Tag Archives: x-men

X-Men: Grand Design by Hip Hop Family Tree’s Ed Piskor Remixes the X-Men History

Marvel Comics and Eisner Award-winning indie cartoonist indie Ed Piskor are teaming up for an unexpected, unprecedented, and uncanny undertaking. Best known for documenting the history of hip hop with the award winning Hip Hop Family Tree graphic novels, Ed Piskor will sample and distill more than 8,000 pages of superheroic storytelling to create a definitive remix of the first 280 original issues of X-Men comic books and 30 years of complicated continuity into one seamless masterpiece of superheroic storytelling. Piskor will write, draw, ink, color and letter all six 40 page issues of X-Men: Grand Design, which Marvel will publish over three years as three separate but interconnected mini-series — X-Men: Grand Design, X-Men: Grand DesignSecond Genesis and  X-Men: Grand DesignX-Tinction.

On December 9th, 2017, Marvel will publish the debut issue of X-Men: Grand Design. On April 17, 2018, Marvel will collect both issues of X-Men: Grand Design, as an oversized paperback collection in the same size and format as Hip Hop Family Tree, and will also include the first issue of X-Men by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby masterfully recolored by Piskor, and a host of recolored classic pinups. Each X-Men: Grand Design trade paperback will feature a classic X-Men comic book, recolored by Piskor.

Preview: X-Men: Blue #11

X-Men: Blue #11

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Douglas Franchin (CA) Arthur Adams
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 13, 2017
SRP: $3.99

NOW YOU SEE BEAST…
• HENRY McCOY is known for a lot of things–his persona as the X-Men BEAST, his massive intellect…and now a penchant for MAGIC.
• But where did Hank learn this new-found skill?
• And will his teammates still want him around once the secret is out in the open?

Review: Iceman #5

“Oh no, love. You’re not alone. No matter what or who you’ve been… Give me your hands!”- “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” by David Bowie

In Iceman #5, Bobby finally comes out as gay to his parents, and they don’t accept him unconditionally. It’s an issue that really hit home for me personally and is easily Sina Grace’s best writing on the series. The scenes where the Drakes ask their son insensitive, probing questions about his sexuality are more painful than any blow from the unstoppable, time displaced from the 1960s Juggernaut, who is this issue’s villain of the week. Artist Alessandro Vitti and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg draw a mano a mano battle between Iceman and Juggernaut that is juxtaposed with his coming out letter. These scenes show the cathartic nature of superhero comics for queer people, and their ability to make me escape from my issues with a tale of derring-do and overcoming seemingly unbeatable odds.

In previous issues,  I feel like Grace portrayed Bobby’s parents more sympathetically, but their insensitive, bigoted words towards him in Iceman #5 show why he didn’t come out to him earlier and wanted to do it via letter where he could filter and write out his thoughts in a more organized manner. Vitti draws them with big wrinkles and glaring, ugly expressions as they treat Bobby’s sexuality as hypothetical and even ask him questions about sex life. His mom even uses “mutie” and “queer” as slurs and blames his dad’s side of the family for passing these “genes” to him. Instead of accepting, she constantly talks about how he’s a disappointment, and Mr. Drake won’t even recognize him as their son anymore. Grace and Vitti defuse the tension a little bit with some Idie and Quentin Quire antics, but they get blocked off from the narrative by a literal wall of ice given a glistening sheen by Rosenberg. And Kitty Pryde shows she’s an amazing friend by giving Bobby the opportunity to cut loose against Juggernaut (He probably should have backup though.)

IcemanAngry

And after taking non-stop verbal body blows from his parents, a solo fight against Juggernaut is what Bobby (and the plot of Iceman #5) needs. When the battle begins, Vitti draws a craggier Iceman (Because he’s angry.), and Rosenberg emphasizes the red on his uniform shirt. The battle itself is a blockbuster one and extremely creative as Bobby doesn’t have to hold back against the Juggernaut, whose only motivation is to wreck stuff and kill the X-Men blue team, who brought him to present times from the 1960s.

The dad jokes are gone, and Vitti and Rosenberg replace with double page, shoujo manga-esque spreads of Bobby freezing the speed of light to hit the Juggernaut and then using his ability to change into a vapor to escape his clutches and finally put the kibosh on him. After these pages and a beautiful transformation, the fact that Iceman is an omega level mutant is at the forefront of his character and not just a trivia fact. As he mentions to his dad at the end of the issue, being honest about who he loves has helped him use his mutant powers more effectively. This is definitely true because Bobby does a lot of cool things this issue like impaling Juggernaut on an icicle and sending his ice golems to save civilians while he focuses on keeping Juggy occupied. Water is all around us, and in Bobby’s capable hands, it can be a powerful weapon. Vitti and Rosenberg get really creative with his powers in this issue, especially when he is about to beat the Juggernaut.

The bittersweet ending to Iceman #5 where Bobby and his dad have a polite chat about his letter, say they love each other, and reconcile in the snow rings true to my own experience as a queer man. My parents don’t approve of my sexuality, but they actually do still care about me, and we have a pretty good relationship. Personally, this makes me hurt a lot deeper than a simple Westboro Baptist Church type of hate because it’s infused with love.

Iceman #5 works as a comic because Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, and  holds a mirror to mine and other queer men’s experiences using mutant powers and superhero battles as big visual metaphors of both triumph and empowerment when Iceman defeats Juggernaut all by his lonesome and the feeling of being an outsider with his vapor abilities.

Iceman #5 is a powerful, cathartic end to the first arc of the comic and showed me that I’m not alone…

Story: Sina Grace Art: Alessandro Vitti Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Story: 9.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Astonishing X-Men #3

untitledThe X-Men continue their fight against the Shadow King! But when Old Man Logan loses himself in the Astral Plane and Shadow King’s illusions, will he ever find his way back to his teammates? And what other horrors await our team?

After the events of Astonishing X-Men #2 (minor spoiler) with the team now on the astral plane, and being separated into two pairs and 1 solo, I knew the next few issues would be focusing on the split up characters and their path to confronting the Shadow King. Charles Soule starts us of with Old Man Logan and his journey through the astral plane. It’s an alright journey, telling the reader a bit about Logan’s past and what drives him, along with how he’s able to walk so easily through the astral plane and shake off the Shadow King like he’s nothing. Nothing terribly exciting, but not a bad read either. The flashes back to the real world and how the remaining X-Men are dealing with the authorities is getting a little dry, pretty much just a chance to reiterate why this is all going down. One thing it did manage to do was to get me missing the old Warren Worhthington III; I’m not a huge fan of this pacifist, peace loving character as it’s laid on a little thick here, but I am intrigued by the inner struggle between him and Archangel. I’m sure we’ll see an issue or two about that.

The art provided by Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and Jason Keith is fine, but I really found myself missing the art from the first two issues. I know this book will be rotating through artists, and that’s great to showcase different talents, I just found myself finding this art feeling a little ‘cartoony’, lacking in some of the grit and darker tones of the last two issues.

Overall, this was an alright issue. I think I just feel spoiled after the first two issues, with lots of action and a fast pace, matched with great art and dialogue. This issue, as I mentioned, was fine and I expected the story to go this way when the team was split up. But it felt a little slow for me, nothing really earth shattering taking place, and the art just didn’t leave me with the high I felt after the start of the series. I am still very much a fan of this series and I’m looking forward to seeing more from this team and the ultimate showdown with the Shadow King.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Ed McGuinness Ink: Mark Morales Color: Jason Keith
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE issue for review

Review: X-Men: Blue #10

When Beast’s meddling with magic catches up to him, what nightmares will the X-Men be forced to deal with? There is a cost to hexes and spells, and Hank McCoy is about to pay it. Will Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, and Marvel Girl be able to save their teammate from himself?

Now that the tie-ins are done, X-Men: Blue is able to go back and focus on its own storylines that makes it stand on its own in the X line of comics. In X-Men: Blue #10, writer Cullen Bunn picks up where things left off while at the same time incorporating some of the new layers added in the recent Secret Empire tie-ins.

This issue is a transition one lining things up for what’s to come taking time to sort out the various threads like the return of Danger and Polaris, Jean and Scott’s new psy-link, Jimmie Howlett’s return, and most importantly focusing on Hank’s use of magic. That last part is the big plot point of the issue continuing a story that has been stretched out for quite some time. It’s in this issue that Hank really pays the price for his use of magic and we get a better sense of why he’s doing it. It’s interesting growth and a new direction for a character who feels like he’s been stuck in a rut for quite some time.

Still, should Doctor Strange or some other “magical” superhero have picked up on this by now and really stepped in?

The art by Giovanni Valletta feels improved from the last couple of issues but the series still doesn’t quite have the knock-out art we see in other series. It’s not bad… it just doesn’t quite feel like that is the main draw here. It’s good and does the job.

Bunn does a good job with creating a transition issue that picks up the pieces and moves things forward as to what’s coming next and he gets to that conflict in the same issue. That pacing is solid and a lot is packed into the 22 pages. Bunn also gives this series a personality of its own that helps set it apart really well from its fellow X comic series. Still, the art doesn’t quite click making the series good, not great. Still, we’re getting something different and with that some entertaining stories.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Giovanni Valletta Cover Art: Arthur Adams
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: X-Men: Blue #10

X-Men: Blue #10

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Giovanni Valletta (CA) Arthur Adams
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 30, 2017
SRP: $3.99

NOW, WATCH AS I PULL A BEAST OUT OF MY HAT!
• When BEAST’s meddling with magic catches up to him, what nightmares will the X-MEN be forced to deal with?
• There is a cost to hexes and spells, and HANK McCOY is about to pay it.
• Will CYCLOPS, ICEMAN, ANGEL and MARVEL GIRL be able to save their teammate from himself?

Unboxing: August’s Comic of the Month Club

Comic of the Month Club is a new monthly comic subscription box for comic book fans everywhere. Subscribers receive 8-9 personally curated comics every month and fill out a preference form as to what they’re interested in.

You can subscribe now. Please include “Graphic Policy” in the referral space. You as a subscriber receive an extra bonus and we do get something in return.

This month’s comics with “rough value.”
X-Men #41 – $3
X-Men #42 – $3
X-Men #59 – $3
Avengers: The Initiative #22 – $2
Avengers: The Initiative #23 – $2
Avengers: The Initiative #24 – $2
Fantastic Four #38 – $2
Fantastic Four #39 – $2
Fantastic Four #41 – $2

Total: ~$21

 

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: Iceman #4

ICEMAN2017004_covFinally, Iceman gets a little sexy in issue where writer Sina Grace, artists Edgar Salazar and Ed Tadeo, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg have Bobby bump into Wolverine’s mad, bad, and dangerous to know bisexual son Daken while he’s trying to rescue his rebellious student, Zach, from a members only nightclub. Up to this point, Grace has mainly focused on Iceman’s attempts to come out to his parents and hasn’t had him get into any romantic situations with other men. This is why it’s super nice (and hot) to have him flirt and fight with Daken, who isn’t the best influence on Zach, a mutant that can mess up with electronics and isn’t a fan of the regimented life style at the Xavier School.

Iceman #4 is one of the better structured issues of the series with Grace connecting its plot to a previous adventure while throwing in a splashy guest star, some fantastic action, and some real talk about Iceman’s insecurities and faux confidence. He’s supposed to be a teacher, but is still working on his own issues, like coming out as an adult and not reaching his potential when it comes to his ice abilities. Grace doesn’t go as far as painting the X-Men as evil, but he does demonstrate that their almost paramilitary approach to working with young mutants isn’t the best fit for everyone.

Maybe, some mutants don’t want to fight Apocalypse and just want to dance, play video games, and have a good time. (A partnership with Patsy Walker’s superpowered temp agency would easily solve this problem and also give an excuse for bi bae Ian Soo to appear in Iceman.) It’s honorable that Bobby wants Zach to be able to control his vast powers, but threats and lectures aren’t his style, and the teen can see through him saying that he’ll carry him out of the club in ice handcuffs. Later, in Iceman #4, a skewered-by-ice Daken offers some much needed snarky, yet constructive criticism about Bobby’s approach to leadership and teaching. Basically, Bobby is talking at Zach and not having a discussion about how he feels, like when Bobby makes snide comments about Zach’s Internet friend. Iceman is hella insecure in general with his emotions veering closer to his pal, Human Torch, and not his cool exterior. And he’s going to go supernova metaphorically when his parents show up at the X-Mansion unannounced at the end of the comic.

DakenIcemanHot

Edgar Salazar and Ed Tadeo’s art isn’t the flashiest, but it’s easy to follow, especially the action scenes which have clear moves and motivations. Daken has a healing factor so Bobby doesn’t have to hold back and executes a killer finishing move that plays off Daken’s pet name for Bobby featuring a cool metallic sheen from Rachelle Rosenberg. Also, Salazar and Tadeo’s figure work is quite attractive and seems tailor made for the bisexual gaze aka people who have crushes on both Kitty Pryde and Iceman like yours truly instead of awkward, how is that even a human being 90s inspired superhero art. The cherry on top of the sundae that is Bobby Drake in a white tux is Daken, who is a true homme fatale, and in Salazar and Tadeo’s hands, his ice abilities turn into a kind of sort of metaphor for Iceman possibly being sexually frigid. However, dating and sexy stuff after coming is a real maze to navigate so I also like that Grace, Salazar, and Tadeo are slowly easing Bobby into the world of romance and sexy times.

Some of the dialogue is cheesy, but Sina Grace, Edgar Salazar, Ed Tadeo, and Rachelle Rosenberg make Iceman #4 one of the more memorable issues of the series by adding a hint of sexual tension in the interactions (and action of the mutant powers sort) between Daken and Iceman.  Also, Zach running away exposes some vulnerabilities in Iceman beneath his dad joke making, Disney movie referencing, and ice golem hurling exterior.

Story: Sina Grace Pencils: Edgar Salazar Inks: Ed Tadeo Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.0  Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Unboxing: The One:12 Collective SDCC Exclusive Deadpool X-Men Variant

Wade Winston Wilson, known to the world as Deadpool, is a disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary with the superhuman ability of an accelerated healing factor and physical prowess. He is presented here in his blue and yellow X-Men outfit. If you think it’s strange to see Wade Wilson in a X-Men outfit, then you are not alone because Deadpool thinks so too! Deadpool tried on X-Men attire as a bet with Wolverine and Beast in the Cable and Deadpool comic series. Deadpool, decked out in his blue and yellow X-Men attire, joins the One:12 Collective.

Mezco Toyz has released a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Deadpool figure featuring over 30 points of articulation and lots of accessories.

We open up the box to show off what’s inside.

You can order yours from the Mezco website!

Unboxing: July’s Comic of the Month Club

Comic of the Month Club is a new monthly comic subscription box for comic book fans everywhere. Subscribers receive 8-9 personally curated comics every month and fill out a preference form as to what they’re interested in.

There’s five different types of boxes ranging in cost from $9.99 on up to about $30. This is the high end “Collector’s Edition x2” version of the box.

You can subscribe now at http://comicofthemonth.club/. Please include “Graphic Policy” in the referral space. You as a subscriber receive an extra bonus and we do get something in return.

This month’s comics with “rough value.”
X-Men #1 – $2
X-Men #13 – $2.50
X-Men #14 – $3
The Amazing Spider-Man #375 – $5
The Adventures of Superman #500 – $1
Superman The Man of Steel #34 – $1.25
Superman The Man of Steel #37 – $1.75
Superman The Man of Steel #38 – $1
The Savage Dragon #9 – $1

Total: ~$18.50

 

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.

« Older Entries