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Preview: Hellions #8

Hellions #8

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) Stephen Segovia
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Jan 06, 2021
SRP: $3.99

It was a simple mission: retrieve NANNY’S ship and create a new containment armor for the recently resurrected ORPHAN-MAKER. But the emergence of an old enemy and his deadly warriors make their renewed life a hell on Earth for the HELLIONS!

Hellions #8

Brett’s Favorite Comics of 2020 and a Reflection on the Past Year

The Recount #1

It feels weird writing a “best of” list for the past year since it’s been so difficult for so many. Writer Ron Marz Tweeted something like any comic that helped to get you through it is a favorite, and deep down I agree with that. It’s been a rough year for so many and it’s one where the comic industry was forced to mature and face reality in many ways.

Things shifted for everyone.

Publishers canceled projects, shifted schedules, and looked to go directly to the consumer. Creators looked for new ways to earn money and also go directly to the consumer. Stores were forced to market more taking to video, email, and social media to keep customers aware of the latest offerings and remind them of classics they might have missed. Some stores didn’t make it through the year. Others expanded. New ones joined the industry. Consumers had more choices than ever before that made it easier to escape the world burning around them and find enjoyment in make-believe worlds where justice prevails in the end.

In the end, though 2020 looked bleak, it left the comic industry as a whole stronger than ever before.

It feels weird doing this “best of” but at the same time I feel like I want to “honor” and spotlight the comics that got me through the year and had me excited to read the next issues. This is what I’ve read so if you don’t see something mentioned it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just might not have read it. Sorry, I can’t read everything (there was a massive glut in webcomics and manga for me).

So, in a bit different spin I’ve split this list into three sections.

  1. Comics where I’ve only read one issue so far, because that’s what’s been released, but am excited to see what comes in the new year.
  2. Comics I enjoyed each month and are kind of a “silver medal” for me. I wanted to acknowledge them but also didn’t want this to be an overwhelming essay. They’ll get more of a nod when I do a video of this.
  3. The ones I was excited to read each month or had an impact on me. These are the ones that go into my regular suggestions of comics to read down the road. The art, the stories, the presentation, they’re all at that “top of the game” level.

All of these are listed in no particular order (hell it’ll probably just be in alphabetical). Enough with the rambling… lets get on with some comics!

2020 gave us one, here’s ones I’m excited to read their second issues in 2021!

  • Batman: Black & White #1 – The first issue had some solid stories but it’s the art that really stood out. It was mind-blowing and one of the best comics visually released this year. Almost every story broke away from standard panels and was just amazing to look at. I have no idea if future issues will be like this but here’s hoping.
  • Black Cat #1 – The last volume was a lot of fun to read and this first issue continued that. Despite being a King in Black tie-in, the issue kept the focus on what Black Cat does best, steal things as everything collapses around her. There’s just a certain style and attitude that the creative team nails with this. It was a fun debut that you could just sit back, laugh while reading, and enjoy.
  • M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #1 – Marvel’s trying to make M.O.D.O.K. a thing. It’s kind of been his year between an upcoming HULU series, a popular miniature in Marvel: Crisis Protocol, and this comic. The first issue had me laughing and I’m hoping that continues.
  • The Other History of the DC Universe #1 – John Ridley is one of my favorite creators out there. His work in film and television have blown me away. It looks like DC has given him the opportunity to deliver a brutally honest take about the DC Universe from the perspective of people of color and the first issue is one of the best things I read all year. I can’t wait until the second and this man should be allowed to do whatever he wants.
  • The Recount #1 – The issue hit a bit close to reality. The President is a crook and assassinated and there’s an uprising to purge the country of everyone who supported him, from the Vice President down to voters. It was a hell of an opening issue and one that was chilling in so many ways.
Shang-Chi #1

Comics to check out…

These were all great reads and should go on your reading pile. These are ones I made sure to read every month and jumped at reading as soon as they crossed my desk. They’ll all get more love in my video version of this.

The comics that really stood out for the year.

All of these comics were ones that kept me thinking well after I read them and I’d be happy to read them again. Many are still ongoing while others have wrapped up their runs. Each stands out in its own special way.

Ginseng Roots #3
  • Black Widow – Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Jordie Bellaire, and Cory Petit are the main creators on what’s been released so far and every issue has been amazing. Black Widow has been captured and brainwashed into believing a domestic life is real and hers. There’s been a great mix of humor, action, in this spy thriller and it’s sure to ramp up now based on the latest issue’s final moments. This is a great mix of storytelling and visual coolness.
  • Dead Day – Man, I really want this to be done as a television series and absolutely need more comics. Ryan Parrot, Evgeniy Bornyakov, Juancho!, and Charles Pritchett deliver a masterclass in world-building. Not only do they deliver an interesting story but have crafted a bigger world. For one night, the dead return, and while the comic really told the story of one family, each issue fleshed out enough of what this event’s impact would be elsewhere to get you to think and imagine.
  • Far Sector – N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell, and Deron Bennett have breathed a breath of fresh air into the Green Lanterns with this series. We’re taken to an alien world where a new Lantern named Jo must solve a murder which takes her deep into a corrupt society. It does what science fiction does best, explore our real world. The visuals are stunning as well in what is a comic that’s timely capturing the current zeitgeist.
  • Ginseng Roots – Craig Thompson explores his childhood in what’s one of the most original comics this year. In a small format and with minimal colors, the comic tells us the history of ginseng and Thompson’s childhood.
  • Harley Quinn Black + White + Red – DC really shook things up this year and one way was a greater focus on digital releases. This series was an anthology that delivered a different creative team with every chapter. We got to see over a dozen different takes on Harley Quinn each of which was entertaining. If you want to see how much the creators matter when it comes to the storytelling, here you go. This is also a perfect example of where digital comics should be going from major publishers.
  • Kill a Man – This story focused on a gay man’s battles within the world of MMA was an updated take on the Rocky formula and done so well. You can come at it as a fan of MMA, as someone who’s LGBTQ, both, or just wanting good storytelling. Emotional with great action, it’s a home run from the team of Steve Orlando, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Al Morgan, and Jim Campbell.
  • Superman Smashes the Klan – The miniseries was collected and it’s amazing. Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru, and Janice Chiang deliver a comic that captures the heart of Superman. Based on the groundbreaking radio play where Superman takes on the KKK, this comic is amazing in every aspect, from the story to the visuals. Add in some extra material from Yang about his own experiences and it becomes a comic everyone should read and one that helps define Superman in one of his best depictions ever.
  • Vlad Dracul – Matteo Strukul, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Joel Rodriguez tell us the story about the very real Vlad, the inspiration for Dracula. I learned a hell of a lot and would love to see more comics like this. It’s a crazy read that can be enjoyed for the history and education and/or the brutal story itself that would fit any fantasy world.
  • We Live – The first issue was perfection and got me to choke up. Each subsequent issue has built upon the world. In this story humanity is almost over but a mysterious entity from space will save 5,000 children but first they must get to extraction points. This is a few kids’ stories and their journey of survival. By Inaki Miranda, Roy Miranda, Eva De La Cruz, and Dave Sharpe each issue is visually amazing plus there’s some awesome bonus music you can listen to while reading.
  • Yasmeen – Talk about an emotional gut-punch with each issue. Saif A. Ahmed, Fabiana Mascolo, and Robin Jones tell the story of Yasmeen who was captured and tortured by Isis and her attempt to deal with the PTSD while settling after in the United States. Just an amazing blend of storytelling and real recent history.

After Dawn of X Comes Reign of X

This week delivers the conclusion of X of Swords, the sprawling crossover that represented the latest chapter in Jonathan Hickman’s grand vision for the X-Men, and learned that the Reign of X was upon us!

Hickman’s bold take on mutantkind began last year in the critically-acclaimed House of and Powers of X and continued in the Dawn of X, ushering in a slate of brand-new X-Men titles that took the comic book industry by storm. Now, the saga continues in Reign of X, a new era encompassing the upcoming story arcs in all your favorite X-titles. The Reign of X will see the forming of new teams, the return of major characters, new threats brought about by classic villains, and more game-changing revelations that will alter the X-Men mythos forever! Check out what’s to come in a mesmerizing teaser image by superstar X-Men artist Mahmud Asrar!

It all begins in December as the X-Men deal with the fallout of X of Swords and look to the future. Here’s what’s to come next month:

Hellions #7 by writer Zeb Wells and artist Stephen Segovia will explore the aftermath of the team’s brutal massacre in X of Swords.

Writer Leah Williams and artist David Baldeon continue to investigate mutant deaths and explore the complexities that come with resurrection in X-Factor #5.

Kate Pryde and Emma Frost finally enact their long-awaited revenge on Sebastian Shaw in Marauders #16 by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Stefano Caselli.

Mutantkind sets their sights on the galaxy and beyond in writer Al Ewing and artist Valerio Schiti’s groundbreaking S.W.O.R.D. #1.

An old foe rises in New Mutants #14, the beginning of a wild new era for your favorite young mutants by writer Vita Ayala and artist Rod Reis.

Wolverine reunites with Maverick and Team X in Wolverine #8, a special over-sized milestone issue written by Benjamin Percy with art by Adam Kubert and Viktor Bogdanovic.

The search for Captain Britain is underway as Excalibur returns to Otherworld in Excalibur #16 by writer Tini Howard and artist Marcus To.

X-Force will stop at nothing to protect Krakoa, even if it means interrogating their own, in the action-packed X-Force #15 by writer Benjamin Percy and Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Joshua Cassara.

And Cyclops makes a fateful decision regarding the future of the X-Men in X-Men #16, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Phil Noto.

Reign of X

Preview: Hellions #4

Hellions #4

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) Stephen Segovia
PARENTAL ADVISORY
In Shops: Sep 16, 2020
SRP: $3.99

HAVOK STANDS ALONE! Krakoa’s resident rabble are up against the grand dame of the damned – the Goblin Queen, Madelyne Pryor! Talk about a return that could raise some havoc!

Hellions #4

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Ginseng Roots #6

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Batman: Three Jokers #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – After a long build up and teases, the first issue is here and it’s…. interesting.

Displacement (First Second) – A teenager is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother’s experiences in a WWII-era Japanese internment camp.

Flamer (Henry Holt) – Aiden heads to summer camp and navigates his feelings about being gay.

Ginseng Roots #6 (Uncivilized Comics) – Craig Thompson continues to explore his youth and it revolving around ginseng. A fascinating autobiography.

Hellions #3 (Marvel) – The most intriguing entry in Marvel’s new line of X-Men? The battle against the Goblin Queen continues.

Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go #1 (IDW Publishing) – Prepare to open a door onto one of the grimmest battlefields of the 20th century, whose darkness might even strike fear into an army of supernatural shadows.

Map to the Sun (First Second) – A YA graphic novel about five principle players in a struggling girls’ basketball team. The presentation is amazing.

Mega Man: Fully Charged #1 (BOOM! Studios) – The animated reboot comes to comics. While we haven’t seen the show, we’re excited to check out the comic as fans of the video game.

Nailbiter Returns #4 (Image Comics) – If you like horror or slasher movies, you’ll enjoy this comic series.

The School for Extraterrestrial Girls (Papercutz) – Jeremy Whitley and Jamie Noguchi’s new graphic novel series about a school for extraterrestrials.

X-Factor #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic and to have a detective series that fills a niche of solving one of the flaws of Krakoa should be interesting going forward.

Preview: Hellions #3

Hellions #3

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) Stephen Segovia
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 26, 2020
SRP: $3.99

MAD AS HELL!
Krakoa’s resident rabble are up against the grand dame of the damned – the Goblin Queen, Madelyne Pryor! Talk about a return that could raise some havoc!

Hellions #3

The X-Men Clash with Mysterious New Foes this November in X of Swords

X of Swords, the massive X-Men crossover tying into each and every X-Men title, kicks off next month! By November, this sprawling story will reach a senses-shattering conclusion, and the covers for these exciting final chapters were unveiled today.

X of Swords will continue writer Jonathan Hickman’s grand vision for the X-Men that began last year in the hit series, House of X and Powers of X. Hickman and Excalibur writer Tini Howard join every current X-Men writer—Gerry Duggan, Benjamin Percy, Ed Brisson, Zeb Wells, Leah Williams, and Vita Ayala—to deliver the next great X-Men milestone. Featuring breathtaking art by Leinil Francis Yu, Carmen Carnero, Pepe Larraz, Stefano Caselli, Joshua Cassara, Mahmud Asrar, Phil Noto, and more, X of Swords will be an unforgettable saga that will go alongside classic crossovers like The Mutant MassacreAge of Apocalypse, and Messiah Complex in X-Men history.

Amidst the dramatic battles and unbelievable twists, fans will get introduced to a host of new X-Men enemies when a mysterious group of swordbearers emerge from the land of Arakko. Get a closer look at these exciting new additions to the X-Men mythos in the newly revealed covers, including their enigmatic leader—a brand-new character who will send lasting shockwaves throughout the world of mutants.

X-MEN #14

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by MAHMUD ASRAR & LEINIL FRANCIS YU
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU

X of Swords, Chapter 12
The Lovers. A Garden. A chasm of secrets.

X-MEN #14

MARAUDERS #14

Written by GERRY DUGGAN & BENJAMIN PERCY
Art by STEFANO CASELLI
Cover by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN

X of Swords, Chapter 13
A toast. A dance. A dinner served: Part I

MARAUDERS #14

MARAUDERS #15

Written by GERRY DUGGAN & BENJAMIN PERCY
Art by STEFANO CASELLI
Cover by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN

X of Swords, Chapter 14
A toast. A dance. A dinner served: Part II

MARAUDERS #15

EXCALIBUR #14

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by PHIL NOTO
Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

X of Swords, Chapter 15
Two swords. Two cups. Two must answer.

EXCALIBUR #14

WOLVERINE #7

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY & GERRY DUGGAN
Art by JOSHUA CASSARA
Cover by ADAM KUBERT

X of Sword, Chapter 16
Endurance. Survival. The true lesson of pain.

WOLVERINE #7

X-FORCE #14

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY & GERRY DUGGAN
Art by JOSHUA CASSARA
Cover by DUSTIN WEAVER

X of Swords, Chapter 17
Chivalry gives way to fury. A knight must kneel.

X-FORCE #14

HELLIONS #6

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art by CARMEN CARNERO
Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA

X of Swords, Chapter 18
Chaos. Deceit. A hero returns. 

HELLIONS #6

CABLE #6

Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art and Cover by PHIL NOTO

X of Swords, Chapter 19
A son. The stars. A Fool and his bravery.

CABLE #6

X-MEN #15

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by MAHMUD ASRAR
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU

X of Swords, Chapter 20
A great division. Bitter victories. Bitterer hearts.

X-MEN #15

EXCALIBUR #15

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art and Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

X of Swords, Chapter 21
A game abandoned, but a great gamble remains. A Tower answers.

EXCALIBUR #15

X OF SWORDS: DESTRUCTION #1

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN & TINI HOWARD
Art and Cover by PEPE LARRAZ

X of Swords, Chapter 22
The wheel of fortune turns. The unfortunate fall. A sword against the darkness.

X OF SWORDS: DESTRUCTION #1

It’s the Goblin Queen in Chris Bachalo’s Cover for Hellions #4

One of the most influential X-Men artists of all time, Chris Bachalo’s distinctive style brings the tortured soul of Madelyne Pryor to life in a stunning new variant cover for Hellions #4! The Goblin Queen has returned and will stop at nothing to taste vengeance for the wrongs committed against her.

Hellions #4 is by writer Zeb Wells, artist Stephen Segovia, with a variant and variant sketch cover by Bachalo.

Check out Chris Bachalo’s hair-raising variant cover below and see Madelyne Pryor raise hell when Hellions #4 hits stand next month!

Hellions #4 Chris Bachalo variant cover
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