The Point One Stories, from Best to Worst

Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson tease DEFENDERS

From everything that we’ve seen, it does appear as though Fraction is channelling most of his attention on Doctor Strange, and bringing in the rest of The Defenders merely as backup for the master of mystical magic. But Fraction seems to have hit some kind of affinity with the character, and his work here shows a writer who is finally starting to tune into writing superhero comics. It probably helps that he’s writing this as a Vertigo-ish take on the mainstream Marvel characters, and this short story seems roughly similar in tone to Peter Milligan’s Justice League Dark. Which, as you should all know by now, is excellent.
This story is simply setting a few pieces in place, in terms of character, so it doesn’t go anywhere too surprising. But Fraction has a new take on the Doctor, and it seems like he’s going to take this book in interesting places.

Ed Brubaker and Javier Pulido are planning something with UATU THE WATCHER

The framing sequence of almost every Marvel anthology ever has involved Uatu at some point. Which, why not? Uatu is clearly one of the greatest characters in modern fiction, so it makes sense to use him as often as possible.
Brubaker’s script doesn’t sound like a Brubaker script at any point during the story, which is interesting in a few ways. For starters, well done Ed Brubaker, it’s nice to see you stretch yourself and your style. Then there’s the idea that perhaps this storyline – which sees two strange people break into Uatu’s MOON HOUSE while Uatu is meditating and upload some of his thoughts – might ultimately be something handled by somebody else. We have no idea, as readers, when this story might crop up again. But for now – this was a good tease.

David Lapham and Roberto De La Torre tease AGE OF APOCALYPSE

The most obtuse title in the bunch, Age of Apocalypse will be a new ongoing series/quickly downgraded maxiseries from Marvel which will focus on the remaining characters from the beloved parallel dimension. Lapham’s story here is a complete shift in tone from everything else, acting as a dark and interesting take on some vaguely familiar characters. Although… the characters only become familiar towards the end. Although there are a few artistic missteps, which makes the fate of one character uncertain, the story is unique and fascinating, and certainly serves as a good introduction to the world Lapham and De La Torre will soon be creating on a monthly basis.

Chris Yost and Ryan Stegman tease SCARLET SPIDER

Yost and ComVan favourite Stegman put together a decent story which reveals the identity of the new Scarlet Spider. The story is a little typical, but is made up for with some energetic writing tics and visually dynamic artwork. Scarlet Spider is a darker version of Spider-Man, which is interesting because that’s also what Venom is. Yost has a firm handle on the character, though, so the story runs along smoothly.

Fred Van Lente and Salvador Larroca invent TWO RANDOM NEW CHARACTERS

A diverting read from the creative team here, although we have no idea when the two new characters created here, a brother/sister team with fire/ice powers, will pop up again. Entertaining origin story, and it’s a shame that it has to be truncated by the format of this anthology. It’d be nice to see more of these two in future.

Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness introduce us to ASSHOLE NOVA

One of only two stories which could actually be defined as ‘not good stories’, Loeb and McGuinness seem to be creating a new Nova character here, one who is being chased by The Phoenix Force. We’re assuming that this can’t be Richard Rider, because the character is a complete asshole, and incredibly unlikeable already. He flees from a dying planet without saving anyone on it, and as he leaves he says “epic fail”. What a terrible character this one is.

Brian Michael Bendis and Bryan Hitch’s ULTRON STORY is BARELY READABLE

The creative team completely falter during this story, sadly, as we are left with barely any story and artwork which is hard to follow and decipher. The story seems to show Ultrons attacking Earth, which means the ground shakes. That also means that Hitch’s artwork shakes, so is barely coherent.


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