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411’s Comic Reviews: Powers of X #4, Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1, More  

September 12, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Powers of X 4

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]!  

Powers of X #4

Review by Jeremy Thomas

Ever since Jonathan Hickman’s recalibration of the X-Men started in July, Powers of X has been the somewhat more impenetrable series between it and House of X. That’s not necessarily a negative, of course.House of X is the surge of dopamine, putting the characters we love in high-stakes situations with triumph and tragedy resulting in equal measures. Powers of X, on the other hand, has been about setting up the framework. There have been thrilling action moments and moments of stellar drama, to be sure. The last charge of Apocalypse’s team in Powers of X #3 is a great example of that. But on the whole, Powers is – appropriately, given its jumping through timelines – more about either building for the future or setting up the ball so House of X can spike it.

After last week’s major, shattering developments in House of X #4, the series did need to pull back a bit. You can’t keep accelerating a story throughout. There are times, like after emotional story peaks, where you need to let off the gas and give the audience a chance to recover. That’s what this issue is for. Hickman and R. B. Silva let the reader take a break, even if we want to desperately know what happens next in the present timeline, and gives us an issue with a lot of humor, more backstory revelations and an excellent peek both into Krakoa’s past and humanity’s far future.

As with much of House and Powers, there’s a lot about this issue that is tricky to discuss without spoilers. But the issue being titled “Something Sinister” means that no one should be too surprised about a certain X-Men villain showing up.  Hickman has played in his sandbox with Mister Sinister before, specifically during the Secret Wars event. Readers of that event should know what we’re getting here, which is the most fabulous, decadent Sinister there ever has been. The way Hickman and Silva team up to lean into Sinister’s glammed-out sensibilities is delightful. You can’t rock a gravitationally-impossible cape made of cloth strips and not have a little Frank N’ Furter in you, and that’s the Sinister we get here.

Hickman knows just how close to get the edge of “too far” before pulling back; it teeters a little but doesn’t cross that line. Sinister has been one of the most discussed villains in X-Men history and he has plenty of supporters and detractors among X-Fans. His place in this storyline will be polarizing for sure; as someone who has always loved the character, it feels firmly appropriate to who he is, and this leaves me wanting more.

The other pieces of the story look at the far past and the far future. There is sadly no look at the 100 years timeline, which looks to be finished as of Powers of X #3, but the information we get here is intriguing if a bit hard to decipher. One of the trickiest parts of this issue is trying to place everything. It’s an issue which, like much of this title, seems like it will work best when read in the context of the full story.  You can read any House of X issue and while you’ll be missing context, you can see where the stories are going. That’s harder with Powers, and this issue is the hardest of them.

That said, there’s plenty here for X-Men to discuss, and nothing as much as Tom Muller’s infographs. There’s a two-page set in particular that already has X-Men Twitter going nuts and will be sure to do the same for non-social media-using readers. It’s full of hints and teases, presumably to set up the Dawn of X books. Which of them are real, what are they about, and which ones are just empty teases?  It’s already been a blast figuring all of that out.

As usual, Silva’s art and Marte Gracia’s coloring is beautifully on-point. Even readers who aren’t loving the story threads in this specific issue can adore the way the two characterize Sinister’s smug swagger, Magneto’s power and regality, the lush landscapes of Krakoa and the alien nature of the Phalanx in the far future.

Ultimately, this is an issue that may not be everyone’s favorite – and if it is your favorite, it’s probably because you love Jonathan Hickman’s take on Sinister. And that’s perfectly acceptable, because I don’t think it’s meant to be many people’s favorite.  This is a pacing issue that lets the story take a quick breath before next week’s red-barred House of X #5.  But even in a transitional issue like this, Hickman doesn’t let a single panel go to waste.  It remains an essential part of both this story and – very likely – X-Men stories to come for a long time.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Going to the Chapel #3

Preview by Steve Gustafson

The heist of the century continues in GOING TO THE CHAPEL #3! Locked in a stalemate with the police, an unexpected loss sends Emily and the Bad Elvis Gang spiraling into chaos — and unfortunately, Emily’s dysfunctional wedding party isn’t going to take this lying down. Can this bride pull off one last escape, or will her worst secrets be unveiled? Fans of Sex Criminals, Assassin Nation and The Fix should not miss Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose (Spencer & Locke) and superstar artist Gavin Guidry (The Death Defying)’s show-stopping crime caper, due in stores and digital November 2019, featuring a thrilling main cover from The Wilds artist Emily Pearson!

You Are Obsolete #1

Preview by Steve Gustafson

A disgraced journalist is called to cover a mysterious story on an isolated European island. As she investigates, she discovers the children have taken control and are somehow killing off all adults by their 40th birthdays. Now, she must discover the truth behind the killings while staying on the good side of the children’s harsh leader…or she’s next.

YOU ARE OBSOLETE is an spine-tingling thriller that evokes the eerie naturalism of 1970s horror films with a modern deadly digital twist. Written by Mathew Klickstein (Sony Pictures’ Against the Dark, Slimed!, Springfield Confidential, Selling Nostalgia) and drawn by Evgeniy Bornyakov (DESCENDENT).

Red Koi #1 (of 2)

Preview by Steve Gustafson

Samurai Ohira Eiko journeys to the house her father built on the site of a brutal conquest. There she finds ghosts, demons, dark secrets, and an ancient enemy.

Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1

Review by Steve Gustafson

Brought to you by some of comics’ greatest talents, this epic story spans the course of 1,000 years and, for the very first time, connects all of DC’s future timelines! Starring the unlikeliest of DC heroes as she learns to cope with newfound immortality and roams through the disparate societies of Batman Beyond, Kamandi and Tommy Tomorrow, wrestling with her own inner demons and desperately trying to find her purpose in an ever-changing world. Do not miss this truly unique take on tomorrow’s DC Universe, all leading up to a special launch on the millennium!

Anyone who has read my columns over the years knows that I’m a huge Legion of Super-Heroes fan. A random copy fell in my lap early in my life that hooked me in and I’ve followed their adventures ever since. Something about the concept and large team with a wild range of powers seemed so different and intriguing to me. 

Over the years the concept has been used brilliantly by a number of creative teams but met some speed bumps when continuity would gum up the process. In lesser hands, the book could be a mess at times. 

Fast forward to today and we have Legion of Super-Heroes #1 from Brian Michael Bendis with art by Andrea Sorrentino, Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, and André Lima Araújo. This was an easy pick up for me and I found myself drawn in with what they put together. They didn’t reinvent the wheel but crafted a wonder-filled adventure that set the board for some fun future adventures.

While new readers might miss some of the fullness of the stories, this book is a treat for long-time fans. The Legion is back and (hopefully) here to stay. Time will tell.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Doomsday Clock #11

Review by John Pumpernickel 

Doomsday Clock #11 is here! Give me a few minutes to go back and read the last few issues to remind myself what happened so far. Yes, it’s been that long and the lack of buzz around this series can be directly traced to that. 

We have one issue left so this one is focused on setting up the pieces for the big payoff and it looks like it could be huge. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are in their rhythm and pulling it all together with the merging of the DC and Watchmen universes. As far as the issue itself, like a jigsaw puzzle, it’s a big piece that connects the whole. 

While this issue was filled with a hearty mix of action and drama, we still have plenty of ground to cover and the anticipation of how Johns and Frank will stick the landing is high. While the delays have hurt the flow of reading this series, I’ll be excited to see this collected and enjoy in one sitting. 

If you’ve been in this for the long haul, this, like the others, is a must read. While someone off the street would overlook this, #11 is the top of the hill, right before the epic down slope to finish. 

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

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