Marvel Comics editor in chief Axel Alonso describes the intiative that drastically reimagines Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor

By Darren Franich
Updated July 18, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

If you’re reading this issue start-to-finish, you’ve already seen Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor in their film incarnations, but in this series they’re a bit different than before. ”They are all undergoing significant changes,” says Marvel Comics editor in chief Axel Alonso. It’s all part of Avengers NOW!, an initiative that includes reimagined series for the Big Three. In Superior Iron Man, Tony Stark heads to San Francisco with ambitious plans and an iPod-white suit. In All-New Captain America, an African-American character dons the Stars and Stripes. And Thor sees a woman assume the thunder god’s powers. ”You aren’t gonna find out who [the female Thor] is for some time,” says Alonso. ”It’s a slowly unfolding mystery.” Avengers NOW! will stretch over a bunch of new titles and expand roles for soon-to-be movie leads (Dr. Strange, Ant-Man), female characters (Angela, Medusa), and deep bench players such as Deathlok. It’s part of a broader attempt to use Marvel’s enhanced place in pop culture to bring in fresh readers. Says Alonso, ”Since Cap, Thor, and Iron Man — hell, Nick Fury — are globally recognized figures, Avengers NOW! helps us woo more people to the table.” And then overturn that table, apparently.