Review of A Year of Marvels The Amazing #1

A Year of Marvels 1 Jamal Campbell
Jamal Campbell

By Ryan North, Amy Chu, Danilo Beyruth, Cris Peter, Ryan Browne & Reilly Brown

Anthology titles can be a tricky beast to master; finding a consistency within shifting stories and creators is not easy. Despite this hurdle, 2015 hinted at a revival of the format with indie books such as Island and Fresh Romance. Marvel got in the game as well with their stellar Secret Love one-shot and a Guardians team-up book which was stronger than expected. All of this would bode well for Marvel’s new series A Year of Marvels. The debut issue may not reach the heights of last year’s examples, but it is still a fun read.

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This Week’s Finest: Batman #40

STK6656001-720x1107by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

For a guy who claims to not read DC books, I sure do pick a lot of them for Week’s Finest. Before I sat down to read my weekly stack I had no idea what was going to be the week’s finest. I could have just asked Patrick, because I’m sure he knew as soon as the solicitations were out that I would pick Batman. I could have really saved some time if I just consulted with him before hand. I did not know before I read Batman that it would be week’s finest, but I sure as hell knew after it was going to be. When I finish turning the last page of a book and I get up and start rummaging through my short boxes to pull out all pertaining previous issues, there is a pretty good chance that is going to be the week’s finest. So before I get into it let me warn you there are spoilers ahead. And I mean like the most spoiled of spoilers. Picture a banana that has been left on the counter so long that it has not only turned brown but actually begun to ooze out the sides. That is this review. There is no way to try and process what happened without spoilers, so if you haven’t read this issue yet then trust me it is awesome and go buy it now, then come back here and join in the intelligent conversation that is about to transpire.

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Indubitable Issues

LOOKING FOR BOOKS TO BUY THIS WEEK?  

LOOK NO FURTHER.  

HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.

 
Dean bets on the Dark Horse…
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Past Aways #2
 
This is not your ordinary time travel book. Mix the beautiful mind of Matt Kindt with the fun cartoony style of Scott Kolins and you get a uniquely fun adventure story. Stay tuned for my review on Past Aways #2 today.
 

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Tuesday Top Ten: Our Favorite Avengers

With the new Avengers film in theater’s in mere days let’s talk about Nothing But Comics favorite Avengers over the titles long history.

Avengers-12-Best-Comic-Cover10. Thor: As one of the core members of the Avengers in the early inception of the concept Thor’s association with The Avengers in seperable. While the fact that having a members powers be god level could be utilized as the ultimate deuse ex-machina, the best Avengers creators find a way to realize his awesome powers to stunning results. Think the battle with Hulk in Avengers vs Defenders War, his relentless pursuit of victory in Ultron Unlimited or when he allows his hammer to travel across the cosmos and land right through a leading builder in Infinity, Thor is the Avenger with the most epic moments. But moreover, putting Thor with other teammates helps in humanizing the character in a way that is more difficult then would be in his solo books, perfectly encapsulated by how he was disguised as a cowboy in The Serpent Crown. At his best, Thor’s role in the Avengers utilizes both how goofy and awesome the character is equal measure.   Continue reading Tuesday Top Ten: Our Favorite Avengers

Ages of Ultron, Maturity

It’s so easy to laugh
It’s so easy to hate
It takes strength to be gentle and kind
-“I Know It’s Over”, The Smiths

Rage of Ultron cover Opena
Jerome Opena

For the past several days, I have been tracing the origins and evolution of Avengers foe, Ultron. Over the decades multiple creators have elaborated on the legacy of Roy Thomas’ initial stories. Today I would like to complete this series of articles with a look at one of the most recent uses of the character, the original graphic novel Rage of Ultron.

Writer Rick Remender opens his story with a stark contrast of worldviews. There is some sort of disaster occurring in Manhattan “years ago.” People are fleeing for their lives, while a narrator coldly ruminates on the fallacies of human nature. In the speaker’s mind, the vast majority of people are sheep, too passive or stupid to desire anything other than comfort. All they want is security, and they will worship any “god” willing to provide it. And who are humanities would be saviors? The super-powered 1% too busy fighting for crumbs amongst themselves to see the bigger picture. They squander whatever potential they might ever have hoped to achieved.

Rage of Ultron first page Opena
Opena

These are chilling words which the reader rightfully assumes are spoken by the titular villain. Yet, Remender along with artist Jerome Opena use the visual side of comics to undercut such statements. In a series of narrow frame panels, Captain America is seen charging through the crowd, trying his best to maintain order. As always, Steve Rogers represents what is best in humanity, the desire to stand firm in the face of any adversary. Ultron, of course, would argue that such heroism is folly, that the inability of men like Rogers to compromise is one of the reasons that the planet is overrun by strife in the first place. Rogers knows that this is self-justification, which is why he keeps risking his neck regardless. It is an inspiring sequence which instantly grabs the reader’s attention and never lets it slip during the remainder of the story.
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Ages of Ultron, Growth

Last week, I discussed the debut and origin of Avengers’ nemesis Ultron. This week, I would like to explore how later writers have used the character, starting with:

Avengers 19 George Perez
George Perez

Ultron Unlimited, Avengers #19-23

Kurt Busiek’s new model of Ultron is even more vicious than the preceding ones. He announces his return by unleashing a whole new level of terror: the slaughter of every single man, woman and child in the Baltic state of Slorenia. In a matter of hours, an entire nation’s population is decimated. Meanwhile, his robot minions are snatching up his extended family, gathering them about him. Captain America leads a desperate cavalry charge, but all they seem to be able to do is, at best, maintain a stalemate. Every turn, Ultron maintains the upper hand.
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