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Basketful of Heads #1

Hope everyone had a nice Halloween! Any cool comic related costumes this year? Sound off in the comments below. Check out some comic reviews from around the web in our morning roundup!

Monkeys Fighting Robots – Basketful of Heads #1
CBR –
Basketful of Heads #1
Geek Dad –
Black Canary: Ignite
Monkeys Fighting Robots –
Conan #10
Laughing Place –
Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Allegiance #4
ICv2 –
Smedley
AIPT! –
Spider-Gwen: Gwen Stacy
AIPT! –
Thor Vol. 3
AIPT! –
What If? Classic the Complete Collection Vol. 2

Review: What If? The Complete Collection Vol. 1

What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four? What if Captain America survived World War II? What if Rick Jones became the Hulk? Explore these possibilties and more in this collection of the classic series.

What If? The Complete Collection Vol. 1 is by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, Jim Shooter, Don Glut, Scott Shaw, Jack Kirby, Jim Craig, Herb Trimpe, Gil Kane, Frank Robbins, George Tuska, Rock Hoberg, Alan Kupperberg, and Sal Buscema!

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores on January 29! 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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

Preview: What If? Magik

What If? Magik

(W) Leah Williams (A) Filipe Andrade (CA) Jeff Dekal
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Before she was Magik, Illyana Rasputin was just a kid whom Limbo chewed up and spit out seven years older. So it’s no surprise that, at 15, she wants nothing to do with the X-Men…nothing to do with the New Mutants…and nothing to do with her own powers. It’s not even surprising that she runs away… but where – and who – she ends up? Well, that’s something you’ve never seen before.

Preview: What If? Thor #1

What If? Thor #1

(W) Ethan Sacks (A) Michele Bandini (CA) Marco Checchetto
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 24, 2018
SRP: $3.99

When young THOR’S father falls to the King of Giants, his life is forever changed. He’s ripped from Asgard to be raised in a world of persistent winter, learning the brutal way of life in Jotenheim. But what happens when the runt of the giants, LOKI, is under the shadow of his new step-brother?

Preview: What If? Peter Parker Became the Punisher

What If? Peter Parker Became the Punisher

(W) Carl Potts (A) Juanan Ramirez (CA) Chris Stevens
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 10, 2018
SRP: $3.99

WITH GREAT POWER…
When Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben is ruthlessly killed by a burglar Peter let escape, he vows to never let the same fate befall another innocent bystander. From then on, he stands as a figure of cold retribution. Criminals beware – the guilty caught in this spider’s web will be PUNISHED.

But will Parker stand triumphant…or shattered by this twist of fate?

The friendly neighborhood takes a different turn in this WHAT IF? adventure, positing a very different sense of responsibility for the man who will be known as THE PUNISHER, as his battles against villains like the GREEN GOBLIN take a new path!

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Asgardians of the Galaxy #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was a lot of fun as it brought together an interesting mix of characters together as a team and delivered a nice reveal at the end. Where does it go from there? We’re excited to find out.

Batman/The Maxx #1 (IDW Publising) – Two classic characters are brought together and we’re expecting awesome.

Blackbird #1 (Image Comics) – A secret cabal of magic users exists in Los Angeles and the fact Sam Humphries is writing this new series is a bonus to an awesome idea.

Border Town #2 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – The first issue was a nice mix of Scooby-Doo and the Goonies with a Latinx twist to it all. We’re all in.

Dead Rabbit #1 (Image Comics) – A former stick-up man is back out of retirement. This is the type of noir/crime concept that has us excited to check it out.

Death of the Inhumans #4 (Marvel) – This event has been shaking up the Inhumans and we have no idea where it’s all going.

Death Orb #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A new apocalyptic series from Ryan Ferrier featuring a character carving a bloody path as he attempts to save his wife and child.

Errand Boys #1 (Image Comics) – An intriguing series about a future where you run errands, possibly illegal, to make a living. A concept we’ve seen in some different ways recently, but this one’s style stands out.

Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker #1 (Marvel) – The classic character is back.

The Long Ranger Vol. 3 #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Mark Russell writing the Lone Ranger. We’re all in for that.

Me the People (Image Comics) – A collection of Pia Guerrera’s recent political cartoons.

Poser #2 (Waxwork Comics) – The first issue was solid horror with a music spin to it all. Just a solid slasher type story perfect for Halloween.

Rainbow Brite #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – The classic character is back in comics with Jeremy Whitley writing. Yeah, we’re sold on it.

Secret Coders Vol. 6 Monsters & Modules (First Second) – The series that mixes entertainment with education has a new volume and this is one we’ll always recommend.

Shatterstar #1 (Marvel) – The character is in the spotlight and we want to see where it goes. With a string of solid X character focused miniseries, we’re hoping this one is just as good.

Sparrowhawk #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Teen Victorian fairy fight club! Nuff said.

Superior Octopus #1 (Marvel) – We loved Doc Ock as Spider-Man so we want more!

Typhoid Fever: Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) – With the character of Typhoid Mary getting the spotlight in Iron Fist, we want to see where this miniseries takes her.

Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – We love the original series and are so happy this cooky comic about a dysfunctional family with superpowers is back.

The Walking Dead #184 (Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment) – The series has been having a resurgence with the introduction of a new community and we’re excited as to where it’s all going.

What If? Spider-Man #1/What If? X-Men #1 (Marvel) – We always loved this alternate history of Marvel comics. Now, to bring back What The!? too.

Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark: Witching Hour #1 (DC Comics) – It feels early for an event but so far DC’s horror focused series has been top notch.

Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 2 (DC Comics) – It’s been a while since we’ve had a standalone graphic novel in this series so each feels like an event and a must to check out.

X-Men: Black – Magneto #1 (Marvel) – Magneto back to being a villain? We can hope!

Preview: What If? X-Men #1

What If? X-Men #1

(W) Bryan Hill (A) Neil Edwards, Giannis Milonogiannis (CA) Rahzzah
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
SRP: $3.99

From the publisher that gave you OLD MAN LOGAN and HOUSE OF M… The X-Men as you never imagined! Welcome to the EXE/scape, a digital wonderland of business and pleasure accessible to anyone with the social (or monetary) capital for the bio-mods needed to log in… Or you can bypass all of that by being born carrying an .EXE/gene! But circumventing the login regulations is exactly what got the likes of Charles Xavier and his .EXE/men banned and driven underground in the first place… Free-roamers u/Domino and u/Cable have taken every dirty job there is on the ‘scape, but when a simple data scrubbing job turns bad, the life of bio-mod magnate Erik Lehnsherr hangs in the balance, and with it, their very society… It’s a whole new world of X-Men by Bryan Edward Hill (Detective Comics), Neil Edwards (Justice League) and Giannis Milonogiannis (Ghost in the Shell: Global Neural Network)!

Preview: What If? Spider-Man #1

What If? Spider-Man #1

(W) Gerry Conway (A) Diego Olortegui (CA) Patrick Zircher
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 03, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• What if Peter Parker wasn’t the one bitten by the radioactive spider?
• What if the person who got bit was someone who didn’t live by the mantra of “with great power comes great responsibility”?
• What if that person was an egotistical bully who was only interested in taking care of himself?
• What if…FLASH THOMPSON became Spider-Man?

FlameCon 2018: Writer Leah Williams Talks Emma Frost, X-Men, and More

Leah Williams is one of Marvel Comics‘ brightest and most enthusiastic new writers. Before making her Marvel debut with a Lady Hellbender story in Totally Awesome Hulk #1.MU, Williams penned the 2015 young adult novel The Alchemy of Being Fourteen. She has a story in the upcoming Domino Annual #1 as well as the X-Men Black: Emma Frost #1 one-shot drawn by Chris Bachalo, What If? Magik #1, and a yet to be announced creator owned title.

At FlameCon, I had the opportunity to chat with Leah Williams about her upcoming comics, love for the X-Men, and relationship with fictional characters, especially Emma Frost.

Graphic Policy: Let’s start with a general question. How did you become a fan of Marvel Comics, and what is kind of like your “origin story”?

Leah Williams: I am deeply entrenched in fandom culture and never really stopped once I started writing for Marvel. But the way I really got obsessed with Marvel and the X-Men comics specifically was when I first started working at a comic book shop. I worked there for maybe a year and half to two years, and in that time, I just spent all day, every day reading comics and studying them and thinking about them. It was transcendent.

GP: How has your fandom influenced your writing?

LW: For me, they’re never separated. Being active in the fandom is a way that, I think, gives me an advantage as a writer because it allows me to keep this ongoing and current knowledge of what people are saying and what they’re feeling and where there’s a lack of their favorite character and the kind of stories they’d like to see.

GP: Most of your books for Marvel so far have involved the X-Men corner of the universe. What draws you to the mutant side of the Marvel U?

LW: What I find most fascinating about X-Men comics is how flawed they are. It’s the same thing that draws me towards Peter Parker as well. The fact that they make mistakes, and they learn from those mistakes, but they’re always trying to do better. They don’t come out the gate being correct and right in every decision that they make. And I think that it’s seeing those kind of flaws in our heroes that makes them more compelling because it does humanize them.

With mutants, in particular, my obsession largely spawns from the fact that you have characters like Beak or Maggott or the gross mutants, who in a different body of work would exemplify genre conventions of body horror. They’re disfigured and grotesque in other works. But because they’re mutants in X-Men comics, they get to be the heroes. Their disfigurement or what would inhibit them in a different genre is their power. I roll hard for that. I think it’s great.

GP: So the X-Men have been used a metaphor for LGBTQ themes since at least the 1980s. How have your experiences as a bisexual woman set apart your writing of the X-Men versus a straight person writing them?

LW: I can tell there’s a difference in what I bring to the table as a writer and as a bisexual woman than the existing canon. For example, the way I depict different characters is informed by different life experiences. That’s true of all the Big Two comics in general. As characters get handed off down the line, when they pass hands, they take on new qualities and different aspects. So, I’m excited to be part of the fresh blood at Marvel now when we’re getting to do some really exciting stuff. It’s just thrilling.

GP: Speaking of exciting stuff, you have an Emma Frost one-shot coming up. It’s part of X-Men Black, which is focusing on the villains. Do you consider Emma Frost to be a hero, villain, or antihero, and why?

LW: I think she exists in a moral grey area. To me, I’m a flagrant Emma Frost apologist. She can do no wrong, including blowing up [Firestar’s] pony. She had her reasons. At the same time, she has this brutal heart, and she’s deeply compassionate, radically so. That’s what informs her actions. All she ever wanted to be was a school teacher, and people often forget that about her. It’s one of those things where she’s not bad, she’s just drawn that way.

Being able to tell a story with her is (I don’t know how to do a sports metaphor.) that I picked up the ball and ran as far as I could with it. And it’s deeply exciting.

GP: So what can fans expect from your Emma Frost story?

LW: It’s a love letter to Emma Frost. It is going to be cathartic, and it’s going to show Emma at her best.

GP: What has been collaborating with artist Chris Bachalo been like?

LW:  He is amazing and so humble. When my editor Jordan D. White said that he had a line on a good artist, I replied by sending him a whole bunch of “eyes” emojis. Then he was like, “Are you sitting down?”

I was, but when he told me it was Chris Bachalo, I burst into tears and had to go lay down and breathe for a minute. It was during the time when we were outlining, but then I started to see the script come alive in Chris’ style and artistic voice because his work is so meaningful to me. It is so formative. Working with him has been incredible. He’s very kind and an all around awesome guy.

GP: You also have a story in the Domino Annual coming up. I really enjoyed your Domino and Emma Frost story in Secret Empire: Brave New World. There’s a line in there I still remember, “Being a hot girl is weird.”

LW: That’s another thing. In each script, there’s something where I think there’s no way they’re going to let me get away with it, but they do. It was that line, and it was super exciting.

GP: Do you play off that line of dialogue at all in your new story at all?

LW: It’s a part of her character because Domino is open about these things. She’s playful. She’s flirty. The Domino Annual is going to be very exciting because there’s a sexiness to it. While she doesn’t talk about the reality of being that insanely hot, you still get to see her in these different scenarios and different outfits and running around town getting stuff done.

GP: That sounds like a lot of fun. You’re also a doing a Magik What If? story. What attracts you to writing characters that people might consider to be morally flawed or antiheroes? I kind of sense a theme in your upcoming works.

LW: I roll hard for female characters who I don’t think are getting their due and need to be developed so much more. I was actually approached to write the Illyana Rasputin one-shot by my editor Annalise Bissa, who is amazing and a huge fan of the character. In her words that she straight up put in the actual press release, Illyana deserves better. That’s what were doing in the one-shot to show the world where she never joined the New Mutants. It’s when she gets out of Limbo and never joined the New Mutants.

GP: What have been some of the challenges of creating your own reality in this story because Marvel does the different Earth designations for the What If stories?

LW: Specifically, with [Magik], we had to think about kind of long term consequences because it becomes a butterfly effect. We change this in this world, well, how will it effect different kinds of things? We had to account for readers’ questions they would have while reading it and try to anticipate the questions they would have and answer them proactively so we could get on with the worldbuilding of this different universe. It’s a very practical technique. It’s a logistical thing.

GP: Do you have any favorite What If? stories from the past?

LW: I can’t think of anything specifically off the top of my head, but have you ever read the What The–?! stories?

GP: Yeah, when Marvel was making fun of their own stuff MAD Magazine style.

LW: Jordan D. White just introduced me to those, and that’s my current obsession. They’re super goofy. And there’s this panel where Angel is strapping down his massive eight foot wings to his body. And he’s like, “This’ll be fine. No one will notice this when I go out.” Then, you see him put on a jacket and walking out, and he’s got like camel humps under his jacket that are taller than his head. It’s the funniest thing.

GP: Most of your comics for Marvel have been one shots. What has been a challenge of doing this versus a miniseries or an ongoing?

LW: It’s all been fun so far. It’s all been wildly thrilling. The backup story “Super Hot” in Secret Empire Brave New World  had its own challenges because it was four pages. Working with those kind of constraints has the same kind of exhilaration as completing an obstacle course where if you can pay respect to continuity, represent the characters authentically, have all the necessary plot elements you need to have in there, and make it visually appealing and compelling in four pages that’s an adrenaline rush to let off.

The most difficult thing, for me, that I’ve worked on is the Emma Frost one-shot because working on it was terrifying. From the moment Jordan D. White asked me to write it, I knew what was at stake and how incredible it was. While I was writing it, I was terrified the whole time because it was the first time I realized that loving a character is not enough. Being a fan of a character is not enough. You write these stories. You have to stay the course. You have to stay true to your outline, and that kind of thing.

The reason why it was scary for me during the Emma Frost is there is nothing rational about the way I feel about Emma Frost. It is a blind devotion, and realizing that while I was writing her was so scary. I was like, “I’m gonna fuck this up.” I’m gonna mess this up so bad, and they’re never gonna let me do it again.

At the same time, I felt honor bound as someone who loves her so much to do as much with her as I could in the space I had available. God bless Jordan D. White, he’s letting me.

GP: When did you fall in love with her? When did you know that Emma Frost would be so influential to you?

LW: I honestly don’t know. It’s been a long time coming for sure. It’s gotten really pronounced in the last few years, I’m not sure why. I’ve always had a respect for her, but it didn’t become irrational and crazy until I had started writing for Marvel a couple years ago and was doing a lot of research. I read her origin story and read the solo miniseries.

GP: With the terrible covers.

LW: Listen, they’re Trojan horses. People give comic covers a lot of shit for being male gaze-y. You gotta keep in mind they’re Trojan horses.

GP: I like that because people have been talking about the J. Scott Campbell cover for your one-shot.

LW: Exactly. People are gonna pick up this book who don’t know anything about Emma Frost and are picking it up because she looks sexy on the cover. But what you’re gonna get is an intense character study.

So, it was reading the original solo miniseries with her and learning her background and how she set out on her own, the tragic family dynamic, and she was a stripper. All of it. I love it.

GP: I have one last question. You’ve teased about doing creator owned work. Do you have any more info on that?

LW: The only thing I can do is build mystery hype about it because it hasn’t been announced yet. I am working on my first original comics series, and I am calling it X-Files, but lesbians and magic. It’s cyberpunk, neo-noir in an island setting. It’s one of the most wildly indulgent projects I’ve ever worked on.

You can find Leah Williams on her website.

Follow Leah on Twitter.

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