When Marvel started announcing their Marvel NOW! titles, I wasn’t sure which titles I was going to try out and which I wasn’t. I knew that, like DC’s New 52 initiative, there were going to be a lot of titles, and they were going to appeal to a lot of different groups of comic readers, so I needed to work out which ones I was going to try out, and which ones I was going to ignore. There’s not much point worrying about which series I was going to collect in trade, since I tend to get most series in some form or another, so we’ll leave that discussion for another time.
In a pseudo-sequel to our New 52 - One Year Later Spotlight, I thought I’d put together a little Spotlight to highlight my thought processes when it comes to pulling certain series, and open up the floor to see what titles other people are most looking forward to.
Starting at the beginning, Uncanny Avengers #1 has already been released, but I was going to give this series a try for a while before that anyway. Given that it is Marvel NOW!’s flagship book, I definitely wanted to see what was going on — it also looked to be the series that would deal with most of the fallout from Avengers Vs. X-Men. Like DC’s Justice League, I was very impressed with the first issue, and again like Justice League, whether I stick around for more than an arc, like all of these titles, remains to be seen. But it has a good start, a solid creative team, and some characters I really enjoy, like the Scarlet Witch, so this was a no-brainer even before the first issue was released.
As for the other Avengers books, I’m definitely going to try out Jonathan Hickman’s adjectiveless Avengers title. The large team strikes me as reminiscent of Kurt Busiek’s run on the title, and the fact that I enjoyed that run, and Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four, gives me high hopes for this title. It’s almost vying for the top spot as the flagship book, but given that it comes out later, we’ll give that title to Uncanny Avengers for now.
Whilst it’s not strictly a new book, Avengers Assemble is getting a new creative team as of issue #9, with Kelly Sue DeConnick writing, and Stefano Caselli drawing the first arc with Pete Woods on the next. I’ve made a point of following anything DeConnick writes after her absolutely fantastic Osborn mini-series, which is still one of my favourite stories. Her run on Captain Marvel has been excellent so far, and I have high hopes for her Ghost mini-series from Dark Horse too, after reading the zero issue last month. This title promises to be more of a ‘shot-glass Avengers’ book, giving focus to small groups of the ever-growing team of Avengers, and given how strong DeConnick’s character work has been, I’m expecting some good things from this one.
Continuing on the Avengers track, I’m also going to be checking out Avengers Arena and Young Avengers. I’m grouping these titles together since they’re both youth books, even though their approaches are completely different. Arena gets a pass onto my list since it seems to be replacing Avengers Academy on the Marvel lineup, and given how much I like almost all of the cast, I’m going to give it a go.
Young Avengers needs barely any justification. Kieron Gillen is one of my favourite writers, and Jamie McKelvie’s artwork is superb, so putting them both together, with characters like Kid Loki, who Gillen has already proven he can write fantastically and others like Wiccan and Marvel Boy that I love anyway, it’d be a crime for me to miss it.
Speaking of Gillen, his Iron Man book taunted me since it was announced in the first wave of NOW! titles. I tried to resist, I really did, but the fact of the matter is that I’ve not read anything by Gillen that I haven’t enjoyed, and I’d be doing myself a disservice by not picking it up. I’m also a fan of Greg Land’s artwork, despite his notable problems when drawing ladies, but I feel that his style lends itself nicely to Iron Man’s armours, similar to how Salvador Larocca’s style fitted well in the previous Invincible Iron Man series. This is one of the only solo Avengers titles that I’ll be getting, since both Captain America and Thor: God of Thunder don’t really appeal to me as of yet.
I was definitely going to give X-Men Legacy a try, since I find Simon Spurrier’s writing very funny, but I wasn’t quite so sure about the choice of Tan Eng Huat as the artist. Then the X-Men Legacy preview appeared, and the art looked great. I was really surprised, considering my last experiences with Tan Eng Huat’s art wasn’t fantastic (Annihilators/Annihilators: Earthfall), but it really amazed me as to how good it looked, so this was cemented on my pull list for certain.
Also as a result of previews, I’ll be grabbing Deadpool. I read four pages of the first issue, and laughed out loud twice, which I think earns it a place on my pull list, at least for an arc.
With Amazing Spider-Man being replaced by Superior Spider-Man, with almost the same creative team as before but with the addition of Ryan Stegman, an artist who is rapidly becoming one of my favourites, I think it’s safe to say that Superior will find itself on my list come January. It would take a very bad creative team to put me off purchasing a Spider-Man comic, and luckily Superior has a very good one.
I’ll also be giving the new Morbius: The Living Vampire ongoing a try, since I like a good supernatural book, and Morbius’ return to the spotlight in recent Amazing Spider-Man arcs has rekindled my interest in him.
As of now, there aren’t any more titles that are tempting their way on my pull list; most of the titles are either obviously yes, which I’ve mentioned here, or obviously no, which are the rest of them. I will admit that Brian Bendis’ All-New X-Men may find its way on there, but I don’t intend to get along with the way Bendis writes his comics in monthly format, and prefer to read his work in trade since I feel it flows better there, but other than that, I think I’ve set my Marvel NOW! pull list in stone.
There are certain titles that I knew right from the off that I wouldn’t want to collect in single issues. For example, I feel that A+X is a strange twist on the Marvel Team-Up idea, and feels forced to capitalize on the Avengers Vs. X-Men hype train, so I’ll be avoiding that one. I will also be dropping Journey Into Mystery as of issue #645, since I’m not that interested in either the Lady Sif, or Kathyrn Immonen, as a writer. I will also refrain from commenting on the new Thunderbolts series, since it angers me on many levels, but suffice to say that putting both Daniel Way and Steve Dillon on a series is one way to make me avoid it.
So, to recap, the following bold titles will be added to my pull list for the foreseeable future, joining pull list mainstays:
- (Possibly All-New X-Men)
- Avengers Assemble
Amazing Spider-ManSuperior Spider-Man Avengers AcademyAvengers Arena
- Captain Marvel
- Dark Avengers
- Iron Man
Journey Into MysteryYoung Avengers
- Morbius: The Living Vampire
- Scarlet Spider
- Uncanny Avengers
Uncanny X-MenX-Men Legacy
- Wolverine and the X-Men
Hopefully, that will be all I add. Given that I am dropping certain titles and other titles I collect are coming to an end, there’s not really too much of a shake-up to my pull list, though it finds itself a few comics heavier each month for a while. I look forward to seeing what I and other people think of these new books when they are released however, so that I can possibly re-evaluated my pull list once again.
I hope this Spotlight has illuminated my comic selection choices a little better; now it’s your turn. Which Marvel NOW! books are you planning on picking up? Are there any that are obviously not for you? Let me know in the comments section or via reblog, or drop me an ask message if you want to talk a little more in-depth about Marvel’s newest series!