This August's Avengers/Hulk one-shot from Marvel on Free Comic Book Day will be setting up "new things for 2022" at Marvel - including a seemingly new multiversal organization, and a being called Avenger Prime.
"In a land beyond time, a shining tower stands, deploying its operatives across the Multiverse to hold against the encroaching darkness!" reads Marvel's description of FCBD's Avengers/Hulk one-shot. "Who is the mysterious Avenger Prime, and how will his advent impact on the past, the present, and the very future of the mighty Avengers?"
Although they share a name, Marvel's description appears to imply this isn't the Avenger Prime who appeared in Al Ewing's Mighty Avengers run - since we know who they were.
In their sole appearance in 2014's Mighty Avengers #14, Avenger Prime was a Voltron-like merging of the Mighty Avengers team created to battle a similarly Voltron-ed Deathwalker Prime (made up, of course, of Deathwalkers). Following Avenger Prime winning, the being was disassembled back into the individual heroes.
FCBD 2021's Avengers/Hulk lead story will be written by longtime Avengers writer Jason Aaron, with Marvel Stormbreakers artist Iban Coello (Venom) joining him.
Over on Jason Aaron's blog, the writer describes Avengers/Hulk as one of several imminent storylines that are building to something major for Marvel in 2022 - beginning with the just-announced 'World War She-Hulk.'
"['World War She-Hulk'] was the first Avengers arc I wrote in 2021, in this new year so full of promise. But it represents a shift to a darker tone for the series, as I begin to tie together some of the book's ongoing threads," Aaron writes.
"The entire arc is actually already written, and I've moved on to the gargantuan issue #50, which is bursting with all sorts of explosions and epic madness that will set up some new things for 2022. The Free Comic Book Day Avengers issue will be a big piece of that as well."
Both of Marvel's Free Comic Book Day 2021 stories - Avengers/Hulk and Spider-Man/Venom - will contain two stories. While Aaron and Coello are already confirmed for the Avengers story in Avengers/Hulk, the creative teams for Hulk story, and the entirety of Spider-Man/Venom has not been specified. Marvel has said Chip Zdarsky and Greg Smallwood are both working on something for these one-shots, but haven't gone into detail on what.
"These exciting tales will provide perfect entry points for new readers to the thrilling ongoing sagas of the Avengers, Spider-Man, Venom, and the Hulk and give comic fans their first glimpse at the exciting new eras for their favorite characters," Marvel states in a press release. "These issues will shape the Marvel Universe as we know it with direct connections to the year’s biggest upcoming storylines."
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[Editor's note: This story has been updated with the two Free Comic Book Day 2021 covers, and the involvement of Zdarsky and Smallwood in these projects.]