2013, “The Year of Marvel” continues in earnest this week. And, like last week when I recommended the first issue of the Thanos Rising mini-series, everything kind of runs through Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers.
Not only are the various Avengers titles currently setting the stage for a cosmic event to be published later this summer, but the cast of characters is also front and centre in Marvel Comics’ present-day tent-pole series, Age of Ultron. Of course, all tent-pole comics have spin-offs and tie-ins inherent in their publishing schedule, and Age of Ultron is no different. So that’s what we get today: an interesting one-off, tie-in, succinctly called Ultron.
But it’s not about the big robot bad a title like that might suggest. No. It’s about the big robot bad’s cyborg son!
I’m calling it. It’s only April and 2013 is definitely Marvel’s year.
As a furtive and ardent reader that has historically sat squarely on the DC Comics side of the comic book ledger, even I have begun to slide my way over to the “House of Ideas”. And why? Cool storytelling with a sci-fi bent!
I haven’t been this excited by a space odyssey since the “Sinestro Corps War” storyline in the pages of DC’s Green Lantern. That was in 2007. But Marvel Comics, specifically writer Jonathan Hickman, has grabbed my attention with his current run on Avengers, New Avengers and the promise of his upcoming universe-shaping mega-story, Infinity, due later this summer and fall.
That last publication will co-star the villain known as Thanos. And Thanos Rising, the first issue of which is released today, is that evil entity’s origin. And it’s a must-read.
Top Five Comic Books of 2012:
- Daredevil (Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera) – Mark Waid pushed aside the grim and gritty tone that has been with Daredevil since the 1980s and went back to the swashbuckling fun of the original character concept. Rivera’s smooth art, which is very reminiscent of David Mazzucchelli, compliments Waid’s efforts and really puts this book on everyone’s To Read pile.
- Saga (Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples) – I picked up this comic because it looked like something different and that’s exactly what I got. It’s one of those fun comic book experiences in that it goes beyond the mainstream and does something totally off-the-wall. I tried to describe it to my friend and fell short, coming up with something like it’s a “sci-fi fantasy with elements of Romeo & Juliet”.
- Batman (Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo) – To me, Snyder’s Batman is the big book that drove the new DC 52. His take captures everything you want in a Batman book and delivers a smart, emotional, and respectful story for such an iconic character. I was also impressed by Capullo’s efforts on this book, as I had always seen him more as a cartoonist, but he’s definitely taken his work to a higher level on this book.
- Wonder Woman (Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang) – Azzarello, who I normally find difficult to “get”, has done a great job on the reboot of this classic character along with artist Cliff Chiang. And what impressed me the most with Chiang’s art was the subtlety that he could communicate with what seemed to be such a simple art style. A fun super hero book with its roots in mythology that isn’t afraid of shaking things up a bit to tell a damn good story.
- Aquaman (Geoff John and Ivan Reis) - I’m just as surprised as you that Aquaman made it onto my Top Five list. While there’s a lot of attention for DC’s flagship book, Justice League, Geoff Johns has done incredible things with the King of the Seven Seas. He’s given Aquaman a solid background, grounding him a bit more in his humanity, a great expanded secondary cast, and along with Ivan Reis has produced one of the finest ongoing comic books of the year. Read the rest of this entry
I don’t know if it’s a champagne hangover I’m currently sporting or if it’s one brought on by comic books.
Between Christmas gifts and Boxing Day sales, I’ve been reading a lot of sequential art in my free time over the last seven days. Perhaps you have too! But Wednesday, January 2, 2013 is the first “new comics” release date of the brand new year and, like every other Wednesday, there’s something that has me raising a quizzical eye and more than a little excited at storytelling possibilities.
And yeah, you need to get it NOW!
There are more than a few films considered to be traditional, or even required, viewing every year at Christmas time. There’s A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, one of the many versions of Miracle on 34th Street (though I prefer the original 1947 one myself), The Santa Clause, Home Alone, Die Hard, and for the more twisted folks like me, there’s also the 1959 Mexican classic Santa Claus. There’s also Elf, Holiday Inn, The Bishop’s Wife, and another of my favorites, Love Actually.
Yeah, those are all good, but really none of them really holds a candle to the all time classic story of the Christmas spirit – Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, specifically the 1951 version, Scrooge. We’ll take a look at why that’s at the top of the heap and the king of the Christmas movies, in my opinion at least, after the jump.
“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born — to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand! Heed the call, then — for now, the Avengers Assemble!”
What a year it was for Avengers fans – with the success of the film and the new direction of the comic book, fans have had a lot to be happy about. And while you may think the Blu-ray release of Joss Whedon’s record-breaking film would be the Avengers product worth highlighting in our gift guide (and it is well worth a purchase), for dyed-in-the-wool fans and newcomers to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, we’re recommending picking up the fantastic first season of the animated Avengers series.
Find out why after the jump!
Read the rest of this entry
I’m not only old school, I’m old. So when I think of Doctor Who, I’m talking about the guy with the scarf who used to entertain me on PBS every Saturday afternoon. The Doctor has come a long way since then, now he’s a merchandising sensation, and perfect for the Biff Bam Pop! Holiday Gift Guide. More after the jump.
The confrontation between Marvel Comics’ two biggest franchises, and their two biggest superhero teams, was the event of the summer, and the do-not-miss maxi-series that changed the status quo of the Marvel Universe. Yes, the Avengers versus the X-Men – AvsX – was the big one this year.
If you missed it, or if you didn’t, there’s an amazing way to relive all the action you did and didn’t see, with this edition of Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide. We’ll check out the AvsX Hardcover Edition after the jump.