Looking over the Marvel solicits for May, I find myself thinking about the impermanence of creative teams at the Big Two these days. DC’s New 52 has already taught us that artists can change at a moment’s notice, and that writers will swap out within a few months if sales aren’t great, but there’s something about this month’s Marvel solicits that underscore just how interchangable creative teams seem to be, these days: The familiar writers of Marvel Universe: Ultimate Spider-Man #1 (Dan Slott, Ty Templeton and the Man of Action team) are gone by #2, it seems, replaced by Eugene Son & Jacob Semahn (presumably writers on the show itself), for one thing; regular Avenging Spider-Man writer Zeb Wells is mising from the book for a second month, with launch artist Joe Madureira having been absent from the book for five issues now. All manner of books have fill-in artists, including books that are less than six months old, like Scarlet Spider and Defenders (I’m amused by the Daredevil #12 solicit welcoming “new artist, Chris Samnee,” who’s immediately replaced with the double-shipped next issue by Khoi Pham; Samnee’s a great addition to the Daredevil team, but announcing him as the new artist before immediately revolving him back out just reminds me of the fact that Daredevil – which launched with a team of two revolving artists, will have had five different art teams contributing to the first twelve issues of the series), and even Rick Remender is suddenly co-writing Venom – with Cullen Bunn, which is a pretty damn great writing team, really – without any warning.
Seeing changes like this isn’t surprising anymore; in fact, it’s beginning to seem like the norm, making the appearance of Invincible Iron Man‘s Matt Fraction and Sal Larocca (doing two issues in May) feel all the more impressive for the longevity of the pairing. Remember the days when most super-hero books had a regular writer and artist?