OK, I’ve Got a Beef with Avengers Assemble #16. And 15, sorta, but not as much.

OK, so, if you read a few of Marvel’s titles, it’s pretty clear that continuity is….spread pretty thin. For example, Captain America is in Dimension Z in his own mag, Avengers, New Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Uncanny X Men…..and doing different things at different times in all of ’em.

I’m OK with that.

There are a lot of crossovers and “big picture” stories that will perhaps enrich your experience of the Marvel Universe if you read them all. Age of Ultron, I’m looking at you.

But I’m OK with that too.

What I’m not OK with is making a single Title impossible to follow by requiring that crossover issues of other titles be read. If somebody wants to read only one title per month, they should be able to do that with a reasonable expectation of not getting “lost” or having story-critical information be missed because it happened in another title.

Captain Marvel’s Brain Lesion, I’m looking at you.

~SPOILERS~

In Avengers Assemble 15, Captain Marvel battled alongside the heroes of Britain against the Ultrons. She mentions the brain lesion that makes flying a health risk for her. As I’m reading, I’m thinking, “OK, that didn’t happen in Avengers Assemble. That’s slightly douche, but I’ll give them a pass.” At the end of #15, Captain Marvel is inside Ultron Brittania’s HQ when it explodes. Nice cliffhanger! Neato-Keen! Can’t wait for the next issue!

In #16, Captain Marvel is in her apartment. In New York. Yes, still with a brain lesion, but dude…what if the only title you read was Avengers Assemble? I still don’t know why, when or how Captain Marvel got the lesion, or escaped the exploding building or GOT FROM LONDON TO NEW YORK. I’m assuming the answers are in Age of Ultron, or Captain Marvel, or Avengers Enemy Within, but story arcs shouldn’t be crafted such that one MUST read other issues to “get it”. Reading other arcs/titles should enhance the experience, but not be required just for a basic understanding of the story.

Not cool, Marvel. A fan of 35 years and change has lost a lot of respect for you with this tactic.

Avengers Assemble was put out to capitalize on the fever-pitched excitement surrounding the Avengers Film–it’s “Avengers Light”. Suppose some young fan collects that title, and only that title–which, at $3.99 a whack is completely feasible. You have done this young reader a great disservice with the complete discontinuity between issues 15 and 16 of Avengers Assemble.

Guardians of the Galaxy 0.1: Worth the Wait! ~SPOILERS~

Sure, you read it on February 13th, but my copy just came in today’s mail. Ah…Guardians of the Galaxy 0.1: The complete tale of Star Lord’s origin  is the topic the premiere issue and it’s a tale superbly told by Brian Bendis. Steve McNiven’s pencils are likewise top drawer.

We’re taken back 30 years to witness the interplanetary bop-fest that squired our hero, Peter Quill. We’re shown how a young Star Lord-to-be dealt with bullies pickin’ on little girls. Oh yeah.

gg1

We learn why he’s got such a chip on his shoulder about his father. I don’t know if we can really blame J’son for crimes committed by the Badoon, but Peter definitely has some issues with the death of his mother Meredith.

Ouchies!

Ouchies!

In the final pages, we learn that Peter has been telling the story of his Guardianship to Tony Stark, who left Earth at the end of Iron Man #5 in the ugliest armor ever to seek his space-fortune. If you read Avengers Assemble as well, then you knew this was coming way back in AA # 8 .

From Avengers Assemble! Issue 8

From Avengers Assemble! Issue 8

gg3

Guardians of the Galaxy has restored some of my faith in Marvel that Iron Man #6 took away. So, in closing I’ll take a line from the Golden Avenger himself regarding Guardians of the Galaxy: “I’m all in.”

Avengers Assemble #11

2811600-11a_super  Avengers Assemble took a turn for the Awesome when Kelly Sue DeConnick took over the writing in the book’s second arc. After what started out as a bit of a lark to find the missing Professor Sorokin, Iron Man, Hulk, Spiderwoman and Thor were in Antarctica, investigating some mysterious deaths at an outpost when Dr. Banner drank some very bad juju. Iron Man whisked Banner away to the Helicarrier (and judging from #11’s cover, they don’t make it) as Captains America and Marvel traced what they think is the source of the threat. Outfoxed by Yun Guang Han & forced to retreat, the Captains are rejoining the other Avengers to deal with a bilious green infected Hulk. Anyway, that’s where issue 10 left me hangin’.

#11 was waiting for me on my desk when I got home tonight (my lovely wife put it there for me, ain’t she great?). Tonight’s reading has been determined!

1.26.2013 Post-Read Update with ~~~SPOILERS~~~

Well, leave it to great cover art to make me mis-remember a storyline! Hulk was already in his cage aboard the Helicarrier at the end of issue 10 of course, and Spiderwoman had been tasked with injecting him with the antibiotic.

So, on to issue 11….too much too fast! I know this title was released to coincide with the movie, and that it’s targeting a younger audience, but the team wrapped this one up way too quickly! In just a couple of pages the bacterial threat was contained, Yun Guang Han was neutralized and the Team was back in NYC for 3 pages of yukkity yuk bet settling. I thought this arc was going to spread out over a few issues of high drama! What’s the rush? This was a great story, ended too early.