On Sunday, talking heads circle tables and pontificate on television about the hottest topics pressing our nation. We bring that tradition to our site as the Graphic Policy team gives our thoughts in each week’s Sunday Roundtable.
On tap this week?
We’re a little bit over a month into All-New, All-Different Marvel with lots of new series debuting. So far, do you think it’s really all-new and all-different?
Alex: I’ve really only read two or three comics from Marvel’s ANAD phase – Howard The Duck, Hercules and Extraordinary X-Men – and honestly? Howard was as good as it was before, I enjoyed Hercules quite a bit, but Extraordinary felt like a big prologue to the rest of the series. I don’t know if I’ll pick it up next month. From what I’ve read and seen, the reviews have been pretty hit and miss from Marvel the last month or so.
That said, some of the comics coming down the pipeline look very interesting to me (but they’re just relaunches of the series I was already reading…)
Elana: I won’t read Herc on principal. Why would Marvel editorial make one of their only bi characters straight. In Greek myths Hercules has romances with men and women. And in the comics in the past he was written explicitly as bi. Former writer Greg Pak has confirmed that about his run as well. It was a real step backwards from marvel to do this.
Mr. H: So far Amazing Spider-Man is gold! I’m not that taken with Avengers or Invincible Iron Man though. I haven’t read my copy of Extraordinary X-Men yet. I shall soon.
Brett: For what you’ve read so far? Does it feel like it’s all that different? To me, it’s pretty much the same.
Paul: I have read Extraordinary X-Men, The New Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Hercules, Uncanny Inhumans and The Vision. X-Men feels ‘been there, done that’ with mutants facing yet another extinction level threat; it would be nice if something new could be explored instead of falling back on old formulas; new team, same reason for it. The Avengers titles, so far, have really disappointed me. I do not like how a lot of characters are being presented, which is a shame because so many great characters were added to the new line ups. Uncanny has lost its way with the many relaunches so close together, and The New Avengers just feels very juvenile and a waste of so much potential. Inhumans and Vision are the two stand out titles for me so far. Great characters, story and they really grabbed me with their first issues. I agree with Alex, some of the new ones coming up look good, but they are relaunches of what I’ve been enjoying already (hoping I still enjoy them with the new start). Overall, with only a couple exceptions, this does not feel All New or All Different. Sure we have some characters coming over from Secret Wars (Singularity and Old Man Logan, for example) but they are coming into stories and situations that feel rehashed (though A-Force hasn’t dropped yet, not sure of their mission). I’m hopeful, as always, to see what’s coming..but no, this does no feel new or different to me…so far at least. Come on and wow me Marvel!
Mr. H: Other than Amazing Spider-Man it all feels the same to me.
Of course I am going to read Doctor Strange #1 and #2 today and get a mini review up of #2 along with Secret Wars #7.
Brett: How were folks expectations going in? Anyone excited/interested in what was announced?
Mr. H: I was very excited with all new avengers and Extraordinary X-Men but not wowed yet
Alex: Not really, to be honest. I actually picked up an older Eternal Warrior comic today rather than one of the All-New, All-Different comics I could have picked up, which speaks volumes as to my interest level in what has already been released.
Brett: So far I’ve been underwhelmed, with some exceptions (The Vision being the standout). But, I can’t figure out what the new comics are missing for me. I’d outright say there’s some soul missing, but not even sure I know what that means.
What’s missing for you all?
Elana: What’s missing is diverse creative teams.
Paul: Originality is missing for me. From what I’ve read, it all feels familiar. New faces, but same stories/missions. Or in the case of New Avengers, they’ve gone in a really odd direction…feels like a bad kids cartoon show (thinking Avengers: United they Stand). I agree that Vision has been a pleasant surprise, and I really like Uncanny Inhumans. And there is more to still come and too soon for me to call this All-New, All-Different a wash, but so far it’s been ‘meh’.
Alex: Some soul?
I think you nailed it, honestly, Brett. Howard the Duck aside, there seems to be something missing, and soul (which, although an Image comic, is exactly what Limbo has in spades) is a great descriptor.
The All-New, All-Different seems underwhelming so far, but there’s still much more to come.
Brett: Yeah that’s the one word that keeps coming to me. The comics I’ve read are going through motion but missing that spark.
Alex: Yeah – that’s one of the reasons I didn’t pick up All-New Wolverine today, and instead I picked up an older back issue I was looking for.
Brett: I’ve also noticed a lot of the comics riff off of other successful things. All-New Wolverine feels like Orphan Black a bit. X-Men is redone earlier plots. It’s weird.
Alex: It’s almost like they didn’t have a solid idea of where to take some comics.
Elana: Right now I think that Marvel has a lot of good books but very few outstanding ones. I know that the audiences for Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel are huge. I presume that Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will be too. I liked the new issue of Howard the Duck more then the previous ones. But the title that has excited me the most has been All-New Wolverine. That wasn’t even a book I was looking out for! It just came and bowled me over.
Alex: I picked up All-New Wolverine today, largely on your recommendation, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.
Elana: Looking forward to getting your thoughts. I feel like the longer I think about it the more I like it.
Alex: I enjoyed it. Nothing can top Howard for me from the ANAD Marvel offerings, but All-New Wolverine was far better than I expected it to be. I think the best thing about the issue was that it felt like an organic next step for the character (I know very little about her, honestly), with forcing a female Wolverine on us because they could.
My one complaint? Drop the All-New from the title. If she’s Wolverine, title the comic as such. All-New implies that there will be a return of the old Wolverine (and I don’t mean Old Man Logan).
Elana: If Marvel really wanted all new all different they would have diversified their creative teams. Moon Girl is great but the only titles coming with black creators are still a ways off. Black Panther and Luke Cage / Iron Fist are going to be fantastic I’m sure. But it’s still a ways off.
I wasn’t particularly interested in any of the coming X titles but when the X-Plain the X-Men podcast had Dennis Hopeless on they totally sold me on his upcoming All-New X-Men teen roadtrip book. Diverse cast, cool concept.
Alex: Uncanny looks interesting to me because I want to see how they handle Sabretooth, but that’s because I enjoy seeing villains reform (however temporary it may be). Other than that I’ve found I’m more interested by books like Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. As well as the ones I’ll be reading anyway (Moon Knight, Howard).
Brett: And there you have it folks! The Graphic Policy team has weighed in with their thoughts. What are yours? Sound off in the comments.