The Marvel Universe continues to grow weirder and weirder this week with the start of a second new ongoing series book set in Weirdworld. For those not in the know, Weirdworld was a location introduced in the ‘70s that was rediscovered in the Marvel Universe during the publisher’s recent Secret Wars crossover. Secret Wars was meant to lead into the All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch, but its conclusion has been delayed into January.

Instead of stalling the line, Marvel decided to unleash the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe in October as was originally planned.  In light of this, we’re assessing the quality of each book in the line telling you if the brand new comics are worth your hard-earned dollars – it’s week eleven of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Rundown.


 

Squadron Supreme #1

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Writer: James Robinson Artist: Leonard Kirk Inks: Paul Neary Colors: Frank Martin

Letters: Travis Lanham

I feel like this is going to be a major theme today, but every time I open this comic my first impression is “yay!”

Leonard Kirk demonstrates his talented artistic skills throughout Squandron Supreme #1.  He utilizes his familiarity with Marvel Comics to produce some stunning work. Marvel was really smart to market the spoiler in this comic book in advance to generate interest, and it also helps that the last page of this story ends on a cliffhanger different from the spoiled reveal. If the promise writer James Robinson makes in Squadron Supreme is going to be believed, the spoiler waiting inside this issue is only the beginning of a huge status quo shift for the series’ heroes.

Verdict: Buy

Wonderful art, smart writing and a fulfilling premise.


 

Starbrand and Nightmask #1

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Writer: Greg Weisman Artist: Domo Stanton  Colors: Jordan Boyd Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles

This is one of hell of an interesting comic book. Plucked from Jim Shooter’s ‘80s New Universe comes the All-New All-Different return of Nightmask and Starbrand.

While Jonathan Hickman recently resurrected the characters in his own Avengers saga, he characterized the pair as cerebral, cryptic sci-fi bent purveyors of weird. Thus, it’s more than a little jarring to open up this comic and see these two characters now cracking endless jokes and hanging out with Squirrel Girl. While there’s nothing intrinsically flawed about this concept, I’m just not sure if a story with heroes like this is really going to appeal towards those that enjoyed Hickman’s characterization of them, or even those who were reading the original characters during the ‘80s stories.

Despite this, I have to say that Greg Weisman’s writing was strong. The premise may be campy, but I did not roll my eyes while reading the comic. This is legitimately not a bad comic – it’s just something that’s jarring when reading this story in the context of a shared Universe.

Verdict: Rent

I’m not really sure what I just read, and to be honest, it wasn’t bad. Unfortunately, this is not the version of Nightmask and Starbrand for me.


 

Weirdworld #1

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Writer: Sam Humphries Artist: Mike Del Mundo Colors: Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso

Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

Oh my God, Mike Del Mundo’s artwork! A known quantity heading into the All-New All-Different Marvel relaunch, the Weirdworld mini-series produced by Del Mundo and writer Jason Aaron was the break out hit of the Battleworld tie ins.  Thus, it’s little surprise that the artist just demolishes the interiors in Weirdworld #1.  Mundo crafts gorgeous creature designs and expressive facial work.  His page layouts are bold and go big, proving that he is unafraid of venturing into the unknown depths of Weirdworld. 

I’m really happy to report that this comic is another really wonderful addition to the All-New, All-Different Marvel line. This issue introduces Becca, who has a backstory that is even more interesting than that of Jason Aaron’s Arkon. Before opening the book, I had an automatic bias towards Aarkon that writer Sam Humphries wonderfully removed within the opening pages of the installment. His depiction of Becca has a ton of story potential. I can’t wait to read more of this series and see how Becca changes and adapts to the weird world around her.  

Verdict: Instantaneous buy

If you like good comics you like Weirdworld.


Folks, that’s another Marvel Rundown in the books. Next week Patsy Walker comes to town when we take a look at Hellcat #1! Will Jessica Jones make a cameo? Will there be jokes about the television series? Be here next week, (two days before Christmas!)

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. You know, just last night I was watching the Republican presidential candidates claim that it would be reasonable to kill the innocent families of terrorists in order to get the terrorist. Squadron Supreme feels like an extension of that, genocide to get at one man. I hope that James Robinson actually shows the consequences of actions like that, the creation of even more homicidal Atlanteans as hate builds hate, a nation sundered in a day, thousands of Atlanteans left homeless and mourning their dead after an unprovoked attack, etc. The Squadron managed to encapsulate everything I hate about my own country in a single issue, and I’m only buying them so I can see it when Blue Marvel eventually breaks Hyperion’s face.

  2. I bought Squadron Supreme. Being a fan back in the day of the original series, I think there is definitely a gray area that they are going to be working in. I’ve heard people call them Marvel’s “Authority” but I’m hoping for more of an 80’s Suicide Squad/Thunderbolts feel where they cross the line to get the job done.

  3. I came across this while looking up reviews for the ANAD series I’m following, and I kinda felt a need to say how puzzled I was by your review for Starbrand & Nightmask.

    (Sorry for all the links here, but I feel like it’s kinda useful to have concrete examples for these sorts of responses.)

    “he characterized the pair as cerebral, cryptic sci-fi bent purveyors of weird. Thus, it’s more than a little jarring to open up this comic and see these two characters now cracking endless jokes”

    Well… he actually sorta characterized them as comic relief that just happen to also have cosmic powers, and Starbrand at least has *always* been the kind to crack jokes: superdweebs(.)tumblr(.)com/post/134806916144 , superdweebs(.)tumblr(.)com/post/126388318101 , superdweebs(.)tumblr(.)com/post/125832965135 , superdweebs(.)tumblr(.)com/post/125512916313 , superdweebs(.)tumblr(.)com/post/125236404906

    or just be a goofball in general:
    superdweebs(.)tumblr(.)com/post/125212313991 , superdweebs(.)tumblr(.)com/post/124860929414 , superdweebs(.)tumblr(.)com/post/124610619789

    I’ll grant that Nightmask might have fit the description of “cerebral, cryptic sci-fi bent purveyors of weird”, but Starbrand never did.

    “I’m just not sure if a story with heroes like this is really going to appeal towards those that enjoyed Hickman’s characterization of them”

    Honestly it appeals to me precisely because I enjoyed Hickman’s characterization of them as lovable goofballs with more power than they know what to do with. I actually was hoping for a buddy comedy sort of comic when I heard the two were getting a series and was really happy when I found out that’s what I was getting.

    I mean, if this isn’t the version of Starbrand and Nightmask you like, that’s OK, but it *is* very much is the same version of them that Hickman wrote. I think Weisman deserves a little more credit for that.

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