The Best And Worst Of MARVEL NOW In 2013

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Marvel Now! (Sounds a bit bossy, but that’s what they call it) is just over a year old and is heading into its sophomore season full steam. I am honored to be breaking down its rookie season for y’all.

The Best:

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1.) New Avengers

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Hands down the go-to title. Hickman and Epting deliver the goods every issue. It’s so good, I’m the damned X-Men guy, and I’m telling you an Avengers book is the top of the heap. Plus, this seems to be the only title that seems to acknowledge the repercussions of the broken 616 timeline resulting from Age of Ultron and Battle of the Atom. The Illuminati are the squad to follow. I don’t know where Hickman is driving the Incursion bus, but I’m on it, sitting up front like a dork, not in the back with the cool kids.

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2.) Fearless Defenders

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WHY DIDN’T YOU READ THIS? Bunn and Sliney gave us a delightful, funny, demonic, ethereal book for the whole entire run. And nobody cared. This was like an empty stadium for an undefeated team, a silent lounge during an epic jazz flute solo. It was glorious and you missed it and now it’s gone. Get the tpb when it comes out. Trust me.

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3.) Deadpool

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Best wishes to Daniel Way but thank you for going to clear the way for this. I know that my saying this is good makes me look stupid. Deadpool falling off a building making jokes about pooping himself is funny. I’m not sorry. This book makes me laugh. Mostly. Except when Posehn killed Deadpool’s child. And that’s the beauty, right when one expects more idiocy, the real world crept into this and knocked Poolio on his ass. I’m curious to see where this goes next. Plus, those throwback flashback issues are pretty clever indeed.

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4.) Thor: God of Thunder

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Ye Gods, how awesome has Aaron and Ribic been? Put them on Santa’s nice list for this epic 11-part tale of Gorr the God Butcher. It was basically TimeLord of the Silence of the Ringlambs. This issue. I like it. SMASH. ANOTHER!

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5.) Uncanny Avengers

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Remender is off X-Force but he’s still obsessed with Apocalypsing different characters. If Marvel gives him the reigns over Bendis or Hickman for a bit, this is the title that can really “change the face of the Marvel Universe forever,” which is a sentence I have heard since, oh, New Universe, Ultraverse, or anything else that just didn’t matter. Put this book in your pull and keep it there.

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Honorable mention:

Cable and X-Force. It’s good to have the big guy back. Plus, this is the only book following Hope Summers, center of the X-universe for a few years until Schism and AvX took over. Her story still needs to be told.

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The Worst:

1.) Morbius the Living Vampire

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Dreadful. My buddy read this and it got to the point he was grateful for its cancellation. It’s a bad sign when the vampire horror fan prays for the end. Completely disregardable and of no consequence to the 616 whatsoever.

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2.) Savage Wolverine

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Ugh. It’s bad enough that Wolverine shows up in practically every Marvel book every month, but when a Wolverine title comes out and just doesn’t matter one bit, it’s just too much for a sane fan to take. But, I don’t think Wolverine had crossed over with Man-Thing before, so now we can stop waiting for that, thank God. Ooooh, Wolverine. In Space! Take that, Space Punisher, you knob.

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3.) Thunderbolts

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Marvel couldn’t keep Way off of Deadpool for more than a month. Arg. To be fair, this series has undergone a major overhaul with Charles Soule now in the captain’s chair, and it’s on the upswing. But the bulk of these tales of Red Hulk’s team of misfit assassins has been irrelevant, and Dillon’s artwork looks like it’s more fit for a coloring book. Deadpool jealous of Punisher and Elektra? Why am I paying to read a soap opera? Go blow things up. Besides dinosaurs. Yes, they blew up a dinosaur recently.

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4.) All-New X-Men

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(And subsequent Battle of the Atom crossover related issues.)

My goodness, let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of the X-Men by trying to ruin the whole franchise.  I gave it a chance, the whole “O5” thing, and I now want to vomit. At best, this should have been a “What If?” miniseries. Nothing happened in BOTA.  Bendis killed brand new characters, and Kitty and the 05 bunked up with Cyclops at the Weapon X bunker. It’ll take some creative writing to unbone what Bendis hath wrought.

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5.) A + X

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It started out neat, but it got old fast. Rooted in the Marvel Team-Up tradition, but wedging two stories into each book with no continuity. They’re tried to salvage this with an ongoing Cyclops/Captain America run, but it’s too late. I can’t remember a single story in the run. I know I read them, but nothing stuck.

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SAVE OF THE YEAR:

Uncanny X-Force. I had denounced this as crap during the summer, but it’s pulled out of its nosedive and ended up interesting. Asides from the whole demon bear possession, which still sucks. The Fantomex-on-Famtomex action in Paris was also… well, to each their own…

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About Author

Dana Gustafson

Dana Gustafson loves his wife and children, who tolerate him during moments leading up to writing articles like these. He has an unhealthy infatuation, despite proper medication, with horror movies, Marvel comics, and Westerns. He wishes you well.