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©The Variant 2015

The More Things Change... Part 1.

January 31, 2016

 As you may know from reading my review of Secret Wars #9, I was not a big fan of the ending. I waited until I read that issue to start reading the huge stack of All-New All-Different titles from Marvel. I found that before Secret Wars and even during it, the titles were all pretty well handled and therein lies my problem. Before Secret Wars, every title ended. Most of them were good endings. During Secret Wars all the new crossed-over titles were fairly good as well and most of them had definitive endings.

 

After Secret Wars I find myself looking at more of the same with few changes and really not finding myself all that interested anymore. It’s almost like they were relaunching all the same titles they launched just last year with minor changes that Marvel wanted to tweek like a great big Marvel-wide What If? ripple effect. Some of the writers that made those pre-Secret Wars books so good have jumped ship to do some creator owned work. Some of them have been flip-flopped to other titles. I’m going to go through a bunch of books with some quick-fire reviews which is why I’m titling this Part 1. There will be a part 2 and maybe even a part 3 unless I give up completely so bear with me.

 

Amazing Spider-Man – So Peter Parker has now become the newest Tony Stark of the Marvel Universe with one main difference: He’s not doing it for the money. As CEO of Parker Industries Peter has managed to invent and secure a new wrist worn spidey-iphone that pretty much does it all. He’s now dating one of the lead people in his Japan office and Spider-Man is officially his “bodyguard”. This book while having some interesting aspects is one of the better books in the Spidey-verse. It’s kind of a fresh take on Spider-Man and Parker but more along the lines of The Superior Spider-Man title just without Doc Ock thrown into Peter’s brain for funsies. I can definitely see this as being the Rise and Fall of Spider-Man title as at some point this big bubble of awesome he’s in is going to pop.

–Worth checking out if you're a Spider-Fan.

 

Invincible Iron Man – Tony Stark, it looks like, is becoming Peter Parker as he seems to be down on his luck and selling off some assets to survive. Not that he’s broke and moving in with his aunt mind you but Brian Michael Bendis is going less with the millionaire playboy angle and more with a down to Earth realistic approach to the main source of moolah in the Marvel U. Stock markets crash and so does Stark Industries at some point. Tony’s got a new armor with a new look but some of his past is coming back to haunt him as a new powered-up Whitney Frost shows up to start trouble. Also Mary Jane Watson is added to the mix as Tony offers her a job. This to me seemed a little odd as replacing a seasoned veteran of Iron Man like Pepper Potts with a one-off redhead like MJ definitely has me questioning Tony’s logic. Like “Hey, she’s got red hair, she owned a couple of clubs she used to be a model and she’s been involved with Spider-Man since forever. Hmm, I should hire her to organize my life.” Well in 50+ years she didn’t organize Spidey’s. What could go wrong? 

-- Ehh.. The jury’s still out on this.

 

All-New All-Different Avengers – Different iterations of characters all banding together on the same team against an unknown threat is the epitome of any good Avengers book. We have the new Sam Wilson Captain America, the new female Thor, the upgraded Iron Man, The new-ish Miles Morales Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan, the new younger Nova and Vision. With a wet behind the ears with a few veterans thrown in team I kind of question the line-up. As Avengers it’s almost irresponsible to do this regardless of the great powers these 3 kids have. Even in a world where an irresponsible Charles Xavier sends trained teenagers out to deal with a world that hates and fears them this has rarely if ever been an Avengers trademark. Having teenagers on the main Avengers team just feels like a recipe for disaster and as much as I would hate to see it, someone probably needs to get killed off to make this book pop.

– Giving this a few more issues. If more of the same I’m out.

 

New Avengers – With Roberto DeCosta (Sunspot) running the show of the new A.I.M. (Avengers Idea Mechanics) and running a roster of previous Young Avengers, Squirrel Girl, Songbird, White Tiger and Avengers veteran Hawkeye, I’m seeing a pattern here with Marvel to bring new and younger readers to the fold by using newer fresher characters that would be more popular to the next generation of comic book fans. While I liked the previous idea of Sunspot buying A.I.M. and making it into a force for good, in the Avengers World title, I’m remembering back to the 90’s and the X-Force storyline of Reignfire where Berto goes bad and all hell breaks loose. I’m hoping they leave that storyline buried as it wasn’t pretty and again I’m not finding a reason to keep reading this book.

–2 more issues to spin this or I’m out.

 

Scarlet Witch – Admittedly I’ve never been a huge Scarlet Witch fan. I’ve found over the years that the constant flux in regards to how her powers work and the adding in of the mystic element has made the character lacking as she became the “deus ex mutina” of the Avengers. I really liked her better as the main baddie of Avengers: Disassembled and as the reason behind “No More Mutants”. Having her as the most hated and feared of the mutants just made more sense to me than having her in a solo book running around Greece and taking up a Doctor Strange like archetype.

– Dropping this book.

 

Doctor Strange – And speaking of the good Doctor I had really high hopes for this book with Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo penning and drawing respectively. I was never really a Doctor Strange fan but I figured with that creative team they might make it interesting. I like the concept of an inquisition of Sorcerer Supremes. It’s a great idea, but I can’t get past the fact that no, I don’t care about Doctor Strange. I found myself more interested in seeing Magik show up and kept wondering if this storyline would carry over to whatever X-Title she’s currently in.

 – Giving this till issue 10 to impress me

 

Captain America: Sam Wilson – For a company doing their damndest to make closeminded people accept a black Captain America not calling this book just Captain America is a mystery to me. And they just keep burying our faces in the fact that he’s not Steve Rogers. Even in the new Ant-Man book (also written by Nick Spencer) they have a running gag about Sam being not “CAPTAIN AMERICA Captain America”. I feel like the book has become a social commentary of itself that harkens back to the 80’s Avengers books where Sam Wilson silently brooded to himself about being the “Token” black Avenger. Also this book talks too much. Like I found myself dreading each issue as the book is inundated with speech bubbles and tons of talking. I usually like my CAPTAIN AMERICA Captain America with more action and less preachy.

–Dropping from the sub.

 

Howard the Duck – While I am a big Chip Zdarsky fan, I’m finding myself buying Howard the Duck expecting something more along the lines of Sex Criminals and Kaptara and I’m finding myself less and less enthused about Howard. Zdarsky’s first run of this book was a little bland and this second run is more of the same. The tamer Marvel-friendly style of Zdarsky just doesn’t work for me and I literally shake my head at every missed opportunity for a dick joke rather than a duck joke.

– Buying more out of loyalty at this point. Probably dropping it.

 

Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. – During Secret Wars they had Deadpool’s wife Shikla running this team so it kind of made sense. The “Queen of the Monsters” running the monster team was a better call. Having S.H.I.E.L.D. take over and putting an LMD (life model decoy) of Dum Dum Dugan in charge takes away all the fun and potential of a Monster book. The story thus far has been predictable and I have zero interest in the team they put together or the main baddie of the first arc, The Sphinx.

–Dropping. Definitely Dropping.

 

Angela: Queen of Hel – When Marguerite Bennet first popped up on my radar I was enthralled with some of her work. The Angela: Asgard’s Assassin book she co-wrote with Kieron Gillen was outstanding. This pretty book shows that Bennett’s style while solid writing is also a bit of a style. What I mean is it’s the same style. There’s no difference between this or any of her other books other than the characters. Yeah we get it, they like to sing and they’re “GASP” lesbians. While I do like the concept of this book I feel like some of the character sub-plots are being forced down our throats. I don’t care if they’re lovers. I’m not Howard Stern. Gay or straight makes no difference to me when I want to see Angela kicking ass and taking names. Gillen had a good grasp of balancing this, Bennett, not so much.

-- Will Probably keep reading for a few more issues.

 

 

OK so I’ve read a few more All-New All-Different titles but as I said, I’m breaking this review up into parts. I haven’t gotten to read any of the new X-Men, Wolverine or Deadpool books in my stack but as those are my favorite Marvel characters you better believe you’ll be hearing from me about them. There were a few titles I knew right off the bat I had no interest in. Nova, Hercules and Red Wolf were nowhere near my pull list but I ended up getting Nova and Hercules free as my local comic book shop was having a deal. They were so-so and I had zero interest in picking up the second issue of each. Please stay tuned for the next episode of what’s quickly becoming the All-New All-Different drop list...

 

 

 

 

 

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