Marvel NOW! Confirmed by Entertainment Weekly

Don't call it a relaunch. Marvel NOW! is the publisher's 'new beginning,' and it's starting in [...]

Don't call it a relaunch. Marvel NOW! is the publisher's "new beginning," and it's starting in October, with a new title launched every week for five months, leaving the landscape of the Marvel Universe dramatically different from both a story and business point of view. reports Entertainment Weekly. "It's not hype when we say that AvX is the culmination of a lot of stories we've done over the last several years," Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso put it to the magazine. "Characters are redeemed or not. Characters are changed. The X-Men and the Avengers are both repositioned for the future. What better time to shake things up?" And based on the titles revealed so far, it's quite a shake-up. There are more details at EW, but the nutshell is this: Uncanny Avengers, a title that launches in October but has been floating around the comics Internet for a while now, will be written by Rick Remender and feature art by John Cassaday. Premised around the idea that Captain America comes out of Avengers vs. X-Men determined that he hasn't done enough for mutantkind (presumably after a heart-to-heart with this guy) and forms a team that the writer describes as a bridge between the Avengers and X-Men universes. It will feature Cap, Thor, Wolverine and Havok, who Remender singled out in the Entertainment Weekly piece: "Havok's always been the black sheep rock-and-roller of the Summers family. He can't do that anymore. You're going to see Havok become one of the biggest players in the Marvel Universe." Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena will begin in December, according to the piece, and will be a story dealing in cosmic themes and gigantic stories--but it will also feature Shang Chi, the Master of Kung-Fu. Go figure. All-New X-Men, which we just reported on, is Brian Michael Bendis' new book, done with a revolving art team. He calls the X-Men "the Robert Altman movie of comics. There's thousands of characters, all of which have a website dedicated just to them. I wanted to make sure I had a take that was unique." That title will launch in November.

The piece also features an exclusive piece of art drawn by Marvel's Joe Quesada for Entertainment Weekly (seen above), which features an incredibly movie-friendly grouping of heroes. Cyclops and Captain America get new costumes, apparently, with Cap's being very similar to the Ultimate Universe or Marvel Cinematic Universe iterations of his duds. Rocket Raccoon, of Guardians of the Galaxy fame, is there, too, along with a redesigned Sue Storm, an armored-up Hulk and a version of Iron Man that has those same little chest lights we saw on a recent teaser poster for Iron Man 3. Also pictured: Nick Fury's son, Marcus Johnson, who Quesada describes as "the new Nick Fury in the Marvel Universe." Expect many more announcements to come about Marvel NOW!, particularly at The Amazing Spider-Man panel at San Diego Comic-Con next week, where the publisher has already revealed they'll be talking about the upcoming Punisher War Zone relaunch.