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July 2016

Recommendation: Snotgirl #1

snotgirl 1
The cover for the first issue, illustrated by Leslie Hung

When Snotgirl was first announced over a year ago at an Image EXPO, I was excited. Very few details were given about the series, but the creative team of Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung was more than enough to interest me. In the months following the announcement, more information about the series was released; such as a synopsis and information about the lead character, Lottie, most notably her terrible allergies, hence the ‘Snotgirl’ moniker.

 

Lottie is a social media identity, a fashion blogger, who is struggling to find real satisfaction in life, rather than the faux pleasure gained from having the ‘perfect’ life (as she’d have her fans believe). In reality, Lottie isn’t as happy or perfect. She can’t form meaningful relationships with people away from her screen; which I can’t help but read as a form of social commentary. I myself am 18 years old and practically live online and through all my social media accounts try and create the identity I wish I had and that I wish for other people to see. This means that I find Lottie an indefinitely relatable character. Furthermore, Lottie is also at a point in her life where she knows she’s an adult but doesn’t quite feel like one; there’s something missing and she can’t figure out what. Again, I feel like this perfectly applies to people of my age and situation. Heck, it may even apply to older people but I guess I won’t know more about that until I reach that age!

I was slightly hesitant but mainly curious about how O’Malley would manage to make an ongoing series just about a social media personality. Surely it isn’t a broad enough topic to sustain a monthly book? Clearly I was wrong to ever doubt him. Not only was I treated to some wonderful character moments from Lottie and her quirky supporting cast, but there was a surprising amount going on as well. O’Malley has set many wheels into motion and I’m looking forward to seeing how the storyline will progress.

The most interesting plotline by far however, comes courtesy of a final page cliff-hanger that absolutely stunned me. I’m still not 100% sure what happened but I am eagerly anticipating the next issue. No way was I expecting the series to head in this direction and it definitely muted my previous concerns about the long-term potential of this series.

Finally, it would be an absolute travesty if I failed to mention the artwork of Leslie Hung. I could not think of a more perfect artist for this series. She draws Lottie in many different emotional states just in this issue alone and nails every single one of them. I should also mention that the exciting colours of Mickey Quinn allow Snotgirl to have a vibrant tone which helps to bring life to each panel.

In short, Snotgirl #1 managed to surpass my already high expectations and silenced all of my doubts. O’Malley and Hung are one hell of a team and I sincerely hope they can keep to this standard for a long while to come.

A Break

Hiya,

Just a reminder that tomorrow morning I set off for sunny Spain for a holiday with my friends. This means I will not be posting probably for at least 10 days.

Try not to miss me too much! 😉

Matt

2 More Series Announced for Marvel NOW!

Today Marvel has continued releasing information about titles for their upcoming Marvel NOW! relaunch, with ‘The Great Lakes Avengers‘ and ‘Champions‘ being announced.

Below you can find information about these two series, as well as my thoughts on them both.


The Great Lakes Avengers

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This series is written by Zac Gorman, who worked on the Rick & Morty comic book series, and is draw by Will Robson.

The title, which will have a comedic tone, follows Mr Immortal, Big Bertha, Doorman and Flagman; as well as apparently a cardboard cut-out of Squirrel Girl, who was an original member of the Great Lakes Avengers.

I must admit, whilst this may contradict my previous issues with the creative direction of Marvel NOW!, I am actually interested in reading this book. The GLA aren’t characters I’m familiar with and it’s clear that this series, despite being labelled as an ongoing, will not last very long, meaning it doesn’t even have to be a long-term commitment. So far this is the only announcement that I’m certainly intending to support.

The solicitation for issue one reads as follows:

GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #1
Written by ZAC GORMAN
Penciled by WILL ROBSON
Cover by WILL ROBSON
Variant cover by MICHAEL ALLRED

“All New, All Different?” No, thank you! New things are bad and different things are scary! Instead, why not join everybody’s least favorite Super Hero team, The Great Lakes Avengers in their brand new—but not too brand new—ongoing series, Same Old, Same Old, Great Lakes Avengers! When the team gets reinstated as permanent members of the Avengers and uprooted to Detroit, the GLA has one more shot at Super Hero glory…but can they answer the call? Do they even have 4G coverage here? Find out!”


 

 

Champions

The creative team for this book is current All-New, All-Different Avengers writer Mark Waid, with art by Humberto Ramos.

The series cast includes Marvel breakout stars Ms Marvel, Miles Morales and Nova, as well as Amadeus Cho Hulk, young Cyclops and Viv (who is the daughter of Vision from the current Vision series.)

I am very pleased that Marvel appears to be listening to their fanbase, as they have been quite vocal about wanting more teen team books. However, this personally does not excite me.

I love Kamala Khan, and I enjoy Viv, but I’m pretty unimpressed with the rest of the cast. Moreover, I’m bewildered as to why Cyclops is there. He is not a character that I can feasibly picture working in a team like this, but perhaps that’s just me. Either way, this is a step in the right direction.

Furthermore, I’m also not a fan of the creative team. I think Waid is a very good writer, but I tend to find his storylines to bee a bit too safe and linear for my tastes. Whilst Ramos’ art style is definitely not up my street to say the least.

I’m happy for the fans ‘Champions‘ is catered for, and I’m sure that this title will be able to carve itself a strong fanbase, but unless the reviews are very favourable, it is unlikely that I’ll be buying this book.

Marvel announces ‘U.S.Avengers’ for Marvel NOW!

usavengers-cover-70162Just one short day after revealing their ‘Divided We Stand’ slogan for the upcoming Marvel NOW! relaunch, Marvel has announced ‘U.S.Avengers‘ written by Al Ewing with art by Paco Medina. This is only their second confirmed series for the relaunch, behind the solo series for new character, ‘Mosaic‘.

This is a team book featuring Sunspot, Cannonball, Squirrel Girl, Red Hulk, POD, Danielle Cage (Captain America from the future, as well as the in-continuity child of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones), and Dr Toni Ho as the new Iron Patriot.

According to comicbookresources.com “The book will see Sunspot’s Avengers Idea Mechanics evolve into the American Intelligence Mechanics, a new organization endorsed by the government and poised to replace S.H.I.E.L.D”. The main thing that I get from this brief synopsis is that Sunspot’s team will be replacing S.H.I.E.L.D which I am very happy about because there is no feasible explanation as to why they have been able to get away with so much treachery (look no further than the recent ‘Avengers: Standoff’ event) and it is about time that there has been some storyline repercussions.

My thoughts on this series are very dependant on the creative direction Ewing is taking this title in. If he goes full-on American patriot with flags draped everywhere whilst the entire cast sings ‘Star Spangled Banner’ then it is very unlikely that I will enjoy this series. However, if he goes the satirical route then this could be a very enjoyable book.

Honestly, I think that Ewing will go for the latter, as he is obviously a Brit so therefore isn’t likely to have the devotion to America necessary to make this book a nationalists’ paradise. Moreover, the lead character is Roberto Da Costa, a Brazilian; which doesn’t seem like a choice that would’ve been made if he wanted it to be a hardcore patriotic book.

There’s a few things I don’t like about what I’ve seen of this so far. Firstly, the most important thing for me, is that Squirrel Girl is there. I genuinely struggle to think of a character that I hate more than her, so it’s a shame that her presence may ruin this book for me. I’m also not overly keen on yet another Captain America strolling around the Marvel Universe.

Although, there’s even more things that I do like about ‘U.S.Avengers‘. I love that Sunspot and Cannonball are together as they are so much more fun when they’re with one another. I’m happy that POD is on the team mainly because it adds some LGBT representation to the title, which I think is very important if the book is realistically trying to represent contemporary America (plus, her new suit looks fantastic!). I also really enjoy how Red Hulk still manages to maintain the manliest moustache ever even when hulking out. Not to mention, I personally believe Al Ewing is one of the best writers Marvel has got at the moment, so I am pleased to see that he’s still getting to write some weirder, more obscure stories.

Therefore, this title has more working in favour of it, than working against it. This means that I will be sure to give it a few issues to hook me when it is released in the fall.

If all other new titles are as intriguing as this then I look forward to seeing what else Marvel NOW! has got in store for us.

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