I haven’t touched a lot of the old school comics before when it comes to Marvel and DC (and those I’ve read are because of SuperMOOC). So when the opportunity came via the library system to check out the Marvel Season One books – the updated origin graphic novels retelling the origin stories of some of the better known heroes I was game.
I really picked up the titles in order of interested and was able to touch the first few pretty quickly so the reviews are in that order as opposed to some kind of chronological one.
X-Men Season One by Dennis Hopeless and Jamie McKelvie
Rachel Edidin, friend and comics editor and writer extraordinaire, had done an article going over ways to catch up on the X-men and instead of recommending any of the early X-men by Stan and Jack she recommended this title because the early titles were not the best of the Marvel stories.
Hopeless has not really set well with me so far as far as his work goes, though I won’t deny I am a bit biased since I didn’t care for his Avengers Arena series – it’s not really my thing. But here he does a pretty serviceable job telling the origin story of the X-men and the original team accompanied by Jamie McKelvie who I really dig, though here some panels felt dead and lacking the energy and realism he can normally bring.
The book itself does a great job splitting time between the original five members of the team and making them human. Cyclops is the teamwork obsessed jerk who is more often right than not. Jean, as opposed to the normal shrinking violet is more active. She’s trying to find her place as a mutant while dealing with normal teen issues. Angel is a rich and disaffected dick for most of the title. Beast meanwhile struggles with the very idea of the team and Iceman is the young kid with the Beiber-esqe haircut trying to have fun and friends like normal. And of course they fight, they makeup, the really fight (shout out to Unus the Untouchable) even find time to have have fun.
The book does feel disconnected at moments though as those actual chapter pages or breaks like Hickman has been using in Infinity would be worthwhile just to keep things cleaner.
Overall the title is solid enough to merit checking out, it is a lot of fun teen drama and McKelvie’s art and fashion stylings do a great job defining the characters as does his composition skill.
Doctor Strange Season One by Greg Pak and Emma Rios
I have barely any experience with Doctor Strange beyond Fraction’s Defenders run and a few Tumblr posts so I was going in pretty blind to Doctor Strange. I am an avowed Marvel Pak fan though and Emma Rios who’s work I loved on Osborn and Captain Marvel was equally excellent. It’s expressive, it is exotic, it is magical. Check out some of this magic.
The art here constantly feels magic. It looks beautiful. It looks exotic and magic and the team is just working in synch here.
Following Steven Strange as he struggles to learn magic to fix his hands to meeting Wong his friend and rival to fighting Mordu all while exploring the world the book just flies around the world and it is beautiful. Literally Marvel could adapt this and have an excellent film. Seriously Marvel just adapt this book.
I don’t really have complaints . The book is straightforward and effective, heart warming and suspenseful while having a world filled with magic, risks and hard choices. Definitely pick up Doctor Stranger Season One.