Serial #1 by Terry Moore

Serial #1Serial #1 by Terry Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do you review twenty pages of a brand new Terry Moore book?

I could summarise what happens, but that would be pointless.

I could talk about Moore’s incredible artistic talent, but if you’ve read his work you already know all about that, and if you haven’t, you should.

I could talk about how he gives us just enough here to make us intrigued, to make us want to come back for more, how he gives us hints and glimpses of what’s going on, but is at a point in his career where he can tell a story the way he wants to tell it, and so has the luxury not to tell us too much in the first twenty pages…but, really, what use is that to you?

This is Terry Moore, he’s one of the best, and in a world full of super heroes and space ships, both of which I dearly love, he’s always just happily done his own thing and done it beautifully.

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M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games (2020-) #2 by Jordan Blum

M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games (2020-) #2 (of 4)M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games (2020-) #2 by Jordan Blum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this continues to be awesome…and silly…awesomely silly!

MODOK and Tony Stark have to infiltrate a super-villain tech auction to recover a piece of Stark tech that MODOK stole from him in #1 that he needs to repair the damaged hard drive that’s causing MODOK to remember things that supposedly never happened…namely a wife and child he probably never had (I mean…we know where this is going, right?).

Hijinks ensue.

Amidst those hijinks Stark ends up wearing the Silver Centurion armour…which is my favourite Iron Man armour…so this issue gets extra points for that.

The only thing that could make this book better is Gwenpool. Oh, wait…

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Iron Man (2020-) #5 by Christopher Cantwell

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

There’s something deeply satisfying about seeing Tony Stark get out smarted. Although, that said, I’m hoping that Tony has an ace up his sleeve and will come out on top. I mean…he’s the hero…he’s bound to win in the end, right?

But at what cost? That’s the real question, isn’t it? Everyone surrounding Tony gets hurt, and that’s very much at the heart of this story. It’s demonstrated very literally in regards to the make shift team that he puts together to fight Korvac…including Frog Man (who actually DOES have an action figure now, believe it or not). But it’s also demonstrated far more painfully in the breaking of Patsy’s mind. And, oh, poor Patsy…it was a big mistake to get close to Tony Stark…and he isn’t even afforded the time to truly realise what he’s done.

The art, by Cafu, is utterly gorgeous, especially during the scenes which take place in the rain. These scenes have a real atmosphere about them and the visuals combine with the events to make you feel…well…despair.

I’ve seen Tony broken before, left lying on the ground, suit devoid of power and seemingly out of options, but I’ve never seen it done quite so effectively as it is here. Before I’ve always been hyper aware of the fact that he’s the hero and he’ll get out of it somehow…but I don’t see a way out for him here…

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Juggernaut (2020-) #5 by Fabian Nicieza

Juggernaut (2020-) #5 (of 5)Juggernaut (2020-) #5 by Fabian Nicieza
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved this series, the writing was wonderful, D-Cel is an amazing new character that I want to see more of, and the art, by Ron Garney, was not only wonderful but was a perfect fit for the series.

However…this issue did not provide a satisfying conclusion. Instead it seemed to set up a new series that I’m honestly not sure we’re going to get. Which is a shame, because I definitely want more of this. If this was #5 of an ongoing series I’d have no complaints, but it’s not, it’s the final issue of a limited series and not only did it leave a lot unresolved, but it finished with the formation of a new team I’m afraid we may never see again.

Also, the revelation of why D-Cel was in denial about being a mutant felt rushed and lacked some of the emotional impact that it deserved.

Still, as I said, I loved this series overall. It was good to see Cain get some time with Professor X and Black Tom in this issue too. This series definitely grew and developed Cain’s character, and that’s why I want more. I’m afraid that in a year or two he’ll show up somewhere else and everything from this series will be ignored. So, come on Marvel, give Nicieza and Garney an ongoing Juggernaut book…and bring back D-Cel…she’ll just get bored on Krakoa anyway.

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S.W.O.R.D. #2 by Al Ewing

S.W.O.R.D. #2S.W.O.R.D. #2 by Al Ewing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ll be honest, I could have done without the King In Black storyline crossing over into the X-books. I’ve been reading the main King In Black book out of morbid curiosity, but it really hasn’t grabbed me, but if any writer was going to take it on them I’m glad that it was Al Ewing, because he’s done a great job…especially as tying into a major crossover in its second issue could have completely killed the momentum after what was a superb first issue.

The focus is still very much on S.W.O.R.D. and their personnel, and the deep dives into the history of the Marvel universe continue this issue, as Mentallo is added to the restore, as the best telepath Abigail Brand could find. And, like, the only telepath she could find….given that Nate Grey has gone missing (hope he hasn’t got himself possessed by a symbiote or anything…).

There is more great stuff with Cortex this issue, a sentence that I thought I’d never type, as his old, scheming self comes to the fore. I seriously doubt that Magneto is likely to fall for his old tricks, don’t worry…but it’s fun watching Cortez think he might.

The art is utterly jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Valerio Schiti has been a favourite of mine for a while now, and I hope he stays on this book for a long time. He and Al Ewing certainly make an amazing team!

Really, the only think I disliked about this issue was that it ties into King In Black, but it’s still an excellent comic.

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Marauders (2019-) #17 by Gerry Duggan

Marauders (2019-) #17Marauders (2019-) #17 by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This issue was very much one of moving several plot points along and not much more, and as such it’s kinda’ hard to get overly excited about it. That’s one of the downsides to most comics being written for their trade paperback collections. Issues like this one work perfectly when collected, but when they have to stand alone…not so much.

It’s certainly not bad though! And the fight between Storm and Callisto, which is this issue’s “big event” is well done, calling back to their previous fight for the leadership of the Morlocks.

I find myself more interested in the political machinations of Emma Frost, though, and would have preferred more of that here. We see the preparations for the upcoming Hellfire Gala proceed, and I’m left wondering if that event will take place in the pages of Marauders or X-men, considering that it will include the revelation of the new X-Men team. Perhaps it’ll be both.

So, yeah, a perfectly good comic, but one that really just leaves me wanting them to get on with it…

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Eternals (2021-) #1 by Kieron Gillen

Eternals (2021-) #1Eternals (2021-) #1 by Kieron Gillen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When we last saw the Eternals, in the pages of Jason Aaron’s Avengers, they’d all committed suicide after discovering that the Celestials did not create them to protect humanity, as they had thought, but to cultivate them. But, this is comics, and, unsurprisingly in a book about a race called the Eternals, death is not the end for them. Which ties this book not only to the Avengers, but…thematically, at least…to Hickman’s X-Men, which also deals with the nature of eternal life through resurrection.

We open on Ikaris, the last of the Eternals to be resurrected by “The Machine,” an artificial intelligence that sort of governs Eternal society…although “governs” is probably the wrong word…I don’t mean it in the political sense. It’s certainly in charge of the resurrection process, though not who is resurrected and when. It also oversees those who are excluded from Eternal society and put in some form of stasis, awaiting resurrection (although not all those who are excluded are held in stasis, apparently). It does not decide who is excluded and how long for, though, as upon reawakening Ikaris is charged by Zuras, the leader of the Eternals, with overseeing the reintroduction of Sprite, the youngest of the Eternals, back into Eternal society. Sprite had previously gone mad and tried to destroy the Machine in an attempt to transcend their role as the Eternals eternal child. They…they literally raged against the machine…

I use the pronoun “they” for Sprite because while Sprite has always been male previously, their gender here is unclear. I had assumed they were female, and then watched a video review of this comic in which they’re referred to as “he.” However, in the upcoming movie they’re being played by a girl, and Ikaris mentions that during the resurrection process they can choose to change their form and appearance, so I’m wondering if Sprite has chosen to be female. This would bring the character into line with their movie portrayal. Speaking of bringing things into line with the movie, the timing of this release intrigues me, as the movie was supposed to be released next month (after being pushed back from November) but will now be released in November of this year…unless it gets pushed back again… All of which doesn’t really have much bearing on anything but I thought was interesting nonetheless.

You know what else is interesting? This comic! How was that for a segue back to actually reviewing the book? But, yeah, this is written by Kieron Gillen, so of course it’s good. It’s illustrated by Esad Ribic, whose art is always gorgeous, although I’m not too keen on the way he draws faces, particularly Sprite’s, which definitely contributes to the confusion regarding their gender, although that may well be deliberate. We shall see.

But, yeah, a great start and I’m looking forward to reading more!

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X-Factor #6 by Leah Williams

X-Factor #6X-Factor #6 by Leah Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With every passing issue I just love this comic more.

This one would have been worth the price of admission just for that opening scene of the team having breakfast and outrageously flirting with each other, but there was so much more to enjoy…from the send up of police procedurals to the incredible deep-dive throwback to Siryn’s deal with the Morrigan from Peter David’s X-Factor run…and everything in between.

There’s even some foreshadowing (hopefully) of the return of Tommy (aka Speed) to the pages of Marvel Comics, after far too long an absence (aka “Billy Kaplan has a brother, remember?”). Eventually the Krakoans are going to have to deal with all the implications of branding the Scarlet Witch as “The Great Pretender” and what that means in regards to her two mutants sons, one of whom is currently married to the Emperor of space. It’s likely that’ll play out in the pages of S.W.O.R.D. but it’d be interesting to see what effect it has on some of the mutants who are friends with the twins.

The writing is clever and witty, the art is gorgeous…if you like Baldeon’s style, and I have since his work on Domino. All in all, this is one of my favourite X-titles right now, and given the quality of the line, that’s really saying something!

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Hellions #8 by Zeb Wells

Hellions #8Hellions #8 by Zeb Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hellions continues to be superb. I love the art and I love the writing.

But, also, wow…this was a wild ride, with some truly wonderful moments…not least of which was Empath figuring out that Hodge was 100% robot.

And then we have the revelation of Krakoa’s anti-Ai protocols, which could bring them into conflict with a LOT of people in the Marvel universe.

But the big, gut wrenching moment was the Hellions’ ultimate betrayal of the newly evolved Right robots.

Ah…there’s just more to process here than I can coherently write about.

Just, you know, go read it…it’s good.

Also Empath is still both the worst and the best.

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Star Wars (2020-) #10 by Charles Soule

Star Wars (2020-) #10Star Wars (2020-) #10 by Charles Soule
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an entirely decent comic, it’s just…I’m just not really into it, you know?

I think the thing that’s really bothering me is that this is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, and at the end of Empire we see Lando heading off to find Han…who he knows Boba Fett was taking to Jabba. He knows where Jabba is. So…he surely went to Jabba’s palace and infiltrated his guards and… Well, apparently not, apparently he hung out with the Rebellion for a while, going on missions with them, and Lobot was with him too, and he was secretly communicating with Bib Fortuna and wrestling with whether or not he should sell the Rebels out…

And, while, sure, none of that directly contradicts anything we saw in the movies, it doesn’t quite feel right. Maybe Soule will turn it around by the end of this arc and I’ll be into it, but that hasn’t happened for me yet.

I did like all the stuff with the pilots though, and it’s great to see Poe’s parents being given something to do.

I should also, I think, address the cover…as I talked about the fact that Leia was on the cover of #9 but hardly in the actual comic in my review of that issue. Well, Luke pretty much takes up the entire cover of #10, with his new yellow lightsaber at the ready (which I’ve just realised must be referencing the fact that Kenner gave Luke a yellow lightsaber back in the day)…but he’s not in a single panel of this comic. Which is a bit misleading…

Anyway, it’s by no means a bad comic, it just has some issues which pulled me out of the story. Maybe I’m just a nerd?

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