Welcome to a week of firsts! I don’t know if it’s divine intervention or some kind of back room deal, but both Marvel and DC delivered a huge number of new starts and #1 issues this week, which sounds to me like a solid foundation for this week’s reviews. There were so many firsts I couldn’t even get to them all, but I think I picked a nice smattering of titles.
We’ve got #1 issues for the new Thor, Gotham Academy, Guardians 3000, Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier and Lobo, some of which are really good, some of which are mediocre, and at least one of which is the worst comic I’ve ever reviewed in this column! I also included the new Captain America issue, which debuted Sam Wilson as the new Cap!
Comic Book of the Week goes to Gotham Academy for being both adorable and mysterious in pretty much equal measure. That’s a good start for any comic.
I’m going to warn you fine folks in advance though…be careful of my reviews this week. You know I’ve been sticking it out with Batman Eternal since the beginning, but this week…man…I get a little ranty. Keep reading if you dare…
Comic Reviews: Batman Eternal #26, Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1, Captain America #25, Gotham Academy #1, Guardians 3000 #1, Lobo #1 and Thor #1.
Apparently the time has come for Marvel and DC to start announcing new comics for the Fall. DC has a slew of new titles, while Marvel is relaunching Captain America yet again – but this time with a pretty big twist!
In All-New Captain America #1, Rick Remender will be writing about a new hero taking over Captain America’s mantle. Apparently in the latest Cap stories, the Super Soldier Serum has been pulled out of him, leaving Cap as a 90-year-old man stuck in a hospital bed. He’ s still as sharp as ever, and determined to be a leader, but it’s time for someone new to take on the mantle.
Remender had this to say about Cap:
“He’s a man in his 90s now without the frame or physical strength, but that doesn’t mean he’s out of the fight. He’s basically orchestrating things and playing tactician, fighting against Zola, using his friends in the Avengers to try and do so. He’s waging a war from a room rather than the front lines, which is new for Steve. There might be some shuffle boarding in his future. I do like the idea of giving Steve a bit of a break once the new Cap steps up and takes the mantle for a while. Steve’s going to continue to play a role in the series as mentor and tactician and eye in the sky, running ops and things. He’s got all of his faculties and is still the super soldier he earned the right to be called; he just lacks the physical form.”
Obviously Steve Rogers will return to the role of Captain America before too long. Probably in time for the Avengers next year, or his next movie. Hopefully Remender will get an awesome story out of the change, like Ed Brubaker did when he had Bucky take over as Captain America for awhile, or when Dan Slott wrote about Doctor Octopus taking over as Spider-Man. Both were great comics.
I haven’t been reading the series, so I don’t know who’s in the running to be the replacement, but Bleeding Cool has a pretty good idea. Don’t click if you don’t want to be spoiled…though it’ll probably be spoiled on the Internet at large before too long.
Bleeding cool also seems convinced that a Spider-Woman and an Ant-Man comic are on the way. The latter one is guaranteed, considering the movie. And if it really is drawn by Chris Samnee, then count me in thricefold!
Meanwhile, DC Comics is doubling down on titles that will surely be cancelled within the year. First there was Arkham Manor and Gotham Academy announced a few weeks ago, which I foolishly forgot to write about. The latter of the two might actually be pretty neat, considering Becky Cloonan is writing. I’m pretty sure she’s awesome.
Then DC announced yesterday a new series called Trinity of Sin starring Pandora, Phantom Stranger and the Question.
I have no idea what would possibly compel DC to publish this comic. For some reason, they still seem to think that anybody cares about Pandora. I don’t think anybody has ever cared about Pandora. And it didn’t help when the big reveal of Pandora’s Box and the Trinity War turned out to be nothing but a prologue to Forever Evil. The big secret behind the New 52 was nothing but a prologue!
Is anybody reading the Pandora or Phantom Stranger comics? Not that every comic needs to be about Batman, but these characters are just so boring! And I can’t imagine DC doing anything interesting with their new cosmic version of the Question. That may be my least favorite New 52 character revamp.
There’s an interview with writer J.M. DeMatteis at that link. I can’t bring myself to care enough to search through it for a good quote. Nothing against the guy, I know he’s a great writer, but I can’t imagine there’s one iota of interest in this comic from the reader community.
The other DC trainwreck is going to be Lobo, by Cullen Bunn, starring that new Lobo DC created that everybody either hates or forgot existed.
Remember him? I do, barely. What I remember most is that everybody hated the design. And when I read his comic, I was completely underwhelmed. And that was, what, a year ago? Why didn’t they give Lobo a comic back then? Why wait all this time? Were they specifically waiting for everyone to lose interest in a character they never liked in the first place?
Is my bias showing through? I’m excited for what Marvel has to offer, and I’m pretty sure DC are still just throwing crap at the wall and hoping something sticks.
Villains Month continues this week at DC Comics, and I’m enjoying it well enough so far. It’s a marketing stunt, and I’m OK with DC going all out for their marketing stunts. It appears to me like they’re using a few up and coming writers to actually pen the dialogue, so that’s pretty cool. I’m disappointed that Geoff Johns didn’t write out Black Manta #1, but he plotted it, and writer Tony Bedard did well enough.
Speaking of Villains Month, this week was the debut of the new Lobo. Does he live up to the controversy? Read ahead and see.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Mighty Avengers #1. There were some good Villains Month issues, but Mighty Avengers exceeded expectations in ways I did not predict. It might actually turn out to be a pretty good comic. With some pretty fun characters, like this guy…
Comic Reviews: Avengers #19, Black Manta #1, Lobo #1, Mighty Avengers #1, Riddler #1, and X-Men #5.