We knew Stockport had its fair share of comic and movie fans but WOW (Cough)! What a day! We all want to say a massive thank you to all of you folk who turned out on Saturday. It’s safe to say that it was one of the most fun days to be around the town center in recent memory for us, and perhaps many other local comic and cosplay enthusiasts! We even heard on the grapevine that over 20,000 people had descended on the town over that day. If that’s true that’s bonkers, but it certainly would be no surprise judging by the size of the crowds.
Of course, a mega-thankyou goes out to Totally Stockport, The staff of the Merseyway, Paul Prescott (Funky Figures and North West Comic Conventions), and our own John Webster (Wow Comix and Wow Events) for the arrangements. But also a big thankyou also to Stockport as a whole! The shops around the town and their staff, the families, the wanderers, the cosplayers, and the vendors. There were cameras out and smiles everywhere. It was just so great to see Stockport town center so vibrant on a bright sunny day, especially after such a polarizing couple of years with Covid. Hey, nobody could complain about the lack of masks on Saturday!
Due to us at Wow Comix working for most of the event, we only got a few snaps overall. If you have any photos, we would love to see them and add them to our blog here if possible! Send them over to us at email@example.com or DM our socials!
So, here is a small selection of what we imagine will have been thousands of overall photos taken on the day! Let us know if you spot yourself! (Wait, isn’t that the last thing a crowd of masked Superheroes would ever… Oh, never mind!)
Due to us working for most of the event, we only got a few snaps overall. If you have any photos, we would love to see them and add them to our blog here if possible! Send them over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM our socials!
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Artist: Salvador Larroca Colorist: Guru-eFX
Published by: Marvel Comics Release Date: 25/08/21
There is actually a great variant cover by Anacleto that I think is better showing the intrinsic link between Gabe and the mysterious ” woman in the dark “, an Alien presence that has been one of the great and slow-burning reveals in the series.
This main cover of a stand-off between Alien and human was a little frozen and lacking in both action and terror in comparison to some of the other covers in this series. It is however a fair reflection of the climactic action in this issue. A space-suited human (Gabe) faces off against an Alien he helped create. Our hero faces almost certain death, but the fate of all he holds dear is on the line.
Issue six is the end to Marvel’s Alien first arc. We get the usual round-up of the story so far in the first couple pages and are then straight back into the action.
The writing remains pretty solid, and there are enough tie-ins to Alien lore new and old for this Alien fan to feel invested. There have been consistent nods to the Alien films in previous issues and this issue builds further with references to Prometheus. I liked how Iris the corporate terrorist synthetic has a humanity-threatening agenda similar to David in the film by trying to unleash Aliens on planet earth. She describes her role to create a ” post organic utopia”. The idea that the Xenomorphs are the universe’s method of greeting the hubris of organic species whose technological advancement sends them out into the great unknowns of space gives the unfolding franchise plenty of scope for one-shots and arcs. Organics are to be met by the “cleansing fire” and this is something I really thought reminiscent of Hadleys Hope in the Aliens film.
Gabe’s fate in his attempt to redeem himself as a father, going to any lengths and sacrifice for his son concludes, much like depicted in the cover, in a fatal stand-off. It was a heroic way to face death in the face of insurmountable odds. I think there is enough plot development for this to possibly take future twists with the Xenomorphs and the mysterious connection they share with Gabe and the hypersleep and xenomorph impregnated Danny.
Guru-eFX knocks the color choices out of the park. There is a sense of terror and horror brought to the pretty average Salvador Larroca art. Larocca’s art just isn’t consistent enough for me and any Alien depictions just seem a bit too jolly, posed, or lacking in punch for me. The lettering from VC’s Clayton Cowles is flowing in nature and makes for compelling page-turning which with the intriguing story again propping up the art for me.
This first chapter offers promising new avenues for the future. Iris stated in her death a bigger picture or implied purpose” I don’t expect either of you to know what that means” Well this reader damn sure doesn’t either! Marvel hasn’t wowed with this first arc but there’s some good groundwork in a franchise that has a weight of several decades’ expectation on it. It is maybe not to everyone’s taste but it’s hard to not keep reading on.
A great blend of new and old gives us an exciting take on an expanding Alien universe. Roll on the next arc!!!
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Artist: Salvador Larroca Colorist: Guru-eFX
Published by Marvel Comics Released – Sept 2021
Wow! This INHYUK LEE cover is an absolute stunner. I don’t care that it doesn’t resemble anything the “Alpha” or Alien drone looks like in the comic itself. It’s action, its terror and it is bursting through glass and the cover to attack at a frightening speed.
I love it, and I also love that it detracts from the pretty underwhelming Alpha we were introduced to in the last issue. It offers the promise that, although Marvel has failed to fully grab the reigns of the new Alien franchise, it can attract a wide range of influence from the House of Mouse (Disney) and the undoubted talent it might lure to the fold.
I actually quite enjoyed this issue especially when I gave it a read before the review write-up so as not to write it on first impression. My first impression was actually pretty good too though! . I chewed through it and found it entertaining. I think previous issues had helped me lower my expectations and increased my acceptance of the new audience that Marvel is trying to include and their approach to overseeing this current story. This arc I think is beginning to show that they might be investing in more action-based plots than horror but with a view to creating a bit of new Alien lore and reveals.
We are straight into the action from the start but this is delivered as an introspective insight into Gabe (our main character’s) history. It not only adds character depth it was reminiscent of the good old Dark Horse Comic plots. These few opening pages are pretty impactful and the gravity of the horror that could spread is so well-timed when Johnson writes ” I saw a TIDAL WAVE of living nightmares exploding out of my chest, blanketing the universe ” right before an image of a female resembling humanoid Alien around which there is building mystery and a sense of importance.
We get a nice double-page infographic that helps bring the reader up to speed. The mystery for me here though was that the Alpha Alien depicted was held in the Weyland-Yutani Epsilon station for heaven knows how long and yet with all them scientists not one thought to document things like its size whilst it was in a giant test tube!
As for the main body of the issue, it’s pretty entertaining and rolls along quite well. Two pairs independently trying to trace against time and the ever-present xenomorph threat to the escape craft with an added little twist at the end. I’ve labored in past reviews about Larocca’s Aliens I don’t want to rehash old ground. Suffice it to say the drones particularly still look a bit frozen but I did find myself smiling in satisfaction at the presentation of the center ( stapled ) pages.
Verdict: The Alien franchise is taking a new and bold direction in this first story arc. his is a solid issue and I looked forward to #6, titled The Beginning.
Though it may be named after one small set of characters, The Skywalker Saga and stories set within it will always be ensemble pieces. Charles Soule’s approach to his run has truly embraced this, bringing on board a wealth of new characters, reintroducing some old ones and occasionally taking some time away from whoever has been the focus of the last few issues to show what’s going on elsewhere in the galaxy. #15 is one of these issues, as we wipe transition from the main action of the War of the Bounty Hunters to see what Starlight Squadron, with Luke Skywalker in tow, have been up to. And while this issue may carry the overarching event’s name on its eye-popping cover, the story here is mostly separate from it and acts as a nice palette cleanser before hopping back into the action with the next issue of the central mini-series as we near the halfway point.
While it may be an almost standalone story, ‘Friends and Enemies’, as issue 15 is known, is densely packed – a huge dogfight makes up a good chunk of its duration, yet it’s still full of well thought out dialogue and character moments as Luke relives the destruction of the Death Star and finds that lightning doesn’t always strike twice. Ramon Rosanas brings a frenetic feel to the battle and his layouts make for tense, fast-paced reading, almost as nail-biting as the famous trench run itself.
Starlight Squadron continue to be an engaging and fun element of Soule’s run, bringing Wedge Antilles right to the foreground, where he deserves to be. Considering how many strong, memorable, and iconic existing characters form the core of this title, Soule has done an incredible job of introducing a whole crop of new ones and making the reader genuinely care about them.
His role as a writer on The High Republic also continues to have an influence – hope is a key theme of the original trilogy, so giving little nods to a period where the Jedi were at the height of their powers fits right in with this. Also, fans of Soule’s High Republic novel, Light of the Jedi, will get a kick out of the setting of this story. It’s satisfying to see some of the newest parts of the canon intertwining with what has been in place for over 40 years.
TIE fighters vs. X-wings, a desperate rebel last stand and an explosive finale make for possibly the most breathlessly exciting issue of this outstanding run so far. Soule provides some outstanding character moments and fun action, and Rosanas provides one of the most balletic and intense dogfights ever committed to the page, with many of his panels in glorious widescreen. While they and the rest of the team across the current Star Wars titles may be excelling at telling a broad, sweeping story right now, this slight detour proves that this comic is in just as rude health when almost the whole story is contained in just a handful of outstanding pages.