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An All-New Bounty Hunter Enters the Fray in Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – Jabba the Hutt #1

A new bounty hunter character will be making their first appearance on July 21st in Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – Jabba the Hutt #1. Created by writer Justina Ireland and artist Iban Coello, Deva Lompop will be recruited by Jabba the Hutt to succeed where Boba Fett has failed and bring him Han Solo! Equipped with an array of unique weaponry and sporting a killer design, Deva is set to have a major impact on the action-packed crossover and will appear in all four upcoming War of the Bounty Hunters one-shots.

And while Deva may be new to fans, she’s been causing trouble in the Star Wars galaxy for a very long time. A member of the alien species known as the Shani, Deva’s long lifespan has allowed her to operate in the underworld since the High Republic era, and readers can expect to see her in works set during that time in the near future!

Don’t miss the debut of Deva when Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – Jabba the Hutt #1 hits stands on July 21st! Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – Jabba the Hutt #1 is written by Justina Ireland with art by Luca Pizzari and Ibraim Roberson, colors by Giada Marchisio and Edgar Delgado. It has variant covers by Iban Coello with colors by Jesus Aburtov and Bernard Chang.

Review: Heroes Reborn: Magneto and the Mutant Force #1

Magneto and the Mutant Force #1

Before I start my review, I have to disclose that I haven’t been reading Heroes Reborn (The 2021 edition), but I’m familiar with the Squadron Supreme of America from earlier in Jason Aaron’s Avengers run as well as their earlier appearances. However, not following Heroes Reborn won’t be a problem for fans of the merry mutants as Steve Orlando, Bernard Chang, and David Curiel conjure up a popular X-trope in Magneto and the Mutant Force #1: the dark future. Basically, Professor X is presumed dead, and a wheelchair-bound Magneto, Jubilee, Rogue, Frenzy, and Emma Frost have to beat the clock and psychically find the last bit of his consciousness to protect the mutants of the Island of M (Krakoa, but less utopian and in the Bermuda Triangle.) from the Squadron Supreme of America.

This kind of story’s been done a lot in X-Men comics over the years, but Orlando and Chang go even darker and spring some traps and twists along the way. Bernard Chang’s art and Curiel’s colors are pretty standard issue superhero comics in the outside world. However, once they get into Magneto/Professor X’s mind, panel boundaries become more fluid, and much more black is used. Chang unveils some macabre, “maybe I need a little more context for that” imagery like Professor X enacting genocide on Power Princess of the Squadron Supreme of America’s people, the Utopians. It’s the kind of violence we see from Magneto in some of his experiences, and it’s that much more jarring coming from an overtly “peaceful” figure in Charles Xavier although almost 60 years of X-Men comics show he’s definitely a manipulative and messed up guy. The different approach to layouts and storytelling during the mindscape scenes does keep Magneto and the Mutant Force visually compelling for the most part as the outside battle erupts into evil (and possibly racist) Superman and Wonder Woman versus the X-Men.

One aspect of Steve Orlando’s approach to writing that I enjoy is how he uses his knowledge of continuity and character relationships to enhance his stories, and this is evident in both his Big Two work as well as some of his creator-owned comics like Commanders in Crisis and Project Patron. My favorite continuity nod he uses in Magneto and Mutant Force is a huge spoiler, but he brings back Israeli mutant Sabra to provide security for the psychic excursion and makes the Frenzy the embodiment of rage against the oppressors of marginalized folks. Bernard Chang also draws her as a total tank wrecking weird cop versions of Fantomex when they break Emma Frost out of the Muir Island Psionic Detention Center.

However, Orlando wisely centers Magneto and the Mutant Force around the relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto while also undercutting it and talking about how mutants need to go beyond this paradigm. He writes dialogue that could easily be recited by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen (Or James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender), but also ends up showing how mutants could thrive and not just survive by moving on instead of trying to salvage their past. I would be interested in seeing these ideas explored in a X-Book and not just an event tie-in, which is really a credit to Steve Orlando’s skill with characterization and using the one-shot format to do something bold plot-wise.

Because it’s a one-shot to an event centered around the Squadron Supreme of America, Magneto and Mutant Force #1 is hamstrung by their less than charismatic appearance, but Orlando and Chang still spin gold out of the situation by including elements of classic X-Men stories and also poking and prodding at them. Plus it features cool psychic visuals and phonetic spelling of Rogue’s Southern accents. Even if you’re not following Heroes Reborn, this comic is worth checking out for fans of stories like “Days of Future Past” (The film more so than the comic, honestly.), Age of Apocalypse, and “Here Comes Tomorrow” with a team dynamic that is classic X-Men-meets-Exiles.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Bernard Chang
Colors: David Curiel Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.2 Art: 7.2 Overall:7.7 Recommendation: Read

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Heroes Reborn: Magneto and the Mutant Force #1

Heroes Reborn: Magneto and the Mutant Force #1

(W) Steve Orlando (A) Bernard Chang (CA) Nick Bradshaw
Rated T+
In Shops: May 26, 2021
SRP: $4.99

CAN MAGNETO RESURRECT HOPE FOR MUTANTKIND BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE?
Years ago, Magneto and Professor X led Earth’s mutants in a final push for independence against the Squadron Supreme of America. What followed was the Squadron’s Mutant Massacre, a violent rebuttal that left Mutantkind forever wounded, and Xavier dead…or so Magneto thought. Years later, Magneto discovers Xavier clinging to life in the astral plane and gathers his allies for a first-of-its-kind rescue mission. Too bad the same mission puts the Mutant Force back on the Squadron’s radar!. Failure means the last gasp of mutantkind, but success means the first breaths of something even more elusive to the mutants of Heroes Reborn: HOPE.

Heroes Reborn: Magneto and the Mutant Force #1

Preview: DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1

DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1

Written by: Amy Chu, Dustin Nguyen, Ram V., Gene Luen Yang
Art by: Bernard Chang, Marcus To, Audrey Mok, Marcio Takara

Grab your favorite boba and pull a chair up to the dim sum table as we celebrate Asian Heritage Month with all your favorite Asian DC characters, old and new! Join Cassandra Cain, Katana, Green Lantern Tai Pham, the Atom, Dana Tan (a.k.a. Batman Beyond), Red Arrow, Lady Shiva, Damian Wayne and the al Ghul clan, New Super-Man, and more as we present new tales of these characters from their thrilling history! Plus, Cheshire Cat’s relationship to Cheshire is revealed as Shoes asks Selina Kyle to take her under her wing as Cat Girl. And that’s just the start!

DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1

Get a Look at Crush & Lobo #1 Including New Covers by Khary Randolph, Sweeney Boo, and more!

Crush & Lobo by Mariko Tamaki, Amancay Nahuelpan, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ariana Maher, spinning out of the pages of Teen Titans Academy, will debut on June 1 with a cover by Kris Anka, a Pride variant cover by Yoshi Yoshitani, a 1:25 ratio variant by Christian Ward, plus an exclusive Dan Hipp team variant for participating retailers. In this new eight-issue miniseries publishing between June 2021 and January 2022, Crush, daughter of the Czarnian bounty hunter Lobo, is in full-on self-destruct mode!

Like father, like daughter?

Scroll down for a first look into Crush & Lobo#1, covers by Dan Mora, Amanda Conner, Bernard Chang, Khary Randolph, Sweeney Boo, and more!

And in case anyone was wondering, Crush is doing just fine, actually. Sure, she recently walked away from her classmates at the Roy Harper Titans Academy and effectively quit being a Teen Titan in a blaze of glory. And okay, her relationship with her too-good-to-be-true girlfriend Katie is kind of on the rocks, if you want to get all technical about it. Oh, and she recently found out Lobo’s in space jail, but that’s cool, because he’s the worst. OKAY, maybe Crush has some STUFF, but that doesn’t mean she’s gonna DO anything about it, like actually go to space and confront her dad and all her problems, because everything is FINE…Right?

And in issue #2 of this new miniseries, if there’s anything Crush knows, it’s that traveling through space is a great time to load up on coffee, catch up on murder podcasts, and definitely not get sucked into a spiral of depression while reflecting on your meet-cute with the ex-girlfriend who just dumped you. When Crush’s trusty travel mug runs dry, a pit stop for caffeine puts Lobo’s daughter face to face with an old enemy whose vicious revenge could put an end to her journey — when it’s only just barely begun! Tick tock, Crush…your father’s waiting.

Add Crush & Lobo to your pull list to see Lobo’s best daughter come face to face with the DC Multiverse’s worst dad! And is ex-girlfriend Katie completely out of the picture for Crush?? Dramaaaaa! All this and more are coming for Crush between June 2021 and January 2022!!

Preview: Children of the Atom #2

Children of the Atom #2

(W) Vita Ayala (A) Bernard Chang (CA) R. B. Silva
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 14, 2021
SRP: $3.99

BREAKOUT!
A local prison riot is quickly turning into an escape and the only ones who can stop them are a bunch of high schoolers?! The strangest teens of all are on the case! Guest-starring the Avengers!

Children of the Atom #2

Reign of X is Coming

The Reign of X is here! The latest era in writer Jonathan Hickman’s revolutionary transformation of the X-Men universe is now underway, bringing with it exciting new titles like last month’s Children of the Atom by Vita Ayala and Bernard Chang, next month’s Way of X by Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn, and May’s X-Corp by Tini Howard and Alberto Foche. And after June’s highly-anticipated franchise-spanning Hellfire Gala, fans can expect even more surprises, including a trio of brand-new series by amazing X-Men creators such as Gerry Duggan, Leah Williams, Pepe Larraz, Valerio Schiti, and the Head of X himself, writer Jonathan Hickman.

DC Reveals New Details for DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration

DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration, is an incredible anthology spotlighting DC’s past, present and even future Asian superheroes, featuring some of the most dynamic Asian storytellers in and out of comics. Featuring an incredible cover by the team of DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, and colorist Alex Sinclair, this anthology includes a foreword by activist and CNN and WSJ Online contributor Jeff Yang, a selection of tribute pinups of DC’s Asian superheroes, plus an awesome variant cover featuring Cassandra Cain by artist Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.

A New Hero: Monkey Prince!
DC Festival of Heroes will treat readers to the first appearance of an all-new character, the Monkey Prince. Debuting in a story written by award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan, Batman/Superman, New Super-Man) with art by Bernard Chang (Teen Titans, Batman Beyond), Monkey Prince is inspired by the Monkey King, legendary hero of Chinese mythology and the classic tale Journey to the West. In Yang and Chang’s original 12-page story, “The Monkey Prince Hates Superheroes,” Monkey Prince battles and teams up with Shazam to defeat both the evil Dr. Sivana and a Chinese deer demon spirit! To further celebrate this new superhero, the anthology will receive a special Monkey Prince 1 in 25 variant cover by Bernard Chang (check local comic book stores for availability).

Additional stories include:
“Masks” – Ram V, writer of CatwomanJustice League Dark, and The Swamp Thing, teams up with Audrey Mok, the artist of Sera and the Royal Stars, to tell a story featuring Jade Nguyen, a.k.a. Cheshire. Tying into V’s Catwoman run, Selina Kyle’s protégé Shoes has visions of being rescued as a child by Cheshire. Shoes takes these visions as a sign, donning a mask, taking the name “Cheshire Cat,” and asking Selina Kyle to train her. But is Catwoman ready to take on a sidekick?

“Sounds” – Detective Comics writer and Eisner Award winner Mariko Tamaki (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) and artist Marcus To team up to tell a story featuring Cassandra Cain, a.k.a. Batgirl. Batgirl struggles to understand words, but with her ability to read body language and uncanny fighting skills, she really doesn’t have to…until she meets someone and wishes that she had the right words—ANY words—to say to them!

“What’s in the Box?” – Cassandra Cain steps into the spotlight once more, but this time with Colin Wilkes, a.k.a. Abuse (who first appeared in Detective Comics #947, October 2008), courtesy of words and art by Dustin Nguyen. Abuse finds Batgirl sitting by a bridge, upset by a comment made by Damian Wayne.

“Dress Code” – Green Lantern Tai Pham makes his first comic book debut in this story by Green Lantern: Legacy writer Minh Lê with artist Trung Le Nguyen. Green Lantern is fighting with Arkillo, and the villain taunts him for his costume “looking like a dress.” This reminds Tai of a memory with his dead grandmother who he inherited his powers from.

“Festival of Heroes” – In a story by writer Amy Chu and artist Marcio Takara influenced by current headlines, Katana, Cyborg, and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) are asked to safeguard an Asian American and Pacific Islander community celebration against potential violence from a white supremacist group. But the heroes are quickly reminded that you don’t need capes, masks, or even special abilities to be a hero.

“Hawke & Kong” – Writer Greg Pak and artist Sumit Kumar team up on a story spotlighting the return of onetime Green Arrow Connor Hawke and Kong Kenan, also known as New Super-Man. Connor and Kenan need to do some quick thinking when a gift for Connor’s Korean aunt gets damaged in a battle with a dragon!

“Special Delivery” – Master of None writer Aniz Ansari makes his comic book debut with artist Sami Basri in this story featuring Robin (Damian Wayne). As Robin ponders about his heritage, he slowly discovers that something about this pizza place seems off…

“Kawaii Kalamity!” – Shadow of the Batgirl writer Sarah Kuhn and illustrator Victoria Ying (Diana: Princess of the Amazons) tell a story about Red Arrow’s reluctance of enjoying “kawaii” things because of people’s general assumptions of what she likes simply based on her Japanese heritage.

“Family Dinner” – Amazon juggernaut Grace Choi has to meet her girlfriend Anissa Pierce’s dad for dinner. But when your girlfriend is Thunder, that means meeting the parents is that much more stressful because her father is Black Lightning!

“Perceptible” – The Good Asian duo of Pornsak Pichetshote (writer) and Alexandre Tefenkgi (artist) tell a tale featuring The Atom (Ryan Choi) trying to defeat a microscopic robot sent from the future…to save our reality as we know it!

This 100-page commemorative anthology is a great way to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, awesome storytelling, and DC’s Super Heroes when it arrives in comic book stores and on participating digital platforms on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

Review: Children of the Atom #1

Children of the Atom #1

After a lot of anticipation and some head-scratching, Children of the Atom #1 is here and it’s not quite what’s expected. The story revolves around a teenage group of heroes whose looks and powers seem close to classic X-Men. But, while this starts off as “Junior X-Men”, the end delivers an unexpected twist.

Written by Vita Ayala, there’s been a lot of mystery behind Children of the Atom #1. That surface focus feels like it’s helped the series creating expectations that are off. This isn’t New X-Men the New Class, it’s something different. Ayala introduces us to Cherub, Marvel Guy, Cyclops-Lass, Gimmick, and Daycrawler, the group of heroes at the center of the story. We’re thrown into battle with them, quickly learning their powers and personalities. And, for the most part, the debut issue feels like a weird riff on the X-Men. Like bad toy knock-offs, the characters remind us of the originals but are a bit off.

Ayala, brings it all together though. These are kids who know the X-Men and idolize them in some ways, so of course they’re going to riff on them with their looks and even names. Why their powers are similar is generally unknown and part of the mystery.

But Ayala doesn’t leave it just focused on the kids. She brings in a moral debate to the story as well. With underage heroes “outlawed” and little training, there’s a debate if there’s a moral imperative to bring them to Krakoa to train. Jena Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, and Storm debate the various positions as to what to do and what they should do. It’s an interesting discussion that frames things in ways that makes the comic more than young heroes trying to figure things out. It also questions what’s the role of Krakoa towards new mutants not on the island.

Bernard Chang handles the art are generally nails it. Marcelo Maiolo handles the color with Travis Lanham on lettering and Tom Muller on design. The comic looks great with the character designs top notch. There are some issues during the battle where some of the action isn’t as clear with too much being covered. It took me re-reading those pages a few times to make it clearer as to what was going on. The comic has a nice youthful energy about it that fits its young cast and you can feel some of the emotional ups and downs of the comic through the art.

Children of the Atom #1 is a solid debut that’s not quite what’s expected. While it might seem like “Junior X-Men”, there’s something else going on that’s not clear as of yet. It delivers a bit of mystery in what originally seemed like a pretty straightforward adventure.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Bernard Chang
Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Travis Lanham Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.05 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Children of the Atom #1

Children of the Atom #1

(W) Vita Ayala (A) Bernard Chang (CA) R. B. Silva
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 10, 2021
SRP: $4.99

WHEN DID THE X-MEN GET SIDEKICKS?!
Now! Don’t miss the debut of the greatest teenage super hero team of all time! They’ve learned from the best, now they’re ready to be put to the test! But who the heck are these kids, and where do they come from? Guest-starring the X-Men!

Children of the Atom #1
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