Spiral // artwork by Peter Nguyen (2013)
So I Read Today… Avengers #1 - #6 (2013)
I spent the last four years reading Bendis Avengers and while I enjoyed very much the take of the writer on all things related to Earth Mightiest Heroes I saw them jump from one crisis to another with very little space for character development (other than the introspective issues where all the characters relate a single story in their own perspective). However I think that he did a very good job wrapping up every plot he had laid out. Enter the Marvel NOW initiative and a revamp (or dare I say “re-interpretation”) of the concept with writer Jonathan Hickman at the head and artists Jerome Opeña and Adam Kubert as the storytellers. Boys and girls I have to tell you: This is the best god damn Avengers book out there right now!
As is expected the book kicks-off with the big crisis one that only The Avengers can deal with, Bendis did something very right with the team and Jonathan has picked up on this: The Avengers is now a true force to be recognized power-wise. I would even go as far as saying that on par with Dc’s Justice League. The core team is of course the six main characters from the movie, but as the crisis grown the team just goes bigger and packing the power of b-list characters that are way overpowered and get a real chance to shine in the spotlight on Hickman’s hands.
Hyperion, Captain Universe and Smasher all get the spotlight after the first initial crisis and you get to learn so much about these characters that you realize why you hand’t taken notice of them years ago. Better yet: why somebody hasn’t taken a bother to write them and make you care about them. If this is the pace picked by Hickman to tell his Avengers tale, I’m very much looking forward to see what he has planned for the team. More so if the artist roster keeps up the quality of these first six issues. I highly recommend this book, it will be money well spent!
Marvel NOW! Cyclops // artwork by Memeth Ozen (2013)
Uncanny X-Force // artwork by Ron Garney (2013)
Cover art for Uncanny X-Force #1.
Iron Man // artwork by Jimmy Cheung (2013)
Variant cover for Iron Man #5.
Cover art for the first two issues of the new comic featuring Otto Octavius as The Superior Spider-Man!
Cover art for Uncanny X-Men #1 & #2 for the new Marvel NOW era!
This one panel resumes how good is the new Avengers #1 by Marvel Comics in the Marvel NOW era, go and read it it’s incredibly fun!
Uncanny X-Force: The New Team! // artwork by Kris Anka (2012)
Cover art for Uncanny X-Force #2. Featuring: Storm, Psylocke, Spiral, Lady Fantomex and Puck.
So I Read Today… Iron Man #1 (2012)
The Marvel NOW initiative continues with yet another renumbering for Iron Man. The classic for Tony has always been “The Invincible Iron Man” which has got so far three renumberings and a turn back to the old numbering to reach #527. In this new numbering we have Tony in a black and golden armor that resembles the one recently featured in the “The Future” storyline. Not having Extremis in his body anymore the suit of armor it’s made of a new alloy that can adapt to any combat situation.
Extremis however stills play a part in the new story as the creator of the technology, Maya Hansen dies sending a message to Tony in the first few pages of the book. The last words leave a very heavy situation on Tony’s shoulders: Extremis has gone out to the highest bidder and Iron Man will have to do anything in his power to get it back. It’s really easy for Tony to reach the organization who made this possible: AIM the creators of MODOK and The Cosmic Cube are back in business. As Tony brings down their operation he finds out that four other powerful groups already have the technology on their hands.
The set-up for this story takes a lot from an old concept in the pages of Iron Man history (The Armor Wars) still the first issue makes for a compelling story with a lot of character development for Tony and Pepper who as always share a lot of the focus in the book. Kieron Giullen, the man who made The X-Men readable again has an amazing debut and I’m pretty sure we’ll be taken for a sweet ride given the fact that the guy can write and the last 5 years of X-Men stories are there to prove it.
His work however will be pounded something fierce by what it is my main gripe with this relaunch for the character: The art by Greg Land. It escapes to me why a solid talent house like Marvel Comics allows such a terrible artist on some of his best selling books. I’m pretty sure that I’am not the first one to judge his work, neither I will be the last as heavy critics and more deep observers than me have pointed out in the past how Greg Land’s work makes Rob Liefeld look like Picasso. The heavy use of stock models for reference, the awkward storytelling, the inconsistency in every character features from panel to panel. This is the first time I complain about a comic book in this blog but mainly because it’s a situation I’ve put up with as fan for a long time and I’m done with this guy’s work.