With Secret Wars coming to a close in a few months I want to give you all a run down of the titles I’m looking forward to, what I’m hoping for from them, and what I’m worried about. I already covered the New Wolverine title coming out. Why a whole article on that one? Well, Wolverine’s my favorite, and I have high expectations for the book. I also have serious worries with what Marvel may or may not do with the character.
My pull list looks much the same post-Secret Wars as it did before this all started. Despite the cutting of titles and all of the expected changes, we are actually going to wind up with about the same number of books, and many with exactly the same titles. The faces are different, which isn’t in itself a bad thing, team books have been changing their lineups every few years since the beginning. Uncanny X-Men of the 1960s is not the same team as Uncanny X-Men of the 90s or even just a year ago. Some of the changes this time are fairly drastic, but again, no big deal as long as we’re given good, compelling stories with characters we can related to and enjoy reading about.
First up is Amazing Spider-Man, a title I’ve been reading for a lot of years now. Same title, same character, but the cover reveals some interesting things. It appears to be set somewhere in Asia, and the tagline, “Your friendly neighborhood just got bigger” implies that it’s going to be set in a larger city than New York, or perhaps Spider-Man is going global. We also know that Miles, Ultimate Spider-Man is going to survive the Secret Wars and star in his own title which begs the question, how will two spiders work in NY without stepping on each other’s toes?
Well, going world wide is exactly what’s happening. According to writer Dan Slott, Parker Industries has become a global player and Peter along with it. Spider-Man becomes Peter’s bodyguard, which will be his cover for being in the same places all the time, and stories will take place all around the world. We’ll also see the return of the Spider Mobile, all new and redesigned. I never understood the need for it, except maybe when Spidey needs to travel to places where tall buildings are in short supply. In essence this is Marvel’s way of giving us both worlds. The young, awkward Spider-Man from the early days with Miles, and a grown up, more powerful, and amped up Spidey with Peter.
That does give me a great deal to look forward to, and I hope the movies start to catch up. I want to see Peter actually be an adult for a change. When he (under the control of Octavius) started Parker Industries I was very excited. I’m tired of reading about the loser Peter who just can’t catch a break. Not everyone stays at that stage forever. I’m tired of seeing movies that want to go back and give us High School Peter, that horse is dead, give it a rest. So I have high hopes for this. I also have worries, mostly stemming from the writer and the trend at Marvel currently. Marvel has gotten very political over the last few years, and unfortunately so have their writers. Dan, for example, has me blocked on Twitter even though I’ve never tweeted anything to him that I can recall or even find with a search. When writers and companies allow their personal politics to filter into stories, and interaction with fans, you’re bound to lose people. That’s just the way things go.
I’ll have a similar issue across the board so I won’t go into it with each title. I also don’t have an issue with politics being a topic in a story or book. My own work touches on a lot of different issues, that’s just how writing works, but a sense of balance and awareness has to come with that. Accepting people won’t agree with everything you say, and when they disagree, acknowledging that their view is just as important as your own, whether you agree or not. Blocking one’s ears and running away is the furthest from that acknowledgement that one can get.
Silk is the other ‘Spider’ title I’ll be grabbing. We were introduced to Silk very late in the lead up to Secret Wars and right away I was intrigued. So intrigued I wrote a full length piece on her as well so I won’t jump into all the minutiae of the character and why I am interested enough to read more. Granted, there are a lot of ‘spiders’ coming out of Secret Wars, but in the Marvel Universe the whole spider mythology has always been fun to follow so if done right this ‘web’ of stories could lead to a lot of good cross overs and connected story lines.
My concern with this one right off the bat, “The Sinister Silk”. Now initially we didn’t know if she was going to be good or bad and in a way she is an experiment in how Spider-Man might have turned out of he hadn’t had Uncle Ben and May, his school, friends, and all that. “With Great Power…” right? But also power corrupts, so will Silk be a villain or just lose her way? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out. I hope not, in the few books she’s had time to be in since her introduction she’s struck me as a reckless anti-hero more than anything else, and I think that would be a great way to bill her. Sort of a mirror of Spider-Man without the strict moral compass. I guess we’ll have to see but it should be interesting if she has to tangle with Spider-Man and their strangely animalistic attraction kicks in.
I put all the X-Titles in one group because for me this will be an all or nothing proposition. In all my years collecting comics I’ve been a Marvel guy, and within Marvel I’ve been an X-Men fan. I never really picked up Avengers, Fantastic Four or any of the other major group books except for some short exceptions for crossovers or interesting arcs. Frankly speaking these three titles could make or break Marvel as a whole for me so that’s why they’re all together.
Looking at the team make-up gives some good initial insight into what the books are going to be. Traditionally Uncanny has always been the sort of ‘primary’ team book, but it looks like this time around it’s going to be billed more like X-Force was in its most recent iteration. This is certainly not a team of good guys, but perhaps doing the right thing, with some questionable methods. Extraordinary looks like the classic X-Men team we’re all used to, I’m guessing led by Storm, and with young Jean. With the way the last few issues of All-New went before Secret Wars, I’m not surprised to see Jean on a different team than Scott. Then we have All-New, the team of young X-Men brought forward in time by Beast, and stuck in the future. Added to the team will be Laura who we’ll know as Wolverine when all is said and done. Frankly I’m just looking forward to more great stories with our beloved mutants. I’m looking forward to their challenges in whatever new world Marvel is going to give us, how society will look at them, and whether they will continue to carry on the message of tolerance and acceptance.
My biggest worry is the rumors around how Marvel is planning to change things due to franchise licenses in the movie scene. I’ve heard everything from them changing mutants into inhumans or even putting mutants in their own universe, separate from everyone else. Both of these scenarios would be disastrous in my opinion and that’s my biggest worry, that Marvel lets their beef with movie licenses sway them to make awful changes just because. Frankly I don’t think they will be pushed into their own universe, almost every title, from A-Force to Daredevil has a mutant on the cover, or in the team. On the other hand, Uncanny Inhumans has Beast on the cover, so the idea that some hand waving and retconning might happen, just to erase mutant from the Marvel lexicon seems possible.
I knew that Marvel would never actually kill off Logan for good. Just like they’re bringing back an older Steve Rogers, due to some events in Battleworld, we’are also getting a version of Logan from the future. Older, wiser, maybe calmer? I know, it says sharper, but how much sharper can he get? Honestly I liked the Old Man Logan arcs that have come previously, though some of the art in them was not my cup of tea. I loved the idea of seeing our gruff little runt deal with age less than gracefully. With this I’m just hoping for a good old Wolverine story with the added twist that he’s a bit slower, doesn’t heal as fast, and has grown a bit world weary.
My fear with this one is that they won’t use the character to his full potential and it will just wind up being the same old Wolverine. Not that I don’t love the Wolverine we’ve had for years, but this should be something new and different. I’m looking forward to just that, but I think it will be easy for writers to fall back on old habits and themes and wind up with a book that looks no different than a Wolverine title from a couple years ago. I’m also worried that this title won’t make it, sadly. As I’ve covered before, solo titles don’t generally do well unless they’re established characters with a lot of popularity. I think a lot of fans are going to avoid this title simply because it’s different, and a few may avoid it because it’s still Logan. There will be a lot of newer fans that will like the idea of the New Wolverine and may just avoid this in favor of the other. I may be way off base but I just get the feeling this one won’t make the cut down the road.
The last title I’m adding to my list is Deadpool. I like Deadpool, with one caveat, he has to be written very well. I’ve read authors that nail it, and others that just don’t even come close. I can imagine he’s a difficult character to write, and not everyone can write comedy well. A writer has to be able to capture all of his quirks, like breaking the fourth wall, without making the entire book about that. It can’t be a monthly comedy sketch, but it has to be funnier than the average comic. That’s where a lot of writers get it wrong, but I’m hoping, with this run, to read a fun, twisted, and humorous comic and see the new Marvel Universe through the eyes of this lovable maniac.
I guess I’ve already covered what I’m worried about. I’ve read Deadpool in various forms, various teams, and various levels of success. I’m glad to see they’re bringing back Deadpool veteran Gerry Duggan, but as we all know comic runs switch artists and writers frequently if they span any great length of time. A Duggan Deadpool could have a great run for a year or two, but then we could wind up with someone who isn’t as experienced, or as good at writing that style and the book will pan.
Of course these are all just fears and hopes. I’m going into the post Secret Wars Marvel with a healthy dose of skepticism but I am hoping for the best. The future of my comic book collection hangs in the balance with these titles and the direction they take, as Marvel is already hanging by a thread on my pull list. Already, books from Dark Horse, Alterna, and other indie houses are starting to catch more of my interest. So, what’s on your pull list? Anything in the Post Secret Wars run catching your eye? Let me know below.