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Read the preview Creative team: Story by Brian Michael Bendis; Art by John Romita Jr.
Villain to Watch: Kang (or, maybe, Wonder Man)
They say: The Avengers have assembled and the villainous Kang has revealed that they must travel to the future to save their own children from destroying the universe! Yes, the entire universe. But it will take one more Avenger to make the trip complete. Who is the newest hero to join the ranks of the Avengers true? And why is the once-great hero Wonder Man hell-bent on stopping the Avengers at every turn?
I say: Now this is the angsty Avengers that I grew up with. Wonder Man seems to be the prefect foil for Steve Rogers' rebuilding efforts -- and he has the power class to back up his misgivings. Plus, this arc is a special treat for me. Y'see, with family in Ohio and Michigan, we often take pretty long car trips. So long ago, we bought a portable DVD player to put in the back seat for my two boys.
On a recent trip, my wife picked up "Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow." The plot is pretty simple. The core Avengers line-up -- Captain America, Black Widow, Wasp, Giant-Man, Thor, and Black Panther -- have kids. There are five in all. When their parents die fighting Ultron (or disappear, in the case of Thor), an aged Tony Stark takes them into hiding and trains them to be heroes. When Ultron finally finds them, they must face off against the killer robot with the help of Hawkeye's son, Barton, and an elderly -- but still powerful -- Hulk.
Now, I've listened to this movie about four times. And recently, the kids had it playing in the living room and I became captivated. I remember saying to my wife that I really dug the character designs and the storyline, and I wondered why Marvel hadn't done anything further with these characters or the concept.
So imagine my surprise last issue when I saw who the Avengers were riding into the future to save -- none other than these "Next Avengers." Same character designs, same backstory, same everything! Pick up Avengers #2, but first, treat yourself and pick up "Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow." You can find it for about five smackers on Amazon. You'll be glad you did.
Fantastic Four #580
Creative team: Story by Johnathan Hickman; Art by Neil Edwards
Villain to Watch: Arcade
They say: A giant toy store full of deadly videogame kids and killer Legos. An underground labyrinth inhabited by needy Swedish nannies. The Impossible Man. Arcade. And a babysitter named Johnny Storm...Enter the Frank-tastic Four.
I say: Putting Arcade into a comic automatically brings back all of the nostalgia of paging through your 80s-era Marvel comics -- without the musty smell. Throw in the Impossible Man, and you know you're in for an enjoyable trip down memory lane. Swedish nannies? Icing on the cake. I don't expect this issue to be much more than a bridge in storyines, and you know what, I'm perfectly OK with that.
Creative team: Story by Jeff Parker; Art by Kev Walker
Villain to Watch: Troll
They say: Special Post-SIEGE issue - that introduces a brand-new character! When a magical landmark like Asgard crashes to Earth, the fallout doesn't end just by sweeping up the wreckage. This historic disaster has unleashed unprecedented threats, and one of them is pillaging the American Midwest! This sounds like the perfect mission for Luke Cage's untested team of incarcerated superhumans-and while the newly assembled Thunderbolts boast the power of Juggernaut, Ghost, Moonstone, Crossbones and Man-Thing, are even they ready to handle the girl known only as...Troll?
I say: I'm seriously loving the new direction -- and line-up -- of the New Thunderbolts. Luckily, they've kept Moonstone and Ghost, who both have tremendous character potential. They've added some swell C-list black capes. And picking Man-Thing for the team? My friends, you're seeing genius in action right there. You're gonna wanna pull it.
Green Lantern #49, JLA: Generation Lost #4, Legion of Superheroes #2, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam #17, Zatanna #2.
…And One To Pass…
WWE Heroes #4
Creative team: Story by Keith Champagne; Art by Andy Smith
Villain to Watch: Rev. Josiah
They say: Things get seriously out of hand as WWE superstars start turning into WWE super-monsters! With the entire arena in chaos will anyone be able to save the day from the evil Reverend Josiah? One old-school WWE film-star, ex-champion, and general bad-ass thinks he has what it takes to save the day!
I say: Remember how excited you were when Warner Brothers announced an actual Looney Tunes movie? With Bugs and Daffy and the whole gang? Then you found out that it was also going to star Michael Jordan? And then you saw the movie where they have to play a fate-deciding game of basketball against a group of alien monsters? Me, too.
Werewolves of Montpelier
Creative team: Story and Art by Jason
Villain to Watch: Werewolves
They say: After an omnibus collection of earlier books (Almost Silent) and a new collection of short stories (Low Moon), Jason returns with another full-length, full-color graphic novella-his first since the 2008 Eisner Award-winning The Last Musketeer. Sven, a semi-aimless Scandinavian artist who has ended up in Montpellier, France on a futile romantic pursuit, enjoys nocturnal raids into other people's homes, disguised as a werewolf. The way he figures it, the disguise will give him an extra few moments' advantage vis-à-vis any startled home owner if things get ugly... but he hasn't taken into account the existence of a society of real Montpellier-based werewolves who do not take kindly to this new pretender. So while Sven spends his days playing chess and poker with his friends, sketching his way through his picturesque chosen hometown, and coping with romantic dilemmas - both his and those of his best friend, the Breakfast-at-Tiffany's-obsessed Audrey, who has girl troubles of her own - little does he realize that a genuine threat to his life, and for that matter his humanity, is closing in on him. Werewolves of Montpellier is a lycanthropic thriller, a romantic comedy, and an existential drama-basically, your typical Jason book. Beware the full moon!
I say: If you're not intrigued by that story -- and charmed by the art -- than you're a better fanboy than me. Listen, I'm even willing to look past the "I'm not going to use my last name" thing and give "Jason" the benefit of the doubt. This sounds like an awfully good read to me. I'm going to give this one a solid look at the comic shop today.
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