Original Sin #0
Written by Mark Waid with Art by Jim Cheung, Paco Medina, Mark Morales, Guillermo Ortego, Dave Meikis, Juan Viasco and Justin Ponsor
I thought 0 issues were supposed to be short introductory comics, but this is a monster of a book (by modern standards at least.) To be fair it is a book which does not have a lot of plot, nor does it introduce a lot of information for anyone who has even a moderate understanding of the Marvel universe, but what it does have is an innocent charm, a calm before the storm which is to come.
I really enjoyed this book as Nova tries to understand who the Watcher is, posing questions to the Avengers which only a child could ask, but which shows how rigid their own thinking is. I understand why this book was pushed back a week because they needed to get the appearance out of the way in All-New X-Men before this kicked off and this was definitely worth waiting for. The only question is, can the rest of the series live up to this?
Written by W. Haden Blackman with Art by Michael Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso
There is a saying which goes ‘all bark and no bite’ or as my Dad used to say, ‘all trousers and no underpants’ (no I am not certain how that works either); this comic really makes me think of that. There is a lot of style here, the art and the words chosen and placed to provide the maximum impact, but in the end it all feels a bit weak. Part of that might be the colour palette which is intentionally pale and muted, but from a character who is so well known for her crimson outfit, it is a bit odd to see her in red-brown shaded with green.
This book is full of coloured text, almost every character has their own, and while I understand it is done to assist with reading compression, I do feel that if things had been made clearer in the first place the colour would have been unnecessary. My other criticism with the book is this is a repeat of the Black Widow series with Elektra taking on assassination missions from an uninvolved source and then going off to perform her task. This may well turn out differently, but right now everything about it from the art to the concept seems to be aping that series exactly.
Written by Mark Waid with Art by Chris Samnee and Javier Rodriquez
This book is still re-writing my expectations of a Daredevil comic. I have found him to be so dull in the past, but this change of scenery has improved everything about this book. Having been struck off in New York Matt has been forced to move to the only other area he can practice law in, San Francisco. Unlike New York which he could swing around quite literally blindfolded, here he is lost relying on his assistant Kisten McDuffie and Google Maps to guide him around.
We see the reintroduction of ‘The Owl’ and a new caped crime fighter ‘The Shroud’ who basically appears to be a chin in a blue cloak. Daredevil does his now usual hilarious deduction as he manages to predict who has arrived by how heavy they sound on his roof and then everything goes wrong for him, again.
Iron Patriot #2
Written by Ales Kot with Art by Garry Brown and Jim Charalampidis
Of all the new series Marvel has released this year it is a toss-up between this and Doop as to which one I dislike the most. Doop suffers from being unfunny when it needed to be funny and this suffers from being boring when it needed to be nail bitingly exciting. There is a double page spread where Rhody is drowning in his suit and it should feel panicky and tense, whereas this just feels lazy and sleepy and ends with a technical note about the Iron Patriot suit. Oh and then they blow it up. Two issues in and Iron Patriot is no more, it would not be so bad if this was called ‘James Rhodes,’ but it is not, it is Iron Patriot and this comic contains not enough of him.
If I could drop a series and not have to review it anymore, this would be it, but I will stick with it until I cannot stomach it anymore.
Avengers Undercover #3
Written by Dennis Hopeless with Art by Timothy Green II and Jea-Francois Beaulieu
I have one negative comment to make about book and I want to get it out of the way first; including the villains henchman there are 5 women in this comic all of whom have dark hair and are wearing black dresses. When you are struggling to tell the characters apart and are resorting to ‘who has the most cleavage’ you know they made a mistake with the artistic choices (it is Hazmat by the way).
With that out of the way, this is an absolutely awesome comic. I love the idea that they have infiltrated this rich party where people are trying to emulate them in murder world (hence the black dresses and penguin suits) and this book is stuffed full of character moments and development. However like with much of Avengers Arena it is the end of the book which is what you read for and this comic does not disappoint in anyway.
4.5/5 (lost .5 for the confusing outfits)
Fantastic Four #3
Written by James Robinson with Art by Leonard Kirk, Karl Kesel and Jesus Aburtov
It is interesting that were other comics are ever pressing forwards, the Fantastic Four seem to always be looking backwards. While they may be into their second new costume in the last 5 years they still draw on events from over 50 years ago. Thor has moved on from Jane, Spider-Man has moved on from being a teenager, but the Thing is forever on and off with Alica and the covers are still as misleading as they were in the 60’s.
Having said all that this is the most interesting Fantastic Four series I have read in a long time, perhaps ever because it relies less on technobable and more on the character relationships.
All-New Invaders #4
Written by James Robinson with Art by Steve Pugh and Guru-eFX
This book is certainly a slow burner, which is not necessarily a bad thing unless you work in a medium which has a 50% sales drop off after the first issue, more if people did not immediately take to it. I was really unconvinced by the first two issues; it felt old for the sake of it and was missing a spark. Well that spark certainly was kicked off straight away when the Kree shot Bucky in the chest.
All my initial issues with the art are completely gone now, so much so that I just had to check they had not changed artists. The story is much tighter and more dynamic now and while there are still a lot of flash backs, they are much punchier than before. Overall this is one of the most improved books out now and also one of the most potentially interesting storylines.
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #12 (Final Issue)
Written by Kevin Shinck with Art by Ron Frenz, Sal Buscema, Marco Checchetto and Rachelle Rosenberg
This is one of those comics I should have seen coming. We spent such a long time with Peter’s ghost it was almost required that we would now see Otto’s. I am not entirely sure what this comic is trying to do; obviously the Superior Spider-Man could not team up with anyone seeing as how he is now gone, so this is a team-up inside Peters mind of Otto and the Goblin from Otto’s memories. Yes, it is just about as confusing as it sounds.
With so many artists on this one it is obvious that there is some change in styles throughout this book, however unlike usually, they got this one spot on. The team up in done in a style very reminiscent of 60s-70s marvel comics so that it feels of that era, but when it comes back to the present day the art jumps from ink shaded block colour through to full painted panels and those last few pages are really quite special.
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett with Art by Nick Bradshaw, Jason Masters, Todd Nauck, Walden Wong, Justin Ponsor, Phil Jimenez, Livesay, Antonio Fabela, Gerado Sandoval and Rachelle Rosenberg
This is a double length issue with three stories, hence the extended credits and for the most part, this is a very impressive comic. The main story carries on the story of the Guardians bumbling their way around the Galaxy trying not to upset everyone they come into contact with. It explains something that I had been wondering about which was why Venom left the Thunderbolts. Well the answer is so he can come and join Drax and have his masculinity questioned. This comic would have been enough on its own as there is a lot going on in this book with far reaching consequences for the team.
The second story is how Groot came to be away from his people. The only question I have is if the only thing he can say is ‘I am Groot’ which is clearly said in English, what does ‘I am Groot’ mean in his own language because it is the only thing his people say. Logically it makes no sense unless that phrase has a completely different meaning to the tree people. Either way, this comic is cute and a little heartbreaking given what happened to the poor young sapling.
The final story is basically an Avengers/Guardians crossover in the year 3014 with a super hero team called the Guardians saving all the poor earthlings. I have a feeling that this may well come into the main storyline because of how this ends and that is not entirely an unwelcome event.
Uncanny Avengers #19
Written by Rick Remender with Art by Daniel Acuna
I want to kill Remender. Seriously just when I got the impression that this series had turned a corner and was going to get interesting, they go and mess pretty much the entire comic up. We all knew that this 6 year skip into the future after the destruction of the Earth was a temporary thing, mainly because if it was not, they would have to cancel every other book they are currently publishing. We left the last issue with the moral decision for Havok of saving the world, but losing his child in the process (as she would not have been born) so straight away in this issue they handwave that away as Krang appears.
The next problem with this issue is that they have to send back the consciousnesses of all the members of the unity team to save the world from being destroyed. It is just too convoluted, there is no intrinsic reason why they have to now spend issues finding the missing members other than that is what he writer wanted. It would make a lot more sense to simply send back who they have now rather than risk killing everyone they currently have on a fool’s errand.
Finally, and most importantly, they tell us very clearly that 6 years have passed. If that is the case why does Scott Summers look 55 and old enough to be Havok’s Dad or Cable look 60. None of the ‘hero’ team have aged like this and it is really hard to look at it because it is so clearly wrong, the words do not match the pictures.
This book has ruined it for me now, it is clear there will be no lasting consequences from this series (save for perhaps Havok and Wasp having a child) as all that is going back in time are their consciousnesses. Like Captain America spending 10 years in another dimension, it will only be relevant if the future writers want it to be, otherwise, it will be business as usual once this ends.
Written by Charles Soule with Art by Paco Diaz and Israel Silva
Am I the only one who is slightly grossed out by a young woman kissing General Ross? I do not think this is intentional and she is supposed to be quite a lot older, but most comic artists seem to only be able to draw 19 year old women. This book has really gotten me confused, but in a good way, because this issue starts dramatically, gets more so and then ends in a most gruesome fashion. This comic gets full marks for grabbing my attention, but it has a long way to go next issue in order to get it to make sense.
The Generals mission to discover what happened to his lost soldiers looks set to ensure that he loses a few more along the way, but more worrying is the Red Leader. After 20 issues of him being confused and docile, he finally seems to have gotten his mojo back in dramatic style.