Superheroes Breakdown 04/06/2016

With Marvel’s “Civil War II” finally kicking off, and X-Men: Apocalypse in cinemas now, this is an exciting week for superhero fans!

This week in Comics!

Stan Lee has weighed in on the HYDRAgate scandal engulfing Marvel – or, at least, engulfing Twitter.  He’s actually quite impressed with the idea, telling MegaCon:

“It’s a hell of a clever idea; I don’t know that I would ever have thought of it for him to be a double agent, but it’s going to make you curious, it’s going to make you want to read the books, they’ll probably do a movie based on it.  So I can’t fault it; it’s a good idea. I think it’s crazy, but it’s a good idea.”

Whatever your thoughts on the Hydra twist, as I report on Movie Pilot the idea seems hugely successful.  The book’s gone in for a second print-run, with new variant covers commissioned!

Civil War II Kicks Off!

Celestial world-killer

Marvel’s Civil War II miniseries kicked off this week, with Brian Bendis and David Marquez helming the series.  The first issue jumps straight into the action, and builds up the tension in a fairly effective issue (the FCBD one-shot is based within this issue).  It’s one of Bendis’ better scripts in recent years, and the plot clearly shows real potential.  Unfortunately, the new Inhumans’ powers are poorly-explained, and I can’t help distrusting the whole set-up.

I also completely fail to get Captain Marvel’s position.  Stark’s concern is essentially the ‘butterfly effect’ – Ulysses can guide the Marvel Universe away from a certain direction, but how do we know he’s not headed things on to a worse path?  His position is underlined by the fact that two Avengers died battling Thanos, both personal losses that should surely shake Captain Marvel’s confidence.  It just doesn’t make sense.

David Marquez’s art is superb, and he’s given so much material to work with that I’m left deeply impressed.  The opening battle with a Celestial features some of the best art I’ve seen in a while, and actually makes me wish that plot had been worked on as a main arc.  All in all, though, this is a satisfactory opening issue.

DC’s “Rebirth” continues!

Green Arrow and Black Canary bicker

DC has moved on to a series of tremendous one-shots, setting up the new “Rebirth” status quo.  They’re all of generally good quality, and it’s no surprise that Superman: Rebirth #1 and Batman: Rebirth #1 are in the first wave.  Both of these follow on directly from the status quo established in Superman #52 and Batman #52, and they make fascinating reading.

Probably the most fun, though, is Green Arrow: Rebirth #1, which brings the “New 52” Green Arrow and Black Canary together for a promising team-up.  What follows is a tremendously fun issue, with the two bickering and trying to ignore the sparks that are flying.  That one-shot left me tremendously excited for what’s coming next.

In more good news for DC, DC Universe: Rebirth #1 has gone for a third print-run.

A good week for Spider-Man and co.!

Stark and Spider-Man

Dan Slott continues to fire on all cylinders in Amazing Spider-Man #13, in a fun issue that continues the conflict between Peter Parker and Tony Stark.  The rivalry is tremendous fun, including a brief childish fight between the two, but more intriguing is the build-up of Regent’s plot.  I admit to being surprised that Slott has chosen to bring Iron Man in for this arc, and I’m intrigued to see where things lead.  The rivalry between Parker and Stark will make an interesting context for the “Civil War II” tie-ins.

Meanwhile, the “Spider-Women” event concludes in Spider-Women: Omega #1.  It feels as though it ends with more of a whimper than a bang, and I’m not at all sure that I like the changes to Spider-Gwen’s status quo.  Still, it’s a book filled with humour and fun, and it makes a nice change from all the ‘dark forebodings’ around “Civil War II”.

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