Just like they did before they kicked off Marvel NOW in 2012, Marvel Comics has released a book of prologues for a number of their upcoming series under the All-New Marvel NOW banner and called it ‘All-New Marvel NOW Point One’. In this handy little collection, we get brand new standalone stories that act as previews for some of the most anticipated comics debuting in the next few months like ‘Silver Surfer’, ‘Ms. Marvel’, ‘All-New Invaders’, ‘Black Widow’, ‘Avengers World’, and ‘Loki: Agent of Asgard’. All six stories were enjoyable in their own ways, but the three that stood out to me the most were ‘Girl On Board’ by Dan Slott, ‘Garden State Of Mind’ by G. Willow Wilson, and ‘Before The Truth Has Its Pants On’ by Al Ewing.
Just like the issue does, we will start this review by talking about Loki. Ewing created this story as the one to frame all the others. Over the course of the book, we follow the God of Mischief as he travels far and wide to track down five keys forged by Odin that unlock a mighty weapon for him to yield as he does the bidding of the All-Mother as an Agent of Asgard. Each key bears a different rune that manages to capture the theme of each story in the book, but the writer managed to do it in a way that was fun and the good kind of corny. Based on this (and because I was a big fan of Loki in ‘Young Avengers’), I think I’m going to enjoy ‘Loki: Agent of Asgard very much. As we followed Loki around to get these keys, I just got a Steve Martin spy movie vibe from it because of gags like him hiding in plain sight at the Braddock Academy. But then there are some heartfelt moments like Thor and Loki sharing a beer together and badass moments like pick-pocketing the Red Skull that show that there might be many things to love about this new Loki comic. Also, Lee Garbett’s artwork is pretty marvelous, so not only was I enjoying the plot, but it wasn’t bad on the eyes either with a style similar to Jim Cheung, who happens to be one of my favorite artists. Also again, how could you not love a story called ‘Before The Truth Has Its Pants On’ starring Loki? Al Ewing clearly knows what his audience wants to see.Norin Radd might as well have a big, blue box.
Speaking of great artists, the legendary Mike Allred makes an appearance in ‘Point One’ as he joins ‘Superior Spider-Man’ writer Dan Slott in presenting a Silver Surfer story in preparation for his new ongoing series. While I could go on and on about how much I love Allred’s style or Slott’s story, I’m going to talk about the feel of Norrin Radd’s next adventure. Basically, this feels like Marvel’s version of ‘Doctor Who’. The Herald of Galactus takes on a female human companion and takes her to see the universe in this new series and in this mini-story, we one of their first adventures where they see some beautiful “cosmic rays”. In this 10-page tale, we get qwuips, catchphrases, alien threats, and hiding their mode of transportation in an alley only for it to reappear later to aid in saving the day. Definitely some Doctor-like elements going on here and I most certainly don’t hate it. It feels like a vintage sci-fi comic from back in the day and I can’t wait to get my hands on a full issue.
Finally, the All-New Marvel NOW title that probably has the whole comic book world talking is ‘Ms. Marvel’ from G. Willow Wilson and we get a taste of it here. I have a soft spot in my heart for teen heroes and I think that I might be reliving my rebellious teenage years through Kamala Khan (except I didn’t have any superpowers) because she’s a young person growing up with ethnic parents in America. She’s a child of two cultures and when I was growing up, I never had any shows, movies, or comics that really reflected that part of myself, so it’s extremely refreshing to see that sort of representation in a Marvel comic. On top of that, she still has to find the time to be a superhero. This is going to be big. I can feel it. It’s almost this generation’s Spider-Man, even down to the alliteration in the name. As excited as I said I was for ‘Loki: Agent of Asgard’ and ‘Silver Surfer’, I think I’m double excited for ‘Ms. Marvel’.
Overall, this book did it’s job for me. It was supposed to get the reader hyped to check out the new All-New Marvel NOW titles and I’d say that it was a success in my case. It might put some people off because of the $5.99 price tag, but I’d say that it’s worth checking out.
ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW POINT ONE #1
Written by Al Ewing, Dan Slott, James Robinson, Nathan Edmondson, G. Willow Wilson, & Nick Spencer
Art by Lee Garbett, Nolan Woodard, Michael Allred, Laura Allred, Steve Pugh, Guru eFX, Phil Noto, Adriana Alphona, Ian Herring, Rags Morales, & David Curiel
Cover by Salvador Larroca & Lauren Martin