Coming Up: Marvel Comics Due May 2010

Marvel is teaming up its two biggest properties, those with successful movies, in the new series Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine. This is the kind of comic that makes me despair — there’s no reason for these two characters to be together. They don’t have similar motivations or story styles or even surroundings. (Spider-Man is a grumpy urban boy; Wolverine a world-weary globetrotter.) This smacks of “we don’t care about anything internal or story-based; we just care about making more money.” Which, yes, suits Marvel as a company and Disney subsidiary, I guess, but I’m picky enough to not want to read obvious cash-grabs. Even weirder, they’re planning on sending the two characters “to the edges of the Marvel universe”. Space-faring? Really? It’s almost enough of a car-crash-in-the-making for me to be curious about it on that basis, but then I remember they want $4 for a 32-page magazine, and I pass.

Thankfully, then I saw Rescue (MAR10 0478, $3.99), a new special issue by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Sensual Phrase) telling a story about Pepper Potts as Iron Man. That I hope to like, although it would be nice if Marvel bothered to tell us who the artist will be. Comics are both words and pictures, and I try to value both, but it’s difficult when the publisher clearly doesn’t.

Amadeus Cho (formerly of Incredible Hercules) gets his own miniseries? Neat! I like the super-smart kid. (Still miss the dog, though.) I’ll check out Heroic Age: Prince of Power (MAR10 0539, $3.99), although the title makes me giggle. It’s the same writers, which is a good sign Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, and an artist, Reilly Brown, who’s drawn the character before. Should I be reading anything into the way Marvel is careful to mention that Cho is Korean-American in the solicit copy?

With ever-increasing prices, I appreciate cheap teaser attempts, but the dollar line “Marvel’s Greatest Comics” this month features Alias, Marvel Zombies, Agents of Atlas, and 1602. THESE are what Marvel wants to represent their company? Old series, horror parodies, impenetrable in-jokes?

The cover of the latest Power Pack miniseries, issue #2 of Thor and the Warriors Four, is the funniest thing I’ve seen out from Marvel in a long time. I love the sense of whimsy. I bet there’s nothing like it inside the issue, but it brought me a smile during the long slog through Previews.

I kind of wish I liked Spider-Man or the Avengers or the Hulk or the X-Men, because if I did, I’d have a lot more options from Marvel. On the other hand, I appreciate them making keeping a budget so easily.


15 Responses to “Coming Up: Marvel Comics Due May 2010”

  1. Cole Moore Odell Says:

    Despair? Team-ups and teams have often been artificial, dictated by marketing. The JSA, the very first superhero team, was made up of all the DC/All-American characters who didn’t have their own books–a fact commented on by the characters themselves when they kicked Green Lantern and the Flash out for graduating into their own titles. The original Avengers’ (and JLA for that matter) reason for being seemed to be as a cross-sell for a bunch of Marvel’s B-list solo heroes. I don’t see the Spider-Man/Wolverine book as any different. Besides, Marvel chucked any sense of placing characters on their own tonal universes when they put Wolverine and Spidey in the Avengers a few years ago. Beyond that, how is this any different than a six issue arc of Marvel Team-Up? You know, the book where Spider-Man used to team up with everybody and their cousin? (Including a particularly awesome “space-faring” annual with the Thing, Adam Warlock and the Avengers done by Jim Starlin.) I think you’re being overly grumpy here.

  2. Cole Moore Odell Says:

    And frankly, your biggest reason for why Wolverine and Spider-Man don’t belong together–that their settings and personalities clash–is precisely what most writers would regard as story fodder, especially in the Marvel Universe, where hero interactions are typically based on clashing points of view.

  3. James Schee Says:

    Not that I’d read it, but honestly its just Marvel doing the same thing DC did by putting their two most popular characters together in a series.

    Do Superman and Batman really have that much in common? Or honestly here, is there anything Batman can do that a competently written Superman can’t?

    Wolverine and Spidey have been teaming up for YEARS. Heck my first exposure to Wolverine was in a Spider-man miniseries that had Peter vacationing in Europe determined to just be himself to the point he leaves his costume behind.

    He winds up having to steal a Spider-man suit from a costume shop when he’s forced into action. Which has the hilarity of actually having the words “Spider-Man” printed on it. I wish I knew what series that was as I’d love to reread it.

    I thought it kind of curious to see that Marvel is launching a new series starring Hawkeye and Mockingbird(I thought she was dead?). At the same time when DC’s Green Arrow and Black Canary series is being retooled with BC going back to Birds.

  4. Kevin Lighton Says:

    James: I believe that’s the “Spider-Man and Wolverine” (or maybe it was “Spider-Man vs. Wolverine”; it’s been a while since I read it) one-shot from the mid-80s.

    And the costume actually said “Die Spinne” (“The Spider” in German) on the back.

  5. david brothers Says:

    Spiderfan has a thorough summary of it. Your memory serves you well, because it’s a pretty good one.

    Jeff Parker did a pretty good What If based on the same story a year or two ago, too.

  6. Johanna Says:

    Well, that history explains why they were promoing this as “first major series ever” — caveats to set this apart from the previous.

    I thought about Superman and Batman, but that feels very different to me, due to the different personalities (in general) of Marvel and DC characters. DC guys always seemed friendly and willing to work together, while Marvel made its soap opera out of heroes being feared or hated or alone. That’s why the Avengers are the Marvel characters I’m most comfortable with — it’s the most traditional team.

    And yes, Cole, I am grumpy. Reading Previews always makes me so, but it still seems like something I need to do to make sure I find the comics I’m interested in. (It’s just that many of the upcoming books, I put on Amazon wishlists instead of my pull at the local store.) If I’m not making sense, tell me so, as you did, and/or ignore me. It’ll pass before next month rolls around.

  7. Alex Says:

    Actually, Johanna, I have good news for you about what’s inside Thor and the Warriors Four #2… Though it doesn’t exactly match the cover, let’s just say it’s not off the mark, and leave it at that. I hope you like it!

  8. Johanna Says:

    Ooh, hints and portents! Nifty!

  9. Cole Moore Odell Says:

    Johanna, I understand how you feel; most of Previews usually depresses me to no end as well.

  10. Johanna Says:

    I’m done now, so I’m happy again. And I appreciate hearing your more realistic perspective.

  11. Thom Says:

    Here I was going to point out that Spidey and Wolvie have a fairly extensive history of teaming up (in both the 616 and the Ultimate books-seriously, Ultimate Spider-Man has a hilarious two part story involving Peter and Logan getting Freaky Friday’d)… but I see people beat me to it. :)

  12. Johanna Says:

    I should have been clearer that I was objecting to the idea of this being a continuing series — one-time team-ups, where the contrast serves a purpose, are a different thing.

  13. Thom Says:

    Honestly, the only way this series could interest me is if it was a comedy, playing up the odd couple-ness of the two characters. Peter and Logan as room mates. I would buy that.

  14. William George Says:

    Cranky old bastard and smart-assed youth is always a winning combination. Go Spidey/Wolvie!

  15. Coming Up: Marvel Comics Due June 2010 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] that’s weird. The big launch last month, Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine, isn’t offered this month. Wouldn’t it have been helpful to know it was bimonthly at [...]

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