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Marvel Comics Review: Spider-Geddon: Covert Ops

Spider-Geddon: Covert Ops combines two Spider-Geddon mini-series in one trade paperback. You get Spider-Force #1-3 and Spider-Girls #1-3 by Priest, Paulo Siqueira, Marcelo Ferreira, Szymon Kudranski, Ibraim Roberson, Oren Junio, Craig Yeung, Roberto Poggi, Guru-eFX, Joe Sabino, Jody Houser Andrés Genolet, Tríona Farrell, Jim Charalampidis, Cris Peter, Jim Campbell, and Joe Caramagna.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on March 12! 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 FREE copies 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: Return of Wolverine #4

Return of Wolverine #4

Can Logan handle the truth of what he’s done?

As the penultimate issue of the series (finally) heralding Wolverines, uh, return to the Marvel Universe, Return Of Wolverine #4 does an admirable job of setting up the conclusion, but there’s nothing here that really excites, either. It’s an example of a perfectly average – at best – book.

The story tries to have shocks, but fails. There’s a revelation that, presumably, should carry some weight, but either I’ve read far too many comics and books or it’s telegraphed early enough that any surprise is long gone by the time you finally get to it. The promise of the first issue has either been long spent or Charles Soule ran out of time while writing this. Soule is a really good writer, and has produced some top tier comics; this just isn’t one of his best.

Declan Shalvey does his best to bring the scores up, but while he’s very solid, there’s nothing here that pushes this comic into a Must Buy purely because of the art.

The comic’s plot is focused almost entirely on a conversation and the flashbacks that part of the story is told in, which leaves one with the feeling that not a whole lot occurs. Certainly the longer flashbacks were almost unnecessary when combined with the brief flashes we get earlier in the comic (personally I find the brief flashes have more of a weight than the full window into the past; less is more, after all). There’s very little inherently wrong with the comic, but it’s hard to recommend paying full price for an issue that doesn’t seem integral to the story when a quick recap blurb in the finale would sum up this issue in its entirety.

Unfortunately, it’s a comic that neither demands to be read nor garners enough of an emotional reaction in your humble reviewer to find a lot to talk about. It’s simply very okay. That’s not always a bad thing, but neither is it a particularly great thing, either. As the oft used phrase goes, “it is what it is.”

And that’s very average.

Return Of Wolverine #4 is a comic that’s far from bad, but struggles to be anything more that pretty good. At the end of the day, for the price of this comic, I expected more.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Declan Shalvey 
Colours: Laura Martin Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino
 Story: 6.2 Art: 7.6 Overall: 6.6 Recommendation: Read 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Extermination #5

Extermination #5

It all ends here!!! The original five X-Men have taken the fight back to Ahab…but at what cost? Who lives? Who dies? The X-Men will never be the same again.

This is it, the end to the latest X epic as Ahab continues to press his fight against the X-Men. Things look desperate as members are turned into Hounds. And, lets face it, there’s a lot to wrap here. For years now, the original X-Men have been stuck in modern times and that has left so many questions out there. Do they get back? How? Do they remember? That’s all answered here.

Writer Ed Brisson not only wraps up so huge plot questions with this event but also sets up what’s to come for years. Extermination #5 really shakes things up delivering an excellent action packed story. And, it’s ending is satisfying. While much of it is predictable, it still wraps up what is a mess for continuity nicely.

The issue hits the right beats delivering so much so nicely in an issue that packs a solid punch. There’s death. There’s time travel. There’s so much that makes the X-Men the X-Men. And Brisson makes sure to deliver numerous small moments that matter (if the Iceman talking to Iceman doesn’t touch you a little…).

Pepe Larraz with color by Marte Gracia and lettering by Joe Sabino deliver on the art. This issue has a lot packed in with a hell of a lot of characters and the art team is focused on what to emphasize. The detail is where it needs to be and small details add so much. And the moments that need pop have exactly that. The art gives you that hell yeah punch.

This event delivers in wrapping up years of plot lines, and messy time travel plot lines at that. It also sets up some twists with one saying holy crap and one not expected to be in this issue, but expected due to solicitations. X events have been hit and miss for years but this is one that delivers in every way and that includes this final issue.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Pepe Larraz
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Men: The Exterminated #1

In the aftermath of Extermination, the X-Men mourn for their fallen brother, Cable. But no one is taking it harder than his adopted daughter, Hope Summers. Will Hope be able to cope with the loss, or will she be led down a dark path that she won’t be able to return from? Only Jean Grey can save Hope from herself! Plus, celebrate the life of Nathan Summers with a story from his past by Chris Claremont!

Cable is dead, sort of, during the events of “Extermination” having been killed by his younger self. And, not surprising, “post event” (the last issue of Extermination hasn’t been released yet) we get an issue mourning the loss of the character. Broken into two stories, X-Men: The Exterminated is an ok follow up but lacks, something. Having read it, I walked away having just spent the 15 minutes of my time and instantly the comic was pretty forgettable. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not memorable in any way. There’s no revelation. There’s not even much emotion. It’s just a safe comic that feels like a box checked off more than anything.

The first story follows Hope and Jean Grey as they set off to close down Cables various hideouts. Hope of course has a mission of her own that’s very predictable. The two go back and forth about what Cable meant to Hope and the banter feels like it’s more about Hope’s absence from comics more than her time with Cable. There’s much left on the table such as Hope sort of being Jean Grey’s granddaughter in a way and where Hope has been. Jean shows little emotion in the mourning and Hope comes off a bit cold beyond the anger she shows at Bishop and Deadpool, two characters who have a lot of history with Cable as well. Out of it all, Deadpool is the one who delivers the most emotional bit laying his cards on the table in a way. Writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler seem to not shake the tree much in an way and the script is fairly predictable in its end. It’s a story that’s both emotionless and without much point beyond answering the question about what happened to all of Cable’s technology and weapons?

The art by Neil Edwards with color by David Ramos and lettering by Joe Sabino too is forgettable. Again, it’s not bad but much like the story itself nothing stands out. The settings are generic sci-fi. There’s a mention of Cable enjoying cyberpunk but what’s presented doesn’t feel much like that. The environments have the minimal detail at no point emphasizing how much there really is or at least how much could get out and do some damage.

The second story reflects on a bit after Cable, Nathan, is born where his parents head to Alaska for some relaxation. It rewrites some of the comic history but it’s interesting mostly for the return of classic X-Men scribe Chris Claremont. The story itself has its touching moments but again misses any real interest. What’s most fascinating is the perspective of the narrative of the story being told. Nothing said or shown is vital and it all feels like its been included because it deals with baby Cable and fits the first story’s theme of parents and their kids (on a couple of levels).

The art by Ramon Rosanas with color by Nolan Woodard and lettering by Joe Sabino is ok with a throwback quality to it all. The comic feels like it could have fit into the late 80s or early 90s as far as style and would have fit being a backup story then.

The comic as a whole is ok. It never feels like it really honors Cable and by the end you’re left with muttering “that’s it?”. Nothing is vital and again this feels more like a checking of the box than anything else. There isn’t some deep thought about who Cable is or his impact on X history, instead it’s a very surface level experience that lacks any real emotion or depth.

Story: Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Chris Claremont
Art: Neil Edwards, Ramon Rosanas
Color: Jay David Ramos, Nolan Woodard Lettering: Joe Sabino
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Killmonger #1

One of the breakout characters from this year’s Black Panther film gets the spotlight as Erik Killmonger is the focus of this new miniseries that explores his history.

Killmonger #1 is by Bryan Edward Hill, Juan Ferreyra, and Joe Sabino.

Get your copy in comic shops starting December 5! 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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: Return of Wolverine #3

Wolverine vs. the X-Men?! Yes, Wolverine comes into contact with the X-Men as they finally find his location and he of course is tricked into attacking. Writer Charles Soule gives us a fairly by-the-numbers issues in many aspects relying a bit much on tropes but what is presented is still intriguing.

Return of Wolverine #3 has him still on the hunt for a kidnapped child and has questions for Soteira. At the same time, the X-Men are searching for him and go after him hoping to figure out what’s going on. That leads to the good guy vs. good guy trope fight, of course due to a misunderstanding.

But, Soule presents some interesting things like the varied personalities within Wolverine that are presented much like Legion’s many. Then there’s the manipulation of Wolverine to attack the X-Men and hints that Persephone isn’t completely sure what’s going on with him. There’s enough mystery to make it interesting but as presented it feels like a chapter in the overall story as opposed to something special by itself.

Declan Shalvey takes on the art duty and it doesn’t quite work. There’s some odd panels and a grittiness is missing that should exist. Laura Martin provides colors and Joe Sabino is on lettering and overall the art is just good. The characters look a little off and many panels feel like there’s just too much space given with odd framing of everything. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t feel right for an “X” comic though. The style doesn’t fit the content and tone. But, it gets the job done.

With art that doesn’t stand out and an issue that falls a bit too much into tropes, this is one that’s best read as part of the whole in trade. It doesn’t stand out enough to really provide much to the story and like last issue feels a bit dragged out. The series feels like there’s a decompression issue for the overall arc and could stand to lose an issue to speed things up.

The overall story is still intriguing and there’s some moments here and there that stand out, add in a new X-villain and it’s not quite a story to give up on but there’s something that doesn’t quite feel special enough to justify the price of admission.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Declan Shalvey
Color: Laura Martin Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Spider-Force #1

The deadliest mission in all of Spider-Geddon has come up and Kaine has stepped forward for what he’s sure will be a suicide mission. But he can’t do it alone and Jessica Drew, A.K.A. Spider-Woman has signed on to help, but has Kaine told her the whole truth? With Ashley Barton, from the Old Man Logan universe, and two new characters (Astro-Spider and Spider-Kid), Kaine’s team is complete and their first mission may be their last!

You know those movies that drop you into the action and when things look really bad they rewind to show you how things went sideways and who everyone is? That’s Spider-Force #1 in a nutshell. Writer Priest has delivered a blockbuster action issue full of excitement, humor, and action.

Spider-Geddon has a benefit that Spider-Verse had as well. The bad guys are pretty clear, the multiverse is involved, and it’s focused on the Spider-Man universe. That keeps things clear and limited but at the same time unlimited when it comes to adding characters. What Priest, like other creators in this toolbox has done, is give us new characters that twist the Peter Parker we know and clash with the Spider-heroes we already have. The first issue delivers Spider-Kid whose personality clashes a bit with the rest. Add in the already abrasive Kaine and then the rather professional and conservative Jessica Drew and you’ve got an interesting mix with just that. And Priest plays that up, especially Ashley Barton and Spider-Kid’s interactions. Those personalities playing off of each other is part of the fun and it’s clear Priest knows that.

What’s also solid is that while this is part of the bigger storyline, I can read just it and enjoy it. It’s an “in addition to” so far instead of a must read allowing it to play in the pond and do its own thing.

The art from Paulo Siqueira, ink by Oren Junior and Craig Yueng, color by Guru e-FX, and lettering by Joe Sabino is fantastic. There’s an energy to the visuals that matches Priest’s style. Though this is a spin-off from an event, the visuals don’t fall into the “B team” trap so many comics like it do. It feels like a main event story visually and the worlds we’re jettisoned off to are interesting with some solid designs for the new characters.

Great dialogue, solid action, cool story, Spider-Force #1 is another win for the Spider-Geddon event.

Story: Priest Art: Paulo Siqueira
Ink: Oren Junior, Craig Yueng Color: Guru e-FX Lettering: VC’s Joe Sabino
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.65 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Extermination #4

The X-Men are at the end of their rope. If even one of the original five X-Men dies, our future is lost. Jean Grey and the X-Men only have one option left…and it may cost them everything.

With one more issue left and what feels like so much still to go, writer Ed Brisson amps things up with an issue that feels like a rollercoaster ride. Not only do we get tense of action, some aftermath from the previous issue, and a solid explanation of what’s going on, but we get some shocks too. Extermination #4 is what happens when you just go full throttle and able to pack everything in.

The X-Men have had their butts handed to them and things look bleak (don’t they always?). Ahab is on the hunt and we now know the “why” of it all. It makes sense, it involves time travel so it’s clear, and the solution is pretty obvious. There’s even some winks and nods making fun of tropes. We also learn more about the younger Cable who in one issue I went from hating to loving.

Brisson just nails the issue as part of an event and he’s nailed the event as a whole.

Pepe Larraz and Ario Anindito provide the art with Dexter Vines on ink, Erick Arciniega on color, and Joe Sabino on lettering. The art is fantastic. There’s some spreads that I lingered on getting all of the details. The art team are able to pack in lots of information on top of Brisson’s story making what’s said in a few bubbles so much more. Then there’s the action, which is fantastic as always. And the characters all look great too. There isn’t a feel too much is packed in so detail is dropped.

Awesome to read, beautiful to look at, Extermination has exceeded expectations for an event and brought back the awesome to the X-Men. This issue will have folks dissecting what’s revealed for some time and I’m sure this is an issue that’ll be referenced for years to come in various ways. One more issue to go in what is the best X event in years.

Story: Ed Brisson Layouts: Pepe Larraz Pencils: Ario Anindito
Ink: Dexter Vines Color: Erick Arciniega Lettering: VC’s Joe Sabino
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Return of Wolverine #2

Logan is alive again – let’s see if he can stay that way!

If the first issue was the 15 minutes before the credits role, Return of Wolverine #2 is the action sequence we’re thrown into right after the credits wrap up. Logan is in pursuit of the mysterious individuals that have kidnapped a kid and… that’s about it really.

Writer Charles Soule gives us a frustrating issue that is generally just one long pursuit. It’s a setting for Logan to remind us he doesn’t remember who he is, then have glimpses of someone he might know, and reveals his claws now get hot. Yes, flaming claws. That, and the particularly weird portrayal of Logan in his dialogue makes for a comic that feels like a 90s James Bond sequence than anything with Wolverine in it.

Declan Shalvey‘s art, with color by Laura Martin and lettering by VC’s Joe Sabino, can’t help the issue which is generally boring and forgettable. There’s actually not a whole lot to work with for the artistic team as a lot of the issue is on a boat pursuing another boat. But, when given opportunities to do something interesting, a mental shock a fight scene, it all is rather boring. Nothing stands out in the art or the panel layout.

The issue feels like it’s phone in. The major aspects to it is the reveal of Logan’s new claws and the ending, which I won’t revealed but isn’t Earth shattering either. It’s not bad, it’s just rather boring and feels like it’s a few pages stretched out for 22. There’s also Wolverine not really acting like Wolverine and hell, not even struggling a whole lot not remembering. We’ve seen him struggle more in this sort of situation in the past. There’s a tone in character and story that feels rather off.

There’s a lot to go so maybe this is a bump in a road but after a surprisingly good first issue, this is quite a few steps back.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Declan Shalvey
Color: Laura Martin Lettering: Joe Sabino
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Shuri #1

The Black Panther has disappeared, lost on a mission in space. And in his absence, everyone’s looking at the next in line for the throne. But Shuri is happiest in a lab, surrounded by gadgets of her own creation. She’d rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them. But a nation without a leader is a vulnerable one – and Shuri may have to choose between Wakanda’s welfare and her own.

Shuri has always been an interesting character when it comes to Black Panther. Often in the background, she became front and center when she took over the mantle and fronted the series for some time. I remember reading those comics and enjoying them as she found her own path in the role. Then, she sacrificed herself to be rescued by her brother eventually. Now, a spiritual connection between Wakanda’s past and the present the character interestingly dove into the spiritual side of the world of Wakanda.

With the success of Black Panther at the movie screen, Shuri has a following but her on-screen brilliant technologist doesn’t quite mix with her recent depiction as more of a spiritual guide. In Shuri #1 writer Nnedi Okorafor seems to bring those two sides of the character together into a blend. It works to some extent but the character is depicted as one side of that or the other without a good blend of the two.

There’s also the shadow of her brother T’Challa who’s experiencing a change of location and adventures in his own series, Black Panther. This first issue reads more as a companion to that filling in gaps and answering questions that readers of that series might have. Whether on purpose or not, Shuri living in the shadow of her brother is discussed through this first issue and the first issue feels like it lives in the shadow of the other series.

The art by Leonardo Romero with color by Jordie Bellaire and lettering by Joe Sabino is good. There’s some nice moments depicting the high tech feel of Wakanda and there’s more grounded moments like when Shuri’s walking through a market or a secret meeting in a field. It’s a style that I personally am not blown away by but others might. The design of Shuri is interesting in that it seems to mix her most recent more spiritual comic depictions with that of her on screen tipping the hat as to who this comic is aimed towards even more.

The first issue isn’t bad but it feels like it’s in the shadow of Shuri’s older brother T’Challa. Whether on purpose or not much like Shuri itself, it needs to come out of that shadow to stand on its own to succeed. The series as a whole’s success will rely on Okorafor’s ability to do that for the character.

Story: Nnedi Okorafor Art: Leonardo Romero
Color: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino Cover Art: Sam Spratt
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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