I'm glad I'm not really involved in comics as such that to the point of receiving details of exciting, embargoed news that you have to sit on for ages, unable to share it with anyone. Nevertheless, I somehow learned (and kept quiet about) the news that one of my utter favourite artists -and probably yours, too- James Stokoe, would be producing an Avengers one-shot for Marvel later this year, as part of an Avengers 100 Year Special. As others have pointed out- neither Marvel or the Avengers have hit the centenary mark, so exactly what the 100 Year refers to is open to debate for the meantime- perhaps something akin to a Year 100 imagining (Stokoe's take looks like it might be a futuristic story).
There's been a degree of surprise around the Stokoe announcement, no doubt because his furiously detailed and acidic coloured art style isn't something you'd really expect on an Avengers title, but this can only be a good thing. I like Marvel's thinking in tapping Stokoe for the job, and I hope the issue will also act as an introduction to Stokoe's work for a much larger audience, who will hopefully go on to pick up other books he's created.
The cover image released (shown above) appears to show some iteration of Rogue and a Dr Strange character, along with Beta Ray Bill- a character whose existence I am only now learning of and who is apparently fucking awesome. Here's a brief back-story: Beta Ray Bill's a yellow, monstrous looking dude in appearance, who surprises everyone when he turns out to be pretty heroic instead- so much so that he's the only other being deemed worthy enough to lift Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. That leads to a tussle over who should actually wield the hammer, a dispute that's resolved when Bill (Bill!) is bestowed a hammer of his own- Stormbreaker! Of course, Thor and he become fast friends after that- out on the lash, swinging their hammers together.
I think Stokoe's going to take this story places, my friends. The issue will be released in July, with Stokoe on pencilling, inking, colouring and writing duties- the whole shebang.
UPDATE: The 100 is, indeed, a futurespective of the Marvel universe, looking at how things may be in the year 2061 (100 years on from the 1961 debut of the Fantastic Four).