Fans my age tend to have a fondness for the hunt and discovery of of back issues in a time before every moderately-sized city had a comic shop. In the part of North Carolina that I grew up in, the big mother-load of back issues were usually flea markets. I would find some gems at the flea market, whether it was the one off the Interstate that coated the family car in dust, or the one just outside of town that had only a few booths. In that last one, the comic seller had a really good selection of back issue Marvel comics. I seem to recall one in particular he had was Avengers #157, which sported a Jack Kirby cover. Of course, at the time. I had no clue who Jack Kirby was. Nevertheless, the cover had all of the Avengers taken out by one foe, and all I could see of him was his boots.
NOW we now have the blueprint for Jonathan Hickman’s new direction for the X-Men. Nothing terribly new is revealed about the present plans for the X-Men, but we do have a clear explanation for the why of it all. Oh, I will be spoiling the story for people. Powers of X #6 Writer: Jonathan Hickman
There's absolutely no way to review this comic without spoiling it. Before I read it, I had it spoiled for me. I really recommend that you read this issue before proceeding with what I think about it. It's actually pretty fortunate that my day job and other pressing matters prevented me from finishing this until a week after it hit shops.
I had such a good time with my review of Phantom Lady #13 that I decided to review another really old comic. Marvel Unlimited has about 340 comics before 1962 on their service, and one of them happens to be the first appearance of everyone's favorite tree. I'm talking about Groot. This Groot comes from the era of monster comics, where not everything was a Fin Fang Foom or a Groot. Just skimming the list, I've got Monstrollo, Sserpo, Klagg, Moomba, and Kraa. Groot looks to be one of those standard one-issue space monsters wreaking havoc for no apparent reason other than he could. I wanted to see if there was anything in there that resembled the character that we've come to adore.
It's been talked about and now it's here. Jonathan Hickman's X-Men has started. House of X #1 hit shops and we start to get a lot of answers to questions we've had. We just don't get all of them. The first issue leaves as many questions as it answers.
Once upon a time, I put forth the crazy idea of having comic book characters age in real time. I decided that it was time to re-visit that concept with a group of characters that are a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe, The Avengers. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have a sense of this, although we see actors leaving not because they're too old, but because their contracts are expiring. Marvel is also exploring this concept with Spider-Man: Life Story. The rules, as I have done before, is that characters join in the year that the issue they joined was published. I'm also making an adjustment that any deaths in the pages of the Avengers will be permanent.
It looks like the comic that's really making waves with the speculators this week is Captain Marvel #8. Seriously, it looks like if you want to read it, you'll need to do so digitally. It's the first appearance of a new hero named Star, but it also really captures the political climate we're currently in. It's not planned that way, because it's impossible to make happen. Sometimes synchronicity just happens.
One of the comics that came out this week from Marvel was a preview of Jonathan Hickman's House Of X and Powers Of X. While it could be argued that any major shift in direction is technically a reboot, it isn't an entire relaunch, ignoring the history, especially with what led to this point in X-Men history.
I always want to use this feature to highlight some really great comics that I remember from my childhood. We are fortunate to live in an age where so many great comics are available to read for a small fee. Of course, I paid for the annual subscription to Marvel Unlimited, which is no small fee, but came with some bonuses every year. DC Unlimited is also a really good value, but I'm off on a tangent. I recall getting this issue when I was eleven years old, and I was instantly assaulted by the art of Alan Weiss. Don't take that as something bad. Alan Weiss was something so different from what I used to. I had to be exposed to Michael Golden's fantastic art on Micronauts, so there was nothing that I could equate to this very naturalistic style. This is probably where I fell in love with a more naturalistic type of art. Of course, since then, I have come to appreciate a variety of styles, especially those that make use of the wise and proliferous use of black ink.
It was announced this week, through Twitter and an interview at comicbook.com that this summer, Marvel would cancel all X-Men titles and relaunch starting with two series.
This week, I was all set to write a review of Uncanny X-Men #17 when the news broke that there was controversy around it. The issue depicts the death of Wolfsbane in flashback as Wolverine goes to exact his preferred form of vengeance and justice on her killers. Unfortunately, Rosenberg apparently made several mistakes that likened the attack to violence against trans women.I'm a little late to the party on this topic, but I feel like I need to go over it, given my support of Matthew Rosenberg in the past. I hope I haven't stepped all over this topic in exploring it.
I don't use my digital memberships for these articles as much as I should. In the past couple of weeks, I've been taking advantage of my DC Universe and Marvel Unlimited subscriptions. I have been on the lookout for issues to review here. It was the latest episode of the Legion of Substitute Heroes podcast that I was reminded of Paul Smith's great run on Uncanny X-Men. Some might view this time as a period where the title began to drop in story quality, but I think that part came shortly afterwards. Here we saw the development of the team after Cyclops leaves for good, but still get to see his path twist back around into his old team's lives. We also got the introduction to the Morlocks, the addition of Rogue, and huge developments for Wolverine. These are some great issues and I chose to review the issue that has one of the best splash pages in X-Men history.