Comic-Con Preview 2012: Comics | EW.com

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Comic-Con Preview 2012: Comics

Just as Marvel Comics is wrapping up its incredibly successful Avengers vs. X-Men series, the company is shifting the landscape of its comics universe with Marvel NOW! (you can see an exclusive first look here). NOW! launches/relaunches a number of Marvel's titles with new creative teams, but as editor in chief Axel Alonso is quick to point out, ''This ain't no reboot. It's a new beginning!'' EW got the inside scoop on three of the main titles

Marvel

Uncanny Avengers

Writer Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force) mixes Avengers characters like Captain America and Thor together with such X-Men as Rogue and Havok in the flagship title of Marvel NOW! ”It’s a bridge book,” Remender says, ”something that can delve into both worlds.” And there will be some post-AvX tension between the two sides: ”What fun would it be if they all got along?” Oct. 2012

Avengers

The updated series promises a diverse, sprawling cast that goes far beyond the movie lineup. ”It’s not six Avengers, it’s 18 or more,” says writer Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four). Avengers will appear in stores biweekly, and will feature a combination of one-off stories and longer, galaxy-spanning multi-issue arcs. Dec. 2012

All-New X-Men

Brian Michael Bendis is departing Avengers after close to a decade, and taking on the most eccentric (and controversy-baiting) Marvel NOW! book. The pitch: The original five teenage X-Men time-travel to the present day. ”But it’s not a time-travel story like Back to the Future. It’s a time-travel story like Pleasantville,” teases Bendis, who says that space-time-continuum questions are less important than the character-based drama. ”Here’s the big question that the original X-Men are gonna be faced with: ‘We’re gonna grow up, and this is what we’re going to get? That is not acceptable.”’ Nov. 2012

DC Comics

DC Comics’ Before Watchmen project has been greeted with shouts of ”Heresy!” from certain feisty corners of fandom. How dare they produce prequels to Watchmen — arguably the greatest superhero saga ever told — without original creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons! The superstar talents who signed up to pilot the endeavor knew they’d be courting controversy — and they let it fuel their ambition. Says DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, ”There was this interesting bonding moment where they all agreed, ‘We’re putting on our A game, and we’re going to take on anyone who comes after us.”’ So far, so good: The first wave of the miniseries has received solid to sensational reviews, and the soon-to-launch last two titles in the line — Dr. Manhattan by J. Michael Straczynski and Adam Hughes, and Rorschach by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo — may be the best yet. Dr. Manhattan, a nonlinear tale that skips back and forth through time, finds the blue and nude quantum-powered superman investigating the mystery of his origins. Rorschach, a pulpy grindhouse yarn set in 1977, puts the brutal, blood-splashed urban vigilante on the trail of a sadistic serial killer and explores his wanton, violent nature. DiDio hopes that Before Watchmen can bolster a weakening industry that needs ”a shot of adrenaline” — and do so with quality worthy of Watchmen’s rep. ”So many people say you shouldn’t do it,” he says. ”But there’s something to saying ‘Why not?’ and proving everyone wrong.” Rorschach: Aug. 15, 2012; Dr. Manhattan: Aug. 22, 2012 —Jeff Jensen