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Destiny of X Delivers New Titles, Team Shakeups, and More!

Rising out of the ashes of Inferno and emerging out of the vital time-travelling mission in X Lives of Wolverine/X Deaths of Wolverine comes The Second Krakoan Age of X-Men: Destiny of X! Mutantkind’s future is reshaped once more, as Krakoa’s greatest triumphs and most crushing challenges still lie ahead. As last week’s “Choose Your Destiny” teasers showed, the possibilities are endless!

This new era will kick off with new titles such as Immortal X-Men, Knights of X, Legion of X, and X-Men Red, a stellar new creative team takeover on Marauders, and revolutionary status quo changes for continuing titles X-Men, X-Force, New Mutants, and Wolverine

Fans can get their first peek at what’s to come in a new promotional image by Leini Francis Yu and Sunny Gho, an epic group shot starring some of the major players of the franchise’s upcoming sagas!

Stay tuned in the days ahead for more details and title announcements!

Destiny of X

Marvel Celebrates 80 Years of Captain America with Variant Covers

This year, Marvel is honoring the 80th anniversary of Captain America with a new collection of extraordinary variant covers! Gracing the covers of your favorite ongoing series throughout July will be reimagined versions of iconic heroes including Black Widow, Miles Morales, and Spider-Man. These star-spangled homages have been designed and crafted by some of the industry’s greatest artistic talents: John Cassaday, Steve McNiven, Iban Coello, Pepe Larraz, Leinil Francis Yu, Mark Brooks, Nick Bradshaw, and Terry and Rachel Dodson.

See all eight Captain America 80th Anniversary Variant Covers now and collect them all starting on July 14th!

  • IRON MAN #10 CAPTAIN AMERICA 80TH VARIANT COVER by JOHN CASSADAY & DAVE STEWART
  • SPIDER-WOMAN #13 CAPTAIN AMERICA 80TH VARIANT COVER by STEVE MCNIVEN & FRANK D’ARMATA
  • MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #28 CAPTAIN AMERICA 80TH VARIANT COVER by IBAN COELLO & ALEJANDRO SÀNCHEZ
  • MOON KNIGHT #1 CAPTAIN AMERICA 80TH VARIANT COVER by PEPE LARRAZ & MARTE GRACIA
  • BLACK CAT #8 CAPTAIN AMERICA 80TH VARIANT COVER by LEINIL FRANCIS YU & SUNNY GHO
  • BLACK WIDOW #9 CAPTAIN AMERICA 80TH VARIANT COVER by MARK BROOKS
  • FANTASTIC FOUR #34 CAPTAIN AMERICA 80TH VARIANT COVER by NICK BRADSHAW & RACHELLE ROSENBERG
  • THE MIGHTY VALKYRIES #4 CAPTAIN AMERICA 80TH VARIANT COVER by TERRY DODSON & RACHEL DODSON

Review: X-Corp #1

X-Corp #1

One of my favorite comic runs is Wildcats 3.0. The series took the familiar characters and put them at the head of a corporation. Their goal is to expand technology that will benefit society and puts them in conflict with the rich and powerful, most notably Big Oil. The current direction of the X-Men feels like it takes a lot from that with X-Corp #1 bringing it all to the forefront. While it’s an interesting addition to the X-line of comics, the debut also falls a bit short due to that previous series.

Lead by Monet St. Croix and Warren Worthington III, X-Corp is the corporate arm of Krakoa. While some might battle it out physically, X-Corp seems to be more about battling it out in the boardroom and stock market. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some razzle-dazzle. X-Corp #1 keeps a focus on the team being built up while dealing with threats from those who feel like they’ve been burned by Xavier and Krakoa. The debut hints at the conflict to come.

But there’s some silliness too. The issue focuses on the debut of this new “team” but also X-Corp’s headquarters. It’s a sequence that feels a little over the top, even for comics. For a new nation so focused on diplomacy and standing in the world, the actions of St. Croix and Worthington feel like they’d really result in sanctions and distrust more than anything else. There’s an arrogance about it all that is hopefully explored and not pushed to the side.

Where the issue really shines is in its leads of Monet St. Croix and Warren Worthington III. The two have some aspects in common with Monet struggling with her Penance persona and Worthington still haunted by Archangel. The issue sees both having to deal with that in their own ways, though one more so than the other. This is where the series could really get interesting as their approach feels completely different to a similar situation.

The art by Alberto Foche is good. With color by Sunny Gho, lettering by Clayton Cowles, and design by Tom Muller everything looks good. There’s not a lot of flash until late in the comic. Where it could easily give some very interesting visuals and page layouts, the comic is muted in a way. It fits a stuffy corporate structure in that way. Where the issue gets bumpy is one those massive visuals that should pop just don’t. There’s moments that should hit you like the alien ship coming out of the cloud in Independence Day. The response on the ground should feel like terror. The art doesn’t deliver that punch and generally doesn’t convey that panic on the ground. It, like the story itself, doesn’t quite click with its potential.

X-Corp #1 is an interesting start showing off the potential of the concept. It doesn’t quite click though. There are moments that should be memorable and punch the reader in awe. But, those moments never deliver. They show off what’s going on but miss that special something where you really take notice. Hopefully, this issue is just laying the groundwork and once that’s accomplished we can move on to more excitement but right now, I’m longing to go back and re-read Wildcats 3.0.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Alberto Foche
Color: Sunny Gho Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Carnage Goes Extreme in July with Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Phage. Scream. Lasher. Riot. Agony. This July, the five Life Symbiotes will face their greatest challenge yet, courtesy of their big bad older brother: Carnage. The saga will kick off in Extreme Carnage Alpha #1 by Eisner-nominated writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson.

The Life Foundation symbiotes have always tried to reconcile the sometimes-noble intentions of their hosts with the often-bloodthirsty impulses of the symbiotes. But the Life Foundation symbiotes aren’t the only symbiotes who find themselves reinvented after King in Black and Carnage has plans for his younger siblings.

And there’s much more Carnage to come. Check out teaser artwork by Leinil Francis Yu and Sunny Gho below and stay tuned for more information on Extreme Carnage in the coming weeks. Don’t miss this explosive family reunion when it begins in July.

Extreme Carnage teaser

Review: X-Men #18

X-Men #18

Writer Jonathan Hickman tugs on a long-simmering plot thread in X-Men #18 as he, Mahmud Asrar, and Sunny Gho send the rough and tumble team of Wolverine (Laura Kinney), Darwin, and Synch into the Vault to confront and find information about the Children of the Vault, who appeared way back in X-Men #5 after a lengthy absence from the X-Books. (This is a great explainer about them.) The Children of the Vault are shrouded in mystery, hence, the risky reconnaissance mission in an environment where time doesn’t work traditionally, but they’re humans evolved over a period of 6,000 years in a specialized environment that have given them superhuman abilities. They also see the mutants and Krakoa as a threat so Darwin, Synch, and Wolverine are not in for a good time.

Escape from the Vault” is going to be a rare two-part story in a series that has mostly been loosely connected done-in-ones that give readers a flavor of the Krakoa era. However, with the impending election of an X-Men team and coming of last issue’s space mission, it looks like Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar are back on a “mutants going on a mission” kick even if it’s not traditionally superheroic.

Basically, the team in X-Men #18 are like the members of the various hapless crews in the Alien franchise, but with special abilities that could get them out of this bind. And speaking of powers, Hickman crafts this team lineup almost perfectly with Wolverine’s healing ability, Darwin’s adaptability, and Synch’s ability to duplicate any mutant power make them have a chance in this hostile environment. Hickman takes a purposeful approach to superhero team building, and you can see this throughline of complementary abilities echo down the X-Books from SWORD and the magic in Excalibur to the training exercises in Vita Ayala and Rod Reis’ New Mutants and even in the Resurrection protocols of The Five. The previous issue was more self-indulgent with 1990s style art and costumes from Brett Booth and star turns from Hickman faves Cannonball and Sunspot, but X-Men #18 is back to the business of setting a tone for the line of comics and showing how Krakoa deals with threats.

After a foreboding setup and quick introduction to the team, Hickman, Asrar, and Gho dive straight into combat. Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch fight more like the X-Force (Sans guns and pouches.) than the X-Men with Wolverine especially being a ball of rage. Asrar draws her from overhead angles and with plenty of speed lines to show her aggression, and that she isn’t holding back with blood spurting out of Serafina, the only Child of the Vault who gets mentioned by name in this issue. Colorist Sunny Gho accentuates this panel by switching the usual blue background of the Vault to red. Laura is more into action than words, and she demonstrates this in X-Men #18 through her single-handed focus on the mission unlike Darwin and Synch, who are hoping for a quick in and out mission.

Synch acts as the narrator of X-Men #18 providing commentary on the team’s time in the Vault while Jonathan Hickman and Mahmud Asrar show that a seemingly timid character that’s been dead in the comics since 2000 could be one of Krakoa’s deadliest weapon. Synch’s tone is fairly neutral, yet a little freaked out as he reminds readers that even though this comic has a fairly straightforward plot, time isn’t working normally right now, and the team is probably end for some weirdness one they reach the other side, especially after this issue’s, shall we way, nuclear finish. If the middle of X-Men #18 is Aliens, its bookends are Alien: all horror, atmosphere, and tension tinged with science fiction. Because his powers literally make him the ultimate support character, Synch is very passive in the early stages of the fight against the Children of the Vault walking around with a water bubble around his head once he takes a flame to the face.

X-Men #18

However, fire plus water equals boiling, and Synch unveils his grisly potential in a sequence where he reveals that he can duplicate the powers of both mutants and other superpowered beings like the Children of the Vault. It immediately shifts the momentum of both the battle and X-Men #18 with Sunny Gho bringing some vivid oranges in his palette to go with Asrar’s skeleton silhouettes. The A.I. in the Dome was right that the Children of the Vault needed more training, upgrades, and/or evolution to have a chance against the mutants even if total victory doesn’t happen in this issue. However, Synch’s flame on moment pays off a data page earlier in the issue where Dr. Reyes says that his power limits have increased, and that he can “connect” to any kind of superhuman ability.

There is only one other data page in X-Men #18, but Hickman makes them crucial to the plot and arc of the main character. Their placement is also clever with the aforementioned payoff, and more importantly, he puts the text of a letter allowing the team to use deadly force because the Children of the Vault aren’t classified as humans after Wolverine and Synch have done their thing. It’s a great final page of the issue that adds an ethical dimension to the snikts and explosions and shows again that the Krakoans are a little hypocritical and are just like any human nation snuffing out a threat to their sovereignty via various black ops and cutthroat ways, especially since they and the Children of the Vault are a lot alike.

X-Men #18 shows Jonathan Hickman putting his own spin on the typical X-Men “rescue” mission, and the focus on a tight-knit, complementary cast lets Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch’s personalities and abilities shine. Mahmud Asrar and Sunny Gho also get to draw riveting action sequences that showcase this cast of character’s unique powers while working in tandem with Hickman to create an uneasy tone around the team’s actions. By the end of the issue, we know so much about who Wolverine, Darwin, and Synch are, but their opponents are basically explod-y action figures. Hmm…

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Mahmud Asrar
Colors: Sunny Gho Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Mutantkind Soars in the New X-Corp Series

The X-Book every fan has been waiting for is finally here! X-Corp, written by Tini Howard and drawn by Alberto Foche will hit stands this May. Taking Jonathan Hickman’s masterplan for mutantkind to the next level, the series will premiere a brand-new group of X-Men that will prove once and for all that mutantkind means business!

The deals have been made. Mutantkind is safe on Krakoa. As the Reign of X continues, what are the wants of the mutants who have everything? Leading the charge is X-CORPORATION, headed by CXOs Monet St. Croix and Warren Worthington, a duo as cutthroat and ruthless in the boardroom as they are on a battlefield. But X-Corp needs more than just its figureheads. As Monet sets out to staff their team with some of the brightest and most deviant minds in mutantkind, Warren finds himself in a tense confrontation with one of Krakoa’s first allies who wants to know the truth: on Angel’s wings, will X-Corp crash or soar? 

Grab hold as X-Corp introduces new concepts that will revolutionize the Marvel Universe as we know it when it arrives this May with colors by Sunny Gho and a cover by David Aja!

X-Corp #1

Classic Marvel Heroes Transform into Classic Marvel Horror Monsters this October

From Werewolf by Night to Tomb of Dracula, Marvel has a proud history of horror-themed comics, and this October, these classic terrifying tales will be honored in a series of Horror Variant covers! Prepare to see your favorite Marvel characters as you’ve never seen them before as the X-Men, the Avengers, Spider-Man, and more live out nightmarish fantasies just in time for Halloween. Paying homage to the classic Marvel horror comics of yesterday, the industry’s top artists including Russell Dauterman, Mike Del Mundo, and Leinil Francis Yu, have reimagined Marvel’s heroes in delightfully creepy visions. See what happens when you cross Iron Man with the swamp monster, Man-Thing, or check out Black Widow staking out her prey as a creature of the night—all this and more when these chilling covers hit comic stores this October!

See below for a full list of October’s Horror Variant covers and be on the lookout for more of these devilish cover reveals coming your way!

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50 SPIDER-MAN VAMPIRE HUNTER HORROR VARIANT COVER by AARON KUDER with colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
  • AVENGERS #37 WHERE AVENGERS DWELL HORROR VARIANT COVER by JAVIER RODRÍGUEZ
  • BLACK WIDOW #2 TOMB OF BLACK WIDOW HORROR VARIANT COVER by JOSHUA “SWAY” SWABY
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA #24 CAP WOLF HORROR VARIANT COVER by MIRKA ANDOLFO
  • CAPTAIN MARVEL #22 CAPTAIN MARVEL UNLEASHED HORROR VARIANT COVER by TAURIN CLARKE
  • IMMORTAL HULK #38 DEL MUNDO LIVING HULK HORROR VARIANT COVER by MIKE DEL MUNDO
  • IRON MAN #2 IRON MAN-THING HORROR VARIANT COVER by MATTIA DE IULIS
  • MARAUDERS #13 HELL’S STORM HORROR VARIANT COVER by KHARY RANDOLPH
  • SPIDER-WOMAN #5 SPIDER-WOMAN BY NIGHT HORROR VARIANT COVER by PATRICK GLEASON
  • THOR #8 FRANKENSTEIN’S THOR HORROR VARIANT COVER by LEINIL FRANCIS YU with colors by SUNNY GHO
  • X-MEN #13 LEGION OF X-MONSTERS HORROR VARIANT COVER by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN

Review: Dawn of X Vol. 3

Want to get into Marvel’s X-Men relaunch? They’ve made it easy with Dawn of X collections that package all of the comics of the same number!

Dawn of X Vol. 3 includes the third issue for X-Men, Marauders, Excalibur, New Mutants, X-Force, and Fallen Angels.

Story: Jonathan Hickman, Gerry Duggan, Tini Howard, Ed Brisson, Benjamin Percy, Bryan Edward Hill
Art: Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Michele Bandini, Elisabetta D’Amico, Marcus To, Flaviano, Joshua Cassara, Szymon Kudranski
Color: Sunny Gho, Federico Blee, Erick Arciniega, Carlos Lopez, Guru-eFX, Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Cory Petit, Travis Lanham, Joe Caramagna, Joe Sabino

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 24! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW
Zeus Comics

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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