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Marvel Entertainment on Wednesday announced the surprise return of two recently cancelled comic book series, both of which bring some much-needed diversity to its superhero lineup at a time when other titles are returning to predominantly white, straight, male leads.
Both The Unstoppable Wasp and Iceman will return to store shelves this fall, with the original writers of the titles — Jeremy Whitley and Sina Grace, respectively — returning for the new series. In terms of art, Gwenpool art team Gurihiru will illustrate Wasp, with Iceman’s new series gaining Nate Stockman on art.
Wasp, which starred Nadia Van Dyne, daughter of original Ant-Man Hank Pym, ran for eight issues in 2017, while Iceman launched in late 2017 and lasted 11 issues before ending earlier this year. In terms of print editions within the North American market — the only publicly released information about comic book orders — both series were performing poorly at the time of their final issues, with Iceman estimated at just over 10,000 copies ordered by stores and just under 7,000 copies ordered for Wasp.
It’s worth noting that these numbers don’t reflect final sell-through to customers, nor include digital sales; it is possible that both titles were outselling their print orders digitally, as is anecdotally the case with other comic titles from Marvel and other publishers.
The relaunches come in the wake of Marvel’s Fresh Start initiative, which relaunched core titles from Marvel’s line in the wake of the unsuccessful 2017 Marvel Legacy line-wide relaunch. Both Legacy and Fresh Start have emphasized the original version of iconic Marvel characters, returning them to their white, male incarnations after a number of years where Iron Man was a black woman, Thor a white woman and so on.
The second series of Iceman will begin in September, with The Unstoppable Wasp following a month later.
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