I hope everyone reading this had a good Thanksgiving. In addition to hanging out with family and catching up with a cousin I haven’t seen in YEARS, I also discovered the merciless satire of Illuminating Comics. Aside from providing some well-deserved skewering of Marvel’s editorial direction and relaunch frenzy, it has provided the only take on Carol Danvers that I’ve really enjoyed reading. Re-casting the current Captain Marvel as a mean-spirited misanthrope (who has a cat with the best name -- Bitchninja) has resulted in genuine hilarity and made her more interesting than she’s ever been to me. Carol’s new series is being written by the “Agent Carter” showrunners, and it’ll probably turn out alright, but I’d much rather read a new “Captain Marvel” series by the person behind this tumblr. Now I have to manage writing the rest of this post after realizing that this person has also done parodies for the entirety of Hickman’s “Avengers” run...
Spider-Man #1: Miles Morales’ second relaunch, and the first without the word “Ultimate” in it. The fact that he’s now in the Marvel Universe proper and a member of the Avengers should open up some interesting new directions for Bendis to pursue with the character. Particularly since he finally got his groove back with the character in the most recent volume. My only concern is that the series is now back to being drawn by the character’s original artist, Sara Pichelli. Don’t get me wrong: she does great work. But she’s not a book-a-month artist like David Marquez. So we’ll get a good-looking first volume for her, and then see an assortment of fill-in artists until the book gets a new regular one. It’d be nice to be wrong about this and see Pichelli deliver strong work on a monthly basis from here on out, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1: Writer Nick Spencer and artist Mark Bagley tee off Spring’s big Avengers event. The solicitation text implies that this is going to revolve around a small town where everything is normal as can be, except for the sun WILL BURN RIGHT THROUGH YOUR EYES IF YOU LOOK AT IT FOR TOO LONG!!! I take it the big bad for this next event is going to be some distaff version of the “angry sun” from “Super Mario Bros. 3?” Got it. Given that this is coming from the writer of “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man” then I can just about see that kind of oddball premise working here. In all seriousness, Spencer’s work on “Avengers World” showed that he can handle large-scale superhero action, so this stands a decent chance of coming out all right. Still could’ve done with a more straightforward solicitation here.
X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #1 (of 5): No, it’s not a miniseries about Maggott the much-maligned mutant from the 90’s who had two pet worms that actually worked as his external digestive system. It might be more interesting if it was as there’s no explanation as to why new X-Man Bailey Hoskins fits the bill. This is an out-of-continuity miniseries, so it would appear that singer-turned-writer Max Bemis has all the space he needs in order to make this idea work. Best of luck to him there.
Rocket Raccoon & Groot #2: In which we find out that Rocket has a torture dungeon. Well, this comic is coming out in February of 2016, so I still think there’s time to make a playset of it to come out in time for “Guardians of the Galaxy vol. II’s” arrival in theaters a year from next May.
Deadpool #7: Man, the Merc With a Mouth sure gets a lot of special extra-sized issues in Gerry Duggan’s run. This time the occasion is… something or other that’s happening in February 2017. Could be related to a movie or whatever. As for the issue itself, Deadpool has found himself on top of the world as a member of the Avengers and with a public that actually likes him! How does he handle it? Like most things in his life: badly.
Star Wars: Droids & Ewoks Omnibus HC: Yes, you could wait until February to pick up an oversized copy of this collection of the “Droids” and “Ewoks” comics Marvel published back in the day. Or you could head on over to Amazon right now and pick up a used copy of the Dark Horse Omnibus of the very same issues for $7.98 or a new one for $9.97 (plus $4 for shipping for either). The Dark Horse edition is a much smaller format, but the choice is yours here.
X-Men ‘92 vol. 0 -- Warzones: Out of all the “Secret Wars” tie-in miniseries, this one was kind of an outlier as it wasn’t drawing on Marvel’s publishing history as its source. No, “X-Men ‘92” was spawned from the “X-Men” animated series from the 90’s that writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers spent many weeks offering commentary on for “Comics Alliance.” I read most of them and they were pretty entertaining more often than not. That said, they spent a fair amount of time ripping into the many flaws of this series so one wonders what side of the affectionate/mean-spirited line that their take on it will land on. They are making an effort to add on to the source material instead of re-hashing it: The main villain here is Cassandra Nova, and it should be interesting to see how she’s re-interpreted in this particular context.
Siege: Battleworld: Kieron Gillen is still working at Marvel, but only on “Darth Vader.” For all intents and purposes, this is his last contribution to the Marvel Universe while he focuses on his creator-owned work (and “Darth Vader”). The good news is that he looks to go out on a high note as he’s revisiting Abigail Brand of “S.W.O.R.D.,” who is cast here as the leader of the forces that guard the shield wall separating the various territories of Battleworld. In addition to characters Gillen has written before like America Chavez and Leah, Brand’s forces include Kang, Leonardo Da Vinci and more clones of Scott Summers than you can shake a stick at. This collection also features the two-parter from his “Uncanny X-Men” run that featured Unit, so expect the genocidal robot to feature into this story somehow as well. And… is that Thanos on the cover? I’m sure Brand realized she was screwed when she got this job, but I think it just became official now.
All-New Captain America vol. 1: Hydra Ascendant: Speaking of finales, Rick Remender’s final work at Marvel is going to be the “Battleworld” series “Hail Hydra.” Yet this is the last volume of his run on “Captain America” and it also happens to be Sam Wilson’s first as the title character. The smart thing to do here would be to give the character a solid win against the bad guys in order to inaugurate Sam’s new role as Cap. This being Remender… it’ll still probably happen, but with the win winding up as some kind of pyrrhic victory or the implication that it only furthers the bad guys’ goals in the end. Still, this volume features six issues of art from the incredible Stuart Immonen, so it’ll at least look fantastic regardless of how the story plays out.