Before COVID-19 caused widespread industry shutdowns in the comic book Direct Market, Marvel Comics announced a new crossover/event storyline embroiling its teen heroes in a controversy not that unfamiliar to the publisher or long-time readers: a newly-minted government agency called C.R.A.D.L.E. (Child Hero Reconnaissance and Disruption Law Enforcement) regulating teen superheroes following a tragedy that apparently killed or seriously injured several heroes and civilian students alike.
The title of this crossover/event? 'Outlawed.'
What is 'Outlawed'?(opens in new tab)
The policy, called 'Kamala's Law' after Kamala Khan, who protected a high profile activist presumed to be the target of the attack but was left suffering from grievous injuries in the process.
The comic that kicked off the initiative – Outlawed #1 (opens in new tab) – came out March 18, just before the comic book Direct Market went on widespread hiatus; meaning that, while the setup for the story has been in place for several months, we've barely scratched the surface of the fallout since the intended follow-up comics had their release dates pushed back.
With its focus on kid and teen heroes, the wider 'Outlawed' event is intended to encompass the ongoing series Miles Morales: Spider-Man and The Magnificent Ms. Marvel as well as three new series - new limited series for the Champions, New Warriors, and Power Pack. However, not all of those aspects of the story have come home to roost, as one of those new titles we mentioned won't arrive until November, and another is still awaiting resolicitation. So before Marvel brings 'Outlawed' in full-swing, here's everything you need to know about what happened, and what's in the works.
What's happened so far in 'Outlawed'?
In the previously-released Outlawed #1, Miles Morales and Kamala Khan attend a youth science conference where a young climate activist is scheduled to speak – while the rest of their teen superhero team the Champions surreptitiously keep guard outside the school where the conference is taking place.
During the activist's keynote speech, a giant dragon attacks (seemingly at the behest of Roxxon Energy Corporation), attempting to destroy the Champions and the school. The Champions intervene, but things go haywire when Viv Vision phases into the dragon just as Power Man hits it with a fully-charged Chi-strike, resulting in the dragon being defeated - and Viv Vision becoming an apparently infinite conduit for energy that is ravaging the surrounding area.(opens in new tab)
Inside the collapsing, critically damaged school, Kamala protects the climate activist from a cave-in, saving her life and becoming critically injured in the process. In the aftermath, the Champions are investigated by a congressional committee who determine that they are the ones primarily responsible for the school's destruction, and ratifying 'Kamala's Law' to restrict teen superhero activity.
What's next for 'Outlawed' - and when?
So far, only one 'Outlawed' tie-in has been released: June 10's Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17 (opens in new tab). Several more tie-in issues have been solicited – September 2's Miles Morales: Spider-Man #18, September 9's Magnificent Ms. Marvel #14, October 7's Ms. Marvel #15, and November 11's Ms. Marvel #16. The solicit for October 7's Miles Morales: Spider-Man #19 (opens in new tab)doesn't mention 'Outlawed' or any aspect of the story tie-in, nor does November's Miles Morales: Spider-Man #19.
As for those three spin-offs we mentioned, Champions #1 (opens in new tab) is due out in October, while Power Pack has been put on schedule for November in Marvel's just-released solicitations for that month (opens in new tab). New Warriors remains unscheduled.(opens in new tab)
In terms of what to expect, the first planned title is a relaunch of Champions by writer Eve L. Ewing (opens in new tab), who wrote Outlawed #1, and artist Simone Di Meo, which was originally scheduled for release on April 8. The new volume, now launching on October 7, focuses on the trio of Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, and Sam Alexander/Nova as the core of a new Champions team operating outside the law. Originally announced as an ongoing series, the solicitation for October's Champions #1 marked it as a five-issue limited series.
Regarding the other spin-offs, first there's a planned new Power Pack limited series (opens in new tab) by writer Ryan North and artist Nico Leon that will follow the Power family as they try to navigate a return to super-heroics in a world where the government regulates teen superheroes. That series has been rescheduled to launch on November 25. North previously opened up to Newsarama about what's in store for the Power family in that series right here. (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Then there's a relaunched New Warriors limited series by writer Daniel Kibblesmith and artist Luciano Vecchio, which will focus on former New Warriors Justice, Night Thrasher, Namorita, Firestar, Rage, Speedball, and Silhouette training a new team of official recruits with names and powers derived from socially relevant real-world concepts such as Screentime, Snowflake, Safespace, B-Negative, and Trailblazer. This series has not been resolicited.
Given that Marvel's October solicitations (opens in new tab) marked the rescheduling of Champions #1, and Marvel's November solicitations (opens in new tab) brought a date for Power Pack #1, it's possible that we'll see New Warriors rescheduled for December, as Marvel evens out its post-COVID-19 shutdown schedule.
However, given Marvel's change of Champions to a limited series and big changes to the number of tie-ins to Empyre, it's also possible New Warriors may take a back seat - especially if the number of actual connections to the 'Outlawed' concept dwindle.