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Kieron Gillen, writing Immortal X-Men, Die and RPG advice

Embrace the Neo-Claremontism and “warped Mutant Catholicism” as writer Kieron Gillen returns to X-Men comics as the writer of Immortal X-Men with artists Lucas Werneck and David Curiel. He’s revisiting Mr. Sinister and Hope Summers, two characters he’s left an indelible mark on, who have new prominence in the Krakoan Era of X-Men. There’s politics, backstabbing and of course music. 

Here’s his Immortal X-Men Playlist – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1slXJJdxhqg2CxDKQHepog

At about 1 hr and 5 minutes in Kieron offers some great advice to RPG players. 

Here’s our most recent episode together – https://bit.ly/DieCanon

Check out Kieron’s games https://kierongillen.itch.io/

His enlightening newsletter https://buttondown.email/KieronGillen/

Travel the Marvel Universe with these Variant Covers

The next Marvel Stormbreakers variant covers are here! In the latest collection of covers produced by Marvel’s class of elite artists, fans can be transported to various locations throughout the Marvel Universe. The technologically advanced Wakanda, the mysterious jungles of the Savage Land, the mean streets of Madripoor, and the quaint yet fearsome Doom-led Latveria are all brought to life in stunning postcard-style artwork by R.B. Silva, Peach Momoko, Carmen Carnero, and Natacha Bustos, four of the inaugural Marvel Stormbreakers program that was kicked off in 2020.

An evolution of Marvel’s Young Guns program, Marvel’s Stormbreakers represents the comic book industry’s most acclaimed and visionary artistic talents. Marvel Comics has been proud to uplift Carmen Carnero, R.B. Silva, Natacha Bustos, Patrick Gleason, Iban Coello, Peach Momoko, Joshua Cassara, and Juann Cabal, and while their contributions to Marvel Comics storytelling are far from over, it’s time to welcome a new generation of Stormbreakers later this year!

  • X-FORCE #28 STORMBREAKERS VARIANT COVER by PEACH MOMOKO
  • X-MEN #11 STORMBREAKERS VARIANT COVER by CARMEN CARNERO with colors by ROMULO FAJARDO JR.
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA SYMBOL OF TRUTH #1 STORMBREAKERS VARIANT COVER by NATACHA BUSTOS
  • BLACK PANTHER #7 STORMBREAKERS VARIANT COVER by RB SILVA with colors by DAVID CURIEL

Review: Iron Fist #2

Iron Fist #2

Getting adjusted to a new situation is always difficult. You are often having to deal with new and sometimes obscure variables. Because it is you who deals with it, no one understands your struggle except you. It is whether or not you can adjust and overcome, that makes that new situation bearable.

It is how you find out just what you are made of. As your ability to go with the sea change versus go against it., says a lot about you. That is the essence of life , that change is constant. In Iron Fist #2, Lin Lie struggles to find out how to use his powers.

We are taken to Shanghai, where Lin Lie, who was once Sword Master, but now is Iron Fist and Min Mie as they battle a hoard of demons. As the battle draws to an end,  Lin Lie realizes he has a lot a great deal of what makes him the Iron Fist , the shards left of the Sword of Fu Xi. as he also tries to hone the Chi of Shou-Lao. Meanwhile in Kun Lun, Yang Yi  openly challenges Lin Lie, in a battle of skill, one that Sparrow Yu-Ti  quickly diffuses. By issue’s end, Lin gets trained by Sparrow Yu-Ti and an expected  adversary pops, igniting the Fu Xi.

Overall, Iron Fist #2 is a story that takes an interesting turn. The story by Wong is exhilarating. The art by creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that astounds.

Story: Alyssa Wong Art: Michael Yg, Sean Chen
Ink: Michael Yg, Victor Olazaba Color: Jay David Ramos Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus Comics

Review: Immortal X-Men #1

Immortal X-Men #1

When it comes to the X-Men, there is an air of mystery which usually pulls fans to them. I can remember the first time I picked up one of their issues. I was at Jim Hanley’s Universe  back home in New York, which was one of the coolest comic book stores ever. It had Colossus on the cover, and from that issue on, I was hooked.

As the years have gone by there have been many authors who have guided that ship, but very few whose runs were memorable. One of the most honored is Chris Claremont and another being Kieron Gillen. In the debut issue of Immortal X-Men, Gillen returns, for a frightening take on the Quiet Council who rules during the Krakoan Age.

We are taken to Paris 1919, where Essex and Adler speak of the coming war, as both are members of the Quiet Council, and though Krakoa has enjoyed relative peace, it doesn’t stop infighting from bubbling over. We are taken to a meeting, where Magneto has decided to retire, which immediately creates a power vacuum, one which has each council member plotting for control. As Destiny gets her share of sycophants amongst the council members to nominate a new member, an unlikely frontrunner rises , Hope, who brought back Destiny and intimidates most on the island. By issue’s end,a slighted mutant takes revenge on the council for not choosing her, unleashing a deadly  behemoth, that could consume all the inhabitants.

Altogether, Immortal X-Men #1 is one of the better stories from this event, making Gillen the perfect storyteller. The story by Gillen is action packed. The art by creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a palace intrigue play that involves your favorite mutants, no one could write this better.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Lucas Werneck
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW

Review: Immortal X-Men #1

Immortal X-Men #1

After a brief interlude with X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine, the next phase of Marvel’s X-Men kicks off with Immortal X-Men #1. With Jonathan Hickman no longer guiding the direction, Destiny of X is a launching point to see where various creators can take the toys that Hickman set up over the previous few years. Immortal X-Men feels like the new “flagship” for the line taking over the role “Uncanny” held for decades with its focus on the Quiet Council and its heavy hitters. The focus isn’t just the latest threat to deal with but the grand direction for mutantkind impacting every other X-Men comic being released.

Writer Kieron Gillen returns to the X-Men after a memorable run on Uncanny X-Men. For those that read that, it should be no surprise the debut issue centers around Mr. Sinister who acts as our tour guide taking us through the politics and machinations of Krakoa and its ruling council.

Gillen continues to bring a bit of flair to Sinister who delivers ego, humor, and devious insight into the goings on. Sinister also seems to be at the center of what potentially could be major ramifications for mutantkind and Krakoa if he’s found out. But Gillen weaves back into history setting up a relationship between Sinister and Destiny which goes back a hundred years. There’s a great mix of sinister and humor to it all with political dancing that eventually flows into the action and reveal we all expect to come.

Gillen’s story is enhanced by the art of Lucas Werneck whose style is perfect for the tone of it all. Joined by David Curiel on color and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the comic’s imagery is as important as what is said. The body language of characters is key to Sinister’s comments and observations and we get an idea of some of what is getting him to come to his conclusions. There’s also Sinister himself whose body language is beyond comedic and lightens what could easily be a rather dour and serious debut. The characters look great and it really is the small details of all of the reactions that make the comic stand out. Sinister’s observations put them all in the spotlight and the art team pulls it off and then some.

Immortal X-Men #1 kicks things off setting the X-Men in a whole new direction. It builds off of what has come before and sets up so much new to come. Its humor keeps things light and funny delivering an engaging start that’s not to be missed.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Lucas Werneck
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Inferno #4

Inferno #4

I’ve generally been mixed about the current status-quo and direction of the X-line. To me, they’re no longer the heroes I once knew, sharing far too many characteristics with the villains they once battled. The line took a nationalist bent that felt the antithesis of what the X-Men represented. Then, there’s the issue with Moira MacTaggert. Revealed to be a mutant, each time she died she reset the timeline but retained her memories. This created an “out” in some ways that coupled with that ability to resurrect dead mutants, took away any danger and “stakes” in the battle. Inferno #4 wraps up Jonathan Hickman‘s vision for the line creating an interesting break and a new status-quo for those taking over the guidance of the various series.

Hickman is a very talented writer. His concepts are some of the best out there. But, while his series often start off strong, they tend to go on a bit too long and then peter out towards the end. He doesn’t stick the landing as much as I’d like making reading his runs feel like a let down. But, the concepts are amazing. Just like he’s done with the X-Men. Inferno #4 wraps up that run with Moira being confronted by Mystique and Destiny and Professor X and Magneto facing Nimrod and Omega Sentinel.

Hickman delivers and sticks the landing this time.

Inferno #4 takes the series and characters in some unsuspecting directions and fixes some of the issue I had with the line as a whole. It also sets up major villains for years to come along with political machinations on Krakoa that’ll reverberate for years as well. In other words, what’s past is prologue. This current “volume” now feels much more like the building blocks for what’s to come as opposed to an established status-quo. Yes, obviously things change, but things have been building now for some time and this is the end result. One chapter ends and a new chapter begins building off of what has come before.

The art by Valerio Schiti and Stefano Caselli is solid. There’s a mix of action, drama, and a lot of tension. Moments feel desperate and others will have you holding your breathe. The duo are joined by David Curiel on color, letterer Joe Sabino, and Tom Muller‘s design. The comic looks fantastic with an ominous feel throughout that leaves you wondering where it’s all going and how far things will be taken. In a series where anyone can die and come back, who would it be willing to kill? Despite the inevitability of returns, there’s still emotion shown in death and while rebirth should be joyous, the art nails the shift in where things stand.

Inferno #4 is a fitting end to Hickman’s run. It ends his take and direction for the X line and hands it off to new creators allowing them to plant their own flags while not totally being shackled by his rules. He’s opened the sandbox a little further to allow others to create. By shaking things up himself, it also doesn’t feel like others are undoing what he has envisioned, it’s his choice in some ways. It’s a diplomatic ending that’s befitting delivering an almost meta finale.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Valerio Schiti, Stefano Caselli
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Joe Sabino Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Inferno #3

Inferno #3

With just one more issue to go, Inferno #3 is tasked with packing in a lot and boy does it. Wrapping up writer Jonathan Hickman‘s redefining vision for the X-Men, Inferno has revealed Moira MacTaggert to some of the key players in mutant politics and Krakoa creating division lines. It also brought back Destiny, one of the key character that could undo everything Charles, Erik, and Moira have been up to. With all of that, the series has been focused on the political maneuvering and behind the scenes machinations of its players. Inferno #3 brings the action as it shifts things a bit focusing more on O.R.C.H.I.S. and the origin of Omega Sentinel and Nimrod.

Hickman brings the white board as he takes us through the history of this new Sentinel threat and the origin of O.R.C.H.I.S. It’s best to not think too much into it, instead just enjoying the tension of the attack you know is coming.

But, where Inferno #3 truly stands out is the tension it brings within its characters and residents of Krakoa. And, it’s from the most unlikeliest source. Yes, there’s a discussion between Destiny, Mystique, and Emma with some great interactions with the Cuckoos. But, it’s the opening of the comic with Doug Ramsey that’s the most intriguing. We get to see the beginning of Krakoa and Professor X tasking Doug with talking to the island and eventually what is done with Warlock. We get a better sense of the growth and how some things were achieved. But, it’s what Doug has done that stands out as the greatest ramifications.

And that’s where Inferno #3 gets interesting. Even in this finale of Hickman’s run, details that go back to the beginning are being explained and fleshed out. And, some of these details are things we may not have even thought about or in general just accepted. It’s the addition of info that isn’t necessarily needed but clearly will have a great impact at some point in the future.

The art by R.B. Silva, Stefano Caselli, and Valerio Schiti is fantastic as expected. The series takes us all over with so many different focuses but it all comes together and works as a visually cohesive world. We’re taken from the wilds of Krakoa to the far out tech of O.R.C.H.I.S., from the past to the future, and it all works and works together in a style that feels like one world and one that evolves. The trio are joined by Adriano Di Benedetto on ink, David Curiel on color, and Joe Sabino on lettering. The visuals are consistently top notch making a discussion just as interesting as an impending attack.

Inferno #3 is an interesting issue ramping up the action and bringing together a lot of concepts and ideas that have been seeded along the way. I have no idea how this miniseries will wrap up so much and where it’ll leave things when all is said and done. But, it’s one that has me sucked in waiting to see where it’s going to take us from here.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: R.B. Silva, Stefano Caselli, Valerio Schiti
Ink: Adriano Di Benedetto Color: David Curiel Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Preview: Avengers #50

Avengers #50

(W) Jason Aaron, Christopher Ruocchio (A) Aaron Kuder, More (CA) Ed McGuinness
RATED T+
In Shops: Dec 01, 2021
SRP: $9.99

COMMEMORATING LEGACY #750!
Supersize extravaganza of Earth’s mightiest action and surprises!
Witness the jaw-dropping conclusion of “World War She-Hulk!” Learn the true purpose of the prehistoric Avengers! Uncover the shocking secret of the Iron Inquisitor! Behold the most powerful collection of super-psychopaths that any Earth has ever seen! Watch the Avengers recruit some shocking new members! And follow the Ghost Rider on a quest for vengeance across the Multiverse that will spark an all-new era in Avengers history!
Plus: A bonus story featuring Thor by Christopher Ruocchio and Steve McNiven!

Avengers #50

Preview: Avengers #50

Avengers #50

(W) Jason Aaron, Christopher Ruocchio (A) Aaron Kuder, More (CA) Ed McGuinness
RATED T+
In Shops: Dec 01, 2021
SRP: $9.99

COMMEMORATING LEGACY #750!
Supersize extravaganza of Earth’s mightiest action and surprises!
Witness the jaw-dropping conclusion of “World War She-Hulk!” Learn the true purpose of the prehistoric Avengers! Uncover the shocking secret of the Iron Inquisitor! Behold the most powerful collection of super-psychopaths that any Earth has ever seen! Watch the Avengers recruit some shocking new members! And follow the Ghost Rider on a quest for vengeance across the Multiverse that will spark an all-new era in Avengers history!
Plus: A bonus story featuring Thor by Christopher Ruocchio and Steve McNiven!

Avengers #50

Review: Inferno #2

Inferno #2

The first issue of Inferno was a lot of setup and maneuvering by its characters. It was a comic full of politics and not a whole lot of action. But, it set up the conflict to come with a few twists and turns in the start of Jonathan Hickman‘s endgame for his X-Men run. Inferno #2 is much of the same but delivering events from the view of Mystique. How did she return Destiny to the living? How is she manipulating everyone? We get our answers in a fairly satisfying issue.

Much of the issue is from Mystique’s point of view. We get a lot of answers around how she manipulated those around her to not just resurrect Destiny but also to get them to vote the way she wants. While it all makes sense in a way, there’s absolutely some holes in the plot of how she wasn’t detected in her maneuvering but some individuals. They’re minor headscratchers that are best to just roll with.

The issue is an interesting flipside of the coin as we get events from a different perspective. The issue could easily feel like a retread of events but Hickman manages to go beyond repeating the first issue in multiple ways. It moves the plot forward, especially towards the latter part of the issue as we see the pushback from Professor X, Magneto, and Moira as they attempt to figure out how they were outmaneuvered and what to do.

The art by Stefano Caselli is fantastic. With color by David Curiel and lettering by Joe Sabino there’s a beautiful stiffness to it all. The issue has some emotion but it’s mostly political maneuvers. There’s a lack of action but still a sense of gravitas and maturity about it all. The art perfectly captures it all in a “All the King’s Men” sort of way.

Inferno #2 is interesting as it feels like it has more in common with The West Wing than it does traditional X-Men comics. This is one of thinking and continued setup as the pieces of the puzzle come together for the final action that’s to come. After such a setup, what’s two more issues. Inferno #2 might seem like a bit of a bore but the interaction of the characters is impressive showing the X-Men as a political drama without the action might be more interesting than a showing of its flashy powers.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Stefano Caselli
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

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