Tag Archives: Venom

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 August 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

I moved comics to this week because the package came this week and, frankly, with the start of school I am in no position to talk about Roll Player Adventures or Baldur’s Gate as I originally planned. Even with that business, I kept more or less on schedule with DC (though only the Manga sampler) and independent comics. I recorded the 4th episode of Noob’s Book Club today. In it, I talked about how busy Thursday was and how yesterday just sort of got away from me. So, Marvel Comics August 2023 comes later than anticipated.

Ugh

I texted Chris, “They’re killing me boy.” I said more than that, but in the interest of “can’t say anything nice” and all, I will refrain from repeating them here. A few months ago, when I restarted this column, ASM got his own section. This issue so offended me that I can say no more than, “Ugh.” Chris said he might stop collecting the book altogether. I have the entire run back until 700 now, so I’ll keep collecting. But nothing says I have to keep reading.

Decent

Amazing Spider-Man #32 (Writer: Zeb Wells, Artist: Patrick Geleason) Last night, Chris texted to say that he didn’t like Gleason’s art on this book. I agree that it looks weird in parts. But, honestly, that’s the least of my worries with Webhead lately. I actually like the current storyline and I think I said last time that it might find it’s way out of the dumpster. But, then, they tossed it right back in. This issue was actually pretty good and I considered putting it there, but not until they stop it with the nonsense.

Good

Fantastic Four 10

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Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Leandro Fernandez

All of these titles are either trending up or treading water right now. Fantastic Four ventured into “Great” territory a couple of times recently. This one only takes a step back because I don’t understand the story or the reason for it. I’m sure they’ll explain in the next couple of issues. For now, I’m just confused. Doctor Strange, likewise, tells a seemingly unrelated story, but has a promising ending.

Black Panther lost me with the first two issues and I started to wonder if maybe I just lost the thread of the book. This issue brought me back in and I want to see what they do next with the story. The one that excites me, most, though, is the Avengers. I wanted to see what they did with this lineup. The first issues mostly set up them and the villains. This one brought a conflict between the heroes and the villains that I enjoyed very much. Depending on how the next issue goes, I see this one moving up to “Great” next month.

Great

Venom 24 (Writer: Al Ewing, Artist: Sergio Davila) Chris wrote me to tell me that he is on the outs with Venom. While I obviously don’t agree 100%, I have to agree when he said it’s just symbiote after symbiote. Like, I had to take a pause and remember how Eddie became the new Red Venom. After that, though, the showdown with Dr. Doom delivered everything I could have hoped. I think Ewing put the Lethal Protector in a good place and hope that Grønbekk can keep the momentum going.

Guardians of the Galaxy 5: (Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Artist: Kev Walker). The gang is back together and, as always, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. They go after the galaxy spanning threat, Grootfall finally. Realizing that they are out of their league, they retreat and try to come up with another plan. At the end, I finally get a promise that they’ll explain the Grootfall story. I don’t see this one leaving “Great” territory for a while.

The Verdct

Other than the assault on my favorite comic book character, Marvel Comics August 2023 does alright. All of the books are telling some really good stories and many of them remind me of the books of my wasted teenage years. Growing older does things to our brains. I, as I believe many of you, welcome the diversion that takes me back.

Note: Most images taken from the mothership.

Marvel Comics July 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

I wrote in my independent comics article on Sunday that this month (and maybe next month) comic reviews will look different. DC released their Knight Terrors 2-month event. I ordered all of the books for July, but forgot to order them for August. So, if I want to review all of the books, I need to go to an LCS to pick them up. Additionally, they sent almost 50 DC titles this month. With school starting soon, I don’t know if I’ll have the time to review them all. But, for now, I have Marvel Comics July 2023.

I think I wrote about last month’s books that I like the place that comics are in right now. Other than the Spider-Man “Paul” story, I enjoyed all of the books since starting reviews again a couple of months ago. I hope that momentum continues. Mind you, I hold no delusions that comics ever again reach the heights of the 1990s. Especially since my wife and I went into a comic store the other day and she recoiled in horror at the state of cleanliness. But, at least, those of us who never let go can still enjoy the art form.

Decent

Amazing Spider Man 29 and 30: Writer: Zeb Wells, Artist: Ed McGuinness. Someone at Marvel realized what a mistake the “Paul” story was. Either that, or this story is a complete coincidence. However, I give them the benefit of the doubt. Because, this return to a simpler time when Doc Ock kidnaps Norman Osborne to try to release the goblin administers the perfect antidote to whatever that mess was. If they keep this up, Wells may yet find himself in Good or even Great territory.

Black Panther 2: Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Artist: Chris Allen. I wrote in the previous Marvel article that I understand that some things aren’t for me and maybe Black Panther just isn’t for me. I like this issue better than the last and, again, I hope they continue this trend forward.

The Avengers #3: Writer: Jed McKay. Artist: C. F. Villa. On the other hand, The Avengers trend is definitely down. The cover evokes the big fight from Age of Ultron. And, that’s kind of how I feel about this book right now. Full of promise that it’s not quite reaching just yet. However, in my short time reading Jed McKay, I am confident that he can turn it around and build this into a good story and book.

Good

Dr. Strange 5: Writer: Jed MacKay, Artist: Pasqual Ferry. Speaking of MacKay, he handles Dr. Strange and company quite well. This issue steps back a bit from the action of the last few for the wedding of the century of the year. I still liked reading the book and watching the story advance even if it feels less exciting than recent issues.

Venom 22 and 23: Writers: Al Ewing and Torunn GrØnbekk, Artists: Ramón F. Bachs and Ken Lashley. I made no secret about not liking GrØnbekk’s Thor. But, I think Al Ewing left Lethal Protector in a good place and the subject matter might fit GrØnbekk’s writing style more. With Ewing taking over Thor, I think that might be a good switch.

Great

Fantastic Four 9: Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Ivan Fiorelli. Along with She Hulk and Guardians of the Galaxy, this is my favorite comic on the market right now. They found writers for all three books who understand the characters on a fundamental level and write stories geared to the overall style of the book. This one weaves two stories together, one about the blind history of comics and the fight with the monster that took over a town. Both classic FF stories well told.

Guardians of the Galaxy 4: Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Artist: Kev Walker. As they reintroduce the Guardians after Grootfall, it took until this issue to finally tell some of Rocket’s story. Poor Rocket. This guy constantly gets the shaft and watches his loved ones ripped from his life time and time again. He is not adjusting well to losing the one constant companion ever since striking out on his own. But, still, a great GotG story and hits all the notes.

She-Hulk 15: Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Artist: Andrés Genolet. I’ve run out of words of praise for this book. It’s fun. It’s light hearted. It’s serious. irreverant. It tells a great story. Okay, so I haven’t run out of words just yet. But, none of the words I use give justice to how great She-Hulk is right now. If you like the character, read this book. If you don’t, read the book to see why people do.

The Verdict (Marvel Comics July 2023)

Many of the Marvel books I read are on an upward trajectory. I wrote earlier that I like the place that comics are right now. Marvel Comics July 2023 brings everything that I enjoy about comic books. Some of the temas change, but like I said with Venom, I think they can be good changes.

Note: All images taken from Marvel.com

Marvel Comics June 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

If we thought recent developments in DC Comics surprised us, Marvel one upped them in a big way. Last month, I needed to create a whole new category for the Amazing Spider-Man. Spoiler Alert: In spite of the name of the book, it wasn’t better than “Great”. They remedied that some with Marvel Comics June 2023, but I still hesitate to move the book any higher than I did for fear that they hurt me again.

Other than that, most of the books follow a recent status quo. The good remain good (with one teetering on great) and the great stay on top (with some, other than one suprising exception, tettering on good) of the comics heap. For a while there, DC threatened my status as a Marvel zombie, but Marvel went a long way to finding their roots and bringing the fun back to many of their books.

Note: Images taken from Marvel.

Incomplete

I started this section for X-Men because I saved the books for after I get caught up with the most current story. See, after years of listening to Chris tell me how good the book was, I finally invested in finishing my run of the main title books and buying trades of the supporting books. I intend to read the main title, probably before September, to rescue them from this section.

As far as Punisher, I either (a) grew out of my Punisher phase, (b) got tired of Jason Aaron, or (c) possibly both. Evidence points to the second very strongly. So, I skimmed the book in search of anthing interesting and found nothing. Without reading, I reserve judgement.

Decent

Thor 35

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Amazing Spider-Man 26, 27,28: Writer: Zeb Wells, Artist: JRJR and Ed McGuinness. First things first. Thank god that abyssmal Paul storyline is over. It pushed the book into territory never before seen on the page. When it ended and Ms. Marvel died, the death barely even registered. I recently learned about women in refrigerators and this one qualifies. Wells went to some old standards with the follow up story, bringing Doc Ock into the mix. I liked that much more. But, I reserve judgement in case he loses his mind again.

Black Panther 1: Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Artist: Chris Allen. I started reading Black Panther during the Ta-Nehisis Coates era. I kept reading it through the John Ridley era. To be fair, I’m probably being too tough on this book because of the tagline on the cover. Seems like every book lately represents the “most exciting” part of Panther’s life. Even though I know that things just sometimes aren’t for us and maybe this book goes there now for me, I’ll keep giving it a chance.

Thor 35: Writer: Torunn Grønbekk, Artist: Serio Dávila and Juan Gedeon. Speaking of Jason Aaron, he kind of killed Thor for me. I think during his entire run, the only story that I genuinely liked (well actually, there are two) were Thor working to get Mjolnir back and the Donald Blake one. I’m glad this one is ending and they’re bringing Al Ewing in for Immortal Thor in a few months.

Good

Doctor Strange 3

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Avengers 2: Writer: Jed McKay, Artist: C.F. Villa. I wrote last time, “another month, another Avengers 1”. While that might seem like I damned the book with faint praise, I suppose you’re partially right. I meant what I said, though. This book follows in the footsteps of that one and gives each character some screen time to show how they fit in the new team.

Doctor Strange 3 and 4: Writer: Jed McKay, Artist: Pasqual Ferry and Andy MacDonald. I wrote earlier about Marvel getting back to its roots in the introduction. Among others, this book shows that big time. In number 3, Strange faces off against Dormammu for the soul of a mortal. In 4, Wong and his allies work to put together a new version of W.A.N.D. Both stories are entertaining.

Great

Fantastic Four 8

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Note: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, insert this at the beginning of each of these reviews, “Speaking of Marvel taking us back to their roots, Marvel Comics June 2023 does just that.”

Fantastic Four 8: Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Ivan Fiorelli. A relaxing time on the farm turns into a mystery that leads to a super villain enslaving the entire town. Stop me when this sounds familiar. An excellent entry into the genre.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3: Writer: Colin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, Artist: Kev Walker. An issue that focuses on Star Lord and reckoning with his past. Can’t go wrong with that, ever. Except, it always does and then he has to spend the rest of the issue fixing it. Also, we get some more clues about Grootfall. I really need to read that story.

She-Hulk 14: Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Artist: Andrés Genolet. Again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, She-Hulk reigns supreme among all comics right now. So, instead, a story. I saw they are resetting the issues for She-Hulk. Not a new writer. Maybe a new story. I asked why. Someone commented that it makes it easier to read and collect. I don’t know if that’s true. Without legacy numbering, I get confused.

Okay, Grandpa, let’s get you back to bed.

Venom 20 and 21: Writer: Al Ewing, Artist: Cafu. I worried previously that Mr. Ewing strayed a bit too far from the horror angle that I enjoyed so much from his Immortal Hulk run. Yes, I know that different books are different, but I think that Venom works best with that undercurrent of horror. Well, he brings the horror in both of these issues and I’m going to miss him when they mix things up in a couple of months.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics June 2023 continues the upward trend of the books from the last couple of months. I gave no “Decent” in DC Comics this month and the ones that are “Decent” this month actually look promising going forward. Chris and I keep claiming the medium dead. Like the titual Marvel zombies, though, they keep coming back stronger.

Marvel Comics May 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

The first week of June closes with Marvel Comics 2023. Having already reviewed TMNT and Spawn and then DC Comics in the previous articles this week, I looked forward to finally getting a chance to sit down with my favorite publisher. You know me. I’m an unabashed Marvel zombie to the end. MCU included.

As the banner up above reads, school is out in a couple of weeks for all of us. Granted, Christine, Liam, and I are going to Germany for three weeks. But, I hope to keep content consistent until then and maybe run some classic articles while we are gone. When I went through the archives to remove the malicious code, I read through the articles. As I said to Chris, “We have a unique voice. Wish more people heard it.” Well, on with the reviews.

Incomplete

X-Men #22 Jerry Duggan – Writer, Joshua Cassara – Artist. Chris kept telling me how good the Hickman run of X-Men was. I should have listened at the time. A couple of weeks ago, I spent an ungodly amount to get all of the paperbacks to get caught up on the MCU level of homework needed to read these books. I still haven’t had a chance to do so. Until I do, I can’t properly rate X-Men in Marvel Comics May 2023.

WTF Did I Just Read (Or: Can You Don’t?)

Amazing Spider-Man 25: Zeb Wells – “Writer”, JRJR – Artist. I felt compelled to add a new category after reading this train wreck of an issue. I mean, what the hell is this story? It reads like the bastard child of a terrible Moon Knight issue with the worst of one more day. I saw several people online griping about this one, but you know me. I don’t trust randos on the internet. Also, I try to give all creative pursuits a chance. Well, I gave this one a chance. Bury it in the desert with E.T.

Decent

Thor #34: Torunn Gronbekk – Writer, Juan Gedeonwith Sergio Davila – Pencilers. In Avengers, Carol says, “Thor used to be more fun. He’s been through a lot.” I liked the beginning of Aaron’s run of Thor. Then, he got weird on the same level as Snyder and his Dark Metal nonsense. Now, Thor just reminds me of the fun character he used to be and that makes me sad.

Good

Avengers #1: Jed Mackay – Writer, C.F. Villa – Artist. Another day, another Avengers #1. This one sees Captain Marvel as the new chairperson. She recruits Stark, Thor, Panther, Captain Samerica, Vision and Wanda. As introduction issues go, this one is fine. I like Aaron’s Avengers (for the most part), so we’ll see how Mackay puts his stamp on the team.

Venom #19 Al Ewing – Writer, Roge Antonio – Artist. After last month’s Marvel article, I texted Chris to tell him how much I enjoyed Venom. I compared it to Ewing’s Hulk run. This issue read more like a traditional beat em up, but the last page seems to be setting up for some more of Ewing’s classic horror story that he showed in Immortal. Come back next month to see if he delivers.

Great

Fantastic Four #700: Ryan North – Writer, Iban Coello – Artist. In the DC article, I wrote about how underwhelming a couple of the landmark issues were. No such let down here with the Fantastic Four. Marvel’s first family is in good hands. This story comes with the fun and frenetic pace that the FF is good for. Plus, they commissioned a sweet wrap around cover again and got me to buy three copies of this book. Shrewd.

Guardians of the Galaxy #2: Colin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing – Writers, Kev Walker – Artist. I come into this knowing nothing about Grootfall other than Groot is now some sort of cosmic being on a similar level as Galactus. The Guardians, as they often are at the beginning of stories, scattered to the winds and need to come together to face this galaxy spanning threat. You all know I love my Guardians from their awkward beginnings (even before James Gunn became the “defining” voice) and they seem to be in good hands right now.

She-Hulk #13: Rainbow Rowell – Writer, Andres Genolet and Joe Quinones – Artist. People, predictably, backlashed online against the She-Hulk series. I watched just enough to know that it contained the fun and funny voice of the comics. I want to finish it to see how it ended, but who has the time to keep up with all of this. On the topic of this run of Shulkie, I absolutely adore it.

The Verdict

Overall, Marvel Comics May 2023 comes with some strong issues. Granted, ASM leaves such a bad taste in my mouth that I won’t soon forive Marvel for assassinating my boy so badly, but the rest of the issues read like the characters from my youth. For someone recently discovering how cool nostalgia is, that feels great.

Marvel Comics April 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

I wrote in the most recent episode of Noob’s Book Club that I can keep a deadline when things aren’t so insane busy. I also wrote in my DC Comics review that I needed to go back and read some past issues for homework before next month in order to have a better idea of the quality of the books. Both of those things combine in this Marvel Comics April 2023 review.

Because many of the books this month come as parts of stories already in progress, I need to go back to get caught up on those stories. One of them, The Avengers, I might just ignore until it’s over because it is part of a multi-book event that I don’t want to chase right now. I’m invested in the TMNT Armageddon Game series of books and that’s all I can handle as far as multi book events. So, I removed the Decent section and begrudgingly moved one book from there into Good in order to make room for an “Incomplete” section this time around.

Incomplete

Thor 34

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I only need to read 2 books to get caught up with Thor. Punisher said “Book 2, Part 5”, so I might just wait until the next story for that one. I already said that I plan on skipping Avengers until the next story. By the looks of it, they plan on renumbering with the next one, too. Speaking of homework, I got the insane idea to catch up on all 260+ titles in the Bryan Hitch era of X-Men, so it might be a while before I review them.

Good

She Hulk 12

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All three of these books lived up to expectations, both good and bad. They read exactly like I remember them reading back when I was an irresponsible teenager buying the books. I mentioned earlier that I begrudgingly moved one from Decent into this category. I wanted to put FF in the decent. The story just felt so disjointed and all over the place. Alas, to keep the article consistent, I moved it here. Strange almost made it into the great. Strange and Clea fighting side by side with Moon Knight making a cameo? Next month against Dormammu, I assure you it will get bumped up to great.

Great

Amazing Spider-Man 24

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A word about Amazing Spider-Man: These only make it here because my love for Spider-Man outweighs my hatred of the current direction of the story. I hate angry Spider-Man. The god makes no sense to me. If this continues, I might need to bump him down a level or two. A note about Guardians of the Galaxy: I love what James Gunn and the MCU did to my beloved Guardians. I also love the original dysfunctional Guardians and this book brings them back to me. A note about Venom: Al Ewing is the best. This book feels very much like his Immortal Hulk. That’s a good thing. I need to read the rest.

The Verdict

Marvel looks to be going back to their roots, at least from what I read in the Marvel Comics April 2023 books. Obviously, I need to do my homework to see if the other books follow suit. I try not to fall for the Marvel vs. DC nonsense. But, if I did, they win this round going away.

Note: Images taken from Marvel page.