Comic book reviews for the week of 4/24/17( Spoilers Abound)

I have been gone from the blog for a while.  Mostly because Marvel comics has felt very uninspired for a very long time.  And it pain’s me to say that a lot of it has to do with diversity in comics.  Marvel has been trying to attract younger readers of different ethnicities.  So, on order to do this, they killed off heroes we love and replaced them with knock off replacements.  For instance, Bruce Banner was killed by Hawkeye in Civil War 2 and replaced with an Asian teenager who is now referred to as the totally awesome hulk.  Tony Stark has also been replaced by a teenage African American girl.  This has alienated many long time readers and Marvel sales have plummeted.  

The good news?  Starting in August, Marvel will be starting an event called generations, which will bring together legacy characters with today’s counterparts.

But things are slowly starting to change  Marvel actually put out a mini event called Monsters Unleashed that was fun to read.  The story followed a young inhuman boy that had the ability to summon monsters by drawing them.  All the Superheroes were forced to fight these monsters when all they had to do was rely on the young boy to create new monsters to fight the already created monsters.  The mini series lead to its own ongoing series which I highly recommend.  It just started a few weeks ago so if you’re new to comics, it’s a great place to start.

Marvel has also just begun a new event called Secret Empire where Captain America is being manipulated into believing he’s the leader of hydra.  I’ve not read it but I hear it’s amazing.

So let’s get started on this week’s comics.

1.  While X-men Gold #002 is not as controversial as it’s first issue, it seems that this time the author ( instead of the artist ) is attempting to add to the controversy.  If you are unaware of this controversy, Ardian Syaf, the penciler of the book, hid references from the Koran in his art that were anti-semetic in nature.  His contract was immediately terminated causing the value of the book to skyrocket.  Syaf is still the penciler of the book but it’s only because the issue had already been sent to the printer.  Syaf, despite his own religious views, is a very good artist, and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about firing someone who practices freedom of expression in a society that values that trait.  Still X-men is about inclusiveness so it’s not the best place to express those views.  X-men Gold follows the team of Kitty Pryde, Storm, Nightcrawler, Collosus, Prestige and Old man Logan.    The book is mostly about trying to start over as the mutants faced the difficult challenge of trying to rebuild after a war with the Inhumans.  

As any reader of the X-books might know, Xavier”s school is now in the heart of Central Park.  The Gold team is dispatched to the United Nations headquarters where they are attacked by a new team of brotherhood of evil mutants.  Of course the whole conflict is televised which prompts a political pundit to call for the deportation of all mutants.  And here is where the controversy begins.

It is not hard to figure out that this issue is a slam on Trump and his desire to deport illegal aliens.  I don’t even think it tries to hard to mask that intentionally.  And, as I mentioned that I’m all for freedom of expression, but I also think that there are so many different voices decrying the same thing, it can get tedious.  I am not a trump supporter by any means but the disdain for the man, warranted or not, is overbearing at times.  I think this comic takes the issue right up to the line of being too much but doesn’t quite cross it.  I’m just wondering how many other groups Marvel can alienate through this title.  I guess we will see.  Grade: B+

2.  X-men Blue #002 is not as controversial.  As many of my readers know the original 5 x-men were transported through time to stop Cyclops from the present from starting a war between mutants and humans.  Once they got to our present, they couldn’t return to their time frame.  The team is technically lead by Jean Grey but their benefactor is Magneto.  Magneto is now an anti hero and wants peace between humans and mutants.  

This entire issue is based on the duplicity of Jean grey.  She acts one way around magneto while secretly training her team to fight magneto.  But it also shows Magneto secretly working on a project that questions his motives as well.

All in all, this was a good issue.  Sometimes the art in this book annoys me.  I haven’t been able to put my finger on it yet but I think it has to do with the book feeling like it’s trying to be anime like.  Grade: B.

3.  Weapon X #002 is quick becoming one of my favorite books.  The reason:  It’s Greg Land’s book.  Who is Greg Land?  One of the best comic book artists in the business.  What do I love about this book?  Well, to start, the cover of this issue is very reminiscent of hulk #340 where you see the reflection of the hulk in Wolverine’s claws except, in this issue, sabretooth”s image can be seen in old man Logan”s claws.

This issue is divided into two plotlines.  For reasons that have not been completely revealed yet, the Weapon X program is trying to capture Warpath, Lady Deathstrike, Domino, Sabretooth and Old Man Logan.  They have sent adamantium machines against Old Man Logan, Sabretooth and Warpath to study their powers and capture them.    What makes this interesting is Old Man Logan can’t detect the monsters through smell so he h as s to be extra careful when fighting the machines.

In this issue we learn that the machines sent to capture the mutants have new features that weren’t seen in the first issue.  The feature Is  actually a bit creepy but youll have to read the issue to figure out what it is.  

The writing and pacing of this story is really good.  There is enough tension in both of these issues that leave you wanting more.  And while I’m a huge fan of Greg Land,  I’m not sure this was his strongest work.  I’m giving this issue an A-

4.  Hulk has been one of the more annoying and bizarre comic books of the last few months.  It turns out that since Bruce Banner is dead and Jennifer has come out of a coma she has started practicing law again.  Her first case back is a client named Maisie that mysteriously summons monsters to kill people that give her a hard time.

This issue(#005) we get a little back story from when Jennifer comes out of her coma and we get more of the Maisie story.

What makes this book annoying is there has been no hulk yet and we are already 5 issues into the series.  I don’t really have a lot more to say.  Grade: B-

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