Cable: Reloaded #1 by Al Ewing

Cable: Reloaded #1Cable: Reloaded #1 by Al Ewing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can’t read everything, which is why I’m not reading The Last Annihilation event, but I kinda’ wish I was. See, what I have read of it has been consistently excellent. A lot of that is because Al Ewing is a superb writer who’s currently at the top of his game, clearly having a blast and firing on all cylinders, so to speak.

This comic is very silly, very funny, and very much a love letter to the ridiculous excesses of 90s comics, and X-Force in particular.

The art is pretty good, although not quite up to the heights of the rest of the X-line has been recently. But it’s really the writing that you’re here for, and that’s superb.

Plus, we finally find out what Cable keeps in all of those pouches…

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

Wolverine #15 by Benjamin Percy

Wolverine #15 (Wolverine (2020-))Wolverine #15 (Wolverine by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Percy’s run on Wolverine has been great so far and it just keeps getting better!

When Solem was first introduced he was hyped up as a new arch-nemesis for Wolverine and some felt that he didn’t live up to the hype. However, this issue certainly goes a long way to making the mysterious, adamantium skinned mutant seem more intriguing. He certainly seems like the perfect foil for Logan, every bit as tough, every bit the seasoned warrior, but where Logan is grizzled and austere, Solem is a hedonistic party animal.

Kubert’s art is simply stunning, and once again I feel the need to draw attention to Frank Marin’s colour work, which complements Kubert’s line art perfectly.

This is unashamedly a Wolverine comic, but it’s Wolverine at his best.

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

X-Corp #4 by Tini Howard

X-Corp #4 (X-Corp (2021-))X-Corp #4 (X-Corp by Tini Howard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“…and the whole thing with Layla and his baby was just so crushingly sad. (Don’t worry, nobody died!)” I wrote in my review of #3…and it seems I spoke too soon, because when you’ve got Jamie Madrox in your comic, it’s only a matter of time…

This is shaping up to be a great series. I had my doubts at the start, but it’s hit its stride now. I loved the twist that faced wit the threat of a corporate rival, rather than doing the usual X-Men thing of fighting them, they just bought the company out from under them instead.

That said, that tactic seems to have come back to bite them in the but…

The inclusion of traditional villains on this “team” makes for an interesting dynamic, and I trust neither Mastermind or Selene…especially Selene. I mean, she’s an ancient, evil, vampire goddess. She’s obviously up to no good and X-Corp is going to pay a heavy price for keeping her around. But she’s fun!

I also like the exploration of the similarities between Warren and Monet, and I’m thankful that the temptation to end that scene with them kissing was resisted…for now. I wonder if they’re going to bring up that he used to date her erstwhile Generation X teammate Paige.

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

Way of X #5 by Simon Spurrier

Way of X #5Way of X #5 by Simon Spurrier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series has been consistently excellent, and this issue is no exception.

Al Ewing deserves credit for actually making me care about Fabian Cortez, a character who’s always been a one note villain, and more recently, over in Ewing’s S.W.O.R.D. has been the butt of several jokes. He’s a pathetic, wretched man, but here Ewing actually starts to explore what makes him tick, and maybe start to rehabilitate the character.

Of course, this is all happening while Nightcrawler attempts, and succeeds, to save the moon Phobos from crashing into Arakko/Mars and destroying everything the X-Men have just created here. And dies in the process, but not before finally figuring out what he’s been trying to figure out for ages and telling Cortez…only to discover upon his resurrection that Cortez is now in a catatonic state.

Meanwhile, David Haller has figured out that Onslaught is using the resurrection protocols to gain a foothold in Krakoa. Consuming the bits of mutants’ lives that are lost between their most recent back up and their death. And, given that Professor X has just been resurrected, that darkness is now within him too.

And Nightcrawler has just been resurrected. This isn’t looking good…

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

Marauders #23 by Gerry Duggan

Marauders #23Marauders #23 by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, it’s good to see Banshee again and that someone remembered how close he and Emma are! It’s also good to see Jumbo Carnation in action and Tempo makes a very welcome return too.

Marauders has definitely had its ups and downs, however, and this issue definitely ranks among the downs. This is mainly due to the art, which isn’t awful, but definitely isn’t up to the standard set by the rest of the X-line. Fiorelli seems to be an inexperienced artist from Italy with a very cartoony style which doesn’t really fit the tone of this book…particularly the part where the Cuckoos take Wilhelmina Kensington t confront her abusive father. What could have been a very powerful scene if illustrated by an artist with a very different style, just felt very off here. It’s not Fiorelli’s fault. On a different book he’d be great, but his style just doesn’t work here. Phil Noto is taking over for the next two issues and then Matteo Lolli’s back, so at least we know this is just a temporary blip. Fiorelli will be drawing the Star wars: Life Day comic which is out in November, and I expect his art will be a much better fit there.

There’s also an extract from a romance novel written by Pyro, which is…odd.

All in all this is okay, but it’s not up to the level of quality we’ve come to expect from the current X-books.

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 by Leah Williams

X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1X-Men: The Trial of Magneto #1 by Leah Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There were two things I was fairly certain of before I started reading this comic: 1) Magneto did not kill the Scarlet Witch; and 2) The Scarlet Witch is not dead. After reading #1 I’m still fairly confident on both points.

Why don’t I think Magneto killed Wanda? Because that’s the obvious, simple answer, and the one that X-Factor have reached by the end of #1. Therefore, it must be wrong, else what’s the point of this series? A mystery with an obvious solution is no mystery at all. Personally, while I have no idea who killed Wanda, I think this series is leading to the revelation that Wanda (and Pietro) are actually mutants after all, and are Magneto’s children. It’s a retcon that needs undoing, particularly as it was only done because Fox had the rights to all the mutants…

This is great stuff, which effectively explores how grief effects people. This is partly why I’m sure Magneto didn’t do it, he’s clearly grieving here and doesn’t seem like a man with a guilty conscience to me…despite everyone around him interpreting his actions in this way. The book, surprisingly, also explores grief from the perspective of the deceased. After all, the deceased is no normal woman…she’s the Scarlet Witch. She once rewrote all of reality. So thinking she could be choked to death seems a little naïve.

The art is also superb, which we’ve largely come to expect from the current X-line. When the X-books are good at the moment they are simply the best of modern super-hero comics and this is no exception.

Also, if you enjoyed Leah Williams’ X-Factor run and were sorry to see it come to what felt like a premature end, you’ll enjoy this, as it’s very much a continuation of that book.

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

X-Men Legends #6 by Peter David

X-Men Legends (2021-) #6X-Men Legends (2021-) #6 by Peter David
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What is the point of this comic? Why does it exist? The first two issues were great, genuinely filling in a gap in X-Men continuity that has bugged people for decades. The second arc was less good, and felt less necessary, but there was a slight gap to fill and it filled it, sure…and, you know, who’s going to say no to a few more issues of Simonson X-Factor. But, this? Just…why?

There’s so much wrong here. First and foremost, we get a lot of talk about all the lives that are at stake, all the people within the Latverian embassy that X-Factor are saving. But we never see them. We only see the Latverian mutants who’ve taken them hostage. This means that the stakes are entirely abstract and, honestly, we couldn’t care less whether X-Factor succeed or fail.

Then there’s those Latverian mutants who’ve taken over the embassy. The comic flatly refuses to decide whether they’re in the right or not. They’ve been experimented on by Doom against their will, but ultimately X-factor go and fetch Doom to come and deal with them. Then, on the final page, it’s heavily implied that Rahne just walks away while letting Doom flat out murder them all.

This comic is incredibly strange. I don’t understand why it was made. I don’t know who this is for. I just don’t get it.

Next month we have Wolverine and Jubilee. Let’s hope that’s better, eh?

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

X-Force #22 by Benjamin Percy

X-Force #22X-Force #22 by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This arc really hasn’t grabbed me. I find the whole telefloronics thing a bit beyond me, but on top of that this issue uses the whole “you’re unknowingly working for the very person who wronged you” trope…which is so over done that it was used in the Snake Eyes movie that I watched last night.

Also…come on…a version of Man-Thing who kills people called Man-Slaughter? Maybe I’m just too old to do anything but roll my eyes at that. I usually enjoy Percy’s writing, and this issue certainly isn’t bad…it just didn’t really do anything for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve got too used to single issues also furthering some overarching plot.

The art is also…just ok. I mean, like the writing, it’s not bad, but it could be better.

Overall this is a perfectly decent comic, I’ve just come to expect more from the X-line.

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

Children Of The Atom #6 by Vita Ayala

Children Of The Atom #6 (Children Of The Atom (2021-))Children Of The Atom #6 (Children Of The Atom by Vita Ayala
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There’s a question about whether or not this was intended to be a limited series or if it just got cancelled after the first story arc. It’s certainly strange to spend six issues introducing us to these characters and then not do anything with them. But this series was a victim of covid from the start, suffering huge delays to its release due to the pandemic. It got off to a rather shaky start, with some fairly rough writing, but showed a lot of promise, and that promise is realised here.

Ayala’s writing over in New Mutants has been superb, so I suspected it was just a matter of time before this book found its feet. I was right, but the downside to that is that a lot of people were put off by the first issue, and at some point, I guess, the decision was made that this would be a limited series.

Which is a shame, because it explores some interesting and important ideas in regards to identity and allyship. It also explores prejudice and how are words can lead those close to us to think we won’t accept them for who they are, even if that’s not the case.

I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of these characters. I can see Carmen showing up in Ayala’s New Mutants, and where Carmen goes Buddy is likely to follow. But the whole team needs to find a future in the Marvel Universe. It’ll be a real shame if they just fade into obscurity.

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews

S.W.O.R.D. #7 by Al Ewing

S.W.O.R.D. #7S.W.O.R.D. #7 by Al Ewing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For the second time in its short seven issue run, S.W.O.R.D. is interrupted for a crossover. Previously that was King In Black, but this time it’s for The Last Annihilation. So far, four out of the seven issues of S.W.O.R.D. have been tie-ins to crossover events. Wait…wasn’t #6 a tie-in to the Hellfire Gala? So that means that only #s 1 and 5 have been nothing but pure, unadulterated S.W.O.R.D. It’s to Al Ewing’s credit that he’s managed to pull it off flawlessly.

For those not reading The Last Annihilation, of which I’m one, Ewing manages to tell a story that doesn’t make you feel hopelessly lost. I mean, it helps that I read Empyre and those issues of Captain Marvel that introduced Lauri-Ell, and I’m a Wiccan and Hulkling fan so I’m up to date with what’s going on with them…but still, I didn’t feel like I needed to have read something I haven’t read just to understand this comic. And all the bits with the Kree and the Mindless Ones were pretty cool.

And then there are the parts where Doctor Doom has dinner with Storm on the planet Arakko (formerly Mars). Ewing writes Storm as the goddess she is, and Doom as the arrogant shit he is.
Artistically, Schiti has long been a favourite of mine, and the book’s aesthetic stands up alongside the work of Larraz in the main X-Men book. Basically, this book is gorgeous.

All in all, this is a thoroughly enjoyable book, but I’m very much looking forward to it finally settling into a proper arc of its own, free from crossovers and events.

Get early access to all my reviews and read them a week before everyone else over on my Patreon!

View all my reviews