Tag Archives: r.b. silva

Returning To The X-Men: Powers Of X #4

It’s been nearly six years since I last picked up a new X-Men comic with any real consistency. The last series I read with any regularity featuring the merry mutants was Jason Aaron‘s Wolverine and the X-Men. Which apparently ended around six years ago. It’s fair to say that I’m a little out of touch with that side of the Marvel Universe (though I have been following both Old Man Logan and Dead Man Logan, but those series didn’t really involve the X-Men as much as a team book would). More than a little, honestly. A lot has happened in the six years I’ve been away, and since I barely pay attention to solicitations I have missed most of it.

But with Johnathan Hickman steering the X-Men in a new direction with both House and Powers Of X, I thought this might be a good time to start reading X-Men comics again.

But how easy is it to jump back in relatively blind after more than half a decade away? Join me, and I’ll tell you.


Expect spoilers as I try to make sense of the comic.


At this point in the story, as we tip the bridge and start the journey to the end, it’s pretty easy to follow along with the story in general. There are still moments that have me wondering what I’ve missed in the last six or so years, but they’re fewer and farther between at this point which means that as the series has progressed it has been less alienating to new readers.

Which makes sense, honestly.

If you weren’t able to follow a story at this point then you’d have to wonder just what in the hell you’d been reading for the past eight comics/

Powers of X #4

The only real struggle I had with the issue was the nature of Mr. Sinister’s appearance. Issue is a strong word, because I had always seen the character as a darkly sinister scientist, not what we saw here. Still, I’ve long accepted that there are things I don’t know because it has been a long time since I’ve read about certain characters, and this wasn’t enough to throw me away from the story.

Otherwise, the comic is a easy enough to follow, acting as a place for readers to learn more about how the Krakoan home for mutants came to be, and the depths of Xavier’s plan over the years. It’s a needed exposition issue (especially for the person wondering whether this was talked about before the event began), and certainly a welcome change of pace after the death heavy House Of X #4 last week.

The artistic team of R.B. Silva (pencils), Adriano Di Benedetto (inks) and Marte Gracia (colours) remain strong, giving the comic a bold yet classic look across each page, breathing a vivid life to Hickman’s story.

“You see I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love you religion. And I wanted you – I needed you – to understand… you have new gods now.”

Magneto, House Of X, #1 p.47.
I keep leaving this image and quote in the column because, for me, it’s emblematic of the series as a whole. It’s Hickman, through Magneto, setting the stage for the future of the X-Men.

Powers Of X #4 was a great change of page for the story, and consequently builds the anticipation for House #5 after last week’s comic. We all know that somehow things will be resolved to a new status quo (after all the solicitations that I have seen are pretty clear about that), but how has yet to be revealed.

I can’t wait to see what’s going to come our way next week.


Will I understand next week’s installment in the saga, House Of X #5? Do I regret skipping six years of X-Books? Am I ever going to find out how Xavier is walking again*?

We might find out next week. We might not.

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review purposes, but I read the comic in print from my LCS.

*The answer is yes, but it made no sense when two of my friends told me individually last week, but it basically boils down to “comics being comics” which I’ve kind of accepted with an air of nonchalance.

Review: Powers of X #4

POWERS OF X #4

Writer Jonathan Hickman continues to weave his reshaping of the X-Universe in Powers of X #4. The issue slows things down a bit lifting the veil on details of some of what we’ve seen.

The comic returns to its time jumping premise taking us through the three eras exploring X-History and future history. We witness the deal between Mr. Sinister and Xavier and Magneto, Doug Ramsey meeting Krakoa, and the future dealing with Phalanx.

Hickman takes the first two to fill in gaps in the story he’s telling. It adds some details and depth in a way. The Sinister interaction is interesting in some of the details but as a whole, the character is at odds with what we’ve seen. This Sinister is a bit more playful and spirited reflecting the version we’ve seen in recent years as opposed to the more serious scientific version originally introduced. One could explain this by the use of various clones but that too feels more like a recent addition than something from when the character was first introduced.

What’s interesting as well is we get further hints that Charles Xavier isn’t a hero in this story but something more nefarious. It’s his vision but as we see, he takes actions that are questionable at best. It’s a theme that has gained prominence over the years and continues here.

What stands out is the hint at future plotlines. Pages are used for a rumor checklist that seems to be more about what’s to come than anything else. Some o it is easy to decipher, some of it is drama, and one is groan-worthy.

R.B. Silva‘s art is fantastic. Along with color from Marte Gracia and lettering by Clayton Cowles the comic is beautiful to look at. Each segment has such detail to go over, you linger on pages. And, each segment is so different from each other but it still flows nicely. The team delivers has really thought through design and the use of color to set the tone of each time period and segment. Furthermore, Tom Muller‘s design continues to add a level of detail in the comic that makes it feel as much a sourcebook as it is a story.

Powers of X #4 feels a bit dialed back compared to the last few issues that upped the action. It adds some detail, some needed, some not. What the comic does is world build and deliver a unique experience and vision for where the X-Men have been and where they’re going.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: R.B. Silva
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Returning To The X-Men: Powers Of X #3

It’s been nearly six years since I last picked up a new X-Men comic with any real consistency. The last series I read with any regularity featuring the merry mutants was Jason Aaron‘s Wolverine and the X-Men. Which apparently ended around six years ago. It’s fair to say that I’m a little out of touch with that side of the Marvel Universe (though I have been following both Old Man Logan and Dead Man Logan, but those series didn’t really involve the X-Men as much as a team book would). More than a little, honestly. A lot has happened in the six years I’ve been away, and since I barely pay attention to solicitations I have missed most of it.

But with Johnathan Hickman steering the X-Men in a new direction with both House and Powers Of X, I thought this might be a good time to start reading X-Men comics again.

But how easy is it to jump back in relatively blind after more than half a decade away? Join me, and I’ll tell you.


Expect spoilers as I try to make sense of the comic.


Much to my surprise, I was expecting to read House Of X #3 this week, not Powers Of X #3. That’s what I get for not paying attention to solicitations, I guess.

If you’ve been reading the entire series so far, and by that I mean everything under the House/Powers Of X banner and not just Powers then you’ll have absolutely no problem reading this comic. It focuses on the Year 100 timeline that you’ll remember from previous issues of Powers, an era where there are less than a dozen mutants/X-Men left in the solar system (really at this point, mutant and X-Man are one and the same). This issue follows the suicide mission, with said remaining mutants trying to find the information about when Nimrod, the machine responsible for the subjugation of humanity became active.

There’s a really interesting outcome with this story, and it’s perhaps the first real instance on the House/Powers being a single series.

I’ve gotta say, that so far this has been one of my favourite issues that I’ve written about for this column because it’s one of the few we’ve had since the event began that you can fully enjoy after having read only the comics in the event so far. There is literally no prior knowledge you need, as long as you have a passing familiarity with the characters – which you should have if you’ve been following the story since House Of X #1.

The exposition pages return again; this time they return to the map of nine of Moira X’s different lives as well as a couple of pages illustrating just how dire things have become in this timeline. There’s also more of the mutant language scattered throughout the comic, too, and if you have the time, patience or google ability to translate it, then you’ll uncover another layer to this comic. I haven’t done that yet, and probably won’t because I am far too lazy, but I love that it’s there.

Once again, the artists are on point. R.B. Silva is the artist and is joined on inking by Adriano Di Benedetto and colour artist Marte Gracia. The trio are solid, providing the comic with a visual gravitas that’s on par for the story that Hickman is telling within the issue. The action is phenomenally choreographed, and in some places it’s oddly shocking, heartbreaking and remarkably satisfying.

This issue is going to have reverberations across the series – perhaps not in the same way House Of X #2 has over the entire Marvel Universe, but certainly within the event as a whole.

There’s nothing in Powers Of X #2 anywhere close to as spine tingling as this moment from House Of X #1. Full quote below.

“You see I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love you religion. And I wanted you – I needed you – to understand… you have new gods now.”

Magneto, House Of X, #1 p.47.
I keep leaving this image and quote in the column because, for me, it’s emblematic of the series as a whole. It’s Hickman, through Magneto, setting the stage for the future of the X-Men.

Powers Of X #3 is one of my favorite issues in the series so far. It’s a great payoff comic five issues in, and one that keeps the pacing of the event absolutely on point. I loved everything about this comic, and am amazed that Hickman has been able to meet the expectations that I had for this issue.

I can’t wait to see what’s going to come our way next week.


Will I understand next week’s installment in the saga, House Of X #3? Do I regret skipping six years of X-Books? Am I ever going to find out how Xavier is walking again*?

We might find out next week. We might not.

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review purposes, but I read the comic in print from my LCS.

*The answer is yes, but it made no sense when two of my friends told me individually last week, but it basically boils down to “comics being comics” which I’ve kind of accepted with an air of nonchalance.

Review: Powers of X #3

Powers of X #3

As I said when House of X and Powers of X began, the whole of writer Jonathan Hickman‘s epic would be better than the individual parts. Powers of X #3 is where that becomes apparent as it becomes clear as to Hickman’s vision. Entirely taking place in the future, Apocalypse and the remaining mutants attack Nimrod. It’s one last gamble to stop this particular timeline.

What Hickman is doing isn’t a continuation of Marvel’s X-Men line of comics, instead he’s created his own event a new timeline like Age of Apocalypse or Days of Future Past. It’s difficult to really go into it but the comic has more in common with the latter story, again showing Hickman is picking the best of what has come before. It also feels more like an X-Men story as opposed to a sci-fi story with X-Men.

Still, Powers of X #3 is a solid entry improving upon what has come before. It has that last stand desperate feel we’ve seen so many times before with the X-Men. The comic is full of action and memorable moments that’ll have readers buzzing for some time.

The art by R.B. Silva delivers the action in a beautiful way. With color by Marte Gracia and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the designs are impressive. What’s solid is the look of this new timeline is original but has nice callbacks to classic X-Men imagery. It’s new yet familiar at the same time. There’s also a solid use of detail to tell more of the story with so much for readers to linger on such as an infection or the state of Wolverine. Tom Muller‘s designs continue to be interesting including the Moira X timeline and the Mutant language throughout the issue.

The comic brings the vision and story together into a clearer vision. This isn’t a beginning of a new direction for the X-Men as this is an event that will then lead into the next new beginning. This is a bridge much like Age of Apocalypse’s individual series were to what comes next. The whole of the story is stronger than the individual parts, a theme that has weaved its way through the series. This is the point things get good.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: R.B. Silva
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Returning To The X-Men: Powers Of X #2

This column was slightly delayed this week due to a few power outages in my neck of the woods, and my lack of foresight in keeping my laptop charged.


Powers of X #2

But with Johnathan Hickman steering the X-Men in a new direction with both House and Powers Of X, I thought this might be a good time to start reading X-Men comics again.

It’s been nearly six years since I last picked up a new X-Men comic with any real consistency. The last series I read with any regularity featuring the merry mutants was Jason Aaron‘s Wolverine and the X-Men. Which apparently ended around six years ago. It’s fair to say that I’m a little out of touch with that side of the Marvel Universe (though I have been following both Old Man Logan and Dead Man Logan, but those series didn’t really involve the X-Men as much as a team book would). More than a little, honestly. A lot has happened in the six years I’ve been away, and since I barely pay attention to solicitations I have missed most of it.

But how easy is it to jump back in relatively blind after more than half a decade away? Join me, and I’ll tell you.


Expect spoilers as I try to make sense of the comic.


Start this event completely ignorant to much of the X-Men’s last five or so years has been an interesting experience. With Powers Of X #1, I wasn’t entirely sure what shape the story would take. We got three different timelines – Year 0, Year 100 and Year 1000 – in the first book, and that’s the same in issue #2. It’s giving the Powers Of X part of the story an anthology like feel, which helps someone like me realize that the futures we’re seeing we haven’t really explored much before, unless they stem from one of the many lives of Moira X.

The three timelines are all interesting for their own reasons, and I’m curious to see how this will all play into the whole as the House/Powers story unfolds over the next month and change, but the one that’s taken my interest the most, especially after this issue, is the Year 100 one. Seeing the X-Men on the back foot like never before, out of options and facing a culture ending threat… it almost sounds familiar, and yet it feels fresh. Which is an odd feeling when you really think about it, but I’m not going to question it too much.

I’ve learnt over the years that sometimes it’s okay to take things as the author intends without question too much until the finished product is in my hands.

The last issue in the Powers installment didn’t make as big an impression as the House Of X counterpart, and the same can ultimately be said for this issue. But then after the massive revelations in House Of X #2, I can’t exactly expect anything different. But that two two series tie into each other strongly is beyond doubt, as is evidenced by the Year 0 story in this issue. One could argue that House Of X #2 is merely the explanation between scenes in the Year 0 stories in Powers Of X. My questioning in the last column as to whether this series is required reading in order to get the full picture has a slightly clearer answer; at this point, I’d wager that you’re going to want to spend the money on both House and Powers Of X, though the former is still the stronger of the two.

Just as in the previous issue covered in this column, Powers Of X #2 also includes some handy dandy exposition pages that come almost immediately after you’ve read the pages that’ll make you wonder what the future terms mean. It’s a great way to add in some additional information without over burdening the dialogue with information for the readers. There’s also more of the mutant language scattered throughout the comic, too, and if you have the time, patience or google ability to translate it, then you’ll uncover another layer to this comic.

I haven’t any of those things, so other than the first issue I haven’t bothered to decipher the code. But it’s a cool feature for those that do.

Once again, the artists are on point. R.B. Silva is the artist and is joined on inking by Adriano Di Benedetto and colour artist Marte Gracia. The trio are solid, giving the comic and each time period within a unique visual flavour that comes together to form a perfect pecan pie (there’s no reason I chose pecan other than for alliteration).

There’s nothing in Powers Of X #2 anywhere close to as spine tingling as this moment from House Of X #1. Full quote below.

“You see I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love you religion. And I wanted you – I needed you – to understand… you have new gods now.”

Magneto, House Of X, #1 p.47.

Powers Of X #2 is a pretty good comic – it is one that’s almost worth the elevated price of admission (at regular price this’d be absolutely worth it). As it is, it’s still worth a read; especially if you’re an X-Fan , new or old, who wants to know what’s going to happen in the company’s future.


Will I understand next week’s installment in the saga, House Of X #3? Do I regret skipping six years of X-Books? Am I ever going to find out how Xavier is walking again*?

We might find out next week. We might not.

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review purposes, but I read the comic in print from my LCS.

*The answer is yes, but it made no sense when two of my friends told me individually last week, but it basically boils down to “comics being comics” which I’ve kind of accepted with an air of nonchalance.

Review: Powers of X #2

Powers of X #2

As a science fiction story, Powers of X #2 is fantastic. As an X-Men comic, things are a bit more debatable. Writer Jonathan Hickman continues to reshape the X-Universe with this issue.

Powers of X #2 picks up from the debut issue taking us through numerous time periods in X-history. It leaves a lot of questions out there but Hickman is more focused here. There’s a theme that permeates through each segment challenging the reader to think. In that way, the comic is a science fiction success. It uses the story and concepts to explore humanity and our world. If it weren’t set in the Marvel and X-Universe, the comic would be a triumph but as is, there’s an issue in that it leaves too much unexplained and contradictory.

With the revelation of a mutant that can reincarnate and has been shifting the Marvel Universe history, Hickman has created a means to explain X-history, contradictions, and his new take in a deus ex machina. Here it’s used to drive the story and issue highlighting how intertwined the series is with House of X. With that out of the way, Hickman can begin to explore some themes and concepts, a tradition of the best X-Men stories.

There’s a more traditional X-Men story presented as two attacks are planned in two eras. It has more of a feel of an X-Men comic as they see the threat and take it head on with a battle with odds they can’t win. It’s about as close to a classic X-Men story that Hickman has reached so far.

The art by R.B. Silva continues to be stellar. With ink by Silva and Adriano Di Benedetto, color by Marte Gracia, and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the story is beautiful to look at. Designs are familiar and new at the same time. Classic characters are reinvented in a new way and it’ll have you staring at pages. The art compliments Hickman’s science fiction direction with some inspired looks and design.

Powers of X #2 is the best release so far as Hickman’s vision is clearer and the set up is out of the way. His hook has been presented elsewhere and he can now focus on his voice. We’ll see where things go from here but the issue is a challenge to the reader to think about visions of society. It does what science fiction does best. Now, to get that whole X-Men thing in there a bit better.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: R.B. Silva
Ink: R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto Color: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Returning To The X-Men: Powers Of X #1

It’s been nearly six years since I last picked up a new X-Men comic with any real consistency. The last series I read with any regularity featuring the merry mutants was Jason Aaron‘s Wolverine and the X-Men. Which apparently ended around six years ago. It’s fair to say that I’m a little out of touch with that side of the Marvel Universe (though I have been following both Old Man Logan and Dead Man Logan, but those series didn’t really involve the X-Men as much as a team book would). More than a little, honestly. A lot has happened in the six years I’ve been away, and since I barely pay attention to solicitations I have missed most of it.

But with Johnathan Hickman steering the X-Men in a new direction with last week’s House Of X #1 I thought this might be a good time to start reading X-Men comics again.

But how easy is it to jump back in relatively blind after more than half a decade away? Join me, and I’ll tell you.


Expect spoilers as I try to make sense of the comic.


I’ve been deliberately going into these comics completely blind. I’ve ignore any and all solicitations beyond knowing that House/Powers Of X is replacing all current ongoing X-Books and setting up the next decade or so of X-Men stories going forward (if the change is well received, if not I’d expect another event in a few years to reestablish the status quo). That being said, I’ve no idea if the future depicted in this comic has been visited before in previous issues of X-Men or one of the many off shoots.

Once again I have questions. Although this time it’s primarily just one; how old is Magneto, anyway? If we’re to assume that he is one of the very few comic book characters whose origin remains unchanged in terms of the year – and honestly, with his time in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II being such an important pillar of his character, there’s no way Marvel could rewrite that to reimagine the origin in a more recent time – then how the fuck is he still looking like he’s only in his late 50’s or so? Does his magnetism powers slow his aging? Is he immortal? A clone? Or is this one of those things we just ignore because Magneto is one of the most complex and interesting characters in comics?

Other than that, the comic reads almost as if it’s a condensed story taking place over three periods (ten, a hundred and a thousand years in the future). There’s also a prologue of sorts with a bald Xavier (which answers my question from last week as to whether he has hair) set more or less in the recent past and a brief moment in the same time frame as House of X #1. What this does, for me at least, is leave the comic largely forgettable as we don’t really get as much time with the newer characters as I would have hoped for. Unlike the excitement I felt after House Of X #1, Powers Of X #1 left me feeling a touch flat. Is it essential reading to the story? It’s far too early to tell, and I don’t want to lead you down the garden path until we’ve got more context.

Now despite the book having its struggles in the memorability department, I still enjoyed it. The introduction and conclusion of a huge conflict between humanity, mutants and machines is perhaps the primary focal point in this comic, though there’s also the constant railing against who you were expected to be that simmers just beneath the surface.

Just as in the previous issue covered in this column, Powers Of X #1 also includes some handy dandy exposition pages that come almost immediately after you’ve read the pages that’ll make you wonder what the future terms mean. It’s a great way to add in some additional information without over burdening the dialogue with information for the readers.

As far as being able to get into the comic as someone who hasn’t been around the X-Men in over half a decade (I feel old), it was about as easy as jumping into any first issue that’s effectively the second part of a story. The hidden code within the pages (it can be decoded if you have the time or the google skills) also adds a nice interactive element to the series.

Once again, the artists are on point. R.B. Silva is the artist and is joined on inking by Adriano Di Benedetto and colour artist Marte Gracia. The trio are solid, giving the comic and each time period within a unique visual flavour that comes together to form a perfect pecan pie (there’s no reason I chose pecan other than for alliteration).

Although my personal highlight of the overarching story so far is below, there are quite a few moments that’ll have you grinning ear to ear; Rasputin’s charge, Wolverine calling somebody else old despite the white hair on his chin and Cardinal simply being Cardinal.

There’s nothing in Powers Of X #1 anywhere close to as spine tingling as this moment from House Of X #1. Full quote below.

“You see I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love you religion. And I wanted you – I needed you – to understand… you have new gods now.”

Magneto, House Of X, #1 p.47.

Powers Of X #1 is a pretty good comic – it is one that’s almost worth the elevated price of admission (at regular price this’d be absolutely worth it). As it is, it’s still worth a read; especially if you’re an X-Fan , new or old, who wants to know what’s going to happen in the company’s future.


Will I understand next week’s installment in the saga, House Of X #2? Do I regret skipping six years of X-Books? Am I ever going to find out how Xavier is walking again*?

We might find out next week. We might not.

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review purposes, but I read the comic in print from my LCS.

*The answer is yes, but it made no sense when two of my friends told me individually last week, but it basically boils down to “comics being comics” which I’ve kind of accepted with an air of nonchalance.

Review: Powers of X #1

Writer Jonathan Hickman continues to build his epic vision of the X-Men in Powers of X #1.

Story: Jonathan Hickman
Art: R.B. Silva
Ink: R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Color: Marte Gracia
Design: Tom Muller

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

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Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Preview: Powers of X #1

Powers of X #1

(W) Jonathan Hickman (A/CA) R. B. Silva
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 31, 2019
SRP: $5.99

FEAR THE FUTURE! Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (INFINTY, NEW AVENGERS, FF) continues his revolutionary new direction for the X-Men. Intertwining with HOUSE OF X, POWERS OF X reveals the secret past, present and future of mutantkind, changing the way you look at every X-Men story before and after. You do not want to miss the next seminal moment in the history of the X-Men!

Preview: Domino Hotshots #5 (of 5)

Domino: Hotshots #5 (of 5)

(W) Gail Simone (A) David Baldeon (CA) R.B. Silva
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Jul 17, 2019
SRP: $3.99

PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER… itty-bitty guns in space! Domino wanted to keep a Celestial artifact out of the wrong hands, but does that make her bloodstained hands the right ones?

Domino: Hotshots #5 (of 5)
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