411’s Comic Reviews: Inhumans vs X-Men #1, Ultimates 2 #1
Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.
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Yesterday we discussed, “Best Female Supervillains!”
Now on with the show!
Inhumans vs X-Men #1
Review by RobF
The time for talking (and experimenting) is over; it’s time to fight. In one corner we have Marvel’s bastard children, the X-Men. In the other corner we have Marvel’s new favorites, the Inhumans. Only one group can survive the battle. Writers Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire and artist Leinil Francis Yu present a battle for survival where no one truly wins.
Desperate times for desperate measures. That’s the overall feeling of the mutants. Hank McCoy, the Beast, has tried and failed to curtail the Terrigen Mist problem. The mutants have run out of time and patience and have formulated a plan of war to save their existence.
In this first issue, it’s the X-Men who draw first blood. The three most powerful Inhumans (Karnak, Black Bolt, and Lockjaw) have been neutralized. But this series is far from over and I am sure the Inhumans will strike back; it’s just a matter of where and when.
This series has the emotional gravity that Civil War II could never attain. There are some extremely high stakes here, a matter of survival for mutantkind. For the Inhumans, they are protecting their future. The mists are who they are, and they will die to defend it. You can’t get any more serious than this. It’s hard to choose a side.
I have never been a fan of Leinil Yu’s art and this issue does nothing to change my mind. His backgrounds can be sloppy and unclear. His coarse style isn’t generally well-suited for dialogue-heavy comics and I think it doesn’t work here.
After a lackluster Civil War II, the Inhumans vs X-Men starts off strong. Both sides have made a case for their existence and neither will back down. Let’s hope the momentum continues.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Ultimates 2 #1
Review by Sankalp G.
The Ultimates are back and they are bringing with them more mysteries, a new leader, new adventures, and a new look! Ultimates 2 feels like they never entered Civil War 2 tie-ins, which disrupted the flow and the story Al Ewing wanted to tell.
I have already stated before that I love the stuff Marvel likes to do with their multiverse. The first panel in this series displays the chained/caged Eternity, which is screaming; the
multiverse is screaming. There is definitely something wrong going on and some big powers behind it.
Blue Marvel gets a glimpse of it. He is interrupted by Anti-Man. Yes, he is back. He traps both Monica Rambeau and Blue Marvel in some type of force field. Next there is a reunion between Black Panther and Captain Marvel, both under cover. U.S.A. wants to have a relationship with Wakanda but not through the Ultimates.It is stated that if the Ultimates reunify again, then it will be considered treason for Captain Marvel. There are logical reasons given by the Wakandan Prince why the Ultimates disbanded and why they cannot reunite instantly. Anti-Man also goes there, traps these two and transports all four of them to some pocket reality.
The lifebringer Galactus recruits them to serve him and solve the problems of the universe and get rid of the darkness in the universe by unchaining Cosmos. Captain Marvel disagrees to work under Black Panther, stating he planned this all just to have them come back together. Ms. America arrives to tell the Ultimates that she is their leader and they will follow her, not Black Panther.
I am very happy where this series is going. In a preview of things to come, they also put down a glimpse of Ultimate Reed Richards with the Ultimate Universe and Molecular Man arresting Captain Marvel. Sounds confusing,right?
The art is the best thing which has happened with this soft reboot. I stated last time that series like this requires a different style than Rocafort, who is better suited for fights and action scenes rather than visuals which were offered by the Ultimates. The new art team has done a fantastic job and have nailed the look. This book will be on my pull list even if it underperforms, just because of the gorgeous art alone.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #14
Review by Jonathan Durden
As the conclusion of this run of Eternal Warrior, I have to say I’m not satisfied and I hope Venditti and Gill and Spicer will all return for another run in the future. I mean, there is still a rather conspicuous loose end, right? Or am I missing something?
The enemy from the Labyrinth, called the Dying One, is still at large in a new body. I would have thought that if anything Valiant would have put the comic on a hiatus while Venditti works on other projects. I hope that is still the case and that he will wrap things up with the enigmatic adversary.
On the other hand, this redemption-filled arc wherein Gilad rescues and repairs his relationship with his firstborn son Kalam has been nothing if not compelling. This issue I am overall happy with. If it were contained to this plot of Gilad repairing his relationship with Kalam instead of throwing in the big baddy, this ending would have tied it all together perfectly, but it may not have been as gripping without Gilad having gone through the Labyrinth.
Not only that, but having the Dying One reveal his connection with Kalam made it that much more emotionally compelling when Gilad went through the hell he went through to find and rescue him. The time jumps used in the issue were perfect and added to the emotional value of the conclusion, which is exactly what I wanted out of this arc. Gilad lugging the Pale Herder’s head across the Salt Dunes with his son resting on top, weary from fighting the hordes of the Herder’s minions, was a particularly riveting visual.
The brief reconciliation between Humongous and Gilad was also a nice touch. I think there is so much more that can be done here, and I just hope Robert Venditti will be the one to continue it along with Robert Gill and Michael Spicer. They have been such a great team and their collaboration is seen clearly in the pages of Eternal Warrior. I will miss seeing new issues by this marvelous crew in my pull list.
Finally, the reparation of Gilad’s relationship with Leena, and his peaceful ending with his family Beyond the Veil of Life and Beyond Time. A great picture of harmony. Still, I think there is work still to be done for Gilad, when he has to face the Dying One again…
Rating: 10 out of 10
Death of Hawkman #3 (of 6)
Review by Stephen M. Lyon
Death of Hawkman is a mini series that I’ve been enjoying for the last couple months. This review is more of a continuation from my reviews of the first than it is a stand alone review for my summary of the first 2 issues, check out The 411’s Comic Reviews from November 10th.
This issue begins the same way that each of the first 2 issues began, with a look at the present followed by a flashback. It begins back on Thanagar in a war zone, with Hawkman killing a combatant, and Adam Strange struggling with it. Hawkman gives a stereotypical line about this being war, gives strange a weapon, and then rests, leaving Strange on watch duty. Strange ponders his situation, and flashes back to when he teleported via Zeta beams to Thanagar and surprised Hawkman in his home. He makes Hawkman aware of the attack on Rann, and the fact that the Rannians seem to be excited to jump into war. He also reveals an image that he has discovered of an unidentified party on Rann who may have been involved with the attack; it’s revealed to be (SPOILER ALERT!), the infamous villain from the planet Kalador, Despero! Hawkman is skeptical, as the Justice League sealed him in a cell on earth, in a comatose state. Strange understands the concern, so they call Cyborg, who goes to investigate himself, and finds that someone else’s body is in the cell that Despero is supposed to be occupying. As the investigation on earth is going on, the Thanagarian police put out an alert for Strange, who escapes along with Hawkman, making them both fugitives. All the while, the reader is given a glimpse at the actions of the Rannian council, and they doubt his wife’s ability to be fair, should Strange be a traitor (as they are beginning to suspect, due to his travel to Thanagar post-bombing). The book ends with Hawkman and Strange leaving Thanagar, heading to Kalador; the Rannian council finds out that Strange is leaving with Hawkman, resulting in them assuming Strange is on the side of the Thanagarians, and a bounty being put on their heads by none other than Strange’s wife.
I’m appreciating this take on a classic comic book story; 2 heroes from opposing sides working together to pursue truth, while their compatriots assume them to be traitors to the cause. The art in this series as been fantastic; nothing particularly innovative, but good art doesn’t have to be – this is timeless comic book artwork that will never go out of style. If I had a complaint, it would only be that the story progresses too little in each installment; this could probably work in a 4 or 5 issue mini-series, with just adding a few pages at the end of each. That being said, it’s still on my pull list, so I guess stretching it out makes sense from a financial perspective, if people will still read it. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story progresses.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
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