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Review: Heroes Reborn: Magneto and the Mutant Force #1

Magneto and the Mutant Force #1

Before I start my review, I have to disclose that I haven’t been reading Heroes Reborn (The 2021 edition), but I’m familiar with the Squadron Supreme of America from earlier in Jason Aaron’s Avengers run as well as their earlier appearances. However, not following Heroes Reborn won’t be a problem for fans of the merry mutants as Steve Orlando, Bernard Chang, and David Curiel conjure up a popular X-trope in Magneto and the Mutant Force #1: the dark future. Basically, Professor X is presumed dead, and a wheelchair-bound Magneto, Jubilee, Rogue, Frenzy, and Emma Frost have to beat the clock and psychically find the last bit of his consciousness to protect the mutants of the Island of M (Krakoa, but less utopian and in the Bermuda Triangle.) from the Squadron Supreme of America.

This kind of story’s been done a lot in X-Men comics over the years, but Orlando and Chang go even darker and spring some traps and twists along the way. Bernard Chang’s art and Curiel’s colors are pretty standard issue superhero comics in the outside world. However, once they get into Magneto/Professor X’s mind, panel boundaries become more fluid, and much more black is used. Chang unveils some macabre, “maybe I need a little more context for that” imagery like Professor X enacting genocide on Power Princess of the Squadron Supreme of America’s people, the Utopians. It’s the kind of violence we see from Magneto in some of his experiences, and it’s that much more jarring coming from an overtly “peaceful” figure in Charles Xavier although almost 60 years of X-Men comics show he’s definitely a manipulative and messed up guy. The different approach to layouts and storytelling during the mindscape scenes does keep Magneto and the Mutant Force visually compelling for the most part as the outside battle erupts into evil (and possibly racist) Superman and Wonder Woman versus the X-Men.

One aspect of Steve Orlando’s approach to writing that I enjoy is how he uses his knowledge of continuity and character relationships to enhance his stories, and this is evident in both his Big Two work as well as some of his creator-owned comics like Commanders in Crisis and Project Patron. My favorite continuity nod he uses in Magneto and Mutant Force is a huge spoiler, but he brings back Israeli mutant Sabra to provide security for the psychic excursion and makes the Frenzy the embodiment of rage against the oppressors of marginalized folks. Bernard Chang also draws her as a total tank wrecking weird cop versions of Fantomex when they break Emma Frost out of the Muir Island Psionic Detention Center.

However, Orlando wisely centers Magneto and the Mutant Force around the relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto while also undercutting it and talking about how mutants need to go beyond this paradigm. He writes dialogue that could easily be recited by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen (Or James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender), but also ends up showing how mutants could thrive and not just survive by moving on instead of trying to salvage their past. I would be interested in seeing these ideas explored in a X-Book and not just an event tie-in, which is really a credit to Steve Orlando’s skill with characterization and using the one-shot format to do something bold plot-wise.

Because it’s a one-shot to an event centered around the Squadron Supreme of America, Magneto and Mutant Force #1 is hamstrung by their less than charismatic appearance, but Orlando and Chang still spin gold out of the situation by including elements of classic X-Men stories and also poking and prodding at them. Plus it features cool psychic visuals and phonetic spelling of Rogue’s Southern accents. Even if you’re not following Heroes Reborn, this comic is worth checking out for fans of stories like “Days of Future Past” (The film more so than the comic, honestly.), Age of Apocalypse, and “Here Comes Tomorrow” with a team dynamic that is classic X-Men-meets-Exiles.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Bernard Chang
Colors: David Curiel Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.2 Art: 7.2 Overall:7.7 Recommendation: Read

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Discover Magneto through the Years with the Marvel Magneto Sale

Magneto has been a villain, revolutionary, hero. You can explore the character’s history with the Marvel Magneto Sale!

The sale features 18 releases where you can save up to 67%!

The sale ends on Sunday, May 23 so there’s a few days to save.

Magneto Vol. 1: Infamous

This site 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 these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Discover Magneto through the Years with the Marvel Magneto Sale

Magneto has been a villain, revolutionary, hero. You can explore the character’s history with the Marvel Magneto Sale!

The sale features 18 releases where you can save up to 67%!

The sale ends on Sunday, May 23 so there’s a few days to save.

Magneto Vol. 1: Infamous

This site 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 these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Discover Magneto through the Years with the Marvel Magneto Sale

Magneto has been a villain, revolutionary, hero. You can explore the character’s history with the Marvel Magneto Sale!

The sale features 18 releases where you can save up to 67%!

The sale ends on Sunday, May 23 so there’s a few days to save.

Magneto Vol. 1: Infamous

This site 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 these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends House of X

Greetings, mutants! This much is true: Jonathan Hickman and an army of collaborators totally reinvigorated the X-books with the twin House of X/Powers of X minis and the subsequent wave of related X-titles. The overall storyline gave the subline a much-needed shot in the arm and propelled the X-Men back to the forefront of comics conversation. Anyone that even vaguely pays attention knew that the story would get represented in figure form sooner rather than later. The (first?) House of X Marvel Legends is in stores now. Let’s take a look.

Overview: The initial figure selections are totally sensible. Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Moira McTaggert are crucial to this particular story. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, and Wolverine are likewise pivotal and among the most important X-characters (in fact, those three, Xavier, and Magneto appear on the House of X #1 cover). The Omega Sentinel appears as an antagonist early on, and the Tri-Sentinel looks cool as hell. So, onward.

Moira McTaggert: It’s about time. Moira McTaggert is about as important as a supporting character in the history of X-Men that I can think of. She should have been made years ago in her classic yellow and purple costume. I thought it was excellent that Hickman’s story elevated her profile and gave her an amazing and surprising backstory. Hasbro cleverly expounded on Moira’s multi-faceted role by making the figure in such a way that in can have two distinct looks. One is jaunty, mod-ish look with the cap and scarf, and the other, which I prefer, is the scientist look with the lab coat. This is another good example of Hasbro creating maximum value with extra parts and accessories that can completely change a figure. Here you have an extra head, two extra arms, extra hands, the removable lab coat piece, and the scarf, as well as a science book. The design team obviously put a lot of thought and care into the look. Amid iconic mutants, they made Moira stand out.

Professor Charles Xavier: The helmeted Xavier was an instantly iconic look. Nevertheless, the figure also comes equipped with an extra regular head and an attachable psionic power effect. The figure’s slim build is evocative of the fact that Hasbro really has developed a broader array of body types to more accurately capture a character. Maybe I like it more because I like the story, but I appreciate that it’s sometimes more difficult to nail the simpler design. This is a solid piece.

Magneto: I’ve been waiting for a white-costumed Magneto for some time, and I was not disappointed. This is a figure with presence. Great head/helmet and cape sculpts pull this together, and the extra grasping hands are perfect for poses to would illustrate Magneto using his powers. The stark white next to the primarily black costume of Xavier is a great contrast, and they look really good next to one another.

Marvel Girl: There were those that were unhappy with Jean taking back the Marvel Girl name and costume in the House storyline, but it’s hard to argue with an iconic name and look. In figure terms, this is an excellent representation of Jean from the storyline, and a solid take if you want to get a second one for your classic-era display.  The only negative for me is that the stiff vinyl of the skirt makes leg poseability a little bit difficult. Apart from that, it’s a good version.

Cyclops: As Cyclops is one of my all-time favorite characters, I’m always down for another version. I like the new blue-on-blue costume; it’s a deceptively simple, but cool, design. In terms of the sculpt, it’s a really good representation of Scott Summers. Like the previous Retro Cyclops in the X-Factor costume, this employs a second head and an attachable optic blast. This is another strong entry.

Wolverine: Let’s hear it for the fat claws! I vastly prefer the broader blades to the slimmer ones, and this figure gets that exactly right. And again, I’m happy that Hasbro makes a consistent effort to keep Wolverine shorter to be in proper scale with the other characters. While this costume is specific to the House/Powers story, this is actually a really strong Wolverine for those that collectors that just want a good version of each character.

Omega Sentinel: I’m always up for a previously unmade X-villain, so I was pleased to see this one added. The Omega Sentinel comes with two heads; the bald one reflects the House/Powers appearance, and the head with hair is an earlier look. Yes, the hair is a different color than the comics appearance, but the volume and detail of the hair sculpt is impressive. The interchangeable weaponized arms are great; they really make the figure pop and stand out from the other figures on the shelf.  This is a dark horse favorite for me in this wave.

Tri-Sentinel: I’m going to be completely honest: getting the three heads into the body was a MASSIVE pain in the ass. I can’t recall the last time I had this much trouble fitting a BAF piece in, let alone three. I had to go the hot water route on the neck joints in order to finally get them to fit. By contrast, the arms and legs fit extremely easily. Difficulty aside, I think it’s a great-looking BAF. As a big Neon Genesis Evangelion fan, I like the subtle referencing here. I also like BAFs that are big, and this fits the bill. It’s also surprisingly poseable. This and the Omega Sentinel look great next to each other; when I get a chance to do some shelf adjusting, I’ll be putting them next to Nimrod, too.

This is another strong showing from the Marvel Legends team. I do hope that we get some more House/Powers figures; I’d like to see a Marauders Kate Pryde, more New Mutants, and some undone characters, like Quentin Quire, in particular. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. What about you, readers? What’s your take?

Hulk, Carol Danvers, Magneto, and Human Torch Join Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Series Retro Figures

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RETRO 3.75 HULK Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Spring 2021)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this classic MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RETRO 3.75 HULK Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL comics. This quality 3.75-inch-scale figure has premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display in a MARVEL collection. Available in the US at Target beginning March 2021 and at most major retailers beginning April 2021.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RETRO 3.75 CAROL DANVERS Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Spring 2021)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this classic MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RETRO 3.75 CAROL DANVERS Figure inspired by the character from the MARVEL comics. This quality 3.75-inch-scale figure in iconic CAPTAIN MARVEL costume has premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display in a MARVEL collection. Available in the US at Target beginning March 2021 and at most major retailers beginning April 2021.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RETRO 3.75 MAGNETO Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Spring 2021)

Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this classic MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RETRO 3.75 MAGNETO Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL comics. This quality 3.75-inch-scale figure has premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display in a MARVEL collection. Available in the US at Target beginning March 2021 and at most major retailers beginning April 2021.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RETRO 3.75 HUMAN TORCH Figure

(HASBRO/Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Spring 2021) Fans, collectors, and kids alike can enjoy this classic MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES RETRO 3.75 HUMAN TORCH Figure, inspired by the character from the MARVEL comics. This quality 3.75-inch-scale figure has premium design, detail, and multiple points of articulation for posing and display in a MARVEL collection. Available in the US at Target beginning March 2021 and at most major retailers beginning April 2021.

Review: SWORD #1

SWORD #1

In SWORD #1, writer Al Ewing, artist Valerio Schiti, and colorist Marte Gracia add a little hazy cosmic jive to the X-Books. Let’s just say that the Krakoan space program is a lot more than sending probes or even astronauts to Mars. Ewing has some fun and uses Magneto (On loan from Jonathan Hickman and X-Men.) as a POV character with Abigail Brand taking him around the Peak Station, introducing him to the cast of the book, and then giving him and the readers just enough info about their “mission” to bring both mutantkind and inhabitants of the solar system into the future. It very much has a tone of checking in, but Ewing’s dialogue is sharp and entertaining even if you don’t know your Acolytes from Alpha Flight.

If the X-line (and the Marvel Universe as a whole) is a toy box, then Ewing and Schiti are kind kids, who add cool new action figures into the box, polish up old ones from the 1980s and 1990s, and then come up with imaginative games for them. (Even if you don’t know all the rules yet.) SWORD #1’s plot, or hook, doesn’t kick into the last third of the comic, but the first two-thirds are really enjoyable and chock-full with intriguing character interactions as Ewing introduces the sprawling cast of the book. Even if he’s not a traditional, “relatable” viewpoint character, Magneto does create a reaction out of everyone he encounters from sparring over SWORD’s actual relationship to Krakoa to geeking out over Wiz-Kid and “the Six”, who are the main mission of Peak. Then, there’s his interactions with SWORD protagonist/team leader, Abigail Brand, who challenges a man that is used to being either despised, revered, or fawned over. With her past experiences working with organizations like SHIELD, Alpha Flight, and even the X-Men, she has a different perspective on running a team and its role compared to what Magneto wants.

It’s not super plot relevant, but there’s a richness to his relationship with the former Acolyte Frenzy, who is the ambassador, on board and is introduced by sparring with the Kree/Skrull Alliance envoy, Paibak. There’s a real physicality to Valerio Schiti’s layouts in this scene as he cuts from Magneto and Brand verbally sparring to Frenzy laying out Paibak on the training floor. This is followed by some aggressive eye contact and a very charged interaction as Krakoa’s ill-treatment of Scarlet Witch (See Empyre: X-Men) has led to them making enemies with the Kree/Skull Alliance because she is their emperor’s mother-in-law. Ewing effortlessly weaves in the results of a story that I unfortunately haven’t read to create more conflict in his current story and show that SWORD might have some more conventional threats to deal with in addition to their “uni/multiversal far-retrieval circuit” work.

Speaking of this circuit, Al Ewing uses some very Hickman-esque charts in SWORD #1 to lay out the mechanism of how it works via a strategic combination of mutant powers that reminded me a lot of the complementary combo super-attacks in Marvel Ultimate, but on steroids. SWORD #1 is also a natural outgrowth of the resurrection protocols and very beautiful to see in action although I’m sure that there were be consequences. (That Dr. Doom epigram at the end doesn’t bode well and gave me serious Secret Wars vibes.) Schiti, Gracia, and letterer Ariana Maher, who lays the text directly on the page/art work together on some gorgeous, light-filled spreads that evoke the feeling of something great, cosmic, and unknown even if I can’t exactly get my finger on what the team is doing. It’s a study in harmony just like the balance Magneto created by moving the

While Valerio Schiti excels at drawing cosmic landscapes (For example, the opening double page establishing shot of the Peak station moving away from Earth), his character acting is more middle of the road leaving Ewing to pick up the slack with his dialogue. Even though his art is in that Marvel house style, middle ground between cartoon-y and photorealistic, Schiti takes his facial expressions up to 11, and it’s hard to mine any subtler emotions and even sarcasm from his work. (I think that Magneto is just humoring his old Brotherhood short timer/member, Peepers, but it’s hard to really tell from art.) Again, Ewing is there to save the day with his perceptive dialogue and a smart writing move, which is revealing character’s personalities by how they basically react to a living legend. In this case, it’s Magneto. For example, Fabian Cortez totally sucks up to him, which shows he’s a go-with-the-flow sycophant while Wiz-Kid gives him insight into how he uses his powers to interface with technology showing that he has actual potential.

SWORD #1 is an interesting addition to the X-line of the books with its “spacer” (As Abigail Brand calls herself in contrast with “earthers” like Magneto.) perspective on both Krakoa and the Marvel Universe. Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti are in full spinoff pilot episode with Magneto playing the role of familiar character from the previous show giving readers insights into the cast of the book as well as the mysteries and conflicts they face. There are a few pitfalls on the visual side and more questions than answers (This isn’t bad at all), but it’s nice to have an outsider/literal big picture perspective on the world of Krakoa from Abigail Brand and her team in SWORD.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Valerio Schiti
Colors: Marte Gracia Letters: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.8 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1

Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1

(W) Jonathan Hickman (A) Ramon K. Perez (CA) Ben Oliver
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 15, 2020
SRP: $4.99

HICKMAN & OLIVER MASTER MAGNETISM!
Jonathan Hickman continues his one-shots showcasing some of Marvel’s best artists! This time, he teams with Ben Oliver (ULTIMATE X-MEN, THUNDERBOLTS) to bring a tale of Krakoan Ambassador and Master of Magnetism, Magneto! Krakoa may be only for mutants, but mutants still need to deal with the human world around them. Magneto has a plan for that.

Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1

Diamond Select Toys In Stores Now: Rocket, Kylo Ren, Magneto & Westworld!

The 4th of July is upon us, and Diamond Select Toys is celebrating with an explosion of new products at comic shops! Two new Legends in 3D busts, a new animated-style bust, and a new assortment of action figures all hit stores this week — find a store near you comicshoplocator.com or order online from your favorite retailer!

Legends in 3D Movie Avengers Endgame Rocket Half-Scale Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Avengers’ shortest member gets a big bust from DST! Measuring approximately 8 inches tall, this half-scale bust is based on the character’s appearance in Avengers: Endgame. It is limited to only 1,000 pieces, and comes packaged in a numbered, full-color box with a certificate of authenticity. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #NOV192331, SRP: $120.00)

Legends in 3D Movie Star Wars Episode 9 Kylo Ren Half-Scale Bust

A Diamond Select Toys and Gentle Giant Ltd. release! Star Wars Episode 9 is nearly upon us, and the world is bracing itself for the Rise of Skywalker! This Legends in 3D half-scale bust captures the masked visage of antagonist Kylo Ren, detailing all of the cracks and seams of his repaired helmet. Measuring approximately 10 inches tall, it is limited to only 1,000 pieces, and comes packaged in a full-color box with a certificate of authenticity. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #NOV192324, SRP: $150.00)

Marvel Animated X-Men Magneto Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! The groundbreaking animated-style line of X-Men busts continues with the Master of Magnetism himself, Magneto! Looking like he just stepped off the screen from the hit cartoon, Magneto raises a fist in this 6-inch resin bust, featuring detailed sculpting and animation-inspired paint details. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color window box with a certificate of authenticity. (Item #NOV192333, SRP: $59.99)

Westworld Action Figures Series 2 Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! Return to Westworld with this new assortment of action figures based on the HBO television series! Key characters Bernard, Teddy and Clementine make up this assortment, each with multiple points of articulation and character-appropriate accessories. Each figure measures approximately 7 inches tall and comes packaged in a full-color blister card. Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. (Asst #NOV192335, SRP: $19.99/ea.)

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