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.
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.