How's it going everybody!? Wow. Its been a while since I wrote something under this title huh? Towards the end of the year things got busy in the video game world. I had to focus my attention to that portion of my life. That doesn't mean I stopped reading comics. Matter of fact, I read copious amounts of them. Some of them being the regular Marvel or DC comics that I had reviewed in the past. Some being a brand new crossover between the Justice League and the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. So, what I am going to do for you folks today is go over what is going on in the comic book world. It won't be a regular review like it has been in the past. I think to randomly review comics after 7 weeks would be an injustice to you as the reader. Instead, I'll talk about where comics are in the early weeks of 2017. That includes post Civil War II for Marvel and DC's onward path of Rebirth. If you feel like I am missing something or you have any general thoughts about the state of comic books, please feel free to reach out to me. You can catch me at @Nerd_901 or @WebHeadNick86. Lastly, before we jump into it. Head over to 901 Comics if you still haven't yet. Shannon and Jamie are kicking serious butt over there! Go check them out!
State of Marvel
Here's the skinny on things going on over at Marvel. They have a lot of fun and cool books out there. Ironman is no longer Tony Stark. It's a young African-America woman named Riri Williams. She goes by Ironheart. And she kicks some serious ass. She truly is a breathe of fresh air to the Ironman series. I think that Riri taking over the mantle of Ironman may be the most important change in the world of Marvel comics. It continues to add the diversity that comics desperately needed. Marvel has been fantastic at storming that beach. Currently there is a female Thor, African-American Captain America, and an Asian-American Hulk. Besides the diversity in those characters alone, Marvel decided to put a lot of resources and their best teams on characters like Riri Williams and Carol Danvers(Captain Marvel). Marvel has tons of brilliant minds at their HQ. They know how to change with the times. A smart change that will certainly influence a younger generation to continue to purchase comic books.
Something that Marvel didn't learn from their run with Secret Wars II in 2015 seemed to how to manage a big blockbuster event. This summer saw Civil War II hit our comic book store shelves. And while the story seemed compelling at first, the narrative certainly fell off a cliff early in the events run. The main Civil War II book could seem to find traction after the second issue. The death of James Rhodes(War Machine) seemed forced, and didn’t really move the needle for added drama. After that each issue seemed to dance around any serious drama. Again, the death of Bruce Banner didn't seem warranted. It was most certainly rushed. Adding insult to enjoy the tie-in comics were not on the same page as the pressing issue at hand. The issue being an Inhuman that could see future events. Much like the movie Minority Report, some heroes wanted to take advantage of this power. Captain Marvel being one of them. While others, like Tony Stark felt that tampering with the future could serious hurt the world. Especially, not knowing if these vision would come true.
I tried to read as many of the tie-ins as I could. While most had good stories to them, they didn't always feel like they connected to the event. Matter of fact, most of the comics I read would have been better off as stand alone issues, and not have the title "Civil War II' draped across the top of the cover. Lastly, the mistake that I felt Marvel made was the release schedule. I know the main artist had to take some time off to have a child. As a new father myself I am more than happy that Marvel let David Marquez have the time off. When that news came across Marvel decided to give us an extra issue of Civil War II. While, this may have seemed as a nice gesture it messed with the release of all the comics post Civil War II. Several comics that were affected by the aftermath of Civil War began to being published many weeks before the event was over. Personally, for me it kind of ruined the whole storyline for Civil War.
Comics like Champions, Invincible Ironman, and Avenger series were all affected by the events of Civil War. Titles like those and alike launched before the final two issues of the main Civil War II books. It most certainly took the air out of the event. That's not saying that Marvel isn't going in the right direction, but it was a little disheartening to watch unfold.
Lastly, I'll touch on my favorite guy. Spider-Man! It's pretty simple. Dan Slott is one of the best Spider-Man writers of our time. They uncanny way he tells not only a Spider-Man story but a Peter Parker one is something of a dream. That doesn't change with his approach to the clone story in Clone Conspiracy. As a life long Spider-Man fan, past writers have endured quite the challenging of tackling clone story lines for Spider-Man. Unfortunately, for most of them they were not successful. Any time you start messing around with clones things can get tricky. Don Slott seems to be the exception. Not only has he made the story interesting, but he throws in little twist and turns that make you crave the next issue. Since this is an ongoing series I won't ruin anything for you here. But, do yourself a favor and try to catch up to what is going on with that mini event. It's quite the ride!
Rebirth Still Kicking for DC
When the Rebirth process for DC comics was announced I'm sure there were plenty of DC comic book readers that were worried all over again. They had just endured the last few months of the New 52. That project started off hot for DC, but quickly fizzed over time. These is when I decided to make my joyous return to heroes like Batman, Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman. If Rebirth lived up to half of what it promised, I figured this was the best time to jump back on the bandwagon. And what a awesome wagon to hitch my cart too over the past few months. I couldn't have come back to DC at a better time.
The Superman comic may have been my favorite in all of 2016. This comic spoke with me in many different ways. First and foremost as a husband and a father. If you wanted a beat 'em up type comic book this was not one of them. Of course it's a Superman comic so punches were thrown, but it was when Clark Kent was Clark Kent that made this book shine. Seeing Superman bond with his son, Jon, could possibly be the brightest moment in a comic book all of last year. Issue 7 featured the Super family going to their county fair. This experience was different than most of the comics I was reading at the moment. At the time all the other comics were full of high drama and death. This one celebrated life and family. That isn't something we get to see a lot in comics now a days. I welcomed it with open arms. If you haven't checked out the Rebirth Superman comics, then do yourself a favor and get on it!
Along with Superman other DC heroes were able to start fresh. Wonder Woman and Flash seemed to be the ones that benefit the most from the Rebirth process. I kept up with these two titles for the longest of time. Each time the issues were released provided hit after hit. Wonder Woman was something I wasn't too familiar with when I started to read it. The issues basically served as a new origin story for her. Showing how she became the hero we know and love. While Flash dealt with thunder storms that granted normal people into speedsters. Not to mention the return of the originally Wally West. We were introduced to a new villain as well. His name was Godspeed. Most certainly one of the fastest villains The Flash ever faced. Both of these series have been a lot of fun and you should jump into them right away.
Earlier I mentioned a crossover between DC's Justice League and Power Rangers. As someone who grew up in the beginning of the MMPR craze, I knew I had to check this out. I was not let down. We are only one issue in, but so far I have a feeling this is going to be a fun series to continue in the future. Zack, the Black Ranger, gets transported to another world. That world of course is where our DC heroes resided. The first Justice League member the Rangers face off with is none other than Batman. I think we are about to venture on a fun journey with this book. I can't wait to see how it pans out.