Coming Up: Marvel Comics Due December 2010

I hadn’t expected Avengers Academy to outlast Young Allies (canceled at issue #6, so ignore that #7 solicit), but I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise — brand name matters, and YA never quite came together the way it should. I’ve always had a soft spot for teen superhero books, and this one, with known adult mentors, is entertaining. In issue #7 (OCT10 0574, $2.99, December 1), Giant Man returns. I didn’t even know he was gone.

Avengers Academy #7 cover

I suppose that’s explained by Ant-Man & Wasp, although I can’t get used to Wasp not being a girl. I just think “couple” when I hear those names together. Hmmm, that would be a timely twist, wouldn’t it? Two guy shrinking heroes teaming up in more ways than one?

I used to like reading Hercules, mostly for the relationship between him and Amadeus Cho, but who wants to read almost 20 tie-in comics over four months at $4 a pop? That’s another one off the list through publisher greed. I don’t care about all the deities of the Marvel universe mouthing off at each other in some kind of “Chaos War” — I get plenty of that on the internet. Plus, the dead Avengers (in a comic called, creatively, Dead Avengers) and X-Men start returning, which makes me think Marvel’s ripping off DC’s Blackest Night.

There are also too many Hulks and Iron Mans and Thors. If you love a character, the presumption is that you’ll love having even more of them — but when the series all have throwaway premises and different creative teams, it’s not a consistent experience, just a drain on the wallet. My new rule is to only seriously consider books and characters with fewer than three versions. I want something I can evaluate — and hopefully enjoy — on its own merits. (That policy also makes it much quicker to get through the superhero sections of Previews.)

I haven’t heard anyone say anything about One Month to Live, the weekly miniseries that just wrapped up, about a regular guy who gets superpowers that come with a 30-day lifespan. No discussion usually means that a story was crap, or at best, forgettable. Yet here it is with a $20 hardcover (for five issues). This is exhibit A for the idea that maybe everything doesn’t need to be collected. Maybe a publisher should only reprint works they want to keep in print, stories that people will still want to be reading four or five years from now, not shelf-filler.

Conversely, I’m really surprised it took them 12 years to start collecting Kurt Busiek and George Pérez’s Avengers run in Avengers Assemble (OCT10 0700, $34.99, December 8). That was considered some of the best superhero comics of that era at the time. Of course, back then, they weren’t “writing for the trade”, and it can be difficult to find good break points for stories, which might be why this is such a chunky book, reprinting 11 issues, an annual, and three stories from other titles.

11 Responses to “Coming Up: Marvel Comics Due December 2010”

  1. Caroline Says:

    I’m pretty sure that Avengers run has been collected before, but I think it has been out of print for a while. . .

    You’re right, though, the Marvel lineup is pretty cluttered with duplicate books and ones that are a little unique (like Young Allies) don’t necessarily get a chance to shine. Too bad!

  2. Augie De Blieck Jr. Says:

    Yup, I can confirm it: I have the first two volumes of “Avengers Assemble” on my bookshelf by Busiek/Perez. And I’m pretty sure they made another couple books in the series, though I don’t think I picked them up for one reason or another…

  3. Basque Says:

    I read all five issues of One Month to Live and it was completely forgettable. It lacked cohesion (as you would expect from a five-issue series with a different creative team on each issue). I was waiting to see how the last issue would tie it all together, but it was a huge disappointment. The only issue I really enjoyed was #3 and that was entirely because of Shane White’s retro-looking art. Otherwise, skip it.

    I also decided to skip Chaos War for exactly the same reasons stated in your post (19 books at $4 is way too much.) And I feel similar frustration over the sheer number of Thor books. Although I must say that I’ve really enjoyed the first two issues of Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry’s run. I’d recommend ignoring every other Thor title and just getting that one. (It’s the one simply called Thor.)

  4. Ralf Haring Says:

    They collected their Avengers run even back when Harras was EiC in the horribly overpriced collections of the time (4 issues, $20 or something like that). More recently during Quesada they did oversized hardcovers of which I think these are the softcover equivalents.

  5. James Schee Says:

    There’s a male Wasp? Wow… and his name isn’t an acronym for White Anglo Saxon Protestant?:)

    How many Thors are there? There’s the series… and a sort of animated/family one right? Oh right.. didn’t they announce something about Thunderstrike coming back? Weird…

    Avengers Assemble sounds fun, its been a long time since i read he first few of those. (I need to track down Avengers Forever and read it some day).

    Weird.. I seem so out of touch with comics. I liked Hercules for the same reasons too… then stopped reading comics for along time. I was bummed to read that they’d killed Herc off, now before I even read that story they bring him back.

  6. William George Says:

    I loved Hank Pym the Scientist Supreme Wasp. And I thought that version of the Avengers was killed before it’s time.

  7. JD Says:

    As far as ongoing series go, I can see the logic with the Thor titles : there’s the ongoing, firmly-in-continuity Fraction title, and the awesome back-to-basics, young-readers Landgrige/Samnee Thor: the Mighty Avenger. Fair enough.

    But for some reason, Marvel have decided to publish an absurd amount of Thor-related miniseries : the First Thunder origin-retelling, the angst-ridden For Asgard, Astonishing Thor, Ultimate Thor, a Loki miniseries, a Warriors Three miniseries, a Thunderstrike miniseries, and also something called Iron Man / Thor… Overall, that makes 11 Thor-related issues in December, which is just insane.

  8. Johanna Says:

    I should have checked more about the Avengers reprint history — that’s what I get for writing late. Thanks for the background, readers!

    Basque, thanks for confirming my impressions of that miniseries. I hadn’t realized the issues all had different creators, too. I’ve actually found a Thor book that works for me — more on that soon.

    JD, all those spin-off projects are likely intended both to attract those interested in the upcoming movie and provide material for books to have out at the time of the film release. But yeah, it’s an immense amount of overkill.

  9. Scott Says:

    I agree that too many titles with the same character actually makes me less – much less – interested in any of the titles.

    That, and massive crossover events.

    So, you can probably guess that I’m only buying one title between the big two at the moment (and for the past several years).

  10. Chad Says:

    Based on the recent past of Marvel events, I’m guessing that you can skip most of the Chaos War tie-ins. At least that’s what I’m doing — If it ain’t written by Greg Pak or Fred Van Lente, I’m skipping it. Which means I just buy eight comics. We’ll see if I get a complete story.

    I also loved Incredible Hercules, especially when its backup was Agents of Atlas. Now THAT was a comic for which I was willing to pay $3.99.

  11. Good Comics Out June 29: Philosophers and Two Kinds of Zombies » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] they’re collecting One Month to Live in paperback. This immensely forgettable miniseries came out in hardcover in January, and I can’t imagine demand drove this choice. In the brave new world we face, it […]




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