Marvel Previews Picks: July 2016

Are you in the mood for some “Civil War II” crossovers?  Because Marvel will have you covered come July.  The majority of titles in this month’s solicitations touch on the event in some way.  Some of them are likely to be of significant relevance to its story, like the Bendis-written issue of “Invincible Iron Man.”  Others are just in it for the lulz as the two issues of “Deadpool” serve as a launching pad for the “Mercs For Money” ongoing series.  Then you have the “in it just to boost sales” tie-ins like “The Ultimates” as I struggle to see how its fate-of-the-universe agenda could be bothered to care with a spat between superheroes.  (Still looking forward to reading it as it’s coming from Al “Loki:  Agent of Asgard” Ewing.)  I’m also surprised that some titles I would expect to be involved in this, such as “Avengers,” “Uncanny Avengers,” and “Black Widow” are taking a pass on it.  Then again, that may change in the next two months as the event wraps up.  Gotta get some of that token sales boost before it’s too late!

Civil War II:  Kingpin #1 (of 4):  Given that the event is revolving around the “Minority Report” idea of preventing crimes before they happen, how are the criminals of the Marvel Universe dealing with this development?  Not well, it would seem.  Save for one Wilson Fisk.  According to the solicitation for this miniseries, the Kingpin of Crime has found a way to stay one step ahead of the good guys.  As for what the secret to his success is, I’m just hoping it’s not “because the plot demands it” which is how that kind of advantage always appears to me.  It’s coming from a creative team new to Marvel, writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Ricardo Ortiz, and me as well.  If Rosenberg can deliver a good answer for the Kingpin’s success, then expect to see him talked up more around here.

Invincible Iron Man #11:  An issue which promises Steve Rogers and Tony Stark as you’ve never seen them before!  Which, in light of their conflicts in the original “Civil War,” “Time Runs Out,” and numerous other stories over the years can only mean one thing.  That they get in a heated argument and talk things out like rational adults before coming to blows and either learn to respect the other’s position.  Maybe one of them will have his mind changed by the other’s argument and decide to join him in the end.  Has anyone ever seen them like that in a Marvel comic before?  I don’t think so.  Yet I also don’t think that we’ll be seeing them like that here.  Call it a hunch.

The Mighty Thor #9:  In which we’re told that the fate of millions of lives rests on Thor saving Roxxon CEO (and sometimes minotaur) Dario Agger.  I say, “LET THEM DIE!”  Agger’s as vile a villain as they come, without any real redeeming qualities as a human being.  If millions have to die for him to be stopped, then that’s how it has to be.  I mean, they’re only numbers in a comic book.  It’s not like they’re real people.  Plus, I’m sure Mephisto will be able to handle Agger after he winds up in Marvel Hell.  Now that’s a story I’d like to read!

Scarlet Book II Premiere HC:  Still not entirely sure if we’ll be seeing this in July as the next three issues in the series have yet to hit the stands.  Amazon thinks it’s coming, though the ship date for it indicates that it’ll be arriving at the end of August for me, which means earlier in the month for everyone else.  It’s also worth noting that the main reason I picked up the first volume in hardcover was because Amazon was selling it for the insanely low pre-order price of $11.  I definitely got my money’s worth, though it doesn’t look like they’ll be reprising that deal this time around.  Assuming this does come out in August, I may still pick it up if the discount is deep enough.  Then I’ll be able to get down to the real business of seeing whether or not the long, LONG delays between issues have derailed this promising series.

Journey to Star Wars:  The Force Awakens — Shattered Empire HC:  Did you miss this lead-in prequel to the blockbuster film from last year?  If so, now you can buy it in hardcover and with the “C-3P0” one-shot that explains how everyone’s favorite protocol droid wound up with a red arm in the movie.  All for eight dollars more than the original paperback collection cost.  This sounds like a terrible deal for people like me who did buy the paperback.  While I missed out on the one-shot, I think I can survive just fine until the digital version comes on sale at Comixology.

Star Wars vol. 3:  Rebel Jail:  One of the (few) significant plot developments of “Vader Down” was the shuffling of one of the supporting characters from “Darth Vader” over to “Star Wars.”  Now our heroes are tasked with transporting this person to a secure detention facility for the Rebellion.  That things do not go as planned should surprise no one.  However, with Lenil Yu on the art for this arc, the chances of this being an action story as entertaining as it is good-looking are quite high.  Also, Kieron Gillen takes at writing a story for the good guys in the Annual collected here involving a rebel spy at the heart of the Empire.  Expect nothing but a happy ending for this person as we all know that spies for the Rebellion always succeed without sacrificing their lives!

Silver Surfer vol. 4:  Citizen of Earth:  After taking Dawn Greenwood to the most fantastic places that the universe has to offer, the Silver Surfer takes her to Earth.  I wouldn’t expect this to put a crimp in the title’s knack for delivering engaging and imaginative stories of high adventure.  Particularly when he mixes things up with the Thing, and has to explain his history with Alicia Masters to Dawn.  Also, this collection is advertised as containing issues #1 to 6, which means we’ll be getting TWO anniversary issues out of it:  The 50th anniversary of the character and 200th “Silver Surfer” issue (arrived at through creative numbering, as usual).  I’m expecting that’s a misprint and we’ll just get the first five issues, leaving the 200th issue for vol. 5.  Still, it’s a new volume of the series from Slott and Allred!  That’s reason enough to be excited.

Uncanny X-Men vol. 6:  Storyville:  The final volume of Bendis’ run on the X-titles.  It can currently be bought digitally for $10, but I’ll always have that physical gap on my bookshelf without it.  So don’t expect the podcast about his run until this softcover volume comes out in July.

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