Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Previews reviews

From top to bottom, All-New Marvel NOW! #1 showcases some of the upcoming titles for 2014. Some of the titles look better than others, but they all have something to offer:

Avengers World: looks like another epic Avengers book with Hickman writing. Looks like Hickman has a ton more Avengers stories to tell, and two books just won't be enough. Avengers World appears to use the same cast from the regular Avengers title.

Black Widow: This one should be a blast for spy-fiction fans, and that the book features a strong female lead is a plus. The art by Phil Noto is top notch and suits the character well. Hopefully this creative team stays on the book for more than a while.

All-New X-Factor: Another X-Book to add to the list. Featuring Polaris, Gambit, Quicksilver and others, it appears to have an interesting premise. A mutant team backed by a leading technology corporation.

Thunderbolts: Adding Ghost Rider to the team should spice things up a bit, but the real treat is having Charles Soule (Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns) writing the book. All of his current titles are top notch, so Thunderbolts might be one of the best new titles on the list.

Guardians of the Galaxy / All-New X-Men event: The two titles are crossing over, but don't let the renumbering confuse you. Despite both books being relatively new, the #1's are not new creative teams or reboots.

Savage Wolverine: Richard Isanove (Dark Tower) is taking full writing and art duties in this new Wolverine tale, which takes place in the 1930's. Wolverine could benefit from more "past" stories that focus on him as a person before the X-Men. This book should deliver just that.

That's the just of the free preview book. The new year looks to be chock full of great Marvel titles with the exception of all the confusing renumbering. Hopefully 2014 will focus less on new #1's and more on keeping books at top quality since there seems to be so many promising new titles.

Harley Quinn #1

Not to be confused with Harley Quinn #1 from September's Villains Month, this new first issue takes up where Harley Quinn #0 left off, and marks the beginning of Harley's brand new ongoing series.

Learning that she now owns an apartment complex, Harley sets off to Coney Island to start her new life. She packs her enormous cartoon-sized bag and takes off, only to be distracted by an assassin looking to take her out. After taking care of business, Harley arrives at her new building and the fun really starts. Palmiotti and Conner do a good job setting Harley up with her own characters and stories free of her usual supporting cast. By the end of the issue, it's clear that the creative team have cemented Harley in her own unique world within the DCU.

The #0 issue was filled with gags and fourth-wall-breaking humor, but Harley Quinn #1 is more rooted in its respectable universe. Harley is as odd as ever, and along with her talking gopher hood ornament and her new wiener dog, she's got some entertaining company by her side. The building she moves into houses some interesting characters, most of which are sideshows at the Coney Island freakshow. Suffice to say, Harley fits right into their world.

The art by Chad Hardin is pretty energetic and can verge from wacky and overly cartoony to calm and atmospheric. So far, he seems like a good choice for the book. All together, the creative team has taken a loved character and given her fans something to be pumped up about.  

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