Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 11/11/15

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We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing All-New Hawkeye 1, All-New Wolverine 1, Secret Wars 7, Spider-Gwen 2, Thors 4, Uncanny Avengers 2, and Web Warriors 1.

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All-New Hawkeye 1

All New Hawkeye 1Taylor: Whenever a series reboots, the temptation is to slap the “All-New” tag on it. While this is sometimes appropriate, more often than not it’s simply a throwback to a time when series were genuinely reinvented. All-New Hawkeye is the latter of these and even though it’s labeled as a first issue, it’s basically a continuation of the All-New Hawkeye series that lasted five issues before getting the reboot. The question I found myself pondering while I was reading this issue was if this is a good thing.

The story picks up where issue 5 left off. It’s confusing that issue 1 picks up where issue 5 left off but that’s just something I had to deal with. In any case, in the present Kate decides she’s had enough of teaming up with Clint and calls it quits on their partnership. In the future, Clint and Kate team-up after a many-year hiatus to try and  rescue the Project Communion children they gave up on so long ago.

The primary difference between this version of All-New Hawkeye and the one that came before it is that Clint’s flashbacks are gone. In place of these, we now have flash-forwards because we apparently didn’t get enough of those when Lost ended or the show of the same name was cancelled. Like these TV shows, Hawkeye tells dual story lines about the same character, with the same theme, only set in a different time periods. The theme of this issue is breaking up, as can be seen below.

Rabble Rabble Rabble!

Those two panels, taken from different pages, are a good summation of this comic. It’s a lot of bickering in two time periods and honestly it’s not a whole lot of fun. Perhaps that’s the idea here. Any time we break up with someone, whether it be romantic or otherwise, it’s a pretty shitty experience. Supposing that’s what the creative team is trying to capture here, then it’s mission accomplished. However, it makes for an issue that taken alone just isn’t a great read. Hopefully things pick next month or this series might be falling to the flash-wayside.

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All-New Wolverine 1

All New Wolverine 1Mark: It’s admittedly silly to complain about marketing gimmicks in the comic book industry, an industry infamous for killing beloved heroes off so they can enjoy two sales spikes: the issue where the hero dies, and the issue a bit later when they bring her back. With that acknowledgement, I have to say I’m a little bit torn on All-New Wolverine 1. Or, more accurately, I’m torn on the name. The issue itself—with Wolverine (aka X-23) fighting an attacker on the Eiffel Tower, only to learn it is her clone—is enjoyable. I guess where I get a little hung up is that I never considered Wolverine to be a title, exactly. When Batman dies it makes sense for someone else to take up the mantle, because Batman is an idea as much as it is a man. Wolverine is, or at least was, Logan. It’s a weird (and admittedly dumb!) distinction for me.

But also, who cares! Even if All-New Wolverine is an x-23 comic with a different coat of paint, I’ll never complain too much about increased representation of minorities in comics.

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Secret Wars 7

Secret Wars 7Drew: I’m always suspicious of “epicness” in comics. Throwing the world/galaxy/universe in peril is often used to “raise the stakes,” but it never really impacts the storytelling — the heroes work just as hard to save the day, and the story is ultimately more about their efforts than whatever is at risk should they fail. Unless, of course, the story is about the world. As familiar as the Marvel Universe is with Manhattan, there are relatively few other places that have ever really been developed. The opposite is true of Battleworld, where every domain had at least one series devoted to it, and undoubtedly fans of the characters who populate them. Which is to say, when I call Secret Wars 7 “epic,” I mean that it has a scope that actually feels global, and a pressing sense of chaos to match.

All of Doom’s best laid plans are crumbling — there’s dissension and infighting amongst his ranks, more than a few 616-ers infiltrating and uniting domains against him, and an army of the undead ready to knock on his door. All of these developments spring from seeds planted in other series, which not only allows anyone intrigued by Maestro or whatever to get some more backstory, but also fills each panel with characters we actually recognize and care about. There are no faceless crowds running from destruction here, just character after character after character whose plans and allegiances have the power to turn the tide in this battle.

All of that epicness doesn’t leave much room for anything other than Doom’s plans turning to dust, but this issue is clearly meant to put the pieces in place for Dooms inevitable fall from grace in issue 8. We can see that he’ll lose now, it’s just a matter of what that means. With years of storytelling leading up to this moment, I’m sure Jonathan Hickman won’t disappoint.

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Spider-Gwen 2

Spider-Gwen 2Patrick: I’m usually a pretty big fan of Robbi Rodriguez’ pizzazz-heavy artwork for Spider-Gwen. The series’ commitment to style over substance has a nice parallel to Gwen being in a band, even if there’s not really a one-for-one kind of thing happening there. The character is mildly anarchic, and I appreciate that the art reflects this. When you add Rico Renzi’s coloring — which is somehow graphic and understated at the same time — it makes for a bold book of incredibly cool, high-contrast images.

Spider-Gwen vs. Captain America

Right? That’s rad as hell. Unfortunately, whatever gains the artistic team makes in coolness, they end up losing some yards for clarity. Rodriguez and Renzi seem to be categorically against depicting backgrounds, often pulling the camera within inches of the their subjects. That means it’s not always obvious what kind of space they’re in or how one set of actions is the result of another. I found myself flipping back multiple times trying to figure out who was in a give room on any page – and I’m still not sure I have it straight. Actually, it almost felt like Cap’s origin flashback — which is intentionally non-fixed in time and space to indicate montage — never really ended. The whole issue is a disorienting montage.

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Thors 4

Thors 4Drew: It’s easy to forget how prescribed genre narratives can be. The rules that govern, say, a cop drama are so familiar as to be invisible. That can be a recipe for predictability, but it also gives writers the opportunity to break those rules, using our own presumptions about the genre against us. That’s precisely what makes Thors 4 so interesting, as it transitions from the Man vs. Man conflict of the murder investigation into the Man vs. Society conflict that falls out of it.

Of course, the realization that Doom’s Battleworld is a lie is goosed a bit by the rabble-rousing of Thor of 616 (that is, the Jane Foster Thor, not the Odinson). She calls the Thors to action (in a version of the speech seen in Secret Wars 7) right in the middle of Ultimate Thor’s battle with Runey.

Thors

It’s a bit of a non sequitur, but it gooses Runey’s fears about Jane Foster — he’s less a religious zealot, and more desperately power-hungry. Making his actions personal and  ego-driven makes them work, even as the issue zooms out to include the Thors entering the fray in Doomstadt. Plus, it looks like there might just be a second Mjolnir waiting in the wings of Earth. Now if we could just find a Thor who needs a hammer…

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Uncanny Avengers 2

Uncanny Avengers 2Michael: In Uncanny Avengers 2, Gerry Duggan balances The Unity Squad (still hate that name) with a healthy dose of fan favorites and lesser knowns/newbies. Duggan uses the blunt X-Man Rogue to ask new Inhuman character Synapse “just what exactly are your powers again?” – a question that readers are no doubt asking themselves. As expositional or clunky as it may initially come across, sometimes you just have to clearly define what’s going on in a comic book. Mysterious villain The Shredded Man continues his attack on Boston/the modern civilized world. The Shredded Man is reminiscent of “eco-terrorists” like Poison Ivy, because so far his attacks seem to be based on the “civilization has plagued Mother Earth” philosophy. His forces are blends of plant and animal – creatures that Synapse’s vaguely-defined powers cannot mentally penetrate.

uncannyyy

While it’s clear that The Unity Squad is the proverbial “band of misfits,” it’s interesting to see the similarly naïve Quicksilver and Human Torch on the same team. I’ll admit that I’m not really in favor of the new costumes provided by artist Ryan Stegman, but Duggan places both of these brash young heroes in similar positions. Quicksilver’s whole worldview has changed since discovering that Magneto is not his father (something that either hasn’t been shown in the comics yet or I missed) and Johnny is learning how to work on a team that doesn’t have his brilliant brother-in-law to save his fiery ass. Duggan just brushes up against the edge of cheesy flashback over-the-topness with Johnny’s flashback to ignoring Reed’s bestowing of wisdom. I like that Duggan doesn’t spend too much time on making Johnny feeling guilty of his ignorance, but instead shows us how he uses his wit to find a solution in his own way. The Inhumans are a breed of Marvel property that I’m not very familiar with, but I like how Marvel seems to be making them another vocal minority; as if Mutants and Inhumans are two different political parties or religions.

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Web Warriors 1

Web Warriors 1Patrick: I can’t think of a high concept comic on the shelves right now that has a concept quite so high as Web Warriors. It’s one of those titles that I agreed to pick up because it’s too wacky to ignore, but I was surprised to discover that there’s pathos to be mined from our character’s reactions to that wackiness. Even though every one of these heroes are Spiders (Men, Women, Hams), they all have a unique relationship to the fundamental idea of Mutliversal police organization. Spider-Man U.K. does it because he needs a reason to live after the destruction of his home world – but why should everyone else? Mayday has a family and a city and responsibilities to return to, and she makes that objection clear. Those are just the characters that wear their motivation on their sleeves: others only drop little clues as to how they feel about being part of this team. Spider-Ham reveals that he’s lonely, Gwen seems to be looking for adventure, and Pavitir likes having a practical application for his engineering skills. Both Noir and Karn’s motivations are a bit more obscured than that, but it’s amazing to see that much emotional exploration in an issue that also makes a dozen “life is so weird in the cartoon world” jokes.

Also, that may have sounded like me taking a cheap shot at those jokes, but I did laugh out loud when Gwen pointed out that she didn’t know what she was swinging from. “Just, like, the sky or something” has to be my favorite piece of spider-dialogue from anything in the last couple weeks.

And and and, if some solid yucks and character development weren’t enough to sell me on this series, there’s a compelling mystery forming in both the mainstory and the Lady-Spider back-up. First fun development: there appear to be a cadre of Multiverse-hopping Electros out there! They mention “the Ocks” at some point, so maybe they also have multiple Doc Ocks? Or multiple Sinister Sixes? It’s crazy-balls and the sky’s the limit.

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The conversation doesn’t stop there, because you certainly read something that we didn’t. What do you wanna talk about from this week?

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15 comments on “Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 11/11/15

  1. Secret Wars: I enjoyed this, but it was clear that I missed a thing or two by not reading the tie-ins. In one way, that’s great! The tie-ins affected the main story, yet I understood the main story without reading them. In another way, that’s sucky! There’s a LOT of tie-ins and not all of them affected the main story and I’d like to have known which ones were ‘essential’ and which ones weren’t.

    In any case, this is a fitting solution to the huge story that Hickman has been working on for a couple of years now. I can’t wait for the last two. I also can’t wait because not knowing how this ends is definitely affecting my assessment and enjoyment of some of the regular Marvel titles. I don’t understand how these giant events are delayed. I just don’t. However, I don’t publish hundreds of thousands of comics a month either, so maybe I’m just griping because I don’t really get it.

    Hawkeye: First of all, Ramon Perez is a master. He is. I wonder what his chosen style is, as he’s been chameleon-like on Hawkeye. I’m unsure if the future was meant to look unfinished (it did at times), but I didn’t care because it still looked so good. Second, I liked this a LOT more than Taylor. Parts of it were painful. Very painful. I’m not sure this is a great comic if you didn’t read the first five issues of the most recent reboot, but this really, really worked for me.

    More later: Students arriving in about 30 seconds.

    • I don’t think the tie ins matter too much, to be fair. Maybe Siege, but other than that, the value of the tie ins are less about explaining important details and more about giving you a sense of the world. While the main book does a great job at making Battleworld a rich setting, having the tie ins really help create a sense of place. But I certainly don’t think you need to read any specific tie in to enjoy the main book.

      And yeah, the delays have been terrible. I’m thankful they haven’t done fill in artists, which would ruin Secret Wars, but wish things hadn’t gotten delayed. Though I don’t think not knowing the ending of Secret Wars is affecting the current stuff. The explanation of ‘something happened, by memories are fuzzy’ is all you need to know for most characters, and the two characters who actually will be affected in a meaningful way are Reed Richards and Doom, one who is intentionally missing and one who, despite showing up in Invincible Iron Man in a main role, is in a role that is supposed to be mysterious, even in the world where Secret Wars was already over.

      On Hawkeye, I love your idea of the future looking unfinished. That is an amazing insight and I am jealous. Interested in hearing more about it from you, as I certainly get what you are saying about the present sections being painful, but I feel there si something missing in the future at the moment

  2. Hawkeye: I honestly think Hawkeye hitting the floor running was a mistake, and not just because it is supposed to be a #1. It felt like the future needed a bit more time to establish itself, because I felt that too much of the future sections seemed lacking. The present day sections were strong, and naturally used the Hawkeye world and relationships. Hopefully the future gets a chance to develop more. We understand where future Clint if from, but Future Kate doesn’t seem to be much more than ‘the one who didn’t leave’

    Secret Wars: This series is a revelation in how to do big, corporate events, due to its revolutionary idea of having a plot. That’s why the epic nature of it has been earned. It also enjoys the joys of having a setting you are allowed to crash, so that the epic can actually be meaningful as you aren’t required to have New York in one piece at the end (that isn’t to say normal superhero comics can’t be epic, just that it is harder).

    Still, of Secret Wars 7 in particular? It is epic, but it is also putting the pieces in play. Sadly, the need to split 7 into two means that while it is epic seeing the war, most of the issue is simply setting the stage. We do get a great payoff to Black Panther being the King of the Dead, but a majority of the payoffs this issue was supposed to have will be in next issue.

    And while I know that Secret Wars has 9 issues at the moment, and struggling to do that, I wish there was an issue in between 5 and 6. I don’t feel like the two refugee ship, Heroes/Cabal stuff should have been resolved in the time skip, and would have appreciated an issue explaining how Reed allied himself with the Maker. Also, it would be an excuse to have even more glorious Mr SInister

    Spider-Gwen: In the Captain America flashback, it is weird that they reference Isiah Bradley as one of the people killed, but not actually show him as one of the candidates.

    But honestly, the Spider-Gwen world is great fun, but I’m struggling to care with every issue. The kinetic art and the fun twists on the world hide the fact that the story isn’t working. They are trying their hardest, and making lots of choices that I agree with, but the execution isn’t there. I think a lot of it is a lack of structure, with the plot wondering around instead of focusing on specific moments. I mean, dealing with the Lizard is a great idea, considering how important the Lizard is to Spider-gwen’s origin, but this issue forgot the Lizard to focus on Captain America.

    Thors: This was a fantastic idea that never came to fruition. The fact that Jane FOster does turn up and ruin everything, as Runey feared, is great from an idea level but I don’t think Runey entirely worked as a villain. Runey should have been trying to defend a big secret that he found out accidentally and wanted hidden, instead of this generic feeling of something being wrong every time he met a Jane Foster or Donald Blake. Would also have preferred Jane Foster Thor’s rebellion to be something built up a bit more throughout the comic. Honestly, investigating the murders of Jane FOster even as we see the actions of a Thor we secretly know is Jane Foster is actually a great idea.

    But sadly, while Thors was a lot of fun when it took advantage of ‘police procedural where everyone is Thor’, it didn’t fully come together.

    Wolverine: Wow. I didn’t mean to pick this up, but it was a spur on the moment thing, since I do really like Laura as a character. You are right that Wolverine doesn’t fit the idea of a legacy in the way that many of the other heroes doing this sort of story currently are. Especially as this has saddled Laura with a costume that looks terrible on her (I much preferred her running around in the blue-black coat with yellow lining at the start. Colours of Wolverine, but looks good.

    I decided to pick this up because I’ve been a fan of Laura Kinney, despite not being a fan of the old Wolverine, who often seems to be in stories that enjoy the ease of violence of the character.. I think a big part of what makes Laura work is the backstory. It is all about how she doesn’t want to be ‘the best she is at what she does’. It is a burden, and why her second miniseries focused on her trying to live a normal life. The quest of trying to be better has always worked with her, especially considering ‘assassin trying to learn not to be one’ actually works fantastically as a Coming of Age story. All this makes her surprisingly compelling, and then you have to add the fact that foot claws are awesome.

    Tom Taylor embraces all of this. Introducing her as trying to talk first is great, though I wish they focused on her getting shot before her kicking people, as one of the things I love in the opening is how she lets herself just get shot again and again. Healing Factor not as a way to makes action sequences violent, but as the ultimate protective tool, ending with her brain being blown out, to protect people.

    The dream discussion with Logan is fantastic, both with the simple use of continuity (the X-Force costumes, Laura’s lowest moment, fit perfectly as a contrast, especially as after she wakes up, she removes her coat to reveal a wolverine costume in full yellow instead of grey) and the actual content. Using the dream state allows us to focus on the heroism of Laura by making ti clear that despite her healing factor, trying to stand up with her guts leaking out is a difficult, and therefore heroic, act, but what I really like is how it positions Laura and Wolverine. Instead of using Laura to explore what makes Logan a great hero (as I’ve said all the time is a big reason this trope exists and is popular at the moment), it rejects Logan by positioning Laura as the moral superior. It understands that Logan, for all his heroic qualities, is too much of a violent thug, and celebrates Laura failing to live up to that side of Logan. ‘You’re the best you are at what you do, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it’ is a fantastic line, inverting the famous boast that did a great job at summing up Wolverine’s problems (Look how badass I am, I’m such a violent thug!).

    She follows this up with fighting against the villain without her claws, emphasizing her trying to be better than Logan. And the villain, a clone of Laura being used as an assassin, is perfect, not just because it represents the past she wants to move on from, but how it creates a villain that Laura feels true empathy for. And the fact that ‘Nothing hurts’, that the clone cannot feel pain, builds the contrast.

    The relationship between Laura and Angel works well, showing care and intimacy, even if events conspire only a pat on the head.

    The action is fantastically clear and really takes the advantage of Laura’s powers. As much as I joked that foot claws are awesome, one of the great thing about Laura is that they do make her a more interesting in action sequences because it gives a greater variety of actions, and seeing her use the footclaw to stay on the drone is a great example of that. More impressive is the use of the healing factor. I’m not a fan of healing factors, as they are an easy way to avoid consequences in story telling. If someone gets a sword through their stomach, I’d rather the wound remains and they have to deal with it, instead of disappearing in five seconds. But Taylor really takes advantage of the healing factor by using it as an excuse to make Laura highly self sacrificing. It allows for a comic where someone can, in order to protect people, have her brain blown out, and crash a drone into the ground. Seeing Laura flung from the wreckage, on fire and bouncing is not a cheap attempt to be violent, but showing that Laura is prepared to get the shit beat out of her to save people. Especially as the healing factor isn’t fast, leading to two pages of her sitting on the street of Paris just healing (and the art of the close ups on Laura here are amazing).

    What little marketing I had seen didn’t make me expect much. But I’m loving it. It is nowhere near as deep as the Vision, but this is blockbuster comics honed to perfection. A real surprise, on a week where my pull had more than a couple of disappointments. I can’t believe I’m looking forward to the next issue

    Also, has anyone managed to do a more magical moment than Wolverine looking at rain for the first time, entranced, because his/her brain still hasn’t been knit together. What a transcendent character moment

    • I had very little interest in All New Wolverine, and I know nothing about Laura except from one of Bendis’ X-Titles, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

      I really, really liked it. The story was compelling, it transitioned into the character pretty well for those of us who were unfamiliar, the action scenes were clear and well done (I do think the 2 pages where she landed on the drone and brought it down should have been a two page spread for better flow, but I’m certainly not an artist so maybe I’m an idiot), and it did a great job of showing Angel and Laura’s relationship.

      I’m always leery of clone stories, but this feels like a fresh story, but damn if it didn’t feel very X-Mannish too. I think the yellow/blue was a nice touch to give it a bit of an old school X-Man feel which may have been needed to validate the title a little bit. Angel, a character I’ve known forever but never had much of an interest in (no matter his incarnation), really had a chance to shine, and much like Hercules, I hope this singular title turns into a duo book.

      Only question: Last I remember of Angel (again from Bendis) was that he was kind of a mind wiped Warren but like a real angel. Here he seems to have electric glowing wings. Did something happen that I’m not aware of?

      This was good stuff. I approve.

      • The yellow and blue is certainly important, and there is a reason I called out the great choice of her removing her coat to show the classic yellow and blue after the vision of her and Logan in X-Force grey. Just wish the costume looked better on her.

        I believe this Angel is the time displaced Angel. Present Day Angel is mind wiped, but I believe time displaced Angel got those wings from the Black Mirror crossover.

        But yeah, the comic is surprising in just how good it is. And in subtle ways. There are a lot of great comics (to be fair, better comics) that are great in really obvious ways, but this just tells a standard superhero story, with a nice twist on clone stories (I’ve heard people bring up Orphan Black comparisons, but cloning is a key part of Laura’s story from day one). It is just executed to near perfection.

        • I think he was one of the guys who enhanced during the Black mirror (or whatever that Guardians of the Galaxy/X-Men crossover was. THe Black Vortex?), and I think he kept the wings somehow. But this is pretty second hand, as I didn’t read the whole Black Mirror story

  3. Web of Spider-Verse: The backup will need some work to convince me it’s worthwhile (But it seems it will tie-in with the main story eventually), but the main story has me hooked. I’m embarrassed I never considered some random Doc Ock would travel the web with Electro (and myabe the rest of the Sinister Six) in what could be a bizarro Spidey story that doesn’t even have description.

    I’m on board here as well.

  4. Uncanny Avengers #2 is the only one on your list this week: And… Maybe the reveal at the end is supposed to get me excited? The idea of Johnny going and finding a think tank of geniuses to support the team seems kind of like the other Avengers book. Nothing else stood out from this – I’m really interested in liking this, but I think it’s pretty clearly (to me) the least interesting story with the least interesting characterizations. I’ll finish this arc, but something needs to change here.

    Carnage 1: Wow. Where to start. Again, Marvel found an artist that killed it. I really liked the way this looked. The essential problem with this comic, to me, is that I don’t like Carnage. Now, I’ve got original Carnage art signed by Randy Emberlin, I’ve got just about every comic Carnage has been in, but to me he’s always been a bit of a difficult Spidey-Foe to enjoy. He basically autokills anyone around unless you have Spider-Sense or the writer thinks it would be more interesting to have him not kill you. Not fun.

    It is sort of fun having him in some weird kind of Hulk-buster story where the FBI tries to trap him only to turn on them, except the Hulk wasn’t a psychotic killer and the FBI agents usually weren’t slaughtered only to make the story interesting. I imagine it’s going to be a 3-way fight with Jameson (is he still Manwolf, Stargod, some combination of the two, or neither?) and Toxin (who I’m ashamed to admit I know nothing about, although now that I’ve looked him up, he’s only been in Venom/Carnage comics), who is now possessed/owned by Eddie Brock, ex-Venom.

    This could be interesting as horror or adventure, but so far it’s been parody as the FBI willingly leads multiple agents to slaughter to ensure the adventure in the mines can begin.

  5. Last one, Illuminati and Spider-Man 2099.

    Spider-Man 2099: This will be quick. Peter David gets this character. Will Sliney draws the hell out of Miguel/Spider-Man, Francesco Mattina is one of the best cover artists in the game, and the story is great with an awesome fight sequence, a character I believe in, and a reveal at the end that wasn’t too surprising but I didn’t predict. The Spider-Verse is very strong right now and we still haven’t seen Adjectiveless Spider-Man and Spidey, both of which I have high hopes for.

    The Illuminati: Wow. I didn’t see this coming. The art looks like glossy Bat-Girl, but the story is pretty dark as Titania tries to get out of the crime biz, but heroes and villains alike won’t give her the chance. I really thought this was going to be pre-Secret Wars Illuminati but it ended up more Superior Foesinati. I dont’ even know who Black Ant is. Enchantress hasn’t had a good appearance that I can ever recall reading, Thunderball was a faceless Thor villain, and the Mad Thinker has always been. . . I don’t know. I remember him from various events and a brief Hulk appearance. A poor man’s Maximus the Mad?

    But it was good. The art contrasted with the story in a pretty good way, once you realized this had more in common with woodchipper Fargo than funny accents talking in the back of a small town bar Fargo.

    This might go the way of Superior Foes and end up tragic comedy. The Hood loses no matter what. Every character is a loser on some level. Illuminati is a misnomer. But I found myself rooting for Titania and disappointed she couldn’t get over the hump, so it caught me on some emotional level that was surprising, so I’m in for this arc and excited to see what’s going to happen. The heroes/foils were B listers Luke Cage, She-Hulk, and Iron Fist, so we’ll see if there’s a revolving cast of heroes as foils it will be something Heroes for Hire-ish, or if it will only focus on the bad guys.

    It was good. I’m glad about that, I want some of these non-Avengers, non-Spider-Man books to get a following.

    • Got to say, I’m really looking forward to adjectiveless Spider-man, but Spidey worries me. The problem with a book like SPidey is that by design, it can’t do anything too big. Too often, comics like Spidey have had a real problem with the fact that they are so constrained by continuity to do anything interesting

      You are really making Illumanati sound interesting. I may read it…

      • I don’t think Spidey has grand intentions. As you said, it can’t be too much. However, Peter Parker was only in high school for 28 issues of Amazing Spider-Man. There are stories that could be told: Busiek’s Untold Tales of Spider-Man was quite good. And while I didn’t care for Dan Slott’s 1.1 – 1.5 in the last run of Spidey, he was able to create a character that he is calling back in modern Spider-Man.

        Young Peter Parker is fun. That’s why it’s featured in movies and cartoons. It might not be big, but not every comic needs to be huge.

        • The problem isn’t grand intentions. The simple fact is, I don’t expect most Spider-man stories to be Superior, or the current run of Amazing.

          But because Spidey lives between the plot beats of a previous story, it can’t create its own plot beats, and therefore many series like Spidey struggle to do much.

          Young Peter Parker is great. I honestly think one of the biggest problems Peter Parker has is that too few writers have ever actually wanted to properly engage with an adult Peter Parker, and a lot of problems have come from writing Peter Parker like he was still young. That’s also why the movies and cartoon have him at that age (except Amazing Spiderman 2, due to a small production mistake that leads to Peter Parker stalking Gwen Stacy for 4 fucking years after high school, instead of going to college, if I remember that piece of shit correctly).

          Still, most series that have tried to do what Spidey is doing have struggled to find their own plot beats. Would rather it had been an out of continuity series, or whatever Marvel need to say now to get away with basically making a new Ultimate Spider-man book.

        • I am curious as to its adherence to continuity. It’s source material is 50 years old. There have been thousands of Spider-Man comics that all will in effect be in continuity AFTER Spidey. But Peter Parker’s teenage years were described in 28 short comics. I can see how there might be other stories to be told.

          I look forward to it. It might be terrible, but the interviews I’ve seen with Robbie Thompson seem to indicate that it’s going to be a series of 1 shot adventures of a just starting out 15 year old Spider-Man. It might not work, but it might work really, really well.

        • It is a tragedy that Peter Parker’s teenage years were told so quickly, as they are such an important part of what makes Spider-man great. There are certainly so many stories that can be told (look what Bendis did with Ultimate Spider-man) and I will certainly not damn Thompson trying. But everyone else’s tries have always run into that same issue. There are other stories that could be told, but they are much harder to tell when you have to existing plot beats

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