Monday, September 24, 2012

Marvel's December previews reviewed

I was gonna say "better late than never" regarding the fact that I am just now posting my first-blush reactions to Marvel's solicitations for the comics they plan to publish in December of this year, days after I normally publish them (i.e. the night following the afternoon they get released) but, now that I think about it, perhaps never would have been better than late. Like, think of the things I could have done with the time I spent assembling this post! I could have gone for a walk, chatted with a friend on the phone, written a poem...

Okay, this probably is better late than never. Anyway, full solicits at CBR, my reactions below.

Okay, maybe this is mean of me, but I was totally hoping both Rogue and Black Widow would have their costumes unzipped to their navels on the cover here, just to watch Kelly Thomspon freak out about it, as those are the two Marvel characters with zippers in their costumes that are most frequently worn inappropriately unzipped for no logical reason.

The greatest heroes in comics together on one unbeatable team! Now shipping twice a month, the Avengers “go large,” expanding their roster and their sphere of influence to a global and even interplanetary level. When Captain America puts out his call - who will answer? Big threats, big ideas, big idealism - these are the Avengers NOW!
32 PGS. (EACH)/Rated T+ …$3.99 (EACH)

In theory, this sounds a bit like an Avengers comic book I might want to read (my ideal Justice League comic would have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 heroes on the roster, for example), but $4 a pop, two times a month? That’s just silly. There are times I’m surprised that anyone still reads Marvel comics in singles rather than just trade-waiting. In two months, or four issues, you’ve already pretty much bought a trade paperback.

Dr. Nemesis…? I don’t believe for a second you’d really wear that. Is Cable forcing you to wear that? Are you a Dr. Nemesis from an alternate future or something…?

I do like how big, silly and robotic Cable’s big, silly robot arm looks, with it’s weirdly proportioned fingers, all handing down past his knee. Just imagine the size of the guns he can carry now that he has a robot arm like 50% longer than his old robot arm!

Variant cover by MIKE PERKINS
Trapped on an isolated island, 16 superhuman young adults (including cult faves like members of the Runaways, The Avengers Academy and Darkhawk) are given a chilling ultimatum by their demented captor: Fight or die…only one will walk out alive! Thus begins a primal battle that will test the skills, stamina and morals of each combatant. Welcome to Murder World, where the secrets are plenty, alliances are fleeting, and the key to victory might be rewriting the rules of the game. Who will survive? The rising star team of Dennis Hopeless (X-MEN: SEASON ONE) and Kev Walker (THUNDERBOLTS) dare you to tune in to your new favorite comic NOW!
32 PGS./Rated T …$2.99

Oh come on now. I liked Battle Royale myself, and I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with doing, like, a story in homage to it, but is it, like, cool to premise an entire series on “Battle Royale, but with Marvel heroes”…?

I don’t know. This seems kinda creatively bankrupt to me, even allowing for the fact that the cover so openly acknowledges the debt paid to BR.

Also: Teen superheroes fight to the death in gladiatorial combat is uncomfortably close to what Sean McKeever was doing for the Distinguished Competition in that skeevy Terror Titans series and related comics.

Cover by PAOLO MANUEL RIVERA_EPILOGUE to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN FINALE (#700)!_• Coinciding with the end of Amazing Spider-Man, a look back at the greatest conflict in comics history: Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

Er…Spider-Man vs. Doctor octopus is the greatest conflict in comics history...? I'm sure "greatest" is a subjective sort of thing, but, personally, I wouldn't have even put that conflict in the top ten conflicts in super-comics history; I'm not sure it's even the greatest conflict in Spider-Man history...

Are…are those laser raptors….? Man, sometimes I reeaallly wish Avenging Spider-Man were a $3 book…

Paolo Rivera is a good artist.

More like FY, for Fuck Yeah!

(You can blurb me on that, Marvel).

What the fuck, Thing? That was a perfectly decent logo you just ruined.

Red Hulk, Venom, Elektra, Deadpool, the Punisher. Forget the courts, the jails, the system — this team of Thunderbolts fights fire with fire, targeting the most dangerous and lethal players in the Marvel Universe with extreme prejudice. Led by General “Thunderbolt” Ross, AKA the Red Hulk, this hand-picked team of like-minded operatives is going to make the world a better place…by all means necessary.
32 PGS. (EACH)/Parental Advisory …$2.99 (EACH)

Is “by all means necessary” really an expression…? I’ve never heard it, if so.

When this title was first announced, I assumed it was replacing Jeff Parker’s Dark Avengers, which recently switched its name from Thunderbolts, but kept the Thunderbolts numbering. But I see DA is still being solicited, so, in retrospect, I guess the name change was simply to free up the name to use on this book…?

That’s a pretty interesting team line-up, and I sure don’t mind looking at Steve Dillon art. It seems like we have a lot of black-ops/villains-as-good guys teams going now (Dark Avengers, Secret Avengers, Uncanny X-Force, now Cable and X-Force, that Villains For Hire thing that was maybe a miniseries...), so this doesn’t really seem all that special, but rather like just one more riff on an already pretty thoroughly riffed-upon concept. I guess we’ll see.

I kind of like the way The Punisher looks with a red skull there. I wonder if he’ll have a special Thunderbolts costume with a red skull, the way the various mutants on X-Force had gray and black versions of their costumes, or if that’s just a color choice on the cover.

Oh man, I love the idea of Havoc on the Avengers. Look at this cover; is there a more perfect example of a One of These Things Is Not Like the Others imaginable…? Shit, Cassaday could have drawn Aunt May in the corner and she wouldn’t look any more out of place on that cover than Havoc does.

Frankenstein’s Murder Circus is town and he’s brainwashed the X-Men! Do the students stand a chance against their teachers?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Of all the various costumes Wolverine has worn over this years, that one is by far the scariest.


Anonymous said...

Bachelo has his detractors, but if there's one thing he ain't, it's prone to needless cheesecake.

Had no idea Rogue had gone back to her eighties gear! Always dug that outfit the most.

Akcoll99 said...

I think the phrase Marvel's copywriter was going for there was "By ANY Means Necessary" which would actually make sense given the context.

I think you're right too about Marvel switching the "Thunderbolts" tag to this series solely because of "Thunderbolt" Ross taking the lead character role. But won't that cause some in-continuity confusion? Like "Hey, waitaminute you guys aren't the Thunderbolts! Where's the chick with the white stripe in her hair?"

Of course, the joke there is that Marvel stopped giving a damn about continuity some time ago...

I'm unsure of how I feel about Marvel these days. On one hand, Allred on FF is AWESOME outside-the-box thinking for the one of the Big Two. Daredevil continues to be solid as well. But on the other hand,the Thunderbolts series I've enjoyed for a long time is being rebranded "Dark Avengers" and apparently losing all my favorite cast members so we can spend time with these horribly unlikeable Avengers rip-off villains. Likewise, Avengers Academy is being cancelled and its characters, along with several of Runaways (another favorite) are being shunted off to this repulsive sounding Avengers Arena series, which honestly makes me cry a little bit every time I see that ad and read the copy description.

Oh well, at the end of the day, it's just more money to spend on indie comics and manga, which provide more fulfillment for me as a reader these days anyway...