All-New X-Men #1
Out of all of the new comics launched for Marvel NOW!, the concept for All-New X-Men was to me the most interesting. The basic idea is to take the original X-Men, still young, and bring them to the modern day to see what they’ve become. The concept is fantastic. The comic is to be a look at idealism and how that survives over years. As one who work in politics and has experienced this first hand it’s a concept that intrigues and interests me.
The first issue is all set-up, just getting us to the original team and showing us, not everything was a solid with them then. We’re confronted with the new status-quo, Cyclops being a wanted individual and revolutionary, and some of his former team members torn over how to deal with his new tactics.
The difficulty of all of this is how to tie in the original team and get them to the present day and writer Brian Micheal Bendis has seemed to work through how to do that without throwing all of the continuity out of the window, and in fact might be able to help solve some issues.
There’s also some character developments with folks like Beast who is having further mutation issues, that seems to come out of nowhere, but it’s not unwanted. Out of all of the debut issues, this one is the most solid to me, with great action and dialogue and a good set-up for what’s to come.
Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Stuart Immonen
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Avengers Assemble #9
With a new writer and artist on board, Avengers Assemble is a clean start for the mess that was the first eight issues. The series seems to have been an after thought and attempt to give people interested in the movies something to read. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick has improved upon the mistake of a story arc that came before.
This series seems to want to focus on the pillars of the Avengers, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk, aka the focus of the movie. The comic opens up with not much subtlety and a reflection between the scientific styles of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner which leads to a wager as they search for a scientific colleague they both know.
The thing this comic has that the previous arc missed is a point. Where as what came before was a clear cash grab for the movie, this “first issue” takes a step back and starts to look at the players on the team and their personalities. This is much more reminiscent of a comic you might find Bendis write, with lots of chatter. And this is a good thing as DeConnick seems to have a great handle on all the characters.
The only issue I have at all is that the Hulk in this comic has a stunted speech while in other series he’s much more well-spoken. Thor’s outfit also differs than other comics. Hopefully under DeConnick, this comic will stand out and show why it should exist, other than to sell something to movie fans. It needs to find it’s purpose that makes it stand above other Avengers comics. In this first issue, it seems to finally be on it’s way in doing that.
Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick Art: Stefano Caselli
Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy
Much like AvX: VS, A+X is an anthology series featuring two stories featuring some of the bigger players in the new status-quo. The first story finds Captain America and Cable teaming up in World War II to take on a Trask from the future intent on creating Sentinels. The second story has the Hulk and Wolverine fighting future versions of themselves.
The first story, written by Dan Slott, is a good story. There’s some nice nods in there like what a man from the future might do in the past in telling the past what to expect in the future. The story though is straightforward, but entertaining. Other than establishing that Captain America and Cable have met each other in the past, the story seems to not matter much for the greater Marvel U.
The second story has a nice mix of humor and action with Hulk and Wolverine teaming up to take on future versions of themselves who have been sent back to stop someone. This one does seem to matter. There’s clearly a build here to something more. Jeph Loeb writes the characters as you’d expect, but here’s an example of the Hulk speaking in full sentences, not consistent with other comics out around the same time.
Overall, the comic isn’t bad in any way, but I can’t quite recommend it as a buy. It’s a good entertaining quick read, and that’s about it.
Story: Dan Slott and Jeph Loeb Art: Ron Garney and Dale Keown
Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read
Marvel NOW! Point One
This comic, much like it’s previous ancestor of a Point One, is an anthology comic featuring what we’re lead to believe are some of the major characters in the upcoming Marvel U status-quo. The overall story has a prisoner being interrogated by Nick Fury Jr.
There was tons of build up for this issue, and with that build up you expect some big pay off. Again, none of the stories are bad, there’s just not a whole lot here that’s new, gets me interested in what’s coming or helps a new reader.
And that’s what bothers me. The Point One comics when introduced, where touted as a way for new readers to hop on and start reading. They were supposed to be starting points. Instead, they’ve become listless cash grabs. They rarely achieve their goal instead being double ships for their series for the month.
What was to be a great idea, has failed in it’s focus and execution and this issue isn’t an exception. Anything presented here, you’ll get again, and done better in each new series as it debuts.
Story: Nick Spencer, Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb, Kieron Gillen, Matt Fraction, Dennis Hopeless Art: Luke Ross, Steve McNiven, Ed McGuinness, Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton, Michael Allred, Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Story: 6.75 Art: 8 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Pass
Red She-Hulk #58
Red She-Hulk is a character I know nothing about other than the little I’ve read of her in the Defenders. This issue, she takes over as the lead continuing a series that’s come before. I went in hoping to get some explanation of her background. There’s not much of that. But, writer Jeff Parker pulls off something interesting. He weaves a story where you don’t care about that. Instead you’re drawn to the story itself.
Red She-Hulk is on a mission, something to do with destroying the latest attempt by the United State government to create super soldiers. We’re not really told why until the next issue, but as far as the government is concerned she’s a terrorist, destroying their property. There’s a nice mystery about this and I have no idea if anything that’s come before would shed some light onto this. But it doesn’t matter. This is a comic you can pick up and read.
What it reminds me of is the beginning of the second Hulk movie with him on the run. Here, she’s now being tracked by Captain America and Machine Man. But there has to be a decent reason for her actions, right?
This first issue is solid, easy to pick up for new readers and I’m sure there’s lots more for long time fans.
Story: Jeff Parker Art: Wellington Alves and Carlo Paguylayan
Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
There’s two depictions of Deadpool. There’s the wacky version that plays like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Then there’s the more serious version where he’s a trained killer with mental issues, like in Uncanny X-Force. I’m a fan of the second, not the first, which this comic is.
A necormancer is raising the corpses of our Presidents, why, we have no idea. It doesn’t look good for heroes or S.H.I.E.L.D. to take on these Presidents, so enter Deadpool. The comic feels like a really bad Ghostbusters story. There’s humor, lots of humor and if that’s the type of Deadpool comic you like, then this’ll be up your way. But, this isn’t for me and I recognize that.
There is some great humor here. I found myself laughing a bunch, but it’s not really a comic I enjoy as a whole. There’s not much I can say about it. If you like the concept of Deadpool fighting undead Presidents, then go for it. I’ll give it a few issues, but this isn’t going to last long for me.
Story: Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan Art: Tony Moore
Story: 6 Art: 8.25 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass