Tag Archives: mahmud asrar

The Uncanny X-Men… Disassembled with Uncanny X-Men #1 this November

This November, Uncanny X-Men returns with a new ongoing series and it all kicks off with a massive 10-part weekly story! X-Men Disassembled brings together nearly every mutant left on earth in a story that threatens to destroy them – an epic tale of mystery and tragic disappearance, with an adventure so earth-shattering, it could very well be the X-Men’s FINAL mission!

Following Uncanny X-Men’s initial announcement at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, Marvel is excited to announce the full Uncanny X-Men creative teams! Featuring fan-favorite creators fresh from their own X-projects, Uncanny X-Men brings together acclaimed writers Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson,and Matthew Rosenberg. The three superstar writers will join forces with all-star artists Mahmud Asrar, R.B. Silva, Yildiray Cinar,and Pere Pérez. The first issue features art by Asrar, second by Silva, and third by Cinar. Covers are by Leinil Francis Yu.

Starting this November, the new ongoing series will launch with Disassembled, a stunning and spectacular 10-part weekly epic. Where the series goes from there?

That depends on who survives the experience…

Don’t miss Uncanny X-Men #1, coming this November 14th to your local comic shop!

Jessica Jones #1 Kicks Off New Marvel Digital Originals Line!

Innovative. Original. Double-Sized.  The Marvel Digital Originals are here and launching this exciting new line of digital comics is Jessica Jones #1, on-sale now from writer Kelly Thompson with art from Mattia de Iulis and covers by Martin Simmonds.

Jessica Jones was once the costumed super hero known as Jewel, but now she’s a private investigator at her own firm, Alias Investigations. With the Purple Man gone, her relationship with her husband, Luke Cage, and their daughter, Danielle, is better than ever.  But in Jessica Jones #1, her past comes knocking, and when a woman whose case she fumbled winds up dead on her office floor, Jessica goes from private investigator to prime suspect. Can she find the real killer and clear her name?

Cloak and Dagger will also be joining the Marvel Digital Originals line, with Cloak and Dagger (Marvel Digital Original) #1 going on-sale today, containing the first two chapters of “Shades of Gray” from writer Dennis Hopeless and artist David Messina with covers from Mahmud Asrar.

Review: X-Men: Red #5

X-Men: Red #5 showcases one of the new team’s more successful diplomatic rescue missions, as the intrigue surrounding Cassandra Nova’s nanite Sentinels continues. World Leaders around the globe as well unwitting humans are shown as targets in this issue, turned against their will into mutant hating drones attacking mutants both with legislation and mob violence. In a previous article I noted how X-Men: Red  presents a timely social commentary into some of the challenges we are facing. Writer Tom Taylor has clearly drawn some inspiration from the current racial divisions abjectly stoked by data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

We see another example of the talking-head, pundit-style news cycle in this issue addressing the mutant crisis. What I enjoyed the most of this was how this segment plainly showcased the use of bias, tunnel vision, word framing as well as dropped contexts. It’s unclear if the one-sidedness showcased by one of the reporters is due to his own prejudices or if he has become victim to Cassandra Nova’s Sentinites as well. This blurring line is definitely an unsettling one, and perhaps an intended theme of the story. This title’s emphasis on the promulgation of half truths, and the targeting of those with bias made me think about memes, and how their spread shapes culture. In this way, there’s an interesting parallel between both the targeted propaganda, and the function of the Sentinite, both are seemingly ephemeral, small but work towards a devastating and violent critical mass. 

It still remains to be seen what Cassandra Nova’s endgame is but her arrival presents the perfect foil to Jean Grey and by extension her mission. I have always understood Cassandra Nova, as a corrupter, a wraithlike entity who functions much like her chosen methods of attack in this series, behind the scenes and by dredging up the darkness is hidden within the best of us.   The overarching parallel of the parasite that encapsulates Cassandra, misinformation and her nano -Sentinels cannot be overlooked.

It is very nice to see Namor step up to the plate in this issue. The Anti-Mutant sentiment stoked by Nova’s machinations have caused a refugee exodus of Poland’s mutants, the X-Men go to assist on the shores of the Baltic sea, where Namor arrives prepared with equipment to ferry the mutants to new Mutant Nation Searebro. There’s a poignant moment where Namor flexes his diplomatic muscle, reminding assailing soldiers that if they want to keep using their current trade routes via the sea, they must allow the mutants to leave peacefully. The ensuing refugee crisis is quite symbolic.  Not too long ago it was the Atlanteans who were scattered across the globe and found refuge at the X-Men’s mutant national Utopia at the time.  I really respect that Namor has not forgotten his allies nor his heritage.  The change in circumstance  is definitely special and speaks to the X-Men strengths.  Where Cassandra’s power lies in division, a hallmark of the X-Men has always been creating friends from foes, and bridging divisions. We see this with Jean’s empathetic explanation to the human who was previously infected with the Sentinite as well as Jean’s vow to fight by weaponizing the truth. This team really shines with its humanitarian ethos, something I feel has been missing from the X-Men for some time. This title is quickly becoming a favorite in my pull list.

Some Final Thoughts

Jean Grey wants to fight with the truth, however, history may not be so kind in this regard. Namor’s recent run in with the Phoenix and his assault on Wakanda could stand to delegitimize his position and by extension the clemency he has given to the Fledgling mutant Nation.  The truth cuts both ways and it would be interesting to see how the team addresses this if it becomes a spoiler in future issues.

Going back to the theme of Cassandra’s corruption we have seen her undermine multiple mutant allies, Forge is the unwitting architect of the nano-sentinels in In X-Men Red Annual 1  we see a subplot involving Cassandra’s  weaponizing Rachel psychically. This raises questions about the exploits of the Gold team, (who are fighting a similar nano-sentinel threat) as well as Rachel’s recent powerups and inability to read Lydia Nance’s mind. It will be very interesting to see how this subplot pans out and if any of the nanite technology  is related across both X-Men titles.

Seeing Trinary with the team’s pet sentinel gave me goosebumps and I couldn’t pin down why until I had a mental flashback to Avengers Arena (The  Arcade’s hunger games themed murder fest of young heroes) Apex (the murderous technopath bears a striking similarity to Trinary, and it would be devastatingly delicious plot twist if there was some connection between the two, or if Cassandra made her an unwitting pawn as well

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Mahmud Asrar
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation Buy!

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Men Red #4

XMENRED-1Jean Grey and her team of X-Men are trying to save the world…but one mutant could spoil that for everyone.  When an old friend of Jean’s is corrupted and turned against her, will Jean have to do the unthinkable?

Tom Taylor brings a little slower pace issue, but an important one as we see Jean’s team really coming together and their goal becoming even more crucial.  Cassandra Nova has always been one of those villains you love to hate; she really is just evil and will do anything to get her way, and doesn’t care about any casualties. This time around she’s found a way to turn people against mutants, whether they are aware of it or not. It’s an interesting take on “getting into people’s heads” and the scale at which she is deploying it will mean a lot of trouble for Jean and her team.

I’m also enjoying Mahmud Asrar‘s art in this book.  He really gives each character their own look and personality and really conveys their facial expressions really well.  I also have to give a nod to to the coloring by Rain Beredo. The colors just bring this great art to life, throwing the action right into your face and the full page panels really just make you stop to take it all in.

Overall, I’m really enjoying this title and liking the direction it’s headed in. I like the team line up (shout out to Trinary, a great new character) and really like seeing a character like Gentle become more then just a background player. And as I mentioned earlier, I’m really enjoying getting to hate Cassandra Nova again. Her plan is grand in scope and really presents a huge problem to Jean, her team and all mutants. It makes the book feel bigger, dealing with a globe of people being turned against mutants, instead of this usually being shown on a smaller scale.  I’m excited about this book and look forward to seeing where it will go next.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Mahmud Asrar Colors: Rain Beredo
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Carol Danvers Celebrates 50 Years with Variants this July

This summer, Marvel is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Captain Marvel’s alter ego Carol Danvers with variant covers showing how everyone’s favorite high-flying super hero has evolved throughout the years!

Look for Marvel’s Carol Danvers variant covers on these select titles:

  1. Avengers #4 by Kate Niemczyk with colors by Morry Hollowell
  2. Black Panther #3 by Paul Renaud
  3. Doctor Strange #3  by Ema Lupacchino with colors by Jason Keith
  4. Immortal Hulk #3 by Mahmud Asrar with colors by Edgar Delgado
  5. Thor #3 by John Tyler Christopher

Don’t miss your chance to collect all 5 variant covers, coming to comic shops this July!

Review: X-Men: Red #1

X-MEN RED #1Jean Grey is back! Returned to a world she doesn’t recognize, the First Lady of the X-Men gathers an unlikely team – Nightcrawler, Namor, and Laura Kinney (A.K.A. All-New Wolverine) – to face an evil that threatens to tear down Xavier’s dream by any means necessary!

It was only last week since we saw the return of Jean Grey and spinning out of that, a new “X” title with a team led by her. Written by Tom Taylor, X-Men: Red #1 kicks things off and immediately makes a statement as to how this series will stand out from the rest. It’s a mission statement in many ways with a vision.

Jean has been gone for years missing the ups and downs of mutantkind and she’s focused on setting things on the right path, in a way being the one to pick up Xavier’s dream. And Taylor nails this debut.

There’s so much that feels original here, especially the politics used to make Grey’s plan a reality. There’s a naivete and reality of it all. There’s also a back to basics here in many ways focusing on the minority hated status of mutants by so many. This series feels like the natural progression we’ve been waiting for.

Mahmud A. Asrar‘s art is fantastic with great design and some solid us of two page spreads. There’s a great flow to it all and it’s beautifully rendered. Ive Svorcina‘s colors add to it all. No matter the character, they look like they belong and things pop on the page.

This is a hell of a debut with a clear direction and voice. The issue has me excited now after a rather down return of Grey. What felt like a bad idea seems to work well here and the gap in time is part of that driver. Welcome back Red, here’s to a return in so many ways.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Mahmud A. Asrar Color: Ive Svorcina
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: X-Men: Red #1

X-Men: Red #1

(W) Tom Taylor (A) Mahmud A. Asrar (CA) Travis Charest
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 07, 2018
SRP: $4.99

The Hate Machine Part 1
JEAN GREY is back! Returned to a world she doesn’t recognize, the First Lady of the X-MEN gathers an unlikely team – NIGHTCRAWLER, NAMOR and LAURA KINNEY (A.K.A. ALL-NEW WOLVERINE) – to face an evil that threatens to tear down XAVIER’s dream by any means necessary!

Gambit Joins X-Men: Red

When Jean Grey leads her new team in the all-new series from Tom Taylor and Mahmud Asrar, she’ll be joined by a uniquely qualified strikeforce that includes heroes such as Namor, Nightcrawler, All-New Wolverine, her sister Gabby (Honey Badger), the Wakanda mutant Gentle, and a mysterious new character named Trinary.

And now, one more hero will join the fight.

Marvel is excited to reveal the cover to X-Men: Red #3 featuring fan-favorite Gambit, who will team up with Jean to help battle against mankind and mutantkind’s most dangerous evil!

The adventure begins this February, and Gambit officially joins X-Men: Red this April! The issue features a cover by Travis Charest.

Review: Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #36

After faking her own death, Silver Sable is back in the mercenary game, and this time she REALLY might not survive! In the wake of Norman Osborn’s control of the Symkarian government, one of Sable’s operations goes south, and she finds herself and a small group of hostages trapped in the clutches of a dangerous group of terrorists! With no equipment and no back up Sable has to make sure that she and the innocents trapped with her find their way out alive. Piece of cake.

marvel has been producing a series of one-shots as part of Marvel Legacy taking us back to series and testing out the reaction to them. Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #36 takes us back to a character we’ve seen pop up recently in Amazing Spider-Man in a story that’s pretty close to a one-shot.

Writer Christa Faust takes us through the basics of Silver Sable in various ways as the character takes on Neo-Nazis attack refugees. The story is interesting in that it not so subtly takes on current real world issues, attacks on refugees and the rise of Neo-Nazism in Europe. The package that’s all delivered in is just ok though.

There’s nothing wrong with the issue at all and it’s a perfectly entertaining read. The issue is that we’ve see the kick-ass spy done so much between the last time Silver Sable had a series and now that the bar for an excellent story of this genre has been lifted exponentially. It’s not enough to just bust in and kick ass, we’re expecting some cool and style to it all. A bigger issue is that we’ve seen that in the not too distant past and even this week with the complete collection of the recent Nick Fury series.

That all includes the art by Paulo Siqueira which again isn’t bad, we’ve just seen so much better and so much better recently. Some of the scenes are a little confusing as far as the action (and that might be due to the digital review copy) but overall it’s pretty straightforward with not a whole lot that adds to the genre.

There’s nothing bad with this comic and there’s nothing that makes it stand out either. It’d be great to see Silver Sable back in an ongoing way but if that happens, we need to see the bar raised a bit in how it’s done. When there’s so many solid options out there, why do anything less?

Story: Christa Faust Art: Paulo Siqueira Cover Art: Mahmud A. Asrar
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Marvel Reveals Jean Grey’s X-Men: Red Team

Last week, Marvel announced the continuation of Jean Grey’s story with X-Men: Red, a brand new series written by Tom Taylor with art by Mahmud Asrar with a cover by Travis Charest.. Today, Marvel has revealed the heroes who will accompany the omega-level telepath as she battles against one of mutantkind and mankind’s most dangerous villains! This uniquely qualified strike force includes Namor, Nightcrawler, All-New Wolverine, her sister Gabby, Gentle (a mutant from Wakanda), and the mysterious new character Trinary, whose secrets will be revealed throughout the pages of X-Men: Red!

One more “fan-favorite her” will be joining the team in the first arc as the threat escalates. The announcement says that specialized team will be “not just those she trusts, but allies who can survive the oncoming storm.”

When one of the most dangerous X-Men villains returns to wreak havoc, Jean’s dreams of peace are threatened…and order starts to turn to chaos. It’s mutant against mutant this February in an all-new adventure that will have X-fans on the edge of their seats, as Jean Grey’s team takes on the Marvel Universe – only in X-Men: Red!

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