Monday, November 16, 2015

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

Secret Wars is not over, but the delays haven't kept Marvel from launching their new books in the All-New, All-Different Marvel.  Here is how the first wave of books rate...

Doctor Strange #1-2
Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo

Well, this is a match made in heaven.  Jason Aaron is a writer bursting with creativity, and Chris Bachalo has a beautiful art style well-suited for the, well, strange.  This new Doctor Strange title really illustrates why this character is so much fun, with weird magic, mischievous demons, and cool characters.  This is the Doctor Strange book people have been waiting for.

Grade: A+

Guardians of the Galaxy #1
Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti

Star-Lord may be MIA, running a kingdom and all, but Kitty Pryde takes his place in a book that captures the spirit of the best Guardians of the Galaxy stories. With Rocket in charge, and The Thing joining the rag-tag team of heroes, this feels like a fresh start to the series. There's a fun dynamic between the characters here, with plenty of action and questions to keep readers on their toes. 

Grade: A-

Karnak #1
Warren Ellis and Gerardo Zaffino

Warren Ellis returns to Marvel Comics to take on the inhuman Karnak, who has the ability to see the flaws in things, which he then usually exploits to his advantage.  The mysterious inhuman is aiding S.H.I.E.L.D. with inhuman problems in this new book, when he's not watching over The Tower of Wisdom.  Karnak is appropriately portrayed as cold and practical, and is rather scary.  Ellis writes this book with confidence, and Zaffino captures its mood perfectly with his pencils.

Grade: A

Uncanny Avengers #1
Gerry Duggan and Ryan Stegman

Inhumans are thrown into the mix in this new version of Uncanny Avengers, blending Avengers and X-Men characters.  Uncanny Avengers has been a top book of creative talent in the past, until this new iteration, and boy, does it show.  The art is competent, but utterly average,  The story focuses too hard on trying to convince readers that an old Captain America and Deadpool are cool.  Characters with interesting stories previously, such as Rogue, are wasted on dull subplots.  There's just no innovation here and it feels sloppily executed at that.

Grade: D-

Uncanny Inhumans #1
Charles Soule, Brandon Peterson and Steve McNiven

With this creative team, you already know going in that it's going to look amazing.  It's also a great take on the inhumans, mixing things up with Beast, Johnny Storm and Kang the Conquerer.  This book opens with an intriguing scene of Blackbolt leading a group of inhumans through time to try to locate his son, and puts his team in danger as Kang gets involved, trying to thwart them.  Reader is a cool new inhuman that's been thrown into the mix, and there are plenty of twists to shake things up.  This is already shaping up to be a great new chapter for the royal family.

Grade: B+

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