5. All New X-Men
The aftermath of Cyclops' and the Phoenix Five's action. Professor X's original students in the present day. The end of 'No More Mutants'. That's a plot combination any X-Fan would be excited by. Added to this, Brian Michael Bendis on writing duties and the promise of the X-Men being tied closer to the main Marvel universe, makes this a must-have for me. Oh and the return of a living-non-clone/hallucination/Phoenix Jean Grey.
4. Thor: God of Thunder
I love Thor! Of the core group of Avengers he's easily one of my favourites and the recent 'Everything Burns' event was stellar. The idea of being able to see his past, present and future in one book is certainly exciting. In fact it's one of the most high-concept books in the line-up. Although I don't know too much about the books plot (I'm trying to avoid spoilers lately) the art looks gorgeous and I can't wait to pick it up next month.
3. Avengers Arena
I don't think there's much I really need to say about this. Basically it's Superheroes meet The Hunger Games. That's all you need to know. In all seriousness one of the biggest draws here for me (other than the incredible premise) is the return of The Runaways. Although I'd have loved to see a full-fledged Runaways title, just to see Nico and Chase appear as
2. Avengers/New Avengers
Jonathan Hickman's run on Fantastic Four has become legendary for his intricate plotting, so understandably most fans were excited when he was announced as the new writer for Avengers. And then the cast was (partly) announced. All the heroes from the film, Spider-Man and Woman, two New Mutants, Falcon, Ms. Marvel and Wolverine and that's not even the full cast. If that wasn't enough, just a few weeks ago we learned the Illuminati would be headlining New Avengers taking the book in a darker direction.
It will be interesting to see how much (if any) the teams cinematic success will impact on this book. Regardless I'm excited. Firstly, the series has an incredible set of creators. But secondly the book has an amazing cast. The group as a whole is diverse and interesting, I just hope Hickman can balance all the characters, although based on FF, he'll be fine. I particularly love the inclusion of Cannonball and Sunspot from the New Mutants. However speaking of a younger and diverse characters...
1. Young Avengers
This was always going to be my most-anticipated book of Marvel: Now. Wiccan. Miss America. Kid Loki. Hulking. Hawkeye. Protector. Now that's a team! The Young Avengers are by far my favourite superhero team. From their early days trying to stop Iron Lad become Kang right up until The Children's Crusade, I've followed every panel of their journey. I'm even cosplaying as Wiccan for Comic-Con. So it's no surprise that this book is top of my list for 2013.
However it's not just that. The preview (in Marvel's Point One issue) was one of the best stories featured and the artwork was great. I especially loved how the fight sequences are so distinct from those in other books. Kieron Gillen's work on Journey Into Mystery and Uncanny X-Men has been some of my favourite storiy arcs and I am so excited to see another ongoing Young Avengers series. All I can say is roll on January!
So there you have my top five Marvel: Now titles. That's not to say there aren't dozens of other exciting titles. In fact numbers 4 and 5 were incredibly close. I could have easily ended up with Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, Uncanny X-Force, Secret Avengers or FF on this list. I don't know how my wallet's going to cope!
Afterthought: How amazing is the variant cover for Avengers Arena #3?