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Catching Up With Cosmic

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AntiBody
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Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by AntiBody » 15 Sep 2022, 13:08

Hey everyone! I'm looking to catch up on some stories I missed while on a bit of a recent comics hiatus. Much like a similar thread I started a while back, I'm looking to explore what I've missed in one of my most favorite corners of the MU: Marvel Cosmic!!

I'm not quite sure about the chronology of it all, but I'm looking for some info on Guardians, major crossovers, and anything folks think I might be interested in (y'all know I love a good cosmic epic):
  • I left off soon after Black Vortex and when Infinity Countdown was getting started
  • That said, I have no interest in reading anything Bendis wrote
  • Was Infinity Countdown any good? I'm hearing very mixed reviews online
  • Furthermore, Countdown led into Infinity Wars, right? What that any good? Duggan wrote both, right? I was really impressed by his work on X-Men, so I'm very curious about his contributions to this corner of the MU
  • How was Annihilation: Scourge?
  • How was Empyre? I loved the X-Men's tie-in to that one
  • I'd love to hear all about the Guardians' runs! Duggan's seemed to last a while; Cates's less so; I love Ewing's work so I'm very interested to hear how his run is/was
  • I randomly bought The Last Annihilation but have yet to read it. Hoping it's good - I love Billy and Teddy and I'm excited to see what they do in this story. Also though - are there any important stories I should read that lead up to this one?
  • I have Coates's omnibus of Black Panther - The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda coming in about a month and I am very excited about this one!!I I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!
  • Not interested in reading King In Black
  • Infinite Destinies? I only heard about it this morning...
  • Was Reckoning War any good?
Anything else y'all might recommend is very appreciated too! I am a MAJOR fan of Adam Warlock and Nova as well, so any thoughts on what stories of theirs I should read would be incredibly welcome! Thank you all so much!! :D
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Spectral Knight
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by Spectral Knight » 15 Sep 2022, 14:27

Can only offer surface level thoughts, but I really enjoyed King in Black.

Mid-way through the Empyre Omnibus with all the tie-ins and that. As a main arc, it was good, but I don't feel all of the tie-ins were as successful (the Cap one in particular was bland). The X-Men tie-ins were definitely fun.

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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by Monolith » 15 Sep 2022, 14:49

I am comfortable saying, broadly, that none of the solo series from that era were any good. Star-Lord, Legendary Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Rocket, Groot, Rocket & Groot...all dreck. There was a truly fantastic bit of comedy in one issue of Rocket where he hired Space Foggy Nelson and Space Matt Murdock as his Space Lawyers that had me laughing hysterically...but that was it.

Black Vortex Saga was near the conclusion of GotG v.3, just before Secret Wars. GotG v.4 was after Secret Wars, followed by All-New GotG, which picked up the Legacy renumbering for GotG #146-150, leading into Infinity Countdown and Infinity Wars.

GotG v.4 was Kitty Pryde as Star-Lord leading the Guardians, by Bendis...you can skip.

Infinity Countdown / Wars was not good. It just seemed like a bunch of weird ideas thrown into a blender. Thanos dies, Drax dies, a bunch of random characters get Infinity Gems for a few months for the novelty of it, then Gamora tries to become better than Thanos but actually acts worse. She wipes out half the population of the universe by amalgamating two characters into one. So we got things like X-23 and Wanda merging into Weapon Hex, and Emma Frost and Wolverine becoming Diamond Patch...a version of Logan who talks like Emma and reads minds by stabbing people.

GotG v.5 was 12 issues with two story arcs. Neither bad nor good, IIRC. The first arc does set up Thanos's involvement in the Eternals series.

GotG v.6 was 18 issues. It was good and getting better right up until it got cancelled at the conclusion of the Last Annihilation, which I enjoyed.

I swear I read Annihilation: Scourge, but I don't remember anything about it.

Empyre was good. It was a genuine continuation of classic Marvel continuity, which always gets me. It's tie-ins were one of the major casualties of COVID, with many stories not getting published.

Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda was rough on a monthly format, because it took a long time to understand what was happening. In retrospect in the Trade, it should be much better.

The Reckoning War was a massive continuity dump of ideas that tied together a lot of things I cared about, so I definitely think it was worth it.
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by Blackcyclops » 15 Sep 2022, 15:14

I actually 100% agree with Monolith…

Annihilation Scourge strangely enough also tied together alot of loose ends…and weirdly connected to a Dr.Strange title lol…
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by grief » 15 Sep 2022, 17:25

The main point that I'll disagree with here is 2017's Rocket series is great. It's just six issues, it's written by Al Ewing, it features the Technet (from old school volume one Excalibur) as actual CHARACTERS which is weird. It's a space heist with some heartbreak thrown in.

Countdown/Wars is one of the weirdest events I've read and I agree that it's a mess. It's spearheaded by Duggan, who uses it to tie-up some ideas from his run on GotG (I think his was All-New). I DID enjoy the combination characters tho. I thought they were fun, some of them were clever, and the Sleepwalker mini-series was pretty good.

Volume five was written by Donny Cates and it kind of touches upon everything that he's written for Marvel. Cosmic Ghost Rider shows up, Wraith shows up (positioning him to appear in the Web of Venom: Wraith one shot which ties into Venom stuff), the Silver Surfer gets shot into his Silver Surfer: Black mini-series (which ties into Venom stuff). I think this little corner is good, but not great, although I like how big he let the cast get tho; he wasn't afraid to play around. If you aren't interested in King in Black at all, then I think skipping this is fine. It ends very abruptly, which threw me off, and other than setting up where we find Starfox now in Judgement Day, it doesn't really have many lasting repercussions (that I can remember).

Volume six was the Al Ewing volume which I LOVED. Lots of neat concepts, big ideas, perhaps the closest in terms of tone (for me) to DnA's time writing Marvel Cosmic.

Annihilation: Scourge picks up the Sentry's story after he was resurrected during Donny Cates' run on Doctor Strange. As with Monolith and BC, I remember very little of it. I don't remember it being BAD, but it's certainly unremarkable.

I loved Empyre - I thought the whole thing was a well orchestrated blast. I only bought the main mini-series, Fantastic Four, and Captain Marvel books for this one, so I'm unsure how the other tie-ins were, but I liked this stuff.

The Reckoning War was great from a continuity perspective, but I dunno, I felt - very lackluster about the whole thing when it was going on.
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by AntiBody » 16 Sep 2022, 15:42

Thank you so much for the insight so far! Y'all are just so wonderful. :D
Monolith wrote:
15 Sep 2022, 14:49
Empyre was good. It was a genuine continuation of classic Marvel continuity, which always gets me. It's tie-ins were one of the major casualties of COVID, with many stories not getting published.
...
The Reckoning War was a massive continuity dump of ideas that tied together a lot of things I cared about, so I definitely think it was worth it.
I am absolutely here for any and all continuity connectivity, so thank you for mentioning it in these stories! I wasn't sure about checking out Reckoning War, but you've now piqued my curiosity!
grief wrote:
15 Sep 2022, 17:25
Volume five was written by Donny Cates and it kind of touches upon everything that he's written for Marvel. Cosmic Ghost Rider shows up, Wraith shows up (positioning him to appear in the Web of Venom: Wraith one shot which ties into Venom stuff)...
...
Volume six was the Al Ewing volume which I LOVED. Lots of neat concepts, big ideas, perhaps the closest in terms of tone (for me) to DnA's time writing Marvel Cosmic.
...
I loved Empyre - I thought the whole thing was a well orchestrated blast.
I'm so glad you mentioned Wraith! I've long wondered about him and where he went! And it's really great to know that there's a "spiritual successor" vibe in Ewing's Guardians to DnA's run - that stuff was legendary and I loved it. I'm grateful for your thoughts on Empire as well! Sometimes big events can get so bogged down with who-even-knows-what, so I'm glad to hear this one was done well!

Along with wanting to know more about how/what Adam Warlock and Nova are doing these days, I forgot to mention I'm curious about the current goings-on of Darkhawk and Fraternity of Raptors. I think Duggan wrote about them in his All-New Guardians book? Thoughts on that?

Thanks again! :D
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by Blackcyclops » 16 Sep 2022, 16:03

Nova is currently a supporting character in X-Men Red.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by Blackcyclops » 16 Sep 2022, 16:18

The Reckoning War’s problem is that it was too contained. A story that in some ways is arguably one of the biggest since Secret War was basically 4 issues of Fantastic Four and that wasn’t enough to truly capture how grand it was. It was a nice conclusion to a story a decade or more in the making.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by AntiBody » 16 Sep 2022, 18:18

Blackcyclops wrote:
16 Sep 2022, 16:03
Nova is currently a supporting character in X-Men Red.
Reeeeeally?? You know, I've been hearing nothing but incredible things about this book. I wish the damn trade was coming out sooner!! Or maybe I should just suck it up and subscribe to Marvel Unlimited or Comixology...
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by grief » 18 Sep 2022, 01:52

Okay Antibody, I had to do quite a bit of moving-things-around to dig out my box of Marvel Cosmic. BUT. That said.

Darkhawk stuff:

All-New GotG - Gerry Duggan's volume - Introduces a new Raptor called Talonar. Their true identity is a big part of their story and picks up on a character forgotten after DnA left the Cosmic books. I don't wanna spoil it here, but they have a big connection to another major Cosmic character. Tell you what, I'll put it in spoilers if you wanna know:
Spoiler: show
It's Nova's brother, Robbie Rider. Talonar is actually Talon-R, as he refuses to answer to his birth name
. Their identity and relationship plays out in the rest of All-New GotG, but they're very much a bit character. The reconstruction of the Nova Corps and the infiltration by the Raptors is something of a big plot throughout the book. I liked this volume in general, and I liked the intro to Infinity Warps, but Warps IS a mess IMO.

Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk 1-4 - Picks up Talonar's story and reintroduces Chris Powell. He's basically followed in his dad's footsteps on Earth, becoming a cop, but the threat of the Raptors draws him back into space. A pretty solid Darkhawk mini-series that I don't remember tying in too tightly to the rest of Infinity Warps.

Sleepwalker - 1-4 - a mini-series starring Sleepwalker, but IC: Darkhawk ends saying that it's continued here, but kinda not really.
Its Sleepwalker's comic first and foremost and I think it's the best tie-in to come out of Infinity Warps. It's got a fun story, Sleepwalker gets a great kind of re-branding, and it's got some of the funnest warped/amalgam characters.

GotG Vol. 5 - Darkhawk is invited to the reading of Thanos' "will", in which he says that he's uploaded his conciousness into the mind of one of the galaxy's greatest heroes. WHO that is is the question and, lead by Eros, some of the most powerful heroes need to find an answer. Darkhawk only appears until issue 5 and then the annual, where he's sucked into a black hole and rescued by the bad guys for his reappearence in issue 9. Again, a bit role at best.

Darkhawk: Heart of the Hawk - a one-shot celebrating 30 years of Darkhawk. Features a flashback story to Darkhawk Volume One, a story set in DnA's Cosmic run, and a story setting up the next Darkhawk story. I liked this a lot.

Darkhawk (2021) 1-5 - mini-series that introduces the NEW Darkhawk and picks up on the plot from Heart of the Hawk. A solid mini-series, but it's gone no where so far and doesn't really address Chris' fate.

Adam Warlock

All-New GotG - Warlock returns to the story and our lives in issue 150, leading into the Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock one-shot, with some gorgeous artwork by Mike Allred. He appears throughout the Infinity Countdown mini-series, and Infinity Warps. Warlock is the one who, at the end of Infinity Warps, uses the Infinity Stones to give them personhood - hoping to prevent them from being used again. Those characters then spin off into a handful of books as new characters, most notably in the Infinite Destinies Annual story-line. I liked the Black Cat background story of Infinite Destinies and I thought that GotG vol. 6's annual/tie-in was great, HILARIOUS.

GotG vol. 5 - Warlock is one of the powers summoned by Eros and suffers the same fate as Darkhawk - sucked into a black hole until he's pulled out of it by the bad guys. I know that Magus is brought back to life as well, as a child, but I don't remember what happens to him. Maybe nothing.

To the best of my knowledge, Warlock hasn't been seen since - and probably won't until GotG Volume 3 is ready to get released in theaters.

Annihilation Scourge - yeah, I dug that out too - features the Sentry going to the Negative Zone and becoming the Void. Leading the Revengers, from the Cancerverse, he's pacifying the Negative Zone, forcing Annihilus and Blastarr into an alliance. Annihilus escapes into our universe and warns Nova. Throughout the one-shots that compose the event (notably Silver Surfer) we learn that the Sentry travelled into the Negative Zone, hoping to rid himself of the Void personality (Reed Richards said the Negative Zone's special properties affected him uniquely). So he absorbed the negative energy and purged the Void from his being - but this also took his powers. Freeing the Void punched a hole in reality, allowing the Cancerverse to invade the Negative Zone - so a nice throwback to the DnA times. Nova ends up summoning every Earth-hero he can, they return Bob Reynolds to the Void, making him the Sentry again, and Richard Rider ABSORBS THE TOTALITY OF THE CANCERVERSE INTO HIMSELF. This leads directly into his status quo in Nova (2017) so if you're connecting dots for Rich, it's kinda necessary reading.

Al Ewing's GotG (volume 6) pairs nicely with his run on SWORD and they directly influence each other at times. The fact that Rich shows up in X-Men: Red? It's specifically because of the cosmic status quo coming out of Empyre, explored in GotGs, and then expanded slightly in SWORD. Ewing also cleans up Moondragon and Phyla's story, which was a bit of mess coming out of Infinity Warps and Cates' volumes, picks up on Kl'rt's story to some degree (if you fell in love with the character during Annihilation, this is the closest you're gonna get), and of course culminates in the pretty awesome Last Annihilation.

OKAY. Now you have to buy all of those comics, enjoy!
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by Blackcyclops » 18 Sep 2022, 03:28

I will say that while there have been roughly 3-4 hands in everything, you can sorta read the cosmic side post-Bendis as 1 long story…which is neat considering the various titles and writers.
So on one hand we have the existence of a being who can reset the entire timeline, destroying everything…, and on the other hand we have a few mind wipes and some gaslighting. You're right, totally evenly weighted.
-Cly

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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by BardicOne » 19 Sep 2022, 01:33

I try but the Darkhawk stuff can get hard to keep track of. It seems like every time we get a Darkhawk one-shot or mini it is a continuity shake-up. It's like the editors can't decide if they want to push him or just market the look for figures and shirts.
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by AntiBody » 19 Sep 2022, 22:04

Omg Grief!! What an incredible write-up!! Thank you!! I wanted to quote specific things you said about the Raptors, Warlock, and Scourge, but there was so much! I was so glad to read it all! I think I might check out Duggan's GotG from a library or something to see if I actually want to keep them. Your write-up about Scourge inspired me to buy the tpb immediately though! :D
Blackcyclops wrote:
18 Sep 2022, 03:28
I will say that while there have been roughly 3-4 hands in everything, you can sorta read the cosmic side post-Bendis as 1 long story…which is neat considering the various titles and writers.
And you KNOW I love a sprawling epic!! :D

I really can't wait to get started on all of this y'all! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart! <3
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by grief » 19 Sep 2022, 22:16

BardicOne wrote:
19 Sep 2022, 01:33
I try but the Darkhawk stuff can get hard to keep track of. It seems like every time we get a Darkhawk one-shot or mini it is a continuity shake-up. It's like the editors can't decide if they want to push him or just market the look for figures and shirts.
In the editor's defense, there's two things at play there.

The first is that Darkhawk did that every 12 issues in his debut series. Every year, the anniversary issue would drop a huge reveal about Darkhawk - that Chris wasn't in the suit, but swapping bodies; that there were other Hawks, where those suits were, why/how the gem came to Earth to begin with. A big plot twisty reveal is baked into Darkhawk's DNA it seems. 'Hawk's editor, Howard Mackie, was structuring the very-popular-Ghost Rider vol. 2 the same way at the time and that book was SELLING COMICS.

The second is that Darkhawk has a vocal fanbase - so Marvel can justify producing a new series - but they want to make him stick. That means doing something notable, something that people will care about, something that makes the comic buying audience sit up and go "Oh, Darkhawk is kinda dope!" and buy his books. Unfortunately for all the Hawk-heads out there, that just doesn't seem to work either.
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by grief » 19 Sep 2022, 22:23

AntiBody wrote:
19 Sep 2022, 22:04
Omg Grief!! What an incredible write-up!! Thank you!! I wanted to quote specific things you said about the Raptors, Warlock, and Scourge, but there was so much! I was so glad to read it all! I think I might check out Duggan's GotG from a library or something to see if I actually want to keep them. Your write-up about Scourge inspired me to buy the tpb immediately though! :D
Blackcyclops wrote:
18 Sep 2022, 03:28
I will say that while there have been roughly 3-4 hands in everything, you can sorta read the cosmic side post-Bendis as 1 long story…which is neat considering the various titles and writers.
And you KNOW I love a sprawling epic!! :D

I really can't wait to get started on all of this y'all! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart! <3
I was glad to help! I wouldn't have pulled them out if I didn't enjoy doing it.

I will say that Duggan's stuff really caught my attention an arc or two in - that's when he started to do more Nova Corps stuff, more Raptor stuff, and play with the rest of Marvel Cosmic. The opening arc is very inspired by the GotG movies, in terms of feel, IMO, but that'll give you a good idea of whether or not you like his take on the characters.

I've really enjoy the past several years of Marvel Cosmic. Allowing one author to shape the whole scene, basically, and do what they want has allowed an ever shifting cast of characters to get spotlight and depth, to see the fabric of the galaxy shift, and to tell thrilling stories. Is it a bit messy? Sure, but so is every other corner of the Marvel Universe. I'm with you BC and AntiBody - I like a sprawling epic.
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Re: Catching Up With Cosmic

Post by AntiBody » 20 Sep 2022, 12:04

grief wrote:
19 Sep 2022, 22:23
I've really enjoy the past several years of Marvel Cosmic. Allowing one author to shape the whole scene, basically, and do what they want has allowed an ever shifting cast of characters to get spotlight and depth, to see the fabric of the galaxy shift, and to tell thrilling stories. Is it a bit messy? Sure, but so is every other corner of the Marvel Universe. I'm with you BC and AntiBody - I like a sprawling epic.
How fun!! Now I'm more excited than ever to dig in! I had an idea this morning that I might re-read my entire X-collection as a New Years resolution or something... So I may catch up with the cosmic until then! Thanks again Grief!! :D
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