Published: Oct 09, 2012 2:28 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 09, 2012 6:31 AM EDT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - It's not a reboot or relaunch. Marvel Comics' editor in chief Axel Alonso says the new "NOW!" initiative instead aims to recharge the publisher's heroes and villains.

That effort begins Wednesday with the debut of "Uncanny Avengers" No. 1, the first of 13 new titles through March 2013 that aims to hit "the refresh button" for many of the Marvel universe's characters and provide what Alonso calls a new entry point for readers - first-timers and long-timers - to characters they've grown up with in comics or embraced in recent big-screen films.

The move, he says, is the result of the calamitous events of the best-selling and just-concluded mini-series "Avengers vs. X-Men" that saw the return of the fabled Phoenix force and the death of some key characters, notably Charles Xavier.