New York Comic Con hasn’t really been known to be the kind of event where fans should expect huge reveals from Marvel Studios. Traditionally, it’s been a place for Marvel TV and Marvel Comics to take center stage and NYCC ’22 was comic-heavy. Jonathan Hickman revealed some of Valerio Schiti’s artwork from their mysterious new comic series, the 2022-23 event slate was revealed, including the Fall of X and numerous non-event series were teased or introduced. All in all, a great weekend for Marvel Comics.
However, during their Next Big Thing panel, Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski dropped an interesting nugget of information about the relationship between Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios, both of which are now overseen by Marvel’s One Above All, Kevin Feige. According to Cebulski, Marvel Comics works to stay about “10 years” ahead of Marvel Studios. In essence, that means comic arc that are being told wouldn’t make their way into the narrative fabric of the MCU until 2032. On the flipside, it could also mean that Marvel Studios currently announced slate of projects is looking to draw on comic arcs from 2012.
Though it’s clear and expected that not every project in 2022 is based on stories from 2012, interestingly enough, some of that flipside lines up. The end of 2021 saw Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, which was published in 2012, adapted into a Disney Plus streaming series. Incursions, which were introduced to the MCU in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, first appeared in issue #3 of Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers in January of 2013. The idea of Wakanda at war with Atlantis, which is central to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s plot, came from the pages of the Avengers vs. X-Men event, which ran for most of 2012. Kamala Khan first hit the pages of a comic in 2013. Jason Aaron’s epic run on Thor, which introduced Gorr and Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor, characters seen in Thor: Love and Thunder, began in, you guessed it, 2012. It’s by no means a perfect predictor, but for the past year, there are enough hits to make one take the time to look at how the next (about) ten years of Marvel Studios projects could be shaped by the last (about) ten years of Marvel Comics.
Riri Williams will make her debut in 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever before her solo series, Ironheart, streams on Disney Plus. The character first appeared in the comics in 2016, so this series is 7 years post. That’s not exactly 10, but it might prove informative later.
Captain America: New World Order will hit theaters in 2024. Ten years earlier, Sam Wilson: Captain America hit newsstands. The Nick Spencer book could hold some clues as to what fans can expect in the film.
A version of the Thunderbolts featuring Bucky Barnes appeared in the comics in 2016. Bucky and the Thunderbolts are headed for the big screen in 2024.
Deadpool 3 hits theaters in 2024 and while nobody knows exactly what to make of the Ryan Reynolds/Hugh Jackman team-up, one theory is that it could adapt Marvel Comics Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, which came out in 2012.
Fantastic Four. Announced in 2019, it’s taken a while to get made and is going to take a while longer. Whenever fans see it, it is likely to be heavily influenced by Hickman’s run on the characters which started in 2010.
2025 and 2026
Marvel has plans for two Avengers films over these two years. If you’re wondering who might be on the team, Marvel Comics All-New, All-Different Avengers, first published in November 2015, might be a decent resource.
Beginning with 2022’s Werewolf By Night, monsters are now historically part of the MCU and more are on the way. In 2015, Marvel Comics published The Howling Commandoes of S.H.I.E.L.D.
A Nova project continues to be in the works and The Human Rocket is likely to land on one of the dates slated for D+ in 2025 or 2026. A Nova comic series, featuring Sam Alexander, launched in 2013.
In July, a pair of trademarks were filed for what are believed to be MCU solo projects for Hercules: Rise of the Gods and Black Knight: Origins. in 2015, comic series featuring both of those characters brought them back into the spotlight after some time away. Black Knight dove into the cursed nature of the Ebony Blade while Hercules told the story of the Greek godling making his way through the modern world. Both of these ideas are adaptable in the MCU given where the characters were left in their introductions in Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder, respectively.
An Illuminati project has been reportedly in the works at Marvel Studios for a few years now. In 2015, Marvel Comics published The Illuminati, featuring Parker Robbins, who will make his debut in Ironheart, Titania, who debuted in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and the Enchantress, Sylvie Lushton, who seems to have a lot in common with Loki’s Sylvie.
Avengers: Secret Wars was originally planned for 2025. While there have been multiple iterations of the story, it’s believed that with Michael Waldron writing it, it will be strongly influenced by Hickman’s version of the story.
Years back, Marvel Studios was looking for a pitch for a Secret Warriors project. While the first volume in the comics hit shelves in 2008, a second volume featuring Kamala Khan was released in 2017.
Quite a bit of buzz continues to persist around Marvel Studios bringing the Midnight Sons to the MCU and a trademark was filed. In 2017, a Spirits of Vengeance mini-series was launched that featured many of the characters you’d associate with Midnight Sons in a war at the gates of hell.
Marvel Studios trademarked Avengers: Eternity Wars. Marvel Comics published an Eternity War event in the pages of The Ultimates in 2017.
With the X-Men not quite set to appear in the MCU for some time, the 2018 event Hunt for Wolverine might make a good adaptation at some point in the late 2020s, once the X-Men have become established.
War of the Realms is one of the finer events Marvel Comics has produced in years. While it doesn’t seem like on the surface like a story that could be told in the MCU, remember the multiverse is in play and anything is possible, including giving Malekith a fair shake.
Another property that could potentially take inspiration from Jonathan Hickman is an adaptation of Dawn of X. Hickman’s redefining take on mutants kicked off in 2019, meaning it could hit the low end of what Marvel considers about 10 years if an adaptation were to hit the MCU around 2026 or later, which actually seems about right.
This is nowhere near comprehensive as there are so many unknowns about what projects are in development and nearing a green light, which are still slogging through and which have been shuffled to the back of the pile. However, it does give us a better idea of what about “10 years” means. It looks like characters and stories are fair game if they were about 7-12 years before the project is intended to release. Obviously, that window can expand either way and it is a lot more likely to expand on the side of more than 12 years than less than 7 years, but it provides a window through which we can potentially peer into Marvel Studios’ plans.