It’s been largely a comic-book-free summer in Easton, Pa. thanks to Marvel’s Secret Wars. The publisher canceled all of their existing comic book titles in favor of new crossover Secret Wars books that revisited classic storylines (Civil War, Inferno, etc.) while creating a “battle world” for superhero smackdowns.
I read none of it. Instead I let my various titles come to their inevitable conclusion, and sat quietly on the sidelines while Marvel re-organized their universe, collapsing the best (or at least, fan favorite) aspects of the Ultimates reality into the main timeline.
I avoided it for two reasons: 1) Marvel did a terrible job of explaining what the hell I should be reading if I wanted to follow my favorite characters and 2) it was just too damn expensive. This is exactly why I have my Marvel Unlimited subscription — for $10 a month I can read all the comics I want, and when Marvel decides to launch the grandmother of all crossovers … I can just wait six months and then gorge myself on all those storylines.
That said, the event is finally over. Marvel announced their re-booted line-up, which they advertise as being “all-new” and “all-different” but reading through the advertisements its really more of “mostly the same, with a few twists”. Read io9’s overview of the lineup. I can’t possibly read it all; my wife and I are in the process of sussing out a new family budget, so while there are a lot of titles I’d like to be reading, I need to be choosy about what I buy.
Unsurprisingly, the list is dominated by mutant titles — while Marvel may be downplaying the X-Men as part of their cold war with Fox, they’re still the heart of my comic book collection.
Here’s what I’m getting:
All-New X-Men: It looks as though Marvel’s continuing their time-lost X-Men storyline, with the X-Men of the past still living in a future that fears and hates them … and wonding how the hell they haven’t completely destroyed the timeline by now. Lineup: Angel (Past), Beast (Past), Cyclops (Past), Iceman (Past), Wolverine (Laura Kinney), Oya, Genesis
Extraordinary X-Men: The new flagship title for the X-Men apparently deals with the fallout of some sort of incident involving the X-Men and Inhumans (source: Newsorama). Lineup: Colossus, Iceman, Jean Grey (Past), Magik, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan, Storm
Guardians of the Galaxy: I’m still a little fuzzy on how Venom got to be a super hero, but Guardians has always had an ecletic mix of wanna be heroes, so let’s run with it. THe big news here is that Star-Lord has been replaced with his female counterpart. I don’t know she’ll share the same moniker, but she’s definitely got a similar wardrobe. I was sorely tempted to pick up the relaunched Star-Lord title — which tells his origin story — but I needed to stay within my budget. Same goes for the recently announced Guardians of Infinity, which will feature the far future and current Guardians teams, plus a new one. Lineup: Venom, Drax, Rocket, a new female Star-Lord, Thing and Groot.
Uncanny Avengers: I rarely collect Avengers titles, though I do read them a lot more now thanks to Marvel Unlimited. This is my token Avenger title, added because it includes mutants. Line up: Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Toro/Inferno, Rogue, Deadpool, Spider-Man, Quicksilver, Brother Voodoo.
Uncanny Inhumans: I’m curious to see where Marvel will take the Inhumans on Agents of Shield and The Inhumans movie; this might provide some clues there. Plus it too crosses over with the X-Men. Line up: Human Torch, Beast, Medusa, Naja, Triton, and Iso
Uncanny X-Men: Last on my list, always first in my geeky heart, I have the Uncanny X-Men. I have a solid run of Uncanny X-Men from Issue 150 forward (and close to a solid run from 125; that’s a work in progress) through all its various volumes. Uncanny will be the one comic I collect until my dying day, so it should be no surprise that is here. An interesting side note is that Marvel is releasing Uncanny X-Men 600 on October 7, 2015. It’s the final issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ run, and appears to be reverting to the series’ original numbering … at least for one issue. Lineup: Magneto, Psylocke, Sabretooth, Mystique, and Fatomex (that’s a villains-centric line-up, or at least, former villain-centric line-up. I’m a little worried about what Marvel’s doing with my favorite title … but I’ll roll with the punches.
What’s in your pull list? Add your thoughts by submitting a comment below.
Artwork from all-new Guardians of the Galaxy #1. Credit: Marvel Comics.