New Characters to Take Over As Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor

Described by some as being “Marvel’s Trinity’, the trio of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor have formed the core of the Avengers-side of comics since almost the very beginning. And in those roles, for the most part, have been Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and, uh, Thor.

Not so for much longer, as all three characters are being moved to one side in order to introduce three replacements: the new Thor will be a blonde woman, the new Captain America will be Sam Wilson (better known right now as ‘Falcon’) and the new Iron Man is (maybe not SUCH a takeover) an Extremis-possessed version of Tony Stark. Let’s… let’s take that piece by piece, and see what’s going on.

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First announced was Thor, whose changeover was announced on an American version of ‘Loose Women’ called ‘The View’. An upcoming storyline from the creative team of Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic will see the current Thor deemed ‘unworthy’ of his mantle, lose an arm, grow a stonking great beard, and be banished from all his rights. These include, apparently, his name, as a new character will step in and take it from him. She’ll also be called Thor, and it looks as though she’ll get his hammer too.

Thor will then go on a quest to reclaim his worthiness. Although, seeing how that means he’ll be working alongside detested Marvel character Havok, it already looks like he’s messing that ambition up.

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Meanwhile, Captain America has recently been losing his powers – the serum which keeps him young and powerful is starting to wear off, which means that an All-New Captain America series will be launching soon. This’ll see Sam Wilson move into the role of Captain America, although sadly he doesn’t seem to have taken the opportunity to paint a bird on the shield. The creative team of Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen (who is moving on from the X-Men, it seems) will be the ones on that book.

Finally, Kieron Gillen and Greg Land’s run with Iron Man ends shortly, as Gillen leaves Marvel for the world of creator-owned comics. Tom Taylor (from the excellent digital-first ‘Injustice’ series at DC) and artist Yildray Cinar will take over the character, and immediately drive him mad with ego and power thanks to a boost of Extremis. I’m calling this a new character takeover, because the interviews sound to me like Extremis is going to be dealt with as though it is a character.

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You’ll remember that this was the stuff which drove Guy Pearce crazy in Iron Man 3, and it looks as though this series will be going in much the same direction. Tony will start to believe his own hype, and start causing trouble – in what looks like a bridge between the comics version of the character and the storyline for Avengers 2, which also sees Iron Man go too far.

Fans have mostly taken to these fine – some fans, obviously, are not so pleased, and Marvel have spent the last few days gleefully retweeting those comments and enjoying the reflected glory that comes from being openly progressive. It’s been a little cynical, really, especially when none of these three announcements have led to a female or African-American join any of the creative teams.

The Thor change in particular seems a calculated attempt by Marvel to get a woman into their Avengers franchise after ten years of using the Avengers franchise to systematically wreck every female character they had previously. But still! This all looks as though it’ll be leading us toward the next iteration of Avengers once Jonathan Hickman’s run ends, with a black Captain America, female Thor, and evil Iron Man all part of the team. It’s a move towards diversity in spirit, if not one behind the scenes.

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Then again, I’m being far too cynical here. Over the next few months we’ll have to see how things pan out.

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