This week in Heroes and Villains our selection of new Marvel Comics include the continuing battle between Kang and the Avengers, the aftermath of Inhumans Vs. X-Men and another chapter in the Captain Hydra saga. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Avengers #6, Royals #1, X-Men Gold #1, and Captain America Steve Rogers #15… warning, spoilers ahead…
When last we left the Avengers, Captain America (Sam Wilson) had recruited Avengers from various time eras to end the threat of Kang once and for all by striking at him throughout time. The conclusion of this story maintains the Silver Age vibe of the last issue and plays fast and loose with the rules of time travel. I loved it. From the conversation between future and present Visions, to the reactions of the original Avengers to their later counterparts, to the startling suggestion that Doom has something to do with Kang, this issue rocks.
Does anyone else think that there was more than a little conceit in naming this comic after the popular Lorde song of a couple years back? Recognition means sales perhaps? That might work with the X-Men title below but I think it’s a miss here. But never mind my first mind wanderings on this book, let me say this comic is incredible, and an excellent starting point no matter why this comic was picked up. Al Ewing and Jonboy Meyers have created a new beginning for the Inhuman Royal Family, and started a new mythology.
As they travel with former villain and anti-hero Marvel Boy Noh-Varr into space to find their ‘real’ origins, I am interested in these characters again, and I wasn’t for a while because of their overexposure in recent years. As it may get worse with an upcoming TV series, I’m happy to have this comic. My only concern is the ad for the Black Bolt comic, meaning continuity may be an issue. Please, Marvel, don’t ruin what is a great start here, and keep it simple.
My first impression at looking at this first issue of X-Men Gold was a simple one, and one that may betray my age, but there it is – hey, I know these characters – and that’s something I haven’t been able to say for decades, since I last followed these comics. Sure, Wolverine is an old man for some reason, perhaps to cash in on the movie Logan, I guess, and there’s a new character (at least to me) called Prestige (who turns out to actually be the younger Jean Grey), but I felt more at home here with this team of X-Men, reminiscent of the Claremont/Byrne days (my X-Men time) than I have for a very long time.
New threats with the same old prejudices rise up, and I love the adult leader in Kitty Pryde, and especially her interaction with Old Man Logan. And there’s good old fashioned superhero action against Terrax and a new brotherhood of Evil Mutants. I loved this comic, almost enough for me to re-enter Marvel’s mutant saga. Yeah, it’s that good.
For those unaware for the last ten months, history has been rewritten so that Steve Rogers, Captain America, is a Hydra agent – he has always been a Hydra agent, doing the bidding of their organization since before he became the hero we all believe him to be. I hate this idea, but in that context, our hero answers directly to who was formerly his greatest enemy, the Red Skull. Now Captain America turns on the Red Skull, not to defeat him because it’s the right thing to do, but to replace him as the head of Hydra.
In Uncanny Avengers #22, Captain America led that team of Avengers, X-Men, and Inhumans to take down the Skull, and remove Xavier’s brain and powers from him, unaware they were actually doing the bidding of evil Cap. Steve has an agenda, and his loyalty is to Hydra, not the Red Skull. In the background, Hydra takes over Sokovia, and gains nuclear capability. Sigh. This is an exciting chapter of a story I want to be over as soon as possible. I tire of evil Cap and want my hero back. About the only thing I can say I liked about this issue was seeing Cap in his actual superhero costume in the 1945 flashback.
And then there’s the death of a major character at the hands of Captain America of course – the Red Skull. First off, how many times has he died in the past? And doesn’t this tale revolve around a device that alters reality? It just had no effect on me, except for the fact that it’s my hero who does the killing. My Captain America doesn’t kill. Where did he go? Maybe I’m getting too old for this. I want stories of good vs. evil where you know who is who, and superheroes who look like superheroes.