Friday, April 12, 2013

Marvel's July previews reviewed

This is normally where I'd write a few sentences of introduction before noting that you could read Marvel's full solicitations for the comics they plan to publish in July at Comic Book Resources, but I'm afraid I don't have much to say about this round of solicits as a whole.

In fact, the only thing that jumped out at me was that Marvel would be publishing no comics with Namor or Man-Thing in them in July (the only instances of the former's name are in a pair of reprints, while the latter isn't even mentioned among those).

Here's what caught my attention this time around...


A+X #10
B. CLAY MOORE & ADAM WARREN (W)
KRIS ANKA & ADAM WARREN (A)
Cover BY KRIS ANKA
• BLACK WIDOW and FANTOMEX find themselves on opposite sides of the law in Russia!
• SCARLET WITCH and DOMINO try their luck together!
32 PGS./Rated T ...$3.99


Adam Warren! Again!

I wonder if my local comics shop would rip this comic in half and just sell me the Warren story for two bucks...?


AVENGERS A.I. #1
SAM HUMPHRIES (W) • ANDRE LIMA ARAUJO (A)Cover BY DUSTIN WEAVER
ARTIST VARIANT BY ANDRE LIMA ARAUJO
YOUNG VARIANT BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
8-BIT VARIANT BY MATTHEW WAITE
BLANK VARIANT ALSO AVAILABLE
HARDER. BETTER. FASTER. STRANGER.
• The triumph of Hank Pym turns to tragedy for the human race...an unfathomable Pandora’s Box of destruction!
• When a brave new world is unleashed, only one team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes can save us from the future – AVENGERS A.I.!
• THE VISION! HANK PYM! VICTOR MANCHA! DOOMBOT! The mysterious ALEXIS! MONICA CHANG, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.!
• The AGE OF ULTRON is over! The AGE OF A.I. is NOW!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


Wwwwwaiiit a minute—Can they really just throw Hank Pym together with a bunch of robots and call that an Avengers team? That's all Avengers A.I. is, right? A guy who made a robot, teamed up with a bunch of random robots...? (Actually, are Alexis and Change even robots? I don't recognize those names).

That's sorta cool, I guess, but why aren't they calling it Robot Avengers...? (And why isn't Machine Man on the team?)

I normally edit out all of the variants in these solicits, because I think they are so dumb I don't even want them on my blog, but I left them in on this occasion because the 8-Bit variant is actually pretty cool.

Check it out:
I might be tempted to read this book if the interior art was all done in that style.


Joe Quinones draws good pictures. Like this cover to Avengers Assemble. He's not drawing the interiors though, some guy named Matteo "Not Joe Quinones" Buffagni is drawing the interiors.


FANTASTIC FOUR #10
MATT FRACTION (W) • MARK BAGLEY (A/C)
BEN FRANKLIN WAS A SKRULL!
32 PGS./Rated T ...$2.99


It's cool to see Mark Bagley's interpretation of the Founding Fathers (hey, there's another FF for ya!), but I think showing "Ben Franklin" transforming back into a Skrull while being punched kind of ruins the cover. Ben Grimm punching out Ben Franklin for no apparently reason is a much grabbier image, isn't it?


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #5
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS AND NEIL GAIMAN (W)
Sara Pichelli (A/C)
Variant COVER by Paolo Rivera
ANGELA Variant Cover by TBD
Skottie Young Variant Also Available
• Spinning out of the dramatic conclusion of Age of Ultron, dimensions collide and Heaven’s most fearsome Angel pushes the Guardians back on their heels.
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


I find myself completely baffled by this whole thing of Marvel introducing the Neil Gaiman-created angel character Angela from his one issue of Spawn into the Marvel Universe.

Hell, "created" is kind of too strong a word, isn't it? He named his angel character Angela, and she is basically just Red Sonja with a headdress and glam eye make-up. She's maybe Gaiman's least-inspired, least-interesting, least-well-rounded character; a completely generic sword-and-sorcery bad girl character.

The best story she ever starred in? Gaiman and Todd MacFarlane's legal battle over her.

I'm not sure why Gaiman wants Marvel to have her, beyond some kind of petty fuck you to Todd MacFarlane, and I have no idea why Marvel is using her in their story about a robot conquering the future or this sci-fi series about...Brian Michael Bendis getting some more Hollywood-juiced royalties?

I can see what Marvel gains, and what Bendis gains (the Gaiman presence bump), but I don't see what Gaiman gains sharing a writing credit with Bendis. If he really just wanted to irritate MacFarlane, he didn't have to personally write the character.

Maybe this whole solicits just a weird fake-out though, and Marvel Man will be appearing instead of Angela, who is being used as cover to keep the surprise of Marvel Man returning to comics under wraps. That, at least, would make some amount of sense.


HAWKEYE ANNUAL #1
MATT FRACTION (W) • JAVIER PULIDO (A/C)
• Go west, young lady! Kate Bishop heads to Los Angeles -- to get away from New York, life, and Clint Barton—but NOT trouble!
• But Madame Masque is hanging out at poolside with the rich and famous as well!
• Who is Kate Bishop? Find out alongside Kate Bishop herself as a wild new status quo comes to HAWKEYE.
40 PGS./One-Shot/Rated T+ ...$4.99


Hmmm...That may be my favorite cover of this whole batch.

And if you can't have David Aja art in your Hawkeye comic, having Javier Pulido art sure isn't a bad thing.

Kind of bummed by that price point, though. A whole extra dollar for just eight more pages or so of story doesn't really seem like a great value. Annuals aren't much fun now that comics are this expensive and the publishers are so stingy with page counts.


Nice Indestructible Hulk cover by Paolo Rivera.


THE SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #1
NICK SPENCER (W) • STEVE LIEBER (A)
Cover by MARCOS MARTIN
Variant Cover BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
ARTIST VARIANT Cover BY Shane Davis
8 BIT VARIANT Cover BY Matthew Waite
MRRC SKETCH VARIANT ALSO AVAILABLE
BLANK VARIANT Cover ALSO AVAILABLE
BRAND NEW ON-GOING!
Boomerang and some of Spidey’s deadliest baddies prove that with terrible powers come terrible responsibilities!
Rising Star Nick Spencer teams with Eisner Award winning sensation Steve Lieber for a walk on the Spider-Verse’s evil side!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


Wow, check out that awesome Marcos Martin cover! It's so awesome, it almost makes one forget how very many terrible, terrible costumes are on the cover! Not sure why Marvel commissioned five other variant covers for this issue though, when the regular cover is so good.

Wait, did they say ongoing..? Huh. Well, Lieber's a good artist, so this should be a pretty great-looking book, regardless of whether or not Spider-Man's villains—especially this batch of G-Listers—can sustain their own book for very long...


SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP #1
CHRISTOPHER YOST (W) • DAVID LOPEZ (A)
Cover by PAOLO RIVERA
Variant Cover by HUMBRTO RAMOS
BLANK VARIANT Cover ALSO AVAILABLE
SKETCH VARIANT Cover ALSO AVAILABLE
• SUPERIOR SPIDER-MONTH JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT MORE SUPERIOR
WITH A BRAND NEW ONGOING!
• CHALLENGE THEM, OF COURSE!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Another nice Spider-Man cover, this one by Paolo Rivera.

I'm assuming this book will replace Avenging Spider-Man on the schedule—I don't see a solicit for Avenging—rather than adding a second Spidey team-up book, because that would be madness.


UNCANNY AVENGERS #10
RICK REMENDER (W) • DANIEL ACUNA (A)
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
Ragnarök Now continues!
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF DEATH are unleashed!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Couple things:

1.) Why are there FOUR Horsemen of Death? Back in my day, we only had one Horseman of Death, and we were glad to have it!

2.) How come The Four Horsemen of Death don't actually get horses? Those guys should all have horses. At least robot monster horses, like 3/4ths of Apocalypse's horsemen had in that shitty X-Men cartoon I love.
I know for a fact half the blue-faced dead people on that cover can't fly.

3.) But I don't know if the one on the far right can fly or not. Because I have no idea who the hell that is. Who is that? (It's not Banshee, is it? That would be weird if it were Banshee. Because who cares about Banshee, alive or dead? Also, shouldn't he have sideburns...?)

4.) Can comics' creative class all get together and agree to quit using the word Ragnarök...? I'm really bored with that word, and I don't think the thing you're supposed to feel when you see or hear that word is boredom.

5.) Hobo piss.

7 comments:

Jacob T. Levy said...

"Maybe this whole solicits just a weird fake-out though, and Marvel Man will be appearing instead of Angela, who is being used as cover to keep the surprise of Marvel Man returning to comics under wraps. That, at least, would make some amount of sense. "

If that happens, you will have won the internet.

Sentry? They're really bringing Sentry back? And here I was feeling unusually warm toward Marvel these days, between Daredevil and Hawkeye and Young Avengers.

Diabolu Frank said...

Don't forget that Todd McFarlane helped bring Bendis into the mainstream on Spawn books back when they still kind of mattered. Once Bendis started transitioning to Marvel, McFarlane fired him and dicked with all his former books. Also, Bendis was going to write Miracleman's integration into the Spawnverse, but both the firing and the start of the legal battle started around the same time. Point being, you don't have to be Grant Morrison to appreciate the metatext here, and it makes a nice capstone on Gaiman's involvement with the process.

Greg said...

I hope "hobo piss" just becomes a thing people write and everyone knows what they're talking about. Well done, sir!

JohnF said...

TOO...MANY...VARIANTS

Nick Ahlhelm said...

SSM Team-Up is indeed replacing Avenging, though no one really cares, I think.

I thought the guy on the right was Archangel, but the wings are all wrong. Is Black Bolt currently dead?

Akilles said...

Black Bolt is alive.

A Hero said...

Ben Grimm punching out Ben Franklin for no reason would be a cooler cover. Maybe Marvel was just afraid Fox news would run a story asking "Why does the Fantastic Four hate America?"