The New Avengers get to kick off our reading list this week. This book has been around since the Civil War story line; always consisting of heroes that normally wouldn’t be your first round draft picks for the Avengers. The newest iteration of that setup follows Roberto de Costa, AKA Sunspot, who has inherited his family’s vast wealth and found himself in charge of A.I.M. You may know A.I.M. from their former status as villains to Iron-Man, Red Hulk, and The Avengers however, this group of the world’s foremost super scientists is now being turned into a force of good. As Avengers Idea Mechanics they operate on a small A shaped island that runs ops around the world, sending out a field team consisting of: Squirrel-Girl, White Tiger, Power Man, Songbird, Hulkling, Wiccan, Power Man, POD, and Cannonball. They are then supported by a team of some of the smartest individuals on Earth: Dr. Max Brashear, Dr. Toni Ho, Dr. Mandy O’ Connor, and approximately 200 support staff.
They tackle problems by sending the field team out, who take on threats and collect data which gets sent back to A.I.M. for analysis and solutions. The fun from these books is that they rely on a sense of urgency throughout the book, you feel like every story is on a short timer and the group is working against a persistent doomsday clock.
Their first adventure post-Secret Wars places them in conflict with a scheme of The Maker (formerly Reed Richards of Earth 1610). This scheme involves vibrational frequencies, a crazy scorpion monster with a crystal for a head and possessing every individual in a pentagram shape, to summon a creature from another more ancient time. It’s been really neat seeing Sunspot take on a commanding role in charge of this team.
He constantly flirts with the fact that he is in charge of a former evil organization, and plays with the tropes of classic super villains. So far in the second arc it seems that Hulkling, a former Young Avenger and a kree-skrull half-breed, is the next king of an entire planet full of these half-breeds.
What I’ve really enjoyed about it thus far, is that the half-breeds are part of a civilization that is reminiscent of World of Warcraft races. The women look a lot like dark elves, and the men look like orcs and other various races. The whole planet’s architecture and armor/weapon styles are also reminiscent of what you would see while playing World of Warcraft. The last thing is that across all of these arcs they have been teasing these ancient gods and the big bad one looks like Cthulhu. It has been a really fun book to pick up every couple weeks.
Next I have The Ultimates; a team consisting of Dr. Adam Brashear (AKA Blue Marvel), Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), Monica Rambeau (Spectrum), America Chavez (Miss America), and T’Challa (The Black Panther). The Ultimates carries their name over from the team of the same name on Earth-1610 that stood as the Avengers of their world.
In this iteration the team functions in a more proactive format, as they seek threats before they can develop. It’s important to note that they don’t seek fights, they seek solutions. With this in mind, naturally their first story involves them finding and confronting Galactus to address his planet consuming need to feed.
This story has yet to completely develop, but has me highly intrigued as it involves an almost ,“what if?”, mentality to how superheroes handle saving the world from threats. I’ve been reading previews of Civil War II, this summer’s big blockbuster Marvel event, and it really hinges on this mentality: “do we seek to stop bad things from ever even happening?” or “do we strictly stick to reacting to threats, enabling free will to take it’s course?”. I’m really excited to see this one develop.
The final Marvel book I want to talk to you about is Nova. Nova for years has been Marvel’s landing space for their version of a Green Lantern Corps. To draw a complete comparison, Richard Rider is much like Hal Jordan of DC’s Green Lantern Corps.
Richard Rider was Nova for about 30 years, during which he experienced similar events to the ongoing Hal Jordan story-arcs from DC, while using all the power that is supplied to Nova Centurions.
Novas gain their powers from their helmets, which are connected to the main Nova Corps headquarters on Xandar. When a Nova Centurion passes away, they pass on their helmet to another who is worthy.
Richard Rider had his time over his publication; about 4 years ago another human obtained the power, his name is Sam Alexander.
He has done well as Nova, and even obtained a Supernova helmet which is black. It is important to note here that Richard rider is not Sam Alexander's father; at least not yet, you never know with comic-book twists. The book takes place after reuniting with his father and going back to a similar life that he had before he obtained the helmet. One big difference separates it from that one though; his father has his old helmet back and they work together as partners to take on terrestrial threats. It’s been amusing watching father and son bond, while experiencing the friction that this double life brings Sam and his friends. It’s hinted at the end of the first issue that his father isn’t really all that Sam thinks he is, in fact that he may be something else.
This is continued in the second issue when the duo is fighting a massive monstrous worm, his father takes a major hit from the monster and winds up having his face messed up, but is completely fine otherwise and pushes Sam to save the local town. This information,along with the fact that his father’s nova helmet is endlessly on the fritz and periodically shutting down on him,is all leading towards a fun teen adventure filled with wild mystery and intriguing use of Sam’s version of the Nova corps.
That does it for this week’s slew of books, check in next week as I review DC’s Rebirth event in an audio cast version. Thank you for reading!