Tag Archives: Jonathan Hickman

A Return to Physical Comics

I’ve been a comic book fan since I was a very young child. They have been such a mainstay in my life, that it’s hard to think of a life without them. Growing up, they were a refuge from bullies and a place to see characters that had become friends of a sort, offering comfort and escape from reality when I needed it. As I got older, they were a source of inspiration that I used in my own creative endeavors.

My wife says I got a lot of my morals from comic books, and I can’t disagree with her. When Spider-Man learned “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”, I took that phrase to heart. No, I’m not more special than anyone else, but I’ve always believed that if you have the opportunity and ability to help someone, you should do it.

My friends and family equate me with comic knowledge, and I wholeheartedly accept that assertion. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast last week, but I can tell you who the creative team on Superman #16 from 1986 was.

I read Marvel and DC equally over the years, with indies thrown in as time went on. From Secret Wars and Crisis on Infinite Earths, to Civil War and Flashpoint, I was there for every major event. Eventually, some things changed.

First off, I had a daughter. Wouldn’t change anything about having her, but the reality of a dual income household becoming a single income with an extra boarder, made our finances change. No longer was the disposable income there for buying lots of comics. Diapers aren’t cheap!

Second, DC Comics began ‘The New 52’. They restarted everything over again after Flashpoint. What came before was no more. This was a new DC Universe. I signed up for all 52 DC series in September 2011, cautious but excited to see what we as readers were in store for.

Within 3 months, I had cancelled nearly every DC comic from my pull list. These new books didn’t ring a bell for me. They weren’t the same characters I had known for years, and my interest went away quickly. When it came time to decide to cancel my pull list entirely, I was sad. This was the first time since the 1980s I would not be buying comics. My Marvel portion of the list had been going down as well; things just weren’t interesting me like they used to. I was sad, but when the pull list was closed, I was more disappointed than anything else. That’s when I realized that I was wanting quality over quantity.

A couple of years later, I did subscribe to Marvel Unlimited. It is six months behind on issue releases and there is no ownership, but it allowed me to keep up on Marvel on a budget. Marvel had a lot of things going on, but what got my interest was Jonathan Hickman and his work on the Avengers. I went back and read his Fantastic Four and other work. I was amazed at the world building and long game he played in all his work. He was writing the kind of comics I wanted to read.

Jonathan Hickman’s talent at world building and his interest in telling long stories within his series is likely one of the reasons why Marvel hired him to orchestrate a revival of the X-Men.

I heard in 2019 Hickman had taken on the X-Men, so my interest was piqued. I read the House of X / Powers of X lead-in series and couldn’t believe it… Hickman had found a way to completely reinvent the X-Men. He had done it with the Fantastic Four; he had done it with the Avengers. I should not have been surprised. His work blew me away. I needed to get back in the normal habit of reading his work. Thus, I started a pull list again for the first time in years. All of the X-titles are on it, and Chad & Comicreaders were great in getting me caught up on the back issues I was behind on.

X of Swords is an epic in 22 parts that runs through most of the X-Men comics.

I’m getting into X of Swords, the latest X-event, and am loving it. I’ve loved each of the series to date and the entire tapestry Hickman and Co. have made is fantastic. If Marvel simply put Hickman in charge of all of their publishing, I would be a happy camper.

I’m glad to be back reading physical comics and making that trek to the comic store several times a month. It’s a good time to be an X-Men fan, and I’m loving every minute of it. (Mike Hintze)

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Marvel Comics
(w) Jonathan Hickman
(a) Dustin Weaver
FC 40 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada

Well that was an unexpected issue. I’ve been enjoying most of Jonathan Hickman’s comics. Secret Warriors, Fantastic Four and his creator owned Image titles have all been good. And with Hickman writing Nick Fury in Secret Warriors, I figured that this series was an extension of Secret Warriors.

I was wrong. Apparently this series is about a completely different organization called S.H.I.EL.D that has been around since the days of the Egyptian pharaoh Imhotep. In fact it was his shield that was used during a Brood invasion that the organization is named for. Apparently Leonardo Da Vinci, Issac Newton, Zhang Heng and Galileo have all been members of this secret organization and have fought such beings as Galactus, the Brood and the Celestials throughout time.

At first I thought that this was a secret history of the Marvel universe but after reading the comic, there was a couple of hints that this might be an alternate reality Earth. The fact that Stark and Richards are some sort of secret agents kinda of gave it away. The comic was an intriguing read and the art was impressive but with the title of S.H.I.E.L.D. I was expecting something else. While I’m not sure what Hickman is doing with this title, the premise seems interesting enough to keep my interest for a couple of issues. I’ll give Hickman the benefit of the doubt for now. (Shane Hnetka)

Secret Warriors #2

Secret Warriors #2 mar4-09-secret
Marvel Comics
(w) Brian Michael Bendis & Jonathan Hickman
(a) Stefano Caselli
FC, 32 pgs w/ ads $2.99 US

I really don’t need another title to pick up. Seriously. But dammit, this series seems pretty intriguing. And I don’t even like Nick Fury’s new Secret Warriors.

There isn’t much of the team in this issue–they just sit around stuffing their faces while Baron Strucker is back and rebuilding Hydra. And it’s starting to look like a pretty bad ass terrorist organization this time. After last issue’s reveal – major spoilers for those who might be waiting for the trade -Hydra has apparently been running S.H.I.E.L.D. the entire time, along with several other spy agencies. Naturally, when Nick Fury finds this out he’s extremely pissed. I’m not sure I’m digging the art though. Caselli seems better suited on an Avengers title than this spy title, but I can let it slide for now. The writing on the other hand is making me keep an eye on this title for. Bastards. (Shane Hnetka)