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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REVIEW: Avengers #1

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After all of discussion of Thunderbolts earlier this week, PTB and I thought it might be fun to discuss all of Marvel’s Heroic Age launches beginning with the centerpiece book, Avengers #1. Spoilers ahead.

PTB: I enjoyed Avengers #1, primarily because of the inclusion of Kang the Conqueror. I don’t know what it is about that character, but I’m a fan.

KevinMLD: i don’t really know anything about Kang except that he’s a guy that you have some like nostalgic appreciation of… Oh and that he’s a time traveler of some sort.

PTB: He’s a time warrior!

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No comics Wednesday

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This snow is really starting to cause problems. Apparently Diamond Comic Distributors, who ship the majority of new books on Wednesdays, had no power and no phone as of Monday due to the weekend storm. A recent update says that this outage shouldn’t cause any shipping delays. However, considering the new storm that’s crushing us today, there’s a good chance we won’t see books before next week at this point. Without any books hot off the presses, it’s nice that Marvel has given us some teasers of what’s coming a few months down the line to focus on.
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It’s Amazing when 600 actually equals 600

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Amazing_Spider-Man_600This week not only saw the release of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk #600 but Amazing Spider-Man #600 as well.  It looks like I made a poor decision in what to read on Wednesday (especially considering I only had time to read one book).  While Hulk #600 had more problems than I care to recall, Amazing #600 was truly amazing. Featuring a massive 104 pages of new material, this book was well worth its $4.99 price tag.

The feature story by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. told a tale of a frail and aging Doctor Octopus trying to leave his legacy to the world.  Of course, this was a gift the people of New York were wishing they could return as it all goes wrong and chaos ensues.  Set against the back drop of Aunt May’s wedding to John Jameson Sr. (J. Jonah Jameson’s father) Spider-Man has even more motivation to save the day.  This is a great story for an anniversary issue as it has an epic quality to it while being very much set in current Spidey continuity.  Some plotlines are wrapped up and a number of new ones are set in motion.  The artwork is top notch and it’s the kind of story that could have been spread over three regular sized issues.

The rest of the book consists of short stories including: Spider-Man’s trip to a psychiatrist by Stan Lee and Marcos Martin, and a museum by Zeb Wells and Derec Donovan; a couple of touching stories featuring Uncle Ben by Mark Waid and Colleen Doran, and Aunt May by Marc Guggenheim and Mitch Breitweiser; “If I Was Spider-Man” by Bob Gale and Mario Alberti where some kids in a playground daydream about what it would be like to be Spidey; and a final story featuring Madame Web sets things in motion for the Spidey event the Gauntlet continuing throughout the year in Amazing Spider-Man.  Between the pages of each of these stories are series of “Spider-Man covers you’ll never see” that were good for a laugh.

All in all, I can’t say enough good things about this book.  I’m reading Amazing Spider-Man on a regular basis and this was really satisfying both as an issue that fits right into ongoing events and as an event itself.