Best Shots Advance Review: ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT MARVEL POINT ONE

Marvel Comics October 2015 solicitations
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: David Marquez (Marvel Comics)

All-New All-Different Marvel Point One
Written by Al Ewing, Gerry Conway, Skottie Young, Marc Guggenheim, and Charles Soule
Art by Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, David Curiel, Mike Perkins, Andy Tady, Filipe Andrade, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, German Peralta, Chris Sotomayor, Stefano Caselli, Andres Mossa, Ron Garney, and Matt Milla
Letters by Joe Sabino, Jeff Eckleberry, Joe Caramagna, and Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Justin Partridge, III
‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10

Functioning as extended trailers for their latest relaunches, Marvel Point Ones have followed a loose format ever since the heady days of "Marvel NOW!," delivering a collection of short stories tied together with a overarching narrator of sorts. This time around, All-New All-Different Marvel Point One takes that format and takes it a step further by making it explicitly about the narrators as they “watch” each vignette play out. The narrators this time around are the Maestro and the Collector, antagonists of the upcoming Contest of Champions, and our stories are the next set of characters primed to lead the charge going into Marvel’s "All-New All-Different" initiative. The stories themselves are a bit of a mixed bag, but All-New All-Different Marvel Point One does an admirable job of introducing a new crop of characters and creative teams to the comic reading populace and teasing what we can expect from Marvel’s new crop of #1's.

What sets All-New All-Different Marvel Point One apart from the other Point One books that came before it is that this one actually has its own plot aside from the teasing short stories that it presents. The stories are strung together by the thread of the Collector and Maestro bickering, verbally sparring, and selecting their champions for the cosmic throwdown yet to come. Breakout star Al Ewing, along with artist Paco Medina, inker Juan Vlasco, and colorist David Curiel provide a strong and entertaining backbone to the Point One’s anthology format and even providing some juicy hints as to the actual champions that will be taking place in the universal fight club.

As the Collector and Maestro fill out their rosters, we, the readers, are treated to tantalizing little snippets of what we can expect from Marvel’s latest line of debuts. Unexpectedly, some are much better than others. The only outright duds of All-New All-Different Marvel Point One are Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins’ Carnage story, which meanders through an aimless scene showing us that Cletus Kasady still loves him some murder, and Marc Guggenheim and German Peralta’s S.H.I.E.L.D. story, which comes across as a truncated version of the ABC series, minus the fun.

However, when All-New All-Different Marvel Point One is on, it is very, very on. The head and shoulders standouts of this collection are both Charles Soule entries, one with Ron Garney which introduces their new Daredevil protagonist, the stealth-suited Samuel Chung, as well as Garney’s striking new take on Hell’s Kitchen. Soule pulls double duty during this collection by giving us a tantalizing glimpse at his new All-New Inhumans series with Stefano Caselli. Not to be outdone, Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade also swing for the fences with a Halloween themed Rocket Raccoon and Groot story in which our heroes attempt to track down a shape shifting alien on All Hallow’s Eve. These entries alone are worth the price of admission and they read well enough to make the few misfires tolerable. All-New All Different Marvel Point One might be a bit jumbled, but if these stories are any indication, we are in for some fantastic debuts once "All-New All-Different" kicks off for real.

Point One books are always interesting, and this new one-shot collection is no exception. Despite a few of the stories not fully landing, the strong narrative through line coupled with some restrained yet entertaining looks at Marvel’s next slew of debuts make All-New All-Different Marvel Point One feel like a great run of trailers right before the next new blockbuster. It has long been said that Marvel has the deepest bench of talent in superhero comic books, and this new collection is a very strong argument for that sentiment. Marvel has a cadre of talented writers at their disposal and twice as many artistic talents waiting in the wings and this Point One is a great platform for them to show exactly what they can do, as well as what we can expect from their new books on the horizon. All-New All-Different Marvel Point One may not be essential reading, but it is all kinds of fun all the same.

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