Thursday, January 25, 2018

Marvel's April previews reviewed

In the not-too-distant future, the world is a utopia where heroes have succeeded in bringing peace worldwide. At the head of this utopia is none other than Laura Kinney, who’s passed on her mantle of Wolverine and is living her best life as Madripoor’s benevolent queen. But a long simmering evil will force Laura, out of retirement and back into the blue-and-yellow. This final journey will take everything Laura has to give….maybe even her life.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Somehow we've gone from "New" to "All-New" to "All-New, All-Different" to "Old."

I'm not sure I like the sound of the "This final journey," given the fact that this month also features a solicit for the first issue of a series apparently devoted to returning the dead version of Logan to the land of the living. I haven't even had a chance to miss that version of Wolverine, what with Laura, Old Man Logan and even Ultimate Wolverine Jr. running around the Marvel Universe all this time.

That said, the fact that this story is set in the "not-too-distant future" means it could be a "final journey" for Laura Kinney without really impacting whether she is alive or dead or Wolverine or not in our present.

Damn, that hat is secure.

My initial to this funny-looking Darth Vader cover was to wonder about how he could float with all his robot parts and armor, but then I realized if I tried to make a dumb joke about it, someone would just point out that he's using the force so never mind.

That said, this probably the closest we'll ever come to a professionally produced image of what Vader would look like in a hot tub...

This is Michael Del Mundo's cover for Doctor Strange #388, and I am posting it here just to say that I think those dice are super cool.

Gail Simone (W) • DAVID BALDEON (A)
Cover by Greg Land & Frank D’armata
Impossible curves. Impossible shots. Impossible targets. Marvel’s #1 soldier of fortune is back in an explosive new ongoing series! The product of a failed super-soldier program, Neena Thurman always made her own luck as the sharpshooting mercenary known as Domino… but what happens when her own powers betray her? The hunter becomes the hunted as every mercenary in the game smells blood in the water! Plus: A pair of beloved Marvel characters return!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Huh. Greg Land is still getting work for some reason.

I may be wrong, but outside of the Conan/Wonder Woman crossover series, which is off in its own little crossover corner, I think this will be the first comic Simone has written for Marvel or DC for quite some time. The odds of it sticking around too long aren't great, particularly since it seems like it's being published solely because the character will be in a movie soon-ish, but provided Simone writes it evergreen enough, it won't hurt to have a Domino collection or three in the catalog.

Fan-favorite X-Man Blink once joined a team destined to save not just the world, but the entire Multiverse. And now, her teleporting talents are needed once again! When a mysterious threat begins eating away at the fabric of the Multiverse, the Unseen – the man once known as Nick Fury who now can only observe Earth from a lofty post on the moon – must recruit a champion to save it. But she can’t do it alone. Who will join Blink’s new team – and can they ever go home again?
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

As a guy who has never read an Exiles comic, I've detected at least two problems with the book, ones that may have held back the generally interesting premise.

The first is that because the book was always about alternate dimensions--characters coming from different dimensions, and then going into other dimensions to solve problems there--the book always had an aura of "none of this really counts for much," which isn't the sort of thing that mainstream comic book readers are interested in...certainly not as much as they are interested in "This stuff totally counts!' And since there was never an Exiles book out at a time when there were less than, like, a half-dozen other X-Men comics, well, the book's premise almost guaranteed that it would be at the bottom of most fans' shopping lists.

The second is that it was all X-Men related, and while other Marvel characters naturally were a part of the alternate dimension locales journeyed to in each story, the potentially wide remit of the book--"an infinite multiverse of alternate versions of the Marvel Universe...!"--was generally narrowed down to, "...but only as pertains to the X-Men!"

This book seems to solve that problem, as only two of the five characters on that cover seem to be mutants, and they are dealing with Old Nick Fury and there's not mention of X-Men and mutant business in the solicit, so that's cool.

Also cool? That the element about this new title seemingly getting the most attention is a version of Valkyrie that looks to be Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie from this year's Thor: Ragnarok imported into the cast. If it is the film character, or just someone who looks just like her, is, I suppose, a potentially big deal--I can't think of any other instance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Marvel (comics) Universe explicitly crossing over.

It's maybe a little strange that they are doing this here, though, as it wouldn't exactly be difficult to introduce a Thompson-esque Valkyrie into the Marvel Universe. Valkyrie is, after all, just one character who uses a name that was assigned to many Asgardian warrior women. It's a job description more than a name, really.

As Brooklyn becomes vampire central, Deacon Frost continues his quest to destroy everything that Sam loves. Who’s up first? Misty? Patriot? Or perhaps someone even more dear to our hero?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Well, the color scheme is certainly growing on me, but I'm not sure what's going on with the shoulders. I kind of hate the squared and prominent shoulder thingees.

Also, the first arc of the new Falcon book had Sam squaring off against Blackheart, a demon from hell. And now he's on to...vampires? Is it weird that a book starring the Falcon is becoming devoted to supernatural menaces...?

Well, the presence of vampires does increase the likelihood of a Blade guest-appearance, so I'm all for that.

This April SQUIRREL GIRL meets MS. MARVEL – for the very first time! When Doreen Green (also known as the unbeatable Squirrel Girl) volunteers as head counselor for an extra-curricular computer programming camp, little does she know that junior counselor Kamala Khan moonlights as crime fighting super hero Ms. Marvel! But this coding camp is more than just ones and zeros when A.I.M. makes an appearance! Will our heroes be able to save the campers without blowing their secret identities? Join Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, America, Inferno, and Patriot as they learn exactly what it means to be a young hero in the Marvel Universe – and what it means to be a hero to each other.

Can it really be true that Squirrel Girl has never met Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan? That sounds impossible, right? Even if one never guest-starred in the other's book, it seems like they would have to have bumped into one another during a secret or civil war or something, right? Just, statistically speaking...?

That said, even after racking my brain for minutes upon minutes, I couldn't think of a single panel in which I had seen the two characters together, let alone them having an actual conversation. That's...that's actually kind of mind-blowing, isn't it?

I am assuming that this is a comic to promote an upcoming cartoon of some sort, as that image and the characters in it are so familiar, but I'd be interested in reading it. Not only is the price right, not only do I like a handful of those characters an awful lot, but it's written by Devin Grayson, one of the better Batman writers of the 1990s.

This is a pretty great cover. That's Becky Coonan's cover for an issue of Moon Knight.

So I can't imagine what exactly is going on here, but I'm really into it.

Donny Cates, Kieron Gillen, Al Ewing, Ryan North, Christopher Hastings, & Katie Cook (W)
Geoff Shaw, Katie Cook, Frazer Irving & TBD (A)
Thanos is likely the most evil being in the universe…and if anyone would know, it’s the all-new Cosmic Ghost Rider. Let the spirit of vengeance be your guide on a tour through the worst of the worst, as he reveals the most heinous deeds ever perpetrated by the Mad Titan…or by anyone else!
40 PGS./Parental Advisory …$4.99

That is such a varied line up of contributors that this comic probably deserves a pretty thorough flip-through upon the week of release.

The story that began in VENOMVERSE reaches its epic conclusion with VENOMIZED! The POISONS, a species that hungers for super-powered symbiotes and their hosts, have picked their next target…THE MARVEL UNIVERSE ITSELF! Their first objective? Put every superhuman in a Klyntar symbiote – and CONSUME THEM! But with VENOM and the X-MEN still missing after the events of “Poison-X,” the planet, and its heroes, is defenseless!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99

Oh. So "Poison-X," which will be available in trade collection in April, and then this series. So I guess I know know where the storyline that started with Venomverse continues. I liked that okay, although I admittedly liked it as much a a comic book about costume re-designing than as anything else. Based on the solicitation copy, there will be many more such redesigns in this series.

The Nick Bradshaw covers are so damn great, too; I wish one of the super-comics publishers could find a monthly series for him to do interiors for.

Wait a minute, that's not actually how a Venom-ized Iceman's powers would work, is it...? That...doesn't really make sense...


Jacob T. Levy said...

My first thought about the Darth Vader cover was that it was a Legion of Doom reference.

JohnF said...

"Damn, that hat is secure."

Well, it's long been established that the mask and hat are one piece.

Now, as for why the whole mask isn't coming off...