As we enter a new era of Marvel Comics, I’ll be providing a weekly report on all Legacy titles. Your one-stop guide to what’s going on in the 616 universe from MFR’s resident Marvel fan. Above you’ll see Marvel Legacy’s report card for the week, then below we’ll dive into each book. Let’s dig in!
Also, check out our coverage from the previous weeks!
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
X-Men: Blue #16
“Cross Time Capers” Part One
Cullen Bunn takes the X-Kids through time in the first Blue story following “Mojo Worldwide.” Magneto’s secret plan to send the X-Men back home to the past is set in motion by an unseen force.
I’ve really been hard on Bloodstorm. I don’t think she’s necessary still, but her rooftop scene with Cyclops made me warm up to her a bit. Damn you Cullen Bunn, you win this round.
As always, this team’s interactions shine bright. Jimmy Hudson is another character that won’t stick around forever but Bunn makes good use of him while he’s here. Iceman soaking up some Mojo programming for “enemy research” was a highlight moment.
Visually the issue is fine, nothing too flashy and nothin atrocious. Some thinly crafted faces and weird looking body proportions, but not enough to take you out of the story. The 2099 X-Men look fantastic, making up most of the strongest page.
Rain Beredo’s coloring work is the driving force of the art’s charm. With a wide ranger of colors, these pages burst instead of bore us to death in a quieter issue.
Here we are again taking the teenaged X-Men into a new, exciting setting. This may be the only Legacy “hero versus hero” story. However, if it’s the X-Kids versus the 2099 mutants, it’ll be nearly impossible to feel like AvX, IvX, or any other vX’s.
“Lethal Protector” Part Four
Eddie Brock is trapped under rubble, like the iconic Spider-Man moment, showcasing that new leaf he turned over. He gets bailed out by a bunch of giant Moloids because of his reputation with the sewer dinosaurs. If that doesn’t make you want to read this comic, what are you doing here?
This arc wrapped up rather quickly in the end. No epic showdown, Venom handles both Kraven and Shriek fast and easy, the police come in to clean it up. If it weren’t for dinosaurs and Moloids, this abrupt finale would’ve been pretty disappointing.
On one hand, I’m glad Lee Price (the previous Venom) is getting closure following his handful of issues as the symbiote host. On the other hand, I don’t think anybody even remotely cared for Lee. I don’t think anyone would’ve minded if he were just swept under the rug.
The final page, with Lee getting out of prison, doesn’t hit like it’s intended to. Perhaps “Venom Inc.” will transform him into a crucial character.
Looking at Kraven The Hunter chase down dinosaurs in the sewers is one of the best examples of why we read comics in the first place. Venom is dumb fun that isn’t afraid to be the comic that it is. To expect anything else would be foolish.
Secret Warriors #9
“VS Mister Sinister” Part Two
Matthew Rosenberg excels at taking breaks to place superheroes into boring real-life situations. Moments like Karnak waiting on-hold during a phone call never cease to be amusing.
Little details in the art make this an extremely pleasing read. Javier Garrón, Will Robson, Israel Silva, and Clayton Cowles are doing exceptional work.
The motion blur and glowing light on the ring around Quake’s hand as she powers up, but her hand is clear and still on the inside of the ring. The vibrational rumble effect on the sound effects as she moves the ground. The movement and jet stream of Magik’s sword swings. The glow and curl of Inferno’s flames. You hear and feel these things as you’re reading.
Secret Warriors is one of the best team books around. A light-hearted, and often hilarious, comic that packs a major punch with stakes that carry significant weight. It’s easy to fall in love with this cast of charmers, if you hadn’t already. Not only are the characters infectious, but this is a goddamn gorgeous book too.
Moon Knight #189
“Crazy Runs In The Family” Part Two
There’s a thick fog of horror that slowly rolls across your brain as you read this issue. A legitimately terrifying villain threatening a man with a loose grip on sanity carries a heavy weight of intensity. Add the reawakened Amun-Ra lurking in the subplot and you’ve got a fully loaded comic bursting with anxiety.
Using Marc Spector as a subject, rather than the narrator, makes this feel like a case study in the best possible way. Khonshu’s tone of voice sheds a whole new light on he and Marc’s relationship as they share the same headspace. Max Bemis has been impressive in utilizing the different personalities right out of the gate.
The panels with Amun-Ra completely orange and awoken, questioning the gray, “sleeping” people on the street, are a great use of color. Moon Knight’s beautiful white costume covered in blood is something that will never cease to be satisfying.
When Moon Knight is investigating dark train tunnels, the sparing use of light is spectacular. Lopes’ ability to play with the striking white costume our hero wears, and how it adapts to surroundings, is on full display. The page-turn reveal of our antagonist (The Truth) by way of flashlight in the dark is like making a startling discovery in a dark corner of a Resident Evil game.
The big showdown in the dark, switching personalities to better match his opponent, and defusing The Truth’s sick grasp of honesty with a swift “I f*%@ing love it” give you plenty more reason to keep this issue in your mind for a while. Moon Knight comics are almost always memorable experiences, this is quickly making a case for being one of the most interesting takes.
The flame’s glow of the final page burn so bright you can feel the heat on your face. Moon Knight is going to have his hands full with the cast of lunacy we’ve been introduced to so far.
Moon Knight is a brutal, unforgiving, truly terrifying, and unforgettable experience. Max Bemis, Jacen Burrows, Mat Lopes, Guillermo Ortego, and Cory Petit are an absolute dream team. Every way you slice it, this comic is one you cannot afford to miss.
Jean Grey #9
“Psych Wars” Part Two
Dennis Hopeless continues to play exceptionally well with the female X-Men characters. He’s been bleeding the concept of Jean preparing for the Phoenix Force by collaborating with previous hosts for all it’s worth. We’ve already gone so many places but still this story doesn’t feel stale.
Every bit of bickering between Jean and Emma makes my heart sing like “Wild Thing.” They’re two characters that will always have an unlimited amount of unfinished business.
There’s some seriously girl power in this issue. Even the most sexist of comic book readers would have trouble denying the effectiveness if they would even notice at all.
Victor Ibáñez and Jay David Ramos deliver an issue that never gets flat-footed, keeping the pulse up despite the heavy amount of dialogue.
Ghost Jean’s face really does look like an older version of our current teenaged Jean in the closeup shots, an impressive detail. Hope’s arrival sequence was flawlessly crafted and very appropriate for a character raised by Cable.
This is the best Jean Grey we’ve ever seen, hands down. Never before has she been so familiar and appealing.
“The Return” One of One
Chad Bowers and Chris Sims share writing duties to bring Chris Powell and his amulet back, the return of Darkhawk is upon us!
It’s a delight to see an adult Chris Powell attempting to adjust to a normal life as a cop with a fiancé at home. It’s almost a shame that he’s getting dragged back into the cosmic drama, but it makes for a much more interesting read.
This one-shot is a solid introduction for any first-time reader, as well as a nice catch-up for longtime fans. The end is clearly tying into what’s going on in Gerry Duggan’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. Contrary to the promise of “ZILCH” at the end of the issue, if you’re looking for more Darkhawk, check out GOTG.
Kev Walker and Jaya Tartaglia do a fine job delivering a lighter Chris Powell, the issue gets darker and rougher around the edges as it progresses. Tartalgia doesn’t waste the opportunity to use the color pallet that comes with a Darkhawk comic. Plenty of deep pink, blue, red, and purple gives this book a colorful appeal.
While this isn’t a game changing Darkhawk issue to drool over, it’s a solid comic book. Successfully bringing both new and old readers up to speed before Powell takes on the new Raptor fraternity. If this were an ongoing, I would most certainly continue reading it.
“Exterminatrix” Part Two
The story, and Exterminatrix herself, are pretty dull for the most part. However, the art and characters help mask the lamer aspects.
The characterization of America Chavez is on target through both dialogue and visual expressions. She has the most attitude of any Marvel hero through her facial expressions and reactions alone. Flaviano and Jordan Gibson give us plenty to look at.
The smears of charcoal and dark police gear perfectly contrast America’s vibrant red, white, and blue. So do the shifting background colors, which effectively add another layer of emotion to each panel.
Beautiful color meets excellent design in the various wardrobe choices with the two groups coming to America’s rescue. Hairstyles and outfits worthy of The Fifth Element, which I imagine is how they found their name (Leelumultipass Phi Theta Betas). The character clothing also has a texture to it you can almost feel.
America isn’t a perfect book by any means but it’s got a lot of heart and character. The art alone is worth giving this comic a read.
“Cannonball Run” Part Two
Al Ewing’s Archie-fueled Skrull adventure comes to an end rather quickly. Making way for the massive Avengers crossover, blending all Avengers into one weekly story.
U.S.Avengers doesn’t get enough credit, it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable GI Joe/Avengers team. This arc took the kookiness to the next level with Cannonball finding himself in a planet-wide Skrull production of an Archie-like television show.
Ewing pokes fun at fandom, comics, obsession, outrage, and diversity. It’s only a two-issue arc that was clearly wrapped up sooner than originally intended. It still finishes nicely enough, but rather abruptly.
Paco Diaz and Jesus Aburtov tell the story through a fun cartoon style. Archie/Skrull models and X-Men mash-ups make this a fun, lighthearted read. Bug Face’s telling of his story to Cannonball in a fuzzy tv screen filter is great.
As fun as this was, it was over too soon. That could be said for both the story and title itself. Hopefully this weekly Avengers project isn’t the last we’ll see of this team, Ewing has plenty left to say and a lot of loose ends to tie up.
“Gwenom” Part Two
Jason Latour has done a fantastic job repurposing Marvel’s characters in an “elseworlds” comic. Gwen has grown into much more than a novelty mashup. Taking the original single issue concept and growing it into a fully formed series is impressive.
There are a lot of moving parts in this “Gwenom” story, all of them getting the perfect amount of face time to keep things rolling. This is shaping up to be the most interesting Spider-Person symbiote story since the original.
Spider Gwen‘s largest appeal continues to be the art. Robbi Rodriguez populates this world with so many different personalities through his pencils alone. You could strip all the dialogue away and have a cohesive story from just looking at character’s eyes.
Rico Renzi’s color gives this book its unique appeal. Even with sticking to the basic color scheme of Spider Gwen’s suit, Renzi keeps the pink, light blue, white, and black from getting tiresome.
The spray paint splatter backgrounds make for interesting and simple shadows and stylish depth. The speckled, burnt paper look for Reed’s portal is a neat effect.
“Gwenom” is the most fun a symbiote story has been in a long time. Latour keeps the plot loaded with twists, turns, and interesting takes on familiar faces. Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi keep this coming fresh, unique, and undeniably appealing.
Old Man Logan #31
“Scarlett Samurai” Part One
Old Man Logan comics have an exceptional success rate when it comes to creative teams. Brisson, Deodato Jr., and Frank Martin are no exception.
Logan finds himself back in Tokyo and it doesn’t take long before he’s involved in a blood soaked plot involving Silver Samurai. This time, Silver finds that Scarlet is a much more efficient color for a samurai.
After the Hulk family bloodbath, getting cranky old Wolverine in another old school kung-fu scenario is delightful. Many great Wolverine tales were born here and it looks like another will be.
We get some good old-fashioned villain-identity-mystery as the Scarlet Samurai makes quick work of her Silver counterpart. The plot unravels at a steady and infectious pace.
The best word to describe the artwork in this comic is striking. Every stab, blood spill, punch, etc. comes at the reader full blast. The action sequences operate in brilliant panel design and well crafted layouts. Deodato has made the grey-haired Logan very much his own.
Frank Martin’s color is what makes the issues even more striking. The blood splatter and gritty spackled environments make the action more pronounced and lethal.
Old Man Logan debuts for Marvel Legacy in beautifully brutal fashion. Brisson, Deodato, and Martin are a dynamite team that makes readers feel every punch and splatter of blood. This story kicks off what should be another memorable Tokyo visit by our elderly pal with the Adamantium claws.