A slow week for DC titles, well for me at least with only Batman #14 worth getting from DC Comics (IMHO), so that means it’s time for an all-Marvel NOW! musings by yours truly! If you haven’t heard, Marvel NOW! features a relaunch (and re-numbering) of several main Marvel titles with new teams of writers and artists.
All New X-Men #1: Marvel’s top-selling writer Brian Bendis finally says good-bye to his Avengers titles and sets up home with this new X-Men title. Continuing where Avengers vs X-Men left off, Cyclops is now playing the role that Magneto played over 30 years ago, rounding up a band of young mutants to lead a new mutant revolution against humans. His old X-teammates like Storm, Iceman and Beast are now the ones trying to stop him but they have no freakin’ idea how to, expect for … one crazy mad idea involving time travel! Hey, if it worked for Marty McFly, why not?
Basically the Beast figured the only way to stop Cyclops, with minimum damage to his old friend and former teammate, is to go back in time to when the original X-Men were still in their teens and bring them back to modern day Marvel, and maybe talk elder Scott out of it. Really?!? I’m just curious to see how the Beast plans to pull this one off, he can’t be the smartest X-Men around if he actually believes that young Scott can convince elder Scott to quit his mutant crusade. I’m thinking young Scott sees elder Scott hooking up with Emma Frost and high-fives himself.
That’s the problem I always have with time travel stories. If the Beast can just simply slip back in time, off panel even, to change history, why not go back to just before AvX happened or before Phoenix died (for the first time) or even before the first Sentinel was built?
But despite my personal feelings on time travel stories (yes, my feelings matter!), this was quite an enjoyable first issue. Stuart Immonen’s pencils are still as sharp and everyone still looks as tense and angst as ever. I believe the younger, original X-Men will be the stars of the title and it’ll be interesting to see how a seasoned writer like Bendis handles them. Will Iceman be on Twitter? Will the Beast build a better iPhone? Will Marvel Girl be a Twilight fan? So many questions for Bendis to answer.
Thor God of Thunder #1: Let me just start by saying that this was my favorite Marvel NOW! title for the week. Writer Jason Aaron seems to be paying extra attention to the ‘God’ part of the title and that’s perfectly fine by me. He nailed it with an unusual yet familiar story spanning what appears to be Thor’s entire lifespan. Aaron has structured the issue into like an anthology with three stories of Thor in different stages of his godly life, but facing the same villain Gorr the God Butcher in all three.
The idea of a serial killer of gods sounds like a cool one. It’s a slow tease here in the first issue. We see the victims mutilated or strung up like how you would expect to see victims of serial killers, especially on TV or the movies, and I also liked how Aaron had Thor doing a little godly CSI as he examined the various dead gods. All nice touches that really pulled me into the story.
From a brash younger Thor in Asgard to present day Avengers Thor to a war-weary, grizzled King Thor alone in his throne room, artist Esad Ribic’s breathtaking visuals is a joy to behold. There’s no doubt that Ribic’s art will also be a major highlight to this title.
Fantastic Four #1: I had such high hopes for this title by current Hawkeye writer Matt Fraction and regular Marvel artist Mark Bagley. I went in expecting something new and fresh, and was greeted with a story that basically revolved around Reed Richards hiding a big dark secret from his wife Sue. Now where have I read that before? Wait … I know! Wasn’t that the premise behind writer Jonathan Hickman’s storyline during his stint on the Fantastic Four that ended like … just a couple months ago?
After all these years, doesn’t one of the smartest if not THE smartest man in the Marvel universe know by now that it’s never a good idea to hide things from his wife? And come on Sue, do you still really trust him? Back then, Hickman had Reed Richards hide his involvement with the Council of Reeds from Sue and the rest of the Fantastic Four, and that almost blew up in Reed’s face. Here Fraction has Richards hiding the fact that he could be dying and disguising his quest for a cure as a family road trip to other universes. Really!
Well, there are little bright moments or spotlights on each member throughout, but they all just don’t come together to give the whole issue a big sense of drama or adventure. It’s not a bad first issue but unless something grabs me next issue, I might just drop it.