The Marvel Universe has moved on, but it’s left the rest of us behind.
This week the fact that All-New, All-Different Marvel takes place in the wake of the oft-delayed and currently unfinished Secret Wars event is more noticeable than ever. This is the fifth installment of the ongoing series where The Comics Beat looks at each new title in the All-New, All-Different Marvel line and tells you if these titles are worth your hard-earned dollars.
Writer: Gerry Duggan Penciller: Mike Hawthorne Inker: Terry Pallot
Colorist: Val Staples Letterer: Joe Sabino
Deadpool is an incredibly polarizing character right now. He’s a relic of another time who has somehow elevated himself to become one of the unsung heroes of the Marvel Universe. The first issue of his new ongoing takes that idea and expands it into the premise for the whole story. I think that this might not have been the best use of the character, with many writers still struggling to find a unique angle to made Wade Wilson interesting outside of his costumed persona. While I think Gerry Duggan and Mike Hawthorne are both talented creators, I’m not sure if this is the right status quo change for Deadpool’s superhero career.
Verdict: Dropped. My once a year obligation to reading a Deadpool #1 has been fulfilled.
Writers: CM Punk and Cullen Bunn Artist: Scott Hepburn Colors: Matt Mila
Letters & Production: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Drax #1…is fine. This issue isn’t unlikely to offend anyone, but I don’t necessarily know who this is aimed at, either. Even fans of CM Punk may not find enough nuance to get interested in the adventures of Drax. With all of the different characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy getting solo issues, I’m really not sure why this would be the title I’d recommend to anybody over Star-Lord or Rocket Raccoon.
Verdict: Dropped. Stopping here.
Extraordinary X-Men #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Humberto Ramos Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colorist: Edgar Delgado Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
I don’t think any other comic book this week made me more mad, confused or nervous as Extraordinary X-Men #1. The comic book is a really strange new addition to the X-Men franchise for a number of reasons. Not only do we not know what happened to all the main X-Men heroes at the end of Secret Wars, we were supposed to have known and been provided with some sort of ending that would have ushered in this new X-Universe. I feel very strange about Humberto Ramos being the artist on this main X-Men series because his cartoonish pencils are extremely polarizing.
All this made up for a read that left me with a fury of negative emotions, but I’m still so interested in what’s next for the X-Men that I can’t help want to pick up the next few issues. Getting a stronger focus on Colossus and Magik was nice, and the renewed interest in having former second stringers become top tier X-Men is a cool concept. However, I wish Storm’s costume change had been explained. Finally, because of the way that the recent Old Man Logan mini-series concluded, I have no idea why this comic ended the way it did.
Also, I should add that this comic SHOULD be worth another read after Secret Wars proper has ended.
Verdict: Keeping. Just keep swimming…
If you’re looking for all the answers to your continuity problems, search elsewhere. If you are invested in the X-Men as a whole, this series is worth a look. The comic is probably not where new readers should be advised to start, either.
Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Luke Ross Colors: GURU FX Letters: Joe Sabino
I was a little sad to find the comic book to be so pedestrian. I liked most of what author Dan Abnett was doing in the book, but this lacked the fun of series like The Incredible Herc from Greg Pak. With more time, this could develop into something interesting, and Abnett has laid down a certain foundation to continue the book. It was annoying to get some of the themes of the title aggressively tossed at the reader via The Dark Knight Returns-esque newscasters, but hopefully they won’t be back for upcoming issues.
Verdict: Cautiously keeping. This book needs a few more issues to get into the Olympian heroes’ new adventures.
Howard the Duck #1
Writer: Chip Zdarsky Artist: Joe Quinones Inks: Joe Rivera Letters: Travis Lanham
Howard the Duck seems a little unfocused at the moment. Zdarsky and company’s new #1 with the character continued all the ongoing plot threads and barely introduced anything to readers who are just jumping on right now, making this a poor “first issue” read. However, I can’t get enough of the art from Joe Quinones, and think he’s one of the strongest artists at Marvel today. I’m also interested in the Squirrel Girl crossover. Maybe the series will stabilize in a few more issues.
Verdict: Keep going.
Writer: Sean Ryan Artist: Cory Smith Colors: David Curiel
Full disclosure: I was ready to hate this comic book, but Sean Ryan’s depiction of Sam Alexander has compelled me to keep reading this series. I love that the book has a sentimental value owed to Jeph Loeb’s son Sam, and I love that Marvel has such a young hero. The art direction actually fits better for this series than I first realized.
Verdict: This is a strong first showing — I’m happy to read what’s next.
The Vision #1
Writer: Tom King Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
This was…the book of the week. I guarantee this new version of The Vision will keep readers guessing until the last page. In fact, the last page of the comic teases what’s to come in upcoming issues. Tom King’s writing is fueled with a counterculture agenda that gets deep into the mind of The Vision. Just when this series seems like a family soap opera, King turns the series on it’s own head. His stray observations littered throughout the issue created a thought provoking reading experience as well. Of course, this beautiful Mike Del Mundo cover is soaked in irony– it’s a comic that’s meant throw the reader off course and keep them guessing again and again.
Verdict: Strongest of the batch so far.