Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

Super Hero Squad: Infinity Sword Quest

Super Hero SquadSuper Hero Squad: Infinity Sword Quest
Marvel Comics
(w) Various
(a) Various
FC, 176 pgs, $16.99 USD

I believe many of the superhero comics published by Marvel and DC are inappropriate for young children. Violence, mature storylines, complex plots, and the occasional sexually suggestive moment make mainstream superhero comics more suitable for teens and adults. Marketing to those demographics is certainly important, but a lot of publishers have also turned their attention to a younger generation in an effort to attract new readers and develop them into long-term readers of comics. One of the ways to do this is to make available quality, age appropriate comics to the younger readers and- equally important- to their parents. While there are many excellent, highly recommended comics and graphic novels for this young demographic, very few of these are within the superhero genre. Continue reading Super Hero Squad: Infinity Sword Quest

Secret Avengers #1

Secret Avengers #1
Marvel Comics
(w) Ed Brubaker
(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)

Avengers #1

The Avengers #1
Marvel Comics
(w) 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)

Iron Man: Noir #1

Iron Man: Noir #1
Marvel Comics
(w) Scott Snyder
(a) Manuel Garcia & Lorenzo Ruggiero
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada

I’ve been picking up all of Marvel’s Noir line since it’s inception. For the most part I’ve enjoyed the various takes different creative teams have had on popular Marvel characters. But there has been something fundamentally wrong with this line. It’s the moniker noir. The term film noir describes a large group of films, primarily crime films from the 1940’s and 50’s. The comics have tried to embrace this, X-Men: Noir, Wolverine: Noir, Luke Cage: Noir have come the closest. But being super-hero comics, their pulp origins tend to come through. Spider-Man: Noir and this comic are quite clearly more pulp influenced. There’s nothing wrong with this. I enjoy the stories all the same but at the same time, I can’t help but think that Marvel might think about a better name for the line.

As I said this comic is clearly more pulp than noir. Tony Stark is a world traveling adventurer. Complete with his own biographer for his pulp magazine stories that chronicle his various adventures, Stark and his team search the globe for artifacts that might cure his damaged heart. His current assistant, Dr. Gia Nefaria betrays him on his latest quest. (With a name like Nefaria, how could she not?) His next quest is taking him in search of Atlantis. So far Stark has had to wear any special armour but it’s only the first issue.

This is a pretty entertaining read – but it’s not noir. (Shane Hnetka)

Black Widow #1

Black Widow #1
Marvel Comics
(w) Marjorie Liu
(a) Daniel Acuna
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada

The Black Widow finally has an ongoing series. This is more likely do in part with her appearance in Iron Man 2 movie rather than her being popular enough to support an ongoing title. The Black Widow has had several mini-series over the years. And for the most part they’ve been pretty good – except for the more recent Deadly Origin. The Richard K. Morgan mini’s were the best.

Now Marjorie Liu – the better part of the writing team for Dark Wolverine has taken on the task of telling Natalia Romanova’s adventures. The first issue starts with one heck of a kick. The Widow is ambushed on the street – sedated, then cut open as her attackers look for something inside her. The rest of the issue deals with a team of surgeon’s trying to put her back together while making sure that nothing important is missing. Unfortunately for the Widow, she’s been merely paralyzed by the drug and is fully aware of what is happening and how painful it all is. This is a really good opening issue. I’m intrigued, there’s terror and mystery afoot. And somebody’s going to pay. I enjoy Daniel Acuna’s art style – I’m aware that some people dislike it but it’s their loss. Marjorie Liu has taken Wolverine’s son Daken to some dark and terrible places so it should be interesting to see where she takes Black Widow. (Shane Hnetka)