Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Marvel released a preview for New Avengers Annual #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Gabriele Dell’Otto yesterday, which features Wonder Man and a new team he’s put together called The Revengers. Avengers readers may remember that when Steve Rogers was putting together the latest iteration of the Avengers, former Avenger Simon Williams, a.k.a. Wonder Man, took issue with the team reforming and turned violent against his former teammates (Mind control?). His new attitude will apparently be addressed in the first New Avengers Annual, where he pops up leading a bunch of C- and D-grade characters, many of whom have some sort of connection to the Avengers.
“I think we are better than them,” he says in the above sequence, comparing his new crew to the Avengers. Which, yeah … it’s either mind control or he’s just gone completely off his rocker due to a power leakage, because he’s assembled quite the collection of losers to get his revenge. Let’s take a look at who he recruited …
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15 this week, I’d immediately go for Flashpoint #1 (DC Comics, $3.99) – I am very, very unsure about the number of tie-ins DC are pushing out for the new crossover event, but with Geoff Johns in charge, I’m suspecting that the main book will be worth a look at least. I’d also grab the relaunched GI Joe #1 (IDW, $3.99), if only to follow up on the “Cobra Civil War” storyline that I admit has completely caught my attention unexpectedly. Curiosity would also get me to pick up both Moriarty #1 (Image, $2.99) and Total Recall #1 (Dynamite, $1.99), two new launches that will hopefully take familiar ideas and characters in directions I wouldn’t expect…
You’re going to have to bear with me on this one, but I promise the metaphor is apt: People like piñatas. They are bright, colorful, cartoonish and, best of all, when you get a group together and beat it with a stick, candy comes out for everyone to enjoy. Imagine if no one hit a piñata, that they just gave the birthday boy or girl this big papier-mâché candy container. The construction is sometimes pretty cool and I’ve seen some piñata that are shaped like Wall-E or festive (and gruesome) zombie piñatas that one might want to keep, but that’s a waste of good candy and a good time. No matter how delicate its construction or elaborate its presentation, piñatas were made to be broken and enjoyed in its component parts.
See where this is going? Check the title. Yeah, I want to disassemble The New Avengers. Just whack on that book like a blindfolded elementary schooler until all the candy falls out. Because it is withholding candy from us. One of Marvel’s most popular books, not to mention a cornerstone in this New Era of comics that came from Avengers Disassembled and Civil War. It was the first book of the new regime and has lasted consistently since, all helmed under Brian Michael Bendis. Because of this, New Avengers specifically has had a major effect on Marvel comics and how our heroes are presented to us. His Avengers are now the across-the-board norm, and to disband these new heroes would be like disbanding as old an institution as the Fantastic Fo- … Oh, yeah. To hell with them, them. Let’s crack that papier-mâché creature in half!
WARNING: I’ll be talking about the last few issues of New Avengers, and talking about them rather disparagingly. So be warned, someone may indeed be shot, but I’d say it’s safe to venture forth.
Jim McLaughlin at The Hero Initiative let us know about a unique new addition to the nonprofit organization’s upcoming “100 New Avengers” project: a custom New Avengers bottle, graced with a bevy of original art from the talented hands of some of comics’ biggest talent. The bottle, seen at right, will debut next week at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo — along with all 100 of the New Avengers covers created for the project.
At current count there are six artists’ contributions on the bottle, with more planned by the time of its official premiere. Admission into the debut event at C2E2 not only gets you in the event — duh! — but also a free raffle ticket for a chance to win the bottle.
Head over to The Hero Intiative’s blog for more information and to see more shots of the bottle.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
With $15 worth of dingy bills and loose quarters, I’d go my local comic shop and start with Thor: The Mighty Avenger #8 ($2.99). Probably the pick of the week in some circles (even for a square like me), it’s a celebration of what Langridge and Samnee accomplished – and although it’s the last issue, there’s that FCBD issue on the horizon. I’d also pick up two number ones -– Casanova: Gula #1 ($3.99) and Daredevil: Reborn #1 ($3.99). With my last $4, I’d be hard-pressed to pick between Thunder Agents #3 ($2.99) and Infinite Vacation #1 ($3.50), but would probably pick the latter –- Nick Spencer’s on both, but Christian Ward’s art makes Infinite Vacation #1 worth the buy.
Stuart Immonen is a comic artist’s comic artist.
Although he might argue with me there, his name has cropped up numerous times in years of conversations with comic creators as a highwater mark for artists working on superheroes, with his yeoman-like work ethic and ability to get to the top of the charts without compromising himself or his work. Immonen’s art blazes a trail between realism and exaggeration, and the cartoonist really hit his stride in the public eye with the 2006 series Nextwave. Immonen had been on some top-sellers before, including the Red/Blue Superman, the alt-realty Superman: Secret Identity and earlier stints on both Avengers and Fantastic Four, but it was his work on Nextwave and the genre-bending style that allowed him to show a more diverse skillset. Marvel and its star writer Brian Michael Bendis took notice, bringing him on-board for Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers and, well, New Avengers again with the series’ recent relaunch.
But one of the things that gets me is Immonen’s devotion to his own creations with wife and fellow comicker Kathryn. They got their start in the world of cartooning with their own self-published series, and jumped back into it a few years back with several webcomics and printed books. Last year, Top Shelf released their webcomic strip Moving Pictures, and the duo has plans for a new creator-owned original graphic novel for next year.
Everything old is New again: Spider-Man will still be a member of the New Avengers when that team’s book relaunches with a new #1 from Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen this June. The proof: the above teaser from Marvel.com, the second in what I imagine will be a week-long series akin to those for Avengers (in which Spidey is also a member) and Secret Avengers. Stay tuned!
Hot on the heels of this morning’s announcement of New Avengers‘ June relaunch with a new issue #1, writer Brian Michael Bendis is revealing a little more about his upcoming work with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. On his Twitter account, the Avengers and New Avengers scribe wrote,
both my avengers titles have back ups written by me. every month. it’s what we call in the biz, a handsome package.
The first of those two titles, the adjectiveless Avengers, debuts in May with art by John Romita Jr., while the following month’s New Avengers #1 will be drawn by Bendis’ longtime Ultimate Spider-Man and New Avengers collaborator Stuart Immonen — and co-star newly minted Thunderbolt Luke Cage, apparently. Or as Bendis puts it:
two avengers titles with rock star artists who CAN DO A MONTHLY! NA 1 is almost in the can!
The post-Siege world of “The Heroic Age” is starting to come into sharper focus. So too, perhaps, are Marvel’s plans for books bearing the $3.99 price point. And will we see back-ups in Ed Brubaker and Mike Deodato’s Secret Avengers as well, I wonder?