(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) Russell Dauterman Rated T+ In Shops: Feb 26, 2020 SRP: $4.99
The first of five essential X-tales specially designed to showcase some of Marvel’s best artists! First up, Russell Dauterman, superstar artist of THOR and WAR OF THE REALMS! When Storm is in danger, it’s going to take two of the most powerful telepaths on Earth working together to make things right. Jean Grey and Emma Frost, together again for the good of Krakoa!
(W) Derek Landy (A) Federico Vincentini (CA) Dan Mora Rated T+ In Shops: Feb 26, 2020 SRP: $3.99
An office of dead government agents. A gifted new killer. Two ex-Captain Americas…
When a dramatic attempt on the life of Bucky Barnes reunites him with Sam Wilson, the two old friends are plunged headlong into a race to uncover the new leader of Hydra before a mass casualty event announces the terror group’s resurgence to the world. The clock is ticking…
Derek Landy (BLACK ORDER, SECRET EMPIRE: UPRISING) and Federico Vicentini (ABSOLUTE CARNAGE: MILES MORALES) team up for a pulse-pounding action spectacular!
Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.
These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.
X-Men #6 (Marvel)– Jonathan Hickman and Matteo Buffagni build off the Orchis space mission plot thread from House of X to tell a Mystique-centric story, show that Orchis is still a threat, and make Krakoa even a more morally ambiguous place. Basically, Xavier and Magneto have made Mystique a one woman Suicide Squad, who spies on Orchis and their new technology for the hope of getting her wife, Destiny back. Buffagni is a wonderful artist choice for this issue with all of its tech floating around, and he uses skinny panels to nail the emotional beats between Mystique, Xavier, and Magneto as they continue to manipulate her. But she has sort of an ace up her sleeve that could be the downfall of Krakoa as Hickman brings back the multiple timelines in this issue.Finally, X-Men #6 is another example of Hickman forsaking the multi-issue arcs of modern, mainstream comics for single issue stories that help convey the larger tapestry of life on Krakoa. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy
New Mutants #7 (Marvel)– Jonathan Hickman and Rod Reis wrap up the old school New Mutants in space arc in an experimental and occasionally abrupt fashion. Hickman definitely is having a ball writing the relationship between Sunspot and Cannonball and opens the issue with Sunspot breaking the fourth wall to complain about how the series has been broken up. Then, because they ran out of room or something, the climactic fight scene is decided by you, the reader, rolling D6’s. (In my case, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard won, and Mentor was the last one standing.) The intergalactic politics thing ends up just being a joke and an excuse for Cannonball and Sunspot to hang out more and banter. However, Rod Reis’ art and colors continue to be lush and emotive, perfect for the space-scapes and scenes of conflict between the New Mutants and Guard. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read
Wolverine #1 (Marvel)– Logan returns to solo comics is suitably guilt-ridden, claw-slashing, and bloody fashion in a pair of stories penned by Benjamin Percy and drawn by Adam Kubert and Viktor Bogdanovic. Both are crafted around his role as Krakoa’s last line of defense, the man of the wall, who will do whatever it takes to keep mutants safe. He might open the comic playing hide and seek with mutant children in a brightly colored sequence, but he probably has more in common with Omega Red in the 2nd story or the visions of his actions in the Old Man Logan comic in the first one. The 1st story basically throws Wolverine into a Narcos-like situation where he’s trying to figure out who is using the Krakoan flowers to whip up a human cult that wants to literally drink mutant blood. It’s solid, but the second story featuring vampires, the Paris catacombs, and the story of Catholic saints is much more exciting and pure pulp goodness. Percy and Bogdanovic work in tandem knowing when to cut between panels and when to open up and let Logan or Omega Red cut loose. The Vampire Nation is a powerful threat for Krakoa as well as its twisted mirror. Finally, the real highlight of this excellent, yet overpriced comic is Magneto using the CIA as an example of why Wolverine, and by extension, Krakoa, will never have the moral high ground. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy
Marauders #8 (Marvel)– This is the big reaction issue to the death of Kate Pryde with some Sebastian Shaw maneuvering in the background. Most of the comic is Gerry Duggan and Stefano Caselli turning Iceman loose as he’s less Northstar and more Midnighter in the violence spectrum of queer characters because of his friendship with Kate. Caselli brings the big screen, elemental action showing the effects of Bobby’s power before showing his emotional reaction to Kate’s death. It’s cathartic and bookends nicely with Storm and Emma Frost’s interactions as this issue really drives home how much Kate meant to the X-Men and her Marauder teammates. Throughout the series, Duggan and Caselli have been able to pull off these kind of *water cooler* moments in Marauders, and this issue is no exception. Overall: 9.2 Verdict: Buy
Bang! #1 (Dark Horse)– The new comic from Matt Kindt and Wilfredo Torres is a spy thriller that starts as an overt deconstruction of James Bond and then becomes much more metafictional. Think “fiction suits” from the works of Grant Morrison. Bang #1 is that fan theory that James Bond isn’t one man, but a codename given to different men (For now) written larger than life. Wilfredo Torres’ art is smooth and perfectly fit for both sleek action, pop culture/pulp homages, and something a little more mindbending. He uses grids for the hand to hand combat and splash pages for the big reveal. Nayoung Kim keeps the colors reasonably flat because this is pop reality, not reality. Bang! has an interesting concept and examines the misogyny and imperialism of pulp paperbacks while also indulging in its best tropes. Overall: 9.5 Verdict: Buy
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #8 (Marvel)– Norwegian writer Torunn Gronbekk joins Jason Aaron and Cafu on the issue of Valkyrie: Jane Foster, and they tell a middling, disaster movie-esque, guest star heavy story of Valkyrie, the Avengers, and Thor against the forces of anti-life that were guarded by the All-Father and are now released. The best part of this comic is the two pages that Jane and her friend Lisa get to chat and talk about their lives until the ground opens up. I honestly don’t blame Gronbekk choosing the biggest toys in the box to play with in her first Marvel outing, but with the exception of the aforementioned two pages and the end of the comic, it feels more like an Avengers comic than a Valkyrie one. Also, this issue’s villain is a little bit of a retread of the last arc’s, but with more of a connection to Norse mythology. However, Cafu has a nice photorealistic style that isn’t stiff and makes for pleasant reading. Overall: 5.8 Verdict: Pass
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!
Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).
Alex and Joe talk about the benefits of print versus digital comics.
As always, Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jcb_smark if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter, or by email at ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.
Marvel’s newest super team is here! Meet The Union, a team composed of heroes from all over the United Kingdom, in an exciting new series from writer Paul Grist and artist Andrea Di Vito. Union Jack along with a host of spectacular new heroes have banded together just in time to take on the galactic threat coming in Marvel’s 2020 event, Empyre, but that is only the start of this team’s epic adventures.
Joining Union Jack will be the best heroes the UK has to offer including Snakes from Northern Ireland, Kelpie from Scotland, The Choir from Wales, and their fearless leader, the legendary Britannia! With new heroes comes new designs and hit artist R.B. Silva was delighted to provide dynamic looks for the whole cast!
See Silva’s cover below as well as his eye-popping character designs and prepare to meet these new heroes when The Union #1 hits stands this May!
Marvel Action Classics: Avengers: Doctor Strange #1
(W) Paul Tobin (A) Jacopo Camagni (CA) Roger Cruz In Shops: Feb 19, 2020 SRP: $4.99
Two titanic tales of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, pulled from Marvel’s Vault of Heroes! First-when a mysterious menace is eating holes in reality, Stephen Strange turns to Spider-Man for his unique style of help! Then-a trip to the art museum pits Wong and Strange against… a fire breathing squirrel?! There’s more to this ancient evil than meets the eye!
Announced at ComicsPRO in Portland, Oregon, Marvel Comics will be putting the final chapter of the Skywalker saga to the page in a comics adaptation of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Writer Jody Houser and artist Will Sliney will be teaming up to retell this epic story in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Adaptation #1. In addition to the shocking twists and turns that were present in the film, the five-issue limited series will also have brand-new story material for readers to enjoy!
Relive Rey’s quest, the Resistance’s desperate last stand, and the return of an old enemy when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Adaptation #1 hits stands this June!
Announced at ComicsPRO in Portland, Oregon, everyone’s favorite web head will be starring in a new ongoing series this June from two of the comic book industry’s greatest creators! Writer Joe Kelly and artist Chris Bachalo are teaming up to give readers the most web-slinging action that can possibly be contained in a comic book!
Non-Stop Spider-Man will combine the pulse-pounding action Spidey is known for with even MORE pulse-pounding action! Prepare for the comic book ride of your life featuring Spidey’s best villains and his most amazing feats!
Jumpstart your summer like never before by picking up Non-Stop Spider-Man #1 when it swings into your local comic shop this June with a cover from David Finch!
(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Juanan Ramirez (CA) Carlos E. Gomez, Philip Tan Rated T+ In Shops: Feb 26, 2020 SRP: $3.99
The eruption of a violent robot revolution threatens all manner of biological life! Teetering on the precipice of extinction, there’s only one man with enough tactical skill, killer instinct and ruthless leadership to lead the rebellion: War Machine! Join War Machine and his elite paramilitary squad (U.S.Agent, Mockingbird, and Quake) in the final crusade for humanity’s fate!
It’s going to be a battle so monumental that it’ll take the entire writing crew of the X-Men to depict it! The intergalactic visitors coming to Earth in Marvel’s 2020 event will be arriving just in time to face off against an army of mutant undead this May in Empyre: X-Men.
Don’t miss the X-Men’s strange return to Genosha in this unpredictable series written by all your favorite current X-Men writers.
It all begins in Empyre: X-Men #1 written by Head of X Jonathan Hickman and writer of Excalibur, Tini Howard, with art by Matteo Buffagni and cover by Mike McKone, and continues in Empyre: X-Men #2 written by Gerry Duggan, Benjamin Percy, and Leah Williams, writer of the highly anticipated series, X-Factor and art by Lucas Werneck.