THIS WEEK: The Marvel Rundown team convenes for its first roundtable discussion to talk a trio of series debuts for the week, including Deadpool #1, Tiger Division #1, and Secret Invasion #1.
Note: the discussion below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
Writer: Alyssa Wong
Artist: Martin Coccolo
Colorist: Neeraj Menon
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Design: Tom Muller
Cover Artists: Martin Coccolo & Neeraj Menon
Avery Kaplan: We are starting our first Marvel Rundown Roundtable in some time on a week with three big #1s! First up is Deadpool #1. What did you think of this issue as an introduction to a new run for the character?
Rebecca Oliver Kaplan: Great! So excited to Alyssa Wong on the book and have some fresh blood injected into the series, and for a NB love interest.
George: Solid start, giving us the usual Deadpool banter.
Avery: OK well, not to gush, but this was one of my favorite Deadpool #1s, neck and neck with the first issue of Deadpool (2017). Having read nearly every single Deadpool solo issue to date (with some extremely varied levels of enjoyment), this run is already leaning into all of my favorite aspects of the character (especially if you take the short introduction in the back of New Mutants #30 into consideration, which included the final element: Wade/Gaby shenanigans).
Avery: What did everyone think of the villains?
R.O.: Aphra energy with the cabal of shady figures
Avery: And the intersection of mad science and unadvisedly extreme wealth, too. I especially liked the art nouveau tarot splash page featuring The Harrower and the earlier attempts at grafting a baby Carnage symbiote!
George: Harrower made me think if Poison Ivy and Harley had a kid, loved her. And again that banter between her and Wade was a nice touch.
Avery: Yes, I absolutely got those Poison Ivy vibes too!
George: The art was very sweet. Only issue I have is the lack of an inker. It’s still fantastic but I miss a solid ink line.
Avery: How did we feel that this book worked as an addition to the X-line of titles?
R.O.: I loved the play on the recap page. Iconic meets iconic.
Avery: I am personally a huge sucker for those X-line expositional pages, and I thought having Deadpool take a literal red pen to them was a stroke of genius. It reminded me of the letters columns in Deadpool & Cable.
George: I never think of Deadpool as an X-book, but yes his notes on the recap page were hilarious. The pickup lines were also spectacular.
R.O.: Do you think he will join the MCU as a mutant?
Avery: I laughed for so long over that pickup line page, especially “Wanna be my enbae?”
R.O.: There is such crossover with the Marvel Studios marketing and the comics these days, so I feel like this could introduce the idea to a wider audience.
Avery: Deadpool was super mutant-adjacent in his first two movies, and Wolverine is in the next one. I always liked the stories where Wade desperately wants to join the X-Men, but they’re just disgusted by him.
George: When he does join the MCU, they shouldn’t overthink it and use the Weapon X program as his intro, or make it the Super Solider program.
Avery: Does anyone have any final thoughts on Deadpool before we move on to the next book? This one is an absolute BUY for me. Even though it was an extra long issue I wanted more pages. I’m very hopeful about the future of this title after an opening issue like this!
George: Because of the setup, I’m in for this first arc, BUY.
R.O.: Definite BUY. I am excited to see an NB creator on a major title like Deadpool. Marvel needs more of that energy. I am also excited they are moving into the main Marvel line because Star Wars has alienated me with the lack of trans rep. And I am excited for Wong to write comics that give them freedom to have more LGBTQIA+ diversity.
Final Verdict: BUY.
Secret Invasion #1
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Francesco Mobili
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artists: Francesco Mobili & Federico Blee
Avery: Next up is Secret Invasion #1! What did you think of this new spin on an old concept?
R.O.: I loved the pre-recap page set-up for SI #1.
George: Pleasantly surprised. After multiple sequels to different events, I didn’t know how they would spin this.
Avery: I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m a huge Ryan North fan, and while this title showcased a different side of his writing than usual, I am very curious to see how it plays out. In particular I liked the way the narrative knows you know this is about Skrull facsimiles, anticipating your response and working within those confines to deliver a cleverly twisted first issue.
R.O.: “Isn’t it spectacular news…” that her hubby is dead. A+ joke. That’s a good point that this is a different side of North than usual.
Avery: Did we realize that Maria Hill was going to (apparently) be the lead on this title? How do we feel about her character and her role here? I adore takes on Hill that both give her a sharp, silver tongue and place her in the midst of serious, no-holds-barred power struggles. Plus, the fact that she’s asking the same questions we are – “how are they going to spin this” – makes her a great fit as the perspective character for the audience.
R.O.: I had no clue. She is a really interesting character in Marvel Comics and often misbehaves with a seal of approval from the government, which I love.
George: I don’t think Hill gets enough usage. The fact that she was ready for this with the rapid response just shows her competence.
R.O.: Then she says, “Yeah, I fucking did it. What are you going to do about it?”
Avery: Very few other characters in the Marvel Universe have the confidence to go toe to toe with Fury, much less the competence to make a credible stand.
R.O.: It made me laugh that Fury wasn’t penciled into her schedule I don’t think Hill gets enough usage. The fact that she was ready for this with the rapid response just shows her readiness. She is always ready with genius (but maybe bad) ideas. Like Pleasant Hill.
George: The sign-in was cute but not for three pages. Gave me SNL vibes of not knowing when to end a skit.
R.O.: I also want to comment on Francesco Mobili‘s art for this issue. I thought it really brought the vibe of Midwestern horror. That wallpaper was spooky.
George: Yes Mobili’s facial expressions on the wife were very creepy.
R.O.: Jordie Bellaire‘s colors were great too, very 1920s Iowa. It reminds me of visiting my great aunt.
Avery: Now to veer into outright spoiler territory. What did you think of the twists? How about the last page reveal?
George: But do we really know who it was or the fact that it was an REDACTED?
R.O.: What if its true? what does that mean in relation to A.X.E.? Who was judged?
George: The swaps had to have taken place after or else the Celestial would have inadvertently outed them.
Avery: For the final page? Its unclear to me if its just one of the Avengers or all of them, but it was definitely somebody who was using that hilarious unisex Avengers bathroom, right?
R.O.: Yeah, how long have they been Fury’d?
Avery: I hope it’s Iron Man. Darkhold: Iron Man #1 had such great body horror, I can imagine that sort of thing combining with Skrull powers for some very weird suits shenanigans.
R.O.: Cronenberg meets North. I am in. Are the Skrulls worthy of lifting Mjolnir? Now I want to know.
Avery: Ask the Skrull burgers.
George: I would say they are so long as they stay true to themselves.
Avery: Before we head into our final title, does anyone have any other thoughts on this issue? I think it managed what it needed to for this type of title, managing a few surprises and setting up a compelling Skrull-based conflict. I’m especially hoping we’ll learn more about the Skull characters in future issues. I do think this arc will play best in a collection, or reading the issues in quick succession. Verdict: STRONG BROWSE.
George: Agree, while it was a very strong start, the nature of events tend to work best in a trade. Verdict: WAIT FOR THE TRADE.
R.O.: I enjoyed the issue but get tired of all the re-launches of old titles. I understand the need for them with new generations of fans being introduced to the characters for the first time and wanting an intro point to the MCU movies and tv, but the Big Two have a relaunch problem and its boring. Verdict: BROWSE.
Final Verdict: BROWSE.
Tiger Division #1
Writer: Emily Kim
Artist: Creees Lee
Colorist: Yen Nitro
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
Cover Artists: Creees Lee & Woo Dae Shim
Avery: Our final title for the roundtable is Tiger Division #1! What did you think of our third introductory issue for the week?
R.O.: This was my favorite issue of the week. I am a fan of Emily Kim from Silk. Kim adds so many little touches that make the characters feel enjoyable and flushed out. Like when the character has the Bugles placed on her fingers. Nom nom. Best way to eat those chips.
George: As this was my first introduction to these characters it was an okay read for me.
R.O.: I am a big fan of these characters. This is a Luna Snow household.
Avery: I’m a huge fan of these characters, even if we have mostly seen them in brief glimpses so far, as we previously did in Death of Doctor Strange: White Fox #1. Like ROK I am also a huge fan of Kim’s run on Silk, and I think she did a great job beginning to flesh out this team. I’m an especially big fan of Lady Bright (formerly Auntie Ante), a very cool character who I am excited to learn more about. Plus while Taegukgi is not the character type I am usually most interested, I was won over by the teases about his backstory.
R.O.: I am curious if it worked as an introduction to the characters, George?
George: Outside of Taegukgi, they didn’t seem to have any motivations. I’ll have to take your suggestions and read up on them.
R.O.: A lot of these characters were introduced through other means (like via video games and WEBTOON), so I think its cool to see Luna Snow and White Fox on a team book.
Avery: I am curious if Taegukgi will be the main character focal point for this series or if it will alternate to a focus on different characters’ backstories in future issues.
R.O.: I like that idea. More Luna Snow then. I liked the power description of Taegukgi. “Whatever you need and more.” That is a mood.
George: That would be interesting if they rotated the perspectives, because I’m sure I’m not the only one new to this team.
R.O.: Also, will Silk be appearing in a later issue? She is friends with Luna Snow after all.
George: Or the Agents of Atlas, I think some of them still operate out of that region.
R.O.: I believe so. I think some of Tiger Division was on that team.
Avery: How do we feel about these international superhero teams? Are we building towards some kind of global team versus team event?
R.O.: Like Winter Guard?
George: That would be cool if we didn’t already know that the Avengers always have to come out on top.
Avery: Exactly ROK, and that’s a very fair point George! Maybe if something takes the Avengers off the table, it could lead the remaining teams to scramble to fill the gap.
R.O.: Yeah, that is a good point. I’ve been thinking a lot about tropes lately. I understand these books need a fast turnaround, but it leads to boring storytelling because there are no stakes. My personal favorite period of Marvel was when they were introducing all of those new characters in the 2010s because they brought something new to the table, and you didnt know who would come out on top always.
Avery: Silk came from that time period, for example!
George: Hopefully, they won’t be facing off against their opposite number in North Korea. That would be basic.
Avery: And maybe, dare I say, too many international superhero teams?
George: I would love for a more global look at the superheroes. Let’s see how they deal with Madripoor pirates.
R.O.: Although I did like the historical feel of Taegukgi’s backstory and how his costume is based on being wrapped up in the South Korean flag as a baby
Avery: Oh man, or – what would Madripoor’s superhero team look like?
R.O.: Now I want that too. Lead by Dancing Daddy Zemo.
George: They would probably be like The Seven.
Avery: The time flies when we are talking Marvel Comics! What are your final thoughts on Tiger Division #1? I enjoyed this issue as a start, but I do wonder if it will be another title that may play best as a collection. This is another STRONG BROWSE for me!
R.O.: One last comment on the book as a whole, I liked how in “From the Desk of Director Han,” Marvel went out of its way shout-out the book’s letterer Ariana Maher in addition to the rest of the team.
George: Yeah. I’m a sucker for trying new things. STRONG BROWSE but if you’re into cover collecting they have some really hot alternates.
R.O.: I was most excited about reading Tiger Division #1 this week. After talking to everyone tonight, I think my background knowledge of these heroes made a difference in my enjoyment of the book. Verdict: BUY.
Avery: I thought this was a very strong showing from Marvel Comics this week, and I hope to see more from all these creators in the future!
Final Verdict: STRONG BROWSE.
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