31.01.2015

The secret war of doctor doom

You know, for people that aren’t as obsessively inclined to read all of the comics in the history of ever.
So here it is – the fast track guide to the Modern Marvel Universe, giving you all the essential story lines in 25 trade collections.
Since this is the fast track, there are oodles of additional stories and comics that will not be covered here (including Marvel Cosmic!). Nearly everything we know and love about the X-Men today can be traced back to Morrison and Quitely’s excellent New X-Men run. Of course, there’s much more than that, and New X-Men sets the stage for all X-events to come.
Despite the pedigree Frank Miller brought to the character, I can understand some skepticism surrounding the man without fear’s impact on the Marvel Universe as a whole.
A note here that unlike New X-Men and Fantastic Four, the Daredevil issues in this collection overlap several of the trades and stories to come.
Aside from being one of the best comic collections of the decade, featuring stories from Avengers director Joss Whedon, Astonishing X-Men goes a long way to explaining the pre-House of M state of the X-Men. You didn’t really expect that Avengers: Disassembled thing to ruin things forever, did you? I’m a sucker for alternate universe stories, and House of M is right in my wheelhouse. Civil War is the most popular Marvel event of all time, so it only makes sense to include some preliminary reading to set the stage.
Brubaker & Epting are back with more Cap, although the story title here is a clear indication that things might not be going so well for Steve Rogers. Of all the major stories and creations from Brian Michael Bendis in the 2000’s, the Illuminati might be my favorite. Although Civil War gets all the accolades for sales, Secret Invasion is actually the climax of the mystery and intrigue set in the pages of New Avengers and the Illuminati.
The aftermath of Secret Invasion leads to Dark Reign, a Universe-wide change in the status quo of the Marvel Universe. IDW has done crossover stories before (Infestation, Infestation 2, Mars Attacks IDW), but in the past these have been rather indirect, with the same menaces (zombies, Lovecraftian monsters, the Mars Attacks martians) invading the different realities of its various licensed properties (G.I.
The plan is to send the robots from one of their worlds to challenge the heroes of another world and, should they defeat the robots, they will then automatically be transported into cells at the League’s headquarters for the next stage of their scheme to conquer everything. In short order, the title characters of the cartoons Samurai Jack, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory are captured, yet something goes wrong, sending a half-dozen robots to other locales, like the universe inhabited by Ed, Edd and Eddy of Ed, Edd n Eddy.
Simonson captures the cadences of the various characters well, and her plot is straightforward and simple, although perhaps there’s too great an emphasis on action and not enough on comedy (I remember at least a few of these shows being funnier than the comic featuring the characters). One issue in, there doesn’t seem to be much to the comic other than the sheer strangeness of mixing the diverse character together, but in comics, you can go a long way on strangeness alone, particularly when mixed with nostalgia.


I was so excited for this I refreshed comixology multiple times waiting for it to be available, and I’m picking up a paper issue tomorrow as well.
This entry was posted in Avengers, Captain America, Dare Devil, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Marvel Divas, Ms. Injected with an array of serums as part of a secret government plan, Julia Carpenter originally called herself Spider-woman.
Even universe-wide events like House of M are fairly reliant on details on developments from within this series. For starters, any guide to the Marvel Universe without Marvel’s first family is flat out going to feel incomplete. These are great, thought-provoking superhero stories, and Alex Maleev’s shadowy lens on crime make them some of the most interesting books to look at on this list. It doesn’t take much beyond the story title to make it clear the impact these issues will have on the Marvel Universe as a whole, but the actual story is even more devastating than it sounds. Aside from revitalizing Steve Rogers, this Captain America omnibus also gives us some of the most monumental character deaths, resurrections, and mysteries of the decade. Admittedly, Astonishing X-Men is more essential in terms of excellence, and less so in terms of story.
New Avengers starts putting the band back together, although in a way Marvel’s never seen before. Quite possibly my favorite Marvel event from the decade, and one frequently referenced throughout the remainder of the decade.
The story here has played a pivotal role in all three Iron Man movies, as well as Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.
The Road to Civil war trade explains Spider-Man’s connection to Tony Stark, and brings back a few old friends in the pages of the Fantastic Four.
This is another really fun series with major ramifications on the Marvel Universe as a whole. Iron Man is led to create a new Avengers team, giving us the Mighty Avengers in their first ever adventure. At its weakest point, the Marvel Universe faces a full infiltration from one of its deadliest rivals. In fact, the first panel begins with readers apparently joining the villains in the middle of their plotting session.
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She fights with an arsenal of artificial toxins as well as highly sophisticated martial arts attacks, but her signature power is psionically created webs. And aside from best-in-class characterization and plotting, Waid & Wieringo also give us major developments for the Fantastic Four family.


For the curious, here’s my detailed guide to tie-ins and issues in Avengers Disassembled. Nonetheless, you won’t regret reading, and in many ways, Astonishing begins laying the groundwork for themes explored later in Avengers vs. A note that the New Avengers omnibus includes the Avengers Disassembled issues as part of its package. Even cooler, the trade introduces Marvel’s Illuminati, the clandestine meeting of the minds that shapes the Marvel Universe. Of course, things don’t go smoothly, leading to the return of Ultron, and setting the stage for future Ultron related dealings. While you certainly can dive head first into all of Dark Reign, the simpler solution is this variety of issues collected in trade form. Well, there are five more issues of Super Secret Crisis War, and the aforementioned one-shots, one of which will ship each month. The softer, rounder, more realistic Ben 10 and his villain look particularly out of place among the flatter, more abstract and exaggerated characters, but there isn’t really a way for an artist to bridge those gulfs in designs without altering the characters beyond recognition. Marvel, New Avengers, pencils, peter parker, powered suit of armor, red and blue, shield, skage, Spider, Spiderman, Stark Industries, Steve Rogers, Steven Rogers, suit of armor, super soldier, superhero, superhuman strength, superpowers, tony stark, vibranium, Vibranium-steel alloy shield, VS, weapons, web, Wolverine.
These are the trades most essential to giving you the major plot lines and story threads that drive the Marvel U. Most importantly, a certain Doctor you may know and love becomes entangled in a certain kind of Doom that will come into play in later Marvel events.
Additionally, you will want to start New Avengers #16: The Collective after reading House of M. Stephen Strange, Black Bolt, and Namor, meeting in secret to decide the fate of the universe.
An additional note that issues #23 through #25 and the Winter Soldier one-shot from the omnibus tie into Civil War. Fortunately, it also produces one of the best Incredible Hulk stories in years and sets the stage for the return of a whole new kind of Hulk.
It’s the absolute coolest, and of course, it sets the stage for so many major storylines to come.




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