Marvel NOW Anticipation

So I'll be honest, I was out of the loop on comics for a while. As a kid I read a issue or two regularly as my Dad would take me to 7-11 every Friday for a comic book or two, a slurpee and a small bag of fritos. As I got older these trips diminished and my experiences with comic books was a rare one. When I got to High School I began to buy "Graphic Novels" or Trade collections at the local bookstores in my area (remember those?). So come Fall 2011, I had went for another college semester having returned from a summer vacation that included my first ever trip to SDCC. DC was spouting all this stuff about a relaunch of the continuity. With some help of my friend and general interest of my own I decided to get into comics. I saw it as a ripe opportunity for me to get into DC as well as to get back into Marvel. As that kid in 7-11 with my bag of fritos I almost exclusively grabbed a Marvel comic. Sure there was the occasional Batman comic, but the Dark Knight was way out numbered by the legions of Spider-man, Venom, Wolverine, X-men, and Ghost Rider comics that caught my eye. Batman was the only character I ever really liked from DC. He had a awesome animated series (still awesome BTW) and had all the good movies. Superman always seemed lame to me and I hardly knew who people like Green Lantern were at the time. As an adult, and presented with a opportunity of the entire continuity being reset I jumped at the chance to start reading DC. Tons of DC fans, who were fans long before I was even a child were pissed that everything they invested time into "never happened". Hell I would be too if it were me in their shoes. But for me as a guy who never really cared to read anything but a sparse few batman stories, it was perfect. Now this upcoming fall, Marvel has announced a similar idea. Relaunch a good portion of their titles with new number ones, EXCEPT they keep the continuity in place. This makes the books not only accessible for a newer audience that perhaps saw Avengers over the summer and wants to jump into comics, but also keeps the fans that have been reading for a while happy. To me this is a great way to do a relaunch. I'm sure this has been done before, but I only got back into this world last year so I wouldn't know if they've done this before or not.

So now I'd like to spend some time in this post detailing the Marvel NOW books I'm excited for, as well as touch on some series that are unfortunately ending.

Uncanny Avengers is the first series I wanted to talk about and probably one of the bigger titles. Rick Remender has become one of my favorite writers as of late. Writing Venom, which I love, as well as Uncanny X-force, which I am only recently getting into. He also wrote the script for the game Dead Space, which is awesome. When I heard he was going to be doing a Avengers book I was on board ( yes I know he did Secret Avengers, but I never got to reading that so shush). This is far more than an Avengers book however, as it also is filled with quite a few members of the X-men as well. With Uncanny X-men, and the more Rogue-centric X-men Legacy ending as well I do need my X-men fix. Also when I got back into comics I wanted to read some Avengers books, except Bendis was attached to all of them and while I don't hate the guy, I tend to avoid Bendis if I can. Uncanny Avengers seems to be the perfect place for both. It will also be interesting to see how the Marvel comics world is post AvX, which I'm not reading...BUT STILL.

Avengers and New Avengers are the core Avengers books that I did want to check out back in the fall, but decided to skip due to the writer. I don't hate Bendis, He can write good conversations, and in the Ultimate Universe he is free to change things up and make Spider-woman a clone of Peter if he wants, but in 616 I think he does a bit too much stuff that pisses people off. From what I've heard his run on Avengers has been hit or miss. I am curious to maybe try out these series, however the fact I'm sure they will both be 4 dollars may have me skip them. I guess it really all depends on rosters. John Hickman is writing and he is great for the most part. I am loving his run on Fantastic Four and FF. I am interested but time will tell if I decide to get these or not.

Iron Man is a hero I've come to love mainly because of the movies. I have been wanting to read something with him in it for a while now, but I was intimidated due to the amount on continuity his current series had. Plus from reviews I was reading it wasn't even Tony in the suit. Tony was still involved in the comic, but he wasn't the "hero". Honestly if I am going to read a book called "Iron Man" I want to read about Tony Stark. To me Tony and Iron Man are one in the same. Its like Clark Kent and Superman. Sure someone else can put the armor on, but they aren't Tony. Doesn't give the same feeling for me. I am interested to try out his new series as I have been a fan of Gillen's run on Uncanny X-men. Although the not so stellar art of Greg Land may prevent me from keeping this book.

Deadpool is another character that I didn't really come to know until the mid 2000's. When he hit the mainstream you had to be living under a rock or at least not pay attention to anything comic related to not at least have seen him before. He has since become Marvel's character who is known for being crazy, funny and fourth wall breaking (She-Hulk started that however and knows where Deadpool lives..). I wanted to check out his book but it is currently nearing issue 50. I was already collecting back issues on Venom and FF, so I decided to hold off on any other long running series. Deadpool is a book that given the Marvel NOW relaunch, I may take a peek at. I'm not sure if the Merc with the Mouth will secure a spot on my pull list, but if I do drop it I'm sure he will let me hear about it in a strongly worded grenade.

Fantastic Four and FF are both getting new teams and starting over numbers wise. However FF is no longer about the Future Foundation school, but rather a team of heroes hand picked by each member of the F4, to serve as backup for when they are in space or otherwise unreachable. While this premise is cool, I have to say I am a bit disappointed there will be no more adventures with Val, Franklin, DragonMan, the moloids, etc. I know they will be in Fantastic Four now, but they will be surely outshined by their parents and uncles. The roster for FF is decent. I like Antman and have always been a She-hulk fan. Medusa I never cared much for and Miss Thing.. where do I began? I know she is being added for the fun factor and all that, but she just seems so...silly. I know I am being a bit harsh of a character I have yet to experience, but she is really silly. I probably won't pick up FF beyond possibly trying out the first issue. Fantastic Four on the other hand I am excited to get and see what Matt Fraction has in store for the first family.

Red She Hulk is taking over for her father in Red Hulk. I have become a fan of Red Shulkie as of late. I am curious to see what they do with giving her a ongoing series. I do wish they would have given her a new name however. I guess if the word Hulk is in the title of your book it sells better due to brand recognition and all that (why Lyra's series was called Savage She Hulk). I am excited for the series none the less and will be reading.

Avengers Assemble, a Avengers series that was made for fans of the movie to jump onto. I never picked it up for one reason or the other. From what I read of reviews Bendis really screwed with continuity to make it work. I am a bit apprehensive to add this to my pull list, however the team doing the book as of Marvel NOW interests me. Kelly Sue DeConnick has been writing the recent Captain Marvel book, which I love. Now that she's been put on board this book she can maybe save it. I could even see her adding Captain Marvel to the team, which would be cool. Again this isn't a pull list addition right away, but I will be checking it out when its released.

And now for Cancellations. Its always sad to see something go, but I believe it is necessary to make room for new things. I certainly wouldn't be able to afford all of these new books if not for the trade off of loosing a few that I already buy.

Uncanny X-men is ending. I am not that sad to see it go. I was actually thinking about dropping it quite a few times as the Greg Land art didn't work well for me and Gillen had some stories that were bland. This however is the series that got me into Hope Summers as a character and gave me my fix of the heavy hitters of the X-men like Magneto, Cyclops and Emma Frost, so I will give it that. I am almost positive we will have another "big" X-men book come December. Remember we still don't know what that Cyclops on the Marvel NOW poster is from.

X-men Legacy is not being canceled all together but reimagined. Many complained the title, while about a Team of X-men was mainly centered on the leader Rogue. As a Rogue fan, I didn't mind this at all, but I can see how others more interested in seeing other characters would be annoyed at all the focus on Sugah. I am sad to see this title go, but I get my fix of Rogue in Uncanny Avengers so I am not too upset about it. The new title focuses on Legion, who I honestly don't care about so I will be skipping it.

Defenders was a weird series. It had a awesome team of Dr. Strange, Namor, Silver Surfer, Iron Fist, and Red She-hulk. Almost always had at least cover art by the Dodsons (who I love), but the story was always kind of wonky. It isn't until the past few issues that I found myself really enjoying it. It is a shame we will see no more of this series. I still am baffled by the random statements at the bottom of each page though. Sometimes they'd be advertisements and other times it seemed they were vague clues to what happens next in the book, while other time it just seemed like nonsense. I can almost bet that was one reason alot of people stopped reading it. Its a shame to see it go so quickly, but I'm sure these characters will show up again.

Fantastic Four and FF I already talked about. Both of these series had great runs. Fantastic Four stretching to 611 issues. I know many people are upset they are resetting the numbers after making such a big deal about the 600th issue (which was great BTW). I honestly wouldn't be surprised however if they start another long running series Amazing Spider-man over after issue 700. Its upsetting to see it go back to 1, but the characters and great stories aren't going anywhere.

Last but not least is Avengers Academy. I've had a love-hate relationship with this series since I picked it up at issue 23. Clearly I picked it up because X-23 was being added to the team. Marvel basically threw her in there because her own series ended and people like me still wanted to see her in something. Frankly I think it would have been better to put her in Wolverine and the X-men, but what do I know? From issue 23 the series was really slow for me. I often read through it and thought it was mediocre at best. My friend kept telling me to drop it if I didn't like it but I held on to it because it was the only place to see Laura AKA X-23. So come the Avengers vs X-men event, the series starts to pick up. X-23 is more than a girl in the background and actually becomes a part of the story. The final story arch is pretty good so far and I am a bit sad to see the series end, but also glad as it is one less thing I have to buy. My biggest concern with the series ending is where all these characters will go. I hope they don't go into the void of forgotten characters. I'd love to see them appear in other books. Hopefully X-23 joins an X-men book.

So that's my look at the Books beginning and ending with Marvel NOW. I am excited to see what else comes with the relaunch. I am sure there are still quite a few series that have yet to be revealed. New York Comic Con or the December Solicitations will tell us more. When either of those happen I will update this post to reflect any other books that catch my eye or are sadly leaving my pull list. Until then.