I don’t always know what to think of Nick Spencer. As a storyteller, his concepts and ideas attract my attention, especially given the fact that so much of his work seems to be informed by an acutely attuned social consciousness. His run on Captain America and the subsequent Secret Empire is testament to that. But then there are times when his writing grates on me, a muddied mess of puerile humor and under-developed characters that seem to be little more that two-dimensional mouthpieces for political viewpoints. His recent run on Ant-Man gave me that impression.
Mixed reactions aside, I was excited for Spencer’s return to the wallcrawler when his new volume of Amazing Spider-Man debuted last year. Something, however, wasn’t really working out initially. After the challenging and ambitious dark fairy tale of Empire, this new Spidey arc felt like something that belonged in the Marvel Universe line of YA books. Eye-rolling quips, a reversion to the “Parker Luck” status quo, and art that, while effective, wasn’t altogether interesting.
But I stuck with it because, well, it’s not like I’m not going to read Amazing Spider-Man. And the patience has paid off.
Continue reading Amazing Spider-Man: Hunted
Quicksilver: No Surrender
Saladin Ahmed & Eric Nguyen
This could be an intriguing physics adventure and I’ve always wanted to move through time like Mork, but I bet this will be stupid. The art is unique – always a welcome sight – with some panels looking like pop art. Other entire pages are bland and skimmable. – lebronald
Not sure how to feel about this – like Ahmed’s work and I’m a fan of Nguyen’s art… just not sure why we needed a Quicksilver mini. And this first issue did nothing to answer that question. – MMDG
Tim Seeley & Gerardo Sandoval
Amusing concept for an unremarkable character. I have a general antipathy for all of the Liefeld creations, but at least in this book Seeley (who surprised us with his Nightwing series for Rebirth) is focusing more on the Mojoverse/multiverse promise of Claremont. I’ll read through. Also, thanks for writing a series starring a gay superhero that doesn’t feel the need to remind us that he’s gay every other panel (looking at you, Sina Grace). – MMDG
Never heard of this guy and had no plans on getting #2 but I like the premise. These old multi-parallel-reboot-universes definitely need some clean-up crew storylines. – lebronald
Continue reading Ranking Marvel’s Fresh Start: 20 – 11
It’s been a helluva run, Dan Slott. Amazing Spider-Man #801 marks the end of the Spider-scribe’s more than ten-year run on Marvel’s flagship title. This issue’s heartfelt farewell, beautifully illustrated by Marcos Martín, is at once a stirring self-contained story, rich with the character elements that have made Spider-Man so beloved for generations; as well as a sly bookend to an epic tenure that began with the first “Brand New Day” issue back in 2008.
Simply by virtue of his time on the title, Slott deserves to be counted among a handful of great writers who have taken ol’ Webhead on his share of some of the more memorable storylines in comic book history. Personally, I grew up during the DeFalco/Michelinie era. So between following conflicts with Hobgoblins, Gang Wars, and symbiotes, I caught up on the original Stan Lee, Ditko, and Romita issues, themselves some of the single most influential superhero comics ever created. And it is, of course, with a certain reverence that we look back on those formative experiences; to this day, I count David Michelinie among the top five Amazing Spider-Man writers of all time. So what of the generation that has grown up with Dan Slott’s ASM? A lot has happened to Peter over the last decade, from Doc Ock to Parker Industries, and this run will undoubtedly be special for a great number of young comic book fans. I think, however, that as we gain a little distance and perspective, we’ll all truly appreciate where Slott’s oeuvre fits in with some of these all-time great runs. Continue reading Amazing Spider-Man #801
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27
Squirrel Girl has consistently been one of Marvel’s best books and this just keeps up the trend. Making a joke about jumping-on points in comics and evolving the story from there is a really good gag. North and Henderson crush it as always. Silver Surfer bros, planet of squirrels, heroes who can talk to cats, and so many other good jokes litter this comic. As long as they keep making this book, I will read it.
Weapon X #12
I’ve never really liked the X-Force concept that much. The Remender stuff is amazing but it hasn’t since reached that high for me. This was okay, just more of what I expected. A bunch of mutants stabbing other people who hate mutants. It’s been done a billion times. Wasn’t bad but nothing really stuck out for me. Going to pass on the next issue.
Amazing Spider-Man #792
This is the most I’ve enjoyed the Slott Spider-Man! Peter is financially crashing on couches, and public enemy #1 as both himself and Spidey. I am actually invested in the main Spider-Man book for the first time in eight years and that is a good feeling. I’ve always liked Stegman’s art and he delivers on that front. I like all the character moments, like Peter and Flash talking, but the number of symbiotes is a little too much for me. Not sure I understand Marvel’s newest obsession of having multiple versions of the same character out there. I’m not the biggest symbiote fan so while I didn’t hate the book, I don’t know if I am going to read more.
December 6 | New Release Highlights | December 20
All New Inhumans
Charles Soule & James Asmus
I’m definitely disappointed that the Inhumans are basically the new X-Men. At least the Inhumans have pretty much the same back story now, which is still compelling, but I don’t know how much I’ll attach to the characters. Crystal seems to be heading in a different direction than she’s been before, and I like Gorgon’s complicated existence, but I hope the don’t run the wheelchair thing into the ground. Hopefully that Xavier comment punctuates it and he can have stories where people aren’t constantly pointing out that he’s semi-paralyzed. It’s a pretty-looking book; the elemental stuff in the riot scene is particularly cool. I will read more to see if the new direction these characters are going is as endearing as the X-books. – RF
First collection: All New Inhumans, Vol. 1: Global Outreach (May)
Gerry Duggan & Mike Hawthorne
I haven’t read much Deadpool; he always seemed very gimmicky, but I really enjoyed this book. It does seem weird that in order for current super heroes to be successful, they have to embrace capitalism and some form of bureaucracy, making them somewhat less super. But the concept of using Deadpool – a powered, ultraviolent gunman – to finance super-heroic operations is tasty irony. I’m a sucker for a good mystery plot, so I’ll definitely finish this first arc. – RF
First collection: Deadpool, Vol. 1: Millionaire with a Mouth (May)
Continue reading Ranking the All New All Different Marvel: 40 – 31
Marvel’s latest series relaunch is its most ambitious to date, with up to sixty new titles debuting this winter. Unlike similar events in the past, whether it was Heroes Reborn whose issue re-numbering eventually defaulted and resulted in schizophrenic dual-numbered issues, or the more recent Marvel NOW! which seemed to target properties that were developing their own cinema-inspired identities, this year’s All New All Different Marvel bears a few significant differences.
For one, the name is pretty dumb. It doesn’t have the snap of DC’s “New 52” or even the brevity of “Marvel NOW,” but maybe the cumbersome label makes it easier to shed, months down the road, when this new universe has been established as the new normal. Which brings up the second key difference: this time, the relaunch is universal. In the wake of the latest Secret Wars event, bits and pieces of various Marvel realities – some that we are familiar with and some of which are brand new – are coming together to form this new universe. All of the groups are affected: the X-Men books, the Spider-books, and, of course, the Avengers titles.
As we did with the 52 series that comprised DC’s relaunch, a dedicated team of Idle Timers will be reading the first issue of every series under the All New All Marvel banner. We’ll then rank them from worst to best, and share insight from both long-time comics fans and neophytes. Sometimes the best feedback, for a venture designed to hook new readers, comes from folks coming in cold. MH hadn’t even ever heard of Doctor Strange, if you can believe it. Continue reading All New All Different Marvel – Week 1