All New, All Different Marvel Mini Reviews (Part 1)
Marvel is still in the midst of the massive company wide crossover Secret Wars. Numerous delays have pushed the ending from October 7th until December along with adding an issue (or more accurately splitting a larger issue into two). Because of this, the new relaunch of Marvel titles with the line wide branding of All New, All Different Marvel has started rolling out prior to the conclusion of the event they spawned out of. Story wise, they were smart enough to position all the new books as happening 8 months after the conclusion of Secret Wars. This allows for new readers to jump on without much of a problem and the season veterans to know there is still some mystery left to figure out how the characters got there. It’s interesting marketing, but delays in this medium drive me crazy and with such a coordinated event it becomes a clusterfuck. Secret Wars spin off series that were launched during the early days of the main title now have significant delays because of not being able to reveal things in their series until they happen in the main event book. I’m not sure how issue #5 of Where Monsters Dwell (the seemingly most tangentially connected spin off book) is relevant to say issue #7 of Secret Wars but I know I’ve had to wait a few months to find out.
All that aside, the first wave of Marvel’s All New, All Different initiative has started to be released and I’m going to take a look at a few those new series. I’m only reviewing the titles I have an interest in so keep in mind you won’t be seeing everything.
Invincible Iron Man #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Originally I was going to skip this one. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Bendis lately. I think his Daredevil run is one of the best things that ever happened to that title, second only to Frank Miller’s seminal take on the character. Yet his recent X-Men run started off promising, but delays and dangling plot lines have left a lot to be desired at this point. I’ll hopefully be reevaluating his run on here once issue #600 is FINALLY released. Don’t even get me started on his work on the Guardians Of The Galaxy book. Bendis is Marvel’s golden boy and they want him on flagship titles, my smart money was on the Fantastic Four but as they have seemingly become bookless post Secret Wars Bendis ended up on Iron Man. This makes sense though that Marvel’s wants to really push this book given how much of a main player (if not the main player) Tony Stark is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Bendis takes that mission statement to heart because Stark’s narration and his dialogue are straight out of the movies. You know what though? I’m ok with that. If I get to picture Robert Downey Jr. saying these lines, that’s a win for me. The issue starts with Tony working on some new armor. Armor that can change and adapt based on situational needs (much like the Indominus from Jurassic World) and it’s attached to his brain synapses. I’ll admit that I’m a big fan visually of the redesign, it’s simple and sleek. Tony’s also got a new A.I. secretary named Friday referencing both the Age Of Ultron movie and the Cary Grant screwball comedy classic, His Girl Friday.
While Tony is on a date he gets notified that Madam Masque has been on some kind of spree, stealing from Stark Towers in Japan but more importantly from the former Castle Doom in Latveria. We are told that post Secret Wars the country is falling apart without Doom there to hold it together. Tony receives a visit on the last page that makes issue #2 a mandatory must buy.
Doctor Strange #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Doctor Strange is a character that I’m interested in and have read some of but not much. A solid creative team of Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo made this series a perfect springboard. First let me say that it’s great to have Chris Bachalo in a non X-Men setting, it’s been awhile. Seeing his take on all the crazy mystical other dimensional stuff is a real treat. The book itself though, I’m not so sure about. Stephen Strange seems really kind of cocky and arrogant, much more akin to Tony Stark than the stoic master of mysticism I had read in Triumph and Torment.
Strange is concerned with the emergence of Soul-Eaters that he encounters while helping a young boy early in the story. On top of that a psychic leech attacks him on the street and he gets a visit from a woman who under her hat carries multi headed big tooth goblin creatures. It’s evident that something big is happening but our good Doctor doesn’t yet know what that is.
I’m not sure how I felt about this one yet. The art I enjoyed and there were some really cool touches like the bar that was for magicians only. I just am not sure that I’m hooked yet. I’ll give the next issue a chance and see where it takes me.
Amazing Spider-Man #1
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
An Alex Ross cover always get me interested in a book, but you know what doesn’t? A $5.99 price tag for a bunch of “backup features” which are thinly veiled ads for other upcoming Spider-Man related titles. I bought Brian K. Vaughan’s new book Paper Girls #1 on the same day and that’s a double sized issue for $2.99. A $6 price tag is absolute insanity!
That aside though how was the story ?
What I like about Dan Slott is that he’s in it for the long haul. He’s got stories and ideas plotted out for years and has no plans to leave the title. It reminds me of Chris Claremont’s famous X-Men run. Longevity like that in the hands of a good author can only make the book that much better with plots and subplots that have a long time to simmer and be incorporated organically. I hopped into Slott’s run right as Amazing Spider-Man was becoming Superior Spider-Man. I absolutely adored the Superior Spider-Man series. I attempted to stick around after the Amazing Spider-Man relaunch with that atrocious cover for issue #1, but I bailed pretty quickly. Having the Original Sin crossover start so soon with issue #4-7 and then Spider-Verse from issue #9-15 seemed crazy to me. This was your chance to start clean post Doc Ock! Now I recognize that that particular Amazing Spider-Man run was really just a lead up for Secret Wars and ultimately to relaunch Spider-Man…again.
The new status quo fits Slott and Peter Parker like a glove. He’s now annexed Parker Industries world wide and become a tech giant, creating armor and weapons for S.H.I.E.L.D. and also Spider-Man who is the company’s mascot. There are many jokes in the text referring to Parker as being the poor man’s Tony Stark, but to me this fresh and exciting. I can see how this could be too much of a stretch though for some readers who long for the days of teenage Peter Parker. Marvel smartly will be showcasing that side in their new Spider-Man title featuring Miles Morales from the Ultimate Universe. An interesting twist has Hobie Brown (aka the Prowler) dressed up as Spider-Man and in some cases fighting crime putting him in situations where Spider-Man and Parker can be seen together.
The Zodiac are out to steal Parker tech which leads to an excellently choreographed car chase in Shanghai and also a wedding day reception attack on Peter’s former boss at Horizon labs. Peter ends up giving them what they want, but why do they want it? This is the crux of our story, but it leaves a lot of room to develop in the next few issues. We know nothing of how Peter has achieved his current status quo, but I trust in Slott to slowly reveal everything. Similar to Invincible Iron Man this issue ends on a cliff hanger that makes me very eager to pick up the second issue. This series of out of the other 2 was the best and most fleshed out and by extension the most fun to read.
Not a bad showing though for Marvel. I checked out 3 new titles and 2 of them I’m excited to pick up the second issue and the other was enjoyable enough that I’ll see what else it has in store.
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Posted on October 15, 2015, in COMICS!, Reviews and tagged All New All Different Marvel, amazing spider-man, Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo, COMICS!, Dan Slott, Doctor Strange, Invincible Iron Man, Iron Man, Jason Aaron, Marvel, Mini Reviews, Secret Wars, spider-man. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.