Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Marvel's November previews reviewed

So I guess Rocket Raccoon and Groot proved to be rather popular characters in that Guardians of the Galaxy movie, huh? Because it appears that, come November, they will be on variant covers on just about every Marvel title.

It's not unusual for Marvel to do variants featuring their latest movie stars of course, but with the previous team movie, they did Avengers covers, rather than just, I don't know, Hulk and Black Widow covers. Most of these are by the artist TBA, who is either an artist who goes only by his or her initials, or else that means "To Be Announced," and Marvel's not done commissioning variants yet. I counted 19 mentions of a "Rocket Raccoon and Groot Variant," but only three by artists who aren't "TBA"—Ryan Stegman, Juan Doe and James Stokoe. All three of those guys are good artists, with the latter two being among my favorite working artists.

The penultimate month of the year will see Marvel's next big crossover/event story, "Axis," going strong across a whole bunch of titles, and it looks like it will be a lot less confusing than Original Sin, which seems to have miniseries embedded between issues of it, with decimal points differentiating them from the main series, if I understand what the heck Marvel is doing with that.

Marvel will also have the seemingly bigger and definitely harder to make sense of "Spider-Verse" storyline going in a whole bunch of books, and while I didn't count, I think there may actually be more Wolverine titles now that the character is "dead" then there were when he was still "alive."

For the publisher's full publishing plans for November of this year, you may click here. For my jibba-jabba on the same, stay where you are.


ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #1
RICK REMENDER(W) • STUART IMMONEN (A/C)
...
ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT VARIANT BY TBA
...
• This is it! The all-new, Spy-Fi, highflying adventures of Sam Wilson Captain America and Nomad begin here!
• Hydra is growing, the terrorist band have has infiltrated the Marvel Universe completely! But what is their ultimate goal?
• United by Hydra, Cap’s rogue’s gallery gathers to take down the new untested Captain America and Nomad!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Hey, stupid question: How does Wilson fly with the shield? Doesn't it throw his balance off, or does it not really matter because it's not like he flaps his wings to propel himself in the way a bird would...?

I'm pretty interested in this series—you got me with your stunt, Marvel!—and I like the writer and artists just fine, but I feel pretty lost on the goings-on of Captain America these days (I think the last Cap comic I read was his short-lived team-up title, which launched as Captain America and Bucky and then changed its title ever story arc?), and, as always, they're asking too damn much for each issue.

So I guess I'll borrow a copy of the hardcover collection of All-New Captain America Vol. 1 in eight months or so; I just hope Remender is writing the first issue as a first issue, and not depending on readers having been reading his Captain America run...


So I read the first issue, liked it, and decided to wait for the trade, because I am cheap and four dollars for 20-22 pages is too rich for my blood. But I've gotta ask: Has Ghost Rider ghost rider-ized the little brother's wheelchair yet...?

Surely someone has down a Ghost Rider-in-a-wheelchair-with-flaming-wheels gag somewhere...


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9
DAN SLOTT (W) • OLIVIER COIPEL (A/C)
...
ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT VARIANT BY RYAN STEGMAN
SPIDER-VERSE BEGINS HERE!
• Superstar artist OLIVIER COIPEL (THOR, SIEGE, HOUSE OF M) joins DAN SLOTT to bring you the biggest spider-event ever!
• When a force of evil threatens spider-characters throughout the multiverse, EVERY SPIDER-MAN EVER is needed to save the day!
40 PGS./Rated T …$4.99


"Spider-Verse" begins here, in Amazing Spider-Man #9...? You're sure? It doesn't begin in the book entitled Spider-Verse #1...? Because that's the first place I'd look.

I have a friend who's been asking me about this series, as she's intrigued by the Gwen Stacy version of the character with the white hoodie costume, and man, I can't make heads or tails out of this series. It's apparently taking place in Amazing, and all those Edge of... books I've seen solicited in previous rounds of solicitations were just prequels, but there are also tie-ins and anthologies with confusing titles and suchlike too...?


Here's one of the covers for Amazing Spider-Man #10; the Del'Otto variant cover to be specific. I'm not sure if all of these characters are pre-existing ones, or if some of those pictured here are brand-new characters.

For example, who is the Spider-Woman who appears to be wearing Spider-Man's mask and gloves, just with a bustier instead of his usual longjohns? Is she a pre-existent character? What's her deal, if so?


AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #4 (OF 9)
RICK REMENDER (W) • LEINIL FRANCIS YU (A)
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
...
ACT II: INVERSION
• The fate of the Red Skull decided.
• A founding Avenger quits.
• The birth of KLUH, the strongest one there is.
• Doom tears down Latveria.
• The X-Men join their greatest foe.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


I'm actually kind of shocked that there wasn't a character named "Kluh" created sometime in the late 1960s or so.

Hopefully that's not Kluh in the lower half of that cover hough, because he looks pretty lame.


AVENGERS WORLD #15
NICK SPENCER (W)
MARCO CHECCHETTO (A)
Cover by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY
ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT VARIANT BY TBA
AXIS TIE-IN!
• Part 1 of “The Availables”!
• It’s a whole new team of Avengers, charged with an impossible mission...
• And recruited by Doctor Doom?!?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


This looks sorta interesting. I haven't read any Avengers World, so I'm not sure what the usual premise is, or if Nick Spencer always writes it, but I like the name of this story arc in relation to the cover, which has several K-list characters I really rather like, like 3-D Man and Stingray.


So many of the Axis related covers seem to have some sorta split-screen cover image thing going on. And some of them are pretty cool. I like this one for Axis: Revolutions #2, for example, mainly because of the way the bar is utilized. Not sure who it is by, but I think its Kalman Andrasofszky.


ROCKET RACCOON #5
SKOTTIE YOUNG (W/A/C)
ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT VARIANT BY TBA
• As seen in the blockbuster Marvel Studios film, Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket and Groot are back!
• It’s the breakout hit series of the summer! As their space adventures continue, find out why Rocket Raccoon and Groot are quickly becoming the hottest characters in the Marvel Universe.
• How does the most dangerously daring critter of the cosmos get the bad guys? With his two best friends: Guns and Groot!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

Is it weird that they're promoting an issue of the comic book starring Rocket Raccoon and Groot with a Rocket Raccoon and Groot variant cover...? Isn't that just a variant cover...?


Here's the cover for Spider-Verse #1, which is apparently not where "Spider-Verse" begins; it's just a random anthology of stories somehow related (Not to be confused with the other anthology of stories somehow related, Spider-Verse Team-Up, which is itself not to be confused with the "Spider-Verse" miniseries in which various characters team-up, Scarlet Spiders).

Note the Spidey on the left side of the page, right above Manga Spider-Man's arm, holding up a package of...are those Yo Yos? Or So Sos...?

Is that meant to be the Spider-Man from the old Hostess ads? If so, I wonder why Marvel didn't just approach Hostess, or whichever corporate entity now owns Hostess? The publisher has, in the past, jammed product placement and/or advertising for Harley Davidson, the U.S. military and Old Spice into their comics; Hostess product placement would actually make sense and be completely natural in this context.


This Milo Manara variant cover for Spider-Woman #1 has drawn some criticism. I know this because the Marvel solicitation post at Comic Book Resources has a link to an article entitled "Milo Manara 'Spider-Woman' #1 Variant Cover Draws Criticism."

I read the article, but didn't click on any of the links, as the source of the criticism seems pretty apparent at a glance. It would appear that the image is drawing criticism for it being a sexualized image of a female superhero character or, in other words, for being a Milo Manara cover.

I don't see a real problem with the cover, as it features Spider-Woman crawling around on all fours, with her butt in the air. That's basically what the Spider-People do, and I've seen plenty of pictures of Spider-Man crawling around on all fours with his butt in the air, and featuring extremely weird anatomy (her neck looks wrong to me in that image, but Spider-Man's anatomy often looks wrong to me when he's jumping around too).

Are her butt cheeks further apart then Spider-Man's butt cheeks are when he's in that pose? Maybe. But I don't want to wade into a discussion regarding how far apart a Spider-Person's butt cheeks should be on covers in which their butts are held up in the air.

I will say the regular covers, and the interiors, are by Greg motherfucking Land, so, whatever one's objections may be to this cover, Manara at least seems to have drawn and/or painted it (even the background!), or at least faked doing so in a much more convincing way then the Land covers.

I'd rather see a decently executed sexualized image of a Marvel superhero then a terribly executed one, and I generally find Land's giving every single female character the same face, set of expressions and body in his actual comics storytelling infinitely more offensive than Milo Manara being Milo Manara on a variant cover.


STORM #5
GREG PAK (w) • VICTOR IBANEZ (a)
Cover by STEPHANIE HANS
DEATH OF WOLVERINE Aftermath!
• Storm is grieving the loss of her friend, teammate and lover, Wolverine. His death has left loose ends and a pair of shoes that’s hard to fill.
• But with the help of her longtime friend and ally, Yukio, Storm may just find solace in taking care of Wolverine’s unfinished business…and filling his shoes all too well!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Storm's little lightning bolt tribute claws on this cover made me laugh.


THE SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #17
NICK SPENCER (W) • STEVE LIEBER (A/C)
• This is it! The end! The finale! The big wrapuperoo!!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Well, okay. That saves me $4 a month, and, unfortunately, halves the number of Marvel comics I buy off the racks each month (Don't you go anywhere, She-Hulk).

I'm glad that Spencer and Lieber got to produce this comic at all, and for as long as they did. A short but great run of any comic is always welcome. It's too bad about those weird fill-in issues, as they sort of ruin the book's otherwise great run, and will read really poorly in the inevitable collections.

And, this being Marvel, there's always the chance Superior Foes will get a relaunch. Or, perhaps, return in a miniseries somewhere down the line, probably with a different title. All-New Superior Foes of Spider-Man, perhaps.

SUPERIOR IRON MAN #1
TOM TAYLOR (W) • YILDIRAY ÇINAR (A)
...
ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT VARIANT BY TBA
...
Be Superior! How much would you pay for perfection? Beauty? Immortality? Tony Stark knows, and he’s ready to give it to you in SUPERIOR IRON MAN #1! But at a terrible price. Spinning out of Avengers & X-Men: AXIS, the old Tony Stark is back, only this time he’s SUPERIOR! More stylish, more confident, and more cunning than ever before. And he’s ready to lead you into the future! San Francisco is about to become the prototype for his new world concept. The first step? Release Extremis upon the entire city! Only Daredevil isn’t down with Stark’s new vision of the future. Does the Man Without Fear have a place in the city of tomorrow? A bold new direction for the Armored Avenger begins this November from the all-new creative team of Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us, Earth 2) and Yildray Cinar (Supergirl)!
BE SUPERIOR!
NEW CREATIVE TEAM TOM (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US/EARTH 2) Taylor AND YILDIRAY (SUPERGIRL) ÇINAR START AN ALL-NEW SERIES SPINNING OUT OF AXIS!
• How much would you pay for perfection, beauty…immortality? TONY STARK is going to find out.
• The AXIS EFFECT has changed IRON MAN
• Now HE’S going to change the WORLD…at a terrible cost.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Wait, now the mind of Doctor Octopus is in Tony Stark's body? That's cool. Maybe Marvel will just have Doc Ock's mind migrate from superhero body to superhero body from now on.

I never figured out why Iron Man switched from red and gold to black and gold, and he's already switched to a new color scheme! I don't mind the silver, although Norrin Rad might, but what's with that Gambit-like head-band thingee...? That, Stark, is an inferior costuming choice.

Same goes for having a headlight installed in your chin.


WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #12
JASON LATOUR (W) • JORGE JIMENEZ (A)
Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR
AXIS TIE-IN!
• In the wake of THE DEATH OF WOLVERINE and the undertow of AXIS, QUENTIN QUIRE returns to the Jean Grey School. But who is this mild mannered, thoughtful young man in the pink sweater? And what does he REALLY want? And why is STORM so angry? • The course of the future of the Jean Grey School is altered forever, starting here!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


You know, if Wolverine is "dead," this might be a good time to actually relaunch the series. They've relaunched for less before, as when the writers changed from Jason Aaron to Jason Loutor. Maybe they should relaunch it as Storm and The X-Men...? For a few months anyway? Then BAM! they can re-re-relaunch it, and have a third Wolverine & The X-Men #1 when Wolvie comies back to life. I mean, if he ever does come back to life. Because he is definitely dead. And what are the chances he'd come back to life? I mean, dead means dead, right?

4 comments:

Jer said...

Maybe they should relaunch it as Storm and The X-Men...?

They could take a page from when DC killed off Robin and had Batman starring in "Batman and ..." with a rotating guest star every month. They could title it " ... and the X-men" and bring in someone new every month. I suggest that the first one be "Rocket Raccoon and Groot and the X-men". And it should also have a Rocket Raccoon and Groot variant cover.

Chris Bowden said...

There was the humour issue of What If in the 80s with the premise of what if the ghost rider had inhabited someone else that gave us 'Ghost Grandpa' in a flaming wheelchair.

David said...

I think the Spider-man holding So-sos is supposed to be the one from The Electric Company.

Also, not quite every Spider-man ever as we're not getting Neil Patrick Harris, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, or Nicholas Hammond. Also probably aren't getting the Amalgam Spider-boy.

But hey, at least we get Leopardon, which is cool.

Also, wondering if Superior Iron-man isn't Doc Ock but the "working with Kang" version of Iron-man from before Heroes Reborn.

Kilowog said...

Well so far like 9 issues of Avengers World, the entire series has been the entire Avengers roster dealing with multiple big trheats over what appears to be the course of a day. I assume it's to make it seem like a lived in world since we have the European and Chinese equivalents to the Avengers and it has a pretty far reaching scope.

I've honestly been interested in seeing what the eries would do once this arc/story taking place in a single day ends.

Also yeah it's Spenser's book. Hickman cowrote the first few issues to help set it up. In that sense it's kind of a continuation of Spencer's Secret Avengers, this book to the side of Hickman's tentpole dealing with concepts that occur as a result.