Riding the high of my current X-Men Bendis buzz, I thought I’d tempt fate and see if lightning could strike twice. I wanted more X-Men but I knew I wasn’t interested in any series that had the X-Men teaching classes to new mutants so Wolverine & The X-Men was out. Brian Wood’s X-Men series (just called X-Men…like in the 90’s) was only about 11 issues in and boasts one of the best team rosters imaginable. We’re talking Storm, Psylocke, Rogue, Kitty Pryde and Rachel Grey…oh and Jubilee. What’s not to like?
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.
With 2014 upon us we’ve been seeing a slew of new series and new #1 issues partly due to Marvel’s idiotic business model of constantly relaunching series because of new creative teams or new directions of the character. I digress though because this has already been discussed so let’s take a look at 3 new series I read this week.
Black Widow #1
This book starts off in James Bond mode and giving us the end of another adventure in Russia where Black Widow’s saving someone’s life who has a hit on them. We follow Natasha back to America where we find out that in her personal time she’s been taking dangerous jobs in order to pay back the families of people she’s done wrong by. The writing and the art on this book are both solid. It’s a great encapsulation of a first issue; it gets the point across and sets things up pretty quickly. I know it’s hard to say, since it’s a #1, but strangely I’m just not feeling this. It’s exactly what I thought it was going to be which I was looking forward to, but for whatever reason it just didn’t sit well (Stan Sitwell?) with me.
2013 was a banner year for geekology, but with our sights toward 2014 there is a lot to be excited about between all the movies (SIN CITY 2!?!), video games, tv shows and etc on the horizon, but I’d like to focus on comic books in this article. More accurately, Biff comic books.
Superior Spider-Man (Marvel)
It’s been mentioned on the site before, but this is probably my favorite series of 2013. It’s energetic, interesting above all else refreshing. I know there’s a lot of nay sayers who refuse to read it based solely on principal, but dammit you don’t know what you’re missing out on (not to mention stubbornness is not an attractive quality) and honestly what do you have to lose? You know if you wait it out long enough the real Peter Parker will return. Just think of this series as a long interlude. Why not stick around for the ride?
Slott is my favorite kind of writer, it’s obvious that he’s planned story lines for years in advance and has the ability to subtly weave subplots through them that you always know are going to pay off. You don’t stay on a book as its author for that long if there isn’t something to it. With a book consistently being this good and being put out twice a month is heavenly. Things are heating up in 2014 with the beginning of the Goblin Nation story line that’s been building since the book debuted with some speculation that the series will wrap you shortly afterward. It’s been an exciting year for Spidey but 2014 seems to be starting off strong as well.
I’m pretty sure I’m what Marvel has in mind for its audience for the new Guardians Of The Galaxy comic series. I didn’t know much about its past but with the upcoming movie, I was definitely curious. I wanted a little bit of a primer and hell I’m always looking for a good space opera. So why not?
The book debuted towards the end of Marvel Now’s first wave with Brian Michael Bendis on board as writer and Steve McNiven as the artist. Issues #1-3 (reviewed here) make up the first arc and get things rolling with a bang.
Ooooh, there’s gonna be a Summers brother showdown! Scott and Alex are two of my favorite characters, so I’m a sucker for scenes with the both of them together. However, these encounters often end poorly. Scott and Alex don’t always see eye to eye and, while they both have the ability to fire out destructive energy beams, these forces cancel each other out and the end result is just two naked men in a battle of wills.