Marvel announced today that they will be releasing graphic novels once again, starting with a Warren Ellis penned/Mike McKone pencilled Avengers epic this October.
"Avengers: Endless Wartime" features a team consisting of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye... And Wolverine and Captain Marvel. When asked what prompted the feature of this particular team in Marvel's return to the format, EiC Axel Alonso replied "a little movie called 'Marvel's The Avengers.'"
Ellis did most of the casting himself, all the while keeping in mind which Avengers are hottest in the public eye right now (and which ones have major motion picture releases in the next 12 months). Alonso said that Thor and Cap were "must-haves," but everyone else was Ellis's choice. I appreciate Marvel's honesty in the marketing department, but also appreciate that they know that Thor is an Avengers staple; Alonso says "Thor is one of—if not the—most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. He's a bedrock member of the Avengers. For long-term fans—and casual cineplex fans—he's the guy who brings the thunder. Literally." The team will face an as yet undisclosed "force of pure evil," and Alonso and Senior VP Tom Brevoort assure Ellis fans that the darkness at which he is so skilled will be a prominent presence in the GN.
It's a smart move for the publisher, and one that addresses many cross-walks the industry can utilize to bridge reader gaps - the format allows film fans/new readers as well as fans of Ellis to get involved with an Avengers story without the commitment to a monthly book (and you know what, I think it's OK to not want to commit to a monthly book and still consider yourself a comics fan). I myself am happy to see some energy spent on OGN content, even if it means taking some focus from huge seasonal crossover events.
The creative team will be working with colorist Jason Keith, and McKone will be doing his own inking on the project.