Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Comics: Marvel Now #1's

A good friend of mine once said that you have to acknowledge your prejudices.  Well I acknowledge that I am prejudiced towards DC Comics.  I prefer them greatly to Marvel.  For years, I collected almost exclusively DC titles with onle one or two Marvel books thrown in.

Lately though, I have found myself picking up more Marvel books like X-Factor, Daredevil, Wolverine and the X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, etc.

Last year DC ret-conned its entire line relaunched all of its titles with new #1's and sales went through the roof.  Marvel is a bit less bold, but they are setting out a bunch of new #1 issues.  There are more to come, but here is my assessment of some.

Iron Man #1

This is a great looking book.  Greg Land's art fits very well with the sleek, stimulating life of Tony Stark.  In fact I would say this is one of the best drawn books I've seen in a while.  I'm also a fan of they way Pepper Potts is being raised to prominence in the comics as she was in the movies.

Unfortunately, the story is not grabbing me.  Kieron Gillen is not a bad writer, but there are two things that are pushing me away from the story.  First is that the heart of the plot is based on the Warren Ellis run on Iron Man.  Having not read that series, I feel a bit behind.  A number one issue should be a place to jump on fresh, but it feels like I'm reading the continuation of series where the creative team was simply replaced. 

The second is that the story begins with Tony philosophizing about religion.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I am sick of the false animosity between reason and faith.  Any Catholic worth his salt knows that these two things are not in conflict but work with each other.  Tony doesn't come out as anti-religion per se, but it sets the wrong tone for me.  I picked up isse two but it didn't get any better.

Deadpool # 1

Deadpool is awesome in Uncanny X-Force.  In that book you have dark, compelling stories where his offbeat humor acts as a preassure valve to release a lot of the uncomfortable tension.

This is why his solo book does not work.  It is a comedy book pure and simple.  But the character only really works when he works against such great straight men a Wolverine.  The humor was simply and gross, which aren't necessarily bad, but it felt like such a wasted opportunity writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn and artists Tony Moore and Val Staples.

Captain America # 1

I might be upsetting a lot of comic fans by saying this, but I've never been impressed by John Romita Jr.'s art.  It works with some grittier characters like Wolverine or Daredevil, but not with the Star-Spangled hero, Captain America.  It just isn't a good fit, and I felt that in the first few pages.

Rick Remender does a decent job of introducion Cap and his associates, but his decidedly sci-fi take on the series also feels out of place.  Again, #1 issues should be a time to distill the essence of your character to its simplest form and re-introduce him/her to your audience.  This is a wasted opportunity as well.

Indestructible Hulk #1

Mark Waid has been doing some great things with Daredevil, so I was looking forward to this book.  The new approach is that Banner wants to make more of a contribution to the world.  He is one of the smartest men on the planet, but he hasn't had the opportunity to realize his potential because he has spent most of his adult life being chased becaues of the Hulk.

He now wants to change that.  He contacts SHIELD and says that he give them dibs on his scientific achievements in exchange for letting him do his work in peace.  But he must also let the Hulk be used as a tool of SHIELD.

It is an interesting premise and I'm going to stick around for a few issues to see where it goes, but the # 1 lacked strong excitement.  It was mostly two characters sitting in a diner.  But of all the Marvel #1 books I've read, this one has the most potential.  (Len Yu's art isn't bad either)

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