You know me. New Comic Book Day is my favorite day of the week, as I’m sure it is for many of you. This week however is different. It’s f*****g MASSIVE. I just used the word monster in the headline because it’s a fun word and you know, it’s halloween season yo, but it really is a monster of a week.
Check it: Invincible Iron Man #1, Jughead #1, Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang’s Paper Girls #1, Dr Strange #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1, Batman and Robin Eternal #1, Avengers #0, All New All Different Point One, hell even Grumpy Cat is getting a #1. And that’s just the first issues! There’s a whole mountain of other issues coming out that are vying for your attention, and more importantly your wallet.
Despite the start of the All-New All-Different Marvel Universe (and you know I loves me some Marvel Universe), what’s had me excited is the indies. The preview for BKV and Chiang’s Paper Girls looked great so that was the first thing I read, followed by Plutonia #2 and Chip Zdarsky/Erica Henderson’s Jughead #1 because there is not anything about that I don’t like the sound of.
Marvel’s offering was next, and you know what? I was pleasantly surprised! Don’t get me wrong I was sure I would enjoy the ANAD books but I wasn’t expecting to get to the end of every book and want more. Invincible Iron Man #1 had a hell of a last page reveal which totally came out of left field.
Iron Man was one of the first Marvel books I ever read as a kid so it’ll always have a special place in my heart. Saying that, this is the first Iron Man issue that I’ve truly enjoyed in years. YEARS. Matt Fraction’s stuff was good and had some great moments (Most Wanted a highlight, plus that story-line where Tony did a back up of his brain?), but everything since then I’ve not enjoyed. For all his popularity on the big screen I just feel like, similar to the Hulk, he’s one of the hardest characters to get right. Bendis however seems to have hit the ground running with this first issue.
Bendis is certainly divisive, especially his dialogue and I can see that, but still I have to say I’m a fan. Ultimate Spider-Man? Great. I have all the over-sized hardcovers on my shelf. Alias? Awesome. Still one of my go-to books to recommend to non comic book readers. His Avengers work? Loved the Breakout arc of New Avengers and yes his run went on a bit too long, was way too street level for you know AVENGERS and what the hell was with all the storylines involving The Hood?? Dude was basic. All that aside though his run got me back into Marvel in a major way.
There is one issue I have with Iron Man however. WHAT THE HELL THE DUDE WAS PRACTICALLY A VILLAIN. He was all ‘Superior’, holding San Francisco hostage practically with his addictive technology, and OH YEAH he blew up planets and wiped Captain America’s mind and was flat out called the downfall of humanity and oh my DOOM so many other things that, I dunno…I’m not sure I can get over. And the same goes for the rest of that Illuminati. What they did in the name of saving the world, what they were forced to do, was unforgivable. The characters kind of crossed lines that they can’t really come back from, and I know they could just claim that time was erased or the actions undone or even that those were alternate versions of the characters because you know what? Now we know those characters will go there if pushed. We know for a fact now that Captain America keeps his moral compass straight and true no matter what happens. We pretty much always knew that. The others though? Mr Fantastic will blow you up as soon as look at you. Granted he’ll wring his hands and debate about how they’re all monsters and that ‘Everything Dies’ (Oh does it? Does it really Reed because you don’t mention it EVERY ISSUE), but he’ll still choose to save himself.
Ok, I’m being harsh. Thanks to them Doom had enough time to enact his master-plan or whatever (I forget) and if they’d listened to Captain America then the whole 616 would have most probably been destroyed, but still. I believe in what Captain America believes: there is always another way. Maybe not in the real world but certainly in comic books.
Anyway I digress. ANAD Marvel is set 8 months after Secret Wars which hasn’t even ended yet so who knows what’s going to happen. And as I say, despite my issues with the Hickmanning of some of Marvel’s elite*, I really enjoyed issue 1 of Iron Man. It was a great and a return to form and genuinely does feel like a brand new beginning for the character. I loved reading that Bendis wanted to give Stark a real, actual rogue’s gallery and a rich cast of supporting characters too. Can’t wait.
I had a real love/hate relationship with the ANAD point one/Avengers #0 double act. On the one hand they’re nothing more than glorified adverts really and expensive ones at that. Like the point ones that came before, these two issues are short previews or prequel chapters of upcoming issues. On the other hand damn if they didn’t do exactly what they set out to do: they made me want to read books that I previously had little to no interest in. Contest of Champions, Ultimates and especially New Avengers all came out really well I thought, and I’m definitely looking forward to picking up the first issues of those series. Same goes for Uncanny Avengers and Daredevil. I was pretty much going to pick those up anyway, but they both had great hooks and I know for a fact I’m going to be a lot more broke over the next few months.
I dunno you guys; maybe it’s because I’ve felt so cold throughout Secret Wars that I’m practically begging for anything that makes me excited to read Marvel again but as of right now I’m excited for All New Marvel. Throw in the fact that the other issue ones of this week (Spider-Man, Dr Strange) were stellar too and the future looks bright.
In other news I’m still working my way slowly through the new IDW Transformers books. By new I mean More Than Meets the Eye (MTMTE) and Robots in Disguise (RiD) that started back in 2012. I genuinely feel that these books are the Breaking Bad of comic books. If you discover how awesome they are you tell EVERYBODY about them. Seriously, the amount of people that said these books are amazing I just couldn’t resist diving in. And I’m not a Transformers fan at all. I had some of the toys when I was a kid and, like anybody my age, loved the cartoon, but before I read these I didn’t know my Grimlocks from my Overlords, my Hot Rods from my Arcee’s.
Enter Chris Sims. Foremost Batmanologist, Comics Alliance contributor and War Rocket Ajax host Sims started writing a series of articles that chronicled his journey through the same issues I was looking at reading and more than that – he’s not a fan either, making them an indispensable resource for anyone looking to pick up these books.
And guys: you really should. At the risk of sounding like those annoying Breaking Bad fans (like me) that insist on telling you how good it is, MTMTE and RiD are extremely good. They’re not just great books about giant talking robots, but they’re stunning, character driven sci-fi sagas that just so happen to star giant talking robots. I’m up to volume 4 of both books and I’m hooked. There are characters I love, characters I hate and I’m feeling real-life human emotions. These books truly are more than meets the eye…. I’m sorry.
Keep it awesome you guys,
*I know I’m bitching, but I actually really enjoyed Hickman’s Avengers. Honest.