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Title: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: jgsugden on August 29, 2013, 10:16:12 AM
I stopped reading comics around 1991.  I was in college and had too much on my plate (and pretty much no income), so I cut them out.  I've stayed 'up to date' on my favorites, mostly Marvel, via message boards, (and occasional hardcover); but I've recently thought it might be fun to go back and start catching up on 20+ years of comics during my train commute.

Marvel Unlimited, at first blush, seems like a golden opportunity.  However, I can't find many reviews that really cover the situation from my perspective.  Most reviews focus on the lack of coverage from the past 6 months, not the coverage from the past 20 years.  If I wanted to sit down and start reading the July 1991 releases and move on month by month through all of the titles I used to read (and special events), would I be frustrated by the gaps?  Or would they mostly be there?  In many of the titles in the catalogue it looks like there are gaps between 2004 and 2007... was that just a retitling thing or are there actual gaps?

Thanks in advance for any insights...


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on August 29, 2013, 12:19:45 PM
I've just started the subscription. I'm not entirely sure about pre-2000 but I know I haven't seen any significant gaps post-2000 in the X-Men coverage. The biggest worry would be about 1) one-shots and minis and 2) figuring out which book to read next when the big fucking crossover events come up. So far, I've gone through about 2-3 years worth of X-Men stuff without missing anything significant.

The UI on the tablet app is ass, however. It's a real pain to add issues because rather than a button that says "Add all issues of this series to my library" you have to add EACH INDIVIDUAL ONE, one by one. Even when you download them for offline reading (up to 12 available for offline now), sometimes the app forgets you've downloaded them or that you are an unlimited user and you can read more than a 2-page preview. Most of the time you can fix it by deleting it from your library and re-adding it. Also, there's no way to set your reading preference so you have to change it every time you start a new issue.

But for sheer numbers of books, it's worth it.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on April 30, 2014, 03:49:46 PM
The app was recently updated and while it's still lacking a number of QOL features that just boggle my mind (such as the ability to return to the place in the book where you left off with one click, or decent sorting of your library or always working), it is a MUCH improved reading experience. It doesn't require you to switch between 1-page/2-page/smart panel reading and actually seems to make more sense in the way it displays the page. It still doesn't handle 2-page spreads well, even in landscape mode (text is too small). Table of contents is now handled via a thumbnail gallery. They've added some "Augemented Reality" features, which means on some panels there is a little AR icon that you can click on to get audio and video extra content, though its value is dubious.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Furiously on June 25, 2014, 01:33:35 PM
I was about to buy a trade paperback and instead figured I would get this for a month or two. I'm reading sooo many comics this summer. It's an awesome deal.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Numtini on June 25, 2014, 01:40:44 PM
I'll pile on. I last read comics in 1985 and last month picked up a sub and have read a ludicrous amount. The older comics don't seem to be quite framed correctly for panel view, but the new ones are fine.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: dusematic on June 25, 2014, 02:16:21 PM
How are you guys finding going back to brightly colored 32 page booklets mostly comprised of pictures in your adult years? 


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Fordel on June 25, 2014, 05:01:01 PM
Pretty fun!


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on June 25, 2014, 06:53:23 PM
There is nothing more amusing than a nerd who trolls nerds on a nerd site.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: palmer_eldritch on June 25, 2014, 06:56:13 PM
I'm finding that the Claremont stories are as good as I remembered (which is good).


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on June 25, 2014, 07:00:06 PM
Though Jesus wept, he's wordy as hell even before his particular obsessions (mind-control, BDSM-ish stuff, etc.) really become a drag on his writing.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on June 26, 2014, 11:53:15 AM
I've found that Claremont's wordiness is kind of a symptom of comics made before the Image glut - writers just wrote a shitload of words. Now there are some that were worse than others - Bill Mantlo was REALLY REALLY wordy though Claremont could go toe to toe with him.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Lt.Dan on September 15, 2014, 05:16:10 AM
I just relogged into my marvel unlimted app.  They've finally added the option to read the next comic in the series.  Huge usability enhancement - one they should have had from day one, but better late than never.

 (On the ipad at least)


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Pennilenko on July 03, 2015, 07:04:02 PM
I command this thread to arise.

I need help. I haven't read marvel comics since the late 80s. I need suggestions on series to read and hopefully I can get some advice on what to avoid. Mainly, I need a starting point. I've been searching Marvel Unlimited for a place to start but there is so much that it is just dizzying.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 03, 2015, 07:30:54 PM
That hasn't been helped by the fact that every series has had multiple restarts in the last few years. They have decided not to have long-running series, but short series that restart with a new volume every few years.

Search for characters/teams you like. I'd recommend all of the Daredevil stuff from Mark Waid, it is the tits. There have been 2 series, both called Daredevil and I think the first one started around 2011. Both of the recent Iron Fist series have been good. The new Ms. Marvel is good, as is both series of Captain Marvel's that are available from recent (Carol Danvers that is, not the Kree guy). Jason Aaron's first Wolverine & the X-Men series was top notch (it's the first series of 26 issues, not the newest one - the newest one is scatterbrained and really inferior). The Inhuman series that started last year is good. The newest Moon Knight series is really good but bizarre. The last few Hulk series have been very weird and I wouldn't necessarily recommend them. Indestructible Hulk started well but just went spergy later on (ironically by Mark Waid). The latest X-Factor is good. I loved Rick Remender's work on X-Force as well as his Uncanny Avengers run but it's not for everyone. I also liked Remender's latest Captain America work that led into the Falcon taking the Captain America mantle but again - it's not for everyone.

Generally avoid any-fucking-thing by Brian Michael Bendis.  :why_so_serious: Also avoid anything by Johnathan Hickman (which is unfortunate as he's done a long run on both Fantastic Four and 2 Avengers books recently leading into the Secret Wars stuff that isn't available on Unlimited yet). In fact, avoid anything Fantastic Four after Civil War because it's all been routinely awful in one way or another (the last good run on FF was Mark Waid's about a decade ago).


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Pennilenko on July 03, 2015, 08:18:24 PM
That was just the sort of information I was looking for. It is much appreciate good sir.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Evildrider on July 03, 2015, 08:22:46 PM
I heard the Bendis run on Daredevil was good, but I have no experience with it yet.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 03, 2015, 08:39:35 PM
Actually yes, the Bendis run on Daredevil was excellent. As was the Ed Brubaker run which followed it. And to be honest, the first half of the Matt Fraction run was great. It's only about the time that Shadowgrounds (?) Shadowlands, whatever the fuck that mini was - when that came out, the run got fucking stupid as shit. The second half of the Fraction run was just really heavy, depressing shit that took its cues from the "beat the shit out of your main character" school of writing. That's why the Waid run was so refreshing. It took all the stupid shit that Fraction run had and accepted it, then moved the fuck on and got back to some light-hearted fun. Which made its own descent into drama work so much better because it wasn't just one monotone wall of grimness, and the art matches the tone so perfectly. I think the Waid run is the best treatment of the character since Miller's second run, precisely because Bendis/Brubaker/Fraction were basically the same tone as the Miller stuff while Waid was something different.

TLDR, the Bendis/Brubaker run on Daredevil is very similar to the tone of the TV show.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Sir T on July 03, 2015, 11:11:51 PM
This is a bit out there, but I picked up a hardcopy marvel book at the local Newsagents called "The ultimate Graphic Novels Collection 56: Thinderbolts: Faith In Monsters" It was a collection of The Thunderbolts Series from #110 to #115, By Warren Ellis and art by Mike Deodato. Set during the Civil War Period.

Absolutely fucking fantastic. Check out those issues if you can find them online. The scenes of Venom going berserk is worth the price of admission alone.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: NowhereMan on July 04, 2015, 02:28:56 AM
Find and read the Annihilation War event stuff. It ran concurrently with Civil War and was a really good demonstration of how to do a big Summer Event crossover extravaganza and basically just told the main MU to suck it because Cosmic is awesome. How Marvel managed to simultaneously put out one of their best and worst crossover events simultaneously still confuses me.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 04, 2015, 07:03:19 AM
All the Annihilation War stuff, yes, and the two ongoings that came out of it (Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy). Great. Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest, War of Kings. Everything Abnett and Lanning wrote for "cosmic Marvel" really except the miniseries that closed out that era (Annihilators).

Planet Hulk was good and World War Hulk was a good crossover, and the Hercules stuff that came out of it was great--Hercules took over the Hulk's own title and then had his own for a while.

Ellis on Thunderbolts was really great.

I enjoyed the entire run of Avengers Academy--very old-school comic-book storytelling in a good way.

If you want to go back into the 1990s and early 2000s the entire run of Busiek & Perez' Avengers was great. I liked Vaughn's run on Runaways, but stop right when he leaves the book. Whedon's Astonishing X-Men is fun as long as you're not allergic to Whedon. The Ellis run that follows is ok.

Ellis' 12-issue miniseries Nextwave is required reading. Possibly my favorite Marvel comic in the last ten years.

Jason Aaron had an interesting run on Ghost Rider that reads a bit like that angel-war series on Syfy.

Wieringo and Waid's Fantastic Four run is decent. They had one genius story about Doctor Doom that then became more mediocre as it went on. The first one, where Doom tracks down his childhood girlfriend, is really great.

First twenty issues of the original Thunderbolts is a good read.

Garth Ennis' Punisher--go back to Welcome Back, Frank and then read the MAX series.

Peter David on X-Factor and Hulk are pretty good.

Len Kaminiski's Iron Man run is underappreciated--a lot of concepts there that have carried over and defined the character since.

Ed Brubaker's entire Captain America run is great. I don't even like the character much and I love it.

I like Remender's Uncanny X-Force--there's a consistency of tone and theme that works for me.

Read the cute little Thor: The Mighty Avenger, which was a fun "alternate" Thor that was somewhat kid-friendly. Very gentle, sweet but some smart ideas about how to rethink the character that track with the movies in interesting ways.

Jeff Parker's Agents of Atlas was great. Also read his stuff in the kid-friendly Marvel Adventures, which has some hilarious adult-enjoyable stories. (All the Avengers get turned into Modoks; Ego the Living Planet tries to sexually harass the planet Earth).

Bendis' work on the MAX imprint Alias was great (this is the backstory to Jessica Jones, who will be one of the Netflix characters).









Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Pennilenko on July 04, 2015, 10:12:27 AM
My list is growing quite extensively.

Now if I could just find my favorite comic in digital format. The Badger (http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/f/farmbadg.htm), I used to have all of them but they got tossed by a vindictive family member years ago when I was moving between states once. Not Marvel unfortunately.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 04, 2015, 11:58:56 AM
Two more recommendations.

The Guardians of the Galaxy, specifically the stuff by Abnett and Lanning. The current book is written by Bendis and is good but not as good as the other two series. Also, the new Nova series is really good.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 04, 2015, 12:29:52 PM
I didn't want to read it because I have a long-developed soft spot for Nova and it's Jeph Loeb, which felt to me like Defcon 2 on the "Raping of Childhood" alert system.

I do know I don't like the Bendis Guardians because it's so utterly uninterested in the vibe of the Abnett and Lanning Guardians, which I thought was a great book.

Finding Badger is going to be really hard. At least some of Baron's old Nexus issues have had trade republications but I don't think Badger ever did.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 04, 2015, 12:37:53 PM
Actually, Loeb was only on it for a little while (5 issues). It's Gerry Duggan now and even the Loeb stuff was good. 


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: palmer_eldritch on July 07, 2015, 07:09:20 AM
Whedon's Astonishing X-Men is fun as long as you're not allergic to Whedon. The Ellis run that follows is ok.

Just want to echo this.

Also, Grant Morrison's New X-Men (from 2001 on) is really good, although it doesn't really fit in with anything that went before or after (just treat it like a standalone story and don't worry about continuity).

The Civil War mini series is a good read (stick to the Civil War mini series and not the 2,500 spin-off books). I think it divides opinion and you may turn out to be one of those people who hates it but you'll still be glad you read it, if that makes sense:)

I think The Ultimates is on Unlimited. This is a new version of the Avengers set in a different universe. Don't worry about continuity at all, just give it a go and it's a really good story. The Ultimates volume 1 is good and The Ultimates volume 2 is good and then you can safely stop reading.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 07, 2015, 09:44:22 AM
Also, Grant Morrison's New X-Men (from 2001 on) is really good, although it doesn't really fit in with anything that went before or after (just treat it like a standalone story and don't worry about continuity).

Actually, the changes in that series did have a lasting effect. The transformation Beast had physically has continued on afterwards, Jean Grey's resolution and the romance with Cyclops and Emma Frost has stuck, the villains Danger and Cassanova have been used again, Genosha's destruction has a huge effect and Fantomex and the whole Weapon X project stuff is still being used. It may actually have been the most influential X-Men stuff since Claremont left.

Quote
The Civil War mini series is a good read (stick to the Civil War mini series and not the 2,500 spin-off books). I think it divides opinion and you may turn out to be one of those people who hates it but you'll still be glad you read it, if that makes sense:)

This is terrible advice and you should feel bad about having given it. Civil War is fucking awful from conception to execution.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: palmer_eldritch on July 07, 2015, 11:03:21 AM

This is terrible advice and you should feel bad about having given it. Civil War is fucking awful from conception to execution.

Everyone should read this book to discover what could be provoking such a strong reaction.

Seriously though, I liked it. It's possible I was the only person who did.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 07, 2015, 11:34:49 AM
I do not understand how you could like it. It's fucking awful from start to finish. Even the basic premise, which pretty much goes against like 35 years of continuity, is a fucking disaster.

I ignored the advice of Khaldun about Ultimates. I'd read the first 2 volumes, which were good, but I'd never gone further. I did that this morning while waiting for someone to finish some work so I could finish my work. I read Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum.

Fuck me. That was goodamn awful. Worse than Civil War could ever hope to be. What in the fuck were they thinking? Even if it had been done as a way to destroy the Ultimate Universe (which it didn't), it was grimdark shit. Blob eating Wasp? All the unnecessary headsplosions? Just... fuck me, that was terrible.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 07, 2015, 01:33:55 PM
It really is the worst.

I can actually see reading the main Civil War mini, not the cross-overs. I actually think the basic idea of the series is a decent one (and this isn't the only time the Big Two companies have messed around with the notion that modern governments would eventually draw the line about unregulated superhumans battling it out in the streets, it's a reasonably common theme.)

The problems really aren't about the basic narrative. In fact, I think Marvel played that out pretty well (without necessarily planning to) over the sequence from Civil War to The Heroic Age. If you map that out like a five-act drama, it goes kind of like this:

Civil War: some superheroes decide the government is right, partly because of popular anger, and agree to register; others take the (really quite American) view that governments aren't trustworthy enough to decide what to do with the kind of power that superhumans wield, that only free and ethical individuals can be the proper custodians of that power. They fight. The pro-registration guys kind of win, but quietly agree to sort of leave the anti-registration guys alone as long as they keep it quiet and stay out of the way.

The Initiative and Secret Invasion: the ascension of the national security logic of the pro-registration interests in government pretty much leads to exactly what the anti-registration guys said it would...

Dark Reign to Siege: And now the government is more or less in the hands of actively bad people without any safeguards or rights, leading to predictable bad outcomes

The Heroic Age: Ok, the pro-reg guys agree that the anti-reg guys were right; even the public sees the folly in trying to control and regulate metahumans as if they were a militia or police force.

It's sort of important that the overall arc of the story ends on that last note, because the concept of the superhero absolutely requires that sense of independence. You can see it in the MCU, too--at some point you cannot explain why people wear costumes and fight villains if you insist that they're regimented, highly trained soldiers under the command of governments without succumbing to cynicism or being dumb-patriotic.

---------------

Which is what ultimately made the *actual* Civil War series so bad--Millar is both cynical and post-9/11 was also playacting at being dumb-patriotic. He doesn't really like the basic concept of the superhero. So as it was written, Civil War is actually kind of pro-registration. Most people saw Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Hank Pym as douchnozzles but I think Millar was seeing them as resolute men who-do-what-they-have-to, kind of the Dick Cheney theory of torture, an idea that there's bravery in doing "the hard thing". So familiar characters were badly wrenched out of shape in order to fit Millar's construction of the story, with lasting damage to them and the Marvel universe as a whole. Then there were the particular asshole beats of the story--Clone Thor, Black Goliath, etc., and finally Captain America's dumb surrender in the final issue.

So it was bad, yeah. But I don't think the basic idea had to be bad.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 07, 2015, 02:24:18 PM
Oh no, the basic concept of superhero registration and the tensions that would create was a good idea. It was just cocked up so bad by really really shitty writing that demanded characters be completely changed to fit the narrative rather than the other way around. And it negatively impacted the Marvel Universe because we're still dealing with the consequences - Reed Richards is still a dangerous unthinking twat who just invents shit because he can, Tony Stark is still an asshole and for some reason Captain America still keeps trusting him even though Stark lies to him every time he can. And don't even get me started on this fakakta Illuminati shit that has infested the whole line.

Marvel's biggest problem is that many of its big-name creators really fucking hate the concept of the superhero as a whole. Bendis and Millar are the two biggest offenders, IMO. As a result, a lot of the Marvel universe over the last decade has been story after story about superheroes fighting each other and supervillains are treated as fucking jokes.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Velorath on July 08, 2015, 02:22:27 AM
We've gone over in depth all the myriad reasons why Civil War sucks so I won't rehash any of that. I also disagree with the mention of World War Hulk being any good. As far as recommendations go:

Priest's Black Panther (1998-2003) run is on there although it's inexplicably missing issue #22. There's also his seven issues of the Crew.

Brubaker's run on Cap (2004-2011) is solid aside from some stupid shit in order to bring him back from his "death" in Civil War.

The Ares mini-series is a little rough in spot's in both story and art, but it's a quick and fun read.

First two volumes of Runaways.

Milligan and Allread's X-Force. Technically the last 15 or so issues of the first volume, although it has no real connection to X-Force (or really much of anything in the Marvel U).

Fraction's Hawkeye is all available now except the final issue I think.

Marv Wolman's Tomb of Dracula from the 70's.

G.L.A. and G.L.X.-Mas. Dan Slott does humor really well and there's surprisingly a bit of heart to it as well. Also features Squirrel Girl prominently.

Earth X (maybe skip Universe X and Paradise X). Not X-men related despite the name. More like What if the Marvel Universe was one surprisingly cohesive story.

Superior Spider-man and Superior Foes of Spider-man. Don't read the last two issues of Superior Spider-man as those actually take place later as part of Spiderverse. On the plus side, I think all of Spiderverse is available on Unlimited now.

Busiek's Avengers Forever (his run on Avengers was good also, but I haven't checked to see if it's on there, and tragically the entirety of the first vol. of Thunderbolts appears to be missing).

New Mutants (2003-2004) which leads into New X-Men (2004-2008) as well as an annual and a Hellions special.

Punisher: The End, and Punisher: The Cell one-shots by Ennis. Had a couple good runs on actual Punisher series as well, but these are nice quick reads with no continuity.

They really need Blaze of Glory: Last Ride of the Western Heroes on Unlimited. Sadly there isn't even a blank page for it. I'm also not sure what they have against West Coast Avengers.







Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 08, 2015, 06:48:01 AM
Earth-X I felt kind of mixed about, but it's worth a read.

Milligan and Allread's X-Force for sure. The issue where Doop is in Wolverine and the X-Men is a hilarious follow-up.

I was surprised at how much I liked Superior Spider-Man (and Superior Foes, which is even better).



Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 08, 2015, 12:03:45 PM
On the plus side, I think all of Spiderverse is available on Unlimited now.

It isn't. I think we're about 1-2 months away from all of it being on there. I'm not a Spider-Man fan, but I have enjoyed the side books of the Spiderverse stuff. Scarlet Spiders and Spider-Woman in particular are good. The main Spiderverse story is decent (especially nods to things like Spider-Ham and Animated 60's Spider-Man) but there's too much "bunch of super-heroes standing around waiting for shit to happen" writing that reminds me of the worst of Bendis' Avengers run.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 08, 2015, 12:17:48 PM
By the way, I'm surprised at how much I'm liking the current Secret Wars stuff. Marvel writers seem to be having fun with the side books, and actually the main story is somewhat fascinating. Good work is being done with Doom in particular.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Velorath on July 09, 2015, 06:03:50 PM
By the way, I'm surprised at how much I'm liking the current Secret Wars stuff. Marvel writers seem to be having fun with the side books, and actually the main story is somewhat fascinating. Good work is being done with Doom in particular.

I'm enjoying a ton of the side books, and the main series has been surprisingly good aside from the first issue. We'll see if that sticks though or if it will devolve into the usual stuff I don't like about a lot of Hickman's writing.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 11, 2015, 10:20:59 PM
I can give you another Unlimited recommendation. The new Cyclops book (there are 8 issues on Unlimited now) is pretty good. It's essentially a father-son buddy picture with the teenage Scott Summers from the past taking a trip through space with his space pirate father, Corsair. Greg Rucka writing with a few good artists, it's actually a lot better than I thought it would be.

Also, the new female Thor book is good. The artist is the same on both at least for the first 3 or 4 issues, Russel Dauterman. He's really good.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 12, 2015, 08:20:05 AM
How did they bring Corsair back from what looked like a definitive death even for comic books?


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Pennilenko on July 12, 2015, 11:58:29 AM
Damn you guys, I have been doing so much comic reading.

They really need to improve the browser based functionality of MU.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 12, 2015, 08:47:51 PM
Oh the tablet app is fucking horrible though it has improved since I first used it. The browser is not much better.

Also, they explain Corsair's return from the dead in the series. He's been injected with this illegal AI nanite solution - the nanites are intelligent so they want to survive but they require a living host. So the nanites keep him alive but he has to continually take injections.

Yes, it's comic books.  :why_so_serious:


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 20, 2015, 02:10:08 PM
More recommendations:

She-Hulk is good. Secret Avengers (both volumes) are good. Vol. 2's art takes some getting used to, but it has a bit of a Nextwave feel to it. Both the Rocket Raccoon and Legendary Star-Lord solo series are good, and the Guardians 3000 series is also good (the original Guardians of the Galaxy from the future).

The new X-Force series is fucking weird - it takes about 12 issues to lead to making something of a point, but the art is shitty and the characters are pretty poorly done. The only interesting one is Dr. Nemesis and he's wasted here for the most part. It kind of has a point about grimdark heroes but it's very muddled and I don't know why it chose the path it did.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Fordel on July 21, 2015, 01:01:48 AM
X-Force has always been weird. It's a concept I can understand and get behind, but the execution is almost always lackluster in every volume of it. It just turns into an excuse to give a bunch of characters murder boners for awhile.


The X-Books in general, Force, Factor, the main line books, they are all in a super odd place. For the first time in a long ass time, they aren't the center of everything that happens in the MU and I don't think anyone has any clear idea as to what they should do with the line now. The shift started after all the CW and AvX and etc, but like the X-Books had virtually no tie in at all to the current setting wide event. All the X-Books are sorta in their own little pockets of the MU and the people writing them and overseeing them seem to be stuck.

I think there is literally some kind of 'emergency' creative summit going on specifically about the X-Line, with all the writers and editors or whoever deals with this shit.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 21, 2015, 05:53:49 AM
I think you get some sense of their overall diminishment in the current Secret Wars #4, where you're teased to think that Cyclops-Phoenix is gonna do something big and then, well, I won't spoil it.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 21, 2015, 11:06:47 AM
The Rick Remender X-Force run was good (though yes, it was a lot of murder boners) but everything since with the name has just been even more bizarre and disconnected. All the X-Books seem really disconnected from each other except for the 2 Bendis books (Uncanny and All New) and even that has been floaty. There's been some good work in them but for the most part, they all feel like they don't relate to each other in any meaningful way, despite many of them sharing cast members. Having Psyclocke be in all stabby-stabby in X-Force while also being a normal superhero in X-Men and sometimes the other books is just strange.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: palmer_eldritch on July 21, 2015, 07:37:02 PM
I kind of wish they'd return to having a clear "main" X-book so you knew which one you should be reading. A long time ago Uncanny was the book, and if you wanted more then you could read the spin offs like New Mutants and the various mini series.

I don't have time to read them all and can't work out which one the main storyline is in, or even if there is a main storyline any more.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 21, 2015, 09:36:50 PM
There isn't. So don't worry. Not sure if there will be in the future. They did have a brief moment where you could kind of decide whether you wanted the 'serious' book (follow Cyclops as he goes full Magneto) or the 'fun' book (follow Wolverine as he tries to become the headmaster of the Charles Xavier School) and that could limit what you were reading. But you could feel the energy leak out of that like an inner tube with a hole in it as they had to deal with multiple crossovers and as Marvel itself very palpably cooled on mutants as a whole.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Fordel on July 21, 2015, 11:42:16 PM
There's just no where to take the X-men anymore, not without actually breaking the status quo and accepting that yes, they are part of the larger MU in more then just name dropping cameo's.

They are trying to somehow keep the scrappy underdog repressed minority theme, while also showcasing the awesome, powerful, we are the future theme. So they build them up as a force, have them succeed, have things flow along and improve then oh wait we took it too far, send in the genocidal purple robots and undo everything again. Then when someone goes 'where are the Avengers? the FF?' or any of the other dozen or so powers that be in the MU, why aren't they helping the poor dumb X-men... we get excuses like 'The Avengers aren't answering their phone' or 'We're the X-Men, we're the elite the Avengers should be calling US!'.

Like, the narrative won't allow the X-men or mutants in general any kind of unity, competence or just some good fortune. It's tiresome and repetitive and really getting stale. Oh the school got blown up... AGAIN. The mutant nation they were starting up was wiped out... AGAIN. The X-Men are being unfairly blamed for some random injustice... AGAIN. I feel like every other aspect of the MU setting is progressing in some fashion, while the X-men are at a standstill at best, if not flat out regressing.

Like, it's going to be super fucking weird when the Inhumans on their island city can manage to have somewhat peaceful relations with everything around them, while the Mutants can't keep a single school from exploding.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Sir T on July 22, 2015, 09:12:39 AM
The theme of the Xmen was about predudice. It was always sort of in a world apart from the other MU as while they were talking about how everyone hates mutants and oh boo hoo, The Torch was bragging about how many fans he has. I mean the Hulk lays waste to a town because he is pissed but he is ok because he is technically not a Mutant? Spider-man has had a newspaper blaming him for everything and calling him a crime lord for 40 years, but they don't call him a MUTANT?

But frankly it has just gotten worse in the last 20 years. Its basically like that guy from Little Britain who goes around shouting that "I'm the only gay in the Villiage!!!" and no-one gives a crap but him. The whole distinction between mutants and the other supers was always an uneasy one, and frankly I don't blame Marvel for wanting to drop it. But if you drop it, then you largely have to drop the X-men as the only thing that distinguishes them form the other supergroups is "oh no-one understands me!!" mutant angst.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 22, 2015, 10:42:58 AM
I got caught up with Bendis' Uncanny X-Men this morning (Unlimited caught up, which is 6 months behind), and they have spent the last like 4 issues having a conversation with the most powerful Omega level mutant that somehow Xavier hid for 30+ years until he went nuclear one day. Scott Summers is for some fucking reason trying to use this mutant the same way he did with the Phoenix Force in AvX and it gets him killed (that'll last about 1 issue I'm sure), and one of their new students (Eva Bell, who makes time bubbles and can travel in time in a pinch) decides the only way to fix it is to...

Wait for it...

Go back in time and tell Professor Xavier he can't do this thing to the Omega Level Mutant because it doesn't work. And then she brings Xavier to the present day.

I just... Bendis has totally degenerated into an utter hack who relies on the time travel gimmick WAY too much while his characters continually talk about the dangers of using time travel two panels before they USE TIME TRAVEL. I'm sure it can only get worse from here.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Sir T on July 22, 2015, 11:19:29 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/AOHz4YN.gif)


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on July 22, 2015, 08:20:33 PM
They really have to ban time travel after Secret Wars is over. Bendis in fact was the guy who abandoned the whole "time travel doesn't change history, it just makes a new time line" orthodoxy that held for about 15-20 years at Marvel, which at least meant that they recognized that their "alternative futures" could be storytelling platforms in their own right. But basically this is yet another consequence of having comics where there's a constant slow reset button that keeps the characters from ever really aging or evolving--time travel is the only way sometimes to tell dynamic, dramatic stories that nevertheless change nothing.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Fordel on July 23, 2015, 03:10:30 AM
Totally agree, just no more fucking time travel.

It's almost always an awful idea.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on July 23, 2015, 12:22:30 PM
Thing is, in small doses, it's great. I loved Days of Future Past, which is I think the root cause of the problem. It was a great story but they just kept building on it and adding more time-tossed characters. Rachel Summers, Bishop, Cable (oh dear God, Cable).


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Nevermore on July 23, 2015, 01:04:26 PM
To be fair, Rachel Summers is in the original DoFP if I remember correctly.  Isn't she the one who sends Kitty's mind back in time?


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Trippy on July 23, 2015, 01:14:24 PM
Yes.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Fordel on July 23, 2015, 02:26:31 PM
Basically the only time travel stories that work in comics, are ones that are causality loops. Things that have already happened and upon the return of the traveler everything is still as it should be, no lizard people replacing humanity or anything. Just a quick excuse for Deadpool to pretend he's playing Assassins Creed in actual Renaissance Italy or whatever.


Anything else falls apart because mainstream superhero comics are not the vehicle to provide the tight knit rules necessary for a more complex time travel story. Any scenario where say, the future sends someone back in time to prevent the future, is going to end in a pile of shit. It has to end in a pile of shit, because if you can send one person back to stop X future, that means someone else can send a different person (or a variation of the same person) to stop ABC futures too and it never ever fucking ends and now we have 15 Summers running around.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on August 03, 2015, 11:01:04 AM
Go back in time and tell Professor Xavier he can't do this thing to the Omega Level Mutant because it doesn't work. And then she brings Xavier to the present day.

I just... Bendis has totally degenerated into an utter hack who relies on the time travel gimmick WAY too much while his characters continually talk about the dangers of using time travel two panels before they USE TIME TRAVEL. I'm sure it can only get worse from here.

And in the very next issue, after new Omega Mutant kills fucking everyone including Xavier, Eva convinces past Xavier to go back further in his own past to make the Omega Mutant's parents not meet, thus making sure he was never born and saving Scott Summers life.

 :argh: :argh: :argh: :argh:

Fucking hack.

On a good note, I'm 11 issues into Matt Fraction's Hawkeye series and am LOVING IT. It's very offbeat but entertaining and the artwork is fantastic. I love David Aja's stuff.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on August 31, 2015, 11:33:43 AM
I finally broke down and got Marvel Unlimited, since I stopped reading regular weekly comics about five years ago for the most part. It's kind of nice to catch up with some stuff.

I have ambivalent feelings about that Nova series, though. Partly because it strikes me as a very thinly rewritten/ripped-off version of DC's charming reboot of the Blue Beetle, only without the really well-developed supporting cast that Blue Beetle had. But also because there's at least some stuff where the mandated rewriting of the Marvel Cosmic stuff overall grates on me a bit--I loved the Abnett/Lanning stuff so much and some of the rewriting here and in the Bendis GotG is just kind of dumb.

Plus it has a common problem that a lot of comics that move the home action away from New York do, which is that the supporting cast doesn't seem to even live on the same planet as everyone else. I don't get how people in Sam Alexander's town could argue with a straight face that there are no aliens. That should be even less credible than arguing in our own universe that there's no such thing as evolution: the Marvel Universe folks would have thousands of films on their equivalent of YouTube with aliens in them, there have been numerous alien invasions including some that were global in scope or that were confirmed by the U.S. government in some way or another, etc.  I always want something closer to Astro City out of both DC and Marvel--being clever at showing us how everyday life in these worlds, even in the boonies, is a bit different than life in our world. I love it when Dan Slott does something like have a law firm that specializes in superhuman law or when there's a firm like Damage Control--I think that should be a part of every single title Marvel publishes. 


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: jgsugden on August 31, 2015, 11:50:06 AM
... I don't get how people in Sam Alexander's town could argue with a straight face that there are no aliens. That should be even less credible than arguing in our own universe that there's no such thing as evolution:...
I think that answers your question right there.  There are plenty of places in the US where the overwhelming majority do not believe in evolution.  It'd be nice if Goggle Maps had a feature that would shade those areas a different color on the map so that you knew not to stop there....

For those Marvel loyalists: If someone was going to start picking up and reading Marvel comics after a long hiatus and they were going to use MU to do it, what would be the point in time / event you'd suggest they use as a starting point to pick things up?  In other words, would you start reading after Civil War?  After Secret Invasion?  Or would you go all the way back to 2001 or so?


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on August 31, 2015, 01:04:21 PM
I would basically jump over Secret Invasion all the way to The Heroic Age books. There's a few gems hidden back there in the Civil War-to-Siege period but find them after you've caught up, or read them without worrying about completism. (Basically, all the Abnett/Lanning Annihilation books and their sequels are worth your time, and they rarely get tied up in the Bendis-coordinated books; Ellis on Thunderbolts is deeply tied to the post-Civil War stuff but it's glorious and a relatively short run.) 

Heroic Age is where they really started letting creators do what they wanted and stopped trying to coordinate everything too tightly, an approach which got stronger and stronger over time. There was a certain amount of dragging the MU closer to the MCU that had a heavy editorial hand to it, and there were the ultra-dumb crossovers like Fear Itself and Original Sin (both of which I've now read on Marvel Unlimited and they're as bad as I thought.)


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on August 31, 2015, 02:04:39 PM
I've read most of the Marvel output since the Avengers Disassembled shit that started the Bendis-led decline in some of the key titles. I would say you could probably just start with the Marvel NOW branding and move forward from there. You'll miss all the shitty Bendis Avengers titles and provided you don't read Avengers vs. X-Men or Age of Ultron, most of it is decent.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Velorath on August 31, 2015, 05:50:50 PM
For those Marvel loyalists: If someone was going to start picking up and reading Marvel comics after a long hiatus and they were going to use MU to do it, what would be the point in time / event you'd suggest they use as a starting point to pick things up?  In other words, would you start reading after Civil War?  After Secret Invasion?  Or would you go all the way back to 2001 or so?

I'd just give them a list of good runs on books. Very little of the good stuff requires you to have much understanding of what's going on in the larger MU at the time, and someone took a long hiatus it's probably because they got tired of big events and constant shitty crossovers so I'm not going to suggest they read any of that.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on August 31, 2015, 07:27:27 PM
I think basically this, yeah. That's better advice than starting at a particular point. Especially once you hit Marvel NOW, because at that point it's so heavily creator-driven--you just go with what you like and don't fuck with the rest. The continuity really started to unwind at that point in a good way.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on August 31, 2015, 07:40:23 PM
I actually think the continuity unwinding was a major distraction. Anyone that follows more than one book can often see shit just be completely contradictory, as one issue Captain America is white and young, the next he's black and has wings. Or one issue Iron Man's in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel is an Avenger, the next their positions are totally reversed with no explanation. And the necessity for some of the books to be included in the universe-spanning crossover events really fucks up the flow of some of the stories. Mark Waid's Hulk is a great example. He had a good run going, then that idiotic Original Sin things comes in and shits all over the book, and all the air gets let out of the narrative he had been building.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Fordel on August 31, 2015, 09:23:41 PM
Marvel NOW branding or things slightly before it. There's a very real shift in art and story telling in most books with the NOW branding.


There are very few things from before that period I would bother recommending to anyone.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on September 01, 2015, 06:42:27 AM
The events still mess with stuff, yes--both Original Sin and Axis were dumb. But I really like the degree to which continuity fetishes stopped being quite so big a deal. There's a looser, more fun feeling to the Marvel NOW books even when they're not at all light-hearted.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on September 01, 2015, 11:30:54 AM
I actually didn't mind Axis quite as much. It still wasn't great mind you, but better than fucking Age of Ultron. That book... just assloads of WTF.

Actually, I'd recommend the main X-men books BEFORE Schism. It was Schism that sent them all to shit, though the Wolverine and the X-men book that came out of that was aces. The one after that though? Total shit.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: NowhereMan on December 04, 2015, 10:35:23 AM
Nearly everything tied to Annihilation was worth reading. I really didn't know much Cosmic Marvel prior to that outside of a little FF and X-Men stuff and absolutely loved it.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Ard on December 04, 2015, 11:30:46 AM
Pretty much all of cosmic marvel from Annihilation up until the Annihilators was pretty fantastic.  Some of the random tie ins were pretty bad (avoid anything involving the son of hulk).  Annihilators was terrible and was kinda a coffin nail though, but had a fantastic Rocket side story.

http://www.comicbookherald.com/marvel-cosmic-reading-order/


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Pennilenko on December 04, 2015, 11:32:34 AM
I cancelled my sub to this. If they ever get around to making the web and mobile readers more organized I will re-sub. To somebody who enjoys the comics but doesn't have a ton of knowledge about the different series and runs, it is incredibly annoying to try to find stuff.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Teleku on December 04, 2015, 12:59:00 PM
Agree, yeah.  I subscribe to this off and on, and I think its great.  But I have to google comic reading order lists and then flip back and forth trying to go over big cross over events (which is pretty much 50% of any given marvel issue thats been done over the last decade).  Always boggled my mind they didn't build in an instant link/reading order function for the shit ton of cross over events they did.  Really easy to do in a digital format....


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on December 04, 2015, 01:19:16 PM
Oh their interfaces are just fucking terrible from the tablet to the web version. It's virtually impossible to follow any storyline involving more than one book without going to a Wiki for it. There is so much that could be done from a UX standpoint on the tablet version, it's fucking painful to see. And yet it's still a pretty sweet deal.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Pennilenko on December 04, 2015, 02:44:16 PM
Agree, yeah.  I subscribe to this off and on, and I think its great.  But I have to google comic reading order lists and then flip back and forth trying to go over big cross over events (which is pretty much 50% of any given marvel issue thats been done over the last decade).  Always boggled my mind they didn't build in an instant link/reading order function for the shit ton of cross over events they did.  Really easy to do in a digital format....
Shit, I just really want a "read next issue" link in an easily identifiable location.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on December 04, 2015, 05:22:11 PM
Or a read from last location option that doesn't have to redownload the whole book all over again, or an offline reading that doesn't slow the app down to a crawl, or....


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: Khaldun on December 04, 2015, 09:25:02 PM
It's badly organized, yeah. I only enjoy it because I know what I'm looking for. It also disappoints me sometimes because of what it doesn't have.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: palmer_eldritch on December 05, 2015, 11:53:31 AM
I only ever use the tablet version but that seems to work pretty well as far as I can see. If you read a book then at the end there's a prominent link for reading the next issue, or at the start of each book there's a link for "more in name of book" and it takes you to a page with every issue in date order.

For the special events you go to "browse" and "comic events", choose the one you want and it shows you all the different books from all the series involved, in reading order.

What I don't care for is the way Marvel publishes its comics now. A lot of their series seem to last a couple of years and then start again at issue 1, which makes it confusing.


Title: Re: Tell me about Marvel Unlimited
Post by: HaemishM on December 05, 2015, 12:45:33 PM
What I don't care for is the way Marvel publishes its comics now. A lot of their series seem to last a couple of years and then start again at issue 1, which makes it confusing.

Yeah, as a long time comics reader, this annoys the shit out of me. It probably wouldn't be so bad if they didn't insist on doing a big, company-wide crossover event every summer that touched most/all of the books. It's like they want to have it both ways - tight, company-wide continuity with a status quo for each character, but then the individual books are all about doing whatever the creators want with the characters in spite of any current or past continuity. Either would be fine, but with the latter, you'll get a decent, fresh take on a character for about 3-4 issues, then 2-4 issues of "let's deal with the intrusion of the crossover continuity which may contradict what I just read in the first 4 issues" and by the time you get back to the fresh take, the creator's got maybe 3-4 issues left in him and the course he was taking was totally fucked up by the crossover shit. Mark Waid's Hulk book was one of the worst examples of this. He had a really great, interesting approach to the character, then Original Sin hit and he had to write with that shit in mind, and by the time we got back to the regular storyline, the book ended without resolution and was not nearly as good. Then they started a new one where Waid did the first 4 issues and handed it over and it wasn't nearly as good, nor was the ending to Waid's storyline that well resolved.