Civil War II – Thoughts

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While fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are gearing up for Captain America: Civil War, us nerds in comic book land are prepping for Civil War II. We are just that cutting edge (and fickle). Today, thanks to New York Daily News we have got our first snippets of info in a surprisingly open look at the famed Marvel Creator Summit story building process:

“Civil War 2” writer Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso break down the premise.

“A mysterious new Marvel character comes to the attention of the world, one who has the power to calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy,” according to the synopsis. “This predictive power divides the Marvel heroes on how best to capitalize on this aggregated information, with Captain Marvel leading the charge to profile future crimes and attacks before they occur, and Iron Man adopting the position that the punishment cannot come before the crime.”

That’s the surface level pitch but just like the original Civil War there are ties to the real world and how we live our lives,

“People’s personal accountability is the theme of this one,” Bendis explains to his peers of his project with artist David Marquez. “From the way cops are acting on camera, to the way people talk to each other online.”

So I am expecting a lot of reflection and viewpoints on how we collectively represent ourselves as a society. The original Civil War was all about the responsibility of power and should we let our governments control our freedoms even if it meant giving some of them up. This feels like it could be a response to the growing toxicity in our general discourse and how we are in general, very quick to jump on people, things and situations in terms of being “right” or “wrong.”

If you are interested in Marvel’s think-tank writing process the piece is really worth a look. It gives a lot of insight into the dynamics that come into play when Marvel’s top talent have to sit in a room and come up with the next “big thing.” Plus it is worth it just to see in black and white that nothing too bad will happen to Spider-Man this time around! (Although that could be Dan Slott being Dan Slott and prepping us Spidey fans for another fall!)

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Years of Future Past #2

Years of Future Past #2I wish that the mainline X-Men comics still had this level of in your face moralising. Even if it results in a page that is essentially a wall of text!

All-New Female Thor

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(Sources: Bleeding Cool, Comics Alliance, The Mary Sue)

Marvel dropped a nice piece of news today. Later this year the Thor we all know and love will be deemed unworthy to wield Mjölnir and the mantle of Thor will be taken up by another character. This time a female character will wield the power of Thor!

As ever speculation is rife as to who this mysterious female is with guesses ranging from Angela to Valkyrie. Personally I hope it is a new character or at least one of the older, future Thor’s daughters (See current issues of Thor: God of Thunder and the true epic that is the God Butcher Saga) sent back in time to exact justice on the world.

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Awesomeness of the Week

Christmas is always a light but eventful week in comic books:

Marvel Chess Collection Review

Marvel ChessWhen the first issue of the Marvel Chess Collection dropped through my letter box, I was not expecting much. A simple figure and a few incentives to keep buying the collection to complete the set. We have all seen such things in the past and they tend to sit in a weird middle market of being for both kids and adults. While this collection does sit in that weird middle market it does so with glee. Playing up the Marvel angle to its strengths and providing you with a fairly solid product. With a decent amount of detail in the provided figure and a hope to improved things as the collection goes on, this first issue shows promise.

Out of the gate this first issue has the tough task of getting people not only to give it a go by buying it for the cheaper than usual price. Then it has to sell the buyer on a long term investment in the collection to either partial or full completion. It does the job admirably with a few glaring inconsistencies.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

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Re-Read Reviews – An Introduction

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So this is something I have been toying around with for a long time now! After ditching my regular breakdowns of the week’s top comics I have been searching for a way to fill that gap in the site. The result is Re-Read Reviews!

The premise is simple I take a recent comic book storyline/arc, series, event, whatever and give it another read then review it. Simple and devilishly effective! So what I should end up with are a string of posts similar to my popular Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection and DC Comics Classics Reviews but with a focus on more up to date books and arcs.

I will try and keep a steady stream of them coming through but obviously I am waiting on arcs and storylines to wrap up before reviewing them in their entirety. So that means there could come a point were I temporally run out of things to review. If that happens I will delve into my backlog a bit to Re-Read something slightly less current but still decidedly modern.

Anyway I’m going to kick things off with Marvel’s Avengers Vs X-Men!

Marvel #1 – 700 Free Comics, All Available for FREE!

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Yup Marvel have, in an apparent fit of madness, decided to let us all have over 700 free issues 1 comics from their vast digital catalogue for free! Pretty much every major series, plot-line and event is represented along with little known and non-superhero books. This includes every number one from the recent Marvel NOW! relaunch. So….many….free….comics…. all for free until late Tuesday. So get clicking and tapping!

Looking beyond the impulse “I must have them all!” urges that immediately swell inside you as soon as you find out about this offer it is a genius move by Marvel to get everyone to try out digital comics or expand their already existing digital libraries. The hope being that you will read a bunch of number ones, like them then go on to buy issues 2, 3, 4, etc. etc. It is all very tempting.

FAIR WARNING: The craziness of all this has caused the comic book geeks of the world to ram the comiXology and Marvel servers in their quest to get free comic books. The results being the servers keep going up and down periodically.

I usually use the iOS Marvel app on my iPad but for this mammoth sale I decided to use the browser version of the store so I could quickly and easily batch buy. Head here and get clicking if you want to use the web store. Once you have bought all the free comics you want on there you will be able to download them on your iPad from the My Comics or My Purchases tabs in the Marvel and ComiXology apps!

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 09.05.04My first pass ended up with me grabbing over 350 comics and I will be making another pass later on today to pick up anything I may have overlooked in a fit of manic clicking!

 

Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection Reviews

Avengers Forever Part 1 (Kurt Busiek & Carlos Pacheco)

This is the first instalment of the Ultimate Graphic Novel collection that I was not aware existed in the past. Everything up to this point has been things I have either already read or had a passing knowledge of by reading about them online or just by simply reading other comics. (Marvel is good at tying any and everything into past events) So the idea of reading something fresh to me was exciting.

Avengers Forever Part 1 collects the first half of Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco’s twelve issue tale of the Destiny War. A conflict with everyones favourite center of the universe character, Rick Jones, being the linchpin because apparently he is super important for humanity’s future. He is our destiny.

I will let that sink in for a second….

Rick Jones is humanity’s destiny…..

God help us all!

The story is exclusively focused on wibbly wobbly timey wimey…stuff even down to the team assembled to tackle the forces of Kang the Conqueror and Immortus. (They are the same guy at different points in time. It is a whole thing) Despite the confusing ground it treads (because, TIME TRAVEL IS CONFUSING!) the book actually ends up being an entertaining read.

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FTDiesALot Amazing Spider-Man #698 Reaction

This week me and a couple of friends decided to start a YouTube Channel to mostly cover our gaming shenanigans but as part of the deal I managed to push some comic book related content onto the agenda for the channel.

So here is a testrun for both comic book related video content and a couple of other things we have in the works,

Please feel free to tell me what you think below!

Covers of the Week

Wonder Woman #14

(Cliff Chiang)

Another month and another brilliant Wonder Woman cover by Cliff Chiang. As ever it fits the darker and more serious subject matter of the book while providing us with an image of a strong and adventurous Wonder Woman. In short: I love this book and this cover!

Captain America #1

(John Romita Jr.)

The all new and all different Captain America kicked off this week. Instead of treading in Brubaker’s shadow Rick Remender has decided to give us his take on the Captain America of his childhood. Big, loud, crazy and full of action! The best part of it all though, for me, is that John Romita Jr. is on art duties for this book! I love Romita’s art and his in my list of top comic book artists so pretty much any book with his name on it is an instant purchase. This cover sets the tone of the book well giving us a darker take of Romita’s usually fun and full of colour art (although in the issue itself that sense of fun comes into play a lot). It is one of those covers that teases you enough to want to see what is going on in the issue itself.