As we prepare for the All-New, All-Different Marvel, here are some of the stragglers from Marvel's Battle World, and how they rate.
Kieron Gillen, Felipe Andrade and James Stokoe
This book is tied directly to the border fences that separate the more aggressive territories of Battle World from overwhelming the more civilized areas. Most notably, The Shield holds back the tide of zombie hordes that threaten life on the planet period. Agent Brand is in charge of keeping The Shield standing, having taken Nick Fury's place previously, together with a team that includes Kang the Conquerer, Cyclops clones known as The Endless Summers, America Chavez and Leonardo da Vinci, among others. Brand is the perfect character for this role, and her past gets more of a spotlight in this version of the universe than characters in other books, which works to make her a character you want to see survive this. And, as the head of S.W.O.R.D. in the old Marvel Universe, it makes sense that she would have this leadership position here. We also get a nod to Gillen's previous work starring Agent Brand (the fantastic S.W.O.R.D. series). Overall, this is an intriguing addition to Battle World, even if the stylized art of Felipe Andrade impedes the narrative with art that is a little hard to wade through. It's just too messy and murky. On the other hand, we get some amazing splash pages that show previous attacks on The Shield, by James Stokoe. I just wish an artist more appropriate had been attached to this title.
Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde (#1-2)
Sam Humphries and Alti Firmansyah
Okay, I'm utterly biased with this title. Not only am I a huge Kitty Pryde fan, but I LOVE the Age of Apocalypse version of Kitty. It's like they made this title for me. And I love it. Of course, Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde were dating in the old Marvel Universe, so when the Star-Lord from that universe encounters a Kitty Pryde in Battle World, he can't help but bungle an exchange she is conducting with the thieving Gambit. Little does Peter know, this is certainly not the same Kitty he fell for. This one is a survivor from an oppressive territory. She's dangerous. A killer. But it's still Kitty, and Peter sees that in her. Unfortunately, this Kitty also words from Valeria, tracking down anomalies, and as Peter is from the old universe, he has registered as one. This book is just a hell of a lot of fun.
X-Men '92 (#1-2)
Chad Bowers, Chris Sims and Scott Koblish
I grew up on the 90's X-Men cartoon, so of course, nostalgia plays in to this quite a bit for me, as, I'm sure, was Marvel's intention with this title. It was great hearing these characters speak in the same way they did on the show, in the same sort of art style, same uniforms, etc. The creators did a fantastic job of capturing the feel of the animated television series, while keeping it fresh. Warwolves? Love it. And introducing a villain who wasn't in the comics until long after the show had ended? It literally gave me chills. And they were able to fold the character into this universe seamlessly. Very well done.