Last month I talked about 5 Exciting Things In Comics Right Now, but this time the focus shifts to the negative. There is a whole hell of a lot to be excited about in the world of comic books right now, and both of the big dogs (Marvel and DC) have been pumping out plenty of great stories. That being said, there are still issues in this little corner of the universe that we love so much.
Here are the five biggest problems I see with comics at the moment:
X-Fans have been going through a pretty dark period. The handful of titles out right now just aren’t up to standards; the only solid series related to mutants is Old Man Logan. It’s not that there aren’t talented people behind these comics, there is just clearly something else going that we don’t know about. Marvel has shifted their attention from mutants to Inhumans, that’s no secret. However, it’s not like the Inhumans books are blowing the doors off of comic shops, there is still a huge void for readers who have grown to expect a great X-Men series each month.
The current event, Apocalypse Wars (which feels like it has been going on forever), has been an overwhelmingly lackluster event tie-in to the movie (which also wasn’t very good). For all the tension between mutants and Inhumans, there hasn’t been so much as a panel of interaction. Other than Magneto, nobody carrying the mutant X-gene has even shared any anger towards the Terrigen storm circling the globe and killing mutants. Basically everything happening in X-Men comics right now, across all the books, are less interesting versions of the elements in Rick Remender’s X-Force run from a few years ago.
Hopefully, whatever “Death Of X” is, following Civil War II, sees Marvel course correcting their X-Men comics. It’s also worth noting that with both Cyclops and Wolverine still dead, the various writers seem to be just as lost finding a new story as the mutant students trying to find a new purpose.
2. Guardians Of The Galaxy
Remember a time before Chris Pratt and company brought the Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen? Guardians Of The Galaxy is a perfect comic book movie and James Gunn’s version of Star-Lord was a revelation for the character. Unfortunately, the comic book version of Peter Quill has become a Looney Tune, a boring man child without any redeeming qualities. There isn’t a single shred of the 2008 Quill left, the current version is a misunderstanding of what makes Chris Pratt’s movie take so lovable.
Star-Lord’s relationship with Kitty Pryde started out as a genuine and pleasant new direction for both characters. Then it somehow became an entire year of the two of them slowly breaking up over a number of out-of-character decisions. Brian Michael Bendis has been trying to force-feed readers the emotional break-up of a couple they didn’t even have time to grow to love in the first place.
Guardians Of The Galaxy isn’t terrible, readers just know it can be much better. In the events following Civil War II, it seems Marvel will be bringing back Peter Quill’s old buddy, Richard Ryder. With the return of the best Nova there ever was, hopefully he can whip Star-Lord back into shape a bit.
3. Reboot Rules
With both Marvel and DC (kinda) rebooting their universes recently, readers were treated to an overwhelming amount of awesome. The comics following both Secret Wars and Rebirth are riddled with questions, and neither company has taken any big steps towards explaining just how things are exactly happening. This has made explaining the current comic books to someone who isn’t reading them extremely difficult as they always tend to ask the “why?” questions that you never bothered to ask while reading.
For instance, why is Miles Morales’ mom alive? And how exactly are the Morales’ in the 616-universe anyway? Is it still called the 616? What’s up with Green Arrow and Black Canary’s spotty remembering of their history? How did Regent end up in the new universe after being introduced in Secret Wars? How exactly did Doctor Strange come back to life? How did Daredevil actually gain his secret identity back? How are there two different Wally Wests but nobody else?
These are probably all just premature nitpicking, and both Marvel and DC most likely have plans to fully explain it all. However, until then, we all struggle to explain comic books to our friends who aren’t currently following along.
WHY ISN’T THERE MORE?!
The brilliant horror series by Scott Snyder, Jock, and Matt Hollingsworth released its sixth issue on May 20th, 2015. This issue was the conclusion of the first arc, but once you’re done reading it you immediately NEED more. Wytches is a well crafted and beautifully creepy six issues – it cannot just end there! I understand Scott Snyder must be pretty busy with All-Star Batman and all coming out, but I hope he finds time to revisit the Rooks family out in the woods.
If you haven’t read this series go do it now! Collect the six issues or pick up the trade, it’s so good, just do it!
5. Iron Man
Marvel announced their plans to relaunch Invincible Iron Man without Tony Stark as the main hero. The plan is for them to have the 16-year-old, Riri Williams – who they only recently introduced – take over the role of Iron Man, which is a pretty ambitious idea to say the least. I have no problem with her coming in and taking over, my problem is with ending the current Iron Man titles.
It’s been a while since Marvel had not one, but TWO ongoing Iron Man series that were both really good. International Iron Man and Invincible Iron Man are both immensely entertaining looks at Tony Stark at two different points in his life. Brian Michael Bendis has done so well writing Stark that the huge crossover event, Civil War II, is basically an over-sized Iron Man story.
My concern is that I don’t think Marvel should be throwing away two comic book series’ that have been consistently stellar in an era where Robert Downey Jr. is still playing Stark. They should be cashing in on one of the characters that is simultaneously succeeding in both the movies and comics, and when general interest in the character is at an all-time high.
What else is bugging you about comic books right now? Leave a note in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter, @griffunk, and tell me what else is wrong!