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Marvel’s ‘Next Big Thing’ Panel at C2E2

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Arguably Marvel Comics’ biggest reveal of Chicago’s annual C2E2 convention was the story behind the rumors that Jonathan Hickman–famed scribe responsible for the Infinity and Secret Wars events, and architect behind the Avengers rejuvenation post-Bendis–would be returning to the Marvel fold after three years absence.

The rumors started flying a few months back, when Hickman himself was hinting at something big coming from him this year.  Fans correctly guessed a return to Marvel, where he has had his greatest mainstream success.  Until recently, though, the plans for his return were under wraps.  Marvel drummed up anticipation with full-page ads in last weeks comics, which simply stated “HICKMAN” in black lettering on white background, and the date “July 2019”.

Editor C. B. Cebulski made the reveal that Hickman would, in fact, be launching two new X-Men titles, House of X, and Powers of X (“X” in the latter meaning “ten”, evidently).  The announcement was made at the publisher’s annual “Next Big Thing” panel.

Marvel Movie fans will recognize Hickman’s work from Avengers: Infinity War.  The Black Order featured prominently in the Avengers-heavy Infinity mini-series.

Given what Hickman has done for the Fantastic Four and Avengers, fan excitement is at a peak for these new titles.   Artists Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva were hand-picked by Hickman to illustrate his runs.

Other announcements at the panel included Donny Cates and Al Ewing’s Valkyrie series, as well as Cates’ Absolute Carnage, in which Cletus Kassidy will be hunting down any and all “Venomized” persons in the Marvel Universe.

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Further revealed were plans for another event in December 2019, which Cebulski promised would “pay off” much of the “connective tissue” between Marvel’s books.