The comic book industry is starting 2019 with a bang. Marvel and DC have several high-profile new projects in the works, including a new Conan the Barbarian comic, a relaunch of Guardians of the Galaxy and Brian Bendis’ new DC imprint. But perhaps the biggest news is that Marvel is teasing the return of Cyclops in the pages of Uncanny X-Men.
Scroll down to see the biggest new books and new storylines hitting the stands in January.
The Return of Cyclops?
Easily the most intriguing solicitation for January is Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men Annual #1. The text features just one word – “Cyclops!” Between that and the Cyclops-heavy cover, we can only assume that Marvel is finally bringing back the original X-Man. But will the X-Men be happy to see Scott Summers alive and well after everything that transpired leading up to his death? And how will the recently resurrected Jean Grey and Wolverine react? In sort, the upcoming Uncanny X-Men relaunch just got more interesting.
It’s shaping up to be a big month for the X-Men franchise in general. Marvel will publish the final three chapters of the “X-Men Disassembled” storyline in the core Uncanny X-Men series. That’ll be accompanied by a one-shot special called Age of X-Man Alpha #1, suggesting that the return of Nate Grey will have major, lasting ramifications for the mutant race.
Doctor Manhattan vs. the DCU
Doctor Manhattan finally made his presence known in Doomsday Clock #7, and it looks as though he’ll continue to be at the forefront of this Watchmen sequel moving forward. Issue #9 is teasing a big confrontation between Manhattan and the heroes of the DC Universe. If the cover is to be believed, that encounter won’t work out well for the latter. Will we see Manhattan rewrite the fabric of the DCU all over again?
Conan Comes Home
There was a time when Conan the Barbarian was one of the top-selling titles at Marvel, eclipsing many of the company’s superhero titles. The pulp hero is making his return to Marvel in January following a successful, 15-year stint at Dark Horse. It remains to be seen if the franchise still holds the same weight, but Marvel is certainly putting some serious creative muscle behind it. Marvel will publish the first two issues of Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar’s Conan the Barbarian, kicking of a new “ages-spanning” story that will give fans a fresh starting point for the character.
New Twists for Heroes in Crisis
Due to Diamond’s skip month at the end of December, we’ll be getting two chapters of Heroes in Crisis in January. Interestingly, the solicits for these new chapters emphasize the alliance between Booster Gold and Harley Quinn, suggesting that the story behind the murders in issue #1 may not be as clear-cut as it seems. In particular, DC is teasing a huge plot twist landing in Heroes in Crisis #4.
Wolverine’s Busy Month
January is shaping up to be a very eventful month for the recently resurrected Wolverine. First, Charles Soule and Steve McNiven will wrap up the Return of Wolverine miniseries, as Logan makes his final stand against Persephone and her sinister corporation.
We have little doubt return of Wolverine will pave the way for a new ongoing Wolverine comic in early 2019. But readers can also look forward to the return of the anthology series Marvel Comics Presents. As with the original ’90s series, the book will feature one Wolverine-centric story along with other serialized adventures. Look for the first issue to feature stories from writer Charles Soule, Ann Nocenti and Greg Pak.
Green Lantern Meets God?
The debut of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern is almost upon us. Morrison has been teasing a relatively grounded approach to the series that emphasizes Hal Jordan’s day-to-day struggles as a space cop. But judging from the solicit for issue #3, we’re in for plenty of Morrison’s patented brand of weirdness. This issue will feature Earth being put up for sale on the cosmic auction circuit. And the cover suggests that Hal could be butting heads with God (or at least a powerful being with similar fashion sense).
Spider-Man Gets Friendly
Marvel is bringing Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man to a close at the end of the year, but there’s a new monthly Spider-Man title in the works. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is making its return in January. Like Spectacular, the series looks to emphasize accessible storytelling and Peter Parker’s more grounded adventures as a New York superhero. The real selling point is that Friendly will reunite All-New Wolverine writer Tom Taylor and artist Juann Cabal. We can’t wait to see what they have planned for Spider-Man.
Brian Bendis’ Wonder Comics
One of the biggest announcements at NYCC earlier this month involved the reveal of Brian Bendis’ new curated DC imprint, Wonder Comics. The first two Wonder Comics titles will make their debut in January. First, Bendis and artist Patrick Gleason are relaunching Young Justice, reviving the popular ’90s team of teen heroes and even bringing Superboy Conner Kent back into play.
Then, Bendis and co-writer David F. Walker are teaming with artist Jamal Campbell for Naomi, a series about a young woman who begins digging into a superhuman conspiracy tied to her own mysterious past. Basically, if you enjoyed Bendis work on teen Marvel heroes like Miles Morales and Riri Williams, these new books should be on your radar.
Captain Marvel’s New Series
With Captain Marvel making her big-screen debut in early 2019, it should come as no surprise that Marvel has a new comic series timed to that release. Writer Kelly Thompson and artist Carmen Carnero will join forces for a new ongoing Captain Marvel series. Expect an easy jumping-on point for the character, as the series follows Carol’s return to Earth after months away in space.
Relaunching the Guardians of the Galaxy and Champions
Two major Marvel teams will be getting new series in January. Thanos writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw will tackle an even more ambitious cosmic epic as they take on Guardians of the Galaxy. In a universe full of increasingly terrible threats, the new series will expand the ranks of the team to include everyone from Silver Surfer to Beta Ray Bill to Cosmic Ghost Rider.
Marvel is also relaunching Champions with a new story direction. Writer Jim Zub will be sticking around, and he’ll be joined by new artist Stephen Cummings as the two explore what happens when Ms. Marvel takes the team global.
The Secret History of the DCU
DC first announced The Other History of the DC Universe in early 2018, and the series will finally be making its debut a year later. This miniseries from 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley and a rotating lineup of artists examines the history of the DCU from a very different, racially charged perspective. This is a book about what it’s like to be a hero and a disenfranchises minority at the same time.
Life After Daredevil
Charles Soule’s long Daredevil run is wrapping up in late 2018, raising the question of what’s next for Matt Murdock. While it appears that the hero will have a big part to play in the upcoming Marvel Knights relaunch, fans can also look forward to Man Without Fear. This weekly miniseries from writer Jed MacKay and artist Danilo Beyrouth wil lfocus on different supporting characters as they react to a world without Daredevil.
A Blackest Night Anniversary
2019 marks, among other things, the tenth anniversary of the epic Blackest Night crossover. DC clearly seems intent on celebrating the occasion. They’ll be reprinting that crossover in two new forms – as a budget-friendly DC Essential Edition trade paperback and as a hefty Omnibus hardcover.
However,m the Green Lantern trade that most catches our eye in January is Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Book One. This kicks off a new line of paperbacks collecting the entirety of Johns’ Green Lantern saga, beginning with Green Lantern Rebirth. Better yet, it’ll also include the companion Green Lantern Corps title. We’ve been waiting for years for DC to release a comprehensive, chronological set of Johns, Dave Gibbons and Peter Tomasi’s GL books, and that day is finally nearing.
Black Widow and the Invaders
Marvel has two more high-profile new series worth watching in January. First, writers Jen and Sylvia Soska and artist Flaviano are launching a new Black Widow comic. This looks to be a very dark take on the heroine, building on her recent “death” in Secret Empire and her estrangement from the Avengers.
Then, writer Chip Zdarsky and artists Carlos Magno and Butch Guice are bringing back WWII super-team The Invaders. This time, the team must re-form to battle one of its own, as Namor becomes a greater threat than ever to the surface world.
Marvel’s Missing Titles
Two major Marvel books are conspicuously absent in January. There’s no solicit for Ms. Marvel #38. Fortunately, writer G. Willow Wilson confirmed that the series hasn’t been canceled. It’s merely skipping a month due to Wilson’s recent health problems.
More concerning is the absence of Star Wars: Shadow of Vader. The miniseries was slated to begin in January. However, last week writer Chuck Wendig revealed he was fired from the book and that the final two issues would be handled by a new writer. It’s unclear whether Marvel has delayed the series while a new writer is selected or canceled it entirely in light of the controversy.