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Inhumanity Checklist (December 2013)

DECEMBER 2013

  • Inhumanity #1
  • Inhumanity: The Awakening #1 (of 2)
  • Mighty Avengers #4.INH
  • New Avengers #13.INH
  • Indestructible Hulk #17.INH
  • Avengers Assemble #22.INH
  • Uncanny X-Men #15.INH
  • Avengers A.I. #7.INH

Source: Promotional Postcard (see below)

inhumanitychecklist01

inhumanitychecklist02

Infinity [Checklist]

AUGUST 2013
Infinity # 1
Avengers # 18
New Avengers # 9
Avengers Assemble # 18 [tie-in]
Captain Marvel # 15 [tie-in]
Thunderbolts # 14 [tie-in]

SEPTEMBER 2013
Infinity # 2
Infinity # 3
Avengers # 19
Avengers # 20
New Avengers # 10
Avengers Assemble # 19 [tie-in]
Captain Marvel # 16 [tie-in]
Infinity Heist # 1 [tie-in]
Infinity: The Hunt # 1 [tie-in]
Mighty Avengers # 1 [tie-in]
Nova # 8 [tie-in]
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up # 3 [tie-in]
Superior Spider-Man Team-Up # 4 [tie-in]
Thunderbolts # 15 [tie-in]

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source: promotional postcard (pictured above)

Marvel Now: Avengers, New Avengers, and A+X

Avengers #s 1-2

avengers(now)001While I’d heard plenty of good about this title, which contributed to my reluctantly deciding to try these issues, I was fairly disappointed. I’m all for big, epic Avengers stuff…but I guess I’ve largely been “out” of Avengers stories for so long that I’m just not interested by these first couple issues. I’m not familiar with the antagonists, and the sheer scale of this story suggests line-wide crossover, and the fact it’s not happening kinda makes this seem like no more than some one-off out-of-continuity story.

I’ve heard so much good about Hickman and praise for his runs on Fantastic Four and FF that perhaps I’ve allowed my expectations to get the best of me, at least for being only two issues in. Still, at $4/issue I’m not inclined to patience, and if this is truly yet another reads-better-in-five-to-six-issue-chunks deal, it’s not enjoyable enough for me as a single issue thing.

avengers(now)002The art’s not bad, though it also seems a bit “off,” and I’m not quite sure what to make of it so far.

The title is not helped by my being strongly reminded somehow of the Justice Society of America mega-arc Thy Kingdom Come a few years ago.

While it’s possible I’ll pick up #3 at some point, unless it’s a slow week I may just cut my losses with this title, as I hadn’t even planned on giving it a shot at all, and have already given it two issues.

New Avengers #1

I bought this issue primarily because I’d given Avengers 1-2 a shot, and was lured in at the prospect of the Marvel Illuminati, and Infinity Gems and such.

newavengers(now)001I was quite disappointed to find this first issue virtually entirely a Black Panther issue, with a lot of stuff seeming to make it very much a “zero issue” rather than a solid first issue.

I really, really liked the art, though–it was a huge treat to look at, and if the series was $2.99 instead of $3.99, I would actually be inclined to give it a few more issues for the art alone.

As-is, I’m frustrated at #1 issues being no more than “just the first chapter” of a graphic novel instead of truly standing on their own, and at $3.99 and not being truly hooked going in…the title’s not predisposed to do well with me.

Add to that that this seems to be set in some totally different time than Avengers #s 1-2 and I’m not interested in just another Avengers-related story that’s not even tied to the “regular” Avengers title.

While I’m not completely opposed to giving this another issue…like Avengers, I may just cut my losses and stick to other stuff.

A+X #s 2-3

aplusx002I really do like the concept of putting characters together that usually aren’t, for the different dynamics. That each story is told in half an issue really means a lot of compression and getting to the point–something that seems all too rare these days in comics (at least from Marvel or DC). Being “continuity-lite” keeps things accessible–not being mired in ongoing stuff, nor forcing me to go buy other titles to keep up with what’s going on.

But that strength also hinders–as it doesn’t seem like this title really “matters” overall–it’s just these quick shorts with characters thrown together for highly brief slice-of-life stuff.

The Rogue/Black Widow story was kinda disappointing–both characters seemed a bit “off,” particularly Black Widow; and by the end of the story it was like the two had been subbed into some sort of alternate take on the “Girls of Gotham” concept with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. aplusx003The Iron Man/Kitty Pryde story was more interesting–and I suppose contrary to what I said above, does matter: I don’t think I’d ever really seen Kitty as being an official “genius” within Marvel, but after reading that noticed reference to it a couple other places.

The Hawkeye/Gambit story was forgettable and virtually inconsequential to either character; something to it just didn’t sit all that wonderfully with me. And while I never cared for the Black Panther/Storm marriage stuff…the way it was ended seemed sudden and equally forced, almost written off the way the “Angelic Punisher” stuff was when Ennis kicked off the “Welcome Back Frank” arc ages ago. But this quick look at stuff with T’Challa and Ororo kinda “redeemed” the way things went down in AvX.

Ultimately, this series is proving hit or miss, and while I’d be all aboard for only $2.99, I have the feeling that the $3.99 price point is going to really contribute to my leaving this behind sooner than not. By its nature, though, it’ll make great dollar-bin fodder.

My Failure to Avoid Marvel Now

allnewxmen005Considering I had planned to simply finish out AvX last year and call it quits for a time with Marvel, they’ve done a great job of keeping me despite that, with this whole Marvel Now initiative.

In fact, at least as far as its impact on me–I’d say the thing’s a huge success.

I didn’t want to buy anything Marvel Now. I didn’t want to be interested. I WANTED the jumping-off point. I was truly looking forward to the excuse to pare back to simply Valiant and TMNT for a few months.

thunderbolts(now)002But I read that darned preview of All-New X-Men, and it hooked me. And I decided to read that first issue of A+X. And the two titles proved a slippery slope into a chunk of Marvel Now for me.

At the beginning of December, I thought Cable and X-Force was due out that week. As I was visiting a friend in Alabama, the only comic shop I had access to was one we found via the Comic Shop Locator Service, and Cable and X-Force was not with the new issues. So, in part due to it being only $2.99, I picked up Thunderbolts #1.

xmenlegacy(now)002A couple weeks ago, my local comic shop put a bunch of Marvel Now issues out on the rack for $1/apiece as “overstock,” so I picked up X-Men Legacy #s 1-2, Avengers Arena #1, and FF #1 to try. For $1 (or 99-cents) I’ll give most any full-size issue a try (I even have a standing order alongside my pull list for $1-and-under specials to be pulled).

While hunting for Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 a couple weeks back, I wound up buying Avengers #s 1-2 to more than meet a $5 minimum purchase for paying with a card at one shop, and then with a slow week last week went ahead and bought New Avengers #1 and X-Men Legacy #3.

avengers(now)002I’m looking forward to trying Uncanny X-Force #1 for the writing–I’ve enjoyed HumphriesHigher Earth, and with that ending figure I’ll give his UXF a shot. I’m also looking forward to an Uncanny X-Men focused on Cyclops and Magneto. Despite myself, I even enjoyed FF enough that–as a $2.99 book–I may look for other issues soon.

The trouble, unfortunately, is that most of these books are $3.99; as are upcoming ones.

Two new Avengers books and they don’t even seem to be set in the same continuity, let alone in the same continuity as what I think I’ve observed with the Captain America book.

aplusx003As of present, I’ve tried at least the first issue of 9 titles, with Uncanny X-Force and Superior Spider-Man #1s both forthcoming yet, which will put me up to 11. Toss in the pending Uncanny X-Men and apparently a Wolverine title (not Savage Wolverine), and across a few months Marvel‘s got me at about half the number of books I tried with DC‘s New 52 relaunch. Spread out like this, though…it feels like there’s more room to “breathe” and actually try different titles without being overwhelmed.

Which, in the end seems to be what they were going for, “learning” from DC‘s putting out 52 new titles in one month.

The Rest of the Stack: Week of May 9, 2012

The Rest of the Stack is my general mini-review coverage of new comics for any given week. It’s in addition to (or in place of) full-size individual reviews. It’s far less formal, and more off-the-top-of-my head thoughts on the given comics than it is detailed reviews.

X-MEN LEGACY #266

avxxmenlegacy266Rogue, Gambit, and the rest of the adults at Wolverine’s school struggle to decide which side of the conflict they’re going to fall on, though they want to still present a unified front to the students. When Avengers show up at the school, they’re asked to remain a specific distance away from the mansion and do their “watching” from there. Of course, not all the adults want to remain strictly conflict-free, and after some provocation, the Avengers vs. X-Men battle arrives at the Jean Grey School. As things spiral out of hand, the Avengers call in a Big Gun. This is another AvX tie-in, and seems to be set fairly early in the overall story–possibly before last week’s Avengers Academy issue. (I do wish there’d be a timeline published to situate the tie-ins with the main AvX title). Art’s good overall; I followed the visual side of things quite well here. Story-wise, not bad…it’s been awhile since I last checked in with these characters, so it’s interesting seeing them again, and I look forward to catching up with ’em over the next couple months’ worth of tie-in issues. Not sure how well this fits in terms of ongoing plot-points, but as another of these many tie-ins, it continues to fill in extra details on the deeper/more thorough side of things beyond the “core” plot points of the main AvX title. (8/10)

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #10

avxwolverineandthexmen010Cyclops and Co. show up at Wolverine’s school seeking momentary sanctuary. Their presence of course isn’t trusted at face value. Meanwhile, Genesis (“Kid Apocalypse”) and Angel deal with their own lack of belonging–Genesis for everyone believing him to be (or capable of becoming) Apocalypse, and Angel for having the appearance of an original X-man but with no memory or trace of the original’s personality. While the Avengers Call comes in, Gladiator’s agents arrive on Earth with a mission that may not be immediately tolerated by the Jean Grey School’s mutants. I don’t care much for the art with this issue…but darned if there aren’t some interesting concepts here! It’s kinda cool seeing Angel and Genesis here–that even if not serving as focal points in Uncanny X-Force the characters aren’t being forgotten as mere plot points but are actually being developed. This might be a book that if I can get myself to tolerate the art I might actually track down back issues for and maybe continue with beyond AvX. Story’s not bad, though pulled down a bit by my distaste for the art…but a solid issue. (7/10)

NEW AVENGERS #26

avxnewavengers026Hundreds of years ago, a new candidate for the Iron Fist is chosen. After an accelerated training period, she tests to become the Iron Fist. She may also be a vessel of the Phoenix and the only hope for the Earth’s survival. I sure hope this retconning in of the Iron Fist vs. Phoenix thing becomes a key point in the main series, as otherwise I really don’t much care about Iron Fist History, and other than the thematic tie it otherwise seems outside the AvX story as a whole. The story itself isn’t bad, and for the most part I really dig the art…especially the cover (misleading though it is). I have the feeling I’m going to “get” more out of these New Avengers tie-in issues once the arc’s further in and I have more context for the character and the “flashback” is fleshed out a bit more (especially now that I realize this entire arc may be a flashback). As I’ve temporarily suspended my avoidance of these Avengers and X-Men titles over the $3.99 price point, I’m trying to just enjoy ’em as part of this unintended immersion…this issue may well be what “hooks” me on the Iron Fist, but it’s sure not something I would have sought out or cared to bother with without the AvX banner. (8/10)

WALKING DEAD #97

walkingdead097Rick’s group encounters their new opponents and sets forth “the” new ultimatum they’ll be operating under. Rick and Andrea have a moment and further process some recent interaction, while Maggie has some important new for Glen, and the rest of the survivors continue about their lives. Nearly half a series beyond that story leading to issue #48 or so and I still haven’t grown all that attached to non-early characters. And things are ramping up toward the big 100th issue, though that seems likely to fall mid-story arc. I’m sorta indifferent about this issue. It’s another issue (second in a month, which I don’t mind so long as it keeps to the $3 price point), meeting with usual expectation overall. Solid story, solid art. Maybe the only downside is that the cliffhanger isn’t quite as “major” as some others have been. I am finding this series to be blurring a bit on the issue-to-issue basis, and am starting to think of stepping back again from the singles and just get the collected volumes…or hold off reading til I have 2-3+ issues to read in one sitting, as some of these issues seem particularly short. Still…I love that even coming late to the party as I did (around issue 32 or 33, perhaps?) I’ve been onboard for 2/3 this series’ existence. (7.5/10)

HIGHER EARTH #1

higherearth001Seems there are multiple Earths if you can punch through the wall between universes. Some are aware of these other Earths, and there’s a system in place to regulate travel between the Earths. Some are considered better than others, and the further “down” you go, the less prestige an Earth has. The “prime” Earth is called “Higher Earth,” and is above the others. We open on a lower Earth, where some sort of warrior arrives in search of a resident, who he has to educate on the fly about the existence of these other Earths, and convince her to travel with him to another. He does this while dealing with “locals” as well as being chased by other forces seeking to stop his quest. This wasn’t a bad $1 issue (which is why it wound up in my purchase…part of my pull list is a standard pull of $1.00-ish or less issues exactly like this). I like the concept, and as a first issue, it does what I’d hope–introduces the premise, a couple main characters, an antagonist or few, and leaves one with something of a “hook” to come back for the next issue. The art’s solid–nothing spectacular, but really nothing to complain about. Incidentally, the older warrior and the young red-head puts me in mind of Cable/Hope from Marvel…which has me curious and interested in where things go. Unfortunately, as with the other week’s $1 premiere of Fanboys vs. Zombies…the trouble comes in the fact that while the issue’s definitely worth the $1 and probably would be at $2.99, I’m assuming this is another $3.99 book…which means that I’m not going to come back for #2 “off the rack.” I may eventually come back to Higher Earth either from bargain bins or a good price on a collected volume, though. (7.5/10)

TMNT COLOR CLASSICS #1

tmntcolorclassics001Continuing the wealth of TMNT material from IDW, this issue re-presents the original TMNT #1…but in color. This is the original comic book that started it all, the original presentation of the TMNT, Splinter, Shredder, and the origin. Though originally in black-and-white, the issue has been colorized by Tom Smith’s Scorpion Studios. If you’re not already familiar with the Turtles as they originally appeared, their story began as they were attacked by a street gang–the Purple Dragons. After a brutal fight, they return home–all having survived. Splinter deems their skills to be at their peak, and reveals to them their origin–of ninjas in Japan, of a doomed love, revenge, and a strange ooze. The turtles challenge the killer of their master’s owner and his wife, and soon the turtles do battle with Oroku Saki–the Shredder. Even though I’ve read this story plenty of times before this week…I quite enjoy revisiting it…especially at the hope of re-reading the original adventures of the TMNT in color on a monthly single-issue basis. I like the colorization of the issue, and will eventually have to compare it to the First Graphic Novel edition. There’s something to the way this was done that–for lack of better phrasing–“respects” the original art, while presenting it in color and thus making this edition “new” rather than “merely” a reprint. Highly, HIGHLY recommended if you’re a TMNT fan and haven’t yet read the original Mirage #1 story! (9.5/10)

The Rest of the Stack: Week of April 25, 2012

 

The Rest of the Stack is my general mini-review coverage of new comics for any given week. It’s in addition to (or in place of) full-size individual reviews. It’s far less formal, and more off-the-top-of-my head thoughts on the given comics than it is detailed reviews.

BATMAN #8

batman008So, Night of the Owls begins. I’m totally torn on this event: I can’t quite decide if I want to jump in with both feet like I have with AvX, or wait for some inevitable collected edition. I did miss this the week it came out, so picked it up this past week–something I rarely do with comics anymore. The art holds up well–Capullo has a style that I’ve really come to associate with current Batman and for better or worse, owls. This issue’s story kicks things off with talons invading Wayne Manor, forcing Bruce and Alfred into defensive mode; in a way that seems quite appropriate for kicking off this sorta multi-title story. I absolutely do NOT like the $3.99 price, and the backup seems a bit of a waste–something that should’ve simply been published separately and given away to entice folks into things, or been “free” and that thing at the back of all the Bat-books for the week. I’d just dropped this title from my pull list and have none of the others on it…this tempts me toward Night of the Owls, but I may wait for reviews myself and backtrack or pick up the collected edition in a couple years when DC actually puts one out. (7/10)

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #9

teenagemutantninjaturtles009Hard to believe this title is already at 9 issues. While I continue to quite enjoy it (and the assorted tie-ins/minis), it does seem it’s taken awhile to world-build. This issue sees April introduced to the turtles, who once introductions are finished follow a lead to track down their kidnapped father. Meanwhile, Splinter finds himself at the mercy of Old Hob, and then the force behind the mutated cat, and a new foe significantly dangerous to him and his sons. Visually, this issue continues the stylized take on the Turtles. ANd as usual, I like the style overall…though there are a few panels where it looks like the turtles could be green blobs wearing cardboard turtle-bellies. Story-wise, we get some good forward movement on the title with references to the recent solo-turtle one-shots to tie them firmly into the main story. Assuming the 2nd official arc was 4 issues like the first, this begins the title’s third arc–and given the last page, promises plenty of action and a certain familiarity to old fans despite being a new continuity. (8/10)

AVX: VS #1

avxvs001This thing is quite upfront at what it is–FIGHTING. This title is not to advance the plot of the crossover, no particular reveals, and all that…this is just simply a couple of expanded fight-scenes detailing more of the fights seen in the main AvX title. This issue sees Iron Man vs. Magneto and The Thing vs. Namor. The Iron Man vs. Magneto fight was sorta interesting in a way–moreso than it probably ought to have been. But there are some REALLY far-fetched details that made me wonder if I’m reading a published-in-2012 comic or a published-in-the-1960s comic. Nothing particularly memorable in the Thing/Namor fight for me. The art for both segments worked well enough for me–and I really liked the full-page of Magneto–but overall, this was total fluff, hardly worth its cover price. Not bad, mind you, but this is entirely geared towards folks who want the fights and no plot. I’m thankful this is only 6 issues and not 12 alternating with the main title. There’s a bit of “fun” to this in a way–to see the characters really lay into each other. But I’m not really a “who would win..?” sorta guy, so this is more incidental than anything else…and simply proves to me that “who would win” is answered by “whoever the writer WANTS to win!” (6/10)

SECRET AVENGERS #26

avxsecretavengers026This issue sees some of the Avengers in space, taking the fight TO the Phoenix. We get some team bonding as they head to the encounter, and some of the action of the fight itself. We also get a side plot involving the commandeering of the Phoenix for it’s “rebirth” faculty, which leads to a final page cliffhanger I actually saw coming thanks to an ad I’d already seen for the next issue. Story-wise, I liked this issue well enough; it has direct ties to the point of the crossover, sees the fight taken to the Phoenix instead of the thing merely looming over everyone. The art, though…absolutely NOT AT ALL to my taste, especially with a beautiful cover for contrast. This is another issue I’m jumping in on solely for the AvX crossover, and other stories be darned. For my intent, this is not a disappointment. (7/10)

UNCANNY X-MEN #11

avxuncannyxmen011As with other titles involved with the AvX event…I picked this up solely for the tie-in. The issue is primarily focused on Hope dealing with making her own decisions and not having them made FOR her, while Red Hulk and “Colossunaut” square off. We do get a nice moment at the issue’s end that sets some stuff in motion from Cyclops that is sure to play into the overall story. For having snagged this issue, it’s cool to see such a moment kicked off here…but it’s the sorta thing that can really be just an incidental detail to the core AvX, something that happened, but you don’t need its actual moment on-panel for the main event. Story’s not too impressive, but the art’s not bad at all. I’m increasingly disappointed that these issues are not all coming with the code for the digital version…that would really be a nice offset to the $3.99 cover price I so despise. (7/10)

NEW AVENGERS #25

avxnewavengers025This issue is almost entirely “flashback,” inserting the Phoenix Force into the past of the Iron Fist and his mythology. I don’t normally care for this sort of thing, but the way it’s done works well enough for me…though that may be because I’m not all that invested in the character, and am primarily familiar with him from a short (2-issue?) mini-series in the late 1990s, and whatever bits ‘n pieces of detail I’ve picked up since. Though the story and art aren’t bad, this issue has a lot of silent, huge panels and full-page/double-page splash images, including one that’s quite reminiscent of AvX #1, which does feel like a shortchanging on story content for the despised $3.99 cover price. I’ll be interested to see how this does affect Iron Fist in the next issue, assuming I don’t get disgusted with virtually every single tie-in being $3.99 and the constant full-page/double-page splashes of the Phoenix Force. I get it: the thing’s huge, and freakin’ powerful. It’s a cosmic entity. But for me, picking up all the tie-ins so far, the size/scope of the thing is cheapened a bit when it’s constantly shown in such huge panels. (7/10)

New Avengers #24 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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