Monday, December 6, 2021

Andy Richardson:

Addicted to Comics

Columnist Andy Richardson fills you in on a Marvel-lover’s highlights! First, Marvel capitalizes on the value of reprints with its Marvel Select Flip Magazine series with a double feature of both the Astonishing X-Men and New X-Men: Academy X. Then, the epic House of M storyline continues to spin out new tie-ins with Fantastic Four: House of M #1.


Joss Whedon, best known for his innovative television work including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, captured the imagination of the comic book world by bringing the X-Men back to their roots.

In Astonishing X-Men, with artist John Cassaday, the X-Men are again a small team of heroes balancing fighting threats to mutant and mankind with educating young mutants at their rebuilt institute for higher learning. Team members also battle personal problems — bickering with one another, trying to deal with old enemies and old ghosts, and even digging up the familiar blue-and-yellow costumes.

Marvel had little choice but to reprint the soldout issues; here, they collect the debut issue of the “old” team with the debut issue of a new one — New X-Men: Academy X. This latter series introduces a new cast of young mutants, who will learn to use their powers, learn to relate to each other, and of course, learn to survive. Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, and Randy Green collaborate.







In the “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline, the Scarlet Witch lost control of her reality altering powers, went mad, and destroyed the Avengers in the process. But it didn’t end there. Wanda Maximoff was taken into seclusion by her father, Magneto, in hopes she could be healed. Instead, all of reality changed, and now everything is different — under the rule of the House of M.

The Fantastic Four are gone, at least as they were once known. Now there is only The Fearsome Four, ruled over by Dr. Doom. Some things, though, stay the same from one reality to another. Here, as in our own, Doom is no man’s lackey…

This dark and imaginative alternate reality has a similar appeal to the best examples of similar adventures. It’s a chance for readers to see clever twists on characters they’re familiar with… or think they are. John Layman’s sharp dialogue and Scott Eaton’s vivid pictures make for an entertaining miniseries.




Andy Richardson is a freelance writer and editor who has been reading and writing about comics for far longer than he can believe at this point. Andy can be reached via e-mail at Please use “ComicBase” as your subject line.

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