Tag Archives: comicbook

Darth Vader #14 Review


Reviewed by Nathan Harrison 28/7/21
DARTH VADER #14

Written by: Greg Pak

Art: Raffaele Ienco
Released: 21/07/21
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Darth Vader’s part in the so far very satisfying War of the Bounty Hunters event continues in this latest issue, with a shadowy plot from within the Empire itself finally revealed and Vader on a collision course with the rest of the major players in the crossover.

Following an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Vader, Administrator Moore returns to plotting with her council. The intrigue and conspiracy of the first half of this issue is nicely played out – Greg Pak’s dialogue is engrossing, especially in a short encounter between Moore and a suspicious Mas Amedda, which sees her get the upper hand in more ways than one. Shadows skirt around every panel and loom large in some against the muted greys and whites that make up the Empire’s favoured approach to décor. Artist Raffaele Ienco and colourist Jason Keith put every nook and cranny of each room to use, creating a foreboding sense of dread and unease.

The second half runs at an altogether different pace when Vader bursts back onto the scene, lightsaber blazing (after a brief appearance at the start of the issue). The greys are illuminated by vivid red and the imposing figure of Vader towers over it all in a couple of impressive splash pages. It speaks volumes about the true icon that Darth Vader is that he barely needs to say a word in his own comic to be the star of the show. That said, it can’t be an easy thing to do from a writing perspective and Pak handles it beautifully. He puts the right words in Vader’s mouth at the right time, and nothing more. When coupled with the imposing angles that Ienco depicts him from, the Dark Lord of the Sith remains just as terrifying as the first time he walked on screen in 1977.


VERDICT

As the various strands of the 34-issue tapestry that is War of the Bounty Hunters start to come together, it only gets more stunning to look at, and this issue is no exception. Seeing some of the events of issue 2 of the main mini-series from a different perspective makes for a nice touch, placing our hero (yes, we’re calling him that, it’s his comic – search your feelings, you know it to be true) right where he needs to be for the sparks to fly when the crossover truly kicks off over the coming month.


Review by Nathan Harrison 28/7/21

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The Amazing Spider-man #70 Review


The Amazing Spider-man #70Review by Leo Brocklehurst

Written by: Nick Spencer

Art by: Federico Vicentini


Released 7/7/21 Published by Marvel Comics

“And answers? Well, we’re ALL looking for those, aren’t we? (…) But we may not like what we find when we GET them”.

Spider-man’s latest fixture is a great book that excites and hypes you up for the next big event of Spider-ness. A perfect prelude with raising stakes and a theme of questions running throughout.

The writing by Nick Spencer is able to set the stage for a storyline that feels like it might actually shake things up for once. Hopefully rectifying Spencer’s biggest flaw in his Spidey run: the lack of change. As you read it, it flows great and is fine for fun little Spidey stories that you can relax to but in the big picture, not much has changed. Sure there have been SOME for sure as it’s almost impossible to go 70 issues without changing anything but it has been an incredibly slow rise. Beginning with Sinister war however, things are looking up for Spidey readers and this issue is evidence.

As I said before, the theme of this issue is one of questions. MJ wants answers for Carlie (who is locked away in a cell with Harry Osborn (double bracket whaaat???) in a place we’re not even sure is on earth at this rate) , Carlie wants answers for Harry, Doc Ock wants answers about things taken from him and Spider-man wants answers on just what is going on??
The lizard and Curt Connors have been separated and the sinister six have vanished, escalating worries around the city and on top of ALL of this, it looks like Mysterio is back in town!!

The art in this issue, done by Federico Vicentini has almost a smooth, manga like style and flow whilst also looking messy and rough. I thought it accompanied the fast pace of the book extremely well; rushing to the big BANG to kick it all off and I can’t wait to see how beat up Spidey gets this time around.


Verdict:

Spencer’s final story is about to explode into the stratosphere and this issue is drenched in pure anticipation and fast paced, action packed artwork that is sure to entice readers into Spidey’s biggest threat yet.

8/10


Reviewed by Leo Brocklehurst on 9/7/21


X-Men #1 Review


X-MEN #1Review by Nathan Harrison

Written by: Gerry Duggan

Art: Pepe Larraz
Colours: Marte Gracia


Released: 07/07/21 Published by Marvel Comics

The last couple of years’ worth of X-output headed up by mutant mastermind Jonathan Hickman has, quite rightly, been showered with praise. Fans have been treated to something all new and all different across the whole stable of X-related titles, creating a unique, morally complex, interwoven saga of the sort that only Hickman, the master of the long game, could conjure up. While that opus is continuing apace (the Reign of X era is now in full swing), this new run of the core title takes a more back-to-basics approach, firmly re-establishing the X-Men as what they have always been first and foremost – superheroes.

Following some time in isolation on the sovereign mutant island of Krakoa, mutantkind has now reintroduced itself to the world with the events of the Hellfire Gala and the one-shot Planet Size X-Men. The need-to-know elements of these are covered enough so as not to distract but also to fill new readers in sufficiently to enjoy this new run. While this title will likely still form a part of the bigger picture, those who want something a little more classic from their comics will lap this first issue up – veteran Deadpool scribe Gerry Duggan takes the reins and injects proceedings with a sense of playfulness and childlike glee, deploying hints of Silver Age style narration and a fun team dynamic to make this really stand out from the last few years’ worth of Krakoan adventures. Oh, and the X-Men’s base in New York is an actual goddamn treehouse! Simply put, this new set up is grin-inducing.

What’s more, Marvel have chosen the perfect artist for this run. Pepe Larraz is one of the finest illustrators working in comics today – his work on other recent X-Men related titles with Jonathan Hickman such as House of X was astounding, bringing this most recent era to life from the very start. Here, thanks to Duggan’s no holds barred script, Larraz is allowed to go to town, bringing a sense of dynamism to every panel, ably assisted by colour artist Marte Gracia. His work within the X-Men world has been nothing short of definitive, and he shows no signs of stopping with this latest offering.

That’s not to say that the whole issue is sunshine and rainbows – a new threat reveals itself, prompted by the mutant nation’s terraforming of Mars, and Larraz shows that he can do disturbing, twisted imagery just as proficiently as action-packed superheroics. Chances are things are only going to get darker as the run goes on.


VERDICT

While ‘Head of X’ Jonathan Hickman’s sweeping vision for mutantkind continues to be utterly compelling, this new start for the flagship title acts as a refreshing pallet cleanser for those who like their X-Men action ripped straight out of the Claremont era or even the classic ‘90s cartoon. This title does and will undoubtedly continue to form a part of a wider, earth-shattering narrative, but for anybody who feels somewhat intimidated by the scope of the current X-Men range, Duggan’s X-Men makes for a solid jumping on point, with no indication as of yet that it won’t act perfectly well as a fun, escapist standalone piece for those who want in on this exhilarating and intriguing era.


Review by Nathan Harrison, 09/07/2021