Everyone, I want to say that I’m very disappointed in you.
I know I’m a little behind the curve on this, but the outrage that you have shown in reaction to the surprise twist at the end of the first issue of “Captain America: Steve Rogers” suggests that none of you have been reading comics for very long. We all know that’s not true, and you should have started trying to figure out what the real story going on here is. The idea that Captain America has been a deep cover operative for Hydra after all these years is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Marvel tried the same thing several years back with Jonathan Hickman’s “Secret Warriors” series where it started off with the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. had been infiltrated and puppeted by Hydra for the past few decades. I almost got whiplash from that twist, but it turned out not to be the case. Being the spy supreme that he was, Nick Fury was shown to have pulled a fast one on Von Strucker and his Hydra cabal and run them even before they infiltrated his organization.
That’s the kind of endgame that’s likely to happen with this “Captain Hydra” business and you should’ve known it! Dramatic changes to characters like this never stick and rarely work well unless they’re part of a larger story. See also: “Superior Spider-Man.” Nick Spencer, the man behind this twist, is a smart writer and I’m fairly certain he has a plan here, The fact that recent stories involving Steve Rogers, such as “Standoff,” have involved Cosmic Cubes suggests that Cap’s newfound history with Hydra was the result of reality being re-written. So either the good guys will find a way to write it back the right way, or we’ll get a SURPRISE DOUBLE-TWIST where Rogers was revealed to have been working for the good guys while working for Hydra. Neither prospect sounds particularly exciting at this point, but maybe Spencer has some better ideas up his sleeve.
Still, the amount of outrage this twist has provoked is mystifying from my end. All of you fans out there should know better than to take things like this in a Marvel comic at face value by now.
Amazing Spider-Man #18: Speaking of “Superior,” you know that Doc Ock’s mind has been stuck in the body of Peter Parker’s robot assistant ever since the end of that series? That was one of the revelations in the first volume of Dan Slott’s current run on this series, and now the villain is about to make his move. All on the eve of the next big Spider-event, “Dead No More.” Which has recently gained a subtitle: “The Clone Conspiracy.” That does take a bit of the drama away, but seeing as how we already knew the Jackal was involved, and how clones represented the most logical explanation as to how all these dead people have come back to life, I’m not too bothered by it. Besides, if Slott wants to try and get a worthwhile story out of one of the most infamous plot devices in Spider-history he’s more than welcome to try. His track record with the character should speak for itself at this point, and I’ll be there for the collected edition of the event next year.
Oh, and I had to go through most of the single issue solicitations to finally find something to write up here. The “Civil War II” tie-ins keep piling up even in the month before the end of the event. We can also expect a rash of “Civil War II” fallout books in the November solicitations as Marvel tries to keep the (sales) party going as long as they can.
Gwenpool #6: In which it is promised that this is not a “Civil War II” tie-in. Well, I guess if there’s one character who doesn’t need to rely on the sales boost from such an event, it’s an amalgamation of Deadpool and Gwen Stacy. I mean, even “Deadpool’s” ongoing series is tying into the event. Gwenpool, however, is already over it.
Wolverine: Origin -- The Complete Collection HC: Both miniseries in one hardcover collection. Certainly a better value than what I paid for them originally. If you like the character, then they’re certainly worth your time. However, there’s no indication as to whether or not the extras from the first “Origin” series will be included here. There were lots of pages detailing the back and forth between Joe Quesada, Bill Jemas, and Paul Jenkins on how the story should go which made for some very interesting reading. These are exactly the kind of extras I like to see in my collected editions. If they’re not there, then just remember that these are still good stories. I’ll just be sticking with the editions I already have on my shelf.
Deadpool: Beginnings Omnibus: Because “Deadpool” collections sell like hotcakes and Marvel is determined to wring every last dollar from the character’s fanbase. This collects all of the character’s appearances prior to his ongoing title (though I think there’s some fuzziness on the dates there) resulting in a 28-issue 768-page omnibus for $100. If reading through all of those issues, most of which hail from the late 90’s, sounds like your idea of a good time then you’re welcome to it.
X-Men: Apocalypse Wars HC: The collected edition of the latest “X-Men” event. Which I will not be buying. See, “Apocalypse Wars” was a thematic crossover with “All-New X-Men,” “Extraordinary X-Men,” and “Uncanny X-Men” as these titles gave us stories with each of the teams interacting with the past, present, and future of Apocalypse. All of these stories were specific to their titles, so is there any advantage in picking up this hardcover versus the individual collections from each of these titles? Though doing it this way might be a little cheaper, you’d be missing out on extra issues from these titles. Issues #8-12 of “Extraordinary X-Men” are collected here, but vol. 2 (which is also solicited here) packs in #’s 6-7 as well. This hardcover collection might seem like a good idea in theory, but it just doesn’t pan out in actuality.
Doctor Strange: The Fate of Dreams (Prose Novel) HC, Doctor Strange Epic Collection: A Separate Reality, Doctor Strange: A Flight of Bones, Color Your Own Doctor Strange: In case you haven’t heard, there’s a “Doctor Strange” movie coming out in November. With it comes the usual drive to get out all sorts of material so that people who saw the movie will have plenty to choose from if they want to read more about the character. Also worth noting is that the second volume of Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s ongoing “Doctor Strange” series is solicited here as well. It’s in hardcover, but it’s the only “Doctor Strange” collection mentioned here that I’ll be getting around to picking up at some point in the future.
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: Legacy vol. 1: Collecting the first twenty issues of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema’s great series about Luke Skywalker’s ne’er do well grandson Cade. Yeah, it’s been kicked out of continuity by the Disney acquisition and “The Force Awakens.” These stories still represent some of the best “Star Wars” work from the creators and from the time the license belonged to Dark Horse. It’s good to see that they’re being brought back into print by Marvel.
Vote Loki: And the collected edition is out just in time for the election. My only fear is that even with “Doctor McNinja’s” Chris Hastings writing this, it won’t be more ridiculous than the election season we’ve had so far.