Two new series and the latest relaunch of an old one written by Brian Michael Bendis debut this month. We get the 0.1 issue of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and two issues each of “Uncanny X-Men” and “Powers: The Bureau.” Naturally I’m interested in all of them, but if I was to bet on which of these will have shipped on schedule through their sixth issue it wouldn’t be on the creator-owned superhero cop drama. Just sayin’...
Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1: Bendis goes cosmic and brings Iron Man along for the ride. While this is ostensibly spinning out of the writer’s “Avengers Assemble” arc you can bet that the main reason we’re seeing this now is because of the movie that’ll be arriving sometime in 2014 I believe. Much as I liked what Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning did with the characters, a changing of the guard was really in order by the time we got around to “Annihilators: Earthfall.” That said, Bendis doing cosmic-level adventure would seem to take him completely out of his element, but he can do “epic” as parts of “Powers” have shown. I’m optimistic.
Nova #1: Abnett and Lanning could’ve kept going with the ongoing title for this character, though, and the fact that Jeph Loeb is writing it pretty much deflates my enthusiasm. My friend at work who got me started on Marvel’s cosmic titles is a huge fan of the character, but he absolutely hates Loeb. HATES HIM! I haven’t told him about this yet because I haven’t found a really good reason to ruin his day on this level yet.
Uncanny X-Men #’s 1&2: If you had told high school me that in fifteen years Wolverine would be a school headmaster and Cyclops would be running an outlaw group of X-Men fighting for mutant rights, I’d have called you a liar and then asked if we had gotten more “Star Wars” movies yet. Anyway, the fact that the premise for this series makes complete sense is a credit to how Cyclops has been developed over the years. The character has slowly morphed from uptight stick-in-the-mud to a driven leader who believes that the end justifies the means to this. Granted, it took the grinding plot mechanics of “Avengers vs. X-Men” to get him in this position, but I will concede that it’s a logical and interesting development for the character. I’m very much looking forward to seeing where Bendis goes with the character and the rest of the cast.
Young Avengers #2: From the solicitation text: “And much more from Marvel’s most critically acclaimed book. Yes, we’re saying it’s critically acclaimed and it’s not even out yet. We are very bad.” Are they letting Kieron Gillen write the copy here too? If so, please let him keep at it.
Winter Soldier #15: Jason Latour takes over for Ed Brubaker. While I don’t have anything against Latour, he’s stepping into a book and character that were pretty much defined by the previous writer. In addition, the series was also on the chopping block following Brubaker’s departure before editorial granted it a reprieve. I’m not saying that the writer can’t succeed here, but you only need to look at James Asmus, who took over for Gillen, and his one arc of “Generation Hope” to see that it’s going to be very very difficult even if he’s operating at the same level as Brubaker.
Dexter #1: I’ve never watched the show, though I’ve had plenty of people tell me that I should, but I’m still impressed that Marvel got Jeff Lindsay, the character’s creator, to write this miniseries. So if you’re a fan of the serial killer who kills serial killers I can see no reason why you wouldn’t want to pick this up in some form. Unless you hate having pictures to go along with your words. In that case, what are you doing here?
Powers: Bureau #’s 1&2: Not that I’m unhappy to see this series return, but why are we getting TWO issues in one month? Is Marvel completely ignorant of how erratic “Powers’” shipping schedule has been for the last several years? Why would they put out two issues in one month when they could just use the extra issue as a buffer against a tight schedule -- because you know that’s going to happen eventually. If these two issues do come out in the same month and nothing does in the one following it, then I will weep for the future of this series (or just yell at the computer screen, whichever I think will be more dramatic at the time).
Avengers vs. X-Men Companion HC: My first thought upon seeing this collection was, “Who would be crazy enough to read all of that stuff.” Then it dawned upon me that I’m already reading more than half of the series collected here, so I guess it’s meant for me. This $100 omnibus collects the tie-in issues of “Wolverine and the X-Men,” “Uncanny X-Men,” “Avengers,” “New Avengers,” “X-Men: Legacy” (all of which I read), “Avengers Academy,” and “Secret Avengers” (which I don’t, but wouldn’t be averse to). Gillen’s “Consequences” epilogue series and the “X-Babies vs. A-Babies” parody issue are also collected here for good measure. Even before you factor in the Amazon discount, this edition is a bargain compared with picking up the individual collections in softcover. If nothing else, I’m fully expecting it to be worth reading for the “Wolverine” and “Uncanny” issues.
Wolverine: Rot: “Insane in the Brain” was one of Jason Aaron’s better stories featuring the character, due in no small part to Dr. Rot. The doctor was a creepy psychopath who managed to get inside Wolverine’s mind and manipulate him into doing anything he wanted out of the asylum he ran. Though the seeds were planted for the character to come back at some point, Aaron never got around to it. Cullen Bunn, however, is picking up the slack. Marvel seems to really like this writer, as he has been given a number of titles to write over the past few years. I don’t know what they see in him, and while I’m interested in picking this up, I can’t help but think that my curiosity would be better served by checking out his supernatural western “The Sixth Gun” instead.
Gambit vol. 1: Once A Thief...: You know, I like the character and I’ve heard that the book itself is alright. However, when I think about actually picking this up, the only thing that comes to mind is ehhhhhhhhhhh...