Comics Round Up: Make Mine Marvel

(Editor’s Note: A�Our last comic round up suffered from, as I once heard Stephen King explain it, “diarrhea of the typewriter (insert your preferred method of typing here).” A�Seeing as how I’m branching out, but still very much a Marvel zombie, I will try to keep this one brief by just giving “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”.)

Avengers

The Good: A�Mark Waid is a good writer. A�I really like his Champions book (more on that in a bit). A�But, he doesn’t quite fit this version of the HydrAvengers, in my opinion.

The Bad: A�This team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are actually some of the worst villains in the Marvel Universe. A�While that in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, I feel like the execution isn’t so great.

The Ugly: A�I simply can’t wrap my mind around these characters as Avengers. A�I know that we are living in a Cosmic Cube altered reality and that nothing should be comforting necessarily. A�However, while I’ve gone along with most books on this crazy ride, this is a bridge too far.

The Verdict: A�Having been reintroduced to Warren Ellis via Injection and Trees, I couldn’t help but be reminded of his run on Thunderbolts. A�He would be the perfect writer for this hodge podge of characters that make up the HydrAvengers. A�Maybe that would make it easier to swallow. A�I, for one, can’t wait until the Legacy reboot of this team.

Champions

The Good: A�Mark Waid is a great writer. A�The proof is in this book. A�Each character is written with a different personality that shines through in the storytelling. A�This is one of my favorite books right now.

The Bad: A�Two here, but not really anything to do with the book. A�1) A�While I’m glad that they included this book in the Secret Empire arc and that gave me a chance to discover it, I’m not sure that these characters fit exactly the way that they’re trying to make them fit. A�2) A�I wish that I had been on from the beginning because I really enjoy this book.

The Ugly: A�I’m pretty sure that this book is meant for teenagers. A�I’m not sure what it says about me that it is one of my favorite books and I’m 41. A�Actually, I know exactly what it says about me. A�Society, and my wife sometimes, might not approve, but I’m comfortable with who I am.

The Verdict: A�This is one heck of a book and one lone bright spot through the whole Secret Empire event. A�While other books have changed their focus, flirted with disaster, or both, this one has stayed true to the characters and their mission to mirror “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”. A�Heck, some of these characters have lost their damn minds in other books, but remained true in this one. A�Really, just a fun book and I can’t wait to see how things progress through Legacy.

Edge of Venomverse

The Good: A�This book and book 2 were very good. A�I liked the quirkiness of Gwenpool with the symbiote and the story of this one was fantastic. A�I haven’t read Old Man Logan yet, so this might have just grown naturally from that, but after the rather pedestrian nature of the first three books, I was surprised by the depth of this one.

The Bad: A�Book 1 and 3 were…not great. A�Book 1 wasn’t bad. A�It just felt very uneven. A�Book 3 was just not good overall. A�I didn’t enjoy the story. A�I suppose that by that pattern, book 5 is going to be meh. A�Given that it is Deadpool and I tire quickly of “old school” Deadpool, that’s a safe bet.

The Ugly: A�I’m usually a sucker for different art. A�Heck, I’ll buy anything drawn by Sam Kieth. A�However, the art for #3 was just horrible. A�Combined with the subpar story, I think that one just needs a do over.

The Verdict: A�An uneven series that seems to have different judgments from different people. A�The owner of my newly adopted (can’t say that in a few months) comic store, for instance, really liked book 1. A�She’s a fan of X23, though, so maybe that’s the reason why. A�I haven’t gotten into that book yet. A�Even so, I have high hopes for the actual series.

Hulk

The Good: A�Another excellent book, written by a writer who knows and has been able to define the character in this brave new world that Marvel has been trying to forge. A�It has dealt with issues of loss and PTSD in a very real and poignant manner.

The Bad: A�This isn’t your father’s Hulk. A�”Hulk Smash” is almost non existent. A�Instead, it’s become a “talkie”, similar to Batman. A�I’m not saying that’s bad, but if you’re coming for that action, wait until Legacy.

The Ugly: A�Wait, they’re bringing back Banner Hulk? (Spoiler Alert: A�They’ve already brought him back.) A�But, one of the major plot points of this series has been Jen’s reaction and attempts to deal with her cousin’s death. A�I know they’re resetting with Legacy, but, still I’ll miss that storyline.

The Verdict: A�I was not initially going to invest in this book. A�However, one week I was short on books and decided to pick this one up because I am a huge Hulk fan. A�I’m glad that I did because it has become one of my most anticipated books each month. A�I’m a little worried how it will endure post Legacy, but hopefully they can figure it out.

Generations

The Good: A�At this point, I’ve only read these two generations books, but they’ve both been decent to good. A�I was a bit surprised that I actually enjoyed the Phoenix book more than Hulk. A�Greg Pak is one of my favorite Hulk writers and the book was good, but I just felt like the Phoenix story was much more in depth and balanced.

The Bad: A�There was a bit too much “Hulk Smash” in the Hulk book. A�I know that’s what people want from our Jade Giant. A�However, I’ve always been more of a fan of the introspective Hulks and less is more when it comes to “Hulk Smash”. A�But, I’ll stick with the book until we get to the deeper stories.

The Ugly: A�Another weekly book that I have to read, Marvel? A�I mean, I don’t have to read it, but I will. A�I just won’t necessarily be happy about it. A�Except, I’m pretty sure I will. A�*sigh* A�Chris is right. A�I may have a problem.

The Verdict: A�Only two books in and I’m okay with the concept. A�I’m intrigued to see how this shapes future books and tries to tie everything together with the past. A�I like what DC has done with their Rebirth books and think that a true reboot can do good things for Marvel, too. A�These books serve to set the tone and so far the tone is positive.

Secret Empire Tie In Books

The Good: A�Both Captain America books have been great. A�I hadn’t heard of Spencer before this event, but I like what he’s been doing with the event. A�While I don’t agree with including Champions in the event, I’m glad they did because it’s a good book. A�Ultimates2 wasn’t even on my radar, but that has been an amazing book.

The Bad: A�I don’t like what Secret Empire has done to Amazing Spider-Man. A�I’m usually okay with different, but the last few ASM arcs I’ve read have just been blah. A�Bear in mind that I haven’t even been around for the latest clone wars, but I read the one where Uncle Ben came back and the one before that years ago. A�The other books like Underground and United have been mostly forgettable, though the Widow “red room” story was interesting. A�Avengers has suffered most from Secret Empire. A�Again, I get the reason to include the team to show how different this world is, but it hasn’t been a great experiment.

The Ugly: A�I went from mildly interested in the event, to promising myself that I’d only get the main books, to buying every stupid book with the Secret Empire/Captain Hydra banner on it. A�Damn it, Marvel. A�Congratulations. A�You hooked me.

The Verdict: A�As is to be expected, these books have been hit or miss. A�Most have been very good. A�Some have been disappointing, but I don’t regret buying the books that I did. A�Overall, they’ve added to my enjoyment of the event and I’m back on the wagon…or is it off the wagon?

Secret Empire

The Good: A�Nick Spencer has done a good job of telling this story and the art has mostly been just as good. A�As an aside, I’m glad that we are in the “hope” portion of the story. A�I couldn’t take much more “despair”.

The Bad: A�I didn’t like the art in a couple of the books. A�I just prefer the realistic art of Steve McNiven. A�The art of these books made me take a step back and try to absorb it before continuing. A�It just took me out of the story for a minute.

The Ugly: A�I almost quit reading the story altogether. A�One of those reason was that it was just getting too real. A�Especially with the recent events in Virginia, I couldn’t sit by idly as my escape from reality started to mirror that reality a bit too much. A�Ultimately, I kept going, but I was close to quitting there.

The Verdict: A�Overall, this event has been entertaining. A�I won’t say that it has been good, but it has kept me reading. A�There are a few times that I wanted to walk away for one reason or another, but I’ve keep reading and I’m glad that I did. A�Ultimately, at this point, I want to see how they write themselves out of this.

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