There were only two Marvel Now issue ones this week, and no issue twos. In fact, my pull list for this week was mercifully small compared to most of last month. I picked up Avengers 1, Thunderbolts 1, All New X–Men 3, Iron Man 3, Red She Hulk 60, The Amazing Spider-Man 699, X-Factor 248, Action Comics 15 and Animal Man 15. These are my first impressions – I’ll add links to my full reviews as they’re posted.
Iron Man 3 was great. Iron Man’s hunt for the leaked shipments of Extremis leads him to a Columbian Drug Lord’s mansion. This issue is more dramatic than the last two, although saying what it’s about would spoil the surprise near the end. There’s a good amount of action and new Iron Man technology to keep this issue entertaining. Greg Land’s art isn’t as bad as usual here – it’s almost good at times. If you like Iron Man, you should definitely check this comic out – everything you need to know is explained on the recap page.
Red She Hulk 60 was awesome. This issue reveals exactly what Betty Ross aka. Red She Hulk is trying to prevent. Also, all of the Avengers are pursuing her thanks to her stunt at the end of issue 59. This issue is very much plot driven, but there’s still plenty of action to keep up the pacing. It feels like a classic Hulk story, but with an intelligent female hulk instead of the original. You should be reading this series if that sounds appealing.
Amazing Spider-Man 699 was good. This issue focuses primarily on Peter Parkers unique position, and his attempts to escape. ASM 699 also explains exactly how and when the mind transfer took place. Whether you like Peter Parker’s consciousness trapped in Dr. Octopus’s mind or not, it’s a strong piece of storytelling. Either way, this is a very important Spider-Man storyline as it leads up toward the Superior Spider-Man series starting soon.
X-Factor 248 was great as usual. It continues from the last two issues. Pip was shot in the head in 246, while Multiple Man and Layla Miller had their honeymoon last issue. Pip’s mind is stuck in Monet’s body for the entire issue, and it’s hilarious. There’s also a lot of lead up towards the “Hell on Earth” storyline. It goes without saying, but X-Factor regulars will enjoy this. For anyone else, this series is about a group of mutants running a private investigation business. It’s a great self-contained series about B-list and C-list characters, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Action Comics 15 was good. It’s a little all over the place, but it’s still easy to follow and it makes sense. Superman is facing a threat that isn’t bound by our dimension of time. This issue also explains exactly who Clark Kent’s landlord is. If you’ve been enjoying Grant Morrison’s Action Comics, you’ll very likely enjoy this issue. Because it’s nearing the end of his run however, newcomers might be a little lost.
Avengers did not impress me. I found it hard to follow. It was needlessly confusing, especially for a first issue. Worse, there was basically no characterization in the whole thing. It’s possible Hickman’s run will be great, but to me, it got off to a very bad start.
Thunderbolts was meh. I’m willing to give it a chance, but I have little confidence in Way.
ANXM disappointed me. I don’t feel like Bendis has a good grasp on the voices of the Extinction team. I didn’t like the characterization or the dialogue, though the plotting and story are quite good.
IM was good. Gillen’s a brilliant writer. Shame he got saddled with Greg frigging Land as his artist.
RSH is awesome. Parker’s doing great work there. And he’s using Nikola Tesla from Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. series, which is awesome to see.
ASM was very good. I’m interested in seeing where it goes.
X-Factor is X-Factor. Anyone not reading it is simply wrong.