We've had a lot of hullabaloo about the Marvel NOW creator shifting in the last couple of weeks, but we've yet to know everything we've lost. We speculated that the latest Avengers Academy arc entitled "Final Exam" might be their last, but Marvel's November solicitations have confirmed that AA #39 will be the last of the series. Our fingers are crossed that these great characters from Christos Gage's highly engaging series have enough of a following that they'll find a new place post-NOW, and won't just be cast adrift for random cameos like the Runaways.
More unsettling, perhaps, is the solicitation for Dark Avengers #183, which insists that it is the end of the Thunderbolts. When the name shift from Thunderbolts to Dark Avengers happened a few issues back, we figured it was just a nomenclature stunt for a story arc, to try and boost sales by putting 'Avengers' in the title. The story of the T-Bolts was still being told as the crew of ne'er-do-wells continued to be tossed through time.
However, this one specifically says "Bid farewell to Ghost, Centurius, Man-Thing and the gang forever!" While we doubt that Man-Thing will vanish forever, obscurities like Centurius kinda could. Perhaps Marvel just allowed writer Jeff Parker to have a transitional period, weaving the Dark Avengers into the T-Bolts story before writing the latter out entirely. Do we really have to give up fantastic characters like Ghost and Moonstone and replace them with Toxie-Doxie? Really?
Maybe there's just something transitional going on with the NOW shakeup. Maybe there will be a new place for the adorable Troll and the unclean Ghost. Let us hope that Marvel doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater in their zeal to one-up the New 52.
Maybe this hopey changey stuff will work out for us. Or me, at least, as these are two of my favorite Marvel books going.