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The Hellfire Gala Delivers Couture and a New X-Men Team

Humans of planet Earth. While you slept, the world changed.” The now iconic opening line from House of X #1, the start of writer Jonathan Hickman’s radical transformation of the X-Men franchise, foretold the incredible plans that mutantkind was about to unleash on the Marvel Universe. This June, the X-Men set out to change the world yet again at mutantkind’s inaugural Hellfire Gala.

Yesterday, the first of many exciting new character designs X-Men artists have contributed specifically for the Hellfire Gala were revealed and the world saw the meaning of “Mutant Fashion” as envisioned by superstar artist Russell Dauterman. Today, readers can check out the covers of all 12 Hellfire Gala issues, getting their first glimpse at the secrets, the battles, and of course, the fashion that await at this unforgettable evening.

These highly-anticipated stories will be told across 12 issues, offering different perspectives and viewpoints of a single night that will go down in Marvel Comics history. Throughout the event, fans can expect critical moments to occur that will shape the X-Men’s future as we know it—including the unveiling of the first Krakoan X-Men team, the final member of which was decided by a mega-popular Marvel.com vote.

The Hellfire Gala is the result of an epic creative collaboration of all the current X-Men writers and artists. Check out the covers and solicit text for all 12 tie-ins now and stay tuned for even more exciting news about the Hellfire Gala including additional designs, variants covers, and more!

On Sale 6/2

HELLIONS #12

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art and Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA

WHO INVITED THE HELLIONS TO THE HELLFIRE GALA?

Who thought it was a good idea to invite the antisocial HELLIONS to the fanciest bash of the year? Oh, no one? They weren’t invited but they showed up anyway? Yeah, that sounds about right.

HELLIONS #12

MARAUDERS #21

Written by GERRY DUGGAN & CHRIS CLAREMONT
Art by MATTEO LOLLI & JOHN BOLTON

WELCOME TO THE HELLFIRE GALA!

The Hellfire Trading Company has put together the biggest event of the season – the very first HELLFIRE GALA! Everyone will be there – all your favorite mutants, their closest allies…even their worst enemies – for a night of dinner, drinks, diplomacy and deceit. Fireworks to follow. Plus: From the archives, a classic X-Men tale with our very first look at a Hellfire Gala by Chris Claremont and John Bolton!

MARAUDERS #21

X-FORCE #20

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art and Cover by JOSHUA CASSARA

INVITE-ONLY TO THE HELLFIRE GALA!

It’s party time, but somebody’s got to work it. And when invited guests (and a few crashers) prove to be planted antagonistic agents, X-FORCE will need to get their hands dirty and keep this all under wraps…before anyone catches wind!

X-FORCE #20

On Sale 6/9

EXCALIBUR #21

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by MARCUS TO
Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

RICTOR HATES PARTIES.

Even the nice ones. And with Captain Britain’s return to a changed world, this one is looking to be not so nice. Excalibur’s Earth-shattering HELLFIRE GALA issue will change Krakoan diplomacy forever.

EXCALIBUR #21

X-MEN #21

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN, NICK DRAGOTTA, SARA PICHELLI & LUCAS WERNECK
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU

THE HEROES OF KRAKOA DEBUT!

It’s a changing if the guard as the first X-Men team of Krakoa debuts! One era ends as a new one begins, and the handoff happens here.

X-MEN #21

On Sale 6/16

NEW MUTANTS #19

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by ALEX LINS
Cover by MARTIN SIMMONDS

AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO…

The HELLFIRE GALA is here, and the NEW MUTANTS have the chance to take a break from training the youth of Krakoa – an opportunity to get dressed up and get down. But not everyone is on their best behavior…and someone has vanished without a trace.

NEW MUTANTS #19

PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1

Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art and Cover by PEPE LARRAZ
Variant Cover by PEPE LARRAZ

THEY CAME TO SLAY!

The HELLFIRE GALA rages on, but bigger things are afoot a world away. Make no mistake – this is an X-Men book drawn by superstar artist Pepe Larraz. It is absolutely the most important issue of the month.

PLANET-SIZE X-MEN #1

X-CORP #2

Written by TINI HOWARD
Art by ALBERTO FOCHE
Cover by DAVID AJA

A SHARK IN THE WATER!

After X-CORP’s shocking debut, they’ve got fences to mend, hands to shake and most importantly – a board to staff. With Dr. Jamie Madrox’s top-class dupes staffing the HELLFIRE GALA, CXOs Monet and Angel must stalk the dance floor and hope they don’t get preyed on themselves.

X-CORP #2

On Sale 6/23

S.W.O.R.D. #6

Written by AL EWING
Art and Cover by VALERIO SCHITI

THIS IS WHAT COMES NEXT.

On Earth, the HELLFIRE GALA is in full swing. But on S.W.O.R.D. Station One, a very different guest list comes together…as Abigail Brand finally unveils her plans for Mysterium – and the future of human and mutantkind.

S.W.O.R.D. #6

WAY OF X #3

Written by SI SPURRIER
Art by BOB QUINN
Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

MAKE MORE MUTANTS.

It’s the Hellfire Gala hangover. Nightcrawler tries to root out the evil working to destroy Krakoa by investigating all its laws, starting with… **SEXY SAXOPHONE SOLO**

WAY OF X #3

WOLVERINE #13

Written by BENJAMIN PERCY
Art by SCOT EATON
Cover by ADAM KUBERT

HELLFIRE COMPROMISED!

Can WOLVERINE and X-FORCE keep the peace or is the gala doomed?

WOLVERINE #13

On Sale 6/30

X-FACTOR #10

Written by LEAH WILLIAMS
Art by DAVID BALDEÓN
Cover by IVAN SHAVRIN

THE LAST DANCE!

At the Hellfire Gala, SECRETS WILL BE REVEALED! VENGEANCE WILL BE HAD. And someone’s number is up. You’ll never guess whose.

X-FACTOR #10

Preview: Hellions #9

Hellions #9

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) Stephen Segovia
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 03, 2021
SRP: $3.99

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MUTANT?
MR. SINISTER is missing! Will the Hellions be able to put aside the tensions poised to split the team apart long enough to unravel the mystery? On the upside, at least Sinister found his cape.

Preview: Hellions #8

Hellions #8

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) Stephen Segovia
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Jan 06, 2021
SRP: $3.99

It was a simple mission: retrieve NANNY’S ship and create a new containment armor for the recently resurrected ORPHAN-MAKER. But the emergence of an old enemy and his deadly warriors make their renewed life a hell on Earth for the HELLIONS!

Hellions #8

Brett’s Favorite Comics of 2020 and a Reflection on the Past Year

The Recount #1

It feels weird writing a “best of” list for the past year since it’s been so difficult for so many. Writer Ron Marz Tweeted something like any comic that helped to get you through it is a favorite, and deep down I agree with that. It’s been a rough year for so many and it’s one where the comic industry was forced to mature and face reality in many ways.

Things shifted for everyone.

Publishers canceled projects, shifted schedules, and looked to go directly to the consumer. Creators looked for new ways to earn money and also go directly to the consumer. Stores were forced to market more taking to video, email, and social media to keep customers aware of the latest offerings and remind them of classics they might have missed. Some stores didn’t make it through the year. Others expanded. New ones joined the industry. Consumers had more choices than ever before that made it easier to escape the world burning around them and find enjoyment in make-believe worlds where justice prevails in the end.

In the end, though 2020 looked bleak, it left the comic industry as a whole stronger than ever before.

It feels weird doing this “best of” but at the same time I feel like I want to “honor” and spotlight the comics that got me through the year and had me excited to read the next issues. This is what I’ve read so if you don’t see something mentioned it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just might not have read it. Sorry, I can’t read everything (there was a massive glut in webcomics and manga for me).

So, in a bit different spin I’ve split this list into three sections.

  1. Comics where I’ve only read one issue so far, because that’s what’s been released, but am excited to see what comes in the new year.
  2. Comics I enjoyed each month and are kind of a “silver medal” for me. I wanted to acknowledge them but also didn’t want this to be an overwhelming essay. They’ll get more of a nod when I do a video of this.
  3. The ones I was excited to read each month or had an impact on me. These are the ones that go into my regular suggestions of comics to read down the road. The art, the stories, the presentation, they’re all at that “top of the game” level.

All of these are listed in no particular order (hell it’ll probably just be in alphabetical). Enough with the rambling… lets get on with some comics!

2020 gave us one, here’s ones I’m excited to read their second issues in 2021!

  • Batman: Black & White #1 – The first issue had some solid stories but it’s the art that really stood out. It was mind-blowing and one of the best comics visually released this year. Almost every story broke away from standard panels and was just amazing to look at. I have no idea if future issues will be like this but here’s hoping.
  • Black Cat #1 – The last volume was a lot of fun to read and this first issue continued that. Despite being a King in Black tie-in, the issue kept the focus on what Black Cat does best, steal things as everything collapses around her. There’s just a certain style and attitude that the creative team nails with this. It was a fun debut that you could just sit back, laugh while reading, and enjoy.
  • M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #1 – Marvel’s trying to make M.O.D.O.K. a thing. It’s kind of been his year between an upcoming HULU series, a popular miniature in Marvel: Crisis Protocol, and this comic. The first issue had me laughing and I’m hoping that continues.
  • The Other History of the DC Universe #1 – John Ridley is one of my favorite creators out there. His work in film and television have blown me away. It looks like DC has given him the opportunity to deliver a brutally honest take about the DC Universe from the perspective of people of color and the first issue is one of the best things I read all year. I can’t wait until the second and this man should be allowed to do whatever he wants.
  • The Recount #1 – The issue hit a bit close to reality. The President is a crook and assassinated and there’s an uprising to purge the country of everyone who supported him, from the Vice President down to voters. It was a hell of an opening issue and one that was chilling in so many ways.
Shang-Chi #1

Comics to check out…

These were all great reads and should go on your reading pile. These are ones I made sure to read every month and jumped at reading as soon as they crossed my desk. They’ll all get more love in my video version of this.

The comics that really stood out for the year.

All of these comics were ones that kept me thinking well after I read them and I’d be happy to read them again. Many are still ongoing while others have wrapped up their runs. Each stands out in its own special way.

Ginseng Roots #3
  • Black Widow – Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Jordie Bellaire, and Cory Petit are the main creators on what’s been released so far and every issue has been amazing. Black Widow has been captured and brainwashed into believing a domestic life is real and hers. There’s been a great mix of humor, action, in this spy thriller and it’s sure to ramp up now based on the latest issue’s final moments. This is a great mix of storytelling and visual coolness.
  • Dead Day – Man, I really want this to be done as a television series and absolutely need more comics. Ryan Parrot, Evgeniy Bornyakov, Juancho!, and Charles Pritchett deliver a masterclass in world-building. Not only do they deliver an interesting story but have crafted a bigger world. For one night, the dead return, and while the comic really told the story of one family, each issue fleshed out enough of what this event’s impact would be elsewhere to get you to think and imagine.
  • Far Sector – N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell, and Deron Bennett have breathed a breath of fresh air into the Green Lanterns with this series. We’re taken to an alien world where a new Lantern named Jo must solve a murder which takes her deep into a corrupt society. It does what science fiction does best, explore our real world. The visuals are stunning as well in what is a comic that’s timely capturing the current zeitgeist.
  • Ginseng Roots – Craig Thompson explores his childhood in what’s one of the most original comics this year. In a small format and with minimal colors, the comic tells us the history of ginseng and Thompson’s childhood.
  • Harley Quinn Black + White + Red – DC really shook things up this year and one way was a greater focus on digital releases. This series was an anthology that delivered a different creative team with every chapter. We got to see over a dozen different takes on Harley Quinn each of which was entertaining. If you want to see how much the creators matter when it comes to the storytelling, here you go. This is also a perfect example of where digital comics should be going from major publishers.
  • Kill a Man – This story focused on a gay man’s battles within the world of MMA was an updated take on the Rocky formula and done so well. You can come at it as a fan of MMA, as someone who’s LGBTQ, both, or just wanting good storytelling. Emotional with great action, it’s a home run from the team of Steve Orlando, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Al Morgan, and Jim Campbell.
  • Superman Smashes the Klan – The miniseries was collected and it’s amazing. Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru, and Janice Chiang deliver a comic that captures the heart of Superman. Based on the groundbreaking radio play where Superman takes on the KKK, this comic is amazing in every aspect, from the story to the visuals. Add in some extra material from Yang about his own experiences and it becomes a comic everyone should read and one that helps define Superman in one of his best depictions ever.
  • Vlad Dracul – Matteo Strukul, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Joel Rodriguez tell us the story about the very real Vlad, the inspiration for Dracula. I learned a hell of a lot and would love to see more comics like this. It’s a crazy read that can be enjoyed for the history and education and/or the brutal story itself that would fit any fantasy world.
  • We Live – The first issue was perfection and got me to choke up. Each subsequent issue has built upon the world. In this story humanity is almost over but a mysterious entity from space will save 5,000 children but first they must get to extraction points. This is a few kids’ stories and their journey of survival. By Inaki Miranda, Roy Miranda, Eva De La Cruz, and Dave Sharpe each issue is visually amazing plus there’s some awesome bonus music you can listen to while reading.
  • Yasmeen – Talk about an emotional gut-punch with each issue. Saif A. Ahmed, Fabiana Mascolo, and Robin Jones tell the story of Yasmeen who was captured and tortured by Isis and her attempt to deal with the PTSD while settling after in the United States. Just an amazing blend of storytelling and real recent history.

After Dawn of X Comes Reign of X

This week delivers the conclusion of X of Swords, the sprawling crossover that represented the latest chapter in Jonathan Hickman’s grand vision for the X-Men, and learned that the Reign of X was upon us!

Hickman’s bold take on mutantkind began last year in the critically-acclaimed House of and Powers of X and continued in the Dawn of X, ushering in a slate of brand-new X-Men titles that took the comic book industry by storm. Now, the saga continues in Reign of X, a new era encompassing the upcoming story arcs in all your favorite X-titles. The Reign of X will see the forming of new teams, the return of major characters, new threats brought about by classic villains, and more game-changing revelations that will alter the X-Men mythos forever! Check out what’s to come in a mesmerizing teaser image by superstar X-Men artist Mahmud Asrar!

It all begins in December as the X-Men deal with the fallout of X of Swords and look to the future. Here’s what’s to come next month:

Hellions #7 by writer Zeb Wells and artist Stephen Segovia will explore the aftermath of the team’s brutal massacre in X of Swords.

Writer Leah Williams and artist David Baldeon continue to investigate mutant deaths and explore the complexities that come with resurrection in X-Factor #5.

Kate Pryde and Emma Frost finally enact their long-awaited revenge on Sebastian Shaw in Marauders #16 by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Stefano Caselli.

Mutantkind sets their sights on the galaxy and beyond in writer Al Ewing and artist Valerio Schiti’s groundbreaking S.W.O.R.D. #1.

An old foe rises in New Mutants #14, the beginning of a wild new era for your favorite young mutants by writer Vita Ayala and artist Rod Reis.

Wolverine reunites with Maverick and Team X in Wolverine #8, a special over-sized milestone issue written by Benjamin Percy with art by Adam Kubert and Viktor Bogdanovic.

The search for Captain Britain is underway as Excalibur returns to Otherworld in Excalibur #16 by writer Tini Howard and artist Marcus To.

X-Force will stop at nothing to protect Krakoa, even if it means interrogating their own, in the action-packed X-Force #15 by writer Benjamin Percy and Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Joshua Cassara.

And Cyclops makes a fateful decision regarding the future of the X-Men in X-Men #16, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Phil Noto.

Reign of X

Preview: Hellions #4

Hellions #4

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) Stephen Segovia
PARENTAL ADVISORY
In Shops: Sep 16, 2020
SRP: $3.99

HAVOK STANDS ALONE! Krakoa’s resident rabble are up against the grand dame of the damned – the Goblin Queen, Madelyne Pryor! Talk about a return that could raise some havoc!

Hellions #4

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Ginseng Roots #6

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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 choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

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

Batman: Three Jokers #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – After a long build up and teases, the first issue is here and it’s…. interesting.

Displacement (First Second) – A teenager is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother’s experiences in a WWII-era Japanese internment camp.

Flamer (Henry Holt) – Aiden heads to summer camp and navigates his feelings about being gay.

Ginseng Roots #6 (Uncivilized Comics) – Craig Thompson continues to explore his youth and it revolving around ginseng. A fascinating autobiography.

Hellions #3 (Marvel) – The most intriguing entry in Marvel’s new line of X-Men? The battle against the Goblin Queen continues.

Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go #1 (IDW Publishing) – Prepare to open a door onto one of the grimmest battlefields of the 20th century, whose darkness might even strike fear into an army of supernatural shadows.

Map to the Sun (First Second) – A YA graphic novel about five principle players in a struggling girls’ basketball team. The presentation is amazing.

Mega Man: Fully Charged #1 (BOOM! Studios) – The animated reboot comes to comics. While we haven’t seen the show, we’re excited to check out the comic as fans of the video game.

Nailbiter Returns #4 (Image Comics) – If you like horror or slasher movies, you’ll enjoy this comic series.

The School for Extraterrestrial Girls (Papercutz) – Jeremy Whitley and Jamie Noguchi’s new graphic novel series about a school for extraterrestrials.

X-Factor #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic and to have a detective series that fills a niche of solving one of the flaws of Krakoa should be interesting going forward.

Preview: Hellions #3

Hellions #3

(W) Zeb Wells (A/CA) Stephen Segovia
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 26, 2020
SRP: $3.99

MAD AS HELL!
Krakoa’s resident rabble are up against the grand dame of the damned – the Goblin Queen, Madelyne Pryor! Talk about a return that could raise some havoc!

Hellions #3
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