This week… a hero returns. The main Rundown review features It’s Jeff #1! SPOILER ALERT: this comic is cute as all get out! Too scared to dip your toe all the way in? Then scroll down for a rapid review of Avengers Beyond #1.

What did you think of the fresh Marvel Comics issues released this week? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat, and let us know what you’re thinking.

It’s Jeff #1

Written by: Kelly Thompson
Art by: Gurihiru

Straight from the pages of West Coast Avengers (and King Deadpool and I think Gwenpool Stikes Back), It’s Jeff #1 is a collection of the online Marvel Infinity comics featuring Jeff the land shark. With nearly 50 pages of adorable action, this comic is a must-read… or a must re-read if you already enjoyed Jeff’s adventures through the Marvel Unlimited app!

The water’s fine!

The Return of the Jeff

Jeff the land shark was originally introduced in West Coast Avengers (2019) #7 by Thompson, Daniele Di Niculolo, Tríona Tree Farrell, and Joe Caramagna. He was part of a horde of land sharks that were created by B.R.O.D.O.K., perhaps the creepiest version of M.O.D.O.K. to ever grace a panel or screen. 

Fortunately, we are not defined by our origins! While Jeff and his cohort were meant to cause destruction, Jeff is a different kind of land shark. He’s diminutive and adorable, and while he may be prone to mischief, he’s basically a puppy dog.

After West Coast Avengers was canceled (in more ways than one – the series ended with their in-book reality show’s cancellation), Gwenpool selflessly went to Monster Island to drop Jeff off with Deadpool in King Deadpool (2020) #1 by Thompson, Chris Bachalo, Wayne Faucher, Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Jamie Mendoza, Livesay, Victor Olazaba, and David Curiel

Gwen reasoned that while her books kept getting canceled, Deadpool always has a series running. As such, she concluded the best chance for Jeff’s continuing to flourish was to drop him off with Wade. The plan worked: Jeff continued to appear alongside Deadpool in the series, right up until the very last panel.

From there, Jeff made the jump to digital with It’s Jeff on Marvel Unlimited. Making its debut in autumn 2021, the twelve-episode first season concluded with a special Thanksgiving episode on November 25th, 2021. The adorable scrolling series was so successful a second season launched in September 2022. And now, the four-legged land shark whose stole our hearts is plodding into your Local Comic Shop!

We’re Going to Need a Bigger Book

The first season of It’s Jeff is collected in this oversized issue. Told from the perspective of the land shark, this series of strips does not include dialogue. This isn’t a problem, thanks to the always-incredible art of Gurihiru. Whether it’s Jeff’s expressions, or the reactions of the many Marvelous heroes who appear in the supporting cast, the faces of the characters always tell a clear story, even without dialogue.

Meanwhile, every strip is filled with Easter eggs. In an early episode, Jeff has a poolside adventure. As he approaches the pool, he’s wearing an inflatable pool float that is decorated with the likeness of Gwenpool and Deadpool (it’s a ‘pool toy, get it).

What’s your favorite float? For me, it’s a toss-up between Miles on the pizza and Rocket on the Groot. But don’t forget about Howard on the duck!

While many of the Marvel superheroes appear in It’s Jeff #1, Kate Bishop is most often paired with Jeff in this batch of strips. However, plenty of other unexpected but recognizable faces appear throughout the stories, as well, and catching a recognizable character like Devil Dinosaur or Alligator Loki is always a delight. And fellow Gwen devotees take heart: Ms. Poole herself makes an appearance, as well.

It’s Jeff began life as an Infinity Comic, and sometimes, the scrolling nature of the source material is more obvious than others. However, just as the earlier evolution of newspaper comic strips remains obvious when they are collected, this evidence of vestigial scrolling structure isn’t a problem. 

Furthermore, I appreciate the decision to make this issue longer in order to include all 12 of the Infinity Comics in the first season of It’s Jeff.

It’s Jeff #1

It’s not uncommon to hear people complain that they want to see more casual hang-outs and social situations explored in their superhero comic books. Well, It’s Jeff is all about these kinds of moments, as evidenced by its poolside opening.

Conclusion: Pick Jeff up, whether you’ve read the series on Marvel Unlimited or not. But be careful: those little teeth are sharp!

Rapid Rundown!

  • Avengers Beyond #1
    • I need to know what the obsession is with the Beyonder, is it because the 40th anniversary of the original Secret Wars is next year? After several missions that left the Avengers with weird partial amnesia, they are able to figure out that the being that is manipulating events/reality is the Beyonder. Picking up from their run on All-Out Avengers, writer Derek Landy and artist Greg Land have the Avengers in another reality-bending battle, fighting to save the world from the Autocrat, don’t worry he won’t be coming up on a quiz. Recognizing their situation the team was able to work independently in creating a trap for the Beyonder only to discover that there is a bigger problem on the horizon. Like its predecessor, Avengers Beyond is a solid read with a straightforward plot/mystery topped off with Land’s signature pretty artwork, I don’t think he can physically draw an ugly person. If this is a warm-up to a Secret Wars anniversary, it’s a decent start, and hopefully, the creative team can maintain this level of nostalgic remixing. — GC3

Next week brings Scarlet Witch #4, Cosmic Ghost Rider #2, Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #2, and MORE! Catch up with past entries in the Marvel Rundown archive.

The Marvel Rundown is edited by Avery Kaplan.