Word has been going around for a while now that Marvel is promoting the Inhumans as a replacement for the X-Men as the film rights are still owned by Fox. That situation isn’t going to change anytime soon, and it’s clear that someone at Marvel sees inhumans as a viable alternative to mutants. Why else would they be getting such a push in the form of becoming a significant part of the plot on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” an upcoming movie, and several new “Inhumans” and Inhuman-related comic launches in the next couple of months. Meanwhile, the X-Men are facing down either death or sterilization as a result of the terrigen mists which give the Inhumans their powers and have spread throughout the globe. Regardless of his intentions, “Extraordinary X-Men” writer Jeff Lemire has his work cut out for him in making this plotline not feel like a ham-fisted attempt to subjugate one of its best-loved and most enduring franchises.
I’m at least going to take some solace in the fact that most of the new “Inhumans”-related comics will likely find themselves on the brink of cancellation within a year. Nobody has cared about the “Inhumans” for years and throwing all these comics at readers isn’t going to change things now. The one currently published title that people do like (“Ms. Marvel”) owes none of its success to its title character’s status as an Inhuman. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how Marvel decides to prop up these titles to show that its fans care about the Inhumans enough to make them the next big thing.
Secret Wars #9: Technically not a re-solicitation since the series itself was extended to nine issues. I still hope that it’ll come out as advertised so the collection will arrive sooner rather than later.
Invincible Iron Man #4: Because Tony Stark really does have a thing for redheads, Mary Jane Watson joins the cast. On one hand, all of the superhero drama she’s endured through her relationship with Peter Parker/Spider-Man should inure her to Stark’s charms and advances and make for a delightfully flinty relationship. On the other, that could just prove to be the prelude to sparks flying and the two eventually winding up in bed. I’m liking the thought of this relationship more as one that isn’t consummated, preventing MJ from winding up as another notch on Tony’s bedpost.
The Totally Awesome Hulk #1: Years ago, Greg Pak wrote a bunch of “Hulk” comics including the acclaimed and well-liked “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk” storylines (I’m more partial to the latter, actually). During that time he also co-wrote “The Incredible Hercules” with Fred Van Lente which teamed up young super-genius Amadeus Cho with Hercules for a very fun and wild ride through the mythological side of the Marvel Universe. Now Pak is (hopefully) giving us the best of both worlds with this series that has Amadeus Cho as the new Hulk. He’s also got Frank Cho illustrating the first arc, so it sounds like this has the potential to be quite entertaining. We’ll see once the first volume comes out.
Daredevil #’s 1&2: He’s got a sidekick named Blindspot now! At least, I think that’s what the deal is with the new guy on the cover. It’s also the first time the series will be written by a practicing lawyer -- Charles Soule. That last part is what makes me curious to check this out. Though the quality of the writer’s “She-Hulk” series, where Matt Murdock guest starred, does bode well for it too.
Uncanny X-Men #’s 1&2: While “Extraordinary” looks to advance the whole “terrigen mists are destroying mutanity” storyline, this series looks to take a page from Kieron Gillen’s “Uncanny” run with the “Extinction Team.” In short: More terrifying threats require more terrifying X-Men. Enter this new team led by Magneto and made up of Mystique, Sabretooth, Archangel, Psylocke, and Fantomex. It sounds like a powerhouse of a team, until you realize that it’s more likely to implode due to all of the volatile personalities that it contains. It’s also coming from “Magneto” writer Cullen Bunn. That definitely makes it sound like something I’d want to read, and should offer a good reason for others to get caught up on the writer’s solo series about the Master of Magnetism. Don’t think for a second that Bunn won’t bring in or at least reference some of the things he set up over in that title.
Starbrand & Nightmask #1: Much as I like the idea of Greg Weisman (veteran of “Gargoyles” and the first season of “Star Wars: Rebels”) giving us a series that has the two cosmically-powered characters as college roommates, I have a feeling this will only last a year at best. It features two not very well known characters (unless you were reading Hickman’s “Avengers” run, which looks like the version that Weisman is working with) and is likely to be overshadowed by some of the more high-profile launches this month. Like the ones I’ve just mentioned. This sounds fun, so I expect we’ll see a lot of “Best Comic You’re Not Reading” and “Cancelled Before Its Time” stories run about the series within the next year.
Deadpool & Cable #1 (of 3): Worth noting for a couple of reasons: First, the series the two characters shared in the last decade was called “Cable & Deadpool.” Second, this mini reunites the writer of that series (and Deadpool’s co-creator), Fabian Nicieza, with the artist who illustrated a good chunk of it, Reilly Brown. Third, this three-issue miniseries is listed as offering 40 pages for $5 an issue, which sounds like it’ll fill out a trade paperback. Better to do it that way than try to package a three-issue mini in a collection with some random filler to pad the page count. I liked “Cable & Deadpool” before Cable was poached to join the X-Men and the main plot of the series was forcibly derailed. The story sounds simple enough -- Cable is out to protect a guy that Deadpool has been hired to kill -- which should give the creators ample room to revive some of the antagonistic charm the characters had during their shared title.
Star Wars: C-3P0 #1: At first this one-off was notable for the fact that it’s the first “Star Wars” one-shot Marvel has published since getting back the license. Sure, James Robinson was writing and Tony Harris was illustrating, but I was wondering if more one-shots would follow and eventually make for a collection. Then I was helpfully reminded that this was the creative team behind (the first half, at least) of “Starman.” Now I’m actually interested to see if Robinson and Harris can manage to deliver the same sense of wonder and drama they brought to their signature series.
Civil War HC: Reoffered in advance of the upcoming “Captain America” movie it shares its name with. Ugh. I still regret buying this. Save your money and go read Christopher Bird’s far more entertaining remix/rewrite of the event.
X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Omnibus HC: I have some good memories of this event back when it came out in the 90’s. Then again, I liked a lot of stuff in the 90’s that I’m frankly ashamed to admit to now. I’m not sure if I want to drop $125 on this 1000+-page omnibus to find out if the original incarnation of “The Age of Apocalypse” has stood the test of time.
Where Monsters Dwell: The Phantom Eagle Flies the Savage Skies: In which Garth Ennis uses the Battleworld setup to tell a story about how Karl “The Phantom Eagle” Kaufmann encounters dinosaurs, Amazons, and more all on what was supposed to be a simple delivery mission. The only insight into “Secret Wars” that you can take away from this miniseries is that it at least allowed Ennis to ignore all the trappings of the Marvel Universe to tell another story that involves dinosaurs. It should be good fun, particularly with Russ Braun on art.
Thor vol. 1: The Goddess of Thunder: The fact that the first volume of “Superior Iron Man” is also hitting softcover this month just makes me wish that I could’ve found this for half-price at Comic-Con instead. I didn’t, so you better believe that I’ll be picking this up now. Here’s hoping that my enjoyment of the story isn’t hampered by the fact that the identity of this new Thor has been spoiled.
Punisher MAX: The Complete Collection vol. 1: Collects the “Born” miniseries, and the first two volumes of the “Punisher MAX” series written by Garth Ennis. One for the “If you don’t have it by now…” category.