Civil War II #0 definitely has a “prologue” feel and not much in the way of action or twists other than the president of the United States saying that he wants James Rhodes to take his spot in the future. (There is a little bit of a disconnect between She-Hulk/Carol’s sequences and War Machine’s.) However, Brian Michael Bendis clearly articulates the premise of Civil War II and makes the conflict in it, both ideological and personal. As an Ultimate, Captain Marvel has seen the fluctuating timestream and dark futures of the Marvel Universe, and she desperately wants these to not happen by being more proactive towards catastrophes.
Brian Michael Bendis
Things are going to get worse before they get better. In Miles Morales’ short career as a hero, he’s dealt with Venom, losing his parents in some form or fashion, and the end of the world as he knew it. In Spider-Man #2, his next biggest challenge rears its ugly head: the citizens’ public opinion of Spider-Man.
The second arc of Invincible Iron Man kicks off, and Bendis has switched gears to deliver not a shiny, crystal clear, Dave Marquez drawn adventure of magic and exorcism, but a technology based gripping noir mystery that will only take Iron Man and company into a different genre’s territory with exciting results.
When all is said and done, Bendis, Pichelli, and Ponsor have ushered in another fantastic entry in Miles Morales’ stint as Spider-Man with Spider-Man #1. With a new universe to explore, joining the Avengers, and having the blessing of the label as THE Friendly Neighborhood Spidey, the future for both Miles and this title has never looked better.
Overall, Invincible Iron Man, which is the flagship Marvel title, has concluded its first arc with definite promises of change for several characters and that will almost likely include pushing Iron Man and Tony to their limits especially since seeds are being planted for Civil War II during the next arc!
Yes, it’s unfortunate that the filming schedules and timelines didn’t match up, and Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (or even Daredevil) couldn’t be in Captain America: Civil War and give audiences flawed people like them, who care more about making ends meet and protecting their families and neighborhoods than some overblown ideological struggle. Hopefully, Spider-Man and Scott Lang will fill their regular person shoes in the film, but they are huge ones to fill, especially after Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter’s captivating performances in the Jessica Jones TV show.
The issue ends with another night time stealth ops where ninja shadow warriors meet Tony in a Madame Masque related trap ,and issue four promises major changes to the usual Tony Stark formula in the form of the arrival of Mary Jane Watson. If the ride we’ve witnessed thus far in these four issues are any indicator for Tony’s future, readers will be enjoying the new Invincible Iron Man for months to come.
The second issue in the rip-roaring new start to Iron Man ramps up the action and lets us inside the new Marvel Universe ever so slightly to great results. Bendis understands Tony to the point it feels right at home alongside Matt Fraction’s extensive run on the character already. Only time will tell where Invincible Iron Man will go and so far Tony will only soar higher.
Alias #1 is a real gamechanger when it comes to Marvel and superhero comics in general as it depicts the life of a superpowered character, who acts, feels, and talks like an actual human being while still dipping into some superhero and detective story tropes along the edges to keep the plot moving.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 has a pretty fantastic opening. Artist Valerio Schiti and colorist Richard Isanove treat readers to a double page of the monstrous Annihilus and Brood Queen (who were relegated to talking heads in the Galactic Council in the previous volume of Guardians) planning domination of the universe. But then they are never heard from again, and this issue is filled with quipping (and repetition of the same jokes sadly), a little action, some arguing, and a third act that is over too early. Also, all the characters seem distilled to one character trait, except for the Thing, who gets a few solo pages to spread his wings and enjoy his freedom in space away from the Fantastic Four. For example, Rocket Raccoon is angry, Drax uses big words, Flash Thompson is awkward in space, and Kitty Pryde has a tense relationship with the absent Peter Quill. In fact, this whole issue is overshadowed by Peter Quill instead of letting him be king of Spartax while the Guardians go on cool adventures.
After frantically sprinting from the press to the general admission line and waiting in the queue hall for hours with the help of my Jewel (Jessica Jones’ old superhero identity) cosplaying friend Julia, I had the privilege of attending the Marvel Netflix panel about Daredevil Season 2 and Jessica Jones Season 1, which is set to premiere on November 20. The panel looked back at the first season of Daredevil while showing the first footage of the upcoming second season, and the lucky fans in the audience also had the chance to watch the first episode of Jessica Jones after a discussion with the cast and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter).
Everyone should pick up Invincible Iron Man #1. The colors from the art team absolutely explodes in varying colors across every page. This is Dave Marquez and Justin Ponsor at their peak. All of the characters involved in the issue are vibrant and distinct, the action is beautiful and rightly acquainted with Bendis dialogue that is clear and informative. This is a brave new run for the Armored Avenger, and it’s off to a roaring start.
On Saturday and Sunday of New York Comic Con, the stakes get higher and the lines get longer as big studios, like Marvel, WB, and 20th Century Fox, bring out their movie and TV stars to sign autographs and appear on panels about their upcoming blockbusters and fall TV hits. You can catch the pilot of Fox’s Lucifer and CBS’ Supergirl based on the DC Comics properties, or decided to kick old school with several reunions of shows and movies, including Clueless, All That, and two masterpieces of nerdy TV that made my list.
In a sentence, Ultimatum is the superhero comic that will make you hate superhero comics and will have you reading nothing but Harvey Pekar, R. Crumb, and Daniel Clowes for the rest of your comics reading career. (My apologies to Fantagraphics.) Jeph Loeb really should have apologized to Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis for destroying their carefully crafted, simultaneously optimistic and nihilistic universe with all the skill of a child knocking over sand castles and then pulling its pants down to take a piss on the wretched ruins.
Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #2-3 succeeds on a superficial level with artists Phil Hester and Ande Parks showing the Hulk’s destructive, powerhouse nature compared to the spindly Spider-Man, who can only bait him or run away. (They do get points off for making Spidey’s webs looking like used bubble gum.) Writer Brian Michael Bendis also deserves credit for depicting Spider-Man simultaneous heroism and freaking out and ending the story with Peter Parker passed on the couch in front of the TV, like most people do after a hard day’s work. However, though still a disaster film worthy smashing machine courtesy of Hester, the Hulk is a one dimensional wrecking crew and could’ve easily been subbed in for the Abomination.