Review – Marvel NOW! Fantastic Four #1, Iron Man #1, Thor: God of Thunder #1, X-Men Legacy #1, Uncanny Avengers #1
Fantastic Four #1
Doctor Who much? Matt Fraction seems to be going back to the fantastic in this title’s name, and keeping up with the space adventures that the previous creative team left off. Marvel’s first family is going for a road trip through time and space, hence my opening as it sounds familiar to the type of adventures that show brings us each episode. That’s a good thing as that’s the type of stories I’d expect from the Fantastic Four. They got their powers in space, are a very science based comic, so should be exploring fantastical worlds.
Out of all of the new comics, this one seems like the smoothest of the transitions. The focus, characters, and look of the series seems to be little different than what we’ve seen before. This isn’t a bad thing. Jonathan Hickman brought long running and complicated story lines, Fraction has set up some stuff here, but I don’t expect the years long stories like Hickman.
I’ve been reading Fantastic Four for years, in it’s ups and downs, and so far in this one issue, it’s looking up for this latest iteration.
Story: Matt Fraction Art: Mark Baley
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Iron Man #1
Tony Stark has gone through a lot recently, hitting the bottle again, being captured and forced to build weapons for the Mandarin and also having the remove his Extremis armor. But, what was once his armor and his alone is now out in the open. Extremis is up for sale to the highest bidder, and what will a world look like with terrorists containing the power of Iron Man?
There’s a lot of Tony’s thoughts throughout the comic, really diving in to what he’s thinking as well as his personality, and it’s all good. Writer Kieron Gillen has this story down and knows exactly where we’re going with it. There’s some great hints as to what this first story arc is building off of as far as classic tales. Gillen has done his research in the lead up to this.
The issue I have is Greg Land’s art, which I’ve had more and more issues with. Land has a habit of making his characters look the same, especially when it comes to women. This issue is no exception. The art isn’t enough to turn me off, and Land I’m sure will be ok in the long run, but it’s a slight issue that to me stands out.
Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Greg Land
Story: 8.25 Art: 7 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Thor: God of Thunder #1
Thor has always been a character I’ve had trouble with. The idea of Gods on Earth and the whole different worlds thing was never something I really enjoyed. Over the last two volumes though, I’ve gotten more into the character. This first issue dives straight into that issue I had, Gods amongst man (and aliens).
The issue really looks at that, setting up the Gods as mortals themselves with a threat greater than themselves. The issue is a great reflection of that, with solid art that fits the universe quite well.
Seeing Jason Aaron taking on the writing duty, this is one of the series I’ve been looking forward to reading and see what he does with it and with art by Esad Ribic, you know it’d look awesome no matter what’s written. Aaron has given us a more somber version of the character, one not quite as brash, and befits his Viking like heritage.
The biggest payoff is those last few pages. The flash forward is amazing and may my jaw drop. The build up is slow in this issue, and boy does it pay off at the end.
Story: Jason Aaron Art: Esad Ribic
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
X-Men Legacy #1
Legion is an interesting character in the Marvel U. At times he’s utterly godlike, becoming more so over the years. With that being the case, it’s hard to get a grasp of a character like that and make him become relate-able or go against some threat that seems to be on his level. It’s a character that can do anything, so what can you do with him that’s interesting?
Writer Simon Spurrier is tackling this very tough task with a series that’s started with it’s best foot forward. We’re shown Legion’s mind in a way that’s consistent with the work we’ve seen in previous issues, but where has he been this entire time? We know where he’s been dumped, but there’s some missing time that needs to be answered eventually.
Also, with the death of Professor X, where does Legion stand and what happens if he loses it again? All that I’m sure will be addressed, but we’re finally seeing a character made WAY too powerful being brought down to relate-able levels and interesting, a difficult task and so far as good.
Story: Simon Spurrier Art: Tan Eng Huat
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Uncanny Avengers #1
The highest profile comic to launch from Marvel NOW!, Uncanny Avengers merges the X-Men and Avengers into a super team of sorts, taking some of the highest characters from each and combining them into Marvel’s Beatles. The first issue is that gathering.
Captain America has come to the realization he hasn’t done enough for mutantkind and decides to reach out to Wolverine to put together a team of some of the best out there. This story is choppy though, with smaller vignettes looking at the players that’ll be joining the team as well as fallout from Avengers Vs. X-Men.
Rick Remender can write, bringing us some of Marvel’s best comics of the past few years, but there’s something seriously off here and that includes the art by John Cassaday. There’s the funeral of Charles Xavier, which gives us more of where Wolverine stands. Captain America and Thor recruit Havok, then have to fight Avalanche, needlessly attempting to bridge the mutant and non-mutant world. Rogue talks to Scarlet Witch and get attacked, which is so random. Then there’s the ending which feels more like a bad C-movie than A-list comic this should be.
The comic isn’t at the point where I give up, but this isn’t what I expected from what was supposed to be one of the biggest comics of the year.
Story: Rick Remender Art: John Cassaday
Story: 6.75 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Pass