Marvel

News, Reviews, Features, Podcasts, & Buyer's Guides...

Best Comics of 2015

Posted by Panel Beats Team at 10:28 on 31 Dec 2015
Best Comics of 2015
If you've been a PanelBeats reader for any length of time, you'll be aware that for one reason and another, we haven't had an incredibly busy year in terms of writing about comics. But we've still been reading them, and so with the end of the year upon us, it seems a good time to check in and let you know what we've enjoyed in 2015, in case you've missed any of it yourself. Look, it's an end-of-year post: you know how these things work.

Rather than doing a ranked countdown based on any kind of consensus, we've instead individually written about which books stood out for us this year. As ever, our tastes and consumption habits can vary hugely (although there is some crossover); and of course, we're aware that we don't necessarily cover the full spectrum of everything that was published across the industry in 2015. Nevertheless, if we've mentioned it below, then as far as this site's concerned, it was a highlight of our year - and is well worth checking out if you haven't already.

Reviewing the Ultimate Universe

Posted by Seb Patrick at 10:35 on 30 Jun 2015
Reviewing the Ultimate Universe
While it's difficult to take any of the events of Secret Wars - that is, the destruction of Marvel's entire continuity - with any serious conviction until the series ends and we learn the new post-relaunch status quo, one thing that seems a pretty safe bet is that the Ultimate Universe experiment is finally, fifteen years after it began, coming to an end. Of course, we've been here at least twice before - both Ultimatum and Cataclysm were pitched as events that were going to bring things to an close - but it really does all feel rather more final this time, particularly with the confirmation that Miles Morales is going to join the regular Marvel U.

And so it seems as good a time as any to look back over the past decade-and-a-half of revamped, alternate-universe Marvel stories. And to do so in as much punishing detail as possible, by examining the merits of every single ongoing and mini series published under the imprint.

Daredevil liveblog

Posted by Abigail Brady at 08:00 on 10 Apr 2015
Daredevil liveblog
Hello, I'm Abigail Brady and I have booked off Friday from eating and needing to go to the toilet, so I'm going to be liveblogging Netflix's Marvel's Daredevil, starting at 0800 sharpish (midnight Pacific). Watch this article from then for updates about how I didn't understand a thing because I was too busy writing about it, until either I finish or pass out.


Nearly 12 hours later: Well, that was certainly the best Daredevil film I have seen. It could stand to lose a few hours.

My recommendation: don't marathon it, don't even rush it. Eke it out. There are some big spoilers out there but you should be kinda able to see them coming anyway, and while I wouldn't recommend seeking them out, I don't think your enjoyment will be substantially reduced by it.

The boldest thing about this series is the decision to entirely dump the overall tone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that mix of humour, action and emotional truth, that everything from Iron Man to Thor to Agents of SHIELD to Agent Carter has been going for (with varying degrees of success - I'm as fervent in my dislike of SHIELD as James is). This feels very different. There's a combination of tenseness and violence to it quite unlike any of the MCU stuff, with a kind of stylised approach that's also not like any of the grim crime dramas I've been watching lately. It's its own thing. I'm still not sure whether I liked that thing. But it absolutely did what it was trying to do.

Review: Agents of SHIELD 2x13: One of Us

Posted by Ian Grundy at 12:40 on 21 Mar 2015
Agents of SHIELD 2x13: One of Us
Guest reviewer Ian Grundy returns with a look at this week's episode of Agents of SHIELD. It does not have a Thor in it, but it does feature one of your other childhood favourites: Angar the Screamer.

"I've had it with these motherfucking quakes on this motherfucking plane!"

There's something deeply unsatisfying about the way the plot of Agents of Shield lurches onwards. Every episode, every scene, and every subplot seems like it was started with absolutely no idea where any of it is going. Plots are frequently resolved by different plots showing up without warning overriding the previous plot. It's like jangling keys at the audience to distract us from the previous jangling keys.

Cinematic Universe Episode 5: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:15 on 19 Mar 2015
Cinematic Universe Episode 5: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
In the latest episode of the comic book movie podcast, in association with FilmDivider.com, PanelBeats editors Seb and James join host Joe Cunningham to try and discover if there's any merit in the 2009 disastro-flop X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and recommend some associated reading along the way.

Review: Agents of SHIELD 2x12: Who You Really Are

Posted by Ian Grundy at 22:50 on 11 Mar 2015
Agents of SHIELD 2x12: Who You Really Are
Guest reviewer Ian Grundy casts his critical eye over the latest episode of Agents of SHIELD, which almost has a Thor in it.

This week's episode guest-stars Jamie Alexander as Sif. Finally, a Sif episode! Sif's presence means there is a chance that someone might at some point actually say "Thor" out loud in a scene, as part of actual dialogue, to another character! As unlikely as it sounds this show actually started off as a tie-in with those popular Marvel movies, so it's always nice when someone from them actually shows up for a bit.

Oh wait, she's lost her memory. Never mind.

Cinematic Universe Episode 4: Agent Carter (2015)

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:24 on 05 Mar 2015
Cinematic Universe Episode 4: Agent Carter (2015)
The comic book movie podcast, now produced in association with Film Divider, gets all televisual, as Panel Beats editors Seb and James join host Joe Cunningham to discuss Marvel's Agent Carter miniseries, and recommend some comics that may or may not actually have Peggy Carter in them.

(Spoilers: they don't.)

Is Spider-Gwen the most important new comic of 2015?

Posted by Seb Patrick at 20:30 on 27 Feb 2015
Is Spider-Gwen the most important new comic of 2015?
It's a sign of the desperation that pervades an awful lot of comics industry strategy that we're so frequently told that a particular comic is going to be a hit, or something that we absolutely should read, before we know much else about it.

This is, of course, the very nature of media publicity in general - but there just seems to be something particularly acute about it in comics. Genuine, industry-shattering hits are rare - and ones that break through into the wider consciousness all the rarer - and so for that reason, the publishers seem determined to make sure that they, and not the readers, are the ones to identify which ones they'll be, so that they can be accordingly prepared to deal with them.

Cinematic Universe Episode 3: Iron Man (2008)

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:45 on 18 Feb 2015
Cinematic Universe Episode 3: Iron Man (2008)
The Cinematic Universe podcast lands on the MCU for the first time, with the groundbreaking 2008 film Iron Man. Seb and James of this here parish join movie buff Joe Cunningham to discuss the film and also recommend some background reading from the comics.

The Avengers react to Spider-Man joining the MCU

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:13 on 10 Feb 2015
The Avengers react to Spider-Man joining the MCU
Tony just really, really wants someone he can build that Iron Spider costume for.