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)
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)
I, Zombie #1
Vertigo / DC Comics
(a) Michael Allred
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $1.00 US / Higher in Canada
The latest ongoing title from Vertigo is this zombie series from writer Chris Roberson (Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love) and artist Michael Allred (Madman). The story follows a young woman called Gwen who is a zombie. But she’s not your standard everyday zombie. She has to eat one brain a month in order to maintain her somewhat normal life. Although for a normal life she’s a grave-digger by day, her best friend is a ghost and the local werewolf has a crush on her. The problem with eating brains is she absorbs the dead person’s memories. Her latest meal was murdered and so now she has to catch the killer.
This series has an intriguing idea – it’s a little off the usually beaten zombie path. I enjoyed Roberson’s Cinderella mini-series and I always enjoy Allred’s art. This series has promise, I just hope that it doesn’t end up with the same short-lived fate that the majority of Vertigo titles seem to suffer. (Shane Hnetka)
The Spirit #1
Mark Schultz & Dennis O’Neil
(a) Moritat & Bill Sienkiewicz
FC 40 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada
After Frank Miller wrecked the character with his crappy movie, DC has decided to try and relaunch Will Eisner’s Spirit back into his own ongoing series again.
This version of the character is part of Brian Azzarello’s First Wave comic series. The setting is once again more modern but there’s more of a gritty crime noir feel to the comic. The Spirit is still just a vigilante working outside of the law but the Spirit’s love interest Ellen Dolan is more of a do-gooder here while her father, police Commissioner Dolan is more of a corrupt cop on the take.
This issue has the Spirit trying to take down the Octopus and an international crime syndicate. The syndicate have sent an assassin to deal with the Spirit. This isn’t a bad first issue. I like the network of informants that are at the Spirit’s disposal and Moritat’s art is amazing and surprisingly well suited for the Spirit. There’s a black and white back-up story by Dennis O’Neil and Bill Sienkiewicz that was short and effective. It’s not Will Eisner’s Spirit but it’s a thousand times better than Frank Miller’s Spirit. (Shane Hnetka)