Wednesday's New Things: Hail and Farewell

1. It's a real shame to see Matt Fraction walk away from Marvel's first family; although his Fantastic Four didn't set the world on fire or anything, I thought he was doing a pretty good job following Jonathan Hickman on the book, in particular how he was dealing with  bad dad Reed Richards. And, of course, his madcap FF is excellent, buoyed by the excellent visual storytelling of Mike and Laura Allred.  Of the post-Fraction two, I think I'll stick with FF alone. I'm assuming that they're going to relaunch Fantastic Four with a new creative team sometime early next year and, given my newfound fondness for these characters, I'll think I'll pick it back up then. In the meantime, it's nice to see Fraction move from the kind of shared universe series where he often seems cramped into a wider portfolio of books were he has more room to play-- very few people, for example, have any skin in the game when it comes to the Inhumans, Satellite Sam is just hitting its stride, and his upcoming Sex Criminals, from Image, is intriguing and totally untethered to anything except his imagination. Hopefully, his work in those places, like with Immortal Iron Fist, Invincible Iron Man, and Hawkeye, will be illuminating. 

2. Speaking of unexplored sandboxes, Fred Van Lente follows up on the success of his Archer and Armstrong revival with another legacy project, the resurrection of Dell Comics' short live Brain Boy hero. It seems like a halfway decent espionage-with-super powers story, mixed with some of the alienated hero elements of a book like Chew or of the kind that the X-Men were once premised on. Certainly worth taking a shot on, if you've got some extra room on your pull this week. Preview here.

3. Also of interest this week is Greg Pak's Eternal Warrior, for Valiant, a book which is connected to Pak's former partner-in-crime Van Lente's Archer and Armstrong. The obvious concern here is that humor and absurdity of A+A will be absent from a book whose main character is Very Serious-- let's call it the difference between Incredible Hercules and Herc. Still, as with all the Valiant books, the art will be bright and legible, which will do wonders for making the darker, but probably not edgy content, palatable. The preview, at least, suggests that we should expect good things. 

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