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.
I want to love Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy series. I really do. I generally enjoy Bendis’ writing and hell after the movie, who isn’t a fan of the Guardians? You may remember a while back I read the first three issues to familiarize myself with the characters. The story was good enough, but it didn’t leave me dying to read more. After I finished it my curiosity was quenched. I’ve followed the series on and off, but most recently was able to re-read everything and catch up to the latest issue (which at the time of this writing is #21).
Jessica Jones has lived a colorful life in the Marvel Universe. Introduced as a private detective in the early 2000’s Alias series by Brian Michael Bendis it was difficult to not take to her immediately.
She’s funny, self-deprecating and damn good at what she does. As the series begins we get hints at her former life as a costumed hero, it’s this part of her past that seems to act as a catalyst for some of her destructive behavior. It’s easy to root for her because she’s out taking cases that mirror the real world and helping everyday people cope with the heinous crimes committed in their life. All the while working to better herself.
The X-Men were a big part of my comic book youth. They were my gateway (no pun intended) and back in the early 90’s they were enough X related titles to go around. If that’s the world you wanted to immerse yourself in, you could do it easily without reading any other unrelated Marvel U book. The longer it went on though the wearier I got, finally around the Onslaught era I threw the towel in and gave up. I stopped reading comics all together…for a very long time.
When I did start reading comics again about 2 years ago, the X-Men were not on my radar. I would occasionally hear things like Jean Grey was dead or see a picture of Colossus wearing Juggernaut’s helmet and just be confused. The more I tried to look into things, the worse it got. It seemed a lot had happened in the last 15 years and with so many different series and so many characters with strange names that I didn’t recognize, it all felt incredibly overwhelming. I couldn’t even tell which were the core titles anymore. Rather than attempt to wade into this river and hope I could make sense of it I just choose to avoid it.
That all changed this weekend.
Last year I had asked you all for some recommendations regarding bat shit crazy Moon Knight and what I got was a lot of indifference. Which is kind of a shame because Moon Knight is actually an interesting character, one that Marvel I think knows and continually tries to get into the lime light only to watch it fail miserably. He’s certainly come a long way since his 1980’s series where he was pitched as kind of a Batman/The Shadow hybrid.
Things got noticeably weirder and darker for him though particularly bottoming out with Charlie Huston’s take on him in the 2006 series. Mr. Arthur Harkness lent me the follow up series Vengeance Of Moon Knight from 2009 written by Gregg Hurwitz. By this point, the character was a mess. They took him from donning multiple identities so he could have his ear to the ground of the criminal underworld to actually believing he was all of these people and just losing his mind. In the 2006 series he actually carves off his enemy’s face! What they needed was a fresh start for Moon Knight and who better to do it than recent Marvel comics wonder boy, Brian Michael Bendis?
Being the significant other of a costumed hero is never easy, and examples of this are all around us in the comic world. Practically every hero in comics has faced some sort of tragedy, or at least a scare, regarding their romantic partner. Spider-Man famously witnessed/caused the death of his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner infamously found his girlfriend stuffed into a refrigerator… hell, Lois Lane was used as bait on a regular basis in the Silver Age and I think that whole “Superman’s Girlfriend” thing greatly exaggerated.
However, there is none with so disastrous a track record as Matthew Murdock, Esquire. In his 50 years on the stands, Daredevil has proven that although he may have lost his sight in a childhood accident, but he gained an uncanny amount of GAME. He wines ’em, he dines ’em, and he often attends their funerals. On the plus side, he always shows up stag to the cemetery, it’s terribly gauche to bring a date. But, Ladies! Don’t fall for his charms, I beg you! Underneath this shiny veneer is a dark, dark man who destroys every relationship he enters.