Yesterday, we began our list of recommended Avengers NOW! titles for readers new and not-so-new with S.H.I.E.L.D., written by Mark Waid with a rotating team of artists that include big names like Carlos Pacheco, Humberto Ramos, Chris Sprouse and Alan Davis. Today, we’ll reveal the next two titles that would be great to add to your pull list come 2015.
Note: A version of this post was contributed to and will appear in an upcoming edition of the newsletter of Facebook group Singapore Comics Kaki.
4. Uncanny Avengers
Like S.H.I.E.L.D., this is a title that I’m recommending even though it’s not out on shelves till 2015. I admit that this is also probably the one title that I would recommend with some hesitation, especially to Marvel newcomers. I explain further below, but the main reason is that writer Rick Remender has a tendency to write epic, year-long stories that may not be immediately attractive.
A new team of Uncanny Avengers forms out of the ashes of the current Marvel crossover, AXIS. It features an unlikely group of characters. On one hand you have classic Avengers like Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision and Falcon in his role as the new Captain America. On the other hand you have relatively new Avengers like Doctor Voodoo and Rogue. And then, just to muddle it further, you have Sabretooth, though it’s not immediately clear which version of Sabretooth this is.
What does make this new volume work, I predict, will be the creative team of Rick Remender and Daniel Acuña. Both men have been critically acclaimed for their work on the “Avenge the Earth” arc in the previous volume of Uncanny Avengers this year. I have always found Acuña’s art very evocative and extremely breathtaking – for a man who made his mark doing covers, he transitions to interior art very well and that alone should be a draw for any comics fan, new or otherwise.
Remender, on the other hand, has both fans and detractors. With Captain America and Secret Avengers, he showed the tendency to get caught up in some of his story arcs, taking so long to set them up that there’s no really satisfying way to resolve them. Other times, like in his Uncanny X-Force run, his stories are just so mind-blowing that you feel the need to savour every moment just to get the most out of it, and when it ends, you want to jump right into the next story.
Uncanny Avengers #1 goes on sale 7th January 2015.
3. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
I promise you, this will be the last comic that I’ll recommend even though the first issue has yet to appear on shelves!
Marvel’s policy for new titles is to just keep throwing out ideas and see what works. If they catch on with the readership, great! If they don’t, there’s no loss and the cycle continues. While personal opinions differ whether such a policy is generally a good thing in the long run, what it does do is give some unique characters their chance in the spotlight.
If you asked anyone in 2013 to guess who 2014’s breakout characters would be, very few would have named Ms Marvel and Rocket Raccoon. After all, a Pakistani-American teen and a furry, foul-mouthed trigger-happy… thing are hardly what people expect to become popular comic book superheroes, let alone headline their own title. My prediction for 2015’s breakout comic book star? The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
That’s right –character created as a joke might actually be Marvel’s next hit series. Firstly, Squirrel Girl already has a cult following, having been around for over two decades and featured prominently as a supporting character in Bendis’ most recent run on New Avengers. Secondly, this new title will be written by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson. North has honed his comedic writing to an artform with his acclaimed webcomic Dinosaur Comics. He is no stranger to comic book writing, having written the Adventure Time comic adaptation and recently for Marvel, he wrote the Young Avengers story for the Original Sins anthology.
Erica Henderson is an upcoming artist whose uniquely cartoon style makes her the perfect person to capture the adventures of such a zany character.
Though the title is not out yet, I would highly recommend it to younger audiences, especially ladies who want a comic that is smart, funny and features a superhero who is not sexualised at all.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 goes on sale 7th January 2015.