X of Swords: Creation #1
Event season never stops at Marvel Comics these days. What we’ve got here, however, is a gen-u-ine throwback here. Not only is this strictly an “X-Men” event, but it’s the kind of inter-title crossover that used to be a staple of the line. The last one of these we got was the ho-hum, Bendis-driven “Battle of the Atom” storyline, though I’ve got fond memories of “Messiah Complex” and “Second Coming” from around a decade back.
Jonathan Hickman is writing this inaugural issue with “House of X” artist Pepe Larraz illustrating it. This won’t be his first ride at the event rodeo, but it will be the first time he’ll be riding lead on an event with multiple writers. The current X-line of titles has been playing well with each other, continuity-wise, so the shift between writers should be a smooth one. As for what “X of Swords” will be about, most of the covers for the titles in these solicitations have featured… “Apocalyptic” imagery. So it’s probably a safe bet that the subplot about En Sabah Nur’s First Horsemen is going to get some payoff with this storyline.
Amazing Spider-Man #850: Thanks to issue #801, it’s only been #49 issues since the last milestone. Will they switch back to #50 next month to get the coveted DOUBLE MILESTONE BUMP?! I’m not ruling it out. As for what’s actually in this issue, it’s the return of the Green Goblin! Which sounds about right for this kind of milestone. You know what I’d like more? A reveal as to who Kindred actually is. Writer Nick Spencer has been positioning him as the Big Bad of his run so far, and we really haven’t seen him do anything besides act real creepy and hint at a connection to Peter in the background. This is not how you build a compelling mystery. At least with the Green Goblin’s return there’s little doubt of seeing a quality superhero clash to mark this issue.
Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1: This is the fourth of the “Giant-Size X-Men” one-shots that Hickman has written. At this point I’m starting to wonder when and how they’re going to be collected. Fortunately Amazon has me covered on that point as there’s a page for “Giant-Size X-Men” indicating that these four one-shots -- plus one more -- will be collected in one volume in December. I’m cool with that. In case you’re wondering about this particular issue, Hickman takes Storm to the far end of the world to save herself and Russell Dauterman returns from “Jean Grey & Emma Frost” to illustrate it.
Spider-Man #4 (of 5): Yes, that’s right. The miniseries written by Henry Abrams (with some help from his dad J.J.) has gone waaaaaaaaaaaay off schedule. This is a prime example of why I always “wait for the trade.” Because even though #4 is solicited to come out in September, there’s no guarantee it actually will. Nor is there any guarantee that #5 will follow it in October.
Iron Man #1: Writer Christopher Cantwell’s “Doctor Doom” series got an Eisner nomination for best new series. Congrats to him for that, and I’m pretty sure that’s how he got the job of chronicling Tony Stark’s ongoing adventures. This is after Dan Slott finally realized that he couldn’t write two ongoing titles at once and chose “Fantastic Four” over this one. That said, Cantwell is something of an odd choice for such a prominent character, seeing as how “Doom” and “She Could Fly” were both defined by their quirky, idiosyncratic storytelling. I liked them both, but my gut tells me that this is going to be a divisive run at best. Even with Cafu handling the art.
Immortal She-Hulk #1: This is a tie-in to “Empyre” that sees Al Ewing and “The Wild Storm’s” Jon Davis-Hunt giving Jen Walters the “Immortal” treatment. That’s how the solicitation text puts it. If Ewing has a great idea as to where he wants the character to go, then he’s built up enough trust with me so that I’ll see where he wants to go with it. But if he just wants to whack the reset button on the character’s current incarnation and return her to superpowered superhero lawyer then I’ll be more than fine with that too.
King Deadpool vol. 1: Kelly Thompson can be a very funny writer when she wants. One needs to look no farther than her runs on “Mr & Mrs. X,” “Jessica Jones,” and “West Coast Avengers” for proof of that. That last title is key because it also allowed her to show off some irreverence that’s going to fit nicely with the Merc With a Mouth’s latest ongoing series. Especially after Wade Wilson finds himself as KING OF THE MONSTERS! If he survives the political backstabbing, then he’ll have to deal with Elsa Bloodstone and Kraven the Hunter. Best of luck to you Deadpool! Chris Bachalo illustrates most of this volume, with Gerardo Sandoval pitching in for an issue at the end.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 1: Then It’s On Us: Al Ewing takes on the team with Juan Cabal on (most of) the art. What’s not to love? Do you need more? How about the fact that this series will be following up on the tease from “Avengers: No Road Home” regarding the cosmic rebirth of the Olympian Gods. I didn’t need more incentive to pick up this series, but I’ll gladly take it!
Iron Man 2020: Robot Revolution: If Dan Slott’s run on “Iron Man” had one focus, it was on how machine life was perceived in the Marvel Universe. This volume looks to deliver some payoff on that thread, along with how sinister Tony’s brother Arno has come off over the course of the writer’s run. Slott’s longtime writing buddy Christos Gage is on hand here as a co-writer, with the underrated Pete Woods handling the art.
Silver Surfer Black: Okay, so I don’t have to buy the oversized and overpriced Treasury Edition to read this miniseries from Donny Cates and Tradd Moore. Good to know that my patience paid off here.