The Other Side of the Page: Books and Comics
All New All Different Marvel: How are those first issues?
We’re about two months into All New All Different Marvel. Even though Secret Wars is STILL going, they already launched many of their first issues. Let’s take a quick look at what’s out there.
All-New All-Different Avengers #1
A new threat has come to earth, but there’s no Avengers to stop it! Who’s going to step up? Good first issue setting up some of the team dynamics. Nova and Ms. Marvel are adorable together. I want to know if the others are aware Spider-Man is Miles Morales. No Thor or Vision in this issue. I really want to see Thor come into play and how that will balance with her real life illness in The Mighty Thor.
The Amazing Spider-Man #1
Peter Parker is all grown up. He’s leading the tech world with Parker Industries nudging out Tony Stark. Now, it’s even more important for him to keep his secret identity, and there are multiple Spider-Mans running around. I give the actual story a thumbs up. The fact you have to pay $5.99 because the second half is nothing but previews is terrible. I really don’t like Silk, and my money went to her. Ugh!
Verdict: Pass because of the previews at the end. Read in trade paperback
Angela Queen of Hel #1
I want to like Angela books. She’s a powerhouse female character. She has Sera who’s one of the best written transgendered characters ever created. They have so much potential to be Eisner winning stories. My issue with Angela titles if they have strong openings but suffer from slow pacing later in the series. They get boring really fast. Here in Angela Queen of Hel, it’s an incredibly powerful opening issue. It sets up a great series. I just hope it stays.
Verdict: Buy, but maybe read future issues ahead of time
The Astonishing Ant-Man #1
The Broker has made an app where you can hire a supervillain to do your bidding. Too bad Ant-Man’s on the list as a beta tester. This is a fun, fun issue. It’s a great place to jump in if you have never read Ant-Man. Though, I still struggle with Cassie Lang’s return. Her death in Young Avengers was incredibly well done and one of my personal favorite comic book deaths. It doesn’t jive well at all for me.
Black Knight #1
“I have come to think of it [Weirdworld] kind of like Wonderland as if written by Quentin Tarantino.” Probably the best description ever of Weirdworld! Anyway, this is my first time reading anything with Black Knight and the character Dane Whitman. I think this is a fun introduction to him and his motivations. This is a great fantasy title from Marvel that has just enough superhero vibes to still feel part of the universe. With that ending, it’s going to be quite a ride to see where this goes.
Captain America: Sam Wilson #1
Fox News can shut it. This is a fantastic book. It’s about time Sam got a story that really captures who he is as Captain America. I am not a fan of Rick Remender, so I really disliked Sam’s last run. I gave it a good four issues too, because I want to love Sam in this role. Nick Spencer’s writing really captures the trials of being Captain America as well as the nature of being African American in this country. It feels like a book for this age. Solid opening. Go get it.
Verdict: BUY IT NOW
Cletus Kasady is a serial killer after a woman. She’s the one that got away… from a mass murder years earlier. This isn’t a romance in any way. Carnage isn’t my cup of tea. I’m not too big into violence and gore. This isn’t the kind of comic I like to read. Some will like it but not me.
Contest of Champions #1
I don’t get how Al Ewing can write my favorite book of Marvel Now, Loki: Agent of Asgard, and then go to this monstrosity. Honestly, this book is a long promotion for the Marvel game Contest of Champions.
Deadpool’s not for everyone. You either like him or hate him. I prefer Deadpool in team ups. When he’s by himself, it’s like eating way too much candy. He’s funny and breaks the fourth wall, but in his solo comics, it’s just way too over the top. That being said, this is a solid first issue. This dramedy is setting up to be an interesting title. I’m also curious about how Deadpool got to be rich and famous in this post-Secret Wars world.
Doctor Strange #1
As someone who hasn’t read much Doctor Strange in the past other than team titles, this was a great introduction. Within the first five pages, I got everything I needed to know about the character. Setting up the plot where an organization is hunting people like Stephen is a great foundation to the series. Strange is smart, witty, sexy, and fun. Jason Arron’s got a winner on his hands here.
Hey, CM Punk! Welcome to comics! Just like in the movie, Drax was a complete surprise. I thought it would be dull and pretty much about the title character beating stuff up. I’m so glad I was wrong. Drax has his same humor from the movie. I found myself laughing despite the issue being mostly set up. There’s also heart here too capturing the troubles of a loner.
Verdict: Buy this awesome surprise!
Extraordinary X-Men #1
Jeff Lemire does it again. What I love about his work is his ability to capture the human side of superheroes. Extraordinary X-Men feels like a modern comic mirroring real world examples of refugees, chemical warfare, and the problems regular people caught in the middle faces. I’m excited to see how Old Man Logan fits into this new post-Secret Wars world. Too bad we didn’t get that much of him here.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
My biggest issue with Marvel starting the reboot before Secret Wars is finished comes up in Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m glad they brought up the fact Kitty Pryde and Peter Quill were engaged before Secret Wars. Still, we have no idea how Kitty or anyone survived the destruction of the universes.
That being said, I loved this book. Ben Grimm is a great addition to the team. I pretty much loath the Fantastic Four, but Ben always had a warm place in my heart. Fun read. Great energy. This looks like the beginning of an awesome title.
All-New Hawkeye #1
There’s three characters in the Marvel Universe I will read every title for. That’s Loki, Bucky Barnes, and Hawkeye. Clint Barton is my favorite Avenger. He’s my spirit animal. I get him on an emotional level, and we share the same love of coffee. Jeff Lemire has taken up the reigns well after Matt Fraction left the title. All New Hawkeye hasn’t been quite as good as Fraction’s previous run, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad either. I am a bit nervous about the duel timelines running through this issue. It worked with Lemire’s first run of Hawkeye, because it balanced the past and present. Now that it’s focusing on the present and future, it’s quite rocky and finite. No matter what happens in the present story line, it won’t change the future events where Clint and Kate have gone their separate ways. Either way, I’m going to keep reading no matter what.
Verdict: Definitely buy if you’re a Hawkeye fan, but you might be lost if you didn’t read Lemire’s previous run on the character.
The past few years, Hercules is one of those characters that faded from the limelight. Thor easily overshadows him especially the new one. He’s a washed up has-been who finds more comfort in drinking than in being a hero. Which is where we pick up in Hercules. He’s ready to change and be a hero again. This is quite meaty and human for a guy who’s out to prove his mettle. They were able to stuff a ton in this first issue, but it doesn’t feel rushed. It’s one of the underdog Marvel releases but definitely one of the better ones.
Verdict: BUY IT NOW
Howard the Duck #1
As much as I wanted to, I didn’t get a chance to read Zdarsky’s first run on Howard. It got rave reviews while lovingly poked fun at the Marvel Universe. After it’s second #1 this year, I might have to hit it up again. Howard the Duck is unlike anything in Marvel at the moment. So much energy. Incredibly funny. Even the Gwenpool story at the end was fun-ish. That’s coming from someone who thinks Spider-Gwen has ran it’s course far too long. I’m still not sure if I’m ready to invest in the single issues or wait for the trades.
Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
This was… interesting. It’s a weird first issue, but definitely enjoyable. It’s a team of monsters is being led by Dum Dum Dugan’s life model decoy. It’s like a military version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I mainly picked up this one since I fell in love with Teen Abomination from Superior Iron Man and where he left off. With SHIELD keeping them all in jail cells when not on missions, I’m starting to guess they will eventually turn on their leaders. I’m going to give this title a few more issues to see where it goes.
Here’s another interesting new title. Titania wants to retire from being a bad guy and walk the straight and narrow path once her criminal husband gets out a jail. The problem is no one trusts a villain at a retail job. The Hood approaches her with the opportunity to join a villain team. I really enjoyed the first half about Titania struggling to fit into normal life. No one trusts her. She-Hulk blows her off. Titania is pretty much starving with no job in her hole in the wall apartment. This is the story I want to read. I think it would be fascinating to follow supervillains in rehab trying to be normal. When The Hood shows up, though, everything gets cluttered. We lose that core story. I went from happily wanting to buy this issue to not quite sure if I want to go on. Be wary, reader. This one might not pan out.
Verdict: Buy but maybe read future issues.
Invincible Iron Man #1
Tony Stark is losing his superpower: his money! With other companies on the rise, Stark has to reinvent himself and his Iron Man suit. When the cure for the mutant gene is taken, he has to step up and save the day. This was the flagship title for All-New All-Different Marvel. And it was… okay. They do a great job capturing the cadence of Robert Downy Jr.’s tone for new readers. It’s just the stakes felt muted for a superhero comic. Earlier in the year, DC Comics released Arkham Manor where Bruce Wayne was in similar circumstances. He was poor and Wayne Manor was up for foreclosure. He donated it to the failing Arkham Asylum to keep an eye on the inmates. THAT felt more high stakes. Invincible Iron Man was such a disappointment.
“Well this was… cheery…” she said sarcastically. I haven’t read many Inhumans titles, so I wanted to snatch them all up. Experiencing Karnak for the first time, he’s complex. He’s an ass kicking philosopher who sees flaws in everything. I hope we get him in a personal position, because he’s pretty much an emotionless Socrates at the moment. I was disappointed to see the comic colored. The previews had it in black and white. I feel like that captured the mood much better. Other than Walking Dead, there’s not that many colorless comics anymore.
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