Champions (2020-) #1 by Eve Ewing

Champions (2020-) #1Champions (2020-) #1 by Eve Ewing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, if you know me you’ll know that teen superhero teams are my jam…and teen superhero teams that are on the run from the law especially so.

Literally my only complaint about this book is that “New law makes superheroing illegal” is a trope that’s well worn, but it’s done well here, so I won’t complain too much (also I did it in one of my own books, so I’d be a big hypocrite if I did).

The writing is superb, and in a team featuring a LOT of characters everyone gets a little moment so we can at least start to get to know them. The art is…wow…the art is just gorgeous, and has a young and vibrant vibe to it that feels very appropriate.

I really need to check out the rest of Outlawed but looking at eBay I’m not sure that’s going to happen as Outlawed #1 is selling for silly money (thanks, coronavirus), but maybe I’ll get lucky.

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Deadpool (2019-) #7 by Kelly Thompson

Deadpool (2019-) #7Deadpool (2019-) #7 by Kelly Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Deadpool and Elsa Bloodstone are pretty much a perfect team…and adding Jeff the Shark just makes them even more perfect.

Is anyone else developing a crush on Elsa because I…I mean…Wade clearly is. I mean, he’s dreaming about smooching her and then getting eaten by a giant monster. Or was that a prophecy…? Yeah, we saw what you did there, Thompson, we ain’t as stupid as we look and we look REALLY stupid. Wait, no, that didn’t come out right…

Ok, so Sandoval is no Bachalo, but in my eyes nobody is Bachalo apart from Bachalo, who is pretty definitely Bachalo, you know? But Sandoval will do, I like the cut of his jib! By which I mean that I think he draws good. Or, rather. his art style very much suits this book. And, you know, we still get a lovely Bachalo cover, so we can still hold out some hope of him returning to the interior art on this book.

This issue, perhaps, felt more serious than previous issues, with less overt silliness…but that’s relative.

Overall, this issue, and this book as a whole, is great. You should probably be reading it, but then if you read everything I told you to you’d be reading a lot of books…because god only knows I am.

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Marauders (2019-) #13 by Vita Ayala

Marauders (2019-) #13Marauders (2019-) #13 by Vita Ayala
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I guess the entire event couldn’t score five stars, could it?

This isn’t a bad comic, it’s just a flawed comic. It’s incredibly dialogue heavy and the characters seem to spend a lot of time basically talking in circles and going over the same ground.

Storm travels to Wakanda, which she used to be Queen of, alongside her ex-husband, T’Challa, better known as the Black Panther. There she asks for the super special sword which Polaris’ sort of prophecy/instructions decreed that she should use to defend Krakoa, and by extension the world. in the upcoming tournament of swords. Black Panther is away when she arrives and his mother and his sister, Shuri, tell Ororo that they can’t possibly give it to her until he gets back, because they can’t make the decision and if they did it would plunge Wakanda into anarchy or something.

Um…couldn’t they just call him? Was there no way to contact him at all? He eventually just shows up out of the blue anyway, so all of that conflict was utterly pointless.

The art, also, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s not bad, but compared to the art in the other x-books right now, it’s just not up to the same standard. Which is a shame.

As I said, not a bad comic, it just suffers in comparison to the first four chapters of this story.

So, now Storm has her sword, and the Krakoans have three out of ten swords. Bring on sword number four!

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X-Force (2019-) #13 by Benjamin Percy

X-Force (2019-) #13X-Force (2019-) #13 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

X-Force #13 picks up where Wolverine #6 left off…with exactly the same creative team!

Wolverine travels to hell in search of Marumasa and teams up with opponent in the upcoming tournament, Solem, to retrieve the Marumasa blades.

And, well, see my review of Wolverine #6 because this is just a continuation of that, and it’s awesome.

I didn’t talk about Percy’s writing in that, and just as Bogdanovic’s art continues to be outstanding, Percy’s writing continues to be excellent. He captures Logan’s voice perfectly. It’s gruff, moody and atmospheric.

So, Logan now has his sword, but what price did he have to pay to retrieve it…?

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Wolverine (2020-) #6 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine (2020-) #6Wolverine (2020-) #6 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Three chapters in and so far I’ve previously inked two out of the three artists who’ve worked on X Of Swords. C’mon, guys, let me play too!

But, seriously, this is fantastic. I’m running out of superlatives to describe X Of Swords and we’re only three issues in. This issue introduces an intriguing new opponent for Logan, Solem. Solem seems part devil, part trickster god, and all deadly.

As I’ve mentioned before, Bogdanovic has form when it comes to amazingly good depictions of Hell, and he doesn’t disappoint here.

Where’s this all headed? Well, I’m going to crack open X-Force #13 and find out…

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Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #6 by Mirka Andolfo

Mirka Andolfo's Mercy #6Mirka Andolfo’s Mercy #6 by Mirka Andolfo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mercy comes to a stunning, disturbing and not altogether happy ending.

This series has been great and I fully intend to get the collected edition and reread it at some point, as I expect that I’ll understand it better and get less confused without breaks between issues.

There are some fascinating ideas explored in this series, particularly in regards to morality and forgiveness…and the necessity to accept that life and people are imperfect and the need to move on and accept.

Oh, and there’s a whole load of freaky gory monster stuff too.

I have to confess that the part that most excited me was the final page teaser of the sequel series, Merciless, coming in 2021. I shall certainly be picking it up!

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Avengers (2018-) #36 by Jason Aaron

Avengers (2018-) #36Avengers (2018-) #36 by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I complained last issue that it was all set up that was clearly building up to something…

…and boy does that pay off in this issue!

I didn’t think the upcoming Phoenix related storyline in Avengers was going to grow out of the Age of Konshu, but I should have known Jason Aaron, and this Avengers run, better than that.

Everything so far has been building up to this. The seeds have all been sown from the very start of this run and, honestly, it’s magnificent.

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X-Factor (2020-) #4 by Leah Williams

X-Factor (2020-) #4X-Factor (2020-) #4 by Leah Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, once again I find myself reviewing a comic by someone I’ve previously worked with, having inked Carlos Gomez on several occasions…but only on covers, so I wasn’t too familiar with his sequential work, which is great here.

As it says on the cover, this is X Of Swords part 2 (of 22) and, as such, it’s very much not a continuation of the current X-Factor run. The only nod to this being an issue of X-Factor is that Polaris is central to the plot. But, I’m not even mad about that, because this is good, and makes a refreshing change to crossover tie-in issues that are only tangentially related to the crossover they’re tying in to.

This issue also resolves a very important plot point from X Of Swords, namely: How are there any stakes to a tournament in which people fight each other to the death when they can just be resurrected? The answer is…well…a spoiler…but suffice it to say that the stakes are significantly raised.

It also suggests that X Of Swords might have some significant and lasting consequences for some of the characters involved. Which is equal parts exciting and terrifying.

But what’s certain is that I’m hooked!

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Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #4 by Alyssa Wong

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #4Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2020-) #4 by Alyssa Wong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A definite dip in quality this month as we seem to be essentially spinning wheels as we move from one plot point to the next.

The art is still lovely be the writing is lacking some of the zing I’d usually expect from this title. Hopefully things will pick up again next time.

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