Stuart's Journey into Marvel...
I have to say right off the bat that I do have less titles in the Marvel Universe that I read than in the DC universe, I freely admit that. But I will say that more does not always equal better. I would say that I am enjoying the Marvel titles more than the DC titles right now. That hurts to say, as DC is where it is at for me. Marvel at the moment just seems to have the best artists and the best creative teams. Their covers are amazing, their events are epic and inspiring. I like the DC characters better, but I like what is being done with these Marvel characters much more than what DC is doing with theirs. So let's dive in. The first thing I want to talk about, and the thing that I love the most in the Marvel universe, is Hawkeye. I've already written an article about Fraction's Hawkeye, drawn by Aja, but I will say a few quick things. Hawkeye is not a character I really care about and I would certainly have never read a comic about him, but this Hawkeye that Fraction has created is simply stunning. I love that it is much smaller scale than previous tales. The humor is right up my alley. It is quirky, clever, and creative. The panels are amazingly realized, the art work is stylistic and impressive. This is one that whenever a new one comes out, I read it right away. It is must read stuff. The earlier stories were a bit stronger, but I am still loving this title.
The next big title I read is Hickman's run on Avengers. This includes Avengers and New Avengers as well as Avengers World. Now I have dropped Avengers World because Hickman is no longer on it and it was simply too much Avengers but I still continue with the others. I must say his stories are totally epic in scale. He has so much going on, so many characters, that sometimes I do find myself lost. It has been a great run. Infinity was wonderful. I am however getting a bit tired of all of these incursions and am wishing for a more simple story. I've enjoyed New Avengers more so than Avengers. The Illuminati are a dynamic group. I feel that at any time this team is going to turn on one another. We are seeing this to a certain extent as their actions regarding Captain America are now coming to roost as the other Avengers are now finding out just what the Illuminati has been up to. One thing I do appreciate about the Avengers run is that he uses characters that aren't necessarily the top tier Avengers and he writes them very well. He makes you root for them.
Black widow by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto is a title that I have been very interested in. I am a huge fan of Phil Noto's art. He really comes alive here with this minimalist, almost silky style that he uses. Each page is such a pleasure to look at. The story has been very strong, though there hasn't been too many issues released up to this point. I don't know a great deal about Black Widow, and this story keeps that back story a mystery. The action set pieces are wonderful, the villains are great. This is a title everyone should be reading as well, and I look forward to meeting Phil Noto at Charlotte's Heroes Con!
That leads me to Thor by Jason Aaron and drawn by Ribic. Wow. Another masterpiece (so far). I don't know why I waited so long to read this title, but I'm glad I finally sat down and read it. The God Bomb story line was just genius. What a wonderful premise, what a great villain. The idea of the three Thor's was fantastic. I love their give and take, how each of them seemed very different from one another. I think the art was so beautiful. When Ribic left the book after the God Bomb run, I did not read them as quickly, but I still enjoyed the story with Malekith. Luckily Ribic is now back on the book. The writing has always been strong, we just need to keep the Aaron/Ribic team together!
Not everything has been roses in my attempt to read more Marvel titles. I tried to read some of Waid's Daredevil run which has been highly reviewed but it wasn't for me. I read Jason Aaron's Amazing X-Men because Jason Aaron. It wasn't what I was looking for either. I'm desperately looking for a good X-Men title. I have downloaded Bendis' All New X-Men and I hope that is the one that will satisfy my X need!
So there you have it. Now you know what I enjoy and what I don't. Hopefully I will be adding more titles as I continue down my journey. If you can think of some other must read titles from the big two, let me know in the comments section!