It’s the third major Marvel Now week, with three “number ones” and two number twos. Iron Man 2, Deadpool 2, Captain America 1, Indestructible Hulk 1 and Journey into Mystery 646. I picked all of those up, as well as Wolverine and the X-Men 21, X-Factor 247, Astonishing X-Men 56, Uncanny X-Force 34, Wolverine 316, Amazing Spider-Man 698, Captain Marvel 7, Supergirl 14 and Nightwing 14. These are my first impressions – I’ll add links to reviews as I post them.
Also, there probably won’t be any DC reviews this week because there are 5 Marvel Now books, and I have 9 other books to read on top of that.
Uncanny X-Force 36 was very good. It concludes the Final Execution storyline in a brutal fashion. While X-Force does defeat the Brotherhood, the consequences are heavy all round. The ending isn’t a huge surprise, but it probably shouldn’t be spoiled either. The art is great too. New readers will be confused out of their minds, although regulars should pick this up. This series in general has been very good.
Astonishing X-Men 56 was alright. Last issue was a bit of a mess – this issue fixes that a little. It still feels a bit rushed – the story could have worked better if it had more breathing room. Your enjoyment of this comic will depend greatly on how much you like the X-Men character Karma, and her vengeful half-sister Susan Hatchi. If you don’t know who Karma is, or you didn’t like the last issue, this is probably better to ignore. If you haven’t read this series yet, this issue will confuse you a lot. If you liked the last issue, this is worth reading. Personally, I thought it was just OK. Hopefully the next story arc will be a bit simpler, and will focus more on the X-Men characters involved with this series rather than an over complicated plot with too many twists.
Wolverine and the X-Men 21 was decent. For the first issue about Frankenstein’s circus, it wasn’t trying to be as funny as you’d think. Wolverine’s X-Men have been kidnapped and mind controlled by Frankenstein’s monster and his followers. This issue is mostly setup – it explains the somewhat twisted plot, kicks off the action that will no doubt escalate in the next issue and brings further teases for the next storyline. Everything you need to know is explained in the issue or on the recap page. If you’re interested in a book about teenage X-Men characters, this is at least worth checking out.
Wolverine 316 was fun. Last issue, Wolverine and his monster hunter ally were defeated. In this issue, a team made up of Wolverine’s former girlfriends, including Melita, come to rescue him. Throw in self repairing robots and a flying castle, and you have a somewhat weird, yet entertaining Wolverine comic. This might be a little confusing if you haven’t read the last two issues, but the recap explains most of what you’ll need to know (they should be easy to find anyway). This is worth reading for Wolverine fans who want a self-contained story.
X-Factor 247 was awesome. Multiple Man and Layla Madrox (previously Layla Miller) recently married each other. This issue is their honeymoon. In typical superhero fashion, their honeymoon is interrupted. Appropriately for X-Factor, the interruption is a murder mystery with supernatural undertones. This issue tells a complete, self-contained story that’s both amusing and interesting. X-Factor is almost always a good read about minor mutant characters running a detective agency. If that interests you, this is a great issue to start off with.
Amazing Spider-Man 698 was insane. I can’t really say much about this issue without spoiling it. The bulk of the comic is mostly about Peter Parker and where he is in life, and it’s well done. The last page is quite possibly the most hardcore cliff-hanger I’ve ever seen … anywhere. I honestly have no idea where this story could go from here, and I’m yet sure what I think of it. This is an important read for any Spider-Man fans.
Captain Marvel 7 was great. Carol Danvers is diving into the ocean to investigate missing ships. There’s a lot of entertaining teasing between the Captain and her two partners. Also the ending cliff-hanger is awesome, and promises an epic battle scene in the next issue. As the first issue in a new story arc, everything here is easy to understand for new readers. If you like Captain Marvel/Miss Marvel, or are interested in a female Avenger solo title, this is an easy recommendation.
Supergirl 14 was good. It’s the second part of the H’el on Earth crossover with Superman and Superboy, and it focuses mostly on Kara (Supergirl). Half of the issue is Kara meeting the scientist that was introduced in Superman 13, and conversing with Superman, while the other half is Supergirl meeting H’el, another Kryptonian survivor. This issue is mostly building up for the event, but it’s interesting build-up. Even if you didn’t read last week’s Superboy 14, you will fully understand this issue as it explains everything you need to know. This is an easy recommendation for Supergirl regulars, or those who want to check out Superman’s family.
Nightwing 14 was decent. There’s a little panel time about Nightwing’s ongoing circus side story, but this issue is mostly about Nightwing hunting down and fighting Lady Shiva. It’s fun, but there’s nothing overly special about it. If you’re waiting for Nightwing’s Death of the Family tie-in, wait until next month. There’s really nothing else to say – it’s not really good enough to recommend to regular readers or potential new fans.