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411’s Comic Reviews: X-Men Gold Annual #1, Harley Quinn #34, More

February 1, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
X-Men Gold Annual 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.

Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]com!

Yesterday we discussed Best Documentaries About Comic Books!

Now on with the show!

Brothers Dracul #1

Preview by Stephen Gustafson

“The legend of Vlad the Impaler is the stuff of nightmares. The inspiration for the most iconic of monsters—Dracula—Vlad tortured and murdered thousands of victims. But what turned him into such a depraved killer? The truth lies in his teenage years, when Vlad and his brother Radu were held hostage by the Ottoman Empire. During this time, the brothers learned many things—archery, riding, the art of combat, matters of court…and how to stalk and slay vampires.

From writer Cullen Bunn (DARK ARK, UNHOLY GRAIL, X-Men Blue, Deadpool, Venom) and artist Mirko Colak (UNHOLY GRAIL,The Punisher) comes a tale of brothers and blood that HAD to be told at AfterShock Comics. “

Bunn describes the book, “I’m thrilled to be working on BROTHERS DRACUL, a 15th century horror tale that explores the “true” history of the infamous Vlad the Impaler. With this book, we’ve brought the entire creative team of UNHOLY GRAIL along. I’m working with artist Mirko Colak, colorist Maria Santaolalla, and letterer Simon Bowland once again. We had so much fun telling a horror story with King Arthur as its central figure, we had to get the gang back together for this story, featuring one of the most shocking icons of horrific history!”

Babylon Berlin

Preview by Stephen Gustafson

The hotly anticipated 1920s crime drama Babylon Berlin hit Netflix the other day and to coincide with this new TV series, Titan Comics is releasing a brand-new graphic novel adaptation of the book that inspired the show.

Set in Berlin, 1929, the story centers on Detective Gereon Rath pulled into a web of deceit, corruption, murder and the search for Russian Gold.

Announced at New York Comic Con 2017, Titan’s Babylon Berlin graphic novel, on sale now, – written and illustrated by Arne Jysch – is a Hard Case Crime comic adaptation of the book that inspired the new TV series by international-bestselling writer, Volker Kutscher.

X-Men Gold Annual #1

Review by RobF

In X-Men Gold Annual we are witness to the long-awaited return of Excalibur. Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, and Rachel Grey of the X-Men travel to their old haunt to meet Captain Britain and Meggan’s new baby. But an old adversary has other plans. Writers Marc Guggenheim and Leah Williams, with artist Alitha E. Martinez and Djibril Morissette-Phan reconvene an old favorite in celebration of their 30 year anniversary.

Excalibur was always a quirky corner of the X-Men Universe. And time hasn’t changed a thing. In the first story the team reunites after a lengthy separation to meet the exceptional child of Captain Britain and Meggan. What they don’t realize is that an old enemy is out for revenge on Phoenix (in this case, the wrong Phoenix, but he doesn’t seem to care). This is largely a fluff story. As a matter of fact, this entire issue is just one big pile of fluff. The second is a feel-good, upbeat story featuring a little girl wanting to meet her idol, Storm. It’s not really my cup of tea but I can see the audience for it.

Martinez provides the art for the first story and Morissette-Phan the second. Both do a fine job capturing the essence of their respective chapters.

In my opinion this is largely for completists only. It’s a fine issue but it really has no lasting impression. You’ll read it, smile, put it down and never think of it again, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If your looking for some depth this comic is not for you.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Harley Quinn#34

Review by John Pumpernickel

After last weeks amazing Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1 I dabbled with a few different books this week. The one I’m reviewing today is harley Quinn #34.

Like the lead character, this book is a mess. I wasn’t sure if it was trying to ape Deadpool’s vibe or be a straight buddy book.

While the character of Harley lends itself to wild situations, I’m not sure I want to read a book with her personality pushing the action to 100 every page.

I enjoy the banter and dynamic with Harley and Poison Ivy and hope they bring things around to make that the focus and leave the “winking at the audience” to other books.

Having just picked this book up with no background, I found it…OK.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

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