This is it: the final day of solicit annotation, and we’re putting our crosshairs on Marvel. What wins? What loses? But mostly what wins, because we don’t discuss what loses in this column because that would defeat the point?
Hop below as I break down the Top 10 for Marvel’s November, and for the full solicits head on over to Comic Book Resources.
10. Ron Wimberly’s Mighty Avengers Variant is Fantastic
Let us start things nice and easy. You see that image up above? That’s Ron Wimberly’s variant for “Mighty Avengers” #3. And it is awesome, and I want you to like it as much as I do.
Oh, you do? Good. Let’s move on then!
MIGHTY AVENGERS #3
AL EWING (W) • GREG LAND (A/C)
Variant Cover by RON WIMBERLY
The Blue Marvel joins the fight – and the Ebony Maw makes his move!
A plague of demons is raging through Manhattan, and the only Avenger who can defeat them is… Spider Hero? What?
Seriously, who is that guy?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
9. Max Bemis Debuts at Marvel
It is something I’d previously reported on, but it is worth mentioning again: Max Bemis of the band Say Anything, who recently debuted his first comic book at BOOM! Studios “Polarity” to rave reviews after a lifetime of fandom (seriously, look at this guy’s collection), will be writing his first short at Marvel Comics starring Magneto and the Superior Spider-Man. With art by David Lafuente, no less! So that’s quite exciting.
I’ll admit: I live in a world where I’m very skeptical about celebrities from other forms of entertainment coming into write comics, because more often than not it just feels disingenuous and forced. But Bemis? Man. That guy loves comics, and “Polarity” was great. I’ll happily check this out.
Plus: added Gerry Duggan goodness!
GERRY DUGGAN & MAX BEMIS (W)
DAVID YARDIN &
DAVID LAFUENTE (A)
Cover by DAVID LAFUENTE
CAPTAIN AMERICA + CYCLOPS continue their quest to root out Cadre K!
Plus: Two former villains…
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN + MAGNETO!
Max Bemis of the band Say Anything makes his Marvel Comics writing debut!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
8. Something Something Cataclysm Something Something
Right. Look. I’ve written a lot about “Cataclysm,” Marvel’s upcoming Ultimate event, to the point that it is officially annoying Brian Bendis, writer of the series.
(Ok, we’re never mentioned, but enough people e-mailed me this after he posted it that clearly some people saw a connection. To me, the guessing game is akin to trying to figure out the end of Breaking Bad or something, but sometimes people don’t enjoy that. I bet some of the writers of that show are annoyed by some theories.)
Regardless, I have my theories based on unsubstantiated rumors and general sleuthing. You can buy them or not! But I plan to buy this series, and I suppose in the end that’s what matters? Or something like that, anyway… I don’t know, guys, put Bendis and Bagley together on a book and that’s a recipe for success one way or the other. Like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
CATACLYSM: THE ULTIMATES LAST STAND #1 (of 5)
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • MARK BAGLEY (A)
Cover by MARK BAGLEY
Variant Cover by Leinil Yu
THE BIGGEST ULTIMATE EVENT YET! MARVEL’S GALACTUS VS. THE ULTIMATES
AGE OF ULTRON ripped a hole into the Ultimate Universe
GALACTUS came through…hungry
Is this the last stand of the Ultimate heroes?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
7. The End of Infinity
Speaking of things ending, Marvel’s big summer event “Infinity” is coming to a close this month with an over-sized issue and the return of Jim Cheung (as well as 9 tie-ins from other books). At the time of writing this, I’ve only read the first issue of “Infinity” and nothing else — no tie-ins or anything of the sort — but I came away relatively impressed. It wasn’t mindblowingly amazing but it was quite enjoyable. In Hickman I trust. Art by Jim Cheung never hurts either, you know?
INFINITY #6 (of 6)
JONATHAN HICKMAN (W) • JIM CHEUNG (A)
COVER BY ADAM KUBERT
Variant Cover by Skottie Young
Design Variant by Jonathan Hickman
Generals Variant by IN-HYUK LEE
Hero Variant by TERRY DODSON
All roads lead to this!
The over-sized conclusion of the Marvel Summer event!
The heroes of Earth versus the forces of Thanos!
56 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
6. So the Wolverine Isn’t Dead Then?
OH, and speaking of theories and unsubstantiated rumors and whatnot, that big theory that Wolverine was going to die in “Battle for the Atom”/’Killable’ doesn’t seem like its going to pan out. At least, not right away or something. There’s two books starring Wolverine in what we refer to as modern continuity plus a new one launching (which we’ll get to), and it seems like the solicit of “Wolverine and the X-Men” is pointing towards Wolverine generally being A-OK. Yeah, things will be different, but status quo shake-ups are par for course. As long as Jason Aaron is still writing Wolverine, I’m alright.
Although someone is probably going to die. That’s how these things work or something, right?
WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN # 38
JASON AARON (W) • PEPE LARRAZ (A)
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
X-MEN BATTLE OF THE ATOM may be over, but its effects are many!
Wolverine takes on a new enemy- SHIELD?!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
5. Deadpool Gets Serious
I’m weird about “Deadpool” comics as of late because I pine for the day of Joe Kelly written stories where there was some semblance of depth to go alongside the insanity of it all. Modern “Deadpool” books just look for cheap slapstick and I find it dull.
Yet I find myself randomly picking up the current iteration of “Deadpool” and enjoying it on and off at random intervals for random reasons. There’s something that calls me in, whether it be the great covers or the recent concept of the Blaxploitation throwback issue. And now, with looking ahead at the finale of the next arc on the book, it would even appear that Mssrs Posehn and Duggan ostensibly get that you need some levity alongside the madness in order to make the book actually work. It’s really not just all tacos and fart jokes — sometimes you need a disaster.
Will it pan out? Don’t know. But my attention is back.
BRIAN POSEHN & GERRY DUGGAN (W) • DECLAN SHALVEY (A)
The final chapter of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Hey, you know how Deadpool is always so funny?
Let’s see if he can keep that up after this.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99
4. Captain Marvel goes MIA
So, fans of this site will know that we are avid supporters of the “Captain Marvel” ongoing written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrated by a ton of great artists. But after October, the book goes missing! And that is not good!
But, never fear, Carol Corps, for our benevolent leader has in fact addressed why it is missing:
— Kelly Sue DeConnick (@kellysue) August 15, 2013
Which isn’t much to go on, sure, and I sure as heck am antsy to see what is announced… but patience is a virtue. It’s not over, that much is clear. In the meantime, can I interest you in Kelly Sue’s other ongoing at Marvel?
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #21
KELLY SUE DECONNICK (W)
MATTEO BUFFAGNI (A)
Cover by JORGE MOLINA
Remember all that crazy science from earlier issues?? Here’s where it gets positively INHUMAN!
When Spider-Girl is in trouble…who does she go to?
Black Widow, Spider-Girl and Spider-Woman.
Spider-Woman as a mentor…Who thought this was a good idea?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
3. Amazing X-Men Looks Amazing, is Full of X-Men
Ok, yes, I’m with you: another “X-Men” book? Nightcrawler back? And this one also stars Wolverine?
I don’t know about the rest of you, but after the finale to “Thor: God of Thunder’s” ‘God Bomb’ arc, I am ready to throw my money at anything Jason Aaron writes. Ok, ok, I was in that state after “Scalped” and all his “Wolverine” stories and “Punisher MAX” and and and … you get it. Aaron’s one of my favorite Marvel writers. No matter what reservations I may have about a book where a dead character is brought back to life thus ostensibly negating the importance and impact of their death, I’ll trust Aaron on any title he writes.
That doesn’t say much about my love of Ed McGuinness, mind you, whose work I think is just fantastic. McGuinness’ recent work on “Nova” is some of my favorite comics recently released. This is a happy combination as far as I’m concerned.
AMAZING X-MEN #1
JASON AARON (W) • ED MCGUINNESS (A/C)
Blank variant also available
VARIANT COVER BY KEVIN NOWLAN
Nightcrawler variant by Milo Manara
Sketch variant by Ed McGuiness
Variant by Skottie Young
Deadpool variant by TBD
An AMAZING new era for the X-Men starts here! Ever since his Nightcrawler’s death in X-MEN MESSIAH COMPLEX, the X-Men have been without their heart and soul. After learning that their friend may not be gone after all, it’s up to WOLVERINE, STORM, BEAST, ICEMAN, NORTHSTAR and FIRESTAR to find and bring back the fan favorite fuzzy blue elf! Super star artist ED MCGUINNESS (HULK) joins master X-Writer JASON AARON (WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN, X-MEN: SCHISM) to bring you the most exciting comic on the stands!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
2. BRAHM REVEL!
I’ve expressed adamant elation for this before, but my second-most anticipated book from Marvel this month is the release of a Brahm Revel written and illustrated X-Men mini-series. As a big fan of “Guerillas” and someone eagerly anticipating another volume of it, I will happily take a Brahm Revel out of continuity X-Men story while I wait. This is a book that you can’t miss, kids. I promise.
MARVEL KNIGHTS: X-MEN #1 (of 5)
Brahm Revel (W) • Brahm Revel (A/C)
Variant Cover by PAOLO RIVERA
Marvel Knights presents Brahm Revel’s thrilling and dark X-Men adventure that asks: what happens when your past comes back to kill you?
Wolverine, Kitty & Rogue set out on the road to rescue new mutants from being murdered. But their help may not be welcome in this backwoods town–and the murderer may be closer to them than they think.
A gritty murder mystery told by the talented and new to Marvel creator, Brahm Revel (Guerillas).
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
1. The End of Avengers Arena
It’s a book that has caused a lot of controversy (which I found silly, but threw my two cents down on anyway), but its a book that has been rather stellar for my money’s worth. And now it’s coming to an end.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that this is the end that was always attended according to Hopeless, and that the full story that he had pitched was told. With Walker back on the book for the finale, I’m sure it’ll be rather stellar.
Although it is important to note that this isn’t the end. When ‘Boss Level’ was first discussed it was noted as the end of Season One, and the solicit itself makes note that the end of “Arena” is the launch pad for something else. I, for one, welcome our teen-based Marvel hero book.
AVENGERS ARENA #17 & 18
DENNIS HOPELESS (W)
KEV WALKER (A)
Issue #17 – COVER BY FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
Issue #18 – COVER BY DAVE JOHNSON
Issue #17 – “BOSS LEVEL” PART 4:
THE FINAL FIGHTS RAGE ON!
Up on Murder World Island, it’s the surviving contestants in an all-out battle royale!
Down in Arcade’s lair, it’s two other contestants vs. Arcade!
Issue #18 – “BOSS LEVEL” PART 5:
THE SEARING SERIES FINALE!
Arcade’s mad plan comes to pass! Who lives? Who dies?
Shock follows shock as the game reaches its last desperate seconds!
AVENGERS ARENA ends here…but it’s also the launch pad for what comes next!
32 PGS. (EACH)/Rated T+ …$2.99 (EACH)