This is the first major Marvel Now week – two new books released this week (Iron Man and Deadpool), and the last issue of Avengers vs. X-Men Consequences released as well. I bought those as well as Uncanny X-Force 33, Age of Apocalypse 9, X-Factor 246, Avengers Academy 39, Action Comics 14 and Animal Man 14. These are my first impressions – I’ll link to full reviews as I post them.
Avengers vs. X-Men Consequences 5 review
Uncanny X-Force 33 was very good. It continues X-Force’s battle against the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Both teams are suffering from betrayal, showing how fractured every one of these characters are. A good chunk of the issue focuses on Wolverine and Daken’s relationship, and it actually made me care about Daken for a bit (I’m definitely not a Daken fan, so that’s saying a lot). The rest of the issue touches on other plot threads in this rather epic showdown. If you’ve been reading X-Force from the start, you really should be checking this out. At this late point though, it’s not the greatest starting point for the series – wait for the paperbacks.
Age of Apocalypse 9 was decent. It feels more like a setup issue than anything else. At this point, AOA is starting to feel a bit slow, but it feels like it’s building up toward something awesome. Pick this up if you were planning to anyway, but I’m not sure whether to recommend this to new readers or not.
X-Factor was great. It focuses primarily on Pip and his purpose at X-Factor. It’s kind of like Wolverine and the X-Men 17 (which focused on Doop), but it tells a complete story rather than touching on a bunch of different smaller stories. It also has a very surprising ending, which doubles as an awesome cliff-hanger. Definitely worth reading if you enjoy X-Factor, even occasionally.
Animal Man 14 was great. It’s part two of the Rotworld storyline. A plague known as The Rot overtook most of the earth in five years – Animal Man was somehow absent for those five years. Despite the horrific story, there’s still room for Animal Man’s family life through flashbacks and a message from The Rot. This series is best described as delightfully weird. If you like the idea of a horror comic that has room for the title character’s family life, this is an easy recommendation.
AvX #5 was great.
Iron Man #1 had great writing, and probably the worst art I have ever seen. I can’t buy this series. Land is that awful. I just can’t tolerate him any more. I was outright offended at the tracing in this issue, especially since he didn’t even trace particularly well. Marvel needs to get rid of him.
Deadpool #1 was blah. Some kinda funny moments, but it’s clear, right off the bat, that Brian Posehn couldn’t care less about the tragic aspects of the character. He obviously wants to focus on the “OMG so crazy LOL!!!1one” side, which misses the point of character entirely. It frustrates me that writers don’t understand that Deadpool is not just a one-note comedic character. He’s an inherently tragic figure, and the humour is a result of a combination of defence mechanism and actual, legitimate, terrifying insanity. Gah.
UX-F #33 . . . I don’t know. The scenes with Wolverine and Daken were a bit much.
AoA #9 was meh. Honestly, I’m expecting Weapon Omega hunting Jean to fall in Prophet’s plans, the same way every single other thing to happen in the entire run of the series did. I hate this series. It’s just badly written. Lapham previously wrote Deadpool MAX, which I also hated.
X-Factor’s always awesome.
AA . . . my series is over, and it makes me sad. But it was a great finale. It’s been in my top three books almost since it started, and it went out on a high note. Also, two same-sex kisses in one issue, one for each gender. That’s rare in comics, and kind of appreciated. And Finesse showing emotions? Madness! And great. And now she’s winding up in Limbo. Along with Julie and Karolina, and Striker. Dammit. Also, ending the series with Maddie being picked on in high school was a nice touch. Served as a really good bookend to the series.
Greg Land seems to bother you more than he bothers me, but I agree with you. Iron Man would be better off without him.
As for Deadpool, I’m giving it at least one more issue to show Deadpool as more than a one note character. At least Deadpool’s more competent in this issue than he was during most of Daniel Way’s run. That’s a step in the right direction.
And yeah, Age of Apocalypse is starting to drag on. The original crossover, while not perfect, was far better than anything AOA since.