Marvel NOW! My take ReEvolution
It has been over three months since the kick-off of Marvel NOW! There have been several new series assigned to by new creative teams, and here's my opinion of the best and the worst.
WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS . . . granted they're minor ones, but SPOILERS none-the-less! Read at your own risk!
So, it's been a long time since my last editorial (that being the one about why "The Avengers" meant more to me than just a movie), and I feel that now is a good time to come back.
In July 2012 I ventured off to San Diego Comic Con, strutting my stuff as the one and only Adam Warlock, when I arrived to the Marvel booth and came upon a huge mondo poster for Marvel NOW! I remember thinking to myself, "This looks freaking ridiculous. Is this Marvel's response to DC's New 52?" Regardless of what I saw, I decided to reserve my judgement and keep my faith in Marvel (even with AvX going on at the time . . . yeah :P ). When the ReEvolution hit in October, I came to realize that it wasn't a reboot, but a change in creative teams. I decided to give Marvel a chance and I picked up "Uncanny Avengers" and "Iron Man."
Now it's January, and several titles have been released. Here are my praises and rants of the best and worst brought to us by these new creative teams.
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER
Let's get real here; this is the best book Marvel has put out for Marvel NOW! Jason Aaron was first assigned Captain America duties, but then put his shoe in Marvel's mouth saying that he wanted to write Thor instead. I couldn't be happier with this decision because of what he has brought to the table for Thor along with Esad Ribic on art duties. Aaron's tale is about past Thor, present Thor, and future Thor as they deal with a horrific figure called Gorr, the god slayer. I don't know about you, but anything that kills Gods is truly frightening. Gorr, a shadowed figure who looks like a demon-Voldemort, is bent on killing Thor more than any other god because of an encounter he and Thor had in a cave thousands of years before (this scene is yet to be fully revealed. I'm on pins and needles waiting for it). The story is engaging and gripping, making you throw each issue at the wall every time it ends because you get upset that you need to wait a few weeks to continue it. Jason's character driven story-telling is tear-jerkingly good, and Ribic's gorgeous art brings the story to life using darker tones to convey just what Thor is truly afraid of. This book is nothing short of incredible, and I hope and pray that this team remains with the God of Thunder for a long, long time.
ALL NEW X-MEN
Brian Michael Bendis is no stranger to Marvel fans. I mean, this guy shovels out more books than I take dumps, both hit and misses. This, however, is a hit out of the ballpark. Bendis always has to throw in his own little twists and turns in every series he gets a hold of, and he really did something incredible with this book: Bringing the original team (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Ice Man, Angel, and Beast) all thanks to Cat-Beast, now Yeti/Gorilla-Beast, to stop present day douchey-Cyclops from causing total mutant genocide. This brings in a lot of conflict into the story which keeps pedaling it forward. Even the minor character details aren't forgotten, such as past Cyclops reacting to how douchey-Cyclops acts, Jean Grey trying to discover her future fate, and Angel wondering, "Where the flying-frick am I in all this?!" I take a respective bow for Mr. Bendis and Stuart Immonen, who is handling art duties, for giving an eventful X-Men series that pays respects to the old and new. This gets me excited for what the bald man is bringing with his "Guardians of the Galaxy" run which is arriving next month.
It's about time that Hulk doesn't have a series raped by an exciting drug I call acid. It's also about time that Bruce Banner, one of the smartest men on Earth, realizes that Hulk is indestructible, and he needs to embrace the monster inside him. One of the greatest writers of the decade, Mark Waid, has brought a Hulk series I can finally admire after Jeph Loeb physically fondled his run on the series (like I expect him to do with Nova, also arriving next month). "Indestructible Hulk" follows Bruce Banner after he approaches Maria Hill to discuss matters of important business . . . matters which include him--THE FREAKING HULK--joining S.H.I.E.L.D full time. Now the organization is using Hulk, who has now donned some purple armor, as a tick which they pop whenever they are in dire need for them. This makes my lip quiver with happy cries due to the fact Hulk is finally the hero he deserves to be. But still, this series hasn't entered its full story yet, and I feel it's soon on its way. Knowing Waid, it's going to be a sure thrill ride. Leinil Yu has some beautiful art going on, and it makes me sad to know he's being replaced soon. Regardless of this, "The Indestructible Hulk" is a must read, as it's sure to bring a tear to the eyes of Hulk fans everywhere.
THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
Okay, let me defend myself before I begin receiving flack for this. "The Amazing Spider-Man #700" was indeed a fantastic written story. It conveyed what "With great power comes great responsibility" meant by having Peter Parker put full trust in one of his greatest foes that he will defend his loved ones, fight for justice, and not just to appear as Spider-Man, but actually BE Spider-Man. Now, Octavius, the man who was neglected, failed in nearly every battle, and was truly evil is Spider-Man, and we get to watch his journey as he tries his hardest to transition his mindset to that of a hero's. THAT, my fellow CBM-ers, is a gripping story. Dan Slott is a man who truly loves the web head . . . he LIVES for Spider-Man. A writer who is so passionate about one character so much is one I will put complete trust in to write a good story. Right now we are only at issue one, and people are already having a hard time about that sliver of Peter's conscience left behind after his death. I've heard people say it's too early for Parker's return, or that this is the fault of bad writing; however, I can tell you--PROMISE you--that we have no freaking clue what Slott is bringing to the table. The man is determined to keep hold of Spider-Man for as long as he can, and because of this I will defend the idea that he keep the story going for as long as he can. "The Superior Spider-Man" is one of the best, most gripping stories Marvel NOW! has brought forth because I am killing myself just to see what will happen next. If I act like that, then I know for a fact that I am at the hands of fantastic writing.
Whenever I think of this series I think about the gorgeous art. Like, really, the art is beyond beautiful. I want to make sweet, sweet love to the art . . . it's THAT amazing! Anyway, back on track. "The Avengers" starts after Tony Stark brings forth a new idea to Steve Rogers about expanding their team through call and response when they are trapped in a dire situation. Coincidentally, that situation comes when the ugly-as-frick Ex Nihilo arrives on Mars to terraform and create an even more amazing man through evolution. He then sends an Origin Bomb to earth the speed up evolution there, thus, bringing The Avengers to fight. Not knowing just how powerful the new villain was, the team loses, and Ex Nihilo sends battle-damaged Captain America back to Earth as a warning of his power. Upon arriving, Cap sends out a message to the response team to gather and send a freaking lawnmower of justice all up and down Ex Nihilo's precious little Mars garden. The new team consists of Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Hyperion, and several other familiar faces. I'm excited to see where this all goes (as I haven't purchased issue three yet), and I know Johnathan Hickman is going to bring the rain. Oh, and did I mention that Jerome Opena's art is FREAKING GORGEOUS?!
Cable and X-Force
This series makes me want to cry. Iron Man has been my favorite hero since I was six, and now . . . THIS?! This is what wants to be the follow-up to Matt Fraction's run but cannot live up to it no matter how hard it tries. Every issue is like that awful "Phineas and Ferb" show in which every single episode (in this case, issue) is the exact same as the one before. Iron Man finds a location for stolen Extemis, he busts in, he takes it back. It's the same thing over and over again, and it can't even tell a good character story in between it all. And, on top of all this, Greg Land's art makes me want to vomit every time a character makes a creepy-as-frick face like this one!
I mean, they guy is an awful artist! He barely even creates his own work . . . he just traces everything. Anyway, for me, this is the most disappointing Marvel NOW! series yet. All I want Kieron Gillen to do is write a good, character-driven story that dives into the mythos of Tony Stark. Is that too much to ask for?!
The Thunderbolts has always been one of my favorite teams; however, this team is so different than the previous team that it would be best to just give this group (which includes Rulk, Deadpool, Punisher, Elektra, and Venom) a whole new name. Yes, I know these are all anti-heroes, but they aren't whole villains. Anyway, I think it's ridiculous how every team member has changed their costume colors to red and black (just a small nit-pick). I have very mixed feelings for this series. The amazing cover art for each issue draws me in, and then I open the book to reveal Steve Dillon's nasty, pasty artwork where the blood looks like ketchup and everyone's face looks like a cartoon. Daniel Way's writing is alright, and I'm constantly curious as to see where he'll take the story next. I don't exactly like the series, but the end of every issue makes me believe it deserves another chance.
SERIES I HAVE YET TO READ:
Morbius: The Living Vampire
So, so far Marvel has put out some really good stuff. Yes, there are some things I'd like to be fixed, but for the most part I am very satisfied where Marvel NOW! has come. There's still more to go to make a final judgement, but for the most part I'm happy with what I've read.
I hope you enjoyed my praises and rants!
Thumbs up and sound off down below!
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