Which are readable, which are only going to survive because they have a big name at their title, and which are destined for cancellation
Some of these are based on my personal opinion (Uncanny Avengers); some on general consensus (Young Avengers). This isn't a complete list though, just the ones that come to mind:
Critical Acclaim - All-New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Avengers, New Avengers, Fantastic Four, FF, Indestructible Hulk, Thor God of Thunder, Young Avengers, Superior Spider-Man
Big Name Survival - Uncanny Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man
Sucky - Thunderbolts, Cable & X-Force
From what I'm currently reading:
Indestructible Hulk, Red She-Hulk, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy (only one issue in but it was brilliant), Superior Spider-Man
Avengers Assemble, Age of Ultron, Dark Avengers, FF
Thunderbolts, Alpha: Big Time, Cable and X-Force (dropped after the last issue)
@krspaceT: These are my thoughts on Marvel Now
1. Thor: God of Thunder: This is likely the best Marvel Now title. Jason Aaron is doing a good job with the scripting and has developed an excellent plot that occurs during three different time periods, yet are tied together nicely. It's not every month, heck it's not even every year, we get a new villain that is threatening, interesting and fresh. Gorr the god butcher delivers. Add Ribic's art and this is simply fantastic.
2. Future Foundation (FF): This book is a ton fun. Fraction is currently doing an outstanding job on everything he's working on. This has been a character driven series focusing in on these less prominent heroes. Yet it has a great plot, pitting these fresher heroes against Dr. Doom. It's a fun read and Fraction puts a smirk on your face here, just like with Hawkeye - he's really becoming a comedic writer.
3. Indestructible Hulk: Waid is one of the best in the business. It should come as no surprise this series is great. Add Yu's art and yeah this is excellent. Hulk working with SHIELD seems like an attempt to match comic medium with other Hulk exposure (the Hulk agent of SMASH tv showing coming soon) but Waid does it in away that feels natural focusing on Banners scientific background while delivering lots of Hulk smashing action at the same time.
4. New Avengers: A series that ought to have been titled Illuminati, this book is good. Hickman is doing a job good testing these characters limits as it seems the only way they can save their earth is to destroy another one. Pacing is decent but I find it can be droned down in dialog at times. Hickman writes an excellent Namor and I'm enjoying the direction he's taking Black Panther. I do wish there was some sense of continuity though. I feel that if Reed was truly missing in space/time and the other members had to deal with this threat, without Reed's brilliance it would be far more frightening. Additionally the scope of this threat makes Age of Ultron look minuscule.
5. Savage Wolverine: Frank Cho has really stepped up to the plate (and put many writers to shame) as he tackles the challenge of being a comic book writer. Doing this series lonesome (both writer and artist) he's showing a tone of skill. This series is a lot of fun. It's fresh in the sense that it combines elements of Lovecraft and comic book cheesecake. Neither typical for a Wolverine series.
6. Avengers Arena: Despite the fact that this series is heavily criticized (based on it's premise/marketing of killing kid heroes) the execution within each issue has been good with times of brilliance. Hopeless creates a bunch of new characters in this series and they are great, issue two - the introduction of Deathlocket in particular. The series slowed through issues 4 and 5 but issue 6 may have been the best issue yet. I'm looking forward to how things will progress from this point.
7. Superior Spider-Man: I'm somewhat unsure of where to rank this series. The thing is I find it to be very inconstant. There have been issues that I thought were amazing and there's been issues I have found to be boring. There have been issues where I've thought there was too much going on and issues where I've felt like not enough was happening. I'm looking forward to how Spider-Ock deals with Green Goblin. I really like how Slott is defining the Superior Spider-Man, by showing Ock's willingness to get the job done, by any means, he's showing how truly heroic Parker was.
8. Young Avengers: The series is only two issues in. Issue one was good, but issue two was simply the Wiccan/Hulkling show. If your into those characters it's definitely going to be on your pull list. But if you're more interested in Loki, Noh-Varr, Kate Bishop or Miss America you may have been disappointed. This series is meant to be humorous, a light hearted fun read. Don't take it seriously or you'll feel unfulfilled. I've got faith that Gillen will pick things up, and after reading his A+X Loki I'm excited to see plots unfold.
9. Fantastic Four: I really like this series. The premises of the F4 out of space/time exploring - holding true to the roots of the characters with a plot threat that doesn't involve an arch-nemesis is great place to launch a new run from. What took Synder and the Bat-office a half-year event to accomplish (creating a rift in the family) took Fraction a single issue. I love the pacing here, each issue being self-contained (a new world and that's it) with the overall plot of needing to find a cure.
10. Avengers: This book started higher up the list IMO, when Opena was on art. But the character focus issues (4, 5, and 6) weren't very good. I hate how Hickman tries to write all poetic and crap. Example - the Hyperion issue mentioning that there were two stars, and two stars, there were two stars, only two stars etc. Or the last issue - it's a white event, a white event? a white event. what's going on? a white event. white event. white eventttttt. It's literally said 8 times in a row for no point whatsoever. This title is dropping stock quickly.
11. Deadpool: I liked this series when it started. A fun Deadpool, lots of action slaughtering presidents with a good amount of jokes. However this arc is dragging on far too long and needs to end sooner rather than later. I honestly thought Killustrated was going to be the next arc, was a little disappointed when I found out it was a mini.
12. Uncanny X-Force: Only two issues into this series so this is a difficult one to judge. I wouldn't be surprised if many others had this ranked a little higher, it's just that I'm a big Spiral fan and a little ticked off at how she's been portrayed. I also find Humphries rehashing of Tarantino's lines in issue 1 to be pure garbage. However the art is awesome and this series could climb or fall depending on how the plot develops. There's really not enough to go on at this point. The art - fantastic colors - is what's keeping me in it.
13. Cable & X-Force: This title is clearly the inferior X-Force title out there. Sad to say, cause I'm a Domino fan but this series is just lacking. It seems like it's trying to move past the events of AvX while maintaining the relevance of the event at the same time. It lacks any sort of interesting threat thus far. And it's lacking on the characterization. The last issue really should have delivered more in the interactions between Cable and Hope / Domino and Colossus. Basically this is getting dropped as it's not worth the $3.99 tag.
14. Iron Man: I like Gillen's work and I'm not even a Land hater, but series isn't the best. I liked many aspects of the first arc, and the overall theme of the second one - Tony exploring space - but the execution is lackluster. An entire issue dedicated to Tony hitting on space chicks, so not worth it. I get the feeling that Land is having far more input than I (most of us) would enjoy. Or Gillen is being overly nice and scripting a lot of chicks for Land, either way it's not what we want to see.
15. Guardians of the Galaxy: This series has been my biggest gripe. And I think what's griping me the most about it is that people are actually saying this is good. There's only been one issue, so there's not too much to go on. But that first issue was junk. A total mis-characterization of Starlord, which made him all the less cool and all the more cliche. If you are new to Marvel and this is your first exposure to GotG do yourself a favor - go and read the works of Abnett and Lanning. (Get the trades of Annihilation, Annihilation Conquest, War of Kings, and Thanos Imperative and then you'll see exactly how awesome cosmic marvel can be)
16. X-Men Legacy: I'm disappointed to say that I dropped this series after 4 issues. I'm not exactly sure why, it wasn't all that bad. It just wasn't doing anything for me. I was hoping that it would dive deep into the character of Legion a lot quicker than it did. And I was super disappointed when yet another X-Men team showed up in this book (the one with Wolverine, Beast, Chamber, etc. chasing after him)
17. A+X: I'm not following every issue of this series but here and there you get gems that are worth picking up. Things that might spark your interest and thats the beauty of the series. The last issue for example, I loved what Gillen did with Mr. Sinister. That story was just awesome. But the first half of the issue, Iron Fist & Doop, wasn't anything special. Issues can be hit or miss. But getting fun self contained stories is somewhat of a rarity these days.
18. Uncanny X-Men: I read issue 1. I'm not a fan of focusing a series on the aftermath of AvX. I think that noise should be swept under the rug and never mentioned again. Things need to return to the status quo for the X-Men asap. I will be checking out issue 5 because Frazer Irving will be on art and it will be a Magik focused issue. Additionally Irving has mentioned doing another issue so I'll probably pick that up. But I'm not overly interested in this series.
19. Captain America: I dropped this after two issues. I heard things picked up and that this is actually a good series. But I just couldn't stomach JRJr's art. Combine that with the fact I've never found Cap to be an interesting character and this wasn't hard to let go of.
20. Wolverine: So a new Wolverine came out this past week, and regrettably I picked it up. This issue was naked Logan going berserk on a kid with an alien space gun (apologizes for the spoilers, but I think I'm doing you a favor). Basically this came across as an issue wreaked with the piss that was the 90's. It's only one issue so things could get better but Frank Cho is doing such an excellent job with Savage Wolverine I'm just gonna get that one.
21. Uncanny Avengers: I read the first two issues. IMO this series suffered from the same problems Uncanny X-Men has, lingering effects of AvX. But then with a 8 week hiatus between issues I dropped it right away. That sort of inconsistency doesn't keep fans, no matter how good story/art are. Can't say I miss it either as the Avenger flagship books seem to be Avengers and New Avengers, leaving Uncanny on the backburner.
22. Age of Ultron: I'm not a fan. If you were like me, and thought that a plot driven event mini series wouldn't need filler issues, well then like me you were wrong. Issue 2 gave us nothing. I just find the whole thing to be utterly disrespectful to the marvel fans. Being too ignorant, lazy or inconsiderate to make the necessary changes to insure some form of continuity is present here is just despicable. The fiasco that is Parker/Ock and who is in this series is frustrating. The fact that we're told it's Parker in AoU but Ock in the Superior tie ins is the inconsiderateness I'm referring too. Jacking the prices up on tie-ins is just infuriating. Moving F4 from $2.99 to $3.99 for a tie-in just disgusting. Furthermore the scope of this event is being completely overshadowed by Hickman's Avengers/New Avengers. I mean Ultron takes over the planet, big deal, one planet is so minuscule when the Avengers are dealing with universes collapsing.
I cannot comment on any other Marvel Now titles as I have not read them. Other Marvel titles I'm enjoying include Hawkeye, X-Factor, Dare Devil and Gambit. I don't suspect any of the titles I've mentioned are in danger of being cancelled. A book needs to be selling less than 20,000 and the Marvel titles from last month (Feb2013) under that mark are Captain Marvel, Dark Avengers, and Red She-Hulk. However, when the initial hype dies off it's a given sales will decline on almost all titles. Only time can really tell which series survive.
Again that is the question.
So, how long until the first new title will be cancelled?
Marvel is apparently more stringy with DC about the cut off point. I'm of the understanding they cut titles with 20,000 or less sales. As of March, you have non Marvel NOW and canceled titles Age of Apocalpyse, X-Treme X-men, First X-Men and Captain Marvel down there, with Red She Hulk down there and Morbius just a few hundred above it. If they are doing a wave two, does that mean they are cutting titles?
For me the best of the best: New Avengers, Thor: God of Thunder, FF, Deadpool,
The stuff that I've found readable to pretty good: Young Avengers, All-New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men,
Stuff I dropped, but don't necessarily hate: Uncanny Avengers, Thunderbolts, Superior Spider-Man.
Disappointments that will only survive because of branding: Avengers.
Stuff I haven't read, but want to read: Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Force, Morbius: The Living Vampire, Nova, Fearless Defenders.
Things I would never read: Avengers Arena, A+X.
My top three awesome titles list.
- Thor: god of thunder. Every issue has me at the edge of my seat!
- Guardians of the Galaxy. It's just starting out but the awesome story and great writing have placed it firmly in second place.
- Deadpool. The funny dialogue and interesting story has earned number three in my list. It's a nice break from the more serious comics on my pull-list.
My dropped list.
- Age of Ultron. This one just really didn't hold my interest. Nothing seemed to be happening and it ended up confusing the heck out of me in the end, earning it a well-deserved first place.
- Captain America. I'm a big fan of cap's but I didn't really like this one. I really liked the idea of taking cap out of his element and into a sci-fi world, but the art was sketchy and the story was just uninspired.
- Avengers. This one I debated dropping for awhile before actually doing it, it's not a bad title it's just mediocre, and I'd rather not pay 3.99 every month for a comic that I could go without knowing, or caring, about what happens next.
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