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Christian

Marvel's One World Order

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Christian    807

I'm sure Bendis' run on Daredevil is still canon.

I'm not really sure what else may or may not be, as Marvel has been really lax with continuity since Alonso took power and started relaunching titles every six months. Even reading most Marvel books for most of those years, I'm not totally sure what all is still considered canon. Secret Wars changed some continuity, but Marvel never totally made it clear exactly what Secret Wars revised. It was basically whatever the writers wanted to do with a character, it seemed.

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Christian    807

Avengers #1 by Jason Aaron-That felt suitably epic for an Avengers story. It had a return to classic Avengers period feel to the book. It's a better attempt at the Avengers than I've seen since the Hickman days on the title. Aaron brings a sense of fun with his writing to the Avengers, which is something I've missed seeing in Avengers books, where you get the feeling that the iconic trinity are friends and not just random superheroes doing a job.

Also, moving to a core roster of Avengers who have a reason for being on a team of the "world's great superheroes", rather than every damn character being shoehorned in to the Avengers, so there's no room for quiet moments and tight camaraderie, is nice. Hickman's iteration worked because the "end of everything" was upon the Marvel Multiverse.

I'll keep reading this book.

Although, the idea of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers having any sort of relationship has been terribly strained by events like Civil War and Secret Empire. I like the idea of a clean slate to move away from those types of horrible ideas and the "tarnished heroes, not really superheroes" characterization that Marvel has been so fond of with their old characters. It's time to just move on and try to forget the mischaracterization and look back to beloved comics.

The one drawback is, didn't we just see a story where the Celestials were all killed in the events leading up to Secret Wars? Celestials being killed off doesn't seem like such a big deal when it seems to happen quite often now.

Also, I wish that there was a more interesting version of Ghost Rider out there now. Maybe I'm just not familiar with this character, and Aaron will get some good usage out of him. Yet, I'd rather see Blaze or Ketch as Ghost Rider in the Avengers. That's a small complaint though.

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I highly enjoyed Avengers # 1, I think Aaron's "getting the band back together" motif is played out nicely, if a bit on-the-nose in the bar scene.  I actively like all of the characters he's bringing into the team, with the exception of Captain Marvel I suppose.  Here's hoping he can eliminate some of the stigma surrounding Carol after all the shit stories she's had in the last few years.  The character I'm most excited about is, of course, Ghost Rider, and I happen to really like Robbie Reyes.  He's no Blaze or Ketch, but I think maybe Aaron said all he had to say about those two in his Ghost Rider run years ago.  His take on Robbie seems to fall in line with what Felipe Smith was doing, but skewing him more toward the traditional Ghost Rider status quo, which I appreciate. 

And yeah, the Celestials were all killed off by Archangel's children back in Remender's Uncanny Avengers run.  I think Aaron even halfway nods his head toward that, when he has Thor wishing he had his ax, which of course is the weapon that was used to kill the Celestials in Remender's story.  I blame it on Secret Wars resetting everything.

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Christian    807

I agree that Carol Danvers is another Marvel character who has been ruined in recent years, but if Aaron treats her simply as a cosmic character who can get the Avengers involved in space-set stories, then I have no problem with her being used properly in this book. She's a heavy-hitter character, and works with a mostly all-star team, like Aaron seems interested in putting together.

If Tony Stark and Steve Rogers can be fixed, after they were even more horribly damaged than Captain Marvel, then I'm sure that Aaron can fix Carol.

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dogpoet    498

Just gone through a big collection of Ross and Kruegar's Earth X.

Rather a fun read, which is surprising as huge chunks of it seem to have folded into the mainstream Marvel U since, generally to less readable effect. It's pretty funny to see that all of this "Inhumans are way more awesome than crappy mutants, so there!" stuff started off in a futuristic dystopia story, and was treated as a bad thing until Marvel failed to get the film rights to the X Men back from Sony and spent the next decade throwing a tantrum over that...

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A. Heathen    1,171

Wasn't the X Men a Fox "product"?
(That's what Deadpool told me)

From memory (and bear in mind I have generally had little interest in X-People) I'd say the starting point for the Inhumans renaissance was Paul Jenkins & Jae Lee,
was that before Earth X? Maybe Ross (and Busiek) planted the seed earlier in the Marvels?

Shame about the TV show.

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dogpoet    498

I was forgetting the Jenkins & Lee series and I'm not sure whether that or Earth X was first. It's a very good point about Marvels, as Ross had a hand in both, and the dystopian Ellis spin off does some of the same stuff as this one. There's quite a lot of other stuff that Marvel seem to have recycled in the mainstream titles since besides the stuff about mutants and inhumans, but I picked that out as the least spoilery example. There's even a female Thor in it.

The television  Inhumans was as bad as that still makes it look, then? That's a pity. Whatever the reasoning behind all of this "shitloads of inhumans all over the place" was, the original characters, and several of the series since prior to that starting, were great.

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Christian    807

There was an issue of What If? where Jane Foster became a female Thor too. The collector's market went crazy for that issue when Aaron debuted the new female Thor.

Jenkins' Inhumans did predate Earth X, as the Inhumans book was from 1998, while Earth X was from 1999.

While Jenkins' Inhumans book was amazing and did so much good for those characters, most of the work Jenkins put in to that book was totally ignored by Marvel.  I don't think Jenkins' book was very influential. Especially with how bad that "Inhumans are better than mutants" idea went off the rails. It doesn't seem like anyone read the Jenkins run to see how to make those characters interesting.

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dogpoet    498

Thanks for that. Jenkins was there first, then.

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Christian    807

Three new relaunches from Marvel were released this week.

Dr. Strange by Mark Waid

Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing

Ant Man and Wasp by Mark Waid

Surprisingly, Ant Man and the Wasp stood out as my favourite of the three. It's very reminiscent of a good DC comic, back in those days when "good" and "DC Comics" wasn't a misnomer. Put another way, this read like a good DC comic written by Mark Waid, or a Mark Waid at his prime. Just lots of big ideas and fun.

Immortal Hulk had its moments. It could end up going somewhere interesting, or maybe it'll just stay as a "worth a read, but nothing special" type of book. It's too soon to say. Ewing does draw back from those original Stan Lee issues, when the Hulk was definitely not a superhero. It was somewhat similar to the Jeph Loeb Hulk: Gray series.

Dr. Strange didn't do a lot for me. I guess Waid is stuck playing off of plots left over by earlier writers (the death of magic on Earth-616), but I'm not sure how interesting cosmic Dr. Strange is going to be, compared to Stan Lee/Steve Ditko or Englehart Dr. Strange. Waid wrote a Dr. Strange mini-series in the past, and it didn't impress me, so there's that worry that Waid isn't the right writer for a proper Dr. Strange comic. I'll give this a few more issues though, as it was well written.

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Christian    807

Iron Man #1 (by Dan Slott)-I still can't say that I'm enjoying an Iron Man comic. It's better than what Bendis was doing on the book anyway (but, that's not hard). I can't say this forebodes well for Slott relaunching the Fantastic Four, although I'm still holding out hope for more of his Silver Surfer and less of....well, most of the rest of Slott's work.

I mean, I haven't really enjoyed an Iron Man comic since Busiek wrote the book way back in the 1990s. Before Busiek, I probably hadn't truly enjoyed an Iron Man comic since the Denny O'Neil run....so, it's not as if Slott is alone in not being able to write a truly compelling Iron Man story.

I did like seeing the return of a classic Iron Man villain, but that's not enough to keep me reading. This will be the first book I've read of Marvel's "Brand New Start" which I won't continue reading.

Avengers and Ant Man continue to hold my interest, and Waid's Dr. Strange improved with issue #2.

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Christian    807

Sentry #1 (by Jeff Lemire) was surprisingly good. I didn't think anyone could do anything interesting with the Sentry character after the original Paul Jenkins' book, but Lemire had an idea, that made the character the most interesting he has been since Jenkins (although, even slightly interesting would fulfill that criteria....). Seriously though, the story reminded me quite a bit of Miracleman. Lemire was a good choice for writing this book, as he was able to channel some of what makes Black Hammer so compelling to find an angle to use the Sentry that actually works (unlike every other post-Jenkins Sentry story). I'll keep reading this, which isn't something I expected to say. Lemire is a great writer, no doubt, but he has been very hit or miss with company owned properties in the past, saving his creativity for his own projects.

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Christian    807

Amazing Spider Man #1-I'm sure some people will say that this is going too far back for the character, but I don't care. I liked it. After the corporate CEO Peter Parker, a "back to basics" in the most strict sense of that term doesn't seem so horrible. I have fond memories of this period of Spider Man's life....sure, it's not really set during that period of his life, but for all intents and purposes, yeah, this is really just going back in time.

I said it once before, but I felt that the Spider Man character hasn't worked since the "One More Day" fiasco. A forum member pointed out that the era of cyclical writing teams which followed had a lot of promise, and that's true, but regardless, it's been years since that point, and we've seen Dan Slott bungle the concept for years with bad idea after bad idea. There is a happy medium, in that Peter Parker growing up and getting a good paying job where he can use his brilliance as a scientist, and not be stuck in the "loveable loser", immature phase. However, I'm willing to give this a shot. Is it like watching a repeat? Sure, but repeats of stories which were fun to read.

Also, Immortal Hulk #2 (from last week, but I was on vacation, so didn't review any of the comics I bought) has really hooked me. It feels a lot like the earliest Stan Lee Hulk comics, but in a fresh, up-dated fashion, where the series is much more rooted in outright horror. The fact that Ewing seems to be interested in doing done-in-one, strange stories is a strong positive. The Hulk hasn't been this interesting in a very long time....Maybe even during the Peter David run, but I might be forgetting a Hulk era. Anyway, it's been a long time.

It really does feel like this "Brand New Start", for still having some faults (another relaunch, more big event cross-overs, some books falling by the way-side, for instance), is fixing most of the problems that have plagued Marvel since the Civil War period. Marvel is focusing on a core cast of characters (mainly from the original cast of Marvel books circa the early-1960s), plus a few other favourite characters (like Black Panther), with top name writers working on most of the books, telling stories about superheroes.

So, really, only the Fantastic Four relaunch is left. So far, only Iron Man hasn't caught my attention.

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I think Slott really wanted his name to be forever associated with Spider-Man in the way as Claremont/X-Men, Byrne/FF, and David/Hulk; this decade long run that defines the character from now on.  Unfortunately, I think he really just overstayed his welcome when readers were wanting a new voice on the series.  I was the one defending the "Brand New Day" rotating writer era, which sound like what Spencer's run is aiming for in way of tone (based on your description anyway, Christian, I haven't read the first issue yet).  Heavily influenced by nostalgia, to put it in nice terms?  Hey, sometimes back to basics is just what a franchise needs to freshen itself up after a period of darkness (see Busiek and Perez rescuing the Avengers).

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Christian    807

Yeah, Busiek's Avengers was certainly in that mindset, and definitely one of the best runs ever on that title. It's easier to do with the Avengers though, because they're about being the "world's greatest superheroes", and back-to-basics for them is the strong core team made up of the iconic trio, plus larger than life threats to the very planet, if not the universe.

Spider Man is a bit different though, considering that it seems like Peter Parker's life is always moving forward, but when it seems he's growing in to too much of an adult person with real-world responsibilities, the creators decide to step back and move him to a more comfortable place from his time-line. "Oh, Peter is a college graduate now, in his early-30s with a wife and job? Well, what if he decides to go back to college and ends up with lots of money trouble instead?". You know, it's a step backward. How many times can this genius guy end up as a "loveable loser"?

Taking away everything that makes the character distinct (ala the end of Slott's run) though, makes taking steps backward not as hard to take.

Bringing back more of Spider Man's old rogues gallery, I'm all for that. Marvel seemed to forget that classic supervillaisn are a core part of the Marvel Universe too. Fans come to care about those characters almost as much as the heroes. I can understand running old villains in to the ground (how many times can Spider Man fight Dr. Octopus?). I can understand getting tired of the same story being told over and over. However, Marvel has had a terrible time creating compelling and popular new villains for their superheroes. Most of the villains that fans want to see were created by Stan Lee, or at least before the 1980s. There haven't been that many villains created since the 1970s that anyone has cared about (X-Men under Claremont is probably the exception, but after the Claremont-era, what interesting X-villains have come along? Maybe none). So, without those supervillains, the books have turned in to "Let's make Steve Rogers a fascist!" or "Tony Stark should be George W. Bush!". It's just terrible ideas for any characters who aren't going to be allowed to really change. "Well, sure, Iron Man was a neocon authoritarian just a few months ago.....but, he got over that, and now he's a superhero again. So, read his book and cheer for him!". It's tarnished the characters. That's why "Brand New Start" has been so successful in my opinion, as there is a real feel of nostalgia to most of these books, so far.

Like I said, I realize that some fans will complain about comics going backwards again (and it depends on the title for how much nostalgia there is versus an updated version of a classic concept), but after things like Secret Empire, can these fans really say that Marvel had any idea what it was doing anyway? Maybe playing safer, and playing in the sandbox that made most of us fall in love with these comics (1960s-1980s comic books), isn't so bad for a while, in order to rebuild, before Marvel attempts to their next shattering Civil War event.

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A. Heathen    1,171

I just read that Dazzler comic.

It's a decent take on the "Your minority is oppressing ours" thing that seems to be on the rise.  Mutants not wanting inhumans "invading" (ie sharing)tgeir spaces. 

A nice YA book.

I am going to use it for an art project.

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dogpoet    498

More public burnings?

:wink2:

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