What’s Next for Marvel?

It was announced earlier this week that Marvel would be doing a line wide relaunch starting in May. While Legacy just launched late Fall, the poor reviews and even poorer sales have driven Marvel to freshen things up. While little is known about it currently, I will discuss what we do know and what I hope comes out of the event. So first off things will start with Avengers #1/691. Marvel has bounced around between legacy numbering and new numbering, so now we have the best of both worlds. I am a fan of the idea. It will clearly mark what issue it is in the current series, while still pointing out the overall legacy of the title itself.

All Star Writer Jason Aaron will team up with Ed Mcguinness to bring the flagship Avengers book. The book will split time between the current Avengers roster (Captain America (Steve), Iron Man (Tony), Odinson, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Black Panther, Captain Marvel, She Hulk, and Doctor Strange (in what is called a rotating spot). There are things to like and dislike about this team. First off, getting Marvel’s big three back together ahead of Infinity War. The downside is that they feel the need to incorporate the newest Ghost Rider. I guess they want to draw as many parallels between the current roster and Avengers BC which they will be splitting time covering. For anyone who missed it, Avengers BC is the first team up. With the Phoenix Entity, Odin, a brute with the Starbrand (which is telling, as it looks like the current Hulk will be getting it), an early Black Panther, and an early Ghost Rider. While I am all for getting the original gang back together, I am concerned about the recent efforts to include newer characters. The likes of Ironheart, appear to be missing, which is unfortunate. Only time will tell who all the core characters are and where the others may be going.

One thing I do like about the new initiative is that this will be the only Avengers book. Gone are the days of Avengers, Mighty, New, Secret, All New, etc. I believe it will help stream line the audience into one book and drive excellent demand for it, rather than split it up among a half a dozen teams. This should also help with event fatigue. As there will, hopefully, be less of a desire to do multi series crossovers. Something that has become a nuisance for modern comic readers. I am curious to see if this will impact the current X-mean line. As they currently have Weapon X, Blue, Gold, and Red. I expect not, as multiple X titles have been a staple since the 90’s.

This now brings us to upcoming projects. It had previously been announced that Dan Slott would take over the Iron Man title, and it would be expected that Aaron may step back from his long Thor run. I am expecting that these will be apart of it. That was part of what made Marvel Now so exciting back in 2012. It featured long time creators going to different books. Bendis went from Avengers to X-Men, Aaron to Thor, etc. I am curious to see what all they have planned. Though contrary to this Ta-Neihisi Coates will continue his Black Panther run, just with a change of direction and a new number.

Marvel’s new status quo will be quite the different one, and they will have to restructure having lost some of their key creators. Brian Michael Bendis, Jeff Lemire, John Romita Jr, Tom King, and several others have all signed exclusives with other companies and they will no longer be able to use their immense talents. That said, they have recruited what I believe to be the next generation of lead writers. Matthew Rosenberg and Donny Cates have recently gone full time with Marvel. And they join Charles Soule, Jason Aaron, Al Ewing, Dan Slott, Mark Waid an many more. I am excited to see books in new creators hands and at the idea of having Marvel books on the shelf that people can enjoy (and that I can sell).

Now for my personal wish list. This is in no way me trying to predict what will happen, just my personal wants. I don’t read much Marvel, but the concepts listed below would definitely peak my interest. First thing first. Restore the X-Men. I want Cyclops back, I want Madrox back, I want them all back. I like the idea of keeping the color coded teams. I just want a few tweaks to them. Give Cyclops Blue, Wolverine Gold, and Jean can keep Red. While my personal ship will always be Scott and Jean together, but if it means a happy (and well represented Scott, I can accept him and Emma). Next on my bucket list would be a Doom title. He has made enemies of Marvels underworld as of late, and I would like a book where he tries to regain street cred as a villain, in light of his more recent super heroics. Seeing Hank Pym somewhere and not fused with Ultron or being represented like a maniac would also be a welcome sight for me. Finally, I’d love a new Defenders team. In the wake of Bendis’ departure, I would love to see a drastically different team. I would like to see Moon Knight, Daredevil, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, and Cloak and Dagger.

Long winded rant, but that’s what I do. What would you like to see from the new Marvel? What do you think of the changes and what would you like to see?


Ravingnerd Reviews: Captain America the Winter Soldier

Naturally I wasn’t finding myself super exciting for the upcoming Captain America film. The first one was good, but in the scope of the Marvel cinematic universe I generally consider it to be on the weaker end of the spectrum. I find one of the biggest complaints that people who are unfamiliar with Captain America is that they claim he isn’t relevant outside of his Nazi fighting escapades. One of the biggest challenges this film had to face was to prove his relevance in our world. Additionally this film had to introduce the Falcon and promised to show case not only Cap but Black Widow as well.

While there was a lot going on in this film, I think the cast was the most compelling. All the long standing characters did an excellent job at further developing their characters. Both Fury and Widow especially got a lot of extra help thanks to strong performances by Sam and Scarlet. I think what drove this film thought was the great turns by both Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford. Both of their performances were stellar and not only drove much of the plot forward, but also in the case of Mackie helped to establish and update a long standing Marvel character. 

In addition to the stellar performances, the movie was home to some of the best action sequences I have ever seen in a film. Period. This movie was strikingly visual and the fights didn’t leave much to the imagination. They were fast paced and energetic. The movie was constantly exciting, and the extremely energetic action sequences made up for it’s predictable plot. Yes, much of the plot was predictable, but that is to be expected. Anyone who has some passive knowledge of comic books will be able to understand the big Winter Solider twist. That being said, the plot is involving and does keep you on the end of your seat. Lastly this film benefits from having loose subject material to base itself on. Many of my complaints with comic book films is that they play it loose with the subject material. This film however nails the parts it needs to while allowing everything else to fall into place organically.

All in all this is one of the best films in the Marvel universe. It’s catching, gripping, and entertaining. The films shortfalls are few and superfluous in comparison to the scope of the film. This movie did everything it needed to do and more. By a landslide.

My final ranking of the film is an 8/10. This film was solid and should easily fit within the top 5 Marvel films. I highly recommend this film to any one who enjoys comic books and anyone who finds themselves invested in the ongoing plot line of the Marvel movie universe.

My favorite moment of the film was probably Anthony Mackie’s performance. They did a stellar job at updating and introducing the character to the Marvel Universe and the friendship he developed with Cap was one of the nicer touches to the film.

My least favorite moment of the film was when everyone gasped when they revealed that Bucky was the Winter Solider. Read a book.

Until the next time,


Ravingnerd Reviews: Avengers #2

If you can recall I was quite pleased and surprised with the first issue of Hickman’s Avengers, I however also predicted a sharp decline in the book’s progress and enjoy-ability as the title rolled on. It was only upon reading it that I could determine if I was right or not. Here is what I liked about the issue.

1. There are quite a few humorous moments, most notably during the recruitment of Wolverine and Spider-Man.
2. Sunspot and Cannonball sign on just because it was Cap. That says a lot about the character, and his importance to the Marvel U. It is refreshing to see it play out.
3. The art is quite dazzeling. I found myself drawn into most of this issue just based on shear art. Opena scores big again.

Rating before reading: 7
Rating after reading: 6 (and a generous one at that)

While this issue is being praised for it’s “inventive use of time”, it felt more like a waste of time to me. Most of the comic is either origin from the bad guys (a whole three pages of which we read in the last issue, word for word, panel for panel. I checked). Much of the recruitment seems unnecessary. Where did the Avengers go? Perhaps I don’t quite understand the dynamics of the team, but I wasn’t aware the Avengers had officially disbanded. I had thought they were off doing their own thing at the moment. Cap and Tony shouldn’t need a recruitment drive to pick up the likes of Spider-Man, Wolverine, and others. They should already be members. Though it added humor, it tried to make it seem as if the Avengers had been away. And it certainly doesn’t feel like that. At least not to me. My other problem was the lack of explanation for some of the characters. Who the hell is Captain Universe, Hyperion, Smasher, or Manifold? I know I’m not the most in touch with the Marvel Universe, but I certainly have no idea who the hell these people are (other than Hyperion is just Superman). I will not complain about continuity, as I already have. This Spider-Man in this issue was Peter. Go to Newsarama and read their take on Marvel NOW continuity. I am not going to criticize it hear, it’s much too early for me to do that.

So While there was still a spark of life in this book, my predictions for this series are proving true so far. Anyone else have any thoughts?

Until the next time,


Ravingnerd Reviews: Uncanny Avengers #1

The time is NOW! Marvel NOW! is finally upon us, and we’ll get at least one new issue a week for the foreseeable future. Uncanny Avengers is supposed to be the new status quo team of the Marvel Universe, being the leading member of MN!’s trinity (Hickman’s Avengers, and Bendis’ X-Men make up the other two). In concept, this would work well. The team of Remender, Hickman, and Bendis have enough credibility to write a universe alone, but combined, it they’d be a force to be reckoned with. Well, at least they should have…. Here’s what I did like:

1. When Xavier appears in the flashback sequences, all I hear is Patrick Stewart. Which is a very good thing.
2. We get a teaser for All-New X-Men.
3. Havok is important now.

Rating before reading: 6
Rating after reading: 5

I have to admit I was anticipating this title, I was worried about its quality would blow me away, and I’d struggle to add it to my pull list. What we got was a comic not worthy of most people’s pull list, and this is for a variety of reasons.

1. Everyone makes a huge deal out of Xavier’s death. While I’m sure in continuity it’s quite traumatic, the reality is he’s been AFK for so long that few readers could really care. I honestly thought he was dead until they killed him off. Also, these are comic books. No one stays dead (Xavier sure didn’t). Especially given the publicity Human Torch got upon his death, and he was back in action not 6 months later. It’s hard for me to believe in a story, that we as readers know will not be worth it in a years time. Though I guess this lends itself to the “NOW” part. Marvel isn’t concerned with later. They are only trying to carry on some sense of momentum AvX got them.

2. It doesn’t end there. Scott’s being blamed as the bad guy on almost all sides, when in reality shouldn’t the Phoenix be to blame? Granted I didn’t read AvX, but I sure as hell followed along. I didn’t get the same reaction to Scott everyone in the Marvel Universe did.

3. Everyone whines. Havok doesn’t want to be leader. Rogue’s being dramatic, and Scarlett Witch is being overzealous. The only people who I can’t find fault with were Cap and Thor, and that might be because they didn’t add any personality to the story whatsoever.

Ultimately Uncanny Avengers starts off to a very rocky start. The ideas are there, and the art is fabulous, but the concept and the execution still need work. This team feels more like Avengers + 1 rather than a mix of both teams. Multiple X-Men have not been Avengers, and they overlooked almost all of them. This sudden interest in Alex Summers was refreshing for a fan such as myself, but very out-of-place within the story. Uncanny Avengers failed to deliver the wow that it needed too to impress me into believing Marvel NOW! was a good idea. This leaves MN! with 3 more chances to sway me. However I have to imagine Marvel’s fleet will have a hard time with its flagship barely managing to float.

Until the next time, the future is NOW!


Divided We Fall: Chapter Four

Divided We Fall continued this week, and what a week it was.

The Ultimates is clearly the place to be for the plot line, as the others have yet to really tie in to make an actual series. This being said, the quality of the Ultimates is enough to make the event bearable. So here we go, Ultimates #14.

The issue focuses on the reformed Ultimates attempting to take out the Nuclear armed Texas. The Ultimates seem to have new-found faith in themselves with the return of Captain America. While the team makes quick work of Texas, and forces them to join them into the union, this seemed to be the goal of the dual eyed villain, who was busy making plans else where.

Another hint as to who the villain might have been was leaked, as the gold the Texans were using as money was marked with Loki’s symbol. This appeared on the dual eyed man’s gloves. Could Loki be alive after all, haunting the Ultimate Universe again? Only time will tell.

On to crisis watch, while Texas was disarmed a new nation on the Pacific coast and Wyoming have established themselves as threats, this amidst a scandal to replace the acting president. All of this has been masterminded by our dual eyed mystery man. The crisis will continue next week with X-Men, how will Kitty Pryde’s story play into the power of this west coast nation, and where will Spider-Man fit into this event?

Stay tuned for more Divided We Fall coverage.

Until the next time, watch out for dual eyed men.


Ravingnerd Reviews: AvX Round 1

Enough time has passed, where I fell comfortable (and have the income enough) to pick up back issues of this series every week (should I choose too). I purchased but did not review issue #0 as I felt it was rather unneccessary. But with this weeks fourth printing of AvX #1, I was able to snag the last copy at my shop and give it a try. I don’t intend this to be a collector’s item, otherwise picking up a 4th printing would never happen. Anyway, without further ado (and though months late) may I present what I liked about Round 1.
1. Nova got his butt kicked. And since I dislike him, that part rocked.
2. We got to see cameo appearances of many lesser important X-Men. Many of whom are my favorite Marvel characters.
3. Captain America did his thing, which is be a leader. And in doing so, made me question one of my favorite characters (Cyclops).
4. Cyclops shot first.

Rating before reading: 4

Rating after reading: 6

It was a solid “good”. It was nothing better than that, but it is an attention grabber. It makes you want to pick up the next issue, which is what a first issue is supposed to do right? While there are many problems with the issue, most notably the lack of great writing or dialogue. This issue is setting up for smashing. Thus the dialogue can’t be all that great, and I am sure in the future it won’t be all that great either.

Well, I hope you enjoyed it.

Until the next time, live long and prosper.


Memorial Day Super Post!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I hope you all celebrated it in the best way possible! As many of you may know by now, I love lists. And on this day, I will list the seven best soldiers in comics (you don’t get that reference, do you?)! Think this sounds boring? You’re probably right, but I invite you to enjoy! It’s probably the most themed activity you will have done all day!

7. The Punisher. I will say this. Frank Castle is a great soldier. The only problem is whom he attacks. Which is just about anybody in the Marvel Universe. And on occasions, the DCU as well. While he is perhaps the most proficient soldier, he is certainly the most immoral of those on my list.

6. Al Pratt. While commonly known as the Golden Age Atom, this man was a soldier first. Pratt turned is small stature from a disadvantage into a costumed identity. Al become one of the most famous heroes in the DCU, but this status was only born from his status as a soldier.

5. Bucky Barnes. Perhaps one of the greatest soldiers in comics. He falls here on the list because he died young. Well died and then became a Communist Super Soldier. And that’s the thing. This is Memorial Day. It celebrates American heroes, not Communists. AMERICA!

4. Sgt. Rock. One of America’s most enduring soldiers. The Rock has been in print since the 40’s, and has served in virtually every war in the 20th and 21st centuries. Rock is a tough as nails soldier, who cares for his men as only a dedicated leader could. That does not stop him from being the most decorated soldier in the armed forces. Who some how doesn’t age.

3. Diana Prince. Certainly the most beautiful of all of the soldiers in comics. Diana is the very symbol of modern day America. An empowered, but attractive female that can be just as capable as her male counterparts. Unfortunately, this is also often her downfall. For those who don’t read comic books, Diana often gets lost in an insatiable bloodlust. Good soldiers don’t enjoy slaughtering dozens of nazi’s at a time with a magical sword.

2. Bruce Wayne. Yes, it’s a stretch, as he isn’t an actual soldier, but he has dedicated his life to fighting what he sees as evil, and has undergone much training to do so. Bruce Wayne turned himself into a crusader against all odds. So while he is the only person on the list who was never at one point an enlisted man/woman, he certainly deserves the high place on the list he has.

1. Captain America. Come on. I mean come on. Did you think anybody else would be here? He is a cultural icon in both the real world and the fictional Marvel Universe. He is a soldier. That is his thing. The powerful characterization about Cap is that he doesn’t attempt to fight his instincts as a soldier. He instead uses it as a moral bearing and standard for the entire Marvel Universe.