Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Crusaders Vol. 1: Rise of the Heroes

Author:  Ian Flynn

Artist:  Ben Bates, Alitha Martinez

Publisher:  Archie Comics

First Publication:  March 2013

Rating:  8

Source:  Comixology

Graphic Novel Challenge #50

My first exposure to the Red Circle heroes was in the Rich Buckler led revival.  Buckler drew “The Crusaders” while others did “The Fly”, “The Shield” and others.  It was short lived but I liked it.  ”Rise of the Heroes” is basically a follow up to that era.  The heroes settled down and started raising families.  When a threat from the past returns and exacts revenge, the next generation is forced to pick up the torch.

I found this to be a fun return to classic super hero storytelling.  The new crew is going through a growing process that will be fun to follow.

Highly recommended.

Cable and X-Force Vol. 1: Wanted

Author:  Dennis Hopeless

Artist:  Salvador Larroca

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

First Publication:  May 2013

Rating:  6

Source:  Comixology

Graphic Novel Challenge #49

Collectss:  Cable and X-Force #s 1-5

I was impressed with the art from this series.  It hit all the marks that I look for in illustration.  Unfortunately the story brought the rating down.  The author has written other books that impressed me.  I am not sure if it is his handling of these characters or if it is the characters themselves but I just could not connect with the story.  With the amount of books being sold today, I will be skipping future collections so I have time to read others that I enjoy.

Iron Man vol. 5: Rings of the Mandarin

Author:  Kieron Gillen

Artist:  Luke Ross

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Source:  Comixology

Rating:  8

Graphic Novel Challenge #48

Collects Iron Man #s 23-28

Kieron Gillen brings everything together from his time on the series to make for an epic end piece.  The Mandarin’s rings communicate through a virtual system and have recruited new hosts to wear them.  Iron Man sets a trap for them.  The mystery mainly focuses on who is wearing some of the rings.  Especially the one.  Gillen has written some great Marvel stories, such as his time on “Journey Into Mystery”, and his Iron Man run is one of his best.

All-New Invaders Vol. 1: Gods and Soldiers

Author:  James Robinson

Artist:  Steve Pugh

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

First Publication:  July 2014

Rating:  9

Source:  Comixology

Graphic Novel Challenge #47

Collects All-New Invaders #s 1-6

“All-New Invaders” quickly became one of my favorite titles.  The writing of James Robinson was some of his best.  The series has the feel of his classic “The Golden Age” series from DC.  The art perfectly complements the script.  It features a clean cut style that is also similar to Paul Smith’s art from “The Golden Age”.  Among the many stories that captured my interest includes updating the current status of the Jim (the Original Human Torch) Hammond as he tries to fit into small town life, events going on in the Kree empire, and the interaction of the former Invaders in modern time Marvel continuity.  Robinson builds the story with perfectly timed revelations that carry the story through to the end.

I will be anxiously following future chapters of this series.  

Highly recommended.