Title: Avengers #11
Author: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Mike Deodato
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: May 8, 2013
Regular readers know that I’m a fan of the writing of one Jonathan Hickman. He currently writes a few creator owned books at Image (Manhattan Project, East of West, Secret), which are all amazing, but he also writes Avengers and New Avengers from Marvel. This past weeks Avengers was the most fun I had reading from my entire stack.
The story follows a crew of Avengers heading to a casino in Macau where they are trying to learn about a new secret weapon that has been put on the black market by those jokers over on A.I.M. Island, Marvel’s newest terrorist based nation state. The weapon is called S7…and no one knows what it is. Actually…that’s not quite true. Readers who have been paying attention for the last 10 issues know exactly what S7 is referring to.
The reason I even brought up this book, other than the fun aspect, was because of Shang-Chi. This Bruce Lee lookalike was kind of a racist joke for years on end, but in the last little while, much like Brian Bendis did with Luke Cage and Matt Fraction did with Iron Fist and Hawkeye, Shang-Chi has become a hell of a lot more interesting to read about. In fact, if either Dan Slott or Jonathan Hickman were to launch a Shang-chi ongoing series, it would go on my subscription in a heartbeat. No one kicks more asses and gets more done, than Shang. He doesn’t even need to talk that much. His very presence is the epitome of the term “cool under pressure”. The man thrives on it!
So, if, like me, you are now a Shang-chi fan, go out and pick up this issue. Mr. Hickman is writing something special in the Avengers books. The fact that he’s already used a few dozen different Avengers in less than a dozen issues has been fantastic. During Brian Bendis’ tenure he also used a plethora of characters…and then continued to use them over and over again. Doctor Strange anyone? I loved his run, but I also love what has come after. You won’t be sorry if you love story.
And with that horrible rhyme, I’m out for another week. Avengers Assemble!
Title: Detective Comics #20
Author: John Layman
Artist: Jason Fabok
Publisher: DC Comics
Release date: May 1, 2013
Verdict: Lovin’ this book!
I know, I know! We just took a look at this book last month with the massive issue #19/#900, but after reading this latest issue, I just wanted to say a little word about it. This issue wraps up the story that we’ve been treated to since issue #13 when John Layman and Jason Fabok took over the series. Since that issue, Ignatius Ogilvy aka Emperor Penguin, has been taking center stage as Batman’s newest surreal villain-type psycho.
Ogilvy took over Oswald Cobblepot’s business is one hell of a hostile takeover. It has been a very entertaining read from the get go, and has acted as the perfect Batman story for the Batman fan who doesn’t want to get bogged down in all of the ‘continuity’ happening in the other New 52 Batbooks. This issue contained nothing about dead Robin…nothing about a possible new Robin…nothing about the origins of Batman. It was just a solid Batman story with a villain and a ton of ass kicking. This is not to imply that this story ignores what has happened before. It’s just not concentrating on Bruce’s psyche or the feeling of the other members of the bat-family. This is a Batman story through and through. It would have fit with the continuity that existed before the New 52, and to me, that’s the sign of things going back to normal for the readers. We can get the big epic stories still, but sometimes it’s nice to get a story that can be collected into one nice volume and not require other books to have it make sense. Think of Scott Snyder’s run on Detective Comics in the 11 months pre-New 52. My favorite kind of Batman story.
One other thing I liked about this 8 issue story was the fact that Jason Fabok penciled every single page of it. Over at Marvel we may get two issues a month sometimes, but artists aren’t doing more than 3 or 4 issues in a row before they need someone to come in as relief. Even at DC, where books are coming out once a month, it’s rare to have an artist pencil this many issues in a row. Jason is a terrific artist, and Detective Comics fans are all the more lucky to have him.
Oh…and Jason Fabok isn’t the only artist that needs to be recognized. Andy Clarke, known for his few bat stories from the last few years, as well as being one of the best to ever draw Judge Dredd, has been providing amazing artwork for the backup stories that have populated John Layman’s issues. Layman is also handling the writing on those backups. Each backup has been a perfect little addition to the story in the main body of the book. This issue featured my favorite one to date with the origin of Emperor Penguin and what happened to him after Batman saved the day. Fabulous artwork! I hope this also continues for the foreseeable future.
What did you all think? Are you reading the Bat-books? Do all of them make it into your subscription? Let us know which books are doing it for you, and which are falling flat. See you all next time J
Title: Jupiter’s Legacy
Author: Mark Millar
Artist: Frank Quitely
Publisher: Image Comics / MillarWorld
Release date: April 24, 2013
Verdict: Looks to Be Epic!
I’ve just read the first issue of Frank Quitely and Mark Millar’s long awaited Jupiter’s Legacy, and I have renewed high hopes of this series being something special that we talk about for years to come. Mark Millar is one of the absolute best pitch-men in all of comics. He routinely hypes his stuff by saying it will change the face of comics…or that this series is illustrated by one of the greatest artists of all time…or that this new book will outshine all the work he, along with whom ever his collaborator is, have ever done in either of their careers. Is this lying?…or simply just self-promotion? Smarter people than me should be the ones to come to that decision. I will say that this issue did not disappoint and I don’t think Mark is guilty of false promises this time around.
This series starts in 1932 during the one of the worst banking failures and financial depressions that the world has ever seen. People are desperate. They have no money; they’ve lost their homes; they have no jobs; their pets have been eaten, and their clothes are in tatters. They’ve lost almost all hope. But one group of people…arguably special people…have taken an adventure based on the fever dreams of one of their own. They’ve hired a boat and its crew to take them to a special island in the Indian Ocean that even the locals know nothing about. Is it the island from Lost? Is it an allegory for a hidden Olympus-type place? At this time, we don’t know. All we know it that this group went to this island in 1932, and when they left the island, they came back to America to inspire the people to be better than they are. And they were wearing flashy superhero-type costumes and had amazing abilities greater than that of normal men and women.
Cut to 2013, and the offspring of these do-gooders are as shiftless and lazy as the celbutante douchebags that populate our world’s trash magazines. They have the power to do good…but they’d rather get another Vodka company to sponsor their birthday bash in Las Vegas. These kids are powerful and are able to help others…the very activity that their parents wished they would do…but they have no drive. It’s like someone who works their ass off all of their life, amasses a monster fortune, and then ruins their family for 10 generations because none of them have to ever work for anything.
After one issue, I think Mark Millar is on the right track. Exploring these people and how they act in a world that they can dominate, but don’t because they either believe in the self-determination of America, or because they are too lazy, is a daunting project. Hopefully we get all 10 issues of this series in a timely manner. It was supposed to debut in 2012, but got pushed back further and further, which hopefully means that Frank Quitely has got very far ahead on issues so that we don’t have to wait a decade to get to the endgame. Mark Millar is notorious for not finishing series when he takes too long. He tends to lose interest. Hopefully this is not the case with Jupiter’s Legacy.
As a final thought, I just want to point out how amazing Frank Quitely’s artwork is in this first issue. Frank is handling all the pencils/inks and is being coloured by Peter Doherty, his colorist on All-Star Superman. I’ve followed Frank’s work religiously ever since I was exposed to it in my early days of comic collecting, and this ‘new’ style of his is quite beautiful. DC/Vertigo will be releasing a “Vertigo Visions” book featuring tonnes of previously un-collected Quitely artwork later this year, and just like his run on All-Star Superman, his Authority issues, and WE3, it will be a treasured item on my self. Hopefully late 2014 will also see a gorgeous oversized hardcover collection of this series. And hopefully it meets all the hype thrown at it by its writer and the internet.
I hope you dig this series as much as I do. I can’t wait for issue #2. There were six covers to issue #1. Which one did you get? (I got the Quitely cover pictured at the top). Sound off in our comments section below and we can chat about what you liked and what you didn’t. Was this book overhyped in your opinion? Let us know what you thought J .
Title: Daredevil #25
Author: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: April 17, 2013
Verdict: A Knockout!
Ever since Kevin Smith, Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti relaunched Daredevil from Marvel Knights in 1997, I have been a die hard fan of the horn-head. From there we got an amazing run by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev; then another amazing turn by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark; then a dismal run from Andy Diggle. It was so bad, that I actually stopped buying the book for a bit. As any true fan knows, this is a huge deal when you’ve been collecting a book non-stop for 15 years. But there was a light at the end of that awful tunnel. When that run wrapped up, Mark Waid came back to Marvel, and relaunched Daredevil to fantastic new heights!
The style is completely different from what came before, and that’s kind of what makes it work so well. Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker…and to a lesser extent Andy Diggle…come from a background of doing crime comics and doing them well. Mark Waid on the other hand, is known more for his superhero work. It turns out that Daredevil needed a superhero infusion after years of gritty crime stories, and Mark Waid, along with artists like Marcos Martin, Paolo Rivera and Chris Samnee, has done exactly that.
Ever since issue #1, there have been several story threads spooled up that are still unraveling. Who’s been pulling the strings? Who’s been making Daredevil/Matt Murdock’s life a mess? Who’s the big bad?!?! Well…the cover of issue #25 gives you an idea or two. Standing over Matt in his Daredevil costume, is another man in the original yellow DD costume in a boxer’s robe that says “Murdock”, sporting some bloody knuckles. Who could it be?! That would be telling.
From there we get an epic fight and an epic promise of doom. What will happen to Matt next issue? Will Matt survive the night? The week? This fight? We have no idea, but it’ll be fun finding out. Next issue will be a double sized issue and July will feature two issues. Not a bad time to be a Daredevil fan.
Be back next week as we look at another exciting comic book story. Will it be Batman Inc.? Will it be the debut issue of Millar and Quitely’s Jupiter’s Legacy? Will it be Guardians of the Galaxy? Will it be nothing because my computer exploded? Who knows?! See you next time J
Title: Uncanny Avengers #6
Author: Rick Remender
Artist: Daniel Acuna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: April 10, 2013
Verdict: Beautiful and Engaging!
The title that started off this whole “Marvel Now!” thing was Uncanny Avengers #1. This was exciting as Marvel was pairing one of their newest big time writers with an amazing artist who is envied by his peers and fans alike. Rick Remender had captivated me with his rendition of Uncanny X-Force, and John Cassaday is someone that I’ve followed religiously ever since I got the first issue of Homage Studios Desperadoes back in the late 1990’s.
Marvel has been getting some criticism over Marvel Now because several of the books are shipping either twice or three times a month, and the artwork is not consistent because of it. Books like Avengers and All New X-Men have each had multiple artists, all great, but no one lasting more than 3-5 issues at a time. This, of course, is to be expected with an accelerated shipping schedule, but it doesn’t change the fact that the days of straight runs by an intact creative team are probably gone over at the house of ideas.
Fitting then that the first book of this whole thing, a book that has not even shipped monthly, is not on its third artist in 6 issues. All great artists, just not quite the same. I say all this, but I still quite liked this issue. Daniel Acuna, purported to be the new ongoing artist on the book, does a great job. He’s pretty fast, so hopefully we get at least one full intact arc by him and Mr. Remender. This issue finds us in the past exploring the first meeting of Thor and the mutant know as Apocalypse. And it’s not just an interlude. The entire issue takes place in 1013, and chronicles the first meeting and the first few battles between Apocalypse and Thor. It was a gorgeous issue and sets up the storyarc to come.
Overall, even though John Cassaday was only around for 4 issues, I’ve enjoyed this series and the idea of a mixed Avengers/X-Men team tackling problems all over the world. Marvel Now! has been a decent rebranding, even though I don’t think it was necessary. I just wish we got a little bit more consistency in artists. At this point, I guess all we can wish for is to have one artist on one story and not have a bunch of hack jobs like several of the series coming from the Distinguished Competition across town.
What did you all think? Are the constant artistic changes throwing you all for a loop? What are your general thoughts on the whole Marvel Now! vs. The New 52? Sound off in our handy comments section below J
Title: Detective Comics #900 (#19 in the New 52 world)
Author: John Layman
Artist: Jason Fabok
Publisher: DC Comics
Release date: April 3, 2013
Verdict: Solid Read!
When DC abandoned the DC universe we had come to know and love 19 months ago, Detective Comics last issue was #881. Written by Scott Snyder, it was a fantastic issue. It was the last part of his Black Mirror storyarc starring Dick Grayson as Batman. I loved it and couldn’t wait to read more from Mr. Snyder. When Detective Comics launched the next month, it was a new number one, and now Tony Daniel was writing and drawing the book. Thank god Mr. Snyder took over the adjectiveless Batman series with Greg Capullo, or we may have been denied a fantastic writer/artist duo on a bat-book. Suffice it to say, Mr. Daniel is not a favorite of mine. I don’t dislike him…he’s just not a favorite. Anyways…a year into his run he left the book for other New 52 work and one of my favorite writers, John Layman, took over. You may not know who John is…he was an editor at Wildstorm, but then he broke into writing and currently produces Chew, from Image Comics, one of the best humor/cop books in the history of the medium. Joined by Jason Fabok, the man who pinch hit for David Finch on his bat-book, Detective Comics made its way back onto my subscription list.
We are now over six months into their run, and it’s been solid. Not as good as Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s series, and maybe not as good as Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s series, but coming in a close third, in my opinion. This month is the 19th issue in the New 52, which according to the math makes it issue #900. Quite the milestone for Batman and quite the milestone for DC. As a treat, DC has made the issue a giant sized 80 page issue featuring not only a story by the main creative team, but also a few other short stories by John Layman. One with artwork by Andy Clarke; one with artwork by Henrik Jonsson; and one with art by Jason Masters. The issue also features a story about Bane by James Tynion IV & Mikel Janin. The issue wraps up with a plethora of awesome pin-ups by a who’s who of amazing Batman artists from now and the recent past.
The main story, titled The 900, features the main creative team and the continuation of the story they’ve been telling since they started their run. The 900 refers to the area of town in which this story takes place. According to the author, it’s in uptown Gotham between Ninth and Tenth avenues. After seeing the cover, I assumed the 900 referred to the staggering amount of Mat-Bats attacking Gotham City. My bad. I also assumed that these Man-Bats were somehow connected to the Man-Bats showing up in Batman Incorporated. Wrong again it seems*. The story actually features the New 52 debut of Kirk Langstrom and his Man-Bat serum. The story itself wasn’t really anything special, but the artwork was gorgeous. I’m definitely a fan of how John Layman let’s Jason Fabok tell as much of the story with pictures as he can. It makes the issue flow quite nicely.
My big problem with the story and this is not the fault of the creators, but the editors, is that this is the first appearance of Kirk Langstrom. The Man-Bats used in Batman Incorporated were supposed to be tied into Langstrom, but that has been retconned out. This is not the first time this has happened. As Mr. Layman is a professional, he rolled with it…but this is actually a sign of the problems being encountered by several creators over at DC who are working in the New 52 world. Editorial mix ups not being found until it’s too late. Frustrating creative types to no end. It’s even resulted in several people leaving books almost right after they got there. Just look at Action comics post-Grant Morrison and you’ll see what I mean. Anyways….The story wasn’t bad and the book in general is a solid read month in and month out.
The back-up stories in this issue were quite nice as well. A ton of awesome people contributed to this oversized anniversary special, and I think it was worth its hefty cover price of $8. The Emperor Penguin story that these guys have been telling has been good. I like seeing new villians pop up from time to time, and this guy is making for good story. The inclusion of Zsasz is also cool as he is one of the craziest of the crazies in Batman’s rogues’ gallery.
That’s it for this week folks. Be back next week as we look at another book that I enjoyed reading…or maybe hated reading. We’ll see J .
Title: East of West #1
Author: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Publisher: Image Comics
Release date: March 27, 2013
Verdict: Best of the Week!
As regular readers of this space may be aware, I am the biggest Jonathan Hickman fan you know. I mean it! I have everything by him that I’ve been able to get my hands on. Tons of Image stuff like The Nightly News and Pax Romana; as well as his Marvel stuff like Secret Warriors and his massive run on Fantastic Four. As far as I’m concerned, Jonathan Hickman is the industry leader in smart science fiction comic book writing. Matt Fraction is also someone to watch for when it comes to engaging sci-fi, but Mr. Hickman is the absolute tops.
Currently Jonathan is guiding both of the Avengers core books at Marvel (Avengers & New Avengers), which both ship multiple times a month, and he’s also hammering out The Manhattan Projects from Image. This week was the debut of his newest ongoing series from the creator-owned Mecca that is Image Comics, East of West. The book features artwork by Jonathan’s main FF contributor, the amazing Nick Dragotta. They produced on of my favorite comics of all time: FF #17…and when I heard that the two of them were setting up this creator-owned venture at Image, I was totally jazzed up! Image has had a massive resurgence in interesting and peerless new books the last year and a half, and Jonathan Hickman has been right there in the thick of it. Hickman got his start at Image, and it’s nice to see him continuing to produce so much creator-owned material through them as opposed to somewhere like Marvel’s Icon or at DC’s Vertigo.
East of West, from what I had read online, has quite the high concept. The book involves three of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse chasing down the other horseman. It takes place in an “Old West”- style setting, but is actually in the future. This isn’t an America that we would recognize. The story opens up to the ‘birth’ of three Horsemen, and they notice that one of their colleagues is missing. Their birth takes place in what looks like a cross between Stonehenge and the cool desert/canyon/outback- style place where a young Indiana Jones was hanging out with his Boy Scout troop in the Last Crusade.
The story opens up with a lesson in the variant history that has taken place. During the American Civil War in this universe, the entirety of the various native nations joined together under one banner. The banner of Red Cloud of the Lakota Nation. The Confederates and The Union now faced not only each others armies, but also the United Lakota Nation. Suffice it to say, the war did not end as fast as they would have liked. Cut to 1908, and a treaty is signed, at a place called Armistice, which formed what is known as the Seven Nations of America.
This book, like all of Jonathan’s stories, seems like it will be layered like an onion with revelation after revelation, but it’s in no hurry. This series is billed as an ongoing series, but with a known ending that they will come to us within a few years. The artwork is the best of Nick Dragotta’s career, which is isn’t a surprise as he will have as much time as he needs to produce these amazing pages. I’m a huge fan of speculative historical fiction, so I can’t wait to learn more about this America and it’s history to see where it’s diverged from the America we all know and…know. As a nice little additive, the creators have included a map on the back cover detailing all the various nations of America.
This issue is already going to a second (and most likely third) printing, and contains a whopping 32 pages of artwork, with no adds, for the regular price. Get your ass to the shoppes fast and pick yourself up a copy, because this thing looks like I t’s going to blow up like previous awesome number ones like Chew and Saga. Don’t get caught coming late to the party y’all! I will definitely be back for issue two and beyond. Will you? Sound off in our handy comments section below and let us know what you thought J
Grant Morrison first introduced us to Damian Wayne, the son of the Batman and the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, in his very first issue of Batman (#655) way back in 2006. Since that time, Damian has been a force to be reckoned with in the pages of the various Bat-books, especially in both Batman & Robin and the adjectiveless Batman. He has been central in the ongoing story of the evolution of Bruce Wayne and his adoptive family of crime fighters. Since Damian has been around we’ve seen Tim Drake grow into Red Robin and Dick Grayson become Batman after Bruce was thought to have died.
Since the whole ‘New 52’ thing started, Dick has gone back to being Nightwing and Damian has partnered up with his father; but at it’s core, even though many things changed, Grant Morrison’s story of Damian and the Wayne clan hasn’t changed all that much. Sadly, just a few short weeks ago, Damian met his end defending his father and the ideals he tried to instill in his wayward son. He went out like a boss, and now the entire family mourns the loss. Let’s take a look at some of the first issues released post-Damian. Both of which carry a small ‘R’ emblem on them depicting them as “Requiem” issues; which are issues focusing on the aftermath of Damian’s death.
Title: Batman & Robin #18; Author: Peter Tomasi; Artist: Patrick Gleason; Publisher: DC Comics; Rating: T; Release date: March 13, 2013
This is the first book I read this week, and it’s really the first book dealing with the death of Damian. Last week’s Detective Comics had a small scene, but it felt forced and out of place. This entire issue concentrates on the loss. The manner of which made for a quick read, but in no way did it make it less powerful.
The entire issue is told with just the artwork. With no word balloons and no inner dialogue, this entire issue relied on the teamwork of writer Peter Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason. These two have worked together steadily for several years now, and it was because of this teamwork that this issue was so powerful. Not a single word uttered, but it screamed pain and loss. Bruce Wayne has endured more loss than one man ever should over a single lifetime, and Patrick Gleason’s pencils showed that. Bruce will never be the same after this. Even if a new Robin were on the scene…Bruce will just never truly get over this.
A very powerful issue brought to us by some amazing creators that always seem to be considered the ‘B-team’. This issue should be scooped up as soon as you see it. I know some people would be upset that there are no words…but really…no words were necessary. Naturally, I’d give it top marks.
Title: Batman #18; Author: Scott Snyder; Artist: Andy Kubert; Publisher: DC Comics; Rating: T; Release date: March 13, 2013
As stated above, Damian Wayne was introduced to the reading public in Grant Morrison’s first issue of Batman in 2006. The artist behind those early issues, Andy Kubert, re-joins the Bat-team this week for a very special issue of Scott Snyder’s adjectiveless Batman where the death of Damian is most assuredly felt.
Before getting into the nuts and bolts of this issue, I just want to say that the cover by regular Batman artist Greg Capullo is amazing! For me, it screams cover of the year. A simple picture of a perfectly rendered red breasted robin perched atop an empty pair of unlaced boots recognizable as the same footwear worn by Damian in the guise of Robin. Understated and extremely powerful. Can’t ask for much more when it comes to a cover. Anyways…back to the issue.
Just like in issue #12, which was also a special one-shot issue, this book is told from the point of view of Harper Row, the young genius girl who people are saying is being set up to be Batman’s next partner. Of course, this is still just idle speculation, but for my money, I’d say it’s a safe bet. She follows and observes Batman in the week after Damian’s death. She knows he’s going through hell, because he’s going full force hardcore on everyday criminals in the same way he’d go hardcore for villains like Joker or Two-Face. And he’s not stopping at sun-up. He’s going all day as well. When she confronts him by way of saving his ass from hyped up fighting dogs, he explodes on her and breaks her nose. Truly…things are not going well for him. The next day they meet up again, and she is able to talk him down a little bit. Bruce will finally sleep after 5 straight days of kicking ass, and Harper can relax knowing that she made a difference in her hero’s life for at least one night.
As stated before, Andy Kubert penciled the main story this issue. As always, Batman featured a back-up written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion, but this time, it was more of a “Chapter 2″ as opposed to a back-up story. It was great piece, but what I loved about it the most, was that the story was drawn by one of my favorite artists of all time, Alex Maleev. Alex produced some of the most beautiful issues of Batman during the whole “No Man’s Land” storyarc from over a decade ago, and has since called Marvel home. It was great to see him back in Gotham, and I hope he comes back really soon.
Alright. That’s it for this week folks. Be back next time when we look at some more awesome comics J
Artist: Bryan Hitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: March 6, 2013
Verdict: Epic in Scale!
After nine years guiding the loves and lives of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Brian Bendis left the series a few months ago. When it was announced, I was confused, as this mini-series, The Age of Ultron, had been teased over a year and bit ago with a special free comic book day issue by Bendis and Bryan Hitch. Were we not going to get it? Had the various Marvel characters stories taken them places that would preclude this Age of Ultron from making sense? Neither it seems. It was just a bit delayed, and now, it’s finally started to ship.
The series is set to run for 10 issues and will feature artwork by Bryan Hitch for the first 5 issues (don’t worry everyone! He’s already finished all the artwork for all 5 issues!), as well as Carlos Pacheco, Brandon Petersen and, for a few pages at least, Marvel Chief creative officer, Joe Quesada. From what I’ve heard throughout the grapevine, this entire series is fully drawn and will come out according to its schedule, which should be three times a month for issues #1-6 and twice a month for issues #7-10. In other words; about four months.
The first book opens on the Marvel Universe already fully conquered by Ultron. It’s hell on Earth and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. This issue follows Bendis’ favorite Avenger, Hawkeye, as he strives to save an imprisoned Peter Parker from the nefarious Owl. What struck me right away was how many people Hawkeye outright killed. Not just an arrow in the bicep or the leg, but full on murder. I guess in the Age of Ultron, the old rules go out the back door. We only have a handful of heroes left, and what’s left is awfully down on themselves. They have no plan, limited weapons and tech, and their general, Captain America, is depressed as hell. It seems hopeless with the outlook quite grim. Will our heroes prevail?! I’m sure they will, and the next three months are going to be a whirlwind getting this whole story.
This first is absolutely gorgeous. Bryan Hitch really hit it out of the park. The two page spreads are as beautiful as his pages in the Ultimates, and the colours were perfect. The chromium cardstock cover was a fun throwback to the 1990’s, but not really necessary. After only one issue, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’ll be here for every issue to follow. The series seems like it will be pretty much self contained with only a few tie-in issues in total. What’s funny is that it kind of reminds me of those Mark Millar storyarcs. The ones he wrote like Wolverine and Fantastic Four where his story is not attached to other stories; it just runs for 10-12 issues and is one fantastic story. Hopefully this will be Bendis’ perfect send off to the Avengers and Hitch’s perfect send off to Marvel Comics (for now at least). See you guys after issue #2
Title: Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1
Author: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Steve McNiven
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release date: February 27, 2013
Verdict: The New Cool!
A few months ago, Marvel Studios announced that they would be making a big screen edition of the Guardians of the Galaxy. This puzzled me. Marvel has always been known for it’s heroes who hang out in New York. Heroes like Spider-Man, the Fantastic four, the X-Men and the Avengers. Marvel’s characters are more “grounded” than the god pantheon over at DC. When Marvel announced Guardians, I took it to mean that they basically wanted to make their version of Green Lantern Corps, the DC property that is mostly based off of Earth. As I’ve looked more into the world of the Guardians, I found this to be pretty far from the truth.
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have been the “Cosmic Guys” over at Marvel the last few years with their whole “Annihilation” storyline and their work with Nova. Unfortunately, even though these stories were very good, they just didn’t get the attention stuff like Siege and Fear Itself got. Marvel needed some big time creators to come in and make people take notice. This is exactly what they’ve done with their new Guardians series that debut the other day with a #0.1 origin issue.
The team behind the newest incarnation of Marvel’s space saviours are none other than Brian Bendis, fresh off his 9 year stint on the Avengers books; and artist Steve McNiven, known for books like Civil War and Mark Millar’s Nemesis. This first issue is totally an origin issue of our main character Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. The son of a human mother and an alien father, Peter is technically the heir to the throne of Spartax, the world his father Jason (or J’son) came from. By the end of the issue, you are aware that Peter has been recounting the tale of his early life to someone. That someone is none other than Tony Stark, who after hearing the story, volunteers to help out / join the Guardians.
For the continuity beasts out there, I believe that at the end of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca’s run on Iron Man, Tony is seen with a new suit of armor and blasting off into space. When Marvel Now! started, Tony was back from space. I believe that this is where he went, as he will be a part of this team at the beginning of the series. It’s also looking like Tony Stark/Iron Man may be the character that ties the Guardians movie into the rest of the Avengers-verse movies. Will we see Robert Downey jr as Tony Stark in Guardians? We damn well better!
I loved this first issue! I know practically nothing about this set of Marvel characters and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I love that Marvel threw us a curveball when they announced a Guardians movie, and I can’t wait to see what Bendis does with this franchise. He killed it on Avengers for years and made it Marvel’s top property, and now he’s doing a fantastic job with the X-Men over in All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. I’m not saying that he can “do no wrong”, but with a partner like Steve McNiven along for the ride, I have high hopes for Bendis and the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2013. Hopefully you do too. Issue #1 debuts this month. Reserve your copy today from the fine folks at both of our awesome store locations!