Allow me to start this post off by mentioning a sad bit of news that happened a couple days ago. Stan Lee passed away on Monday. The very man who, along with Jack Kirby, pretty much kick started the Marvel Universe. He created Marvel’s First Family, the Fantastic Four, and with it he launched the Marvel Universe as we know it today. He brought Thor into the Marvel Universe. He brought Captain America back from being frozen in ice. He created Spider-Man. He created The Incredible Hulk, and even created my favourite member of the hulk family, She-Hulk, in the last 70’s. He assembled the team of superheroes known as The Avengers. Most importantly for me, he created my favourite superhero franchise, the X-Men.
Even into his 90’s he still kept himself busy. He appeared in conventions across North America until only a few years ago. He often uploaded amusing videos on the internet. He was clearly passionate about his fans. I’ll miss his cameos in MCU movies. It’s possible he’s got a few more already filmed anyway, but I’ll miss them when they end. The world just lost another living legend. That’s all I have to say really.
Anyway, the comics I picked up this week include Uncanny X-Men 1, Fantastic Four 3, Captain America 5, Thor 7, Avengers 10 and Supergirl 24. Here are my first impressions. Since I have tomorrow booked off of work, I’ll probably write a review for Uncanny X-Men 1 after work. That said, with several longer comics than normal today (Avengers 10 happens to be the 700th issue if you add all the main Avengers comics together), I definitely won’t be writing it before work.
Fantastic Four 3 is great. Now that the Fantastic Four are re-united, while also fighting a powerful new enemy, this comic gets to show off why the Fantastic Four are so great. It helps that Reed Richards brought along an army of friends through their previous temporary members. It makes for an overall epic comic that still finds room for some tender moments. If this issue is any indication, Dan Slott’s run on the series should be good.
Captain America 5 is good. This issue has a little bit of action, but it mostly focuses on tension building and clarifying the story up to this point. Not sure what else to say about this one, but that may be because my brain is a touch tired from not only writing 4,500 words last night before bed, but reading more comics worth in a single sitting than I’m used to. Anyway, this series is worth checking out for Captain America fans.
Thor 7 is alright. This comic feels like a one-off story about Young Thor, who is already inherently more interesting than King Thor like the last couple of issues. But it still kind of feels like a run of the mills young Thor story, with a young, arrogant Thor experiencing Midgard while Odin complains that he’s not taking his duties seriously. He experiences love and tragedy, while Loki plays around with fate a bit. If that sounds interesting, you’ll probably enjoy it. I thought it was just ok. Jason Aaron’s run on the series was really good for a time, but it feels like he’s starting to run out of steam.
Avengers 10 is fun. Most of the issue is a big fight scene between the Avengers, Namor’s attack squad, and the new Winter Guard from Russia. What was originally a rescue operation of an ocean based research base quickly spirals out of control. There are story beats as well, exploring the Avengers separation from the United States, a touch of Winter Guard politics and their motivations, and a final page reveal of yet another superhero team that’ll enter the mix soon. This is starting to feel like a fairly ambitious Avengers series, and it feels like Aaron is getting into his stride (especially since the first story arc was way too exposition heavy). Fans of the franchise will likely enjoy this issue.
Supergirl 24 is good. After her battle/escape from the Green Lanterns in the previous issue, Supergirl tries to play it low-key at first by investigating in an intergalactic bar. It soon turns into a fight anyway. Things aren’t looking good, until she receives help from a mysterious green alien. Apart from that, this issue doesn’t move the story forward too much. Supergirl’s investigation kind of leads to a dead end, so she decides to go straight to the remains of Krypton. That’s where the next issue will pick up. I’m still not a fan of the general direction of the Superman franchise right now and I don’t see that changing any time soon, especially with the whole “Krypton was murdered” thing, but Supergirl’s series is making the best of it. If you like the character and you can get past the serious retcon over what happened with Krypton, you’ll likely enjoy this comic.