Comic Book Reviews (Week Feb 5, 2020): X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 1, Batman Issue 88, and More!

batman issue 88 review
Batman Issue 88 (Image: DC Comics)

Welcome to my comic book review roundup for this week (February 5, 2020). As usual, I’ll be going over all of the titles I’ve read. My current review list includes X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 1, Batman Issue 88, Marauders Issue 7, and more!

Let’s open this review roundup with Batman Issue 88. After writer James Tynion IV made it known that Selina was connected to the current danger that Gotham City’s facing, I hoped she would come clean to Bruce about it. I don’t need any unnecessary drama between those two. That’s why I was happy to see Selina trying to contact Bruce so she could tell him the truth.

Her interaction with Riddler was fun. He brought up some good points. It took years for Bruce to trust Selina and understand why she’s different from the usual villains that roam Gotham. However, the current situation could break that trust and it made sense for Selina to be afraid of such an outcome.

As far as my opinion goes, Tynion has a good grasp of Selina as a character. That’s why I can’t wait to see how Bruce will react after she comes clean about who wants to mold Gotham in their image. There’s a lot of mystery in the current arc. I have no idea who The Designer is supposed to be.

Batman Issue 88 made the jumps between Bruce and Selina’s experiences at different points in the city look seamless. I’m still not sure how to feel about Guillem March’s art, though. Also, can we do away with Selina’s costume having a side boob window? There’s no need for it to be there.

Anyway, the arrival of Harley Quinn has already made me look forward to the next issue.

Recommendation: The story continues to get exciting. You should pick up Batman Issue 88.

DC's Crimes of Passion review
DC’s Crimes of Passion (Image: DC Comics)

DC Crimes of Passion Issue 1

I was waiting to get my hands on this holiday special issue. However, after reading it, I felt disappointed. How can DC Comics make a Valentine’s Day-centric comic book without featuring a story about Apollo and Midnighter? I get it’s supposed to spotlight criminals, but still!

There’s a sweet queer story starring the Pied Piper from writers Sam Johns and James Tynion IV in there. So at least there’s that. 

Recommendation: Meh!

Magnificent Ms Marvel Issue 12 review
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel Issue 12 (Image: Marvel Comics)

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel Issue 12

Writer Saladin Ahmed finally brought the situation concerning Kamala’s new alien suit to a close. Also, it looks like Kamala and Bruno are dating… kind of. There’s definitely a connection between them, but Kamala has a whole lot to deal with. I liked seeing Bruno understanding where Kamala was coming from when she talked about needing time to figure out her feelings.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Bruno and Kamala as a romantic couple. I prefer the two as the best supportive platonic friends ever! But let’s see what Ahmed has in store for those two.

As for Kamala’s personal life, I’m glad to know her father’s still alive. The decision she had to make between immediately going to the hospital to donate blood to her ill father and taking a few minutes to save another life was emotionally heavy. I understood the option Kamala choose.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Strikeforce Issue 6 review
Strikeforce Issue 6 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Strikeforce Issue 6

The Strikeforce series from writer Tini Howard continues to be enjoyable because of how Howard has created the most random superhero team. The current issue had Spider-Woman, Spectrum, Angela, Bucky, and Blade trying to deal with Ghost and Moonstone. Billy and Hellstrom stayed back to keep an eye on the Vridai prince (or is he a Count?). 

I really enjoyed the moments that focused on Wiccan. His power to see all possible futures is a scary one. Wiccan has the potential to alter all of reality to his whim. Such an ability is incredibly dangerous. It made sense for Hellstrom (who is Satan’s son) to be intimidated by it.

Strikeforce Issue 6 review
Strikeforce Issue 6 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Due to how strong Billy is, I still can’t understand why Professor X hasn’t reached out with an invitation to Krakoa. As far as I can tell (and I could be wrong), Moira doesn’t want future-seeing mutants on the island. And Wiccan’s powers do cover the ability to see all possible futures. So, maybe that’s why Prof X wants him as far as possible? Is Wiccan still a mutant?

As for the Moonstone problem, I liked how it was addressed. I mean, humoring certain superpowered villains is understandable.

Recommendation: You should check out this series!

Marauders Issue 7 review
Marauders Issue 7 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Marauders Issue 7

Writer Gerry Duggan continues to make Marauders one of the best Marvel comic book series I’m currently reading. The current issue (with Stefano Caselli as the artist and Edgar Delgado as the colorist) focused on Callisto being recruited by Emma Frost as the White Knight to help with Krakoan matters.

As for what happened to Kate in the previous issue, she’s alive, right? The way Emma told Shaw to enjoy the day made me feel like she knew Kate’s okay. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kate and Emma were still working together on a strategy to take Shaw down. 

Also, Emma’s brother Christian and Bobby are a thing, and I’m here for it.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP! 

X-Men Fantastic Four Issue 1
X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 1

I’ve been looking forward to reading X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 1 from writer Chip Zdarksky since the title was announced. I wasn’t disappointed. The current plot had to happen soon. Professor X had a strong reason to want Franklin Richards to be a resident of Krakoa. I mean, wouldn’t you want a Universe-creating mutant on your team?

One of the best things about the current series is it felt like a spiritual successor to the Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men crossover from the 198os. That particular crossover helped strengthen the connection between Franklin and Kate. Also, over the years, Storm and Sue Richards grew closer as powerful women who respected and supported each other. Ororo was even part of the Fantastic Four team after her marriage with T’Challa.

With the X-Men having a relationship with the FF, I wanted to know how the characters would be handled in the new miniseries. Due to Professor X having shocked the world by creating a mutant nation and announcing how mutants were the next stage in human evolution, it made sense for Reed to not completely trust him. In a sense, I don’t trust Prof X either. As Reed said, Charles is following a timeline and there’s definitely something shady happening.

The issue also did a good job of showcasing what Franklin felt. He’s under a lot of emotional pressure because of the realization his powers are depleting. The more Franklin used his reality manipulating ability, the faster they would extinguish.

X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 1 worked when it focused on character interactions. The scene between Ben Grimm and Franklin raised some good questions. As for Storm wanting Franklin to be part of Krakoa, I liked how she wanted Ben to understand how mutants had to stick together. Ororo isn’t an isolationist. Allowing Franklin the ability to choose is what’s important. Once he’s experienced what Krakoa can offer him, he can decide where he wants to live and how he wants to divide his time between Krakoa and his parent’s house in Yancy Street.

With how the issue ended, showing Franklin and his sister Val (who I think is a mutant) making their way onto Kate’s ship and confronting Dr. Doom, I can’t wait to read the next issue.

I could have done without the little confrontation the two superhero teams had, though. It felt like an unnecessary comic book trope. The Fantastic Four should be glad Professor X didn’t shut down their brains.

The art by Terry and Rachel Dodson served this issue extremely well.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

What did you think of the comic books released this week? Did you enjoy reading Batman Issue 88, X-Men + Fantastic Four Issue 1, and more? Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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