With Deadpool releasing within weeks, Fox are upping the ante on their X-Men range, and have allowed a massive array of spoilers to hit about X-Men: Apocalypse! Meanwhile, over in the comics, Steve Rogers is scheduled to return as Captain America, while Captain Marvel has launched her All-New All-Different series!
This week in Marvel Comics:
The repercussions of Secret Wars rumble on, and the gift that keeps giving is Marvel’s odd decision to “retire” the 616 reference; they now want the mainstream Marvel Universe to be called ‘Prime Earth’. Where Tom Brevoort originally said on his Tumblr that Web Warriors was wrong to refer to ‘Prime Earth’ as ‘616’, he’s changed his tune.
We’ll have all the readers of Web Warriors showing up going, “But, but, but, in issue 1 there’s a locator that says ‘616’!” And yeah, you can decide which one you want to believe – Secret Wars, or Web Warriors. Web Warriors #1 came out before Secret Wars #9 – I wouldn’t have let them put a locator that said “Prime Earth” because we weren’t there yet.
Yeah, keep digging that hole, Tom. Meanwhile, Marvel are expanding their presence in Asia – particularly in China – with C. B. Cebulski, Vice President of International Business Development & Brand Management, relocating.
Marvel Goes Cosmic with Captain Marvel and the Silver Surfer!
This week saw the launch of Captain Marvel and a reinvigorated Silver Surfer! The first title sees Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, and Kris Anka absolutely transform Captain Marvel’s status quo. The series is tremendous, with a tight plot and a brilliant range of background characters. Much to my delight as a fan, the new ‘Alpha Flight’ that Carol’s leading includes some very familiar faces:
Of the other background characters, it’s Agent Brand who absolutely shines – but then, did you expect anything less?
Meanwhile, Dan Slott, Michael Allred and Laura Allred relaunch Silver Surfer in style, as our hero faces a threat intending to plunder Earth of its greatest imaginary characters. It’s an entertaining conceit, perfectly suited to the oddball adventures that the team have been making so effective. Given that the series has seemed as much of a homage to Doctor Who as anything else, the presence of a familiar face among the ranks of the imaginary characters was a wonderful nod.
Both are superb first issues, launching their distinctive books with style and aplomb. Definite don’t-miss work on show this week.
Not One But Two Uncanny Books!
The second issue of Uncanny X-Men continues what promises to be an excellent first arc by Cullen Bunn and Greg Land. The idea of Mystique working alongside the Hellfire Club is such an obvious one that I simply can’t believe nobody’s thought of it before! Of course, the appearance of the Hellfire Club in this issue complicates things a lot for our team. I can’t help but wonder if they’re currently being run by Emma Frost…
The main arc continues apace, with Magneto’s strike team failing in their second mission – but at least learning the identity of their enemies, the Dark Riders, who are (gratifyingly) treated as a true threat rather than as the page-fillers they became in the mid-to-late-’90s. Greg Land’s art is fairly good; there are a couple of his trademark moments, but occasionally the art and colouring gels so effectively that you’re really impressed. Take this beautiful image of Psylocke:
Meanwhile, Uncanny Inhumans #4 brings the first arc to a close, with the Inhumans successfully defeating Kang and gaining a powerful new recruit – the son of Black Bolt and Medusa! But Ahura has been under Kang’s influence for quite a while, and will likely have a dark agenda all of his own. This first arc has been an enjoyable read, exploiting time-travel in an interesting way and building on the theories of time travel that Marvel are transitioning to. It’s proving to be a book worth reading.
Kamala Khan Makes a Friend…
Another book with a first arc closing is Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel #4 concludes Kamala Khan’s first confrontation with Hydra, and – as you can expect from a book written by G. Willow Wilson – it’s tremendous fun. It’s also remarkably poignant, as Ms. Marvel allies with none other than Bruno’s girlfriend, and has some of those wonderfully cringeworthy moments that a secret identity lends itself perfectly to…
As you can see, Takeshi Miyazawa’s art is perfectly suited to the book. All in all, Ms. Marvel is remaining at the top of Marvel Comics’ output, and by now the themes that this second volume of Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel will explore are strongly set in place. Don’t miss.