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The Hunt for Han Solo Begins in May

Throughout the week a series of teasers spotlighting the major players of the highly-anticipated Marvel crossover, Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters have been revealed! Drawn by artist Giuseppe Camuncoli, these headshot images will also serve as variant covers for upcoming tie-in issues of the event that will see Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Doctor Aphra, Boba Fett, the galaxy’s deadliest bounty hunters, and more on a collision course for the greatest prize of all: Han Solo! The final teaser was unveiled today and revealed that Jabba the Hutt, the infamous Tatooine crime lord, will also be joining the hunt in a special one-shot.

Jabba the Hutt is one of the most powerful and ruthless gangsters in the galaxy—and Boba Fett, his most trusted bounty hunter, has failed him. How will Jabba deal with betrayal and what does this have to do with a bounty hunter with ties to the High Republic? Star Wars: War of the Bounty HuntersJabba the Hutt #1 by writer Justina Ireland and artist Luca Pizzari will be the first of four action-packed “War of the Bounty Hunters” one-shot tie-ins about the criminal underworld’s most notorious hunters and scoundrels, all told by the best Star Wars writers and illustrators in the galaxy.

Check out all six teasers and the main cover for Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters — Jabba the Hutt #1 by Mahmud Asrar. And don’t miss the start of this pulse-pounding epic when War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha #1 by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven hits stands on May 5th!

On Sale in July!

  • STAR WARS: WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS #2 (OF 5) HEADSHOT VARIANT COVER by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
  • STAR WARS: WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS — JABBA THE HUTT #1 COVER by MAHMUD ASRAR
  • STAR WARS: WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS — JABBA THE HUTT #1 HEADSHOT VARIANT COVER by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
  • STAR WARS #15 HEADSHOT VARIANT COVER by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
  • STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #12 HEADSHOT VARIANT COVER by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
  • STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #14 HEADSHOT VARIANT COVER by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
  • STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #14 HEADSHOT VARIANT COVER by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

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

Review: X-Men #18

X-Men #18

Writer Jonathan Hickman tugs on a long-simmering plot thread in X-Men #18 as he, Mahmud Asrar, and Sunny Gho send the rough and tumble team of Wolverine (Laura Kinney), Darwin, and Synch into the Vault to confront and find information about the Children of the Vault, who appeared way back in X-Men #5 after a lengthy absence from the X-Books. (This is a great explainer about them.) The Children of the Vault are shrouded in mystery, hence, the risky reconnaissance mission in an environment where time doesn’t work traditionally, but they’re humans evolved over a period of 6,000 years in a specialized environment that have given them superhuman abilities. They also see the mutants and Krakoa as a threat so Darwin, Synch, and Wolverine are not in for a good time.

Escape from the Vault” is going to be a rare two-part story in a series that has mostly been loosely connected done-in-ones that give readers a flavor of the Krakoa era. However, with the impending election of an X-Men team and coming of last issue’s space mission, it looks like Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar are back on a “mutants going on a mission” kick even if it’s not traditionally superheroic.

Basically, the team in X-Men #18 are like the members of the various hapless crews in the Alien franchise, but with special abilities that could get them out of this bind. And speaking of powers, Hickman crafts this team lineup almost perfectly with Wolverine’s healing ability, Darwin’s adaptability, and Synch’s ability to duplicate any mutant power make them have a chance in this hostile environment. Hickman takes a purposeful approach to superhero team building, and you can see this throughline of complementary abilities echo down the X-Books from SWORD and the magic in Excalibur to the training exercises in Vita Ayala and Rod Reis’ New Mutants and even in the Resurrection protocols of The Five. The previous issue was more self-indulgent with 1990s style art and costumes from Brett Booth and star turns from Hickman faves Cannonball and Sunspot, but X-Men #18 is back to the business of setting a tone for the line of comics and showing how Krakoa deals with threats.

After a foreboding setup and quick introduction to the team, Hickman, Asrar, and Gho dive straight into combat. Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch fight more like the X-Force (Sans guns and pouches.) than the X-Men with Wolverine especially being a ball of rage. Asrar draws her from overhead angles and with plenty of speed lines to show her aggression, and that she isn’t holding back with blood spurting out of Serafina, the only Child of the Vault who gets mentioned by name in this issue. Colorist Sunny Gho accentuates this panel by switching the usual blue background of the Vault to red. Laura is more into action than words, and she demonstrates this in X-Men #18 through her single-handed focus on the mission unlike Darwin and Synch, who are hoping for a quick in and out mission.

Synch acts as the narrator of X-Men #18 providing commentary on the team’s time in the Vault while Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar show that a seemingly timid character that’s been dead in the comics since 2000 could be one of Krakoa’s deadliest weapon. Synch’s tone is fairly neutral, yet a little freaked out as he reminds readers that even though this comic has a fairly straightforward plot, time isn’t working normally right now, and the team is probably end for some weirdness one they reach the other side, especially after this issue’s, shall we way, nuclear finish. If the middle of X-Men #18 is Aliens, its bookends are Alien: all horror, atmosphere, and tension tinged with science fiction. Because his powers literally make him the ultimate support character, Synch is very passive in the early stages of the fight against the Children of the Vault walking around with a water bubble around his head once he takes a flame to the face.

X-Men #18

However, fire plus water equals boiling, and Synch unveils his grisly potential in a sequence where he reveals that he can duplicate the powers of both mutants and other superpowered beings like the Children of the Vault. It immediately shifts the momentum of both the battle and X-Men #18 with Sunny Gho bringing some vivid oranges in his palette to go with Asrar’s skeleton silhouettes. The A.I. in the Dome was right that the Children of the Vault needed more training, upgrades, and/or evolution to have a chance against the mutants even if total victory doesn’t happen in this issue. However, Synch’s flame on moment pays off a data page earlier in the issue where Dr. Reyes says that his power limits have increased, and that he can “connect” to any kind of superhuman ability.

There is only one other data page in X-Men #18, but Hickman makes them crucial to the plot and arc of the main character. Their placement is also clever with the aforementioned payoff, and more importantly, he puts the text of a letter allowing the team to use deadly force because the Children of the Vault aren’t classified as humans after Wolverine and Synch have done their thing. It’s a great final page of the issue that adds an ethical dimension to the snikts and explosions and shows again that the Krakoans are a little hypocritical and are just like any human nation snuffing out a threat to their sovereignty via various black ops and cutthroat ways, especially since they and the Children of the Vault are a lot alike.

X-Men #18 shows Jonathan Hickman putting his own spin on the typical X-Men “rescue” mission, and the focus on a tight-knit, complementary cast lets Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch’s personalities and abilities shine. Mahmud Asrar and Sunny Gho also get to draw riveting action sequences that showcase this cast of character’s unique powers while working in tandem with Hickman to create an uneasy tone around the team’s actions. By the end of the issue, we know so much about who Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch are, but their opponents are basically explod-y action figures. Hmm…

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Mahmud Asrar
Colors: Sunny Gho Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Explore More Sci-fi Terror with Aliens: The Original Years Omnibus Vol. 2

The classic comic book tales set in the iconic—and terrifying—world of the Alien franchise are being collected in brand-new hardcover collection starting in April with Aliens Omnibus Vol. 1. And in August, fans of the iconic franchise can enjoy even more of these thrilling comic book stories with Aliens: The Original Years Omnibus Vol. 2.

A rogue scientist’s genetic experiments create a horrific new alien king! A ragtag unit of Colonial Marines battles a xenomorph infestation on a space station — and the survivors face a pack of bizarre hybrids! An investigator must solve a murder on a deep-space alien-research station! But what dread music will a deranged composer make with an alien’s screams? And can a synthetic xenomorph rebel against its sadistic creator? Plus: Flash back to an alien attack in the 1950s! And witness the fate of England as aliens overrun the Earth! This rare collection includes: Aliens: Rogue #1-4, Aliens: Colonial Marines #1-10, Aliens: Labyrinth #1-4, Aliens: Salvation, Aliens: Music of the Spears #1-4, and Aliens: Stronghold #1-4 — plus material from Dark Horse Comics #3-5, #11-13 and #15-19; PREVIEWS (1993) #1-12; PREVIEWS (1994) #1; and Aliens Magazine (1992) #9-20.

Writers include Ian Edginton, Chris Warner, Kelly Puckett, Paul Guinan, Dan Jolley, Jim Woodring, Dave Gibbons, Chet Williamson, John Arcudi, Sarah Byam, John Byrne, Peter Milligan, Michael Cook, and more. Artists include Will Simpson, Paul Guinan, Tony Atkins, Allen Nunis, John Nadeau, Kilian Plunkett, Mike Mignola, Tim Hamilton, Doug Mahnke, David Roach, Mark A. Nelson, Paul Mendoza, John Byrne, Paul Johnson, and Christian Gorny.

Check out the all-new cover by Mahmud Asrar as well as the exclusive direct market variant cover by Paul Mendoza and be sure to pick up this must-have collection when Aliens: The Original Years Omnibus Vol. 2 hits shops in August 2021!

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