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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 Gets a Special Digital May the Fourth Release

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1

Doctor Aphra has captivated the minds of Star Wars fans since her first appearance in the pages of Star Wars: Darth Vader, and now her new ongoing comic series will be getting a special digital-first comic release in celebration of May the Fourth! Check out Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1, on-sale Monday, May 4 in the Marvel Comics App and Marvel Digital Comics Shop!

Written by Alyssa Wong with art by Marika Cresta, the series equips Doctor Aphra with both a new crew and a new mission set in the aftermath of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. With the Rebel Alliance back on the run after their defeat at the Battle of Hoth, it’s never been a more dangerous time for outlaws, scoundrels, and the errant rogue archaeologist to make their way in the galaxy.  But after a string of bad luck and near escapes, Doctor Aphra has been keeping a low profile—jobs are scarce and credits scarcer. But the promise of the score of a lifetime is just too good for her to pass up.

To add the printed comic to your home collection, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 will be on-sale 5/27 at your local comic shops.  Contact your local comic shop for information about their current business policies to observe social distancing or other services they may offer, including holding or creating pull lists, curbside pick-ups, special deliveries, and other options to accommodate.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 features a cover by Cover by Valentina Remenar.

Preview: Fearless #3 (of 4)

Fearless #3 (of 4)

(W) Seanan McGuire, Zoe Quinn (A) Claire Roe, Marika Cresta, Alti Firmansyah (CA) Yasmin Putri
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 25, 2019
SRP: $4.99

YOUR FAVORITE HEROINES UNITE FOR ACTION-PACKED ADVENTURE!
NOW A FOUR ISSUE SERIES!

Alien invasion at a summer camp for young girls? You know who to call. Captain Marvel is on her way – and she won’t be alone. Some of Marvel’s biggest heroes unite for the battle of the season! Then, a new mystery puts Patsy Walker – a.k.a. Hellcat – on the prowl! And don’t miss your dose of Herstory with profiles on classic and contemporary creators!

Fearless #3 (of 4)

Review: X-Men The Wedding Special #1

Full disclaimer: for a long time, Kitty Pryde was my all time favorite Marvel superhero thanks to her awesomeness in X-Men Evolution and Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run, and there is a Marvel Legends figure of her sitting on my bookshelf right now as I write this.

Even though Kelly Thompson, Marika Cresta, and Federico Blee end up almost saving the day with a fun tale of X-Women out on the town with pretty, shiny art to match, X-Men The Wedding Special #1 is a big stinker of a “special issue.” Greg Land’s stiff art style isn’t a good fit for a raucous bachelor party, Chris Claremont can’t rekindle his old magic, and this book doesn’t really have much for long time X-Men fans who might be a little lapsed (Like yours truly.) and definitely not new or casual fans. Why are Kitty and Piotr even getting married? Maybe, the X-Men Gold  hardcore readership will find something to love here.

In the first story, Kitty Pryde’s co-creator/father of the X-Men Chris Claremont returns to Marvel with his Nightcrawler collaborator Todd Nauck and skilled colorist Rachelle Rosenberg.  However, after having Nauck re-draw Kitty’s greatest hits courtesy of John Byrne, Dave Cockrum, John Romita Jr., Alan Davis, and others, he makes the story all about Kitty’s relationships with the dead men in her life, namely, her dad, Wolverine, and some guy from a 1999 time travel miniseries called X-Men True Friends. Claremont is a still verbose prose stylist, Rosenberg is game with the bright colors of the different eras, and Nauck turns in some gorgeous dualistic compositions contrasting the triumphs and trials of Kitty Pryde’s life as an X-Man.

But there isn’t really a coherent story to channel these skills and traits into as Claremont abruptly cuts from Kitty recounting her life story and feelings about being phased through a bullet (Thank you, Joss Whedon.) to randomly talking about Wolverine and the aforementioned guy from a time travel story. Plus I guess I missed the issue of X-Men Gold where she worked as a bartender at the Hellfire Club themed branch of Coyote Ugly as Claremont and Nauck cut to this, and Nightcrawler has some great lines about faith and facing challenges. There are a few good ingredients, a few bad ones, and sadly, the story doesn’t touch on the great female friendships (and possibly romances) that Claremont set up for Kitty with Magik, Storm, and Rachel Summers among others and focused on ghostly men instead. It’s like a great slice of Chicago deep dish (Shoutout to Deerfield, Illinois resident Kitty Pryde.) that’s completely burnt to a crisp too bogged down in a continuity to have any real emotion or even nostalgia.

The second story by X-Men Gold writer Marc Guggenheim, the aforementioned Land and inker Jay Leisten, and colorist Jason Keith tells the story of Colossus’ bachelor party and except for the part where Piotr throws an anti-mutant alien monster around a casino, it’s cliched, heteronormative, and just plain bad. In keeping with his introverted nature and desire to be faithful towards Kitty after decades of breakups, reunions, and the original Secret Wars crossover, Colossus wants a chill night out and not the typical strippers/booze/brawling trifecta of a normal bachelor party. But Nightcrawler, Gambit, Iceman, and the “boyo” overusing new-look Pyro have other ideas for him including Bobby lecturing Piotr on traditional masculinity and making me glad that Sina Grace had almost exclusive creative control over him for a year. The story follows a limp, through line of getting Colossus to “lighten up”, and you have to buy a whole other comic to see how the story ends. It’s pretty terrible except for the huge smile on Nightcrawler’s face as he ushers his squad into Las Vegas and beams that there is a casino run by demons so he doesn’t have to feel weird or different while having a good time for once. Kurt is such a great character that he shines even in subpar stories like the first two in X-Men Wedding Special #1.

The final story in X-Men Wedding Special #1 is a fun, cute, grownup version of the “X-Men go to the mall” plotline as Storm, Rogue, Jean Grey, Psylocke, and others take Kitty to karaoke, which is actually “stripperoke”. However, there are both male and female strippers at the club, which Kitty is cool with. And it’s also this issue’s only nod at the bisexual subtext surrounding her since the late 1980s. In a similar way to Piotr, Kitty is introverted and more than a little Type A so the cocktail of strippers and karaoke is pretty lethal for her, and she spends most of the issue hoping for a fight.

Kitty does end up doing hand to hand combat with Callisto, who I think had a crush on Colossus, in the 1980s, and her resolves shows how much she has grown in 38 years from the X-Men’s kid sister to their leader. It also shows that artist (and star in waiting) Marika Cresta has a knack for fight sequences as well as conversation, beautiful faces, and high fashion. The bright filters used by Federico Blee and soft lighting definitely give this issue a very laidback field even if Kitty is freaking out a little bit about her wedding. The Kitty/Callisto derails the story a little bit, but Thompson and Cresta easily counterbalance with great moments like Storm rocking the karaoke stage, and Rogue and Kitty having a true heart to heart that reminded me of a more mature version of their bond in X-Men Evolution.

X-Men Wedding Special definitely lessened my faith in the marriage between Kitty and Colossus as well as heterosexual, monogamous marriage as an institution in general. Okay, maybe not completely, but the Marc Guggenheim and Greg Land story is a great example of how bachelor parties are dated and played out. However, Marika Cresta is a real find as an artist in the final story and should definitely be the main artist on one of the big X or Marvel books.

Story: Chris Claremont, Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson
Art: Todd Nauck, Greg Land with Jay Leisten, Marika Cresta
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg, Jason Keith, Federico Blee Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: X-Men Wedding Special #1

X-Men Wedding Special #1

(W) Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson, Chris Claremont (A) Greg Land, Marika Cresta, Todd Nauck (CA) J. Scott Campbell
Rated T+
In Shops: May 16, 2018
SRP: $4.99

CHRIS CLAREMONT RETURNS TO THE X-MEN!
One of the biggest milestone events in X-Men history is almost here! Kitty Pryde and Colossus are finally about the tie the knot…but what’s a wedding without the respective bachelor and bachelorette parties? Join Marc Guggenheim and Kelly Thompson for two parties that can only be celebrated Marvel style! All this, plus, a Kitty and Colossus story by legendary X-Men scribe, Chris Claremont!!!

Shocks and Surprises in The X-Men Wedding Special!

It’s almost time for Kitty Pryde and Colossus to tie the knot…but a Marvel wedding is never a simple affair!

This May, get ready to take part in epic and adventurous stories written by Kelly Thompson and X-Men Gold scribe Marc Guggenheim – plus, a wedding gift all on its own in the form of an all-new Kitty Pryde story from legendary series writer Chris Claremont, who returns to the X-Men just in time for the celebrations! But remember, when super heroes get together, mayhem ensues…and the X-Men are no exception.

In this essential companion to the X-Men Gold (issues #26-30) story ‘Til Death Do Us Part, get a glimpse at Kitty and Peter’s march toward wedded bliss! It’s a celebration, Marvel style, with all the action, adventure and surprises that you’ve come to know and love from Marvel’s merry mutants – and it’s only in comic shops this May!

X-Men Wedding Special #1 features art by Greg Land, Marika Cresta, and more, as well as a cover by J. Scott Campbell.

Review: Power Pack #63

In a twist of fate, four children gained incredible powers. And in a universe full of war-hungry aliens and terrorizing gangsters, they would need them. Thus Power Pack was born! But when an enemy from the past rears its head again, the youngest Power finds herself in a body-snatching nightmare! Big brother Alex better come around – or Katie is toast! A never-before-told adventure comes to light as Katie Power revisits family history!

I know I have a couple Power Pack comics in my massive collection but I can’t think of any that stand out (though I was weirdly obsessed with playing a Power Pack team in Heroclix). Despite the span of decades, Power Pack #63 seems to attempt to put the team back in the spotlight with this one-shot Marvel Legacy comic that acts to not only wrap some things up but also as a way to gauge interest.

Writer Devin Grayson nails the story as it’s told from the perspective of Katie Powers. Recounting a battle and some family history to her teacher, the issue does an excellent job of introducing the team to new readers and also nailing what a story told by someone Katie’s age would be like.

That’s what really stands out about the comic. This isn’t an adult telling a story about some kids, Grayson channels what it’s like for a kid to tell a story including skipping important parts and details, some incorrect grammar, and a stream of consciousness narrative. If I asked a kid to tell a story about superheroes, this might be the result.

There’s also a solid narrative technique with an initial story told by Katie read back by her teacher where her teacher has one thing in mind and Katie has something that’s different. It’s cute and entertaining and the comic has both a throwback sensibility about it while feeling modern at the same time.

Marika Cresta‘s art helps with that throwback sense with a style that feels like it invokes a classic look, though the colors by Chris O’Halloran and lettering by Joe Caramagna have a more modern production about them. The kids look like kids and a lot of their personalities are expressed through the art (the comic is from the perspective of Katie so most other characters don’t get much of a focus).

This was an issue I was really intrigued to read and the results are fun and entertaining. The “voice” captured by Grayson is impressive and the series has me wanting to see more of the team in the future. YA is all the rage now and if played smart, the Power Pack could find a whole new audience and life within that genre.

Story: Devin Grayson Art: Marika Cresta Color: Chris O’Halloran Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Mike McKone and Rachelle Rosenberg
Story: 7.65 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.60 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

A first look at Spider-Man/Deadpool, Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider, Guardians of the Galaxy and Power Pack!

This fall, a new day will shine on the Marvel Universe with your favorite heroes, your favorite creators…where every story is an event!

Marvel has announced the following creative teams and Legacy titles:

SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #23
Written by ROBBIE THOMPSON
Art by CHRIS BACHALO

 

BEN REILLY: SCARLET SPIDER #10
Written by PETER DAVID
Art by WILL SLINEY

 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #146
Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art by MARCUS TO

 

POWER PACK #63
Written by DEVIN GRAYSON
Art by MARIKA CRESTA

For an in-depth look at the return to original numbering, fans can consult Marvel’s renumbering chart – a handy and easy way to jump on board with our Legacy content! Featuring new adventures and dozens of exciting returns, look for more interviews and updates with artists, writers, and editors of these series.

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