Week of Marvel 14/11/2015

This week – Secret Wars #7 is finally released!  Plus: we learn more about Rob Liefeld’s return to Marvel!

This week in Marvel Comics: Secret Wars #7All-New All-Different Avengers #1, All-New Wolverine #1 and Ultimates #1!

Thors Rebellion

It’s been quite some time since the last issue of that troubled event Secret Wars hit the newsstands, but #7 was finally released this week.  Unfortunately I found it a bit of a let-down; the speed with which the book is racing towards its conclusion means that the event as a whole has pretty awkward pacing, with #5 being one of the worst ‘nothing-to-see-here’ issues of the year.  Several events jump out of the blue with little-to-no explanation – the Thors rebellion is explained in Thors #4, so if you really want to get to grips with the story of Secret Wars you need to have gone back to that issue.

But this illustrates a larger-scale problem with the event as a whole.  The “Secret Wars” brand embraced a whole host of tie-in miniseries, but how do you know which ones actually matter?  Attilan Rising appeared important, but was then flipped on its head in the final issue to become irrelevant to the broader story.  Age of Apocalypse, which included Apocalypse’s death, appears to be ignored in Hickman’s Secret Wars story.  Esad Ribic has abandoned his attempts to make it look as though Madelyne Pryor has shifted into the costumes she wore in the Inferno miniseries.

Sinister Hits Pryor

So far as I can tell, the only miniseries that have actually mattered to the broader “Secret Wars” narrative have been Siege and, now, Thors.  While the closing scenes of Siege were incorporated into Secret Wars #6, the integration of the Thors plotline feels a lot more clumsy.  Worse still, the story as a whole doesn’t seem aware of its own continuity; given that Secret Wars #6 ended with the destruction of the Shield, why does #7 end with the Black Panther destroying the Shield?

All in all, this is one event that I’m getting pretty tired of.  The real problem, I suppose, is that both Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic are feeling pretty tired too.

The highlights of All-New All-Different Marvel this week were undeniably All-New All-Different Avengers #1, All-New Wolverine #1 and Ultimates #1.

All-New Wolverine Designs

I’ve aired my full thoughts on All-New Wolverine #1 in a review, but All-New All-Different Avengers #1 makes it clear that I’m not the only one who thinks this character’s got a strong future ahead of her:

The Verdict on Wolverine

All-New All-Different Avengers #1 is a strange beast, seeming to ignore the Free Comic Book Day release and run a pretty staple origin story.  The B story, however, which details Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel in her first encounter with Nova, is simply tremendous.  That B story alone makes this comic worth the buy; it’s rich in characterisation and oh so much glorious teenage awkwardness, leaving you laughing out loud so much of the time.

Ms. Marvel and Nova

Meanwhile, Ultimates #1 is a surprising book, giving us the first real cosmic interpretation of just what’s happened in the aftermath of “Secret Wars” (even if it does avoid giving away too much by hand-waving the idea that everybody’s memories were somehow affected by the destruction and re-creation of the Multiverse).  Al Ewing also gets to incorporate Iso-8, a substance familiar to anybody who plays Marvel games, into the Marvel Universe!

In other, more general, comic book news, Google Play Books has made some changes that will mean comics represent better on mobiles.  It’s a direct challenge to ComiXology’s dominance of the market.  Between now and November 19th, Google are offering more than 40 free comics – including the first issue of The Walking Dead and the current volume of Batman.

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