It didn’t take long following Marvel’s All-New All-Different relaunch for the company to tease information regarding another “things will never be the same again” initiative. There was bound to be some fallout from last summer’s major crossover event, and the new season of books and fresh storylines was geared for a Marvel NOW! branding. No, this wasn’t the same Marvel NOW! slate that followed 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men event. This was an all-new, all-different Marvel NOW, if you will. I mean, look at that shattered and distressed NOW logo. Totally different.
In the same way that 2015’s Secret Wars set the stage for All-New All-Different universe, Civil War II was meant to segue into these Marvel NOW titles. And, in the same way that Secret Wars scheduling delays detracted from the initial ANAD offerings, major lags in CW2 meant that Marvel NOW! releases were rife with spoilers. And, sure, we Idlers bitched and moaned with the rest of the comic book community. But that didn’t mean we weren’t excited to read, rank, and review another stack of new books. In fact, the first month of this “shattered” NOW! initiative gave us some of the most promising superhero books in years.
Continue reading Marvel NOW! – The First Six Months
The most important book on the new releases shelf this week is a trade anthology published by IDW, in conjunction with DC Entertainment. Love Is Love, with dozens of stories, artistic tributes, and messages, is a collaboration organized by Marc Andreyko intended to honor those killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando earlier this year. From the book’s solicitation: “this oversize comic contains moving and heartfelt material from some of the greatest talents in comics — mourning the victims, supporting the survivors, celebrating the LGBTQ community, and examining love in today’s world. All material has been kindly donated by the writers, artists, and editors with all proceeds going to victims, survivors, and their families. Be a part of an historic comics event! It doesn’t matter who you love. All that matters is that you love.”
2016 has been a helluva year. The Idle Time clubhouse, for all its escapist frivolity and arguments about superpowers or cinematography, has not been immune to the disbelief and confusion brought on by real-world events over the last twelve months. I’m a little tired of being told that “we live in a bubble,” or that “we don’t understand what’s going on in the rest of the country.” What I do understand is that it’s almost 2017 and my nation is still beset with racism, bigotry, rampant misogyny, and hate. As a straight, white male I have a hard time accepting this. I can’t begin to imagine how my gay friends, my Muslim coworkers, or my own daughter feels when any one of them sees the news each day. When they’re told that they don’t understand what’s going on in the world.
I firmly believe that there are more of us that love than hate, more of us that celebrate than destroy. More of us who appreciate diversity than are frightened by things they don’t comprehend. And the more of us need to start affecting the rest of them. Seeing so many artists and writers who I admire come together for a project like Love Is Love exemplifies this. If it takes pinups of Superman waving a rainbow flag, or goofy exchanges between Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, to drive the point home, so be it.
Continue reading Love Is Love
Marvel’s big summer event, teased two weekends ago for Free Comic Book Day and hinted at in various prologue-style tie-ins these last few weeks, finally gets it’s official beginning.
Okay, so it’s technically issue “#0” of Civil War II, but this clearly is where things get started. Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel, the team behind the outstanding event mini-series House of M and the far less memorable Siege, return with a sequel, of sorts, to Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s seminal Civil War. Just in time to cash in on all the attention garnered by the new Captain America movie, naturally. We know how Marvel operates.
We also know that it’s a rare feat to come up with some truly original storylines in the capes-n-tights universes, so maybe we can forgive this creative team for, once again, rehashing old plot devices and trigger points. Or another way to look at it, I suppose, is that it’s Week 33 of All New All Different Marvel, which seems far too soon to give up on being either new or different. Whatever the case, here we go again. A tragic explosion and massive loss of life (see the aforementioned Civil War and Siege) results in a major moral quandary and divisive dilemma for the superpowered set.
What is different, and in keeping with a major development in this Marvel relaunch, is the role of the Inhuman population and that mysterious floating cloud of Terrigen mist. Deadly to mutants, but capable of unlocking latent alien powers in a certain percentage of humanity, the mist, and the awesome potential that it represents, is at the center of both the inciting event and the story as a whole.
Continue reading New Comics: Civil War II