Marvel Previews: Riri, Wasp, and Other Comic Book Shake-Ups

It’s been nearly a month since Marvel Comics put out their free Previews issue, highlighting new titles to keep an eye out come October when Civil War II has wrapped up. With it came controversy and everybody’s opinions, and now that the dust has settled and drama has returned to the Civil War II storyline (no spoilers here, move along), I’m still trying to make sense of what’s worth picking up and investing in once October arrives.

A few thoughts on Riri… I love her backstory as a student bright enough to reverse engineer the Iron Man suit. But she deserves to be her own title, not standing in Tony Stark’s shadow. Bendis touts diversity like no tomorrow, but to truly showcase equality, these characters have to be equals. I’m thrilled to see another female in the role even if I’m nostalgic for Pepper and R.E.S.C.U.E., but I won’t be throwing my money at the Iron Man franchise until Riri has her own solo title.

Speaking of Iron Man… Infamous Iron Man is one of the few #1’s I am intrigued, excited, and recommending to people who love the franchise and want something new. Doctor Doom is a beloved villain among my own friends, and aside from my own love for complex characters, Iron Doom is one I may pick up for myself if Maleev’s art is as gorgeous as the Previews catalog suggests.

Among other new titles… Oh God, The Unstoppable Wasp is a punch right in the gut. I get it, I’m biased because my first love is Janet Van Dyne and always will be. They’re not replacing her, you can’t. Even the films made it clear, Janet’s irreplacable. So when I read into Nadia, I understood and appreciate where they’re coming from, but it’s not a title for me. This is a title for younger fans, newer comic readers who never had the pleasure of knowing how Wasp came to be one of the greatest leaders the Avengers ever had. My biggest question is, why does this Nadia’s Wasp costume have such a close resemblance to the comic Hope’s Red Queen?

What I’m looking forward to… Anything with Jason Aaron’s name on the title is going to be a worthwhile read, which is why I’m definitely keeping Doctor Strange #12 on my list. And with Aaron writing Mighty Thor and Unworthy Thor #1, all I can say is YES! The artists for both of these titles are incredibly talented and perfect for these projects, so I’ll be chomping at the bit to get some Odinson to go with my Mighty Thor. I’m also glad to see Patsy Walker continue with #11 as well; I picked up the series for Kate Leth, but it’s become a refreshingly light read. Gamora #1 will be a favorite, Checchetto’s artistry is GORGEOUS and with Nicole Perlman writing as well? I mean, you had me at Gamora, but I’ll take the bonuses. And finally, THANOS #1. I’ll spare you why I love Thanos, just know that this is a new title worth picking up.

What I’m not looking forward to… Every year, we’re presented with dozens of new #1 titles. I discovered how much of a problem this is when I was working on my master’s thesis. When you’re trying to collect a definitive population of Avengers comics as it’s one of the few ensemble titles that reached the #500 mark, it’s incredibly frustrating when hey, continuity went out the window in the mid 2000’s with a New Avengers #1! Now these titles are cash grabs for Marvel and habits of a long-ago collector’s behavior that no one wants to remember when Marvel’s bubble burst in the mid 1990’s, much less repeat. On a more petty level, why do I have to have another Star Lord #1? I was already lukewarm about the last couple solo runs that came with Star Lord and Rocket Raccoon, and I didn’t even bother picking up Drax #1. I understand the logic when it comes to reprinting these titles as trade paperbacks, but you know what that means? I’ll be reading these #1’s before buying, maybe giving them a couple issues before investing in them because it’s just too much.

I could keep on going about my curiosity about Mosaic, my apathy toward Cyclops, and how much it hurts seeing the Previews art of Medusa shaving her hair (I can’t even), but comic readers are not solely Marvel. We read DC, Vertigo, Image, and independent publishers that make comic buying more of a smart shopping experience. Everyone has their own opinions on what’s to come post-Civil War II, and I would love to hear them in the comments!

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