Tag Archives: Iron Man

Amazing Spider-Man #801

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

New Comics: Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn

It’s Week 11 of DC: Rebirth and, in a clearly coordinated effort with this weekend’s release of the Suicide Squad movie, we get both the “zero-issue” one-shot Suicide Squad: Rebirth, as well as the debut issue of a Squad member’s solo book, Harley Quinn #1. While fans of the comic book characters have taken exception to the film’s critical response as compiled on Rotten Tomatoes, they can rest easy knowing that the new comics have a much more narrow audience. Adam Graham of The Detroit News probably hasn’t ever been in a comic shop. Russell Baillie lives in New Zealand. What could he possibly know about genre flicks? The vast majority of comic readers are already familiar with, if not fans of, Suicide Squad, and Harley in particular. They’ll appreciate these books. Besides, there isn’t a Rotten Tomatoes for comics.

But maybe there should be…

Typically we’d wait until all of the rebirthed titles have been released to tabulate and publish our rankings, as we did with Marvel’s All New All Different initiative. But in honor of this weekend’s fan revolt against the aggregated Rotten Tomatoes percentages, we’re revealing our scores for these two comics right now.

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Continue reading New Comics: Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn

Civil War II and the Marvel NOW! Preview

File_005 (5)Bendis and Marquez’s Civil War II #3 provides plenty of shock value this week, and in the world of melodramatic superhero event books, where every reveal is built up via rickety scaffolds of significance, that’s saying something. So, yes, major spoilers ahead. This book is as recommended as they come, so if you haven’t already done so, check it out, and then report back here for some fallout analysis. We’ll hang tight. Skedaddle.

Fresh off the encounter with Ulysses, in which the Inhuman with the power of prognostication gives the assembled superhero community a palpable vision of The Hulk’s impending murderous rampage, the capes and tights gather outside Bruce Banner’s mountain laboratory for a much more stressful confrontation. Things go south from there.

Over the last decade, the death of a superhero has become a dangerously cliched plot device. The media at large makes note of it, adding to the artificial significance of the event, despite every comic book reader of any interest level knowing full well that it’s only a matter of time before the character is resurrected. Besides, you can’t kill superheroes. Particularly in this modern era of Hollywood blockbusters, animated television series, and mobile video games, when the concept of a canonical timeline has become blurred to the point of irrelevance, telling anyone that The Hulk is dead rings a little hollow. Hell, just today the fine folks at Marvel Puzzle Quest unveiled their five-star Hulk character, the Bruce Banner edition. The Hulk seems pretty okay to me.

So what is relevant? Why is this single issue so powerful? Like all good superhero epics, the weight is in the delivery and the treatment. How Bruce Banner is killed is as important as why he is killed, and if the developing storyline can make us question the meaning of heroism and the responsibility of power, then all the better.

Continue reading Civil War II and the Marvel NOW! Preview

The Best of All New All Different Marvel #4: Invincible Iron Man

Invincible Iron Man

Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez

Believe it or not, there was a time when you couldn’t find an Iron Man Halloween costume at Target. Nowadays he’s everywhere – Iron Man beanies, Iron Man pj’s, Iron Man coffee mugs – and we owe it all to Robert Downey, Jr. Back in 2008 the Marvel movie universe consisted only of sub-par Brian Singer X-Men films, a lame Tobey Maguire Spider-Man, and some truly awful Fantastic Four and Daredevil flicks. Enter Downey and director John Favreau, who fired the opening shot that would redefine the Marvel cinematic world and,  ultimately, the comic books it’s based on.

IMG_0627Iron man is now one of Marvel’s flagship titles and one that people are most likely to buy on name recognition only. But what the unsuspecting casual buyer doesn’t realize is that this new Iron Man comic is written by one of the best in the business. Brian Michael Bendis knows what he’s doing and instead of trying to distance the comic from the films, he brings his own flair for the theatrical to these pages and his spot-on dialogue rolls off your lips. Helping Bendis out is the magnificent art of David Marquez whose cinematic vibe only enhances the writing. Employing a photo-realistic style meshed with manga-influenced action scenes, the art here is stellar. Continue reading The Best of All New All Different Marvel #4: Invincible Iron Man

New Comics: Black Panther

We’re still posting our rankings for the first six months of Marvel’s relaunch, but the hits keep on coming from the House of Ideas, and I don’t doubt that had we waited until All New All Different Marvel – Week 27 to tabulate results, Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze would have made the Top 10.

In an interview with NPR, National Book Award recipient Coates talks about how working with Marvel, despite his first experience writing comics, nonetheless makes him “feel back at home.” And home, in this case, is taking a character that debuted fifty years ago in the pages of The Fantastic Four, and making him powerfully relevant in the present.

IMG_0620Given Black Panther’s impending appearance in Marvel Films’ Captain America: Civil War, and a planned solo movie, it would have been easy for the company to simply inundate the comic shop with team book appearances; new series, both limited and ongoing; and half-hearted attempts at putting his face on as many covers as possible. You know, like Deadpool.

Granted, T’challa is part of Ewing & Rocafort’s The Ultimates, but this Coates and Stelfreeze series is the definitive Panther book, and by no means  a requisite media tie-in. And despite a fair amount of back-story to churn through, including the current state of Wakanda, the fictional African kingdom ruled by the T’challa, this new Black Panther delivers on Marvel’s promise to offer an excellent jumping-on point for new readers. Continue reading New Comics: Black Panther

Ranking the All New All Different Marvel: 30 – 21

30
Uncanny Inhumans

Charles Soule & Steve McNiven
I was really surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. Having Kang (a favorite of mine) as the villain also makes it feel more like an Avengers book than the other Avengers I’ve read in this relaunch. Time-hopping madness with some heroics and inter-team drama made this pretty fun. Will definitely read more. – BC

Great mix of classic Inhumans, new ones (nuHumans?), and interesting supporting characters like Beast and Torch. Looking forward to more, and happy to see McNiven lend his talents to the flagship title for this newly placed cornerstone of the ANAD Marvel Universe. – MMDG

First collection: Uncanny Inhumans, Vol. 1: Time Crush (April)

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29
International Iron Man

Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev
I’ll pretty much give anything Bendis does a fair shake, and even though this first issue is objectively mediocre, I enjoyed it. Alex Maleev’s art lends itself to Tony’s dark, mysterious past; I do, however, prefer Iron Man to have more color, more emphasis on boisterous mechanical designs, and an air of levity. This feels more like a Daredevil book, or even Hawkguy, and while I applaud Bendis for doing something more thoughtful with an action hero, it’s not something I really need. In the opening panel, one of the few action pieces in the whole book, a clever henchman jokes that perhaps the disabled Iron Man is “contemplating the life decisions that led him to this moment,” so I know Bendis knows that I know that he’s covering familiar ground, and his awareness makes me think he’s going to do his best to throw some curves and tell a good story. BMB is a master of dialogue and cinematic storytelling, and while I think he effectively builds an intriguing past and a compelling relationship between Tony and Cassandra, I would rather see Iron Man fighting Doom or organizing Avengers. I will keep reading this book, but maybe not recommend it as strongly as Spider-Man. – RF

First collection: International Iron Man, Vol. 1. (November)

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Continue reading Ranking the All New All Different Marvel: 30 – 21

All New All Different Marvel – Week 24

We’ve been at this for almost half a year, True Believers. When do we stop calling this the All New All Different Marvel universe? After all, the “Marvel NOW!” and “All New” half-ass attempts at relaunching titles and building readership both started petering out around this point. Can we just call this the Marvel Universe now and move on with it?

Or maybe just pump the brakes a minute, friends. Because it looks like we need one more Iron Man series. And one more series written by Brian Michael Bendis. And one more promise to “discover new things about the Marvel Universe” we never knew existed! And, what the hell. Alex Maleev and Paul Mounts? Count me in.

This week’s premiere, International Iron Man, puts Tony Stark on a quest to discover who his real parents are, and it begins with a flashback to his Cambridge days; a wealthy, beautiful woman; and Hydra goons gunning folks down in the street. Here we go.

Also new this week: Spider-Woman finally has her baaybee! The latest Apocalypse storyline (might there be a movie coming?) begins in the pages of Lemire’s Extraordinary! Power Man and Iron Fist bust some fiddle-faddling heads!

New Titles:
International Iron Man #1

Continuing and related titles
All New Inhumans #5
All New X-Men #6
Astonishing Ant-Man #6
Captain Marvel #3
Deadpool and the Mercs for Money #2 (of 5)
Extraordinary X-Men #8
Power Man and Iron Fist #2
Scarlet Witch #4
Spider-Woman #5
Squadron Supreme #5
Star-Lord #5
Starbrand and Nightmask #4
Uncanny Inhumans #6
Web Warriors #5
Continue reading All New All Different Marvel – Week 24

All New All Different Marvel – Week 1

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