I’d say that my nemesis arrives this month in print form, but that’s not quite the case. While I was deeply disturbed by the prospect that Marvel would be putting the first four issues of “Uncanny Avengers” in a $25 premiere hardcover, they seem to have realized that was a dumb move as well. Or the Amazon listing was wrong. I could keep second guessing the reasons, but the point is whether or not the comic is worth buying now that we’re getting five issues collected instead of four. I doubt any of you would be surprised to learn that I don’t think so. While I’ve heard good things about the first two issues, they haven’t been the rapturous ravings that I would need in order to pick it up immediately. In short, “Uncanny Avengers” is no “Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.” which is probably the only series I have which I can say I’m proud to own in its premiere hardcover edition.
It’s March after the break, and crossover season again too.
Age of Ultron #’s 1-3: Bendis writes the series and Bryan Hitch draws the three issues solicited this month. Yes, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor too once I saw that we were getting three Hitch-illustrated comics in one month. Considering that this series has been in the works for quite some time -- the storyline was teased back in the first arc of Bendis’ adjectiveless “Avengers” -- it would appear that the man has had a considerable lead time in getting things together. As for the story itself, the first volume of adjectiveless “Avengers” was the one that I’ve liked the most since the relaunch and that, along with the #12.1 issue did a real good job of selling the direness of the threat Ultron presents. After all, he’s ruling Earth in the future so what chance do our heroes have against him in the present!? If nothing else I’m hoping that because the series is being written by one man this time, it’ll turn out to be a more focused experience than “Avengers vs. X-Men.”
Wolverine #1: You can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes at the fact that Ol’ Canucklehead’s main series is being relaunched again, a little over a year after it reverted to its original numbering for #300. Fortunately, Paul Cornell is writing it and Alan Davis is providing the art, so cynicism aside, I’m expecting it to be very good. Though the solicitation text describing the content of the issue is vague, it at least sets up the idea that the title character is going to be pitted against an idea rather than something he can cut. It’s as good a starting point as any.
A+X #6: Kieron Gillen writes a story that has Loki teaming up with Mr. Sinister. I’m actually going to have to track this issue down to read it now, aren’t I? If all the setups I’ve read in this anthology series were as promising, then I’d just go out and get the collection. But they’re not, and I think I can get away with just picking up this issue.
Superior Spider-Man #’s 5-6: Not that I have anything to say about these particular issues, but if the setup actually revolves around that crazy body switch that took place in “Amazing” #698, then I’m actually interested in seeing what Dan Slott does with this. Yes, we’ve seen “body swap” stories before, but the way they’re doing it to Spider-Man sounds fantastically bizarro in a good way. Of course, “Amazing” #700 could come out next week and show us that this setup is dramatically different from what has been shown, and then all bets are off.
Fury MAX #10: Barracuda shows up as the last arc of this series kicks off. Were I a betting man, I’d guess that this is the arc where Fury finds out that everything he has been striving for has been a huge mistake. Particularly if it produces monsters like this. Should be great, just like all of the character’s appearances.
Powers: Bureau #3: From the solicitation text, “POWERS IS BACK ON TRACK! GUARANTEED TO SHIP!” Because if any series needs such a disclaimer, it’s this one.
Fantastic Four vol. 1: New Departure, New Arrivals: I’m not sure if I’ll be picking this up since Fraction’s Marvel Universe work has been more miss than hit for me lately. What’s interesting about this collection is that it looks like they’ll be collecting both of the “Fantastic Four” titles, the regular Mark Bagley-illustrated series and “FF” which is drawn by Mike Allred, in one edition. Starting with issues 1-3 of the former, and 1-2 of the latter. So if you were planning on buying one or the other, you’re out of luck. On the other hand, maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you weren’t planning to read.
Iron Man: Extremis: It’s a new edition coming out two months ahead of the new movie which is supposed to have the origins of its story here. Even if that turns out to be nonsense, it’s still the best “Iron Man” story I’ve read and the fact that Warren Ellis didn’t do more with the character is our loss, really.
Wolverine: Sabretooth! HC: There’s also several “Wolverine” collections arriving in time for the new movie as well. This, however, is the one you should avoid. It collects the two arcs written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Simone Bianchi that have very little to recommend them beyond the latter’s art. The first arc is legendarily wretched in how it tries to retcon mystic prophecy and wolf-people into Wolverine’s origin while the second one has even more shocking revelations that have yet to be followed up on in any meaningful fashion. I’ve heard that the story of that arc is also merely “less terrible.” Though Loeb has written some good stories in the past, he has yet to write anything better than “okay” since the start of his current Marvel exclusivity deal several years back.
Doom 2099: The Complete Collection by Warren Ellis: Man, Marvel is really determined to get EVERYTHING that Ellis has written for them over the years back into print. Is there anything left to bring back after this?