The busiest month of Marvel Now is over, yet there are still plenty of titles on the way. First though, I’m going to talk about my thoughts on the first two issues of every title that has two issues released. While Fantastic Four and FF are the same story so far, I won’t count those.
Uncanny Avengers (Rick Remender) – great
This series is great so far. While the first issue was a bit crowded, it was never hard to follow. It was still fun to read and introduced the book’s premise well. The second issue is much more focused and better as a result. Red Skull is awesome in this series. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where this series goes.
All New X-Men (Brian Michael Bendis) – promising
I’m not completely sold on this, but it’s been good so far. There isn’t much indication on how Brian Michael Bendis will characterize the original X-Men yet – it’s been a bit too chaotic for that. The second issue did a good job at capturing what it would be like for the young X-Men to suddenly learn how dark their future was.
My only complaint so far is about Wolverine’s portrayal. I didn’t notice this until a few days ago, but he’s supposed to be very resistant to telepathy – how is a total novice supposed to put him to sleep so easily? He also seemed a bit, dumb. It feels like Bendis really doesn’t understand Wolverine all that much. If he doesn’t write much Wolverine though, this will be a relative non-issue.
Thor (Jason Aaron) – amazing
This is simply epic so far. This might even be the best Marvel Now book that’s been released as of this posting. Definitely check this out if you like Thor, whether in the comics or just in the movies.
X-Men Legacy (Simon Spurrier) – inconclusive
I’m not quite sure what to think of this yet, as shown in my rather inconclusive review of issue 2. I’m still not convinced that Legion can support a solo book. The first two issues showed how unpredictable this series could be, but there’s little indication on how Legion will be portrayed or how his personality will shine through. There’s still no indication that he’ll be much more than a plot device. It’s not a boring series so far, but neither is the movie Plan 9 From Outer Space. I’m willing to give it a few more issues though.
Deadpool (Brian Posehn) – bad
The first issue entertained me, but I didn’t think it was anything special. On my second reading of the second issue however, I didn’t find anything funny. This book’s main problem is that most of its humour relies on the idea that references are funny – they’re not. That’s not to say they can’t be funny, but there has to be a joke behind them.
Let’s compare one of the references in Deadpool 2 to a reference in Cable and Deadpool 44. In Deadpool 2, the title character is punched into the air. He starts singing “I believe I can fly”. This joke comes completely out of nowhere, and it falls flat.
In Cable and Deadpool 44, Deadpool’s friend, Weasel, was captured by Hydra. Wolverine is on a Hydra killing rampage, and Deadpool goes there to save Weasel (who is pretending to be one of their scientists) from Wolverine. Weasel puts on a sci-fi helmet at one point and jokes “Luke, I am your father.” That’s a joke, because any Star Wars fan could totally see themself doing that. Better yet, Deadpool does it later and adds, “And I see your shwartz is as big as mine,” referencing the Star Wars spoof Spaceballs. The fact that Deadpool and his friend both thought the same thing makes it funnier.
Ignoring that, this series has further problems. So far, the Deadpool of this new series is little more than a joke. Sure, he’s more competent than Daniel Way’s Deadpool run, but he’s still little more than a comic relief character. He’s supposed to be a tortured soul who uses humour to bury his pain. Sometimes, he just wants to be accepted in the greater superhero community, yet he realizes that his insanity prevents that from happening. That Deadpool is present in Cable and Deadpool – seriously you should read that series if you haven’t already. I haven’t read Joe Kelly’s Deadpool run yet (although I plan to once the bulk of Marvel Now is over) but I’ve heard that he’s even better there. He’s also good in Uncanny X-Force.
So yeah, I’m already done with this Deadpool series.
Iron Man (Kieron Gillen) – great
I’m not an Iron Man fan, yet I’ve enjoyed this so far. If you like Iron Man, Kieron Gillen’s new run on the title should interest you. He really is taking the character in a new direction, yet it still feels familiar. Greg Land’s art is the only thing holding this series back so far. I probably won’t stick with this for the long run, but I’ll at least be reading this until the end of the Extremis storyline.
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to talk about my thoughts on the new Marvel Now books starting this month.
Avengers & New Avengers – Jonathan Hickman
Hickman is taking over the Avengers – sign me up. Hickman’s Fantastic Four run has turned me into a fan of a family I previously didn’t care about … at all. He is a genius when it comes to building up a big story while keeping his series fun to read, and the payoff is actually worth the wait. This is the Marvel Now title I’m looking forward to the most (including the books that have already started). I know that New Avengers is starting in January, but I’m including that with Avengers since it’s the same writer and their stories will tie together.
I’ve wanted to try out the Avengers for a while, but Bendis’s mediocre writing on events like House of M and Secret Invasion made me hesitate, and the reviews for his AVX tie-ins didn’t help.
Avengers Arena – Dennis Hopeless
I’ve already made a full blog post about this series alone, and my thoughts haven’t changed much since. To sum up my thoughts though, I am equally excited for and dreading this series.
To quote Christos Gage on Avengers Arena #1 directly,
“Good, but if you hate the premise, this won’t change your mind. The ending will make you mad and want to see Arcade brutally killed.”
If it’s at least decent, then I’ll stick with it as long as X-23 is alive. Also because of the nature of this book, my reviews will likely have more spoilers than most comic reviews on this blog – I’m sure some people will want to know who dies in each issue before they read it. Don’t worry, there will be spoiler warnings.
Cable and X-Force – Dennis Hopeless
This book sounds interesting. Dennis Hopeless is a relatively new writer – the only material of his I’ve read is X-Men: Season one, which was alright. The character work was decent and he did a good job at summing up the X-Men’s early days. My biggest problem with that was that this origin retelling ended with a cliff-hanger, even though it will likely never have a sequel. In an interview, he said that Marvel didn’t want him to make any changes apart from the dialogue, so he opted to focus more on the characters than the events around them. Because of that, it’s one of the better Season One books … that I’ve read at least.
As for the book itself, Cable leading a team of outlaw mutants sounds good. Cable is usually at his best when nobody outside his team trusted him. I also like Cable, and I find the rest of the team at least alright. Hopefully Dennis can prove himself with an ongoing come December, and I mean this for both of his books.
Uncanny X-Force – Sam Humphries
Can’t say I’m quite as interested in this X-Force team. I haven’t read anything from Sam Humphries, nor have I heard anything about his writing. While I like Psylocke (thanks to Uncanny X-Force) Colossus and Storm, I don’t have much interest in Spiral or Puck. Like all other Marvel Now titles I’ll give it a shot, but I’ll probably only read one X-Force team after the first few issues. Also, I find it odd that Storm would join an X-Force team considering how strongly she opposed the team in X-Force volume 3.
Thunderbolts – Daniel Way
I am not looking forward to this series at all. Besides Deadpool and Venom, there is nobody on this team that I care about. There are other titles to read both character in, like their solo titles for example (Deadpool’s book sucks though). I’m also not a fan of Daniel Way’s writing.
Superior Spider-Man – Dan Slott.
I’m interested to see where this series is going, but I’m not exactly looking forward to it. I’m still not completely sure what I think of the end of Amazing Spider-Man 698. I’m sure the quality of this series will be good – Dan Slott has been very good with Spider-Man. Let’s wait and see where this is going.
Savage Wolverine – Frank Cho
I’ve been reading comics for less than two years, and I’m already growing tired of Wolverine. Still, the idea of Wolverine being forced to team up with another character with a very similar personality could be interesting. It also sounds more like a mini-series than an ongoing, and it doesn’t help that Wolverine has another ongoing title starting shortly after this one. I doubt that I’ll stick with this after the first two issues, but there’s no point in writing off a new writer before his series begins. Let’s see if Frank Cho can make me enjoy Wolverine again.
Morbius: The Living Vampire – Joe Keatinge
I have no idea whether I’ll like this series or not. I never even heard of Joe Keatinge before this series was announced, and I’ve only seen Morbius in two storylines before. Once in the original Savage She Hulk series and another in Dan Slott’s ASM run (teaming up with Spider-Man against the Lizard). Still, Marvel doesn’t have enough main universe horror comics – hopefully this one can find its audience.
Young Avengers – Kieron Gillen
Despite not knowing much about any of the characters in this, I’m excited for this series. Gillen’s Generation Hope was a very innovative series, and proved that he could write compelling teenage characters. Since the Young Avengers actually have a pre-existing audience, this series will hopefully last longer. Throw in Kid Loki and you have a winning formula.
And those are my thoughts for December’s Marvel Now books.
UA has been OK so far, but I have some reservations.
ANXM will be either very good, or very mediocre. Too soon to tell which.
Thor is great.
Legacy is bad. Just . . . bad.
Deadpool is bad.
Iron Man has good writing, but Greg Land on art. Which is ew.
Avengers and New Avengers will hopefully be good. I’m more interested in Avengers than New. Hickman can be a very dense writer, juggling a whole lot of plot points at once, and it’s always a joy seeing them start to come together.
Arena . . . I can’t buy it, because of the premise. But I do actually hope it’ll be good. Hopeless seems to be a pretty good writer, based on what I’ve read by him. So, setting aside the ominousness of a Battle Royale-inspired book being written by a guy whose name is actually Hopeless, this could be a good book, concept aside.
Cable and X-Force I’m much more interested in. That one’s looking very good.
UXF, I don’t know what to expect. I have no experience with Humphries, though my brother was unimpressed with his Ultimates stuff. It does have Puck, though, and Puck is awesome. And it’s always nice to see Alpha Flighters showing up anywhere. Now if only someone will grab the awesome new punk version of Marrina. I loved that. Also, Spiral’s cool. I like Spiral.
Thunderbolts is bah. Daniel Way’s just not a very good writer.
Spider-Man will continue to be good. Slott’s had a great run, there’s no reason to think that’ll change.
Wolverine, I have no idea. Maybe it’ll be good, maybe it’ll suck. I don’t know. I’m not completely sure I care, to be honest.
And Young Avengers is Kieron Gillen writing Kid Loki and Miss America and Kate Bishop and squeeeee! It’s going to be SO AWESOME!