By Jon Durmin
Things transition from the spooky to the silly with pre-Halloween tricks and treats in this week’s All New, All-Different Marvel Series! What have we got true believers?
Angela: Queen of Hel
What we know: Marguerite Bennett & Stephanie Hans return to Angela fresh off their Battleworld exploration of the 1602 version of the character. Joined by co-artist Kim Jacinto they’re bring Angela into the All New, All Different Marvel . . . but how did this Angel from the 10th realm, this long lost sister of Thor, go from a rescue mission to a ruler of the Norse realm of Hel?
Pros: As an author, Bennett is one of the most skilled working at Marvel right now. The voices of her characters consistently ring true to a classic representation, and her character dynamics drive the plot even as characters respond to forces beyond their control. Stephanie Hans covers for the 1602: Witch Hunter Angela series were devastatingly elegant, and having her on interior art is sure to be a treat. Kim Jacinto’s pencil work carries a jagged, shadowy energy that seems like a perfect match to the Infernal setting that Angela will be fighting her way through in this rescue mission tale.
Cons: Angela, as a character, is still building a following among Marvel fans. This may put her below the radar with many readers unfamiliar with her appearances over the last year of her publishing origins.
Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.
What we know: Just in time for Halloween, Dum-Dum Duggan and some classic Marvel Monsters face off against supernatural threats to the Marvel U!
Pros: There is basically no other book like this in publication right now. Writer Frank Barbiere and artist Brent Schoonover are skilled creators on the rise, and they’re bringing us something spooky, quirky, and definitely New and Different. Outside of Ghost Rider, this corner of the Marvel Universe has been neglected for a few years, and it might be due for a revival.
Cons: There is basically no other book like this in publication right now, and there hasn’t been for a long time . . . so the question is: is there a reason for that? Is it that the audience for this book hasn’t been served? This book will put that to the test, but as a fringe book that isn’t closely tied to an existing franchise block (e.g. Spider-books, Avengers-books, X-Books, apparently Inhumans now) readers who are excited for this series will need to commit now and stick around for the long haul if they want this to make it past a few issues.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
What we know: New Avengers inductee Doreen Green struts her stuff in friendly adventures with her roommate Nancy and best pal Tippy-Toe the Squirrel. Will she pass that next exam? Save the world from Thanos? Can anything stop the Unstoppable Squirrel Girl.
Pros: This series brings back the pre-Secret Wars team of writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson to pick up right where they left off (with the addition of an Avengers membership). If you enjoyed the high camp antics and Saturday morning style staging of this series before you’ll be delighted to see it back.
Cons: If you DIDN’T care for what this series did before, don’t expect anything new or different. While her Avengers ID card is a status quo shake-up for Doreen, all indications are that the look and feel of her Squirrely solo stories is going to be the same as it ever was. This is great for fans of the last volume of this book, but won’t incentivize anybody who wasn’t interested in that to come aboard.