Al Ewing & Paco Medina of Marvel’s Contest Of Champions will be launching a new series titled U.S.Avengers in October of 2016. More details at The Washington Post
Nothing But Comics is about to hit our two year mark and in observance of the sites anniversary, every Tuesday from now until we finish, one of our staff members will list off their favorite series, runs or issues of all time. This week it’s Josh Continue reading Tuesday Top Ten: All Time Favorites Josh
Based on the popular video game, Marvel will be releasing a Contest Of Champions ongoing series by writer Al Ewing of Loki Agent of Asgard, Ultron Forver & Might Avengers with artist Paco Medina of Nova, Amazing Spiderman & Legendary Star Lord. More details at CNET
Here we are at the beginning of the end for Jonathan Hickman’s sprawling cosmic odyssey of a run on Avengers and issue #35 open the book 8 months in the future in a way that is equal parts exciting and troubling. For being an oversized issue this is a comic in set up mode but Hickman is also a good enough writer to make that exciting on multiple level. That’s partially because the set up is predicated on moments of dynamic action and cosmic metamorphosis and partially because the changes that have happened aren’t fully revealed and as such introduce a level of intrigue that’s an exciting addition for anybody that’s been enjoying his run from the inception. The Tony Starks Avengers are being hunted down by the Shield sanctioned Avengers but there are subtle changes on what has transpired that adds a level of engagement to the issue. The art of Jim Cheugn, Nick Brashaw, Paco Medina and Dustin Weaver does a great job of playing with the element of surprise in the narrative while following Hickman’s tension and release style in a way that feels smooth and natural. This issue is almost great until the very last page when the final reveal just had me rolling my eyes. I’m not going to spoil it and I’m going to acknowledge that it’s literally one page predicating the rest of the story so I’m mostly speculating on it’s intent but all that said, Hickman you are better then this bro. I don’t know if my assumptions are correct but if they are that is like lazy Brian Michael Bendis, New 52 inverted plot twist nonsense that is unnecessary. I hope I’m wrong as I’ve mostly enjoyed Hickman’s time on the title and ultimately it may be totally ancillary so I can still endorse this issue albeit with a level of trepidation. Let’s see what the future holds.
This issue brings to a close the current arc. The storyline started with Nova seemingly doing the right thing in answering a deep space distress call. Turns out that not only did he save the skin of known salve-trader Skaarn (oops) but one of his current illicit activates is holding captive Korbonites. Needless to say, Beta Ray Bill is not amused when his search for his people leads him to an earthling teenager in possession of a Nova helm.
A series of twists and turns in the plot have brought Beta Ray Bill and Nova to The Keep where they hope to defeat Skaarn before he can get away with some super-weapons, including one which formerly belonged to a Herald of Galactus. Throughout, Sam continues to be an engaging character. In many ways, he is a standard variation on Marvel’s classic young hero archetype (see Parker, Peter), but there is a reason this template has had such a durable life. Sam is not a perfect kid, who is clearly still learning the ropes. Yet, he is also someone whose intentions are in the right place. When necessary he is the hero which the moment requires. Also, he has a winning personality; he and Beta Ray quickly develop an easy-going camaraderie.
Towards the end of this issue, Sam meanders through space while reflecting on some advice given to him Beta Ray. It is a nice sequence reminding both the hero and the reader of how not to take things for granted in life. This message gains a bit of irony with a surprise waiting for Sam once he finally reaches his home once again.
A good issue, and I look forward to seeing where Sam’s story goes next. I have a hunch that the plot-thread of his father’s disappearance may be about to overlap with Marvel’s upcoming Original Sin event. Just a guess though.
Nova #13.1 by Gerry Duggan & Paco Medina
This issue starts out with our young hero, Sam in a pretty good mood. His most recent Nova adventure, as seen last month, was a great success. He heeded a distress call, and rescued a spaceship, saving the lives of everyone on board. And so, for the whole first page of this week’s issue, everything seems to be coming up Milho—er, everything appears to be going great. Naturally, though, it doesn’t last.
First, he has a run in with school bully, Moffet. The fight between them is just escalating when Beta Ray Bill shows up proclaiming that someone must pay for their crimes. Moffet panics and flees as quickly as possible, right into a sign post. Human tormentor unconscious, Sam turns to Beta Ray. Having never met Beta Ray before, Sam does not know who this alien creature is. Sam does rush to Moffet’s side to make sure the boy is all right. See, Sam’s kind-hearted, always wanting to assist those in need, only, well, it turns out he helped the wrong person. Skaarn, the commander of the ship he rescued in the previous issue, is actually wanted by Beta Ray for grave crimes. It would seem that the learning curve for cosmic heroics is longer than Sam assumed. However, he volunteers to do the right thing, and help make his wrongs right. His determination to do the right thing, to live up to this legacy from his father, makes him a compelling character.
Sam and Beta Ray have a good dynamic together. (Also, Sam holds up pretty well against Beta Ray in a fight). Duggan also gives some time to Sam’s relationships with his family and classmate, Carrie, who I’m hoping to see more of as the series progresses. There are also some good uses of humor, which keeps the mood balanced. Overall, this is a promising start to the new arc.