Friday, April 25, 2014

My Monthly Stash - March 2014

Once again I have failed to get this post up in a timely manner.  We’ve had a lot going on, and whenever I did have some free time to sit at the computer I would inevitably end up trawling YouTube for new Honest Trailers or cochlear implant activation videos (seriously, those get me weeping every time).  Another thing that makes me weep is deadline pressure and that’s why I’ve asked my pal Frank to help me out with this month’s post.  Hopefully his no-nonsense approach and aggressively hostile demeanor will help me stay on task and get this done!  Whaddaya  say, Frank?

All right!  So here is what  I read in March:

All-New X-Factor #3
Moon Knight #1
Iron Man #20-22
Iron Man Annual #1
Indestructible Hulk #19
Thor: God of Thunder #17-19
Loki: Agent of Asgard #1-2
Avengers #26
Avengers World #3
Avengers A.I. #10
Uncanny Avengers #17
Fantastic Four #1
Daredevil #35-36
Superior Spider-Man #25-28
Nova #13-14


 This month we get another great issue of Peter David’s “X-Factor” as he continues to build the core team.  The crew is tasked to recover funds stolen from their employer, Serval, and the trail leads to the Stolen Isle, the secret base of the Thieves’ Guild- of which Gambit is the King.  I always appreciate the way David acknowledges, respects, and draws upon past Marvel continuity and character history to enhance the story he’s currently telling.  Many writers seem to feel hindered or shackled by “all that’s gone before” and so choose to disregard it- to the ire of long-time readers and fans.  What do you think, Frank?

Continuity?!  Bah! 


BAH!  I once killed myself and was resurrected as an avenging phantom with weird, supernatural guns and a glowing forehead. 

Oh yeah! I remember!

No one wants to “draw upon” that fiasco. 

Hm.  Hey, weren’t you also black for a while and hanging out with Luke Cage?

That…happened.  Yes.

See, if Peter David were writing your title, he coul-

Can we move on please?


Uh, sure.  Okay, so, the new “Moon Knight” book by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey.  Poor Moon Knight!  He’s had, like, what?  47 new ongoing (and quickly canceled) titles in the last few years or so?  None of which have been particularly good?  Yeah.  During this time, we faithful MK fans have bought them up, showing our support, but always a bit leery of the direction he’s been taken in. At times, we’ve wondered if Marvel editorial had become as unbalanced as the titular hero.  Now, however, it appears that we might finally be getting a proper MK book with all of the dark, weird and macabre elements that made the character so great back in the day.  This first issue shows a lot of promise and establishes MK’s new status quo and state of mind.  Fingers crossed.

Sweet Christmas!  That Moon Knight dude is one crazy jive turkey!  One time we teamed up to take down the Secret Empire, and-


Jive turkey?

Oh, sorry.  Just caught up in the memory of hanging out with Cage.  Good times.

I bet.

He let me wear his tiara.

TMI, Frank.

You think so?  Sorry.

Ahem.  Gillen’s “Iron Man” title is enjoyable, but not particularly memorable.  The “Iron Metropolis” arc was mildly interesting, but felt like just a long set up for the upcoming Malekith story- which I’m hoping will finally kick this book into gear.

I’m still really enjoying Waid’s “Indestructible Hulk” though it feels like the book has strayed from its original premise, especially as it keeps getting caught up in various Marvel events and crossovers.  As I said, it’s still great, but I’m looking forward to seeing what direction the relaunch will take.

The more “Thor: God of ThunderI read, the more I like what Jason Aaron is doing.  At first, I wasn’t too sure how I’d like seeing Thor from three eras featured, but it’s grown on me.  I really liked the end of “The Accursed” arc and how it set the stage for Malekith’s future villainy, including his upcoming appearance in “Iron Man.”  The “young Thor” story in #18 was a nice one-off, and so far I’m liking the juxtaposition of current and future Thor in “The last days of Midgard.”  Keep it up!  As for “Loki: Agent of Asgard,” I’m not quite sold yet.  In the first two issues you kind of get a sense of what the writer is trying to achieve as far as Loki’s duplicitous heroism, but the issues just aren’t very tight and leave me with a feeling that  a lot is unresolved.  Perhaps that is the point?

You know, if I were an Asgardian, I’d be the God of Vengeance!

I think they already have a vengeance god.


Yeah.  Víðarr, or something.

Hm.  God of Bullets, then?

Sure.  Why not?  And you could wear your tiara.  Asgardians love headwear.

Ooooh!  AND a cape!  I say thee, yea!

<sigh> Avengers books were all kind of in a holding pattern, just trudging along through the middle act in each respective title: more A.I.M. and multiversal hijinks in “Avengers,” kung-fu smackdown with Shang-Chi and Gorgon in “Avengers World,” Pym gets a reluctant hand from the fleshy Avengers in “Avengers A.I.,” and the world experiences a drawn out Ragnarok in “Uncanny Avengers.”

As the Asgardian God of Bullets, I would prevent Ragnarok.  With bullets.

That’s great, Frank.

And why can’t I be an Avenger? 

Well, that’s kind of a compli-

I avenge.

True, but-

Don’t you think the Avengers could benefit from having the Asgardian God of Bullets on their roster?  Bullets are way better than arrows and they keep that Hawkeye loser around.


Maybe I could be on a secret team.  We could be Secret Avengers!  I could lead it!


I’m gonna ask Steve!

You do that.  Moving on.  The new “Fantastic Four” by James Robinson and Leonard Kirk was mostly a huge let down.  It was gloomy and dull and contained nothing story-wise that we haven’t seen a thousand times before.  It felt very cliché and tired.  Something about the art really bugged me too.  Some parts looked very cartoony and the mag had more splash pages than panels.  I know it’s only the first issue, but it really needs to pick up or I’ll be dropping it.  I expected so much more.

Daredevil” ended well; I’m looking forward to the relaunch.  The Superior Spider-Man” is in the home stretch.  I’m going to miss Otto as Spidey.

Surprisingly, “Nova,” turned out to be one of the best reads of the month!  Finally, Sam pulls his helmet out of his butt and starts using his brain.  The highlights of these issues were seeing Rich Rider in flashback, traveling to Knowhere and seeing Cosmo again for the first time in too long!  Nova is best suited to space adventurirng.  Other earth-bound heroes can worry about school, holding down a job, secret identities or whatever, but Nova needs to be free to travel- and that’s partly why teen Sam has been such a hard sell.  Every time he gets pulled back to earth for some mundane reason, the pace, scope and excitement of the book suffers.

I’d make a great Black Nova.

Especially if you got plastic surgery again.

A Black Nova CORPSman, you dolt.


I’d be the Space Punisher!

Weren’t you that already?

Alternate universe, not in continuity: doesn’t count.

Ah.  Well, too bad.  But thanks for helping me out today, Frank.  Your commentary and insight was most helpful.

My pleasure.  But don’t wait so long to write your post next time or I’ll return.  With bullets.

Got it.

BEST of the month
All-New X-Factor #3
Moon Knight #1
Nova #13-14

WORST of the month
Fantastic Four #1
Loki: Agent of Asgard #1-2

What I’m looking forward to next month
All-New X-Factor
Avengers Undercover
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude
Moon Knight
Nova (keep it going!)
Silver Surfer

          Well, that’s all for March.  I’ll be catching up on all my X-titles as well as the Revolutionary War event for April.