Saturday, October 20, 2012

Marvel's January previews reviewed

Come January, Marvel will still be rolling out its "Marvel NOW!" not-a-reboot-but-a-rebranding-effort-to-make-their-line-more-appealing-to-new-readers promotion come January of next year.

If you'd like to read about all of their publishing plans for January, you can see their full solicitations at Comic Book Resources or ComicsAlliance. And if you'd like to read me talking about them, well, you've come to the right place!


ALL-NEW X-MEN #5
Brian Michael Bendis (W) • Stuart Immonen (A/C)
...
• The first story of a new era comes to its conclusion.
• One of the original X-Men will be forever changed!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

ALL-NEW X-MEN #6
Brian Michael Bendis (W) • DAVID MARQUEZ (A)
Cover by Stuart Immonen
...
• David Marquez (Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man) takes the artistic reins for 3 issues!
• Brian Bendis further defines the future of the X-Men!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99


Wait a minute, if the idea here is that the very first team of X-Men has traveled forward in time to meet the current X-Men, wouldn't that make them the very least able to support the adjective "All-New," of, like, all of the X-Men teams ever...?

This here is one of several of the "Marvel NOW!" series that sound more like mini-series than ongoings, as these X-Men can't stay in the present forever...although, according to the way Marvel time-travel works, once you time travel, you create an entirely new time-line, right? So these X-Men can stay in the present forever, and replace the dead or screwed up versions of themselves...?

I don't know.


I still haven't decided if the Avengers Arena covers are homages or rip-offs...I'm assuming this one, unlike that for the first issue, is obvious enough to be an homage or parody. They still make me uncomfortable though.


AVENGERS: THE ONCE AND FUTURE KANG TPB
Written by ROGER STERN, JIM SHOOTER, DANNY FINGEROTH & STEVE ENGLEHART
Penciled by JOHN BUSCEMA, STEVE DITKO & MARK BRIGHT
Cover by JOHN BUSCEMA
The Sub-Mariner has joined the Avengers! And they'll need his superhuman strength and aquatic expertise when they make a shocking discovery beneath the waves of Jamaica Bay, deal with a new Yellowjacket and clash with the unimaginable cosmic power of the Beyonder! But when the Avengers' time-hopping nemesis Kang the Conqueror returns — a whole Council of Kangs, in fact — can Earth's Mightiest Heroes escape the deadly realm of Limbo, dispatch the threats of the Space Phantom and Growing Man, and triumph over their futuristic foe? And what parts will Ravonna and Immortus play in the battle? Plus: The Avengers and West Coast team up to uncover a traitor in their midst! Guest-starring the Molecule Man, the Silver Surfer and Freedom Force! Collecting AVENGERS (1963) #262-269, AVENGERS ANNUAL (1967) #15 and WEST COAST AVENGERS ANNUAL #1.
280 PGS./Rated T ...$29.99


I love that title. Have they done Kang stories entitled "Kang of Kangs" and "All The Kang's Men" already...?


DAREDEVIL #22
MARK WAID (W) • Chris Samnee (A)
Cover by Paolo Rivera
• Daredevil teams up with the ALL NEW Superior Spider-Man!
• Yes, America, we've heard your calls! Stilt-Man Is BACK! Better than ever thanks to some last minute help from Doctor Octopus.
• The Eisner and Harvey Award winner for book of the year continues to baffle all of us here at the House of Ideas!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


That's a rather generic superheroes-just-posing cover from Rivera, who usually crafts smarter and more distinct pieces, however since they're fighting the Stilt-Man, I guess they are actually attacking his crotch in this image, so that's kind of cool.


DEADPOOL: KILLUSTRATED #1 (of 4)
Cullen Bunn (W) • Matteo Lolli (A)
Cover by MICHAEL DEL MUNDO
• Deadpool has already killed every hero in the Marvel Universe.
• He isn't through.
• This time...Deadpool's gonna take most famous characters in classic literature!
• YOU NEVER KNEW HOW BADLY YOU NEEDED THIS SERIES!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99


Given the literary mash-up craze, the premise of this series is...well, it's actually kind of brilliant.

I don't understand why the title isn't Deadpool: Classics Killustrated, as the joke doesn't seem as straightforward as it would be if it were more direct. The Classics-less title seems timid and afraid to offend/entice legal action.

I also don't understand why Marvel didn't offer Kate Beaton one million dollars to draw a variant cover, as she does a hell of a Moby Dick and Captain Ahab (I'm not so sure about her Deadpool, but I'm sure it would be pretty awesome, based on how awesome all of her other drawings of other people are).


FANTASTIC FOUR: ISLAND OF DEATH TPB
Written by TOM BELAND
Penciled by JUAN DOE
Cover by JUAN DOE
Marvel's First Family investigates a long-kept secret, bringing them to the island of Puerto Rico — face-to-face with an old nemesis and a creature known as el Chupacabra! Then, it's a return trip to the tropics, and the Human Torch is bringing his good buddy Spider-Man! What has turned the island of Vieques' tranquil bay into...a giant radioactive monster?! Plus: There's no such thing as a relaxing vacation. When the monstrous evil genius M.O.D.O.K. hatches a plan involving genetically enhanced monkeys, our heroes will be up to their ears in it! Guest-starring Dragon Man and the mysterious figure known only as...El Vejigante! Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR: ISLA DE LA MUERTE!, SPIDER-MAN & THE HUMAN TORCH IN...BAHIA DE LOS MUERTOS! and FANTASTIC FOUR IN ATAQUE DEL M.O.D.O.K.!
136 PGS./Rated T ...$16.99


All of the comics collected in this are really good, and this is well worth the price for Doe's amazing artwork alone (But the scripts are fun and funny, too!). If you didn't read the single issues off the rack, I'd highly recommend this.

I think all of 'em were published in both English and Spanish versions...or as flip-books with both versions...? I can't remember exactly, now. So I wonder if this will include two versions of both stories.

Anyway, the FF, Spider-Man, classic FF foes, Chupacabras, monsters and M.O.D.O.K.!


MARVEL FIRSTS: WWII SUPER HEROES TPB
Written by BILL EVERETT, JOE SIMON, JACK KIRBY, WILL HARR, BOB DAVIS, PHIL STURM, OTTO BINDER, STAN LEE & MORE
Penciled by CARL BURGOS, BILL EVERETT, JOE SIMON, JACK KIRBY, MAURICE GUTWIRTH, JACK BINDER, HARRY SAHLE, AL AVISON, AL GABRIELE, SYD SHORES, CHARLES NICHOLAS WOJTKOSKI, MIKE SUCHORSKY & MORE
Cover by VARIOUS
In 1939, Timely Comics — precursor to modern Marvel — burst onto the scene with a wild and unmatched energy, populating the Golden Age of Comics with hundreds of new characters! Travel back to the Marvel Universe's embryonic beginnings, and relive the dynamic debuts of the Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Laughing Mask, Ferret, Dynamic Man, Marvex, Black Marvel, Blazing Skull, Patriot, Young Allies, Whizzer, Rockman, Jack Frost, Destroyer, Witness, Miss America and more — plus the Golden Age incarnations of the Human Torch, Angel, Falcon, Black Widow and Vision! Collecting material from MARVEL COMICS #1; DARING MYSTERY COMICS #1-3, #5 and #7; MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #4, #13, #28 and #49; MYSTIC COMICS #1-2 and #4-7; RED RAVEN COMICS #1; CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1, #6 and #13; HUMAN TORCH COMICS #4; YOUNG ALLIES COMICS #1; and USA COMICS #1-2.
456 PGS./Rated T ...$39.99


I sure would like to read this...and would happily buy it were it not at a fairly insane price point. If this were a black and white Essential, I'd be all over it. Oh well; maybe an Ohio library will buy this for their collection, and I'll remember to borrow it come next spring....


NEW AVENGERS #1
Jonathan Hickman (W) •Steve Epting (A)
Cover by JOCK
...
To prevent the collision of our universe with another, the Illuminati, led by the Black Panther, must assemble NOW! It's the most powerful and brilliant team in the Marvel Universe--The Black Panther, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner and The Beast--against an infinite legion of parallel realities.
32 PGS. /Rated T+ ...$3.99

NEW AVENGERS #2
Jonathan Hickman (W) • Steve Epting (A)
Cover by JOCK
...
"EVERYTHING DIES"
• The Illuminati gather to plan for the death of Everything.
• Infinity gems, old wounds, lies, agendas and universal incursions.
• "It breaks hope -- it crushes what makes us decent and steals what little honor remains." --Black Swan
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Is it weird that the solicitations for the first two issues of the new, new New Avengers doesn't really mention the line-up of the team at all, but rather the line-up of the New Illuminati...? (Old New Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis was often sticking the old Illuminati in Avengers-branded books, even when no members of the Avengers were sitting around the secret table, so I guess new writer Jonathan Hickman is keeping that Bendisian tick alive...?)

Or is the New Illuminati actually the new New Avengers line-up, and they're just calling the book New Avengers instead of New Illuminati, because "Avengers" is a more salable word in 2012 than "Illuminati" is...?

I don't know. I don't really care, either, as a twice-a-month, $4/20-page Marvel Universe book isn't for me, but it seemed like an odd way to kick off the new volume of what was once Marvel's most popular title.


PUNISHER: NIGHTMARE #1-5
A FIVE-PART, FIVE WEEK PUNISHER EVENT!
• A Special Forces soldier is injured and his family killed in the midst of a mob execution in Central Park, but this isn't Frank Castle. This time it's a young soldier named JAKE NIMAN, but the familiar story puts Frank on the path of punishment!
• As Jake Niman heals from his wounds, why is he growing strangely stronger?
• And who is the mysterious Johnny Nightmare?
• Bullets fly, anarchy reigns, allies become enemies, the Punisher becomes the punished, and no one is safe!!!
32 PGS. (EACH)/Parental Advisory ...$3.99 (EACH)


Notice something missing from the above solicitation...? Marvel didn't! The failure to mention any creators at all doesn't inspire confidence. Too bad. I generally like these weekly events/miniseries Marvel does, but this one's at the "Are you fucking crazy" $4/22 price point. As a weekly, the series should be available in a trade collection for about that price ($20) almost immediately.


SAVAGE WOLVERINE #1
Frank Cho (W) • Frank Cho (A/C)
...
Wolverine awakes to find himself transported to the Savage Land and labeled public enemy number one! With no memory of how he got there, and Shanna the She-Devil his only ally, Logan must unravel the mystery that slumbers at the heart of the Savage Land before it finds a way to kill him first. This January, Wolverine is all brawls, babes, and brachiosaurs, and you'll never see the end -- or the future of the Marvel Universe -- NOW!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99


Hey, this one is marked "Parental Advisory" instead of "T" or "T+"...does that mean Marvel finally let Frank Cho craw Shanna's nipples...? Because I'm pretty sure "nipples + Wolverine" is a can't lose formula for Marvel.

Anyway, this is another one of the several ongoing series Marvel has solicited as staring this month that sound a lot more like limited series...I wonder if they're pitching them all as regular monthlies simply because the market responds better to a new ongoing Wolverine series than it would to another Wolverine mini-series, and that in six to twelve months or so this will end and Marvel will announce a new Wolverine title with a new adjective...?

I have some suggestions: The Lone, The Wolfish, The Unshaven, The Stabby, The Extra-Stabby, The Totally Canadian, The Surprisingly Diminutive, The Not-so-Friendly Neighborhood, The Avenging, The X-Venging, The Randy, The Mincing, The Garrulous, The Slightly Tipsy, The Hirsute, The Shakespearean, The Victorian Dandy, The Pugilistic, Emo...

...

...I better stop now, or I'll be up all night thinking of Wolverine titles.


SECRET AVENGERS #36
RICK REMENDER (W) • MATTEO SCALERA (A)
Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS
• In The Core Venom and Valkyrie set out on a mission to kill Father.
• In New York The Master Mold rises and the only way to stop him is to kill The Torch!
• Black-Ant vs Hawkeye the final showdown!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Damn, Adams drew the hell out of that cover! The mention of "Black-Ant" makes me want to read this run on the book even more...Was anyone reading it....? Was it any good...? I hope Marvel collects it in an easy-to-find way. I have a hard time catching up on some of their series in trade, as they're kind of hard to figure out what's what and what's by who and what order they come in.


SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1
DAN SLOTT (W) • RYAN STEGMAN (A/C)
...
THEN!...Peter Parker spent a lifetime living up to the responsibilities his powers foisted upon him but his Amazing story finally ended dramatically in the historic Spider-Man #700. NOW!...The new Amazing Spider-Man has arrived and he is better in every single way. Smarter, stronger...Superior.
32 PGS. /Rated T+ ...$3.99


So is Marvel just picking out adjectives at random now, or what...?

The new logo, as seen above in the Ed McGuinness-drawn cover, isn't exactly superior to the old one.


THUNDERBOLTS #3
Daniel Way (W) • Steve Dillon (A)
Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
...
• The Thunderbolts are tearing their way through a bloody mission!
• But will even this crew approve of the team's NEWEST MEMBER?
• Yeah, that's right—the RED LEADER.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99


The Red Leader, huh...? Like the old Marvel Comics covers used to say: It had to happen!


UNCANNY X-FORCE #1
Sam Humphries (W) • Ron Garney (A)
Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL
...
THE DARKEST CORNERS OF THE MUTANT UNIVERSE: EXPOSED! The X-Men: sworn to protect a world that fears and hates them. UNCANNY X-FORCE: charged to deal with situations the X-Men fear and hate! Psylocke and Storm lead a new team of outcasts and scoundrels, including fan-favorite Puck, the villainous Spiral, and the mysterious Cluster. The first adversary to strike out from the darkness? X-legend BISHOP!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


That's a pretty decent pitch for a the series in the second and third sentences. Or, at the very least, a nice distillation of what the title could/should be. Now that Cyclops' years-long slide from hero to anti-hero to villain (or anti-villain?) has apparently been completed, I was wondering if the very idea of a black-ops/wet-work X-team has lived past its usefulness, but I suppose we'd have to read a few issues of this before we can even begin to determine whether or not that's the case (It does strike me as sorta weird that almost the entire line-up has changed, and, while I don't know these characters as well as the others, it seems short on paid assassins and mercenaries).

I like the fact that they refer to Puck as "fan-favorite Puck." Even though his costume on the cover totally sucks.

I'm curious about Storm rocking the mohawk again, and I wonder if they will make that a story point. I doubt they'll do a whole issue about Storm changing her hairstyle and her teammates' reaction to the new look, but that's the kind of X-Men comic I'd like to read.

Despite liking artist Ron Garney's work a whole lot, and being quite intrigued by the apparent decision to cast Puck in a Wolverine-like, little Canadian bad-ass role, I won't be picking this up. Not only is it $3.99, it's apparently going to feature "X-legend" >snicker< Bishop, whom I find a generally repulsive character (As in, he repels me, not that he, like, grosses me out or anything).

YOUNG AVENGERS #1
KIERON GILLEN (W) • JAMIE MCKELVIE (A/C)
Variant Cover by BRYAN LEE O'MALLEY
...
Legacy isn't a dirty word... but it's an irrelevant one. It's not important what our parents did. It matters what WE do. Someone has to save the world. You're someone. Do the math. The critically acclaimed team of Gillen/McKelvie/Wilson (with added Norton Sauce) decide to reinvent the teen superhero comic for the 21st century, uniting Wiccan, Hulkling and Hawkeye with Loki, Marvel Boy and Ms. America. No pressure. Young Avengers is as NOW! as the air in your lungs, and twice as vital. It's the book that knows Hyperbole is the BEST! THING! EVER!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


Killer creative team, affordable price point, only one issue solicited and a fucking Bryan Lee O'Malley cover...Gah, Marvel, I don't want to read more of your comics, why are you making this one so irresistible...?

Okay Marvel, I tell you what—if the O'Malley cover is, like, 50/50 and I can, like, buy it off the rack the week this issue comes out, I'll add this to my pull-list.

5 comments:

Rev'd '76 said...

Never being one not to whine about days of future gone past their sell-by date, why the heck isn't there a Hellcat book written by Kathryn Immonen anymore?

Because I recall that being incredibly sassy, fun, witty, surreal, and 7/10s continuity-free. With an appeal for boy & girl fans alike-- or at least for superhero comix fans unafraid to brandish their tattered single issues of L&R in public.

You're right, though: that is one mammyjammer of an Adams cover.

I am not, however, swayed by Marvel's snake oil pitch to the hipster fanbase. If they hired BLO'M to do an entire X-Book, I'd be all over it like, say, Pope on Spider-Man or Jeff Smith on Shazam. But just a cover? No.

Rev'd '76 said...

Incidentally, the Adams cover:

I'm wayyy behind on continuity. Am I to assume there was an Ant-Man robot around at some point? Or a daughter-of-Nightmare bot? (Who is the girl with the webbed hoodie, anyway?)

The overall design suggests he's only shooting androids-- Doombot, Visions, Jocasta, etc. I'm dead cert. Red Skull's had his android doubles... but I know nothing about Ant-Man having andy dupes, or Life-Model Duplicates, or whatever S.H.I.E.L.D. is callin' 'em these days.

Fill me in, somebody.

SallyP said...

Nothing particularly grabs me...except that Young Avengers book with Loki. I'm going to buy the HECK out of that!

Steven R. Stahl said...

If you're looking for logic in the way Marvel writers, and Bendis in particular, handle time travel, you're looking in vain. The ALL-NEW X-MEN storyline can't possibly make sense.

If you discard the notion that someone can travel purely along the "time" axis of the space-time continuum and be in two places at once, then it's impossible for someone to travel into his own future. As it is, current scientific thinking holds that the light speed limit makes time travel of any sort impossible.

SRS

David said...

I always thought the way Marvel handled time travel always involved a dimension hop to an alternate Earth. Or at least I remember reading that in one of the rulebooks for the Marvel Super Heroes RPG in the 80s.