Comic Book Reviews (Week January 26, 2022): Black Panther Issue 3, Marauders Annual Issue 1 & More!

Black Panther issue 3 review
Black Panther Issue 3 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book review round-up for the week of January 26, 2022. I will be reviewing Black Panther Issue 3, Marauders Annual Issue 1, Night of the Ghoul Issue 4, and more!

Let’s begin by talking about Black Panther issue 3. The latest issue of the solo series served as issue 200 as far as the legacy numbering is concerned. The expanded issue included three stories. The first focused on T’Challa trying to figure out who was behind the mysterious assassination attempts involving him and his sleeper agents. The second story was a fun little romp exploring Wakandan lore as T’Challa tried to help the Goddess Bast. And the third story introduced a new Wakandan hero named Tosin.

The first tale, by writer John Ridley, had T’Challa deciding to visit Arakko to lay low and try to figure out how to put a stop to the assassination attempts. Ever since the cover for Black Panther issue 3 was revealed, I had been looking forward to reading about where T’Challa and Storm’s relationship stood after she had become the Voice of Sol. Turns out, the two were still going strong. Yay!

Black Panther issue 3 review
Storm and T’Challa in Black Panther Issue 3 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Of course, T’Challa and Ororo will always have certain responsibilities as leaders of their people. However, I always appreciate the couple finding time together whenever they can. Now, I do understand certain readers not liking T’Challa keeping his sleeper agent in Arakko a secret from Ororo. As far as I’m concerned, being in the high-responsibility positions that T’Challa and Ororo always find themselves, the two not having any secrets at all is an unrealistic expectation to have. Personally, I’m all for them having secrets as long as said secrets don’t bring harm to their people down the line.

Black Panther issue 3 review
Tosin in Black Panther Issue 3 (Image: Marvel Comics)

As for Tosin, I’m looking forward to seeing what type of role he will play in the current solo series. He looks cool enough.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Marauders Annual Issue 1 review
Marauders Annual Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Marauders Annual Issue 1

Writer Steve Orlando made me pick up a Marauders issue again after the incident. And I have to say that I actually enjoyed reading it. Captain Kate’s got a new crew to help mutants around the globe and I’m already interested in seeing more of Tempo! The way she fast-forwarded her breakup was hilariously messy. I hope we get to see Tempo realizing that she needs to go through such relationship moments without manipulating time. Give me queer-centric character growth!

As for the plot, ever since the X-Men got a new status quo through the introduction of Krakoa, there have been fans criticizing how the creation of a mutant nation reeked of mutant supremacy. I liked seeing Orlando talk about those concerns. There’s definitely a lot that can be explored here.

The last panel introduced a mystery for Kate to solve. And you know what? I’m intrigued. I’ll be picking up the debut issue that will officially launch the relaunched Marauders series with Kate’s new crew come April.

Fingers crossed the action sequences are better as the series progresses because I found them a bit lacking in this particular comic.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Night of the Ghoul issue 4 review
Night of the Ghoul Issue 4 (Image: comiXology Originals)

Night of the Ghoul Issue 4

I was provided with a free digital review copy of Night of the Ghoul issue 4. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Sigh! Why do kids always get themselves in trouble? From writer Scott Snyder and artist Francesco Francavilla, Night of the Ghoul issue 4 brought us every close to the finale battle. Again, why couldn’t Orson just have stayed in the car and called the police? I would have preferred if something sinister had tried to attack him before he could make the call and he fell in the ditch (that led to a secret tunnel) while running instead of not following his father’s request.

The current issue continued to jump between the two timelines. The present had Forest help Merritt retrieve the copy of his film from Skeen’s office. They were running out of time as Skeen and the rest of the cult members prepared for the ghoul’s arrival.

The past, shown through the usual film clippings, gave us another history lesson concerning the Legion of the Scarab and the Order of the Fly as our group of heroes tried to extract the ghoul from Merritt’s father and kill it.

Night of the Ghoul issue 4 was another tense installment, featuring some chilling art by Francavilla. However, Orson being annoying made me roll my eyes.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Clear Issue 4 review
Clear Issue 4 (Image: comiXology Originals)

Clear Issue 4

I was provided with a free digital copy of Clear issue 4 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From writer Scott Snyder and artist Francis Manapul, a lot happened during the latest issue. Sam’s fight with a yellow-eyed version of himself led to the death of a friend. As if Sam’s not lost enough. Sigh!

Sam’s investigation led him to a certain reveal I wasn’t expecting. I liked how Clear issue 4 took the time to explore his past and the family he shared with Kendra. In my opinion, the pace was handled quite well as the narrative shifted from an action-driven take to a more emotional one.

Our lead character’s got some demons to confront and I’m very interested in learning more about the mystery behind the yellow-eyed fake Sam.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

All Guts No Glory Issue 1 review
All Guts, No Glory Issue 1 (Image: Zenescope)

All Guts, No Glory Issue 1

I was provided with a free digital copy of All Guts, No Glory issue 1 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From writer Ralph Tedesco and artist Guillermo Fajardo, All Guts, No Glory issue 1 served as a very enjoyable debut to a three-part miniseries. The premise involved a young man named Jimmy being recruited into working with the experienced Craig as a two-man janitorial team tasked with cleaning up once a highly trained specialist military force’s done dealing with supernatural threats (zombies, vampires, etc.).

With Jimmy’s got a lot to learn about handling dangerous supernatural beings to save humanity, things change for both him and Craig when they encounter a newly turned vampire woman. What follows is a race against time to save the vampire woman while they are being chased by the special task unit meant for getting rid of such threats.

I liked the overall pace of the first issue, and Jimmy’s a likable protagonist. There’s some enjoyable gore in the panels as well as some awkward humor due to Jimmy’s guidance counselor dating his mother.

With paranormal beings existing in such a fictional world, there needs to be some nuance when it comes to “good” and “bad” monsters. So, I’m looking forward to seeing how the creative team will handle that aspect of the story.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Haunted Hill issue 1 review
Haunted Hill Issue 1 (Image: Richard Sux)

Haunted Hill Issue 1

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

By writer and artist Richard Fairgray, there’s more than enough intrigue and humor in the debut issue of Haunted Hill to have me stick around for more installments. Eva (a married woman in her 30s) made for an interesting lead. After Eva’s wife got a new job, she’s back in Haunted Hill, trying to gain a sense of self while working as a janitor at a place for queer adults. (Hey! A job’s a job.)

What should have been a normal car ride with a 25-year-old Sasha turns into a very long drama-filled car ride as Eva interacts with Sasha’s friends and basically tells them long stories when asked simple questions. Eva likes to talk. And frankly, I don’t mind listening to her. It’s a good thing that Fairgray goes for the “show, don’t tell” approach, making sure to visualize certain moments when Eva opens up about her experiences.

There’s a slice-of-life feel to the debut issue, however, having talked to Fairgray, the narrative won’t hesitate to add ghosts, aliens, and more, but of course, in a unique manner expected by readers familiar with Fairgray’s style of humor.

The first issue of Haunted Hill is available to read for free on Richard Fairgray’s official website. New pages are planned to be released weekly. You should consider reading it if you’re looking for an adult, queer-lead, comedy series with certain relatable moments in a surreal narrative.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

You can read Jessica’s review of Robin issue 10 here.

Which comic books did you read this week? What did you think of Black Panther issue 3?

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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