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 Legacy’s report card for the week, then below we’ll dive into each book. Let’s dig in!
Also, check out our coverage from the previous weeks!
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
X-Men: Gold #16
“The Negative Zone War” Part One
Now that “Mojo Worldwide” has concluded, our two main X-Men teams go off in their new directions. Marc Guggenheim starts to reap the benefits of seeds planted arcs ago.
Kitty being the new face of mutant politics suits her well. Somehow Guggenheim put Kitty and Colossus back into a “will they, won’t they” scenario without being a jarring retread.
The art in this issue isn’t the strongest we’ve seen on Gold. Characters look like different people and ages from page to page. It still delivers when it matters most though, the action sequences certainly pack a punch.
Introducing subplots to sit on the back burner for bigger payoff later is something X-Men hasn’t had prominently since Claremont. The more Guggenheim wields the knack he clearly has for wielding such subplots, the stronger this series will be.
Taking the X-Men off-planet is where some of the best stories have been told in the past. A trip into the Negative Zone promises an exciting adventure, continuing the successful course correction of ResurreXion/Legacy.
“Arms Race” Part Two
The wall-crawler and mouthy merc’ stumble upon Husk in their pursuit of the Deadpool imposter. We discover the faux Wade is none other than classic Spidey rogue, Chameleon!
At times, there’s some major word balloon pollution. A recap of a recap of last issue seems like a chore for those who are up to date. Otherwise, writer Robbie Thompson has solid voices for both heroes, and utilizes their dicey relationship effectively.
Chris Bachalo elevates this book with his pencils and color. His Spidey and Deadpool are both fantastic, it’s a fun exercise to ignore the dialogue and just look at them converse through only eye fluctuations.
Spider-Man/Deadpool is a book that will continuously need to justify its existence. Is it a glorified team-up title lingering too long, or a cash-grab throwing two of Marvel’s most popular characters together? At twenty-four issues, it still remains a worthy read.
Keeping the creative teams on rotation keeps it from getting stale. Marvel is getting pretty good at playing a revolving team to their favor. Thompson and Bachalo work great together, a fine example showing that creators are adjusting to the rapid pace of output as well.
Silver Sable And The Wild Pack #36
“Silver And Bold”
Silver Sable is back, and taking contracts again. She finds herself in the middle of a neo-nazi hostage situation and can’t help but get involved.
Christa Faust’s script provides a fast-paced, entertaining spy story. It’s every bit of fun as the recently brilliant (and short lived) Nick Fury series. Sable wastes no time reminding you why her return is worth noting.
This book is absolutely stunning. The panel where Sable has a shark on her tail, with the view both above and below water, is gorgeous. Paulo Siqueira and José Luis deliver a dynamite, pulse-pounding action comic.
Rachelle Rosenberg uses Silver Sable’s almost blank color scheme to her advantage. Similar to the best looking Moon Knight comics, Sablinova is striking in contrast to her surroundings, giving the book a very pleasing visual appeal.
There’s not much of the Wild Pack, mostly just Silver Sable, but thats perfectly fine. This is easily the best Marvel Legacy one-shot. I wouldn’t mind reading a monthly series, but with Nick Fury’s recent failure to secure an audience it’s not likely.
“Fire From Heaven” Part Three
Keeping the Kirby dream alive, Royals continues to be an absolute spectacle of comic book glory. Al Ewing is one of the strongest writing talents at Marvel, please keep giving him more work.
Javier Rodriguez, Kevin Libranda, Álvaro Lopez, and Jordie Bellaire make every issue a grand and colorful celebration of comics and science fiction. The art really takes this book to another level, it’s intoxicating to see these layouts spill out of the page into your eyeballs.
It’s a major feat to have this great of an Inhumans book without much Black Bolt involvement. Even with Gorgon and Medusa’s uncomfortable relationship, this series takes the characters to new heights as they explore the galaxy.
Luke Cage #167
“CAGED!” Part Two
Luke Cage is trapped in Grandmaster’s brainwash prison. He doesn’t remember he’s a superhero and apparently that means he doesn’t have his super strength.
David Walker’s various “foot to ass” lines are hilarious every single time. It’s one of the things that makes Walker’s Luke seem so real, his dialogue flows naturally.
The art has been dragging this book down. Outside of the Grandmasters colorful hypno-panels, there’s nothing eye-catching or memorable to look at. A pretty bland looking issue overall.
If those bells the Grandmaster uses to control the prisoners sound familiar while you’re reading, it’s from this Dr. Dre classic.
Invincible Iron Man #594
“The Search For Tony Stark” Part Two
Tony Stark is still missing, Riri seeks Dr. Doom’s help but he’s got a squadron of escaped super villains to deal with. It’s a bit irritating that Tony is still out of commission for no good reason, but our three female leads have been enjoyable while we wait.
Bendis leaving Marvel raises questions about Riri’s future usage, especially with Tony coming back soon (hopefully). Riri, MJ, and Amanda have all been wonderful characters to follow. The strongest moments of this arc can all be credited to these ladies.
Whoever is taking over the title has some tough decisions to make. Personally, I’m hoping for Iron Man/Ironheart mentorship.
Alternating between Alex Maleev and Stefano Caselli’s art make the telling of two stories a fun and easy read. Bendis seems to be foreshadowing a return to villainy by way of face burning. If that’s the case, there’s no better artist to handle it than Maleev. Doom is in good hands.
The Mighty Captain Marvel #126
“Dark Origins” Part Two
Captain Marvel didn’t get off to the strongest Marvel Legacy start. Chapter two of this arc was a much more enjoyable entry.
The book still doesn’t have the heart or urgency that Pre-CWII Captain Marvel did, but at least the cadets are gone. The more Alpha Flight there is with Danvers, the better.
There’s a lack of consistency in Michele Bandini’s pencils. The composition of Carol’s face never seems the same. It’s still a mighty fine looking comic overall. Erick Arciniega’s color work is stupendous.
This is clearly better than the previous series, but still struggling to find its way back to Carol’s previous glory. Captain Marvel needs to be a force again for Marvel, especially with the movie coming out.
Readers will find themselves as confused as Carol at first, but by the end this “dark-mirror-verse” story gives enough incentive to pick up the next issue.
“The Newer Mutants” Part Two
Writer Ed Brisson is telling a time-travel, mystery story that justifies getting these classic mutants together. It’s not pushing the envelope, or taking us new places, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.
We’re in good hands with Brisson behind the wheel, but there’s definitely room to improve visually. Outside of the silhouette/symbol panels, this looks like the lower end of 90s X-Men.
Cable‘s cast of fan-favorite Mutants overshadows the stringy, thin looking artwork. Even with a rather dull color pallet too, it’s undeniably appealing for any X-Men fan to see these characters operate together.
Black Panther #167
“Klaw Stands Supreme” Part Two
Ta-Nehisi Coates is leaving Wakanda much richer than he found it. Every little bit of history and exploration makes the nation feel like a real place. The more Wakanda feels like a living, breathing place, the greater the stakes feel for Black Panther.
Coates is a master of tempo. As the gears start turning, and T’Challa prepares to face Klaw, there’s a lot of moving parts. We spend the perfect amount of time everywhere, and don’t linger on unnecessary details.
This era of Black Panther comics will easily be known as the strongest. Seeing Coates brining Klaw back into the mix only further solidified that point.
Leonard Kirk, Laura Martin, and Matt Milla hammer home the sentiment that Wakanda is a grand nation like no other. The culture, drama, politics, and unique appeal are easier to digest and carry a major weight of importance thanks to art as competent as the script.
“Thanos Wins” Part One
Marvel’s new hotshot (for good reason) writer Donny Cates makes his Thanos debut. He does so in spectacular fashion, this might be the most “metal” comic book issue I’ve ever read.
The biggest bad in the history of big-bads has been fully restored to his former glory, leaving death and destruction anywhere he pleases. Thanos thirsts for worthy battle, he decimates the entire planet of Chitaurians to find it in the form of a cosmic Ghost Rider.
A grand-scale masterwork of cosmic destruction, there’s no better way to start a Thanos run. Cates clearly has no problem following superstar writers, replacing Jeff Lemire here.
Geoff Shaw and Antonio Fabela conjure up brutal action and intoxicating scenery. There’s raining blood, skull crushing, a planet covered in murder, and a beautiful Thanos smirk.
The creative team here really came out swinging and delivered on every front. Thanos is a book that nobody knew they needed, it’s now a staple of cosmic Marvel and a must-read title.
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #13
“8 Years Later” Part One
Renew Your Vows makes its Marvel Legacy debut, jumping eight years into the future when Annie May is about to become a high school sophomore. This series has been a favorite among many fans, but has it overstayed its welcome?
The jump to Annie May’s teen years could take us new places, explore new tones, force Peter and MJ to make tougher parenting decisions. Unfortunately, the only difference in this issue is Annie May’s cellphone usage and wanting to change her name.
With the series making a huge timeline decision, there didn’t seem to be a clear reason as to why. It does almost nothing for the story or family. It’s more of the same, which is fine if you’ve been enjoying the title so far.
Nick Roche and Ruth Redmond’s lighthearted, cartoon approach to the art gives the book a totally different feel. The perspective seemingly shifts from parents trying to protect their superhero child to “super powered teen has lame parents.”
Renew Your Vows was previously a safe haven for those who hated what Dan Slott was doing on Amazing Spider-Man. With ASM shifting back to a more recognizable Spidey, and Zdarsky’s Spectacular Spidey hitting its stride, RYV feels much less necessary.
Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur #25
“Fantastic Three” Part One
This issue is everything that comics for kids should be. Lunella is the Marvel character that should be seen more regularly on cartoons and in bookstores. She’s the perfect role model, hopefully more kids find their way to her.
There’s also plenty here for adults to enjoy, especially with the dire need for more Fantastic Four. This arc’s first installment is no pity party, but a celebration of the first family and Lunella’s status as the “second smartest person on Earth.”
Brandon Montclare has a knack for writing dialogue for kids. Lunella is a brilliantly sarcastic charmer that is usually the most logical and adult-like in the room. Moon Girl succeeds where RYV fails in showcasing the difference adults and kids in both attitude and outlook flawlessly.
Disney should consider turning Lunella and her T-Rex into a cartoon at this point. She’s a fantastic character and a potential hit that could bridge to other Marvel characters constantly.
All-New Wolverine #27
“Orphans Of X” Part Three
The “Adamantium Family” is beautifully dysfunctional. Daken is a welcome addition to Laura and Gabby’s chemistry, which is already off the charts.
The Orphans Of X are still heavily shrouded in mystery, every little bit of detail we get builds the group as a strong take on the old mutant hate group. As they start to take a clearer shape, we’re treated to more of their splendidly designed attire and aesthetic.
Nolan Woodard’s color choices for the background and environments are stimulating blends you don’t see very often. He and Juann Cabal combine their dynamic forces and make one hell of a comic book.
All-New Wolverine should no longer be a hidden Marvel gem. This is one of the strongest superhero titles in general and should be a huge hit. Tom Taylor and company will start getting more Marvel duties soon, and for good reason.