Yeah, there were lots of interesting comics titles announced in the run-up to Comic-Con from Marvel. I liked the fact that Al Ewing’s “Avengers” titles will be continuing on in “U.S.Avengers” and “Ultimates [Squared].” The idea of the new “Champions” series being made up of teen superheroes opposed to the events of “Civil War II” sounds nice, even if Mark Waid strikes me as being just a little too old to write about characters so young (give it to Noelle Stevenson, is what I’d like to shout though my rational mind says that Waid will still deliver a solid read regardless) and I’m sad to see Humberto Ramos off “Extraordinary X-Men” to write this title. No America Chavez title either, but I’ll let everyone else be annoyed about that for me.
Most of the movie and TV news coming out of the con was to my liking as well. Casting Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” sounds downright crazy, until you hear director James Gunn explain his reasoning. Joss Whedon said that he’d come back into the Marvel fold to direct a “Black Widow” solo movie, which I’d love to see. I just watched the new “Doctor Strange” trailer and saw Chiwetel Ejiofor become my hero for the “wi-fi password” business at the end of it. Oh, and the “Legion” trailer for the series on FX next year looks pretty slick. If it hews closest to Si Spurrier’s take on the character, then it might wind up becoming a must-see in my book.
Champions #1: Six young heroes -- Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Nova, Young Cyclops, Viv Vision, and the Totally Awesome Hulk -- team up to change the world. Or, at least as much as being superheroes in the Marvel will allow. I’m sure they’ll talk a good deal only to be confronted with the fact that the SYSTEM CAN’T BE CHANGED! At least their efforts are likely to read well and look good thanks to Waid and Ramos’ involvement here.
The Clone Conspiracy #1 (of 5): Dan Slott’s latest Spider-event kicks off with the hook that Spidey’s longtime clone-focused nemesis The Jackal has found the key to eternal life thanks to his technology. Should our hero stand in his way if that’s the case? Of course he should! Any longtime reader will know that The Jackal’s tech is OBVIOUSLY based on some evil method that makes it untenable in addition to morally wrong. The real question here is that with Jim Cheung being the artist for this event series, will it be able to come out on a monthly basis, or will this five-issue miniseries wind up lasting six or seven months? My money’s on six.
Prowler #1: Yeah, I liked his role in the first volume of Slott’s latest “Amazing Spider-Man” series. Do I want to read an ongoing series about this villain turned do-gooder? Not really. I mean, he works better in his supporting role as the Spider-Man who shows up to prove that Peter Parker isn’t. I give it a year, maybe a year and a half if Marvel is feeling generous, or it ties into another event for a sales boost.
Infamous Iron Man #1: From Bendis and Maleev, which I guess makes “International Iron Man” a miniseries? Anyhow, Doctor Doom is now Iron Man. As is Riri Williams in the “Invincible Iron Man” series, also from Bendis. I smell a throwdown coming. That’s probably where this series is leading as the stated premise in the solicitation text that Doom is prepared to succeed as Iron Man where Tony Stark failed doesn’t really give us a whole lot to go on. If it means we’re getting a more dickish and arrogant take on the hero… then I guess it’s a good thing that the bar for such things was set so low with “Superior Iron Man.”
Jessica Jones #1: Back to cash in on the success of her Netflix series a year after it premiered! Alright, that’s pretty harsh. “Alias” stands as one of the best things Bendis has written in the Marvel Universe and the fact that we’re getting more of it (with a name change) is still a good thing). There’s no indication as to what Ms. Jones will be investigating for her return, but I’m all in for it based on past experience. As well as the hope that Bendis and Gaydos hit the ground running with their return here.
Civil War II: The Oath: In the aftermath of the event, Tony Stark and Carol Danvers turn to the one person they implicitly trust for counsel. Steve Rogers. Uh, I don’t think his past has been re-written to remove all of that “Hail Hydra!” business yet. I can see these meetings turning out badly for everyone in the Marvel Universe. Sucks to be them!
Moon Knight #7: James Stokoe is listed as a co-artist in this issue along with Francesco Francavilla! I may have to reconsider my stance on passing this series up. If only for this issue, at least.
Death of X #’s 1&2 (of 4): It’s been hinted that something really bad went down involving Cyclops in the eight-month gap from the end of “Secret Wars” to the start of the most recent “X-Men” and “Inhumans” series. Now, thanks to writers Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule, and artist Aaron Kuder, we get to find out what. If you didn’t think it was possible to hate Cyclops more after Bendis’ “X-Men” run, then you may have cause to re-think your opinion here. Or, not. This series is also positioned as a lead-in to the upcoming “Inhumans vs. X-Men” event, so maybe Cyclops gave his life to troll the upstarts that are determined to usurp the place of mutants in the Marvel Universe. That’s the story I’d like to read.
War of Kings Aftermath: Realm of Kings: Expands on the previous collection with the tie-in issues from “Nova,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as well as the “Thanos Imperative,” “Annihilators,” and “Annihilators: Earthfall” miniseries. At 1248 pages for $125, it’s still a good value for your money. Except that the last bit of it, “Earthfall,” will give you a pretty good understanding as to why Marvel decided to hand these characters over to Bendis rather than let Abnett and Lanning continue on with what they were doing.
Black Widow vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted: The “Daredevil” team supreme of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee take on Marvel’s foremost super-spy. When some of Natasha Romanov’s biggest secrets become public, S.H.I.E.L.D. turns on one of its greatest assets. To their detriment, I’d imagine. Given how the organization has been portrayed in the Marvel Universe over the years, my money’s on Natasha making them look like the comic relief they are while she gets to the bottom of things. In the event that Whedon doesn’t wind up directing the “Black Widow” movie, then I imagine this will be a more than acceptable substitute.