Heroes Reborn: Night-Gwen #1 by Vita Ayala

Heroes Reborn: Night-Gwen #1Heroes Reborn: Night-Gwen #1 by Vita Ayala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

By this point we know the drill for these Heroes Reborn tie ins.

They’re a weird mix of Marvel and DC, with Marvel characters recast in roles that are reminiscent of certain DC characters…in a world where the Avengers never formed and so Earth’s mightiest heroes are Marvel’s Justice League analogue, the Squadron Supreme.

In this instance the Marvel character is Gwen Stacey, but she’s not Night-Gwen, as the title would suggest (just like she’s not Spider-Gwen), but she is, instead, Nightbird…sometime partner of Nighthawk. Think Nightwing and Batman.

We learn that an old friend who’s obsessed with her has taken on a secret identity in a twisted scheme to win her heart. But she’s not interested in him as she’s dating Misty Night.

It’s a fun book and something I’d be interested in reading more of…but I suspect that this will only ever be a one shot.

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Heroes Reborn #6 by Jason Aaron

Heroes Reborn #6Heroes Reborn #6 by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The focus shifts to Power Princess in Jason Aaron’s reimagining of the Marvel Universe if the Avengers never formed and the Squadron Supreme were Earth’s mightiest heroes instead.

And, wow, if this is Wonder Woman this is a raging, violent, drunken Wonder Woman who once had her way with Namor on the sea floor while sharks ate the corpses of the Nazis they’d just slaughtered. This is exactly the type of over the top absurdity I expect from a Marvel alternate universe. Go big or go home.

She’s unstoppable…but Thor has regained his memories of how the Earth should be, so unstoppable force meets immovable object.

KABOOM!

The art is fantastic, the writing in en pointe. This is a damn fine comic.

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Strange Academy #11 by Skottie Young

Strange Academy #11 (Strange Academy (2020-))Strange Academy #11 (Strange Academy by Skottie Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Someone has attacked and shattered Toth, but who can it be?

There’s only one solution, you call in Howard the Duck to investigate while the faculty try to put Toth back together again!

This is a classic whodunnit, but with all the mystical twists you’d expect from Strange Academy. You see, the person who did it doesn’t know they did it, because they were possessed by an item of clothing!

It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s touching and it’s brilliant.

In other words: It’s Strange Academy!

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Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #13 by Ethan Sacks

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #13 (Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020-))Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #13 (Star Wars: Bounty Hunters by Ethan Sacks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, this is a definite improvement over the previous issue, mostly because it was actually possible to follow what’s going on. Still, not anywhere up to the standard of the rest of this crossover event…

…and what crossover event is that? that would be The War of the Bounty Hunters, which continues in the pages of this comic. Valance and Dengar are on Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler’s Moon, hot on the trail of Boba Fett. They’ve missed him, but Dengar knows a guy who might know where he went, but it’ll take tact and diplomacy to get the intel. So, of course, Valance just punches him right in the face, because valance is an idiot now apparently.

After a fight, Valance dangles the guy over a large drop and he spills the beans, Fett doesn’t have Han Solo, Crimson Dawn do. But Valance doesn’t believe that Crimson Dawn are back, because he hasn’t read the previous instalment in this crossover. Silly man.

The issue ends with the reveal of a new, badass, female bounty hunter, who’ll ne doubt be even cooler and more badass than Valance…

So, yeah, better than the last issue, but Sacks’ writing is still frustratingly pedestrian and the characterisation of Valance is still wildly inconsistent. Is he hot headed and reckless or is he a grizzled veteran? Who knows!

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Iron Man #9 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man #9 (Iron Man (2020-))Iron Man #9 (Iron Man by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished my review of #8 by hoping we’d get back to Tony in the next issue…we do not, which is a shame. I mean, this is an Iron Man book, and Iron Man only briefly appears in a flashback. It’s fine to do that occasionally, but I’m not sure that it works two issues in a row…especially when we’ve had to wait two months between issues. At least we know that we’re going to finally catch up with Tony next time.

Meanwhile, we delve into the origin of Korvac, and everything’s a bit muddled. I found this issue exceptionally hard to follow and it seems to expect a level of familiarity with the character that I don’t possess. Plus, the original Human Torch is here. And they’re related…sort of. Korvac builds him a new robot body to replace the robot body Tony built for him in an issue of the Invaders at some point, apparently, and Korvac things the Torch will understand his plan to usher in a new utopian age and join him. Which doesn’t exactly go to plan.

The art is as good as it always is in Iron Man at the moment, but the writing here feels a little disjointed. It’s odd. Hopefully this issue is just a blip in what’s been an otherwise outstanding run.

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Children of the Atom #4 by Vita Ayala

Children of the Atom #4Children of the Atom #4 by Vita Ayala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is much better!

The team find out that Krakoa is opening its gates to humans for the Hellfire Gala and hope this is the opening they need to get to the island…thus confirming what we all knew, they’re not mutants. Indeed, their powers all seem to be technological in origin, derived from weapons they salvaged from the crashed space ship.

Carmen tries to confide in Benny that she seems to be manifesting mutant powers (although I still think she’s actually been infected by the Brood…just a hunch…) and he mistakenly thinks she’s asking him out…which she’s not, because she’s a lesbian, and it’s heavily implied that he’s asexual.

Things seem to be coming to a head when all of the team except jay Jay get captured…and then Jay Jay turns up with the X-Men to rescue them. I’m anticipating a big talk with the X-Men next issue where everything gets explained…and then hopefully we can move on. Or the series will just end and we’ll never see any of these characters again…which would be a real shame. This series has been a bit of a rocky ride quality wise so far, but I genuinely like these characters and think they have a lot of potential. But, you know, I’m a sucker for a team of teen heroes.

The art continues to be great, of course.

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X-Men #21 by Jonathan Hickman

X-Men #21 (X-Men (2019-))X-Men #21 (X-Men by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Namor reminds us why he’s knows as the Prince of Abs-lantis, as he’s invited to join the Quiet Council, with predictable results.

The new X-Men team is revealed, and a very interesting team it appears to be. I’m particularly pleased to see Sunfire on the team, having always felt it was a shame that he walked out immediately after the events of Giant Size #1.

There’s some party mingling and some cool cameos from real life people, including Kevin Feige..and a whole slew of people I probably should have recognised but didn’t. Pretty sure I spotted George RR Martin in there thought. Geez, that guy will do anything to avoid finishing the next Game of Thrones book!

And then Emma did…something that we’ll undoubtedly see in Planet Size X-Men #1…

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Excalibur #21 by Tini Howard

Excalibur #21 (Excalibur (2019-))Excalibur #21 (Excalibur by Tini Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what an issue! The Hellfire Gala continues to deliver in spades!

And let’s cut straight to the chase, the most inspired part of this whole, wonderful issue, was Britain wanting to leave its deal with Krakoa. They’re doing Krexit. Krexit. That’s…just…so exactly what our government would do. Maybe the Tories are actually all evil druids working for Clan Akkaba?

There were so many other wonderful moment in this issue though…most of them long overdue reunions. Such as Meggan and Kurt! And the hint at Meggan’s “condition”… Then we had Rachel and Betsy and the insistence that Rachel visit the lighthouse more often. Yes please! She’d be a welcome addition to this team…and maybe she could also get a better codename while she’d at it?

And last, but by no means least, Rictor was reunited with Shatterstar at last!

And then we have poor old Pete Wisdom’s fate… Let’s just say it’s a good thing that mutants can be resurrected else I’d be very cross indeed.

But, seriously, this entire comic was a delight from start to finish!

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Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #4 by Daniel José Older

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #4Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #4 by Daniel José Older
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not gonna lie, I kinda love this bunch of idiots.

Seeing all the padawans crammed into a Jedi vector just made me smile. That they were doing it to stupidly go and rescue their friend just made it better. Reckless are they, indeed.

This is just fantastic, full of youthful energy and the angst that goes with it.

Because heading off into an obvious trap is just what heroes do.

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