My main problem with the creative shuffling going on at Marvel is that there are too many books that I am interested in adding to my pull list.
I get my comics once a month, so forgive me if my reviews will be a bit behind.
All-New X-Men #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonem
My only criticism of Bendis’ writing is that it often feels like he writes to the graphic novel, sometimes leaving single issues that feel a bit thin. By the time I picked this issue up, I knew the premise of the comic. The first issue pretty much shows how that premise comes to be. That said, I’m in.
I really like the concept, of our present time being a dark future that the X-Men always feared and the original 5 X-Men, all fresh-faced, naive and young, come to the present to deal with the state of mutant-kind. The modern-day Cyclops has become the most interesting kind of villain, in the tradition of Magneto, the kind who thinks they are right and have a damned good point. This is the first time I have been excited by an X-Men comic in my adult life.
The art by Immonen is amazing, the best looking book of the Marvel NOW! lot so far.
Uncanny Avengers #1 by Rick Remender and John Cassaday
In a way, Uncanny Avengers is the flag ship of the post-AvX, Marvel NOW! world, a world in which the Avengers and X-books will blend a bit more. We get Wolverine’s funeral speech and Havok visiting his brother in jail, some tension brewing between Rogue and the Scarlet Witch and the introduction to the main villain – a clone of the Red Skull that has been in cryo-freeze since WWII.
Based on Remender’s splendid run on Uncanny X-Force and Cassaday’s stellar art I’m buying in to this madness and imagine that it will be good fun.
Captain America #1 by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.
I wasn’t going to buy this one but made an impulse buy at the comic book store and this was in that impulsive pile along with Iron Man #1, reviewed below. I like Remender’s take on Cap, he talks a bit like your grandpa and somehow I got a glimpse of conservative politics that I might be making up but I don’t think so. Rather than seeing flashbacks to WWII, we are getting flashbacks to Cap’s childhood growing up in the Great Depression with a tough mom and an alcoholic abusive dad. The book needs some kind of grounding flashbacks, not just to give us a new glimpse into Steve Rogers but because the first issue sends Cap to another dimension ruled by Arnim Zola.
I liked this book and think it will be good fun but I’m buying too many comic books as it is, so this one has to go. If I hear good things maybe I will pick up a trade paperback or keep my eye open for a sale on at Comixology if I should become the owner of a tablet.
Iron Man #1 by Kieron Gillen and Greg Land
I’ve never been a big Iron Man fan but I tend to follow creative teams, mostly writers, rather than a particular hero or team. That said, I have always liked AIM and loved the movies. I just couldn’t get into this one. The plot didn’t do much for me and Land’s art makes everyone look like underwear models (even more than they usually do in comic books). It was the only book of the lot where I put it down and did not care what happened next week.
Thor: God of Thunder #1 by Jason Aaron and Esda Ribic
This comic is showing three different Thor’s in three different eras. We’ve got the current Thor, a young pre-mjolnir viking Thor and a grizzled King Thor with one arm, sitting on the throne of a deserted Asgard. The art is luscious and the premise, Thor coming across a faraway planet with a dead pantheon, killed by a serial killer who murders deities is Thor at his best, cosmic and a touch gonzo. That said, it felt like they put an unnamed Native American deity into a fridge on the first issue, a victim of the God-Butcher. That bugged the hell out of me. If future issues don’t somehow make this right, I’ll likely be putting it down.
Fantastic Four #1 by Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley
A father wants to teach his children about the world around them, so he is bringing them all on a road trip. Only, this family is the Fantastic Four, so the road trip is a cosmic romp through the galaxy and the father’s cosmic radiation-granted super-powers are unstable and he needs to find a cure. I loved Hickman’s run on the Fantastic Four, so I am really excited to see where Fraction takes the book, as I am a fan of Hawkeye.
Fantastic Four is a book that I always want to be great but only rarely satisfies me. I’m strapped in, hoping this run does the trick.
tl;dr: I’m adding All-New X-Men, Thor: God of Thunder, Fantastic Four and Uncanny Avengers to my pull list but not Captain America or Iron Man.
If you have any thoughts about this comics, please let me know.
Next Issue: I’ll look at FF#1 and Indestructible Hulk #1. I won’t be reviewing each issue but will go back and look at the titles that hold my interest’s first arcs.
I thought I’d never care about the X-Men again, then All-New X-Men comes along. Such a fantastic premise, and one that could only work this well in mainstream superhero comics that have run for decades. The X-Men have spent so much time dealing with fake futures, and now they’re confronted with the real one. And rather than gonzo nightmares it’s full of tragedy and compromise. Things that young people aren’t always equipped to deal with.
Indestructable Hulk I really liked, too. Another good premise, and Leiniel Yu is an incredible artist – people don’t give him enough credit for how powerfully his characters act. He did a beautiful quiet issue of the Avenging Spider-Man featuring Cap, recently.
Uncanny Avengers has grabbed me, mostly because this new take on the Red Skull is genuinely horrific. It gives me shivers.
I agree with your thoughts on X-Men. Absolutely.
I can’t wait for Indestructible Hulk to arrive.
Agreed again, it was this new chilling take on Red Skull that drew me into Uncanny Avengers.