As we enter a new era of Marvel Comics, I’ll be providing a weekly report on all Legacy titles. Your one-stop guide to what’s going on in the 616 universe from MFR’s resident Marvel fan. Above you’ll see Marvel’s report card for the week, then below we’ll dive into each book. Let’s dig in!
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Amazing Spider-Man #790
“Fall Of Parker” Part Two
Parker Industries is done and to cover all the lawsuits, Peter and Harry have to sell everything the company had. This includes the Baxter Building, which of course doesn’t sit right with Johnny Storm. Spidey promised him the building “would always belong to the FF” and clearly can’t back it up.
Back when Human Torch learned that Pete had bought the Baxter Building for PI, they fought about it. Now he’s finding out it’s getting sold, so they fight about it again. Anyone who stuck with the title throughout the past two years will likely find this a bit lame and familiar. Other than the fight, seeing the Parker Industries fallout is an entertaining read.
The fight provides enough of a distraction for disgruntled ex-employee/supervillain, Clash, to steal back his tech before it’s sold. His moronic henchmen activate some scientific equipment that will take the building down unless they all work together. What began as a retread of a previous fight ends up being a fantastically fun superhero collaboration.
With the public hatred aimed at Peter Parker for a change, the city is enthralled with Spider-Man. Seeing Spidey carrying an old lady’s groceries, taking pictures, and jumping rope with kids in a park is hilarious.
Regardless of how you feel about Dan Slott’s long tenure as Spider-Scribe, Stuart Immonen has undoubtedly been one of the strongest Spidey artists of the last decade. He makes the web-slinger sing, even with a dumb glowing spider symbol. Immonen gets to draw the classic costume again and its dazzling.
“Exterminatrix” Part One
America Chavez is a lower-tier, fan-favorite character that recently had a resurgence leading the Ultimates team. Her first solo got off to a slower start than fans would have liked, Legacy provides the title with an opportunity to gain some major traction.
Ms. Chavez is a firecracker, one of the things I didn’t love about this series coming straight from Ultimates was her voice. Gabby Rivera has developed her grasp on Chavez and is now taking her to an all-new level as her stubborn, youthful attitude gives her plenty of opportunity to overcome adversity and grow.
Visually, the book has seemed to find its groove as well. Through deep colors and simplistic design, Joe Quinones and Jordan Gibson are delivering a different and stylized take on intergalactic space school.
The biggest appeal of this series is that it feels fresh and takes us to a setting we haven’t explored much. America proves there are still places in the Marvel universe to visit and does so with the perfect character. America Chavez should have no problem solidifying a permanent fan base with this ongoing series if it continues to stick to its guns.
Black Panther #166
“Klaw Stands Supreme” Part One
Ta-Nehisi Coates continues breathing life into the fictional nation of Wakanda. Real world politics and seriousness blended into a ridiculous superhero landscape, this next chapter gets off to an impressive start. Coates fits Klaw into this world effortlessly without losing the lunacy of his nature.
It’s hard not to share a sense of “classic” Marvel when Klaw appears with a thunderous and deadly entrance. Over-the-top mad scientists, with a team of equally diabolical geniuses at their disposal, are a staple of Marvel villainy. Coates is clearly having fun writing Klaw, diving deep into the core of his insanity.
T’Challa doesn’t even appear until the final page of this issue, it’s all about the return of the “sound god” Ulysses Klaw. For good measure too, this installment effectively ramps up excitement for the noise that’s come to Wakanda and his eventual showdown with Black Panther. It’s also a great entry point for readers not already subscribed to Coates’ Wakandan adventures.
Despicable Deadpool #288
“Deadpool Kills Cable” Part Two
Deadpool wields Cable’s metal arm to chase him through time, ultimately resulting in a time cop prison blood bath. Chapter two is a quick read, reminiscent of the good times Cable And Deadpool provided years ago. Even with these two facing off each other, their chemistry is infectious.
Gerry Duggan is letting loose, effectively marrying Deadpool’s Looney Tunes mentality with Cable’s all-too-serious time travel nonsense. If these two issues are any indication, Despicable Deadpool should be the best Deadpool book on shelves filled with too many of them. Duggan is capable of making Wade Wilson funny without going overboard or stuffing too many jokes in.
Scott Koblish and Nick Filardi unleash a thrilling mess of carnage and murder, exactly what readers want from Deadpool. With Cable reclaiming his arm, avatar Deadpool is already no more. I look forward to more gags like this going forward, this creative team might be able to poke fun at other characters without falling into the same stale cliches past teams have.
Hopefully Duggan and company explore even more of the despicable going forward. With so many Deadpool Vs. comics out there, Despicable Deadpool is proving that just pairing him with Cable is always the best course to take.
Jean Grey #8
“Psych Wars” Part One
Jean has been proactively layering her defenses against the inevitable arrival of the Phoenix Force. Her preparation has seen her collaborate with previous Phoenix hosts and warriors knowledgeable of cosmic threats. Now she seeks
This subconscious psychic landscape Jean finds herself in is compelling, especially being that it’s within Emma Frost’s head. Using older Jean to infiltrate Emma’s head to assist young Jean is a genius comic book component. Emma and Jean’s checkered history has always been one of the most fascinating in all of X-Men comics.
Jean’s banter with her older self is a joy. Getting her younger self’s reaction to all the crazy happenings of Morrison’s run is beyond amusing. Dennis Hopeless has been making the most, and more, out of this particularly strange situation for Jean Grey.
As someone who holds Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run in very high regard, to tastfeully revisit that era is extremely pleasing. Victor Ibáñez’s take on Frank Quietly creations from the run is delightful.
This is a sandbox with so much to play with inside, the opportunity isn’t squandered by writer or artist. Jean Grey was one of the strongest X-Men titles before Marvel Legacy, there’s no reason to believe it won’t continue shining as bright. The approaching Phoenix spells even more thrills on the way.
Captain Marvel #125
“Dark Origin” Part One
Carol Danvers is one of the characters most in need of a Marvel Legacy makeover. Ever since her Civil War II character assassination, she’s been nothing but a one-note disappointment. With her MCU debut on the horizon, it’s crucial that Marvel turns her comic book presence around.
Captain Marvel‘s unification with Alpha Flight was one of the best things about her pre-CWII series. They function so well as a team, having them back at the center of attention alongside Carol is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately the Alpha Cadets are also sticking around, they’re dead weight dragging this book down.
Captain Marvel #125 feels a bit behind the rest of Marvel Legacy. Everything else is quickly moving on to greater things while here we’re still stuck on Secret Empire. This suffers from the same issues Guardians Of The Galaxy had when the team was “grounded” a while ago. Space adventures happen in space, we see Carol on earth enough, not often enough among the stars.
This may not be the fresh start some of us were looking for, but it’s not a lost cause. The art is sharp and almost warrants a read completely on its own. The main cast isn’t poorly written, it’s just not an interesting story they’re currently in. Hopefully the Alpha Cadets get left behind and Alpha Flight takes their services back into space sooner than later.
X-Men: Blue #14
“Mojo Worldwide” Part Four
Chapter four of the X-Men: Blue/Gold crossover sees Longshot takeover, leading his large band of mutants against Mojo. Having him back in X-Men comics is wonderful, especially having him almost entirely unchanged or modernized.
There are so many vibrant X-Men and enemies loaded into almost every page that the book explodes with color. Matt Milla is one of the most prominent color artists in comic books currently, this book is a true testament to that. Milla perfectly accents Jorge Molina’s pencils.
Even when the action is clearly setting up future X-Men plots, it’s subtle and doesn’t take away from the fun we’re having here and now. At points, this is just a beautifully rendered history lesson; at other points, it’s a cheap excuse to get all of our favorite X-Men together. Either way, it’s a satisfying blockbuster story well worth your time.
“Cannonball Run” Part One
Al Ewing’s “GI JOE Avengers” don’t get enough credit. U.S.Avengers has quietly been an over-the-top superhero-team book featuring a splendid mix of fan-favorite characters old and new. With a fresh start in Marvel Legacy, Ewing vows to jump off the deep end and get weird.
Cannonball finds himself on a strange planet where everybody is forced to pretend they make up a small town in 1950s America. Meanwhile, Sunspot and Smasher are following Cannonball’s energy signature across space and find themselves in equally puzzling trouble.
Nobody does cosmic adventures like Al Ewing, to see him take a deep dive into a more strange direction is intriguing to say the least. The Archie-esque production these mysterious aliens are forced to put on shows a silly side of Ewing that we have yet to see.
U.S.Avengers may not stick around forever, but it’s going to provide nothing but fun while it still can. The continuing adult progressions of Cannonball and Sunspot never tire. Red Hulk is one of the best newer characters that the internet claims Marvel has none of. Jump onto this series now before it’s gone!
All-New Wolverine #26
“Orphans Of X” Part Two
Daken finds a way to escape the Hostel torture situation he’s in, while Beast helps Laura and Gabby prove their mother is who she says she is. Another Laura look-alike enters the scene as Daken learns more about his mutant hating cult captors on his way out the door.
Writer Tom Taylor has made Laura into one of the coolest heroes at Marvel, this series has been consistently thrilling. He’s also given her one of the best supporting casts in comic books, and they’re mostly his creations. Adding Daken and some of Laura’s other allies only makes this book even stronger.
From the torture chamber to the front yard bullet storm, All-New Wolverine #26 is action-packed. We still don’t know much about these anti-mutant nut-jobs, but they mean business. It’s great to see Daken getting some prominent use as a character, and in a story that he really shines in.
Juann Cabal’s art is spectacular, it’s gruesome and detailed without overdoing anything. Even with three characters in this issue all basically being the same person, it never gets confusing. It kind of looks like if Jon Davis-Hunt did X-Men comics, which is extremely high praise.
This continues to be one of the strongest books currently at Marvel, Tom Taylor and company are clearly up to the challenge of ramping things up for Legacy.