The first batch of “Generations” one-shots, specials that feature legacy Marvel heroes teaming up with the originals, rolls out this month. Whether or not it’ll help bring back lapsed fans into the fold is anyone’s guess, but current fans should come away satisfied. That’s because you’ve got the likes of Jason Aaron writing current and past Thor, Greg Pak giving us totally awesome and merely incredible Hulks, and Jason Aaron showcasing all-new and ordinary Wolverines. That’s not a problem for me, but it is interesting to note that nearly all of these look to involve time travel as a gimmick to get these characters together. Which is probably not surprising since some of the team-ups involve the present characters teaming up with their (currently) dead counterparts. Wait… weren’t these one-shots supposed to be reassuring for older, lapsed Marvel fans? Anyway, the only one so far which looks to have two versions of a hero working together is the Hawkeye one-off from current writer Kelly Thompson so that’s a plus.
In completely unrelated news, Warren Ellis is said to be bothering Chip Zdarsky to draw his pitch for a “Fantastic Fourth Reich” series. Because Ellis hears that Marvel likes Nazi comics now. All kidding aside, I would totally read that comic from those creators.
Secret Empire #10 (of 10) & Captain America #25: Concluding the end of our long national nightmare. Well one of them, at any rate. I’ve actually enjoyed Nick Spencer’s “Hydra Cap” storyline because it’s been clear that it wasn’t going to stick. This was something with a clearly finite shelf-life to it and I’ll be glad to see it wrapped up by the writer who kicked it off in the first place. It’s also worth noting that “Captain America” loses its surname with issue #25 with the solicitation text promising, “TWO HEROES, ONE MANTLE, ZERO QUARTER!” I don’t know about you, but my money’s on seeing Sam Wilson emerge as the one, true Captain America after all of this is over with. Maybe then his title will be able to get some decent sales without needing to be propped up by events.
Ultimates 2 #100: Yes, it’s another renumbering stunt but actually one where the numbers add up. This tenth issue of “Ultimates 2” is actually the 100th issue of “The Ultimates” that Marvel has published. Given that the previous run from writer Al Ewing (which was quite good) only lasted twelve issues and the very temporary status of the sales bumps that result from these numberings, I’m still worried about how long this series is going to last from here on out. I wouldn’t expect an issue which has just been renumbered to be cancelled with issue #102, but this could be the title that manages it given this volume’s sales so far.
Edge of Venomverse #5 (of 5): In which the solicitation text acknowledges the fact that the idea of Deadpool bonding with a Venom symbiote might be a little played out at this point. They do try to play up the idea that writer Clay McLeod Chapman (Who?) giving us a story about Venompool trying to save a hospital full of people who have been infected with a mind-controlling parasite is somehow a big deal. Then they try to up the stakes by telling us that it’s being illustrated by none other than James Stokoe. Which… holy crap that does actually sound pretty awesome! Okay Marvel, you win this round.
Star Wars: Mace Windu — Jedi of the Republic #1 (of 5): Yup, it was only a matter of time before Samuel L. Jackson’s purple lightsaber wielding Jedi master got his own miniseries. It’s going to focus on his pre-blown-out-of-a-window-by-Darth-Sidious days, and I’d be able to tell you more if the solicitation text hadn’t been cut off. Anyhow, this comes to us from writer Matt Owens and artist Denys Cowan. I’m unfamiliar with the former and the latter is an interesting choice for a “Star Wars” miniseries. Cowan has a thin, wiry style that recalls Bill Sienkiewicz’s minus his penchant for impressionism. It’ll be interesting to see the previews for this mini to find out whether or not he’s toned down his style for “Star Wars” or giving it to us in all its unfiltered glory.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #1: In other “Star Wars” solicitation news, artist Marc Laming teams with writer Kieron Gillen for a story that has apparently very little to do with its title character. This annual is all about badass wookie bounty hunter Black Krrsantan and how he got to be the force of nature he is in the series. I do recall it being mentioned that Krrsantan used to be a pit fighter, so expect to see that touched upon here along with plenty of other likely unsavory details. In all honesty I’m betting that this ends up being one of Gillen’s darker “Star Wars” stories given the character’s unrelentingly menacing disposition. Hey, some bad stuff had to happen in order for him to turn out that way.
Captain America by Mark Waid and Ron Garney Omnibus: Collecting the eleven-issue pre-”Heroes Reborn” run which everyone loved, the twenty-three issue post-”Heroes Reborn” run which people were really kind of mixed about, and the twelve-issue “Sentinel of Liberty” run which is likely here for completists’ sake. A while back Marvel put out a collection of the pre-”Heroes Reborn” issues and I think your money would be best spent tracking that down. Assuming a copy doesn’t cost more than the $125 they’re asking for this 1,300-page collection.
X-Men Classic Omnibus: This, on the other hand, is a lot more interesting. Back when Marvel was reprinting old “X-Men” comics in the mid-80’s, they had new short stories and story pages commissioned to flesh out the tales being reprinted. I’ve heard a lot of good things about these stories and now they’re being reprinted, along with the new story pages and text articles explaining what was changed and why. It’s going to be pricey as this 1,000-page omnibus will also set you back $125, but it’s the only way you’ll get all these classic stories in one go. Unless Marvel decides to break it up into multiple parts for the digital edition (assuming there will be one).
Captain America: Secret Empire: Just wanted to point out that it’s nice to be getting the tie-in issues from “Sam Wilson” and “Steve Rogers” in one collection. Particularly since there’s only three of each. This collection doesn’t include the aforementioned issue #25, so I guess it’s not as important to the event as the solicitation text made it sound.
Deadpool: World’s Greatest vol. 9 — Deadpool in Space: Collecting the super-sized issue #30 and… the “Deadpool” secret comic variants? Apparently there was a story spread through several “Deadpool” variant covers involving Odin ejecting the regeneratin’ degenerate from reality and into the cover-verse where he has to team up with the living embodiment of a UPC symbol to get back. It really is such a fine line between clever and stupid. Still, it feels like a gimmick to get readers who bought the ONE ISSUE COLLECTED HERE to shell out more money to buy it again. I guess it’s a good thing the first volume of “World’s Greatest” was bad enough to turn me off of the series completely.