A strange assortment of books this time around, but enough to be enthusiastic about! Here’s this week’s new and noteworthy titles.
- FATALE #2 – Hellblazer Noir, I’d call this. A book worth checking in on, to be sure. I think it’ll be a fun one, and Brubaker and Philips tend not to overstay their welcome too long, so it’s not likely to be a six-year committment or anything.
- HULK #48
- PUNISHER #8
- REED GUNTHER #8 – I put out a call for good all-ages books on our Google+ page a while back and got a very enthusiastic response for Reed Gunther. So I’m going to give it a shot.
- STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE #5 (OF 6)
- TWELVE #9 (OF 12) – If Matt wants to dive back in to The Twelve, it’s back. If I had to put money on it, he doesn’t.
- VENOM #13 – This is a $4 title, so I’ll have to back-issue dive for it in the future, but Remender is doing a callback to the 90s’s “New” Fantastic Four with X-23, Red Hulk, Venom, and the new Ghost Rider. I admit it, I’m curious!
- WINTER SOLDIER #1 – I haven’t followed Brubaker’s Captain America run with any regularlity, but I’m intrigued enough to plunk down $3 to give it a shot. See how easy that is, Marvel? Solid creators and a reasonable cover price makes it easy to hook a new reader when the cost of entry is essentially disposable income.
In the past couple weeks I’ve gotten a chance to sample two Marvel .1 issues. Uncanny X-Force 19.1 and Secret Avengers 21.1 were both written by Rick Remender, so that’s a pretty good control variable to sample how they’re doing. Ostensibly a “good jumping-on point” for new readers, I was pleased to find them because I’m getting back on the monthly Marvel bandwagon but still have a little catching up to do on the regular series.
What I found with these was definitely a mixed bag, though. UXF was fairly impenetrable to me, and I’d read everything up to issue 11. I had no idea what was going on or why, and though I think I’d have enjoyed it a great deal if I were current on the series, I wasn’t, and thus the whole point of the Point 1 was negated. Secret Avengers did a much better job at getting me up to speed, though that was potentially just due to it being Remender’s first issue on the title. We find out that Captain America and Hawkeye are on a covert mission on foreign soil, and Cap is evaulating Hawkeye to take on a leadership role with whoever the rest of the team will be going forward. And as a jumping on point it worked great, but as a book in and of itself I had some issues. To wit:
- A dude dressed like Captain America is NOT a fit for a covert mission. Though they address that in-story, it just feels like the wrong solution. I tell you, for all the times it feels like a character gets a new costume for a toy line or because the artist wants to put their own mark on a character, this is one of the times it would have made sense if he wore something else.
- Hawkeye’s moviefication. Come on, Marvel, you know it won’t last. Hawkeye’s digs are iconic. You should make the movies conform to you or just let them be separate.
- Hawkeye can fly now? Oh, sure, he’s firing some sort of rocket arrow, but that’s some serious Silver Age weirdness there. There’s even one panel where he’s swinging off like Romita’s Spider-Man. What the what?
- The Avengers should be a bright and shiny superheroic example to the world, not a covert ops team. There’s a place for those teams (see: X-Force), but other than branding it doesn’t need to sit under the Avengers umbrella. There are plenty of unused Marvel trademarks, let’s use one of those. Or better yet, invent a new team name!
If I’m honest, the only issues of SA I’ve enjoyed at all were Warren Ellis’ brief run. I’ll give Remender a few issues because he’s usually great, but after that I’m willing to call the whole thing off for disinterest.
That’s enough ranting and raving for one week. What’s looking good to you?