Monica Rambeau has had a fascinating and frustrating history since her first appearance in 1982. Monica (AKA Photon, AKA Pulsar AKA Spectrum, if you nasty) has the unique ability to transform herself into any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum with power levels that have spiked and waned throughout her career. Monica was the first female Captain Marvel and also the first African American female Avenger, a team that she eventually led. Her history is often seen as a hot button issue among readers due to the character’s long stretches of inactivity and underutilization. Monica made her live action appearance in tiny human form in Captain Marvel and appears in Disney+’s WandaVision. [Read more…] about Monica Rambeau Reading Order
Gauging a publisher’s success in 2020 is a fool’s errand, although Marvel Comics has held relatively steady throughout the tumultuous, pandemic impacted year. There are few (if any) new series launches that have taken comics by storm, but last year’s good books have either remained strong or improved.
The line is significantly bolstered by the post House of X / Powers of X X-Men lineup of comics, with a remarkably high batting average across a “Dawn of X” wave that’s grown over 10 series. Likewise, Immortal Hulk continues making its case for Marvel’s best comic, and properties from Guardians of the Galaxy to Deadpool received creative overhauls and shots of adrenaline. [Read more…] about The Best Marvel Comics of 2020!
The 1980’s are considered a highwater mark for Marvel Comics by many readers, with a number of all-time classic runs, stories, and new characters. On multiple occasions, when asked where readers should start with Marvel Comics, or when picking the best decade long stretch in Marvel Comics history, I’ve found myself recommending much of the 80’s to Comic Book Herald readers.
As we wrap up our coverage of the decade in the My Marvelous Year podcast/reading club, I’ve put together a list of my picks for the best Marvel Comics in the 1980s. Since the MMY club reads through Marvel year-by-year, I’ve sorted various runs into the selection of comics we read for the club, rather than literally all of Walt Simonson’s Thor as one entry, or even all of the issues of Thor per publication year. [Read more…] about The 55 Best Marvel Comics of the 1980s
Marvel’s SWORD, the Sentient World Observation and Response Department, is the intelligence equivalent of SHIELD, dealing with the extraterrestrial threats of the Marvel Cosmic scene. Whereas SHIELD has been with the Marvel Universe since the Jack and Stan Silver Age, SWORD debuted in 2004’s Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. Since that time, SWORD, and most specifically the unit’s delightfully no-nonsense commander, Abigail Brand, have been an integrated, yet sporadic part of the Marvel Universe fabric, although most commonly tied to the pages of X-Men.
Despite the memorable debut, clear purpose, and compelling role in Marvel Cosmic, SWORD only has one solo five issue miniseries prior to the launch of Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti’s hotly anticipated entrance into the X-Men’s Dawn of X. There are good stories involving SWORD and Agent Brand – as a matter of fact I have a list of 10 essentials – but I’d also argue there’s a definite sense of untapped potential.
When I signed up to write about the She-Hulk by Dan Slott Omnibus, I was coming in with the context of it being a fairly popular run that I saw a lot of people hold up as the definitive She-Hulk run. What I got instead was a very uncomfortable depiction of a textually strong female character as essentially a stereotypical (in 2004) comic book fan’s ideal female protagonist. Right from the first page, Jen is depicted as a woman who is so insecure in her self image that she just has to sleep with different men almost every night to cope with it. And while, sure, Slott points out that this isn’t a healthy way to live, the entire thing just feels like the creative team is leering at her. Every single page of this book reminds the reader that it was created entirely by men. [Read more…] about She-Hulk by Dan Slott Omnibus Review!