TheWicked + The Divine 18-Kieron Gillen Jaimie McKelvie (A) Matthew Wilson (C)
Short version: I have no idea what’s going on anymore and it’s amazing.
Long Version: Gods how I missed Wic/Div. And I didn’t even realize how much I missed McKelvie. The guest artists were stellar, but man, I forgot how incredible McKelvie was as a draftsman. The writing was on point as usual and this book wouldn’t be half as good without Matthew Wilson’s colors.
The start of this arc brought everything together introduced new stuff and-honestly, I can’t write a cohesive review of this. I was gushing the whole time.
It was so good I’m at a loss for words. If you know me, you know that I don’t shut up, so this is a big deal.
Instead have some random thoughts about the book:
I’m a fan of the recap page.
Minerva’s parents were a nice inclusion. I like seeing the parents of child stars that are absorbed in it, but they generally mean well, even if they’re exploiting their kid. Also, Minerva is the best.
Baphomet. I finally like Baphomet.
What if it’s not Laura? WHAT IF IT’S NOT LAURA?
“Persephone’s in Hell?” Lucifer ruled Hell. Coincidence? ARRRGH!
Shakmet slays with her new ‘do and that outfit.
The energy of the fight was palpable. Shakmet’s predatory attacks vs. Persophone’s graceful movements.
It ends with not a bang, but….what comes directly after.
Don’t Call it a Comeback.
Black Panther #1– Ta-Nehisi Coates Brian Stelfreeze (A) Laura Martin (C)
It’s as good as everyone said it is.
As opposed to the “AAAAAHHHH, OMG” of Wic/Div, Panther offers weightier content. (I was predispositioned to say headier, but Wic/Div is by Kieron Gillen, so that’s a hard call.)
It is a dense comic and hard to describe without an active conversation. Lots of things happen. It’s a book you’re going to want to buy for yourself. You will want to own it.
Stelfreeze shows a lot of nuance and definitely helps elevate the material. Coates knows how to write politics, the book feels like an essay, but a really compelling one that you want to rush through so you know how it ends. Then you’ll want to read it again to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Structurally, the backup and cliffhanger make me wonder how this is going to read in trade. It’ll probably be fine, but from the first issue, single issues might be the way to go.
Vision #6-Tom King Gabriel Hernandaz Walta (A), Jordie Bellaire (C)
Oh, man, it’s creepy. King, Walta, and Bellaire continue their stellar run, the end of the first arc, isn’t even the end. It’s the beginning. Of the end, presumably with King signing an exclusive contract with DC.
Walta’s art is sterile, portraying the normal in a most unnerving way. The lines are thin and ghostly in quiet moments, but deep and thick when things get bloody. And Bellaire’s colors have defined the book. It’s as much her book as Walta or King’s. The subtle variations in the house and the deep red of the blood make the book.
It’s a book with a clearly defined identity, which begs the question, “will it survive King’s departure?” Also the question, “when is King leaving”?
Uncanny X-Men #6-Cullen Bunn Ken Lashley (A) Nolan Woodward (C) Paco Medina (A) Juan Vlasco (I) Jesus Aburtov (C)
Picked this up only because of the Apocalypse Wars crossover. I am not a fan of Bunn’s writing, although I did enjoy his Magneto series, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Angel stuff was really enjoyable and Bunn shows a real understanding of the characters, they all seem really well written, except Sabertooth, but I haven’t read much with him post-inversion, so it might be spot-on.
There was a lot of fun stuff in the book, the archangel flock, the cool memeory two page spread, and the Morlock sewer stuff was a fun callback to one of my favorite X-stories. And that ending.
Lashley’s art was brutal and beautiful, although I think a bit too much empathis on the latter. Psylocke was a little pin-up-y at times. I was pretty much X-pecting this from a “Not an X-Force” book, and I’m sure it’s more tame than Land’s.
On the flip side, I love Paco Medina’s art in the backup strip. It was his ormal quality of work, which is to say, phenomenal. Bun iid some fun stuff with the Fact Channel and Xorn. Oh yeah, Xorn?!?!
Scarlet Witch #5-James Robinson (credited for Script) Javier Pulido (A) Munta Vicente (C)
Javier Pulido. Wanda saving ghost nuns from undead inquisitors. A near silent issue. Buy it. Even if you have no interest in the rest of the series, read this one.
Spider-Man #3-Brian Micheal Bendis Sara Pichelli (A) Justin Ponsor (C)
This is a lot better considering the ahhh, weird portrayal of the internet youth last issue. Bendis shows his penchant for dialogue, which always engages me, even when the story is lax. That being said, the story isn’t lax here. Miles’ family life Post-SW isn’t something we’ve seen a lot of, so an issue devoted to just that is a nice cool down. (I mean, look guys, I love Blackheart and him being the first villain got me really excited, so I needed some cool down time at least.)
Miles’ Grandma is fantastic and she is everything a superhero cannot win against. AAAAHHH I love her.The tension between Jefferson and Rio about her rang as particularly true and I hope to see her and the hurricane that follows her a lot more.
Ms. Marvel seemed a little out of character, but I liked that she “got it”. If anyone would understand family getting in the way of heroics, it’s Kamala.
Pichelli thrives on the interpersonal moments and this issue is full of them. Like entirely. The pages with Jefferson, Rio, and Gloria she just raises the tension. It’s palpable just from the art. Her Kamala’s stretchiness is the right amount of gross and cool and I love it. And when she draws Felicia, I can think of only one word: Slay.
One last note: GOLDBAAAAAALLLSSSS!!!
Spider-Women Alpha-Dennis Hopeless, Jason Latour, Robbie Thompson (Story) Robbie Thompson Vanesa Del Ray (A) Jordie Bellaire (C)
Clowntown. Oh, how I long to be in thee.
This was a really fun issue and looks to be a great crossover. Gwen, Jess, and Cindy are a really fun combo and they play off of eachother really well. Each of them has different dynamics together and with just one of the others and that shows deft writing. Cindy, playing the fun-because-it-hurts type, Gwen who just doesn’t get it and she’s jealous of the time her mentor is giving Cindy, and Jess who just wants a girl’s day. Even if their lunch went as planned, the dynamics would have been enough to keep me hooked.
The tiny differences between the worlds were really fun to see (the come see sunny Wakanda/Latveria made me laugh) and I loved the little nods. (I don’t know why the Adaptoid isn’t used more. He’s so goofy.)
The art was really good. There’s a kind of Indie style to all of the books and it’s good to see that style continued in this, especially by a woman, as all of the writers are male. I’d also like to note that Jordie Bellaire is my favorite colorist and this book shows why. She is so, so good at blending tones together. She’s so good.
I am more than intrigued by this, I am actively invested. All three of the books are solid series and I recommend both them and Spider-Women Alpha.
Deadpool/Cable: Split Second– Fabian Nicieza Reilly Brown (W,A)
Only because like, all of my books gave a free digital copy. It was fine. I don’t care much about Deadpool or Cable. If you don’t know Cable, I’m not sure this is a good into. This one didn’t seem to use the Infinite format that well. The writing and art were both fine, not good, not bad, just fine. I wasn’t drawn into it. If you’re a Deadpool fan, I’m sure you’ll like it, if not feel free to skip it
Header art by Stacy Lee. All rights belong to Marvel.
Nicoli Raymond is a writer based out of Illinois. He writes scripts, short stories, and articles on pop culture. He tweets at @NicoliRaymond Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org . He’s sorry this came out so late. It’s been a busy week.
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