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Review: Avengers #40

Avengers #40

The Avengers are on to their next big storyline as the Phoenix has returned to Earth searching for a new host. Writer Jason Aaron has been building out a long-running epic that’s building to something with this latest chapter exploring another aspect of the original Avengers from thousands of years ago. Avengers #40 kicks off the “Enter the Phoenix” storyline and for all the build-up and hype, the issue is a whole lot of been there/done that.

After briefly aiding Moon Knight’s battle in the previous story arc, the Phoenix has taken up residence on Earth once again, this time searching for a new host to hold the power. The Avengers are on alert as are numerous groups and individuals looking to take the power for their own. But, the Phoenix has its own plan to find a champion in a battle between individuals with apparently the last one standing gaining the power.

Writer Jason Aaron delivers a pseudo-follow up to Avengers vs. X-Men as the Phoenix looks for a new host, this time focusing mostly on non-mutants. The battle between characters to prove who’s mightiest is something we’ve seen over and over again and this issue provides nothing new as far as that. In fact, it riffs on the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a groan-inducing moment involving Captain America. Uninspired. Not exciting. Downright boring. These are the words I’d describe a moment that has global implications.

The most interesting aspect of Avengers #40 is its ending where we see those who have been whisked away by the Phoenix to compete.

Javier Garrón provides the art along with David Curiel on color and Cory Petit on lettering. The art is a somewhat interesting aspect of the comic making best of Aaron’s disjointed script. While some panels lack details the focus and highlight is the battle between Captain America and Doctor Doom. It’s an anime/manga inspired fight full of energy blasts dripping of Phoenix Force. While Phoenix powered Doom isn’t all too exciting Captain America’s look is interesting though a bit “just happens”. The colors pop on the page emphasizing the energy oozing off of the combatants.

After a lot of build-up and hype, Avengers #40 and “Enter the Phoenix” is an uninspired start. Like the title suggests, it’s a riff on the tournament battle story we’ve seen so many times before. It delivers nothing new or interesting to the genre. Maybe down the line it will but as a beginning it’s a hell of a stumble.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Javier Garrón
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 5.0 Art: 8.35 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Behold the Battle to Come for the X-Men on Pepe Larraz’s X of Swords art

The dark history of Arakko will soon be revealed, and when it is, the very future of mutankind will be at stake. Now, witness the cataclysmic showdown between the sword bearers of Arakko and the ten mutants who will stand up to defend the new mutant nation of Krakoa in Pepe Larraz’s breathtaking key art for X of Swords. This fateful clash and many others are what await readers in this crossover epic written by Jonathan Hickman, Tini Howard, and all the current writers of your favorite X-Men titles. The next chapter in Hickman’s bold reshaping of the X-Men that began in House of X, this story will stand alongside influential X-Men crossovers like The Mutant Massacre and Messiah CompleX. The victories will be legendary, the losses will be heartbreaking, and the revelations will send shockwaves throughout the Marvel Universe. This sprawling saga will have a lasting impact on the future of the X-Men, forever changing the fate of the franchise’s most prominent characters.

Raise your swords for the next great mutant milestone when the crossover begins in X of Swords: Creation #1, on sale September 23rd written by Hickman and Howard, with art by Pepe Larraz, and a cover by Larraz and colors by David Curiel.

X of Swords

Review: Hellions #2

Hellions #2

Having launched just before everything went off the rails in the industry, Hellions was one of the more intriguing series for the newly relaunched X-Men line-up. The series brought together various troubled mutants into a version of their own Suicide Squad. Unlike that team of villains, this was a team of unrepentant monsters with a body count that piled high against mutants and humans. In Hellions #2 the dysfunctional team has been sent to deal with one of Mr. Sinister’s cloning labs housed in the basement of the orphanage where Havok grew up.

The first issue of Hellions was fantastic. It introduced us to the rogue gallery in a fairly common cinematic way. But, it did so with a wink and nod and an attempt to have some fun with it. It also threw in some philosophical debate as to whether these were individuals who could be rehabilitated at all. What would justice for each look like? Writer Zeb Wells shifts away from that a bit in Hellions #2. Instead of the bigger picture of restorative justice, the issue focuses more on how the team interacts and functions as a unit. The answer is not well at all.

What’s fascinating, and fantastic, about Hellions #2 is Wells ability to blend together so many different tones and aspects. There’s horror, comedy, social commentary, and of course action. Things go sideways on the mission from the initial meeting with local law enforcement to the horror awaiting the team within the orphanage. Wells nails the horror tone as the team meets their adversaries and we get even more information as to Mr. Sinister’s clone program’s past. The comic would have been top-notch just focused on the action with a horror spin but Wells adds in humor to it as well. This is a team of misfits and the inclusion of Orphan-Maker and Nanny deliver a one-two punch of laughs that are unexpected in two sequences, one extended to that perfect punchline.

A lot of the success of the comic is due to Stephen Segovia‘s art along with David Curiel‘s color and Cory Petit‘s lettering. The art style and coloring create a creepy and ominous tone but it also delivers the humor as well. You get the sense of horror the Hellions experience as they’re descended upon by their foes. You can see the unease as they’re confronted by what lies in the shadows. There’s also the visible physical pain as well as they get the crap beat out of them. You’ll also laugh as Nanny roles around on the ground unable to stand up. The art nails it in delivering the action but also delivers physical humor as well. The lettering is key to setting the tone as it changes with the foes invoking a “zombie-like” vibe. It’s a subtle but important aspect of the comic.

Hellions #2 is a fantastic issue. While it moves away from the weightier aspects set up in its debut, it entertains delivering a lot of action and some laughs. It’s been a long wait since the first issue but it’s been more than worth it.

Story: Zeb Wells Art: Stephen Segovia
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Loki: The God Who Fell to Earth

The War of the Realms is over and Loki has a new role as the king of the Frost Giants, but what will the trickster do about it?

Loki: The God Who Fell to Earth features issues #1-5 and material from War of the Realms: Omega.

Story: Daniel Kibblesmith
Art: Oscar Bazaldua, Andy MacDonald
Ink: Oscar Bazaldua, Andy MacDonald, Victor Olazaba
Color: David Curiel, Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores on January 21! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Incoming #1

Get a look as to what’s coming in 2020 with Incoming #1. Marvel teases what we can expect in the months to come in this end of the year oversized comic.

Story: Various
Art: Various
Color: Various
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
TFAW
Zeus Comics

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Spider-Woman Teams Up with Fellow Heroes in Action-Packed Variant Covers

Spider-Woman is back and better than ever in an explosive new series this March from creative team Karla Pacheco and Pere Pérez. Readers can hardly wait to see what adventures Jessica Drew finds herself on, and apparently, neither can Marvel’s heroes! To celebrate the launch of her new solo series, check out these awesome Spider-Woman variant covers depicting her in her classic costume, ready for action alongside her fellow heroes!

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #41 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by RYAN BROWN
  • AVENGERS #32 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by MIKE McKONE with colors by ANDRES MOSSA
  • AVENGERS #33 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by KHOI PHAM with colors by MORRY HOLLOWELL
  • DEADPOOL #5 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by MIRKA ANDOLFO
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by DECLAN SHALVEY
  • GHOST RIDER #6 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by JUNGGEUN YOON
  • IMMORTAL HULK #32 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by PATCH ZIRCHER with colors by DAVE McCAIG
  • IMMORTAL HULK #33 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by CORY SMITH with colors by MAT LOPES
  • THOR #4 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by JAVIER GARRÓN with colors by DAVID CURIEL
  • VENOM #24 SPIDER-WOMAN VARIANT by ROCK-HE KIM

Review: Deadpool (2019) #1

It’s Deadpool’s birthday and there’s no one to celebrate it with. Luckily he has a job killing the King of the Monsters who has taken over Staten Island.

Story: Kelly Thompson
Art: Chris Bachalo
Ink: Wayner Faucher, Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Jaime Mendoza, Livesay, Victor Olazaba
Color: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Sabino

Get your copy in comic shops! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Powers of X #6

Powers of X #6

With Powers of X #6, writer Jonathan Hickman cements his manifesto. It’s a bold new direction and vision of the X-Universe for years to come. The finale continues his split storytelling focusing on three eras of the Marvel Universe revolving around the X-Men. With some callbacks and some final reveals, the picture is clear.

Hickman has positioned the future of the X-Men not as the allegorical representation of the struggling minority. Instead, Hickman’s X-Men has taken on the role of nationalist. Specifically, the white nationalist raging against their inevitable loss to demographics and the future.

As far as stories go, Powers of X and its sibling series House of X has been top notch science fiction. As far as X-Men stories go, the two have ripped the essence of the characters out from them. It has featured massive shifts in character outlooks and their overall position in the greater narrative.

The X-Men, and specifically Charles Xavier, are no longer the heroes but manipulating the system in an attempt to hold on to dominance. It’s a villainous role that Xavier and Magneto admit to in a pivotal scene involving Moira. While some might still see this as a fight for survival their actions are no longer one of equality. Their statements are those of superiority.

Moira being the deus ex machina that has made this shift possible. Moira is the lynchpin of it all. She is what the narrative, and now the Marvel Universe, revolves around. That becomes clear in the far future as neo-humanity faces the Phalanx and the reveals there.

It’s also clear a future conflict over all of this is on the horizon and years down the road when sales falter and things need to be redone again.

The art for Powers of X #6 by R.B. Silva and Pepe Laraz is amazing as expected. For the insidious nature of it all, the art for everything is beautiful to look at. The colors by Marte Gracia and David Curiel make it all pop. The lettering by Clayton Cowles helps evoke the emotion of dialogue. The X-Men haven’t looked this good in a long time.

While I’m excited as to where this all goes at the same time it feels like the heart of the X-Men has been ripped out from them. They have often reflected the socio-political reality of the time and here they take on the role of the bad guys, nationalists fighting for dominance due to a perceived superiority. And much like those nationalists in all reality they will lose… when Moira dies down the road and this is all rebooted again.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: R.B. Silva Pepe Laraz
Color: Marte Gracia, David Curiel Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: House of X #6

HOUSE OF X #6

House of X #6 wraps up one of the two series writer Jonathan Hickman has been weaving. It has created a new status quo for Marvel’s X-Universe and shaken up what we’ve know.

The finale begins with a familiar scene of Charles Xavier addressing the world and letting everyone know about the miracle drugs that have been discovered, the establishment of a new mutant nation, and his plans for recognition. But, Hickman cements Xavier as no longer the dreamer looking for peace and equality. Instead, Xavier’s dream is more of Magneto’s. It’s of mutant dominance and inheritance. Xavier has crossed over into nationalism and echoes some of the philosophy of white nationalism in particular. Xavier is no longer the hero (as dubious as that title was based on actions) philosopher. Instead, he is now what he fought against for so many years.

Mutant law now supersedes the “law of man” and the law of other nations. The sharing of medicine comes with strings attached. Xavier is now a cold and calculating tyrant in the making with a corrupted philosophy and outlook.

And philosophy is at the top of Hickman’s to-do list for the issue. House of X #6 is focused on the establishment of law in Krakoa. We see the first meeting of the new council and their passing judgment on Sabretooth. Laws are debated in a watered-down Model UN that feels more idealistic West Wing than gritty reality. It goes through the motions as if it has depth but that depth of thought is only inch deep. It’s Aaron Sorkin for the spandex crowd.

The art for the issue is stunning. Pepe Larraz‘s line are enhanced by the colors of Marte Gracia and David Curiel. Along with lettering by Clayton Cowles, it all comes together for some of the best visuals of the series. There’s something ominous and frightening about this establishment of a nation. Angles and panels are used to throw the reader off a little making it not quite as a clear cut positive. Sabretooth’s judgment is the perfect example of delivering a bit of horror among the debate and process. Tom Muller‘s designs continue to lay out Hickman’s new world order. It feels like a sourcebook to a well thought out roleplaying game.

House of X #6 is an interesting comics. It cements Hickman’s vision but also cements these aren’t the X-Men that we’ve come to know. They no longer fight for equality, they demand dominance. They see themselves as the rightful inheritors of Earth. The X-Men are now what they used to fight against.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Pepe Larraz
Color: Marte Gracia and David Curiel Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.7 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #7

The Universal Church of Truth is back… with a twist! Guardians of the Galaxy #7 kicks off a brand new arc that feels like a classic.

Story: Donny Cates
Art: Cory Smith
Color: David Curiel
Letterer: Cory Petit

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle & comiXology

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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