Comics · Fantasy · Science Fiction

Mari reads the Marvel Universe, Part 1

Well… not quite the entire Marvel Universe. I did think about trying every single volume ones that came out from the All-New All-Different Marvel Universe, but I’m a lot busier at work than I ever was these days, and I barely have time to catch up with work-related reading. Luckily, checking out promising Vol 1s is also a part of work – so I decided to go with selected titles that caught my eye at our New Arrivals.

Invincible Iron Man Vol. 1: Reboot by Brian Michael Bendis & David Marquez

ironmanI like Tony Stark (even though he annoys me sometimes), but I haven’t checked out any of his solo titles until now. The reason I’m finally reading this? Bendis, of course. And also the fact that it’s a Volume One – I wonder why a simple renumbering made me more apt to pick up a title. Anyway, in the post-Secret Wars world, Tony (1) is no longer as rich as he used to be (but is still pretty rich), (2) makes a new Iron Man suit, and (3) has a new love interest (and I really like her). There are also other spoilery twists that I won’t share, of course. Also in this volume: Doctor Doom! Doctor Strange! Madame Masque! Mary Jane!

Things I liked: Friday, Tony’s A.I. I really do hope that Friday in the Marvel Cinematic Universe could be at least half as snarky as the one in this comic. And I know the fact that the Tony Stark in this run is more RDJ-like than usual, but I don’t really mind that one bit (in fact, I love it), because RDJ was the reason why I started to give his character a chance in the first place.

Things I disliked: Dr. Doom. Not one of my fave villains, and although the depiction of the new him is refreshing, I know it can’t last very long.

Will new/old readers like this? I think this is a good volume for newbies to start with, and a fun one for older readers, unless they hate the RDJ-fication of Iron Man’s character, of course.

Uncanny Avengers Vol. 1: Lost Future by Gerry Duggan and Ryan Stegman

uncannyavengersThis is a title I didn’t think I’d pick up at all… but rather enjoyed, anyway. Old man Steve Rogers assembles a new team of superheroes, consisting of humans, mutants and inhumans! The Avengers Unity Squad’s agenda is to promote peace between the races, but this doesn’t really work out all that well – there’s some tension between the mutant and inhuman members, and in the beginning a prominent member decides to leave the team on account of the fact that Steve Rogers allowed Deadpool in.

Things I liked: the exploration of the mutants/inhuman tensions, how each group are treated differently by humans, and the consequences of Black Bolt terrigen bombs. The fact that many of these characters are outsiders or don’t quite belong elsewhere, which of course was why I loved Uncanny X-Men, the first Marvel series I ever followed as a kid. Rogue and Human Torch sniping at each other. Quicksilver being Quicksilver. Deadpool!! I enjoy the Deadpool in this run, although I don’t know how long he could last as a non-killing member of Avenger.

Things I disliked: not quite a dislike, but the plot points could be convoluted for new readers, who wouldn’t know about the terrigen bombs or the disease infecting the mutants because of it. Oh, and there’s a storyline involving Red Skull and Xavier that I didn’t like.

Will new/old readers like this? I think yes, if you’re reading for the characters. Newbies would have to look up some stuff on their own, or read previous comics, which I suppose can be a turn-off. Older fans of X-Men might enjoy this more than fans Avengers, maybe.

The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1: Worldwide by Dan Slott & Giuseppe Camuncoli

spiderman1Parker Industries is doing well (much better than Stark Industries, one might say) and Peter Parker is traveling all over with his “bodyguard” Spider-Man in tow. Lots of meh villains, including a group that calls themselves the Zodiac, and some awesome heroes show up. I really, really, really was hoping to fall in love with this series, but judging from this volume, it isn’t going to happen.

Things I liked: Peter’s tribute to the (now-defunct) Fantastic Four. Peter’s friendship with Johnny Storm. The fact that Peter finally gets to be the genius he’s always been.

Things I disliked: The villains and the running plotlines in this volume just failed to interest me.

Will new/old readers like this? The current Peter/Spider-Man may confuse newbies, especially if they’re only familiar with the film adaptations – there’s a lot of catching up to do. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t like it! As for older readers, maaaaybe fans of early Iron Man would enjoy this more than fans of early Spider-Man?

All-New All-Different Avengers Vol. 1: The Magnificent Seven by Mark Waid and Adam Kubert

avengers1Mark Waid! Kamala Khan! Sam Alexander! Miles Morales! This is a must-read for me, definitely. In fact, this is one of the two titles I’m currently subscribed to (I really can’t afford to subscribe to more than two titles, although sometimes I cave and buy random issues). In the post-Secret Wars world, there hasn’t been a functioning Avengers team (somehow nobody counted the Unity Squad?), until an alien threat surfaces, and a group of heroes had to work together to counter it. The new team: Captain America (Sam Wilson), Thor (Jane Foster), Vision, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Nova (Sam Alexander), and Miles Morales (Spider-Man). With three new super-young members, I wonder if the ex-Young Avengers are a little bitter. As far as this volume goes, I was a little indifferent to the adult members of the team (despite liking their characters, and solo comics), and found that it was the younger members that really drove the story.

Also, now that Tony had to sell off the Stark Tower, and can’t fund the team the way he used to, being an Avenger doesn’t have the same perks as before.

Things I liked: All the Nova/Ms. Marvel/Spider-Man bits, definitely. And the bits where they’re limited by their low budget. And Captain America/Thor revelations.

Things I disliked: I am obviously very, very biased, but I can’t think of anything.

Will new/old fans like this? It could go either way. Sometimes this title may seem to be more like a Ms. Marvel or Nova comic with a supporting cast of heroes than an Avengers comic, which I have absolutely zero complaints about, but I’m sure fans of the other heroes will be dissatisfied about. BUT I’ve a feeling that Waid will focus more on the other characters in due time, so it might be worth it to continue reading.

Guardians of the Galaxy: New Order Vol. 1: Emperor Quill by Brian Michael Bendis & Valerio Schiti

guardians1In this series, we find that Peter Quill is no longer with the Guardians, having taken on his new role as the emperor of the Spartax. Rocket Raccoon is the new leader (yay!) with Groot and Drax, plus Kitty Pryde (the new Star Lord!), Ben Grimm (The Thing), and Flash Thompson (Venom). Now, I LOVE Kitty Pryde – she was my absolute favourite X-Men – and everyone knows I adore Rocket, and I even liked the Peter Quill/Kitty Pryde romance awhile back, but. Somehow, this run doesn’t seem to entertain me as much as I thought it would.

Things I liked: Kitty Pryde. She is maybe even more awesome when in space, as much as she claims to hate space.

Things I disliked: I don’t know if it’s just me, but I found it hard to follow all plotlines – partly due to the fact that I haven’t read Guardians before, I’m sure, but also because I kept getting distracted, and despite liking all these people, this title doesn’t seem to make me care all that much about what happens to them.

Will new/old fans like this? Maybe not. Newbies may want to read older Guardians titles first, and older fans may prefer the older runs anyway.


Doctor Strange Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird by Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo

doctorstrange1I have to confess that Doctor Strange is one of the characters that I hardly ever read before this. I’ve never read his solo titles, and he so very rarely makes an appearance in the comics I do read, although he’s been appearing more often recently (thanks, upcoming movie?). So I didn’t have any idea what pre-Secret Wars Doc Strange was like. I did like him in the Secret Wars comics, and I liked what I’ve seen of Chris Bachalo’s art for this series, which were my main reasons for trying it. I’m so glad I did! This title starts with a (slightly confusing) bang: Stephen Strange finding himself fighting monsters while naked, and without any weapons or spell books. It’s okay, though, because he’s confused about the whole thing himself – and when he finally gets clued in as to why, we learn that everything mystical in the multiverse might be in great danger.

Things I liked: I have to say that I REALLY like Stephen Strange in this run. And the fact that the new character introduced is a librarian. And the art, oh so gorgeous in some parts. The majesticness of Doctor Strange’s cape. The fact that the main plot hinges on the price of magic, too. The sheer weirdness of his sanctum sanctorum. (WHY haven’t I read any Doctor Strange before this, again?)

Things I disliked: Can’t think of anything!

Will new/old fans like this? The writing catches you up without being clogged up with backstory, so it’s probably the perfect place to start reading Doctor Strange.


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