Marvel Comics Presents #1 Review

by Olivier Roth on January 17, 2019

As with a lot of other things these days, what is old is new again is a pretty apt saying for a lot of Marvel’s output in the past few years, and works pretty well for the relaunch of Marvel Comics Presents. Starting back in 1988, the series was, in my opinion, a way to have more Wolverine (at first) as well as back up stories of other Marvel characters that didn’t have their own ongoing solo book.


And that trend, thankfully, continues with this new #1 30 years later. As it used to be, we start off with a Wolverine story and then get two back-ups with Namor and Captain America. I think the inclusion of Captain America is a point against this debut issue if only because it would have been nice to give the spot to another character without a monthly solo book.


Wolverine: The Vigil Part 1

Writer: Charles Soule

Penciler: Paulo Siquiera

Inker: Oren Junior

Color Artist: Frank D’Armata

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Published by: Marvel


The first short that we get, and part 1 at that, revolves Wolverine in 1940s France, late in the second World War. Soule opens with a Nazi regiment forcing a woman of gypsy descent (from what I can tell) to work some kind of magic to summon some kind of thing. However, unbeknownst to the this grouping, Wolverine (or Logan) is with his regiment of Allied soldiers overlooking the whole thing about to take the Nazis down.


As it is with most comics, or even just fiction, all Hell breaks loose (pun intended) from this point forward.


As with a lot of Wolverine stories, the aftermath of what happens is a little predictable, especially since Soule uses an unknown narrator throughout, and we end up with another story where Wolverine is tied to a person(s) for his very extended life. Because it felt so familiar, I was a little disappointed in this first part of this debut issue. I wish writers of Wolverine would come up with something a little more original for him.


What redeems this story thoroughly though is Siquiera’s art, Junior’s inks and D’Armata’s colors. If nothing else, this is a very visually pleasing part 1 of the story and gives you a reason to read more.   


“War’s End” ft. Namor

Writer: Greg Pak

Penciler: Tomm Coker

Color Artist: Michael Garland

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna


The second story in this debut issue sees Pak look into Namor’s time in the second World War (I’m sensing a pattern here) and his involvement with the Allied Forces around the time of the two atomic bombs.


Pak has always been a favorite of mine and he doesn’t disappoint here. The point he tries to convey with this short is quite simple: Namor, an outsider to the United States, is not privy to their plans of using atomic weapons because he would more than likely be against it (having seen effects of mass destruction weapons on his home of Atlantis).


To him, the first attack meant simply an escalation of the war, but finding out the States had a second bomb, he resolves himself to try and stop it, and also, it seems, to never ally himself again with the States.


The art by Coker and Garland is amazing throughout this short as well and helps to convey Pak’s story throughout. The use of muted colors when needed (especially in the shot of Hiroshima) followed by muted brightness (the second bomb) really showcases some great visual storytelling throughout.


“First Ride” ft. Captain America

Writer: Ann Nocenti

Penciler: Greg Land

Inker: Jay Leisten

Color Artist: Frank D’Armata

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna


The third and final short in this debut issue sees Captain America befriend a young girl he meets as he and Iron Man take down an unknown villain. Rebuffing Iron Man’s offer to give him a lift home, Steve instead ends up meeting this girl (who was trying to emulate his motorcycle moves) and helping her fix her bike - to her mother’s dismay.


This is a pretty typical Captain America/Civilian story that we’ve seen a million times, but it’s still pretty fun as a closer to a debut issue. I will admit, as I was reading it, I felt like this would be one of those stories that you would find in an annual issue used as filler and find that because of that, it felt a little out of place in this debut issue. The fact that it didn’t thematically fit with the other two stories and showcased a Marvel hero that already has his own series, didn’t help.


All in all, this debut issue of Marvel Comics Presents was a little mediocre. The art was fantastic in the first two stories but it wasn’t enough to get me too excited for future issues unfortunately.

Our Score:


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