So uhm, without risking being a broken record, I’m going to explain what’s happening in the Marvel 616 Universe right at this moment. Secret Wars is currently underway in the Marvel Universe, but the series has been hit with massive delays. In spite of this, Marvel decided to continue the publisher’s plan to relaunch the entire Universe with All-New, All-Different Marvel. We’re taking a look at each new series in the line-up telling you if these brand new comics are worth your hard-earned dollars.
Angela: Queen of Hel #1
Writer: Marguerite Bennett Artists: Kim Jacinto, Israel Silva and Stephanie Hans
Letters & Production: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Kieron Gillen’s odd portion of Asgard is still alive through the vision of Marguerite Bennett, a writer who manages to carry his knack for trendy dialogue and oddball plotting exceedingly well. I’m also extremely happy that Bennett is able to take over the book and start getting out of Gillen’s shadow. One key strength of this issue was its usage of the series’ trademark narrative captions– they really kept me enraptured. The issue wisely recaps the origin of the interesting relationship between Angela and her lover Sara, giving readers a stronger reason to invest interest in the pairing.
Unfortunately, the art from Kim Jacinto and Israel Silva doesn’t quite match the tone of the script, giving off a bizarre Rob Liefeld influence. However, the sequences drawn by Stephanie Hans are profound and beautiful.
Verdict: Going to the pull. While the art could stand to be smoothed over, I think Bennett is onto something here.
Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere Art: Brent Schoonover Colors: Nick Filardi
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
This series has an absurd premise and a first issue that is surprisingly heavy on action. Brent Schoonover’s art was a delight throughout this first comic, and with time Barbiere could start clawing his hooks into readers, getting them invested in the very human problems of the monsters painted in this comic. However, I’m not sure if all these positives are enough to keep readers interested in reading about this team’s further adventures, as the cliffhanger at the end of this issue is vague enough to not really amount to anything.
I have a strong attachment to Dum Dum Dugan as a robot thanks to the previous story with these characters, so it’s just a shame that that story wasn’t included in this first issue despite its higher page count.
Verdict: Going to the pull. This first issue didn’t solidly invest me in the longevity of the series, but this engaging cast of characters and artwork is enough to keep my invested.
Captain America: Sam Wilson #2
Writer: Nick Spencer Artist: Daniel Acuna Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
This first issue of this series contained so much controversy that this second issue demanded further examination. For the most part, the issue shares a lot of the same themes and ideas from the first. This second issue tries to illustrate a rift between Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson who are essentially on the same side of a government conflict. I’m having a hard time buying into the rationale that leads to the fight between these two characters, but my opinion of this comic has changed after seeing how the politically charged writing of Spencer could benefit Sam Wilson better than the less incendiary writing of many other Marvel talents.
Verdict: Going to the pull. After some hesitation and some interesting characterization, I think Spencer is starting to find his angle on Sam Wilson’s solo series.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
Writer: Ryan North Artist: Erica Henderson Additional Art: Joe Morris Colors: Rico Renzi
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
This is the second #1 featuring the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl to come out in 2015. Unfortunately, this isn’t the issue that is going to change the minds of those frustrated by the first series. On the other hand, it will likely please fans that were already invested. However, I’m curious if this will be the issue that finally goes too far with the series’ already absurd premise, alienating even those that have historically enjoyed the book. Between the sidekicks and villains of this issue, this comic is not hitting my funny bone.
Verdict: Stopping here. I am not amused.