Captain Marvel will return to publication from Marvel in July, according to a teaser poster released by the publisher today. No further information was offered other than that the title would be officially announced at Satuday’s Talk to the Hat panel at WonderCon.
Not only is the creative team shrouded in mystery, but whether the book will be released as a standard comic (presumably with AR features, as announced this weekend at SXSW Interactive) or as a digital-only product like the just-announced Nova title by Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen, is not yet known.
The identity of the title character is also unclear as of this point. Captain Marvel has been the name of six separate Marvel characters, most notably Mar-Vell, a Kree soldier created by stan Lee and Gene Colan who famously died of cancer in Jim Starlin’s 1982 original graphic novel The Death of Captain Marvel. Mar-Vell has been one of the very few comic book characters who has been allowed to (mostly) stay dead and off the page since his passing. His return was teased briefly in the run-up to Secret Invasion, but it turned out that the version of Mar-Vell who appeared during that time turned out to be a Skrull impostor.
It seems likely that, following the successful and best-selling resurrection of Bucky Barnes, Marvel may actually use this year’s thirtieth anniversary of The Death of Captain Marvel as an opportune time to bring back the best-known version of the character. The best-known version of Captain Marvel of all, of course, is not even a Marvel character. The first Captain Marvel, now being called Shazam and published in backup features starting with this month’s issue of Justice League at DC Comics, was created in 1940 by Fawcett Comics–but when the character’s trademark apparently lapsed, Marvel seized on the opportunity to create a character with such ready name recognition. Mar-Vell was created in 1967, and after a lengthy lapse in publication, Fawcett’s Captain Marvel was licensed and eventually purchased outright by DC Comics for publication beginnin in 1972. Between Marvel’s version of the character, and the further confusion by the advent of Marvelman, the copyright and trademark quagmire that was created by the character and creators involved is legendary. Marvelman, later renamed Miracleman, was acquired in 2009 by Marvel Comics, who have not yet done anything new with the character.