Overview

Point One #1

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Point One #1

Credits

  • Words: Various
  • Art: Various
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $5.99
  • Release Date: Nov 9, 2011

Marvel teases some of next year’s most intriguing stories!

“The Future Begins Here!” is the tagline for this Point One issue with a hefty $5.99 price tag. The six or so short stories portrayed here are a glimpse into the stories that Marvel will be releasing over the next calendar year. Each mini-comic contained within touches on different people, places, and even dimensions, so they lack a unifying thread. Whether this comic was money well-spent will largely be based on how much you enjoy teasers, cliffhangers, and splash pages doubling as advertisements.

The first story is of Nova, previously thought dead, as he races to an alien world to warn of the coming of the Phoenix Force. One thing that stood out about the appearance of the Phoenix is that it was colored blue instead of its usual fiery yellow. Is the Phoenix like a star in that newborn, less powerful versions appear blue? Or is this a different Phoenix altogether? There was not a person visible inside the bird, so there is no telling what has become of Jean Grey since her ascension to the White Hot Room in Greg Pak’s Phoenix Endsong. Either way, Jeph Loeb’s story teases the reappearance of a fan-favorite cosmic entity that has been sorely missed for several years.

The second story takes place in the Age of Apocalypse universe and we see a mutant father telling his mutant son that he does not need to have nightmares about humans because they have wiped them all out. Most of them, anyway. A team consisting of some of the most vile, mutant-hating humans from the 616 Marvel Universe have banded together to overthrow the mutants to which they are now the minority. Given Rick Remender’s perfect use of the AoA brand in Uncanny X-Force, David Lapham revisiting that universe would be welcome so long as he mines for its interesting world dynamics and same-but-different characters and not for a reason to make a quick buck on an old fan-cherished story.

Next up is Kaine donning the Scarlet Spider costume to beat up bad guys. He has played a big part in Spidey’s life in The Gauntlet and most recently his game-changing role in Spider-Island, so it feels right for him to get his own ongoing series. The original Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly, is nowhere to be seen, but since Kaine is also a clone, it makes some sense that he would don the signature hoodie for his crime fighting costume. Kaine is aggressive and violent, tossing out death threats instead of jokes and puns, and spends most of his time brooding with internal conflict. Chris Yost has set the tone for this brooding spider-powered man who is a far cry from your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

The only brand new characters teased in this book are Coldmoon and Dragonfire in a new series by Fred Van Lente called Yin & Yang. A boy and girl, with fire and ice powers, respectively, are raised separately and in seclusion within a mysterious compound only to escape, discovering each other and becoming superheroes. Their entire origin story unfolds in only six pages, and it suffers for it. What was so good about this idea that it not only deserves its own series but a spot in this Point One issue? The idea of a brother and sister with opposing personalities and powers has been done before, and so repeating it without any significant amount of style, creativity, or depth seems like a great way to ensure a short run for the series. Marvel has been cancelling books recently, most alarmingly Nick Spencer’s Victor Von Doom series, so it seems strange that this bland concept is not only getting published but taking up a spot in this expensive preview book.

Doctor Strange gets a solo story that follows him as he attempts to crack the mystery of a seemingly mentally disturbed man. Matt Fraction attempts to flesh out this less flamboyant-looking Strange, making his look and tactics more down-to-Earth John Constantine than out-of-this-world Spawn. The story starts and ends within eight pages, but its painfully forced tie-in to the Defenders ruins what was otherwise a solid tale. The teaser for the new Defenders series at the end of Fear Itself was great because it showed the initial conflict that would eventually bring the different heroes together, but there is no mention of that here. In fact, I would expect most readers to wonder whether this story was a teaser for a new Defenders series or a new Doctor Strange series.

Lastly, Brian Michael Bendis shows an army of Ultrons trashing New York City and kicking the ass of some well-known heroes. This one is a teaser in its purest form. There’s no rhyme or reason to why any of this is happening, just a heightened sense of danger and desperation. Ultron has been done to death, but like the Scarlet Spider, AoA, the Defenders, and the Phoenix, a lot of old concepts are making a comeback next year.

The structure of this issue follows two mysterious men in space suits who have infiltrated the Watcher’s base of operations. They are able to witness all aforementioned events no matter when or where they took place using the Watcher’s technology. Ed Brubaker stretches his sci-fi writing skills to deliver the best piece of writing in this combo-pack issue. It is ironic that while these two men witness several different characters and concepts, it is their own story that has the most tension and seemingly the highest stakes. Who cares about a clone of Spider-Man or a new pair of super siblings? These guys just found a way to sneak past a being whose sole purpose is to watch all time and space – I would like to see them get a series.

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