Crossover season continues and kicks into even higher gear this month as the “X-Men” get in on the action now. “Battle Of The Atom” begins an event centered around the “All-New X-Men” and has that title’s premise coming full circle. You knew that those X-Men from the past were going to have to go back to their own time at some point, and that time is NOW as X-Men from the future show up to force the issue. I’ve been reading “X-Men” comics long enough that this doesn’t really strike me as being any more or less ridiculous than any of the crossovers I’ve already read. The issue here is that it’s centered around a title that I haven’t even read yet because I’m a tradewaiter. Yeah, I’ll buy this collection when it comes out, but it may be the rare “X-Men” event that I don’t pick up in hardcover because I won’t be up on the events in question when it happens. They’re also doing this crossover “old-school” by having it snake in and out of the X-books as opposed to presenting it as a separate miniseries. That’s going to produce its own brand of issues as I’ll get to in due time.
Infinity #’s 2&3 (of 6): I was wondering last month how they were going to ship all six issues on time with Jim Cheung providing the art. Here, I get my answer as art duties on these issues are split between Jerome Opena and Dustin Weaver. Both are great artists, but they’ve got very different styles. Hopefully they’ll be split according to subplots rather than just illustrating the first or second half of a given issue.
Mighty Avengers #1: When the real Avengers are busy with “Infinity,” who’s going to be on hand to watch things on Earth? As is the case during these kinds of events, a group of B-list heroes steps up to keep the peace. Now I like some of the characters they’ve assembled here -- Luke Cage, She-Hulk, Falcon, wait... is that a new Ronin, when did that happen -- yet this strikes me as the kind of title that’s going to struggle for a purpose once the crossover ends. Maybe writer Al Ewing has a plan for that, and I hope that for his sake he understands that the market demands a transcendent one if the title is going to last more than a couple years.
Nova #8: From the solicitation text, “Nova’s first taste of the power of a mad cosmic god threatens to--blah blah blah... Look, NovaNauts, this one’s huge! Get it before we make a movie out of it!” You know, sir, I don’t think I like your attitude. Obviously the guy who writes the text for “Young Avengers” was on his coffee break and this hooligan slipped in. For shame, Marvel, for shame.
Punisher: Trial of the Punisher #1 (of 2): You’ve got to be kidding me! I first heard about this YEARS ago way, way back at The Beat’s old site -- I think this was around the time of “Civil War” or thereabouts -- and writer Marc Guggenheim said that it wasn’t going to come out until Lenil Yu found the time to finish drawing it. Well, here you are and we get to see Frank Castle on trial for killing a U.S. district attorney. It’s such a straightforward setup that there has to be a twist along the way. My biggest question, though, is that as a two-issue miniseries where will it be collected?
All-New X-Men #16, X-Men #5, & Uncanny X-Men #12: In addition to the “Battle of the Atom”-one shot which kicks off the event, these are the participating titles for this month. What’s interesting about these issues is that for “All-New” and “Adjectiveless” they’re coming at a point where there will only have been four issues since the start of the series or since the last collection. That’s pretty thin for a collection unless you cram in the storytelling, and it can work. Just ask Jason Aaron or Kieron Gillen. Still, it’s going to be interesting to see how the collections of the titles in question are going to work.
Thanos Rising: Speaking of Aaron, he and Simone Bianchi teamed up for this new take on the Mad Titan’s origin. Pitched as a jumping-on point for people looking to know more about the character after his cameo in the “Avengers” movie and a prelude to “Infinity” you get the sense that Marvel is hoping to funnel all of those casual readers (and their money) straight into a crossover! It’s a clever plan, and in another universe that might have worked. Though, in this one comic book movie fans only read the comics those films are based on if they’re telling a self-contained story. Plus, I’m sure some of those moviegoers will look at the cover price and go, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Not me... depending on how deep Amazon’s discount is.
X-Men: Storm: By Warren Ellis and Terry Dodson. According to Paul O’Brien of “The X-Axis” fame, this is the worst thing that Ellis has ever written. So if you’re looking for a recommendation...