So, over the course of the blog, I have talked about my growing rediscovery of comics, which has been aided and fueled by the ease of access with mobile apps, and the fact that tablets seem like an almost perfect way to read a comic book. If you don’t believe me, check out a somewhat older comic that should be pretty cheap, like the two-comic Days of Future Past, and see what you think. And try out both the Guided View on and off.
I’ve mainly been reading Marvel Comics, and blogging on them, and excited for them. I had such a great backlog of things to catch up on, and there were combined volumes to grab – the digital equivalent of trade paperbacks, and often for better prices. But then I found some comics I like, and then I got caught up on them. And then it’s the waiting game, and the new comics price – new comics tending to run $3-$4 each, with a new slew of titles coming out every Wednesday. But for most titles, only once a month, so the waiting, anticipation, cliffhangers… it gets you continuing to buy the titles as they come out, month over month.
However, Marvel seems to be going through re-branding and re-booting their comics lines AGAIN, something I discussed before has already happened a couple of times in the last few years. I got back into comics just as this last batch of re-boots started, but now as it happens again, while it might be a great time for someone new to come onboard… is it the best for an ongoing reader? For instance, as I was finally finishing reading Dominic Deegan, I noticed a comment in the news at the bottom, about the author going through the transition from the Heroic Age to Marvel Now, and being disappointed with the re-boot and author-swap of his favorite titles. I was like, well, I like where it is now… and then it’s going somewhere else. So consider with me for a moment while I consider my comics reading moving forward!
One of my favorite discoveries of Marvel Now was Avengers by Jonathan Hickman. If you’ve been reading my comics reviews, you already know that! This title was fantastic, with its large, mythological framework, writing that purposefully calls you back to previous moments or phrases, but does so to highlight new or different understandings. It had a lot of characters and plot elements, and kept those moving forward, relevant. Even the joke about pie keeps coming up.
I also eventually figured out – once I was caught up and buying this title as it came out – that it started last January, and came out twice a month. I am not sure if they are keeping up that publication pattern still after the first year, but it’s part of how there is so much content for this title.
I say I’m not sure what they’ll do with publication on this title because they’ve spun-off another Jonathan Hickman Avengers title so that they can tell more plots about the characters and world. The comic is Avengers World, and while the title makes me feel some feels, it also seems like it’s one that is at the moment at least going to be a twice-monthly comic – meaning this team will have three+ comics coming out just by Hickman that I would need to be keeping up with. Good on the wait time, but bad on the wallet.
It’s all part of the All New Marvel Now rebrand, with Avengers 24 considered “All New Marvel Now #1.” At least they didn’t actually re-boot to #1, I guess? Or drop the plot mid-stream? There’s also hints at a new title, All New Avengers, in the style of All New X-Men, where they do a re-boot without doing a re-boot by bringing the original characters from the past to the present. Will this comic actually happen? I guess we’ll see!
One of the things I am realizing I actually really liked about finding Avengers a bit later, and starting it with two of the collected volumes, was that I had a lot at once to work through. Reading a number of comics in a row. And I think I’ve actually re-read this run maybe three times now? Meaning it is also taking time away from other comics I could be reading. I think my plan on these titles is to wait until there are collected volumes to read, or else until they are on Marvel Unlimited – which I am starting to notice may be about the same time. I enjoy his writing enough, will re-read them enough, that I will probably buy any of the Hickman titles then.
One I found earlier than Avengers, but made so much more sense once I did, was New Avengers. This title is also by Jonathan Hickman, and explores a much larger problem, in a much more intellectual and scientific way. Often, the battle sequences are implied or happen quickly, with the dialog carrying more of the weight.
And it’s the end of the universe, so they have bigger fish to fry. Oh, sorry, end of the universes.
Having dipped my toe into some of Jonathan Hickman’s other writings, especially the Manhattan Projects, I would say this is very much in keeping with how he writes, and thinks. It’s his sort of plot. I would be tempted to keep reading this one, to see where it goes, but they’re hinting that the two plots (Avengers and New Avengers) are finally going to crash into each other in such a way that the Illuminati of New Avengers can’t keep the secret anymore. So I’d want to read them all together.
More distressing, however, is the preview I am seeing for the next issue. By Rick Remender. Wait… that’s not Jonathan Hickman! Now, I’ve read some of Remender’s other work, such as Uncanny X-Force and the start to Uncanny Avengers (another title I’m waiting for in Marvel Unlimited now). And I liked his work. However, this felt like a plot that Hickman had going, felt like there was a plan – and I don’t want that lost. They used the capital word Apocalypse, however, and lately Remender has definitely been the Apocalypse guy, so he may be having a limited run in the series to deal with the actual character Apocalypse? Is this the purpose behind this possible double-meaning and writer change?
I don’t know. What I do know is, I can wait. Wait until I’m reading Avengers at the same time, and can work through the combining plots without cliffhangers. And can ride through whatever changes come about with a writer change. After all, with Hickman working on all of those other titles, does he have time to keep up with New Avengers? I hope the answer is yes. Time will tell.
Wolverine & The X-Men
Short comment on this one, I think. From the sounds of it, they’re ending this title. Likely to spin-off some new titles as part of All New Marvel Now, something that happened with Marvel Now, but which did not end the run on Wolverine & The X-Men. Until now.
This comic was great, and seemed like a great place to spin-off other comics from – Uncanny X-Men and All New X-Men spun out of the grounds of the Jean Grey School, as did the new X-Men female team. This seems like a title you could really just keep printing, introducing new characters, and going off to do new things with them. Alas, it is not to be.
So, as one of the last comics standing from when I returned to comics, I salute Wolverine & the X-Men. This comic stayed light-harded and hilarious throughout its run, and had some stealthy large plots hidden throughout – most notably, the return of Nightcrawler and Amazing X-Men…
I have to say I have not quite kept up with this one, but I think, given the plot they are starting with, I am going to at least see that through. I am planning on a review post at that point, which I think should be after issue 5, so in a few months. So I’ll report back on it.
I guess I didn’t mention above… I plan on finishing out the run on Wolverine & the X-Men, and we’ll see if Amazing X-Men stands as my replacement X-Men title. If so, one comic a month sounds much cheaper than all the titles I could be buying…
So what else to read?
The simple answer to the question of what else do I read? is non-Marvel comics! I have the starts of some other Jonathan Hickman titles, just waiting for me to check out over on the ComiXology app, instead of the Marvel app. Also, there was a sale on Doctor Who comics for the 50th Anniversary weekend, and I may have bought most everything on sale…
So I have comics to be discussing here on the blog, and reading for fun, for the months to come. Hopefully plenty to tide me over for the 6 months until things are on Marvel Unlimited, right?
Which is of course the other thing I have to read: older comics, on Unlimited. One goal would be to read all of Avengers vs. X-Men, and another is the Age of Ultron, which I think is all now on Unlimited. Plus there’s plenty more Jonathan Hickman there, Fantastic Four and FF especially.
It’s just a bit hard, though. Having to force a hiatus, when I don’t have to. The comics are out now, I just have to buy them and read them instead of writing this post. Right? But no, it’s time for a forced step away from this publisher, and let them have their re-boot. Let me read some other good comics, and come back when Marvel is back on even footing.