Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Marvel'ing at The Leagues other choices

As many readers of League of Melbotis will note, my interests skew largely toward the comics published by DC Comics.

The other powerhouse on that end of the comics spectrum is Marvel Comics, publisher of titles such as Spider-Man, Avengers, Iron Man, Fantastic Four and more.

As much as I love my DC, I'm not immune to the charms of the Marvel U. Recently I've been reading the "Civil War" cross-over and mega-event, as well as some of the fallout titles, such as "The Initiative".

Leaguers such as Peabo and Reedo will recall my former interest in X-Men and X-Men related titles. Sadly, my interest in Marvel's Merry Mutants hasn't been terribly high since Claremont left the X-Books in the early 90's. I enjoyed a brief resurgence with Grant Morrison's "New X-Men" and have followed that series and Joss Whedon's "Astonishing X-Men" as trade paperback collections. Both Whedon and Morrison told the kind of mutant-centric tales I enjoy, although Whedon seems to skew too far into generic superheroic tales.

I also pick up the Ultimate Spider-Man collections (which Jamie reads before I do), the Ultimates collections, and the Supreme Power trades (although I've not picked up the new Squadron Supreme books).

With "The Initiative", I'm once again picking up monthly Marvel titles as I try to suss out what the new Marvel universe will look like. For those who don't know, the Marvel U recently passed a law asking all the superheroes to register as federal agents, quit, or become outlaws. It's a fairly major seismic shift, and it's piqued my interest.

My other Marvel reading includes two of the Spider-Man books (as my love of Spidey comes and goes, but never really fades all together). I'm having a hard time picking up Peter David's "Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man". Something about Peter David has never really worked for me, although I don't react exactly negatively to his work. The issues I have picked up have been okay, but...

Black Panther has been on my pull list for a while. I love the idea of the book (king of a highly advanced African nation who uses super-intellect, super-tech and herbal supplements to defend his nation in both combat and "the hard stare" diplomacy), even if I do not always love the execution. I'm also picking up "Fantastic Four" while Black Panther enjoys a short stay on the team. We'll see if I stick with it.

Daredevil is a must-read (no, really. I think there should be a law), but it reads best in a collected format. Whether you're picking up Bendis' amazing run, or Brubaker's equally fascinating stories, I prefer to have a full Daredevil tale that I can sit and read in an evening. That said, the recent runs of Daredevil from Bendis and Brubaker are some of the best "superhero" comics out there, and fall in an interesting gap that looks a bit more like "the real world" than most comics. And it's generally far, far better than the movie from a few years back.

Marvel is also dipping into the world of literary adaptation. I picked up the first issue of "Last of the Mohicans" last week, and was pleasantly surprised. The dialog seems as if it was taken from the original book, and the art is okay, if not always great. The adventure genre translates very well to comics. However, I don't know if I like the multi-issue format, especially as I know that once the series is collected I'd proudly keep an illustrated "Last of the Mohicans" out on my shelf. So, yeah, I'll be picking up this series as a collection, as well as the upcoming "Treasure Island" (actually, especially "Treasure Island" which I loved reading when I was 10). Now, lets' get an illustrated "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

In many ways I'm not a fan of Marvel's Cosmic adventuring, such as Adam Warlock or even Captain Marvel. The concepts are usually much more interesting than the execution. I attempted to get into "Annihilation" limited series from last year, but just didn't make it past the second issue. But it looks like Marvel has sucked me back in. How, you ask?

Cover by NIC KLEIN
Annihilation: Conquest continues here - - with the war book that brings back cosmic cult faves from throughout the decades! Peter Quill is once again Star-Lord - - but what could possibly make him take on his former identity? And what brings together the motley crew that includes Bug, Captain Universe, Deathcry, Mantis, Groot and Rocket Raccoon? Grab your blaster and say your prayers as Keith Giffen (ANNIHILATION) and soon-to-be star Timothy Green (Rush City) deliver a sci-fi twist on Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

You didn't read the above solicitation, so let me point you to the two words that have me sold on this comic: Rocket Raccoon.

In middle-school I picked up the Rocket Raccoon mini-series from Austin Books (two owners ago). You either love/get Rocket Raccoon or you don't. Surely this book was never going to appeal to 80's comic fans seeking even more ninjas, but it DID appeal to those of us who liked the idea of a laser-pistol wielding raccoon with rocket-skates. Oh, yes. It did.

And it still does.

To explain the plot would be nothing but a grave injustice to the mayhem of the series, so i won't try. But after two decades of cooling his heels (and rocket skates), Rocket Raccoon will be appearing in a comic once again.

Let's all hope they collect the mini-series in some sort of prestige format.

And to get my current dose of RR, I'll have to jump into the middle of a massive cosmic cross-over that I abandoned some time ago. Go figure.


Anonymous said...

Could you please, please, please see about getting your RSS feed repaired? Please?

My word verification letters are "UAAAGNH" which is sort of how I feel after eating way to much food at lunch.

Anonymous said...

Err, way TOO much food.

Natalie, who knows the difference between to and too.

The League said...

Well, if you can recruit Randy to look into it, I can probably swing something. I didn't set it up before the re-design, so I'm not really sure what the story is here.

RHPT said...

What? Huh?

The League said...

Didn't you set up the last RSS feed? God knows it wasn't me.