Marvel and relaunches go hand in hand, but they’re rarely as ambitious as House of X. Writer Jonathan Hickman was given carte blanche to do whatever he wanted with the X-Men mythos and was able to create Marvel’s hottest line of books in years. The X-Men books became the most exciting comics at the publisher, and a big reason for that was the way House of X and its sister book Powers of X took a big swing, knocking it out of the park.
Marvel is good with releasing new number ones, but they basically just set reset a book to a more classic status quo. The Marvel Universe feels remarkably safe right now, which is why more books could use House of X-style relaunches. Revolution is better than the status quo.
10 The Sentry
The Sentry is getting some ill-thought out MCU synergy, but there’s no reason for that. The story of Robert Reynolds and the effect he had on the superhero world was never fully explored; his original series laid out the character’s history, a veritable secret history of the Marvel Universe that was barely ever touched. The character went into hibernation for years and by the time he reappeared in the Avengers books staring with New Avengers, he was a bland powerhouse and then a bland boogeyman.
The great thing about the Sentry is that most of his time in the early years of the Marvel Universe were barely explored. The right creator could go back to that time that no one remembers and create an entire secret rogues gallery. The Sentry’s gimmick – that everyone forgot about his adventures in the early years of the Marvel Universe – is perfect for a character-redefining reboot.
9 The Inhumans
The Inhumans were the recipients of the worst push ever. Marvel definitely went all in on the characters, but they did it in the dumbest ways possible. Marvel trying to position the Inhumans as an X-Men replacement was asinine, like forcing a high school football team against pro team, and it ended with just as well as that would. The Inhumans are a hard nut to crack and despite their being some good examples of how to do the Inhumans – 1998’s 12-issue maxi series comes to mind – but something revolutionary is needed.
The Inhumans may be a C-list Marvel concept with some B-listers scattered throughout their ranks, but there is a lot of potential in their mythos for reinvention. The Inhumans have been gone for years now, and it’s about time for Marvel to do something new with them. Marvel doesn’t like to remind people of its failure, which is why the Inhumans went away. However, with the right creative team and the right kind of reboot, Marvel could succeed where they failed before.
8 The Midnight Sons
The Midnight Sons barely got their chance to shine. Ghost Rider was popular again in the 1990s, and DC’s line of horror books were selling like hotcakes, so Marvel tried their own version with the Midnight Sons line of books. This didn’t really last very long, for several reasons, but the main one was that after the initial crossover, there was nothing interesting done with the characters.
The Midnight Sons recently made a comeback because of the video game, but that was basically just a hodge podge of more popular characters and some of Marvel’s horror characters. A true Midnight Sons reboot, more like the ’90s one than the recent one, would be a smart move. Marvel’s horror mythos are way more interesting than anyone gives them credit for and a House of X style reboot is just what the doctor ordered.
7 The Avengers
The Avengers are a Marvel institution, but they haven’t had a major shake-up in years. The team’s formula – the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe teaming up against the greatest threats – has really never changed, which as seen the Avengers get stagnant every few years. The problem with the Avengers is that no one really wants to try anything new and when they say are, they really just mean giving the team a new roster with the exact same missions.
Even something like Avengers Disassembled wasn’t as drastic as it seemed, because the Avengers were back in a few months. The only difference was that the team had Wolverine, Spider-Man, and assorted B and C-listers. Calling the book New Avengers wasn’t like, for example, New X-Men, a book that took something familiar and did new things. It was literally just talking about the roster. The team has gotten another shake-up after theJason Aaron years, but it’s still the Avengers everyone knows. This needs to change or things are going to stagnate again in a few years.
6 The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man is somehow the bestselling book at Marvel that no one actually admits to completely enjoying. This has been the book’s state of affairs since One More Day, and most fans are getting rather tired of it. Marvel always likes to say they’re trying to keep Spider-Man like he was in the 1970s when he was at the “height of his popularity,” while ignoring that was actually the early ’90s, when he was married. Something needs to give.
If there’s any book that needs a House of X-style reboot, it’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Whether they bring back his marriage to Mary Jane or not, it’s about time that Marvel actually does something revolutionary with Spider-Man. It honestly can’t be any worse received than The Amazing Spider-Man has consistently been since 2007, and fans might actually be happy to buy The Amazing Spider-Man again.
5 Adam Warlock
Adam Warlock is superlatively powerful, but hasn’t had a chance to shine in a long time. Created during Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s legendary Fantastic Four run, Adam Warlock truly came into his own during the 1970s, under the capable hand of writer/artist Jim Starlin. Starlin’s Cosmic Marvel stories were hallucinogenic masterpieces, and Adam Warlock fit perfectly into his style.
Warlock went dormant eventually, but returned in the ’90s with Infinity Gauntlet. This run with the character lasted a few years, but never really reached the heights of what came before. Since then, he’s appeared in team books or as a guest star, but hasn’t truly had a chance to shine. Luckily, there’s a million different ways to take the character, and a House of X-style story could find a new direction to take the hero.
4 Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer is the Sentinel of the Spaceways, protecting the universe from the most dangerous threats. Silver Surfer is going through something of a miniseries renaissance, as the 1990s creative team of writer Ron Marz and artist Ron Lim have been cracking out some classic Surfer goodness. Marvel has been doing a lot of nostalgia miniseries lately, bringing back classic creators to characters they’d worked on, but Silver Surfer needs something new.
Cosmic Marvel is basically non-existent nowadays, which is a complete shame. There’s so much out there and by his very nature, Silver Surfer is the perfect character to explore it. Silver Surfer became the Cosmic Marvel figurehead in the ’90s, and could easily become that again given the right chance.
3 The Guardians Of The Galaxy
The Guardians of the Galaxy are currently doing a fascinating space Western thing, but it’s still basically the Guardians of the Galaxy that everyone knows. In fact, that goes doubly so for the current team, as it’s just the MCU team. The Guardians of the Galaxy’s first true success came from Marvel allowing creators to take things in a new direction with the team after Annihilation, keeping the name of a team from the 31st century and jettisoning everything else, and that’s the key to Guardians even today.
Now that no one has to worry about MCU synergy, the time has come to completely change the Guardians of the Galaxy. Cosmic Marvel needs a facelift. Since the Guardians are currently the most well known Cosmic Marvel characters, they need it the most. The Guardians could take the Marvel in an interesting new direction given the chance.
2 Captain Marvel
There have been many Captain Marvels over the years. Starting with Mar-Vell, Captain Marvel has been the Earth’s foremost cosmic defender, battling threats from Earth and outer space. Captain Marvel is currently in a holding pattern, as writer Kelly Thompson’s long run on the characters has finished up and Marvel is keeping mum about what comes next for Carol. Thompson’s run was amazing, but it never got the attention it deserved from fans or Marvel, who didn’t push the book until it was over.
Captain Marvel could use a House of X shot in the arm. Despite being an extremely important part of the Marvel Universe, the last time people were truly excited for Captain Marvel was when Carol first took up her mentor’s mantle. It’s time to change that, to bring excitement back to the character, and the best way to do that would a House of X style reboot that recontextualizes Captain Marvel.
1 The Defenders
The Defenders went to the multiverse for a reboot and it was phenomenal. The run goes to show just how versatile the Defenders can be a concept. Looking back over the history of the team, they’ve done it all. From its original line-up of Hulk, Doctor Strange, Namor, and Silver Surfer to the expanded line-up that became Beast’s team to the Secret Defenders of the ’90s and on into the new millennium with the all-superheroine Fearless team, the Netflix street team, and the newest multiversal defense squad, the Defenders have proven themselves to be capable of anything.
The Defenders have a deep bench of characters, ones that would lend themselves well to a team-redefining reboot. From the original big guns to the more modern members, Marvel could easily just put Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez on the book again and let them go to town. The Defenders have all the tools to be huge, they just need the right starting point.
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