Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

April 5th, 2018, 3:31 pm #31

All-New, All-Different Avengers #1-3 (2015)
A leftover Nova villain named "Warbringer" teleports to the (almost) vacant Avengers Tower. Spider-Morales, Iron Man and Capt. America (Sam Wilson) all arrive to fight him. Nova, Ms. Marvel, Vision and (female) Thor all arrive in the next issue. I haven't looked ahead or read anything online, but I'm guessing the "Mr. Gryphon" who manipulates both Warbringer and the Avengers turns out to be Loki.

This is my first real foray into the "post-Secret Wars" Marvel. So there's a lot of stuff I'm picking up, on-the-fly. For one, I guess the Chitauri are officially part of the Mainstream Marvel U, now. Can they shape-shift like the Skrulls? There's also a LOT of references to the Avengers not currently existing, which is where one of those helpful ASTERISK FOOTNOTES would help, you lazy editorial bastards! From what I've picked up, the gist is that Marvel had their version of the "Crisis" and components of their (popular) alternate worlds were merged into the main world (kinda' called that, back in 1999 with the release of "Ultimate Spider-Man", but "I-toad-a-so" is so lame in comic fandom).

There's a lot of emphasis on a possible teen romance between Nova (Sam Alexander) and Ms. Marvel (Kamala Kahn... managed by Mr. Fuji and the Wizard?). This is the first time I've read a book with either of them. Nova seems like a redundant teen hero; in the Spider-Man or Firestorm mold; but Ms. Marvel's pretty interesting. I guess she has size-changing powers. I'd be interested in reading more about her.

I'd be more excited for this, but I understand that there's a NEW "Avengers #1" coming out, next month. There are references to three more "Avengers" teams in these issues... plus I understand there is/was a "Captain America and the Mighty Avengers" title. So I'm totally confused on which title can be considered the true lineal heritage of "Avengers #1" from 1963 (of which I have all 400+ issues, plus the multiple 2004-2012 relaunched volumes, "West Coast", "Spotlight" and even "Force Works"). For a guy who's read Avengers since 1980--it sucks that I'm so confuzzled.

Whatever...I guess they have to bow-down to writer egos and give EVERY new writer who wants to do "Avengers" a new #1 and relaunched title. They'll add some new elements or characters, but it's only a matter of time before somebody (fans or creative staff) want to bring back a "real" Avengers lineup of Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Vision, Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye. Plus Hank Pym or the Wasp. Then maybe the Hulk or a Hulk spin-off like She-Hulk.

I'm not sour about the multiple "Avengers #1" issues before 2012, though. The relaunch in 1997 and then "New Avengers" in 2004 were both absolutely necessary and helped to kick-start the franchise. The rest? Not really necessary when you think about them.

Oh, and just for shits n' grins, my favorite Avengers line-up was probably only around for 6 issues, circa 1983. It was:

-Captain America
-Iron Man
-Thor
-Wasp
-Hawkeye
-She-Hulk
-Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau)

I'd have to check, but I think Iron Man was James Rhodes at the time. They had a two or three issue crossover into "The Incredible Hulk" that was pretty fun.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

May 1st, 2018, 3:58 pm #32

All-New, All-Different Avengers #4-6
A fairly good wrap-up of the initial arc; including basic "beat 'em up" fights with Cyclone and Equinox. Everything's been orchestrated by a (version of) Kang. He was masquerading as "Mr. Gryphon" and is currently unable to time travel, himself. But he can make other things and people time-travel, so it's all kinds of confusing fun. The Vision is temporarily brainwashed by Kang and sows dissension in the ranks. Of course, everything gets cleared up and the Avengers win... but it is a very fun ride and a good use of the time-travel gimmick.

Along the way, it's revealed that Thor is actually a cancer-stricken Jane Foster. Only Captain America (Sam Wilson) knows this, for now.

Only issue I have with these, uh...issues... is that a portion of the Kang arc was in "All-New, All-Different Avengers #0". It featured Radioactive Man and the instance where Kang gained control of the Vision. So when, why and where this damn #0 is... I have no idea. It was not referenced in the letters page or anywhere. I would've appreciated an editorial box that said: "before you read our next issue, be sure to pick #0". I don't get the #0 gimmick and its occasion or pacing. Very frustrating.

All-New, All-Different Avengers #7-8
It's a dreaded CROSS-OVER with the "Avengers Unity Squad" (in the pages of "Uncanny Avengers"). Unlike the #0 mix-up, you can actually skip the "Uncanny" issues and still know what's going on. It's a top-secret SHIELD prison (another one?) for mind-wiped supervillains in Pleasant Hill, Connecticut. A Cosmic Cube fragment has gained sentience as a young girl named "Kobik".

It's basically like the Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life", where a little all-powerful kid controls a town, makings things "good" and "bad". Works okay, but I'm a little cheesed at the all-powerful Cosmic Cube having a main part. They at least stay away from any true "alternate reality" versions of the heroes, so that's something.

A TON of villains are thrown in as cannon fodder and I couldn't spot or name them all. Mindblast and Bloodlust introduce themselves, but you're on your own for the rest. I scored Armadillo, Man-Ape, the Squid, Flying Tiger, Absorbing Man (maybe) and then...maybe someone from the U-Foes? I would've appreciated the modern name-box effect, as was consistently done in "Fearless Defenders". Issue 7 does have a one-on-one fight with the Night Phantom, an admitted "deep cut" from late Silver Age Iron Man issues.

Letters page has an angry dorky fan who claims he's dropping the title...but will wait awhile to see if things improve. Sheesh. He threatens Marvel with potentially losing "$2,000 a month" from his little club or dorks. Dude...it's 21st century comics. Nobody cares if you're trying to prove your loyalty. You also don't get a badge; or even a 5% discount on Marvel movies; if you've followed for X amount of years. Trust me on this. Also, 75% of the modern comic book fan doesn't know the so-called "Ages" and other comic nerd terms. People can read what they want, when they want, and from ANY era. You need to be okay with that, or else the hobby you supposedly love will not return much joy.

Yes, it's VERY similar to wrestling fans.
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SamoaRowe
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SamoaRowe
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Joined: December 30th, 2004, 5:59 am

May 6th, 2018, 6:36 pm #33

I'm currently buying Batman, Detective Comics, Action Comics, and the The Flash regularly. I'm intentionally not buying anything Marvel right now because I want them to pick a direction and stick with it for a while, and am fed up with the constant relaunches. I know DC isn't innocent of that, but at least it seems to stick for years at a time, rather than every 18 issues.

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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

May 10th, 2018, 9:51 pm #34

All-New, All-Different Avengers #9
Debut of the new Wasp, who turns out to be Hank Pym's long lost daughter from his first wife. Yes, Hank has always been a widow; and the wife was referenced in some of his early "Tales to Astonish" appearances in 1963. Last reference I can recall of the first wife, Maria, was in "Avengers Spotlight", circa 1989. Some yarn involving a clone of Maria that became a female MODOK.

Anyways, the new Wasp is Nadia Pym and was raised secretly in Russia (with the Winter Solider making a flashback cameo). Then she escaped and became the new Wasp. That's about all the details provided. Jarvis is kind of a dick to her, at first, then warms up after she saves the team from yet-another malfunction of the Vision. In the end, Jarvis quits his job as Avengers butler and heads off with Nadia to meet Jan Van Dyne/Pym (the original Wasp).

I don't know how or why, but it's mentioned that Hank Pym is "gone forever". Nadia also considers Jan her "stepmother"...and I honestly forget if Hank and Jan are still officially married. I know they were never officially divorced and were back together as a couple in 2002 or so.
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Erick Von Erich
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May 15th, 2018, 2:58 pm #35

All-New, All-Different Avengers #10-12
To quote Star Blazers: they're off in outer space, they're leaving Mother Earth. They're actually helping Nova (Sam Alexander) search for his dad, Jesse. The Avengers end up on a weird lighthouse planet, that has been sucking in and shipwrecking random ships. It's powered by a Nega-Band, which is being used by Annihilus to snag more slaves into the Negative Zone.

So, yeah, 2.5 issue fight with Annihilus. I never noticed that (modern) Annihilus is missing his left hand...although he appears to have it in two panels. The Avengers use the Nega-Bands in what's basically a 7-man tag team scenario to blow up Annihilus' "Blackstar Canon" and leave him stranded in the Negative Zone.

While they didn't find Nova's dad, it was still an entertaining "cosmic" story.

All-New, All-Different Avengers #13
Officially part of the "Civil War II" crossover, but it's basically Vision solo issue. Still confused over how Kang was able to control him, Vision sneaks into Parker Industries' Baxter Building and uses Dr. Doom's Time Machine. He visits Rama-Tut in ancient Egypt, then the 31st century. A weird black void creature keeps confronting him and, in the end, whispers something SECRET to Vision. Vision then steals Baby Kang from his crib...to where, we don't know.

I think this is pretty much the end of "ANAD Avengers". It's a good, fast-paced book, but Marvel's obsession with cross-overs and restarts messes with it. Give this title and team 30-40 issues and it'd be great.

One other thing: I think I officially hate modern letters pages. The editors are so in love with their "inside jokes". In this case, it's a constant reference to including more of Redwing (Sam Wilson's mascot)... har.....har. There's constant pining from fans for the "romance" between Cap and Thor. They kissed ONCE, and Thor mentioned that she was "living in the moment" as part of being cancer-stricken as Jane Foster. No additional spice has been added, so it's all in the mind of fans.

Plus, fans just seem....stupid. I think that's more attributed to the fact that 99% of all correspondence is via email, nowadays. From the 60's-90's, fans would actually write letters, which involved more thought and several drafts. For instance, as much of a GI Joe and Avengers fanboy I was, I only tried writing two or three letters in my youth. All of them went through multiple revisions and never ended up going into the mail.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

June 2nd, 2018, 9:57 pm #36

All-New, All Different Avengers Annual #1
Umm..it has a nice cover.

5 or 6 "humor" stories, all based around Ms. Marvel and online fan fiction. It's completely cartoony and played for laughs...but I didn't even smile at any of the antics or jokes.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

June 6th, 2018, 2:28 pm #37

Avengers #1 (2018)
Yeah. Pumped up with enthusiasm from seeing the latest movie, I went out and picked up the all-new #1. This typically happens every 5 years or so, in the "Modern Age"-- no matter how much some writer tries to modify the Avengers, some other writer will always want to get "back to basics, with Cap, Thor, Iron Man and the Mansion. Then bring in Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch & Vision" (while completely ignoring Hank Pym and the Wasp...but that's another rant).

So that's part of it-- Cap, Thor and Iron Man reunite. All of a sudden, dead Celestials being falling out of the sky, plus Black Panther and Dr. Strange find some weird stuff two miles into the Earth. The new Ghost Rider and Captain Marvel have run-ins with the Weird Stuff Happening. She-Hulk makes a two-page appearance, but doesn't do much of anything. Well heck, that's a cast I can get behind.

There's also a flashback to "One Million Years Ago", when Odin is leading a team against the Celestials, consisting of Agamotto, Black Panther, Iron Fist, Starbrand/Hulk, Spirit of Vengeance and Phoenix. I usually despise alternate versions of characters, but I really got a kick out of how the ancient "Ghost Rider/Spirit of Vengeance" rides a flaming WOOLY MAMMOTH!

Below the "#1" on the cover box is a smaller label of "Legacy #671". Oh man...they should NOT have done that. Cuz' now I feel compelled to fill in the last 40 or so I missed! I'll have to do some research and see which of the various Avengers titles from the past 5-6 years are considered the lineal "legacy" of the 1963 series. I dropped out sometime in 2013 with the Infinty cross-over, Original Sin, and the completely annoying "Time Runs Out" crap. The 2012-2014 last Avengers series with 20+ members (Shang-Chi, Sunspot, Smash er, etc) and Iron Man insisting it's all a machine, then techno-babble with Ex Nihilio--- I think that has beat out 1992-1996 as my least favorite Avengers era. The writer had AMBITION, but it was unreadable and forgettable garbage.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

June 11th, 2018, 3:28 pm #38

Avengers #2 (2018)
More of the Celestial fallout (literally) as the "Dark Celestials" arrive. Loki seems to have helped them (or at least he thinks he's orchestrating things). Also thought it's interesting-- yet makes perfect sense-- that She-Hulk says stuff like "Hulk MAD" and is like the 70's Hulk. I don't think a Hulk would know to clarify themselves as a "she" before talking.

I really want to stick with this book, and want it to last. I'm guessing the first 6 issues will deal with this Celestial thing. The real trick will be crafting interesting and continual threads AFTER this is over. Instead of the typical "big story is over, so now we'll change the team or do an Alternate Reality". I think a group needs at least 5 or 6 adventures together before you can call them a "team". Which is why I was bummed that "All-New/All-Different Avengers" didn't last too long, because it was heading in that direction.

If you're constantly shaking things up and have no status quo...then what's the point? Especially in this modern age, where story arcs typically last 5-6 issues (see: 2005's "New Avengers"). Give me until at least issue 20 or so to get into this team of Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Capt. Marvel, She-Hulk, Dr. Strange, Black Panther and Ghost Rider.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

June 18th, 2018, 5:15 pm #39

Was going through the Old Stuff, this weekend, and got nostalgic for Marvel's summer of 1988 (30 years ago, coincidentally). There were quite a few storylines that I would look forward to, every week, that summer.

1- X-men in the Australian Outback. Lot of action with the Brood, Genosha, then the slow-build to Inferno.

2- GI Joe and the Cobra Civil War. Aside from the "Silent Snake-Eyes Issue (#21)", one of the universally-praised stories of the entire series. It's a big all-out-war 3-way dance on Cobra Island...then Destro arrives to make it FOUR.

3- Captain America/US Agent. In the final months of a 2-year storyline and pay-off. Culminated with issue 350.

4- Avengers had a somewhat lame "break-up" storyline, involving Dr. Druid and Kang. Still kept my interest, because it signaled that a roster re-shuffle was pending (so imagine my disappointment, in the fall, when it turned out to be Cap, Thor, GILGAMESH, Reed Richards and Sue Storm).

5-"Marvel Comics Presents" and the lead-in to the new "Wolverine" series. While I was never a huge fan of the Madripoor/Patch stuff, it was at least different and not at all what I expected.

6- "Amazing Spider-Man" had settled into a groove, post-issue 300 and every new issue seemed like a Big Deal with Todd McFarlane. (with hype like "wait until you see his rendition of the Scorpion"). I think this was the summer Peter Parker went on a book tour and visited a buncha' villains around the country.

7- "Evolutionary War" crossover-- I think this was Marvel's first crossover conducted solely in the annuals. It wasn't too cohesive and more of a theme than a crossover, but it was something new and unknown ("All of the heroes end up facing a scheme connected to the High Evolutionary"). I did like that it ended with "The Captain" (Steve Rogers) leading a team of temporary Avengers (the female Yellowjacket, Beast, Hulk, Falcon, Hercules and Jocasta. THAT was the new Avengers team I was hoping for.

8- Hulk as "Mr. Fixit" in Las Vegas.

9- Black Panther had a pretty cool mini-series.

10- Even stuff like "Daredevil" and, believe it or not, "Transformers" kept me entertained. I was a few years removed from Transformers toys and cartoons, but I remember actually liking the build-up to issue 50. Then it sucking and me never reading it again.

I'll have to check, but I think DC was also keeping me happy with the Giffen/DeMatteis "Justice League". I think that book began to lose steam at the beginning of 1988 when artist Kevin MacGuire left, though. It began to get a little silly, as I think L-Ron and Manga Kahn came along that summer. Batman's "Death in the Family" was worth following, plus I really liked the "Invasion" crossover that began in late August or so.

Also helped that I was working ("helping my dad") in magazine delivery on a weekly basis, so I always knew what would come out. "It's been two weeks, so where's the new...yup, there's the new X-men!"
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JimBob Skeeter
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JimBob Skeeter
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June 21st, 2018, 6:04 pm #40

I was going to say I couldn't STAND Invasion~!, but it was a different DC miniseries I am thinking of. Can't think of it right now. It was another one of those "Random Earthlings gain super powers and are treated by like the Chosen Ones, but then in two years are more than likely killed." I want to say red aliens were involved.

Invasion wasn't BAD, but, apparently, forgettable. After reading the Wiki, it all came back to me, and was still forgettable.

Justice League is still one of my all time faves. L-Ron ruled.

You got any Blue Devil? That was another series that was fabulous for the first twelve issues, then COMPLETELY derailed.
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