It’s been a few weeks since I put out one of these columns. Let’s just say it’s been a busy couple of weeks. But I am back, and I’ve Got Issues still! As always, I really want your feedback on the books I’ve read. For that matter, tell me about some of the books you’ve been reading!
All-New All-Different Avengers #1
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colors: Sonia Oback
Letters & Design: VC’s Cory Petit
I will go on the record that I have been a huge fan of the Avengers for years. While my collecting of the title started in 1982, the back issues I’ve collected go all the way back to the mid-1960s. (On a side note, if anyone has an extra copy of Avengers #1 through #9 from 1963 and 1964, that would help me complete my collection.)
But the last several years, I’ve struggled with the Avengers titles. Maybe it’s the multiple titles or squads of Avengers. Maybe it’s the line-ups for the team. Or the lack of Jarvis and Avengers Mansion. Whatever the case, I grew bored with the Avengers franchise about two years ago and just stopped getting them. I tease myself with every re-launch/re-boot of an Avengers title, thinking maybe this will be the one that gets me back onboard with the Avengers franchise. I tried the new Uncanny Avengers #1 a few weeks ago, but it definitely was not what I was looking for. But now I have All-New All-Different Avengers #1, and I can finally say “I’m back!”
So why does this incarnation of an Avengers title get my money? Because writer Mark Waid gets it! He understands the team dynamics, giving everyone a chance to shine at some point in the story. The names of the characters are familiar – Captain America, Thor, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man – but the person fulfilling that role is different. Iron Man and the Vision provide stability to the legacy of decades past, and the addition of Nova (along with Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man) reminds me of Busiek & Perez bringing Justice and Firestar into the Avengers in the late 1990s. I’m hooked on this book and can’t wait to see where it goes next.
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Matthew Woodson
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Jared Fletcher
Let me just say this — most Americans are dumb when it comes to the history of our country. We rely on Hollywood to give us our history lessons, and don’t take the time to do the research. I’m including myself in this generalization, and I was a History minor in college. Someone who is doing his research would be Rebels writer Brian Wood. Wood will be the first to tell you that he has to modify things for the purpose of storytelling, but he is diving head first into telling stories of the thirteen colonies during the American Revolution.
With this issue, he dives into the legend of Molly Pitcher. Although there is no definitive proof that Pitcher did or did not exist, it is known that there was a supporting army of sorts that followed behind the actual American army. These were women and children who tended to the wounded, ran supplies to the battlefront, and prepared meals back at camp. In many cases, as in this story, there were times that women had to step up and take part in a battle. This issue is the story of Sarah Hull, who runs water to her husband who taps the cannons prior to firing. During the second battle of Saratoga, Sarah’s husband is killed during the fight. Realizing there was a need to keep the cannon firing, Sarah takes over her husband’s job, despite her own injuries.
The story concludes long after the war has ended. Sarah still bears the scars of her wounds, never mind the loss of her husband. She has petitioned to receive her own pension, but the fledging American government turns her down. Because if the government paid her, they would have to pay everyone that served. Sarah is still entitled to her deceased husband’s pension, but at half-pay.
I really wish more people would pick up this book, as it is opening up my eyes to actual events, and not the glamorized events depicted by the movie studios.
Writer: James Robinson
Artist/Letterer: Greg Hinkle
Wow, this will be on my short-list for favorite mini-series of the year. When this was first announced earlier this year, I know myself and many others did not even give this a second glance in the Previews catalog. But word-of-mouth does wonders in this market, and the praises I heard early on for this series were fully realized.
The basic premise has writer James Robinson meeting artist Greg Hinkle to discuss a new Airboy assignment from Image Comics. The dreaded Writer’s Block sends the duo into a bacchanalian descent into every vice possible. At their worst, who should they encounter in the L.A. bar but Airboy himself. Drawn into their world. Airboy is disgusted by what the world has become, in particular this creative team that wants to chronicle his adventures. So Airboy brings Robinson & Hinkle into his world, so the two of them can help Airboy and the rest of his squadron in destroying a bridge controlled by the Nazis.
But the real story of this series is the self-examination that Robinson goes through over the course of the four issues. Robinson has had a lot of highs and lows in his career; he’s burned some bridges along the way; and he realizes that the main cause of everything is himself. Robinson uses this book as a way to look back at what went wrong, and try to offer up some apologies and make amends along the way. This book is painfully and brutally honest, a level that we rarely even see in our own lives. I personally hope that Robinson can excise whatever demons still haunt him in life, as I think he can be one of the best comic book writers when he is in his right mind.
Finally, let’s rewind last week, and fast-forward this week!
- John gave us his spoiler-free thoughts on the first nine episodes of Jessica Jones.
- Cullen and LF are back with a new review of Plants vs. Zombies.
- Jerry made his picks for Four Comics I Want – Dark Knight III, Archie, Ringside, and Saga.
- Cullen has a review of the Autumnlands from Busiek & Dewey.
- John dissects what we know so far about the Legends of Tomorrow show.
- The guys give their picks for some comic-themed gifts for the holiday season. .
- Star Wars #12 and monthly comic books headline the conversation on Episode 73 of the podcast.
- Brent and Jerry discuss the Doctor Who episode with the Second Opinion column.
- Who watched the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead last night? Check out the WCPE TV listings to see what else is on.
- Cullen has a 60 Second Review.
- Hillary gives us her Four Comics I Want on Tuesday.
- John and Miranda will be back with a new Daddy-Daughter Review.
- Jerry has Throwback Thursday covered this week.
- The guys will be interviewing Ande Parks on the Podcast this week.
- Brent and Jerry chime in on Doctor Who with the Second Opinion feature.