While Marvel Now officially kicked off last month, there were only three titles that began. Uncanny Avengers, Red She Hulk and A+X, and RSH kind of doesn’t count since it didn’t start at number one. This month, there are 10 new books releasing, if you include Journey Into Mystery which isn’t being renumbered. There are at least two titles starting every week this month, and I’m going to be busy fulfilling my promise to review the first two issues of as many of them as possible.
There’s only been one issue for each of the titles that started last month, so I won’t bother sharing my thoughts on them yet. So here are my thoughts on the onslaught of new titles starting this month. Also, there probably won’t be too many DC comic reviews this month.
All New X-Men – Brian Michael Bendis
I have mixed feelings about this one. Bringing back the original five X-Men using time travel has potential, and it’s an easy way to bring back Jean Grey without some convoluted resurrection story. This could also create an alternate timeline where Xavier’s X-Men disappeared and he had to restart the X-Men using different characters. That could potentially be an interesting alternate reality story. That said, Bendis hasn’t exactly been kind to the X-Men in the past, and I’m not too sure about Beast accusing Cyclops of planning mutant genocide (it’s in the preview).
If you re-read the Avengers vs. X-Men event, the worst X-Men inconsistencies were all written by Bendis. His Xavier felt a bit too saint like. The scene where the X-Men surrendered to the Avengers felt off. Bendis wrote the issue where the Scarlet Witch’s powers suddenly worked on the phoenix two when they didn’t in the previous issue. Not to mention that half of his “tie-ins” barely had anything to do with the event, and even when they did they were well behind. He also wrote House of M, which mostly focused on the Avengers even though the end result only affected the X-Men. Then again, I’ve heard very good things about his Ultimate Spider-Man (I’ve never read an Ultimate Universe comic).
I’ll have to take a wait and see attitude for this series. If his Avengers run is anything to go by, All New X-Men will start out amazing, and will grow stale after the first few story arcs. Hopefully this can be good though. Any X-Men events he writes will range from alright to incredibly disappointing. This series has just as much chance at being great as it does at being forgettable. At the least, it should be better than Chuck Austin’s X-Men.
X-Men Legacy – Simon Spurrier
I like Legion, but I’m not sure if he can support an ongoing series. The idea that he’s struggling with his place in the world after the death of his father could work.
Legion is fun as that unknown factor in a big story. Legion Quest (just before the Age of Apocalypse event) was great, and the Return of Legion in New Mutants was very entertaining. I’m not sure if he’ll translate well into a lead role however. I also haven’t heard of this writer before. Hopefully this will be good. I have no further thoughts.
Deadpool – Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan
I don’t know anything about these writers, and I don’t have any thoughts on whether this will be good or not. As with any Deadpool book, there needs to be a balance between comedy and character work. Cable and Deadpool did this well, while Daniel Way’s run eventually turned Deadpool into little more than an unfunny joke. If this series is good, that’s awesome! If not, I’ll start reading Joe Kelly’s classic Deadpool run instead – so far I’ve only read the Spider-Man issue.
Fantastic Four & FF – Matt Fraction
As it is with First X-Men, I have mixed feelings about this one. From my experience, Matt Fraction is rarely good at writing either team books or big events. While I haven’t read his Thor or Iron Man, I’ve heard they’re both really good. When it comes to stories, he has a lot of great ideas but he disappoints with his execution.
His Uncanny X-Men run could have easily been called “The Adventures of Cyclops and Emma Frost”, because most other characters were either under-utilized, out of character or both. The Utopia crossover was kind of boring, and his issues of Second Coming felt … off. Fear Itself was a mess; the first four issues were little more than build-up, and the final issue was a jumbled mess of a fight scene that was incredibly hard to follow.
I want to like these books. Hickman has made me love the Fantastic Four, and John Byrne’s run is fantastic as well. Not to mention that the original She Hulk is my favourite Hulk character, and she’s one of the main characters in Fraction’s FF. Fraction writing these titles makes it very difficult for me to get excited about these books. That said, I hope he can pull this off and I look forward to giving him a chance.
Captain America – Rick Remender
I’m a Rick Remender fan, and I’ve enjoyed almost everything of his that I’ve read. Captain America is the ultimate patriotic superhero. Sounds like a good combination. I’m not exactly the biggest Captain America fan, but that’s mostly because as a Canadian I don’t feel the same patriotic sense that some do. Still, this series could be really good. I have no further thoughts.
Thor – Jason Aaron
The concept behind this series sounds amazing. Jason Aaron’s Thor takes place over thousands of years, from Thor’s young years to the far future where he’s king of Asguard. The main enemy is a serial killer who targets Gods. That just sounds epic.
Jason Aaron’s on and off for me. I liked the first half of his Wolverine run, but after the Revenge arc it went downhill (either issue 15 or 16). I’ve enjoyed his Wolverine and the X-Men run so far, but I’m well aware that there are those who despise it. Also the WATXM AVX tie-ins were not very good, with the exception of the Rachel Grey Summers spotlight issue (WATXM 12). Schism was great, but his Incredible Hulk run wasn’t anything special – I dropped it a few months ago. So while the concept behind his story sounds amazing, I’m not yet sure what to think of this one.
Indestructible Hulk – Mark Waid
I’ve heard great things about Mark Waid’s Daredevil series, but haven’t read it because I don’t care all that much about Daredevil. I’m looking forward to this one though. Bruce Banner teaming up with the Hulk just sounds awesome, and changing the title’s name to Indestructible Hulk sounds appropriate since a Hulk/Banner team up would be pretty much unstoppable. The Hulk is going to be an agent of SHIELD? Let’s see how this pays off.
Invincible Iron Man – Kieron Gillen
Kieron Gillen’s Uncanny X-Men has been consistently good, even when it ties into crappy events like Fear Itself. According to his interviews, this series will be much more character focused than Iron Man’s series usually is, and that sounds great. Iron Man is on a quest for knowledge of the unknown; that sounds intriguing to me. That said, I’m not overly excited about this one. Outside of the movies, I’m not a fan of Iron Man. I’ll still give this an honest shot, but I have no concrete thoughts about this one.
Journey Into Mystery – Kathryn Immonen
There’s going to be a title starring Lady Sif? That sounds alright. The only Kathryn Immonen work I’ve read is the Wolverine and Jubilee mini-series, and the Pixie Strikes Back mini-series. I liked Wolverine and Jubilee despite its somewhat confusing climax. On the other hand, I didn’t enjoy Pixie Strikes Back (not saying it was bad). Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from this one.
And those are my thoughts for this month’s Marvel Now titles. The titles that excite me the most are Indestructible Hulk and Thor, even though I’m not really a fan of either character. The titles I’m the least bit excited about are Deadpool and X-Men Legacy, although that’s only because I don’t recognize either writer. I’m equally excited and worried about both All New X-Men and Fantastic Four/FF – I truly hope they’re good.
Feel free to share your thoughts.
All-New X-Men: I’m uncertain. If we get the character-focused Bendis of Ultimate Spider-an (which really has been consistently great; The Death of Spider-Man arc was brilliant, with an ending that actually made me cry), then it’ll be good. If we get the idea-focused Bendis of Avengers, it’ll be mediocre.
Legacy: My feelings are kinda similar to yours. Legion is an interesting character, but to sustain a series? I don’t know. Spurrier hasn’t really had much of a chance to really wow me yet. His X-Club mini was entertaining, but beyond that, he hasn’t had a chance to do anything notable. He seems like a good writer, but we’ll see.
Deadpool: My expectations are incredibly low. Brian Posehn is actually a comedian, and apparently, he wants to focus on the comedic aspect of Deadpool. But Deadpool works best when the humour and drama are balanced and play off each other. I’d highly recommend reading the Joe Kelly run on the character, because it was awesome. He really laid out how tragic and broken a character Deadpool is, while still making him really funny.
Fantastic Four & FF: Fraction’s Defenders was solid. And his Ant-Man short in the Point One was really good. And the artist on FF is Mike Allred, who’s just a great, fun artist. So I have high hopes for FF.
Captain America: I’m thinking it’ll be pretty good.
Thor: It does look pretty cool.
Indestructible Hulk: Waid’s great. I’ve never been a great lover of Daredevil, but Waid’s run on that title has been astonishing. His Captain America: Man Out of Time mini was cool. I like his Deadpool: Sins of the Father mini back in the ’90s. And he’s had notable runs on other titles. So he’s definitely a writer I respect.
Invincible Iron Man: Kieron Gillen. ‘Nuff said.
Journey Into Mystery: Sif is someone who deserves a major role. Kathryn Immonen’s also a writer I’d like to see given a chance. She’d had a couple minis that were OK, though her tenure on Runaways wasn’t really great. I’m curious to see how she does.