the X-Men and Superman relaunches continue apace, Bendis departs the
Guardians Of The Galaxy, Nadia Pym is still the most adorable genius
in the MCU and Black Panther fails to appear in a great first issue.
has enough credit with me that he gets the benefit of the doubt. This
first issue is fun but it does seem to lack a point. We get a nice
little team building mission with Jean leading the classic X-Men
against Black Tom Cassidy of all people as he tries to rob a yacht
full of rich people. Its well executed, the character interactions
are charming and Bunn establishes the personalities as well as the
angles he seems to be taking with the original X-Men but its all in
service to a cliffhanger that, frankly, just tells us something that
was all over the advanced advertising for this series.
But I liked
Bunn's Venom even if his Uncanny X-Men was perhaps the most
filler-tastic portion of the Terrigen Years and the basic idea of
this series and the X-Men's new “mysterious” leader interests me
so I'll be sticking around.
actually a really good debut issue. The Weapon X Project is hunting
various mutants (the ones on the cover), they've already captured
Lady Deathstrike in the X-Men Prime
one-shot and here they come after Old Man Logan. Its a good action
hook to start the issue with but after it we get to the scene that
really sold this series to me: Logan finding Sabretooth to ask for
see, there's something about this scene that grabs me: Wolverine,
despite Sabretooth trying to gut him, actually seems pleased to see
the guy. They'll probably never be friends but I like the idea that
Logan, having lived through his Mad Max Plus future, has actually
come to miss his worst enemy.
course, no review of this issue would be complete without mention of
artist Greg Land. Look, I could say all sorts of things about his
work but by this point I think we're all pretty well-informed on what
we'll find here. Actually, by Greg Land standards this is actually
pretty well drawn: no one is missing limbs, people actually make eye
contact, no one is having an orgasm. These are all improvements.
comes Dan Jurgen with some answers... eventually. I don't mean to
sound ungrateful here but the majority of this story is Superman
looking into his own past and revisiting the most stable, most well
known part of it: the destruction of Krypton. There are, to be frank,
other questions to be answered here. The slow reveal is, as I said
with the last issue of Superman,
probably the best approach to prevent the sort of front-loaded
exposition-heavy snorefest DC retcons often open with but an origin
retelling for Superman of all people seems like the height of
I must admit that having the Daily Planet back is almost worth the
most adorable series Marvel is putting out right now, even if the
writers aren't quite up on the world of women's professional
wrestling. Seriously, Poundcakes and Letha would make a fantastic tag
team in the modern WWE, maybe book them in a program against Nia Jax.
bizarre fantasy booking aside, the cuteness continues with more girl
genius recruitment, more Jarvis being perturbed about everything, and
Nadia finally having her sit down meeting with Matt Murdoch. Best of
all, though, her “best friend” *wink
wink* Ying turns up again in a scene which leaves nothing to
subtext if you want my opinion.
of the Galaxy #19
Big Time Bye-Bye Blowout” promises the cover and it was
frustratingly good. After issue after issue of single character
epilogues, some good, some startlingly irrelevant (the Angela one is
literally just a coda to her solo series and naff all to do with her
story in this title) Bendis hands in a really good one-shot finale
with the Guardians going up against Thanos and an invasion fleet of
various other nasties. Its big, its fun, there's a fight sequence
with various of Bendis' previous artistic collaborators pitching in a
page each, and Angela does her best Doctor Who impression at the
Brood at one point.
As I've said
before, it isn't Bendis' writing in toto that I have any sort of
problem with. I really like his work, it was what brought me back
into comics as an adult after a couple of years away but I'd be lying
if I said his pacing wasn't incredibly off-putting at times. If this
is what he can do for a single issue (and so, so little of this issue
was built up in the rest of Grounded) I cannot imagine what would
happen if this Bendis turned up more consistently.
Panther & The Crew #1
I am not at
all displeased that Black Panther doesn't show up in this issue.
Instead we get a flashback to the Harlem in the 1950s and an
African-American superteam of ages past followed by Misty Knight
investigating the death in custody of one of their number in the
present. There's also a run-in with the Americops from the Sam Wilson
series who have been sent in to uphold an unconstitutional curfew in
In all of
this Ta-Nehisi Coates proves he has range. Whilst this and the main
Black Panther series are clearly the stories of a place and the
people who live there before they're the story of individual
characters they are so distinct in flavour. Coates is also clearly
loving a chance to put a Marvel Universe spin on the history of a
real place after creating so much Wakandan history whole cloth.
honest, my only fear is that I won't like this series as much once
T'Challa actually turns up to take main character duties out of