It’s two weeks into 2015, and several big titles are coming out this week. Star Wars 1 is the first comic in years to ship more than 1 million copies, the Amazing X-Men starts the storyline that will bring forth the new Juggernaut, and Ms. Marvel makes her first appearance of 2015, which should be a big year for her. While I considered it, I decided not to pick up Star Wars 1 and with so many copies available, I can get it later if I really want.
On the writing front, I’m busy editing the first book I wrote for my series, and it’s easily the most intensive edit I’ve done yet. I’ve removed so much pointless exposition, fixed up random perspective switches and altered almost every sentence in the book that I don’t remove. There were 2 straight chapters of exposition at one point, and while it made sense from a story perspective (one character training another), that much exposition is torture for the reader. I’m also exploring a major sub-plot that was almost completely ignored in the previous draft even though it was a significant part of the villain’s plot. I’m enjoying the edit though; it’s like meeting an old friend where, despite all the changes that have happened since you’ve last talked, you still get along.
I picked up Wolverines 2, SHIELD 2, Cyclops 9, Captain Marvel 11, X-Force 14, Amazing X-Men 15, Justice League United 8 and Batgirl 38. Here are my first impressions, and links to full reviews will be added when posted.
Cyclops 9 is good. On the one hand, Cyclops almost seems to be gaining respect in the pirate crew a bit too fast, but on the other hand the plot has to finish up before the Black Vortex crossover. It’s hard to discuss this issue’s events without spoiling everything, but it showcases Cyclops’s leadership skills while ending with a cliffhanger that may challenge both his morality and his loyalty. It’s not quite as good as Greg Rucka’s brief run, but this is still worth reading if you’re a Cyclops fan.
Captain Marvel 11 is marvellous. Even though this Christmas issue came out a month late, it’s still a great read that touches on Carol’s life on Earth and some of her supporting cast. It also brings in Grace Valentine and her continued quest to ruin Captain Marvel. The ending also feels special. Anyone who reads Marvel Comics in general should at least give this series a chance.
X-Force 14 is so much fun. The battle between X-Force and Famtomex gets really intense in this issue, rivalled only by the increasingly volatile team dynamics and the epic final page. Hope also makes good use of her mimicking abilities and shows that even in a coma, she’s still contributing to the team in more ways than the others realize. Simon Spurrier’s run seems to grow more delightfully insane with each issue, and this might actually be the best X-Force run period.
Amazing X-Men 15 is good. Most of this issue is setup, but it’s enjoyable setup with both tensions between Storm and Colossus and number of welcome appearances by younger X-Men characters. That’s one thing that’s great about Chris Yost; when he writes the X-men, he uses the younger characters as more than jokes and wallpaper. Whether the Juggernaut mythos intrigues you or you like Colossus, this issue is worth checking out.
Justice League United 8 is good, but really short. The opening pages explains a lot about the Legion of Superheroes through great art and dialogue that helps make the rest of this story arc mean something. The rest of this issue is mostly action that starts exactly where the last issue left off. The art is wonderful throughout, but on the downside this is a very quick read with very little text, making the $4 price tag feel like a bit of a ripoff. I’m still on the fence whether to stick with this series or not, but it’s worth a read if you’ve enjoyed Justice League United so far.
Wolverines was meh. I didn’t give a damn.
SHIELD was fun. Ms. Marvel geeking out is always fun.
Cyclops was good.
Captain Marvel was great. I love June Covington, and Grace Valentine is cool, and Carol is awesomely badass, and holy shit that’s a weird guest star. Great comic.
X-Force is a fantastic book. Hope shows off her tactical skills, and the stuff about trust was really good. I love that Spurrier spent the first half of the series tearing down the whole “gritty anti-hero” thing, and now he’s trying to build the characters up as heroes.
Amazing X-Men was really fun. I always love Rockslide. Pixie’s fun. The Scarlet Witch cameo is neat.