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411’s Comic Reviews: Powers of X #2, Postal #1, More

August 15, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Powers of X #2

Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews (and previews) from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]!

Ghosted in LA #3

Preview by Steve Gustafson

BOOM! Studios revealed a first look at GHOSTED IN LA #3, the latest issue in the new original comic book series from GLAAD Media Award-nominated writer Sina Grace (Jughead’s Time Police) and artist Siobhan Keenan (Jem and the Holograms), about figuring out your love life – and your afterlife – in Los Angeles, and available in stores September 2019.

Daphne’s got her hands full balancing her life with her ghostly roommates, school life, and her best friend from back home—so, no way is she ready for her ex-boyfriend Ronnie to show up at the haunted apartment that’s her current dorm! Can she keep Ronnie from finding out about the undead company that she keeps? And what happens if the ghosts themselves can’t be contained? As the worlds of the living and the dead collide, long-kept secrets are revealed and new dangers unfold.

Going to the Chapel #2

Preview by Steve Gustafson

Action Lab’s outrageous new crime comedy revs up in GOING TO THE CHAPEL #2! As the police swarm the chapel, conflicted bride Emily must make a fateful choice — go through with her wedding, or team up with the Bad Elvis Gang to evade the bonds of holy matrimony. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, playing both sides isn’t as easy as it looks… Fans of Sex Criminals, Hawkeye and Crowded should not miss Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose (Spencer & Locke) and superstar artist Gavin Guidry (The Death Defying)’s off-the-wall heist thriller, due in stores and digital October 2018, featuring a sensational main cover from Marvel Action: Captain Marvel artist Sweeney Boo!

Orphan Age #5

Preview by Steve Gustafson

Surrounded by lights. No way in or out. The dead send a message. The tools they left us and those we built again. Some secrets are better left secret. Some forgotten moments are better left forgotten. If there is no road, make one.

The post-apocalyptic adventure written by Ted Anderson (MOTH & WHISPER, My Little Pony, Adventure Time) with art by Nuno Plati (Alpha: Big Time, Marvel Girl).

Powers of X #2

Review by Jeremy Thomas

The first three issues of House of X/Powers of X — because really, it is fruitless to refer to them as two separate stories — were focused on establishing the groundwork for the story that Jonathan Hickman is telling in the lead up to the Dawn of X era. They’ve made for an exhilarating right so far, one filled with questions that have yet to be answered and revelations that have changed the way we look at the X-Men in Marvel history. Nearly every comic event tries to do this; here, Hickman’s pulling it off so far.

Where those episodes have been about setting, Powers of X #2 is the first issue that really starts moving the pieces into place. If that sounds tactical, it’s intentional. The four timelines that inhabit the Powers title are replete with textual and visual references to war. There isn’t a lot of action — by which I mean, there isn’t really any. This is the most talk-heavy issue so far, with most of the conversation to do with planning military-style strikes of one kind or another.

In some books, that would be a problem as so much dialogue and not much forward momentum can bog down the story. Not so much here. Hickman takes the planning and platitudes and uses them to establish character. Hickman’s Cyclops hits the perfect tone to feel authentic to the character, while characters like the 100 years version of Nimrod and are more firmly established. Nimrod in particular is quickly establishing himself as an excellent villain, with plenty of personality that makes him charming in his casually murderous nature.

That’s not to say there aren’t revelations here. Two major X-Men villains make their appearances in the future in surprising ways, and even with the wonderful charts by Tom Mueller there are plenty of questions that will need to be answered. Hickman and his collaborators are teasing a lot of things to come in the pages of this comic, with some very deep cosmic possibilities. Cosmic stories have a very significant status among the X-Men canon when done right, and the story looks to be reaching for those same levels of storytelling.

R.B. Silva’s artwork on the first Powers of X was great, if a bit more standardized than what his House of X counterpart Pepe Larraz is doing. The striking design work in issue #2 really allows him to open things up, particularly in the final pages. It provides a more daring but no less successful effort compared to the first issue.

Powers of X #2 is the kind of issue that may frustrate some fans. It provides the necessary movement to progress its storyline, without the same level of system-shocking moments that the previous issues of this arc have had. But that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in any way. Hickman and Silva keep things engaging and dole out just enough information to keep things moving along nicely. It’s not easy to split half of your story arc between four time periods, but Power of X is still making it look easy.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Unseen #1

Review by Steve Gustafson

Today I had the pleasure of experiencing a comic book in a way that I’ve never thought I possible. Auditorily. To say I enjoyed it is an understatement and it’s brilliance comes from Chad Allen. Unseen is an audio comic created by Allen, who was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa as a teenager and lost his vision by the age of 28.

His life could have taken a number of different directions but Chad choose to live life independently and do the things he finds fulfilling. I read up on him and he likes
to say, “Art is experienced in the mind, not the eye.” That’s a great mindset when preparing yourself for Unseen.

Unseen is Chad’s debut comic book and tells the story of Afsana, a blind assassin living in a chaotic world in which she is invisible to society. Discounting her abilities is her enemies’ gravest mistake. The plot has plenty of meat on the bone and the real meal is in the details. Without giving away too much, this is a story that’s pulled straight from the world outside our window with a twist. While the story is fictional, it could also be prophetic, and that’s the scary part.

Because of the nature of “reading” an audio comic, your imagination becomes a little more vivid thanks to the descriptions. Unseen feels like an event, it’s story carries more weight, and the reader is more focused. It’s a story written by a blind person, with a blind heroine, for blind (and sighted) audiences. And it means much more than that hook.

I love coming across projects like Unseen. It’s a needed reminder of what’s attainable with comic books and storytelling. While some feel tied by constraints, creators like Chad Allen realize the limitless possibilities. Unseen is currently programmed into the San Francisco Exploratorium’s summer exhibition Self,Made, through September 2. To follow along visit www.unseencomic.com.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Postal #1

Review by Steve Gustafson

Postal is one of those books that you might have passed by that you don’t realize could be one of the better reads you’ll have in a while. With a story that feels like it’s waiting to be adapted for television, the first issue is a smooth ride through a familiar town that hides plenty of skeletons.

Eden, Wyoming is a small town where fugitive criminals pay a fee to reside and hide away while they get a new identity from the surgeons, bankers, and hackers that work there. No one is innocent but all live under the same rule: no crime while you’re there. The town has operated just fine for 25 years under that rule but Postal #1 opens with a murder. The first murder ever there.

Co-writers Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill craft a story straight out of Twin Peaks, filled with odd characters and surreal situations. Artist Isaac Goodhart keeps the lines clean and the action fluid, anchoring the issue with a sense of mystery and dread.

First published back in 2015, I missed the Postal boat and only through a Kickstarter was I reminded that I needed to catch up on this. I’m glad I did. Hawkins has become one of my favorite writers and has yet to disappoint me.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Dear Justice League #1

Review by John Pumpernickel

Dear Justice League is an easy book to review. When you have a concept like the Justice League of America answering mail from their biggest fans (Kids!) and add the amazing art of Gustavo Duarte, this one is a no-brainer.

That’s not to say writer Michael Northrop couldn’t have messed it up. But Northrup fills the issue with sincerity, hope, and best of all…fun. How can it not be with such questions like:

Does Superman ever make mistakes?
What was Wonder Woman’s 11th birthday like?
and
Does Aquaman smell like fish?

Best of all, this is a perfect book to put into the hands of kids. It gives them a sense of wonder and each page is filled with laughs and heart. It’s a nice break from the more serious stories and a book you can pick up over and over to remind yourself why you fell in love with comic books in the first place. It’s ageless and it’s themes are timeless. It’s for the young and young at heart.

Grab this one at your comic book shop today, read it, and share it.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

That’s all the time we have. Tell us what you’re reading below and see you back here next week! You can now find our reviews on ComicBookRoundUp.com!

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Shang-Chi, Steve Gustafson