Hero Chat Episode 5 – December 21, 2012

TOPIC #3 – MARVEL NOW! PROGRESS AND SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN THEORIES

Marvel NOW! has been going for a couple months now. We’ve only had one Hero Chat since they started. What do you guys think so far? I have a feeling you’re both bigger fans than I am.

I like it in that I don’t care at all about it.


I think so far there are more good titles than bad ones which is a surprise given Marvel’s track record lately.


I’m reading what I was reading before and I can ignore the reboot aspect. Which DC’s New 52 was a huge middle finger towards, fan-wise.


I’m kind of mixed. We discussed beforehand some of the books that were announced and as I expected, having the same Marvel creators who have been doing the books for years just leads to more of the same. I love the New 52 unequivocally. I think it has some of the best writing/art and storytelling in comics these days.

Exactly. The titles with fresh creative teams feel different from the other books.


Spencer, I’m not so sure. I like the Bendis X-Men and the first issue of Waid’s Hulk… others I’m hit or miss.


It’s more a principle thing for me. It’s insulting to be told that continuity doesn’t matter.


I just don’t think Marvel NOW! goes as far out on a limb as New 52 did.


Waid’s Hulk was awesome. I’m really into his Daredevil like most readers, and can’t wait to see what he’s going to do with Bruce. The premise there is tremendously cool.

I prefer having books you can read without knowing the past. For instance, that new book Avengers Arena I feel you had to have read Avengers Academy.

I had to give his Hulk a good rating regardless since it all took place in Alabama :)


I had no idea who the characters were, nor did I care.


I would love to throw out that, while I skipped Avengers vs. X-Men, I just bought the hardcover and I hope that’s exactly how Marvel collects things from now on. A nice, oversized hardcover with a digital download code inside released just as the major event ends.

Really? I hadn’t been reading Academy and I thought Arena was pretty cool… just a bunch of super-powered teens drawn into a deadly situation. I need more time to get hooked on the characters, but the premise alone has my interest.

I like the hardcovers too. That’s how I’ve read most of Uncanny X-Force. I liked the first issue of Cable and X-Force just ’cause I like Salvador Larocca’s artwork, but Uncanny Avengers seems more like another X-book.

You’re right about that.


And Iron Man pales in comparison to Invincible Iron Man.


There’s just something about Red Skull holding onto Charles Xavier’s brain that’s so wrong on so many levels. And I love that. Other than that, I could take or leave Uncanny Avengers.

I quickly dropped Iron Man, it got boring fast and it’s just reusing old plots.


I’m not sure if I talked about this with one of you but the Fantastic Four books are also going very slow.


I’m beyond excited for Hickman on Avengers, though. His long-form plotting, his design sense, really works for a big flagship book like that. I think it’s going to be one to watch closely.

Fantastic Four was a decent read but I thought FF was great.


The first two issues of Fantastic Four and first of FF were just to introduce this new team, which doesn’t make any sense. I haven’t read Avengers #2 yet… I guess that’s out Wednesday.

Yeah, I loved FF, too.


The thing is that I actually went back and reread a lot of the New 52 books, those first issues, which I never do.


Fraction is hit or miss for me, but I love me some Allred. That’s a weird book and a weird lineup with a weird artist in tow. Seems like a match made in heaven.

And I read all 52 first issues, just devoured them and for me to have time to read that many books in a month is astounding. I have a feeling I’ll be dropping X-Men Legacy pretty fast, but we’ll see. I guess I just don’t have the excitement that I did for New 52, maybe because that got me to start reading a lot of books I hadn’t in a long time… like the Batbooks. And I love all those Vertigo characters like Swamp Thing, Animal Man, etc. I already know that The Superior Spider-Man won’t be my Spider-Man and I already started losing interest in Amazing.

And they’ve done really well with those characters too.


I have an interesting Superior theory.


I want to hear it!


Want to go for it? MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698 FOLLOW


So the current story has Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man’s body and Peter Parker dying in his and there are rumors about the ending of 700 right down to scans of the actual pages that have set off internet rage against Dan Slott. But I’m thinking it’s all an act, because the issue still has more than a week until it comes out So my theory is this — What if in all the brain-switchery we see Peter get out of Doctor Octopus’ body and Mary Jane winds up stuck in his, so she’s basically Spider-Man? Slott has said she’s getting back together with Spider-Man in the upcoming books but that Spider-Man isn’t Peter

Hm…


And you’d have a chance to tell what is essentially a silly 70′s comic book plot, but actually say something about gender issues in comics.


That’s pretty clever — more clever than I’d give Marvel credit for, but I’d love to see that happen. That leak is pretty damning evidence though; that feels genuine to me.


I dunno, Silas, that sounds about as crazy as the one with Lizzy Kaplan playing Ant-Man :)


The only problem I see with your theory is that I thought I heard Marvel was shipping the 12/26 comics out a week early and just trusting the retailers to hold on them.


I guess I should catch up on Spider-Man before commenting.

 Which could explain how the one comic got out.


Especially given the vitriol being thrown towards Slott online. The man’s received death threats. If it’s all a ruse I feel like that would be enough to get them to throw their hands up and admit the bluff. He’s already faked certain things though. He “accidentally” tweeted a DM that mentioned that Spider-Man was Miguel from Spider-Man 2099.

That’s true.


I never understood railing against comic creators for trying something different.


To be fair, his ending sounds terrible if it pans out as true. But I still have faith in him. He’s a fun, creative writer and apparently set this story up in issue 600 so he’s been writing towards it for awhile.

If it is all a ruse, Marvel is way more clever than I’ve been giving them credit.


I think people aren’t giving nearly enough credit to the impermanence of superhero comics. How often does the status quo stay the same? If the rumors of Superior Spider-Man being Doc Ock are true, then he’ll stay that way until May 2014, when Amazing 2 hits theaters, absolute max.

You’re right about that Josh.


But now I’m afraid I have to run. Whedon is screening Avengers at the DGA!


You lucky son of a…!


Yeah, everyone in L.A. is bragging about that screening. I’ve already seen that movie enough. But hopefully he spills some beans about Avengers 2. I have to admit that I was surprised Marvel were doing a Morbius comic and the only reason I thought they’d do it was to introduce the character into the Spider-Man movies.

Which is kind of funny given that little ‘rumor’ that started last week.

 

(SPOILERS FOR AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698 OVER)


That actually reminds me of another reason why I’m not that into Marvel NOW! The lack of cohesion/continuity between the titles.


 Especially since Wolverine is now in like, 6 books?


And Deadpool. That’s nothing that new, but there doesn’t seem to be any overall cohesive vision, which again, is something I liked about New 52.


It’s a creator reset, not a continuity reset. Doesn’t feel like enough of a reason to revert to new number ones. Other than the fact that, you know, they wanna make the moneys.


 It seems to have worked too.

I’d be happier with it if the numbering continued, but I get it from the business side of things.


I know, that’s one of my problems, but they’re getting further away from any sort of cohesion. DC is doing their reboot right IMO. They’re doing a couple crossovers but within the family of books, like Green Lantern.

How many directors of SHIELD are there at this point? Is it all Maria Hill? Is it Fury Junior? Hard to keep track.


I feel that all the Marvel books are so different, you can’t possibly do a crossover. Maybe that’s a good thing. I am looking forward to books like Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy and others, but I’d like to have a reason to stick with some of the books.

One way to prove you’re right Ed is the new Punisher: War Zone mini-series which sees Frank fighting the Avengers.


Who are the Avengers in that book? There are also multiple Avengers configurations.


So far it’s been Spider-Man, Black Widow, Wolverine, Thor, Cap, and Iron Man.


How many more books are coming next month? Josh S, have you been reading the Marvel NOW! books at all?


Next month will see Morbius, New Avengers, Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Force, and Young Avengers and there are still more after that.


Young Avengers! That book is going to be incredible.


Yes! The preview for Young Avengers sold me on it.


Right, Nova, Guardians and the Bendis/Bachalo Uncanny X-Men after that (which I’m really looking forward to) And another Defenders book which looks missable.

More Gillen/McKelvie, more Gillen/Kid Loki. Young Avengers, man. I could not be more excited.

(At this point, we’re joined by Joshua Starnes.)

New Avengers — it’s Hickman’s cornerstone for Marvel and after his work on FF and SHIELD, I’m sold.


Plus Defenders, The TWO Wolverine comics, and Secret Avengers, there are also rumors of a new Heroes for Hire comic.


Wait, Hickman is doing New Avengers and Avengers?


Yeah he’s on both.


Right Secret Avengers is also in February.


The book keeping me from getting more Phonogram — I have mixed feelings. Nick Spencer’s take on that sounds pretty cool. It’s basically a SHIELD book.


Oh man, Steve Epting is drawing Hickman’s New Avengers… talk about taking a step back. Didn’t Epting draw the book pre-Heroes Reborn?


Yes.


I like that run of Avengers actually. Josh S, you probably haven’t heard my general complaints about Marvel NOW! but it’s basically that they’re just reshuffling creators who have been writing for Marvel for years. And then renumbering everything to #1.

Personally I think that’s a good thing. It’s a better idea than New 52.


I’d like to see new creators/artist tackle Marvel, like they did with new 52. You also missed me saying how much I loved the New 52. Nothing has gotten me more excited about reading comics in 10 years or more.

It’s really hit and miss.


Oh, and one book I didn’t mention is Captain America #1.. what was that about?!?


It was….strange.


Josh S, exactly and I felt that the New 52 came out with a bang and a lot of great ideas, even the ones for books that eventually got cancelled. We’ll see if Marvel NOW! has a little more patience.

And in the next section, Josh Starnes throws out a pretty huge bombshell about DC editorial and a recent firing that’s caused controversy. Not our usual Hero Chat topic for sure!