Tag Archives: The Immortal Thor

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 December 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Well, I made one deadline so far this month. Admittedly, I amended it because I missed it the first time. But, as promised a couple of days ago, I present Marvel Comics December 2023. Recently, I think Marvel Comics brings the strongest line up out of the publishers. I wrote in my DC article that they’re getting stronger.

This month, especially, I enjoyed the DC books that I ordered. Obviously, I hope these trends continue. Additionally, one trend I hope reverses (and quick) is the Amazing Spider-Man being terrible. True to my word, I put it in the pile to be shelved without even taking it out of the bag. Please, can someone save ol’ Web-Head?

Avengers #7 (Legacy 773)

Writer: Jed McKay, Artist: CF Villa. After reading this one, I texted Chris, “I enjoy the new Avengers book. He’s doing a good job.” To which he responded, “I’ve been liking it, too.” After the fun and interesting Planet Eaters story, this one starts with the defeat and death of the Avengers. Excellent start. My verdict: Very good.

Black Panther #6 (Legacy 218)

Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Artist: Matt Horak with Mack Chater. Tells the story of a former Black Panther and Wakandan king. Apparently, to save the nation in the present, they must look back to the past. I like this one more and more with each passing month. My verdict: Good.

Doctor Strange #9 (Legacy 435)

Writer: Jed McKay, Artist: Pasqual Ferry. Strange still battles in his personal war. He gets an upper hand and he and Clea are reunited. This has been a wild story with all kinds of twists and turns. I can’t wait to see where it goes next. My verdict: Good.

Fantastic Four 13 (Legacy 706)

Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Iban Coello. Two universes threaten to destroy one another; one human and the other dinosaur. If that sounds like a ton of fun, well you’re not wrong. The dinosaur four against the Avengers. Doom teams with Doomasaur. Thing and his dino self save the day. Just goofy fun. My verdict: Great.

Guardians of the Galaxy 8 (Legacy 188)

Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Artist: Kev Walker. They are Groot. The Guardians world to protect Grootspace and allow it to come to life. Then, they lived happily ever after. Just kidding. Some nutter is coming to burn Grootspace and the Guardians. My verdict: Great.

The Immortal Thor 4 (Legacy 765)

Writer: Al Ewing, Artist: Martin Coccolo. Thor summons Storm. He hands over the mantle of Thor to her so that she can help fight off a threat of epic proportions. Beta Ray Bill, Loki, and others join. Thor introduces the “Thor Corps”. The issue ends with a weird zombie cow thing talking about merchandising. My verdict: Good.

The Incredible Hulk 6 (Legacy 787)

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Artist: Nic Klein. I like that they’re continuing with the horror theme from Al Ewing’s run. This one also gives us a taste of Banner on the road. At the end, we finally get the payoff of the cover with Ghost Rider confronting the Hulk. Next issue, Hulk gets his judgement. My verdict: Good.

Punisher 1

Writer: David Pepose, Artist: Dave Wachter. An adequate introduction to the new Punisher. I like the idea of the Punisher, but I generally don’t like the actual books. It looks like this one gives me just enough of what I want the Punisher to be without going overboard. I will give this one a chance. My verdict: Decent.

The Sensational She-Hulk 2 (Legacy 180)

Note: A few weeks ago, I saw an article. I texted Chris, after saying the same to Aiden, “I wish I knew how to market myself better. Someone wrote an article saying what I’ve been saying for the last year or so. She-Hulk is probably the best book on the market right now. If only someone saw this Marvel Comics December 2023 article and shared it to one of the aggregators.

Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Artist: Andres Genolet. You get a Hulk. And, you get a Hulk. Everyone gets a Hulk! Classic Hulk beat em up gets the She-Hulk treatment and I’m here for it. Fun and funny issue that sets up for more in the next issue. My verdict: Great.

Venom 27 (Legacy 227)

Writer: Torunn Gronbekk, Artist: Julius Ohta with Rafael Pimentel. I like the story in Venom right now. I think it is compelling and moving at a decent pace. The new symbiotes fill in nicely and I couldn’t help but think about the Scorched team during their scenes. But, something feels missing or off right now in the book. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the whole isn’t greater than the sum of its parts right now. My verdict: Decent.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics December 2023 gives me more of the same. In most cases, that’s great. I must say, again, that right now I think I’m enjoying comics as much as I did when I first started reading them 30 years ago. They’re figuring things out and writing for us oldbies. I think I forgot to order the books for next month, so look for an in depth analysis of the latest run of X-Men instead.

Head on over to Marvel for all your comics needs.

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.