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This Week In Marvel – 10/21/7

{mosimage}What’s going on in the world of Marvel Comics releases this week? Come take a peek in our new feature.

Unexplored Marvel isn’t gone…but we’re changing things up a little. Each week, I’ll be covering what’s good and what’s, well, not so good on the Marvel release schedule. We’ll jump around a bit, picking the best of the bunch one week, books that change creative teams another, or, like this week, look at some jumping on and off points. Plus, a hint of bonus material will pop up at the bottom of the column, so stay tuned.

First off, our Headline book of the week: Captain America #31. 

JUMPING ON POINT As the recap page points out, we’re into Part 1 of Act 2 in "Death of a Dream", the arc dealing with the fallout from the death of Steve Rogers. The Red Skull has something big planned, Tony Stark and the Falcon are investigating the mystery of the SHIELD infiltrator, and Bucky is the captive of Dr Faustus. Ed Brubaker is writing the best Cap book since Mark Gruenwald fifteen years ago, and Steve Epting is a perfect artist to capture the grittiness of the world of espionage and uncertainty inside. To be fair though, it’s not the best jumping on point a book could have…there’s a lot of backstory going on here. I can’t recommend the book highly enough, and if you’re thinking of moving from trades to pamphlets, now’s not a bad time to do it.

END OF A SERIES New Excalibur #24. A week late, given the
appearance of the"Die By The Sword" miniseries opener last week, New
Excalibur comes to a close. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a nothing issue. The big reveal from #23…is not that surprising at all, and there’s little emotional resonance because of it. Dazzler and Wisdom play nothing more than bit parts, and Juggernaut is written out to make his appearance in World War Hulk. And Sage overcomes her mental domination (A Claremont special) somehow. If you can really follow why, you’re doing better than me. Maybe it’s cause I care very little for this title. There was never much reason for this book to exist in the first place. X-Men in London is a faintly ridiculous concept without a strong rationale. I will miss seeing a fleshed out resolution to the Nocturne stroke angle, but overall, the book’s gone out the way it constantly hit the shelves – not with a bang, but a whimper.

UNDER THE RADAR Now for the book that more than likely doesn’t sell well, and will quite possibly never sell well – the attempted relaunch of Marvel Comics Presents. Back in the 90’s, those glorious days, MCP was pretty much the second Wolverine book. Many new Marvel talents also got their chance to shine by working on the back-up strips of this anthology title. There were no ads, and, MCP’s saving grace, it was bi-weekly. Cue forward to now, and MCP is still an anthology title, but, crucially, it’s only monthly. This poses a serious problem, when each story has only 8 pages to work with a month, a third the size of a regular issue. It’s a shame the book isn’t on bi-weekly schedule, because it’s hard to commit to the stories. Anyhoo, this second issue features a mystery story of "Cape" police, a mixed-up Hellcat identity adventure, the new Guardian of Omega Flight self-reflecting, and a Taskmaster tale that’s plain annoying. Have to say, wait for the trade on this one.

So, a mixed bag this week. Also out, Marvel Zombies Vol 2 #1 (Bad, and not as fun as the original), Mighty Avengers #5 (Good, with the focus on Ares a great touch), Penance #2 (Ooh, I like where this is going), Wolverine Origins #18 (More about Cap than Logan), and X-Men Emperor Vulcan #2 (a solid solid second issue).

Now, in the future, I aim to have special features to close the column out. Unexplored Marvel will make its return, a monthly Ultimate rundown will pop up. And I’m open to suggestions or volunteers if you’d like to contribute. Pop me a line, and I’ll get the OK from the higher powers 🙂

Finally, let us know what you think of the new format! Thanks for reading all!


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