Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Grading the All-New, All-Different Marvel: Round Two

Here are more books from the All-New, All-Different Marvel, and how they stack up.

All-New, All-Different Avengers #1
Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar and Adam Kubert

Miles Morales stumbles upon something he shouldn't have in the first issue of the new flagship Avengers book, and craziness ensues.  While we don't get to see how all of the players fit into this title, it's an interesting group, to say the least, and there's a great exchange between Nova and Ms. Marvel that hints at how these characters are going to interact.  Very fun.

Grade: A-

Angela, Queen of Hel #1
Marguerite Bennett, Stephanie Hans and Aaron Kim Jacinto

This sounds like it would be a really exciting book with a cool premise.  Unfortunately, it's pretty forgettable.  The art is, well, a little too 90's for my tastes, and the battles murky.  For some reason, I keep thinking that Angela should be a lot cooler than she's portrayed in Bennett's interpretation of her.  The ideas are there, but the character herself is a little too wishy-washy.  She was portrayed as a force of nature in Guardians of Knowhere, and that's kind of how I see her.  Angela's own series have just left me frustrated.

Grade: D+

Extraordinary X-Men #1
Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos

The first issue of this new X-Men series gathers the mutants together in a story that feels how a classic run of X-Men should feel.  Magik is, as usual, a cool bad-ass.  Storm is striking as leader.  The original Jean Grey is an interesting addition, even if she doesn't really want to be there.  It'll be interesting to see how things come together, but the introduction of this team has been very enjoyable, and that's how a comic should be.

Grade: B+

Hercules #1
Dan Abnett and Luke Ross

Hercules may have the powers of a god, but he also takes the time to help a kid whose sister is acting strange.  Hercules is his typical arrogant self in this new title, and has a mysterious roommate, who is sure to play a big role in future issues.  The art is solid and the action is clear and thrilling, but at this point, the stakes just aren't very high, and for a god, I need some high stakes to make me feel any real sense of danger.

Grade: C

Howling Commandoes of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Frankie J. Barbiere and Brent Schoonover

The new Howling Commandoes, led by Dum-Dum, consists of various monsters of the Marvel Universe in a Thunderbolts-type of set-up.  They're under lock and key when they aren't in the field.  The players include Man-Thing, Werewolf By Night and Hit Monkey, working for the S.H.I.E.L.D. group S.T.A.K.E., Supernatural Threat Analysis and Kill Experts.  It's fun to see these Marvel monsters go at it in the field, and the premise is cool, but the first story was underwhelming.  That's not necessarily a bag thing, since they had to introduce a lot of characters and their powers.  The threat they face here is a little different at least, but hopefully the threats will be bigger and badder in upcoming issues.

Grade: B-

Illuminati #1
Joshua Williamson and Shawn Crystal

The Hood collects supervillains for a new team of bad guys in Illuminati, which is awesome in itself, but Williamson goes about introducing the concept in an interesting way as well.  We see this first issue mostly through the eyes of Titania, who is trying to start a new leaf, aided by She-Hulk.  Unfortunately for Titania, things don't go her way and she is blamed for things beyond her control, even when the heroes show up.  And then The Hood shows up to make her an offer she can't refuse.  This first issue is great, and with the interesting way that the first issue was crafted, I have high hopes for this series.

Grade: B+

Ultimates #1
Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort

An odd group of characters get showcased in the new Ultimates book.  Black Panther and Captain Marvel are the big names, with America Chavez, Spectrum (formerly Captain Marvel) and Blue Marvel.  We get to see how their teamwork works in this first issue that introduces the team nicely, along with the sort of omniversal threats they will be facing throughout the series.  It was a well-executed intro, but for some reason, it still left me a little cold.  Beautiful art, nice action, but perhaps these extremely powerful characters needed to be a little more grounded.  Still, it was plenty fun.

Grade: B

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