Carbon Grey #1
Hoang Nguygen, Khari Evans, Paul Gardner & Mike Kennedy
(a) Hoang Nguygen, Khari Evans & Kinsun Loh
FC 32 pgs w/ ads, $2.99 US
A couple of years ago Image had a series called Dust. It was an alternate world where WWII was mixed with giant robots and mad scientists. It wasn’t bad but at just two issues it was short and not a lot happened. A sequel came out last year called Dust Wars. It wasn’t as good as the first series and something seemed to be lacking.
Carbon Grey has a similar tone. It’s set in an alternate reality where a Kaiser has ruled the world for 600 years. For as long as the Kaiser has ruled, the Kaiser has used the sisters Grey as bodyguards. Until now.
This first issue has intriguing start. The Kaiser is dead and it’s one of the Grey sisters who has done the deed. The art is amazing. Not all the plot is clear – several characters are introduced without a clear idea who everybody is. I’m not sure who the girl and the man impersonating a dead soldier are and what their part is in all of this but I’ll stick with the series and see where it goes, it has a lot of promise. (Shane Hnetka)
X-Men Legacy #245
(a) Clay Mann & Jay Leisten
FC 32 pgs w/ ads, $2.99 US / Higher in Canada
Mike Carey’s Age of X arc starts here. It’s a crossover between X-Men Legacy and New Mutants for the next three months and Carey is writing all of it. It’s a vastly different world where mutants are feared and hated (wait a minute…). Anyway the X-Men have never existed in this world and the remaining mutants have banded together to make a final stand.
There isn’t any explanation for this world – yet. Magneto is leading the mutants. Cyclops is called Basilisk – his eyelids were removed so he has to where a special mask to contain his power. And Rogue is called Legacy or Reaper depending on the mutant. Every time a mutant dies, Rogue absorbs all their powers and memories – thus Legacy.
It’s an interesting start for what is essentially another Age of Apocalypse story. I’m not sure what Mike Carey has planned but I’m trying to have faith that this is going somewhere. (Shane Hnetka)
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Secret Avengers #1
(a) Mike Deodato
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher In Canada
The second of Marvel’s relaunched Avenger titles debuted this week. Ed Brubaker is tackling this title instead of Brian Michael Bendis (who writes almost all the flagship Avenger titles) or even Dan Slott who was writing The Mighty Avengers before the new Heroic Age began. It seems like an odd but welcome choice.
This team of Avengers is run by Steve (formally Captain America) Rogers who is now running S.H.I.E.L.D. / H.A.M.M.E.R. or whatever they’re calling it now. Steve has put together a team of Avengers to covertly tackle various problems before they become problems. The team, it seems, will be a rotating cast of heroes depending on the mission but for starters the team is Steve, Black Widow, Valkyrie, Beast, Moon Knight, War Machine, The Irredeemable Ant Man and Nova. Ant Man seems like an odd choice considering he was just on the Thunderbolts but he kind of works here, especially given the covert mission statement.
Rogers’ organization has discovered that another Serpent Crown has been found and it’s currently in the hands of the evil corporation R.O.X.X.O.N. It’s funny how these evil corporations in comics are always dealing with things like evil magic crowns or cubes but they never seem to do something really evil like dump gillions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. I’m just saying. Apparently R.O.X.X.O.N. found the crown on Mars and there seems to trouble brewing there.
This was a pretty good first issue. I like the idea of the team but I’m always wary of Brubaker handling super-hero team books. I was never all that enthralled with his run on X-Men. Brubaker has always better with more down to Earth super-heroics (Daredevil, Captain America, I’d love to see him tackle the Punisher) but this series is intriguing enough that it might work in his favour. (Shane Hnetka)
The Avengers #1
Brian Michael Bendis
(a) John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada
And so Marvel moves the Marvel U. from Dark Reign to the Heroic Age. But what does that really mean? A lighter, brighter day? Or just more super-heroics? Well, it seems to mean that there’s a whole bunch of new number one’s from the look at it. And here’s the first – Brian Michael Bendis’ re-launched Avengers title. After a little over 5 years and 64 issues, I guess the New Avengers stopped being new (although there is a new New Avengers title on it’s way). Steve Rogers is now in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. / H.A.M.M.E.R. or whatever they are calling it these days and he’s put together a new team of Avengers. The team is pretty much the old New Avengers with Thor and Iron Man added to the line up.
Most of this issue is just Steve Rogers establishing the team. and then they face their first threat which seems to be Kang the Conqueror returning from the future and demanding that something must be done about the Avengers’ kids. Bendis’ fills the issue with his usual witty dialogue “Please don’t say West Coast. Please don’t say West Coast. Please don’t say West Coast.” Romita’s art – well, I’ve never been a fan of his style. Everybody looks like an aging boxer that has gone one too many rounds in the ring. That said, this was a fun read and it should be interesting to see where the Secret Avengers and the new New Avengers fit in to the new status quo. (Shane Hnetka)