Another week of Marvel Fandom and another week traveling to new locales. Actually, your favorite Apostle is sitting standby on the second busiest flying day of the year.. in one of the busiest airports in the US. Let me tell you how much fun I’m having! …………It’s a good thing I have my crazy Mexican cousin, Jose Cuervo, and his favorite pet bird, Wild Turkey, keeping me company as I peruse this weeks’ Marvel goodies.
And what a week we have had, too.
Captain America and The Indestructible Hulk arrived last week with new first issues (this might be the 7th or 8th for both in this ever-“new beginnings” world of the comics medium). The “AM I BAD OR AM I GOOD” “Dark Avengers” and “Earth’s Mightiest Avengers” are now ending, or at least beginning to end, their runs. Lady Sif and writer Kathern Immonen have taken over “Journey into Mystery.” Plus, a bunch of other titles that peaked this reviewer’s interest had my funny bone going — or at least wanted caused my hair to be pulled — due to some subpar writing… Minimum Carnage *cough cough*.
Let’s get this party started.
Captain America #1:
For being one of the most recognized members of Marvel and the Avengers, Captain America has gone through more phases of identities then a teenage girl trying to fit in. Dear old Cap has tried everything from embracing his wild side as a werewolf, -ditching the star-spangled pajamas for a trenchcoat and shaggy hair, to even rocking out a MECH suit. This surprisingly displays one of Cap’s biggest problems: he has never been fully developed beyond the sole figure head of democracy.
Even when the “god” that was indeed Jack Kirby had exclusive use as editor/writer/illustrator, Cap’s issues were still left needing more. In recent years, no one has done more for Cap’s character development than Ed Brubaker with the inclusion of a new Cap, Bucky Cap, and even more titillating Cap sidekick in the Winter Soldier. The same dude. This leaves the new, current writer, Rick Remender, with giant red boots to fill.
This first issue of a 10 comic story (and starting off point for Cap in this MarvelNOW world) has left this Apostle extremely happy. In 22 pages, we have the Captain proposed to, kidnapped and stranded in Dimension Z. The Cap’s backstory is even given depth without becoming too redundant to the previous run, as Steve Rogers takes on a ward to flashbacks of an abusive father.
In an introduction letter that wraps up the first issue, Remender promises a bit of Kirby love including a new take on his original classic baddie, Arnim Zola, in akin to the child ward Cap’s left to take care. Even John Romita Jr.’s art is nearly as impressive as World War Hulk. I know he has his detractors himself, but Dimension Z appears like it will give Steve a run for his money.
Indestructible Hulk #1:
As a comic reader for years, this apostle has witnessed almost every vestige of what the Hulk can be: a lonely monster that came out in the night; an angry monster that came out when Bruce was stressed; an angry monster who then became smart because he was gray — and written by the wondrous Peter David. Greg Pak’s Hulk was then made into a warrior and dictator, before becoming a father and savior. Jason Aaron’s one year run then had Hulkie facing off against his “weaker” self, Brucie B. Award-winning Daredevil scribe Mark Waid’s new “Indestructible” Hulk promises to offer even more than before. For the first time in memory, Banner/Hulk has given up trying to separate himself from his green counterpart, using that anger to instead save the world. No, no, no. Hulk is not joining Greenpeace, friends, but he is joining S.H.I.E.L.D. to use his mental and green power for the greater good.
If the first issue is any indication, Waid might start rattling in awards for the green jade as well.
MarvelNOW continues to shape up quite nicely. Yet, with some major new releases such as Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy still on the horizon, in addition to an Ultron storyline that’s been building for the past couple years (perhaps way too long now), we’ll see if Marvel Merriness hits 2013, or, of course, ends with a few Mayan Aliens taking over…