Strange Academy (2020-) #2 by Skottie Young

Strange Academy (2020-) #2Strange Academy (2020-) #2 by Skottie Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not quite as good as the first issue but still a whole load of fun. I suspect this would work better in tpb form, but isn’t that true of pretty much all mainstream comics these days? As such, nothing much actually happens this month as we continue to be introduced to the school, and, more specifically, it’s classes.

The whole thing has an early Lobdell and Bachalo Generation X feel to it, which is a very good thing as far as I’m concerned. Ramos’ art has never been better and I’m very much looking forward to becoming better acquainted with these characters.

I really hope this series is given the time to grow into the future classic it has the potential to be.

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X-Force (2019-) #10 by Benjamin Percy

X-Force (2019-) #10X-Force (2019-) #10 by Benjamin Percy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Definitely a dip in quality after the last issue (which it feels like a I read in a different life time…but that’s entirely the fault of the coronavirus and not anyone involved in the production of this comic). This felt overly reliant on technobabble…or should that be bio-technobabble?

What Beast did raises huge ethical issues that, while addressed here, weren’t really addressed in a satisfying way. While I have mixed feelings about the text inserts in the X-books at the moment, they have generally been used to provide additional background information, which might be relevant to the plot but don’t actually take over the job of telling the story. This issue breaks with that by having the story just switch to prose for what should probably have been the most powerful scene of the book. It’s sadly robbed of much of its impact by removing the visuals. And, look, I read plenty of novels, but comics are a unique medium which marry text and visuals to convey things that text alone cannot. Using the text pages to info dump is fine, if sometimes irritating, using them to simply tell the key scene in the book without visuals just didn’t work for me.

I did like the Logan and Jean scene at the end, although Scott really should have joined them in that bath…

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Empyre (2020) #0: Fantastic Four by Dan Slott

Empyre (2020) #0: Fantastic FourEmpyre (2020) #0: Fantastic Four by Dan Slott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not as good as the Avengers issue, but I wasn’t expecting it to be, mainly because I’ve found Dan Slott’s writing to be a bit hit and miss over the years…and more often miss lately. But this one is mostly hit and it’s a lot of fun, with great art by RB Silva.

As a segue into the coming events of Empyre it seems to work well, and I’m assuming that pair of Kree and Skull kids they pick up here will play a part in that. Franklin and Valeria getting up to mischief is something I always enjoy, so their gambling shenanigans amused me here.

It’s action packed and full of fun, exactly how the Fantastic Four should be!

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Daredevil #241 by Ann Nocenti

Daredevil #241Daredevil #241 by Ann Nocenti

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Under the simply gorgeous Mike Zeck and Klaus Janson cover is a very peculiar tale illustrated by none other than Todd McFarlane. This was early in McFarlane’s career and so virtually none of his usual stylistic ticks are present, and instead he delivers what is simply a very well drawn issue of Daredevil.

As for the story itself, well, I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. Daredevil is hounded by an unusual character called The Trixster, who seems to be going through an existential crisis. He’s not a villain in the traditional sense, but instead a stuntman who seems to regret that despite his fame and success nobody knows his true identity. This existential crisis leads him to perform a series of self destructive stunts, apparently with the aim of ending his own life. And…spoiler alert…despite his bet efforts, Daredevil fails to prevent this. Happy Christmas everyone?

The tone of this issue is just downright weird and maybe it’s just me, but I have no idea what it’s trying to say or what the point of it it. It’s not bad, it’s well drawn and the dialogue and captions are well written. It’s just…I don’t get it. Sorry.

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