As many people know, the Fantastic Four, despite being the quintessential Marvel team, has always been a tough gig to nail down. Beside the initial Stan and Jack run, the only two people have made their marks on the team for me: Jonathan Hickman and Mark Waid. Both runs took me a minute before falling fully behind them. This was not the case with Chip Zdarksy and Jim Cheung’s Marvel Two-in-One. I was fully invested within the first five pages.
While not being labeled a Fantastic Four book, it clearly is nothing else but that. In the post-Secret Wars world, Reed, Sue, and the kids have been out exploring the multiverse while leaving Johnny and Ben on Earth. Not knowing whether the rest of their family is actually alive has left them both in a rut. Johnny’s powers are fading and he has become a sort of adrenaline junkie trying to stimulate himself to the point of his old adventures. Ben has become a sort poster child for all charity efforts of the Fantastic Four. They are both aimless in different ways with neither of them particularly thinking that they need each other. Heartbroken over the loss of their family, they feel that the isolation from each other is the only way to heal. Zdarsky shows how wrong they both are.
Chippy is quickly becoming my favorite Marvel writer. His entire run on Spidey has been great (the previous issue is an all-time favorite of mine now). He keeps up the trend with this issue and manages to make it both a great character piece and action story. The heart of Peter and the humor of Spidey is in full force. I’m going to follow this run for the entire time. – MeanOldPig
Collection: Spectacular Spider-Man Volume 2:
Most Wanted (April)
Kelly Thompson & Leonardo Romero beginning with #13
This was great. Reminded me of Fraction/Aja run that everyone fell in love with years ago. Kelly Thompson has a great handle on Kate and Clint and I could have watched them interact for awhile. The book made me laugh a lot and moved at a good pace. Leonardo Romero’s art is good as well! Reminds me of Aja without being a rip-off. I will read more of this. – MeanOldPig
I’m enjoying this, but I grin every time I think of someone picking up this book for the first time. I probably wouldn’t keep reading it either – no context, no clue, just complications. But Javier Rodriguez’s character designs, especially the Progenitors, are wondrous. – MMDG
I don’t really see how this is supposed to be a great issue to pick up on its own. I dig Al Ewing’s other work and I know it’s very rich and reading everything is required so I don’t blame him. I followed it enough and some of if seems interesting to me. I love Maximus and his dialogue was spot on. The real draw was Javier Rodriguez’s art which holy crap is good. Him drawing big science ideas is something I really enjoy so I would keep reading if he was the regular artist. – MeanOldPig
Collection: Royals Volume 2: Judgment Day
19 Old Man Logan
Ed Brisson & Mike Deodato, Jr. beginning with #31
To me this book has the feel of a 70’s crime film about someone tangentially related to a crime getting pulled into it by fate. Kind of like Sydney Pollack’s The Yakuza starring Robert Mitchum. This definitely has me intrigued and will make me read more of the title. While I don’t know what will happen to this book in the near future, this story seems like a fun one. – MeanOldPig
Brian Michael Bendis & Oscar Bazaldua beginning with #234
Judging a Bendis book as a jumping-on point is always a tough thing to do. The man is all about telling stories that have been years in the making. I don’t always like those stories but I’ve always liked his Miles Morales books so I dug this one. The Sinister Six is a concept that I always get behind and think you can have some good stories with. Do I think you can just pick up this book and enjoy it without any context? Yeah, but it is a bit like diving into the deep end and figuring it out. I liked it, but with Bendis’s announcement that he is jumping to DC, I can only wonder if this is his final Spider-Man story? – MeanOldPig
Collection: Spider-Man: Miles Morales Volume 5 (August)
Brian Michael Bendis & David Marquez beginning with #6
Still a little lukewarm on Bendis. While there wasn’t anything bad about this issue, nothing from a script POV really blew me away. This is entertaining but not anything that I am salivating for more of. I do love a good Hell’s Kitchen War so there is that, and the team does have a lot more character than the TV show. The Marquez art and my own curiosity will probably make me give it one more shot. – MeanOldPig
I’m sick of Deadpool. Marquez’s art has never been better; Bendis can still ably write a team book; and, for the most part, I dig these characters. But I’m so sick of Deadpool. – MMDG
Christina Strain & Amilcar Pinna beginning with #85
I’m not sure why I have such a soft spot for this series. Could be the contrarian in me reacting to all the hate; I actually like Pinna’s off-kilter art style. It’s refreshing to see something produced with effort, no matter how odd, when so many of these other Legacy titles have been trotted out with boring, lazy art. Maybe I want this to recapture some of the magic from Jason Aaron’s Wolverine & The X-Men series. But maybe it’s just time to give up. This book is doomed. – MMDG
Collection: Generation X Vol. 2: Survival of the Fittest (April)
Al Ewing & Paco Diaz beginning with #11
I’m split on this. I really liked all the Sam stuff in his Archie prison world. I even liked the Celestial space robbers gang but there is always something missing from these books for me. I’m never sure why; Bobby and Sam are my two favorite mutants and their friendship is so good. Maybe it’s the team or some sort of tonal balance. A lot of the humor beside the Cannonball stuff didn’t really click for me. I just don’t buy the team as a whole and don’t really feel invested. While not bad, it’s not really my thing. – MeanOldPig
Announced last summer, Marvel’s latest publishing initiative gave us a lot to get excited about. Marvel Legacy promised storylines that would celebrate our new era of heroes by connecting them back to decades of Marvel tradition. The past and the future would come together, and titles would honor that continuity by renumbering, keeping sequence across various volumes and series reboots. Those homage covers were a fantastic precursor (albeit somewhat ruined by the lenticular publication; hard to visualize either cover when you actually pick up the variant book).
And then the one-shot that kicked off this business, Marvel Legacy #1, became the single highest-selling comic book of 2017. Future Avengers, a Black Panther planet, the possible return of the Fantastic Four and Wolverine… so much happening in the coming months!
For a variety of reasons, however, Marvel’s Legacy initiative has been widely regarded as a failure. The company has been embattled by a number of issues since last fall, most of which have nothing to do with the actual comic books being published. Controversial firings, surprising departures, and rumbles from readers and retailers alike who somehow haven’t been able to get onboard with Marvel’s push for diversity, have coincided with declining sales. So while we await the directives from the new editor-in-chief, and news of possibly another series re-start, we brave Idlers take a look back in an attempt to assess the positive aspects of this latest launch.
No humor whatsoever would be preferable to what passes for jokes in Iceman. And acknowledging that something is a “dad joke” doesn’t make the inclusion of one acceptable. Everything in Iceman falls flat. Dumb art? Check. Constant hamfisted reminders of Bobby’s homosexuality starting on page 1? Check. Way too much dialogue in unimportant scenes to the point where half the page is dialogue bubbles? Check. Overused devices like starting a book out with someone questioning themselves before answering “check”? Check. This book is terrible. Read anything else. – IP
This book misses every pitch. I get why someone would want to make a Classic X-man that has been retroactively written as gay more appealing to contemporary audiences, but the whole “dating-profile” device is super lame. Iceman is both literally and figuratively cool. Dude would be on Grindr or Tinder or something. If you’re gonna do it, fucking commit. Seeing Iceman go on an awkward Grindr date could be much more effective at getting these themes across, rather than traversing the typical tropes of disapproving parents and self-discomfort. After Bobby trains himself, why doesn’t he ask younger Bobby some questions about being gay? There’s an interesting conversation. And are we just gonna avoid the whole masturbating question? If young Bobby and future Bobby were to mess around….what would it be considered? Where’s that joke? – tyrannofloresrex
Collection: Iceman, Vol. 1 (January 2018)
12 All-New Wolverine
Tom Taylor & Leonard Kirk beginning with #19
I really like the dynamic of Laura and her clone Gabby as a team. The alien virus crash-landing on Roosevelt Island was a little unoriginal, but the fact that the virus was transmitted by an innocent child with some kind of connection to Laura, made it a bit more intriguing. I’d want to keep reading this. Also, Governor’s Ball is definitely cancelled. – hltchk
I really like Laura, but she seems to be stuck in a recycle. Wolverine built a huge fanbase off of solo books as a mentor to younger, equally deadly characters, including X-23, and it just seems really uninventive to throw Laura in the same situation so soon. – tyrannofloresrex
Despite receiving considerably less fanfare than any of their regularly scheduled publishing initiatives, like All-New All-Different or the forthcoming Legacy, Marvel’s recent refresh on their mutant and Inhuman books has not only shown some sorely needed love to these teams and characters, but produced some wholly entertaining titles as well. The first few months of ResurrXion, rising out of the ashes of Death of X and Inhumans vs. X-Men, has given us thirteen new series or storyline kickoffs.
It’s a good time to shine a spotlight on these two venerable Marvel properties. Fox’s X-movies are still popular as hell, with current buzz building for the Deadpool sequel. FX’s Legion series was fantastic, and their network mutant show, The Gifted, looks promising. Marvel Studios has been forcing Inhumanity down our throats for a few years now, but with the highly anticipated debut of ABC’s Inhumans show this fall, the royal family finally takes center stage. Nothing against Daisy Johnson or that creepy porcupine monster that Ruth Negga turned into, but we want to see Black Bolt and Lockjaw! Continue reading Marvel’s ResurrXion Ranked→
A little over five years ago, few people outside the comic book fan community knew who or what The Avengers were. Since then, the team has starred in one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, and the property is far and away the most profitable superhero film franchise going. I’ve got Black Widow on a Kleenex box. Hawkeye Nerf bows fly off Target shelves. Iron Man and Captain America bobbleheads are given out at Giants games. So when it came time to relaunch the flagship series for Marvel’s latest NOW! initiative, Mark Waid obviously assembled a team that no casual fan would recognize: the sole member with a recognizable movie counterpart is The Vision.
Before even reading a single page of Avengers #1, I applauded the direction. Too many editorial mandates – from both DC and Marvel – have muddied the waters in our monthly titles. I’ve always felt that the comics, the source material, should be informing the greater media output, and not the other way around. Movies and television shows should absolutely develop plots and characters as they see fit; I loved the humanoid Ego in Guardians 2, and I’m onboard for a revised origin story for Adam Warlock. But when an intrigued moviegoer wanders into a comic shop to gaze upon the four-color finery, let him or her marvel at a vast and varied superhero foundation, a tapestry of wonderment that stretches back decades, and not just to the most recent season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mark Waid gets it. This team, even moreso than the all-new all-different assemblage he debuted over a year ago, offers comic book fans both new and old something unique, while simultaneously resonating with historical familiarity. The result is one of the best superhero books on the shelf.