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Review: X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1

I’ve been generally down on the X books since the Hickman relaunch. Gone were the stories of individuals who, despite hatred by so many, stood up to be heroes. They were flawed. They dealt with adversity and hate. And, they often sacrificed themselves to triumph (only to come back later). The new direction for the X-Men was one of nationalism, where death was overcome, and in that, any tension. Where was the excitement when you could throw in your heavy hitters, watch them die, then just bring them back in a religious fervor. These weren’t heroes fighting for equality, these were incredibly powerful individuals who saw themselves as something more, often saying they looked down on humanity. In their cheating of death, they lost their souls and became corrupted. X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 explores that corruption as Nightcrawler continues his search for a mutant “way”.

Written by Si Spurrier, X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 is a continuation of Way of X. Nightcrawler is front and center as so many pieces of the puzzle laid out since the reboot come together. It takes what feels like it should have been an “event” and compacts it to a one-shot comic. That’s impressive in many ways but also creates a read that feels a bit rushed and whose reveals never quite deliver a punch.

Onslaught has corrupted Krakoa and its various processes, building its power and growing. Nightcrawler has gathered a team to stop it and while doing so, also come up with a vision for mutantkind. This isn’t one of supremacy, it’s one of improvement and defense. Nightcrawler has attempted to bring the X-books back to their roots, planting their foot in the side of equality and positivity.

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 in many ways feels like a repudiation of the X-books of late. It takes on the nationalism and religious fervor that has permeated the reboot. It squarely challenges the “death cult” attitude the series has taken. It admits that the X-Men have lost their “soul”. It’s an interesting build up and for those who felt something was “off” in the reboot, these last few months have played out that we were correct. There was something insidious at the root of it all. But, the shift has begun to return the X-Men to fight for everyone and do what’s right for all, not just their nation.

What’s really interesting about X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 is how much it adds to Fabian Cortez who plays a key role. He’s a character who you could tell there was plans for since his return but always was the sad trombone. This issue puts him front and center in many ways and creates depth for the character that was missing. What was a spoiled rich brat has some pathos we can empathize with and understand his views and actions.

The art by Bob Quinn is interesting. There’s some truly amazing panels and pages are mixed with some just less so. Character designs which should inspire and be jaw-dropping feel like let downs. It’s an issue full of ups and downs visually and never quite hits the reader like it should. Java Tartaglia provides the color with lettering by Clayton Cowles and overall, the colors pop, the lettering adds an ominous feel, but the pencils and page layouts themselves never totally click. Scenes of what should feel like near carnality breaking out feels like a rave in Zion. The tension is built but never quite visually gets there. The designs within Legion’s mind are great but are never memorable.

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 is the end of one chapter setting up the next. There’s some interesting concepts within and a meta take on the X-books up to this point. It charts a new series to come hinting at a potentially fun team throwing up a lot of question. It most importantly feels like a “you were right” for all who felt something was off about the current X-Men and direction.

Story: Si Spurrier Art: Bob Quinn
Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Marvel Celebrates Latinx Heroes with Marvel’s Voices: Comunidades #1

This October, Marvel presents Marvel’s Voices: Comunidades #1! This latest one-shot in the Marvel’s Voices series will continue the tradition of highlighting the cultural richness of Marvel Comics and uplifting new voices in the comic book industry. The comic turns the spotlight to Latinx heroes and creators from the Marvel Universe.

These all-new stories will feature thrilling adventures of some of Marvel’s most popular heroes while celebrating the range of their cultural heritage as told by fan-favorite writers and artists and those making their Marvel Comics debut.

  • Writer Terry Blas introduces a brand-new hero in an action-packed adventure spinning out of his acclaimed Reptil series.
  • New York Times best-selling author Daniel José Older revisits the legacy of Marvel’s first super hero of Latino descent, Hector Ayala aka White Tiger, in an inspiring story rooted in real history.
  • Catch up with the current White Tiger, Ava Ayala, when author Amparo Ortiz has the young hero confront the dark nature of her powers.
  • Travel to the past with writer Juan Ponce to witness Nina the Conjuror, the Brazilian Sorcerer Supreme of the 1950s, battle the raging nature spirit known as Anhangá.
  • Plus an introduction by renowned comics scholar Frederick Luis Aldama about the history of Latinx heroes and creators in the comic book industry.

Stay tuned for information on the other stories in this collection including works by Karla Pacheco, Alex Segura, Leo Romero, Edgar Delgado, Nico Leon, and more! Announced artists include Enid Balám, Vanesa Del Ray, Adriana Melo, Leonardo Romero, Nico Leon, Alitha E. Martinez, and more. It features a main cover by Joe Quesada and variants by Mateus Manhanini, Maria Wolf and Mike Spicer, Nabetse Zitro and Jesus Aburtov, and George Pérez and Java Tartaglia.

Marvel’s first Latino super hero, White Tiger, was created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist George Pérez in 1974’s Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #19. Since then, Marvel has introduced many heroes of Latino-descent from a multitude of different backgrounds including current stars such as Miles Morales, America Chavez, and Reptil. Join us in celebrating these heroes and many more when Marvel’s Voices: Comunidades #1 hits stands on October 20th!

Review: Way of X #1

Way of X #1

The elevator pitch is that Way of X is about Nightcrawler founding a mutant religion. However, Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia bring so much more to the table in a book that visually looks like an X-book, but is far from it. What they’re really doing is picking up some of the threads from Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men and exploring what life is like on Krakoa and what holds it together.

Utopias seem to be doomed to failure, and Nightcrawler has a nagging feeling about that when the book opens with Professor X telepathically calling to him in shadows surrounded by pictures of his exes. Looking into Charles Xavier the man and not just figurehead or cameo king is one of the myriad delights of Way of X #1, which goes down many amusing and thought-provoking rabbit holes of potential storylines until finally finding a real hook in its final scene.

Before showing long conversations between Nightcrawler and Dr. Nemesis about Dunbar’s number, belief, and psychedelics or data pages that are feel like riffs on Augustine of Hippo’s Confessions (Kurt is Catholic), Spurrier and Quinn set up Way of X with a team of mutants going on a mission.In keeping with the series’ premise, this mission is religious theme with Nightcrawler, DJ, Pixie, Loa, and Blink disrupting a “museum of hate” that the cloak and dagger mutant-extermination organization Orchis is using to convince people that mutants are dangerous and evil. It’s like that room in Kentucky’s Creation “Museum” that pins all evils, wars, and sicknesses of the world on people not believing that the world is 4,000 years old and was created in seven 24 hour days, but with panels from old X-Men comics. This is pretty messed up and is a commentary on how museums (Especially more respectable ones than the one mentioned in the previous sentence.) can codify narratives about countries and people, but Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn also connect it to Krakoan belief systems when Pixie takes a bullet in the head so she can be resurrected again. This really messes with Kurt’s own beliefs and gives Quinn an opportunity to draw one hell of a befuddled Nightcrawler.

It also sets up the overarching conflict between the violent ritual of the Crucible being the shared narrative of Krakoa or something more peaceful, which Kurt is still workshopping in the data pages of Way of X #1. As seen in other X-Books and succinctly explained by Exodus, the Crucible is a ritual where mutants who were de-powered by the Scarlet Witch fight to the death so they can be resurrected and re-powered. It’s primal and bloodthirsty, and Bob Quinn switches from his usual grids and tiers to more diagonal and chaotic layouts to show the discomfort that mutants like the aptly named Lost feel as they are forced to be a part of a violent struggle to get their abilities back.

Java Tartaglia also uses flat, stark colors to show how much of the crowd has embraced the Crucible as Krakoa’s proverbial theory of everything. However, he, Quinn, and Spurrier hint at another way when Lost calls Nightcrawler a “kindly one” an allusion to the Greek play Eumenides, which showed the vengeful Furies becoming the protective Kindly Ones.

But, originally “Kindly One” was a euphemism so the people of Athens could avoid the wrath of the Furies and still mention them by name so maybe Nightcrawler is seen as more of a malevolent force a la the mysterious Patchwork Man, who is a kind of a folk Bogeyman spirit in Krakoa rising up through campfire stories along with the more “orthodox” baddie Scarlet Witch. Unexplainable forces dart between the margins of Way of X #1 culminating in Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn’s big final page reveal that makes sense in both of the context of this issue and Spurrier’s larger body of X-Book work. Nightcrawler and Pixie darting around in a big action scene is interspersed with a spooky figure that even causes Professor X to cry out in the night and cut the bullshit for once in his conversations. It’s a figure that can’t be taken out with the blunt force of a strike team, hence, its appearance in the clever, intellectual X-Book whose protagonist is trying to find a belief system for Krakoa that isn’t centered around ritual combat as things come fun circle.

Way of X #1 is a true feast of a X-Book from Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, and Java Tartaglia. It’s funny, sensitive, smart, and covers a range of emotions from hope to doubt and even confusion. (It’s definitely one you’ll have to read a few times to let it sink in.) Its 42 page length also let Spurrier and Quinn give an extended glimpse at the life of the mind, body, and soul of Krakoa, pick the brains and feelings of an idiosyncratic cast of characters, including Magneto, Professor X, Nightcrawler, and stealing the whole damn show, Dr. Nemesis, and also set up the initial plotline of the series.

Story: Si Spurrier Art: Bob Quinn
Colors: Java Tartaglia Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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The Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 Games Workshop Variant is Now Available

Games Workshop has an exclusive variant cover to Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1. The cover by Clayton Crain is exclusive to their stores and is the first time the Marvel comic is available through GW and its stores.

The comic is the untold origins of the Ultramarines Chapter Master written by Kieron Gillen and art by Jacen Burrows and Java Tartaglia.

The comic retails for $4.99 and is limited to 1 per customer. It’s available until it sells out so hurry!

Check out our review of the first issue.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 Clayton Crain variant

Exclusive Preview: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #5 (of 5)

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #5 (of 5)

(W) Kieron Gillen (A) Jacen Burrows (I) Guillermo Ortego (C) Java Tartaglia (L) Clayton Cowles (CA) James Stokoe (VCA) Games Workshop, E.M. Gist
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 24, 2021
SRP: $4.99

CALGAR’S ULTIMATE TEST!
• MARNEUS CALGAR’S deadly gambit brings him back to the moon where it all began… and an enemy who has been in hiding for centuries!
• To quell the threat of this darkest power, Calgar will show no mercy.
• There.
• Is.
• Only.
• WAR.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #5 (of 5)

Review: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4

Games Workshop’s world of Warhammer 40,000 comes to Marvel comics with Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar!

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 takes us to the past to show what it takes to become a Space Marine and in the present Marneus battles Chaos forces!

Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jacen Burrows
Ink: Guillermo Ortego
Color: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy 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.

comiXology
Kindle
Zeus Comics

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: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4

What does it take to be a Space Marine in the Warhammer 40,000 universe? Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 answers that question in a comic that focuses more on the warrior’s growth than the battle currently waging. The series has been an interesting one doing a solid job of mixing two eras for its main character Marneus Calgar. Through his battles in the present, he reflects on what it took for him to become the leader he is today. And through the past, we get to see more of the world and his difficult journey.

In the past Tacitan, now Marneus, has helped defeat a Chaos cult and is going through the trails to join the ranks of the Ultramarines Space Marine chapter. writer Kieron Gillen does an excellent job showing how difficult a task it is as the bodies pile up and Marneus goes through a torturous transformation. It’s been years since I read up on all of the specifics of the augments that go into being a Space Marine, but Gillen takes us step-by-step. It feels like an update to the rather dry spec-readouts I remember reading as a fan of the Warhammer 40K miniature game. Organs are added and training is done and through it all we get to see Marneus grow, literally.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 does an impressive job of taking what has been told so many times before and making it interesting. There’s been a lot written as to the various upgrades in Space Marines but Gillen breaks it down as to what those upgrades are, when they’re given, why they’re given, and what the gains are. He does that through Marneus’ training in the field. For new readers, some of it might be surprising as things like acid spit and the ability to gain memories through the consumption of others are presented. And it all just flows without a hint of silliness.

In the present, Marneus battles the Chaos forces. The blood flows with somewhat comedic effect. The art by Jacen Burrows works well this issue delivering an over the top experience. The training scenes, especially towards the beginning are full of chaos at times as the numbers dwindle due to death. The present battle we see heads up and bodies crushed under tanks. Whether it’s meant as a comedic spin, I don’t know. But, it’s over the top and hard to not enjoy it in that way. Java Tartaglia‘s colors deliver some of the fun in rather bright colors and Clayton Cowles‘ lettering the right touch for the calls of Chaos warriors.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 is a fun comic that feels like a nice updated take on a “field guide”. We get to see what it takes to be a Space Marine step by step. And we get a lot action in both the past and present. It works really well to educate people about this new new world and property and entertain at the same time.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jacen Burrows
Ink: Guillermo Ortego Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Exclusive Preview: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Jacen Burrows
Inker: Guillermo Ortego
Colorist: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Designer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: James Stokoe
Variant: Luke Ross, Arif Prianto; Mico Suayan, Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 03, 2021
SRP: $4.99

THE MAKING OF A SPACE MARINE!
• Young MARNEUS CALGAR has passed his Space Marine Aspirant testing…but that means the real trial is only just beginning!
• As Marneus undergoes the rigorous training, excruciating organ implantation and strenuous physical augmentation, he will have to prove that, against all odds, he has what it takes!
• And in the 41st Millennium, the assault on CALGAR ESTATES reaches a deadly climax!

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

Review: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3

Games Workshop‘s world of Warhammer 40,000 comes to Marvel Entertainment comics with Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar! The two issues were a solid introduction but and upended what you thought you knew about Marneus Calgar. Talk about a game-changer! Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3 doesn’t attempt to compete with the last issue, instead focusing on the character’s growth over the years.

Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jacen Burrows
Color: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy 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.

comiXology
Kindle
Zeus Comics

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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: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3

After the shocking reveal of the last issue, it’s hard for Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3 to top it. So, it doesn’t even try. Instead, the issue focuses on the battle ahead in its two stories. It also continues to deliver insight into the champion and leader of the Ultramarines, Marneus Calgar.

Writer Kieron Gillen continues the dual narrative focusing on the kid that “Marneus Calgar” was and the man Marneus Calgar is. It’s an interesting use of the two time periods as Gillen shows the growth of the character in subtle ways. In the past, we have a green individual who is full of heart but not wise on tactics. In the present, Calgar is a brilliant tactician but also somewhat cold.

The dual stories provide an interesting balance to the issue. We get to see growth in the character from youth to adult. It also dials things back in some ways from the previous one. It’d be difficult to top that issue’s reveal so instead Gillen doesn’t even try. Instead he focuses on Tacitan and where he came from to where he is now using the reveal to further the story. That allows a shift in the narrative in that Calgar’s estate goes from a location to defend due to nostalgia and it being “home” to it being another tactical tool to use. The switch goes from defending one’s home to a cold, calculated move. It’s a great shift that forces you to rethink the first issue and the estate’s introduction.

Gillen does shift things in some ways using the visuals. Games Workshop is known for its violent imagery and while the series has danced around it, Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3 ups the action. New shocking reveals? That’s been done. Now it’s time for the ultra violence. Bodies explode in red explosions as Calgar and his Ultramarines light up the enemies. Bodies drop in the past as Tacitan uses his wits to escape the worshippers of Khorne. Blood flies in crimson glee.

Artist Jacen Burrows handles the violent dance with colors from Java Tartaglia and lettering by Clayton Cowles. Burrows and Tartaglia delivers over the top imagery as bodies explode from bolter fire. The issue almost makes up for the lack of violence in the previous two. It’s over the top in a humorous way delivering more of the violent imagery Games Workshop and Warhammer 40,000 are known for.

What the artistic team and Gillen really pull off is the awe of the Space Marines. The introduction of the Ultramarines to Tacitan is done so in reverence and almost angelic reveal. The scene is handled in a surprising way for multiple reasons. We get to see the abilities of just one Ultramarine but for those that are long time 40K fans, we question actions too. Tacitan has been “exposed” to the corrupting powers of Chaos and yet is saved by the Ultramarine instead of being purged as a possible heretic. There’s more to this story and hopefully Gillen addresses what feels like an intentional decision.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3 doesn’t bring the surprises like the previous issue but it ups the action. We get crimson gore flying across panels in a dance of explosions. We get to see Calgar, in both ages, do what he does best, kick Chaos’ ass. The series has been a fun one for me as a long-time fan for Warhammer 40,000 and with each issue the creative team has upped the fun bit by bit.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jacen Burrows
Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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