Friday 16 December 2022

Ms Marvel & Venom #1 (re:view)

Ms Marvel & Venom #1
Jody Houser (writer), Dave Wachter (artist), Erick Arciniega (colour artist)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with… Ms Marvel! She be teaming up with Venom for a takedown. Let’s get it!

I have the other issues hiding somewhere but not sure where they be. I have to say I picked up the issues as they look super fun when I was flicking through them and this final issue in this mini-series seems no different. From the get-go it jumps right into the action with Venom taking a beat down and saved none other than Ms Marvel. I so love the fact that there’s a recap for nunces like me for not reading the previous issues and with a quick catch up, I’m back in the game!

I love the contrasts Venom and Ms Marvel brings to the table whereby Venom doesn’t care for much for feelings and goes boom boom bang and Ms Marvel does care and tip toes herself around situations. It makes for a fun read bringing in some humour. I love the subtleness of Ms Marvel bringing out more out of Venom such as when she highlights his villainous past and lets him know he is a hero. There’s a real warmness to it especially when it’s further explored at the end when Ms Marvel reminisces on being a hero.

In terms of team-up I don’t think I’d ever see Wolverine, Venom, Moon Knight and Ms Marvel in the same room but it’s a great joy to see them work together. Would love to see how they interact more with each other but it’s Ms Marvel’s gig so it’s understandable focus would be on her.

Loving the art. It’s pretty easy to follow it and I quickly worked through the issue. The action pieces are amazing and the people that transform as a result of the failed experiment serums that they take are very grotesque. Brilliant!

Subscribe? Yes! 

Syphon #1 (re:view)

Syphon #1
Meaney, Ashraf, Edwards, Kalisz
Image Comics/Top Cow Productions, Inc.

Welcome to a whole new adventure with… Syphon! Syphon (don’t know the dude’s name) gets hi mojo on as he deals with life and his shindig powers on.

The issue is really easy to get through from start to finish. I absolutely love that EVERYTHING is introduced right in the first issue with the villain’s introduction, Syphon’s origin story, life and powers. The abilities and origin story are quickly explained in a few pages in such splendour that I just get it. It’s how it should be done especially since there are so many comics to get through that I just want it to grab me from the shoulders and shake me from the get-go. For that, I give it major snaps.

The villain is pretty much introduced in the beginning by jumping right into the action but the intentions are not revealed. I do love it when I jump right into the action and get the kiss on the pecker.

I love the art style of the issue. The darkness of the issue and Syphon’s power as well. It brings out a lightness in the suffering that he gets from the darkness. Quite literally. I think he’s like X-Men’s Bishop but they “syphon” the suffering from one and can redirect it as energy which he does in high fashion. This makes for great visualisation of the issue and creates a beautiful way of exploring his powers through his eyes. Even when the panelling shifts into double-spread pages, I was very easily able to follow through on each page and never lost sight of direction.

Subscribe? Hell to the yes!

Strikeforce #1 to #5 (re:view)

Strikeforce #1, #2, #3, #4, #5
Tini Howard (writer), Germán Peralta (artist), Jordie Bellaire (colour artist)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with…Strikeforce! They ain’t no Skrull but they are going to shapeshift some trouble for the Strikeforce team.

I did re:view the first issue some years back but managed to find the further issues at London Comic Mart so what they hey! Here I am back at it with the Strikeforce team. I have to say I really enjoyed the first issue. The next 4 issues didn’t quite hang strong for me as the first issue did.

It is a mish-mash of a team and I love some of the chemistry that they have with each other such as moments they work together in the second issue where the take on the enemy at a Vegas bar was super fun. Wiccan’s inexperience does show which I love in the way that the team directs him to do things better or when he says just call in the big guns Avengers to help deal with the issue. Those types of moments I live for as the other members are obviously quite seasoned in what they do so it’s a great way to take him under their wing but unfortunately not much of that does happen. He ends up beheading someone with a Doombot. Stuff like that doesn’t have any consequence yet the team just accepts it. I don’t think anyone as young as he is should be making such a drastic decision without being given some perspective on it.

The story had a strong beginning so it showed promise but the excitement was starting to drop but not like it was hot. You have the action, the dialogue, She-Hulk goes berserker fury, gore, the mystery, the lot! It does have its humorous moments like you would with a doppelganger taking your place and starts kissing someone (you know, your average day). Then there’s the issue of pacing with there being a few too many flashbacks interspersed which takes away from the main story and I feel like could have been an issue in itself with them coming together at the end of the issue and truly realised that they must put an end to it. I would have also prolonged the mystery just to keep me hooked, line and sinker. Then there’s the build-up with a steep drop of disappointment such as the Doom reveal turning out to be a Doombot and the doppelganger Wiccan’s visit to Hulkling which is dealt with off-screen and doesn’t really go anywhere.

Love the art style, I feel it suits the darkness of the comic with the gore, decapacitation and shantay you stay active. It does change art styles during some of the flashbacks which I love as it gives me a vivid mind stamp to separate the both of them.

Subscribe? Maybe next time

Punisher #1 (2022) (re:view)

Punisher #1
Jason Aaron, Jesús Saiz and Paul Azaceta, Dave Stewart (colour artist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with… the Punisher! Punisher commandeers a new legion of the hand. Let us dive in!

The issue starts strong with a flashback which bookends the issue very nicely with the death and life of Frank’s love. It’s poetic in the sense that it’s an exploration of his character which is swiftly followed by a homage to the Punisher through the times. I guess it’s a metaphor for Frank's trials and tribulations, which is a reflection of him having to prove himself to join the ranks of the Hand.  Indeed very poetic and cleverly written. On the surface, I like to be made to think sometimes as I sometimes do just work myself through comics very quickly but this one has made me a thinker.

The pacing is pretty good with the action getting in tight which is helped by the panelling in creating intensity by honing it in smaller panels. The maximum impact was made with double spread pages for the incredible shots especially the one with the hand appearing around the Punisher - killer moment. I love art. Reminds me of the art style by Adi Granov in Iron Man’s Extremis story which has a sense of realism.

I wonder if the issue takes him back to his villainous roots. He did start off as a villain of sorts and hanging around the Hand is not a route to becoming a saint. I guess in that sense it’s a nice throwback since the issue seems to be a throwback to his past.

Subscribe? Yes! The pacing is good, the back story gives a good jumping pad into the whole issue and the montage was cute

Stranger Things: Kamchatka #1 (re:view)

Stranger Things: Kamchatka #1
Michael Moreci (script), Todor Kristov (art), Dan Jackson (colourist), Nate Piekos (letters)
Dark Horse Comics

Welcome to a whole new adventure with… Stranger Things! It’s up to Anna and Leonid to shake a thing or two to save their daddy from the grips of the baddies. Let’s dive in!

It’s my first foray into the Stranger Things comics and I would say that it’s an expansion of the Stranger Things universe. I was somewhat disappointed by the story as it does share some similarities to what has happened in the main series in that the Soviet Union kidnaps in order to gain the upper hand. It’s like a concoction of capture, torture and Demogorgon which ticks the boxes of what I’ve pretty much seen in the main series. I don’t mind if there is a repeat but it would be nice to something new then just something spun off something I’ve seen before. It would be pretty awesome if this had more of a thriller vibe to it.

The issue felt short but it might just be me expecting too much which I find doesn’t give enough payoff in terms of developing characters. Anna and Leonid are quickly taken out as quickly as they first stepped on the scene. Then you have a protagonist introduced who - spoiler alert -  saves them in the nick of time and probably just end up as their babysitter in this mess going by how quickly they were captured.

There’s a dark undertone to the art which I find fits into this world great, but the expressions can be hard to read especially when the eyes look so glassy. They do say the eyes are the windows to the soul! I do get the general gist of what they’re trying to convey given the environment that they’re in or what’s happening right in front of their eyes.

Subscribe? I’ll give it a skip for the moment. There’s nothing fresh that I feel can take me to the next issue.

The Least We Can Do #1 (re:view)

The Least We Can Do #1
Elisa Romboli (artist, creator), Iolanda Zandardino (writer, creator)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with… the Least We Can Do! Uriel joins the Eclipse Rebel to make her Golden Stone shine bright like a diamond. Let’s get it!

There can be 99 people in the room and only one believes in you which is the case of Uriel when she’s joining the Eclipse Rebel. Seems like everyone else really is a meanie to Uriel. Doesn’t help that Uriel is so timid but I really do hope she grows into herself during the course of the series, especially in the first issue she gets little to no support and even in flashbacks, she’s the Cinderella of the family (with no prince or princess to call for herself). I do live for character development! I would hope that the team would support her as in her timid nature she does become more of a danger to the team and herself out on the field. 

I love the illustrations and the huge influences of London with Big Ben, Tower Bridge, red telephone boxes and a double-decker bus making an appearance. It’s a nice departure from the typical art style of superhero comics that I have become so accustomed to.

Subscribe? Yes, would love to see how Uriel grows in her team and what adversaries come up for her

Radiant Red #1 (re:view)

Radiant Red #1
Cherish Chen (writer), David Lafuente (artist), Miquel Meurto (colourist), Diego Sanches (letterer)
Image Comics

 Welcome to a whole new adventure with… Radiant Red! Satomi has to find her ground as she has quite a bit to juggle with. Let us dive in!

I have to say that I’ve not read any comics from the world of Radiant Black and only found out about it from reading the letter from inside the issue! It’s pretty easy to pick up though as it seems to be Satomi trying to find herself as she contends with a mysterious person making threats, a reporter jumping right on to her and family matters. Can relate.

I’m loving the fact that I can jump into this world as I journey with Satomi to find who she is. She seems to have a supportive sister but then her sister just about rugby tackle her figuratively speaking. It offers a really grounded storytelling which can provide respite to following event after event from the comic book behemoths.

The art isn’t quite as defined as I would like but I do love the graininess which makes it a bit raw looking. The character designs are super amazing especially Radiant Red’s costume design!

It does close off with a short story with a different Sonya who has their date gatecrashed by two sparkly people. Her transformation into a wolf hybrid seems not to have put their date off which reminds of the character of She-Hulk. Can one like two sides of the coin that is ultimately the same person? I would say so and so did their date.

Subscribe? Yeah, I’d give it another spin. Looks promising.


True Believers: Annihilation - Mantis #1 (re:view)

Welcome to a whole new adventure with... comic for your dollar! This time the Avengers face off against a god (ahem, tell me something new there). Let us dive in!
I actually remember reading this in the pages as a reprint in UK's Avengers United which I guess is a testament to the unique storyline as it's kind of a weird one I would say. Having a quick scander online it seems that Lion God hasn't made a massive impression in the Marvel Universe but they seem to be - umm - shall we say unique as they come. 

The issue goes dark when a human sacrifice is needed so that the Lion God has a vessel to inhabit. They do seem like a very formidable opponent for the Avengers in that the Lion God can influence people and create an army by doing so. He also possesses Black Panther it's so strange that the advantage of this power is not taken. I mean send me in and I'll get the job done better (paint me a supervillain any day with amazing blush and on-fleek smokey eye). Also, the god can magically bring forth lions that catch Scarlet Witch off-guard and Black Widow stuck up a wall (that's two Avengers out of play). Send a few of them in and you'll have a field day. The Lion God abandons his groupies and lets go of the possession of Black Panther which ultimately leads to their downfall and easy defeat. Okay, now I get why the Lion God may not have appeared so many times in the history of Marvel comics and I'm getting the sense of why being a supervillain seems to be taking over me.

I would have thought Black Panther would have putten up a better fight with the Lion God as it seems to be someone from his turf. Except he gets influenced like the likes of his people and it's subdued for the most part of the issue. It takes a god to take on a god as Thor shuts the Lion God down in the end. Would have been interesting to see the powers of a Lion take on the powers of the Black Panther but that's that.
Natasha is almost the MVP in the issue with her speaking her mind when they're doing their plans. Being the newbie in the group, she doesn't shy away from it which is a very admirable quality to have. She takes out the lion and lioness very easily and tells Lion God to never underestimate her. She so bad-butt until she ends up stuck up on the wall until Iron Man saves. She did good for a new starter though. 

I almost forgot the issue's title characters. Mantis just a fleeting moment of appearance in the comic!

Subscribe? Yes

I'm writing a book "How to be a supervillain 101"

True Believers: Annihilation - Mantis #1 (reprint of Avengers volume 1 #112)
Steve Englehart - author
Don Heck - artist
Frank Bolle - inker
John Costanza - letterer
Petra Goldberg - colourist
Marvel - publisher

X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong #1 to #5 (re:view)

X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong #1 to #5
Greg Pak, Greg Land, Matt Ryan

Welcome to a whole new adventure with… X-Men! The Phoenix force is right back at it again and she wants some L-O-V-E. Emma better watch yo back as she’s coming for ya!

I remember reading this some time ago during my teen years but warrants a second reading or a “re:view” (wink wink) especially after seeing it going for £4 for the set at Gosh! So yeah, the Phoenix is let go by some Shi’ar lackies in an attempt to destroy it once and for all. That’s going to end so well. It’s here that the Phoenix has a conscience rather than a conjoined conscience in Jean’s mind. It’s different and sheds a whole different light on the Dark Phoenix Saga which holds such a place in my heart and is referenced in the past with the psychic link between Jean and Scott.

I mean this is a 5 issue mini-series but a hell of a lot happens. It does well to juggle the different characters coming together as well as providing a huge amount of breathing space to develop the mind behind the Phoenix force. Some get their moments but I feel like at the expense of other characters getting short-changed like the pain Wolverine goes through to repeatedly attempt to kill off the Phoenix and the sha-blam moment for Storm taking down the Shi’ar transport plane in all her splendor, whereas Colossus and Kitty get subpar which was disappointing. They all play a part in being Jean’s family and Colossus deserves to be there for her more than anyone else, and Kitty gets one-liners here and there which don’t seem to make any impact on the overarching scheme of the story.

I had an “oh snap” moment with the return of Quentin. There’s an interesting conversation to be had about the ethics and morality in doing such a thing but I guess we have witnessed an evil Beast in the past (or future however you want to put it). I quickly worked through the 5 issues. What’s more, I would have loved to see how Emma and the Phoenix feel when they’re occupied together but I can see Emma relishing the moment and umm... relishing more than a moment with Scott.

There were so many Jean and Phoenix moments when she exclaims “I am you” when she rips the Phoenix out of Emma. Giving me that Heathcliff and Catherine vibe that they belong together but are not good for each other. I mean if only Jean can see the future as the Phoenix Force has been around the block quite a few times. The other moment was when Emma projected the minds of everyone to say that they love her. All you need is little bit of love. I live, girl, I live! 

Subscribe? Yes!