Thursday, August 24, 2017

Marvel's November previews reviewed

See that? That's Dan Mora's variant cover for the brand-new Darkhawk series that Marvel will be launching in November with Darkhawk #51. Why #51 instead of #1...? Because somehow someone at Marvel got it in their head that all the complaining about the company's near-constant relaunching and renumbering wasn't simply that it made the comics confusing to follow, but was instead because Marvel readers wanted higher numbers.

So this fall they are doing this "legacy numbering" thing, which is the worst idea Marvel has ever had. Instead of relaunching their series with new #1's, they are relaunching them with more-or-less random numbers, arrived at through the dubious, arbitrary method of adding up all the issues of previous series starring the character or characters that serve as the protagonist of a particular book. So I guess there was a 50-issue Darkhawk series previously. Or a couple of Darkhawk series that add up to 50 issues.

The point is, Marvel apparently heard and took note of all the complaints regarding their relaunches, and decided the best way to address those complaints wasn't simply to stop doing the thing that annoyed everyone, but to do it again, but this time in a more annoying fashion yet.

So say I was interested in a new Master of Kung Fu series written by CM Punk (I'm not, but for the sake of argument, let's say I am; surely many people conceivably could be). Would I even know from the cover of Punk's first issue of the new series, which says that it is Master of Kung Fu #126 that it was a new series? Or would I just think I'm 125issues too late to the party?

This will all be confusing enough with the regular, ongoing series, but I think where it will really hurt is in getting people to try new series, miniseries and one shots. For example, I have to assume that getting readers too terribly excited about a Darkhawk miniseries or one-shots of Not Brand Echh and Power Pack was always going to be a heavy lift, but how much heavier is said lift going to be when those comics are numbered #51, #14 and #63, respectively...?

Feh.

Anyway, it looks like The Beat has started carrying solicitations of The Big Two publishers now, so I'll link to their post laying-out all of the comics that Marvel plans to publish in November of this year (The Beat is far from perfect, but the site doesn't hurt my eyes and soul in the same way that Newsarama or CBR do). So go there to read them all, and stay here to read my commentary on a few of the more commentary-generating entries...


ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #27
TOM TAYLOR (W) • JUANN CABAL (A)
Cover by TERRY DODSON
ORPHANS OF X Part 3
• When LAURA KINNEY took on the mantle of THE WOLVERINE she swore off killing.
• But does this make up for her past life as a child assassin?
• No matter how far she runs, it seems like Laura’s past will always catch up. And now it’s up to Laura and DAKEN, the son of the original Wolverine, to put that past in the ground.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


So wait, if Laura is a clone of Logan, and Daken is Logan's biological son, does that make Laura Daken's kinda sorta sister, or Daken's kinda sorta dad...? I have a very long, very dumb conversation about this with a friend of the other night, but we never came to a conclusion, as neither of us knew enough about how genes and stuff work.


AVENGERS #673
MARK WAID (W) • JESUS SAIZ (A/C)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
WORLDS COLLIDE Part 3
THE ELECTRIFYING TEAM-UP BETWEEN THE AVENGERS AND THE CHAMPIONS CONTINUES!
The High Evolutionary has put into motion an event that will destroy not one but two Earths — and neither the Avengers nor the Champions has the power to stop it!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Cool, the High Evolutionary has made The Lion of Olympus into a literal lion!


CAPTAIN AMERICA #695
MARK WAID (W) • CHRIS SAMNEE (A/C)
Lenticular Homage (LH) Variant Cover by ALEX ROSS
...
HOME OF THE BRAVE Part 1
HOME OF THE BRAVE begins – and Steve Rogers is back in action in the red-white-and-blue! Steve begins a journey across America to restore his tarnished reputation – and the dangers he encounters along the way are unlike any he’s faced before! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Good luck restoring your tarnished reputation, Steve Rogers! This is a great creative team, obviously, and if you don't believe me, then you should check out their collaborations on Daredevil and the (too) short-lived Black Widow series. Still, they seem like a very, very uninspired choice for the Captain America title following Nick Spencers' years-long mega-arc, itself based on elements from the end of Rick Remender's run.

Given both Waid and Samnee's classic comics story-telling sensibilities (and the fact that Waid has written Cap already before), this feels like a creative team chosen by the backlash to Spencer's Steve Rogers title. I'm sure they will do a great job, because I have a hard time thinking of any truly bad comics from either of these gentleman, but damn, talk about a safe choice...

Also, I see this is the first part of a particular storyline...is it also the first issue of the series? Who knows, because it's labeled #695!

Also also, I found the mention of three "bonus" pages kind of funny, given that Marvel charges $3.99 for 20 pages of comics; so you get three extra pages for a dollar more than the Distinguished Competition charges for most of their books...? Bonus!



GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146 & 147
GERRY DUGGAN (W) • MARCUS TO (A)
Covers by AARON KUDER
Issue #146 – Lenticular Homage (LH) Variant Cover by RON LIM
Issue #146 – Legacy Headshot Variant Cover by MIKE MCKONE
Issue #146 – Variant Cover by ADI GRANOV
THE INFINITY QUEST PartS 1 & 2
THE GUARDIANS’ HUNT FOR THE INFINITY STONES BEGINS! Their first stop? Joining up with the Nova Corps, of course! Join the Guardians as they all take up golden helmets in the quest to keep the universe safe! Nuff said! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES!
32 PGS. (EACH)/Rated T+ …$3.99 (EACH)


I'm not entirely sure which cover is by which artist, but if I had to guess, I would say Kuder and Lim drew the two above. They're both pretty great covers though, huh?


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #594
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • STEFANO CASELLI (A)
Cover by R.B. SILVA
THE SEARCH FOR TONY STARK Part 2
• THE SEARCH FOR TONY STARK continues, as some very surprising people from his present, past and future come together to help.
• Who will wield the power of Iron Man?
• It’s all building to one of the most-anticipated moments in Iron Man history!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Wait, isn't "the power of Iron Man" just a suit of Iron Man armor...? If that's the case, then I suppose the answer is Riri Williams, Pepper Potts, Victor Von Doom and Frank Castle (see below), right...?


MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #25
BRANDON MONTCLARE (W) • NATACHA BUSTOS (A/C)
...
MORPHING Variant Cover by RAHZZAH
...
FANTASTIC THREE Part 1
When THE SILVER SURFER comes to Manhattan with a warning about an ancient cosmic menace on a collision course with Earth, you better listen up! But without the First Family of the Marvel Universe around to answer the call, who’s going to step up and solve the impossible? Lunella Lafayette, that’s who! Without Devil Dinosaur by her side, Lunella must join forces with some new friends who are missing their pals, too: THE HUMAN TORCH! THE EVER-LOVIN’ BLUE-EYED THING! DON’T MISS THE RETURN OF THE FANTASTIC THREE! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


There are like four or five covers for this particular issue for some reason, but the one that I can't stop thinking about is the weird-ass Animorphs style cover. Man, Animorphs; I never read any of those books, but I've worked in enough libraries long enough that I couldn't help but run across them. They are some consistently disturbing covers. Especially the headshot ones, which seem to have prefigured Snapchat filters.

I like this cover too...
...but mostly just because it says "Moonsday" instead of "Doomsday," and I think that is funny, because I am so easily amused.


POWER PACK #63
DEVIN GRAYSON (W) • MARIKA CRESTA (A)
Cover by MIKE MCKONE
Variant Cover by JUNE BRIGMAN
TRADING CARD VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
WHERE IS POWER PACK? Part 1 (OF 1)
In a twist of fate, four children gained incredible powers. And in a universe full of war-hungry aliens and terrorizing gangsters, they would need them. Thus Power Pack was born! But when an enemy from the past rears its head again, the youngest Power finds herself in a body-snatching nightmare! Big brother Alex better come around — or Katie is toast!
A never-before-told adventure comes to light as Katie Power revisits family history!
32 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$3.99


Oh my God, it's Devin Grayson! I haven't read any comics by her in a long, long, long time; in fact, I thought perhaps she gave up on comics for prose or some other medium. She is one of my top five favorite Batman writers, and my favorite Titans writer, despite the brevity of her run on the post-JLA incarnation of the team.

Anyway, it's good to see her byline again; hopefully her middle initial is okay.

Oh, and as yet another example of how dumb Marvel's numbering is, this is a one-shot--which, remember, means a single, standalone issue that neither follows any particular issue nor leads into another issue--and instead of numbering it with, say, a #1, or even not at all, Marvel decided to go with Power Pack #63.


PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #6
CHIP ZDARSKY (W) • MICHAEL WALSH (A)
Cover by PAULO SIQUEIRA
J. Jonah Jameson’s got the scoop of the century — a once-in-a-lifetime interview with the menace of Manhattan…SPIDER-MAN!
PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, MY DINNER WITH JAMESON is one tale you won’t want to miss!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


Serious questions: Is Spider-Man feeding his penis on this cover? What is going on? Does Spider-Man maybe eat by placing he food directly inside his stomach, bypassing his mouth, throat and all that jazz?


THE PUNISHER #218
MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W) • GUIU VILANOVA (A)
Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN
...
FRANK CASTLE: WAR MACHINE Part 1
For years, Frank Castle has been fighting a one-man war against criminals who endanger the innocent, but when a certain one-eyed operative offers him the tools to take his fight global…how could he say no? Find out how Frank found his way into the WAR MACHINE Armor! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Everyone knows that Punisher stories work best when he's left to his own devices, divorced from the rest of the Marvel Universe as much as possible, maybe occasionally crossing paths with the likes of Wilson Fisk or Daredevil. That said, it's a blast when he does get involved in the more supehero-y parts of the Marvel Universe, for short stints, as it provides a sharp contrast to the other business. So me, I'm kinda excited about the idea of The Punisher as the new War Machine. Maybe if it's super-popular, they can do a second Punisher book, Punisher: War Machine--War Journal.


Due to the high volume of variants for Star Wars #38 and #39, I have no idea which of the many artists drawing covers for these two issues is responsible for the above image, nor which particular issue it will adorn. But I like the image, and I like the design of Luke's mount in particular.


THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #26
RYAN NORTH with ERICA HENDERSON (W)
CARLA SPEED McNEIL, CHIP ZDARSKY, MICHAEL CHO, RAHZZAH, RICO RENZI & MORE (A)
COVER BY ERICA HENDERSON
• In this special standalone issue, Squirrel Girl has convinced, cajoled, and otherwise induced her friends in the Marvel Universe to make comics of their own! For the very first time, find out what kind of comics your favorite Marvel characters would REALLY make!
• Will Tony Stark write author-insert coffee-shop alternate-reality comics where everyone talks up how great he is? It seems likely, and yet, he has given us something EVEN CRAZIER to publish!
• Featuring TONS of special guest artists, including a legendary comic strip artist making his Marvel debut!
• This unique view of both Squirrel Girl and the Marvel Universe is sure to make readers laugh, turn the page, read a bit, see a new joke, and then laugh again! It may also make readers say, “Oh my gosh you’ve gotta read this comic; I’m so glad I purchased it at my local comic-book store and will definitely patronize them again in the near future!!”
• NO OTHER COMIC is making this explicit promise this month, so in our opinion you should definitely order our talking squirrel comic book.
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


At the risk of stating the obvious, this looks awesome.

3 comments:

Centipede Damascus said...

Laura and Daken are brother and sister, seeing as she's Logan's clone-daughter and he's Logan's son.

Jose Gregorio Bencomo Gomez said...

Concerning that issue of Squirrel Girl: Didn't Steve Rogers actually use to draw the Captain America comic in-universe? I think they even once made a mock up oneshot showing the Marvel U version of the Cap comic featuring 'Steve Rogers' as the credited 'artist' (IIRC, in reality Peter David wrote that issue, I believe it came out during the nineties).

Also, why Spectacular Spider-Man doesn't follow the renumbering along the line? It's listed here as issue 6, but the Spectacular old title had like more than 200 issues of its own, I think.

Evan Dawson-Baglien said...

Identical twins are basically clones that occur naturally, and they are always considered brothers or sisters. So that would mean that Laura is Logan's sister and Daken's aunt.