OK, MarvelNOW! has pretty much gotten going, where did we leave off...?
ALL-NEW X-MEN #1 & 2: If one single thing is going to harm this Marvel relaunch, it is going to be these bi-weekly shipping comics. And, heck, scratch "bi-weekly" as #3 is inexplicably shipping NEXT week (wait, what, why?), and that's a bit of a shame because I (unlike Mr. Lester or Mr. McMillan) kind of like ANX.
Now, part of that is that I am really glad we're back to the "old" X-paradigm -- they're operating out the school, mutants are no longer tied to "the 198" or Utopia island, or any of that. And part of that is that Brian Michael Bendis had long since run out his string on the Avengers titles, so seeing him get something fresher is nice. I also think he's very much toned done much of the "Bendisms" that marked too much of Avengers.
Another is that Stuart Immonen is an awesome artist, so it's a real treat to look at.
There's a buncha handwaving that one has to do with the time travel stuff, but I'm willing to give it to him because this is comics, and the story should be more important than the mechanics of it.
Ultimately, I'm willing to give Bendis a bit of rope here -- I think this is a very high OK so far, and as a general direction to make the x-books relevent again, I'm fine with it.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #1: I liked this OK as well -- Romita & Janson are always a good art team, and Rick Remender's script is zippy and actiony. I worry a little about the setup -- the text page would seem to indicate that this "Dimension Z" is the home of the book for a while, and I sort of worry about a Captain America comics not set in, y'know, America, but the bigger problem is the $4 cover price, I think.
FANTASTIC FOUR #1: Lots of setup, and a reasonable enough pitch for the next 12-18 issues of the comic. Fraction does dependable work here, and Bagley's art just screams "Marvel!" as it always does. Because it only has a $3 cover price it also gets more goodwill from me, which means I thought it was GOOD, though execution over the months will count for more here than some of the other NOW! books.
FF #1: The flipside to Fan4 above, this one is Fraction and Allred, and, hot damn, did I like this first issue. I especially liked the narrative structure that suggests you read the book a second time now that you understand on the last page the reasoning/setup for some of the interstitial pages. My absolute favorite of the NOW! books so far, I thought this was pretty EXCELLENT.
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #1: Solid set-up for a series, which one should probably expect from Mark Waid. I'm not so sure that the art from Leinil Yu (at least on the Banner pages) really worked in harmony, but the Hulk bits were nice, so it works out. Solidly GOOD, that $4 cover keeps it from the next grade up.
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #646: Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti move the book from Young Loki, to Sif instead. I kind of don't care about Sif, but Schiti's art is a joy to behold. Hard to see this lasting for long, really, but as a first issue, I thought it was also solidly GOOD.
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #1 & 2: Yay, it's fun Jason Aaron, writing a loutish Thor. Art by Esad Ribic is super spiffy. I also quite like the parallel structures of past and future Thors and crazy godshit in space and whatever, and yeah, digging it... except for that damn $4 cover price, which caps my grade at GOOD.
X-MEN LEGACY #1 & 2: It's a damn shame that this came alphabetically last, because I have to go out on a down note, then. Cuz' this just wasn't compelling. It's nothing wrong with Si Spurrier's script, per se, or even Tan Eng Huat's art, though I get he's an acquired taste. I think the bigger problem really is the focus on Legion, who just isn't a very interesting character, and there's less than no reason to call this comic "X-Men" anything. #2 had a printing error, and they put it on paper more suited to a free giveaway comic -- this is likely to be the first NOW! book cancelled. EH.
What did YOU think?