Comics Creators

The Ongoing New Comics Thread


Avengers 1

Warning - Wee bit of plot related spoilers below, but nothing detailed or drastic.

We’ve got an Avengers group, split into disparate teams or even individually.
Cap, Iron Man and Thor are chatting about rebuilding the Avengers.
Jen Walters is alone and struggling with her alter ego.
Robbie Reyes is pretty much doing the same, running scared of Ghost Rider.
Captain Marvel is out in space investigating a maguffin
DR Strange is in the centre of the earth with Black Panther doing the same.

This is almost a zero issue in some ways, although things do kick off by the end.

There’s a lot of recapping and reassurance that most of our concerned Marvel fanbase heroes are back and not their dopplegangers from the contrived diversity efforts that the argument still wages on about, in terms of it’s involvement in Marvel’s poor performance in recent years.

I think we can concede that it’s been a mix of things and move on at this stage.

So, rather than being an explosive, must buy issue to get the Avengers comic back on the reader, it’s a solid first issue that plays things pretty safe.

But then, when really have team books worked in recent years? There’s a limit to what you can do with them. JLA and Avengers have been pretty unremarkable for years, with the exception of Johns JL run, which is marmite. My favourite team book past that is Tynion IVs Detective Comics, and that really thrives on the cast and a bit of nostalgia for those characters - as well as the character development itself, which Tynion thrives on.

Aaron is a terrific writer - but we’ve seen Thor, Cap, Iron Man etc done to death. It’s an unenviable task. And he has so many complaints to address and a whole line of comics relying on him getting this title back on the rails.

So maybe playing safe is the right way to go with the book - having Ghost Rider and She Hulk on the roster should hopefully keep things interesting.

By the last few pages we see dead Celestials raining from the skies, which is pretty cool in itself and obviously the question the reader asks themselves is who or what could do this to a Celestial.
Then Aaron has one of the characters ask it for us, just in case we are not thinking at all when we read these books.

I think Bobby made the point earlier that this is probably a book for younger readers and I can see that here. Younger readers and youn fans of the movies.
It’s impossible not to hear Hemsworth’s voice when reading the Thor dialogue, so I guess this is all by design to start winning over the next bunch of future Marvel readers.

And maybe that’s what they need to do, right? Rather than cater for 30, 40, 50 and 60 something’s who probably don’t really need to read an Avengers book again for the rest of their lives.

The book is fine, and I trust Aaron’s ability to go a good job with it long term.
I’m not really that big an Avengers fan though and whether or not I keep buying it will be governed by how interested I am in keeping up to date with the Marvel universe.


Infinity Countdown 1-3 is basically just a big mess of shit. Silver surfer, Ultron, guardians, infinitely gems, darkhawk, nova, galacticus

Like the annihilation event, only not good

Ironically, now we have the infinity war selling gangbusters I feel they need to give a bunch of these characters a rest for a while - there’s not been a good cosmic universe related book for years.



Action Comics Special #1 - I’ve begun to learn that expectation is generally the enemy of enjoyment. I expected this special to be a wrap-up of Jurgens’ Rebirth storylines. It read more like stories that didn’t make the cut for Action Comics #1000. The first story of future Lex coming back in time to take down Superman was pretty interesting and I liked Manapul’s (actually Manapul this time) watercolor art in his story but this just really wasn’t what I thought it would be.

Avengers #1 - I had high hopes for this book especially the Avengers of 1,000,000 BC after their stellar first appearance in Marvel Legacy #1. This book was a bit of a let down though. As others have mentioned, the story felt very by the numbers. I’ve also historically been a huge Ed McGuinness fan. His work on Mr. Majestic blew me away and was one of the big reasons I picked up Superman steadily for a long time. This really didn’t look like the same guy on art though. Everything just felt off. I’m glad I gave it a shot but won’t be continuing with this book.


You know, I actually meant to mention the art - I’d have never guessed McGuinness drew the book - I wonder if it’s the inks??


Mark Morales was on inks. He’s inked McGuinness before.


I really liked Avengers, but I’ve been away for a bit. Felt at least like coming home to me. Art was fine too.


Having been away from Marvel comics for a while I decided to take a punt on Hunt for Wolverine.

It didn’t bother me that I didn’t know the story up to this point. It felt like a good place to come back to Wolvie if the character was getting a reboot.

Read it, liked it, logged onto my subscription service to add it to my pull list. But no, I can’t do that… instead of having a main storyline comic with a few additional spinoff titles this is splitting into four separate ongoing storylines.

Comics are a luxury, I have a few titles I follow consistently and I will take a punt on interesting things I spot when I do visit brick and mortar stores. This kind of business model has really turned me off to Marvel in a big bad way.


How good was this?!! I enjoyed the first couple issues we’ll enough but after rereading the full run of Hellboy recently I’ve got aa bit more of an appreciation for this book.


Avengers 1 was a bit disappointing for me as well. It’s my first foray back to a big marvel book since secret wars, and it just felt bland from a story perspective and looked very uninspiring, even ugly in some places, from an art perspective.
I’ll give Aaron an arc to pull something out the bag here, but this was a wide miss for me.

Been doing a lot of.catching up recently, and what I’ve seen of DCs ‘artist led’ line, in my case just the terrific and immortal men, has also been very disappointing. Writers I usually rate highly seem to just be dialling it in on those books, and we know the artists won’t keep to a regular schedule. Seems like that whole line was more or less a failed experiment by DC.


Quick Free Comic Book reviews…

BARRIER Brian K Vaughan, Marcos Martin

A few noteworthy points about this: first, it’s landscape format, which is a very weird reading experience. Second, it feels double-sized – yep, I’ve just counted the pages and it’s even more than that, 49 pages. Third, half the dialogue is in untranslated Spanish.

Despite that third point, Martin’s storytelling is clear enough that I could understand everything in the Spanish half of the story, which impresses me no end, I doubt if I’d be as successful with many modern DC comics.

But what makes his storytelling so clear is a very simple, uncluttered style. Which is great for telling the story, but the comic relies heavily on big panels and full-page splashes, and the art simply isn’t detailed or exciting enough to work like that.

So despite almost 50 pages, the combination of big panels, simple art, and skipping half the word balloons meant I read the whole thing in about 5 minutes.

I admire the comic for being daringly different, but it needed a compelling story too, and Vaughan wasn’t able to hook me on either the charatcers or the plot by what was the end of a very thin read.

ADVENTURE TIME by Sjursen-Lien and Larsen

This is a really nicely written story. I assumed it’s aimed at younger readers. It’s a very simple story, but told in a clever way, the art is fun, there’s plenty of dialogue with big words, and plenty of interesting detail in the art to attract your attention. I really like it.


My other punt from yesterday was Isola. As usual the cover art grabbed my attention.

It drops you straight into the story with little/no explanation of what is going on. My the end of the issue some questions have been answered but a hell of a lot more have been asked.
It’s another great title from Image and I’m really looking forward to seeing where the story goes.


After reading Avengers and the FCBD sample of Spider-Man I’m getting concerned about “Fresh Start”. It seems like it’s for kids yet falls into the grey area where both kids and adults will be disinterested.

I was always most interested in Ewing’s Hulk and Slott’s FF, but still, it’s an auspicious start. (Not to read too much into a FCBD sampler)


The landscape format is because it’s part of Martin’s Panel Syndicate digital comics. They are all presented that way to be read more easily on computer screens.

DC’s approach to that is they get the artists to work in half pages, so when the digital pages are converted to print format they just put two to a page.


Captain America #701 - “Promised Land” part one, by Mark Waid, Leonardo Romero, Adam Hughes(!) and J. G. Jones(!!).

I know several of you have jumped off this book with Chris Samnee’s departure, but I’m sticking with it for Waid’s final arc. It’s still a very good book, albeit a slower paced one than previously.

Set in the far future, where the pharmaceutical use of the super soldier serum has resulted in a virtual inter-galactic utopia. The story starts with a descendant of Steve Rogers, trying to console his ailing son with stories of his great great great great grandfather. It ends with the father (Jackson Rogers) breaking into the White House and uncovering an alien conspiracy of expansionism.

Romero’s artwork shares much of Samnee’s style and clarity of storytelling. Hughes and Jones are tasked with illustrating the vignettes set in the past. Between them it remains a genuinely gorgeous comic book.

This is a four part story. This first instalment being very much a scene setter. Hopefully now that the world building is out of the way we’ll see the pace pick up again.


Two titles taking a pretty dark turn …

Detective Comics #979 - “Batmen Eternal” part four (of six) - I fear there’s only one way this story can end now, and it’s going to be pretty bittersweet. Still, the book is going down swinging, with a really action packed final arc. The art this time round is by Phil Briones, who does a remarkable job of maintaining consistency with Fernandez’s work from the earlier parts of the story.

Hit- Girl #3 - the penultimate part of Millar’s opening arc, as Mindy’s manipulative scheme hits a bit of a speed bump. There’s a lot of ground to cover in the final issue. I hope Mark can pull it together without short changing a lot of the set up he has done so far.


Maxwell’s Demons #3

This book continues to confound expectations, offering up a third issue that strikes a slightly different tone again to the first couple of instalments, and which revists a timeline closer to the first issue, but which has the shadow of the second hanging over it.

I’ll stop the vagueness now and be more concrete: this issue is about a young boy travelling through a range of imaginative alien worlds to muse on the concept of death, its inevitability and - maybe even, by the end of the issue - its desirability and necessity too.

It sets its theme out clearly from the opening pages, with an earthy and grounded prologue that soon gives way to a more fantastical and imaginative exploration of the same subject:

It manages to take the idea of death and treat it with the weight it deserves, while also achieving a certain levity and optimism by the end of the issue, which is a tricky act to pull off. There are some standout visuals too, like this inventive and surreal spread.


If there’s any criticism of the issue, I thought that the child-abuse angle that was slightly more gently implied in the first issue was a little more on-the-nose here (no pun intended), but I get why that choice was made to set up a certain tone for the issue and give its ending more weight.

Good stuff again @DenizCamp.


I’d guessed it was something like that. It makes for an awkward reading experience in print, though.


More FCBD stuff…

Transformers Unicron by Barbier, Milne & Cheng.

Full disclosure: I have never read Transformers in my life, nor seen any episode on TV, though I do own a couple of small toys (I use them as props in my RPG).

So, first of all, this comic is really well written for the Transformers novice. There’s clearly a huge backstory, but it never makes the current story hard to understand, and the comic never just introduces characters or ideas without explaining them. It has a real “every comic is somebody’s first issue” feel of 70s and 80s Marvel, and I appreciate that level of care for their readers.

The art is good, imaginative and clear. The only niggle is in trying to understand the sense of scale. When you first see then, Rom appears nearly as big as a Transformer, but in later scenes he’s tiny in comparison. Also, how the heck are Transformers so HUGE? Don’t they change into cars? Some of these robots, their HEADS are as big as the humanoids aliens they are saving, and there’s no way a robot that big is going to fold down into a car.

I don’t know if this is a problem in the art, or just some Transformers convention that I’m not privvy too.

Anyway, the story is good, a pretty basic “team of heroes saving the world” thing, but well crafted and with intriguing (but not confusing, as I said) hints of a big mythos behind it.

I could easily imagine myself reading more Transformers comics on the basis of this. Except the “read more about” page at the back shows a bewildering number of trades with random volume names and numbers and no hint at a sensible reading order. So, maybe not.

Amazing Spider-Man by Spencer, Ottley, Rathburn & Martin

I haven’t read a Spidey comic for 20 years, and it feels like nothing’s changed. This issue could have been a reprint from the 1980s. It’s a good issue, nicely written, competent art, and I enjoyed it, but I feel like I’ve read it all before and I’m not sure that I need to read it again. (Change in comics: damned if they do, damned if they don’t :smiley: )


IDW do these Omnbus hardcovers that collect the comics in mostly chronological order, which is probably the best way to jump in if you don’t mind the expense.


I suspect the scale of the Transformers is a nod to the Michael Bay movies.