Marvel does it’s normal thing this week, with issues from March 11th. They also dump a bunch of a story line with the new books, along with 3 older books. There’s also another facsimile edition tying into Wolverine. Plus a modern retro review.
New This Week (03/11/2020)
A bunch of 2020 Comics*
The Amazing Spider-Man #41
Avengers of the Wastelands #3
The Brotherhood #4**
Ghost Rider #6
Gwen Stacy #2
Hawkeye: Freefall #4
Hellstorm: Son of Satan #1**
Immortal Hulk #32
Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes #3
New Mutants #9
Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #1
Star Wars: Darth Vader #2
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #4
Sub-Mariner: Marvel Snapshots #1
Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality #4
Thor Facsimile Edition #229
Notes: I talk about the 2020 Comics in the Retro Review…The Brotherhood, Hellstorm, and Supercrooks are older books that are now available on the app…Marvel Snapshots are a series of specials that has Kurt Busiek writing various characters from various eras of Marvel History…Cable is the newest Dawn of X title available…Star Wars: Bounty Hunters continues the story of Valance, Darth Vader takes place after Empire, and the Rise of Kylo Ren ends the Episode 9 prequel story…Gwen Stacy is an in continuity story set before she died….The Black Cat Strikes is part of a series of books set in the Gamerverse (AKA the Spider-Man game)…New Mutants continues it’s alternating storylines; this is a new arc for odd issues…Venom is part 4 of Venom Island…the Thor Facsimile issue reprints the first Wolverine Appearance, an ad for the Incredible Hulk…
Best of Last Week
2020 Rescue #1/Iron Man 2020 #3 – I didn’t actually read these yet, but I’m working through the reading order. I should be up to date on anything released prior to this week; it would have been easier if they wouldn’t have dumped the rest of the series early. See more below.
Black Cat #10 – I read it solely for the fact Wolverine was on the cover. I haven’t read a non-mutant book involving a mutant since Dawn of X started, so I was curious how the characters would interact. Black Cat is in Madripool looking for a piece of art…that belongs to Patch. Except someone robbed Patch. This ties into the current Madripool setting, but ties into the previous Black Cat arcs. I enjoyed the issue.
Daredevil #19 – While this issue did start a new arc, I was pretty lost. Apparently Daredevil isn’t Daredevil any more, but when a mob order comes to burn down Hell’s Kitchen, everyone is Daredevil. It wasn’t a bad arc, but I was hoping that I wouldn’t have had to research much of what had happened as a new reader. I’m curious, but frustrated.
Doctor Doom #6 – Doom has been framed for blowing up a station on the moon and killing 3000 people. He’s on the run in the United States with Kang the Conquerer as he decides his next step. This has been a fantastic arc showing a lot of depth for Doom.
Excalibur #8 – The Excalibur team takes on Cullen Bloodstone, who is very anti-mutant, after he invites them for a sporting hunt of warwolves, which Apocalypse needs. It’s as lame as it sounds. Excalibur has been a pretty big miss for me, even with a reformed Apocalypse on the team.
Marauders #9 – This is the opposite of Excalibur for quality. Yellowjacket has infiltrated Krakoa (via a miniaturized submarine injected into Pyro) on behalf of Verendi; the problem is he’s been detected by Emma Frost. Emma has a little fun with his head while telling Verendi that they are on to them. This is Gerry Duggan at his finest.
Marvel #1 – This anthology story comes from Marvels, the 30 year old Busiek/Alex Ross epic. Busiek does a fun Avengers story from their beginning. The standout is the Spider-Man story where he’s recounting a fight with MJ over the cost of web fluid. It’s a fun idea that hopefully gets more quality stories like these.
Spider-Man Noir #1 – This was my first taste of SM Noir, and I probably won’t stick around after this arc. It’s not that it was a bad story, but, unlike Grimm Noir last week, it’s set in it’s own universe; I like the idea of noir stories in continuity. Spider-Man is an investigator that finds out someone he knew was killed at the Black Cat Club. You get MJ, Aunt May, and J. Jonah, just a little different than the 616 counterparts.
Strange Academy #1 – Book of the Week. I’m surprised we haven’t seen this yet. Part Marvel Magic book, part Harry Potter. You get the next generation of magic users being trained by Brother Voodoo, Scarlet Witch, Magik, and Dr. Strange, among others. The new kids all were interesting in their introductions and show a lot of potential. This was so good, that I got my daughter to read it.
Retro Review: Iron Man 2020 (1,2) and 2020 Machine Man
First off, Marvel dumped the other 2020 series this week, even though they have been released in the last 6 months (in order: 2020 Machine Man #2, 2020 Iron Age #1, 2020 Force Works #2, 2020 Ironheart #1, 2020 Ironheart #2, Iron Man 2020 #4, 2020 Rescue #2, 2020 iWolverine #1, Iron Man 2020 #5, Iron Man 2020 #6, 2020 Force Works #3, 2020 iWolverine #2). Before that dump happened, I decided to try Iron Man 2020 because of what I’d seen come out.
Arno Stark is Iron Man and sees the danger of A.I. He’s trying to eliminate A.I. with more compliant robots. The existing A.I. want to take over the world. Essentially this is Terminator with super-heroes. It’s not a direct comparison, but has the story elements.
The interesting thing is seeing the A.I. Revolution and those involved. Based off the synopsis of 2020 Machine Man, you would think he’s struggling with which side he’s on; he’s not, he’s fully part of the Revoultion. The team also has a bunch of Fury LMDs, Herbie from the Fantastic Four, and a few other existing A.I. characters along with a group of new characters. They are led by Mark, Tony Stark’s Mark 1 armor with Tony A.I. running it; this was a surprise turn that worked pretty well so far.
The story has Arno playing catch up with the Revolution, trying to find out where they are. He quickly learns that they are hiding everywhere; any tall building where there isn’t a 13th floor. They’ve been able to create virtual floors where they can escape to. Within 2 issues, Arno has cracked the Revolution and gotten Mark within his clutches. It plays out like a 6-issue arc in 2 issues, or a backward narrative where Arno is in the bad guy role and the Revolution will make a comeback by the end. I really like that aspect of this story because I don’t know where it’s really going to go, and there’s a lot of story still to read.
2020 Machine Man was not at this level. Machine Man leaves his post storming Stark’s headquarters to chase Jocasta, who has been updated with new Stark technology to replace her A.I. Machine Man is pretty much obsessed with Jocasta and “freeing her”. He discovers that many of his predecessors have been updated by Stark and it leads to a giant battle. When he catches up to Jocasta, he learns that she’s in love with an updated version of Machine Man. While the Iron Man book had more depth, the Machine Man story was too basic; hopefully the other spin off titles are more complex.
Next week, I’ll try to review the rest of the 2020 series.