diflucan 2 doses

Its my bar of chocolate, give it to me NOW!

Brian Hibbs

OK, MarvelNOW! has pretty much gotten going, where did we leave off…?



ALL-NEW X-MEN #1 & 2: If one single thing is going to harm this Marvel relaunch, it is going to be these bi-weekly shipping comics. And, heck, scratch “bi-weekly” as #3 is inexplicably shipping NEXT week (wait, what, why?), and that’s a bit of a shame because I (unlike Mr. Lester or Mr. McMillan) kind of like ANX.

Now, part of that is that I am really glad we’re back to the “old” X-paradigm — they’re operating out the school, mutants are no longer tied to “the 198” or Utopia island, or any of that. And part of that is that Brian Michael Bendis had long since run out his string on the Avengers titles, so seeing him get something fresher is nice. I also think he’s very much toned done much of the “Bendisms” that marked too much of Avengers.

Another is that Stuart Immonen is an awesome artist, so it’s a real treat to look at.

There’s a buncha handwaving that one has to do with the time travel stuff, but I’m willing to give it to him because this is comics, and the story should be more important than the mechanics of it.

Ultimately, I’m willing to give Bendis a bit of rope here — I think this is a very high OK so far, and as a general direction to make the x-books relevent again, I’m fine with it.


CAPTAIN AMERICA #1: I liked this OK as well — Romita & Janson are always a good art team, and Rick Remender’s script is zippy and actiony. I worry a little about the setup — the text page would seem to indicate that this “Dimension Z” is the home of the book for a while, and I sort of worry about a Captain America comics not set in, y’know, America, but the bigger problem is the $4 cover price, I think.


FANTASTIC FOUR #1: Lots of setup, and a reasonable enough pitch for the next 12-18 issues of the comic. Fraction does dependable work here, and Bagley’s art just screams “Marvel!” as it always does.  Because it only has a $3 cover price it also gets more goodwill from me, which means I thought it was GOOD, though execution over the months will count for more here than some of the other NOW! books.


FF #1: The flipside to Fan4 above, this one is Fraction and Allred, and, hot damn, did I like this first issue. I especially liked the narrative structure that suggests you read the book a second time now that you understand on the last page the reasoning/setup for some of the interstitial pages. My absolute favorite of the NOW! books so far, I thought this was pretty EXCELLENT.


INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #1: Solid set-up for a series, which one should probably expect from Mark Waid. I’m not so sure that the art from Leinil Yu (at least on the Banner pages) really worked in harmony, but the Hulk bits were nice, so it works out. Solidly GOOD, that $4 cover keeps it from the next grade up.


JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #646:  Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti move the book from Young Loki, to Sif instead.  I kind of don’t care about Sif, but Schiti’s art is a joy to behold. Hard to see this lasting for long, really, but as a first issue, I thought it was also solidly GOOD.


THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #1 & 2: Yay, it’s fun Jason Aaron, writing a loutish Thor. Art by Esad Ribic is super spiffy. I also quite like the parallel structures of past and future Thors and crazy godshit in space and whatever, and yeah, digging it… except for that damn $4 cover price, which caps my grade at GOOD.


X-MEN LEGACY #1 & 2: It’s a damn shame that this came alphabetically last, because I have to go out on a down note, then. Cuz’ this just wasn’t compelling. It’s nothing wrong with Si Spurrier’s script, per se, or even Tan Eng Huat’s art, though I get he’s an acquired taste. I think the bigger problem really is the focus on Legion, who just isn’t a very interesting character, and there’s less than no reason to call this comic “X-Men” anything. #2 had a printing error, and they put it on paper more suited to a free giveaway comic — this is likely to be the first NOW! book cancelled.  EH.


What did YOU think?



26 Responses to “ Its my bar of chocolate, give it to me NOW! ”

  1. Enjoyed Cap and Waid’s Hulk. On board with first for the duration, maybe with 2nd, although I’d like to see how this status quo fits with Hickman’s use of the Hulk in his Avengers.
    As someone who for years wanted to see a writer bring Bruce Banner/The Hulk back to The Avengers as a regular member, I’m so pleased the popularity of the movie has forced? convinced? Marvel to make the character a team player.
    The first issue of Cap also convinced me to go out and buy the trades of those ’70s Kirby stories Remender is using as inspiration.

  2. gotta agree with giving ff an excellent, but disagree with giving x-men legacy an eh, that’s actually the book with the story I’m most excited about

  3. I really liked Hulk and Thor more than I thought I would. Haven’t read FF yet, but found the flagship Fantastic Four title average. I steered clear of Legacy because Legion as a character only worked back when he was introduced in the early New Mutants series.

    Man, what I wouldn’t give to see Marvel roll out a Jack of Hearts series with his old costume as part of the Now initiative. The George Freeman mini is still one of my faves.

  4. I read the FF book. I thought the writing was kinda boring and cliche, but wow, Allred was already great and just continues to get better. His line work with the brush is just heads and shoulders above anyone I can think of. He can get any line density he wants out of his brush. His hair lines are perfect. His compositions are also top notch. Every panel looks cool with a good use of negative space. I really wish he’d do more Madman, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who read it when it was coming out. (Finding it was no small chore.)

  5. There’s a buncha handwaving that one has to do with the time travel stuff, but I’m willing to give it to him because this is comics, and the story should be more important than the mechanics of it.

    I have to strongly disagree with that. A didactic story that has someone traveling from the future to warn about a crisis that must be averted makes the time travel mechanics unimportant, but the reader has to accept the didacticism.

    There are many ways a writer could have Cyclops and other mutants contrast their present with their past without involving time travel at all. The resulting stories might lack action and suspense, but so will ANXM if the attitude is that the time travel mechanics don’t matter.

    The logical extension of claiming that the mechanics don’t matter in ANXM is that the plots don’t matter, themes are unnecessary, continuity is irrelevant–all that matters is having the fantastically wonderful mutants on the pages so that you can revel at the sight of them.


  6. Suspension of disbelief, dude.

  7. You know it really is a pity that so many of these cost so much. Having just gotten a Kindle Fire for an early Christmas present I was totally thinking about checking out some of these Marvel Now books as way to getting back into comics. (Having left Marvel a long time ago and using the New 52 as a chance to jump ship off of DC a while back.) But I just can’t bring myself to spend 4 bucks on a comic, especially digitally. I think I will check out FF and Fantastic Four after the holidays when I’ve got a little extra to spend, but as much as I would love to check out All New X-Men and the upcoming Uncanny, I just won’t spend that much. And I might be wrong, but I think all the Avengers books are 4 also, so I won’t check those out either.

  8. The Bendis X-Men book has really surprised me. I’ve gone from hating the very idea of the book (including its incorrect title) to being very, very pleased. For me, it totally hinges on the lack of Bendisisms (THANK F—ING GOD) and the fact that — unlike roughly 2/3s of his Avengers work that I read — a lot of things actually HAPPEN in these first two issues. Thankfully whole enterprise doesn’t seem like an exercise in filling 20 pages as quickly as possible. I used to like X-Men a lot, and used to think Bendis was okay too, ten years ago when he was writing above-average comics. As cliche as it sounds, ANXM feels like going home or something.

    SRS: I didn’t find either of these issues “didactic” at all. I don’t think Bendis is even trying to explain it very much at all. Hopefully he doesn’t. I think there IS a shortcoming in the story here, definitely, and can’t help sometimes wondering things like “Okay, what YEAR are these younger X-Men from?”. But in the end I just think that, whatever the story loses by being fundamentally built on shaky grounds, it more than makes up for it in execution. So far, at least.

    For the other titles:

    Thor was really great as well. I love Ribic (though I wish he’d stop drawing so many people with bulging eyeballs) and Aaron is the best, most versatile writer Marvel has.

    I don’t see why people have such a problem with Uncanny Avengers. I don’t think the first two issues were GREAT, but they were still pretty GOOD. Cassaday has lost a step, sure, but only “a step”; he’s still ahead of most of the pack by a long way. And Remender’s writing is as good as 80% of his Uncanny X-Force stuff, and people love that. I can’t find much to complain about here. It’s not the best comic in the world, not even the best superhero comic currently, but it’s still quite good.

    Then again, I’ve gotten ALL of the above Marvel NOW! comics for free, on LCS trade-in credit. So that probably clouds my judgment in certain ways.

  9. Suspension of disbelief, dude.

    Suspension of disbelief is a writer’s excuse for a failed story, an attempt to blame the reader for not understanding it, instead of correctly blaming himself for not making the story understandable.

    The didacticism reference was an example of a justification for a cursory treatment of time travel, not a reference to ANXM. A comedy would do just as well.

    The reference to Bendis hit a sore spot because the guy has just ended his runs on the Avengers titles by ostentatiously returning characters to previous statuses–the old “put the toys back in the toy box” routine–and thereby making his runs worse than worthless. At best, the stories would have been throwaway material, but I’d now compare them to hazardous waste. They’re so filled with premise, plotting, characterization, and continuity errors–the count includes the final storylines in both AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS–that it’s hard to believe the people at Marvel were idiotic enough to hire him for anything except to clean the offices.

    Anyone who’s ever written a story of any length to make a useful point accomplished more with that story than Bendis accomplished during his entire “Avengers” runs.

    Characters are intellectual constructs a writer uses as elements in a story to demonstrate his creativity, not virtual toys that are hauled out once or twice a month because they’re so goddamned pretty to look at. If the attitude of the typical superhero comics reader is that the characters are toys, he needs to grow up.


  10. @Steven R. Stahl: I think you are confusing the creative with the commercial here. Marvel hired Brian Michael Bendis to sell comics not create Good Stories Well Told. For 8 years (or whatever, I wasn’t really paying attention) on the various AVENGERS titles that’s what he did.

    (Sure, also, variant cover incentives by the ton, Spider-Man and Wolverine on two Avengers teams at the same time, the characters being the focus of every Event etc etc blah blah but Bendis as well.)

    Bendis’ stories have exactly the worth his readers choose to apportion them. To attempt to deny his fans their pleasure isn’t fair. I am not a fan of his work but he has his fans and they should be free to enjoy his work without being told to “grow up”.

    Your creative criticisms of his work are fair and just but enlarging the radius of your ire to encompass his audience will do you no favours. Your salient points risk being lost in the backlash.

    Criticise the work, sure, but, maybe not the audience?

  11. “Suspension of disbelief, dude.”

    That’s something the audience decides whether or not to give. It is NOT something creators can demand because it makes their job easier.


  12. “To attempt to deny his fans their pleasure isn’t fair.”

    I was a fan of Marvel from my childhood until the current crew running the place finally managed to drive me away. Bendis played a part in that. Is that fair?


  13. Bendis wrote good stories and bad. When I pull off my rose colored glasses its clear some of my favorite Avengers scribes – Stern, Byrne, Englehart, Shooter, Thomas – had their share of clunkers.
    Do I think Bendis overstayed his welcome? Yes.
    But Avengers has never been high art. At the most very entertaining.
    And some of Bendis’ stories were that. Others were terrible.
    But Shooter had his Korvak Saga and his Elf Queen, so no one writer’s run is perfect.
    Now Hickman – he may be the one to elevate an Avengers run to something more. We’ll see.

  14. The thing about Bendis is that he was SO bad on Avengers for SO long and his work on the title was lazy, unfocused, and poor in ways that Ultimate Spider-Man, Powers, Takio, hell, even Moon Knight, haven’t been. But it sold. But it sold. But it sold. Tom Brevoort would just stare everyone down, fold his arms, and say, “it’s selling.”

    I can understand why Jeph Loeb sells: he makes it a point to seek out the best artists and he just writes what they want to draw. Even David Brothers, a man with one of the highest bullshit detectors on the comics internet, deluded himself that the McGuinness drawn Hulk wasn’t the absolute worst written period in the character’s 50 year history.

    But Bendis? At this point? Why, after all the passive agressive attacks in interviews, letter columns, in the books itself? After all the promises to get to something only to get to something else? After all the “no, this will pay off” and it doesn’t pay off at all?

    I hate to say this, but I’m with Stephen here: if you really think Brian Michael Bendis actually gives a shit about what he’s doing on 616 Marvel books and it’s worth the $3.99, what the hell is wrong with you?

  15. Steven R. Stahl: Reading back what I wrote I come off as a sanctimonious prick so let me try again: You make some sound points but if you rile folk up they aren’t going to heed them. That’s all I meant.

    MBunge: That’s not so much a question as a sprinkling of words over a giant emotional bear trap! I’d rather not wade into that, cheers!

  16. “It is NOT something creators can demand because it makes their job easier.”

    Er, since when do creators demand anything? Lighten up, spanky.

  17. “MBunge: That’s not so much a question as a sprinkling of words over a giant emotional bear trap! I’d rather not wade into that, cheers!”

    Don’t lecture people on “fairness” to fans if you don’t want to get into the whole irrational business of getting emotionally invested in fictional characters.


  18. @MBunge: Hi Mike!

    I don’t know if you were aware of it but your manner was quite terse and, alas, my feelings were a bit hurt. I’m sure I’m just being a silly billy though and I do thank you for the advice.

    The “fairness” was in regard to SRS deeming the work “worthless”. I was trying to indicate that Avengers/Bendis’ fans may have found a different kind of “worth” in the work to the one SRS was seeking/expecting. Probably exactly the kind of worth SRS was (I feel) too quick to dismiss; probably exactly the kind of “worth” people irrationally emotionally invested in fictional characters might get out of such stuff.

    And, yes, that will be on The Exam. Dismissed.

    No running in the corridors!


  19. “But Bendis? At this point? Why, after all the passive agressive attacks in interviews, letter columns, in the books itself? After all the promises to get to something only to get to something else? After all the “no, this will pay off” and it doesn’t pay off at all?”

    Just curious, but can you elaborate on some of this stuff?

    1.) Who was he passively and aggressively attacking in interviews, letter columns, and books? I assume you mean angry readers, but I certainly don’t recall reading any such attacks in the forty thousand issues of Avengers I’ve read by him.

    2.) To which promises are you referring? Was he supposed to “get to something” that he never got to? Were these promises made in interviews?

    3.) Which stuff didn’t “pay off?” I know people get rather exercised about that Clint Barton/closet thing, but what else didn’t get addressed that has you so upset?

    Please understand I ask this questions sincerely. I’m a pretty mellow (if enthusiastic) reader of comics, so I’m always interested to hear from folks who can’t enjoy the story unless they know how the time travel works (or whatever).

  20. I just wish Bendis would occassionally do one creator owned gritty crime book. Something like Torso. He’s really, really good at writing a fun crime story. It’s a shame he’s not doing that.

  21. @Will B: I think there IS a shortcoming in the story here, definitely, and can’t help sometimes wondering things like “Okay, what YEAR are these younger X-Men from?”

    Marvel still has that sliding 10-15 year history since Fantastic Four #1, right? So I guess that makes the X-Kids from the far-off year of 1998 or something. Which makes Iceman’s line about how the TVs are better in the future funny for its kinda-sorta anachronism (even more so if you re-read the comic in five years’ time).

  22. @Dan Coyle: “But it sold. But it sold. But it sold. Tom Brevoort would just stare everyone down, fold his arms, and say, “it’s selling.”

    Tom B, was originally notoriously against what Bendis was doing with Avengers Disassembled, and was seen as the friend of the long-term fans, until it started selling. Of course, the eternal question is, how much of it selling is Bendis, how much is putting all your most popular characters in one book?
    (I wonder if Tom chose Bendis or was given Bendis, because Bendis was Jemas’ fave. I also wonder if Tom chose the previous writer, Chuck Austen, because he was Jemas’ other fave. Both seem a long way from Busiek and Johns, the series previous big guns).

    The more recent question would be, why did it stop selling, and why did it take so long for Marvel to act on that? Because “It sells” made sense at the start when it sold a truckload more than anything else, but sales seemed to peak in 2008/9, as did critical consensus, so why wait three years to act?
    (When Bendis started on Avengers, everything he wrote exceeded sales expectations. That’s not happened for awhile).

    In interviews Bendis would oversell his story lines and promise to prove his detractors wrong “it’s all been building to this”, “the pieces are all coming together” was said many a time. (I mean, Bendis says he dropped hints Elektra was a Skrull in a mini he did starring her in 2001!)*
    It’s a bit like Peter Molyneux and the gaming industry – he makes games that people enjoy, but they never live up to what he said they were going to be. (Even Fables 2 doesn’t live up to what he said it would be).
    So if you were enjoying it all along, great, but some people kept coming back because he kept promising a big pay-off to silence the doubters and please long-term fans – Siege was billed as being the end result of everything from Avengers Disassembled onwards, but it barely worked as an abrupt finish to the Dark Reign story lines, rather than finale to 4-5 years of comic series and crossovers. Technically it paid off I guess, the story finished and everything went back to normal, but for many, it didn’t pay-off as they’d been following it for years, and none of the characters journeys or arcs over the years was reflected in the story.
    And on top of that, there’s all the plot threads like Wonderman attacking everyone, or Marvel Boy becoming Protector that apparently went nowhere and achieved nothing. For a book where people were promised every piece mattered, that sort of thing chaffed.
    (Most of my info is second hand – I’ve read the odd arc here and there, and found it to be uniformly poor comics, so I’m not that familiar with the particulars. Find certain episodes of “Wait What?” and Graeme and Jeff will talk about Bendis’ failings on Avengers.)

    *Bendis “is about to have it all pay-off” along with “After this crossover the DCU will be bright and heroic again”, was a recurring message board meme, based on interview quotes through several status quo changes, up until 2010/11. It’s died out now.

  23. @ A.L. Baroza: “Which makes Iceman’s line about how the TVs are better in the future funny for its kinda-sorta anachronism (even more so if you re-read the comic in five years’ time).”

    I don’t know the line in context, but the average consumer television changed shaped, grew in size whilst shedding weight, changed the technology showing us the image, went from SD to HD, added a harddrive and internet access across 1998 to 2012.

  24. Hey Ben! Thanks for chiming in! I’d still love to hear from Mr. Coyle, but your thoughts are much appreciated.

    I don’t play videogames so I don’t know about any of that stuff, but if you’re disappointed in Mr. Bendis’s salesmanship/hucksterism amounting to less than full satisfaction, then all I can do is refer you to the works of the great Stan Lee and wish you the very best.

    Since it seems you haven’t been reading these stories (and rightly so, if you weren’t enjoying them!), then I won’t engage you on individual points about Wonder Man and Marvel Boy/Protector. These stories worked just fine for me, but I may have benefited from not being a big reader of interviews and message boards.

    On the other hand, I’m well versed in the Bendis-related grievances of Mr. Lester and Mr. McMillan. I enjoy the heck out of these discussions, and it’s a pleasure to silently disagree whole-heartedly with them on my end of the earbuds.

  25. @Ben Lipman: Hell, I still had a big-ass analog TV set in the late ’90s, so it falls within the realm of plausibility. Bendis knows this too, and hedged his joke a bit by having Iceman say the TVs were better, but not as good as he thought they’d be. However, like the Bond movie continuity as referenced in Skyfall, if you think too much about how Marvel past is reconciled with Marvel NOW!, your head will explode.

  26. RF: Ben articulated it better than I could, actually.

    Bendis really seemed like he didn’t want to do Avengers fairly early in. It’s rather telling that the only genuinely coherent issues were in crossover tie-ins like Civil War and Secret invasion, although SI and House of M, the minis proper, were very lazily written.

    Bendis’ non-USM, non creator owned Marvel work has gotten pretty progressively incompetent and nihilistic and just unfun to read over the past few years. The sales really didn’t start dropping until the Heroic Age, when everyone seemed to clue in that the “stuff Bendis was building towards” was just his same old crap.

    I wonder if it keeps Brevoort up at nights that Gillen’s uncanny X-Men has been soundly trouncing Avengers in sales the past year? And Gillen’s now off the book?

    In a just world, Bendis would have left Marvel a while ago and be ensconced in a Batman run at DC, which I suspect he’s wanted to do for a long, long time. You can’t look at some… thing like Siege and tell me this is a work by a man who loves and cares about what he’s doing. You just can’t.

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