WARNING: Spoilers for Timeless #1 follow. In true Marvel Comics tradition, the publisher is ending 2021 with a special one-shot that sets up various events scheduled to run throughout 2022. This year's edition is Timeless #1 featuring Kang the Conqueror, who has grown to prominence thanks to Jonathan Major's portrayal of the Kang variant in the Loki Disney+ series. Since Kang is a time traveler, he offers the reader a unique glimpse at events to come in the future of the Marvel Universe, which may surprise some fans. Some of Marvel's most popular titles are involved, and some returning favorites are also shown, but with a different facelift.
The creative team on Timeless #1 is writer Jed MacKay, artists Kev Walker, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Mark Bagley, and Andrew Hennessey, color artist Marte Gracia, and letterer VC's Ariana Maher. After Kang detects a timequake — an event that causes a ripple event throughout the timeline — he retreats back to one of his observation stations outside of time to investigate. Joining him is a writer and lecturer on superhuman studies named Anatoly Petrov. He's beginning to write a paper dedicated to Doctor Doom, but since Kang and Doom have a budding rivalry, Kang chooses to take Anatoly with him so he can witness his exploits in a ploy to change his mind.
Once Kang takes a look at what is happening to the timeline, he's given a look at 12 future events destined to unfold in the Marvel Universe. Some of these events are already in progress, such as Punisher's logo change and alliance with The Hand, the introduction of a new Iron Fist, and Iron Man transitioning into an Iron God. Other events tease major changes and possible deadly fates for the X-Men, Captain America, and more.
Let's take a look at what Marvel has in store for fans next year.
Doctor Strange Nemesis Killed By His Own Son
Dormammu is one of Doctor Strange's greatest enemies... which is what made it all the more surprising that Strange would accept Dormammu's son, Doyle, as a student in his new academic academy. Strange Academy by Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos follows the titular mystic school set in New Orleans. Other masters of the mystic arts like Doctor Voodoo, Magik, Scarlet Witch, the Ancient One, Daimon Hellstrom, and Agatha Harkness have stopped by to educate the next generation of sorcerers.
Timeless #1 shows Doyle attacking his father Dormammu with the Twilight Sword with the caption, "The son takes up the Twilight Sword and strikes down the father..."prevnext
Ben Reilly Goes Hollywood
Peter Parker's clone, Ben Reilly, has currently replaced the web-slinger as Spider-Man in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Dubbed the "Beyond era," Amazing Spider-Man pairs Ben Reilly with the Beyond Corporation, who has trademarked the "Spider-Man" name and outfitted Ben with a new suit and gadgets. He's also getting special training from Colleen Wing and Misty Knight.
Marvel's March 2022 solicitations reveal Spider-Man Beyond will come to an end that month. Now, a teaser shows Ben Reilly leaving New York City for Hollywood, "... while a son with no father finds a new home."prevnext
Marvel Forges a New Iron Fist
"The Iron Fist, reforged for a new hand...," Kang the Conqueror utters in Timeless #1. A new five-issue Iron Fist miniseries will introduce fans to a mystery character replacing Danny Rand. All we know about the character is that they're Asian, and the creative team for the miniseries is writer Alyssa Wong, artist Michael YG, and colorist Jay Ramos.
"It's an incredible honor to introduce a new Iron Fist to the Marvel Universe. I'm excited to delve into the comic's rich mythos and build on it," Wong said when the series was announced. "What does it mean for someone to take up the mantle of the Iron Fist right now, today? As a newcomer, how does one interact with legacy, and how does one honor it while forging a new path?"prevnext
The Great Reckoning Is Upon Us
Billed as an event 15 years in the making, the Fantastic Four event "Reckoning War" is the lovechild of writer Dan Slott, who has seeded the storyline throughout his many Marvel titles. The story features the returns of Uatu the Watcher and the original Nick Fury, now going by the title of the Unseen.
"If you track down all of the past [Reckoning War] clues on Marvel Unlimited or your long boxes, it'll be fun!," Slott wrote on Twitter. "But new readers will be able to jump right in -- as the biggest, most cosmic, most all-out Marvel story ever kicks off -- with the best characters in comics!"
The quote from Timeless #1 for "Reckoning War" states, "The moon, cracked in a great Reckoning..."prevnext
A Dangerous X-Men Enemy Rises
Orchis is a new organization introduced in Jonathan Hickman's House of X and Powers of X. Comprised of former members from different groups in the Marvel Universe like S.H.I.E.L.D., A.I.M., Hydra, Alpha Flight, and more, Orchis intends to eradicate mutantkind so humanity can remain the dominant species on Earth. Their base of operations is a giant Master Mold Sentinel head floating just outside the sun. The X-Men have been attempting to deal with Orchis, though each mission has ended in failure.
According to Kang, a very distant future will have Orchis victorious and taking leadership of Earth. "... while further in the future, another reckoning leaves humanity with dominion over Earth."prevnext
Captain America vs. Winter Soldier
Best friends Captain Americaand Winter Soldier will go to war at some point in 2022. An image in Timeless #1 shows Cap on his hands and knees holding his stomach as blood spills from his body. Standing above him is Bucky Barnes, who has smoke flowing from his balled-up hands. Winter Soldier's face is locked in the shadows, giving him a sinister look as he betrays Steve Rogers. We're told by Kang that "an old icon falls."prevnext
Who Are These Young Avengers?
With it only being a matter of time before the Young Avengers officially debut in the MCU, there is bound to be a new series featuring the team's name on it. Marvel has teased a Young Avengers reunion as Hulkling, Wiccan, Speed, America Chavez, Kate Bishop, and Patriot have appeared in Marvel Comics #1000 and Empyre: Aftermath Avengers #1, stories focused on the secret wedding of Hulkling and Wiccan.
However, the image of the Young Avengers in Timeless #1 looks slightly different from the main team. "A young generation of Avengers rise...," Kang says, which may mean different team characters decide to take on the mantle of Young Avengers. This could lead to the original team reuniting to reclaim their name.prevnext
Similar to Young Avengers, Marvel Studios is seemingly setting up a Thunderbolts project. The team originally debuted as heroes, though were quickly revealed to be villains masquerading as superheroes, led by Baron Zemo. Nowadays, the Thunderbolts name has been used by Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, to do his evil bidding. Villains like Taskmaster, Rhino, Batroc, Doctor Octopus, and more have been recruited for the Thunderbolts in the event series' King in Black and Devil's Reign.
It would appear someone will look to reclaim the Thunderbolts name, but it could also tie back to the Young Avengers teaser. If Kingpin or another villain decides to make their own Young Avengers with teenage villains, it could lead to the heroic Young Avengers and Thunderbolts setting things right.prevnext
"A New God Takes Their Throne..."
Iron Man has taken on the Power Cosmic during his recent battles with a revived Korvac. Both characters have stolen Galactus' power, fighting to see who can come out on top. Iron Man was finally victorious, and cosmic deities like the Living Tribunal allowed Tony Stark to retain the power he's gained. Now an Iron God, Iron Man is returning to Earth with the intent of using this power to reshape the Earth. The only question is will his allies in the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and more be okay with these changes?prevnext
Mayday Parker and Shuri's Black Panther?
Fans got a tease of May "Mayday" Parker, aka Spider-Girl/Spider-Woman, returning in Amazing Spider-Man #74/#875. The comic is Nick Spencer's final issue of the series and resolves many of his plotlines. Before he passes the torch to the Beyond creative team, Spencer and a bevy of artists tease a demonic future ruled by Mephisto. As he tells Doctor Strange, no matter what alternate reality Mephisto envisions, he's always stopped by Spider-Man. We see that happen in one scene, and in the next panel Peter Parker is replaced by his alternate reality daughter.
Since Mephisto is meddling with the multiverse in Avengers, this could open the door for Mayday to show up again. However, the panel we see in Timeless #1 shows Mayday next to what appears to be a female Black Panther with the caption, "The brave honor the sacrifices of those in their hearts..." Someone close to Mayday and this Black Panther seemingly sacrifices themselves, though the Black Panther may also hail from another part of the multiverse.prevnext
Punisher, Warlord of The Hand
There was a big fuss made over The Punisher walking away from his controversial skull logo in a maxiseries by Jason Aaron, Jesús Saiz, and Paul Azaceta. If you look closer at the actual details, Frank Castle changes his logo when he becomes a warlord for The Hand. The new Punisher logo slightly alters the original by adding samurai horns. Punisher will allow fans to see how Frank Castle ends up employed by The Hand, and promises to be the "definitive culmination" of Frank Castle's journey in the Marvel Universe.prevnext
A Heart Once Thought Lost Beats Anew
The final teaser for Marvel's 2022 lineup features the return of the classic Avenger Jack of Hearts. The image shows a close-up of Jack of Hearts' face with energy burning from his left eye. Jack of Hearts was a member of the Avengers alongside the likes of Wasp and Scarlet Witch. Jack has died and been resurrected on several occasions, though this time his revival looks like it will stick. Where and when Jack of Hearts returns remains to be seen.prev