Marvel Now rankings Part 4: 24-22


The fourth installment of our Marvel Now Rankings starts here, as we cover issues 24 through 22.

As always these rankings are opinion-based, and they should not be taken as fact.

This books are right on the edge of being good books, but something is holding them back. Whether it be storytelling, artwork or just a bit of disappointment, they stop just short of what is desired of them.

Owned by Marvel Comics. Partial Cover of Avengers Arena Issue 1

24. Avengers Arena: Written by Dennis Hopeless with art by Dave Johnson

Imagine The Hunger Games, but in the Marvel Universe. The stakes are set higher than the usual Marvel comic, as already established characters die. Arcade, an old X-Men villain from the ’70s and ’80s, revamps his usually joking Riddler type of style, making his Muderworld, actually effective. He kidnaps younger Marvel heroes in training and forces them to fight.

This book started out terrific, with characters from the Avengers Academy and Runaways series’ being some of the central teams. And it personally made me care more about the book to see if they make it out alive. The thing holding this book back is that after the first few issues nobody dies, and the only people they killed were characters I liked from previous stories, ending their storylines prematurely. This would have been fine if they would have killed more people, but almost all of the characters survived, making the book seem like they chickened out of the original concept.

I would recommend this book to any fans of the Avengers Academy or Runaways books, as this is the next step in their stories. I would also recommend it to anyone that really loved the Hunger Games movies.

Owned by Marvel Comics. Partial cover of Wolverine and the X-Men 38

23. Wolverine and the X-Men (2011): Written by Jason Aaron with art by Nick Bradshaw

This title was one of the few books to continue and not get a renumbering for Marvel Now. So this only takes into account the issues from 19 onward.

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This book focus on Wolverine running the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning. It comes with a large cast of characters, including returning X-Men as the new faculty and students, along with a new set of students.

The first 18 issues of this series started off strong, but the book is this low on the list based on the mediocrity of the issues afterward. The longer this title went on, the less entertaining the stories were. There wasn’t really anything wrong, it just started becoming less structured and there were no longer overarching stories that focused on standalone arcs.

I would still recommend this book to anyone that liked the first 18 issues or any X-Men fan that wants to read a more lighthearted story with little consequences.

Owned by Marvel Comics. Partial Cover of Wolverine (2014) Issue 7

22. Wolverine (2014): Written by Paul Cornell with art by Ryan Stegman (Issues 1-7) and Steve McNiven (Issues 8-12)

The first arc of this book focuses on Wolverine going undercover to foil some evil schemes. That part of the story is unimportant because the next arc, starting with issue 8, is the lead-up to the “Death of Wolverine” story line, counting down the months until he dies.

The first arc about the spys and undercover work is terrible. The story is convoluted and boring, and the art by Stegman does not look good. That is the only reason this book is this low on the list. If the series only included the the last five issues, this book would be competing for first place.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but I would skip the first seven issues and just start with the three months to live.

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These books could have been great but were held back by different factors. Hopefully the next books will be able to shine without those problems.