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    Soliciting Multiversity: Marvel’s Top 10 For January 2015

    By | October 23rd, 2014
    Posted in Columns | 11 Comments

    Hello, and welcome to the second to last day of Soliciting Multiversity, where we will talk about Marvel’s January 2015! But as it is a new year (in October), it reminds me that I didn’t do a Best Of Digi-Award Giving Thingamabob for how Marvel is closing out their year. I mean, sure, there’s a Best of 2014 in the pipeline for Multiversity in general, but wow, such oversight, much disappoint.

    So today, as we gear up for kicking off January 2015 in style, I present to you… The Matt Awards! That’s right: the biggest, most Matt-iest award show on the planet; the Matt Award bump can make or break books, I’m told* (*by my very loving and supportive mother), so lets start breaking things down in the time honored now-annual (but probably not) tradition.

    Note: our original presenters, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, could not make it to the show as they had infinitely better things to do. Instead, today’s production of The 1st Annual 2015 Matt Awards will be hosted by local bearded rabble-rouser and friend of cats, Matthew Meylikhov.

    10. The Matt Award for Most Underwhelming Reaction to a Marvel Solicit of January 2015

    So, the news came out (and was posted on this here site) that Marvel’s “She-Hulk” was coming to an end — and I’ve gotta be honest here and say that the news sort of went in one ear and out the other for me. It’s not that I think the book is bad in any way; far from it, in fact, as it has been on my pull since announcement day. But, well, it’s hardly that surprising, right? Ongoings don’t really have very long life-spans anymore, especially at Marvel where a creative team departure means a book relaunch at best — and for a book like “She-Hulk,” which is good but not good enough that every week it comes out people rave about it online, a “She-Hulk” cancellation seemed like only a matter of time.

    In fact, I’m going to do something a little bit different and share a response tangentially related to the cancellation from Marvel’s own Tom Brevoort, who described this as The New Normal:

    I think you need to come to terms with the new normal, which is that the days when any title would run ad infinitum are over, regardless of how well or poorly it might sell. We’re relaunching UNCANNY AVENGERS after 25 issues, that’s a pretty good indicator of the world in which we now live.

    If the only yardstick as to whether you should buy a particular title is whether it will be around in a year or two’s time, then you should certainly stick to the perennials, the books that have been around in one form or another since the 1960s.

    But if you’re interested in the content, and in the reading experience, then you should pick up whatever interests you, and do so with the understanding that there’s only going to be so much of it.

    Like a television series, like a movie, like a series of novels, there’s going to be a finite amount, and that amount might be less than you want it to be. The only thing that will make it more is if a lot of like-minded individuals also pick it up.

    But even if a series goes away, if those stories were good, if they affected you, if you feel its loss, then it’s done its job as entertainment.

    This is the new normal.

    It’s a bit of a defeatist attitude, but he makes a point. That said, lets kick off the “everybody talk about how wonderful “Elektra” has been so we don’t lose that book too” campaign now.

    As a note, #12 was not solicited with a cover. The cover I’ve used is for the now penultimate issue, #11.

    SHE-HULK #12
    CHARLES SOULE (W)
    JAVIER PULIDO (A)
    Cover by KEVIN WADA
    FINAL ISSUE VARIANT COVER BY JAVIER PULIDO

    FINAL ISSUE!
    • The end of the Blue File…and the end of an era!
    • But when one door closes, another one opens, and Jen finds herself face to face with her most important case yet.
    32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

    Continued below

    9. The Matt Award for Best Marvel Cover of January 2015

    I know a lot of my fellow Fiffe-anatics (ie, the people who can’t stop raving about “Copra”) are a bit hot and cold on his “Ultimates” run, though personally I’ve been a fan. And while there have been rumors — as there are always these sort of rumors — that the Ultimate Universe is coming to an end (again) and this solicit seems to indicate an ending without using “She-Hulk’s fan-ire-raising “FINAL ISSUE!” note, there appears to be some kind of finale in store here.

    That said, if “Ultimates” is going out too, at least it is going out with the best cover of 2015 so far, because that is the damn best cover of 2015 so far. David Nakayama has been doing some amazing covers at Marvel, and this is right at the top of the list for me.

    ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #12
    MICHEL FIFFE (w)
    AMILCAR PINNA (a)
    Cover by DAVID NAKAYAMA

    THE SHOCKING CONCLUSION!
    • The climactic, life changing conclusion for the rawest, grittiest new team on the block. Their fate hangs in the balance!
    • Can THE ULTIMATES save the city from catastrophe yet again and survive the process?
    • Monsters, mayhem, and super powered fisticuffs! If this isn’t the MARVEL COMIC TO END ALL MARVEL COMICS, we don’t know what is!
    32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

    8. The Matt Award for Least Anticipated Marvel Book He’ll Read First The Week It Comes Out of January 2015

    Look, I’m just like you: I breathe the air, take in the sights and sounds of our glorious world. I laugh. I cry. I am cynical about comic book deaths, especially involving Wolverine. I get it, and as such I’m not particularly jazzed about a weekly “Wolverines” series when I can barely keep up with pull as is.

    But, well, it seems intriguing regardless. A solid creative team (Nick Bradshaw art will pull me in anywhere) that likens their book to “Nextwave” and features Mr. Sinister is certainly enough checks on a list to not remove my inherent “oh, I’m too cool and have been reading comics too long” cynicism — but it is enough to intrigue my “who am I kidding I’m not at all cool and I love reading ridiculous comics regardless of whatever else is involved” optimism.

    I’ll remain pretty cautious and guarded until launch day for this book, but I’ll definitely take a look. I’m sure you will too.

    WOLVERINES #1
    CHARLES SOULE (W) • NICK BRADSHAW (A/C)
    VARIANT COVER BY GABRIELE DELL’OTTO
    YOUNG VARIANT BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
    WELCOME HOME VARIANT COVER BY TBA
    VARIANT COVER BY TBA
    BLANK VARIANT ALSO AVAILABLE
    CANADA VARIANT ALSO AVAILABLE

    From the pages of DEATH OF WOLVERINE, THE LOGAN LEGACY and the WEAPON X PROGRAM!
    Wolverine may be dead…but what will happen to his mortal remains, encased in something as rare and powerful as Adamantium? The battle for control of this valuable artifact has begun! But why does it matter so much… and why is a war brewing in Logan’s name? Death is on the books for a dozen heroes and villains, and Mystique is playing chess with them all, including X-23, Sabretooth, Daken, Lady Deathstrike and more! Murder, mutilation, betrayal and trauma…none will be spared!
    32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

    7. The Matt Award for Most Confusing “Can’t Tell If Want Or Not” Marvel Book of January 2015 (Also, Marvel’s Sickest Burn of January 2015)

    This is a tricky one. As a kid, I loved Star Wars; when it came to the infinite argument of Wars vs. Trek, I stood firmly in the camp located in a galaxy far, far away (though I do enjoy both). And as an adult, I still re-watch the movies and enjoy them every time, and I will find myself playing videogames like The Force Unleashed because who doesn’t want to mess shit up with a lightsaber? But the comics have never resonated with me — I dipped my toe in multiple Dark Horse waters based on creative teams and found at no point that I wanted to stick around.

    Continued below

    Now you’ve got Jason Aaron and John Cassaday on a new “Star Wars” flagship book, and my heart is torn. Aaron’s one of the best writers at Marvel, and I’m sure the three or four issues Cassaday illustrates will be great. “Star Wars” comics have just never appealed to me, outside of a few that had an abundance of Boba Fett in them (because I’m that guy, I guess). This book has everything I could possibly want in a “Star Wars” comic, but I’m still extremely unsure if it’ll be worth diving into.

    That said, Marvel’s opening page — which they’ve released online with their solicits — is rough:

    Jeez. Twist the knife more, why don’t you.

    STAR WARS #1
    JASON AARON (W) • JOHN CASSADAY (A/C)
    CONNECTING VARIANT COVER A BY J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
    TEASER VARIANT COVER BY JOHN CASSADAY
    VARIANT COVER BY BOB McLeod
    MOVIE VARIANT COVER
    VARIANT COVER BY JOE QUESADA
    SKETCH VARIANT COVER BY JOE QUESADA
    VARIANT COVER BY ALEX ROSS
    SKETCH VARIANT COVER BY ALEX ROSS
    VARIANT COVER BY SARA PICHELLI
    YOUNG VARIANT BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
    PARTY VARIANT BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
    ACTION FIGURE VARIANT BY TBA
    BLANK VARIANT COVER also available

    THE GREATEST SPACE ADVENTURE OF ALL TIME RETURNS TO MARVEL!
    Luke Skywalker and the ragtag band of rebels fighting against the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet—the destruction of the massive battle station known as the Death Star. But the Empire’s not toppled yet! Join Luke along with Princess Leia, smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, droids C-3PO and R2-D2 and the rest of the Rebel Alliance as they strike out for freedom against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor. Written by Jason Aaron (Original Sin, Thor: God of Thunder) and with art by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny Avengers), this is the Star Wars saga as only Marvel Comics could make it!
    48 PGS./Rated T …$4.99

    6. The Matt Award for Most Favorable Marvel Relaunch of January 2015

    You know what has been an enjoyable series? “Uncanny Avengers.” It got mired in the opening days of its run thanks to delays and a few poor moments of context, but for the most part the series has been about as ballsy as everything else Remender has done at Marvel. I mean, it gets weird, and weird in the best ways. So even with the previously used quote from Brevoort about The New Normal, while I have to roll my eyes at this book going back to #1 when it’s clearly “Uncanny Avengers” #26 (or #35, if you count “AXIS” as issues of “Uncanny Avengers” because it basically is), I’m still in on following Remender on whatever weird paths he chooses to take the path in now. And to see him get to write Brother Voodoo again, because clearly that’s a bonus.

    UNCANNY AVENGERS #1
    RICK REMENDER (w) • DANIEL ACUñA (a/C)
    VARIANT COVER BY GABRIELE DELL’OTTO
    INHUMANS 50th ANNIVERSARY VARIANT COVER BY LADRÖNN
    Teaser Variant by Daniel Acuña
    WELCOME HOME VARIANT COVER BY TBA
    YOUNG VARIANT BY SKOTTIE YOUNG

    COUNTER-EVOLUTIONARY PART 1
    • From the ashes of AXIS an all-new, all different Avengers assemble!
    • The tragedy at the end of AXIS has left the Uncanny Avengers vulnerable, and someone is taking advantage of it.
    • One of the Avengers oldest foes returns with a terrible secret that will, all hyperbole aside, shatter the lives of two members of the squad.
    • What is Counter-Earth? What terrible secrets does it house?
    32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

    5. The Matt Award for New Favorite “Batgirl” Comic at Marvel of January 2015

    We often, when talking about Marvel, talk about the more unusual things they’re trying out as of late. Sometimes this is referred to as the indie-ization of Marvel, and others call it experimental, but Marvel is getting better at trying out unconventional books with creative teams that seem absolutely primed for the work in al lthe best ways. And while I wouldn’t call myself a Squirrel Girl completest or anything, well, I’ve got just about every major appearance for her in the modern comic book era since Dan Slott utilized her in the best of ways in “Great Lakes Avengers,” so all things considered, I’m all-in for a North/Henderson “Squirrel Girl” comic. As questionable as the comic book continuity is for this (if she’s a teen heading into college for the first time and not an adult going back to school, then her sexual relationship with Wolverine just got really weird), this book seems essentially like the Marvel answer to “Batgirl” and that’s just fine by me. If anything, it makes me even more excited to see what these two can do.

    Continued below

    THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #1
    RYAN NORTH (W) • ERICA HENDERSON (A/C)
    Variant Cover by Arthur ADAMS
    Variant cover by Siya Oum
    YOUNG VARIANT BY SKOTTIE YOUNG

    • Wolverine, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Thanos: There’s one hero that’s beaten them all—and now she’s got her own ongoing series! (Not that she’s bragging.)
    • That’s right, you asked for it, you got it, it’s SQUIRREL GIRL! (She’s also starting college this semester.)
    • It’s the start of a brand-new series of adventures starring the nuttiest and most upbeat super hero in the world!
    32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

    4. The Matt Award for Top Marvel Pick for Eusocial Insect Fans of January 2015

    As we get down the list here and we start getting into the things I’m more hyped one, one of the first ones we need to address is the upcoming “Ant-Man” written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Ramon Rosanas. I will happily admit upfront that I have a bias given my relationship with Nick’s book “Morning Glories,” but never the less I am pretty pumped for a book starring Paul Rudd Scott Lang that debuts with an over-sized (and higher priced) issue, which Nick tells me carries on a similar sense of good humor from “Superior Foes.” That sounds absolutely dynamite. Fingers crossed.

    ANT-MAN #1
    NICK SPENCER (w) • RAMON ROSANAS (a)
    Cover by Mark Brooks
    variant cover by Jason Pearson
    variant cover by CHRIS SAMNEE
    YOUNG VARIANT BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
    Movie Variant Also Available
    WELCOME HOME VARIANT COVER BY TBA
    *SHRINKING VARIANT COVER (Numbered) BY Ed McGuinness

    • Scott Lang has never exactly been the world’s best super hero. Heck, most people don’t even think he’s been the best ANT-MAN — and the last guy invented Ultron and joined the Masters of Evil, so that’s saying something.
    • But when the SUPERIOR IRON MAN calls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Scott’s going to get a chance to turn it all around and be the hero he’s always dreamed of being.
    • Sure he’s been to prison! Sure he’s been through a messy divorce! Sure he’s been, um… dead. But this time is different! This time nothing is gonna stop the astonishing ANT-MAN!
    40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
    *Each variant will be a unique cover with Ant-Man at a different size and each cover will be numbered- Marvel will only produce as many as ordered. Check Marvel.com and upcoming Diamond Daily stories for more information on this special variant.

    3. The Matt Award for His Favorite New Marvel Series’ First New Issue of January 2015

    I recently got caught up with “Magneto” because of its relationship to “AXIS,” not so much because I felt I had to read the series but rather because I was curious how the tie-in worked. What I found was a surprisingly amazing read in which every issue was a one-shot that showed Magneto off as a force of nature while tying his world travels towards an impactful character arc. Honestly, if you’ve been sleeping on this book, the post-“AXIS” issue seems like as good a jumping on point as any, especially when a) it’s illustrated by Walta and b) it sounds like another great one-off story and c) Magneto’s failure at Genosha from Morrison’s run on “New X-Men” has been percolating in the background of the book for sometime now, so this issue is sure to be explosive.

    MAGNETO #14
    CULLEN BUNN (w) • GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA (a)
    Cover by DAN PANOSIAN

    • On the island of Genosha, the backdrop for his greatest triumphs and most devastating tragedies, Magneto is confronted by S.H.I.E.L.D.!
    • But the Master of Magnetism doesn’t stand alone…
    32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

    2. The Matt Award for Most Anticipated Marvel Book of January 2015

    And here we have the most important book to me in January, as my response to reading the solicit was “Oh, shit. Shit. Shiiiiiiiiiit.” And I’m not alone in my anticipation.

    If you’ve read the site on any form of regularity, then you’ve probably seen at least one of the many times I‘ve written about “Journey into Mystery”, or one of the times I’ve bothered Kieron about it, or even that time I bothered Al Ewing about it. The story of Kid Loki is my favorite Marvel story of the past decade, hands down, and while the fallout of it was addressed in “Young Avengers” to some extent, Ewing keeps teasing and teasing and teasing that he has something to say about it as well.

    Continued below

    And he will, in January. #hype

    LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD #10
    AL EWING (W) • LEE GARBETT (A/C)

    • In the aftermath of AXIS, Loki is the Hero Of Asgard no more. But one change remains:
    • The God of Lies can only ever tell the truth.
    • Now, Loki’s brother, the Odinson, visits his apartment, to talk of cabbages, kings… and Kid Loki.
    • This is it.
    32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

    And last but not least,

    1. The Matt Award for That Time We Commissioned Christian Ward For A Charity Piece and It Became an Official Marvel “Guardians of the Galaxy” Cover in January 2015

    Honestly, I don’t even care about the solicit here. I just think it’s really cool that, as part of our Guardians Month endeavor to raise money for Bill Mantlo, Christian Ward created and donated the above piece, which killed it in the auction itself and helped us raise nearly $4500 for Bill. Now it’s a Marvel cover.

    The image itself may not get the recognition of where it originated in any way, and I suppose that is fine. It’s still cool that I’ll be able to own it some way at the end of the day, and it — among many, many other things — will always remind me of Bill.

    GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #23
    BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • VALERIO SCHITI (A)
    Cover by Christian Ward
    WELCOME HOME VARIANT COVER BY TBA
    • Venom finally takes a trip home! Can’t wait to meet its folks. Or…the thing it spawned from…or whatever…
    • But with the symbiote becoming more and more uncontrollable, this may be seriously bad news for the Guardians.
    • I mean…come on guys! Can’t they have ONE nice vacation? Always with the monsters and aliens and lasers and stuff…
    32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

    That’s all for this year’s rendition of the Matt Awards. To see all of the nominees, head on over to the Resource of Comic Books.


    //TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."

    EMAIL | ARTICLES



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