Another Month another Comic Block!
This month had a Star Wars Theme and we got two different Star Wars books. There is again no sign of the allusive graphic novel this month, however we did get something new. This box is the first time that the “extra” item has been a exclusive item.
We got a cool little Mjölnir keychain which was a Comic Block Exclusive. It looks like they didn’t quite have the rights to just call it Mjölnir though because on the description card it simply says “the hammer of the gods”.
Here is the complete run down of what came in the box:
- Star Wars: Vader Down Issue 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant
- Howard the Duck Issue 1
- Pacific Rim: The Drift Issue 1 Comic Block Exclusive Variant
- Star Wars Issue 1 Fan Expo Variant
- “Hammer of the Gods” Keychain
- Batgirl T-Shirt
Weirdly they didn’t put the Star Wars comic on the insert card of things inside the box. I actually got copy of the same Star Wars Fan Expo Variant Cover from a Nerd Block box I got several months ago. My guess is that they still had some extra issues around from that Nerd Block and added them to this box last minute.
I am a big Batgirl fan so this shirt should be something I really like. The new Batgirl costume and the Rosie the Riveter homage are both things I would like in theory. However, Batgirl looks terrible. I don’t know if I can place it, but her face just looks off. This is a huge disappointment because I would really like this shirt but because of how messed up Barbara’s face looks I doubt I’ll be wearing it at all.
Pacific Rim: The Drift Issue 1
I really wanted to like this comic but in the end really disliked it. I loved the 2013 film Pacific Rim so a comic that would take me back into that world actually sounded really interesting even though it was a licensed property. There are so many aspects of the Pacific Rim world I wanted to know about and this comic managed to explore none of them. It centered around a married pair of Jaeger pilots that are losing a battle with a Kaiju and getting exposed to radiation. It goes back and forth between the fight they are in and flashback of with they first met. That’s pretty much it. The art is very stylized and looks like Adi Granov’s artwork from Iron Man: Extremis. It doesn’t look bad but its so stylized that you can’t see any of the detail of the Kaiju or the Jaegar. If I’m going to read a comic about giant robots fighting monsters I want to see it! Maybe it gets better later on when the story kicks in but this first issue had me entirely uninterested.
Howard the Duck Issue 1
Please stop trying to make Howard the Duck a thing. The after credits teaser on Guardians of the Galaxy was perfect. After having a movie starring a talking Raccoon having a small little nod to Marvel’s goofier side was a great way to send off the film. Apparently what Marvel took from this is that people simply love Howard the Duck and want more of him! The fact is new audiences don’t know or care who Howard is, and older audiences who have nostalgia for Howard no longer read comics or care. There simply no audience this book is fulfilling.
Look Howard the Duck has an important history with Marvel. When the character was created in the 70’s it was subversive and edgy (I know that sounds strange but it really was) but that time has passed. Howard was always a comic aimed at older audiences so if you were a fan in the 70’s you were likely in your 20’s which would place you in your 60’s now and most likely not buying comics. If you are in your 20’s to 30’s then you didn’t grow up with Howard the Duck and your only experience is the terrible movie from the 80’s.
What about new audiences you ask? It doesn’t really matter the roots of the character if it is being written well today right? Well that would be correct, but it’s not being written well. Howard the Duck’s shtick is comedy and Marvel has solidly filled that spot with Deadpool. The comedic elements of this comic are just a shallow echo of what it would be if it were Deadpool. But even worse than that this comic just isn’t funny. There were a couple of enjoyable moments but I didn’t laugh once reading it and it felt way more like a chore to read than anything else.
Star Wars Issue 1
This is a great comic let me say that to start with. It feels fresh and gives us an original adventure with everyone’s favorite space gang. It has plenty to fill your nostalgia void along with a new adventure and story to get you excited to read more.
That said the nostalgia factor of these new Star Wars comics are going to be the death of them. I am 100% ok with this comic being what it is. It takes place between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi and centers around the original main gang. Star Wars is a big world though and it would have been nice to see some of these new Marvel Star Wars comics not center specifically around the characters of the original trilogy. Again I’m totally cool with there being this Star Wars and the Vader comic but do we really need a Chewbacca and Lando comic too? The Force Awakens is going to introduce a slew of new characters so hopefully that will push away from the original trilogy which has been done to death.
Star Wars: Vader Down Issue 1
First and foremost I really love this variant cover. It is the best cover I have seen of all these new Marvel Star Wars covers and something worthy of being framed. The comic itself is the first issue of a Marvel Star Wars Crossover event called Vader Down. Vader is investigating some intel on the location of some rebels and winds up overwhelmed surrounded by rebel forces. While he is able to take out a few X-Wings he is overtaken by Luke and crash lands on the planet of Vrogas Vas. Luke also manages to crash his X-Wing and the two begin searching for each other.
The overall story was good and I enjoyed the book. The amount of issues involved in this crossover is a lot and honestly it just wasn’t great enough for me to buy in like 10 issues to find out what happens. I might check it out in 6 months with the issues start appearing on Marvel Comics Unlimited.