Marvel ‘Avengers’ To Feature ‘All Different’ Lineup Starting In May — But What Does That Mean?

Is Marvel Comics changing the Avengers lineup again? Last Monday, the company’s executive editor revealed that both of the two current Avengers monthly titles would be cancelled effective in April, and that there would be no new Avengers comics in May or June. But a cryptic promotional image released by the New York-based comics publisher Friday suggests that statement may not be entirely accurate.

The image, featuring just text and the Avengers logo against a stark, black background, appears to promise a brand new start for the superhero team known as “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

But what does, “All New, All Different” mean, exactly? That’s what fans have been puzzling over all weekend.

In July, Marvel launches a new Secret Wars crossover event, written by chief Avengers scribe Jonathan Hickman, and one possibility is that whatever the new approach to the Avengers team turns out to be, it could be a set-up for that sure-to-be bestselling event.

But with the sequel to Marvel’s 2012 blockbuster Avengers movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, due to hit multiplex screens on May Day, most comic industry observers believe that the “All New, All Different” Avengers comic in May will somehow tie in to the film — which introduces moviegoers to three “new” Marvel superheroes: Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Vision.

Of course, none of those three characters are especially “new” to longtime comic book readers. Quicksilver, a super speed character who was apparently Marvel’s answer to DC Comics’ The Flash, first appeared in 1964, debuting in the comic X-Men #4.

Scarlet Witch, a mystical character who is Quicksilver’s sister, debuted in the same issue, while Vision — an android superhero created by the “metal monstrosity” Ultron, who is the focus of the new Avengers film — first appeared in Avengers #57 back in 1968.

“It’s not surprising that Marvel wants to line up their team shift-up with the film’s release. It’s all about that synergy between the different platforms,” wrote Adam Holmes at the site Cinema Blend.

But Holmes also notes that the “All Different” slogan appears to suggest that the new lineup of the comic book Avengers team may actually vary significantly from the group of heroes featured in the movie.

But in 2012, when the first Avengers movie hit screens, Marvel launched a new Avengers Assemble comic book series, in which the team roster mirrored the lineup featured in that film.

“Could this new book have a similar goal?” wonders Jesse Schedeen at the IGN site. “Might we see a new Avengers team comprised of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Vision?”

Online comics commentators also noted that the first time Marvel utilized the “All Different” tagline came on the cover of Giant Size X-Men #1 in 1975. That issue saw a whole new lineup of that classic team, and launched a now-legendary run on the title by writer Chris Claremont.

Could something similar lie in store for the Marvel Avengers comics? Fans will need to visit comic book stores in May to find out for sure.

[Image Credit: Marvel Comics]