Marvel Joins Amazon Prime Reading

Just a head’s up for anybody who likes to get their money’s worth out of their Amazon Prime subscription, Marvel is now partnered with Amazon to have their comics show up there (as well as some selections in Kindle Unlimited and Comixology Unlimited).  Those are cool if you already pay the extra subscription fee for either service, but even if you don’t, there’s some very good stuff to check out in Prime Reading.  Here’s my favorites:

Star Wars, Volume 1 and Darth Vader, Volume 1:  When Marvel got the license to publish Star Wars comics, they went big.  Assigning some of their best writers and artists (Kieron Gillen, Jason Aaron, Salvador Larroca, John Cassaday, Adi Granov, and others).  These comics both follow on straight out of A New Hope, and they go a long way to re-establishing Darth Vader as the pre-eminent menace in that galaxy far, far away.

Ms. Marvel, Volume 1:  If you haven’t read this yet, there’s no excuse.  Kamala Khan matters more than ever in our current political climate, a daughter of Muslim immigrants who fights crime not because of some great tragedy, but was inspired by other heroism in the world.  And the story is a ton of fun, to boot.  G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona made a great creative team (along with Stephen Wacker and Sana Amanat editing and helping to create the character).

Hawkeye, Volume 1:  I’ve evangelized this series before, so hopefully you’ve already read it, but here’s yet another chance.

There’s also some Iron Fist, Deadpool, the first volume of Alias (Jessica Jones), and a few other solid comics.  If you are already subscribed to Amazon Prime, there’s no reason not to use Prime Reading.

Comics Review

What’s New on Marvel Unlimited – May 22 to May 28, 2016

Every week, Marvel adds new comics to their Marvel Unlimited service. Sometimes it’s new stuff – most series they publish get issues added about 6 months after they are released in shops – and others it’s older comics. But there’s always something interesting and I will point them out weekly.

Starting thing this week is the new Ms. Marvel #1.  Kamala has everything she ever wanted (mostly).  She’s an awesome superhero, an Avenger even, hanging with the likes of Tony Stark, Miles Morales, and Sam Alexander.  But Kamala learns that once you go public, you’re no longer in control of your image.  And sometimes that shady real estate developer using your face to pave over your neighborhood just might be hiding something more sinister.  G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa, and Ian Herring are your creators.

Next up is Star Wars: Vader Down #1.  If the prequels’ take on Lord Vader depressed you, this should cheer you up.  THIS is the Darth Vader who stomps onto Rebel ships and chokes the life out of anyone in his way.  Just check this out.  Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato and Frank Martin Jr creating based on an overall story arc by Aaron and Kieron Gillen.


Lastly, you have Spider-Woman #1, starring Jessica Drew…pregnant??  It’s a cliched twist I admit, but it’s handled in a fun way here.  I definitely want to see what’s coming next.  Dennis Hopeless, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez.

Other comics of note:

  • Star-Lord #1 – go back and see how young Peter Quill lied, cheated, and stole his way into space.
  • This week’s 90s nostalgia is thanks to a bunch of X-Factor issues getting added.
  • The Astonishing Ant-Man #2 for more Scott Lang adventures
Books Comics Review

Book Review – Runaways, Volume 1: Pride and Joy

What would you do if you found out your parents were supervillains?  That’s the basic question answered in Brian K. Vaughn’s (Saga) Runaways series.  Each year, 6 families come together for a meeting – the kids are told it’s to plan out charitable giving for the year.  “Good deeds should be done in secret, with no expectation of reward” Alex Wilder is lectured sternly before the guests arrive.  The other teens, and one pre-teen, cover the bases of typical kids, with a jock, a goth, nerdy girl, and so on.  There’s somebody for everybody to identify with.  Like any children surrounded by entertainment options, they get bored and decide to spy on their parents.  Things go south when they see their parents murder a young prostitute in some sort of dark ritual.  They just manage to avoid being spotted while spying, and decide together to try and find a way to stop their parents from doing whatever it is they are planning.  Seems like a tall order until they discover they all have some secret power of their own.  Gert has a telepathic bond with a dinosaur pet, Karolina is actually an alien with a superpowered physiology, Nico has magical abilities, Chase stole some high-tech gear from his parents, Molly, the pre-teen, is a powerful mutant, and Alex is a strategist.

If you think you know what’s going to happen from that, you don’t.  That’s the great thing about Runaways – there are some solid twists, and this first volume ends with a reveal that one of the kids is helping the Pride.  DundunDUNNNN.  Adrian Alphona’s art seems sunny and cheery, without the excessive details or heavy shadows of some modern comics, though you can feel the menace from the parents as they realize their kids know the secret of the Pride.

This volume covers the discovery of the Pride, their powers/gifts, and a daring rescue.  It’s a great starting point, and a good gift for a teen who has shown an interest in comics.