20 Nov, 2012

Marvel Now up to now! Part 1 (Spoilers)

Posted by Raphael in Reviews

Midtown Bloggerinos! Raph here, to talk about the new Marvel Now! books that have come out so far. There’s a new age in Marvel, and creative teams are changing along with the universe. Exciting times, but is it worth your time? I’m about to go through, book by book, and tell you!  Warning: there may be some minor spoilers.

Uncanny Avengers

Rick Remender might be this year’s award winner for Breakout Star. Having started on creator-owned fare like the amazing Fear Agentthen moving on to cult pieces like Frankencastle, to finally making a critical/commercial hit with Uncanny X-Force. Now Marvel has handed Mr. Remender the keys to the figurative Ferrari: the Uncanny Avengers

With the Avengers and X-Men playing nice post-AvX, it makes sense to combine the two into a super team consisting of best of both. While the team isn’t fully assembled, it looks to be a formidable one. Remender does a great job with this opening salvo, and John Cassaday’s art isn’t that shabby either. They both do an amazing job of evoking multiple genres of storytelling in 22 pages of comics: an action-fest, a gravitas-heavy drama, and a 1950’s classic science fiction movie. Whether it’s a conversation about creating a new team, or a conflict between former friends… the dialogue is great, the pacing is strong and the art is terrific. Comics are meant to be episodic, and this felt like a great opener. If you were iffy about picking up any Marvel Now books, pick up Uncanny Avengers and decide from there.

Iron Man

Kieron Gillen is an underrated writer. He had a pretty good run on Uncanny X-Men, and he also wrote everyone’s beloved, devious child diety, Kid Loki in Journey into Mystery. Now Kieron and Greg Land are on Iron Man, which actually works for Land’s artwork (pictured above). Kieron is very good at big picture books, and nobody is more big picture than Tony Stark. The plot revisits something from Tony’s recent past: Extremis. It also brings to mind the best part of Tony’s story: his burden.

Tony Stark started out as a military industrialist. He made weapons that were very good at killing. Even his Iron Man suit, which originally was meant to save his life, is a weapon of immense power. Tony, didn’t create Extremis, but he did utilize it to help create the last few generations of Iron Man armor. The responsibility falls on him to prevent Extremis from spreading, and Kieron gives a decent weight to Tony’s inner thoughts, while not marginalizing the supporting cast. The threat is real, and something only Tony can really handle, and Kieron is off to a good start.

Deadpool

Deadpool! Dead Presidents!! HILARIOUS!!!

Okay. Real Review Time.

Deadpool is being written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn. Gerry wrote Infinite Horizon, an Image Comics series, and is still a relative newcomer to comics. Brian Posehn is probably best known as being a comedian and a nerd, and not in that order. I think it’s pretty cool to have a guy like Brian in comics, someone who people recognize outside of our little realm of comics. Throw in the mega talented Tony Moore, and you have a well drawn comic that actually has comedic value, a strong plot, and laugh out loud moments. It’s interesting that the book came out right around election time, considering the plot: all the deceased Presidents are reanimated and they wanted to “fix” the country… by destroying everything! With SHIELD not wanting images of Captain America decapitating beloved former leaders, they’ve hired the Merc with a Mouth to do so. It’s a lot of goofy fun, and I think that’s what Deadpool needs to be.

X-Men Legacy

Simon Spurrier and Diogenes Neves have put together one of the stranger Marvel Now! books. X-Men Legacy is back to focusing on Legion, but I think it’s a good thing: in the wake of AvX, Legion is Xavier’s genetic legacy: his surviving son. As Legion struggles to gain control of his psyche, things get out of hand. This book may not be for every mainstream comic book fan, but it’s definitely worth a read. Spurrier does a brilliant job with the character development, and visualizing David’s control of his MPD as a prison he suctions off the others’ powers from is clever. His other personalities may seem him as a tyrant, but he’s the only thing keeping the world safe from the disparate personalities.

Thor: God of Thunder

THOR! GOD OF THNDER! He’s arguably one of my favorite characters, I think I wish I was 6’4″ with long blonde hair and a hammer and I could smash frost giants and dwarves and yell for mead and throw cups on the ground… oh you Vikings…

Jason Aaron has shown himself to be a really versatile writer. From the dark, gritty Scalped to the lighter, more comedic Wolverine and the X-Men, Jason has been consistently good. Thor: God of Thunder is an across the ages story at three different times in Thor’s life. Each time, he faces a threat that even gods can’t handle. Aaron’s Thor across the ages shows his age: young and brash, in his prime and bold, and old and weary… each instance of Thor rings true to the Thunder God. Esad Ribic’s art is equal to the task of giving Thor a visage of youth and vigor, of strength and power and then of age and weariness. I liked Matt Fraction’s previous run on Thor, but Jason Aaron has started off with a bang, or should I say a KRACK BOOOOOM…the thunder always is a little later than the lightning.

That’s it for this week, next week I’ll be looking at A+X, Fantastic Four, All New X-Men, Indestructible Hulk and Captain America. Let us know what you think of these books in the comment section!!

Until next time–

BE HEROIC, READ A COMIC!

– Raph

 

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