HOUSE OF X #1 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Batman Curse Of The White Knight #1 CoverBATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #1/ Script, Art & Covers by SEAN MURPHY/ Colors by MATT HOLLINGSWORTH/ Letters by ANDWORLD DESIGN/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

We return to the world of Batman: White Knight to find that Joker is back and sorely annoyed by what Jack Napier did to undo his efforts to turn Gotham City into an unholy mess. Thankfully, the Clown Prince of Crime has a plan and it delves into the origins of Gotham City and the past crimes of the Wayne family. Can Batman navigate a changed city that sees him as a villain to figure out what his greatest enemy is up to before both his and Napier’s legacies are undone?

Curse of The White Knight #1 surprised me, but not unpleasantly. Given my work in comics news, it is rare for a book to surprise me in these days of advance solicitations and early reviews. As such, the fastest way to my heart is for a book to give me an honest jolt of the unexpected and this book did that. What was anticipated, however, is that Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth still have it. Time will tell if this is a worthy sequel to the original series, but so far it is a welcome return to form.

5-5

 

House of X #1 CoverHOUSE OF X #1/ Script by JONATHAN HICKMAN/ Art by PEPE LARRAZ/ Colors by MARTE GARCIA/ Letters by VC’S CLAYTON COWLES/ Design by TOM MULLER/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by MARCUS HAMMOND

Things are looking up for mutants in House of X #1. Krakoa has become a sanctuary for mutants, located in the Pacific Ocean. Ambassadors from different human factions tour the sanctuary, while we see several other vantage points of this new world. Krakoa has provided a flower that extends human life and cures mental illness. This flower is the chief export for the new mutant nation.For the first time, in a long time, mutants are at peace. As with most Jonathan Hickman tales, however, there are multiple layers of subterfuge and politics working for and against Xavier’s goals.

We know from other Hickman storylines like Infinity and Secret Wars that his world-building skills are best displayed at a slow pace. It’s clear that he’s taking his time developing this world where mutants are recognized as a separate nation with a viable economic system. We see five distinct narrative directions within this issue that range from detailing what Krakoa is like and how the new mutant nation is managing human concern and tension, to a brief view of a clandestine group that may be working against Xavier, a failed covert operation led by Sabertooth and Mystique, and a stern message from Magneto that overshadows all thoughts of peace.

Pepe Larraz and Marte Gracia work in tandem to bring an eerie, other-worldly atmosphere to this issue. Larraz uses intricate detail to emphasize characters into focal points, while Gracia mutes the supporting cast with deeply shadowed colors. When Magneto stands in front of a council of humans touring his new home, all eyes are on him. There are so many panels that should be recognized as stellar accomplishment of art all on their own that are combined into Hickman’s methodical narrative. I found myself reading this issue multiple times because I’d go back and look at a panel, and the dialogue would catch my attention, forcing me to read through the events again to make it to the next stellar marriage of art and writing. Every inch of this issue is intriguing and a sign of good things for the future of the X-Men.

5-5

 

Valkyrie Jane Foster #1 CoverVALKYRIE JANE FOSTER #1/ Script by JASON AARON & AL EWING/ Art by CAFU/ Colors by JESUS ABURTOV/ Letters by VC’S JOE SABINO/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

Jane Foster. Doctor. Cancer Fighter. Former Thor. And now, the last remaining Valkyrie, starting a new chapter in her life where she must fight harder than she has ever fought before to protect the good in the world while also trying to keep her personal life from crumbling,. This first issue of Jane Foster Valkyrie is an amazing debut issue.

The character of Jane Foster herself has been the center of some controversy within the Comicsgate world, but this issue shows that, as during her time as Thor, Jane Foster is one of the most fascinating characters in the Marvel Universe and worthy of respect. Taking on a surprising yet familiar villain who has gained too much power and gotten a little too big for their britches, this story, combined with some incredible artwork, is shaping up to be one of Marvel’s strongest titles to date. A definite must-read and strong contender for best new title of 2019.

5-5

 

Weatherman Vol. 2 #2 CoverTHE WEATHERMAN VOL. 2 #2/ Script by JODY LEHEUP/ Art by NATHAN FOX/ Colors by MORENO DINISIO/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by IMAGE COMICS

Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM

When we last left Nathan and the gang, they landed on what remains of Earth to seek Dr. Nyseth in the hopes of getting Nathan’s real memories back. What they did not realize is that they were being followed by mutants.

In the latest issue, our heroes learn of the mutants’ existence, and it results in some Lovecraftian artwork from Nathan Fox that presents some incredible nasties, whom attack our intrepid crew. At the same time, Jody Leheup continues to give us some great writing to go with the outstanding art.

One thing that the comic is great at doing is suddenly dropping plot twists that slap you in the face and delivering cliffhangers that make us feverish to read the next issue. The cliffhanger this time around is a doozy, and will be a sucker punch for those who have followed this comic from Issue #1. It takes a lot theses days for the release of a new comic book to get me excited about reading it. The Weatherman is one of the few comics I am always excited to read.

5-5

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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