COMIC BOOK REVIEWS: Marvel Comic Book Round Up New Comic Series!
With 2016 starting off strong for Marvel, the company soon seemed to lose its way as it headed into the summer season with company wide crossover, Civil War II. Suddenly books which had previously been doing well, started to dip as they were roped into the major event that was not getting the best of reviews. Characters were suddenly being written completely different from how they were previously acting with little to no explanation; story content was dropped or pushed to the side to make way for the Civil War II connections. All of this, and DC had just launched its REBIRTH line up. While DC was learning from their New 52 mistakes, and attempting to bring their characters back to a more recognizable state, Marvel was putting all their eggs into Brian Michael Bendis Civil War II basket. The result? Almost all of the effects from Civil War II are being ignored or barely acknowledged, and most of the books are just moving forward, a few with new No 1 issues. To help new readers I’ve decided to do a quick review of the some of the new books coming out from Marvel so far.
STORY: Mark Waid ART: Humberto Ramos
Number of issues as of this article: 4
Premise: From the fall out of Civil War II, many of the young heroes of the Marvel Universe had become disillusioned with their older counterparts. The solution? They can be better heroes, and they’ll do it as a team. Young Cyclops, Ms. Marvel, Nova, Viv Vivision, Hulk (Amadeus Cho), and Spider-Man (Morales) team up in hopes of helping those in need around the world.
Scully’s Take: This is basically Young Avengers meets New Warriors. The new Warriors formed as a sort of “younger not by the rules Avengers” team back in the day. In some ways they were meant to be a “feeder” team. With Wait writing, this series feels like it has more potential than it New Warriors did back in the day, but pretty much Champions is Marvel’s version of DC’s Teen Titans. Humberto Ramos is the right artist for this series (much better than Doctor Strange!) and with the first story arc having finally wrapped up, I think the team is in a good place. I’d like to see possibly the new Wasp (Nadia Pym) join up as well.
STORY: Kelly Thompson ART: Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire and Joe Sabino
Number of issues as of this article: 2
Premise: Kate Bishop is Hawkeye! (The girl one, the one people don’t want to punch in the face, well bad guys do but not everyday people…err…she’s the one who didn’t shoot and kill Bruce Banner). She’s in her own solo series, she’s in L.A., and she’s gonna be a P.I. (except she still doesn’t have that official license yet).
Scully’s Take: Kelly Thompson is a fun writer; she’s great with witty dialogue and crafts some simple but engaging stories. All of those traits work very well for Kate Bishop. If you’re new to the character, don’t expect much back story if at all here. Pretty much, just know that for a while Kate Bishop went by the name Hawkeye, (Clint Barton the original was believed dead), then ended up teaming up and being friends when Clint came back and took back the mantle, and now the two share the title (Ya know like The Wasp(s), Spider-Man(s), Thor(s), Marvel loves sharing names). A quick synopsis is that she’s good with a bow and arrow (maybe better than Clint), she was a young avenger and comes from a rich socialite family. Her reasons for becoming a hero are a bit darker, and I’d suggest reading up no those older Young Avengers comics to learn more! As for the art, Leonardo Romero is part of that retro look style that seems to be a big deal these days. Giving comics a more flatted and simple look. Nothing wrong with that and it fits this character just fine. I’ll still miss Matt Fraction writing her along with Clint and the art of Aja, but this seems to be finding a good place for itself in the Marvel line up.
STORY: Jeff Loveness & Ramon Perez ART: Ramon Perez & Ian Herring
Number of issues as of this article: 2
Premise: For the longest time now, Sam Alexander has been the sole NOVA running around, but now it seems the greatest NOVA of all Richard Rider is back! Or is he? The series will follow Sam as he forms a bond with the returning Rider in hopes of restarting the Nova Corps!
Scully’s Take: I’m glad Richard Rider is back, although I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop and this turns out to not actually be Richard Rider (but some physical manifestation of the World Mind). I’m also not sure why this series got restarted with a number 1, since for the most part it picks up right where Nova left off last series. Either way, Perez does an excellent job on art and Loveness and Perez appear to be putting together an interesting “what if” plot involving the returning Rider and the mystery of what really happened to Sam Alexander’s Dad (also a Nova Corp member, now missing for sometime). I’ll probably keep checking out the series, until things get really stupid.
THE GREAT LAKE AVENGERS
STORY: Zac Gorman ART: Will Robson, Tamra Bonvillain
Number of issues as of this article: 3
Premise: The team of lovable losers have been officially reinstated into the Avengers! (thanks to a fun technicality) and are now living in Detroit! The not so greatest, but also not the worst team in Marvel has one more shot at her glory, but can they answer the call? Do they even have 4g Coverage there?
Scully’s Take: I really like the small moments when the GLA showed up in a book, and were the running gag. It was like a really funny SNL skit, that got you to laugh because at most it was 5-6 minutes long and a funny idea. Then that skit somehow is made into a 1hr ½ movie and it just doesn’t seem so fun anymore. Sure, you get laughs throughout, but as a whole the movie is mostly forgettable except maybe one or two great quotable lines. Enter Marvel’s SNL skit that became a movie-The Great Lake Avengers. Can it be funny? Sure! Does it usually tend to feel like there’s something missing by the end of the issue? Yes! I don’t foresee the series going that long honestly, and while Zac Gorman is doing a fine job writing, I think the team was written best by Joe Kelly (in the Deadpool series he did, also he’s the best Deadpool writer!). Will Robson’s art is also a bit off putting at first, but within the context of the book I started to get into it. Overall it’s a decent series, but I just don’t see the longevity here.
STORY: Jeremy Whitley ART: Elsa Charretier, Megan Wilson
Number of issues as of this article: 1
Premise: Girl. Genius. Hero. Unstoppable. Nadia spent the entire first half of her life a captive of The Red Room, but now this teenage super-scientist is on her own for the first time, and she's ready to spread her wings! Hank Pym's daughter has a lot of time to make up for and she's determined to change the world. You know, if she can get her U.S. citizenship first.
Scully’s Take: I liked the character when she first appeared in the All-New All-Different Avengers by Waid just last year. I kept waiting for her to be turned into some secret Red Room spy or villain but instead Nadia has turned out to be a very fun, enjoyable character. She brings some of that same naive innocence Kamala Khan does over in the Ms. Marvel book. The premier issue has Nadia teaming up with Ms. Marvel and Mockingbird (who’s series was unjustly cancelled! Seriously go read it). Jeremy Whitley (awesome first name) does a really great job putting out an intro story, giving us the background of the character and essentially making this a self-contained issue all at once! If he can keep churning out gems like this, The Unstoppable Wasp can easily become a mega hit. Artist Elsa Charretier is similar to Hawkeye artist Romero, in that she also subscribes to the flatter, simpler art style (as oppose to someone like Jim Lee or Marc Silvestri, or Mike Del Mundo) which works out great for this character. I can see myself sticking it out with this series for a while.
THE UNWORTHY THOR
STORY: Jason Aaron ART: Olivier Coipel, Matthew Wilson
Number of issues as of this article: 3
PREMISE: Odinson's desperate search to regain his worthiness has taken him out into the cosmos, where he's learned of the existence of a mysterious other Mjolnir. This weapon of unimaginable power, a relic from a dead universe, is the key to Odinson's redemption - but some of the greatest villains of the Marvel Universe are now anxious to get their hands on it as well. Can The Odinson reclaim his honor, or will the power of thunder be wielded for evil? The quest for the hammer begins here.
Scully’s Take: The whole reason for Thor being unworthy still seems dumb to me. Nick Fury after having killed the Watcher and gained his omniscience, whispers something into Thor’s ear which makes him drop his hammer and no long able to pick it up. He’s become unworthy! Freyja/Friga made it so that anyone (not just a man) can wield the Mjolnir. Enter Jane Foster, who is now currently Thor! (which again makes no sense, Thor is actually a name, not a job title). So This series picks up our lost and wandering..err Thor (cause ya know, that’s his name) who’s feeling a ton of self-pity until he learns from a mysterious figure (Marvel loves mysterious figures) about the location of another hammer!! Dun dun dunnn!! Off Thor goes on his quest to find this hammer and hopefully regain his worthiness. Because someone getting a new hammer will off set whatever stupid thing Nick Fury whispered in his ear that made Thor lose his first hammer. Yeah, don’t try to make sense of it just go with it. That’s the Marvel Way! Luckily Jason Aaron is on board so the book will tie more comfortably with his other Thor series, and Olivier Coipel is always welcomed on art duties. I think this will be a short lived series as the end result will be Thor once again being Thor but with the hammer from the “The Ultimates” Thor (that imprint Mark Miller helped start and write not long ago). Then we’ll have two THOR titles going. I’ll probably read both, since Aaron is damn good, even if this over all story is stupid.
STORY: Al Ewing ART: Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov
Number of issues as of this article: 1
Premise: In a world beset by danger, the United States of America needs a team of heroes they can rely on. Welcome to... American Intelligence Mechanics! A.I.M. will dare any danger - no matter how awesome that danger might be - to save their nation from the wildest, weirdest threats of all! The most patriotic super-group ever is here to save the day. And they'll do it all looking tried and true in the red, white & blue! Can you live without... the U.S.Avengers?
Scully’s Take: Spinning out of the pages of New Avengers, comes a slightly revamped team (patriotic themed) and new writer Al Ewing, with returning artist Paco Medina. U.S. Avengers is about as ridiculous as it seems on the cover. Everything here is blatantly meant to be over the top action, like a whacky Saturday morning cartoon from the 80s. If you enjoyed New Avengers, then you won’t be disappointed here. I’m not the biggest Al Ewing fan, but if his writing holds up through this series as it did with issue 1, then I can definitely get into this. There are some problems I have, mainly why is everyone so gaga for RiRi Williams (new female Iron man, going by Ironheart) when Toni Ho (daughter of Ho Yinsen-guy who saved Tony Stark) basically made her own awesome Iron Patriot armor. I think that should get some love too. Also General Ross is not going to feel or talk anything like the Red Hulk/Ross we’ve seen in the prior Hulk comics. Expect what appears to be a more over the top borderline comedic angry Hulk. Regardless, the small kinks to me don’t hold back this otherwise fun book that I hope goes the distance.
That's the quick run down on some of Marvel's newest titles. What's been your favorite new series so far? Thinking of picking up any of the above? Sound off on the comments below!