The GeeksverseFrom the Fan’s Desk | Pre-ranking the upcoming “All-New Marvel NOW!” premieres

From the Fan’s Desk | Pre-ranking the upcoming “All-New Marvel NOW!” premieres
Published on Thursday, October 17, 2013 by
New York Comic Con has come and gone and Marvel made a ton of new series announcements. Time to see what I’ll be reading come next year.

I don’t classify myself a Marvel-only guy, I read DC and everything else, but more and more I’m dropping DC titles and picking up more Marvels. Marvel characters just appeal to me more these days. While there was a time when I almost read as many DC books as I did Marvel titles, it’s not that way now. Thanks, New 52.

Like everyone else, I have a limited budget, so that means that if I pick up a new series, most likely another one will have to go. Publishers want you reading just their books, of course, but it doesn’t work that way. Buying a new series almost forces you to drop another and more often than not it will be another from the same publisher. Avengers fans, having to choose between Amazing X-Men and Avengers World, will probably not pick up the former.

Luckily, Marvel stopped a couple of the series I was reading, so that cleared some space for new ones and I also dropped a couple of books. So a couple spots opened up in my budget, but it’s looking like I’m going to be overbudget again. Not enough on-the-bubble series to be knocked out by the new ones coming in, because a lot of the newly announced series look good.

New Warriors, Secret Avengers, Avengers Undercover, All-New X-Factor, All-New Ghost Rider, Avengers World, Elektra, Black Widow, The Punisher, Silver Surfer, Loki: Agent of Asgard, Iron Patriot, Captain Marvel—all announced at NYCC. Amazing X-Men, All-New Invaders, Inhuman, Fantastic Four, She-Hulk—all announced pre- or post-NYCC. That’s 16 new books starting up in the early part of next year and one new book (Amazing X-Men) launching in November. That’s a lot of books.

These are all going to fall into three categories in my list: Must Buy, Check Out and Pass. Pretty self explanatory. “Must Buy” is just that, a title that is going to be added to the pull list basically sight unseen. “Check Out” is a title that will have its first issue picked up and evaluated—the title will either be moved onto the pull list, dropped, or given a couple of issues to win me over. “Pass” means that I’m not going to even bother with the book.

“Must Buy” titles
  • All-New X-Factor (January 2014): I was buying (and loving) Peter David’s previous X-Factor series. If you weren’t buying it, then shame on you, you should have been. This is a no-brainer. Replacing one of my Top Ten books with what is sure to be a title of equal standing.

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  • Avengers World (January 2014): I’m an Avengers guy and it’s part of the Hickman-Avengersverse. ‘Nuff said.

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  • Avengers Undercover (February 2014): This title is an odd one for me. It’s basically replacing Avengers Arena, which was decent but not a total favorite. It was on-the-bubble. So why is this a Must Buy? I know that Dennis Hopeless, the writer, said it wasn’t a sequel to Arena, but it really is. It’s the next step in the evolution/development of those characters. As I was invested in Arena, I’m curious to see where this goes.

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  • Secret Avengers (March 2014): I was buying the previous series so the new one just replaces that in the line-up. I am looking forward to this though since Ales Kot, the new writer, has said he’s going back to the original mission statement (“Do the mission, don’t be seen”). I was a bit turned away by Nick Spencer’s overly complicated brainwash thing.

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New Warriors (February 2014): The original Fabian Nicieza/Mark Bagley-Darick Robertson series is one of my all-time favorites, and enjoyed the subsequent Evan Skolnick/Patrick Zircher almost as much. Since then I don’t think Marvel has done the series justice. They failed to capture the tone and magic of the original. I’m hoping that Yost manages to do that.

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  • All-New Invaders (January 2014): James Robinson? Golden Age? Winter Soldier? Yes, please.

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  • Amazing X-Men (November 2013): I’m tired of X-Men books. Unlike the Avengers titles (where the writers can make a strong case for why each title is different and exists), the X-Men books all run together for me and Marvel seems to put out new titles for the sake of putting out new titles. Especially since out of the three dozen (or so) X-Men, it’s the same handful that get used. So why do we need another X-Men book? But it has Nightcrawler and Jason Aaron, and that’s (barely) reason enough for me to put it on the “Must buy” pile for now.

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“Check Out” titles
  • All-New Ghost Rider (March 2014): I know Tradd Moore from his Luther Strode work over at Image Comics and I’m curious if his style can translate into a super hero book. I know nothing about the writer. But the premise? I’m interested. Cars instead of motorcycles? It may not seem like much, but worth checking out.

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  • Black Widow (January 2014): I like Phil Noto’s work but I’m one of the rare few that isn’t a big fan when doing a full book. I’m weird, I know. But I’m a fan of Nathan Edmondson’s and I think he’ll do good with this book and character.

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  • The Punisher (February 2014): I’ve never been a big Punisher fan. I’ve really only liked Rucka’s run, but I’m very curious what Edmondson can do with the character. Given what we’ve seen Edmondson do on titles like The Activity, I’m sure he will give this title an accuracy in terms of equipment and tactics and such that has been lacking in recent months.

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  • Inhuman (January 2014): Really the only thing that is drawing my interest on this is how Matt Fraction will use the new Inhumans, especially in a world that hates/fears mutants. How will they be different? Will the world be able to tell the difference? Do we even care?

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  • Fantastic Four (February 2014): I loved the Chris Claremont/Salvador Larrocca run. I really loved the Jonathan Hickman era. I didn’t like the Matt Fraction era. I dropped this book (FF didn’t last past the first Fraction/Allred issue) and could have happily moved on and never looked back. But two (okay four) words brought me back: James Robinson, Leonard Kirk.

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  • Iron Patriot (March 2014): I like James Rhodes. I love the War Machine armor. I hated the Nick Spencer Iron Man 2.0 series. I don’t like the colors of the Iron Patriot armor. It all adds up to me checking it out and being cautiously optimistic aboout it, but not really expecting to get beyond the first issue.

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“Pass” titles
  • Captain Marvel (March 2014): I like Carol Danvers. I eagerly picked up the last series. I was disappointed in the art and the writing. I do like David Lopez, the new artist. But no new writer = no room in the budget.

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  • Elektra (March 2014): When it comes to creators and new books, a favorite creator attached to a new book can be enough to make me buy it, but a creator I’m only lukewarm to will have no bearing on whether or not I pick up the book . If this was being written by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, or Nathan Edmondson then I would pick it up. Zeb Wells? Not so much, especially since I’ve never been a big Elektra fan…

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  • Loki: Agent of Asgard (January 2014): Before we go any further, can someone explain how Loki went from being a 13-14 year old kid in all recent previous appearances and in Young Avengers to an adult? Please? This is important. Well not really, since nothing about this book interests me.

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  • She-Hulk (January 2014): Just never interested me as a character.

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  • Silver Surfer: I like the Silver Surfer. I like Dan Slott. I know he has a lot of fans, but I just don’t dig Michael Allred’s style—he’s actually one of the few creators whose work I actively avoid. So yeah, this is an easy pass. Even if Allred had not been involved, though, this probably would have been a tough sell to get into the “Check Out” pile anyways even with Slott. I like the Surfer, but I just don’t think he can hold his own series now. Ron Marz did such a great job with the character back in the 1990s that I don’t think there’s much more that can be wrung out of the character.

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The final tally: 7 “Must Buy”, 6 “Check Out”, 5 “Pass”. I think Marvel will be happy with those numbers.

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