Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #3 by Daniel José Older

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #3Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #3 by Daniel José Older
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story continually flips between Krix with the Nihil on the Gaze Electric and Zeen with the Jedi on the Starlight Beacon (I keep wanting to call it the Starlight Citadel, but that’s something from a whole different comic entirely).

It’s an interesting dichotomy as both the Nihil and the Jedi are manipulating Krix and Zeen in their own ways and asking them to do things they’re not entirely comfortable with. But, of course, while the Jedi are motivated by wanting to fight evil, the Nihil have very different motivations.

This issue is mostly set up for the conflict to come, but that’s not a bad thing. Things need to be set up in a story…that’s how story telling works. And in the meantime we get to know Zeen and Krix a bit better. Krix is clearly someone who’s willing to throw others under the bus to save his own neck. But…can you really blame him? How would any of us act in his situation.

The art is really quite lovely. It’s not in the usual “Marvel style” that those reading recent Star Wars comics will be accustomed to, and reminds me more of the Star Wars comics produced in the early days of Dark Horse’s run. But, this isn’t a Marvel comic, after all, and the art style fits the book incredibly well.

View all my reviews

Iron Man Annual (2020) #1 by Jed Mackay

Iron Man Annual (2020) #1 (Iron Man 2020 (2020))Iron Man Annual (2020) #1 (Iron Man 2020 by Jed Mackay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was surprisingly good. I say “surprisingly” because Marvel’s annuals have a tendency to be utterly pointless. But this was a decent story, with Tony getting angry about Miles Morales being kidnapped and tortured and so going off on a mission to bring down the guy who tortured him.

For the first part of an annual wide crossover, this was also refreshingly self contained, as I won’t be getting any more of this story because, well, you can’t buy everything, right?

The art was decent, although I do wish Marvel would get their artists using a consistent model for the Iron Man armour, but that’s been a problem for years now.

View all my reviews

Heroes Reborn #5 (of 7) by Jason Aaron

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

What do you get if you mix Spider-Man and Batman? The answer is Nighthawk! And as this is a world in which the Avengers never were, Peter Parker never became Spider-Man and the Squadron Supreme are earth’s mightiest heroes, things are definitely different…

This issue is very much a pastiche of classic Batman, the angst ridden orphan whose rogues gallery are all locked up in an asylum is something we’re very familiar with, except this is Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. In this universe the Venom symbiote bonded with Nighthawk, before bonding with the Red Skull to become the Black Skull. And Norman Osborn is the crazed Goblin who caused the death of Nighthawk’s sidekick, The Falcon…essentially merging the Joker and Green Goblin, and also merging Jason Todd with Gwen Stacey. Although Gwen’s still here, and…well…you’ll have to read it.

The art is superb, the writing is great, but I’m eager to get to the climax of this story now.

View all my reviews

Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters #1 (of 5) by Charles Soule

Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters #1 (of 5) (Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters: (2021-))Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters #1 (of 5) (Star Wars: War Of The Bounty Hunters: by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s always challenging to review a comic that leans so heavily on a last page reveal that it spends the entire issue building to. Suffice it to say that you will figure it out before you reach the final page, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome or welcome.

But, yeah, Boba Fett discovers Jabba has placed an bounty on his head after having had the carbonite encased Han Solo stolen from him, and he’s on a mission to find out why, who stole Han and to both get him back and murder whoever was responsible.

I’m not the greatest fan of Luke Ross’s artwork, but it’s genuinely great here. This is a much more comic-booky looking comic than we’ve been used to in Marvel’s Star Wars run, but the combination of some really great backgrounds and a much lighter colouring palette than we’re used to seeing in these books makes for a fine looking comic.

The writing is as good as we’ve come to expect from Charles Soule. He’s crafting a complex and winding tale that draws in pretty much every faction in the galaxy and I doubt that this issue’s last page reveal will be the only surprise in this mammoth crossover event.

View all my reviews

Hellions #12 (Hellions by Zeb Wells

Hellions #12 (Hellions (2020-))Hellions #12 (Hellions by Zeb Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I quite literally laughed out loud while reading this comic. Wells has found the perfect balance of drama, action and comedy in this book, and every issue feels better than the last.

It’s Hellfire Gala time and the Hellions are not invited (well, other than Sinister, Alex and Kwannon, that is…and Alex’s outfit is so fabulous I kinda’ want to cosplay it), but not being invited isn’t going to stop this team from just, well, going anyway…thanks to some psychic shenanigans and a running gag about Phoebe Cuckoo’s dress.

We also have the deepest of deep cuts here as Wild Child runs into Aurora, and if I hadn’t just been listening to X-Plain The X-Men episodes where they discuss their break up I would have had no clue they’d ever dated (I mean, I did read those X-Factor issues, it was just a lifetime ago). I was half expecting someone to shout, “Leave it, Kyle, she’s not worth it!”

Anyway, can all the X-Books be about awkward social gatherings from now on, please? I’m loving this!

View all my reviews

X-Force #20 (X-Force by Benjamin Percy

X-Force #20 (X-Force (2019-))X-Force #20 (X-Force by Benjamin Percy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

X-Force are running security for the Hellfire Gala and as such we get to see a scene from Marauders #21 play out in more detail, namely Quentin’s encounter with Tony Stark, in which the two geniuses butt heads. We don’t learn too much more than we already knew, other than that they’re both massive ass hats. Which, uh, we already knew.

Meanwhile, Beast is up to something…and that something is getting himself confused with The Almighty. No, not the Glaswegian hard rock band from the Nineties, but God themself. Beast’s god complex has run rampant, particularly in regards to Terra Verde, and now Emma has found out and, uh, things are going very, very wrong…

Meanwhile, Deadpool crashes the party, because of course he does.

Top notch stuff from the Hellfire Gala! And I’m also impressed that this even is being used to bring long running plot threads to fruition rather than derailing them.

View all my reviews

Marauders #21 (Marauders by Gerry Duggan

Marauders #21 (Marauders (2019-))Marauders #21 (Marauders by Gerry Duggan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, well, well…it’s finally here, the event of the year…no…the event of the decade…no…the event of the century…

“Get on with it!”

The Hellfire Gala!

Oh my gosh, can you believe she said/did that thing she said or did? Mind blowing… Or, you know, it probably will be when we actually find out what it was.

This was just pure, unadulterated fun! well, I’m sure Emma would have liked some adulterating with Steve, but that’s never gonna happen.

Loved the art, loved the writing, and that bonus Classic X-Men strip by Claremont and Bolton was a nice addition.

View all my reviews

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…

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews