Disclaimer: This week I’m going to totally sell out and become a Marvel shill. I know being unbiased is a mark of good journalism, but I, like Glenn Beck, am not a journalist, and if I were one I wouldn’t be a good one anyway. So I’m going to turn the bias up to 11.
First up, I’ll talk about Heroic Age: One Month to Live No. 1. It’s the first in a five-issue weekly miniseries written by Stuart Moore, John Ostrander, and Rick Remender, with art by Mike Del Mundo, Andrea Mutti, and Koi Turnbull. I don’t know why it takes three guys to write it and three artists to draw it, so I’ll assume it’s in some way broken up into three different parts? Don’t quote me on that—it’s just an educated guess. What I do know is that it’s a story that begs the question: “What if you were in an accident that resulted in you only having one month left to live?” And the twist: The accident also granted you super-powers. Kinda like if the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker gave him radiation poisoning in addition to the nifty super-abilities. Taking that Spider-Man analogy one step further, we know that with great power comes great responsibility, but not everyone is as upstanding as ol’ Petey. Will Dennis Sykes be another Spider-Man, or will he be another Punisher? Check it out for $2.99 an issue.
Next up worth a mention is I Am an Avenger No. 1. This book is the first of a five-issue miniseries, an anthology written and drawn by a bunch of people. It combines two of my favorite things in comics, anthologies and Avengers, so it’s a win-win for me. Each short story examines just what is it that makes one an Avenger. ‘Nuff said there. Pick up the first issue for $3.99.
Namor: The First Mutant No. 1 was supposed to ship last week, but it’s late, and these things happen. I blame Joe Quesada for taking too long to draw the variant cover—that is as much a likely excuse as anything. I was a big fan of the ‘90s Namor solo comic, as cheesy and goofy as it was. But, as said, those were the ‘90s. Everything was cheesy and goofy then, or at least it seems that way now. This book will try to be more serious, I’m sure. Namor is one of those characters, like Superman or Batman, that everyone tries to redefine with each new writer, because they’re so bland and archetypal that creators feel obliged to shake things up. Now Namor is all up in X-Men business, and Marvel stuck on his old label as “World’s First Mutant.” Not to be nitpicky but Namor isn’t a mutant—he’s just a result of misogyny. That is like calling Tiger Woods a mutant. Also, even if he were a mutant he wouldn’t be the first by a good bit (I’m not going to list the many Marvel mutants that came before him, but suffice it to say you can look it up if you so choose).
As for plot, the newly discovered race of Atlantean vampires has Namor in a tizzy, so it’s a perfect time to launch a new book as a piggyback to whatever X-Men-related crossover is going on at the moment. The difference here is Namor is cool—cooler than Aquaman—and he deserves a shot. It won’t last though… It never does, so pick up this first issue, written by Stuart Moore and drawn by Ariel Olivetti, for $3.99.
Finally, we look at Taskmaster No. 1. I don’t really want to go into it here, but Taskmaster is never written cool enough for my tastes, except for in miniseries. This four-issue miniseries stands to be no different. You have to give the guy time to shine; he’s one of those theoretically cool dudes, like Deathstroke. You have to put the spotlight on him to get the best stories out of him. In this story, in the aftermath of Norman Osborn’s fall, the rumor is out that Taskmaster is going straight, and obviously this isn’t going to fly. So Taskmaster has to fight off literal hordes of baddies to survive having a billion-dollar bounty being put on his head. So I anticipate four issues of complete and total carnage, and that is exactly what I want. Plus this series promises to tell the “secret origin” of Tasky. Written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Jefte Paolo, pick Taskmaster No. 1 up for $3.99 for 40 pages.
Honorable Mentions: Dark Horse is offering up Groo No. 1 for $1 this week (yes, I know it’s Dark Horse, and every true Groo fan knows he started at Marvel). Also we get a reprint of Darkwing Duck No. 1 for $3.99 from Boom Studios. Again, I know, but Darkwing Duck is from Disney, and Disney owns Marvel, so all the money is going to the same place.
Lastly, in non-Marvel news, you can get a reprint of Morning Glories No. 1. It looks to be the new Chew, so be sure to give it a shot!