Comic Picks By The Glick

Marvel Previews Picks: November 2013

August 23, 2013

Some interesting bits from the Alpha Male of Marvel editor Tom Brevoort courtesy of “Bleeding Cool” (naturally…):

When posting an image of the new “Mighty Avengers” series from Greg Land on Twitter, T-Voort got some flack from one individual who said that he was going to pass on it due to the artist’s trace-heavy style.  (There was another exchange between the two that was part of the article earlier, but I don’t know where it has gone.)  The commenter then went on to list, “Parlov, Phillips, Cooke, Deodato, Leon, Zircher, Kordey, Aja, Lark and Quitely,” which, if nothing else, shows him to be a man of good taste in my opinion.  T-Voort shoots back by saying at least three of the artists mentioned trace “as much or more” than Land does.

Regardless of which artists take part in this practice, the difference between all of them and Land is that they’re not nearly as obvious about it.  While he has gotten better over the years, there’s still plenty of awkward posing and odd, awkward facial expressions in his work to keep yanking the reader out of the narrative.  I can’t say that I’d ever not buy a comic just because of his involvement, but if what the T-Voort says is true, then there’s hope for Land to eliminate his quirks by looking closely at how the artists in that list depict the human form.

Wolverine & The X-Men Annual #1:  Ever wonder what happened to Kid Gladiator when he was forced to leave the Jean Grey School in the midst of “Avengers vs. X-Men?”  Now you can find out as Gladiator’s likeably arrogant son joins the fight against the Builders in this tie-in to “Infinity.”  I never liked how he was written out of the series as I thought the character worked really well in the cast -- every school needs its big dumb jock and he played the role perfectly.  Of course, since this is an annual working as a tie-in to a major crossover, this could be just something Jason Aaron wrote to fulfill his title’s commitment to the event rather than an indication that the character will be coming back to the series.  Now that is something I’d like to be wrong about.

Cataclysm:  The Ultimates’ Last Stand #’s 1&2 (of 5):  So yeah, the title of this series certainly makes it sound like they’re pulling the plug on the Ultimate Universe.  Galactus is right at Earth’s door and thanks to falling sales for the imprint, it sounds like he’s going to be able to do the one thing he has never been able to do in the regular Marvel Universe:  consume the Earth!  Expect lots of heroic sacrifices by the casts of “Ultimate Comics Ultimates” and “Ultimate Comics X-Men,” but not “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.”  That’s because the solicitation text for the second issue comes right out and says, “Miles Morales is headed to the Marvel Universe.”  So if he does survive the event, then I can say that I totally saw this coming over a year ago.

Now the question is whether or not he’ll take down Doc Ock as Peter Parker in “Superior Spider-Man” and become the Spider-Man of this universe too.  Let the discussion begin.

Nova #10:  The ongoing quest to determine how to handle the transition of one creative team to the next without disrupting sales continues to yield new results.  Or at least one that I haven’t seen in recent memory.  With Zeb Wells and Paco Medina leaving in this issue, we’re getting another regular-length story in the same issue from the new creative team of Gerry Duggan and Carlo Barberi.  I think its a smart move to ensure that the new team gets to be seen by everyone who was buying the series already.  So when sales fall off a cliff in the next issue, it’ll be because people really didn’t like what they had to offer rather than general indifference.  But that’s not going to happen here, right?

Fantastic Four #14 & FF #14:  Matt Fraction is “scaling back” his involvement with these titles due to his commitments on the upcoming “Inhumanity” event.  Not because sales for both of these titles have been crashing to an extent that indicates his takes on these titles haven’t clicked with the comics-buying public at all.  I can understand that kind of thinking on “Fantastic Four,” but for “FF?”  You people must not like fun.  That’s the only reason I can think of.  Karl Kesel and Lee Allred (brother of “FF” artist Mike) will be coming on to write the series based on Fraction’s plots.  While I’ve heard decent things about Kesel’s work with the characters in the past, his involvement isn’t enough to get me to change my mind about ignoring “Fantastic Four” and continuing to buy “FF.”

Amazing X-Men #1:  It’s a new X-book from Jason Aaron with art by Ed McGuinness with an opening arc centered around bringing Nightcrawler back from the dead.  By all rights I should be thoroughly excited about this title, but all I can think is, “Another ‘X-Men’ flagship title?”  We’ve already got “Uncanny” and “All-New” by Bendis, Brian Wood recently launched “Adjectiveless,” and we can’t forget about “Wolverine & The.”  Why do we need another ongoing series for this specific story?  What is going to set it apart from the other titles once that arc is out of the way?  Bringing back Nightcrawler is all well and good, but this strikes me as something that would’ve been better served as a miniseries, or as an arc of “Wolverine & The.”  I’ll buy the collection, but I’m not optimistic about this title’s lifespan.

Powers:  Bureau vol. 1 -- Undercover:  At this time, it seems that “Powers” is shipping far more regularly than I was expecting it to with this latest relaunch.  Bendis and Oeming can expect my formal congratulations once I’ve read this volume and write the review.  Still, I wonder how they pulled it off.  They could’ve been stockpiling issues, but that will only get you so far and will be patently obvious if they go off the rails schedule-wise by the time this first volume ships.  Or, Bendis could’ve just gotten serious about writing this series again and is committed to getting Oeming the scripts in a timely fashion.  I’d like to think that’s the case, but I doubt we’ll ever know unless the writer decides to tell us.

Shadow Walk HC:  It would appear that Marvel is picking up the publishing duties for Legendary’s comics line as this was a title that was announced with the imprint and is finally seeing print now.  Scripted by Mark Waid (from a story by Waid, Max “World War Z” Brooks and Legendary Studios head Thomas Tull), it’s about a group of trained military professionals who are sent to extract a new energy source from a mysterious valley in Iraq.  Problem is that by all appearances this valley is actually a part of Hell that has manifested on Earth.  It sounds like a decent start for a series, and the art is from Shane Davis which makes me think that the action scenes and demons will look great, but that any scenes requiring genuine human emotion to be expressed on page will be… well, not worth the price of admission.  Waid’s involvement signifies that this probably won’t be terrible, but I can’t say that this sounds like something that I’d want to rush out and buy when it arrives.

X-Factor vol. 21:   The End of X-Factor:  Or at least Peter David’s take on it.  It’s been a long, strange, mostly enjoyable trip with this series, and you know what that means?  Podcast!  David’s run lasted over a hundred issues and I’ll be re-reading them all to try and find something meaningful to say about it in November.  I anticipate mostly positive things… but this used to be the one X-title I read that I’d feel comfortable about recommending to the general public.  That hasn’t been true for a while, so don’t expect a total love-fest with this podcast.

Spider-Man:  Big Time the Complete Collection vol. 2:  This is my preferred way to read the ongoing adventures of “Spider-Man” in the Marvel Universe as the issues come out so often that the trades keep piling up.  I’ve been waiting for them to do this with the “Brand New Day” material, but I’m glad to see that Dan Slott’s run is finally getting a second volume.  The first one was great fun, and this collection includes the “Spider-Island” story where everyone in Manhattan gets Spidey’s powers.  This should be entertaining as well, and I hope that they get around to making these come out at a rate faster than once a year.

Jason Glick

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