Monday, October 15, 2012

Marvel NOW! - It's Here & Best Bets

Call it a refresh, call it a reshuffling, call it musical chairs, just don't call it a reboot. Just as DC Comics had success last year rebooting their entire line of books, starting November (outside of three books launched this month) Marvel are giving many of their books a fresh coat of paint. But are any of them worth your while? Below are the announced titles so far, the PREVIEWS solicit text and New York Comic Con press releases. The site Marvel has for this event is very unhelpful, missing info about who is writing/drawing the books to information on the books themselves. Also, I will have my thoughts on each of these books.



UNCANNY AVENGERS
: RICK REMENDER (writer); JOHN CASSADAY (artist)

THIS IS IT! The greatest era of the Marvel Universe starts here! From the ashes of AvX an all-new, all-different Avengers assemble! Captain America begins his quest to create a sanctioned Avengers unit comprised of Avengers and X-Men, humans and mutants working together – so why is Professor Xavier’s dream more at risk than ever? The first attack of the most loathsome villain in history will quake the Marvel Universe forever! The funeral of one of Marvel’s greatest heroes!
LFC's Thoughts: I actually read this! And it was OK. The presence of Thor and Havok both felt hollow. Cassaday's art was really nice. The Red Skull's master plan seems to be one of those "Can't come back from" scenarios for someone. But, not compelling enough to add to the pull list. Verdict: WON'T BUY
RED SHE-HULK
: JEFF PARKER (writer); CARLO PAGULAYAN & WELLINGTON ALVES (artists)
The Earth's strongest female set on a path of destruction. Her enemies? Every powered being in the Marvel Universe!
LFC's Thoughts: A rebranding of Parker's ongoing Hulk keeping the same numbering picking up at #58. Will not be checking this one out. Verdict: WON'T BUY
A + X: rotating writers and artists
Get ready for action-packed stories featuring team-ups from your favorite Marvel heroes every month!
LFC's Thoughts
: A mess right out of the gates in my opinion. Marvel's official website shows the cover of ALL-NEW X-MEN for this issue and lists no creative team either. The solicitation text for issue two is Peter David and "one of your favorite artist." Verdict: WON'T BUY
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK
: MARK WAID (writer); LEINIL FRANCIS YU (artist)
Hulk - Indestructible force more weapon than man. Banner – smartest man alive. Combined they are the Strongest, Smartest Weapon on the planet! And NOW! the INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK is an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
LFC's Thoughts: I've been reading and loving Jason Aaron's Hulk book and Mark Waid is a must read writer for me so this one stays, regardless how close this ties into the previous book. Verdict: MUST BUY
ALL-NEW X-MEN
: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (writer); STUART IMMONEN (artist)
It’s a blast from the past as the original five students of Professor X – Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel and Beast – are plucked from the past and brought to the present. But what they find, the state that their future selves are in and the state of Xavier’s dream, is far from the future they dreamed of. And how will the X-Men of the present deal with their past coming crashing forward?
LFC's Thoughts: I am not a Bendis hater, I just don't dig his work on team books. Even still, the concept is not enough to get me to check it out. Maybe Bendis will have ANOTHER team book in this refresh that will get my attention... Verdict: RISKY
IRON MAN
: KIERON GILLEN (writer); GREG LAND (artist)
Tony Stark—Iron Man: Technological visionary, wealthy playboy, unparalleled engineer, and armored Avenger. His greatest invention becomes his greatest mistake. Iron Man must act fast…and Tony Stark must build faster! The lethal techno virus Extremis is out in the wild and out for grabs to the highest bidder! It’s up to Tony Stark to contain it and that means creating a new suit of armor…NOW!
LFC's Thoughts: I've tried many Iron Man solo books and just can't get into him for some reason. The previous run by Matt Fraction was OK and Gillen is one the 'smartest' writers around. Land draws a pretty cool looking Iron Man. Everything else though...meh. Verdict: RISKY
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER
: JASON AARON (writer); ESAD RIBIC (artist)
Throughout the ages, the gods of the Marvel Universe have been vanishing, their mortal worshippers left in chaos. NOW! the Mighty Thor follows a trail of blood that threatens to consume his past, present and future selves. The only hope for these ravaged worlds lies with the God of Thunder unraveling the gruesome mystery of the God Butcher!
LFC's Thoughts: Like Mark Waid, Jason Aaron is a must buy writer for me. As Thor isn't my favorite superhero, probably not even in my top 25, but if anyone can get me on board, it's Aaron. Verdict: MUST BUY
CAPTAIN AMERICA
: RICK REMENDER (writer); JOHN ROMITA JR (artist)
Thrust into a bizarre, inhospitable world far from home, the all-new, high-adventure, mind-melting, tough-as-nails, sci-fi, pulp-fantasy era of Captain America is NOW! With no country and no allies, what’s left for the Sentinel of Liberty to protect? The Saga of Dimension Z begins here!
LFC's Thoughts: If it wasn't for Mark Waid, I would have never given Cap a try. But writers like him, Ed Brubaker and Cullen Bunn have made me a fan of Steve Rogers. I've tried many things written by Remender and outside of the recent Age of Apocalypse storyline in Uncanny X-Force, I haven't liked any of it. Also, this new direction does NOTHING for me. But it's Cap, so I'll be giving it a whirl. Verdict: RISKY BUY
X-MEN: LEGACY
: SIMON SPURRIER (writer); TAN ENG HUAT (artist)
Legion, the most powerful and unstable mutant in the world and son to Professor Charles Xavier, has killed gods and reshaped the face of the universe. NOW! in the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men, Legion will finally attempt to conquer his demons and embrace his father’s legacy!
LFC's Thoughts: Nothing against the talent involved, this character and concept do absolutely nothing for me. Verdict: DON'T BUY
FANTASTIC FOUR
: MATT FRACTION (artist); MARK BAGLEY (writer)
Four adults. Two kids. One “car.” NOW! begins a journey through all of infinite time and space.
LFC's Thoughts: Fraction takes the Fantastic Four franchise from Jonathan Hickman and I've been warming up to Fraction of late (HAWKEYE is awesome) but this isn't the one for me...Verdict: RISKY
FF
: MATT FRACTION (writer); MIKE ALLRED (artist)
We have seen the future and it will be fantastic! In the absence of the Fantastic Four, a substitute Four, hand-picked by the real deal--Ant-Man, Medusa, She-Hulk and Miss Thing--stand ready to guard the Earth and the nascent Future Foundation for four minutes... NOW! what could possibly go wrong?
LFC's Thoughts:...this one is! Allred on art and a CRAZY concept with an oddball cast. Verdict: MUST BUY
DEADPOOL
: GERRY DUGGAN & BRIAN POSEHN (writers) ; TONY MOORE (artist)
Dead former United States presidents, from George Washington to Gerald Ford have been resurrected, and that’s BAD. The Marvel heroes can’t be the ones to stop them, someone is needed with the reputation, skills and plausible deniability to take out these com-monsters in chiefs...NOW! is the time for Deadpool… In Wade We Trust!
LFC's Thoughts: Marvel killed my interest in Deadpool by publishing FIVE titles a month. Every Deadpool comic I read is compared to the legendary Joe Kelly run from the late 90's. I have a good feeling about this creative team being able to get me back in the Wade Wilson wagon. Verdict: RISKY BUY
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE
: KELLY SUE DECONNICK (writer); STEFANO CASELLI (artist)
Two scientists. Two giant egos. One wears a tank. One is a tank. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are SCIENCE BROS! When a fellow bigbrain goes missing, wanna bet who can find him first? It’s Amazing Race, Avengers-style, as Iron Man and Hulk form their teams and embark on a global manhunt with the ultimate prize at stake…bragging rights!
LFC's Thoughts: Like Red She-Hulk, it's keeping it's current numbering (just started this spring) but is being given a new creative team. I've really been digging DeConnick's work on GHOST and CAPTAIN MARVEL so I'll give this one a try. Verdict: RISKY BUY
THUNDERBOLTS
: DANIEL WAY (writer); STEVE DILLON (artist)
Red Hulk, Venom, Elektra, Deadpool, the Punisher. Forget the courts, the jails, the system — this team of Thunderbolts fights fire with fire, targeting the most dangerous and lethal players in the Marvel Universe with extreme prejudice. Led by General “Thunderbolt” Ross, AKA the Red Hulk, this hand-picked team of like-minded operatives is going to make the world a better place…by all means necessary.
LFC's Thoughts: The T-Bolds soldier on with a new team that I just can't get into. Not huge on Way's writing and I feel like Dillon is a weird fit for this book. Verdict: DON'T BUY
AVENGERS
: JONATHAN HICKMAN (writer); JEROME OPE√ĎA (artist)
The greatest heroes in comics together on one unbeatable team! The Avengers “go large,” expanding their roster and their sphere of influence to a global and even interplanetary level. When Captain America puts out his call - who will answer? Big threats, big ideas, big idealism - these are the Avengers NOW!
LFC's Thoughts: Different than the Uncanny Avengers book obviously. Hickman is another writer I've tried and his "high concept" stuff is over my head at times. Verdict: RISKY
CABLE AND X-FORCE
: DENNIS HOPELESS (writer); SALVADOR LARROCA (artist)
Cable is back! NOW! with a new X-Force at his side, he must tackle the threats that nobody else can know about. But just who are Cable’s new recruits, and why is his team public enemy number one? Caught red-handed at the scene of a terrorist attack on a major American corporation whose CEO has expressed anti-mutant views, the X-Force is the run, with none other than the Uncanny Avengers in hot pursuit.
LFC's Thoughts: I liked Hopeless' mini from last year, LEGION OF MONSTERS, but Cable is a character who is a don't buy for me. But...Verdict: DON'T BUY
AVENGERS ARENA
: DENNIS HOPELESS (writer); KEV WALKER (artist)
Trapped on an isolated island, 16 superhuman young adults (including members of the Runaways, Avengers Academy and Darkhawk) are given a chilling ultimatum by their demented captor: Fight or die…only one will walk out alive! Thus begins a primal battle that will test the skills, stamina and morals of each combatant. Welcome to Murder World, where the secrets are plenty, alliances are fleeting, and the key to victory might be rewriting the rules of the game. Who will survive?
LFC's Thoughts: In my mind, this is the extension of Christos Gage's AVENGERS ACADEMY with a ton of characters I've grown to love. A lot of people are upset with this being sold with the hook of "characters WILL die!" but I think my favorites will be OK. Verdict: MUST BUY
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
: DAN SLOTT (writer); RYAN STEGMAN & HUMBERTO RAMOS
This was made official before NYCC in the USA Today, bolstered by "an all-new development for the decades-old character and will result in a far darker Spider-Man than fans have ever seen."
LFC's Thoughts: Dan Slott has done good by Pete so far, so I'm on this one hook, line and sinker. Verdict: MUST BUY
SAVAGE WOLVERINE
: FRANK CHO (writer & artist)
He’s an X-Man. He’s an Avenger. He’s a hero. He’s a school teacher. He’s the best there is at what he does. He’s also more than a little savage.
LFC's Thoughts: Full discloser, I've been buying Wolverine forever since they are for my Mom. It will take this book COMPLETELY falling off the rails for me to drop it now. Verdict: RISKY BUY
YOUNG AVENGERS
: KIERON GILLEN (writer); JAMIE MCKELVIE (artist)
The Avengers seem to have everything pretty much under control. With new lineups packed full of A list heroes and enough specialists in the field to handle Earth's mightiest threats, What could they be missing? What essential piece of the puzzle can only be handled by brash young fools who obviously know better?
LFC's Thoughts: Gillen & McKelvie are the indy comics dream team due to books like PHONOGRAM. I'll definitely being giving this one a try. Verdict: RISKY BUY
NOVA
: JEPH LOEB (writer); ED MCGUINNESS (artist)
February also sees a new Nova, a new man under the bucket helmet, Sam Alexander. The character has already appeared in Avengers vs. X-Men, and is a much younger hero than his predecessor.
LFC's Thoughts: I like the concept of Nova (Marvel's Green Lantern Corps) and I like McGuinness' art, but I don't think Loeb is the right choice for this book. Verdict: DON'T BUY
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (writer); STEVE MCNIVEN (artist)
This February, the series brings together the same cast that's expected to be in the in-development movie version of the team -- Star-Lord, Drax, Groot, Gamora and Rocket Raccoon -- plus a new member who is either Iron Man or someone in an Iron Man suit.
LFC's Thoughts: Bendis on a team book is usually my Kryptonite but I LOVE Guardians of the Galaxy so I'm hoping for the best and will be checking this one out! Verdict: RISKY BUY
MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE
: JOE KEATING (writer); RICH ELSON (artist)
Ever since his transformation, Morbius has struggled to control his insatiable blood lust and cure his vampiric condition. Over the years those struggles have made him both an ally and enemy of a number of Marvel heroes. Spider-Man is his most frequent friend and adversary. The two recently crossed paths where Morbius tried to develop a serum to restore the humanity of Spider-Man's foe, The Lizard. Morbius' hope was that if he could cure The Lizard, he could cure himself. Unfortunately, things went wrong and the arc ended with Morbius in prison after a violent and bloodthirsty rampage. This January, Morbius leaves prison behind and take a redemptive journey of self discovery into some of the Marvel U's weird and mysterious places.
LFC's Thoughts: I've liked what Slott has done with Morbius in recent Amazing Spider-Man stories and I will give this one a look see. But it's gonna have to be pretty good to stay on the pull list. Verdict: RISKY BUY
SECRET AVENGERS: NICK SPENCER (writer); LUKE ROSS (artist)
Coming in February 2013, focuses on S.H.I.E.L.D., the semi-omniscient government agency. There is a twist in Secret Avengers: Thanks to the memory implant technology first seen in the 2005 Brian Michael Bendis-scripted series Secret War, “Nobody on this team actually knows that they’re on this team.” For members of the team, a specific keyword activates their programming when it’s time for a mission; once the mission is done, the same keyword wipes their memory. “It’s a very different kind of book,” says Spencer, “A covert ops, black ops spy book.”
LFC's Thoughts
: I like the team, and the fact it's not out until February gives me time to think it over. Verdict: RISKY

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