Marvel doesn’t know how to divide their releases enough. Last week saw the release of 4 number ones for their new All New Marvel Now ongoings (if you count point one), and this week saw none. Instead, nearly all of Marvel’s major titles released this week.
Oh, and that’s not to mention the barrage of number 1’s coming next month, and how good most of them look. I’m especially looking forward to She Hulk, and after the brilliant story in Point One, Miss Marvel is looking great too. X-Force by Simon Spurrier? Count me in. New Warriors with Scarlet Spider and Aracely? That sounds marvelous. It’s going to be an expensive month. Good, but expensive.
The comics I picked up include the Superior Spider-Man Inhumanity one shot, Amazing X-Men 3, Uncanny X-Men 16, Fantastic Four 16, Uncanny X-Force 16, Thor: God of Thunder 17, All New X-Men 21, X-Men Legacy 22, Superior Spider-Man 25, Batgirl 27 and Velvet 3. Most of them were good, and there are several brilliant action scenes this week. Here are my first impressions; links to full reviews will be added as posted.
The Superior Spider-Man one shot was very good. Written by Christos Gage, it’s all about the Superior Spider-Man helping with disaster relief. While Spider-Ock is still in character, he shows a rare soft side in this issue, and the mercy he rarely shows in his main series. Throw in some good art and well-placed references, and you have a solid Spider-Man story that web heads should read.
Uncanny X-Men 16 was very good. As the cover suggests, this is a Magneto focused issue. It tells a complete story, but also kind of acts as a teaser for Magneto’s upcoming solo series. There’s some great storytelling, some good fight scenes and a couple twists that tie together some of the stories from earlier in Bendis’s X-Men work. If you like Magneto, you’ll very likely enjoy this comic.
Fantastic Four 16 was great. The final battle between two versions of the Fantastic Four and Doom the Annihilating Conqueror was simply intense, and the after party was simply an enjoyable read. Not sure why all those characters show up on the cover though, when half of them don’t appear within. Either way, this is a great conclusion to Matt Fraction’s run.
Thor: God of Thunder 17 was great. It concludes the fight between the League of Realms and Malekith, with some very surprising results. Saying anything more would spoil the whole thing, but this comic plays out brilliantly in more than one way. The ending teaser is intense as well. If you’re a Thor fan who hasn’t given Jason Aaron’s run a try yet, what are you waiting for? This is Aaron at his very best.
X-men Legacy 22 was fun. The different sides of the X-Men actually unite for once, and they follow Legion into battle against a very powerful enemy. There are also some great moments for both David Haller and Blindfold, well … is she still called Blindfold after this comic? Legacy continues to be the most unique X-Men book on the market, and it’s delightful.
Superior Spider-Man 25 was great. It both concludes the Darkest Hours story, where Spider-Ock becomes the Superior Venom, and it prepares the way for the big Goblin Nation storyline that starts next issue. So much happens in this extra-sized comic, yet there’s still room for both character work and a great action scene. In fact, it’s possibly the best action scene in a week full of great action scenes. Spider-Man fans should pick this up.
Batgirl 27 was good. Being someone who isn’t reading Detective Comics, I’m not sure what Gothtopia is about, but it’s an interesting distraction from the usually dark storytelling in the Batman franchise. Yet despite all the happiness and ice cream, there’s something twisted going on in Gothtopia. There are also a lot of nods to events and characters from the rest of Gail Simone’s run on the title.
AXM is a book I just can’t enjoy the way I should. It’s a Jason Aaron X-title, and I can’t get over WatXM. And it has Azazel, a character who sucks so hard that he blows. Everything aside from Azazel is fine. But . . . Azazel. I will say that Beast was excellent. He got some genuinely funny lines, which were funny because they were him. They weren’t just goofy jokes, they were very true to his voice.
UXM was excellent. Just a great issue. Touches on a lot of plot threads while also delivering some solid character work.
Fantastic Four was really good. Very touching stuff at the end. What is it about Michael Allred? Everything he does is a mix of funny and sweet. His style just combines those two traits so well.
UXF was really good. Really good tension, and the fighting is exciting, sad and, somehow, fun, all at the same time.
Thor was very good. I suspected he didn’t actually kill the troll. The later twist threw me, though, I’ll admit that.
ANXM was OK. I was expecting Angel would rescue the others, and I was hoping for it. The Strykers got a little too much focus.
XML was good. But I’m just kinda tired of it, at this point.
Superior Spider-Man was good. I like how the Avengers still don’t really trust Spider-Man. I’m a little disappointed that MJ trusts him again. The fighting was pretty awesome, though.
I know, right? Michael Allred has that unique charm that just works for anything lighthearted and fun.
And on my second read, I agree that Stryker had a little too much focus. The flashback was good, but after that there probably should have been more focus on the O5’s reaction to the purifiers. Still, it was satisfying for what it was, a holdover story until we get to the Trial of Jean Grey crossover. Hopefully after that it’ll be a while before another event throws ANXM off.
Yeah. The X-Men got sorta pushed aside in their own book. Bit of a shame.