’t understand why Gorilla Man is on the poster whether he’s on the team or not. Why not a more recognized name like…..Hulk (or Sakaar), Hercules, or anyone else other then him?

    @conor: I just want one team for the time being. Your right they have had multiple teams in the past. But after all of this nonsense Bendis created, I just want one team for like….a year.

  74. Looks rad, would love to see Ben in the line up but I don’t think it will happen, how about a swap and put Luke Cage in the FF.

  75. that image also makes me dislike the iron man armor 

  76. I think this could be a pic representing the Heroic Age in the Marvel U in general showing a cross section of their books..Agents of Atlas, FF, Avengers, Spidey, X-Men & Avengers,..not just the Averngers line up.

  77. Yeah I agree @oldmanlogan88 that armor does not work. He looks like a joke.

  78. @TNC – How can you say NO to the Young Avengers? We know they’re coming back eventually. Keep hearing rumors about Heinberg having something set up and whatnot. So excited. Also, lack of catface beast is disappointing. (because, ya know, a character’s look or costume totally makes or breaks them.)

  79. I think this image is just a rundown of characters that will be in new and interesting situations in the new status quo.

    and "The Heroic Age" doesn’t mean all sun and rainbows.  what makes the heroes look heroic?  lots of pure, unabashed, dark, grim, and possibly gritty villainy to contrast to. 

  80. Did anyone read the article? It dosen’t mean this is the Avengers lineup. Just that they are a part of "THE HEROIC AGE"!

  81. no one read the article. also, no one read the recent iFanboy TOS, otherwise it wouldn’t have to be stated three times that Hawkeye does not have a robot arm

  82. I’ve never read a single comic with Clint Barton in it, so why the hell am I so pumped for him (probably) being Hawkeye again?  Is Josh really that influential?

  83. I get under your skin.

  84. it’s especially odd when you consider he wasn’t Hawkeye only 5 years after being introduced

  85. Six Guys, two Gorillas. I bet Black Widow is a cross-dresser. Who’s behind the wig? wil be the first twelve issue mystery.
    Also. Jim Cheung is a perfect Artist.

  86. No Hank pym? I am NOT pleased

  87. @KickAss

    …? I love Bendis, he was absolutely one of the things that got me into comics. Are you confusing my even-handed approach to writers regardless of whether I like them or not as some sort of negative bias?

    I for one would love this Avengers team, but I can’t imagine that it is the team. Either way, I agree that it should be Steve as Cap on Avengers. That would allow for Bucky to have solo Cap stories and have reason for both to stick around under the moniker w/o really stepping on each other’s toes. 

    @TNC Why Gorilla Man? ‘Cause it’s a fucking gorilla w/ a gattling gun on his back!!!!

  88. Yeah, no way in hell that’s a single team. 🙂

    Definitely looking forward to it, though!


  89. Doesn’t the JLA have Congorilla on their team now? Should I feel bad for not supporting one-apesmanship? 

    I will say a little prayer before bed tonight that whatever secondary mutation Beast has undergone washes away the next time he takes a bath and we speak of it no more, like the great incident that changed the klingons. 

  90. I could really get behind this lineup if it is the new Avengers team, as it’s a nice mix of disparate characters, in keeping with Avengers tradition.  I’d also be quite happy if this signalled a bit of streamlining of the line, even if only for a little while.

  91. I’m fairly certain that is not the offical team and I agree with those you point out this is just for the Heroic Age promo.  However, I wouldn’t mind seeing that team as a line-up.  The only odd one to me is the Gorilla from AoA.

    @conor: Sorry Conor I actually like seeing the new Cap lead the Avengers.  I strongly believe Steve is going to end up as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., hence "who will wield the shield?".  I like the idea of Steve who "lost" the Civil War being asked to clean up Stark and Osborn’s mess.

  92. The Agents of Atlas are very under-rated.  Also, where is the Blue Marvel in that picture??? 

  93. I hope this ends up being old New Avengers Bendis and not current New Avengers Bendis. Agents of Atlas Monkey & Thing don’t really fit for me.  Not saying they won’t be good just don’t fit and feel like 2 too many.

  94. i like moral ambiguity. this seems like stepping backward rather than forward. not sure i like it.

  95. I doubt this’ll be the post-siege Avengers line-up but the return of Hawkeye and keeping Bucky as Captain America is promising.

    I say the spirit of the Heroic Age rests on how Marvel uses its villains. Send in more "would-be world conquerers."

  96. Sorry, I haven’t read the whole thread, but, does this confirm that Bendis is staying on Avengers?

  97. so you read neither the thread nor the article?

  98. I mean, yes it does, but still…

  99. @ABirdseyeview – the article says nothing about Bendis staying on Avengers.  It says he’ll be onboard with the Heroic Age.. but that’s not a book, that’s a banner. 

  100. ok, fair enough, but I think it indirectly confirms it.

  101. Unless the article was poorly written (always a possibility) the fact that they don’t come right out and say "Avengers #1 writer Brian Michael Bendis" is a pretty glaring omission.  It screams, to me, that he won’t be the Avengers writer. 

  102. ok, I got it.  Newsarama and CBR both say he’ll still be writing it.  their source isn’t necessarily guaranteed, and it could just an assumption I suppose.

  103. wouldn’t be surprised if steve rogers became ronin.

  104. The Iron Man suit actually looks a lot like his short live S.K.I.N. suit.  I was a fan.

  105. @Tiocore

    I would literally take a dump on whatever issue that occured in. 

  106. @captbastard: It wouldn’t be unprecented. Steve was Nomad for a while.

  107. Everyone forgets about the short Nomad period, but I feel that it is the turning point of the modern Steve Rogers.  It was during that period that Steve became the symbol of ‘American ideals’ as opposed to the symbol of ‘American government’. 

  108. As far as the Bucky/Captain America thing goes. Here’s my longshot guess…..

    Steve Rogers will either team up with or start a new SHIELD with Nick Fury. Maybe some banter about him giving up one shield for another. Leaving Bucky to be Captain America permanently.

    And this whole Heroic Age thing makes me think Disney is pushing for a more watered down Marvel. With clear cut good guys, bad guys. I can’t see the above team being the new Avengers line up. I hope they don’t get too controlling with the stories ie, the violence, etc.  

    Didn’t they just cancel Agents of Atlas? Great book. That’s too bad if it’s true. 

  109. Well everyone should breath a big sigh of relief. Deadpool will be no where near the Avengers as a member. But that doesn’t mean Daniel Way is just going to ignore the Heroic Age.


    Sexy party!!!