Tag Archives: mystique

Search for Hu banner ad

Review: Inferno #1

A lot of Inferno #1 is a table-setting tease, but boy, it’s nice to see Moira X back in action and in direct confrontation with the one mutant that can negate her abilities and quash her plans, Destiny. Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti, and David Curiel bring a small semblance of the epic thunder of House of X and Powers of X back in the high stakes arguments between Moira, Professor X, and Magneto as well as a brutal opening battle sequence between X-Force and Orchis. Plus there’s all the underlying elements about Krakoa being on thin ice culminating in a not exactly a shocker of a final sequence, but a statement piece that definitely has me invested in Inferno #2.

For all its flaws, Inferno is a book that is both time-spanning and cloak and dagger, and Schiti is good artist pick to juggle all this. He can use wide open layouts for fight and group scenes and then trim down and go tighter with nine panel grids as Mystique and Destiny confront Moira X and the use of her abilities to try to “cure” mutants once and for all. This storyline is something that has definitely popped up in X-Men stories quite a bit, but Hickman adds a SF wrinkle with the use of multiple timelines and reincarnation abilities. There’s also the failed utopia angle, and the last third of Inferno features plenty of hot people with superpowers acting like academics on a subcommittee with Madripoor substituting for the local watering hole. However, this awkwardness sells the last couple pages even more with Valerio Schiti nailing every Quiet Council member’s reaction to their new member.

Inferno #1’s extended length leads to plenty of Jonathan Hickman self-indulgence, including double data page spreads, a Warlock and Cypher interlude that might be Krakoa’s last happy moment before everything burns, and very long conversations. All the Orchis/Quiet Council maneuvering aside, Inferno is really the story of two couples: Xavier and Magneto, Destiny and Mystique. They are joined together via Moira X and set at cross purposes by her with Destiny seeing Moira’s real threat in her tenth life (The aforementioned cure). On the other hand, Moira sets Xavier and Magneto against Destiny and says she’s a threat to Krakoan stability, which leads them to do some very morally questionable things. This is par for the course in the “Dawn of X”/”Reign of X” era, their characters in general, and definitely backfires as evidenced by the issue’s first image of them crawling out of resurrection pods before a Cerebro-rocking Emma Frost. This page is a shining example of how Inferno #1 is more appetizer than full meal.

The Xavier/Magneto scenes definitely feel like they could be plucked from the better parts of Hickman’s X-Men run and also showcase Schiti’s skill with character acting. David Curiel also ups the intensity of the colors depending on the flow of conversation. Moira X is Krakoa’s ringer, and why they keep attacking Orchis over and over even as this starts to expose the resurrection protocols to their enemies. As anyone who has interacted with X-Men media knows, Sentinels are bad, and mutants are good. But after the double digit failures in taking out Nimrod, Magneto and Xavier start to wonder if a partnership with these machines might be a good idea. Unfortunately, Moira X has seen the future and knows this isn’t a viable path and directs their energies to a pre-cognitive mutant instead. Schiti draws panels of them sabotaging the resurrection process with close-up shots of Mr. Sinister (Or a clone) and Krakoan language vials that scream death of a utopia.

However, Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti keep things ambiguous and basically smash cut to the election of a new Captain Commander and the ending Quiet Council meeting saving the consequences for a future issue. Sneaky, morally ambiguous Xavier and Magneto is a great time though even as they speak about humility and posture about resigning their positions of leadership and letting a new generation take over. It’s unclear how Inferno fits with Trial of Magneto, but these are two mutants that definitely don’t seem to be relinquishing power any time soon, hence, the shady shit with Moira X.

Inferno #1 returns to one of the most interesting plot threads from House of X/Powers of X: Moira MacTaggert being one of the most powerful mutants, who also acts as a kind of meta-commentary on the ideological evolution of the X-Men. (I can take or leave the Orchis stuff.) She has plenty of panel time in this issue, but it’s all set up for future conflicts that will hopefully shake Krakoa at its core and end Hickman’s run on the mutant books in a suitably dramatic fashion. For now, there’s a lot of speeches, posturing, and everyone’s favorite, data pages.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Valerio Schiti
Colors: David Curiel Letters: Joe Sabino
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Marvel Voices Pride #1

Marvel Voices Pride #1

In honor of Pride Month, Marvel Comics dropped a big 84 pages one-shot celebrating both its LGBTQ+ creators and characters. Beginning with a story from Luciano Vecchio that’s not sure if it’s telling the story of queer characters in the Marvel Universe from an in-universe or more of a real-world documentary perspective, Marvel Voices Pride #1 sputters with a story that basically says aliens and shapeshifters brought the idea of being non-binary, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming to this world followed by a text-heavy Allan Heinberg/Jim Cheung Young Avengers reunion. However, it catches its footing with a cute Karolina Dean/Nico Minoru story, and for the most part, it provides a wide spectrum of LGBTQ+ representation with a special focus on the mutant/X-Men side of the Marvel Universe, who have acted as a mostly metaphorical representation to queer fans like myself. However, it’s nice to see characters like Anole, Prodigy, Destiny, Karma, and Jessie Drake get the spotlight along with more prominently featured cis male gay characters like Northstar (His coming out story in Alpha Flight #106 is reprinted at the end) and Iceman. But fans of non-mutant/Runaways/Wiccan and Hulkling characters may be disappointed as characters like Angela, Sera, Hercules, and America Chavez don’t appear except in small cameo roles.

Marvel Voices Pride #1 kicks off with a journey through the LGBTQ+ history of the Marvel Universe from writer/artist Luciano Vecchio. Even though many of his adult characters look like teens, Vecchio has a beautiful art style and color palette. However, my issue with this first story isn’t the form, but the content. As mentioned earlier, this introductory story isn’t sure if it’s being told from the perspective of the real world or Earth-616 even though it’s narrated by Prodigy. It also has a very self-congratulatory, back-patting tone, especially for a company that recently cancelled a book starring many of its queer characters (X-Factor) and mentions characters like Angela and Sera that haven’t been barely heard or seen from since getting their own title in 2015. Even though Vecchio is a queer creator, there’s big “ally” energy in this first story with a heterosexual character, Captain America getting the spotlight, and the implication that non-binary identities came from aliens and shapeshifters. He does successfully lay out what ended up being a thesis for the anthology, which is the connection between mutants and queer identity.

This story is followed by a one page Young Avengers creator reunion as Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, and Marcelo Maiolo chronicle Hulking and Wiccan’s wedding vows. Heinberg’s writing is tender, but this feels like more of a prose piece than a comic. Heinberg and Cheung’s inclusion seems like more stunt-casting to get older queer Marvel fans interested in the one-shot rather than being any kind of substantial addition to their work on Young Avengers. However, Marvel Voices: Pride rights the ship (Pun fully intended.) in its next story featuring two members of Marvel’s other prominent 2000s teen superhero team, the Runaways. Mariko Tamaki, Kris Anka, and Tamra Bonvillain turns in three pages of sweet glances, chatter, and a super adorable kiss as Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean think about what they would tell people if they asked how they met. The long line out of the venue reminded me of the pre-pandemic days when I would wait in line for hours to get a good spot to see artists like Carly Rae Jepsen and Robyn with my fellow queer folks, and Bonvillain’s summery color palette matches Anka’s skill with facial expressions. This story is like the cherry on top of the sundae that he helped build when he was the artist on Runaways and finally put Karolina and Nico in a relationship together.

The next story in Marvel Voices Pride is the first one to feature a trans protagonist, Dr. Charlene McGowan from Immortal Hulk. The plot of Lilah Sturges, Derek Charm, and Brittany Peer is about some “hilarious” misunderstandings when Lady Daredevil aka the artist formerly known as Elektra Natchios and some Z-list, rapping supervillains raid McGowan’s lab when they think she’s producing mutant growth hormone when when she’s actually working on a way to get trans women’s bodies to produce progesterone without taking pills. What follows is Trans 101 with a little bit of ass kicking courtesy Charm, who is in his Bronze Age element with the cheesy costumes and dark shadows. However, other than the fact that’s she a scientist who sometimes makes jokes, we don’t learn anything about Dr. McGowan except that she’s surprisingly cool with microaggressions from A-List Marvel heroes. Kudos to Marvel Voices‘ editorial for getting a trans writer in Sturges to pen this story, but the whole thing feels reductive and geared towards fanboys who know every member of Daredevil or Hulk’s rogues gallery and have never interacted with a transgender person.

Marvel Voices Pride #1

In contrast, Leah Williams, Jan Bazaldua, and Erick Arciniega re-introduce Marvel’s first transgender character, the mutant Jessie Drake in a thrilling manner as she appears in her first comic in 27 years. However, Black Cat is the protagonist of this story and is tracking down Steel Raven, a villain who’s been impersonating her, pulling some sloppy heists, and ruining her reputation. Williams’ quippy writing style works well for the fast-paced short story as Black Cat and Jessie meet, flirt, and figure out their next move in catching Steel Raven. Bazaldua plays with space and transforms what would normally be your run of the mill villain warehouse into something more surreal. She and Williams do succeed in building a connection between Jessie and Black Cat as well as showing off Jesse’s empathy-based abilities, but this is just a teaser for a bigger cat and mouse game. Hopefully, there’s room for more batting of eyes, power showcasing, and insight into the character of Jessie Drake, both in her own series or in Black Cat’s current ongoing, which has been a sneaky good read.

Continuing this positive trend is Crystal Frasier, Jethro Morales, and Rachelle Rosenberg telling a wonderful She-Hulk and Titania. But there’s a twist as Jennifer Walters doesn’t appear, but Jennifer Harris, who was inspired by her to come out as trans and cosplay her at a copyright friendly version of New York Comic Con. As someone who came out as bi around the same time Prodigy did in Young Avengers or when Iceman came out as gay in All-New X-Men, I can definitely connect to the inspirational power of fictional characters like Jennifer did with She-Hulk. She and Titania also have some nice banter, and Frasier and Morales also remind readers that She-Hulk was the original fourth wall breaker with some jokes and exploding layouts.

After the She-Hulk story is probably my favorite story of Marvel Voices Pride #1, which is a Prodigy and Speed one from Kieron Gillen, Jen Hickman, and Brittany Peer as Gillen returns to both the X-Men and Young Avengers franchises. The dialogue between Speed and Prodigy sparkles, and Hickman shows off their chops as a storyteller working in eating pizza, stealing glances at Colossus, and empathizing with Kitty Pryde as Prodigy basically tells his bisexual origin story. His story also acts as a critique of how the mutant books have been good about metaphorical queer representation, but not actual queer representation. This is timely because the book that Prodigy was a main cast member in is getting cancelled. However, this is really a lovely story full of hilarious and insightful writing from Kieron Gillen and pitch-perfect images and comedic timing from Hickman as Speed teases Prodigy for having a crush on Colossus when he ran with the New Mutants. Prodigy is true overthinking, chaos bisexual representation, and I’m personally glad to see him get a spotlight in this story even if it’s only a few pages long.

The anthology takes a break from comics for a bit and features an interview with Christian Cooper, one of the first queer editors at Marvel, and he talks about his experiences at the company and the impact comics have had on his life. After this, there’s a timeline of big LGBTQ+ moments in Marvel Comics. It’s followed up with a cute Anole story from Terry Blas, the wonderful Paulina Ganucheau, and Kendall Goode. Blas connects the idea of Krakoa being a mutant utopia to things like Pride, and the ability to unwind at the Green Lagoon with folks who understand your struggles being the goal of all this hard work and fighting. However, it’s not all big metaphors as he and Ganucheau probe into Anole’s body issues leading to him not wanting to date along with his friendship with Jonas Graymalkin. It all ends on a fabulous final page, and this story is worth checking out for Ganucheau and Goode’s soft, colorful takes on the different mutants.

Sticking with the mutant theme, Anthony Oliveira, Javier Garron, and David Curiel go all in with the mutant as gay metaphor in an Iceman story set during the time period of the original five X-Men. They play on the fact that Magneto was played by a gay man in four of the X-Men films and find a real connection between Bobby and Magneto, who takes a break from the missiles to provide a listening ear to this young man struggling with his identity. Oliveira writes Iceman as having a crush on Angel, and Garron nails the longing glances that he throws at the majestic mutant that turn into words when Magneto sits down to chat with him. They take the subtext (For example, Bobby not being interested in Jean Grey when she joins the team.) of these Silver Age text and transform them into glorious text while also showing off the sweeter side of Magneto, a man who would one day break down when he realized that his crusade almost led to the death of an innocent child, Kitty Pryde.

This story is followed up by one focusing on the relationship between Northstar and his husband, Kyle Jinadu from writer/artist J.J. Kirby. It’s touching to see what Northstar is like away from the cameras and public, and what Kyle loves about them. However, Kirby’s 1990s-style artwork with modern, digital coloring is a mismatch for the story, and I spent most of the time wondering why Northstar looked like a vampire or a block of ice instead of the events of the story. Luckily, the misstep is remedied by a thrilling riff on Sherlock Holmes vs. Professor Moriarty from Tini Howard, Samantha Dodge, and Brittany Peer featuring Mystique and Destiny. The story is adventurous filled with wits matching, chess games, and lover’s embraces and shows how iconic a couple these two are while also showing what a big deal it was for them to be open with their love in a time period where being queer got you thrown in jail. Plus it’s a reminder that queer people have always existed in history. (Or fiction.)

Vita Ayala, Joanna Estep, Brittney Williams, and Brittany Peer continue the theme of both mutants and queer women in a Karma story set during the Hellfire Gala after party where Magik gives her a pep talk to dance (and maybe even smooch) Elle, who as far as I can tell is a new, queer mutant created for this anthology. Karma truly gets the spotlight this story and gets to work out some of her issues with her powers and emotions as she’s afraid that if she asks Elle out that she’ll use her abilities to mess with her free will. However, this doesn’t happen, and we get to see a mutant who has been screwed over so many times be happy for once and get the girl in a beautiful sequence from Ayala, Estep, Williams, and Peer.

Marvel Voices Pride #1

The final story in Marvel Voices Pride #1 again shows that Steve Orlando is perfect for writing violent, queer characters with a sensitive side as he and Claudia Aguirre tell the story of Daken and Somnus, a new character who can make one night seem like a life time together. He used this power on Daken back in the day during a one night stand and then ended up living a long life without him even though he didn’t divulge his oneiromantic mutant abilities to everyone. However, Krakoa and its resurrection protocols are all about second chances, and Daken gives him one in this story. As well as digging deep into Daken’s emotions, Orlando and Aguirre also use this story to remind readers of queer elders, who because of society’s hate, never came out or came out later in life, and this is what makes Somnus’ second chance so special. Also, his abilities are pretty cool and bring a little Vertigo into the X-Books.

Marvel Voices Pride #1 is definitely an up and down ride. Some of the stories mishandle nonbinary and gender nonconforming identities (Also, there are no nonbinary lead characters in this anthology.) or seem to pander heavily to allies while others have issues with their art or storytelling style. (Northstar/Kyle, Wiccan/Hulkling) But, for the most part, it’s nice to see queer creators and queer characters get the spotlight for once instead of being hidden behind things like the mutant metaphor, which is usually Marvel editorial’s approach. Time will tell if we see them beyond this anthology, but most of the creators in Marvel Voices Pride work on books in Marvel’s main line or have had consistent success at other companies or even television in Allan Heinberg’s case so, at least, that’s something they have going for them.

Story: Luciano Vecchio, Allan Heinberg, Mariko Tamaki, Lilah Sturges, Leah Williams,
Crystal Frasier, Kieron Gillen, Terry Blas, Anthony Oliveira, J.J. Kirby, Tini Howard, Vita Ayala, Steve Orlando
Art: Luciano Vecchio, Jim Cheung, Kris Anka, Derek Charm, Jan Bazaldua,
Jethro Morales, Jen Hickman, Paulina Ganucheau, Javier Garron, J.J. Kirby, Samantha Dodge, Joanna Estep with Brittney Williams, Claudia Aguirre, Jacopo Camagni
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo, Tamra Bonvillain, Brittany Peer,
Erick Arciniega, Rachelle Rosenberg, Kendall Goode, David Curiel
Letters: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Marvel and comiXology Deliver Mystique and New Mutants in Today’s New Digital Releases

There are four new digital comic releases on comiXology. You can get three volumes of the Mystique series as well as New Mutants: Back to School Vol. 1. Get shopping now or check out the individual issues below.

Mystique Vol. 2: Tinker, Tailor, Mutant, Spy

Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Manuel Garcia, Michael Ryan
Cover by Mike Mayhew
Purchase

Collects Mystique (2003) #7-13.

Mystique is a shape-shifting mutant and former terrorist, recruited by Professor Xavier of the X-Men to be a secret agent. Her current mission: to find and destroy a deadly new strain of smallpox… one that’s spread telepathically! Problem is, she’s not the only mutant who wants to get her hands on this potentially apocalyptic bio-weapon! Plus: Mystique’s globe-trotting missions take her everywhere imaginable, but now she’s going back to the last place she’d ever imagine… her romantic past. Her old flame Forge can fix almost anything, but can he fix their relationship?

Mystique Vol. 2: Tinker, Tailor, Mutant, Spy

Mystique Vol. 3: Unnatural

Written by Sean McKeever
Art by Manuel Garcia
Cover by Mike Mayhew
Purchase

Collects Mystique (2003) #14-18.

When everyone’s favorite shape-shifting secret agent is sent to Europe to investigate a biotech company rumored to be using mutants as guinea pigs, she discovers a mystery far greater than anything she’d imagined! As Mystique and Shortpack get closer to their objective, they must confront a new revelation: that someone is selling transient mutants as guinea pigs, slaves and worse! Will Mystique go after this mutant-selling scum, or will she allow her personal crisis to tear her apart first?

Mystique Vol. 3: Unnatural

Mystique Vol. 4: Quiet

Written by Sean McKeever
Art by Manuel Garcia
Cover by Mike Mayhew
Purchase

Collects Mystique (2003) #19-24.

This is it! The mysterious Quiet Man’s identity is finally revealed! Mystique is sent on a mission to find Shortpack, who has mysteriously vanished. But she has enough on her mind already: She has to figure out how to assassinate Professor Charles Xavier! Mystique been caught between two masters long enough; now, the time has come when she can no longer serve both!

Mystique Vol. 4: Quiet

New Mutants Vol. 1: Back To School

Written by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir
Art by Keron Grant, Mark A. Robinson
Cover by Joshua Middleton
Purchase

Collects New Mutants (2003) #1-6.

Moonstar, Karma, Magma and Wolfsbane – the once X-Men-in-training who helped define a generation – are back. But what happens when these “New Mutants” find out Professor Xavier’s up-and-coming students think of them as the “Old Mutants”? Former students become the teachers as the old guard is asked back to help prepare the next generation of New X-Men.

New Mutants Vol. 1: Back To School

ComiXology Has a Packed Thursday with 16 New Releases from Marvel, Paperfilms, Yen Press, and More!

There’s a lot out this Thursday on comiXology. Check out all of the new digital releases now or check out the individual releases below.

An Invitation To Sin

Written by Sarah Morgan
Art by Mito Orihara
Purchase

Taylor has worked long and hard to make her comeback as an actress, and is dedicated to making her newest movie a success. Upon attending a party at the powerful Corretti family’s home to promote her film, she meets Luca, the troubled child of the family. He is handsome and sexy…but also a notorious playboy whom she would be sorry to get involved with! As she tries to leave, Luca suddenly pulls her in and they engage in a passionate kiss. However, unbeknownst to her, their hot steamy encounter had been captured on camera and would be leaked to the world…

An Invitation To Sin

Human Torch: Burn

Written by Karl Kesel
Art by Skottie Young
Cover by Skottie Young
Purchase

Collects Human Torch (2003) #1-6.

Johnny Storm is the youngest member of the world-famous Fantastic Four, with the powers and temperament of fire itself. Impulsive, restless and thrill-seeking by nature, the Torch doesn’t need to wait for the rest of the FF. He can get into trouble all by himself. Years ago, after gaining his powers, Johnny became the most popular student on his high-school campus. The Big Man on Campus until the Torch came along was Olympic-bound wrestler Mike Snow. The Snow/Storm rivalry reached a terrible climax when the two fought over a girl. Snow never wanted to see Johnny again – until now, years later, when a fellow firefighter dies before his eyes, inexplicably bursting into flames … like a Human Torch.

Human Torch: Burn

Incredible Hulk: Hide In Plain Sight

Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Leandro Fernandez
Cover by Leandro Fernandez
Purchase

Collects Incredible Hulk (1999) #55-59.

For years Crusher Creel has terrorized the world with his ability to absorb the properties of anything he touches. Now, after being locked away in a secret underground prison, The Absorbing Man has gained the new ability to jump in and out of people’s minds. But what happens when the mind he jumps into belongs to the 800-pound monster known as the Incredible Hulk?

Incredible Hulk: Hide In Plain Sight

Incredible Hulk: Transfer Of Power

Written by Bruce Jones
Art by Stuart Immonen, Scott Koblish
Cover by Kaare Andrews
Purchase

Collects Incredible Hulk (1999) #44-49.

On the run…from the police…the government…clandestine forces with an agenda all their own…and the unbridled beast within, Dr. Bruce Banner knows the dread of the hunted. Now he faces the most unimaginable horror of all: a relentless, unkillable pursuer who knows all his weaknesses and will stop at nothing to bring him down.

Incredible Hulk: Transfer Of Power

Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler – #84

Written by Homura Kawamoto
Art by Toru Naomura
Purchase

Kirari responds to Ririka’s request…but what happens when Yumeko joins in? Read the next chapter of Kakegurui the same day as Japan!

Kakegurui - Compulsive Gambler - #84

Le secret d’un père

Written by Yvonne Lindsay
Art by Naomi Watanabe
Purchase

Erin, une jeune veuve, dirige un hôtel tout en s’occupant d’un enfant en bas âge. Un jour, un millionnaire du nom de Sam vient séjourner dans son établissement. Alors que ce beau client fascine Erin, il a néanmoins un plan derrière la tête. Ignorant les réelles intentions de Sam, Erin reçoit une lettre contenant un étonnant message : en raison d’une erreur à la clinique de fertilité, le père de son enfant n’est pas celui qu’elle croit, et ce dernier a bien l’intention de se battre pour obtenir sa garde ! Erin est alors loin de se douter que le père de son enfant n’est autre que Sam !

Le secret d'un père

Missing Persons #2

Written by Liam Johnson
Art by Bernardo Vieira
Purchase

DB Cooper is a man out of time. Indebted to those who ripped him from time, he’s reluctantly agreed to rob a bank alongside a ragtag team of fellow time-displaced bandits. However, with infamous Al Capone acting as enforcer to keep them all in line, Cooper begins to fear his death is inevitable.

Missing Persons #2

Mystique Vol. 1: Dead Drop Gorgeous

Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Jorge Lucas
Cover by Joseph Michael Linsner
Purchase

Collects Mystique (2003) #1-6.

Mystique the sultry mutant shapeshifter, who has stood against the X-Men in battle after battle, is offered the chance at a new life when Professor X recruits her to complete a dangerous mission in Cuba. Can this former mutant-rights terrorist who can disguise herself as anyone on the planet be trusted? In this story of international intrigue and redemption, the sexy Mystique may surprise everyone, including herself.

Mystique Vol. 1: Dead Drop Gorgeous

So I’m a Spider, So What? #51.1

Written by Okina Baba
Art by Asahiro Kakashi
Purchase

Hooooly snikeys! The Demon Lord blocked off my teleport option, so I’m just running and running and running…where’s a miracle when you need one?! Read the next chapter of So I’m a Spider, So What? at the same time as Japan!

So I'm a Spider, So What? #51.1

The Case Study of Vanitas #51

Written by Jun Mochizuki
Art by Jun Mochizuki
Purchase

As blows are exchanged, a decisive difference between the combatants gradually becomes clear. Read the next chapter of The Case Study of Vanitas at the same time as Japan!

The Case Study of Vanitas #51

Twilight Experiment #1 (of 6)

Written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Juan Santacruz
Colored by Jose Luiz Roger
Cover by Juan Santacruz
Purchase

Written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti Art and cover by Juan Santacruz Writers Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (Hawkman, THE Monolith) reunite with artist Juan Santacruz (The Resistance) for Twilight Experiment, a dramatic new 6-issue miniseries dealing with themes of heroism and loss. Decades ago, a handful of brave volunteers sacrificed their humanity in the hope of one day saving their world from a future cosmic event. They failed. This is the story of their children, who, in the twilight of humanity, must find the courage to fulfill their parents’ destiny! Serenity, once the greatest champion humanity had ever known, died defending the world and people she loved. She left behind more than a legacy of heroism ? she left a great secret. For eight years, her son Michael has been stranded on a space station orbiting Earth. Raised by a computer program, possessed of strange powers and a hypersensitivity to light, Michael has longed for the day he would join the human race. That day is today!

Twilight Experiment #1 (of 6)

Twilight Experiment #2 (of 6)

Written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Juan Santacruz
Colored by Jose Luiz Roger
Cover by Juan Santacruz
Purchase

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray Art and cover by Juan Santacruz The futuristic new miniseries continues! Ghosts of the past haunt paramedic Rene Doyle as she sets out in search of her father, who disappeared nearly a decade ago. But even if he’s alive, will he have the answers to the unexplained events in her life? Meanwhile, Twilight faces his last training session aboard the orbital space station!

Twilight Experiment #2 (of 6)

Twilight Experiment #3 (of 6)

Written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Juan Santacruz
Colored by Jose Luiz Roger
Cover by Juan Santacruz
Purchase

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray Art and cover by Juan Santacruz The Righteous has returned! After eight years in a coma imprisoned by an alien race, the most destructive force Earth has ever produced is awake ? and he wants to unite the world beneath his hand! Plus, what connection is there between Twilight and Rene?

Twilight Experiment #3 (of 6)

Twilight Experiment #4 (of 6)

Written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Juan Santacruz
Colored by Jose Luiz Roger
Cover by Juan Santacruz
Purchase

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray Art and cover by Juan Santacruz Thought to be dead, the Righteous has escaped from a Viridian prison and resumed his bid for world domination. Plus, Michael comes face to face with the man who murdered his mother ? but will he share her fate?

Twilight Experiment #4 (of 6)

Twilight Experiment #5 (of 6)

Written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Juan Santacruz
Colored by Jose Luiz Roger
Cover by Juan Santacruz
Purchase

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray Art and cover by Juan Santacruz The penultimate chapter of the thrilling miniseries! The Righteous issues a warning to the world: live in peace or die! And in the parallel world of Veridian, the devastating anomaly is reaching critical mass. Will Rene and Twilight be able to avert a pandimensional disaster?

Twilight Experiment #5 (of 6)

Twilight Experiment #6 (of 6)

Written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Juan Santacruz
Colored by Jose Luiz Roger
Cover by Juan Santacruz
Purchase

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray Art and cover by Juan Santacruz The climactic conclusion of the TWILIGHT EXPERIMENT saga, as the fate of two worlds hangs in the balance! The new hero Serenity must succeed where her predecessor failed, even as Twilight battles the Righteous, the man who killed his mother. If these two young heroes fail, two worlds die!

Twilight Experiment #6 (of 6)

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 Exclusives

So, I lied. Okay, not lied, but I did change the schedule. I have in-hand the Kingpin assortment, but didn’t have time to take on the whole thing. I’m pushing that to next week. What I also got, which is relevant to your interests, is the new Walgreens exclusive Marvel Legends Mystique.  Let’s talk.

Mystique: First and best thing, the ML Mystiques are arriving at Walgreens locations across the country and in solid numbers. And the bonus? There’s a sale on (which appears to be chain-wide) with Marvel Legends for $13.99 until March 30th. That’s a solid deal! I picked up mine and got a bonus $2 off at the register which we’d apparently earned on our Walgreens card. So I had that going for me, which is nice.

As to the figure itself, this is top-flight work. This is a Great. Figure. I feel like the team really nailed the look of Mystique from the Claremont-Byrne days. It’s also a not-so-coincidentally great time for the figure to be released since a) she first appeared in the pages of the Carol Danvers Ms. Marvel book in the 1970s, and b) Mystique once again figures into the forthcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix film.

The figure comes with three heads: regular, shapeshifting-into-Rogue, and Shi’ar Empress Lilandra. The head sculpts are superb, Lilandra in particular. There’s a popular trend forming already of collectors getting an extra Silver Sable and replacing the head with the Lilanadra for a completely “new” figure. Some have gone so far as to do the boil-and-pop method to remove the Sable belts and enhancements for a cleaner look; I’ve also seen spare capes (like the Black Knight cape) added. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with making Mystique Mystique; as Bob Ross said, it’s your painting.

If you have the original ML Mystique and you’re happy with it, that is totally fine. If you missed that one, this one is just about perfect. It’s a great pick-up no matter how you display it.

Target Captain Marvel (Starforce): The Target Exclusive ML Starforce Captain Marvel is available to order online right now. I am absolutely getting this one to turn it into Dr. Minn-Erva with the included head, hands, scarf, and other accessories. Doing the figure in this manner was a GREAT idea. I would have passed without the means to turn it into a secondary character. Mine isn’t due to arrive just yet, but I’ll have pictures when it does. For now, you can place your own order. If you have a Target Red Card, you can get 5% off if you use it when you place your order online.

Okay, kids, that’s all we’re doing this week. How do you feel about Exclusive figures? It’s been my experience that the Walgreens figures aren’t hard to find, but that the Walmart ones are a giant pain in the ass. Target lands somewhere in the middle. Thoughts? Do you buy second copies of a figure if you can turn them into a different character? Let’s talk.

Toy Fair 2019: Diamond Select Toys Sneak Peek: DC, Marvel, Kingdom Hearts, Bruce Lee and More!

It’s that magical time of year, when toy companies from around the world descend on New York City for the International Toy Fair! Pictures of the newest toys splatter across the Interwebs, and we all get to go gaga over products that may not see the light for many months. Well, Diamond Select Toys is one of those companies, and here are some images of products that will be on display, and are currently up for pre-order, but won’t hit stores until summer or fall. And be on the lookout for more DST reveals leading up to the show!

Bruce Lee Minimates Series 1 Box Set

A Diamond Select Toys release! Bruce Lee returns to the Minimates mini-figure line! One of the original Minimates licenses when the line first began, the acclaimed martial artist makes his 2-inch debut in this all-new box set! The many looks of Bruce Lee are on display here, as his Dojo, Clawed, Track Suit and Casual looks make up the four-pack. Each has interchangeable parts and accessories, and the set includes bonus accessories to create alternate looks. Designed by Barry Bradfield! (Item #FEB192441, SRP: $24.99)

Bruce Lee Minimates Series 1 Box Set
Bruce Lee Minimates Series 1 Box Set

DC Comic Gallery Batman PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The guardian of Gotham City has arrived! This highly anticipated entry in the DC Gallery line depicts a modern comic-style Batman atop a Gotham City rooftop, his cape flaring out behind him. Measuring approximately 10 inches tall, this PVC diorama features detailed sculpting by Alterton based on a design by Caesar. Packaged in a full-color window box. (Item #FEB192439, SRP: $49.99)

DC Comic Gallery Batman PVC Diorama

DC Movie Gallery Shazam PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Shazam! Newly powered teenager Billy Batson transforms into the hero Shazam in this new PVC Diorama based on the upcoming feature film! With lightning arcing from his chest, this sculpture features the likeness of actor Zachary Levi, and features detailed sculpting and paint. Packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella! (Item #FEB192438, SRP: $49.99)

DC Movie Gallery Shazam PVC Diorama
DC Movie Gallery Shazam PVC Diorama
DC Movie Gallery Shazam PVC Diorama

DC Movie Vinimates Shazam Vinyl Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! What are your super powers? Billy Batson is ready to find out in the new Shazam movie, and this smiling Shazam vinyl figure is ready to join the DC Vinimates line! Standing approximately 4 inches tall, this vinyl figure is sculpted in the Minimates block-figure style, and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Barry Bradfield! (Item #FEB192440, SRP: $9.99)

DC Movie Vinimates Shazam Vinyl Figure
DC Movie Vinimates Shazam Vinyl Figure

Kingdom Hearts Minimates Series 3 Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Kingdom Hearts Minimates line moves into the all-new third game in this all-new assortment of 2-inch mini-figures! Three two-packs based on Kingdom Hearts III make up the assortment, featuring Toy Story Sora with Wreck it Ralph, Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow with Pirate Donald, and Mickey Mouse with Maleficent! Each two-pack features fully interchangeable parts and accessories, and each comes packaged in a full-color blister card. Designed by Barry Bradfield! (Item #FEB192442, SRP: $9.99/ea.)

Kingdom Hearts Minimates Series 3 Asst.

Legends in 3D Comic Marvel Iron Man Half Scale Resin Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Tony Stark is a legend in his own time, and now he’s a Legend in 3D! Iron Man joins the half-scale line of resin busts with this shiny portrait of the Avenger, measuring approximately 10 inches tall atop a technological base. Limited to just 1.000 pieces, this bust features detailed sculpting by Joe Menna based on a design by Joe Allard. Packaged in a hand-numbered box with a full-color image and a weblink to additional images. (Item #FEB192444, SRP: $150.00)

Legends in 3D Comic Marvel Iron Man Half Scale Resin Bust

Marvel Comic Gallery Dazzler PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Disco never dies! The mutant Dazzler has had a number of looks over the years, but her most famous look is still her disco outfit from 1980. In her silver jumpsuit, the pop starlet has a microphone in one hand and her trademark light effect emanating from the other. And who can forget her roller skates and disco ball necklace? Measuring approximately 9 inches tall, this PVC diorama was sculpted by Alejandro Pereira based on a design by Uriel Caton. Packaged in a full-color window box. (Item #FEB192445, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Comic Gallery Dazzler PVC Diorama

Marvel Comic Premier Collection Mystique Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! The shapely shape-shifter revealed! A frequent X-Men foe and member of the Brotherhood and Freedom Force, Raven Darkholme joins the Marvel Premier Collection with this gorgeous statue, hand-sculpted by Clayburn Moore based on a design by Caesar! Standing approximately 11” tall, this detailed piece is limited to an edition of 3,000 pieces, and comes packaged in full color, hand-numbered box with a certificate of authenticity. (Item #FEB192446, SRP: $150.00)

Marvel Comic Premier Collection Mystique Resin Statue

Marvel Minimates Series 77 Spider-Man 2-Packs Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! The record-breaking 77th series of Marvel Minimates is here, and it’s dedicated to the friends and foes of the Spectacular Spider-Man! Four two-packs feature Black Costume Spider-Man with Kraven the Hunter, Miles Morales with Prowler, Mysterio with Hydro-Man, and Vulture with Molten Man. Plus, if you buy all four sets, you get the parts to build the Spider-Slayer! Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure features fully interchangeable parts and accessories. Designed by Barry Bradfield! (Item #FEB192443, SRP: $9.99/ea.)

Marvel Minimates Series 77 Spider-Man 2-Packs Asst.

Marvel Movie Gallery Black Panther Okoye PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Her kingdom for a Starbucks! Okoye, leader of the Dora Milaje and protector of T’Challa, defends her homeland against incursion from the outside world – and other worlds entirely – with her impressive spear. Preparing to let loose with her chosen weapon, Okoye stands approximately 9 inches tall and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Sculpted by Rocco Tartamella based on a design by Nelson. (Item #FEB192447, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Movie Gallery Black Panther Okoye PVC Diorama
Marvel Movie Gallery Black Panther Okoye PVC Diorama
Marvel Movie Gallery Black Panther Okoye PVC Diorama

Marvel Video Game Deluxe Gallery Rhino PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Let the wild rampage begin! Classic Spider-Man villain The Rhino charges into the Marvel Gallery line, pushing over a pillar in his pursuit of the wall-crawler. Measuring approximately 10 inches tall, this Deluxe sculpture is based on his appearance in the new Spider-Man video game and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Cortes Studios. (Item #FEB192449, SRP: $69.99)

Marvel Video Game Deluxe Gallery Rhino PVC Diorama
Marvel Video Game Deluxe Gallery Rhino PVC Diorama
Marvel Video Game Deluxe Gallery Rhino PVC Diorama

Marvel Select Psylocke Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! You don’t have to be psychic to know that Marvel Select have been requesting a Psylocke action figure for a long time, and now DST has delivered! Joining the legion of X-Men Select figures, Psylocke measures approximately 7 inches tall and comes packaged in the display-ready Select packaging, with side-panel artwork for shelf reference. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! (Item #FEB192448, SRP: $29.99)

Marvel Select Psylocke Action Figure
Marvel Select Psylocke Action Figure

Marvel TV Gallery Netflix Defenders Iron Fist PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Face the power of the Iron Fist! Danny Rand unleashes his energy-packed punch on a New York City rooftop in this PVC diorama based on The Defenders on Netflix! Standing approximately 8 inches tall, this detailed sculpt features collectible-quality paint applications, and comes packaged in a full-color window box with an opening front panel. Sculpted by Rocco Tartamella based on a design by Nelson X. Asencio. Previously a GameStop exclusive. (Item #FEB192450, SRP: $50.00)

Marvel TV Gallery Netflix Defenders Iron Fist PVC Diorama

Funko Reveals Pop! Marvel: X-Men Deadpool and Pop! Marvel: X-Men

Remember when Deadpool joined the X-Men? Funko sure does! Today the company revealed their Pop! Marvel: X-Men Deadpool. Did someone say chimichangas?! The figure will be available this month.

Pop! Marvel X-Men Deadpool

Not leaving out his fellow X-Men, Funko has also revealed Pop! Marvel: X-Men, featuring Storm, Cyclops, Professor X, Colossus, Mystique, and Magneto! They’ll be available in November.

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #31

Wolvie and X-Men 31It’s off to school for Quentin Quire, Idie (Oya), and Broo, Hellfire Academy’s newest (but maybe not brightest) recruits. Wolverine and the X-Men #31 marks the start to Jason Aaron’s The Hellfire Saga, in which we get a first-hand look at how Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngster might have looked if Magneto and other badies had ever gotten control of it. And it’s sort of awesome, in a slap-on-the-wrist “I shouldn’t be thinking bad thoughts!” kind of way. After all, when feel of Harry Potter meets the X-Men in a satire soaked issue, things are bound to be exciting and hilarious.

Nick Bradshaw does great work bringing to life Aaron’s quirky script, and he draws a Mystique unlike any I’ve seen before (I think Quentin has it right when he labels it an attempt at the ‘sexy schoolteacher’ look). The issue constantly pits Omega Kid Quentin’s shim-sham antics and new-guy Snot’s laughable grossness (seriously, a mucus sneezing mutant?) against the classroom patience of some of the deadliest super-bads in the galaxy. Though as Quentin points out, why are they all learning from villains who always lose?

Quentin attempts to convince Idie to leave the Academy (she’s there to find out who shot and messed up Broo’s brain), and purposely fails classes from “Introduction to Evil” to “Public Relations for Psychopaths.” Meanwhile, Logan and the X-Men (I mean all of ‘em) are busy searching high and low for the runaways from the Jean Grey School. We learn that Logan is convinced he’s failed the students, a theme Aaron has carried throughout the Wolverine and the X-Men series thus far; I can only hope Quentin Quire—my new favorite up-and-comer, aside from Broo—shows Wolvie what he’s all about, because I don’t want to see an end to this series.

Bradshaw’s art brings a childlike (no, not an insult!) vibe to the comic, something between cartoony and fantastically-realist (it’s hard to pin down literal descriptions of this sort of mainstream Marvel art). Some pages are more detailed than others, and it’s hard to tell that a single artist has worked on the book, since the stylistic representation from character to character is so unnaturally dynamic. However, Aaron delivers a wonderfully written, lighthearted issue with grave underpinnings for the narrative whole. All of this comes wrapped up as a satire of superhero comics (and their archnemeses) in general, for example, mocking the absurd number of times villains fail but still think they’re tough sh*t.

Wolverine and the X-Men #31 is yet another reason why this series is a great addition to Marvel’s current X-Men books, a mixture of gravity and comedy that hearkens back to the Marvel heyday.

Story: Jason Aaron  Art: Nick Bradshaw
Story: 8.5  Art: 7  Overall: 8.5  Recommendation: Read

Almost American
« Older Entries