Well, that took a LOT longer than I had anticipated. I caught up on my DC comics and assessed what I was liking a lot and not so much back on July 7th on this Blog. I was hoping to catch up on Marvel before San Diego Comic Con, but that didn’t happen but I did finally catch up on all my Marvel reading this weekend. This includes a bunch of comics that I had stopped buying as new issues but that I have managed to pick up for $1 an issue on-line. Even with the popularity of Marvel NOW books, I still seem to be able to find books available for $1 each on the back issue market, which is great because it let me give another read & chance to some books I had stopped getting new after the first issue or 2 like Captain America, Iron Man, and Uncanny Avengers.
I’m going to evaluate my current Marvel reading and talk about what’s making it onto my pre-order pull-list (that I always post on the ComicSpectrum web-site).
Comics I really enjoyed:
- Daredevil – Mark Waid has been doing a great job on this book.
- Fury MAX – GREAT series, one of the best with Fury ever, but it ended with #13. That said, very non-super-heroey.
- Guardians of the Galaxy – The only Bendis super-hero book I’m really loving right now.
- Hawkeye – My favorite Marvel book right now, Matt Fraction is doing a bang-up job on this, nice stand-alone stories for the most part.
- Indestructible Hulk – Another fresh take on a classic Marvel Hero being done really well by Mark Waid.
- Morbius – Didn’t expect to like this as much as I do. Morbius in Brownsville, who’d have thought Joe Keatinge could make it so interesting?
- New Avengers – Should be called “The Illuminati”. The sheer fact that this is more dialogue driven with less action is what makes it interesting to me. A counterpoint to Hickman’s main Avengers book that is very action-heavy.
- Nova – A new take on Nova with a completely new kid that I went into thinking I’d not like the new take, but it really grabbed me. Jeph Loeb is doing a nice job on this.
- Superior Spider-Man – Not Spider-Man but a good “What of Doc Ock dressed up as Spider-Man” story.
- Ultimate Comics Ultimates – Really kicked up a notch when Josh Fialkov came on as writer. Not that enthused about the art by diGiandomenico, but the story is really captivating.
- Young Avengers – Very stand-alone series, which I’m really enjoying. Not something that has been getting crossed over onto a lot of other Marvel books.
There have been some announced creative changes that have affected me. One thing I have found is that I am very creator driven now, whereas when I was younger I’d just buy a series or a character wherever they appeared. Now, if I am not a fan of a particular artist or writer I just skip those issues. All the reboots to new #1s has really driven me off the “need every one” mentality.
- Fantastic Four / FF – Family aspect is the key here. Fraction does a good job following Hickman, but not as good on writing Valeria. This is a writer-driven series and I am VERY leery of the fact now that he’s handing off F4 to Karl Kesel & FF to Allred.
- Savage Wolverine – LOVED the initial story arc by Frank Cho. Dropped it after that.
- Secret Avengers – Very worried with Nick Spencer leaving and turning the writing over to Ed Brisson.
- Wolverine – I’ve enjoyed the ones by Paul Cornell/Alan Davis. Skipped the ones with art by Mirco Pierfederici.
Comics that were OK, but not anything I was extremely excited about:
- All-New X-Men – Pacing of story is not my favorite and the basic concept of the Original X-Men running around interacting with current day Marvel U for this length of time does not feel right to me. Bendis has some really nice moments in thei series embedded with a lot of stuff that just does not click with me.
- Avengers – This is really inconsistent for me. Liked the issues with the New Universe characters. Not a fan of Ex Nihilo or the “origin bomb” stuff. Not a fan of Deodato’s current art style on this series. I’ll keep an eye out for issues in $1 bins.
- Avengers A.I. – Just didn’t grab me
- Avenging Spider-Man – Kind of cool to see Doc Ock squaring off against classic Spidey villains & “collecting” them.
- Daredevil: Dark Nights – I’ll pick up the rest of this series out of $1 bins.
- Fearless Defenders – OK, but not something I am really into.
- Journey Into Mystery – Liked the Tales of Asgard interludes more than the Sif/Beta Ray Bill stuff
- Red She Hulk – Hanging around with Machine Man on Route 616 is OK, but not enough to keep me coming back each month.
- Superior Foes of Spider-Man – Not really a Spider-Man story, so I don’t need to deal with Ock-Spidey. Focuses on Bopomerang & his crew & was pretty good, I will pick up more issues of this.
- Thunderbolts – Kind of a mixed bag. Liked the 1st run with Way/Dillon then it became less interesting with Way/Noto and finally when it switched to Soule as writer I loss interest altogether.
- Ultimate Comics Spider-Man – Picked up the Venom War & Spider-Man No More storylines. Not bad but really did nothing for me.
- Ultimate Comics Wolverine – OK tale of an the Ultimate Universe Wolverine’s son, Jimmy, but I’ll stick with the “real” Wolverine.
- Wolverine – loved it by Paul Cornell/Alan Davis moved to “OK” when art team switched.
- Wolverine Max – Tried from $1 bin. Mixed bag, some issues better than others.
Stuff that I did not particularly care for:
All these thoughts & feeling are highly subjective, YMMV. Just based on where I’m personally coming from and what I think “feels right” for a character, or at least what I want to read about.
- Age of Ultron – Would have been a GREAT 4 issue series. At 10 issues it felt padded and lots of self-important but unnecessary double-page spreads
- Avengers Arena – I can’t seem to get into caring about any of the characters.
- Avengers Assemble / Captain Marvel – I just am not clicking with Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing
- Captain America – Tried this again with #7, this is just not my Cap, galavanting around with a beard in Dimension Z.
- Hunger – Did not care for a merger of 616 Galactus & Ultimate Gah Lak Tus. Also did not help that this was totally an Ultimate Universe book that had zero trade dress to indicate that this was the case.
- Iron Man – I cannot get past the ugly space armor they have him in, plus I’m not sure why they are compelled to muck with his back-story like they are.
- Savage Wolverine (Wells/Madureira) – Art & story both not doing it for me.
- Ultimate Comics X-Men – Cannot get into Ultimate X-Men any more than regular ones.
- Uncanny Avengers – Reads (to me) like an X-Men book, which is wonderful for people who like X-Men books.
So, there you have it. I read through 39 different titles (coincidentally the same # of titles I read for DC), probably 150 total comics. I loved about a third of the total issues read and there are 11 that will have a spot on my ongoing pull list.
Next up: The verdict
Bob Bretall: firstname.lastname@example.org
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