Thursday, December 01, 2011

Point One

So a few weeks ago Marvel released Point One, an anthology book designed to tease a bunch of new titles and storylines coming out in the next calendar year.

A book like this is both a great idea and a terrible idea.

On the one hand, I hate this kind of thing. Teasing future storylines is a sure fire way to get comic fans excited. They may not give a damn when they actually happen, but we loooove them when we’re told they might. Hell, look at Geoff Johns and DC over the past five years. They basically built half their books around vague and ominous prophecies.

On the other hand, this is basically a sampler of some projects coming up in the next year, all done by the creative teams responsible for them. And that’s far more appealing than a throwaway line of dialogue on page 14 of the latest issue of JSA.

So let’s break down what we have here and see what’s worth looking forward to and what’s not.

Framing Sequence-

2 astronauts (for lack of a better word) infiltrate the Watcher’s moonbase to steal his secrets, seeing all the subsequent stories. This kind of thing can make or break one of these books and thankfully this is really well done. Ed Brubaker, who we usually don’t associate with cosmic stuff, creates a nice set up with Marcos Martin, adding an interesting riff to the Watcher mythos (enters a fugue/upload state for 45 minutes every 3 years) and creates some interesting new antagonists in the astronauts (or the Unseen). LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.


Another crossover is coming. Much like the book as a whole I hate the general idea of this, which is just setting up another crossover. And I can’t say another Jeph Loeb story fills me with that much enthusiasm. Also, epic fail might not be the best way to describe a planetary apocalypse. BUT, this is a pretty fun story, where Nova fights Terrax while on the run from the Phoenix. Ed McGuiness not only does a great job with the fight, but has devised a PHENOMINAL redesign of the Nova costume. I can’t emphasize how great this redesign is. And as far as Loeb is concerned, this is pretty good. Tentatively LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

Age of Apocalypse-

Lapham and De La Torre is an incredible creative team, but this looks like a real bad idea. Spinning an Age of Apocalypse story out of X-Force isn’t a bad idea. Making the worst, most anti-mutant/racist villains that Marvel has the protagonists… well, I don’t know how good an idea that is. I’m all for unsympathetic protagonists, but I’m not sure how sustainable a story about a bunch of extremist humans against crazy mutants is. NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

Scarlet Spider-

I was not looking forward to this. Kaine is a stupid character and the fewer things that remind me of the Clone Saga the better. That said, I enjoyed Spider-Island (suck it, Jim) and figured I’d approach it with an open mind. Now, you’d think a grim spider book about Kaine by Chris Yost, who has a history of uber violence on New X-Men, wouldn’t work, but surprisingly it does. I’m a sucker for a villain trying to be a hero book, and the premise of this book (free of his degeneration, Kaine can finally let go of his bitterness and live a life) is really interesting to me. It doesn’t hurt that Ryan Stegman’s art is excellent. I’m calling it now – he's Marvel’s next big artist. He gets yanked off this book in a year for something more high profile. LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.


This is Bendis’ big Ultron storyline. It is drawn by Bryan Hitch. It is essentially a long action sequence in an Ultron conquered near future. It makes little sense, but it is pretty. NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

Dr. Strange

A really strange (har de har har) story where Doc tries to solve a mystery in Greenwich Village. Really off beat take on the character by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson. Not sure how much I’ll like it long term, but I appreciate that Fraction is trying something different here. It’s a set up for the Defenders and I’m interested to see how it’ll play out long form. LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING IF IT WORKS.

So not bad overall. I think what makes this work, as opposed to say, DC’s Brave New World from a few years back, is that everything in here was designed to fit in this anthology, and within an interesting framing piece. At the very least, it gives you an idea if the next year’s worth of Marvel offerings will interest you or not. I was pleasantly surprised by the whole thing. Foreshadowing actually works for once. Who knew?

1 comment:

  1. What is the price of the books? That has become a big factor in my buying guide, not the art, story, or creators. I loved the first issue of All Star Western from DC (paid $1 for all my DCnU thanks to my LCS). The #399 price was the reason I do not follow it right now.

    I think that these type books are good, if they are free or low cost. Paying for teases is not my idea of a good purchase. Glad you enjoy the Marvel right now. I still love the characters, but can't stomach the leadership.