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  1. #1

    Marvel Unlimited - what's worth reading?

    Marvel pestered me with the one month free offer for Marvel Unlimited, so I took them up on it.

    The problem is that I don't really like mainstream comics anymore. I really like Invincible, and I've had a blast with Supers! (which is a terrible name for a comic, by the way, it's nearly impossible to search for), but the level of writing in most mainstream comics isn't good enough to hold my attention.

    I've heard of a few interesting oddball things in the corners of Marveldom. Old Man Logan sounds like it might be worthwhile, for example. What else? I'm not particularly looking for the old ultraviolence, I just want something well-written. Something on the level of the Wild Cards series would be ideal.

  2. #2
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    Hummm. I'm pretty out of date with Marvel stuff, but here's my impressions/some good starting points.

    Nextwave was fantastic.
    Grant Morrison's run on the New X-Men is goodstuff.
    I've heard many, many good things about the Hawkeye comic.
    All New Ghostrider is a ridiculously pretty artstyle reboot that sheds a lot of the canon/Nick Cage that the character had become bogged down with.
    I've heard Spider Gwen is good.
    Squirrel Girl looks amazing and ranks highly on my todo list.
    Exiles was good while it ran, though it was built upon a lot of pre-existing (and no longer canon) background, it's not required reading to enjoy the series.
    Last edited by Dilapinated; 16-05-2015 at 07:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Millar's run of Ultimate X-Men is great. Read the first arc which is just the first five numbers. Millar's final arc (return of the King is simply brilliant)

  4. #4
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    Been working my way through a lot of late 90s / early 2000s Marvel stuff on there of late.

    Best of the bunch (years are the listings in MU):
    Peter David's Captain Marvel (2000-2004 and 2002-2004) - first series is a genuinely funny buddy-cop comedy. Second series gets much darker, and basically explores the question of "what happens when a god goes insane?"
    Christopher Priest's Black Panther (1998-2003) - dark, gritty, complex
    Bendis' Daredevil (1998-2011 - issues 16-81) - again, pretty dark, much more street level than super-heroic
    Inhumans (1998-1999) - more super-hero than the others, but very very good 12-issue mini series

  5. #5
    Thanks, this has been helpful. I've bookmarked all of these suggestions for later reading.

    I have mixed feelings about the Marvel Unlimited app. On the one hand, it lets you find content by author, which is a great tool. On the other hand, I'm surprised by how painful "search by series" can be. When looking for "All New Ghostrider", I found that "All new" has no hits because the title is "All-new," and the dash matters. The series is split into several unlabeled chunks, many with just 1 issue, from the same year. I finally figured out the different chunks have different authors, but they're not labeled that way on the list. Finding the Old Man Logan series required researching the details in Wikipedia - Wolverine #71 doesn't link to the giant size series finale, for example.

    I read Old Man Logan. Interesting stuff, though I think a lot of the impact is seeing the long-dead skeletons of familiar characters. I hated what the story does with The Hulk, but I gather the characters has changed a lot from the late 70's when I was reading Marvel comics.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Something I forgot. Read X-Men's God Loves, Man Kills.
    It's some of Claremont's best.

  7. #7
    The organization problem is worse than I realized. I read through issues 1-4 of "All-New Ghost Rider," and it didn't llink to issue 5, which is marked as a different sequence. When I tried to find 5, I discovered that it randomizes the order of the sequences every time it loads the menu. I'd tap twice on the same entry and get different results. Which was a pain since 5, 6, 7, and 8 are all marked as individual sequences.

    Black Panther felt severely handicapped by the Comics Code, which was still in force then. Over and over again it was careful to point out that Panther's Energy Dagger had a nonlethal setting, and his sidekicks were firing nonlethal bullets. After a while it began to develop a rather A-team-esque feel, trying to do R-rated action while sticking to G guidelines. That, the ridiculous level of Ross the comic relief (roller skating in the white house? Really?), the "advanced technology" of a spear-wielding African nation, and silly tropes like people attacking Black Panther just to get his attention got old pretty quickly.

    Didn't get far into Inhumans at all - I got bored because nothing was happening.

    Captain Marvel was OK for a while, but eventually I lost interest. It suffered from consistency problems - early on he was trying to hide his dual life from his estranged wife, but abruptly it transitioned to her knowing and accepting it without any explanation, and it dropped at least one storyline mid-thread - but that wasn't the problem, it was more that it felt kind of generic. Rick Jones's byplay was only occasionally amusing.

    All-New Ghost Rider was decent, and I'm curious where they're going with the current storyline. No far, since I gather they've cancelled the title and the last issue will be #12.

    Marvel Unlimited is definitely the way to read comics. One problem I've had with my sporadic interest as an adult is that it seems very expensive. A typical $2-$3 issue doesn't cover much story progress, even if it's a lot of full-color art. Marvel Unlimited gets around my qualms rather nicely, I've read at least $50 in comics in just a few days.

  8. #8
    I just read Nextwave, and it was the silliest damn thing I ever read. It was almost the Galaxy Quest of superhero comics, and when it ended, I wanted more. I guess it must have been too frivolous for the general public's taste, since I gather that it didn't sell well when it was in publication.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Marvels miniseries is pretty nice too. It covers the rise of the marvel heroes from a everyday man point of view, with fantastic art by Alex Ross to booth.

  10. #10
    I made it about 4 weeks and then ran out of material I wanted to read.

    It turns out I really don't like the X-Men. I got thoroughly sick of the "mutants vs. normal humans" storylines that never seemed to end. I wanted them to tell stories about something else, anything else.

    In connection with that, Kaare Andrews is at least as bad an artist as Lefield. Has he never actually seen a woman? Given the very high standards of some of the art I encountered, much higher than the 70's look I remembered, I'm amazed that people like Kaare and Lefield have ever found work.

    1602 was OK for a while, mostly for the novelty.

    I really liked Marvel Zombies, at least through series 3. I got bored when it started turning into team-of-the-week vs. the zombie outbreak in the normal universe, rather than following the events in the original Zombie universe. Machine Man keeping his Nextwave personality was the only thing keeping series 3 worthwhile, and I simply did not care about the monster squad introduced with series 4.

    I read some of Ultimate Fantastic 4 comics to get context for the start of Marvel Zombies, and ended up returning to the series afterward. That too was good for a while, and then the quality suddenly took a nosedive as it changed writers and artists.

    One thing I didn't really appreciate before now is how wildly a given mainstream title can vary. Comics like Invincible have been far more consistent, because they stick with a single writer. It seems like mainstream comics lack the equivalent of TV showrunners - someone keeping the overall vision and quality on an even keel even if individual episodes are written by different authors.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mrpier's Avatar
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    I haven't actually checked if all of these are available on Marvel Unlimited, but they are older titles so chances should be good.

    J. Michael Straczynski's run on Thor
    Kieron Gillens issues with Loki/Fear itself
    Ares (2006)
    Daredevil by Frank Miller
    Daredevil Yellow
    Hawkeye by Matt Fraction
    The first Secret War

    For x-men I would suggest starting with Chris Claremont.


    Avoid anything X-men from the early nineties.

  12. #12
    I tried Marvels and it bored me. While I'm sure there's an interesting story to be told about the effects of superhumans on everyday life, this wasn't it. The main character is pathetic - calling off his marriage because superheroes scare him? Really?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus_Smedstad View Post
    One thing I didn't really appreciate before now is how wildly a given mainstream title can vary. Comics like Invincible have been far more consistent, because they stick with a single writer. It seems like mainstream comics lack the equivalent of TV showrunners - someone keeping the overall vision and quality on an even keel even if individual episodes are written by different authors.
    In some ways, that's a Marvel Unlimited thing. It's easy to end up in a 30-issue run and devour it over a couple of nights, only to have a new author take over and the whole thing go to pot. But were you reading that in real time, it'd been a nearly three-year run.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    In some ways, that's a Marvel Unlimited thing. It's easy to end up in a 30-issue run and devour it over a couple of nights, only to have a new author take over and the whole thing go to pot. But were you reading that in real time, it'd been a nearly three-year run.
    That's pretty much exactly what I did. I enjoyed the Ultimate Fantastic Four through issue 23, skipped 24-26 because the Sub Mariner story was pretty stupid, liked 27-32, and then it changed completely with issue 33, and I gave up with issue 35. That's from January 2004 to August 2006, and I read it over a couple of nights.

    On the other hand, I did the same thing with Invincible - read a couple of samples, decided to splurge on the Compendium, liked all of it, and bought Compendium 2. I was up to issue 108 before I got current, and it stayed fairly consistent throughout, because it's been Robert Kirkman writing every issue.

    Maybe that's just that particular comic. I'm really not all that knowledgeable, I've found it difficult to find stuff I enjoyed, as I mentioned in my first post. I've tried various Humble Bundle comic bundles and disliked 90% of what I was reading.

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