Comic Book Reviews (Week April 6, 2022): Marauders Issue 1, X-Men: Red Issue 1 & More!

X-Men Red Issue 1
X-Men: Red Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book review round-up for the week of April 6, 2022. The fact that I only found myself interested in picking up three comic books is disappointing to me as a comic reader. Hopefully, next week will be better. Anyway, I covered Marauders Issue 1, X-Men: Red Issue 1, and The Ocean Will Take Us Issue 1.

Let’s begin with writer Al Ewing’s X-Men: Red issue 1. Ever since the book was announced, it immediately became one of the most anticipated new series in the current line of X-Men books. The premise had Storm and Magneto trying to maneuver the political landscape of Arakko and the planet’s place in the rest of the galaxy. Not only that, Abigail Brand had her own plans for Arakko and the inhabitants.

With art by Stefano Caselli & Federico Blee, X-Men: Red issue 1 opened up just before the first Hellfire Gala with Storm challenging the Omega level mutant shapeshifter Nameless to win the seat of “All-Around-Us” as well as become the Regent of Arakko. While the battle itself could have been better and bigger (both fighters being Omega level mutants after all), it served the purpose of letting viewers learn about Ororo’s discomfort when it came to what’s expected of the Weather Goddess in her new position as basically the Queen of Arakko and the Voice of Sol. The discomfort continued to play a role in determining Ororo’s decision about Arakko’s future near the end of the issue. Storm hates being put in a box. She wants freedom.

While I’m looking forward to seeing how Ewing will keep challenging Storm as an Omega Level Mutant Goddess, I hope Ewing explains why Storm was chosen to face the Nameless in the first place. Did Storm initially want the seat or was she urged to do so by the Quiet Council in Krakoa? Were there any other candidates if Storm had refused?

X-Men Red Issue 1 review Storm vs Nameless
Storm vs the Nameless in X-Men: Red Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

In the present, we got to see Magneto build a home for himself on a secluded island on Arakko. Magneto’s conversation with the Fisher King (a new character. Any connection to the Arthurian legend?) helped flesh out Arakki culture and how, even though they were a race of warriors, they understood the importance of expressing feelings in order to heal and become stronger.

We also got to see Roberto share a nice little chat about losing loved ones with another Arakki at the Red Lagoon Bar. I’m here for more of such conversations. They really help readers better understand Arakki culture. I liked how the X-Men called their mutant gifts “powers” while the Arakki called them “weapons”. There was also a lot of focus on how shared history made someone Arakki, regardless of whether an individual had mutant powers or not.

Roberto also ended up encountering an unstable Vulcan. From the promo material for the upcoming issue, apparently, Storm and Vulcan will face each other. With Abigail likely recruiting Vulcan to her cause, I’m looking forward to seeing how Storm will take him down. The current issue did show Vulcan being vulnerable to an unexpected psychic attack. And Storm’s known to mess with a person’s brain through her control of electrical signals. So, yes, I’m excited about how Storm vs Vulcan will play out and if we will have a clear winner.

From what I can tell, Abigail will serve as the main obstacle. She’s all about creating a new X-Men team to represent Arakko. But Storm, Magneto, and Roberto know that Abigail’s up to something shadier. The issue closed with Storm announcing the creation of a new Brotherhood to balance out Abigail’s X-Men. Storm, as a character, is about bringing balance, and I liked Ewing’s choice of words when she addressed Sunspot, Magneto, and the Fisher King. I can’t wait to see how Ororo will try to manage the current problems on Arakko and prevent Abigail from tipping the scale.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

marauders issue 1 2022 review
Cassandra Nova being weird in Marauders Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Marauders Issue 1

I was provided with a free digital copy of Marauders Issue 1 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From writer Steve Orlando, Marauders issue 1 built on the stuff Orlando introduced during Marauders Annual issue 1. We have a new team, led by Kate, as well as an interesting mystery box from billions of years ago that’s connected to the Shi’ar Empire. From what I could understand, the Shi’ar did something bad to the first-ever mutants and Xandra’s worried the truth could lead to war with Arakko and the other mutants.

While I found the art by Eleonora Carlini to be a bit inconsistent and the somewhat cartoony visuals not gelling well with a high-stakes story about mutant history, I’m intrigued to learn what Orlando’s got planned. He’s clearly a fan of X-Men lore. Also, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Carlini’s style. It’s just that I would have gone in a different direction for such a book.

With the possibility of a Shi’ar vs mutant war hanging in the balance, I wonder if the story will lead to Storm playing a role in the overall plot as the Voice of Sol or if Kate and her team will try to handle the situation themselves.

As for the character work, I’m liking the recently created character Somnus and want to learn more about what he’s capable of. Cassandra Nova felt creepy as she tried her best to be a team player. There’s just something off about Cassandra and I wouldn’t be surprised if her motivation to not hurt any mutant life causes trouble for Kate and the rest down the line.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

The Ocean will take us issue 1 review
The Ocean Will Take Us Issue 1 (Image: AfterShock Comics)

The Ocean Will Take Us Issue 1

From writer Rich Douek, The Ocean Will Take Us issue 1 served as an exciting debut for a new supernatural series focusing on a high school swim team that might have made a pact with something sinister residing in the ocean depths.

The book didn’t waste any time letting the readers know about the type of creepiness to expect. The story opened with a high schooler swimmer being pulled under by dark tentacles two weeks before we’re introduced to the main character named Casey. He wants to join the school’s swim team and doesn’t know the danger he’s stepping into.

The overall tone, art (by Carlos Olivares & Manuel Puppo), and the cast of characters have me interested in reading the second issue.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Which comic books did you read this week? What did you think of X-Men: Red Issue 1?

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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