David Walker and Ramon Villalobos’ “Nighthawk” series was cancelled this week. There was a bit of an uproar about this as it was apparently a well-liked series that dealt with white-hot social issues as the title character headed to Chicago to confront its gang violence problem. Unfortunately, while the people who want their superhero comics to feature storylines reflecting current political and social issues are certainly a vocal bunch, there really aren’t that many of them. Less than 16K according to the sales numbers on the latest issue of “Nighthawk.” I’m part of the problem here because even though Walker is a rising star in the comics world (and the writer of the excellent “Shaft” miniseries from last year) I honestly couldn’t be bothered to care about a series featuring the “Not-Batman” member of the “Squadron Supreme.” While it won’t do anything for the current state of the series, people are being asked to show their support for it by pre-ordering the collection of its six issues. That, I can do. Maybe when it arrives in January I’ll see how good it was and retroactively castigate myself for not supporting it sooner.
Meanwhile (to show you where my priorities really lie), it’s been revealed Kieron Gillen isn’t quite done with the company yet! He teased five new comics projects, one of which is a new ongoing title for the House of Ideas. Granted, this could be a new “Star Wars” project to follow the soon-to-be-concluded “Darth Vader” series as opposed to something set in the Marvel Universe. I’d be perfectly happy with either outcome, honestly.
IvX #0: Wasting no time with the conclusion of “Civil War II,” Marvel segues right into its next big event. At least, I hope I’m reading this right, given the “X-Men’s” commercial decline over the years and the company’s failure to turn “Inhumans” into its next big thing. If anything, the promotion of the latter over the former has likely created more resentment in the fanbayse more than anything else AND THAT’S WHY THE MUTANTS ARE GOING TO CLEAN THE GODDAMN FLOOR WITH THOSE TERRIGEN-POWERED POSEURS AND SEND THEIR COLLECTIVE ASSES PACKING BACK TO ATTILLAN!!!
No points guessing which camp I’m backing here. Charles Soule writes the prologue with Kenneth Rocafort illustrating. Both are solid creators, so it’s likely things aren’t going to go off the rails with this first issue.
Avengers #1: Waid soft-relaunches the title with new artist Mike Del Mundo. Said soft relaunch consists of the older members of the current team telling the younger ones to “Get off our lawn!” No, seriously. Nova, Ms. Marvel, and Miles “Spider-Man” Morales went off to form “The Champions.” Now Cap,Thor, and Vision (but no Tony Stark, hmmmmmmmm…) have recruited the Wasp, Peter “Spider-Man” Parker, and Hercules for their team. What’s on the docket for them? How about “Kang War One!” At least, that’s what they’re calling it. Kang’s thing is time travel so this could be the 51st “Kang War” and no one would be able to tell. Maybe that’s the twist…
Invincible Iron Man #1: Riri Williams is the new “Iron Man.” Or “Ironheart” as she’s calling herself. After giving us Miles Morales, I want to give Bendis the benefit of the doubt regarding Williams. However, was it his plan to write “Iron Man” for 15 issues and then transition Tony Stark out of the title role for this new character? Or did he decide to do it on the spur of the moment after creating Williams? Much as I’ve liked his writing over the years, his “X-Men” runs were the definition of “Good ideas, poor follow-through.” Riri Williams looks like a good idea. Let’s see if he can follow through with it for a run that gets to a higher issue number than he has yet to achieve with Mr. Morales.
The Unworthy Thor #1 (of 5): Jason Aaron and Oliver Coipel give us a story about the Odinson getting word of another Mjolnir out in space. Unfortunately, some very bad guys have found out the same info. Listen, we all know that the Odinson will eventually become Thor again. Will it happen in this story? It’s possible. I mean, Marvel already has New Sam Wilson Cap, and Old Steve Rogers Cap; two different “Iron Men” with their own series; and old and new “Spider-Men” as well. Having Old Male Thor and New Female Thor side-by-side wouldn’t be too outlandish at this point. Plus, it subverts expectations that Aaron will restore the status quo at the end of his run with the character(s) and I like that.
Thanos #1: Jeff Lemire teams up with Mike Deodato for this ongoing series about the Mad Titan. His previous one only lasted twelve issues. That was before he stood revealed as the big bad pulling the strings behind the scenes of the “Avengers” movies. So it’s possible he’ll have a longer run this time out. Or, this series will be relaunched as “All-New All-Different Thanos” after issue #12. In any event, the solicitation text promises a reckoning between Thanos… and his family! That should be something to see, even if it has to live up to the time She-Hulk had to defend Starfox, Thanos’ brother, from being responsible for all of his crimes. You know, because he used his powers of love to accidentally cause the Mad Titan to fall in love with Death. Trust me, it was great in the way that you’d expect seeing Dan Slott dig into the weird corners of the Marvel Universe to be.
Occupy Avengers #1: Don’t feel too bad for David Walker. Even though “Nighthawk” was cancelled, he’s writing this new ongoing series about Hawkeye helping ordinary people stand up for themselves in a super-powered universe. The solicitation text makes it seem like this is going to be a distaff take on “The A-Team,” but I’m betting Walker has bigger ambitions than that. If nothing else, it sounds like a more worthy follow-up to the Fraction/Aja “Hawkeye” run than what we got with Lemire/Perez.
Spider-Man/Deadpool #11: Penn Jillette of “Penn & Teller” fame (or infamy, depending on your point of view) writes this issue with Scott Koblish on art. Why? Well, Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness need all the extra months they can in order to get ahead on their run. But if they need fill-ins, then oddball ones like this are the way to go. What’re we getting from Penn? A story where Deadpool and Teller trade places. Witness! How long it takes Spider-Man to notice that the Merc With a Mouth has finally shut up (but is still frighteningly good at killing people). Behold! Deadpool’s utter ineptness at magic (and how no one bats an eye given the usual amount of gore in a ‘Penn & Teller’ show). Your enjoyment of this will likely depend on how big a fan you are of the magicians in question. They’re tops in my book, so this should be great!
The Punisher vol. 1: On the Road: Writer Becky Cloonan sends Frank Castle on a chase to find the source of a new drug. Along for the ride is a little girl, while a DEA agent is hot on his tail and trying to get in his head. Waiting at the end of the road are some very bad men with their own army. Feel free to start worrying for them. Even if Cloonan doesn’t hit the ground running here, I stand a pretty good chance of enjoying this volume regardless. That’s because it’s illustrated by the one and only Steve Dillon. No one does the title character like him.
Star Wars: Han Solo: Do I really need to explain why I’m going to buy this? It’s probably for the same reason you are.
Vision vol. 2: Little Better Than a Beast: Yeah, I didn’t think the first volume was as good as its hype. The short version: Writer Tom King has a good story he wants to tell about prejudice and the rot lurking in the heart of suburbia. Unfortunately he’s having force a lot of things in order to make it work. Given how the writer’s profile has risen over the past year, I’ll be waiting until this volume (and his first volume of “Batman” are out) to do a podcast about whether he really is the next big thing. Hey, I still have to read “The Omega Men” and that could be the thing that turns my opinion around!