Category Archives: Marvel Comics
Over the past couple years or so I’ve been on a collecting spree of Marvel and DC Novels. If I stumble upon them in a used book store or anywhere, I’ll usually grab them. How did this start? Honestly out of pure curiosity of knowing they exist. I didn’t know so many of these were around until I started wandering bookstores and finding them. I have mostly the modern ones from the 90’s on up but I don’t have as much of the late60’s/70’s novels. I really didn’t know Marvel and DC had such a long history of novels. So that’s what I hunt down from time to time is those novels. Most of them you can find for scary cheap too, heck I got two Generation X ones for 2 bucks a piece so that was neat and the rest I’ve gotten for around 3 bucks a pop overall. Only a couple of the 70’s ones have run me about 5 to 7 bucks so I’m not arguing much about that at all. This is my weird collection that I like but it’s also fun because I do plan on reading them at some point as so many of them look like they’ll be a ton of fun to read.
I’ll have to list all the ones I got later as I need to write all the ones I have down and I’m writing this near midnight so, yeah it’ll have to wait for now. Promise I’ll get to it though. Yet I wanted to mention this fun adventure as it has been quite the journey for me. I’ve been to many different used book stores over the years and not even really hunting for those novels officially, they just seem to appear before my eyes. It’s been only recently I’ve seriously started to collect the novels and make a point to look for them. Of course you ask yourself as you read this why haven’t I just gone on ebay or amazon and so forth to get the ones I can’t find, it is because I enjoy the hunt for these. It’s not a big major hunt at this point, it’s my leisurely hunt for these novels. Stumbling upon them at random is still a lot of fun and I want to keep that up.
That’s my fun little story for the night I got an urge to talk about it and I’ll dive more into it later. Thanks for reading, take care and keep being awesome everyone.
Today I got a weird idea. A really strange and weird idea. As Brian Michael Bendis started to rise through the ranks at Marvel I was a little hit or miss on the guy. Then he took over Avengers and I became way more miss along with many other people in the comic store I used to go to. Oh my goodness was I ever one of those that ranted about along with others of the period. It’s why I trended towards DC Comics for a long time as well and didn’t tread far into Marvel waters for a good period of time. In recent years I’ve started to dig more of what Bendis has done on Avengers and other books. I’ve found myself becoming a fan of his and now I’m looking back on his first story with the team, Avengers #500-503 and Avengers Finale or better knwon as Avengers Disassembled and the Epilogue. This was a story that really left Bendis and I at odds as again, this was a series that had gotten close to me so I barely could give it a chance. Now with a much more mellowed state of mind I looked at it again. It’s not perfect but now I have a different look at it. This story may have broken the Avengers back then but in Disassembling the Avengers, Brian Michael Bendis ended up setting the foundation to make the Avengers better than ever.
(Yes before we start there are going to be spoilers for a story eleven years old. I know these spoilers aren’t huge now but if you haven’t read it yet and curious to experience it for yourself, turn back now. Otherwise, on with the show!)
When Bendis first did Avengers Disassembled the sales on the series weren’t what they are nowadays. Back in June 2004 it was #25 with 57,085 books sold. Which isn’t too bad but probably not the numbers Marvel wanted for The Avengers. Which means Bendis comes in and sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make things better in the long term. Boy did he break a few eggs. Some of the deaths could have been handled better, Scott Lang got annihilated by a revived Jack of Hearts, Hawkeye got a weird death fighting The Kree, and Vision got ripped apart by She-Hulk. Add in Ultron bots, and Tony Stark getting a weird drunken feeling at a U.N. Conference and destroying Avengers Mansion, yeah he broke things pretty handily. Though I did enjoy David Finch’s work on this overall, the Vision getting ripped apart by She-Hulk in full rage mode was a powerful visual. I remember people being so mad about all of this, I remember it well. I remember the reveal of all the chaos with The Avengers being caused by The Scarlet Witch, I’ll say that it was an insane twist. She had been around so long and through so many versions of the team, even on the West Coast Avengers, and no one would ever expect the villain to be her. It’s actually heartbreaking when you learn the reason why so she did a lot of damage but it rips your heart out when you learn why she did it.
It’s a lot of shock and awe in the coming leading up the Scarlet Witch reveal. At this point though The Avengers were in rough shape anyway so Bendis got leeway to break things apart. I see every single reason why people loved and hated this story. Bendis didn’t hold anything back and wasn’t afraid to kill some darlings in the process. See the fun part about reading this on Marvel Unlimited is how furious people were in the letter pages, they left the letter pages in there. People were not happy at all and they weren’t shy with their feelings. I remember the comic store chats and it did influence me in not giving the book a fair shake or at least a more even handed look. In reading this with a more I guess you’d call it mellowed mind and new eyes, I did enjoy this story even understanding everything that ticked people off.
I did enjoy Avengers Finale as it summed up all of the Avengers history in one big story. See I never felt in the entire story that Bendis was disrespectful of the Avengers, far from it as Bendis was showing here that he loves The Avengers. By doing Avengers Disassembled the way he did, he got a lot of interest for the team and by breaking it got to build it into something different. Avengers Mansion was gone and now the team could become something else and Bendis was more or less telling people to hang in there and see what happens. To this day the Bendis run on Avengers is a divisive force among fans of the team. Yet in a way he’s downright reverent to the old teams but he knew to get it into new direction, he had to break a whole lot of eggs to get there.
That’s why I’m going to read the entire Bendis run on The Avengers. All of it from cover to cover. I’m going to do it by storyline and by the way, yes there will be spoilers. This is my own personal journey here. Feel free to join me on it, leave a comment, talk to me on twitter, let’s have some fun with this. Avengers Assemble as soon The New Avengers shall rise in my journey through The Bendis Years of the Avengers begins.
Here’s the thing about comics, there is truly a comic out there for everyone. Depending on who the person is there is a comic out there for everyone. Yet what does hook someone into a book? This is why I call this Thought Process because there’s no real answer, it’s all depending on the person and it’s a straight forward thought blast. In my own case what got me back into comics was seeing The Avengers and seeing a book with all of them together again piqued my curiosity. It can seriously be as simple as that. I remember when the New 52 hit and that sparked someone into buying all of DC Comics for awhile after only buying Conan books and now he buys all sorts of comics. Nowadays for me it’s a mix of things and it all depends on what it is. Sometimes I have no idea who the writer or artist is but I dig the concept so I’m curious. I’ll give a few examples from my own recent readings.
The Shield is one major example, I didn’t know all that much about The Shield but I have loved Archie’s Dark Circle Comics so far. I read the book tonight and loved it to pieces. I mean I really loved it to pieces. To the point where I’m likely putting this on my pull list. Victoria Adams hooked me as a character and I’m intrigued as to how she uses her skills and memories as the series goes on. I knew the barest of bones of a concept and totally fell for the series. I also now need to hunt down Chuck Wendig’s work because I dug the heck out of his writing. So the barest of a concept can pretty much hook someone, no real knowledge of everyone involved, just trust in the quality of the company. So bare bones it was unreal and if you’re curious what cover I got, the movie poster one was amazing.
Agents of ATLAS one-shot out of the Secret Wars was a weird one. Right now I am overall burning out hard on Secret Wars yet I love Agents of ATLAS. Not being written by Jeff Parker and not drawn by Leonard Kirk but I do like Tom Taylor and Steve Pugh so hey let’s do this. Read it tonight and totally kept the feel of Parker and Kirk’s work on the series. Ah it was so freaking cool. See what got me hooked into this was love of the team and liking the creative team initially. Then in reading it I really enjoyed it. It’s part of Secret Wars but it’s just a one shot and a fun one-shot at that. Knowing that a comic is just a one-shot can also be a selling point for someone checking in on a favorite concept.
Now Invincible Iron Man #2, oh wow I cannot believe I wasn’t a big Brian Michael Bendis fan a few years back. How misguided I was once upon a time, now I can’t get enough of his work. Bendis and David Marquez have such a rocking book. Initially what got me into it was simple, Iron Man, Bendis, Marquez, cool armor design and that the armor uses all the abilities from all the other Iron Man armors. Simple as that and the villains and other surprises in this series never ceased to blow me away. I knew what I dug about the comic initially and in reading the first two issues I’m officially hooked on this series.
Really this is but three examples of my own that got me hooked into a comic, there’s many more things out there that can get people hooked. I’m curious as to what gets you all hooked into a comic. Let me know in the comments below, twitter, whatever else. Thanks for reading, take care!
Warren Ellis on Karnak was what I called the wild card comic. Far and away out of any title this was a big wildcard. It’s also possibly one of my favorite things I’ve seen Ellis do at Marvel up there with Nextwave and his Secret Avengers run. Karnak is brought to life in the best way possible via Warren Ellis. You have a perfect art style with Gerardo Zaffino, amazing colors by Dan Brown suiting the gritty but strangely enjoyable atmosphere this comic has. We’re putting it out there now that I loved this comic. I really loved this comic. The review aspect of this pretty much got incinerated when I was muttering Spider Jerusalem quotes in my head and I knew Karnak was making me really happy. Warren Ellis, Gerardo Zaffino, and Dan Brown really have something here and now I’m going to spend this post having a full blown happy dance about this comic and all the things I love about it. Come join me, seriously, this is the ultimate happy dance post here.
(Note I nearly titled this that it isn’t a review but definitely a comic book happy dance, oh my twitter feed right now got the simple reaction to my comic, this is the fleshed out version of it.)
If you’ve never read a single Inhuman anything in your life, you’re fine reading Karnak. If you’re just a fan of Warren Ellis you can read Karnak and have a blast. This is the book that I feel out of a lot of the recent Warren Ellis Marvel adventures suits him best. I liked his Moon Knight pretty well but Karnak I totally adore from the first issue. I think it is because Karnak is an easy character to get a handle on. He sees the weakness in all things, he can see the flaws and use them to his advantage. He’s got his Tower of Wisdom and he’s the Magister of it or as explained in the book, the Inhuman title for High Priest. It does reference the Terrigen Mists but I think it does a good enough of a job explaining what the mists did. It is the Karnak show and even better you get fun appearances from Coulson and Simmons, which now makes me want an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. book written by Ellis.
Extra bonus points for Gerardo Zaffino’s art on this comic. It’s got such a nice feel to it, it’s got a grit to it yet smooth as silk when it counts. Karnak is someone who can feel the room around him and Ellis got a good partner in Zaffino to bring that out. Karnak is the kind of guy who when he enters a room, he knows his place in it. That’s how Zaffino handled him in his art and it was great to see that he could do great work with showing emotions or lack thereof. A great sense of storytelling is at work here as even with the action, it was spot on gorgeous. Dan Brown is also this phenomenal colorist, in a book mostly shaded in darker tones he’s adept with it. You could feel as though you were in an old broken down headquarters. The final page was also a masterwork in popping your eyes out with action and then begging for more, that’s pure art, writing, and coloring merging together to make beautiful music.
Yes, Karnak is good and even with Warren Ellis involved I get the feeling no one will know what to make of it. I say though for the Marvel reader and a fan of the Inhumans, you’ll dig it and for the Warren Ellis fan, I am restating this again that you’ll probably dig it too. Warren Ellis is on his A-game with this series. Karnak #1 comes highly recommended by me. Enjoy it.
The Avengers for the most part from what we’ve been reading are a much more scaled down crew. The Uncanny Avengers working out of an old theater supported by Deadpool, The Avengers team from the FCBD special not having major funding, but The New Avengers is a whole other ballgame. The New Avengers are the Avengers with a limitless account and full of funding and endless wonder. Welcome to Roberto Da Costa’s (Sunspot) New Avengers team powered by A.I.M once Advanced Idea Mechanics and now Avengers Idea Mechanics. The team is another good mix of the characters joining Sunspot, Wiccan, Hulkling, Hawkeye (Clint Barton), White Tiger, Songbird, Power Man, Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe, and POD all make up The New Avengers. They’ve got the money, they’ve got the talent, and now they’re here to do their part to save the world. Al Ewing from the preview I saw is really pressing the concept of them going after villains unlike what we’ve seen before in Marvel. Time to see if The New Avengers really is a new concept and continuing the surprising ANAD winning streak with me or a whammy? Time to find out in my continuing ANAD Marvel Adventures!
Let’s get this out of the way for the sake of sanity, the art in this book is a mixed bag of tricks. Gerardo Sandoval’s art fluctuates wildly to really good in the Quinjet panels, to not that great looking in many cases. Out of all the styles so far I’ve seen out of Marvel this one was the one that I was a little concerned about. It wasn’t too bad in the preview story but with a full issue I felt my concerns for the art on this story were sadly justified. I really liked the opening panel on the Quinjet and the later battles in the issue, those looked dynamic and cool as anything I’ve seen and perfect for Sandoval. It’s when the story had to slow down that things fluctuated wildly. Yes kids I noticed the lack of eyeballs too but that didn’t bother me that terribly much, I’ve seen worse. I also have to say the coloring did a number on this book, Dono Sanchez Almara’s coloring was all over the place. At points it looked dark and killed the energy of the book but there were points where it captured the brightness and fun of the concept. It’s a book that demanded a unique and fun style but it doesn’t entirely work in this issue but it could improve. There’s a reason why I started with the art first as bluntly the story here, it rocks, it really does rock.
Al Ewing’s concept for the New Avengers is so much fun it is unreal. The team dynamic is great and Sunspot is awesome to see in action as he deals with A.I.M. now being his own force of good and interacting with a justifiably nervous S.H.I.E.L.D., that works. The team interactions all work, Squirrel Girl works especially well in a team setting like this, I’m impressed. Even Reed Richards from The Ultimate Universe works well as a villain here, he’s compelling and his W.H.I.S.P.E.R. organization is a great idea. The moniker of the Maker and his interactions with his underlings are wonderful, I enjoyed it. When the New Avengers are in battle against these weird crystal headed people, it was so strange but delightful as to how they banded together. Ewing has so much happening in this comic and despite any issues I’m having with the art, the story is a blast and so enjoyable. The art is the toughest part of this book while the actual writing and story is heading in the right direction.
Should you buy New Avengers #1? If ever there was a place to use the phrase your mileage may vary, this is it. The art is already going to polarize people but the story is engaging enough to keep you into the book. It’s worth trying at least. I’m still unsure if I’m going to continue with it personally as I like the story but the art does hurt it a little. It’s a strange situation to be in, so I’ll put this book as worth trying for this issue to see what you think. That’s my final verdict on New Avengers #1, great story and polarizing art.
Uncanny Avengers #1 out of a lot of ANAD Marvel was one I didn’t find myself that hyped about. I was hit or miss on Uncanny Avengers when it was under Remender’s hand though I loved the first arc, but I decided to give this a shot thanks to the Avengers #0 story. Deadpool as an official Avenger is enough to at least catch my eye. It’s something that you never saw happening ever yet here we are, Deadpool is part of the Avengers. With Steve Rogers at the helm along with Rogue, Johnny Storm, Quicksilver, Spider-Man, Doctor Voodoo, and Synapse we have our Uncanny Avengers. The team make up is called The Unity Squad which is Humans, Mutants, and now Inhumans working together to make the world better. Gerry Duggan who has spent a lot of time with Deadpool in his own series is writing this new team along with Ryan Stegman bringing his artistic talents to the squad. Put Richard Isanove on colors and wow, this comic really pops out at you. From a book I didn’t think I’d end up getting into as much to a series I could see myself reading more of, here’s my own journey through Uncanny Avengers #1. ANAD Marvel, you’re pulling out some surprises on me aren’t you?
Initially I titled this with a title referencing the Justice League International mostly because the team dynamic is one of the more stranger I’ve seen in awhile. It’s unconventional but enjoyable in a fun way. I like many types of team dynamics and this is one that I could see becoming a lot of fun in the issues to come. They’re based out of an old theater for goodness sake that has endless amounts of history to it. I’m excited to see where that leads as a theater as old as what the Uncanny Avengers are based out of has character in itself. In a very mild spoiler for the book but not a big deal as it has been shown in previews but Deadpool funds the team. Not a joke, not a lie, Deadpool funds the Uncanny Avengers through merchandise sold at the theater, that’s amazing. I love these little touches that Gerry Duggan has added to this series. Oh yes there is fighting but there is also so much character to this series that I can’t help but enjoy.
To me the state of the team in Uncanny Avengers makes sense considering that everything in the Marvel Universe is a little haywire. It’s honestly kind of exciting for me to see how this team plays out. I like Quicksilver in this series as him getting to have some fun and enjoying himself worked for me. I joke that Johnny Storm is the next Wolverine considering he’s on both Uncanny Avengers and Uncanny Inhumans. The new villain is still early in development and I’m not completely sold on it yet but it’s a first villain and a good way to build the team dynamics so I’m game to see where Duggan takes the idea. Even weirder we live in a concept where Deadpool can work well in an Avengers team, I never thought I’d say that but I like this world.
I get the feeling some people are going to be torn on Ryan Stegman’s look on this series. Personally I loved what I saw in the Avengers #0 intro story and it is only getting better in Uncanny Avengers. Steve Rogers has the best grizzled battle look ever, he might be an old man but he shows that this old man can do damage. Duggan’s characterization shows as much as Stegman’s art matches that. It’s also an action packed story which the initial battle with the Super Adaptoid shows off the massive amount of energy Stegman is putting into Duggan’s script. It’s so fast paced and it feels like a thrill ride. I like Stegman’s take on the Adaptoid and really loved how he handled the action of Spider-Man in the battle. Even more the theater pages were also favorites of mine as Doctor Voodoo’s conversations in there, and Steve Rogers giving us a mini tour of the place looked amazing, I love Stegman’s art in showing off the look of the new headquarters. I’m a sucker for cool old buildings and cool theaters and this hit the spot. A comic that has an off kilter style and a team to match it, I’m digging this.
Take note of Richard Isanove’s coloring on this comic too, it’s really spot on. Isanove is such a great colorist and every page of this really makes Ryan Stegman shine. I’m going to spotlight the theater though in my favorite bits of the coloring because it has these muted colors showing how run down the place is. Even better that when you go down further into the basement and see the dimly lit atmosphere of the theater and it creates so much atmosphere. Every bit of this book looks great but I especially want to rave about the theater scenes because it is in those quiet moments where a story can really shine.
I’m as surprised as you are as to how much I really dug Uncanny Avengers #1. This was one of those I bought as a pure curiosity and found myself getting into the concept. This is one of those moments where giving a comic a fair shake isn’t a bad idea. It’s a cool book and fun team story that has the sort of things that I enjoy in a superhero comic. We need more comic teams based in awesome old theaters anyway. I think a lot of you would get a kick out of it too so give it a shot and see what you think.
My buddy Matt Lune from The Awesome Source asked me my thoughts on Avengers #0. The funny part was my comic store didn’t get a box of comics and that box happened to contain Avengers #0. Sadly I couldn’t get my hands on it but I did manage to get it and now I can actually give my thoughts on it. Avengers #0 is Marvel’s way of spotlighting a lot of upcoming series and what will be going into a lot of the upcoming Avengers titles in the process. Marvel is definitely venturing into a lot of new ideas for their universe, redefining old ones, and doing a few things that even surprised me in the process. I read an early review of this book that didn’t say much and I’m glad because I could go into this blind for the most part. It’s cool to see that this actually merges together as a full story and building up more of the state of the All-New All-Different Marvel in the process. I can’t wait to see how this goes over with people as I actually find myself more interested in some books in the process thanks to this.
I love how the story is built around the Squadron Supreme and how they’re going to deal with the Avengers. James Robinson getting to be the one to write up this story around the rest of them is a major thing and show that the Squadron are going to be major players in the ANAD Marvel Universe. When I say they’re up to big things, I’m not even joking, this is going in directions I didn’t even fathom. This could be really cool. Through their conversations you start get your explanations for what will be to come in the lives of the different Avengers. There’s going to be a lot of crazy stuff about to go down here.
The Vision’s story is heartbreaking. I don’t care who you are but the Vision will break your heart. Mark Waid’s take on the Vision uses the history of the character and all the pain he’s gone through over the years. The way Waid had Vision interacting with his ex Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. The Scarlet Witch are genuine and true. Mahmud Asrar’s emotive art for this rips out your heart and you can’t help but keep reading as Waid’s story is so good. Sonia Oback’s coloring here is top notch and gorgeous, the mood of what the Vision is going through is muted with dark colors. The only light is by the slight candlelight Oback uses in the story, which makes it that much more effective. It’s a great piece and makes you excited to see what Waid and Asrar will do with the Avengers team and what Tom King will do with The Vision in his upcoming series.
While the A-Force and Ultimates stories are both done by two teams, they both work together so we’ll cover both of them in the coming paragraphs. First off with the A-Force it is really about Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight, but setting up the basic idea of A-Force to come and the new Captain Marvel ongoing. We’re getting to see how Captain Marvel works with her satellite and Alpha Flight from what I can tell is her support staff which is awesome. G. Willow Wilson really knows how to set up a good story involving a certain character from A-Force in Secret Wars appearing and Captain Marvel wondering what is happening. Then we also get a new character in Tempest Bell working with her and the crew on the Satellite and Wilson has already made her a cool character, I’m excited to see where Tempest Bell goes in the Marvel Universe. I really enjoyed Victor Ibanez’s art as it captured the great action here and the scale of what is happening here in the story. With Laura Martin’s ever amazing coloring, especially with Captain Marvel in action in space with energy blasts flying everywhere and looking spectacular.
Now for the Ultimates, wow this book is going to be nuts. This is going to be a powerhouse team. Captain Marvel, Black Panther, The Blue Marvel, Spectrum, and Miss America, but no set up for Galactus yet. The story was about following up the events from the A-Force story but really letting it be known the level of villain the Ultimates will be dealing with. Al Ewing makes it clear that the scale he’s dreaming up for them is out of this world. It was also the chance for Miss America to shine and she’s a lot of fun. If you are unfamiliar with Miss America and don’t immediately dig the heck out of her, I will be shocked. Kenneth Rocafort’s art is not to some people’s liking but I like him more here than I did in Red Hood and The Outlaws. Much smoother layout wise and much improved all around. It gives me hope for the Ultimates and Dan Brown’s coloring is gorgeous, it’s got a lot of flash and dazzle to it that engage you to the large scope of the story ahead. Now I’m much more sold on The Ultimates.
Now for Deadpool’s piece here is really Garry Duggan setting up the idea that Deadpool is somehow going to be a freaking Avenger. How does this happen, why is this happening? Well that’s what Duggan does and he does it well. It actually somehow makes sense to see Deadpool as an Avenger. This is a strange place we are in seeing Deadpool in the Uncanny Avengers but hey, I like it. This is weird and Duggan shows the emotion behind Deadpool in the midst of this big thing. Steve Rogers is now having Deadpool run missions with him and it shows the level of respect Deadpool has for Steve Rogers. It’s really fun and a well done story, I now want to at least read the first issue of Uncanny Avengers to see where this goes. Ryan Stegman’s art is also a major selling point here, I’ve always liked his work and this was spot on. It’s fluid, action packed, and has a lot of great detail in capturing the world. Richard Isanove’s coloring is huge here as it is bright and gorgeous really letting Stegman’s art shine. I’m impressed that this worked as well as it did but I’m sold. Well done.
Now for New Avengers, this is the off the wall ideas book if I ever heard it. Al Ewing is using this squad to throw Sunspot as head of A.I.M. (Avengers Idea Mechanics) and go nuts. This is the issue as it revolves around setting up a major villain and the concept of New Avengers and what is to come. There really isn’t as much character work here but the new A.I.M. idea was so big that it didn’t need a ton of major character work. It explains what Sunspot is up to and shows the team and here we go. It has an American Kaiju coming up for goodness sake and other bits of madness, I’m pretty sold. The art here is going to be the real tough sell. Gerardo Sandoval is heavily stylized and I can already see the division right off the bat. It took me a minute but I’m digging it and it fits all the madness that Ewing is about to throw at us. High emotion faces, exaggerated action, and lots of imagination, this works to Sandoval’s art. Dono Sanchez Almara’s coloring is pretty solid here, it runs real dark at points and a little muddy but looks good for the most part. New Avengers #1 should be a good time, I’m definitely game to try the first issue out for sure.
As for the art on the framing sequences, Leonard Kirk is going to work well on Squadron Supreme and Paul Neary does an excellent job inking him. Frank Martin’s colors were a nice compliment to his art for this story. Believe me the Squadron Supreme are going to be big and if the rest of these books live up to what Avengers #0 set up, wow Marvel is going to have a formidable line up of titles on the way. I’m also impressed I got this large an article out of this but sometimes you have to let the words flow. All-New All-Different Marvel is trying a lot of exciting ideas here and sign me up for the fun ahead.
The simple version of me with Doctor Strange #1, there’s magic and he’s carrying a giant battle ax. You all should know sometimes it takes that simple a hook to get me wanting to read a comic. Not even kidding, that’s about all it took. Okay and the fact that Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo are the creative team is a good selling point too. It has been a long time since Doctor Strange has had his own ongoing series and thanks to the upcoming movie we finally get one again. With the simple hook of what caught my eye out of the way, now I wanted to know if this comic would be any good. I am but a simple man at times with how a comic can catch my attention but if the material doesn’t match up with the awesome I am witnessing, I can be disappointed. Yet Doctor Strange turned out to be a comic living up to the image of the classic Sorcerer Supreme unleashing magic and occasionally using a cool looking giant battle ax. With a lot of wonderful heart in between.
I fully admit Doctor Strange is a character I’ve liked but only recently gotten more into. I liked Doctor Strange in The Oath story with Brian K. Vaughan writing him and now with Jason Aaron handling the character this is my second extended look with the character. I’ve read him in Defenders and so forth but as an ongoing character on his own, it’s a little more touch and go for me. With this series it is my first time in a long time really delving into the world of Stephen Strange: Sorcerer Supreme. Jason Aaron has a winner on his hand if he keeps this up because this is the best way to get anyone hooked into Doctor Strange.
Aaron really does a great job in bringing Doctor Strange to life and really delves into all the facets of his character. He’s even working towards giving him a supporting cast and showing how he sees the world. Bachalo’s art style is adept in capturing the world that Stephen Strange exists in. You see how he sees the normal world and then through a clever sequence with his third eye how he sees everything else surrounding him. It is so cool and his interactions going between the realms of magic and reality is clever and engaging. You can’t help but want more by the time this is said and done. With even Kevin Nowlan coming back for an extra story at the end hinting at things to come, Doctor Strange is the best example of ANAD Marvel keeping things great for the old fans and getting new ones to hop aboard for the ride.
It’s been awhile since anyone has really gotten to spend any time with Doctor Strange and this comic does it right. His character shines off the page and it has great art to it and really that’s what you want. You got a great character getting a chance to shine. Doctor Strange has been a missed character and this ongoing series is long overdue. Well worth buying and I’m excited for what is to come in this series.
Next week my friends, next week All-New All-Different (ANAD) Marvel begins and yes Secret Wars is still happening. Everyone and that person in the corner has made a Secret Wars joke with ANAD Marvel at this point so insert your own joke here. I’m torn about how much of this I’m really planning on checking out. The first week alone for ANAD Marvel is a packed house. Many new issues for people try with multitudes of characters involved. You have Avengers #0, Contest of Champions #1, Invincible Iron Man #1, Doctor Strange #1, All-New All-Different Marvel Point One #1, and Amazing Spider-Man #1 all hitting next week. All of these books were meant to hit after Secret Wars was over but you know things happen and now Secret Wars is hanging out in ANAD land. Add in some Star Wars books and a dash of What if? Infinity and you’re in for a party. Yet how invested am I going to get into this ANAD Adventure? That’s what I’m still figuring out.
It is funny when you read about all these books being the aftermath of Secret Wars when the darned event is still going. Not a joke just a funny thought. Anyway, I do say the one book that I do want to get is Doctor Strange #1. That’s a definite because it’s Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo on Doctor Strange. I get Doctor Strange, I get magic, and I get the Sorcerer Supreme carrying a giant battle ax. Seriously who wouldn’t think that was cool? Magician carrying massive battle ax screams awesome to me. As I say I am a simple man with simple tastes, magic and a giant battle ax and I’m sold. Everything else is more on a case by case basis. Case by case basis being if someone tells me something is really cool I’ll probably check it out.
It’s weird to think about ANAD Marvel in the midst of the Secret Wars but here we are. So let me know if there is anything from the ANAD line you’re curious about. Marvel is on a strange journey and we’re watching it unfold before our very eyes.
So today I somehow forgot it was National Comic Book Day, wow I’m shocked honestly. Yet I had some time so I decided to kick back and relax with Ant-Man Vol. 1: Second-Chance Man by writer Nick Spencer, artist Ramon Rosanas, and colorist Jordan Boyd. Here’s the best part about reading this in trade, it really does gel together as a full story collected. Scott Lang as Ant-Man has a tale that warms your heart and by the end breaks your heart. I’m trying to be careful as to not spoil much for you but it is a sweet story that has so much heart behind it. Nick Spencer does an amazing job of making Scott Lang a fully fleshed out character, this is one of the best spotlights for him. It goes through every bit of Ant-Man history in one way or another too, especially as it comes to Lang starting his own business venture. You even get to know more about his ex-wife and his genuinely cool friendship with his daughter Cassie. It’s got family drama, superhero adventure, and really Ant-Man Vol.1: Second-Chance had it all and left me really caring for Scott Lang for the first time in a long time.
I liked Scott Lang in his FF time with Matt Fraction and Mike Allred, yet Nick Spencer got Scott Lang clicking for me. His take on him got me. In fact so much so that I’m now going to be making a point to finish up Superior Foes of Spider-Man as soon as possible, Spencer’s Ant-Man is just that good. It’s a rare comic that makes me get a genuine laugh out of situations as much as it gets me to feel for the character. Even more is that this is such a fluid take on Ant-Man as to how the character moves about in the world. Ramon Rosanas is so good with fluid movement and capturing the action on the page. Just as much as he captures the emotions flowing from Spencer’s script at points. I loved Jordan Boyd’s coloring on this too, it sets such a mood. The final page of issue 5 especially has such a sense of gut punching you with the color choices, art, and the Scott’s mood by the end, heartbreaking and powerful work. Stay for the humor, enjoy the characterization, and it makes all the emotions that much more powerful.
Now that we got the aspects of the comic out of the way that broke and also lightened my heart, let’s get into some of the small stuff in the comic that caught my eye. One I love Scott Lang’s Ant-Man costume. It’s got a great look to it keeping the classic Ant-Man design while tweaking with it enough to make Scott Lang’s Ant-Man truly unique. I really liked that and kept with the motif that since this guy was once a thief and does security work, he would want a costume that he could function in. I also like as he gets his business started the characters he works with. Grizzly and Machinesmith are a riot and become great characters in their own right as the issues go on. I can’t wait to see what the new Ant-Man series holds when it releases and now I’m sold on it thanks to this new trade. Now I need to read the Annual and the Last Days of Ant-Man story as I’m hooked and want more before the new series hits.
Ant-Man Vol. 1: Second-Chance Man is great and you can get it via your local comic store, bookstore, Comixology, Amazon, and you don’t want to miss it. This is some good comic reading and a book that genuinely moves you while making you laugh all at the same time.