And we’re back! The holidays got the best of me but New Year and New Comics! Let’s get right down into some news and reviews.
New Mutants Trailer Drops
The second trailer for the New Mutants movie dropped on January 6th. The movie is scheduled to be released on April 3, 2020. While this seems to be the best bet for breaking the pattern of not great X-movies, the casting is still heavily whitewashed for several characters. Namely, Bobby De Costa aka Sunspot and Doctor Cecilia Reyes. Both characters in the comics are explicitly afro-latino and that identity has been key in their character development. However the casting for Dani Moonstar aka Mirage, Illyana Rasputin aka Magik, and Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane all seems spot on.
Hawkeye Rumor Rises and is Debunked
On January 11th Murphy’s Multiverse reported that Disney+’s Hawkeye has been ‘indefinitely delayed’. On January 12th CBR reported that according to the Verge’s Julia Alexander that she was told by a Disney rep that those reports are “completely inaccurate.” Sites like CBR, Screen Rant and Comicbook.com all reported on the rumor before this report from Alexander. I am personally very glad this leak is untrue as I am still very pumped to see Kate Bishop on the screen.
Hawkeye Freefall #1
Kim Jacinto & Tamra Bonvillain (Cover), Matthew Rosenberg (Writer), VC’s Joe Sabino (Letterer), Otto Schmidt (Artist)
January 1, 2020
This issue surprised me but I’ve been burned by Rosenberg too many times to trust it yet. Also going to be forward with my bias here: There is no Kate Bishop in this book (yet, hopefully,) and I am very sad about that. Besides that, this is a strong first issue. Clint deals with the fact that the justice system is awful and skewed against poor people (please follow this up Rosenberg, please please), we get to see his newest romantic interest is Night Nurse, and he make snarky comments at Falcon and Winter Soldier. The main event in this book is (presumably) a villain has taken on the costume of Ronin and is causing a bunch of trouble. The art is great, I love that Clint has his hearing aids in, and the colors are vibrant and match the tone Rosenberg appears to be setting with his writing. I will be cautiously optimistic with this book. Hawkeye is my favorite, and David Aja’s & Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye is part of what brought me back into modern day Marvel comics. So I’m going to be a harsh critic on how this mini-series does.
Federico Blee (Color Artist), Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson (Cover Artists), Gerry Duggan (Writer), Matteo Lolli & Lucas Werneck (Artists), Tom Muller (Design), VC’s Cory Petit (Letterer)
Jan 1, 2020
Marauders continues to be my favorite out of all the X books currently. We open with Iceman using his powers to combat global warming and some very big subtext that he and Christian Frost have (at least) had a fling and Bobby has declined the current White Bishop’s offer of joining his crew on the Mercury sub, in favor of being a Marauder with Kate Pride instead. This is a pretty short opening scene but I love the characterization it gives to Bobby and Christian and their dynamic and how Christian related to the Marauders. This issue also starts to put the chess game between Sebastian Shaw vs. Kate Pride & Emma Frost where it looks like Madripor is going to be the board. Please do not skip the ‘Top Secret Eyes Only Access’ pages that are usually in the middle of the book. It is a great C-plot with the US Government’s X-desk and what is going on with possibly the only person manning the desk while also giving a broader view of what’s going on with the world vs. Krakoa. This and the page from issue #4 was great. The issue wraps up with Storm and Bishop under fire trying to help Shinobi get out of Madripoor from a trap which is the first big move from the Marauders’ Big Bad, Homines Verendi. Kate, Pyro and Bobby are attacked just offshore en-route to provide assistance. If you aren’t reading this series, catch up. It’s such a good run. And they’ve finally fixed the coloring on Storm and Bishop, which has been my main complaint against the book previously.
Donny Cates (Writer), Olivier Coipel & Laura Martin (Cover Artists), Nic Klein (Artist), VC’s Joe Sabino (Letterer), Matthew Wilson (Color Artist)
Jan 1, 2020
Cates has some big shoes to fill as this is the first main Thor book not written by Jason Aaron in years. And this book makes me confident he can find his own voice in the process. We have Matt Wilson back on colors which I am thrilled about. His colors have always been such an important part of the Thor books ever since he started coloring them regularly. Thor has taken over as King of Asgard and is not the biggest fan of the work it seems. And Mjolnir is getting heavier. And the end of the universe might be coming harkened by Galactus. And Thor is being recruited to try to stop the unstoppable. I love the new look and the meaning of the rune that is on Thor’s costume now. I’d recommend giving this one a shot.
Erick Arciniega (Color Artist), Mahmud Asrar & Matthew Wilson (Cover Artists), Tini Howard (Writer), Tom Muller (Design), VC’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Marcus To (Artist)
Jan 8, 2020
This issue of Excalibur made me realize why I feel like it’s been messy and I haven’t been really captured by it: I hate Apocalypse. Or at least quiet pretending to be on the good side Apocalypse. And I love Rogue, who has been in a magical sleep for the majority of the run, and is just now really back in this issue. This is to say this has been my favorite issue so far. In this issue we see Apocalypse start to act on his master magic plan, which appears to be to make Rogue a super powerful conduit for the power of both Krakoa and Otherworld. Of course Gambit is none too happy about any of this and suspected that Rogue’s coma was Apocalypse’s fault the entire time, which meant he went around and got one of the many telepaths he knows to intervene. There’s a fight that Apocalypse of course wins, until newly superpowered Rogue wakes up and Apocalypse begs for death. Then there is an amazing last page reveal and I’m now excited for the next arc of this story. For an alternate take on Excalibur, please check out our Editor-in-Chief Nola Pfau’s series of Excalibur reviews, Excali-buddies on the Xavier Files. But their favorite X-Man is also Cyclops, so you know, take from that what you will. (I love you, Nola.)
Ghost Spider #6
VC’s Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Ig Guara & Rosi Kämpe (Artists), Ian Herring (Colorist), Greg Land & Frank D’Armata (Cover Art), Seanan McGuire (Writer)
Jan 8, 2020
I’m going to start my review by saying its very strange to put Greg Land on the cover of a Seanan McGuire book. Especially one that is about a 17-18 year old girl. It isn’t a bad cover nor my least favorite of work I’ve seen from Land, but the tone shorthand I get from this cover is off for this book. Now for the story. I’ve been loving how McGuire is writing Stacy. This is the start of a new story arc and Gwen is trying to make up for putting her bandmates in danger with her superpowers by using her superpowers to take them to concerts of their favorite bands in alternate universes. That all goes surprisingly smoothly and leads to Gwen being out as Ghost Spider in time to help her dad with a hostage situation. And we learn at the end what the focus of this arc might be. We find the Universe 65 versions of Sue (Susan in 65) and Johnny (Jonathan in 65), who have been missing for years, found at the end of this book in the big reveal. Gwen knows in most other universes the Storms are superheroes, so it will be interesting to see how she handles this when she becomes aware of it. I recommend picking up this issue of Ghost Spider if you’re looking for a good place to pick up a new story line.
Jesus Aburtov (Color Artist), Mahmud Asrar & Matthew Wilson (Cover Artists), Al Ewing & Jason Aaron (Writers), Pere Pérez (Guest Artist), VC’s Joe Sabino
Jan 15, 2020
This issue wraps up Al Ewing’s run co-writing Valkyrie with Jason Aaron. We see the end of the team up of Marvel’s Medics as they go to the heart of Death’s realm to treat the fact that Death is dying…partially because Death means nothing in the Marvel Universe. I loved that meta commentary in the story. We also see Jane facing her many different ways of experiencing Death, from how she works as Valkyrie, to being a doctor, to being a cancer patient, to losing an ex-husband and her child. I enjoyed this team up and this reflection on Death, something that has been core to Jane Foster ever since Jason Aaron started writing her. Valkyrie is still one of my must-reads every time it comes out. The writing is tight, the story always has something to say, and the art is always amazing. Also check out the back matter in this issue for Ewing’s guide to Horse’s accent. It was a fun bit of levity at the end of a very serious book.