It’s new comic book day! What are you excited for? What do you plan to get? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
Last year, superstar writer Jonathan Hickman transformed the world of mutants in the critically acclaimed series, House of X and Powers of X. These two series ushered in an exciting new era for the X-Men known as the Dawn of X, launching six brand new titles. Now is your chance to catch up on all those titles and more with the Jonathan Hickman’s Dawn of X Sale! House of X, Powers of X, and every single X-Men issue that’s followed is up to 67% off now through April 12th 11PM ET on Marvel’s Digital Comics Shop!
Credited as the “Head of X,” Jonathan Hickman leads fellow writers into the bold new future of the X-Men as the new mutant nation of Krakoa is formed. Each series plays a role in forming a tightly woven overarching narrative unlike anything that’s come before. Hickman’s X-Men combines large-scale adventures with dense world building where any of your favorite mutants can show up. Gerry Duggan’s Marauders takes the X-Men to the high seas where Kate Pryde leads a team with the important mission of rescuing mutants from unfriendly territories. Discover the secrets of mutant magic with former X-Men villain Apocalypse and the new Captain Britain in Tini Howard’s Excalibur. Or see mutantkind’s new black ops squad form to handle Krakoa’s enemies in Benjamin Percy’s X-Force. And check out the unpredictable exploits of the mutantkind’s next generation in Jonathan Hickman and Ed Brisson’s New Mutants.
And that’s not all! Two of Marvel’s most popular mutants get newly launched solo series in Wolverine and Cable. Plus, meet the craziest team of misfit mutants ever assembled in the debut issue of Zeb Wells’ Hellions or see the X-Men go up against Marvel’s premiere super hero team over the fate of Franklin Richards in X-Men/Fantastic Four by Chip Zdarsky. Be sure to also check out Jonathan Hickman teaming up with the industry’s best artists like Russell Dauterman and Alan Davis for epic one-shots in Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost and Giant-Size X-Men: Nightcrawler.
*Offer expires 4/12 at 11:00 PM EDT. Marvel account and internet connection required to access digital comics.
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Netmarble has announced a new update inspired by Marvel’s “House of X” and “Powers of X” X-Men comic book storylines – in which Charles Xavier and the mutants create a new world order on the island of Krakoa and reveal themselves to the world — for their popular mobile game MARVEL Future Fight. All-new characters, gameplay improvements, and House of X-themed uniforms are now available for Agents to collect and experience.
New uniforms have been added, including a House of X uniform for Wolverine and Magneto, a Marvel Girl uniform for Jean Grey and a Nimrod the Lesser uniform for Sentinel. Three new House of X-themed characters have also been added to the game: Professor X, Mystique, and Mister Sinister.
Additionally, Professor X has new ultimate skills and can now be upgraded to Tier-3, while the ‘Awaken Potential feature’ for Mystique is now unlocked. The ‘Realize Potential’ feature is also unlocked for Professor X, Mystique, and Mister Sinister. Other improvements include updates to the S.H.I.E.L.D Academy Mission and tutorial renewal.
Today’s update also introduces ‘Squad Battle’ to MARVEL Future Fight. Squad Battle is a new game mode where players compete with other Agents with obtained battle scores by forming teams of Super Heroes that meet specific conditions. Players are divided into six leagues where they must compete against each other for access to higher leagues. Every week, leagues are re-established and promotions, sustainment, and demotions are determined by ranks within each league.
MARVEL Future Fight celebrated its fourth anniversary with over 100 million players across the world. The game is currently available worldwide in the App Store and Google Play.
(This is wildly out-of-order, but if you follow me onTwitter or Tumblr, you’ll know that these ideas are running around in my brain, and the only way to get them to stop is to write them up.)
There have been many x-cellent analyses of House of X/Powers of Xand Dawn of X from many different perspectives – from nationalism and nation-states to queer and disability theory and the politics of “safe spaces” – but one relatively unexplored dimension is economics and economic policy. As Spencer Ackermanpoints out, while Jonathan Hickman may be familiar to many Marvel fans as the writer of Fantastic Four and Avengers, he’s also the author of Black Monday Murders, which presented economic theory and high finance as black magick. (Wait, wrong Image series.)
Is Hickman et al’s interest in economic topics just style and symbolism, or is there content to Krakoan economics? Do we have a mutant economic policy to go along with our mutant language for a mutant culture and a mutant nation-state?
Much of the GP team has a long weekend but that doesn’t mean we’re taking the day off. Expect a packed day of news! To get things rolling, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
2019 was an interesting year for me comics-wise as I did not get to read as widely or deeply as I liked because of a variety of factors, including my final two semesters of graduate school, working two library jobs (Where ordering and promoting comics were part of my duties.), and an impending move. Also, I decided to catch up on some “classic” comics like Miracleman, Ghost in the Shell, Junji Ito‘sTomie, and most of Brian Michael Bendis‘ and Michael Oeming‘s Powers, and Gail Simone‘s run on Secret Six.
However, I did have the opportunity to read some fantastic comics in 2019 as two of my favorite series of all time reached their conclusion. I also branched out a little bit, and this is the first time my year-end list has featured books from Ahoy and Harper Collins as well as a self-published comic.
10. Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion (Dark Horse)
Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, and Nick Filardi‘s Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion is as wild and anarchic as the Netflix show was tame and Muggle-friendly. Hotel Oblivion is a love letter to Silver Age supervillains while actually taking time to deal with the relationships between the Hargreaves siblings. Bá and Filardi’s visuals are a chaos magic-shaped bullet to the head and especially sings in the world and city-rending set pieces towards the end of the miniseries that I read in trade paperback format.
Ned Barnett‘s self-published graphic memoir-meets-historical biography Dreamers of the Day is one of the most unique comics I’ve read in recent years. It chronicles the author’s trip to England as he conducts research on a graphic biography about T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia and is educational while being emotionally compelling. If there’s one word to describe this comic, it is “enthusiastic” as Barnett’s passion for making art, studying history, and making it relevant to contemporary readers shines through in his iconic, Herge-esque art style and accessible prose.
8. Winter Soldier#2-5(Marvel)
Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis create a redemptive narrative for the sidekick-turned assassin-turned superhero and occasional black ops agent, Bucky Barnes in their Winter Soldier miniseries. The comic’s beating heart is the flawed relationship between Bucky and RJ, a child assassin, that Bucky sees a lot of himself in. There is both humor and tragedy in their interactions. Reis’ lush pencils to color art style works for both the emotional breakdowns and action beatdowns.
7. Steeple #1-4 (Dark Horse)
The fantastic John Allison (Giant Days) both writes and draws this miniseries about an Anglican priest in training named Billie, who is assigned to a parish in the kooky village of Tredregyn, Cornwall. Steeple has an “anything but the kitchen sink” tone as its plots include fights against sea monsters, a charismatic Christian cult connected to windmills, and an ongoing conflict against the Church of Satan. (Billie also strikes up an unlikely friendship with the Satanic priestess, Maggie.) Allison mines a lot of humor out of the idiosyncrasies of different religions and small town life as well as the melodrama of good versus evil, and his art is expressive as always with the help of colorist Sarah Stern.
6. Second Coming #1-5 (Ahoy)
Speaking of religious satire, Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk, and Andy Troy do an excellent job of showing how the historical figure Jesus would be received in the modern world with the twist of having an “edgy” superhero named Sunstar as a roommate. Beginning with a retelling of the creation of the world, Russell and Pace walk a tightrope between reverence and irreverence touching on a variety of issues, including megachurches, homophobia, and Pauline theology. Another enjoyable part of Second Coming is Leonard Kirk’s inking when the story decides to be a traditional superhero comic for a second, or there’s a flashback to Satan tempting Jesus as he plays a complex role in the narrative.
I knew Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, and Tamra Bonvillain‘s Once and Future would be my cup of tea when it featured Arthurian legends and the town of Bath where I studied abroad in summer 2014 as plot points as well as having a complicated relationship between a grandmother and grandson at its core. Once and Future is action-packed read steeped in Arthurian lore with dynamic art from Mora and a mystical color palette from Bonvillain. It’s a straightforward adventure/dysfunctional family/romance comic that also plays with the symbols (Excalibur, Holy Grail etc.) and tropes of these kinds of stories, and I’m glad that it’s an ongoing and not just a mini.
4. Giant Days #46-54, As Time Goes By (BOOM! Studios)
Esther, Daisy, and Susan finally go their separate ways in the final issues of John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar‘s Giant Days plus a reunion one-shot where Daisy and Susan tag-team and rescue Esther from the clutches of Type A London publishing types. The final year of Giant Days had a lot of pathos to go with its usual comedy with several issues focusing on the strained relationship between Susan’s boyfriend McGraw and his father and his reaction to his sudden death. There is also all the usual college shenanigans with moments of reflection to show that these women have come a long way from randomly sharing a room back in far off 2015.
3. House of X #1-6, Powers of X #1-6 (Marvel)
In their ambitious twelve-issue House of X/Powers of X “event”, Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, and Pepe Larraz made the X-Men relevant again thanks to a heavy dose of speculative fiction, geopolitics, and good old fashioned superhero soap opera. Hickman gave B-list characters like Goldballs, Doug Ramsey, and of course, Moira MacTaggert and the sentient island of Krakoa pivotal roles in his story of a rise of a mutant nation as well as the usual suspects like Magneto, Professor X, the Summers family, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost. He created a fantastic sandbox for these fan-favorite characters to play in as well as leaving some intrigue open for the spinoff stories. (The whole Moira X thing, Kitty Pryde being unable to enter Krakoa, Apocalypse and Sinister’s intentions.) I haven’t been this excited to read the X-Books as a line since Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen were writing Wolverine and the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men respectively. Plus the Hickman designed diagrams add great depth to the story and area visual treat.
2. New Kid (HarperCollins)
New Kid is a middle-grade graphic novel by cartoonist Jerry Craft that was recommended to me by my supervisor at the public library I worked at. Itis about an African-American teenager named Jordan, who transfers from a diverse public middle school to a less diverse private one. Over the course of the book, Craft fleshes out Jordan and his relationships with his old friends from his neighborhood to his new ones at the private school as he navigates playing soccer, racial microaggressions, crushes, and bonding over art and video games. The comic deftly navigates race and class issues while being an enjoyable slice of life story with Craft adding some fun visual flourishes like making the title page of each chapter a pop culture homage. New Kid‘s clear storytelling and a relatable storyline about not fitting in at a new school make it a book that I would recommend to kids and adults, comics and non-comics readers.
1. The Wicked + the Divine #41-45 (Image)
Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson really stuck the landing in the final arc of The Wicked + the Divine, which was titled “Okay” and followed the surviving Pantheon members as they gave up divinity and lived normal lives. Basically, they grew up, and so did I. The last issues of WicDiv are peppered with powerful moments as Gillen and McKelvie connect flashbacks of the millennia past to the Pantheon’s reality and let Ananke/Minerva be a manipulator, Luci be wicked, Baal be a protector, and Laura be human one last time. The final issue is an epilogue set in the future and filled with love and emotion with McKelvie and Wilson nailing the look of the elderly, former Pantheon members. It’s sad to see WicDiv go, but it had a beautiful ending and was my favorite comic, both of 2019 and of the decade as a whole.
Mutants talking economic policy at Davos! Cyclops/Wolverine/Jean: a throuple! Is Krakoa Israel or is it a gay bar? Jonathan Hickman leads a relaunch of X-men comics that X-Men fans call #HoXPox. What are the politics of the series? This looks like a job for:
Chingy Le Gay is a writer, comedian, advice columnist, and critically acclaimed ex-girlfriend. Her work focuses on queer dating, pop culture, and her weird sex life and can be found at Out Magazine, Jezebel, Them, and Autostraddle. https://twitter.com/TheGayChingy
Steven Attewell writes about the intersection of history, politics, and pop culture in The People’s History of the Marvel Universe for Graphic Policy, and at https://racefortheironthrone.tumblr.com/ (where he’s been covering HoX/PoX issue-by-issue). In his day job, he teaches public policy at CUNY’s School for Labor and Urban Studies. https://twitter.com/StevenAttewell
Comparing AOC and Krakoa
“No it’s not a cult!”
Who gets to tell big stories in comics
Mutant Social Reproduction in the Marxist sense & the sexy sense
Free All Political Prisoners!
“My medication is an endless supply of Charles Xaviers”
A new age for mutants is upon us and with it comes a brand-new way to get in on the action! Jonathan Hickman reshaped the entire world of the X-Men in House of X and Powers of X with shocking revelations and the promise of an exciting future. Now Hickman will lead some of Marvel’s biggest talents into the “Dawn of X,” the first wave of six distinct ongoing titles that will explore the X-Men’s new status quo: X-Men, Marauders, Excalibur, X-Force, New Mutants, and Fallen Angels, each launching the X-Men into thrilling new directions!
This February, Marvel is collecting the first issue of each of those series in Dawn of X Volume 1 TPB.
DAWN OF X VOL. 1 TPB
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN, BENJAMIN PERCY, GERRY DUGGAN, TINI HOWARD, BRYAN HILL & ED BRISSON Penciled by LEINIL FRANCIS YU, JOSHUA CASSARA, MATTEO LOLLI, MARCUS TO, SZYMON KUDRANSKI & ROD REIS NEW Cover by TBA
Get in on the ground floor of the Dawn of X! Jonathan Hickman rewrites all the rules and reinvents the X-Men universe for a new and exciting era! Hickman himself helms the adventures of a powerhouse team of X-MEN in a world of fresh possibilities — and co-writes the reunited NEW MUTANTS on a cosmic quest to find their missing friend! And more of the industry’s best and brightest talents take on uncanny X-squads! X-FORCE — the CIA of the mutant world, one half intelligence, the other half special ops! Captain Kate Pryde and her MARAUDERS of the high seas! A new Captain Britain leads EXCALIBUR — made up of Rogue, Gambit, Rictor, Jubilee…and Apocalypse! But who are the FALLEN ANGELS? Collecting X-MEN (2019) #1, X-FORCE (2019) #1, MARAUDERS #1, EXCALIBUR (2019) #1, FALLEN ANGELS (2019) #1 and NEW MUTANTS (2019) #1.
Alex and Joe talk about the semi-recent Batmanissues, Joker and their thoughts on the recently ended House/Powers Of X. It’s worth noting that this was intended to come out last week, but Alex forgot to upload the recording.
As always, Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter, or by email at ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.