Heroes Reborn: Young Squadron (2021) #1 (Heroes Reborn by Jim Zub

Heroes Reborn: Young Squadron (2021) #1 (Heroes Reborn (2021) One-Shots)Heroes Reborn: Young Squadron (2021) #1 (Heroes Reborn by Jim Zub
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sam Alexander, Kamala Kahn and Miles Morales in this reality were inspired by the Squadron Supreme to become heroes, just like the Young Avengers were inspire by the Avengers. Except they’re not the Young Avengers, they’re the Champions, but there aren’t any Young Avengers right now, so I guess this will do…

I like the idea of this comic more than the actual execution. Zub writes this as if it’s a traditional Marvel comic from the seventies or eighties and while I get what he’s going for it does kind of grate a little. This gets better towards the end as the Young Squadron realises that their heroes aren’t quite the people they think they are…thanks an interjection by Deadpool, which includes an almost painful piece of fourth wall breaking. Done right Wade’s fourth wall breaking is fun, but here it just felt awkward.

The art is fantastic though, and I did genuinely enjoy this comic, it just had a couple of small issues, that’s all.

It seems like the cat is completely out of the bag now regarding who’s behind all of this…

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Heroes Reborn: Magneto & The Mutant Force (2021) #1 (Heroes Reborn by Steve Orlando

Heroes Reborn: Magneto & The Mutant Force (2021) #1 (Heroes Reborn (2021) One-Shots)Heroes Reborn: Magneto & The Mutant Force (2021) #1 (Heroes Reborn by Steve Orlando
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this was a trip!

The art, by Bernard Chang is, of course, superb, and the writing’s pretty good too. The alternate universe X-Men formula is tried and tested but used to good effect here and kept me gripped right up until the end…

…when the reveal of one of my least favourite characters left me sorely disappointed. Your mileage may vary, of course, but suffice it to say that I wasn’t a fan of the Morrison run. Not that it really matters, of course, as this is, I assume, a one shot, and there won’t be a “next time.”

As such, this is a thoroughly enjoyable glimpse of an X-Men that will never be.

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Heroes Reborn (2021) #4 by Jason Aaron

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

So, it turns out that Dr Spectrum is more Guy Gardner than Hal Jordan…or, in other words, he’s a massive asshat.

James Stokoe’s art was not what i was expecting when I opened this book, but it works exceptionally well here. This story is, well, it’s utterly insane. If you thought there was something off about this reality before picking this up, you’ll know there’s definitely something very, very wrong now.

I’ve been reading Aaron’s Avengers run from the start but was originally going to skip this because I didn’t realise that…well…this story clearly grows out of several sub plots in that book.

Or, in other words, it wasn’t Agatha all along…

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Alien #3 by Phillip K. Johnson

Alien #3Alien #3 by Phillip K. Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is still a great book, but it is a little confusing due to time shifts that aren’t adequately signalled in either the captions or the art.

It’s a personal bug bear of mine when scene transitions aren’t properly signalled, so your mileage may vary.

Still, there’s the appropriate amount of terror and a final page reveal that’ll make any Aliens fan smile.

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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #10 by Alyssa Wong

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #10Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #10 by Alyssa Wong
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

You’d be forgiven for thinking this issue is a War of the Bounty Hunters Prelude. After all, that’s what it says on the cover and on the title page. But it’s a War of the Bounty Hunters prelude only in so much as it’s what takes place immediately before the War of the Bounty Hunters. It is, in fact, just the final part of the current Doctor Aphra story arc, about stealing the Nihil Path Drive, and, as such, it’s…well…not very interesting.

The dialogue falls flat, and I just find it hard to care about what’s going on. Domina Tagge makes for an uninteresting villain, or maybe it’s just the way she’s written. But, you know, previously Aphra was all about double crossing and out witting Vader…he’s a hard act to follow.

I like Aphra, a lot, but I don’t think we should have an Aphra solo book just for the sake of having an Aphra solo book. It needs to a have a clear purpose and direction, and right now it doesn’t.

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Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #12 by Greg Pak

Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #12Star Wars: Darth Vader (2020-) #12 by Greg Pak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Prelude to the War of the Bounty Hunters continues, and as is the way with preludes, nothing of great significance really happens. But that doesn’t mean this comic isn’t great, because it is.

Instead we get a lot of insight into the way Vader sees Luke. We see him wondering if the pain he caused him on Cloud City has made him stronger, and concluding that it hasn’t because Luke’s reliance on his friends makes him week. Thus Vader’s seeming obsession with Han Solo, because his friendship is weakening his son…so he can’t use his son to defeat Palpatine.

Indeed, Vader has now concluded that due to what he’s seen on Exegol, Palpatine cannot be defeated, and therefore Luke needs to die. Of course, we know that he ultimately comes to a different conclusion and is redeemed (spoilers for Return of the Jedi!).

The writing is, as ever, phenomenal, and the art is great. Darth Vader continues to be the evry best when it comes to Star wars comics.

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New Mutants #18 by Vita Ayala

New Mutants #18New Mutants #18 by Vita Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m loving what Ayala and Reis are doing in their New Mutants run. Exploring the ramifications of resurrection and what that means to the mutants of Krakoa both young and old.

The Crucible seems insane and a weirdly brutal way of solving problems and it can’t possibly be healthy, long term, to see people throw their lives away in this way, knowing that they’ll be resurrected with all their problems magically “fixed.” I think this is where we’re headed with this group of young mutants, whose mutations have taken a heavy toll on them, physically speaking. They’re heading towards self harm to an extreme degree, and I wonder what will happen when resurrection doesn’t magically solve all of their issues.

Of course, it goes without saying (or maybe doesn’t as I’m saying it) that you really need to be reading this alongside Way of X, which is also exploring the ways in which Krakoan society is very, very wrong. I feel like some people have mistaken the way that Krakoa has been presented within the narrative as a utopia for the creators behind these books saying that Krakoa is a utopia. It’s very clearly not, there’s very clearly something deeply wrong here.

As ever, Reis’s art is superb, and a huge part of what makes this book really special. I hope he sticks around for a long time!

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X-Men #20 by Jonathan Hickman

X-Men #20X-Men #20 by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now, this is what I’m here for.

Hickman picks up many of the threads he’d left dangling and moves the plot along, as Erik and Charles manipulate Mystique into doing their dirty work and destroying Nimrod at the moment of his birth. Of course, they fail and their very actions result in the creation of what they fear most.

We also finally get to see Moira again…and she’s reading Destiny’s Diaries! What could that mean? And is Mystique going to burn everything down before we find out, in an…inferno?

Inferno teased here? Onslaught over in Way Of X? Everything old is new again! But, seriously, I love the way Hickman is using old ideas in new and interesting ways.

Oh, yeah, and if you’re wondering how it is that Erik and Charles could treat Mystique so badly…well…there’s that Onslaught thing again…

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Power Rangers #7 by Ryan Parrott

Power Rangers #7Power Rangers #7 by Ryan Parrott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Empyreals are heading towards a planet…but it’s a planet of evil, nasty imperialists, so the Rangers face a moral dilemma…do they save the evil people from the other evil people or let the evil people die, resulting in a net decrease in the amount of evil people in the glalaxy?

Of course, they’re the Rangers, so they choose to do the right thing, because saving people is what they do. However, they’re evil, so they think they don’t need any help and tell the Rangers to, erm, go away.

This is cracking stuff! Beautifully written and drawn and guaranteed to give you you’re fix of Power Rangers goodness.

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Champions (2020-) #7 by Danny Lore

Champions (2020-) #7Champions (2020-) #7 by Danny Lore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a slightly weaker issue than the last one, but it’s still good.

I’ll admit, I was confused at first when Kamala referred to Ironheart as the only non-flyer on the team but, duh, they were playing a multiplayer game on their phones! Cos that’s what the kids do. I mean, to be fair, that kinda is what the kids do… This whole arc is focussing on mobile phones and social media and the way corporations use and abuse them to manufacture narratives that further their own ends. It’s very relevant, and I’m interested to see where they go with it.

For now, it means members of the team infiltrating Roxxon’s social media team in their civilian identities, and…that’s probably not going to end well.

Absolutely loving Luciano Vecchi’s art.

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