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Review: Doctor Doom #3

Doctor Doom #3

Three issues and three amazing reads. Doctor Doom #3 three-peats with an issue full of tragedy, some action, and political intrigue. Doom has been assassinated and sent to Hell in what’s clearly a play to “nation-build” Latveria.

Writer Christopher Cantwell has mixed socio-political machinations with superheroics and the result is amazing. In Hell, Doom must escape and to do that, a deal with Mephisto must be made.

Cantwell does an impressive job of tying in Doom’s sins of the past with his visions of the future. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that has a poetry about it. We’re still not quite sure what Doom is seeing but it’s driving him not to just survive but to do better. We’re presented with someone we can cheer for in an odd way. A tyrant who wants to do good. A toxic individual who wants to grow and change.

Cantwell also delivers us intrigue as it’s clear whomever is behind Doom’s framing and assassination is also likely behind the threats Latveria are seeing in his absence. The name check of the UN and NATO adds a real-world tint to the situation. It’s a political thriller masked in armor.

The art by Salvador Larroca is fantastic. With color by Guru-eFX and lettering by Cory Petit, the look of the comic is fantastic and the flow from Hell to the real world and Latveria all works. Nothing seems out of place and the shift from the dreamlike Hell to the real world is an interesting one. There’s a visual flair that adds to the story and its transition of scenes.

Doctor Doom #3 is a fantastic issue delivering a nice mix of tragedy and action. There’s so much packed in, this is a prime example of what comics can be. It also keeps you on your toes as to what might happen next delivering a healthy mix of mystery and reveals. This issue continues what might be the best series of the year.

Story: Christopher Cantwell Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Conan Heads Into Strange Territory with Conan: Battle for the Serpent Crown

Announced at MCM Comic Con London, Conan will be starring in a new series that will take the barbarian to places he’s never gone before! Conan made his grand return to the Marvel Comics earlier this year and now, Conan: Battle for the Serpent Crown will have the legendary Robert E. Howard character diving deeper into the Marvel Universe meeting a wide variety of Marvel heroes and daring to go up against Marvel’s most iconic villains, including the devilish Mephisto! A far cry from the Hyborian Age, Conan will take his relentless strength and savage sword to Las Vegas on an epic quest to find the Serpent Crown of Atlantis. Guiding him on his journey to Sin City and beyond will be writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Luke Ross.

CONAN: BATTLE FOR THE SERPENT CROWN #1 (OF 5)

Written by SALADIN AHMED
Penciled by LUKE ROSS
Cover by GURU-eFX

A DEADLY QUEST AND A DARING HEIST…IN THE AGE OF MARVELS!

CONAN wanders the desert, and as he reaches the city, no Stygian temple nor Vendyhan fortress greets him.  No, something far stranger: the lights of Fabulous Las Vegas!  Conan is far from home, and it’s time for him to tread the thrones of the Marvel Universe under his sandaled feet!

The City of Sin is just the beginning for Conan’s solo jaunt by Saladin Ahmed (BLACK BOLT, MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN) and Luke Ross (STAR WARS: ALLEGIANCE, SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN), as the barbarian finds himself on a quest for a relic that predates even his Hyborian Age: the Serpent Crown of Atlantis!  But will his battle for this crown earn Conan his own kingdom, or doom him to a nefarious trap set forth by MEPHISTO?  Featuring a wide array of Marvel heroes and villains, this is an adventure you can’t afford to miss!

CONAN: BATTLE FOR THE SERPENT CROWN #1 (OF 5)

Review: Uncanny X-Men #21

Uncanny X-Men #21

Uncanny X-Men #21 continues to bring things together as the finale of writer Matthew Rosenberg‘s run looms closer. That impending end, and the relaunch to follow, is both good and bad.

It’s clear whatever is to come has allowed Rosenberg to do whatever he wants with his time on the franchise. Not only is he closing up recent plot threads but he’s also killing characters left and right. At this point it feels like most of the issues have featured the death of at least one character. There’s good in that no one feels safe. That’s also bad in that it gets a little “been there done that.” Still, there’s a frenetic pace to it all which makes the comic entertaining.

And that’s the bad thing.

Uncanny X-Men #21 feels rushed as far as pacing. Scenes which should play out longer feel a bit shortened and stunted in some ways. It feels like shortened scenes instead of a more flowing narrative. There’s a “time limit” that’s working against Rosenberg’s storytelling.

The issue though features the shocks and twists we’ve come to expect in this run. Though it’s not 100% clear what O.N.E. is up to and why what is clear is that it’s a horror show and needs to be stopped. Add in major characters being changed even more and it’s another issue where anything can and does happen.

The art by Salvador Larroca is fantastic. Along with color from Guru-eFX and lettering from Joe Caramagna, the comic’s art matches the pacing of the writing. There’s an energy about it all and you can “hear” the X-Men yelling to each other to hold the line. There’s something about the art that just matches the intensity of the story.

While not perfect, the comic is a fun addition to the current run. It continues to really shake things up and throw in a lot while dealing with lingering stories.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letters: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.15 Overall: 7.65 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1 Wolverine and Cyclops

Extermination has ended. The X-Men have disassembled. All that remains is a handful of mutants. It’s up to Cyclops and Wolverine to assemble a new team of X-Men.

Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1 Wolverine and Cyclops collects issues #11-16.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Salvador Larroca, John McCrea, Juanan Ramirez
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg, Guru-eFX, Mike Spicer
Letters: Joe Caramanga

Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores on July 2! To find a comic shop near you, visit 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
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Review: Uncanny X-Men #20

Uncanny X-Men #20

Uncanny X-Men #20 works really well as a part of the bigger puzzle. Pieces come together to form the bigger picture. Key players begin to realize what’s been going on as more is revealed to them and us the reader.

The issue should make long-time readers both excited and frustrated as Matthew Rosenberg has key characters act out of character but also provides reasoning as to why. That’s a key thing with Rosenberg’s run. There are moments, many of them, that might not quite make sense but as things are revealed down the line fall into perfect place. This isn’t a run where you can pick up a single issue. This is a comic run whose entire arc needs to be ingested to enjoy.

This issue focuses on the X-Gene cure with the team turning to Dark Beast to combat it. There’s also a return of the Externals and Nasty Boys for an issues that’s as much a “this is your life” greatest enemies tour as it is wrapping up dangling plotlines. And that’s what Rosenberg’s run is like. It’s both a “celebration” of the past of the X-Men as it is dealing with recent plotlines that remain unsettled.

Rosenberg also keeps the metaphors flowing. There’s much debate about “choice” and allowing individuals to grow into what they naturally are. The groups this can be applied to are many and continues to show the X-Men are a comic creation that can fill in for so many marginalized groups and “tell” their story.

The art by Salvador Larroca is solid. Joined by Guru-eFX on color and Joe Caramagna on the lettering the art continues to look fantastic though never quite over the top. Larroca delivers great action moments but his art run can be defined by the lack of over the top splash pages. Instead, moments are compacted to a page or a few panels. Much like the story, the art feels focused and compacted with a very specific goal in mind. It forgoes the over the top visuals that take up pages without dialogue. The art continues to drive the dialogue and narrative packing in a lot in what it has to work with.

Uncanny X-Men #20 isn’t a comic to just dive in to. The reveals and story are really only going to be enjoyed by those who have followed Rosenberg’s run. It continues recent issue reveals bringing the bigger picture together and making the entire arc that much more enjoyable.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Uncanny X-Men #18

Uncanny X-Men #18

After the previous issue’s controversy, Uncanny X-Men #18 should also rile up readers as it’s filled team shaking events.

Writer Matthew Rosenberg delivers an issue filled with members quitting and lots of death. Seriously, there’s lots of death. Another X-Man and some villains, it’s all packed in an issue that feels a bit rushed and disjointed.

We now know that starting in July the X-line of comics will be shaken up again. That revelation makes it a bit clearer that Rosenberg is playing with his toys and a finite timeline. Things will change after and maybe some will be undone.

Uncanny X-Men #18 has multiple members quitting the team as things fall apart in multiple ways. The team crosses the line and outright murders villains. A team member dies. Another team member shows odd results from their powers. The issue and characters all seem very off.

Then we get to the end of the issue and it becomes much clearer. Uncanny X-Men #18, and this run, also becomes better in some ways too.

The art by Carlos Villa, with ink by Juan Vlasco and Craig Yeung and color by Guru-eFX is good as always. There’s some odd posses with characters but overall the issue is good visually. There’s absolutely missed opportunities for shock and impact but it overall has good character design and flow visually.

The issue is an odd one until you get to the end. Then, it all makes much more sense. But, the overall flow of the narrative is off here. Scenes don’t feel natural at times and there’s transitions missing in the story. The issue has its entertaining, and shocking, moments and now that things are clearer, it’s more exciting to see where this is all going.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Carlos Villa
Ink: Juan Vlasco, Craig Yeung Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation:
Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Exclusive Preview: Star Wars #66

Star Wars #66

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Angel Unzueta
Color: Guru-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: Gerald Parel
Rated T
In Shops: May 15, 2019
SRP: $3.99

“THE SCOURGING OF SHU-TORUN” PART 5
• QUEEN TRIOS vs. PRINCESS LEIA at last!
• Can LUKE SKYWALKER hold out against the attack of overwhelming force…from his own allies?!
• And when you think things couldn’t get worse for our Rebels, there’s always an orbital bombardment to survive!

Star Wars #66

Review: Uncanny X-Men #17

Uncanny X-Men #17

First…the X-Men lose one of their own. Then…the new Black King of the Hellfire Club makes a move.

An X-Man has fallen forcing the team to face their current situation and their real legacy. It also forces a showdown between Cyclops and Wolverine who have had a tense alliance since each has returned.

Writer Matthew Rosenberg delivers an emotional issue with Uncanny X-Men #17. It’s not just an exploration of the current state of the team and reality of what it is to be an X-Man but also has us see the death of Rahne Sinclair. With every scene, every word, Rosenberg is clearly thinking through details and what this issue is saying.

Sinclair’s death is shown through flashbacks as Wolverine attempts to mourn in his own way and as the tension builds you’re unsure of exactly where it’s going but know it’s only going badly. The scene uses transphobic wording to justify the attack against her and her eventual murder and this use has to be on purpose creating another group of individuals whose struggle the X-Men take up through allegory. While absolutely triggering for some, the scene just becomes even more of a gut-punch due to that detail turning from over the top tragedy to something a bit more relevant.

Then there’s the fallout as Cyclops and Wolverine go at it about what has happened. Each has a point of view that’s both right and wrong and the dynamic gets more interesting. The past, the two’s split, is evoked, and it’s something that’s been brewing. There’s also the backdrop that these survivors think all of their friends are dead instead of just in an alternate reality.

The art by Carlos Gómez, color by Guru-eFX, and lettering by Joe Caramagna has a roughness about it that enhances the pain and hurt. There’s a dark cloud about it all that evokes both the sadness and anger. There’s also a simplicity to it all that keeps the focus on the situation and what’s said, a smart decision overall.

The issue is a good one delivering a cathartic release to the tension that’s been building since Rosenberg’s run began. There’s a lot he’s packing in and this issue focuses on the two visions of Wolverine and Cyclops and how each sees the X-Men and its legacy. Then, like solid X-Men writing we get the twist a the end to take us on their next adventure.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Carlos Gómez
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Uncanny X-Men #16

Uncanny X-Men #16

Uncanny X-Men #16 continues to rollercoaster ride writer Matthew Rosenberg has put together. Last issue had teammates cleared of infection with horrifying results (that isn’t addressed here), Cyclops was shot in the head, and some classic team members were captured. Uncanny X-Men #16 rockets along addressing some of that, dropping other bits (hopefully to be addressed later).

The issue really revolves around Cyclops’ leadership and direction and if it’s the right one. Cutting deals with Captain America, saying that Xavier’s dream is dead, this is a new Cyclops with a new attitude and it’s not going over well with everyone. So decisions are made by the team as to how it should be lead and it should be interesting. The leadership shake-up already creates some interesting shifts and dynamics and from there the action really takes off.

Magneto and his Brotherhood are back (with some new members) but how is Magneto here and in the Age of X-Man!? That is all explained and it’s the biggest issue with this particular part of the story. There’s so much packed in, things feel like they’re just thrown in there without a lot of explanation. From Magneto we get the return of another character, spoiler she’s on the cover, and a result that’s shocking. Then there’s a revelation at the end of the issue as well that has to be a headfake. So, as more is added to the story there’s still a lot left hanging too.

The art by Salvador Larroca, with color by Guru-eFX and lettering by Joe Caramagna, is solid. The characters look great and battles fun to follow. There’s some classic characters present and Larroca’s style just brings back the nostalgia. There’s also a good use of the panels so that the shocking moments make you really do a double take or have you linger on the page and panel (or both).

The issue could have used some extra length or a weekly release. There’s a lot packed in this issue and not all of it is fleshed out but then again that feels like a tradition of X-Men comics. There’s a moment you just roll with it. This might be it and hopefully Rosenberg slows things down a little because there’s a lot of great ideas packed in to this issue and the last that with a little more focus would make this run really stand out in the long history of X-Men comics.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.15 Overall: 7.65 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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