Stay on target
While DC Comics has recently been going through their Rebirth initiative, meant to take the DC Universe back to its roots, with legacy characters and renumbering, Marvel seems to be going a different route. Adopting a system of short creative runs with a new #1 fairly often, it almost resembles a TV season in format than it does the superhero comics of years past. Their branding for this, since 2012, has been Marvel NOW! Here, we take a look at five of the best series that the line is currently publishing.
Coming hot on the heels of their Eisner award-winning, critically acclaimed run on Daredevil, writer Mark Waid and writer/artist Chris Samnee have taken over Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow. A perfect spy thriller, the series really stands as something special due to Chis Samnee’s art with colors by Matt Wilson. A true marriage of writing and visual art, Samnee understands exactly how the eye follows a comic page, especially for action. Be it in a dark room or in the middle of the sky, Samnee can do anything, following characters well and never losing the reader’s attention. It takes a very bare bones approach to the character, using only what a reader may know from the movies, and builds from there. It is the kind of comic that makes you want it as a movie so bad, if only because of how well it approaches Natasha as a character. Black Widow Volume 1 is available for download now or in print.
Moon Knight is written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Greg Smallwood as well as an assortment of other artists. The need for multiple artists arises from the story diving into the most fractured elements of Moon Knight’s psychology, starting off with him in a mental institution. Different artists are used to portraying different personalities or how they view the world, giving this book a very distinct voice. While Lemire’s team books have been lackluster, Moon Knight feels more in line with his creator-owned work like Sweet Tooth or the Under Water Welder. Moon Knight is available for download now. Volume 1 will be out in print this Wednesday (11/30).
The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
Set in an alternate universe where the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane stayed intact, and where they went on to have a daughter, The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows is one of the best new series of the year and without a doubt the best Spider-Man story in a long time. Fun, cute, full of heart and warmth, this series follows the Spider-Family as they are forced to deal with new villains on top of the struggles of two parents trying to raise a daughter. Matters get more complicated when Peter and Mary Jane realize that their daughter has inherited her father’s powers. Renew Your Vows is a must read for fans of the characters, or for anyone looking to get into superhero comic books. Available now to download from Comixology or in print.
Al Ewing is an underappreciated gem at Marvel Comics. Consistently getting put on team books or series that are not considered “flagship” makes it feel as if Ewing does not get enough credit as a writer. Every book he has written in the past few years for Marvel has been a blast, and Ultimates is no exception. Currently, on its second “season,” called Ultimates 2, Ewing has taken a team of cosmic superheroes and geniuses and turned it into one of the most insane epics of the Marvel Universe. The first season had Ewing paired with artist Kenneth Rocafort, and the current volume features artist Travel Foreman, both of whom have very distinct styles that make Ultimates feel unlike anything else on the shelf. The first issue is available for download or in print now.
Writer Mark Waid has a long resume in the comic book industry, but some of his best work can be found in his Impulse series for DC Comics back in the 1990’s. Capturing the idealistic, fun personality of a teenager can be a tough act to balance, but he did it well. He does it again on Champions for Marvel, with artist Humberto Ramos. Ramos’ style is as fun and energetic as one can get without seeming like it isn’t serious. A team of legacy heroes and diverse teenagers, Champions feels like a mission statement for the current era of Marvel Comics. Colorful, fresh and exciting, and filled with a sense of optimism, Champions is exactly the kind of superhero comic that the world needs right now. Issue #1 is out now and can be downloaded here or found in print here.