ANT MAN & THE WASP / DEADPOOL / DOCTOR STRANGE / TONY STARK IRON MAN / HAWKMAN / IMMORTAL HULK / CLOAK & DAGGER [Reviews]: Big Things in Small (Paper) Packages.
Happy midweek here, geeks and geekettes. We’ve got a few titles coming our way, including a bunch of reboots and first issues! We’ve got so much to cover we’re going to just crank these out BANG! BANG! BANG! for a quick read on your morning (or evening) commute!
Jumping from Captain America to Ant-Man and Wasp, fan favorite Mark Waid brings his dynamic style of writing to the sub-atomic universe! His storytelling is as sharp as ever, and moves into the world of the microscopic superhero easily. Joining him is Javier Garron, who I wasn’t very aware of his work before but absolutely nails it in this issue. His art is bold and colorful and very much brings this comic to life. While I will miss Chris Samnee’s artwork paired with Waid, Garron does a fantastic job. Waid and Garron do an amazing job of hooking me onto a book that, in anyone else’s hands, I probably wouldn’t have cared about. 4.5/5 Bibles.
Starting from scratch while jumping right into the action, Skottie Young takes over writing duties for the Merc with the Mouth in this new series. Young, and artists Nic Klein and Scott Hepburn, forgo the typical multi-issue arc and instead present loosely connected mini-stories. Somehow, this first issue already feels more Deadpool-like than the movie Deadpool 2 did, take that for what you will. The humor, the irreverence, the fourth-wall-breaking shenanigans…it’s all here! The anthology-style structure of the comics is great as well: even if you aren’t keen on one story, there’s a whole new one to enjoy just a few pages later. But hopefully there’s a bit more structure in the future. 3.5/5 Pouches.
Get ready to go cosmonautical Sling Ring with a gumball machine-helmeted Stephen Strangelover, who’ll soon goo-goo-ga-ga for an alien ally (who happens to be the apparent progeny of one of James Cameron’s Avatar Na’vi, who had pyramid sex scheme with Queen Cleopatra’s cat after she gene-spliced the Predator’s dreadwig): ALL in this NEW Marvelous reboot of every comediums favorite magic man, who never needs the top hat stuffed-full-of-rabbits to outwit an interdimensional gallery of arcanery rogues!!! Order your issue of Doctor Who…uhhhmmm…Doctor Strange #1 now, and you’ll receive your free I Got Acient Oned iron-on mustache (along with a Limited-Time Offer for a Magical I Got Sanctornup Vape-n-Gape Douche Flute – yours for an extra $6.66 + Shipping & Fondling)!!! Dormmamu-Flavored E-Liquid Sold Separately!!! 4/5 Wizards High On Glass.
Despite me having all the faith in the world in the ability of Dan Slott, this franchise feels like it’s been rudderless since Matt Fraction left the book, so there was mild trepidation.
I’m happy to say that trepidation was gone before I got to page five.
Slott not only gets Stark and some of the classic supporting cast (something we’ve not seen in a while), but he gets the one thing the book has also lacked for a while, super science that is somehow believably grounded. Tony’s newest hire for his new company, Stark Unlimited is someone he inadvertently embarrassed when he was a kid, so Stark tries to make amends. This character becomes the audience’s entry point into this story. The dialogue and pacing were perfect.
Schiti brought an A game that was unlike most others, which you’ll see when a major and minor classic IM villain come calling (the latter in a cool “post-credits” stinger). Valerio was aided by strong coloring and letters. Despite my disdain for the comic Stark acting more wacky and flippant than the movie one ever did (with zero explanation about this transition), Slott seems to have made the best of it. In all, this is the first time in six years that I’m actually excited for the state of this franchise. 4/5 Bibles.
Hawkman (Carter Hall) is struggling to figure out his identity although he has lived countless lifetimes, and had accomplished many missions. He travels to the Gorilla Kingdom, to retrieve the Nautilus of Revealment because he is also an archaeologist. he seeks out rare treasures. He returns with a void in him that he does not know who he is, but with the help of Xanadu’s psychic abilities, Hawkman realizes that his purpose is to save earth from its ultimate destruction. He will sacrifice is life hundreds of times over to save planet earth.
Robert Venditti (Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps) delivers a very solid first issue, with Hawkman finding that he has a very important mission; he adds many different dimensions to his character as a professor, and expands on his many special and interestng abilities. This beginning sets up an excellent foundation to future Hawkman comics as Venditti crisply explores ways that he can save heart. 3.5/5 Bibles.
Let us never forget that the Hulk at times may play the role of the hero, the genius, the power trio fantasy, the ID personified. His roots? Horror. Al Ewing and Joe Bennett continue the story of Bruce Banner and the Hulk after the events of Bruce’s “death” during Civil War II. Leaning heavily into the horror monster on the loose aspect. Who is really in control this time? Bruce, or the beast? Atmospheric, dark and menacing instead of superhero action is what is driving this series. You can kill Banner — but then you have to deal with The Hulk. Strong start. 3/5 Bibles.
Writer Dennis Hopeless (All-New X-Men, Spider Woman) reboots Cloak & Dagger, just in time for the TV crowd to get into it, thanks to the new show. Issue 001 easily sets up the dynamic between the two – he’s darkness, she’s light , together they’re a cohesive unit – while setting up a new storyline. This time, Dagger wants independence and to discover who she is on her own, and Cloak is, appropriately enough, basically creeping in her shadow. The issue is a solid read and Elisabetta D’Amico‘s art helps bring Cloak & Dagger to life. As a new number one, it’s a promising start. 3/5 Bibles.