X-Corp (2021-) #1 by Tini Howard

X-Corp (2021-) #1X-Corp (2021-) #1 by Tini Howard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not gonna lie, I genuinely struggled to stay awake while reading this.

This comic commits the twin sins of being overly long and boring.

It’s all business meetings and capitalism and blah, blah, blah.

I don’t get the point of this, I don’t get why this comic exists and the first issue does a very poor job of explaining it. And the art is…just okay. And just okay doesn’t really cut it in the X-books right now.

I really hope this either improves dramatically in the next few issues or ends quickly.

This feels especially painful given the recent announcement of the cancellation of X-Factor, which is a far, far better comic.

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Children Of The Atom (2021-) #3 by Vita Ayala

Children Of The Atom (2021-) #3Children Of The Atom (2021-) #3 by Vita Ayala
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What…what is going on? This isn’t bad, exactly, I’m just confused…

So, we sort of get the origin of the Children of the Atom here…but we’re honestly none the wiser. They somehow ended up on a spaceship, which presumably took them up into space, and then was going to explode and so they got into some escape pods and crash landed back on earth. Is…is this how they got their powers? I feel like there’s a BIG gap here. I mean, that’s probably intentional, but it makes for a deeply unsatisfying read.

Meanwhile, in the present, all of the team except for Carmen go to a friend’s house for dinner, where they learn that friend had mutant tissue fused with his own to save his life. And when one of them asks if that means he can use the Krakoan gates he gets angry and throws them out. The whole scene is very…odd…

And while this is going on Carmen is at home transforming into…what? A Brood, maybe? Is that the source of their powers? Are they all Brood hosts?

What is going on?!?!?

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M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #4 by Jordan Blum

M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #4M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #4 by Jordan Blum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blum and Oswalt stick the landing in the final issue of this surprisingly good MODOK series. I can’t even remember why I picked this up in the first place…I think my retailer thought I wanted it and I just thought, “Ah well, what the hell?”

I’m glad I did because it’s excellent, and a very fascinating trip inside MODOK’s head, giving a chance for us to learn what makes him tick.

It’s often very silly, but also very dark…MODOK is very much the victim here…but, you know, still a psychopathic mental organism designed only for killing…so maybe don’t feel too bad for him, eh?

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Alien (2021-) #2 by Phillip K. Johnson

Alien (2021-) #2Alien (2021-) #2 by Phillip K. Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is more top notch stuff from Kennedy and Larocca.

The stand out moment, however, was at the very start. There’s a scene with a little girl and her grandfather hiding while alarms blare and the aliens break into their quarters and all you really see is her face…and the tension is palpable, the sense of horror so very real.

The rest of the story is fairly standard Alien stuff, the man who thought he was out of it all is dragged back into it all and has to face certain death as he has no choice but to put himself in the way of the greatest killing machine that ever bled acid.

Look, if you like the Alien franchise you’ll love this. I’m the kind of person who personally thinks there’s no such thing as a bad Alien movie. So, of course I love this.

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Silk (2021) #2 by Maurene Goo

Silk (2021) #2 (of 5)Silk (2021) #2 by Maurene Goo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A solid second issue.

I think the fact that Cindy Moon is such a compelling character is what’s carrying this for me, because the giant cat god monster is…uh…odd…

The subplot with the new therapist who’s actually a plant was a little obvious, but it was also kinda cute, so I’ll let it pass.

This feels like I’m being overly negative, but I really enjoyed this…because Cindy is great and Maurene Goo writes her really well.

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Avengers #45 by Jason Aaron

Avengers #45Avengers #45 by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despite the King In Black logo in the corner, this actually has very little to do with King In Black, which is either a good thing or not depending on your point of view. All you need to know is the Dracula’s vampires helped out in King In Black, but, honestly, that’s all covered here anyway.

This issue is actually a nice breather after all that Phoenix stuff, as we get a chance to take stock and get a look at the whole team, one by one, and see where they’re all at right now. And it’s good stuff.

A run like this needs these quieter issues, where you get a chance to reground the book. That said, there are some important developments, such as the vampire community at Chernobyl is now an independent nation recognised by the UN…but you’ll never guess who’s going to police this new nation…

(Yeah you will…it’s Blade…of course it’s Blade…)

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Heroes Reborn (2021) #1 by Jason Aaron

Heroes Reborn (2021) #1 (of 7)Heroes Reborn (2021) #1 by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The original Heroes Reborn was one of the most notorious “events” in Marvel history. Some of the big name artist who’d left Marvel a few years earlier to form Image were handed control of some of Marvel’s biggest books…Iron Man, Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America. Jim Lee handled FF, Whilce Portacio took over Iron Man and Rob Liefeld got the Avengers and Captain America. It’s perhaps remembered most now for a Liefeld drawing of the Enchantress with exceptionally long legs and that promotional picture of Captain America. You know the one. Heroes Reborn either epitomised everything that was wrong with nineties comics or was totally awesome…depending largely on how old you were at the time. It also notorious for being the reason Onslaught happened, despite the fact that the X-Men weren’t actually involved in the event.

This is not that.

I just thought that some historical context was necessary.

In this, Blade has woken up in a world where the Avengers never existed and the Squadron Supreme are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Everything is very different.

And it’s interesting. It’s fun. It’s caught my attention and let’s see if Jason Aaron can actually craft a compelling story out of this premise.

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Strange Academy (2020-) #10 by Skottie Young

Strange Academy (2020-) #10Strange Academy (2020-) #10 by Skottie Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s field trip time! And where do you go on a field trip when you’re a student at Strange Academy? Well, to Asgard, of course!

We learn some interesting things in Asgard, such as exactly why Iric has been such a dick to Doyle about being the son of a villain. And it’s not just because he has a crush on Emily, and there’s obviously something between Emily and Doyle.

Speaking of Emily and Doyle…wait…that would be a spoiler…

If you like high school drama in a fantastical setting then you’re probably already reading this, but just in case you’re not, you should start.

Ramos’s art continues to be amazing and Young’s writing just keeps getting better each month!

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Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha #1 by Charles Soule

Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha #1Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters Alpha #1 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The name’s Fett, Boba Fett.

Or…for much of this comic, he’s Jango…great choice of a pseudonym there…heh…

But, yeah, this is really good, which shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who’s familiar with the work of Charles Soule or Steve McNiven. Speaking of McNiven, this book is gorgeous, and Soule is also on great form here.

This is ground that Star Wars has trodden before, specifically in the now Legends multi-media event, Shadows of the Empire. The basic conceit is: What happened between Boba Fett leaving Cloud City and delivering Han Solo, encased in carbonite, to Jabba on Tatooine? If you thought the answer to that was along the lines of, “He sat back and read a good holo-novel while he travelled through hyperspace,” then this thirty-four part crossover, spanning the next six months of Star Wars comics, is sure to set you straight.

You see, the carbonite Solo’s encased in is degrading, and to get someone to fix it Boba Fett is forced to take part in a gladiatorial tournament, by the end of which someone has assassinated the person who was going to fix it and nicked Han and the carbonite block he’s in. That person, or persons, is almost certainly another bounty hunter…and so…the war of the bounty hunters begins.

Now, I will say here that a thirty-four part crossover spanning six months is absolutely absurd, and for people who aren’t already reading/collecting all the Marvel Star Wars comics (I assume that other people aren’t obsessively buying every canon Star Wars novel and comic…and to those people I ask…what’s it like to have shelf space?) I suspect it’s as likely to put them off entirely as it is to get them to buy everything…but, then, the REAL market for this stuff is in trade paperback form, so what does it really matter? But, as I’m buying everything anyway, it doesn’t really bother me. I’m just here to sit back and enjoy the ride!

One last thought, if Hasbro are paying attention, can we expect an all black Boba Fett action figure soon?

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Marauders (2019-) #20 by Gerry Duggan

Marauders (2019-) #20Marauders (2019-) #20 by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, this issue was kinda awesome, as the Marauders held a leaving dinner for Storm and they all shared stories about her…and tried to guess how many knives she keeps on her at any one time.

I felt it effectively explored all the diverse aspect of Storm’s characters, from touch hand to hand fighter to literal force of nature.

There’s not a lot else to say about it other than that Casseli’s art is excellent.

Good comic is good.

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