Search

mattsdullramblings

Category

Comic Books

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.

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

img_0405

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.

A look at the Marvel NOW! ‘Divided We Stand’ Teaser

Marvel now

Over the past week or so Marvel has been releasing images drawn by Mike Deodato showing divided characters who are said to have a “prominent” role in the upcoming Marvel Universe. Today, Marvel has finally revealed the whole picture with all of these characters and a few more.

The main image details a clear divide between two sets of characters. I’ve heard two conflicting theories about this divide. It could be to symbolise the younger generation of heroes (on the right) losing faith in the old guard (on the left). Another theory states that the left side is the more morally ambiguous set of characters, whilst those on the right are optimistic and morally clean.

Let’s have a closer look at who is in each of these sides. Firstly, we’ll start with the left hand side.

marvel now doom

From left to right, it appears to be: Solo, Foolkiller, Jessica Jones, Daisy Johnson, Captain Marvel, Elektra, Thor Odinson, Dr Doom, Slapstick, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Black Panther, Gamora, and Cable. The identity of the large dinosaur-like foot is unclear at the moment. Bleedingcool.com has suggested that it may depict American Kaiju from the current New Avengers series, which I think is a good prediction. Although, I’ve also heard the name Fin Fang Foom mentioned.

What Are My Thoughts?

  • I’m glad Jessica Jones is back in an apparently prominent role.
  • Same goes for Odinson, and I think his new outfit looks awesome.
  • Interesting that Cable is the only mutant in the whole teaser campaign.
  • Why on earth are Solo, Foolkiller and Slapstick there? They must really be pushing Deadpool & The Mercs For Money as a flagship title.
  • Dr Doom is holding an Iron Man helmet. Could he be the new Iron Man? Will Tony Stark die in Civil War 2? I sincerely hope not.

Onto the next one…

marvel now ririAgain, from left to right: Gwenpool, Mosaic, Squirrel Girl, Ms America Chavez, All- New Wasp (Nadia Pym), Prowler, Moon Girl, War Machine (newly-introduced Riri Williams), Kate Bishop Hawkeye, Amadeus Cho Hulk, Miles Morales Spider-Man, Ms Marvel, and Doctor Strange.

What Are My Thoughts?

  • I’m very interested in reading more about Mosaic (his first appearance was in this weeks Uncanny Inhumans #11 and was pretty intriguing)
  • Seriously, Gwenpool?
  • Really, really happy that Ms America Chavez is there. An openly LGBT character, not to mention a woman of colour, getting greater prominence is fantastic. Not to mention, she is also a character with serious storyline potential. For me personally, this is the bit I like the most about the teaser.
  • Always happy to see Kamala Khan.
  • I’m glad Kate Bishop is here over Clint Barton; I find Kate the far superior character.
  • The presence of Doctor Strange seems to rule out the ‘Young vs Old Generation’ theory, as he isn’t quite the spring chicken.
  • Very much the theme of legacy heroes with this teaser.

I must admit, I find it incredibly strange that some of Marvel’s biggest characters, like Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Jane Foster (Thor), Sam Wilson (Captain America), Ant-Man, Deadpool, Vision, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Storm, Wolverine, Old Man Logan, Cyclops, The Fantastic Four, Medusa, Black Bolt and Black Widow are all absent. You would assume that Marvel would really want to make sure that some of their heavy-hitters were there to attract more interest, especially from mainstream media.

I do suspect that many of these aforementioned characters will at least have some sort of role in Marvel NOW!, but these teasers imply that they clearly are not seen as a priority or focal point; which quite frankly puzzles me.

Honestly, I think the fact that these characters are missing symbolises everything wrong with the current Marvel product.

As you may recall from some of my previous posts, I was really looking forward to a great deal of the All-New, All-Different Marvel titles. Unfortunately, I feel very let down. Originally when ANAD Marvel began, I was picking up at least 15 series because I wanted to try and like as many as possible. Yet, here we are, just a few months later, and I currently buy 6 titles regularly. For anyone interested, those are; Ms Marvel, Vision, Daredevil, Power Man and Iron Fist, Black Panther, Uncanny Inhumans, and All-New Inhumans. Furthermore, All-New Inhumans has been cancelled, and Vision is wrapping up at the end of the current art, as Tom King has signed an exclusive deal with DC. This is not a good success rate for Marvel.

Ultimately, I cannot talk on behalf of all Marvel fans, but I just do not believe they have the quality writing that is necessary to hook me. Moreover, I think that the constant tampering with well-loved characters is alienating current fans. I briefly touched upon this in one of my previous posts, but when I pick up a Hulk title, I want to read about Bruce Banner. When I pick up a Thor title, I want to read about Odinson. I know it can be argued that these characters haven’t gone anywhere, you can still find them in old comics, but it simply isn’t the same.

Either way, I fear I may be straying off-topic. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that these ‘Divided We Stand’ teasers aren’t exciting me for many reasons, but mainly because it doesn’t feel like I will get to read the characters I love. I may get to read about a legacy hero, or perhaps I will actually get to read about the hero I actually want, but chances are they will suffer from a lack of real characterisation.

Whilst there is a few aspects of Marvel NOW! ‘Divided We Stand’ that I like; I am going to take a lot of convincing to completely accept it.

I will definitely try and keep an open mind- and will certainly give a good few of these new characters/status quos/series a fair chance. But as of right now, I’m not really eagerly anticipating reading these characters when so many of my beloved ones appear to be left in limbo.

Please, Marvel, please prove me wrong.

RIP Darwyn Cooke

A brilliant artist who inspired so many of today’s creators. He will be sorely missed.

My thoughts are with the Cooke family at this horrible time.

Marvel’s Mosaic puzzle is complete!

MosaicCombined4
The completed Mosaic puzzle

 

All week Marvel has been releasing daily teasers illustrated by Stuart Immonen relating to a mysterious Mosaic, without confirming whether Mosaic was a character, a event or even a story arc. Now the whole puzzle has been completed and to be honest I’m still not any wiser.

We now know that Mosaic is related to Uncanny Inhumans (written by Charles Soule- and also a series I love) and will be introduced/ begin on the #11 issue.

Based on the puzzle I think it is the safest bet to assume that Mosaic is a new a character, and Newsarama.com had a very interesting hypothesis that the Mosaic character could possibly piece together the different powers of different heroes and use them for herself, which would explain why Spider-Man and Iron Man can be seen on her face.

I think there could also be a case to suggest that this character may not actually be a new one. I think Mosaic could be Shuri. In Black Panther #1 it can be seen that T’Challa is trying to basically reanimate Shuri after the events of last year’s Time Runs Out heading into Secret Wars. T’Challa seems particularly desperate for her to come back and possibly he will subject her to the Terrigen Mists that are floating around the MU in order to get her back. As far as continuity is aware, Shuri is not an Inhuman but possibly the Inhuman genes within her just haven’t been exposed yet?

Moreover, the case for Shuri is also supported by the fact that the lady in the puzzle teaser has a similar face structure, as well as the lack of hair, much like Shuri. Furthermore, it is practically unheard of for Marvel to create this much hype for a brand new character- at least not a legacy hero- so it could be the case that Marvel is just breaking their own conventions, or are trying to swerve us again (I’m looking at you, Quasar!).

I, like many people, had assumed that the teasers were corresponding to a new Jessica Jones series (mainly based on the stylistic choice on the teaser) and was a bit surprised to find that it wasn’t the case. However, I am not disappointed. I like it when Marvel gives a brand new hero a chance, and we all know Jessica getting a new series is inevitable- especially considering she’s the star of a hit Netflix series and Brian Bendis basically confirmed it at Emerald City Comic-Con.

Anyway, I hope, and think Mosaic is a new character and I’m happy with this- especially that she’s black which warms my heart as Marvel could do with a bit more higher profile diversity. However, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve got something like this wrong, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Marvel introduces the new Quasar

quasar
The new Quasar, designed by Angel Unzeata

After advertising the new issue of Avengers: Standoff! Escape From Pleasant Hill Omega to herald the return of a ‘long awaited’ hero, Marvel introduced Avril Kincaid, a brand new Quasar.

Quasar is an already established character named Wendell Vaughn who gains power from wielding powerful Quantum Bands, which are now in possession of Avril. I won’t spoil how she got these bands as not everyone would have read the issue yet and I don’t wish to spoil it.

Usually I am a fan of pushing new characters but I cannot help but feel a little missold by this revelation. We were told that we would get the return of a character, with many people getting excited at the thought of a returning Richard Rider, Phyla-Vell or just simply the original Quasar, yet we were give a completely new character. Personally, I feel like Marvel knew that fans would get excited at the prospect of one of their favourites returning and intentionally duped us.

As tired as I’m getting of Marvel replacing some of it’s most iconic or well-loved character with new replacements, I’m still trying to keep an open mind. I still want Thor to be Odinson, and Banner to be Hulk, but I will certainly give Avril a chance; much like I’ve given Jane Foster as Thor and Amadeus Cho as Hulk a chance, unfortunately to no avail.

From the little that I’ve seen of Avril, she has potential to be a good character as long as Marvel is willing to continue this push and not suddenly halt it.

On the bright side, I am glad the general idea of the Quasar is back because I feel like there’s been plenty of storyline possibilities with these powers, and can even be used in a similar way to how DC uses the Green Lanterns. Perhaps Marvel could introduce a Quasar Corps book? I kid, I think…

Nick Spencer, the writer behind Avril Kincaid’s introduction has stated in an interview with Marvel.com that we can expect to see more of Avril in the two Captain America books he’s writing, as well as an upcoming storyline he cannot talk about yet.

It would also be a crime not to mention that the character design of Avril Kincaid as Quasar is brilliant. I love what Angel Unzeata has done with the costume; retaining classic features but still amazing it look cool and bad ass.

Avril Kincaid, welcome to the Marvel Universe.

DC Announces new Hanna-Barbera comics

Today DC Entertainment announced that they would have a revamp of Hanna-Barbera comics later this year. 4 new titles were announced, with surprisingly high profile creators attached.

Here is a run down of all the information you need to know, and my thoughts on the matter:


Scooby Apocalypse by Jim Lee, Howard Porter and Keith Griffen

scooby-apocalypse-color-3552fMy Thoughts: Despite being young, my parents brought me up on the classic Scooby Doo cartoons from the 60s, and even to this day I am still happy to sit down and watch them because they are such brilliant and fun stories. This story however, is going to be very different from those cartoons. Judging from the cover art, and the title, this is going to be an apocalyptic Mystery Inc (with a hipster Shaggy too!). DC was clearly influenced by the success of ‘Afterlife With Archie’ in flipping a well-known property on its head. I like the idea of this new direction for the gang. I’m not crazy about the character designs but I do love the creative team attached to it, so I’ll definitely be buying this comic book once it hits stores!


Future Quest by Doc Shaner and Jeff Parker

Future-Quest-bd4eb

My Thoughts: I don’t know who any of these characters are. I am unfamiliar with them. However a quick search on Google Images allows me to realise how wonderful Shaner’s art is and how it has a very retro and old-school look. I am also a fan of Parker’s writing from his time on DC’s Batman ’66 series. Therefore, I will check this one out when it comes out later this year, mainly on the strength of the creative team.


The Flintstones by Mark Russell

flintstones-ee74c

My Thoughts: I have seen a few Flintstones cartoons in my life and they were quite fun, but I can’t say they hooked me like Scooby Doo did. I’m not familiar with Russell’s work but forum members on CBR seem to have positive things to say about him, which is nice. It has also only been said that Amanda Conner is doing the design for the characters (as seen above) but not that she is doing the interiors for the series. Unfortunately, I never commit to a series if I don’t know, or like the artist, so it is unlikely that I will buy this comic book. Although, if I hear positive reviews about this once it comes out, I will likely buy in in trade paperback.


Wacky Race Land by Mark Sexton and Ken Pontac

wacky-race-land-54502

My Thoughts: Mark Sexton was the designer on ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ so he clearly knows how to choreograph a captivating race/driving scene, which obviously works perfectly for this title. Again, unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with this creative team. I also don’t have much of an interest in a racing title, so I will not be buying this book either.


I would be buying 2, possibly 3, out of 4 newly announced titles. I would rate that a massive success on DC’s behalf. I would’ve never brought titles like these before but DC came up with interesting ideas and fantastic creative teams, making it very hard for a fan like me to turn down.

Gwenpool is coming back!

gwenpoolIt looks as though Marvel has found a new character they wish to milk for every penny.

Gwenpool, an alternate universe version of Gwen Stacy who just happens to be that universe’s Deadpool, will get her own ongoing comic series next spring. The series will be set in the main Marvel Universe, as Gwenpool finds herself there as a result of the events in Secret Wars.

It will be written by Christopher Hastings, and drawn by art team Gurihiru. This creative team have been involved in every Gwenpool story thus fur, and clearly that is going to continue come April-time.

When speaking to Entertainment Weekly, here’s what Hastings had to say about the series:  “So the series is a lot about her believing she’s in a fictional world with no consequences. She’s seen everyone come back to life at some point, and it sort of seems like she’s living in a video game. And then the book is going to be the universe fighting back at that. Like, ‘you can’t really get away with everything’ is kind of the struggle there. It’s also sort of, she just assumes, ‘I’m obviously a main character so I need to be a superhero‘ even though she has no powers. I really like all of these comics right now about these teen heroes sort of figuring out what they’re doing in this world. But they come at it from a much more altruistic viewpoint, and I think it’s really fun to have somebody take on the mercenary angle and sort of like, contrast her against someone like Kamala Khan, as we did in the holiday special.”

That does sound strangely intriguing to me.

Not to mention that I absolutely adore Gurihiru artwork. They have a style that I wholeheartedly love; which is a big factor in my interest in this Gwenpool ongoing.

I normally hate moves like these on the account of them feeling like a cash-grab from Marvel, but this one has peaked my interest. I’ll probably read the first arc and see how I’m feeling about the book then.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑