Thoughts on Marvel Now – January

Happy New Year everyone!

December was fairly busy for Marvel Now, although thankfully not as busy as November was. The majority of Marvel Now books have had two or more issues released and the number of new upcoming books is winding down. Here are my thoughts on the books that had their second issue released this past month.

Also I’m not doing any top 10 comics of the year or any similar lists because I’ve grown tired of top 10 lists. It’s easily the most cliché article type in opinion writing. Some sites, particularly Newsarama, overuse them to the point of ridiculousness.

Avengers– Jonathan Hickman

The first issue was fun, but a bit confusing. The second issue cleared up a lot and had plenty of build up for issue three. They were both fun, but there is very little characterization so far – save for the new villains. There’s plenty of promise behind this series but I’m not quite convinced to stay on yet. At the two issue point, Hickman’s Fantastic Four run was better.

Avengers Arena – Dennis Hopeless

My thoughts on this series are mixed so far. While I did give both the first two issues positive reviews, I was trying to write them from the prospective of someone who doesn’t have any prior knowledge of anyone in this series. As someone who cares about the Avengers Academy kids (especially X-23), I’m still uneasy about Avengers Arena.

The character work is fairly good so far. Arcade is finally a legitimate threat after years of being a joke. The source of his new powers is supposedly going to be revealed in issue 7. He did a great job at introducing the new character, Death Locket. So far, none of the pre-existing characters feel off character – although we haven’t had much from them outside of Hazmat and the deceased Mettle. However that won’t be much consultation to those who already hate this series.

A lot of people are very angry about the first issue and I don’t blame them. It’s hard to see a favourite character offed in the first issue of a series that promises lots of character deaths. Still, I have a fairly strong stomach for this kind of thing and I’ll stick with it as long as it’s at least OK and X-23 is still alive. I’m going to try to enjoy it, but cheap deaths of established characters will turn me off fast. Any reviews I write for this series will be more spoiler-filled than usual because of the nature of this series.

Cable and X-Force – Dennis Hopeless

While not perfect, the first two issues of Cable and X-Force are actually very good. There’s a strong character focus, although the story’s a bit light so far. The action is entertaining and it’s usually funny when it tries to be. I’m looking forward to seeing where this series goes.

Fantastic Four and FF – Matt Fraction

I’m not fully convinced of this series yet, but it’s looking good so far. Scientific inaccuracies in Fantastic Four 1 aside, I can’t think of any real complaints. The characterization is pretty good, there’s plenty of clever humour and the premise for both titles has plenty of promise. Since the first two issues of each series was mostly just setup for the rest of Fraction’s run however, the real test for this series begins now. I’m now looking forward to seeing if Matt Fraction can pull it off (the only Fraction I’ve read in the past is his mediocre Uncanny X-Men run , and the terrible Fear Itself).

Thunderbolts – Daniel Way

This series sucks. It’s basically a poor man’s Expendables with super powered characters. The art is hilariously bad at times, but the writing is just dull.

 

Upcoming titles

I accidentally talked about most of January’s upcoming books in last month’s post, so I’ll just copy-paste them here. The only series that my thoughts have changed on is Superior Spider-Man, now that ASM 700 has come.

Uncanny X-Force – Sam Humphries

Can’t say I’m all that 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.

Superior Spider-Man – Dan Slott.

I’m still not completely sure about this book’s direction. Dan Slott has done well with Spider-Man, and Peter Parker could use a bit of a break after everything that Marvel has done to him over the years. The whole Otto Octavious/Mary Jane thing feels a bit awkward right now, although Dan Slott said he’d explain that in issue 2. I’m not angry about what happened to Peter Parker in the last few issues of Amazing and it was strong storytelling. Whether or not I like Superior, I wish this series the best.

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.

About healed1337

I am a relatively new comic book fan writing this blog for other new comic book fans and/or people who are interested in comics but don't know where to start. I've always been interested in writing, to the point where I have a college Creative Writing Certificate and I'm currently a year 2 Journalism student. I also have another blog where I mostly make fun of bad movies - www.healed1337.blogspot.com As for how I got into comics, I've always had a passing interest in superheroes: most notably Batman, Spider-man and the X-Men. Until February of 2011 (I think,) my only experience with any of these franchises came from the movies and video games. Shortly after I bought Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 however, I decided to check out X-23, Wolverine's female clone. I ended up reading her Innocence Lost origin story and enjoyed it. From there, I started reading various X-Men comics and it quickly exploded into my newest hobby. My other interests/hobbies include video games, movies, music, playing sports, my dogs and weird news.
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3 Responses to Thoughts on Marvel Now – January

  1. wwayne says:

    Cable is an awesome character. He really is a natural born leader: he’s self confident, he always has everything under control and he always knows the right thing to do.
    Cable, exactly like his creator Rob Liefeld, became a symbol of 90s comics, a period usually remembered as full of excesses — excessive violence, excessive masculinity, excessive pouches and so on.
    I don’t think the 90s were so terrible: yes, the characters became ruthless instead of light hearted, manly instead of teen aged and so on, but I liked this process, and I don’t think it was as ridiculous as many readers describe it.
    Also, some changes the 90s introduced in comics definitely are positive. For example, before the 90s it was impossible to see a decent action packed scene: neither the superhero nor the villain used weapons, so they used to fight by using only their fists. In the 90s, both of them started using guns, submachine guns, bombs and so on, so the action packed scenes became less predictable, more varied and more spectacular.
    Another positive innovation the 90s gave us: the characters became less politically correct. Before the 90s, a superhero was supposed to be irreproachable, so all of them were so full of political correctness that they became ridiculous. When they started holding weapons, killing their enemies and acting in a ruthless way without any resentment, they became more realistic and enjoyable, in my opinion.
    I think that all these changes the comics faced in the 90s were due to the success of the movies Arnold and Sly used to make during those years. Boys loved those movies, so they wanted to see the same things in the comics they used to buy: both Marvel and DC decided to give them what they wanted, and, while many readers think it was a wrong move, I did appreciate it. Maybe it’s because I started reading comics exactly in the 90s, or maybe it’s because I love action packed comics and movies – especially when Arnold or Sly is involved.
    To make Cable’s connection with that resentfully remembered period more flebile, Marvel subsequently modified his outfit, making him less manly, removing some pouches from his costume and so on. I didn’t appreciate it: it’s like drawing a smile on the Punisher’s T – shirt instead of the skull. The costume is part of the identity of the character, so, if you change it so much, you distort him, in my opinion. Give us back Cable’s pouches, Marvel! : )

    Like

    • healed1337 says:

      I agree. Any decade feels bad as it goes by. People generally focus on the negative because let’s face it, we like to complain. As the years go by though, people tend to forget the bad and remember the good.
      There were a lot of bad things to come out of the 90s in comics, but there was a lot of good too. It was full of Wolverine ripoffs and too many pouches. There was the overly long Spider-Man Clone Saga, which started out very well, but then the marketing team decided to force it’s continuation. But there was also the Age of Apocalypse crossover, which was awesome for the most part. There was Fatal Attractions, which was among the best X-men storylines ever. There was the Generation X series, and I’m sure there was plenty of good stuff in the Avengers world and the DC Universe that I’m not aware of.
      Sure, Cable started out as an overly violent mercenary with little or no personality, but other writers have since turned him into a great character. He’s got a nice balance to him. He can be cold and calculating in the heat of battle, but he has a real heart behind him. He knows what he cares about and he fight for it. There aren’t many X-men characters I enjoy reading more than Cable.

      Like

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