Marvel decided to start all over with “Marvel Now!”. Let’s go back to issue number one they said. Let’s make a fresh start of this, kind of. DC saw this and said if they’re doing it we have to do it too. Welcome to a brand new comic book universe, kind of.
Admittedly I am skeptical of all this arbitrary change. Over these last years the big companies have been designing storylines that force the reader to buy 15 different titles in order to understand what’s happening in the single book they are interested in. Characters are killed off. Characters are resurrected. New characters are created. Old characters are re-imagined. Everything changes, everything stays the same.
I’m tired of it. The funny thing is I like comics now more than I ever have. Because of these constant shifts and marketing ploys, I have wandered away from Marvel and DC. I’ve discovered some incredible books by Mark Wade over at Boom! I’ve escaped bad guys with the interdimensional art thief in Rasl. And I even found out what The Shadow knows over at Dynamite. To be sure, I have discovered a world of comics which otherwise may have alluded me. For this I say thank you Marvel and DC. If I had allowed myself to be bogged down with the 80 titles a month you guys dump into the system, I would never have found all of the hidden treasure.
That being said, there is a void left by my beloved Avengers that can’t be filled. I want to read about Spiderman sometimes, but “Marvel Now!”? Starting all over? Is this really worth doing? I’m still uncertain.
A few days ago I began to read through some of the new “Marvel Now!” titles, and I have begun to feel a twinkle of hope. Thor the God of Thunder #1 is pretty cool. The artwork is perfect for the series, and it’s a good jumping on point, which is something we haven’t really had in comics for awhile. Deadpool #1 also seems to be a good book. The writing was slick and the artwork fits the character perfectly.
Out of all the books coming down the pipe in this new era, I was most interested in The All New X-Men. I’ve loved these characters since I was just a wee lad. At the same time, this comic is the one I felt the most skeptical about. Let’s face it, any X-Men book can be brilliant just as quickly as it can be pathetic. The first thing that caught my attention though was the cover. Beast is hairless, and the X-Men costumes are retro. Suddenly there was hope. The intereiour of the book did not disappoint. The artwork is beautiful. Bendis is manning the keyboard and as usual he has done a fantastic job. The story throws you right in the middle of it all, and includes some time traveling, which the X-Men have always pulled of really well. I’m hooked on this title from the word go, and I’m hopeful.
Maybe Marvel has got something this time. Maybe they will sluff off the marketing ploys and take a minute to write some good stuff for a change. I’m not saying this is their last chance to prove themselves, because there will always be loyal fans willing to weather the storms, but there are a lot of really good books these days, and I’m not the only one discovering them.
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