Comic Picks By The Glick

Marvel Previews Picks: January 2017

October 29, 2016

“Inhumans vs. X-Men” (“IvX”) hasn’t even shipped its first issue yet and already we know what we’ll be getting after the dust settles on that event.  The word is “ResurrXion,” a launch of all-new “X-Men” titles with one eye trained firmly on the past.  Why’s that?  Well, the titles announced so far are “X-Men:  Blue,” “X-Men: Gold,” “Weapon X,” “Generation X,” “Cable,” “Jean Grey,” and “Iceman.”  “Blue” and “Gold” hark back specifically to the names of the team circa the launch of “X-Men” #1 back in the 90’s while “Generation X” was the name of the young team book from the era as well.  I don’t think I need to mention “Cable’s” relevance to the 90’s, though the “Jean Grey” and “Iceman” solo titles are obviously meant to spotlight two of the franchise’s most well-known and longest-surviving (after a fashion) members.  As for “Weapon X,” there was already a series by the same name that had a decent run in the aughts even if it’s not all that well-remembered now.  Judging by the promotional image they’re using for it, the title is going to fill the “X-Force”/dark team book niche in the line.

What to make of all this?  Well, it’s nice to see Marvel getting behind mutants again after years of hearing about how CEO Ike Perlmutter was trying to diminish their appeal behind the scenes due to his ire at Fox having the film/TV rights to them.  As for the whole backward-looking approach to the line, it’s something that seems to have worked out well for DC and their “Rebirth” initiative in both a financial and creative sense.  I’ll start feeling more optimistic about the “creative” part once we find out about the teams being assigned to these books.  I do wonder if this means all of the current X-titles will be cancelled.  If that’s the case, then I guess I’ll just roll my eyes at how they started a new title with a brand new adjective, “Extraordinary,” and it didn’t even last a year and a half.

Oh, and while it’s clear what the “X” in “ResurrXion” is meant to signify, the “O” in the promotional image for the event is actually the insignia for the “Inhumans.”  Which means that they’ll have some role to play in this event as well.  In only one title if Marvel is smart about it.

Monsters Unleashed #1 (of 5):  Going against the trend of heroes fighting each other in Marvel event comics is this one where heroes fight giant monsters!  All we know about these monsters is that they’re huge, are called “Leviathons,” and are being controlled by some unknown force.  It’s a simple premise, but one that sounds just right to fill out a five-issue miniseries.  Cullen Bunn is writing it and Steve McNiven is drawing the first issue, with a different artist on each subsequent one.  Lenil Yu and Adam Kubert (IIRC) are on board for the next couple.  Bunn can be depended to turn in solid work even if he has yet to really hit something I’ve read of his out of the park for me.  However, with the artists announced so far he really doesn’t have to in order to make this series entertaining.  All he has to do is set the stage for guys like McNiven, Yu, and Kubert to go nuts drawing giant monsters.  It’s not rocket science.

Mighty Thor #15:  The “Asgard/Shi’Ar” war begins here!  I don’t think the Asgardians, other than Thor, have had much contact with Marvel’s cosmic characters so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle themselves here.  Even if I’m expecting to find out that the Shi’Ar have gone and bitten off more than they can chew by declaring war on a race of gods.  Surprisingly, the solicitation text implies that this isn’t part of Malekith’s plan to conquer the Ten Realms.  So why are the Shi’Ar attacking and why do they have their sights set on the Goddes of Thunder?  Jason Aaron’s run on “Thor” so far has been pretty great and I’m expecting some good answers to these questions as well as some entertaining space brawls along the way.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16:  Celebrating 25 years of the character with an extra-sized issue with stories from regular writer Ryan North, and co-creator of the character Will Murray.  I actually had to check to make sure that was right because I thought Squirrel Girl had been around a lot longer than that.  That’s mainly because her initial appearance featured some really dated art and centered around a plot that had her teaming up with Iron Man to defeat Doctor Doom with squirrels.  Something that I thought you could only get away with in the 60’s.  As it turns out that story really did come from 1992, with art and co-plotting from “Spider-Man” co-creator Steve Ditko.  I can imagine that story being savaged by comics fandom in the 90’s, which was probably why it’s taken so long for the character to enjoy her current wave of popularity.

Star Wars:  Doctor Aphra #3:  So it turns out that “Star Wars:  Classified” title from last month’s solicitations was actually the “Doctor Aphra” ongoing that everyone guessed it was.  I’m fine with that, along with seeing Kieron Gillen continuing to write the character he created and work in the “Star Wars” universe.  Actually, I’m behind seeing Gillen write just about anything so this title could’ve been an “Ewoks” ongoing and I’d have bought that too.

All-New X-Men:  Inevitable vol. 3, Extraordinary X-Men vol. 3, Uncanny X-Men vol. 3:  Yes, the third volumes of all these titles are being solicited for January.  All of them have something to offer:  “Inevitable” with the return of the Goblin Queen, “Extraordinary” has the team trying to rescue Colossus from his newfound Horseman of the Apocalypse status, and “Uncanny” features an investigation of the new Hellfire Club.  Normally I’d be excited about getting three new “X-Men”-related collections all at once.  The problem here is that with “ResurrXion” on the horizon, is this the last we’ll see of the stories and creative teams being featured here?  Probably.  Still, while what I’ve read from them so far has been pretty decent, I can’t say that it’s been engaging enough to see the rolling of the dice on a new status quo and creative teams as an inherently bad thing.

Deadpool and the Secret Defenders:  Wow, Marvel really is determined to reprint EVERY Deadpool appearance they have in their library.  That includes his stint on this revolving door team book from the early 90’s.  There’s not even an indication he’s in every issue of this collection even though his name is on the cover.  So if you’re buying it just for that reason then consider yourself warned.

Elektra by Peter Milligan, Larry Hama, and Mike Deodato Jr.:  Collecting the 19-issue series from the mid-90’s.  I haven’t read any issues from this title, so what follows is just speculation on my part.  Milligan has always been a hit-or-miss writer in my book, but when you have him writing for Marvel in this era, on a character who is tricky enough to write for a solo series when you’re not aiming for a “redemption” angle as the solicitation text indicates?  Well, I have a hunch that you can probably chalk this effort up to a “miss.”  Apologies to Hama and Deodato here.  Go check out Milligan’s “Human Target” series instead:  The character will be appearing on “Arrow” in the near future and the original miniseries represents a much better indication of what the writer was capable of at the time.

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