All-New, All-Different, All Out Good Reads

*Major Spoiler Alert!*

So it’s October…You all know what that means! Candy, socially acceptable excuses to dress up as your favorite characters, and All New All Different Marvel begins!

This week, I had the opportunity to pick up three first issues of some promising upcoming arcs:

“Invincible Iron Man #1”, “Avengers #0”, and “Guardians of the Galaxy #1”

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“Invincible Iron Man #1”, 2015 Cover, “Avengers #0”, 2015 Cover, “Guardians of the Galaxy #1”, 2015 Cover

Now, while a lot of people are a little wary of this huge new reboot/launch by Marvel, after reading these three issues, I’m fairly impressed. Lets take a look at what Marvel is planning to deliver in the next few months.

Invincible Iron Man

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Issue one marks an interesting return to a classic Tony Stark story, but with some modern and refreshing additions. The story starts with Madame Masque ruthlessly (but with the same finesse as per her character) gathering mystery objects from around the world.

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“Invincible Iron Man #1”, 2015

Cut to Tony working in his lab. As usual, he has built himself another suit, however, this one is capable of somehow adapting to any situation, giving him his whole arsenal in one package. The story continues on to introduce Dr. Amara Perera, Tony’s date for the night. One who easily matches his intellect and is not afraid to call him out on his…Tony-ness.

All this sounds like a typical Iron Man arc. Late night lab work, secretive villains, pretty women….however…

I can’t tell if it’s the vibrant, vivacious, and more cartoon-like art or the snappy yet believable writing….but this story engrossed me. The page structures were daring and tried to utilize every corner, the dialogue (inner and outer) flowed nicely and delivered all the relevant information without becoming too taxing. It also contains possibly the funniest Tony/Thor interaction EVER, when Tony tries to have the goddess drop by to impress the good doctor, but decides last minute that might be too much.

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“Invincible Iron Man #1”, 2015

Moreover, the characters were all believable. Tony’s date behavior is outlandish as usual, but his female counterpart tastefully calls him out on it….and not in the usual flirting way, either.

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“Invincible Iron Man #1”, 2015

Overall, my interest is definitely piqued. This issue marks a return of the typical Iron Man personality, but with an amazing and individually interesting female lead in Dr. Perera. I can’t wait to see the new suit in battle action, see how Dr. Perera’s latest discovery pans out and see how Iron Man fits into the All-New All-Different world. You’ll know where to find me come November.

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“Invincible Iron Man #1”, 2015

 

Avengers

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This is the 0th issue for a reason. In short, “Avengers #0” is a small taste/prelude to several different arcs, told through the perspective of the closely watching Squadron Supreme. This issue’s stories will be continued in all the first issues of New Avengers, A-Force, All-New, All-Different Avengers, Ultimates, Uncanny Avengers, and Squadron Supreme.

I know. It’s a lot to take in. So I’m going to keep this as simple as possible.

The Squadron Supreme are the main narrators, discussing the threat/allies the various Avengers teams present.

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“Avengers #0”, 2015

The first sub-narrative follows the Vision as he visits the Massachusetts home of Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlett Witch and his ex-wife. The entire story is their discussion, and subsequent discovery by Wanda that the Vision is finding it increasingly harder to separate his memories from reality. In the sense that the Vision cannot forget anything, he is being haunted. The story concludes in the Vision revealing his logical, if not chilling, solution to his problem.

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“Avengers #0”, 2015

The next sub-narrative follows Captain Marvel and several Alpha Flight crew members deal with…sentient light, that’s really all I can call it. Fortunately, the ever-capable Captain and her crew are able to disperse the creature (not a permanent fix, mind you), thanks to one Dr. Tempest Bell. While more action-packed, this second story was not as thick with character development. However, I am interested in learning about this new cosmic entity.

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“Avengers #0”, 2015

The third sub-narrative was by far the most confusing.  The W.H.I.S.P.E.R. organization (under new management) kidnaps a telepathic agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and fries him (specifically his brain) in an attempt to see the future, specifically the future concerning Roberto Da Costa. As far as I can tell, A.I.M. is rebranding itself, we’re getting an American Kaiju, Hulkling is the new king of space, Squirrel Girl is riding shotgun in the new Avenger Five, there’s going to be a trans-temporal team-up, the afterlife is invading and the New Avengers are now constituted.

Any questions?

A little confusing (but then, that was the point), a little gross (probably not the point), and very mysterious (point unclear), this short was basically a teaser of things to come for the New Avengers.

The fourth sub-narrative had one, very clear point: Deadpool is now an Avenger.

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“Avengers #0”, 2015

The story follows the Merc with the Mouth as he runs secret missions (free of charge) for a certain retired World War One vet in an effort to save the life of a certain mutant. The plot was succint and filled with the usual Deadpool humor, but the tone gave it a touch of something more serious to come. It’s not every day that Wade gets thrown for a loop, after all.

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“Avengers #0”, 2015

The final sub-narrative is actually a continuation from Captain Marvel’s sub-narrative. The Black Panther and Ms. America team up to close the massive hole in space caused by the arrival of the sentient light. In her matter-of-fact style, America manages to beat the crap out of some inter-dimensional monsters and go on a sweet date with Lisa.

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“Avengers #0”, 2015

Not to give too much away, but the story ended with the ominous tone that America, though now invited to join the Ultimates, is dead serious about taking down anyone who deserves it.

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“Avengers #0”, 2015

Though certain stories stood out to me more than others, each had their own strengths and highlighted their own upcoming series well. There’s going to be a lot of great Avengers action in the next few months.

Guardians of the Galaxy

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Having never actually read any Guardians of the Galaxy comics specifically, I was surprised to find Ben Grimm the initial narrator in this issue. I was even more surprised to find that Gamora and Peter Quill had been replaced by Venom and Kitty Pryde respectively. Featuring writer Brian Michael Bendis (who is also the writer on Invincible Iron Man), the story follows the Guardians as they steal something from the Chitauri. Don’t ask me what it is, cause THEY don’t even know what it is.

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“Guardians of the Galaxy #1”, 2015

In an effort to discover what the Chitauri are up to, they take their finding to the planet Spartax, where a now King Peter Quill is learning that being king involves…responsibility.

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“Guardians of the Galaxy #1”, 2015

He agrees to have his scientists look at it. However, the Guardians were followed and the issue cut out before they could really address that problem.

Funny, interesting and featuring a lively and well-chosen cast, this issue read easily and really played with the characters it was given. Kitty is a spunky and amazingly powerful new Star Lord, as her phasing powers make her a menace to anything high-tech and floating in space.

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“Guardians of the Galaxy #1”, 2015
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“Guardians of the Galaxy #1”, 2015
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“Guardians of the Galaxy #1”, 2015

Ben Grimm is an excellent addition, and his monologue about always wanting to be a pilot for a space craft was a nostalgic transition into the narrative. I’m still a little confused why Venom is there, but then again there are also a tree and a talking racoon on the team, so…

All in all, All-New All-Different Marvel is shaping up to be an artistically daring and well written continuity in Marvel’s never-ending march forward. I highly recommend these reads and can’t wait to see where they lead.

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