PRISM STALKER #1, ROGUE & GAMBIT #3, SNAGGLEPUSS CHRONICLES #3 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Batman White Knight #6 CoverBATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #6/ Story & Art by SEAN MURPHY/ Colors by MATT HOLLINGSWORTH/ Letters by TODD KLEIN/Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Batman’s most steadfast ally, Commissioner Gordon, has finally turned upon him. Will that and the aid of Nightwing be enough to help Councilman Jack Napier bring the crazed vigilante to justice? Even if he does, will he be able to save Gotham City from Neo Joker? The only thing more impressive than Murphy’s artwork is the ease in which he takes the various conflicting elements of Batman’s history and works them into a coherent story. Word is that this series is selling well enough that Murphy may be commissioned to do more stories in this universe. At this rate, I may be petitioning for him to replace Scott Snyder and Tom King as the major domos of the Bat Universe.

 

Prism Stalker #1 CoverPRISM STALKER #1/ Story, Art & Colors by SLOANE LEONG/ Letters by ARIANA MAHER/ Logo Design by DARIUS OU/Published by IMAGE COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Vep is a young woman who barely remembers her childhood on her homeworld before they were “rescued” by an insectoid race of aliens. Their hosts call them refugees, but they are truly slaves. Vep hungers for something she cannot put words to and an opportunity may have just presented itself. While Leong’s writing does a fair job of establishing the setting, Vep is a bit bland as far as protagonists go. The larger problem is the neon hued artwork that assaults the eyes on every page. This sci-fi series may find a way to distinguish itself in later chapters but there’s nothing in this first issue that drives me to want to pick up Issue #2.

 

Rogue and Gambit #3 CoverROGUE & GAMBIT #3 (of 5)/ Story by KELLY THOMPSON/ Art by PERE PEREZ/ Colors by FRANK D’ARMATA / Letters by VC’S JOE CARMAGNA/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by SARAH MORAN

It was inevitable this series was always going here, wasn’t it? Rogue and Gambit, together, alone, on a private island resort… fighting off an army of Rogue and Gambit clones. It just seems so obvious now in hindsight. Of course, quite a bit more than that happens in Rogue & Gambit #3 – quite a bit indeed.

This issue is all about discovery. Though it’s becoming more difficult for Rogue and Gambit to focus on their mission – a side effect, it seems, of either the island, their therapy sessions, or both – they still manage to uncover more about what’s happening to the missing mutants and how it connects with the resort. However, that’s not all they discover. While they continue rehashing old memories in their therapy sessions, Rogue and Gambit are forced to reckon with the feelings these memories stir up. And well, fighting a horde of throwback clones isn’t the only way Rogue and Gambit get physical in this issue.

Thompson has done a masterful job at building towards this moment. The mini-series has only been running three issues, but because of how well Thompson weaves in Rogue and Gambit’s past, the culmination here carries the weight of that decades-long past. Additioanlly, the artwork of Perez and D’Armata demonstrates their own diligence in getting these important moments just right. Whether it’s an embrace or a punch, nothing gets rushed – which, when looking at the large splash pages and intricate detailing of the climactic brawl, this is all the more impressive.

Rogue & Gambit #3 is another satisfying entry in what’s already been a thoroughly enjoyable mini-series. With only two more issues to go, this series just keeps getting hotter.

 

Snagglepuss Chronicles #3 CoverTHE SNAGGLEPUSS CHRONICLES #3/ Story by MARK RUSSELL & BRANDEE STILLWELL/ Pencils by MIKE FEEHAN & GUS VASQUEZ / Inks by MARK MORALES & GUS VASQUEZ/ Colors by PAUL MOUNTS & ROSS CAMPBELL/ Letters by DAVE SHARPE /Published by DC COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

The year is 1953. In a world where anthropomorphic animals and humans co-exist in life, the beloved pink lion Snagglepuss, originally a overly-dramatic  creation of Hanna-Barbera animation, has been reimagined as a nationally renowned playwright in the vein of Tennessee Williams.  Not only in terms of his personality, but in concealing/groping with his homosexuality in a time when it was dangerous to be out and proud. Combine this with the real life threats of McCarthyism and The House Ethics Committee, and Snagglepuss goes from being a goofy cartoon to a cautionary tale on how bigotry and racism fueled by The Government, fear and propaganda can be dangerous if history is allowed to repeat itself.

In light of recent events in this nation, this comic book series’ arrival could not be more timely, drawing parallels on events that happened in the past to show how they mirror events going on in the government and public eye today, with bigoted witch hunts. Honestly, if you are a member of the LGBTQ, or an ally, you owe it to yourself to read this series. Who knew that one of the best looks at LGBTQ history and also a jolting look at an ugly part of our nation’s past that should never happen again could come from a comic book about a pink  lion with a flair for dramatics who writes plays like “The Heart Is A Kennel of Lies”? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

 

X-Men Red #2 CoverX-MEN: RED #2/ Story by TOM TAYLOR/ Art by MAHMUD ASRAR/ Colors by IVE SVORCINA/ Letters by VC’S CORY PETIT/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Framed for a crime she didn’t commit, Jean Grey takes asylum in Wakanda as anti-mutant sentiment around the world reaches new heights. Laying low is not an option, unfortunately, as a wrongly imprisoned mutant in India needs the help of The X-Men.  My antipathy for X-Men comics is well known but Tom Taylor has me hooked on this one. Despite it being fairly typical in terms of plot (how many X-Men stories opened with a jailbreak?), Taylor’s humor makes this one stand out as something special. The artwork by Asrar and Svorcina is solid enough, making this a title that people who don’t like X-Men should give a try. X-Fans will probbaly like it as well.

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