As we noted in our #1 Thing We Learned In the Marvel June 2012 Solicitations, it looks as if Ultron’s dad Hank Pym is going to get a new status quo in the pages of the Age of Ultron tie-in one-shot Age of Ultron #10A.I..
"By story's end, Hank Pym will have an entirely new role in the Marvel Universe!" reads the solicitation copy.
But it’s possible Marvel may have underplayed the impact of that one-shot in the release of their online solicits.
Here’s the back cover of Diamond’s April 2013 Previews (for products on sale in June), the cover image of that Mark Waid-written one-shot.
Now it’s important to note that because they have their own off-shoot Diamond retailer catalog, Marvel only gets one of the covers to the main Previews catalog a few times a year, which is an important tool in reaching comic book retailers. And in the month in which the conclusion of the main Age of Ultron (issue #10) series also ships, Marvel choose to place this book on the cover.
What’s new and of note is the cover copy — "A New Age Rises!" - presumably tied to the events of that title, which again is written by Waid and not main Age of Ultron series writer Brian Bendis, and actually goes on sale the week after the end of the main series. Marvel has been cagey about the "unguessable ending" of Age of Ultron #10 and what it leads to, but this is likely a clue that beginning in July, Marvel may be marketing a new "age" to readers and retailers. After all, it's a fairly well-established pattern following Marvel events — "Dark Reign" after Secret Invasion, "Heroic Age" after Siege and the start of the current Marvel NOW! phase after Avengers vs. X-Men.
We also originally assumed "A.I." was just a spin on the numbering convention and meant "Artificial Intelligence," but could it indicate what "age" Marvel is about to enter into?
And for you Previews wonks, Marvel also solicited a “TBA” poster for June, which is usually an indicator that they’ll be marketing something significant at a later date that they don’t want to reveal now.