Ranking Marvel NOW! 40 – 26

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows

Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman

So much fun! This book has everything I want from a Spider-story, slice-of-life Peter Parker mayhem, wisecracking Spider-Man, dinosaurs! Oh yeah, it also has this excellent new Spider-team consisting of the Webhead, Mary Jane, and their daughter Annie. Great writing, great art, great all-around. I loved this book, and will absolutely be reading more. – IP

I’m glad they have the Earth-2 stuff still going (been around longer than the Ultimate U!) but I’ve never been into it, and this book isn’t changing my mind. – MMDG

First collection: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows Vol. 1: Brawl in the Family (June)



Matthew Rosenberg and Ben Torres

Good, not great. Still a big fan of Rosenberg’s work, so, even though I’m not partial to the “other side of villainy” tales, I trust that this writer – especially with the titular character – can make it work. – MMDG

First collection: Kingpin Vol. 1: Born Against (September)



Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones

I wish this was better. I love the idea that Marvel is publishing a book, boldly titled America, that features a queer brown girl with super powers. But the writing is sub-par and the plot set-up – for all its non-conformist character types and relationships – is unoriginal. – MMDG


Uncanny Avengers

Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz
beginning with #15

I’ve been liking this more and more as the team developed, particularly since it became, basically, Cable & Deadpool and Friends. The “going rogue” idea separates it from the Avengers (and all the Steve Rogers/Hydra/CW2 drama that comes along with it.) We’re seeing a new team develop in spite of themselves, and it promises a fun ride. – MMDG

I was surprisingly pleased with this book. The team is an interesting hodge-podge of heroes with just enough comic relief to not be grating. The idea of Hulk being resurrected by ninjas is something I can definitely get behind, and the image of zombie-ninja hulk in samurai armor is some primo comic book awesomeness. I will keep reading this one for that alone, and it doesn’t hurt that the art is quite good. – IP

Collection: Uncanny Avengers Volume 3: Civil War II


Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme

Robbie Thompson and Javier Rodriguez

This is a really fun book. The main series is perhaps better, and focuses on Doctor Strange a bit more, but this is a great group of heroes and some excellent artwork. The tone is fun, almost a comedy book really, and the writing feels familiar without being overly quippy. With the overall quality of Marvel Now being so high this might end up being a middle of the road book, which is great because I really like it. – IP

I love Javier Rodriguez on this book. Sort of a magical Web Warriors that gives Rodriguez the opportunity to shift from designing aliens to designing fantasy beasties. – MMDG

First collection: Doctor Strange & The Sorcerers Supreme Volume 1: Out of Time (June)



Charles Soule and Ron Garney
beginning with #15

Soule and Garney have quietly been putting together one of the best books since Marvel’s ANAD relaunch. I’m not crazy about the new costume, and Blindspot hasn’t grown on me as a sidekick, but the Miller-inpired style adds a real urban grit and noir glamor to complement Soule’s stories. The new arc is as good a starting place as any to experience the “back in black” Daredevil. – MMDG

Collection: Daredevil Volume 4: Identity (August)


Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!

Kate Leth and Brittney Williams
beginning with #11

A goofy book to be sure, but the tone works perfectly for Patsy Walker. Marvel’s lean towards manga art styles for their humor books continues to work well, and this is another comic that benefits from the eastward artistic shift. I’ve always been a big fan of Black Cat so it’s nice to see her appear in two series of this Marvel NOW season, especially as a foil for Hellcat, promising a real “cat fight,” a pun I hope will show up a few times over the course of this book. This is just one of those nice, fun books to read in between all the gruff seriousness of Marvel’s A-List titles. – IP

Collection: Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat Vol. 2: Don’t Stop Me-Ow!



Matt Owens and Juan Cabal

I wanted to like this more. The art has that glossy, almost digital quality that works so well in some books, and doesn’t fit in others. They’re like frozen animation cels, and the sequences that should be more action-packed are somehow devoid of life and movement. I’m only mildly interested in an Elektra story taking place in Las Vegas. On the fence about reading #2. – MMDG

First collection: Elektra Volume 1: Always Bet on Red (September)



Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero

Best cover art of Marvel NOW, easily. I want that as a poster in my room. That said, this book doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its incredible cover. Still, I like this new Hawkeye, particularly the art, and will continue to read on with the hope that things start to click soon.  – IP

Wanted to like this more. It still has potential, but I’m worried that it’s trying too hard to stick to the Fraction-Aja script, both in terms of storytelling and style. Once Thompson and Romero get their own groove going (and moving to LA might be the perfect choice), this should be a really fun book. – MMDG

First collection: Hawkeye Volume 1: Anchor Points (June)


Power Man & Iron Fist

David F. Walker and Sanford Greene
beginning with #10

Love it! My favorite hero has had an upswing in popularity lately, but this series utilizes him best, as the quippiest member of the Heroes for Hire. The surprise inclusion of one of my favorite Marvel villains at the end of this issue is a shockingly appropriate touch. The art is a little sloppy in places but overall the look works, especially a scene showing all of the current Avengers types. This is a great “first issue.” – IP

This series had been pretty good… but Walker has lost me in recent months, and this issue in particular is pretty stinky. What a stupid, pointless all-heroes-assembled sequence. Forcing significance like this is lazy; let the villainy speak for itself. It SHOULD be dire when someone melds magic and technology to fuck with folks’ criminal records. But, seriously? We need to call in Thor and tell her, “we got this”? Thanks for wasting my time, PM&IF – signed, every hero. – MMDG

Collection: Power Man & Iron Fist Volume 3: Harlem Burns (September)


Guardians of the Galaxy

Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti
beginning with issue #15

The first issue on Bendis’s Guardians swan song arc has practically nothing to do with Peter Quill’s team, and everything to do with the other stuff the veteran scribe has been concocting. Specifically, this issue tells the story of how Ben Grimm, AKA The Thing, gets hooked up with S.H.I.E.L.D. to investigate Doctor Doom’s Iron Man antics (which we first saw, actually, in Infamous Iron Man, months ago). So is the rest of this NOW storyline worth reading? Or do we just sit out this overwrought denouement, and wait for the inevitable movie-timed series relaunch? I’m on the fence. – MMDG

Collection: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 4: Grounded (July)



Al Ewing and Paco Medina

Surprisingly good. What a crazy hodgepodge B-list gang of Avengers! I’m not convinced that daCosta is as impressive as Ewing makes him out to be, but I’m listening… – MMDG

First collection: Cyborg Volume 1: American Intelligence Mechanics (August)


Black Panther

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chris Sprouse, and Brian Stelfreeze
beginning with issue #7

This is such a great series, and had it debuted early enough in the ANAD season, it would have undoubtedly cracked the top 10. And it’s still great. The only problem is this NOW launch – “The Crew” – isn’t the start of a new arc at all; we’re still midway through “Nation” and, as great as this storyline has been, no one picking this issue up in the middle of all this revolutionary madness and Doro Milaje intrigue will know what the hell is going on. – MMDG

There are some things I liked in this book, but not enough to really sustain my interest beyond this first issue. A lot of the art is confusing, particularly how the panels relate to each other. The story itself is decent enough but for a #1 this book demands that the reader understand a lot more than normal. – IP

Collection: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 2


Rocket Raccoon

Matthew Rosenberg and Jorge Coelho

Funniest horse in the comedic stable. And that’s saying something. Really, really like Rosenberg, and I hope Marvel keeps sending work his way. He has a knack for the gag panels, and has a good sense of dialogue and knowing when to rely on the artist’s visuals. – MMDG

Collection: Rocket Raccoon: Grounded (June)



Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru
beginning with #7

I enjoy this art style a lot. Very clear lines and coloring, and the manga-inspired character design aids the humor. The book itself isn’t a laugh riot on the level of Great Lakes Avengers, and it doesn’t do teen-hero storytelling nearly as well as Champions, but Gwenpool seems to only be aspiring to be fun, which it is. I’ll keep reading until the fun runs out. – IP

Collection: The Unbelievable Gwenpool Volume 2: Head of M.O.D.O.K.


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