Tag Archives: Captain America

Marvel Comics June 2024

Introduction

I took the Blood Hunt tie in issues out of the pile. Not really caring all that much about the main title, that gives me no reason to read the tie ins. Without them, Marvel Comics June 2024 is only 5 other titles. And, yet, I still fell behind and released this article two days late. Oh well, better late than never.

Amazing Spider-Man #50 (Legacy 944)

Note: I’m only going to review the main story. The additional stories are a fun diversion, so maybe I’ll put them in their own article.

Writer: Zeb Wells, Artist: Ed McGuinness. Well, we made it 50 issues with Wells as writer. About a month ago, I became so disgusted with this title that I stopped reading it. Then, I picked it up again last month. The current story still feels dumb. A living (now walking) brain? Okay, fine, whatever. But, he brought back the goblin in this issue and the fight between the two old enemies makes up for the other stuff for now. Plus, we get McGuinness on the title for an issue. That’s always welcome. My verdict: Decent

Captain America 9 (Legacy 759)

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski, Artist: Jesus Saiz. JMS drops Cap and us in a Chilean desert where he encounters a lost penguin. This leads to a substory about the nature of what normal is and how we react to those that are different from us. Yeah, he gets a bit philosophical on this one. In the course of bringing the penguin back to the shore, he rescues one of his allies. An interesting issue, if not terribly unique. My verdict: Decent.

Fantastic Four 20 (Legacy 713)

Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Carlos Gomez. Johnny and Ben get fired (pun fully intended) from their job at the brewery. They take another job at a grocery store. They also get let go from that one. Too much publicity for the store. Oh, and monsters are attacking outside, so they are needed by the FF. Sounds like a boring story, but North makes it fun as usual. Not as much fun as some during his run, but that’s okay. My verdict: Good.

The Immortal Thor #11 (Legacy 772)

Writer: Al Ewing, Artist: Valentina Pinti. Ewing takes some swings with this title since taking over. Some miss, but most hit. And, honestly, the missed become hits eventually because he makes them pay off. Honestly, I’m just glad that we’re out of the Jason Aaron Thor days. I like Aaron, but I didn’t like his Thor. This issue is more standard Thor and it mostly works for what it is. Just the usual team up with his siblings to solve a problem. My verdict: Good.

Sensational She-Hulk 8 (Legacy 186)

Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Artist: Andres Genolet. I can’t say enough good things about this title. It’s got everything. Action. Humor. Love. Betrayal. Cake. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. Rainbow Rowell gets this character on a deep level and writes the title with love and respect. If you aren’t reading She-Hulk right now, can you even call yourself a comic book fan? My verdict: Great.

The Verdict

None of the titles from Marvel Comics June 2024 outright annoy or offend me, so that’s a step in the right direction. I may come back to Blood Hunt eventually, but I seriously doubt it. Vampires aren’t my thing. Zombies are my thing. But, even I can admit that they’ve been overdone over the last decade or so. Give the vamps their day in the sun. Not literally, of course.

Head on over to the mothership for all your Marvel comic needs.

Marvel Comics April 2024

Introduction

As mentioned in the previous DC review article, Marvel Comics April 2024 comes a week later than anticipated. Technically, it comes 5 days later, but you get the point. I also wrote in that article that I started to feel too generous with these reviews. While I recovered from that then, I feel a bit like this article will reinforce that idea. You’ll see what I mean when we get right into the reviews. And, I thought I might have more to say, but instead, let’s do this thing.

Decent

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Art: Daniel Earls

I just texted Chris, “The art on the new Hulk series is so bad.” I said something stronger, but no reason to repeat the curse here. He agreed. I think that my instinct is pretty strong overall, but I like to get his opinion as well to make sure that I’m not missing something. Turns out I’m not. The title continues with the horror theme set by Al Ewing and does a decent job of emulating that. With even passable art, I’d push this into the “Good” section and it might even flirt with great. It’s just that the art is so bad that it drags the title down. Stop doing Hulk so dirty, Marvel.

Good

Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Artist: Christopher Allen
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski, Art: Carlos Magno

Apparently, this issue ends Eve Ewing’s run on the title. I don’t see the title in the coming solicitations, either. It struggled a little bit with me through the 10 issues, but overall I enjoyed it and will miss it during this hiatus. Can’t wait to see who they get to write it next. Similarly, this run with JMS on Cap took a bit to get going. But, this issue floored me. It reminded me of everything I enjoyed about his Spider-Man. Still not as good as my favorite Cap writers, but he’ll get there.

Great

Fantastic Four 18

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Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Carlos Gomez

Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, and Doctor Strange all make regular appearances here. Avengers also often appears here. So, I will concentrate on the newbies. I have no idea what’s happened to Guardians of the Galaxy. Maybe I fucked up my DCBS order. Nope, a quick Google machine search shows that they’re done again. Fudge. Oh well, Al Ewing back on Venom gives me the warm and fuzzies. Speaking of Al, his run on Thor is finally starting to ramp up and I think it’s going to be a blast. Stay tuned.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics April 2024 brings an impressive line up of titles and stories. While not all awesome, I said several times that it’s a magical thing when the title matches the author so well. I don’t know if both publishers are using AI or what, but they’ve both figured out how to make that work in a big way. As I’ve been saying, it’s a great time to be a comic fan right now.

March 2024 Marvel Comics

Introduction

Missed another deadline in March. Unsure why this happens every year around this time. I heard that trauma can resurface as a memory even if you can’t remember the event or events. I mean, that’s as likely as anything. Then again, maybe it’s just hangover from winter hibernation. Either way, March 2024 Marvel Comics comes two days late.

I skipped a couple of books again this month. Two, you know. I want to get the entire run of “Gang War” since I accidentally skipped a month in DCBS. Likewise, I’m so far behind in X-Men I don’t think I’ll ever catch up. Finally, Dr. Strange #12 didn’t fit with #13 and Venom #31 paired with Carnage #5 (which I didn’t order) for a two part story.

Decent

Black Panther 9

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Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Art: Chris Allen and Mack Chater

Black Panther fell off a bit this month. I can’t explain why. But it just didn’t hit as well as it had been. As I read, I noticed that Punisher isn’t a legacy numbered title. I know that it’s a “new Punisher”, but that still surprised me. Also, I forgot how wordy J. Michael can be, probably from his time on television and movies. His Cap hits all the right notes, but lacks the edge of some of my other favorite Cap writers.

Great

Avengers 10 and 11

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Writer: Jed McKay with various artists

Avengers 10 ended the previous story with a bang. The only reason I moved them to good is because 11 followed up a little stale. Doctor Strange assembles the Secret Defenders (an odd ball group, but necessary) to battle a role playing game that actually draws from the occult. Fun story so far. Everything I said about Hulk last month holds this month, especially the art. Goodness, Marvel, take better care of my boys Spidey and Hulk. I saw Al Ewing came back for an issue of Venom. I think they did it to give Gronbekk time to focus on the Venom/Carnage crossover. Ewing writes a decent story, but nothing on the level of his actual run. Speaking of Ewing, his Thor is starting to take shape and I think will soon get up to great.

Great

Writer: Ryan North, Art: Carlos Gomez
Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Art: Andres Genolet

Last month, no She-Hulk. This month two issues and no Guardians. Not sure if it’s Marvel shipping schedule, DCBS, or my screw up. Oh well, There’s not much more that I can say about She-Hulk at this point. They just found the perfect writer for the character and I enjoy everything about the title. Fantastic Four leads with a shocking discovery and crafts a great narrative around that discovery. Also, just a fun title right now.

The Verdict

Unlike DC and Spawn/TMNT, March 2024 Marvel Comics takes a bit of a step back. None of them are bad, but most of them are just solid stories with good art. I suppose we could have worse problems in our comics reading lives. Until next time, Zombies, Excelsior!

Images taken from the mothership.

February 2024 Marvel Comics

Introduction

The end of the week got busy. We went to the Botanical Garden with Mom and then I drove her back to the train station. We spent yesterday painting the front room and dining room. And, so, in true 2 Generations Gaming fashion, February 2024 Marvel Comics article comes two days too late. Such is life. I also have no plans for the coming week as far as articles, so the page might go slightly dormant. I do have notes finally for the next episode of Noob’s Book Club, so maybe I will take this week to get back in the habit with that and the YouTube page.

Incomplete (Spider-Man Gang War)

Previously in these articles, I said I was out on Spider-Man until Wells stopped writing it. Seriously, I hated his stories that much. But, I heard good things about Gang War. I was willing to give it a chance, but my hiatus from DCBS ordering put a 3 issue hole in the run, so it will have to wait until I can make it down to That’s Entertainment or order from Midtown.

Decent (Cap and Punisher)

I want to enjoy J. Michael Stracynski’s Captain America. I loved his Spider-Man. So far, though, I want more from this Captain America story. I liked the start of it, but the set up is now going on too long. He writes so much. I think I’m just getting more impatient in old age. Speaking of old age, it hasn’t been kind to my opinion of The Punisher.

Good (Some bordering on great, others hurt by their art)

The Immortal Thor 6

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Writer: Al Ewing, Artist Martin Coccolo

The Avengers is one of the titles that oscillates between good and great. This one sets up for a new story, which looks like it might be great, but we have to wait to see. I never got into the previous Black Panther story, but I like what Ewing has done with the character and story. This one might push up into great soon. I loved Al Ewing on Immortal Hulk and I think this one might eventually get there, too. For now, I will just say that I liked the vibe of this issue and hope it continues. Speaking of Al Ewing, they are trying to keep the horror theme of his Hulk. PKJ isn’t quite on his level. And, the art is just not great. Gronbekk is making me enjoy Venom again. She writes the title with some joy and that is infectious.

Great (Where’s She Hulk?!)

Writer: Ryan North with various artists
Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Artist: Kev Walker

Without She-Hulk for some reason this month, only these two stand up as outstanding stories right now. Fantastic Four just brings that old school flavor from the beginnings of the title. Fun, fresh, and (dare I say it) fantastic! It looks like they want to capture a similar theme for the movie, so now I can’t wait to see that. The Grootfall story took some time to grow on me, but overall Guardians of the Galaxy also reminds me of the family that I know and love.

The Verdict

The February 2024 Marvel Comics line up, overall, was enjoyable. I want to read Spider-Man, because I miss the friendly neighborhood wall crawler. I also still need to catch up on X-Men so I can start reviewing that one. Then again, I read something like a dozen books, so do I really need more right now? In any case, see you in March!

Marvel Comics October 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Last month saw Amazing Spider-Man rise from the depths to enter “Decent” territory. Spoiler alert: No chance of that happening in Marvel Comics October 2023 or ever again, I think, as long as Zeb Wells writes this title. I can’t take the extreme step that Chris did and remove this from my pull list.

Two Reasons. 1. I discovered a couple of months ago that I own a third of all of the Amazing Spider-Man issues ever printed. B. I worked to put together an uninterrupted run back to at least issue 800. I need to look at my inventory spreadsheet because I went to a couple of stores an a flea market to fill in more issues.

Returning Category: Can We Don’t?

Amazing Spider-Man: (Writer: Does it even matter at this point?, Artist: Patrick Gleason and Ed McGuinnes). I gave Wells a chance. You can’t say that I didn’t. I lasted longer than I ever thought possible with this mess of a title. I intend to keep collecting, but I will not read another Spider-Man story until Wells name is not associated with it. I blacked out during the mention of Paul in 35 and then threw 36 in disgust when I saw Rek-rap. I’m out. My verdict: How dare you?

Decent

Incredible Hulk 6 (Legacy 786, Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Artist: Travel Foreman). I wrote Chris about a variant upcoming by one of our favorite artists. He said, “Oh, thank God.” then mentioned how bad the art looked this time. Yikes. I like the story, but this one gets demoted because of that art and also the story is too gory for me. I don’t want my Hulk with a blood lust.

Venom 26 (Legacy 226, Writer: Torunn Grønbekk, Artist: Julius Ohta): Torunn Grønbekk is finding her voice in Venom, but it’s still a bit inconsistent. To be fair, I think it might be just where this hero is right now. Ewing tried to clean up the mess left by Cates and did an admirable job. But, there’s just too much happening there right now. I like what I see and have faith. It will take time.

Good

Black Panther 8 (Legacy 217, Writer: Eve Ewing, Artist: Mack Chater): It took me a while to figure out this book. He, like I say, sometimes it just isn’t for you. But I stayed with it because I saw something there. This issue starts to pay off that patience. I enjoyed this issue and I can see this one bumping up to “Great” in the near future.

Captain America (Legacy 752, Writer: J. Michael Straczynski, Artist: Jesus Saiz): I make no secret that, other than Spencer, I think JMS wrote the best Spider-Man of the last 20 years. He gives us a Cap/Spidey team up that soothes the soul from the main title disaster right now. If he keeps this up, he might join Spencer and Brubaker in the Captain America pantheon, too.

Doctor Strange 8 (Legacy 434, Writer: Jed McKay, Pasqual Ferry): I struggled with this one for a bit. I went back and forth between “Good” and “Great”. The title kind of oscillates between those two itself right now. I just couldn’t quite push it to the great this time around. Besides that category is a bit busy right now.

Great

Sensational She-Hulk 1 (Legacy 179)

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Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Artist: Andres Genolet

We finally get the pay off in the Avegners to the Planet Eaters or whatever. Each of the Avengers uses their unique strengths to finally best their particular villain. And, now Viz gets a featured story in the next issue (arc?) What more can I ask for?

I can’t believe how closely this title resembles all the great things from the old Lee/Kirby run of Fantastic Four. Ryan North absolutely understood the assignment and continues to deliver fun stories. This time we get the FF (and a prominent villain) as dinosaurs. I mean, come on, if you can’t find fun in that, you have no soul.

We got a payoff for Grootfall in the last issue. Now, we are all Groot. I loved GotG since their introduction in the mid 90s. I think I like this story better even than anything James Gunn did with his movies. They just know these characters and treat this whole thing with such tenderness and, dare I say, love that I want them to write this comic forever.

What can I say about Thor? Al Ewing brings his magic to another title and gives me a reason to enjoy this book again. I forgot he was writing it and missed the first two issues. I’ll fill them in on my next Midtown order. I want this to be a full run like his Immortal Hulk.

I’ve run out of compliments for Rainbow Rowell’s She-Hulk. It is the most fun I have reading comics right now. If you’re not reading this book, you’re doing life all wrong right now.

The Verdict

I’m so mad that comics will probably die in the next few months. Hey, Chris and I have a track record. We need to say this every few months or it might actually happen. Seriously, both companies figured out how to make books fun and entertaining. Marvel Comics October 2023 (other than ASM) gave me so much joy that I don’t even care that much that Amazing Spider-Man is quite possibly the worst it’s ever been.

Marvel Comics September 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

How have we made it two weeks into Spooktober and I am just now writing about Marvel Comics September 2023? Well, I got sick a couple of weeks ago. I had to take Tuesday off and spent the whole day in bed. Then, I tried to go in on Wednesday, but only made it two classes until I came home and spent the rest of that day on the couch, too.

I started to feel more like myself last Tuesday. However, last week was homecoming week. So, every day, we practiced lip sync. Then, on Friday, I marched in a parade and watched the football game. Saturday, I chaperoned the dance. Sunday and yesterday, I rested some more. So, overall, the illness and homecoming kept me busy enough to neglect 2 Generations Gaming.

Decent

Amazing Spider-Man #33 and #34 (Writer: Zeb Wells, Artist: Patrick Gleason) Rekrap finally did Chris in. He texted the other day to say that he can’t take it anymore. I said last month that I need to keep collecting, but nothing means that I need to keep reading. Well, I read these two issues. And, like last month, I like this story. And, following from last month, I want to put these in the good category, but I reserve judgement because just when things gain steam, something dumb happens.

Good

Dr. Strange 7

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Writer: Jed MacKay, Artist: Pasqual Ferry

Strange flirted with “Great” a few months ago. It lost some of its focus after the wedding issue, in my opinion. This issue finishes up the 5000 year war and brings us back to the main story. The end sets up a possible showdown between Strange and his evil doppleganger.

I liked J. Michael’s run on Spider-Man during and after Civil War. Seeing his name attached to Captain America made me happy beyond words. I texted Chris about it. He said he never liked any of the Captain America books. I enjoyed some of them. So far, this one is early, but I like what I read.

Panther took some time to get going, but I really enjoyed this issue. I’m not ready to put it into “Great” territory right now. But, if this keeps up, I might need to consider it. They finally explain key parts of the story and the action ramps up.

Since the “Just Another Avengers #1” issue, MacKay developed this story quite well over the last few issues. This one brings out the heart of the Avengers through their fight against the villains and a reveal about the entity behind them.

Great

Guardians of the Galaxy 6

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Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzig, Guest Artist: Alex Lins

Fantastic Four continues a run of fun one or two shots in the style of the original title. Granted, I only read a few of those early books. But, I know the basic structure of the story. This one gives off all the goofy vibes and suspense that you can ask for.

Al Ewing ends his time on Venom with a bang. Doom vs. Venom becomes a battle through time and space. I will miss Ewing’s take on the Lethal Protector, but I’m excited to see what he brings to Thor now. Maybe after that, he can come to Spidey and resurrect whatever is left.

Guardians of the Galaxy finally gives some insight into Grootfall. It also teases that the Guardians are dead at the end of the book. Call me old fashioned, but it still hooks me to start a story with the death of your main characters. Can’t wait to see where this goes.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics September 2023 bring some light with the Spidey getting reinvigorated with some old friends. Most of the other books follow a similar pattern as previous months. A few are on the cusp of being great. I feel a bit like a shill here, but what can I say? The books are in a good place right now and I hope they continue.

Images from the mothership.

Marvel Comics January 2021: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

When we last left Marvel Comics, I said only good things about them. None of the books ended up in the “Decent” section. I think at the time I attributed it to being in the Christmas spirit. I’m starting to think that there might be more to this story. What does that mean? Simply that I noticed an extension of that pattern into Marvel Comics January 2021.

That trail of bread crumbs doesn’t exactly take Sherlock to follow.

Just in case I didn’t make it obvious enough, I enjoyed Marvel Comics January 2021 greatly. I might have been in the Christmas spirit, because they weren’t as much fun as last month. Still, I don’t have a single book in the “Decent” section. Then again, the explanation might be more logical, to borrow a phrase from our old friend, Mr. Holmes.

I can’t say that this is true for Marvel Comics overall. However, this month I only received 7 books. That’s, I think, about half of the books I normally receive. So, it appears as if Marvel Comics might have reduced the number of books they are producing. As is often the result, that improves the quality of the books. Let’s see what makes Marvel Comics January 2021 so good.

The Great

Amazing Spider-Man 54 (Nick Spencer and Mark Bagley): As with most of the books from last year, ASM oscillated up and down. This story, however, has been mostly great. I think there might have been one issue that I felt lagged. Other than that, I’ve enjoyed this entire story. Now that we know the big bad is Harry, I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Avengers 39 (Jason Aaron and Dale Keown): Similar to Spider-Man, Avengers turned the corner during the Moon Knight story. Unlike Spider-Man, I wouldn’t call it as consistently great. Even so, I enjoyed the Moon Knight story and I can’t wait to see what they do with Phoenix.

Immortal Hulk 41 (Al Ewing and Joe Bennett): Of course, you all know I rate Immortal Hulk as probably the best Marvel book to come along in at least 5 years. Without doing research, that’s the best estimate I can make. Honestly, I’m having trouble naming another book I’ve enjoyed more. I will miss this book when it’s gone at the end of the year. At least I have the whole run and can reread it again and again.

Thor 10 (Donny Cates and Nic Klein): I kept collecting Thor mostly out of habit. Like Wonder Woman and Aquaman, I enjoyed the movie representation of the character and hoped for some of the same from the book. While not the exact same, I still liked the stories for the most part. I’m glad I didn’t give this book up. This Donald Blake story is insane and great and I don’t want it to ever end.

The Good

Captain America 26 (Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leonard Kirk): When I saw the cover, I exclaimed, “Red Hulk!” Then, I read the book. Red Hulk only appears in the last four pages of the book. Also, I was reminded that Red Hulk is General Thunderbolt Ross. Overall a weaker issue than some of the more recent ones, but still a fun story and ending.

Fantastic Four 27 (Dan Slott and RB Silva): I don’t think any title has disappointed me more than Fantastic Four. Maybe, disappointed is not the word. Frustrated. No title has frustrated me more than Fantastic Four. I want to like it because Dan Slott is writing. I do like it because Dan Slott is writing. I just don’t like it as much as I should. It’s weird.

Venom 31 (Donny Cates and Iban Coello): I can say for certain that no title disappointed me more than Venom over the last few months. Venom Beyond had such promise and it just fell flat. King in Black quickly felt like a pet project that went sideways too quickly. I liked this issue, but in a text conversation with Chris, he thinks that the main King in Black title is moving too slowly. Oh well, I’m sure he will bring it back around.

The Decent

None. Still in that Christmas spirit, I guess.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics January 2021 are still very good. Maybe not as good as I remember last months books being. But, still, when compared to the mess that is DC right now with the Bendis Superman experiment falling extremely short and the constant shuffling and reshuffling of creative teams, Marvel has all their ducks nicely in a row. Excelsior, True Believers and make mine Marvel.

Marvel Comics December 2020: Great, Good Decent

Introduction

I’ve given December the theme of a “Year of Gaming”. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to recap the last year in mobile, PC, and console. It’s actually the first year that I’ve been able to dabble in gaming in all three. But, first, it’s comics weeks. I already did Spawn. Now, it’s time for Marvel Comics December 2020.

I could kill two birds with one stone if I had been able to snag a PS5 before the arbitrageurs got them.

Marvel seems to have avoided the revolving door of creative teams that has plagued DC and, to an extent, Spawn. Granted, they haven’t gone unscathed. However, the only major disruption that I’ve noticed is that Black Panther has gone on hiatus. I think that many of you might disagree that is a major disruption, but I enjoyed the book. Coates has done a good job with Panther and Cap.

Even with T’Challa momentarily on the sidelines, there are plenty of good books coming from Marvel Comics December 2020. I’m still finalizing my rankings, but so far, I’m tempted to put more books in the great category than I think I ever have, especially for Marvel. Sure, there was the post Covid euphoria that lasted a couple of months. Perhaps this is just me being filled with the Christmas spirit. Whatever the reason, join me as I try to justify my glee.

The Great

Amazing Spider-Man 52 and 53 (Nick Spencer, Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Gleason, Frederico Vicentini): First of all, forget what I said about the rotation of creative teams at Marvel. Apparently, it is just not as noticeable for some reason. Secondly, I’m missing parts of this story because they’ve done the “dot” issues (.LR for this) on Spider-Man again. I need to visit my LCS to pick up the missing issues. And, I will. Because this story has been awesome. I’m not usually one for “dark” Spider-Man stories, but Nick Spencer seems to have returned to the dark after a hiatus due to the abuse he suffered for Secret Empire. Completely unwarranted in my opinion. That’s neither here nor there. The bottom line is that Spider-Man is awesome right now.

Avengers 38 (Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness): “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” have quite possibly been Marvel’s most inconsistent team title this year. I can’t remember if I’ve pushed them into the great section before this month, but they have been trending that way for some time now. I loved the Moon Knight story and they payoff in this issue is worth it. Keep it going.

Immortal Hulk 40 (Al Ewing and Joe Bennett): I’ve sandbagged my review on this title for far too long. You could rightfully say, “Okay, it’s great. But, why?” Since it’s close to Christmas, I’ll oblige. Though the horror aspect of the comic has been toned down, the story has still been strong. Familiar faces from the past are popping up all over the place. They are affecting the story big time. The Immortal Hulk is both comfortable and surprising in a way that few stories do.

X-Men 14 and 15 (Jonathon Hickman, Leniel Francis Yu, Mahmud Asrar): Chris hyped this title for so long and then I got to sit down and finally read it and was a bit disappointed in the Empyre tie in. I know that I am missing big chunks of the story here because it is a true crossover. However, what I’ve seen of X of Swords has been fantastic. I might need to either pick up the trades (or to make Chris happy, fill in the missing issues). I’m one to roll my eyes at all of the events, but recently they’ve been exactly what books need to focus them and keep them on track.

The Good

Captain America 25 (Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leonard Kirk): It’s a mini anniversary issue! I suppose there are benefits to the every 5 year (or so) reboot. Like Hulk, Coates has old favorites returning to affect the story in quite positive ways. This book has been trending up with the most recent Daughters of Liberty/Red Skull story and I have given it the “pushing great” note.

Fantastic Four 26 (Dan Slott and RB Silva): This story was a bit of a mess at the beginning. Slott pulled it together after about the 5th or 6th page and it all went smoothly from there. Unlike X-Men, Empyre fit perfectly with this book and things got a bit sideways after that. Looks like from the teaser on the last page that big things are coming, so I have high hopes going forward.

Thor 9 (Donny Cates and Nic Klein): I’ve been down on Thor and Venom the last few months. Chris and I were texting and it just feels like Cates may have been taking on too much similar to Tynion with Batman and Justice League Dark. Well, if this issue is any indication, that fear was unfounded. All I have to say about this issue is “Wow.” Thor wakes up as Donald Blake to Hell on Earth. This one got the “pushing great” label, too.

Venom 30 (Donny Cates and Luke Ross): Venom Beyond did not live up to my expectations at all. It just felt like a mess and that they were filling space until the next event. This issue confirms that. This issue was good. I’m not sure about King in Black. However, as with other books, it looks like the event is focusing the book and driving it to be better. I will end up picking up the books at my LCS when I go to get the .LR issues of Spidey.

The Decent

There are no Marvel Comics December 2020 that are neither great nor good. Merry Christmas, Marvel!

The Verdict

I enjoyed Marvel Comics December 2020 very much. It might just be the Christmas spirit as I mentioned. However, I stand by my assessment that the books are good this month. For what it’s worth, I will say that I hope this continues into the new year. Please, please, don’t tell me that it is just the Christmas spirit from everyone at Marvel that made these books good this month. Marvel, make mine quality.

Great, Good, Decent: Marvel November 2020

Introduction

I’m a bit late with Marvel November 2020 reviews. I meant to have all of the comics reviews done last week, but the end of the week got away from me. I know that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Deadlines are often ignored during the school year. Alas, I do have a plan to try to get back on track. We’ll see if it comes to fruition.

This feels more true than ever this year.

If I’m able to stick to the plan, it’s going to be busy on the page this week. It’s the middle of the NFL season. Hearthstone has a new set releasing and they’re also beta testing a new game mode. MTGA is releasing Kaladesh Remastered. Thankfully, if I want to do a Commander Legends review, it releases next week. I’m exhausted just thinking about this other stuff.

Before we get on to the Marvel November 2020 reviews, a short note. As I was reading Amazing Spider-Man 50, I noticed that they have these ridiculous .LR issues in the arc. Therefore, I’m saving Amazing Spider-Man 51 for until I’ve been able to go to the store to pick up the supporting issues. *sigh* Why are they always doing my boy Spidey with these “dot” issues. Oh well, on to the reviews.

The Great

Immortal Hulk #38 and 39 (Al Ewing and Joe Bennett): I’ve said it before and I will say it again. This is the most consistently entertaining Marvel Comics title in the last decade, possibly longer. I loved the original vision of the title as a horror book. It has since introduced The Leader. This has precipitated a slight shift in the focus. It is still horror, but it is more focused on psychological horror. I will never forgive Marvel for killing this title in 6 or so months. Okay, that’s not entirely true, but I will be salty for a while after the final issue.

Maestro 3 (Peter David and German Peralta): Hulk is having quite his day in the sun. In addition to being in the best title and She Hulk having guest spots in Avengers and Fantastic Four, Peter David came back to write another Maestro story for us all. This issue was a bit slow until the final panel reveal. All I will say is that Maestro is going to the dogs.

X-Men 13 (Johnathon Hickman and Mahmud Asrar): Okay, this must have been what Chris was talking about when he said that this title was very good. I wasn’t too impressed with the last few issues, especially the weird Kree/Skrull tie in. Also, it looks like the X of Swords story is a crossover and I am missing context by not reading all of the issues. But, Apocalypse is back in this issue and I’m excited for what that means going forward.

The Good

Amazing Spider-Man #50 (Nick Spencer and Patrick Gleason): After 850, I was excited for this arc. I should have known better than to have expected great. Spencer often takes some time to set up his stories. That’s where this issue is. It’s a fine set up with one hell of a reveal at the end. I’m also salty because of the .LR issues. Why? Just why?

Avengers 36 and 37 (Jason Aaron and Javi Garron): Chris and I were texting earlier and he said something about having dropped Justice League from his pull list. I replied that they need to read Avengers to see how to properly write an ensemble book. What’s weird is that when Venditti took over from Snyder, I listed that as one of his strengths. I just think Covid has run amok on some of these titles. Neither here nor there, the Moon Knight arc has been fantastic and this book is bordering on great.

Captain America 24 (Ta-Nehisi Coates and Daniel Acuna): I can’t think of a better writer to wrestle with the implications and aftermath of Captain America as a Nazi than Coates. Like Avengers, this books has flirted with greatness during his tenure. In this issue, Sharon Carter is back and so is the Red Skull. Bring it on.

Fantastic Four #24 and 25 (Dan Slott et al): I didn’t like Empyre as much as I thought I would. The aftermath has been fun, though. Thing and his girlfriend (wife?) adopted the two alien babies, leading to some hilarious interludes. I wouldn’t put it in the same tier as Avengers or Captain America, but it is definitely trending up recently.

Venom 29 (Donny Cates and Luke Ross): Like Hulk, I enjoyed the reimagining of this title as a horror book. This most recent arc has gotten away from that in favor of a future sci-fi vibe. In my opinion, it hasn’t been as successful. Supposedly something big is coming next issue and there’s some event starting, then. Sorry, Eddie, I already spent a stupid amount on Future State. I’ll catch you in the TPB.

The Decent

Thor 7 (Donny Cates and Aaron Kuder): Overall, I haven’t enjoyed the Thor titles since Legacy. I enjoyed the Odinson to All-Father story of the previous series. In my opinion, this one has struggled to find a proper footing. The Galactus story was fine. I stated in the last review that this arc would most likely just be a filler between the other two arcs. And, so it appears to be .

The Verdict

Marvel November 2020 is better than recent months have been. Hulk is still the best book I’ve read in decades. Maestro has proven to be a wonderful surprise. Avengers, Captain America, and Fantastic Four are all pushing great. I admit that my giddiness a few months ago was most likely due to having comics back after the Covid drought. This time, it is probably because of the holidays and recent news that has me giddy. Whatever the reason, I look forward to what the end of the year will bring.

Great, Good, Decent: Marvel Comics October 2020

Introduction

After a month, we’re back with Marvel Comics October 2020 review. I was just trying to organize my thoughts to see if I could get this thing back on track by the end of the year. I’ve been okay about updating over the last couple of weeks, so maybe I can keep that momentum going through the end of the year. That sounds familiar because I said the same thing at the end of last year.

Except he didn’t say half of the things he said, don’t you know?

As I organized, I noticed that I set October aside as horror month once again. And, once again, it passed without any discussion of horror games. Also, at the beginning of the summer, I started writing a series of horror short stories that got forgotten for another year. I mean, really, this whole October has just been lackluster. So, let’s try to forget with some Marvel Comics October 2020.

The Great

Captain America 21-23 (Ta-Nehisi Coates and Bob Quinn): I’ve made it abundantly clear in the past that I don’t like these “ripped from the headlines stories”, but this one has me hooked for some reason. Unlike some of the other books that have tried this, Coates layers on a much better metaphor that makes it entertaining instead of exhausting.

Immortal Hulk 36 and 37 (Al Ewing and Joe Bennett): I will be saying this for the next year or so, but I can’t believe they are killing this comic. It is the most consistently entertaining story of the current Marvel era. I hope they reverse this decision.

Maestro 2 (of 5) (Peter David and German Peralta with cover by Dale Keown): When I saw that my favorite Hulk writer was working with my favorite Hulk artist (even if it was only for covers), I knew that I had to have this book. There was the definite possibility that it could have not lived up to the hype. But, it very much did. Looking forward to the rest.

The Good

Amazing Spider-Man 46-49 (Nick Spencer and Marcelo Ferriera): Sin Eater story is fine, but it’s already getting a bit old. Gobby’s back and the Spider-Family is after Peter. Things are setting up nicely for a showdown in Legacy 850 next month.

Avengers 35 (Jason Aaron and Javi Garron): I have been liking the Khonshu story and the Tony and Carol “Raising Arizona” side story is entertaining as hell. Now, they’re setting up for an epic battle next issue between Khonshu and the Panther.

Venom 27 and 28 (Donny Cates and Juan Gedeon): When Chris and I talked a few months ago, he agreed that my giddiness about comics was only due to the fact that they were back after the Covid19 hiatus. I think that’s correct. I don’t see this being the fun story that I thought it was after reading issue 26.

The Decent

Fantastic Four 22 and 23 (Dan Slott and Paco Medina): More proof that the glow faded. I don’t think that Empyre is as exciting anymore. This is still a solid issue and I will buy Empyre later. Don’t tell Chris, but it will most likely be a trade.

Thor 6 and 7 (Donny Cates and Nic Klein): A let down for the end of the previous arc. It got progressively weirder and lost me when Thor ended up as the herald of Galactus. Now, Thanos is involved in the story somehow. The next arc is a 2 part interlude. Hopefully, whatever’s after that gives the king of thunder a good story. Otherwise, I might stop collecting this title.

X-Men 10-12 (Johnathon Hickman, Leinel Francis Yu, et al): Chris likes this title. I liked the previous title with Hickman in charge, too. These issues weren’t my favorite. Not sure why the X-Men are involved in Empyre. Now, another event looms on the horizon. Hopefully it captures some of the magic again.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics October 2020 are a decidedly mixed bag. Initially when I started to rank the books for this article, I found that I rated them too highly. So, Chris was right. Some of my joy a few months ago came because comics were back after being gone for so long. That’s not to say that the books are bad. Far from it. Overall, I enjoyed them. Just not as much as when they returned from the Covid19 break. Until next month, Excelsior!