There is an enormous amount of reading going on here at the Super-DuperToyBox lately, so much that I haven't had time to talk about it all. In addition to Indestructible Hulk and Iron Man, I bit the bullet a couple weekends ago on some other Marvel Now! titles that have piqued my interest. I'm unsure how long I will continue each title due to the expense involved, but it's been hella fun so far. As I explained previously, Marvel NOW! is a 2012 relaunch of several ongoing comic books published by Marvel Comics following the conclusion of the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline (which I also want to read at some point). To attract new readers, publishing changes include new creative teams for each of the titles, new character designs and new storylines.
*Marvel Now! Thunderbolts
The cover art sucked me in on this, I admit it. Originally, the Thunderbolts were the Masters of Evil led by Baron Zemo in disguise, a successful marketing stunt that sold big time in 1997, after the Avengers were thought dead following the Onslaught Saga. A later incarnation was government sponsored, and led by Luke Cage. I was unfamiliar with all of this however, drawn in by this dangerous looking roster of Red Hulk, Deadpool, Elektra, Punisher, and Venom. Red Hulk assembles his incarnation of the Thunderbolts to be a strike team that is clandestine in nature, similar to X-Force, the members "conditions" incurable. I'm interested in the Red Hulk more lately, (General "Thunderbolt" Ross, the classic green Hulk antagonist), and have seen more of this paramilitary version of Venom around lately.
I kept hearing this was a must, and I have not been disappointed! There's been a God Butcher on the loose throughout Thor's life, and we get glimpses into his life across the millenia at points when this phantom from his past has reared it's head. Really different! Esad Ribic's art is outstanding, like a modern age N.C. Wyeth in it's illustrative beauty. Excellence, I say!
*Marvel Now! Cable and X-Force
I'm a huge Cable/X-Force fan so I had to give this a go. Starts off with a bang, an immediate conflict with the Avengers. Cable's makes his obligatory, mysterious reappearance, followed by a hidden agenda, his obtuse lack of explanations to all involved, and of course he dying. And breaking his daughter Hope's heart. We'll see how it goes. Art is fantastic, dark & moody...
*Marvel Now! Captain America
I am crazy for John Romita Jr's art- it reminds me a lot of Frank Miller's sketchy line in The Dark Knight Returns, an influence I'm sure Romita would claim. I haven't picked up a great deal of Captain America, during my youth or my 2 year-old return to comics as an adult, but again, that cover pulled me in. Marvel is pressing a lot of the right buttons for me on these Marvel Now! titles. The story gets cosmically bizarre in a Jack Kirby kind of way, pulling Cap onto Dimension Z to protect a child from Arnim Zola and the murderous inhabitants of his desolate world. This has been fun...
This book featuring Mike Allred's cool artwork is what originally brought the Marvel Now! titles to my attention! I loved the X-Force books I read recently, and his guest pencilling on Wolverine & the X-Men #17 was hilarious! She-Hulk, Ant-Man, Medusa, and Johnny Storm's rock star girlfriend Darla Deering in a Thing suit take the F.F. Mantle over for Reed Richards while he looks for a cure to his "condition" in another dimension. The Fantastic Four was only supposed to be gone for four minutes, but as expected, something else happens. This is turning out a lot of fun :D
*Marvel Now! Fantastic FourI'm a Fantastic Four fan I'd say, and in spite of the criticism I've heard about the title recently, I wanted to see the other side of the group's journey as it pertains to the Marvel Now! FF title. I just couldn't let it go. More fleshing out of the transfer of power, the temporary replacements, and Reed's condition are given in the first two issues. I'm glad to be reading them, and I think they do and will tie in well with the title above, but I'd imagine you could enjoy Marvel Now! FF without reading this.
In addition to these new titles by Marvel, I'm getting into Brian Bendis & John Romita Jr's run on Avengers: The Heroic Age from 2010, a stack of Future Foundation issues for that title just before it relaunched under the Marvel Now! banner recently, and John Romita Jr's run on the Mighty Thor with Dan Jurgens from the 90's. I'm also still reading DC's New 52 Earth-2 and World's Finest: Huntress & Power Girl as they are tied into the same universe, the latter of which I'm loosing my enthusiasm for somewhat. I'll try to touch on those as time permits. 2013 is starting out pretty busy!
More Later- Make It FUN!