Sunday, September 22, 2019
Marvel's December previews reviewed
Looking at what Marvel plans to publish in the last month of this year, this is what caught my eye...
AGENTS OF ATLAS: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL. 2 TPB
Written by JEFF PARKER, PAUL TOBIN & MORE
Penciled by GABRIEL HARDMAN, CARLO PAGULAYAN, DAN PANOSIAN, MIGUEL SEPULVEDA, REILLY BROWN
Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
ON SALE JANUARY 2020
Continuing the 1950s-style adventures of the Agents of Atlas! Disturbing visions lead the team to the darkest depths of the Atlantic Ocean, where waits the Sub-Mariner! Then, Jimmy Woo and M-11 find themselves caught in the talons of the most terrible power in China…the deadly Jade Claw! And the Atomic Age heroes confront today’s mightiest heroes, the X-Men and the Avengers, in two time-twisting tales! But when Aphrodite targets Venus, can the Agents rescue their teammate — and handle the truth about her past? Plus, Norman Osborn sends his killer crew of Thunderbolts to bring down the Agents of Atlas — hard! Collecting AGENTS OF ATLAS (2009) #6-11, X-MEN VS. AGENTS OF ATLAS #1-2, AVENGERS VS. ATLAS #1-4, THUNDERBOLTS (1997) #139-140 and material from ASSAULT ON NEW OLYMPUS PROLOGUE, INCREDIBLE HERCULES #138-141 and HERCULES: FALL OF AN AVENGER #1-2.
448 PGS./Rated T+ …$39.99
Jeff Parker and company's Agents of Atlas comics are all great fun, and I'd highly recommend this and the previous volume of the Complete Collection series to anyone who hasn't read them. Alone, (most of) these characters are all quite compelling, interesting and cool, and together? They're even better.
I imagine these are being collected and published now to capitalize on any interest in the title being generated by its recent repurposing by Greg Pak and others as the name of an all-Asian super-team, rather than because of any upcoming multi-media adaptation or extrapolation, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised by Marvel announcing anything as a movie or a TV show anymore. I mean, they're doing an Eternals movie now; absolutely no Marvel announcement would surprise me anymore. (And Parker's reinvention of this motley crew of pre-Fantastic Four super-characters and his rather inspired secret hero-group-posing-as-a-secret-villain-group take seemed pretty much primed for a more comedic Marvel movie. Like, I've long maintained that Marvel Studios could have very easily done a Guardians of The Galaxy-style film starring this group instead of the Guardians. In fact, I was pretty confident that Jimmy Woo was going to be the first big break out Marvel movie hero of Asian descent, but I guess a Shang-Chi movie is on the way after all...)
I think I have almost all of these—I got a little lost at the end of the "Incredible Hercules" narrative when the title of the book changed a few times, so I'm not confident I have both of those Fall of An Avenger issue—but I might still be interested in purchasing these in this format, for ease of finding them and rereading them.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: FULL CIRCLE HC
Written by NICK SPENCER, JONATHAN HICKMAN, GERRY DUGGAN, AL EWING, CHIP ZDARSKY, KELLY THOMPSON & JASON AARON
Penciled by CHRIS BACHALO, CHRIS SPROUSE, GREG SMALLWOOD, MICHAEL ALLRED, RACHAEL STOTT, VALERIO SCHITI, CAMERON STEWART & MARK BAGLEY
Cover by ROD REIS
A summons from S.H.I.E.L.D. leads Peter Parker into a globe-spanning adventure that will test him as never before — and the future of all mankind lies in his gloved, webbed hands! Who is the mysterious prisoner in the steel box who keeps propelling the wall-crawler onward? Nick Spencer and an all-star team of Marvel’s biggest writers and artists take up the challenge to create the wildest, maddest, most unconventional AMAZING SPIDER-MAN story of all! Guest-starring Nick Fury, Wolverine and Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham! Experience the amazing adventure in an action-packed oversized hardcover with a sensational array of surprises and extra features! Collecting AMAZING SPIDER MAN: FULL CIRCLE.
128 PGS./Rated T …$29.99
Trim size: oversized
I was quite surprised to see this appear, and with that price tag attached, as it sounds like it's just the $9.99 one-shot being reprinted...with hard covers and a bigger trim-size...? Does that justify the extra $20? I guess that it depends on what the "sensational array of surprises and extra features" are, but somehow I doubt those can possibly be worth twice the cover price of the comic story preceding them...
Mark Waid (W) • Kev Walker (A)
Cover by Phil Noto
The impossible has happened! Doctor Strange’s hands have been healed, restoring his surgical skills - but now he’s being torn between his obligations as the Sorcerer Supreme and as a neurosurgeon. And when he’s forced to choose which vows to uphold, who suffers most for it? After all, magic always has a cost…Be here for a brand new era of magic…and horror from Mark Waid (HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE) and Kev Walker (BLACK PANTHER)!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Mark Waid is a good writer. And Kev Walker is a good artist. And this sounds like a pretty interesting premise for a Dr. Strange story arc. I don't think the change in status quo is a big enough deal to justify relaunching the series with a new #1 though, is it? I mean, this isn't even a new creative team; wasn't Waid writing the previous Dr. Strange book...? So they are just canceling that series and relaunching a new volume of it with a new #1 because, despite all evidence to the contrary, Marvel still clings to the totemic power of a "#1" on the cover of an ongoing series...?
Written by JACK KIRBY
Penciled by JACK KIRBY
Cover by JACK KIRBY
In 1976, the legendary King of comics Jack Kirby returned to Marvel brimming with cosmic ideas — and none were bigger than the Earth-shattering immortals known as the Eternals! In this mind-blowing first issue, Kirby unleashes the full brilliance of his unbridled imagination to reveal a secret history of heroes and horrors — in which two bizarre branches of humanity’s cousins, the Eternals and the Deviants, vie to inherit the Earth! Prepare to meet Ikaris, Warlord Kro, and a colorful cast full of titans and terrors that could only have been conceived by the King himself! But who are the space gods known as the Celestials, and what happens if they are summoned back to Earth? It’s one of the all-time great Marvel comic books, boldly re-presented in its original form, ads and all! Reprinting ETERNALS (1976) #1.
32 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T … $3.99
Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio, Peter Gillis (W)
Ron Wilson, Richard Buckler (A)
COVER BY Todd Nauck
In the “Untold Tales of the Marvel Universe,” the secret past of the Eternals is laid bare! See how space gods brought the Eternals to life! Discover the connections between the Eternals and Thanos, the Mad Titan! And learn the key role they played in the history of the Inhuman royal family! Collecting material from What If? (1977) #23 – 30.
56 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T ...$4.99
I'm super-glad Marvel is going to be making an effort to reprint some Eternals stuff ahead of the movie, because I know almost nothing about these characters beyond the fact that they are, like, the third or so of Jack Kirby's cosmic, god-like secret races of super-people, and maybe the least compelling of them.
I think the only comic featuring these characters I have read was Neil Gaiman and John Romita JR's miniseries, and all I remember of that was thinking 1) It was pretty disappointing, coming from a comics writer as great as Gaiman, 2) JRJR's art was nice and 3) Marvel kinda screwed JRJR on the trade dress of the hardcover collection.
I'm fairly certain I read a reprint of Eternals #1 somewhere too, but I'll be damned if I can remember where; maybe they reprinted it in the back of that Eternals collection...? Or was there a True Believers issue...?
JIM ZUB (W) • Issue #1 - SCOT EATON (A) • Issue #2 - Stephen Segovia (A)
COVERS BY CARLOS PACHECO
THE WRATH OF THE SERPENT GOD!
WARRIORS ACROSS TIME DEFY THE ELDER GODS!
JAMES ALLISON will soon die. But it’s not his first death. He’s lived many lives, in many places - lives he can recall in vivid detail. But when an Elder God called the WYRM reaches across time to James, an ages-spanning quest begins! The serpent god SET plans to usher in an eternity of darkness, and only the chosen warriors across time and space have a hope of stopping him: CONAN THE BARBARIAN, SOLOMON KANE, DARK AGNES, and the man known as MOON KNIGHT!
In an unprecedented comics event, Robert E. Howard’s characters join forces along with Marvel’s Moon Knight, in an all-new saga built on REH and Marvel lore from across the ages!
40 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY …$4.99
32 PGS./PARENTAL ADVISORY …$3.99
One of these things is not like the other...and it's Moon Knight. Moon Knight is the one that doesn't belong in a comic in which various Robert E. Howard creations team-up. Although I suppose finding out why they stuck Moon Knight in there will be one of the interesting things about these comics.
AL EWING (W) • JOE BENNETT (A) • Cover by ALEX ROSS
2020 VARIANT COVER BY DALE KEOWN
Are your children normal? Are they respectful of you and other approved authority figures? Do they have a poster of the Punisher on their wall?
Or are they angry and discourteous? Do they embrace difficult and/or dangerous concepts, such as protest and the environment? Do they stand with the Hulk?
Ask yourself: Are your children normal... or have they joined the TEEN BRIGADE?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
The Teen Brigade! Perhaps the single most important team in the history of the Marvel Universe, as they kinda sorta founded the Avengers. I haven't mentioned it in a while, but remember Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta and company's excellent 2011-2012 series Vengeance, the series that introduced America Chavez...? That was a Teen Brigade series, although for some dumb reason Marvel decided to call it Vengeance and market it with random-ish Marvel villains on all the covers, perhaps because they didn't think a title like Teen Brigade would sell, and because Rob Liefeld had already used Brigade for a comic book series, so they couldn't just drop the "Teen" from the title.
I imagine Ewing has something rather different in mind, and he would almost have to in order to fit them into the story he's been telling in Immortal Hulk, but I also imagine his take will be rather worthwhile, as this series has consistently been surprisingly, shockingly good.
AL EWING. DAN SLOTT, CHIP ZDARSKY, KELLY THOMPSON, GREG PAK, EVE L. EWING, MATT ROSENBERG, ED BRISSON, SALADIN AHMED, TINI HOWARD, JONATHAN HICKMAN, GREG PAK, DONNY CATES & JASON AARON (W)
HUMBERTO RAMOS, JIM CHEUNG AND MORE! (A)
Cover by Patrick Gleason
Variant Cover by DUSTIN WEAVER
TEASER VARIANT BY KIM JACINTO
Variant Cover by SANFORD GREENE
VARIANT COVER BY JIM CHEUNG
WOMEN OF MARVEL HIDDEN GEM VARIANT COVER BY J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
WRAPAROUND HIDDEN GEM VARIANT COVER BY J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
PARTY VARIANT BY JORGE MOLINA
PREMIERE VARIANT COVER BY Patrick Gleason
ONE WILL UNITE THEM!
A mysterious murder brings together the heroes of the Marvel Universe in the search for a killer - but no one can imagine where the trail will lead, or how it will affect everything in 2020 and beyond! Who is the victim and who is the assailant?
The closing chapter to MARVEL’s 80th year, which will connect the dots of everything that happened in 2019 and propel the narrative into the year that is to come! Featuring the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Daredevil, Spider-Man, the Champions, the Agents of Atlas, Valkyrie, the Immortal Hulk, Jessica Jones, Venom, Ghost Rider, the Masked Raider and more!
96 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+ …$9.99
I'm not sure how much stock to put in these covers in terms of looking for clues to the identity of the murder victim. Like, is it someone not pictured reacting to the body...? If the character is on one or both of the covers, does that mean they are safe, or just that the artist drawing that particular cover wasn't given that detailed information, but was instead just told to draw all of the biggest characters...and/or those most relevant to the current line...? I don't even know if we should put much stock in the body seen on the second cover as being the actual body; it could just be a place-holder. If not though, than at least it's a man; I think we've seen enough ladies murdered in super-comics. Let's let a man take a turn in the fridge, huh?
I'm a little curious about who on Earth the victim could be that it would mean something to all of those characters. Like, there aren't many characters who mean anything at all to the Avengers, The Fantastic Four and The X-Men, you know? Especially if we assume it's not a super-hero, as they've pretty much all died and come back to life at some point in the last decade. (My best guesses would have been Rick Jones or Jarvis, but the latter was just returned from being killed in the pages of Secret Empire, and it seems like Marvel flirted with the idea of killing off Jarvis in the Avengers series No Surrender, only to hospitalize him instead.
"Masked Raider"...? Who the hell is the Masked Raider...? The cowboy guy? Maybe he's the one who is murdered! And that's why everyone is so shocked on that Gleason cover! They are shocked because they can't believe they are in a comic book about a dead cowboy!
CHIP ZDARSKY (W)
CARLOS MAGNO & BUTCH GUICE (A)
Cover by BUTCH GUICE
It all ends here! Can NAMOR be redeemed as the world drowns? Or will THE SPEAR crush THE INVADERS and remake the world in their image?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Where I left off with this series, the end of the first trade paperback collection, original, android Human Torch Jim Hammond had his head ripped off his body, and was hooked up to some wires and stuff in Tony Stark's lab. So it's not completely surprising that he might have a new, bulkier, more robotic-looking body that bears a resemblance to one of Iron Man's suits of super-armor. But that still doesn't explain why he now has a flaming mullet, like a secondary fire-character from a late 1980s Firestorm comic.
DON'T DO THIS, MARVEL! I am still getting used to Namor's new long-haired, oddly-positioned armor look; I can't deal with that and a hideously redesigned Golden Age Torch at the same time!
JED MACKAY (W) • DIKE RUAN (A) • Cover by DAVE RAPOZA
Peni Parker, A.K.A. SP//dr is back!
The corruption of the Spider-Verse has reached Earth-14512 and Peni is in deep trouble.
Can Miles Morales help Peni defeat an all-new villainous incarnation?!X
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
Wait a second, is that a Spider-gelion...?
Reprinting Fantastic Four (1961) #140
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00
The theme for this month's True Believers reprints is Annihilation, and looking at the books being reprinted, it seems like they are all the first appearances of various characters who will be appearing in the latest Annihilation-branded space crossover, as, regardless of the titles of the actual comics being reprinted, their True Believers titles all feature the words Annihilation and the names of particular characters. So we see the origins or first appearances of many of the expected space-related characters, like Annihilus, Nova Richard Ryder, Quasar, Moondragon, Mantis and The Super-Skrull, but also some unexpected surprises, like Omega The Unknown and Man-Wolf (who really oughta get his own movie at some point; if Sony is going to try and make their very own answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe out of characters associated with Spider-Man, than Man-Wolf's a pretty good candidate).
Oh, and there's also a reprint of an issue from Walt Simonson's Thor run entitled True Believers: Annihilation–Odinpower. Looking at these reprints as clues as to what the hell might be going on in Annihilation: Scourge, it seems to be all over the place in an interesting, and perhaps lucrative for Marvel, way (It was the earlier Annihilation books that gave us the modern incarnation of The Guardians of The Galaxy by teaming up a bunch of particularly random space characters, for example).
Witness one of James Allison’s past lives in this adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s classic! Reprinting Supernatural Thrillers (1973) #3
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$1.00
There's also one issue of True Believers that has nothing to do with Annihilation, though. Instead, this one ties into the Conan event comic.
Considering how much I enjoyed the Conan suite of True Believers, I kinda wish they reprinted an old Marvel Conan or Robert E. Howard adaptation once a week...
VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #6
Al Ewing & JASON AARON (W) • Pere Pérez (A) • Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR
2020 VARIANT COVER BY DAVID NAKAYAMA
VENOM ISLAND VARIANT COVER BY ANNA RUD
HEROES OF MEDICINE UNITE!
But are they all about to become doctors to the dead?! Doctor Strange, Night Nurse, Cardiac, Faiza Hussain and more join forces with Jane Foster for a supernatural medical emergency that will give you heart palpitations!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
I haven't seen Faiza Hussain in a while now, but I really liked her character and her sadly short-lived series, Captain Britain and MI13. I was actually just thinking of that series the other day while reading Avengers By Jason Aaron Vol. 4: War of The Vampires, as I preferred that depiction of Marvel Dracula to the one in Aaron's Avengers...