Writers: Al Ewing & Jason Aaron, Saladin Ahmed, Ed Brisson, Donny Cates, Eve Ewing, Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, Greg Pak, Matt Rosenberg, Dan Slott, Kelly Thompson, Chip Zdarsky
Artists: Joe Bennett, Carmen Carnero, Jim Cheung, Mattia de Iulis, Jorge Fornes, Javier Garron, Kim Jacinto, Aaron Kuder, Francesco Manna, Carlos Pacheco, Humberto Ramos, R. B. Silva, Andrea Sorrentino, Luciano Vecchio, Annie Wu
Colorists: Edgar Delgado, Jordie Bellaire, Rachelle Rosenberg, Israel Silva, Jay David Ramos, Triona Farrell, Espen Grundetjern, Dono Sánchez-Almara, Michael Garland, David Curiel, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Marte Gracia, Rafael Fonteriz, Morry Hollowell
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Artists: Patrick Gleason, Marte Gracia
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment

Marvel caps their landmark 80th anniversary with the ominously titled Incoming #1, which simultaneously looks back at the year they’ve had as well as teasing what’s to come in the following months.

Framed through the lens of a macro-story started by Al Ewing in Marvel Comics #1000, Incoming #1 begins with the Masked Raider — a Golden Age cowboy — discovering a corpse, which quickly leads to some of the Marvel Universe’s heaviest hitters getting involved in the mystery of their death. What begins as a classic noir tale then unravels into a galactic conspiracy featuring a very unlikely player at its helm.

Though intentionally teasing Marvel’s upcoming slate for the new year (more on that later), Incoming #1 also serves as a “greatest hits” sampler of the company’s 2019 offerings, pulling from some of its most acclaimed and best-selling titles to tell this story. The Immortal Hulk, Agents of Atlas, X-Men, and Venom are just a few of the comics represented here. When compiled all together like this, it really does convey the idea that Marvel’s 80th year was a worthy one, while planting enough seeds for what’s next.

For what’s essentially a patchwork of unrelated storylines and creative sensibilities connecting in service of a larger narrative, it’s pretty impressive how seamlessly Incoming #1 reads. It’s all over the place visually because of the myriad artists involved (just check out that list of creators!) but in a manner that’s more organized chaos than sloppy (shout out to letterer VC’s Travis Lanham, who worked on all of this one-shot’s 90-plus pages).

On the writing side, the script itself feels overall cohesive, which means the individual contribution of its writers are less evident, but Ewing seems to be the presiding “showrunner.” And that’s a good thing. Ewing has long been one of the best authorial voices in Marvel’s stable, so it’s pretty dang exciting that he’s being given the reins of the upcoming Empyre storyline alluded to here (there’s also the fact that Hulkling seems to be a pivotal figure in it, which is another reason to get hyped).

In addition to Empyre, Incoming #1 also plugs future storylines like Outlawed (seemingly a take on Civil War but with the MU’s youngsters), Iron Man 2020, Atlantis Attacks (a crossover between Namor and the Agents of Atlas), Ewing’s Guardians of the Galaxy relaunch, and X-Men/Fantastic Four. Even for the most cynical of readers, it’s hard to not read Incoming #1 and not be at least a little bit curious of what Marvel has up their sleeves for the new decade.

Incoming #1

7

Premise

7.0/10

Execution

7.0/10

Script

7.0/10

Art

7.0/10

Pros

  • Impressively cohesive given all the talent involved
  • Provides a sampling of 2019's biggest and best Marvel titles
  • Intriguing tease of forthcoming storylines

Cons

  • Hits the ground running and assumes you're keeping up with the entire Marvel Universe, which may turn off some
  • Oversized price tag to match its oversized length
  • Not much "happens" aside from some editorial tablesetting
Nico Sprezzatura
nicofrankwriter@gmail.com
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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