Sunday, July 20, 2014

Marvel's October previews reviewed

After years of heroes-fighting-heroes being the motivating factors of Marvel's big event series (from House of M, Civil War, "The Initiative," World War Hulk, Avengers Vs. X-Men), it looks like Marvel's upcoming Axis event/series will be a more old-fashioned, bunch-of-good-guys-vs.-a-bunch-of-bad-guys sort of conflict. And, based on the publisher's solicitations for what it plans to ship and sell in October of this year, it looks like it will be big, sprawling, and hard-to-figure-out-what-to-read, as was the case with Avengers Vs. X-Men, Original Sin (which included a companion series called Original Sins and also some issues with decimal points in their issue numbers) and, to a lesser extent, Infinity (I recently tried reading Johnathan Hickmans' Avengers books, and made it through the first three volumes of Avengers just fine, but had to quit half-way through New Avengers Vol. 2: Infinity, because I had no idea what the hell was going on—Infinity apparently began off-page somewhere in the middle of the run of single issues that volume was collecting).

I think the main series wil be the one called Avengers & X-Men: Axis, but there's also "companion" series Axis: Revolutions, and few short miniseries entitled Axis: (Insert Name of Character Here), and then a bunch of tie-ins from regular, ongoing series that do not have the word "Axis" in their titles (Deadpool #36, Loki #7, Magneto #11, etc). From the plot descriptions, it seems as if the storyline will be an expansion of that from Avengers & X-Men: Axis writer Rick Remender's first story arc of Uncanny Avengers, in which the Red Skull sticks Charles Xavier's brain in himself somehow in order to...make people hate mutants more than usual, or something like that.

There are, as always, a bunch of variants for, like, every series, but the one that intrigued me the most were those called "Hasbro variants," as I have no idea what those might entail (Hopefully Marvel action figures posed atop My Little Pony toys). There are also "Deadpool 75th" and "Stomp Out Bullying" variants mentioned in a lot of solicits.

So what can we expect from Marvel come October? Let's take a look...



AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #1 (OF 9)
RICK REMENDER (W) • ADAM KUBERT (A)
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
...
ACT I: THE RED SUPREMACY
• The Red Skull has exploited the gifts of the world’s greatest telepath to broadcast pure hatred across the globe. Now, born of the murder of Charles Xavier, World War Hate has begun.
• Tony Stark discovers a secret truth that will upend not only his life, but also the lives of everyone he cares for.
• Can The Avengers and X-Men finally unite? Would their combined strength be enough to hold back the darkness of the Red Onslaught?
• Magneto murdered the wrong man, releasing the greatest evil the Marvel Universe has ever known. Now Rogue and Scarlet Witch are all that stand in its way.
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99


As with Age of Ultron, it looks like the series will kick off at a decent price point, before reverting to the $4 for 20-22-pages price point of the average Marvel comic. I like the term "World War Hate," and that this book seems to be shipping quickly, either on a weekly or weekly-ish basis.

Now, what on earth is The Red Skull wearing here...?


AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #2 (OF 9)
RICK REMENDER (W) • ADAM KUBERT (A)
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
...
ACT I: THE RED SUPREMACY
• The heroes of the Marvel Universe storm the beaches of Red Skull’s Genoshian Reeducation camps. What they discover within will lead to a bleak new era.
• The revelation of Tony Stark’s dark secret promises to shatter the fragile alliance between A and X.
• The all-new Captain America pays a terrible price.
• Nova’s attempt at solving the crisis leads to disaster.
• Magneto betrays his alliance to join an army of evil.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


The new Captain America, ex-Falcon Sam Wilson, pays a terrible price? Noooooooooo! Not Redwing!


AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #3 (OF 9)
RICK REMENDER (W) • LEINIL FRANCIS YU (A)
...
ACT I: THE RED SUPREMACY
• With the heroes lost, the world’s fate lies in the hands of the vilest syndicate known to man.
• Scarlet Witch is forced to join Dr. Doom, the man who unleashed her power to cause M-Day, or she will watch those she loves most die.
• The return of one of the Marvel Universe’s great villains!
• An Avenger quits, a heart is broken, and the world as we know it is gone.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


That first bullet point reminds me of Forever Evil.

I really like Jack O' Lantern's design, although I don't think I've ever read a story in the character in it that I liked.


I really like Javier Rodriguez's cover for this new Axis: Hobgoblin miniseries, and am excited to hear that he's providing interior art as well. The writer he's paired with, however, is "Robot Chicken writer Kevin Shinick," which I guess means it's written by a comedy writer with no sense of humor...?

Or did that show get better after the first terrible, terrible, terrible season...?

The mini is only three over-priced issues long, so I assume it will ultimately end up collected along with another book or two, in something like Axis: Carnage and Hobgoblin.


Marco Rudy's cover for the first issue of the unfortunately titled Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier kinda freaks me out a little.


DEATH OF WOLVERINE: THE LOGAN LEGACY #1 (OF 7)
CHARLES SOULE (W) • OLIVER NOME (A/C)
...
• Wolverine—the greatest X-Men ever—is dead!
• With this mutant powerhouse now permanently out of the picture, various factions of both good and evil are scrambling to fill the void left by Logan’s death!
• Will Wolverine’s Legacy be shaped by heroes who valiantly fought alongside him …or by those villains treacherous enough to have challenged him over the many years of his long life?
• The answers will be revealed in this special 7-issue limited series that spins directly out of the mega-popular DEATH OF WOLVERINE!
• This series will feature unique solo adventures of several instrumental figures in shaping Logan’s Legacy: X-23, Sabretooth, Daken, Lady Deathstrike and Mystique!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Ha ha, they said "permanently"...!


DEATHLOK #1
NATHAN EDMONDSON (W) • MIKE PERKINS (A/C)
...
“Enemy of My Enemy”
• After Michael Collins, there was Henry Hayes
• A medic who travels to war zones to heal the wounded, he has no idea that when he’s in the field, he’s activated by a mysterious group and becomes the ultimate weapon of assassination and war: DEATHLOK
• From the writer of BLACK WIDOW and THE PUNISHER comes a new take on the iconic cyborg character making waves on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


It is weird that one of the Big Two direct market publishers is releasing a solo series starring a black man identified as "the iconc cyborg character," and that the publisher is Marvel and the character Deathlok, rather than DC and Cyborg, right?

It's not just me...?


GUARDIANS 3000 #1
DAN ABNETT (w) • GERARDO SANDOVAL (a/C)
Cover BY Alex Ross
...
• Dive right into the action as the original Guardians of the Galaxy—Vance Astro, Yondu, Martinex, Starhawk and Charlie-27--try to save the future universe from the menace of the Badoon.
• But what happens when the Guardians discover something behind the Badoon…something even worse than they could have ever imagined?
• The very future itself is in danger, and the only possibility of salvation relies on the shoulders of this ragtag, bombastic group of underdogs. Thrown together by fate and fighting against intolerable oppression, how can they even hope to survive the first issue?!
32 PGS/Rated T+…$3.99


If you would have told me as recently as January that, by the end of this year, Marvel would be publishing four Guardians of the Galaxy-related ongoing series (GoG, Rocket Raccoon, Legendary Star-Lord and now this), I would have told you that you were a crazy person.


HAWKEYE #22
MATT FRACTION (W)
DAVID AJA (A/C)
• Hawkeyes vs. Tracksuits. Final Round!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Oh good, so it's not canceled after all. It is too goddam expensive though. Goodbye Hawkeye! It was fun while it lasted, back when you came out on some sort of schedule, and were reasonably priced at $3 per issue!


One lady I work with is super-into the old-school, '90s-era cartoon X-Men, but the only Marvel comic she's currently reading is Ms. Marvel. She will occasionally ask me questions about the goings-on in the wider Marvel Universe, since she doesn't spend her life on the comics Internet like I do. You know, why doesn't Wolverine have his healing factor anymore, why can't Rogue be in Uncanny Avengers and X-Men at the same time, if Wolverine can simultaneously be in Uncanny Avengers and Wolverine and The X-Men and Amazing X-Men (and Avengers and...well, you get the picture), that kind of thing.

I honestly cannot wait to have a conversation about why there's a giant bulldog with a mustache and a tuning fork sticking out of his head in October!!!


THE SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #16
NICK SPENCER (W) • STEVE LIEBER (A/C)
• STILL NOT still not canceled!
• GANG WAR rages on at its rageful-iest.
• The Sinister Six versus EVERYONE!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


"STILL NOT still not canceled" is a a pretty good tag-line. Maybe they should swap out "The Superior" for "The Still Not Canceled" in the book's title...?

I read The Superior Foes of Spider-Man (despite the too-expensive $3.99 price tag, because I think it's actually good enough a read to pay 33% extra for), I'd read The Still-Not-Caneceled Foes of Spider-Man.

My favorite part of the book is how they never, ever, ever fight Spider-Man.


THANOS: A GOD UP THERE LISTENING #1-4 (of 4)
ROB WILLIAMS (W)
NEIL EDWARDS, PACO DIAZ, IBAN COELLO (A)
Covers BY DUSTIN NGUYEN
• At the close of INFINITY, Thane discovered he was the son of Thanos and that his touch was death. • Now, accompanied by the constantly whispered advice of the Ebony Maw, he wants to discover his father’s history, and his own future.
32 PGS. (EACH)/Rated T+ …$3.99 (EACH)


Oh shit, the God up there listening is Thanos? Man, that makes Are You There God? It's Me Margaret seem like a very different story now...


WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #10 & 11
JASON LATOUR (W) • ROBBI RODRIGUEZ, JASON LATOUR, JIM RUGG, James Harren, Kris Anka & more (A)
Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR & MARTE GRACIA
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF WOLVERINE
• The X-Men mourn as one of their own is finally put to rest.
• As a reporter digs further in Wolverine’s past, what will be uncovered as the X-Men retell their favorite personal adventures and Wolverine stories
• Some of the industry’s best and brightest lend a hand to say farewell in these two jam-packed issues: Robbi Rodriguez, Jason Latour, Jim Rugg, James Harren & more.
ISSUE #10 - 40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
ISSUE #11 - 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99



Please be advised: Jim Rugg is drawing the X-Men. At least a little.

6 comments:

Evan Dawson-Baglien said...

I think that what Red Skull is wearing is the armor of Onslaught, that monster from that big crossover Marvel did back in 1996 that led into Heroes Reborn.

I don't know how Red Skull got Onslaught's armor, but since Onslaught started life as a manifestation of Xavier's mind, I assume it has something to do with what Red Skull did to Xavier's brain in Uncanny Avengers (I've only read the first trade of that series, so I don't know what happens later).

I think the other question we should be asking is why Marvel would want to remind anyone that Onslaught existed. I was under impression that that crossover was poorly received.

culturewarreporters.com said...

I actually love the fact that Marvel is going to be publishing a solo title featuring a Black man who is also a cyborg when DC's is literally 1/7th of their premiere super hero team [and the only one without his own].

Eric Lee said...

@ Evan Dawson-Baglien, I think Marvel is trying to find a way to revamp the Onslaught idea and improve upon it. It is a very 90s idea, but then again, so was giving Venom his own series, reintroducing the Clone Saga, and having an x- Force comic....

janeanpatience said...

Relating to your first paragraph, I gave up on the Bendis Avengers titles when I picked up an issue, after following the story for some years, to find it was a Fear Itself crossover and I had not a clue what was going on. I'd done House of M, I'd done Civil War, I'd done Secret Invasion, and in each case the new status quo had only just gotten started and it was over again. It proved to be a perfect jumping-off point for regular readers.

Rev'd '76 said...

Dammit, Marvel.

Dammit, Fraction.

Dammit, Hawkguy.

Caleb said...

I think that what Red Skull is wearing is the armor of Onslaught, that monster from that big crossover Marvel did back in 1996 that led into Heroes Reborn.

Ah-ha! Well that explains why it looks like it was designed in 1996, then.