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 CRADLE (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.'
The policy, called "Kamala's Law" after Kamala Khan (who protected a high profile activist presumed to be the target of the attack), suffering grievous injuries in the process.
The comic that kicked off the initiative – Outlawed #1 – 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 limited series - Champions, New Warriors, and Power Pack. However, not all of those aspects of the story have come home to roost, as those new series we mentioned are still waiting to be re-scheduled by Marvel. So before Marvel brings 'Outlawed' in full-swing, here's everything you need to know about what happened, and what's in the works.
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.
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.
So far, only one 'Outlawed' tie-in has been released: June 10's Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17. Two other tie-in issues have been solicited – September 2's Miles Morales: Spider-Man #18 and September 9's Magnificent Ms. Marvel #14. Those three spin-offs we mentioned remain unsolicited – but presumably still in the works.
As for what they'll be, the first planned title is a relaunch of Champions by writer Eve L. Ewing, who wrote Outlawed #1, and artist Simone Di Meo which was originally scheduled for release on April 8. The new volume would have focused on the trio of Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, and Sam Alexander/Nova as the core of a new Champions team operating outside the law.
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.
Finally, the third planned series will be a new Power Pack limited series 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.
As for when these books will come out? Marvel hasn't offered an updated schedule for 'Outlawed', with updated September solicitations arriving earlier this month. The publisher did not respond to Newsarama’s inquiry earlier this week about the return of these titles and the planned ‘Outlawed’ branding.
But given the publisher has implemented a staggered schedule for reprising its releases, so it's likely the new titles – Champions, Power Pack, and New Warriors – will join the already re-solicited Miles Morales: Spider-Man and Magnificent Ms. Marvel in the foreseeable future.