Here are my impressions of what has come out from Marvel NOW! so far…
“You didn’t learn anything. You forget everything Charles taught you, and then you killed him.”
First a minor nitpick, I highly applaud the decision of making Havok the leader of this team, it is a great move both tactically and publicly. However it really bugs me that on all of the 19 covers for this book not one has him as the focus character even though he is the leader, its a minor albeit annoying nitpick. Anyway onto the review.
This is the first issue of a team book and as such suffers due to the usual lag of banding the team together, so one must really look at the potential for this series. Storywise this team does seem necessary, a team of mostly mutants serving as Avengers in order to repair relations destroyed by the Phoenix Five. However the team makeup does leave me scratching me head so lets go through that first:
Captain America, no problems there if there is an Avenger team then Cap is a welcome addition. However the puzzling thing is that he is the ONLY human on the team, for a team that is supposed to be symbolizing mutant human cooperation you would think they should both be represented equally.
Thor, I love the Thunderer but feel this is an odd choice, he is not utilized in this issue and it makes me wonder why he is on this team as well… he is an Asgardian God.Thor belongs on an Avengers team but I feel this is a strange placement and would have been better suited to another human member.
Scarlet Witch, I am ecstatic to see Wanda back in action and she is a perfect choice for this team as she is such hate towards her from both humans and mutants. Something I do think interesting is that in all the promo art where it shows Avengers and Mutants seperated and coming together, she is shown on the Avengers side and not the mutants.
Wolverine, this is an obvious and safe choice but one I can’t complain about. You are making a team with mutants? You get the most iconic mutant hero.
Rogue, a really inspired choice. Rogue was someone who walked both sides of the line during AvX and is obviously still angry from the event. She really needs a focus and some purpose right now, and making Rogue an Avenger is just awesome.
Havok, the best decision on who should be on this team. The brother of the mutant humanity fears most who is also an actual hero. Throwing Havok into the spotlight like this may be one of the best ways to help quell humanity’s fears… however his costume looks so stupid from the neck up.
Like I had stated this book suffers from lag due to getting the band together, which doesn’t happen this issue. The best parts of this issue for me were the beginning and end. Havok confronted Cyclops about what he had done and just how far he had fallen, how he had betrayed the principles and dream of the man who was a father to him. You also get to see Wolverine delivering Xavier’s eulogy and informing his students that they had failed him, we were supposed to unite mutants and humanity but Xavier died without ever seeing that dream come. It was really powerful. The last page reveal was completely unexpected and shows the return of a villain I had though dead.
Bottom Line: This series does have some serious potential because it focuses more on the social issues in the wake of AvX. However it is too soon to say whether or not this series will succeed. Since it is the flagship title of Marvel NOW I will admit some disappointment as this could have been better, especially in the art. Still I will need to finish this initial formation arc before giving this particular series a pass/fail.
“You see that robot arm he had? Imagine what I could do with one of those babies.”
This series is impossible to critique. An anthology series with two stories in each issue, focusing on team-ups? You are going to have to take it case by case, but I will say this a great idea. The series states in its initial page that it is not connected to AvX and takes place all over the continuity, instead just having fun with the characters. For this first issue I will just say it was okay. The first story was the superior one with Cap and Bucky in WW2 discovering Nazi Sentinels being built(I LOVE COMICS). Cable then shows up and assists the duo in defeating the Sentinels and capturing a time hopping Trask who hoped to wipe out mutants earlier. The second story just falls flat. It has Wolverine and Hulk arguing over who gets a piece of cake in the fridge. Versions of themselves show up from the future, they fight and their future selves disappear. The only noteworthy thing about the story is the final line due to who is saying it, as it suggest and ongoing narrative thread to this series.
Bottom Line: The covers will show which heroes showcase in each issue, if someone you like shows on the cover then feel free to check it out. I expect only true Marvel Zombies to subscribe to this one.
“When my parents tried to tell me about Santa Claus, I just thought “Gee — that guy’s business model has got to be unsustainable”
I have never read an Iron Man series before, if they are anywhere as near as good as this issue I really should start picking up back issues. This series is written by Kieron Gillen, who breathed new life into Loki and created a fan favorite character and he was apparently the perfect choice to do the same with Tony. The book starts with Iron Man flying and thinking to himself and you realize that the author just gets him. Now I have read one Iron Man book before and this is Extremis, which turns out is the perfect prequel to this story as Maya shows up again, albeit briefly. Tony receives a phone call informing him of two things; if he is hearing this then Maya is dead and Extremis is loose. For those not in the know, Extremis is in essence a programmable virus that can be used to give people super powers although the process is very dangerous. With that technology now in the hands of AIM, Tony has to work quickly to prevent them from spreading this tech and creating a new line of superbeings. Donning the greatest disguise ever, with new armor in tow, Tony’s new journey is looking to be a great one.
Bottom Line: Super awesome. If you are a fan of either Kieron Gillen or Tony Stark then give this issue a read. The only suggestion I have is either read or wiki Extremis.
“Why don’t I come back later when the undead strippers join your little party.”
When a veteran hobo warlock raises the zombies of our nation’s presidents, who you gonna call? Daniel Way’s Deadpool series had a lot of pros and cons. On one hand it could be incredibly hilarious(chair made of semtex) but it often felt like it was trying to hard to be well… Deadpool. Wade admittedly is a hard character to balance, he is funny, violent, manic, and tragic all at once. Generally authors either leave one of those aspects ignored or focus on one at a time while ignoring the others and make things feel disjointed. While I can’t speak of how they will handle these issues in the future, the creators of his new series definitely get Deadpool’s humor. Due to recent events Wade is less of his tragic self, realizing he wants to live, and who knows maybe be a good guy! So while his tragic side has rightfully fallen to the waist side, I feel the new creators have the other aspects well in hand, especially the humor.
Bottom Line: Fans of Deadpool will obviously pick this one up, its hilarious, gory and fun. However those looking for the character development that he saw in Remender’s books… well, we will have to see if this new series will handle him as well.
Avengers vs X-men: Consequences
“Our roles are nothing more than what the times choose to cast us… Villains it is.”
While technically not a part of the relaunch, I consider this miniseries to be the official starting point of Marvel NOW! Focusing on Scott Summer’s incarceration and interactions with those that now view him as a villain. While many characters are touched on and a few loose ends are knotted, Scott is the focal point of the piece. While I wouldn’t recommend AvX to anyone, I would suggest everyone going into Marvel NOW! read this five part. Many fans viewed Scott’s turn in AvX to be out of character and bad writing, this series allows you more into his mind and his understanding. Scott has stopped caring about himself, doesn’t care if he dies, all that is important… all that is left to him is saving mutants. Also this series had two really great interactions with Wolverine and Cyclops… one when Wolverine shows up drunk and half wanting to kill Scott… the other being Scott’s letter to Logan that he left when he breaks out. Wolverine is an Avenger, the headmaster of the school… like it or not he has become the good man, the role model to young mutants. With that weight removed from Scott it gives him a chance to do what he views as necessary. While I enjoyed this series as an interlude at first I realized that is the most important story told in the Marvel U in quite some time… it is also the beginning of their new storylines, starting when Scott Summers begins his jailbreak with one word written in dust… NOW
Hope you enjoyed this quick look at Marvel’s relaunch. I will be continuing to add more posts as other new series begin.