Tag Archives: Comic Review

HOUSE OF X #1 – MARVEL COMICS

WRITER – JONATHAN HICKMAN
ARTIST – PEPE LARRAZ
COVER ARTIST – MARTE GARCIA
LETTERER – CLAYTON COWLES

Ambitious. That was my first thought when I heard that JONATHAN HICKMAN was being put in charge of the X-Men re-launch. It’s the one thing that brought me back to a universe that I stepped away from about 4 years ago after multiple re-launches. I’ve read Hickman’s runs on the Avengers, and Fantastic Four and knew , with  him being one of the best “world builders” in the business, that he could get the franchise back on track. JONATHAN HICKMAN  is a novelist who just happens to have illustrations with his novels. For wordsmiths, him just being named to the project was a win. Now onto the review.

Overall, I did enjoy the book. I read it twice as there is a lot there to unpack as someone who has been outside the X-universe for a while. A few of the characters look different (will take me a while to get used to seeing Professor X look like that) and there were some new faces(both human and mutant), but I never really felt lost at any point in time, and upon my second read I had a much clearer picture of where this group of X-Men were at and the threads that tied them together. Some of your favs aren’t front and center, but it’s a 12 part series between HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X and there is plenty of time to get the roster fleshed out. This first chapter had a nice slow burn feel to it which is what it should have.

The first chapter also laid the groundwork very methodically to show you the culture that has formed around the X-Men. Each transitional scene ends with a look at a new language, new power levels, new olive branches to a human race that may yet bridge the divide(vague I know, but I meant what I said by “non” spoiler),A look at the lands, factions of mutants and much more. This book clocks in at about a 45 minute read and HICKMAN fills every minute and details and character driven dialogue. It felt a bit like a chess match where the board was being set for the long term game to come.

There is always that question with any re-launch I find. Is this a good jumping off point, as much as it is a jumping on point?Overall the groundwork JONATHAN HICKMAN has begun to lay feels like this is for folks who have not been long time followers of the X-Men, and it seems continuity from the previous X-Men series was not a high priority in his mind. There’s was one glaring example of this, but it was not anything I really minded and made for an interesting new direction for the character.

There is a much different vibe to this re-launch then previous ones in that it seems the mutants seem to feel they are on much more equal footing with the human race then ever before. Magneto’s demeanor through the entire book is not one of fear, hostility or divisiveness. I could say the same for Cyclops. It’s simply a statement of -this is how mutants are going to exist with humans and this is how their idea(and a brilliant piece of story telling idea that it is)is going to work. Take it or leave it. This first chapter  feels as much a societal story , as a political one and the point, counterpoint dialogue between humans and mutants in the story over mutants place in the world and the distrust that is still there makes for some wonderful conversation.

PEPE LARRAZ’S art was a wonderfully detailed addition to this story. I’ve noted before that facials expressions can say so much and they had plenty of opportunity to do so this issue. From Cyclops firm stance with some old friends, to the last panel of the story, some beautifully rendered art told a secondary story without words. The X-Men felt both gritty and elegant this issue which suited the story. Also, of note, Beautifully done illustrations of the landscape of Krakoa also. I felt this was also a pretty cool nod to Giant Size X-Men #1 which also felt like the beginning of a new era.

If you’ve been looking to get back into the X-Men your probably not going to get a much better opportunity then this. JONATHAN HICKMAN seems like he has a long term plan in mind. I’d be pretty happy if we could get 50 really good issues out of this run. Time will tell.

Til next time

Scott

 

Comic Review: GFT- Wonderland #24

pic for review

 

GFT: Wonderland Issue 24

Writer: Eric M Esquivel

Artwork: Jacob Bear

Colours: Leonardo Paciarotti

Letters: Jim Campbell

Editor: Pat Shand

Reviewed By: J.W. Coughlan

 

Hey Poppers,

I have made my triumphant return! Now, this time I will not be sputtering like a dying motorboat about this nerdlife I have happily fallen into. Today I am reviewing a comic.

We are now living in an age of high quality television programs that last an hour, or longer, and giant graphic novels that will either leave you wondering or tie everything up in a neat bow…ties are cool, sorry couldn’t resist. Yet, week to week or month to month comics, do not have 200 pages to take you on a journey. We have to do this thing, that in 2014 only nerds do, we have to wait. (Sherlock, Star Wars, Batman v Superman, Doctor Who, I’m going to stop or the list of what we are waiting on or it will be my entire post.) Sure, you’ve got Google in your hand 24/7, ensuring you never have to wonder anything about anything, but 75 years in and we still can’t buy the calendar to mark the day we’ll finally see the caped crusader and the man in blue hit the big screen.

Taking that into account, this comic was alright. Knowing there will be many more issues to come, I  didn’t go into reading with huge expectations.

The comic, was….. cool. A fantastical world full of woman warriors trying to live day to day. Pros for me would be as follows. The story moved along smoothly, there was dark humour aspects, and yes, it ends on a cliffhanger. Yet, I wasn’t amazed by it. Not trying to put anything down here, or be Mr Lamesauce, but as we enter an age of strong female characters, it feels like a bit of a step back to have every character with a huge chest breaking out of her already tiny clothes. I mean yes, that looks great and all, but don’t we want to show our daughters they can be strong and independent without objectifying themselves? And I’m not saying every time you show skin you are objectifying yourself, it’s just, if I was out on an adventure, not knowing when or what will attack me, I’d want a layer or two to protect myself.

The art was good, I liked the action sequences and the different use of frames. The lettering was cool too, experimenting with different shapes and shades of word bubbles. The only thing I would have liked to see more of in the art would be bigger facial expressions. Really get the angry or sad wrinkles going, you know the ones I mean. Wolverine, bub, your healing hides you age, but when Marvel draws a good close up of you losing your shit, everything age line you’ve avoided comes out.

I like the idea behind the entire comic, a beautiful alternative reality, that has grown evil, now preying on the sanity of humans. Not to mention the beautiful underdog who has escaped and is now on the run.

I think this comic has a lot of potential, and could move along, really causing you to fangirl/ fanboy it up, but right now, it’s a bit shallow. And you know what, that’s okay, because it’s better to have something to work toward then to just have something fizzle.

 

Am I ready to run out and grab the next issue, probably not, would I read it, say, at the library, yes.

 

I’m giving this comic 3 pops out of 5.

 

Not bad, but I want it to grab the reader a bit more.

 

Comics are to enjoyed, not destroyed.

 

J.W. Coughlan