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Preview: High Level #5

High Level #5

(W) Rob Sheridan (A) Barnaby Bagenda, Romulo Fajardo (CA) Otto Schmidt
MATURE READERS
In Shops: Jun 26, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Religious cults, terrorist cells, witch tribes, mutants, mafias, sunken cities, drug dens, false prophets, real prophets, fetish camps, cybernetic enhancement junkies…Thirteen and Minnow have survived them all just to get to this moment. At last, our heroes arrive at High Level. But will the legends prove true? The answers will shock you.

High Level #5

Review: Major X #6

Major X #6

Major X #6 epitomizes everything I’ve disliked in this series amplified. The comic may go down as the worst comic of 2019 with a disjointed story, laughable dialogue, inconsistent art, and being generally non-sensical.

Written by Rob Liefeld, with art by Liefeld, the issue doesn’t even pick up where the last left off. In Major X #5, the final page revealed the identity of Major X’s mother, Storm. When Major X #6 starts, we’re straight into a battle with the aged Namor. There’s no follow up. No real discussion. Just another battle that comes out of nowhere. And even then, the battle makes little sense.

In between panels which are supposed to show off Liefeld’s artistic talents, we get characters taking moments from the battle for speeches or to talk to each other as if everything is paused. While Namor battles, his kids are nowhere to be seen until the final moments. There’s no explanation of much of anything… it’s just bad. Add in dialogue that’s cringe-worthy and its a mess, unlike anything I’ve read in quite some time.

Judging from the opening few pages, Liefeld thinks it might be good?

The comic opens with Deadpool talking to a mysterious someone about how he’s needed asking “what took you so long?” It feels like Liefeld talking to Marvel and the reader as if Major X would shake up the X-Universe. There’s little debate that Liefeld’s contributions have been major in the X-Universe. This latest venture is something different. It’s some decent ideas that don’t feel fleshed out or thought out. It’s notes on a page without a coherent narrative to bring it together. And this has been part of Liefeld’s contributions. While he created Deadpool, others added the depth. Same with Cable and so many others. He’s a concept creator with others needing to take it home. Here too we’ll see that… eventually.

You’d think Liefeld’s art would be able to salvage this mess but that’s far from the case. Characters lose detail, panels make no sense in context (standing around to chat in battle?), and just generally choppy transitions from panel to panel and pages to pages. There’s moments but nothing memorable.

The issue is bad capping off a miniseries that seemed to get worse at it went on. Liefeld, and the team, made a splash with this, just not in the right way. Now, hopefully history repeats and another creator picks up the ball and does something interesting going forward with what has been set up.

Story: Rob Liefeld Art: Rob Liefeld
Ink: Rob Leifeld, Cory Hamscher, Adelso Corona
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letters: Joe Sabino
Story: 1.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 2.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Major X #5

Major X #5

The rise of the X-Ential! And the full identity of Major X himself! Major X #5 is full of reveals and twists that by the end will leave your head spinning and utterly baffled as to what you just read.

Yes, I’ll admit it, I hate reading this series at this point. But even with a general dislike, I want to see where creator, and writer, Rob Liefeld will take each issue.

There are some great concepts here but the narrative at times is baffling, full of holes, and with plotting that’ll leave you wondering if you missed something. It’s borderline incoherent at times.

And really, none of the above really matters as fans of Liefeld, and the series will buy it anyways no matter the reviews. It’s pretty bulletproof like that (and there’s nothing wrong with it).

Major X, M’Koy, and X-Ential have lept through time to Genosha. In the wasteland of the nation, much is revealed, but not explained, about X-Ential and we meet a new character Aura. Nothing is explained about Aura. We just go with it. We get new age dialogue and we’re expected to roll with it as well. Aura somehow knows Major is “Major” but this should be the first time meeting. Then there’s a random battle and a reveal at the end which will get folks talking. I’m not even going to dive into the scene in Atlantis which feels like it belongs in an entirely different issue.

It’s all… bad. Really bad. In a more skilled writer’s hands what’s presented could work but as is it feels like a bunch of ideas on notes cards laid out on a table.

The art by Brent Peeples doesn’t help. With ink by Adelso Corona, color by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. and lettering by Joe Sabino, the art style and character designs are inconsistent. A prime example of this is in the depiction of Aura. At times the character looks like an adult. At other times she looks like a teenager. And at other times Aura looks like Sloth in The Goonies.

Major X #5 and the series as a whole feels like a throwback to the 1990s except this takes the excessively bad aspects of this period to the extreme. Choppy storytelling. Bad art. The comic features interesting concepts that aren’t explored or fleshed out enough.

At this point, I’m not even sure my 13-year-old self would have enjoyed this series.

Story: Rob Liefeld Art: Brent Peeples
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 4.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Major X #4

Major X #4

There’s a point you hit at times where you need to step back and question why you’re reading a comic series. Major X #4 is that point. The issue is the epitome of what was wrong with the comics of the 90s. It features stilted dialogue, storytelling, and inconsistent art. For some, the issue will be fantastic capturing their youthful excitement. For others, you’ll see how far comics have come in 20 years.

Major X and M’Koy are captured by the mysterious Administrator. He’s the typical bad guy whose motivations and inclusions are thin. It truly feels like a throwback introducing characters and then figuring out their origin and reason for inclusion down the road. Look cool and ask questions later is the name of the game for Major X as a whole.

Rob Liefeld handles writing duties delivering dialogue that’s one quip after another. It forgoes a cohesive plot, instead focusing on choppy jumps from fight panel to fight panel. Characters are thrown around and introduced with little motivation other than “bad guy” and “revenge.” Major X #4 is a frustrating experience as Liefeld continues to show he’s a much better idea person than storyteller.

The art by Brent Peeples is decent. Adelso Corona handles inks with Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color, and Joe Sabino lettering. The style very much feels like an homage to the 90s as well which Peeples has pulled off before. Here though, there’s inconsistency of character design and the habit of dropping detail in action scenes. Again, the poses, gun blasts, and action take precedence over the polished product.

Major X #4 isn’t for me and as the series drags on it’s clear I’ve moved on from this sort of storytelling. My 13 year old self would have loved this. My adult self just expects more.

Story: Rob Liefeld Art: Brent Peeples
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

This June, Marvel Showcases the Best Suits of Spider-Man with Variants!

This June, celebrate Spider-Man with a series of variant covers that show off the webslinger in the many epic costumes he’s worn over the years, including his stealth suit, symbiote suit, webbing suit, cosmic suit, Fantastic Four suit, and more!

Look for Marvel’s Spider-Man variants on these select titles this June:

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #23 by Stuart Immonen

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #24 by Olivier Coipel

CAPTAIN MARVEL #7 by Mike McKone and Rachelle Rosenberg

DEADPOOL #14 by Mark Brooks

DOCTOR STRANGE #16 by David Yardin and David Curiel

FANTASTIC FOUR #11 by Jay Anacleto and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #8 by Adi Granov

IMMORTAL HULK #19 by Ema Lupacchino and David Curiel

MAGNIFICENT MS. MARVEL #4 by Gerald Parel

THANOS #3 by Nick Bradshaw and Morry Hollowell

Review: Major X #3

Major X #3

With the X-Istence threatened, Major X has no choice but to leap through time to save it. With a little help from Cable and Wolverine, can even the Major overcome the terrible threat of an infamous killer with the initials DP?

The most exciting thing about Major X #3 is the art by Whilce Portacio who teams up with writer Rob Liefeld, colorist Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and letterer Joe Sabino. If it was 25 years ago and I again was my teenage comic collecting self, I’d be all over this series for it’s “awesome” concepts and action. Like the first two issues, the third is all action and splash and little else. The storytelling itself is plodding, dragging, and makes so very little sense the more you read. It’s focus is more on building mysteries and being cute with time it feels distracted from telling the main story of saving its mutant paradise.

The issue has Cable and Major X suffering a bit of defeat but gaining bodyslide tech for Major X to use in his mission. There’s also fights between M’koy with lots of dancing around questions about who M’koy is and if he’s not really the actual Beast. There’s winks and nods about time travel and all those concepts that were prevalent and overused during the 90s. Liefeld focuses on his success of creating mysteries to be answered years down the line. But, what there isn’t is much of a compelling story with characters I care about. Major X and M’koy are on a mission to save the founder of their world but that’s just thrown out there and where that all goes is rather predictable with a crazy cast of characters that I’m sure will become wildly popular.

Portacio’s art too seems a bit worn and aged. His art is still amazing but it just doesn’t have the excitement it once had. The characters are inconsistent at times and the use of panels, and lack of them, at times is the most interesting thing about the art. White space is used for characters with blasts seemingly coming off the page to hit them. Visually at times it’s great but bouncing between that and more traditional panels creates an inconsistent flow of the comic.

Major X for three issues is about concepts and ideas over story and narrative. It’s not bad in any way and if you enjoy this type of story, more power to you. But, in this day and age I expect something a bit more from my storytelling. This one is all big guns and action and little else.

Story: Rob Liefeld Art: Whilce Portacio
Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 6.75 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.85 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Major X #2

Major X #2

The 90s are back in so many ways with Rob Liefeld‘s return to Marvel and the world of the X-Men and Major X #2 continues both the good and the bad from the first issue.

We learn more about The X-Istence with some hints as to what lead up to the need for it. It’s classic Liefeld with lots of flash of visuals and characters with spikey helmets. The concepts are great and entertaining but the execution, including dialogue and flow of the narrative, are wooden and stiff. For all the flash of the art, Brent Peeples steps into the issue on that duty, the story and dialogue lag. It’s the 90s all over again, which channeled the cliched driven 80s.

Brent Peeples takes over art duties, with Scott Hanna on ink and Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color, and continues the look and feel of the first issue. There’s some inconsistencies in the art such as Major X’s forehead in one panel being rather huge but overall, Peeples does his best Liefeld impersonation. The characters introduced tend to be bland in some ways and stand out in others and the action sequences are more about the visual than an attempt to make sense at all (see the entire fight sequence in Graymalkin).

Major X is a summer disaster film. It’s all about concepts and visuals but lacks a depth and clearer narrative that would elevate the product. It’s fun in a throwback to the 90s way and I’m sure if I read this back then my teenage self would be bouncing off the walls with excitement. But my tastes have grown since then and I want a bit more from my entertainment. Liefeld is a great idea man but this series is showing that he’s best when working with a master storyteller.

Story: Rob Liefeld Art: Brent Peeples
Ink: Scott Hanna Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: High Level #3

High Level #3

(W) Rob Sheridan (A) Barnaby Bagenda, Romulo Fajardo, Jr. (CA) Otto Schmidt
In Shops: Apr 17, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Thirteen’s serious doubts about Minnow’s supposedly messianic powers are profoundly challenged when the mysterious child does the impossible to save them both from starving to death in the desert. But survival doesn’t mean safety when the pair’s already-harrowing quest to High Level requires a detour through Nibi Outpost, a treacherous smugglers’ network built under the ruins of the old world…

High Level #3

Major X #2 Sells Out and Gets a Second Printing and New Cover

Following the sell-out of Major X #1 ahead of its release, Marvel is excited to announce that ahead of its release on April 17th, Major X #2 has sold out and will return to comic shops for a second printing with an exclusive second printing cover by Rob Liefeld!

Major X #2 is written by Rob Liefeld with art by Brent Peeples and main cover by Liefeld and Romulo Fajardo, Jr.

Major X marks Rob Liefeld’s return to the X-Men, and buzz among critics and fans alike is high! Major X #1 debuted on April 3rd and has already gone back for a second printing…check out the exclusive second printing cover for Major X #2!

Major X #2

Review: Major X #1

WHO IS MAJOR X?

A mysterious new player enters the Marvel Universe and the X-Men are in his crosshairs! What is his mission and how can the man known as Cable hope to stop him?

Well this was something. Written and penciled by Rob Liefeld (there are feet in this comic of varying quality), Major X is the kind of book that wouldn’t be out of place if it were released twenty five years ago. The story is pretty straight forward and lacks any real punch – though it does set the remainder of the series up pretty well, and the art is for the most part exactly what you’d expect from Rob Liefeld; energetic, clean and well composed.

The characterization of Wolverine, specifically his dialogue is pretty… well it’s a great approximation of Wolverine from decades ago, chum, and it’s more than enough to take you away from the story that had up until that point been pretty engaging. After you get to that point, the comic does go downhill, which is disappointing after the strong opening. The plot devolves into a “classic” one of time and dimensional travel told around a fight that is at least entertaining to watch.

I say strong, when I really mean “interesting enough to get you to turn the page without hating yourself for buying this comic.” Major X isn’t a bad comic – but neither is it close to being a must read book. It’s just… an above average comic with a derivative X-Men themed name that takes far too long to get to the point, but looks pretty good whilst doing it.

Story: Rob Liefeld Art: Rob Liefeld
Ink: Rob Liefeld with Adelso Corona & Dan Fraga
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Story: 6.9 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.1 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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