UPDATE 11:00 AM PT: Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso has commented on Kieron Gillen's departure from "Iron Man": "When you read the 'Original Sin' tie-in story, 'Hulk vs. Iron Man,' you'll see why this was the perfect place to bring Kieron’s run to a close, and why there’s no 'Iron Man' title in the August solicits. Kieron is leaving the series on a high note, and on his own terms, pencil sharpened and poised to write another epic story we'll be talking about soon."
Marvel's monthly solicitations have contained a notable omission the past two months: The ongoing "Iron Man" series. On Thursday, series writer Kieron Gillen explained via his Tumblr that he's leaving the series following "Original Sin: Iron Man vs. Hulk" story and the conclusion of "Rings of the Mandarin," both set for June.
Gillen cited an "enormous opportunity" at Marvel -- without specifying any further details at this point -- that led him to leaving the book.
"The new book Marvel was offering was so utterly irresistible, I knew something had to give -- and I realised that I was actually in a good place to bring my run to a conclusion," Gillen wrote. "I realised the 'Original Sin' story would be a damn good climax for everything I’ve done, and between all I’ve put in play with the 'Mandarin War,' 'Iron Metropolitan' and where the 'Hulk/Iron Man' story ends up, there’s a mass of toys for the next writer to play with."
Gillen, whose new Image Comics series "The Wicked + The Divine" debuts on June 18, joined "Iron Man" as part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch initiative in fall 2012. In his Tumblr post, he stated that he'll end up with 31 issues total of "Iron Man," equal to his "Uncanny X-Men" and "Journey Into Mystery" runs.
"Original Sin: Iron Man vs. Hulk" will be released weekly in June, "Rings of the Mandarin" is set to conclude with two issues that month, "Iron Man" #27 and #28. Whatever Gillen's new Marvel project is, it has yet to be solicited, so readers will be unlikely to see it before September 2014.