Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Marvel's September previews reviewed

The theme for Marvel's September variant covers is "Venom-ized" villains, which is exactly what it sounds like. That image there is the X-Men: Gold cover featureing a Venom-ized Omega Red by Clayton Crain, and seems fairly typical of these, featuring a villain associated with the title possessed by the Venom symbiote.

Looking through this months solicitations (as you can do here), it seems that Marvel has rather drastically reduced the number of some of their titles--one Black Panther title instead of two, for example--but their line still seems crazy big to me, just in terms of how long it takes to scroll through the solicits.

It's also super-apparent that Thor: Ragnarok is on the horizon, based on all the Thor and/or Hulk trades solicited here.

Anyway, here's what jumped out at me for good or ill this time around...


AVENGERS #11
MARK WAID (W) • MIKE DEL MUNDO (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
...
SECRET EMPIRE AFTERMATH! Not every Avenger came out of the Secret Empire’s regime the same as going in. One of Earth’s Mightiest, in particular, will either step up to lead the team — or retire altogether!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Is that Sam Wilson, encircling his former teammates either in a group hug, or something more menacing? If so, what's he wearing? Based on the Generations solicit featuring him and Steve Rogers, I'm assuming he will still be a Captain America at the end of Secret Empire...


Skeletor tries some Scarlet Spider cosplay, hates the way it makes him look. (Okay, that's actually the cover for one of September's issue of Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider, which demonstrates that Marvel is still publishing a boatload of Spider-comics, even if
Spider-Woman and Silk are no longer among the published. I guess Spider-Gwen is the last book about a woman with spider powers that Marvel is publishing.)


BLACK BOLT #5
SALADIN AHMED (W) • CHRISTIAN WARD (A/C)
REDEMPTION COMES CLOSE… As Black Bolt turns the tables on the evil Jailer! But what about his fellow prisoners? Given a choice, will the Midnight King choose the company of thieves? And what hope do they have against a creature who knows their deepest secrets?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


I've no interest in this book at all, but I have to admit: That is a hell of a cute cover.


GENERATIONS: CAPTAIN MARVEL & MS. MARVEL #1
G. WILLOW WILSON (W) • PAOLO VILLANELLI (A)
COVER BY NELSON BLAKE II
...
Ms. Marvel’s falling out with her idol Carol Danvers, a.k.a. the Mighty Captain Marvel, just took a BIZARRE turn! Kamala suddenly finds herself as an intern at Woman Magazine – Carol’s former place of employment! Between cozying up to her boss, filing back issues, and her usual super-heroing, how will Kamala find time to figure out what got her here in the first place?
40 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$4.99


Not sure why this is titled as it is, rather than Ms. Marvel & Ms. Marvel, as Carol is totally in her Ms. Marvel costume there. But I'm glad she's in that costume, rather than the black bathing suit costume, as that means we're somewhere around, what, the late seventies? Maybe early eighties? Based on the solicitation copy alone, I have to assume that this comic is going to be The Devil Wears Prada, but with multiple Ms. Marvels. That sounds fun.


GENERATIONS: SAM WILSON CAPTAIN AMERICA & STEVE ROGERS CAPTAIN AMERICA #1
NICK SPENCER (W) • PAUL RENAUD (A/C)
Variant Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
Variant Cover by PAOLO RIVERA
They were part of the Greatest Generation! And now Sam Wilson finds himself alongside them yet again in a strange yet familiar setting — fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with Captain America and Bucky against a seemingly unstoppable threat to the safety of the world!
40 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$4.99


Whew! I'm glad Marvel's still letting Nick Spencer write Captain America comics after Secret Empire ends. Nick Spencer is really good at writing Captain America comics...at least the ones starring Sam Wilson (I haven't read any of his Steve Rogers comics yet).


MARVEL LEGACY #1
JASON AARON (W) • ESAD RIBIC (A)
...
Variant Cover by ALEX ROSS
...
EVERYTHING STARTS HERE! It begins at the dawn of the human race, and ends with a child’s prayer! In between, empires fall, mysteries brew, secrets are revealed, quests are undertaken and legends are forged! All leading up to the dramatic return you’ve been waiting for — and one you’ve been dreading!
Jason Aaron (MIGHTY THOR) and Esad Ribic (SECRET WARS) usher in a new dawn — one whose rays will touch every corner of the Marvel Universe in the days to come!
MARVEL LEGACY: It’s everything you’ve been longing for — and more!
64 PGS./ON-SHOT/Rated T+ …$5.99


It's always fun to see Ross drawing modern comics characters, and by modern I mean "any costume designed after the Silver Age that he himself didn't design," as it can often look...uncomfortable. He's been drawing a lot of the Avengers and company for Marvel, so most of these characters actually look pretty natural...with the exception of Gamora there, who I assume is only on this cover at all because they keep making Guardians of the Galaxy movies...?


MONSTERS UNLEASHED #6
CULLEN BUNN(W) • Andrea Brocccardo (A)
Cover by R.B. SILVA
VENOMIZED FIN FANG FOOM VARIANT COVER BY FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
THE LEAD UP TO LEGACY STARTS HERE! KEI KAWADE thinks he knows what his powers can do, but honestly? He has NO idea.
Join the House of Ideas for the next chapter in this monster epic as KID KAIJU explores the very depths of his own abilities!
Featuring Kid Kaiju, ELSA BLOODSTONE, their merry band of monsters and some surprising GUEST STARS!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


It is both a tragedy and a travesty that the above cover has nothing to do with the interiors, but is simply a "VENOMIZED" variant. I mean, how great would a story in which the Venom symbioite possessed Fin Fang Foom have been?!


RUNAWAYS #1
RAINBOW ROWELL (W) • KRIS ANKA (A/C)
...
GET READY TO RUN! The “IT” book of the early 2000s with the original cast is back – Nico! Karolina! Molly! Chase! Old Lace! And, could it be? GERT?! The heart of the Runaways died years ago, but you won’t believe how she returns!
Superstar author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) makes her Marvel debut with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka (ALL-NEW X-MEN, CAPTAIN MARVEL) in the series that will shock you and break your heart!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


I've never personally read any of Rowell's prose work, but I know she's popular enough that she's a real "get," particularly for this book, the traditional target audience of which overlaps with that of her novels. I'm pretty excited about the return of Runaways, and I'm curious about a couple of aspects, like how they will explain away the apparently missing members of the line-up (Victor, Xavin and Klara), and Nico's whole deal, as she's been away from the others in a few other rather unlikely books since the last time Runaways was canceled.


SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #21
ELLIOT KALAN (W) • Todd Nauck (A)
COVER BY WILL ROBSON
...
When the villainous ARCADE decides to build a second, even deadlier Murderworld in Madripoor, he kidnaps Spider-Man and forces him to be the park’s first guest! Deadpool, meanwhile, has a bone to pick with Arcade… Namely that his terrifying theme parks are besmirching murder and its good name!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

I like Arcade.


THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #24
RYAN NORTH (W) • ERICA HENDERSON (A/C)
Squirrel Girl, Nancy and Tippy are trapped in the Savage Land! Good thing there’re only regular dinosaurs there and not, for example, a giant metal killer-dinosaur version of Ultron instead!! Sorry, I’m just getting word that there is, in fact, a giant metal killer-dinosaur version of Ultron here, and Squirrel Girl needs to stop him before he takes over the world — a task that has regularly bested many other super heroes, including the Avengers themselves! But don’t worry, because SQUIRREL GIRL IS NOT ALONE: She’s got Nancy (a regular human with no powers) and Tippy (a regular squirrel with no powers) on her side to help her out against the rage of Ultron! And it’s not just any Ultron, but a new and improved Ultron with an extremely dangerous (and, we must admit, extremely awesome) Tyrannosaurus rex bod! Oh, also Kraven the Hunter is in this issue too, so if you love dinosaurs, robots AND men in lion vests, boy howdy have we got a comic book for you!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


There are few things I like better than Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics, and one of those things is dinosaurs. So this should be good!

Here's hoping this turns into a stealth crossover between North's USG and his Dinosaur Comics...



VENOMVERSE #1 (OF 5)
CULLEN BUNN (W) • IBAN COELLO (A)
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
VARIANT COVER BY GUSTAVO DUARTE
...
THE VENOM EPIC OF THE FALL STARTS HERE! During a routine battle with the villainous Jack O’Lantern, Venom finds himself transported to a far-off world and learns a terrible truth – a deadly new species called the Poisons has emerged from the vastness of space, and to make matters worse, they’re hunting Venoms! Trapped on the planet’s surface with a ragtag band of Venomized heroes, Eddie has no choice but to mount a counteroffensive and hope to find a way home!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99


"The Venom Epic of the Fall"...? Does that mean this year will have multiple Venom epics, with other Venom epics falling during other seasons? Will there be more than one Venom epic this fall, and Venomverse is the bigger, better or most important of the two...? So confusing...!

That said, I would just like to reiterate that this is a really good idea.


VENOMVERSE #2 (OF 5)
CULLEN BUNN (w) • IBAN COELLO (a)
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
...
The Poisons’ relentless campaign against the Venoms continues, and Spider-Man is among the first to fall! VENOM VS. POISON SPIDER-MAN: NO HOLDS BARRED! Meanwhile, Deadpool’s cooked up an idea of how to stop the Poisons, but it ain’t exactly sane!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Hey, that "Poison Spider-Man" looks a lot like Anti-Venom, doesn't he...?
Kinda...?


X-MEN: BLUE #11
CULLEN BUNN (W)
Giovanni Valletta (A)
Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS
ROCK-N-ROLL VARIANT COVER BY DANIEL ACUNA
NOW YOU SEE BEAST…HENRY McCOY is known for a lot of things–his persona as the X-Men BEAST, his massive intellect…and now a penchant for MAGIC. But where did Hank learn this new-found skill? And will his teammates still want him around once the secret is out in the open?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

X-MEN: BLUE #12
CULLEN BUNN (W)
Douglas Franchin (A)
Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS
…NOW YOU DON’T! While HANK continues to struggle with his newfound magical skill, JIMMY HUDSON struggles with a challenge all his own… Will Jimmy be able to regain his memory with the help of his new friends? And will he like what he finds if he does?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Arthur Adams draws good. I can't match that cover up with the contents of either of those solicits, though.

Also, Jimmy Hudson is Wolverine II from the Ultimate Universe, right? So even though "The" Wolverine Logan has been "dead" for a while now, and Laura Kinney is the new Wolverine, there's now an old man version of Logan and a young man version of Logan kicking around the Marvel Universe, and the main way in which they are distinguishable from the late Logan is that their hair is differently colored? Okay.

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