Marvel superheroes are leaving the dark side.
After seven years of grim and grimmer story lines, including a superhero “civil war” that pitted Iron Man against Spider-Man and the death of Captain America, Marvel Comics will usher in a more optimistic “Heroic Age” approach in May.
“Heroes will be heroes again,” says Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada. “They’ve gone through hell and they’re back to being good guys — a throwback to the early days of the Marvel Universe, with more of a swashbuckling feel.”
The change begins with a relaunch of Avengers #1, which will reunite Iron Man, a reborn Captain America and Thor as comrades rather than foes.
All this would be of interest only to comic fans except it comes just months after Disney purchased Marvel for $4 billion and as Iron Man 2 and other Marvel films are on the way.
It also could mark a major shift in comic book storytelling, which took a turn to grittier stories after the success of DC’s Dark Knight Returns and Marvel’s more adult take on Daredevil the 1980s.
Quesada says that Marvel’s return to “good guys” was in the works for two years, was finalized eight months ago and that the Disney takeover had no role.
“There is no sanitizing of the Marvel books at all,” he says, promising stories will remain “edgy” and contemporary. “Our philosophy here is to just keep telling good stories.”