This week, the Marvel Rundown has a roundtable in the mighty Marvel manner! This discussion contains mild spoilers for Avengers: War Across Time #1, X-Men #18, and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #2.
What did you think of this week’s fresh Marvel Comics issues? Let us know, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat!
Avengers: War Across Time #1
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artist: Alan Davis
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Cory Petit
What did everyone think of this issue?
REBECCA OLIVER KAPLAN: UGH. The dialogue was awful.
GEORGE CARMONA 3rd: But I think that goes to the era of comics. The issue was not all bad, Davis can still bring the heat and Levitz has an ear for the era but this book is all about the corporate synergy of getting us ready for Quantumania.
AVERY KAPLAN: I was a little disappointed with the thin characterization of Kang, which felt underwhelming after the more interesting portrayal a few weeks ago in Timeless.
ROK: Is it me or was it sexist?
AJK: I was also disappointed with The Wasp’s characterization, for sure. Especially knowing some of the details of what’s in store for her and Hank.
GC3: Yeah those were the days way before she leveled up and took charge of the Avengers.
ROK: I definitely felt the corporate synergy, and I will have more to say on that for Moon Girl.
Did anyone read the “early Avengers” issues associated with this one (& cited in the notes)?
GC3: No, I couldn’t find my Marvel Classics.
ROK: “Co-starring Spider-Man – ‘Nuff Said! And the only blurb we can write is ‘Wowee!’” It’s the reintroduction of Kang.
GC3: It was worth it to look at.
ROK: I didn’t like the Captain America either though. He was like the fifth Beatle. The member that was too over the top with the ladies to join.
AJK: I didn’t get the chance to either (on account of my comic critic salary colluding with an expired Marvel Unlimited subscription). But I do think that the idea of these stories that are closely integrated with classic issues are interesting conceptually, especially with the cyclical nature of Marvel Comics storytelling.
But then, there is that question of whether you remain true to the limitations of the day, or rewrite history. I feel like this one is hewing too close to canon, when things like The Wasp’s characterization would be given a better perspective for an All-New, All-Different age.
Do you prefer “classic Avengers lineup” tales like this or different teams/rosters?
ROK: Great Lakes Avengers! West Coast Avengers!
AJK: Anything started by Hawkeye, huh?
ROK: Any Hawkeye will do. The joys of being pan.
AJK: I’m a big fan of the 20XX Avengers, personally, and wish we could see more of them! So much underutilized potential.
GC3: I think you nailed it with the sticking too close to canon in depicting the characters.
ROK: You need to rewrite history.
Does anyone have anything else they’d like to include for this issue?
GC3: Definitely for the fans of that early Avengers and Alan Davis.
ROK: I really like the growth Hulk has experienced over the years. It was jarring to read that characterization of him again.
AJK: Even if it was an ersatz Hulk?
ROK: Yeah, there have been way more interesting fake Hulk stories.
GC3: He gave me Joe Fixit vibes.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: C.F. Villa
Color Artist: Matt Milla
Letter: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller w/ Jay Bowen
ROK: I need some explanation. George, explain it to me, X-fan. I don’t even know who these people are anymore! I know the Lauras and Dazzler.
GC3: Think “transporter clone.”
AJK: Have you read any of X-Terminators, ROK? You’d really like it…
ROK: I’m waiting for the whole series now. I got too mad about suicide Wanda.
AJK: Wanda’s not involved here!
ROK: She made heaven. Wait, is mutant heaven still around?
GC3: Yeah not sure what’s that about outside of a loop hole to bring back folks that died before the resurrection protocols.
AJK: But now she’s busy in her solo series. This is about multiple Wolverines and Boom Boom.
What did everyone think of this issue?
ROK: I mean I like as many Wolverines as possible.
GC3: I loved it. We’ve only seen one other duplicate Resurrection with Cable and kid Cable, but that was fixed quickly.
ROK: Can we talk about the name BOOM BOOM?
AJK: I was a big fan of this issue too, in spite of not really keeping up with much of the Krakoa continuity (X-Terminators aside). I think it’s interesting that one version of Laura has been to the Black Mountain, and considering how often Logan dies and comes back, having a Wolverine have to confront herself about it was very interesting reading for me.
I’m a long-time fan of Duggan’s work in the Marvel Comics universe, and despite not having read previous issues of this series, I felt like it was easy to pick up and immediately dig into!
GC3: And seeing how they just recognize the deal and move on minus the X-drama.
AJK: Yes! Modeling better behavior for future Gabby resurrections.
GC3: And it makes me wonder if there will be an exception with them as they really are two different people, so when one of them dies I’ll want them back.
ROK: I will definitely want whoever dies back.
AJK: I think Duggan’s work on Deadpool had a lot of that idea: coming up to what would be the “standard” conflict in many issues, then resolving it and getting on to other, more unexpected topics instead.
ROK: Laura has some great kills too. Nice and bloody. Some of the best action of the week. Also, we have been watching the Croenberg movies, so The Brood reference went over well!
X-perienced readers: What issues would you recommend someone read if they enjoyed this issue?
GC3: The two issues where they infiltrate the Children of the Vault. And of course the X-Terminators. I wish they would just drop an R rating on it and let it run wild.
ROK: I miss Marvel Max. I definitely want to see what Williams would do with an R ratin’.
AJK: REVIVE THE MAX LINE FOR X-TERMINATORS STRIKE BACK, MARVEL!
How many Wolverines is too many Wolverines (if such a limit exists)? Does Gabby count?
GC3: That was one of my favorite moments when “old” Laura said “young” Laura can be Wolverine. She’s done her bit for Queen and Country and ready to just be.
AJK: Like Kirk in the Nexus. (Editor’s note: or “Time Ribbon.”)
ROK: I’m a huge fan of Stephanie Williams and KJ Diaz‘s The Family Snikt, and I guess I count even retired Wolverines as Wolverines.
AJK: Could an Enter the Wolver-Verse be in the cards?
ROK: I hope so. I think there was a one off.
GC3: For such a loner Logan has a hell of a squad.
Does anyone have anything else they’d like to include?
GC3: Even with all the set up, this is a great stand-alone issue.
AJK: Agreed, this issue was a blast without having read most of the preceding context, and you don’t have to plan on picking up more issues in order to enjoy it as a story. It fulfills both the “satisfying chunk” of narrative quota and seems to work as a serialized story, too. I recommend this one to everyone!
ROK: Agreed. It did work as a stand-alone issue. I’m just a nerd who wants to know all the backstory, and I will eventually get to it. I’m going to also reiterate my desire for more Croenberg references.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #2
Writer: Jordan Ifueko
Penciler: Alba Glez
Inker: José Marzan Jr.
Color Artist: KJ Díaz
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Artists: Ken Lashley & Rain Beredo
What did everyone think of this issue?
ROK: Again, with the corporate synergy. At D23, C.B. Cebulski said there were retreats where Marvel Entertainment did meet to plan content and release schedules.
GC3: Gotta make that money when you can.
ROK: I am SUPER EXCITED for this show though. I like the elements that were incorporated, like the roller rink.
GC3: This was an adorable romp through NYC.
ROK: The art was amazing too. I get really bored of the hyper realism.
AJK: I was a big fan of the first issue of this series, and while I enjoyed this one, I felt like it had a bit of a pacing issue. Maybe just one or two more scenes of the villain might have neatly solved this. I guess I felt it worked less on the “satisfying chunk” level, but quite well on the “serialized” level. This will be a fine second chapter in the collection.
I liked seeing Lunella forced out of her Devil Dinosaur friendship comfort zone and having to cooperate with her peers whether she wanted to or not – it’s a good dynamic for her that I hope gets further explored in future issues… which, like the show, I am really looking forward to!
GC3: I liked this issue so much I went back to #1 to make sure I got the full story.
ROK: I think I will go back to #1, too.
AJK: I really like the themes that are being set up, especially with the idea that her antagonist is trying to pick up the “Inhuman problem” where her ancestors left off. Very gross, so perfect for a comic book antagonist like this!
ROK: It’s a classic Marvel metaphor.
GC3: Her family home life is great and the supporting cast do so much to do what a Marvel story should do teaching without preaching.
Does anyone have any experience with earlier appearances of Moon Girl and/or Devil Dinosaur?
GC3: Unfortunately only with her guest appearances throughout the Marvel Universe. But these two issues might have me digging up the earlier stuff.
ROK: Yeah, she used to be more of a solitary character or she would team up with one hero. I think it’s interesting to see her working with a group of friends or closely with the community. I like the change.
AJK: She and Devil were good additions to the Secret Warriors roster that time. That dinosaur sure loved eating fascists! But it’s interesting to see her have to work with other people minus her support system (DD).
ROK: It’s been an evolution over time. She had trouble with people at first, so seeing her work with a group of other people is a lot of growth for the character.
Do you see this arc leaving a lasting mark on Lunella’s character? Will she be more likely to Avenge with friends in the future?
ROK: I do. I think the show is going to be a breakout hit, and her (non-dinosaur) bestie is supposed to be an integral part of the crime fighting. Also music is going to play a role in how they fight crime, which I am really stoked to hear!
GC3: So long as she doesn’t take after characters like Reed or Tony, she’ll be a great character.
AJK: She can learn from their mistakes, I know it!
GC3: Hoping she learns from Riri or Shuri.
AJK: I’d love to see her team-up with Kamala, as well. Ms Marvel had that musical incident last year, so… it could work!
ROK: Learning from Luke Cage.
AJK: Or Dani Cage! Lunella for Avengers 20XX!
ROK: Honestly, I think some of the corporate synergy is fun.
GC3: For her yeah.
Does anyone have anything else they’d like to include about this issue?
GC3: Solid fun for everyone.
AJK: Pick a copy of Moon Girl #2 up (but make sure you snag a copy of #1 too, if you haven’t already)!
Any other issues you want to shout-out this week?
ROK: I’m really enjoying Dark Web.
AJK: The art in ASM this week was very arresting!
ROK: Also, other things people should check out: there was a new Snikt Family on 1/4! And I’m adding one more Infinity Comic as a must read: Karma in Love #31 by Trung Le Nguyen, Tríona Farrell, and Ariana Maher.
MISS MINUTES: Time’s up, folks! Prepare to have your sorry timeline and everything in it immediately eradicated. Your participation was appreciated! Buh-bye!
Read more Marvel Rundown entries here!