This Week on Marvel Unlimited: 08/31/2020

Welcome back to This Week on Marvel Unlimited. There are a lot of good titles coming out this week, including another new X-Men title, the continuation of 2020 line, and a new Noir series. I also look at last week’s titles and a retro read that introduced a few big mutants.

New This Week (In Print 02/26/2020)

2020 Force Works #1
Amazing Spider-Man #40
Amazing Spider-Man: The Daily Bugle #2
Ant-Man #2
Avengers #31
Avengers of the Wasteland #2
Black Panther #21
Falcon & Winter Soldier #1
Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1
Ghost Rider #5
Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost #1
New Mutants #8
Ravencroft #2
Scream: Curse of Carnage #4
Spider-Ham #3
Star #2
Star Wars #3
Tarot #3
Wolverine by Claremont & Buscema Facsimile Edition #1
X-Force #8
X-Men #7
X-Men/Fantastic Four #2

Notes: The 2020 Books (last week was 2020 Machine Man) are all interconnected and you need to be current to understand what’ll happen in Force Works…Avengers of the Wastelands comes out of Old Man Logan book, like Old Man Hawkeye and Quill…I’m glad to see the Noir books are coming back; I read many of the first run of them and this one is written by Gerry Duggan…I read the first issue of Ravencroft, but I don’t know if I’ll keep reading it; I really didn’t have much of the background of the story coming into it…This new Star Wars series is a continuation of the last, but it’s set after Empire; there was only so much story that you could tell between A New Hope and Empire…The X-Men/Fantastic Four series was set up in House of X and it’s started out pretty strong; this is one of the books I’ve been looking forward to this week…

Best of Last Week

Wolverine #1: I read this when it came out in print, but I re-read it this past week. There are 2 stories here: the first is about Pollen, a new designer drug made from the Krakoan drugs. Wolverine and X-Force are looking for the source of the new drug. It’s setting up an interesting side story. The second story is about Omega Red’s emergence on Krakoa. Like Mystique in the previous week’s X-Men, he’s got an agenda while joining the mutants. They are also bringing Vampires back to battle with mutants; the last time they did that, I was underwhelmed.

Marvel’s Voices #1: This was a nice collection of short stories; most only 1-2 pages. Nothing Earth shattering, but entertaining. The book did a good job of showing the diversity within the Marvel Universe. No one story really stuck out, but all of the writers did a good job. It was also enough to get me to check out the podcast.

Fortnite X Marvel – Nexus War: Thor #1: This was added over the weekend, as a way to promote both Nexus War and Marvel’s collaboration with Fortnite. Having never played the game, the Fortnite characters were foreign to me. Solid story overall.

Guardians of the Galaxy #2: The new Guardians team is taking on new versions of the Greek Gods. As they are overwhelmed, they discovered Hercules is captive on New Olympus. The ending was pretty anti-climatic because you know the “cataclysmic end” will be undone in the next issue.

New Mutants #7: This is probably the 4th best X-Men title, but it’s still pretty good. The issue starts with a recap of the issue you are reading by Sunspot; it was a funny gag. This ends the arc with the team that’s in Shi’ar space. The arc has been pretty hit or miss (I was liking the Nebraska arc better as a full story). I’m interested in seeing where the next arc goes and who’s going to be on the team.

Deadpool #3: Deadpool is king of the monsters; that alone is a great selling point. You also get Elsa Bloodstone as an ally and Kraven the Hunter as the antagonist. The new story has been pretty good; not Gerry Duggan levels yet, but I think Kelly Thompson can get there.

Marauders #8: The book of the week. You get the fall out of the death of Kate, with both Storm and Emma coming to grips with it. It was an emotional scene that showed how important Pryde was not just to this book, but to the X-Men in general. I really like what they’ve done with Verendi as the nemesis for this team on top of the backstabbing within Hellfire Trading. There are so many levels to this book, which make it one of the best books Marvel currently has.

Retro Read: New Mutants 87-100

I was reading Deadpool recenlty when I realized I hadn’t touched any of the original New Mutants run in at least a decade. I also realized that I’d never started at the beginning of the Rob Liefield run through the end of the book; I’d read bits and pieces here and there. So I started at #87.

Have you ever watched a movie that was your favorite from your childhood and it didn’t hold up? Yep, neither did this run. The story was OK, but the dialogue and internal monologues were cringe-worthy. I guess when I was a kid, it helped to have every little aspect of the story spelled out for you; as an adult, it’s annoying.

The plus side of this run was the characters they introduced: Cable, Deadpool, Warpath, Domino (kind of). While they were bland at the time, all 4 characters really came into their own under other writers. You really can’t blame the writers though; there was a bigger storyline that they focused on rather than expanding on these characters right away – Cable’s X-Militia team and Cannonball as an External.

The art is still definitive, but not like it was then. At the time, the art was unique; Liefield’s drawing was not the cookie cutter style that a lot of the artists in the ’90s had. Now, it’s ripe for ridicule (mis-shaped bodies, pouches, no ankles/feet). It seemed that it got more exaggerated as he went on in the series, hitting it’s peak in X-Force.

This run led to one of my favorite books at the time (X-Force) and set up some important characters in the X-Universe. I really wish I could say more good about it, but it hasn’t held up. So much so, I don’t want to go back to re-read X-Force now.

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