With yet another reboot for Thor, Iron Man and Hulk on the cards, the cartoon giant is showing worrying signs of pandering to its most conservative readers
Another year, another relaunch at Marvel comics: on Tuesday, it was announced that it is revamping its output with a project called Fresh Start. Its May launch will be, by my count, Marvel’s seventh or eighth fresh start since 2012, coming just months after the company last rebooted its characters, in September 2017’s Marvel Legacy line, and cementing the company’s reputation as the serial monogamist of the comic book industry.
Over the past couple of years Marvel has made some genuinely significant changes to its core characters: it replaced billionaire inventor Tony Stark in the Iron Man costume with a 15-year-old black girl, Riri Williams; deemed Thor unworthy to wield the hammer Mjolnir and passed the mantle to love interest Jane Foster; and in the most divisive storyline ever, “revealed” that Captain America was a secret sleeper agent for Nazi analogue, Hydra. But Fresh Start is a back-to-basics approach, restoring the original versions of Marvel’s triumvirate, as well as bringing back a dead one: the deceased Bruce Banner, who will reclaim his position as Hulk from current jolly green incumbent, Amadeus Cho.