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Review: Black Panther #1

For years, T’Challa has fought off invaders from his homeland, protecting Wakanda from everything from meddling governments to long-lost gods. Now, he will discover that Wakanda is much bigger than he ever dreamed…

Across the vast Multiverse lies an empire founded in T’Challa’s name. We first saw a glimpse of the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda in Marvel Legacy #1 and now that teasing is playing out with this new first issue that takes us in an interesting direction.

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has delivered an interesting Black Panther run that has seen the writer get stronger in his abilities the longer its gone one. Throughout, he’s delivered stories that have explored government, religion, and more and here he seems to be taking many of the themes he’s touched upon and have gone bigger.

The negative so far is the first issue feels like Thor: Ragnarok/World War Hulk in that we see enslaved people and the makings of a rebellion. It’s pretty standard in that way. But, the concept of a nation that has generally been isolationist dealing with expansion and conquering is an interesting concept and one that opens up a lot of potential for the series and characters.

What exactly is going on is not explained though. We’re dumped right into the story, which, while not bad, also leaves you wondering at the end of the issue and a bit confused about what has been read. Yes, the comics are a monthly thing but there’s a point there can be too much of a mystery. This first issue borders on that.

The art by Daniel Acuña is as fantastic as I’d expect. The futuristic alien designs are just a treat to look at and while there’s a familiarity with the cosmic it also doesn’t just retread what we’ve seen before at Marvel. There’s a lot of originality here and more than enough to keep long time Marvel fans happy.

The first issue is good and has me interested, much like Coates’ first issue of Black Panther so long ago. While it doesn’t have me pumped, it has me intrigued as this feels like a concept and attempt at something very different for the character. While much of the first issue is a frustrating mystery, that’s part of the point. With what’s presented this is one series I’ll check out further to see how it plays out and where it all goes.

Story: Ta-Nehisi Coates Art: Daniel Acuña Lettering: VC’s Joe Sabino
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Discover Kitty Pryde’s First Romance in X-Men Gold Annual #2!

This summer, Kitty Pryde will make the biggest romantic leap of her life – but what about Kitty’s first romantic adventure? Hugo and Nebula Award-winning writer Seanan McGuire and celebrated artist Marco Failla are bringing you the Kitty before Colossus in X-Men Gold Annual #2!

Why has Kitty kept this early days story to herself until now? Find out in X-Men Gold Annual #2, coming to comic shops this August 1st featuring a cover by Djibril Morissette-Phan!

Marvel Comics’ Releases in August 2018

CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR!
FANTASTIC FOUR BY KIRBY CLASSIC POSTER

FOC 6/4/2018, On Sale 7/4/2018
24”x36”/ MAR188169…$8.99

CELEBRATE THE LAUNCH OF FANTASTIC FOUR #1 WITH A MIDNIGHT RELEASE ON AUGUST 8th, THE 57th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORIGINAL SERIES RELEASE!

FANTASTIC FOUR #1

DAN SLOTT (W) • SARA PICHELLI (A)
Cover by ESAD RIBIC
VIRGIN ART VARIANT COVER BY ESAD RIBIC
PREMIERE VARIANT COVER BY ESAD RIBIC
VARIANT COVER BY SARA PICHELLI
VARIANT COVER BY ALEX ROSS
VARIANT COVER BY Emanuela LUPACCHINO
REMASTERED VARIANT COVER BY GEORGE PEREZ
BLACK AND WHITE REMASTERED VARIANT COVER BY GEORGE PEREZ
VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
WRAPAROUND CONNECTING VARIANT COVER BY ARTHUR ADAMS (1 OF 2)
RETURN OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR VARIANT COVER BY MARK BROOKS
MR. FANTASTIC VARIANT COVER BY ARTGERM
INVISIBLE WOMAN VARIANT COVER BY ARTGERM
THE THING VARIANT COVER BY ARTGERM
HUMAN TORCH VARIANT COVER BY ARTGERM
VENOMIZED PARTY VARIANT BY SIMONE BIANCHI
BLANK VARIANT COVER ALSO AVAILABLE
FOUREVER Part One
BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT – THE WORLD’S GREATEST COMIC MAGAZINE IS BACK!
Since the end of SECRET WARS, there’s been a gap in the Marvel Universe. A void no other team can fill. And it’s time for the world to move on. But can it? A life-changing decision by the Thing! A momentous declaration by the Human Torch! A clarion call-to-arms that summons Doctor Doom! And a signal in the sky that heralds the return of hope to the Marvel Universe! All this, and Alicia Masters adopts kittens! So cute! Plus, the Impossible Man!
AND BONUS STORIES ILLUSTRATED BY SIMONE BIANCHI AND SKOTTIE YOUNG!
IF YOU READ ONLY ONE MARVEL COMIC THIS MONTH, THIS IS THE ONE!
56 PGS./Rated T …$5.99

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FANTASTIC FOUR #1 FACSIMILE

STAN LEE (W) • JACK KIRBY (A/C)
As a fresh era begins for Marvel’s First Family, revisit the original Fantastic Four #1 in this special commemorative edition! Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed super hero storytelling forever when they introduced Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, and Susan and Johnny Storm. Together, the adventurous quartet blast off on an experimental rocket flight – only to be bombarded by life-altering cosmic rays! Reed becomes the elastic Mister Fantastic! Ben transforms into the rocky Thing! Sue turns into an Invisible Girl! And Johnny flames on as the Human Torch! They’ll use their incredible powers to help mankind – starting by fending off the menace of the Mole Man! Now, the book that started it all is re-presented in full – including its original ads – alongside suitably fantastic extras! It’s the next best thing to buying Fantastic Four #1 off the stands back in 1961!
48 PGS./All Ages …$3.99

AMADVCVR_002

MARVEL GRAPHIC COMIC BOX – FANTASTIC FOUR

Welcome to the Marvel Age of Comic Boxes! Store your treasured collection in sturdy
surroundings every bit as exciting as the issues inside! Featuring action-packed
illustrations on all sides from some of comics’ finest artists, Marvel’s Graphic Comic
Boxes will star all your Marvel Universe favorites – continuing with THE FANTASTIC FOUR!
Preserve your comic collection with Marvel Graphic Comic Boxes!
On-Sale 8/1/2018
Inside dimensions – 15-1/2” x 7-5/8” x 10-7/8”…$9.00
DIAMOND CODE: MAY180996

Archie Comics’ Releases in August 2018

MARVEL COMICS DIGEST #8

Marvel Comics’ best-selling heroes are back in the ever-popular digest format! This issue spotlights SPIDER-MAN and VENOM! This is a can’t-miss collector’s item that will only be printed once!

Script: Various
Art: Various
Cover: Provided by Marvel
On Sale Date: 8/15
224-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

VAMPIRONICA #4 *RESOLICIT*

NEW ONGOING SERIES! The vampire siege on Riverdale begins! Will Veronica lead the town towards salvation… or doom?

Script: Greg and Megan Smallwood
Art: Greg Smallwood, Jack Morelli
Vampironica #4 CVR A Reg: Greg Smallwood
Vampironica #4 CVR B Var: Francesco Francavilla
Vampironica #4 CVR C Var: Fiona Staples
On Sale Date: 8/29
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

THE FOX: FOX HUNT (TR)

Paul Patton, Jr. is dealing with the reality that his son wants to be a superhero like his father; the very thing Paul no longer wishes to be himself. However, a psychopathic philanthropist won’t let Paul end his dual identity when he puts a million-dollar bounty on The Fox’s head!

Script: Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel
Art: Dean Haspiel, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Rachel Deering
Cover: Dean Haspiel
978-1-68255-887-4
$14.99 US/$16.99 CAN
6 5/8 x 10 3/16”
TR
136 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 8/1

ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN ‘66 #2

The historic crossover mini-series continues! Batman’s received a panicked call from Riverdale and he sends Robin and Batgirl with one caveat—they must disguise themselves as high school transfer students!

Script: Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci
Art: Dan Parent, J. Bone, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
ARCHIE/BATMAN 66 #2 CVR A Reg: Michael Allred, Laura Allred
ARCHIE/BATMAN 66 #2 CVR B Var: Rick Burchett, Rosario “Tito” Peña
ARCHIE/BATMAN 66 #2 CVR C Var: Matthew Dow Smith
ARCHIE/BATMAN 66 #2 CVR D Var: Robert Hack
ARCHIE/BATMAN 66 #2 CVR E Var: Wilfredo Torres, Kelly Fitzpatrick
ARCHIE/BATMAN 66 #2 CVR F Var: Michael Walsh
On Sale Date: 8/22
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

BETTY & VERONICA: VIXENS #9

“Hunted,” Pt 4: This is it! It’s the take down of the century as the Vixens battle for the fate of all women in Riverdale—and everywhere! There’s just one problem: will the girl gang ever be allowed back in their hometown again

Script: Jamie Lee Rotante
Art: Sanya Anwar, Elaina Unger, Rachel Deering
B&V: Vixens #9 CVR A Reg: Sanya Anwar
B&V: Vixens #9 CVR B Var: Paulina Ganucheau
B&V: Vixens #9 CVR C Var: Devaki Neogi
On Sale Date: 8/22
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER #8

Riverdale has been the focal point of the war between the werewolf Joneses and the werewolf hunter Coopers for centuries. Join us for this special issue as we examine how the conflict has affected not only these two warring families—but the very town of Riverdale itself.

Script: Frank Tieri
Art: Pat and Tim Kennedy, Joe Eisma, Bob Smith, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Jughead: the Hunger #8 CVR A Reg: Adam Gorham
Jughead: the Hunger #8 CVR B Var: Djibril Morrissette-Phan
Jughead: the Hunger #8 CVR C Var: Cary Nord
On Sale Date: 8/22
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

ARCHIE AND ME COMICS DIGEST #10

BRAND NEW LEAD STORY: “Tutors By Night” – While Archie is being tutored by Dilton and Betty is tutoring a girl Dilton likes, they “arrange” a swap—but when Veronica finds out, she tries to break up the arrangement!

Script: Dan Parent
Art: Bill Galvan, Jim Amash, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Bill Galvan, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 8/29
128-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #291

BRAND NEW LEAD STORY: “That’s Just Beachy!” – It’s the 50th reunion of the classic “Beach Bash” films, and it’s being filmed on Riverdale Beach! The gang is excited when they’re cast as extras in the new film! But with the old stars bickering like crazy, how will they move this production forward? Archie and Betty have a plan!

Script: Dan Parent
Art: Jeff Shultz, Jim Amash, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Dan Parent
On Sale Date: 8/8
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

THE BEST OF ARCHIE AMERICANA: THE BRONZE AGE (TR)

The Awesome Eighties: Experience the punk movement as it shakes up Riverdale! Behold the rise of MTV! The Nifty Nineties: Rock out to the sensational sounds of boy bands, and hook up your satellite dish so you can enjoy teens from Beverly Hills and more! It’s all here and then some in this edition chock-full of comedy classics from the Bronze Age of Archie!

Script: Various
Art: Various
Cover: Dan DeCarlo
978-1-68255-855-3
$9.99 US/$11.99 CAN
5 1/4 x 7 1/2”
TR
416 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 8/15

BETTY & VERONICA JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #265

BRAND NEW LEAD STORY: “The Red Shoes!” Based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, Betty is gifted a pair of magical red shoes by her mother. But are they a present, or a punishment?

Script: Bill Golliher
Art: Dan Parent, Rich Koslowski, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Jeff Shultz, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 8/1
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

BETTY & VERONICA SPECTACULAR VOL. 1 (TR)

See how Betty & Veronica tackle the world of fashion, prep for the red carpets of Hollywood and still have time to finish their homework! BETTY & VERONICA SPECTACULAR VOL. 1 is the first of a chronological collection featuring the magazine-format series spotlighting Riverdale’s iconic duo.

Script: Various
Art: Various
Cover: Dan Parent
978-1-68255-905-5
$10.99 US/$11.99 CAN
5 1/4 x 8”
TR
224 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 8/1

LIFE WITH ARCHIE VOL. 1 (TR)

The original Life with Archie series was home to the wildest alternate reality takes on the Riverdale gang. From spies to superheroes, this comic showcased stories readers never dreamed of! Relive those far-out tales in the first volume of this collection.

Script: Various
Art: Various
Cover:
978-1-68255-859-1
$10.99 US/$11.99 CAN
5 1/4 x 8”
TR
224 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-Sale Date: 8/29

WORLD OF ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #81

BRAND NEW LEAD STORY:  “Supply and Demand!” – It’s back to school time, and the gang is outraged to see the teachers having to spend their own money to supply their classrooms. The gang pools their resources to donate to the school. But when Veronica sees all of this, she decides she’ll kick it up a notch and help in her own way… Lodge style!

Script: Dan Parent
Art: Bill Golliher, Bob Smith, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Pat and Tim Kennedy, Bob Smith, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 8/22
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

The Hunt Concludes in Hunt For Wolverine: Dead Ends #1!

The Hunt for Wolverine is over – but the mystery of Logan’s return continues with new questions and new secrets! And the answers that Tony Stark, Kitty Pryde, Sabretooth and Daredevil have found in their search for the adamantium mutant may not be the ones they were expecting.

This August, Charles Soule and Ramon Rosanas bring you a story that ties each unique Hunt For Wolverine adventure together – in a one-shot you won’t want to miss!

What has Wolverine been doing? And where has he been? The questions continue in Hunt For Wolverine: Dead Ends, available in comic shops this August 29th featuring a cover by Marco Checchetto!

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays 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 are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

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

Barrier #4 (Image Comics/Panel Syndicate) – The digital series is now in print and it’s even better physically in our hands. Absolutely amazing and timely as the series explores barriers in geography, culture, genders, language, and more.

Black Panther #1 (Marvel) – A new direction for Black Panther and it’s VERY different for the character and series. So many unanswered questions.

The Flash #47 (DC Comics) – “Flash War” kicks off!

Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #1 (Marvel) – A mini-event in a way with numerous mini-series. They’ve shockingly been good so far.

Justice League: No Justice #3 (DC Comics) – It’s a turn off your brain popcorn event that’s a lot of fun to see the villains and heroes interacting. Some great moments in this one.

Lumberjanes #50 (BOOM! Studios) – It’s rare a comic makes it to fifty issues, even rarer for a smallish press comic to do so. Celebrate with this issue!

Skyward #2 (Image Comics) – Beyond creative and entertaining the story touches upon so many things like class struggle with a cool concept of a world where gravity is near gone.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Through the Mirror #4 (IDW Publishing) – The Mirror Universe comes into the Prime Universe and the story has been really entertaining. If you like the Mirror Universe Trek stories, you’ll love this.

Star Wars #48 (Marvel) – Well into an arc, we’ve been seeing the battle to liberate Mon Cala which is actually been pretty good and a solid addition to the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #20 (Marvel) – Basically the Star Wars version of Indiana Jones and boy does the series work. Just lots of fun and pure entertainment.

The Winner (Retrofit/Big Planet Comics) – Karl Stevens’ amazing graphic novel that’s beyond beautiful to read and look at. An amazing small press/indie comics that’s a must get.

X-O Manowar (2017) #15 (Valiant) – Epic is the only way to describe the story that writer Matt Kindt has been weaving with a series of artists. This issue marks a new jumping on point “Barbarians” that leads directly into Valiant’s next big event Harbinger Wars 2!

Requiem Revealed? The Answer Will Shatter the Universe in Infinity Wars #2!

This summer, prepare to learn the answer to the question that everyone has been asking…who is Requiem? Acclaimed creators Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato Jr. are bringing you an Infinity Stone story that will change the Marvel Universe…and the lives of those who wield the cosmic stones!

Who Is Requiem? Find out in Infinity Wars, in comic shops this August! The first issue comes to shelves August 1st and the second on August 15th.

Review: X-Men The Wedding Special #1

Full disclaimer: for a long time, Kitty Pryde was my all time favorite Marvel superhero thanks to her awesomeness in X-Men Evolution and Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run, and there is a Marvel Legends figure of her sitting on my bookshelf right now as I write this.

Even though Kelly Thompson, Marika Cresta, and Federico Blee end up almost saving the day with a fun tale of X-Women out on the town with pretty, shiny art to match, X-Men The Wedding Special #1 is a big stinker of a “special issue.” Greg Land’s stiff art style isn’t a good fit for a raucous bachelor party, Chris Claremont can’t rekindle his old magic, and this book doesn’t really have much for long time X-Men fans who might be a little lapsed (Like yours truly.) and definitely not new or casual fans. Why are Kitty and Piotr even getting married? Maybe, the X-Men Gold  hardcore readership will find something to love here.

In the first story, Kitty Pryde’s co-creator/father of the X-Men Chris Claremont returns to Marvel with his Nightcrawler collaborator Todd Nauck and skilled colorist Rachelle Rosenberg.  However, after having Nauck re-draw Kitty’s greatest hits courtesy of John Byrne, Dave Cockrum, John Romita Jr., Alan Davis, and others, he makes the story all about Kitty’s relationships with the dead men in her life, namely, her dad, Wolverine, and some guy from a 1999 time travel miniseries called X-Men True Friends. Claremont is a still verbose prose stylist, Rosenberg is game with the bright colors of the different eras, and Nauck turns in some gorgeous dualistic compositions contrasting the triumphs and trials of Kitty Pryde’s life as an X-Man.

But there isn’t really a coherent story to channel these skills and traits into as Claremont abruptly cuts from Kitty recounting her life story and feelings about being phased through a bullet (Thank you, Joss Whedon.) to randomly talking about Wolverine and the aforementioned guy from a time travel story. Plus I guess I missed the issue of X-Men Gold where she worked as a bartender at the Hellfire Club themed branch of Coyote Ugly as Claremont and Nauck cut to this, and Nightcrawler has some great lines about faith and facing challenges. There are a few good ingredients, a few bad ones, and sadly, the story doesn’t touch on the great female friendships (and possibly romances) that Claremont set up for Kitty with Magik, Storm, and Rachel Summers among others and focused on ghostly men instead. It’s like a great slice of Chicago deep dish (Shoutout to Deerfield, Illinois resident Kitty Pryde.) that’s completely burnt to a crisp too bogged down in a continuity to have any real emotion or even nostalgia.

The second story by X-Men Gold writer Marc Guggenheim, the aforementioned Land and inker Jay Leisten, and colorist Jason Keith tells the story of Colossus’ bachelor party and except for the part where Piotr throws an anti-mutant alien monster around a casino, it’s cliched, heteronormative, and just plain bad. In keeping with his introverted nature and desire to be faithful towards Kitty after decades of breakups, reunions, and the original Secret Wars crossover, Colossus wants a chill night out and not the typical strippers/booze/brawling trifecta of a normal bachelor party. But Nightcrawler, Gambit, Iceman, and the “boyo” overusing new-look Pyro have other ideas for him including Bobby lecturing Piotr on traditional masculinity and making me glad that Sina Grace had almost exclusive creative control over him for a year. The story follows a limp, through line of getting Colossus to “lighten up”, and you have to buy a whole other comic to see how the story ends. It’s pretty terrible except for the huge smile on Nightcrawler’s face as he ushers his squad into Las Vegas and beams that there is a casino run by demons so he doesn’t have to feel weird or different while having a good time for once. Kurt is such a great character that he shines even in subpar stories like the first two in X-Men Wedding Special #1.

The final story in X-Men Wedding Special #1 is a fun, cute, grownup version of the “X-Men go to the mall” plotline as Storm, Rogue, Jean Grey, Psylocke, and others take Kitty to karaoke, which is actually “stripperoke”. However, there are both male and female strippers at the club, which Kitty is cool with. And it’s also this issue’s only nod at the bisexual subtext surrounding her since the late 1980s. In a similar way to Piotr, Kitty is introverted and more than a little Type A so the cocktail of strippers and karaoke is pretty lethal for her, and she spends most of the issue hoping for a fight.

Kitty does end up doing hand to hand combat with Callisto, who I think had a crush on Colossus, in the 1980s, and her resolves shows how much she has grown in 38 years from the X-Men’s kid sister to their leader. It also shows that artist (and star in waiting) Marika Cresta has a knack for fight sequences as well as conversation, beautiful faces, and high fashion. The bright filters used by Federico Blee and soft lighting definitely give this issue a very laidback field even if Kitty is freaking out a little bit about her wedding. The Kitty/Callisto derails the story a little bit, but Thompson and Cresta easily counterbalance with great moments like Storm rocking the karaoke stage, and Rogue and Kitty having a true heart to heart that reminded me of a more mature version of their bond in X-Men Evolution.

X-Men Wedding Special definitely lessened my faith in the marriage between Kitty and Colossus as well as heterosexual, monogamous marriage as an institution in general. Okay, maybe not completely, but the Marc Guggenheim and Greg Land story is a great example of how bachelor parties are dated and played out. However, Marika Cresta is a real find as an artist in the final story and should definitely be the main artist on one of the big X or Marvel books.

Story: Chris Claremont, Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson
Art: Todd Nauck, Greg Land with Jay Leisten, Marika Cresta
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg, Jason Keith, Federico Blee Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Marvel’s Answer to Cambridge Analytica, Musings on X-Men: Red

I’m a bit late to the party but I must say it is very good to see Jean Grey back in the realm of the living! The character brings this nostalgic warmth that has been missing in the X-Men for some time, and this warmth is reflected by her current mission and approach to mutant-human relations as seen in X-Men: Red.

We’ve seen multiple iterations of anti-mutant sentiment in the X-Universe. We’ve seen it in the form of an ancient bacteria, (John Sublime) hysteria borne from mutagenic viruses (i.e. the Legacy Virus and later Mpox) We’ve even seen it sourced and fueled from a telepathically empowered Nazi. (The Red Skull). The latest iteration of anti-mutant sentiment seems to take a page from the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. With Jean Grey back among the living, the eminent telepath has set her sights on fixing the ills of the world she’s been away from for so long. This includes a plan hatched from a telepathic survey of the minds of humanitarians, and cultural influencers, as well as the formation of a new X-Men team.

Jean Grey’s resurrection is met with the return of a classic X-Men villain and the discovery of an elaborate social media campaign to stoke the fires of anti-mutant furor. The campaign’s target of individuals with known biases and its use of social media is a clear reference to the Cambridge Analytica operation, which sought to influence those with prejudiced proclivities with targeted advertising and fake news.  This is not the first time Marvel has used its stories to as social commentary on real-world issues. Back in 2009 in the lead up to the Utopia Storyline, Simon Trask advocated for Proposition X a proposal for a policy that would have forced mutants, to undergo mandatory birth control procedures. This mirrored the controversial proposition 8 in California that would have seen the LBGT community denied the right to Marriage.

I always enjoy when this art form uses its narrative to represent or pose solutions to real-world problems of this kind. Not only does this connect the reader to the protagonists, it cements the superhero genre as a medium of productive wish fulfillment. Jean’s Grey mission is very wide in its scope and returns an advocative flourish that has been missing from the X-Men for some time.  Whether her team’s mission succeeds or not, it will definitely provide an opportunity for learning and reflection. What I have always enjoyed about the X-Men franchise, is the flexibility of Mutanthood as a metaphor. The team’s recent recruit Trinary, is a South Asian, mutant, who uses her techno-digital manipulating powers to rectify the gender-based pay inequity in India. The fallout from this protest leads to her joining Jean Grey and her team. Trinary’s powers help to bring awareness of this social media campaign to the fledgling X-Men team and raises some interesting questions on how this current predicament will be fought going forward.

Who wouldn’t want to develop powers, to combat the spread of Banonism that has latched on the ever-present “Fear of the other” in the United States? Or to develop a telepathic insight into how mental laziness, propaganda, and malice feed into systematic violence and disenfranchisement? What is so beautiful about this current run, is how it eloquently uses the mutant metaphor, to ponder or creatively inspire holistic solutions to society’s most chronic ills. Instead of reacting the way we always do,  with offense and subsequent attack. (methods anticipated and desired by those driving such conflict) the story in X-Men Red encourages us to move forward with strength in other matters, using understanding and creativity to tackle or disrupt problems that always recur and takes new forms this is essentially the heart of Jean Grey’s mission and it will be inspiring as well as instructive to see how it pans out.  If you’re a fan of Jean Grey, or just want to see a nuanced and timely story addressing difference, fear, and conflict, this is a title that is definitely worthy of your attention.

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