The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1

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The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1

Writer: Saladin Ahmed

Artist:  Minkyu Jung

Cover Art:  Eduard Petrovich

Kamala Khan has become one of Marvel Comics new superstars and she has received her brand new comic, The Magnificent Ms. Marvel.

Writer Saladin Ahmed takes over for G. Willow Wilson, who had written Ms. Marvel from her beginning.  While it is a new voice, the series maintained the special trait that made it different than other Marvel series.  The Muslim background of Kamala Khan is still a major part of the series as is the relationships of Kamala and her family and friends.  A major reveal takes place here and it will shape the series for the foreseeable future.

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 is a perfect jumping on point if you are interested in  Kamala Khan.  The issue had a fresh feel to it and it did not feel weighed down with the baggage of years of issues.  However, the character of Kamala Khan still feels like one of the most original characters in the Marvel Universe.

Awesomeness

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Avengers: No Road Home #5 (of 10)

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Avengers: No Road Home #5 (of 10)

Writers: Jim Zub, Mark Waid & Al Ewing

Artist:  Sean Izaakse

Cover Art:  Yasmine Putri

This continues to be one of the best series in comics.  Marvel has been doing the weekly series recently with the X-Men and now Spider-man, but none of those have been as consistently exciting, dramatic and full of outstanding action as the Avengers: No Road Home.

We continue with the battle on Mount Olympus with the Avengers gaining a bit of an upper hand by focusing on the children of Nyx, the Goddess of Night.  The Immortal Hulk’s arrival tilts the scale even more, but Nyx showed that she was more than a typical threat.

A plan from Wanda, aka Scarlet Witch, leads to her escaping with the crystal shard that Nyx wanted so desperately.  And where Wanda winds up, thanks to Voyager is a huge spoiler for next issue.  So hide your eyes if you do not want to know.

SPOILER

Yes, Wanda winds up with the one and only Conan the Barbarian.

This series is just great and I cannot wait for the next issue to see where this goes from here. It is the highest level I can rate it here…

excelsior

 

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Amazing Spider-Man#17

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Amazing Spider-Man #17

“Hunted Part 1”

Writer:  Nick Spencer

Artist:  Humberto Ramos

Cover Art:  Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado

The ten-issue arc contained inside the pages of the Amazing Spider-man called Hunted started last week in an introduction to the story and part one happens this week.

I am a huge Spider-man fan.  I love Peter Parker and if this ten issue weekly arc is as fantastic as the Avengers: No Road Home has been, then I am going to be one happy Spidey fan.

The Amazing Spider-Man has been building to this story for several issues now as Kraven the Hunter and his “son” have been abducting animal themed super-villains for some mysterious intentions.  We start to see the thoughts behind the events this issue.

Of course, Kraven was the villain behind one of the most praised Spidey stories of all time, Kraven’s Last Stand.  This has the same feel to it.  There are some dark implications in the story as well, things that do not make me feel good.  Something particularly directed toward Mary Jane Watson.

MJ’s return to Peter is one of the best things that has happened in years.  I love Peter and MJ together and I want more.

This issue does what all Spider-man books should do… show how much of a hero Spider-man truly is.  Despite being sick as a dog, Peter heads out to search for the missing child of Dr. Curt Conners, and his former girlfriend, Felicia Hardy aka The Black Cat.  However, it is a trap.

Peter is once again placed in a situation where the odds are completely against him and looks to be hopeless.  Yet, we know that Spider-man will find a way… or at least, we hope he will.

Awesomeness

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Old Man Quill #2 (of 12)

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Old Man Quill #2 (of 12)

In the Court of the Crimson King

Writer:  Ethan Sacks

Artist:  Robert Gill

Cover Art:  John Tyler Christopher

Okay, I had no intentions of buying the Old Man Quill series.  I mean, Old Man Logan came out during a period I was not reading comics so I basically missed it, though I knew of the character and enjoyed the take on him in the current X-Men continuity.  I absolutely loved Old Man Hawkeye, but I always had more of a connection to the character of Clint Barton than I did for Peter Quill.

Plus, I have never been much of a fan of the alternate futures or timelines that are not part of the real Marvel Universe.  Those types of stories never appealed to me.  They weren’t my thing.

Of course, I get Marvel #1s in my pull list so I gave Old Man Quill #1 a read and …dang it… this was way better than I had thought it would be.  Enough so that I got number two, and… it was better than number one.

Looks like I am reading another old man story.

With the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy arriving on an earth that Quill can barely recognize, Quill, Drax, Rocket, Gamora and Mantis make their way across earth in an attempt to stop the Universal Church of Truth, who were the group to destroy Spartax.

The down-trodden Peter interacting with his “family” in the Guardians really makes this series special and watching these hardened and bittern Guardians deal out justice in a brutal and violent manner is something awesome.

We get Dr. Doom in the series as well, as Doom has stepped up and spread his dominant hand across the planet.

Great writing so far and the art is solid for the story being told.  I did not want to be buying Old Man Quill, but I am, and I am enjoying it!

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Avengers: No Road Home #4 (of 10)

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Avengers: No Road Home #4

Writer:  Al Ewing, Jim Zub and Mark Waid

Artist:  Sean Izaakse

Cover Art:  Yasmine Putri

This is the fourth week of the Avengers event called No Road Home.  It has been the best Avengers story arc in a long time.

This week’s issue gives the background of the series main villain, Nyx, which means we get some Greek mythology in the works.  And Hercules has his mind clouded by the children of Nyx and he attacks his friends in the Avengers.

And above all else, there is such an epic final page of the issue.

This issue has some amazing pages of art work from Sean Izaakse.  There are some beautifully rendered pages, featuring the contrast between the colors of the world of Mount Olympus to the shade/darkness of the arrival of the Goddess of the Night and her children.  The art stood out to me more this week than it had yet in this exceptional run of Avengers comics.

It makes me excited to see next week’s issue even more than I already am.

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Meet the Skrulls#1 (of 5)

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Meet the Skrulls #1 (of 5)

Family Unit

Writer:  Robbie Thompson

Artist:  Niko Henrichon

Cover Art:  Marcos Martin

With the Skrulls playing a big role in the new Marvel Studios film Captain Marvel out this week, it makes sense that Marvel Comics has jumped in with a new limited series based on the green-faced, shape-shifters called Meet the Skrulls.

The story starts off introducing us to the family of Skrulls who have a mission from the Skrull Empire and have been undercover on earth for years.

With a discussion around the dinner table, we are introduced to all the members of this family, the Warners.  We see not only the problems that come from a secret spy family infesting the world at large, but we also see the problems within a small family that everybody can relate to.  Everything from sibling rivalry to bullying in touched on in the first issue and it is great.

I get a definite vibe from this issue as I did with the Tom King Vision series which was such a tremendous limited series.  If Meet the Skrulls is anywhere near that wondrous series, then we are in line for some really enjoyable comics.

We also have what the issue is dubbing “Project Blossom” which appears to be a plan to suss out the Skrulls in hiding and kill them.  We see this in the first few pages as an agent from Project Blossom attacked and killed a seemingly innocuous Skrull family and it worked so well to set this antagonist as a danger to our main cast of apparently villainous family members.

There was lots of interest here and I am excited to see where it goes next.

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Avengers: No Road Home #3 (of 10)

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Avengers: No Road Home #3 (of 10)

Writers: Al Ewing, Jim Zub & Mark Waid

Artist: Paco Medina

Cover Art:  Yasmine Putri

I have simply decided that I will be reviewing each issue of the 10 issue series of Avengers: No Road Home as one of Comic Issues of the Week. Why, you say?  Well, because this has been a top of the line series and the quality is higher than weekly series that we have gotten so far.

I have stated that one of the best parts of the series has been the interactions between characters and this issue is no exception.  The Hulk was on fire this week as we definitely get the feels of the new version of the Immortal Hulk here.  His interactions with both Hawkeye and Rocket are almost chilling at time.  This version of the Hulk feels less likely to snap to murder everyone and more likely to plan it out.  I get a clear serial killer vibe from the green Goliath.  He is a bit disturbing, and I like it.

We also get Hercules, still in mourning over the loss of his family from Mount Olympus and acting out like only Herc can do.  This leads to a shocking conclusion that I will not spoil but one that has me anxious to see the book next week.

The creative team has been of a high quality so far as they continue to expand this story across the universe and into dimensions.  The arrival and subsequent situation for Nightmare was a cool inclusion.

Avengers: No Road Home is a must read.  It has been fantastic so far and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

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Invaders #2

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Invaders #2

War Ghosts Part II

Writer:  Chip Zdarsky

Artists:  Carlos Magno with Butch Guice

Cover Art:  Butch Guice & Dan Brown

The second issue of the Invaders series continues its excellent run with a dual story of flashbacks to World War II and a current day conflict between former Invaders Namor and Captain America.  All the while, there is a mystery brewing about the past of Namor and how he is connected to Charles Xavier.

This has been just excellent so far.  The confrontation between Cap and Namor is just wonderful, as we see the connection that these two men had in the past and how it influences how they are carrying themselves today.

Honestly, though, I am just enthralled with the mystery of what Namor is hiding and how it will impact the Atlantean King.

This smaller story that involves Namor with a human family known as the Petersons goes in direct contrast with the King Namor who is in apparent preparation to start a war with the surface world including some weaponry that you may not expect.

I love the contradictions within the character of Namor.  Is he a hero who fought beside the surface world against the vileness of the Nazis or is he a power mad despot who wants to take his anger out on the humans for their treatment of the seas?  It seemed that his connections to Steve Rogers, to Nay Peterson, to Bucky, may be what stands between the all out war.  And how does Charles Xavier fit in, and is it a secret that Namor is willing to kill people he cares about to protect?

Invaders #2 is a great story and I am completely entertained by it.  Come to the series to see how these long time allies deal with a changing world.

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Avengers: No Road Home#2 (of 10)

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Avengers: No Road Home#2 (of 10)

Writers: Al Ewing, Jim Zub & Mark Waid

Artist: Paco Medina

Cover Art:  Yasmine Putri

I do not usually repeat series here, especially not consecutive issues, but Avengers: No Road Home is an exception.  This is one of the best Avengers stories in quite a while and that is saying something.

I have been fully engaged so far after only two issues.  I love the grouping of Avengers involved in this series.  I have always been a fan of Hercules and I am happy to see him standing front and center.  Clint Barton and the Hulk and their history brings an uncertainty, especially with the new Immortal Hulk who brings a darker side to the Green Goliath.  Rocket Raccoon in a whole new group away from the Guardians of the Galaxy.  Vision, Scarlet Witch, Spectrum and Voyager finishing off the roster for the series.

And this Nyx is bad ass.  Although it feels a little Thor:Ragnarok in story (Nyx hidden away cause she is too powerful- just like Hela), I find it very well written with some definite wit to it.  The combination of Al Ewing, Jim Zub and Mark Waid make a wonderful trio of writers here.  I would be curious to know how their process went here and who did what.

This episode had lots of great action and a focus in the mindset of Clint Barton aka Hawkeye.  And it leads to a great final page.

This has been a great start to this weekly series and I am excited about the next installment.

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Black Widow #2 (of 5)

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Black Widow #2 (of 5)

Writers:  Jen & Sylvia Soska

Artist:  Flaviano

Cover Art: Clayton Crain

 

The new Black Widow limited series is at issue number two and it continues the top notch work from issue number one.  I must say though, since Natasha has returned from the dead, she has really stepped up her brutality.  There is some really hardcore violence here as Natasha is searching in Madripoor for an organization called No Restraints Play, a site where players can bid/watch/partake in live torture.  Natasha has dedicated herself to the complete decimation of this organization.

And she does not care what she does to accomplish that goal.

I will say that a couple of the scenes made me a bit uncomfortable.  I know Natasha was a spy and, because of her background in Russia, has done such things before, but I have always been one of the “my heroes don’t kill” type of fan.  Still, I am interested in the story as a character study on Natasha and what she is willing to do to bring down this horrible group.

Natasha has also assumed an identity of Lady Patch, much like Logan did in his old days in Madripoor.  There were a group of villains who made cameos in this issue that might just raise the stakes.

I enjoyed the issue even though I am unsure about the way they have taken Black Widow.  I am definitely in for the rest of the series.

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Savage Sword of Conan #1 (2019)

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Savage Sword of Conan #1

The Cult of Koga Thun:  Part One: Shipwrecked

Writer:  Gerry Duggan

Artist:  Ron Garvey

Cover Art:  Alex Ross

I was surprised how much I enjoyed Jason Aaron’s version of Conan the Barbarian.  It has been a really enjoyable read so far.  I was never a huge Conan fan, but the series was strong.  Despite this, I did not anticipate collecting the new upcoming Savage Sword of Conan series.

And then I read it.

I might have liked this number one issue better than the Jason Aaron book.  This issue was so great.  I have been amazed that this current run of Conan has been so entertaining, especially since I have not been a huge fan of the Barbarian.

I liked the art in this issue too, but it is in a different manner.  The art was dark and full of shadows and it seemed to really fit the story being told.

It looks like Savage Sword of Conan is going to be added to the comics to read.  Marvel has done a top notch job so far and I am excited for it.

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Avengers: No Road Home #1

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Avengers: No Road Home #1 (of 10)

Writer:  Mark Waid, Al Ewing, & Jim Zub

Artist:  Paco Medina

Cover Art:  Yasmine Putri

The new weekly limited series featuring the Avengers dropped this week and I enjoyed it a great deal.  This first issue was basically setting up the story and assembling the crew.

And this group of Avengers looks to be an awesome combination.  The group is brought together by Voyager, the “Avenger” who was involved in the big No Surrender story arc.  The group included Hercules, Rocket Raccoon, Clint Barton (Hawkeye), Scarlet Witch, Vision, Hulk, and Spectrum.  This group has a lot of intriguing interactions between this group of Avengers and I enjoyed the characters.

I have always liked Hercules and the way Marvel has portrayed him.  This story, though, has also showed a different side of Herc.

The final page of this issue looked so awesome.

The art of Paco Medina is top notch here and the combination of writers on this book (Waid, Ewing & Zub) are wonderful.

I am compelled by the beginning of this. The weekly arcs that they have done at Marvel have been inconsistent so far, but this Avengers arc is off to a great start.

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Man and Superman#1

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Man and Superman#1

Writer: Marv Wolfman

Artist:  Claudio Castellini

Cover Art:  Claudio Castellini and Alex Sinclair

Now, you are immediately wondering why I am using this DC Comic as my comic of the week.  You know that I am a Marvel die hard and only collect from the Marvel Universe.  However, Ben, my friendly neighborhood comic shop owner recommended the Man and Superman #1 that came out this week, as a one-shot, 100-page spectacular, written by EYG Hall of Famer Marv Wolfman.  He told me that it was originally a four-issue mini series from Wolfman that, when first written, did not fit into the DC Comics continuity (apparently it was around the New 52 era).  Ben told me that it re-imagined the first days of Clark Kent in Metropolis and the arrival of the hero eventually to be dubbed Superman.

To be honest, I am not a huge Superman fan.  His power is too great and that makes him difficult to relate to.  Yet, I did very much enjoy the Max Landis take on the Superman mythos called Superman: American Alien.  When I was assured that this was not the start of a new series and just a one-issue story, I decided to give it a try.

I liked it.

Wolfman presented Clark Kent in a different manner than I have seen him before.  He had this unimaginable power, but his confidence was anything but super.  Ma and Pa Kent were there supporting him, but alone in the big city, the small town boy struggled to take that big step into legend.

I caught a definite Peter Parker-type vibe about this version of Clark Kent.  Perhaps that is the way that Wolfman was trying to overcome the problem with relatability of Superman.  That did help for me.  I also liked the introduction of Lois Lane into the story, how she was always the one to believe in The Flying Man, despite much of the public initially reacting negatively to him.  That was another connection I made wit this version of Superman with Spider-man, as he is always getting the bum rush from the people or the news while all he wanted to do was help people.

I have always liked the roster of DC characters, but preferred the manner in which the stories are written/presented by Marvel.  Still, it goes to show that a talented writer telling a good story can hook anyone into a book.  I’m certainly not going to start buying up all the DC books, but I am glad that I took the recommendation for Man and Superman#1.

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West Coast Avengers#7

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West Coast Avengers#7

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist:  Daniele DiNicuolo

Cover Art:  Eduard Petrovich

This series has been spotty so far.  However, I have stuck with it because there is an interesting group of characters in this variation of the West Coast Avengers.  Clint Barton, our original Hawkeye, is here, but not the leader.  That goes to Kate Bishop, the female Hawkeye.  Quentin Quire has been one of my favorites for many years, dating back to the X-Men days.  Gwenpool, America, and Fuse are characters that I have yet to see the best out of, but who are, at least, different than the typical hero at Marvel.

And this issue has the return of Noh-Varr, aka Marvel Boy.

The villains in the series are a collection of oddballs too including M.O.D.O.K., Graviton, Madame Masque, Satana, The Eel(?), and Lady Bullseye. This is a motley crew for certain, but they fit in with the general tone of the book.

And Marvel Boy indicated that he was there to investigate a cult made up of Skrulls.  Now that sounds pretty cool.

West Coast Avengers is not the first comic I grab once it comes out, but I think it has potential to be something different and fun.

tryit

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Captain America#7

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Captain America#7

Captain of Nothing Part One

Writer:  Ta-Nehisi Coates

Artist:  Adam Kubert

Cover Art:  Alex Ross

A new story arc begins for the Captain America title.  Thunderbolt Ross is dead.  Killed.  Murdered.  And it seemed as if the murder blow came from a “disk-like object”.

A shield?

Steve Rogers is the leading suspect in the murder of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, a longtime Marvel Comics character who had once been the Red Hulk.  However, something intriguing is going on, but Steve Rogers turns himself in.

The feel of the story is dark.  I have a feeling we will be diving deep into the character of Steve Rogers and his trouble with the U.S. Government.  He makes a reference that this trouble goes all the way back to the Registration Act, which was from Civil War.  I hope this arc really examines the history of Cap over these last few years, from Civil War to the Hydra Supreme Commander.

I would love a mystery of who killed Thaddeus Ross too.  Issue six gave us some hints, but that does not mean that we have an answer.

This feels like a turning point for Captain America and the hope that he will be able to reclaim that spot he has lost in the eyes of the people of the Marvel Universe.

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