Marauders #15 by Gerry Duggan

Marauders #15Marauders #15 by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Surprising nobody, that thing that happened at the end of Part 13 didn’t stick. But it did mean that we got a proper look of exactly what’s at stake here. We got to see exactly what will happen if the Krakoans lose the upcoming contest.

Other than that, we continued with the dinner party, and some poison meant for Logan was, instead, consumed by Cypher, which led to us seeing that the Arrakans are not without honour…at least, some of them.

This is mostly fun, fairly light, character building stuff, with Cable and Magik trying to figure out if Isca the Unbeaten really can’t be beaten.

And then, at the end, we get the draw for the first battle…which promises that things are finally going to kick off in Part 15.

Oh, and we get the odds of each character surviving the tournament. Cypher’s 5000-1, but I think he might beat the odds…

This has great writing and art and you really can’t ask for more than that.

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Crossover #1 by Donny Cates

Crossover #1Crossover #1 by Donny Cates
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m honestly torn, and half way through reading this I was convinced that I was going to write a bad review…and then…it sucked me in.

You see, it’s a little too sure of its own cleverness, and that always puts me off…but, then, aren’t I a little too sure of my own cleverness in some of the comics I write? And…maybe this is clever? I’ll admit that I do think naming the main character Ellipses is fairly brilliant.

I’m also unsure of the way the comic book community is presented here, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and see how it plays out.

I find it funny that the “fictional” characters…the ones who’ve stepped out of the pages of a comic, are coloured traditionally, with the dots of four colour process printing…while everyone else, who is actually also a fictional character in a comic, is coloured like…well…a regular modern comic. It gets very meta.

But that last page…promises something that…it can’t possibly deliver on…right?

But, then, this is called Crossover…

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Yasmeen #2 by Saif A. Ahmed

Yasmeen #2Yasmeen #2 by Saif A. Ahmed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series continues to be excellent and powerful.

If I had any criticism it would be that, at times, it can be a little hard to follow, as the narrative skips backwards and forwards in time. But, honestly, I’d prefer to take that to indicate that Yasmeen is still living with her trauma, she’s still stuck in that past moment, than an indication of any lack of ability by the writer. Or, in other words, I feel like it’s intentional, that we’re meant to feel disoriented.

The art is superb. Both emotive and powerful.

This is, quite simply, a very important series and you should be reading it.

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Snake Eyes: Deadgame #2 by Rob Liefeld

Snake Eyes: Deadgame #2Snake Eyes: Deadgame #2 by Rob Liefeld
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not even going to talk about the art, I covered that in my review of #1, you either like it or you don’t.

So, what about the story? Well, if you found it ridiculous in #1, it gets worse in #2. This is baffling. Honestly. And the most baffling thing of all is why Snake Eyes seems to be wearing a second, red version of his costume under his regular black one!

If anything this just serves to make him look even more like Deadpool.

A mysterious, sexy, female character shows up who’s somehow linked to Snake Eyes’ past, because of course she does. And Scarlett chooses not to shoot her in the head for no discernible reason whatsoever. She just lets this mysterious woman walk off with an unconscious Snake Eyes.

Oh, and Storm Shadow shows up, because of course he does…

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Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #1 by Gerry Duggan

Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #1 (of 4)Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #1 by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We have some beautiful art here, particularly from Adam Kubert, with the single colour used very effectively. The writing too is good, for what it is…but these are shorts, and nothing’s really allowed to develop beyond “Wolverine does the stabby” and that’s a little disappointing. We’ve seen this kind of Wolverine solo story before, a thousand times, and I’m sure it’s exactly what some people want, but, personally, it’s got a little old for me.

Still, I can’t deny that this comic is very well written and illustrated, and if you want to read stories about Wolverine doing the stabby then you’ll probably enjoy it.

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Avengers (2018-) #38 by Jason Aaron

Avengers (2018-) #38Avengers (2018-) #38 by Jason Aaron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

By no means a bad comic, but one that feels like it’s winding down from the last bug story while also setting up the next, and, as such, is a little unsatisfying.

In fact, all of Aaron’s run has been one big story, building to, one hopes, some kind of spectacular pay off. However, sometimes I worry that it’s all building to nothing and it’ll just fizzle out as the book gets relaunched with a new creative team and all these plot threads will be left dangling.

But that’s the risk you take with modern comics, and Marvel are to be commended for letting Aaron (and McGuinness) stay on this book for so long that things set up in the first few issues are only just beginning to pay off now.

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Deadpool (2019-) #8 by Kelly Thompson

Deadpool (2019-) #8Deadpool (2019-) #8 by Kelly Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this, it’s silly, it’s touching, it’s…well…Deadpool.

Pretty much my only complaint is that it’s too short, and perhaps this run would work better in trade paperback format…because then there’d be more.

Two things at the end leave me wanting more and looking forward to the next issue…and one of them is a massive spoiler and the other is simply the cover for #9.

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Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston

Queen's Peril (Star Wars)Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn’t expecting this to be better than Queen’s Shadow, which I loved, but it was. It was so much better.

I also wasn’t expecting it to be so wonderfully open about the feelings the handmaidens, and Padme herself, developed for each other. To the point that I find myself weirdly annoyed that I know that Anakin comes along and so Padme and Sabe don’t end up together.

Also, teenage girls getting their first period in an embarrassing way has become something of a theme in the media I’ve been consuming lately, having recently also watched The Craft: Legacy and The Queen’s Gambit. But it was refreshing to see it covered here, in a Star Wars book. And, really, while it may have made some male readers uncomfortable, it’s a book about a group of adolescent girls, for it not to come up would have been absurd.

I particularly loved the way the invasion of Naboo essentially comes out of nowhere and completely derails the plot. It felt very real, and very disorienting. Suddenly a story about a group of young girls getting to know each other and build political ties with the other planets in their system becomes a story about torture and pain and loss.

This leaves me wanting more from EK Johnston, although another book about the handmaidens seems unlikely (is there room for one set between Epsiodes II and III? Where, perhaps, Sabe deals with her jealousy of Anakin and the handmaidens have to pretend they don’t know about Padme and Anakin’s marriage? Perhaps… I’d also like to see Johnston tackle the as yet untold story of Obi-Wan and Satine’s romance. And maybe we could finally learn the truth about Korkie Kryze…?

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Star Wars (2020-) #8 by Charles Soule

Star Wars (2020-) #8Star Wars (2020-) #8 by Charles Soule
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a perfectly good Star Wars comic…and that’s about all I have to say.

Well, except that I find it odd that Lando and Chewie are still hanging around with the Rebels, as I got the impression that they pretty much immediately left to go find Han at the end of Empire. But, I guess, as there’s supposed to be a year between ESB and RotJ, and they knew that Fett was taking Han to Jabba, that doesn’t make much sense either…

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