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Review: New Mutants #2

New Mutants #2

New Mutants #2 shifts the focus of the series a bit. The team is still busted by the Shi’ar but it feels less like a team comic. Instead, it feels like Roberto da Costa and the New Mutants. Much of the issue is told from his perspective. It makes sense as the mission of the New Mutants is focused on Roberto getting back his best friend in Sam Guthrie.

The comic is the Roberto show as Jonathan Hickman dives into the character and his relationship with his team. We get the loveable and entertaining arrogance on full display as he brags about his lawyers, homes, and how good looking he is. There’s a charm in Hickman’s writing which is good since it’d be so easy to make the character so unlikeable.

But, Hickman has time for other characters as well. Many of them get their moments, much of it full of humor. Out of all of the Dawn of X series, this one displays the most fun and carefree attitude of the bunch. There’s a youthful fun about it all that makes it stand out. That fun extends off the page as it’s hard to not enjoy reading the comic. The flow, style, humor, the whole package deliver an entertaining read.

The art by Rod Reis is great. With lettering by Travis Lanham, the comic features Reis’ unique style that’s hard to describe. It’s almost painted in a way and gives the series a unique design. There’s not quite as much detail as other artists but the style has a flair about it and fits a space adventure like this quite well.

New Mutants #2 continues the fun adventure. While the focus shifts a little, the comic is still all about the team and character interactions. There’s a lot of humor to the comic and everything is with a wink, smile, and a nod. There’s a charm about this series that’s infectious and makes it stand out.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Rod Reis
Letterer: Travis Lanham Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Force #2

X-Force #2

While the first issue didn’t impress me too much, X-Force #2 makes up for it with tight storytelling and addressing issues I’ve been having with Hickman’s X-vision.

Xavier lays dead and Cerebro destroyed. There’s lots of issues with this, the first being that Cerebro was a helmet apparently and not a supercomputer decentralized and backed up. Krakoa and the mutant nation are in a panic and roll into their plan to revive Xavier, resurrecting him like they’ve done so many others.

Writer Benjamin Percy delivers some pathos here. You can feel the fear and anxiety of the unknown. It almost is enough to get you to overlook the flaws presented in how Hickman has created the mutant nation. It also delivers the first real issue with the constant deus ex machina that is resurrection.

But where Percy’s story really stands out is Wolverine and Kid Omega who are on a mission to find the people responsible for Xavier’s assassination. It’s not the action or the update on the classic Reavers that’s interesting. What’s said between the two characters are. Kid Omega expresses mutant superiority of humans, saying this is Xavier’s vision. Wolverine clearly doesn’t agree and dismisses the talk at one point shuffling the philosophy to Magneto instead. It’s the first real schism and rejection of the superior of Homo Superior. It also ties back to my (controversial) interpretation that Hickman’s X-Men are one fighting for supremacy, not just survival. They see themselves as more and don’t want equality.

It’s here we’re starting to see the cracks really form in Dawn of X.

The art by Joshua Cassara is solid. Along with colors by Dean White and Joe Caramagna‘s lettering, the art style matches the morose feel of the situation. There’s also small details throughout the issue that helps build the world further or further emphasizes themes in the issue. It’s a solid combination of art of story. Add in the horror like visuals of the new threat and you’ve got a hell of mix of art and story.

X-Force #2 is a solid comic vastly improving on the first. It doesn’t tip its hand early and instead does the opposite revealing tidbits as the story moves along. It’s a solid mix of reflection on events and action. Though not the traditional team book, this is more the X-Force I was looking for.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Joshua Cassara
Color: Dean White Letterer: Joe Caramagna Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Excalibur #2

Excalibur #2

Excalibur #2 continues to solidify the series as filling the fantasy genre for the new line of X-Men comics. Each series fills a niche and this one falls squarely into the world of magic.

Written by Tini Howard, the team heads to the location of the old Excalibur lighthouse. It’s a nice nostalgic nod for those who read the original series but for new readers, it’s importance is danced around. Statements are made that it’s important but the details aren’t laid out. That can be frustrating or like a lot of the comic, you just roll with it.

Howard continues to dip the series into fantastical elements. Invisible druids dot the landscape. Mermaids pose a threat. And, Apocalypse’s past is woven into this new direction as well. It’s an interesting direction as there have been hints the character has shifted from the “tech” end of things to a more mystical one.

The story itself is decent moving the adventure along and weaving an entertaining chapter that’s a nice entry for the first arc. There’s a mix of humor and action that’ll entertain readers and keeps things moving along.

The art by Marcus To is solid with some great design and small details. How scenes are set up. Character designs. The ivy of the lighthouse. They all add to bits of the story and blends in a magical setting with modern mutants. Erick Arciniega‘s color and Cory Petit‘s lettering brings things together for an interesting look that has a certain brightness to the issue that is a reminder of the “happier” nature of the previous Excalibur series.

The comic is entertaining building out the direction of this series and dancing around some interesting topics like Captain Britain’s role and the rivalry between magic and mutants. There’s also the fantasy tragedy of fairytales to get things going. Excalibur #2 is a solid comic and one that weaved with the first continues to paint a unique voice for the new direction of mutants.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Marcus To
Color: Erick Arciniega Letterer: Cory Petit Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Marauders #2

Marauders #2

Marauders #2 is an interesting comic. It’s very much a two-person play acted out between Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw. And we witness their chess game as pieces are moved around the board to add depth to their machinations.

Written by Gerry Duggan, the comic revolves around Frost and Shaw’s new venture as they deliver Krakoa’s medicine to the world. It’s a dance and game between the two as they use their roles for their own gain in various ways. Digs are made as to their financial status or what they’re trying to do. All of it a waltz for a final panel reveal that’s been choreographed since the first issue. None of the comic is surprising or shocking but it sets up the status-quo nicely focused on the roles, and goals, of each of these two manipulators.

The comic also continues the reverberations of the “death” of Charles Xavier and directly addresses the likelihood of his return through Krakoa’s resurrection. It also has the most realistic reaction, really any reaction, as the team goes out to get drunk and tattoos. It’s a nice moment that makes the characters gel and shows off their personalities.

The art by Matteo Lolli is nice. Along with color by Federico Blee and lettering by Cory Petit, the style is one that differs itself from the other X comics. The body language and facial expressions of the characters really deliver the mood and personalities. There’s also some nice design work and action as the comic balances the more subtle scenes with the more active.

Also standing out in the issue is a letter concerning the naval status of the new mutant nation. It continues to dance around real world issues such as sovereignty and a threat the mutant nation is perceived as. It’s a threat that might be justified based on statements such as one Storm makes in the issue.

Marauders #2 is a solid comic adding more of a focus on the series. It plants a flag as to how it differs from the other series and teases some conflicts to come. Marauders #2 is the play to its sister series’ action flick. It’s a comic whose character interactions makes it stand out.

Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Matteo Lolli
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Cory Petit Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Men #2

X-Men #2 cover

X-Men #2 is an interesting comic in that it feels like it’s both a continuation of what writer Jonathan Hickman has laid out and ignoring it at the same time. Charles Xavier is dead, having been assassinated in X-Force #1. So, while security is of importance this issue doesn’t feel all that different than usual. A mysterious island as emerged and Krakoa is being drawn to it. Is it an issue? Is it a threat? Cyclops takes his son Cable and daughter Prestige to investigate and see.

Hickman gives us an odd issue. The characters feel a bit off and there’s not much reflection on the death of Xavier. Instead, the focus is on the trio exploring the new island. And that feels… weird. There’s a lot of “son” and “dad” thrown around. The awkwardness of this trio just isn’t there. It feels like rather playful banter and relationship that’s rather healthy and not the muddled mess we’ve known. It could be that in this timeline this is the new standard but like so much of what Hickman has written the characterizations feel off. None if it is bad, it’s just different.

Leinil Francis Yu‘s art is solid and the quality that’s expected. Joined by Gerry Alanguilan on ink, Sunny Gho on color, and Clayton Cowles lettering, the art looks sharp. It’s a case where the art exceeds the story. The characters are solid and there’s some interesting designs and detail on the what’s presented.

The comic isn’t bad. There’s some solid humor. It also continues a concept Hickman began in House of X. What the comic feels like is a continued set up. Much like the first issue X-Men #2 is attempting to lay the groundwork for what’s to come. And those final pages makes what’s to come intriguing. First by what’s revealed and second by what’s said. Sadly, a comic isn’t made by its final pages and the lead up is awkward and head scratching. X-Men #2 has its moments but that’s not quite enough.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Ink: Gerry Alanguilan Color: Sunny Gho
Letterer: Clayton Cowles Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Fallen Angels #1

Fallen Angels #1

Kwannon is once again Psylocke and though the title is plural, Fallen Angels #1 feels like her solo series. Much of this debut issue revolves around the character. She’s struggling to find her place not just upon Krakoa but mutant kind and the world as a whole.

Written by Bryan Edward Hill the issue succeeds mainly on its themes that are weaved throughout. Hill plays off of some of the concepts and ideas writer Jonathan Hickman began in the X-Men reboots House of X and Powers of X.

With the introduction of a mysterious villain Apoth, we’re delivered the concept of new gods of mankind and biology vs. technology. Both of these weaved through Hickman’s restart of the line and the series stands out for running with them.

Each “Dawn of X” series has filled a niche and this one drops in a more philosophical side of the X Universe. It also attempts to fill in gaps for Psylocke and character who has failed to really find much depth since her reintroduction earlier this year.

Szymon Kudranski provides the art for Fallen Angels #1. He’s joined by Frank D’Armata and letterer Joe Sabino. The art style mixes in Eastern iconography befitting the character. The themes of biology vs. technology are extended in layout. Panels are presented with energy flickering or branches reaching out. It’s the small details like that of a planet that makes the art stand out. Along with a slight manga influence in pencils and color, it’s an art style and look that matches the series well.

Fallen Angels #1 is an interesting start. The series fills a space not covered by other X-Men series. It also begins to add depth to the character of Psylocke. There’s lots of potential there and the set up makes me want to check out what comes down the road.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Szymon Kudranski
Color: Frank D’Armata Letterer: Joe Sabino Design: Tom Muller
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-Force #1

X-Force is back and they’re the mutants intelligence gathering and covert unit. So what threat could get past them?

Story: Benjamin Percy
Art: Joshua Cassara
Color: Dean White
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
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.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: New Mutants #1

The New Mutants are back and they’re on a mission to find their missing member in space!

Story: Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman
Art: Rod Reis
Letterer: Travis Lanham
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.

Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post 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 this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: X-Force #1

X-Force #1

X-Force #1 kicks off the “CIA” of the X-Men world. The debut issue emphasizes that part of this group’s role is intelligence gathering and part covert-ops. Unfortunately, the issue misses the group part. It’s full of poor foreshadowing. And leaves us with an ending that will clearly be undone. It’s a comic with cool moments and the depth of a summer mindnumbing blockbuster.

Written by Benjamin Percy, the comic is a series of focusing on individual characters as opposed to a cohesive team. While the title is X-Force, you might have called it Black Tom works security. The issue revolves around a few individuals as we learn more about Krakoa’s stance with the world and the threats it faces with its new international standing.

Percy’s writing is a bit forced in that it’s so clearly foreshadowing for the latter part of the issue. It’s a bit too obvious as to what’s going to happen and who it’s going to happen to. That includes the death of a character. But, that death rings rather hollow due to what we know. We know mutants can be brought back. So, the fact there’s fear of death, or really shock of it is rather silly. It also loses jaw dropping value. Deaths used to mean something, even with all of the resurrections. Now, with no implications, the concept when it comes to mutants seems even sillier.

The art by Joshua Cassara is pretty solid. There’s some fantastic moments within the comic. With colors of Dean White and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the comic has the grittiness we’d expect from an X-Force comic but misses the doom and gloom. There’s also a large amount of varied characters involved and each stands out in design and uniqueness. The detail is great.

X-Force #1 lacks the feel of a team book the title implies. Instead, it feels like a guide to Krakoa security using characters to highlight aspects. There’s also just too much foreshadowing to take events beyond eye rolls. It’s got some great concepts but the execution is lacking.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Joshua Cassara
Color: Dean White Letterer: Joe Caramagna Design: Tom Muller
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: New Mutants #1

New Mutants #1

New Mutants #1 kicks the next generation of mutants into an intergalactic adventure. The original team is back together with new members Mondo and Chamber but one member is missing. Sam Guthrie, Cannonball, is still in space and the team wants to go out and get him. So, they hitch a ride with the Starjammers.

Written by Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman, the debut issue is absolutely fantastic. There’s so much personality and fun oozing from the pages and characters. And that’s helped in a way by the simplicity of the series. It’s a journey to find a friend, nothing more. But, that journey leaves open so much opportunity for adventure.

What Brisson and Hickman nail down is the personality of all of the characters. Each get their moments and each are unique. You get a sense of who everyone is and the two writers have these characters down in their attitudes and speech patterns.

There’s also something just fun about the comic. Jokes are made and a scene as simple as a sparring session adds to the depth of the characters and situation. There’s real thought put into the comic and it shows. Some of that includes touching upon how this all relates to Krakoa and “Dawn of X.” There’s revelations as far as that but nothing is jarring for new readers. Instead, the focus is on Cannonball and these friends getting back together.

That includes the return of Rahne Sinclair, Wolfsbane, who was murdered in the last volume of Uncanny X-Men. Seeing her return feels like it rights a wrong but like all the other return of the dead, it feels rather hallow. It is nice in that there’s a religious connotation about it all and the character being deeply Catholic, it’s a much-needed detail.

The art by Rod Reis is fantastic. Travis Lanham provides lettering and the combination is the best looking of the new line of X comics. The characters all look fantastic and there’s just some amazing panels. Tom Muller continues on design and like other Dawn of X books, there’s use of this to enhance the world.

New Mutants #1 is a hell of a debut that’s just a lot of fun and one of the best things to come out of “Dawn of X.” The issue captures something that’s been missing from the numerous attempted reboots over the years and carves out a unique space in the line of comics.

Story: Ed Brisson and Jonathan Hickman Art: Rod Reis
Letterer: Travis Lanham Design: Tom Muller
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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