This week in Heroes and Villains our selection of new Marvel Comics includes new beginnings and continuations. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Avengers #5, Monsters Unleashed #4, The Unstoppable Wasp #3, America #1, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming Prelude #1… beware, spoilers ahead…
Last time in the adjective-less Avengers title we were promised by Mark Waid a final solution to the Kang problem, but instead got an impromptu and well-designed origin for the villain. We finally are witness to Captain America’s plan to strike at Kang with the help of a future Vision. I love it. It’s a mad time travel team-up to attack Kang simultaneously along his own timeline, and it involves two more sets of Avengers. First the original Avengers are recruited, then the big guns from the Roger Stern era. The three teams separate Gardner Fox style and attack Kang at three points in time. Did I mention that I love this? This is old fashioned epic, a comic book, despite Mike del Mundo’s painted artwork, which is starting to grow on me, built for me. Highly recommended!
I had such great hopes for this event title when it debuted several weeks ago, such a day dream for a kaiju eiga fan like me. Too bad it lost its way somewhere along the path. The worst thing a giant monster movie can do, and they did it here, is concentrate on the people and put the monsters in the background. Here we have Kid Kaiju, yanking the angst out of the tired old oh-no-I’m-a-new-Inhuman-what-shall-I-do instead of just showing us the old Atlas monsters fight these new Leviathons. We’ve seen the new Inhumans stuff, give us the monsters!
I wanted to be dazzled by these new monsters fighting the old guard like Goom and Fin Fang Foom, not heroes talking about it. I wanted some of that action (and monsters) from the 1970s Godzilla and Shogun Warriors stories, and I wanted some of the cool interaction from when the Avengers fought Red Ronin – but I got none of that. I was very much disappointed by this issue.
The Unstoppable Wasp
The first two issues of The Unstoppable Wasp were the best comics I’d read in comics, and hoped that the third issue would follow suite, unlike Monsters Unleashed above… and it does spectacularly. Writer Jeremy Whitley and artist Elsa Charretier have the magic combination for this great comic that I love so much. Young Nadia, the new Wasp, continues her search for smart young women to join her research team, with Jarvis at her side channeling his roles from both the old Avengers comics and the Agent Carter TV series. I love this comic, everyone should be reading it.
After taking two Tylenol trying to figure out the Wikipedia entry on America Chavez, I finally gave up and decided to just read the comic without the help of knowing her background. I was ready to give up when confronted with the Ultimates, but quickly eased in when America was with her girlfriend Lisa. Of course, that too got tossed as America was headed to college alone. I wasn’t sure what the problem was – whether the character had too much baggage, or the writer Gabby Rivera couldn’t decide what the comic should be.
The side-flipping, scene-changing comic altered again as we arrived at Sotomayor University, a college for displaced super females seemingly. I felt the whole time that the comic wanted to be Unstoppable Wasp, but couldn’t quite get the groove. At least if it was, it could keep its baggage in better order. I just couldn’t follow much of this book, even when America went back in time and stole Captain America’s Hitler-punching moment, it just didn’t hold my interest. Simpler, not harder.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming Prelude #1 is a different kind of comic, as it’s not based in the Marvel Universe, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and based on the script from Captain America: Civil War, where this particular version of the character first appeared. And as anyone who saw that movie knows, Spidey was one of the breakout stars there.
As far as this comic goes, it’s not really anything special other than telling the movie story from Peter Parker’s point of view, and even though I already know that story it is cool. I am reminded of the old comic adaptations from the late 1970s and early 80s here. It’s fun, and well worth reading. Check it out.