Standard Deviations vol. 15:
Marvel’s Uncanny Avengers #1 variants

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The Marvel Now! movement begins today with the release of Uncanny Avengers #1 in comic shops across the country. The publisher is pulling out all the stops with its line wide “refresh” including an appearance by Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. The inaugural series of the Marvel Universe’s new direction spills directly out of this Summer’s Avengers versus X-Men, and this marquee title features the debut of a new mutant-infused team of Avengers team as the X-Men’s Havok, Rogue and Wolverine join forces with Earth’s mightiest mainstays the Scarlet Witch, Thor and Captain America.

This series is getting a big push and the inclusion of Havok in the Marvel spotlight like never before has had me on board since the first announcement. However, what merits an edition of Standard Deviations dedicated to it are the first issue’s nineteen cover images. Read on for a look at the many faces of Uncanny Avengers #1.

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I Don’t Even Like Marvel vol. 3 – A Guide to the Avengers Movie Heroics Figures

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This volume of I Don’t Even Like Marvel will be far shorter than the previous volumes because basically… I don’t even really like Marvel all that much and Heroics is a terrible line of toys in which to invest so much time and energy. Especially considering we’ve put almost no energy into discussing truly great lines like Funko Pop! or Mattel’s Action League. Having said all of that, I recently stumbled over a third set of Heroics figures at a local Toys ‘R Us.

This time the line was based on Disney’s Avengers major motion picture. I was tempted to buy the entire set just for the purposes of writing this article and because the figures looked pretty great in the artwork on the box. Luckily I came to my senses and realized that there was no real glory in continuing this mad pursuit of becoming the world’s foremost authority on the intentionally lowest quality line of comic book toys ever created. (I would have given that honor to DC’s Blammoids, but that line definitely wasn’t intended to be so low quality). Another reason I bailed on picking up more Avengers Heroics was that these were 20 percent more expensive than the previous lines. In the end, I decided to just pick up Hulk and Captain America which you may remember were the two characters I was so desperate to find back in Volume 1.

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My Latest Pull List – May 16th, 2012

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Weekly comic books are a big part of my life and below is a list of what I’ll be picking up this Wednesday along with cover artwork and previews courtesy of Comixology’s Pull List app.

Ten new books on my list this week and a fair number actually aren’t part of the Marvel Universe. The ones that are fall almost entirely under the Avengers vs. X-Men banner.

  • AVENGERS #26 – Of all the AvX tie-ins I’m reading, Brian Bendis’ Avengers one is possibly the weakest. It’s not a bad book, but it has some strong competition including Bendis’ New Avengers which is tremendously enjoyable. I have faith that things will pick up here and having Walt Simonson drawing the book makes it a must read.
  • AVENGERS ACADEMY #30 – The first AvX issue of this title did little for me until the final pages. Sebastian Shaw has been a ticking time bomb since returning in Generation Hope and it looks like time’s up.
  • AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #4 – I’m enjoying this event title well enough, but there have been moments where characters just haven’t seemed like themselves (particularly Cyclops and Captain America). This is clearly a series that I’ll follow to the end, but I’m looking for more of Hope Summers and the Scarlet Witch. Hopefully it’s coming soon.
  • AVX VS. #2 – This book delivered exactly what it promised: nothing but fights that spill out of the main AvX series. My chief complaint from the first issue was declaring a winner from each match up when no one really “won.” It’s hard to believe we’re headed for anything but double count-out finish for the whole series.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #9 – Jim Lee returns to continue the story of the JLA in the current New 52 universe. Admittedly, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the two issues Lee was away for, and I’m hoping this starts immediately moving toward the events of DC’s Free Comic Book Day issue and Trinity War.
  • THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #3 – Image Comics is publishing a host of great new series as they celebrate their 20th anniversary, and Jonathan Hickman’s The Manhattan Projects is right up my alley with its alternate history, supernatural stuff, and science(!).
  • NEW MUTANTS #42 – Part three of the Exiled crossover with Journey Into Mystery. It’s nice to see that not every book is getting pulled into AvX, but it’s been tough keeping up with this crossover as it seems like it’s shipping every week.
  • SAGA #3 – Another Image series that’s captured my attention. It’s no surprise given Saga‘s creative team of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and so far this has delivered something remarkable with each issue.
  • UNCANNY X-MEN #12 – I really like the way Kieron Gillen is working AvX into his ongoing story. This issue looks to be heavy on the fighting, and unfortunately there’s a lot of that going around this week. Plus it’s another issue featuring Greg Land art.
  • X-FACTOR #236 – There’s a lot happening in this book right now with Havok and Madrox’s power struggle, the return of the Isolationist, and a new villain stalking the would-be-heroes of Seattle. All this along with some strong hints that the connection between Longshot and Shatterstar may soon be revealed. My money’s still on Shatterstar as the child of Longshot and Spiral.

Check back every week to see what’s on My Latest Pull List and please share your thoughts on these titles and everything you’re reading this week in the comments.


Standard Deviations vol. 11:
Marvel’s Avengers “Art Appreciation” variants

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This installment of Standard Deviations takes a look at April 2012’s set of Avengers “Art Appreciation” variants. Released in anticipation of the of the premiere of Marvel Studios’ shared universe film epic The Avengers on May 4th, these images specifically feature characters that are among the film’s cast as opposed to drawing on the huge number that can be counted among their ranks on the printed page. These covers take a note from 2009’s Wolverine Art Appreciation variants in paying homage to a host of classic artists and styles, and it’s nice to see the theme revisited. With that in mind, this post is part of a Standard Deviations double feature today as we look at both entries in Marvel’s Art Appreciation collection.

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Standard Deviations vol. 9:
Avengers versus X-Men variants

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Marvel’s biggest event of the year is here along with perhaps the most extensive set of variant covers the publisher has ever produced. Avengers versus X-Men promises to be huge in every way, and each of the series’ twelve issues will be wrapped in at least five different covers. Shipping from April to October, these books will feature artwork from some of the industry’s top names, and if nothing else will result in the most massive entry in our Standard Deviations series to date. As “AvX” rolls on, we’ll be updating this post with all of the associated images and commentary you’d find in each installment. Read on to see where it all begins, and be sure to check back regularly as each issue ships!

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