Bleeding Cool Rumermonger-In-Chief Rich Johnston seems to think that someone high up at Marvel is up for the chop as a result of all the bad press they’ve been getting lately. Now this is clearly one of Johnston’s less-journalistic efforts as he notes that this is based on whispers he’s heard at Comic-Con and the London Film and Comic-Con. Honestly, he’s done better. The reason I’m bringing it up is because if nothing else it’s an eminently plausible bit of rumormongering. You’d think that at least one head would roll because of what’s been going on with the company, and if I had to guess current editor-in-chief Axel Alonso seems like a (regrettably) solid bet. Not only was he involved in the retailer press conference where appeared to express regrets in regards to diversity in Marvel’s titles, but his recent statement that all of this mainstream bad press indicates that the company’s comics are reaching a wider audience before comes off as tone-deaf. I say “regrettably” because after being brought over from DC/Vertigo by Joe Quesada, Alonso has been one of the key factors in Marvel becoming a more writer-driven company. It’d be sad to see him go if he does get the chop, but maybe that’ll just free him to come back to DC and do something cool like get Vertigo back on track.
Mighty Thor #700: It’s not just this title as many other Marvel titles are reverting to their “Legacy” numbering as part of the company’s current initiative. “Mighty Thor” just happens to be the one with the most significant milestone number this month. It also kicks off the latest storyline in the series, “The Death of the Mighty Thor,” which has the Ultimate War Thor taking on the Mangog as Jane Foster’s cancer takes a turn for the worse. While I realize that such a setup and arc title is meant to get you to think that we’ll be seeing the Odinson resume his traditional role sometime in the very near future, it’s not going to happen. Expect to see a revitalized, maybe even cancer-free, Foster return as Thor for the end of this arc. I mean, unless Marvel wants even more bad press as they kill off the first female Thor in order to return to the status quo.
Regardless of how the story turns out in this issue, it’s going to look incredible. In addition to regular artist Russell Dauterman, the one and only Walter Simonson is contributing art for this issue as well. Joining the two are slightly less legendary “Thor” artist Oliver Coipel, frequently incredible Grant Morrison collaborator Chris Burnham, and James “Goddamn the Monsters Are Going to Look Awesome in This Issue” Harren. There are some TBA guests as well, but I can’t imagine being more impressed beyond this current lineup of stellar artists.
X-Men Gold #’s 13-14, & X-Men Blue #’s 13-14: Kicking off the “Mojo Worldwide” crossover, the first of this latest era of X-Men. As the title implies, Mojo is back and is bent on bringing his brand of deadly reality TV to all of Manhattan. This should allow current writers Marc Guggenheim and Cullen Bunn a chance to show what they can do when they’re not tethered to the strict demands of reality. Don’t expect anything as insane as Jason Aaron’s “Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine,” however, as it’s hard to imagine anything topping the brand of insanity that miniseries had to offer. Also, Mike Mayhew illustrates the first issue of the crossover before ducking out to allow R.B. Silva to take over. What, you thought Mayhew could handle a bi-weekly title? Unless you were looking forward to seeing him deliver art that’s more rushed than it was on “The Star Wars” then the very idea should have struck you as unrealistic.
Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan #1 (of 5): Yup, the cottage industry of “Deadpool” and “Deadpool vs.” miniseries continues unabated. The title of this one should tell you exactly what to expect as the two characters clash over the fate of a newly-discovered Omega-level mutant. What’s unusual here is that it’s being written by Declan Shalvey, who is better known as an artist. Particularly around here for his runs on “Moon Knight” and “Injection” with Warren Ellis. If there’s any moment in here that comes off as inventively violent, I’m just going to assume that Shalvey’s time with Ellis has been well spent.
Punisher: The Platoon #’s 1&2 (of 6): As I understand it, this has been a pretty long time in coming. Still, it’s always good to have more war comics from Garth Ennis. I say “War Comics” and not “Punisher Comics” because even with the title of this miniseries, this isn’t really about the character as we’ve come to know him. “The Platoon” takes place during the early days of the character’s first tour in Vietnam. That should be interesting to see given that anyone who has read “Punisher: Born” knows how it ends. This being an Ennis war story, however, don’t expect to see any real connections to the Marvel Universe along the way. In fact, I seem to remember hearing Ennis joke about how Marvel was paying him to write a war comic that just happened to feature Frank Castle to Avatar publisher William Christensen a few years back. Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you.
In actual “Punisher” news for this month, Punisher #17 is said to feature a sight that I don’t think I’ve seen in all my years of reading about the character. Frank Castle in a tuxedo! Yeah, I may have to pick up vol. 3 of the new series now…
Star Wars #37: It’s not mentioned in the solicitation text, but this is Jason Aaron’s last issue of the title. While his stories on this title more often than not, even I have to admit that they’re trading up with the incoming writer. More on that next month.
Secret Empire HC: Even if some people are convinced that this event series is the worst thing ever, they have to give Marvel credit for at least one thing. This hardcover represents a good value for your money. It collects issues #’0-10, Omega, the FCBD issue in a 392-page hardcover for $50. Compared to something like the “Inhumans vs. X-Men” collection which is nearly 200 pages smaller for the same price, I’m actually going to pick this up in print. Also because I have been following the story and am interested in seeing how it’ll play out.
Silver Surfer vol. 5: The Man Who Lived Twice: While it was nice to see this great series get a reprieve post-”Secret Wars,” the low sales continued to persist and I’m sure an increasingly erratic shipping schedule didn’t help this title either. At least we’re getting the final eight issues in one volume. So expect lots of cosmic adventure goodness from Dan Slott and Mike Allred because they’ve shown they can deliver the goods over and over again on this title. While we’re on the subject of titles I enjoyed seeing earn a reprieve…
Ultimates 2 vol. 2: Eternity War: It turns out that issue #100 was both an anniversary and a finale for this series. Vol. 1 was great in how writer Al Ewing laid out an ambitious cosmic storyline and threat for our heroes to face, only for those plans and the title’s momentum to be completely derailed when vol. 2 was forced to tie into “Civil War II.” The first volume of “Ultimates 2” got things back on track (more on that later this week) and now I’m left hoping the finale won’t feel too rushed here. It probably will, but I’m still going to pick this up to see for myself.