Excalibur #22 by Tini Howard

Excalibur #22 (Excalibur (2019-))Excalibur #22 (Excalibur by Tini Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pete Wisdom, Sheriff Whitechapel, a ton of Merlyn related Captain Britain shenanigans and a cut so deep into Captain Britain history that even I had to Google it! What more could you possibly want?

Well, maybe Kitty Pryde, Rachel Summers and Illyana Rasputin, but they’re not in this and you can’t have everything, I suppose.

But still, as a long time fan of the UK based end of the Marvel Universe (for the obvious reason that it’s where I’m from…well, the UK based end of reality, at least…) I absolutely loved this. It’s clear that Howard has been doing her research into the deep and rich history of these characters. It also can’t be stated enough just how much I love the Betsy Braddock version of Captain Britain.

The art is gorgeous, the writing superb and dripping with lore, and that last panel reveal? Well, that’s gonna be interesting…

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The United States of Captain America #1 by Christopher Cantwell

The United States of Captain America #1The United States of Captain America #1 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lol at anyone calling this “far left.” Also lol at anyone complaining about politics in a comic about a hero who is literally wrapped in his country’s flag. That’s inherently political. And while Steve pontificating on the American dream fell a little flat for me, not being American, I liked the sentiment.

I also liked the way tis book was split into two halves. The first introduces us to “the plot” as it were. Someone has stolen Steve’s shield, he and Falcon give chase, this leads to them discovering the underground network of Captain Americas (or should that be Captains America?) and we meet Aaron Fisher, the Captain America of the railways. And, lastly, a plot to assassinate them seems to be afoot.

The second half serves as an origin story for Aaron, a young gay kid who finds himself living on the streets and when kidnapped and put in a work camp by Roxxon, takes on the mantle of Captain America to fight back and free everyone in the camp. I liked Aaron, he reminds me of my own kid.

I’m intrigued to see where this is going and excited to meet more Captains America along the way.

And for those who don’t want politics in their comics, I’ve got news for you…everything’s political.

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X-Men Legends #4 by Louise Simonson

X-Men Legends #4X-Men Legends #4 by Louise Simonson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a solid, nostalgic trip down memory lane that’s likely to satisfy fans of the Simonsons.

I’ll be honest, I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I could remember the story it’s leading into, but it’s been a very, very long time since I read this run of X-Factor.

Nevertheless, the writing is great and the artwork is superb, and the old school lettering is a particular treat.

We’re in for more X-Factor next time, but it’s a return to Peter David’s first run on the book, which should be interesting.

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Serial #5 by Terry Moore

Serial #5Serial #5 by Terry Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Look, this is superb. You know it’s superb, it’s by Terry Moore.

Why is it superb? Other than because it’s by Terry Moore? Well, because the art is sublime. Moore is one of the finest storytellers working in comics. His art is gorgeous. Every line tells a tale. And the writing? Let me tell you about the writing. It’s good. Really good. This comic draws you in, you get invested in the characters…and then one of them straight up murders another one…but I digress.

I’m not a dog person but the scene with the dog still got to me.

If you’re not already reading this series you need to fix that. Now.

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The Time Of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Time Of Contempt (The Witcher, #2)The Time Of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At this point I have to admit that I’m thoroughly hooked on this series, and am having trouble remembering what happened in this book and what happened in the last book, and that’s not a criticism…but it does speak to the fact that the novels seem to be one big story, rather than a series of distinct tales. Don’t expect a satisfying beginning, middle and end here. This book picks up where the last one left off, keeps going for three hundred pages and then stops…leaving you wanting more.

What some people will want more of is Geralt. As I said in my review of the previous book, while the TV show is called “The Witcher” and the games are called “The Witcher,” the book series is not, and while Geralt was the focus of the first two short story collections, he’s not the focus of the first two novels. That would be Ciri.

This book does give us more of Geralt though, and it focuses on his relationship with Yeneffer…before all of that is rudely interrupted by a civil war between the wizards…and all out war with Nilfgaard.

This leads to the strongest section of the book, when Ciri finds herself alone in the middle of a desert, forced to survive long enough to find refuge…when she actually finds an unruly band of outlaws (which contains the one part of the book that makes for particularly uncomfortable reading…). Still, the part in the desert makes for very compulsive reading!

I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck into the next book, but I have a few other books to read first. Hopefully I can speed through them and get back to the adventure of Ciri, Geralt and Yennefer!

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Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #14 by Ethan Sacks

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #14 (Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020-))Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #14 (Star Wars: Bounty Hunters by Ethan Sacks
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There’s a new bounty hunter in town, and you can tell that she’s really cool and badass because her dialogue gets its own unique font…and Boba Fett doesn’t even get that!

Look, I’ve been hard on Valance in the past, but an ongoing series about a Star Wars character who originated in the comics can work. Doctor Aphra proved that. It’s just that this one is bad. The dialogue is incredibly stilted. Almost everyone talks like Data from Star Trek, weirdly never using contractions.

The art is superficially good, but it causes easily avoidable lettering issues. And, being a letterer myself, it always bugs me when an artist clearly hasn’t given thought to where the lettering needs to go.

The War of the Bounty Hunters event is clearly bringing new readers to this title, but they’re not seeing anything that’s likely to make them stick around after the event is over.

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America Chavez: Made In The USA #4 by Kalinda Vázquez

America Chavez: Made In The USA (2021-) #4 (of 5)America Chavez: Made In The USA (2021-) #4 by Kalinda Vázquez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, we finally get the true origin of America Chavez (unless it’s not) and…it’s a little confusing, to say the least.

I’ve mostly enjoyed this series so far, it’s been pretty great, but this issue kinda lost me.

The art is still excellent though, which helps.

There’s one more issue of this series to go, and hopefully it’ll end on a high!

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Avengers #46 by Jason Aaron

Avengers #46 (Avengers (2018-))Avengers #46 (Avengers by Jason Aaron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To be fair, this is more of a three and a half star book than a three star book.

Look, it’s not bad, at all, it’s well paced and I like the Winter Guard. I like She-Hulk too. The art’s good, the writing’s solid…it just lacked…something?

Maybe it’s just that this is the first part of the new World War She-Hulk arc. We open with She-Hulk captured and in chains, and then we flash back to how she got there, and then we end up essentially where we started. Which was a little unsatisfying.

But I’m sure, as with Aaron’s run in general, that an issue of set up will be followed by a cracking issue. I guess we’ll find out next month…

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Cable (2020-) #11 by Gerry Duggan

Cable (2020-) #11Cable (2020-) #11 by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In which the part of old man Cable is played by Bruce Willis. Which is kinda’ perfect…no offence to Josh Brolin.

I don’t know why everyone had it in their mind that the return of Old Cable would mean the end of Young Cable. I mean, the Cuckoos clearly thought that…and I thought that…but the guy’s got to stikc around long enough to grow up to be Old Cable, so…

Anyway, Old Cable is back, and it’s time to kick Stryfe’s shiny metal butt! But first Young Cable has to put the band back together…which leads to Deadpool related hijinks.

This book has been absolutely delightful from the start and this issue is no exception!

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