Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Well, NOW season is over, and hopefully a lot of the new titles will settle into their new places within the Marvel Universe. Not that we won’t see anymore #1 issues until the fall, but at least the full crop of them will be harvested later as await The Ultimate NOW or what have you for 2015. Until then, what looms on the horizon? What awaits our summer season on the shelves? What did he see? WHAT DID HE SEE!?!
That’s our teaser tag line for this year’s summer event, Original Sin. The Watcher is found dead on the moon with his eyes removed — and whoever possesses those eyes holds the key to discovering everything he’s ever witness. The start of what we know is uncovered with CBR’s press conference call with the House of Ideas. Writer Jason Aaron is leading the pack of Avengers books on this one, along with a surprise tie-in title that might not be what it seems …
But what does it mean for your pull list? And your wallet? Let’s look at Marvel’s May solicitations and see what’s what.
Original Sin is an eight-issue miniseries with what looks like two issues per month Alongside the main title will be a variety of comics to host the fallout from the secrets revealed, and Aaron promises the book will feature some eclectic headlining characters. This month, it’s Avengers tie-ins all the way, but hopefully we’ll see the Original Sin banner on a diverse bunch of titles. After Infinity, I’m kind of done buying everything with “Avengers” in the name, and I’d like to see more diversity to these events. A good sign of that is seeing Deadpool #29 on this month’s Original Sin list. Deadpool has been taking a more dramatic edge to his normally wacky stories, so seeing that he might have a part to play in Original Sin than, say, riffing on a parody of the summer event, seems more likely. Otherwise, it’s Avengers #29-30 and Mighty Avengers #10 to get the first part of this arc rolling.
It was mentioned that fallout from Original Sin will be seen in Dan Slott’s The Amazing Spider-Man #1, which is probably why we’re seeing an Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 this month. Oy. Some day, folks, some day we’ll decode the secrets of the decimal system, but for now, let’s assume they broke it out to highlight the big reveal from Original Sin while the non-decimal #1 has more current events for readers curious as to what all the past few months were about, or for longtime fans who swore off the book under Octo-Spidey’s reign. From the solicit: “Join Peter Parker as he takes his first steps towards finding his way in the world as Spider-Man. The chapter you never knew about the story you know by heart. Dan Slott (SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH) and Ramón Perez (the Eisner winning TALE OF SAND & WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN) bring you a new & reverent spin on the first 60 days of Spider-Man.” Read the CBR interview for a more juicy spoiler, but this might be adding more info to a fairly straightforward origin story, or it might be even more layered that than.
Let’s hope for the latter, because, starting with the Clone Sage, moving through J. Michael Straczynski’s Spider-Totem thing and into the new Amazing Spider-Man movies, there seems to be this weird reaction to the simple “guy gets bit by radioactive spider, gets spider-powers, becomes a hero” origin. There’s always something more, a twist that some writers feel they have to get in, as if a man’s origin weighs so heavily on a hero that adding to it is the only way to achieve lasting change to the title. Maybe I’m overreacting, but when there’s a Giant-Size Spider-Man #1 coming out this month telling the basic origin to new readers and kids for $4.99, I get a little Spider-Origin’d out.
Speaking of Spider-Origins (but not actually), Miles Morales gets his new (NOW?) title with the Ultimatesrefresh in Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1. The solicitations outs it as “THE BIGGEST SPIDER-MAN STORY OF THE YEAR” (emphasis theirs), and I can agree with that, considering not many assumed this new Spider-Man would last and the return of Peter Parker to the 616 seemed inevitable. Brian Michael Bendis is back with artist David Marquez to start Miles off fresh once more by adding in a “BIG BIG BIG villain from PETER PARKER’s past.” Please don’t let it be that radioactive spider with a sudden reveal …
In non-Spider news, the Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu returns with a new #1 issue from Mike Benson and Tan Eng Huat that will put Master of Kung-Fu Shang-Chi through a murder mystery with espionage and kicking. The Marvel offices LOVE Shang-Chi enough to make him an Avenger when there’s a perfectly good Iron Fist right there, so I’m hoping a solo story might put me on board with the martial arts master. Since this is the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu series, hopefully we’ll also get some Colleen Wing and Misty Knight stories in here as well.
There’s a character on the Loki: Agent of Asgard cover that I recognized instantly, but had to go look up the name to confirm. Unless my eyes deceive me, that’s Aegis standing next to Loki, and if I’m right, this is a fantastic idea. One thing about accepting more diverse characters into the Marvel Universe is that, sometimes, it can shove the ones that are already there to the back. Trey Rollins has been with us since 1999, and as Loki: Agent of Asgard #4 deals with the afterlife, the last place we saw poor Aegis, I’m glad someone remembered to put him back into circulation again.
Ugh, I hate it when events come up and I have to spend most of my time breaking them down for you handsome and brilliant readers who dress so snappily. There are a ton of small but fascinating titles coming out in May, just little tasty treats to surround the big meal of Original Sin; items like Gail Simone doing a story for Savage Wolverine #19, Kathryn Immonen reuniting Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends in Amazing X-Men #7, Ultimate FF #2 hins at the return of Ultimate Namor, Bendis’ new The United States of Murder Inc. #1 and more. Take a tour through the Marvel Solicitations for May 2014 yourself and let us know what you’ll be dining on in the comments below. Excelsior!