Wolverine (2020-) #10 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine (2020-) #10Wolverine (2020-) #10 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This issue was just gorgeous, and while Adam Kubert should get a lot of the credit for that, colourist Frank Martin should also get a lot of credit too, particularly for the double page spread of Logan and Maverick running across the waterfront in Madripoor at sunset. Simply stunning.

The action is fairly standard Wolverine stuff, with the main intrigue coming from the fact that Maverick has no interest in moving to Krakoa. He’s happy doing the mercenary thing. But I can’t help wondering if we’re going to return to this at some point.

Anyway, this is cracking stuff.

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New Mutants (2019-) #16 by Vita Ayala

New Mutants (2019-) #16New Mutants (2019-) #16 by Vita Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Ayala/Reis run on this book is a real revelation, with both creators clearly being inspired by the other to do even better work with each passing issue. It just keeps getting better and better.

I’m loving the plotline with the Shadow King. What’s he up to? Is Professor X aware that he’s on the island? Have those children never been warned about him? Clearly Gabby knows that something’s up, but I think that’s a result of her own anxieties regarding Krakoan resurrection.

Then we have the plotline with Rahne’s son, Tier. Is he dead or alive? And why does nobody care about finding out the answer except Rahne herself?

And, finally, we have the main plot this issue…the mutant child who’s lost in Otherworld and the story of Karma and Moonster going after them.

Oh, but don’t forget Warpath completely misunderstanding the questions that Dani set for him! The adorable idiot.

This book is full of characters I love in interesting situations exploring fascinating ideas and it’s all wrapped up in gorgeous art that evokes the work of Bill Sienkiewicz without directly aping him. I love it!

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X-Men (2019-) #18 by Jonathan Hickman

X-Men (2019-) #18X-Men (2019-) #18 by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, it’s rather wonderful to see Synch get the spotlight for a change. A character we’ve seen so rarely since the heyday of Generation X that more recent readers would be forgiven for thinking he’s new. Put him alongside Darwin and Laura Kinney and you have a recipe for a very happy reader. Well, if the reader in question is me.

Add to that the return of the Children of the Vault from Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo’s run…and a whole lot of very intriguing stuff regarding them, and you’ve got yourself a damn fine comic book.

There’s also stuff here that seems to be alluding to The Maker, from Hickman’s Ultimates stuff…and given that Professor X currently looks almost exactly like him…then…well…it could all be a big red herring or it could be pointing to…something.

Time will tell.

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Iron Man (2020-) #6 by Christopher Cantwell

Iron Man (2020-) #6Iron Man (2020-) #6 by Christopher Cantwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tony, Tony, Tony…you’re really not in a good place, are you?

Trapped in your own armour again. That’s never a good sign. But that’s what happens when Korvac breaks your neck.

I like the juxtaposition between Tony’s fractured neck and Patsy’s fractured mind, but let’s be honest, Tony’s not exactly the poster boy for mental health right now, either.

It is VERY good to see Rhodey back in the armour, let’s get him back in THE armour now. He’s extremely overdue a spell as Iron Man. Maybe that’s where this is headed? After all, Tony’s going to need some time to recover from that fractured neck…although this is comics, so maybe not.

This is good stuff. I think Iron Man’s always worked best when exploring Tony Stark’s nature as a deeply flawed human being, when the villain has got the better of him and he’s running on empty and just surviving on sheer willpower…pushing his body beyond its limits. Because, you know, Tony’s self destructive tendencies manifest themselves in more ways than one.

Anyway, we’re off to space next time! Exciting!

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M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games (2020-) #3 by Jordan Blum

M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games (2020-) #3 (of 4)M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games (2020-) #3 by Jordan Blum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This issue felt like a dip in quality to me, but maybe I’m just tired.

Despite the addition of Gwenpool it lacked a lot of the manic energy of the previous two issues. Or maybe because of the addition of Gwenpool? I mean, the book itself makes a joke about the writers ditching her character development and resetting her to the one-note cover gag she started out as. I mean, good joke, but…yeah…

This issue was very light on plot developments and heavy on action, leaving the one big reveal to the end…and we won’t really know what any of it means until the next issue.

Still, not a bad comic, and one that will work perfectly well in the trade paperback collection, I’m sure…but rather unsatisfying as a single issue.

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Power Pack (2020-) #3 by Ryan North

Power Pack (2020-) #3 (of 5)Power Pack (2020-) #3 by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t want this to be a limited series. I want this to keep going after #5, or for Marvel to commission this creative team to create an ongoing Power Pack series straight after this finishes. Because I love this.

This issue focuses particularly on Julie Power, a character I, admittedly, had a huge crush on when I was eight years old. She was my first fictional character crush. She’s aged a lot better than me, but to be fair she’s also aged a lot less than me. Because comics.

First and foremost Power Pack are a family, and that’s something that Ryan North clearly understands and captures really well. Also, more than most other super heroes, they’re the same people both in and out of costume.

The art by Nico Leon is also superb, and really evokes the work of June Brigman, while at the same time feeling very modern.

Really, this book is a treat and I don’t want it to end.

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Champions (2020-) #4 by Eve Ewing

Champions (2020-) #4Champions (2020-) #4 by Eve Ewing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In which the X-Men save the Champions from being arrested, but can’t take them to Krakoa and so instead teach them that sometimes you have to make hard choices and sometimes those choices are wrong, but that’s ok.

And everyone hugs.

Except they don’t, they have breakfast instead.

This is kinda lovely, I really enjoy these characters and they make a great team. But the part of this issue I enjoyed the most was the part with Viv Vision and the old lady who taught her that sometimes you have to break the rules when those rules are stupid.

Mostly, right now, I’m tired and I need sleep, but this comic was good and I enjoyed it. Sometimes you just need to say that and not get all in depth in a review. I’m rambling…

Anyway, good comic. Yes.

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Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think some things are important to note when reviewing this book. For one, while the video game and TV series inspired by this series of books is called The Witcher, this series of books actually isn’t entitled The Witcher, and none of the books are. It’s also important to note that while this is, indeed, the first novel in the series, it’s not the first book, as there are two short story collections that you really need to read first. It’s also perhaps interesting to note that those short story collections were originally published in Poland in a different order than their English editions.

You see, while Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher, is in this novel, it’s not about him. Oh, and if you think it might be about Dandelion/Jaskier from the cover of the edition I read, you’d be wrong too. He’s in it, of course, but it’s not really about him either.

It’s about Ciri.

Particularly it’s about her time at Kaer Morhen, training to be a Witcher, followed by her time at Melitele’s Temple, training to be a wizard, with Yennefer. There’s some other stuff too, some politics and a bit of subterfuge…all of it mainly involving Geralt trying to stop everyone from finding Ciri and various monarchs planning to start a war with Nilfgaard. But, mostly, this is either directly about Ciri or people looking for Ciri.

And it’s really, really good. Having thoroughly enjoyed both short story collections it’s no real surprise that I enjoyed this, but, nevertheless, I did.

If you come to this novel straight from the TV show (I can’t speak for the video games as I’ve not played them) then you’ll probably be disappointed. As I said, Geralt’s barely in this, there’s not a lot of monster hunting and there’s none of him bedding beautiful young women while secretly wishing they were Yennefer. Instead we get a group of haggard old Witchers failing to deal with an adolescent girl having her first period. So, you know, be warned.

What we also don’t get is a complete story. Which in some ways is unsatisfying, but, you know, I’m not going to knock points of for that as I’ve already ordered the next book.

But, yeah, if you’ve finished the TV series and you want MORE, then…well, read the two short story collections, which lay the groundwork for this novel and are referenced A LOT in it…and then read this novel.

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Wolverine: Black, White & Blood (2020-) #3 by Donny Cates

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

Well, this is really rather good, and features three very different artists who are all superb in their own right.

The first story, written by John Ridley and illustrated by Jorge Fornes, is essentially “Wolverine does the stabby”…which is something I’ve criticised some of these stories for before, but this is “Wolverine does the stabby” done well. This is “Wolverine does the stabby” with depth. Because, yes, there’s a lot of stabbing, but the reason for the stabbing will give you a punch in the heart and you’ll end up feeling sad for pretty much everyone involved. And, yeah, Logan is a spectacularly bad adoptive father. The art is also gorgeous. There’s an economy of line here that’s simply stunning, and out of the three stories in this comic, it uses the red the most effectively.

The second story is written by Donny Cates and illustrated by Chris Bachalo, who is one of my all time favourite artists. That said, I do prefer his art when he’s inked by someone else (particularly Tim Townsend) and he’s inking himself here. It means that at times there’s a lack of clarity to his pages and they lack a clear focus. I also feel he hasn’t used the spot red particularly effectively here. That said, it’s a fun story and the art is still gorgeous.

The third story, written by Jed MacKay and illustrated by Jesus Saiz, is probably the weakest artistically, but the cleverest in terms of writing. Wolverine visits Mars, to deal with a rogue offshoot of AIM called MAIM. His overconfidence originally gets the better of him as he underestimates his enemies, but ultimately he outsmarts them and…well…does the stabby.

This series has fast become a favourite of mine, and with the promise of a Kelly Thompson penned tale in the next issue, I can’t wait to read more!

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