Tag Archives: greg land

Preview: Astonishing X-Men #16

Astonishing X-Men #16

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A/CA) Greg Land
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 17, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• Havok, leader of…the Reavers?!
• What circumstances have led Havok to side with the bad guys once more?
• And will it stick this time?

Preview: Domino #6

Domino #6

(W) Gail Simone (A) Michael Shelfer (CA) Greg Land
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
SRP: $3.99

KILLER INSTINCT CONCLUDES!
Project Armageddon wanted a Super-Soldier they could control… A weapon they could point… A trigger they could pull… Instead they got PURE CHAOS. Neena Thurman’s past collides with the present and nothing will be the same again. Don’t miss the stunning conclusion of KILLER INSTINCT!

Preview: Astonishing X-Men #15

Astonishing X-Men #15

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A/CA) Greg Land
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 05, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• After the events of last issue, Havok and his team are on the run from the law.
• Plus, the Reavers’ secret mission is revealed!

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

Review: Domino #1 and #2

Gail Simone is one of my absolute favorite contemporary comics writers and Domino is peak Gail Simone.

This brand new solo series starring the former X-Force character, Domino is laden with tough ladies, genuinely funny humor, messy people with issues making believably bad choices, and Runaways references (the band, not the superhero team).

Our protagonist, Neena Thurman aka Domino is a hard living super powered mercenary with a heart of gold and concealing some highly compartmentalized past trauma. After nailing just that sort of character writing the beloved cult favorite Secret Six series for DC Comics, having Simone return to Marvel to write Domino’s first solo series was a perfect fit.

The pre-New 52 incarnation of Secret Six was some of the best cape comics of this century. Simone has stretched her wings in a number of different directions since including creator owned work like the psychological horror of The Clean Room and licensed work like her Tomb Raider series that was more heart-pounding than it had any right to be. But good as it was, none of that scratched my itch for Secret Six. Domino feels more like a return to form from Simone than anything I’ve read for a long time and it’s exactly what I was hoping for.

Gail does an amazing job introducing the characters’ powers in the first issue. Domino’s teammates here are pretty minor characters but Simone is the expert at making us care about random D-listers and this continues that storied legacy.

Simone even introduces some complex issues like mutants with pretty privilege or mutants with passing privilege. Domino is an interesting character in terms of privilege: her probability altering “good luck powers” are a security blanket. You can’t kill her, but she sure as hell can feel pain in the process of surviving.

She’s beautiful. But she’s a mutant, subject to discrimination and bigotry. She can’t blend in with the crowd — her skin is white as a sheet and one of her eyes has a black dot that was, unknown to me previously, forcibly tattooed onto her face. The story starts to delve into the social implications of her particular combinations of identities and appearance.

The art by David Baldeón is rubbery and well suited to humorous scenes, especially his expressive faces. Unfortunately it follows the standard pitfall of cookie cutter depictions of women’s bodies and proportions. The good news is Domino’s outfits are refreshingly in character. Her combat gear is reasonably practical, her street clothes are attractive and echo her black and white color scheme.

And maybe I can imagine Renegade going into a fight against bad guys pants-less and wearing a leather halter bustier. Maybe. But it still feels like the art is doing that to serve some basic bro desires rather than serving the good of the story.

Clayton Cowles‘ letters always offer perfect emphasis and clarity. Jesus Aburtov’s colors are crisp and focus on Domino’s color themes. Maybe someday the gods of comics will see to set us free from the plague of Greg Land tacky, traced covers of cloned women currently plaguing many of my favorite creators, undermining their feminist content. But today is not that day.

Also there’s a cute dog. Cute dogs have become a hallmark of Marvel’s solo comics about grown ass ladies (we miss you Mockingbird!)

I’m totally cool with a trend that cute.

Preview: Hunt for Wolverine: The Claws of a Killer #1

Hunt for Wolverine: The Claws of a Killer #1

(W) Mariko Tamaki (A) Butch Guice (CA) Greg Land
Parental Advisory
In Shops: May 16, 2018
SRP: $3.99

KEEP YOUR FRIENDS DEAD, BUT YOUR ENEMIES DEADER!
As word spreads that Wolverine may have returned from the grave, a handful of his greatest adversaries come together to track him down and put him back there. But the brutal and horrific nightmare that SABRETOOTH, LADY DEATHSTRIKE and DAKEN uncover could lead to even more death than even these vicious killers can handle.

Preview: X-Men Wedding Special #1

X-Men Wedding Special #1

(W) Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson, Chris Claremont (A) Greg Land, Marika Cresta, Todd Nauck (CA) J. Scott Campbell
Rated T+
In Shops: May 16, 2018
SRP: $4.99

CHRIS CLAREMONT RETURNS TO THE X-MEN!
One of the biggest milestone events in X-Men history is almost here! Kitty Pryde and Colossus are finally about the tie the knot…but what’s a wedding without the respective bachelor and bachelorette parties? Join Marc Guggenheim and Kelly Thompson for two parties that can only be celebrated Marvel style! All this, plus, a Kitty and Colossus story by legendary X-Men scribe, Chris Claremont!!!

Preview: Incredible Hulk #716

Incredible Hulk #716

(W) Greg Pak (A) Marco Lorenzana (CA) Greg Land
Rated T
In Shops: May 09, 2018
SRP: $3.99

WORLD WAR HULK II CONTINUES!
Amadeus Cho has always thought of himself as the fun Hulk – the totally awesome Hulk. But now the Dark Hulk within him is calling the shots with brutal consequences for anyone who’s ever wronged Amadeus or stood in his way. Get ready for Amadeus unleashed and cataclysmic smashing in the heart of New York as our hero – and the world – finally learns just what the curse of the Hulk is all about.

Preview: Domino #2

Domino #2

(W) Gail Simone (A) David Baldeon (CA) Greg Land
Parental Advisory
In Shops: May 09, 2018
SRP: $3.99

UNLUCKY STARS
• Marvel’s #1 soldier of fortune’s luck has finally gone south… turning her life as a mercenary upside down!
• Plus: Who is Domino’s evil counterpart?
• Guest-starring AMADEUS CHO!

Preview: Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #1

Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #1

(W) Tom Taylor (A) R. B. Silva (CA) Greg Land
Parental Advisory
In Shops: May 09, 2018
SRP: $3.99

SNIKT! A SOUND THAT ONCE MADE BLOOD RUN COLD, WHICH THE AVENGERS WANT TO ENSURE IS NEVER USED FOR EVIL AGAIN.
Due to a promise made between heroes, the NEW AVENGERS have reassembled to make sure Logan’s body isn’t misused. IRON MAN, SPIDER-MAN, JESSICA JONES and LUKE CAGE discover a deep-state conspiracy that leads to a shocking DNA discovery and metallurgic miracle in the MARVEL UNIVERSE.

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