Comic Book Reviews (Week May 18, 2022): X-Men Red Issue 2, Power Rangers Issue 19 & More!

x-men red issue 2 review
X-Men Red Issue 2 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book review round-up for the week of May 18, 2022. I will be covering X-Men Red Issue 2, Power Rangers Issue 19, I Hate This Place Issue 1, and more.

I didn’t get to read a lot of comic books this week, but the ones I did read were enjoyable. Of course, I will begin by talking about the much-anticipated X-Men Red issue 2 by writer Al Ewing. With the debut chapter showing Storm forming the Brotherhood of Arakko, the latest chapter had her team face Abigail’s X-Men.

Abigail’s definitely on the imperialist track when it comes to handling things on Mars. She wants to drive the Arakki mutants off the planet and then make use of Mars as she deems fit. Abigail’s all about seeing the bigger picture and not being bothered by how many people she needs to lie to or kill to get what she wants.

Storm’s a very formidable opponent for Abigail. She can’t outright fight Ororo and that’s why I’m looking forward to seeing how Abigail will try and politically maneuver around the Weather Goddess.

As for Abigail’s X-Men versus the Brotherhood of Arakko, the way they operated was very different. Abigail’s X-Men didn’t respect Arakki culture and were basically enforcing themselves on protecting a group of people that didn’t want to be protected. For the Arakki, Abigail’s X-Men were outsiders. In contrast, Storm’s Brotherhood was seen as part of Arakki culture and a bunch of Arakki mutants even helped cause a distraction for Magneto. 

The thing that had the fandom excited was the fight between Storm and Vulcan, as showcased on the cover. I think Ewing did a very good job when it came to handling such powerful characters. Instead of having the two go all out, the battle between the two Omega-level mutants ended up being about willpower. And you know Ororo’s got one of the strongest wills in the entire Marvel Comic Book Universe. Storm’s willpower, paired with decades of experience, allowed her to make quick work of Vulcan.

X-Men Red issue 2 review
Storm vs Vulcan in X-Men Red Issue 2 (Image: Marvel Comics)

There was talk about how Storm only faced a “shell”, and that Vulcan was yet to unleash his true power. In a sense, Ororo also didn’t unleash her true power. Here’s hoping a rematch occurs soon and the two are able to put everything on the line. 

If there’s one book that every Storm fan should be reading, it’s definitely X-Men Red.

Now, I do understand some fans not liking how Cable died. However, due to the attack being part of Abigail’s plan, which included targeting Cable’s virus-infected arm, I think seeing Cable getting caught off guard made sense.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Power Rangers issue 19 review
Power Rangers Issue 19 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Power Rangers Issue 19

From writer Ryan Parrott, Power Rangers issue 19 was another highly enjoyable chapter. The story jumped between two events. We had Zack and Trini trying to babysit a mysterious alien that Zack named Journey (addressed as they/them). And we had Jason and Yale teaming up with Andros to free his people.

Zack and Trini’s babysitting adventure with Journey made for a bunch of comedic moments. However, that particular story still had an emotional core because we all know that Journey will need to be sent back to their alien race sooner or later. The Andros-centric stuff also had emotional scenes, with Jason trying to prevent Andros from straying from their mission objective. Andros was ready to sacrifice himself to save his people. And while such determination can be appreciated, Jason and Yale needed Andros to remain alive to ensure his people were safely rescued.

With how the chapter ended on a very heavy call from Kimberly, I can’t wait to see what will happen next. Parrott’s Power Rangers series continues to be one of the best-written books out there.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

count crowly issue 2 review
Count Crowley: Amateur Midnight Monster Hunter Issue 2 (Dark Horse Comics)

Count Crowley: Amateur Midnight Monster Hunter Issue 2

From David Dastmalchian, the second chapter of Count Crowley: Amateur Midnight Monster Hunter gave us a very intense battle between Jerri and an angry werewolf. And while Jerri was able to take care of such a paranormal threat, with some help, things are only going to continue getting dangerous for her down the line.

While this was a talk-heavy issue, after the werewolf battle concluded, I think the overall tension in the narrative more than made up for it. The big bad showing up near the end has got me excited about the next issue!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Kaiju Score issue 2 review
Kaiju Score: Steal From the Gods Issue 2 (Image: AfterShock Comics)

Kaiju Score: Steal From the Gods Issue 2

The second chapter, from writer James Patrick, basically had things become worse than before for our main team. Michelle’s trying to keep her crew safe, but there are just way too many factors in play right now. Her entire team’s on the hit list, she’s low on money, and the people that offered her a new job can’t be trusted.

Michelle and her crew are caught between a rock and a hard place, and the actual mission hasn’t even started yet. She’s trying to be strong, but you can tell she’s under a lot of pressure.

As for the visuals, kudos to artist Rem Broo and colorist Francesco Segala for they portrayed the objectives of the mission. We got an entire model of the facility, built around the legendary Kaiju.

Kaiju Score Steal from the gods issue 2 review
Kaiju Score: Steal From the Gods Issue 2 (Image: AfterShock Comics)

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

I hate this place issue 1 review
I Hate This Place Issue 1 (Image: Image Comics)

 I Hate This Place Issue 1

From writer and creator Kyle Starks, I Hate This Place issue 1 served as the debut of a new paranormal story with queer leads, horror, suspense, and more. The way Starks was able to tell so much in a single issue was quite impressive. Nothing felt dragged out. More or less, every single panel served a purpose. And I appreciated that, considering the comic book space is full of stories that could have ended in a couple of issues but got unnecessary 12-issue-long boring arcs instead. You know who you are!

The premise involved Gabby and Trudy making their way to a huge farm after Gabby inherited it from a dead aunt. It didn’t take long for the two to discover that there was something peculiar about the place. I liked how Gabby and Trudy had a horrific encounter during their first night on the farm and also got some backstory via a video recording from Gabby’s aunt.

As I have mentioned, Starks shared a lot of information in the debut issue. I don’t want to spoil what kind of horrors our leads faced, but I think this is the kind of book where anything can happen because it will be mixing genres.

Trudy was raised as a doomsday prepper. So, here’s hoping she and Gabby have some skills to try and protect themselves from paranormal and human threats.

The art by co-creator Artyom Topilin, with Lee Loughridge as the colorist, might take some getting used to, though. However, having said that, I think the creepiness factor was handled exceptionally well during the nighttime sequence.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes. 

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Rain issue 5 review
Rain Issue 5 (Image: Image Comics)

Rain Issue 5

With issue 5, Rain came to somewhat of a ‘meh!’ conclusion. I still think it’s a well-written five-issue story, but the ending could have been a lot better. In a sense, I would have been okay with the story concluding on a hopeful note involving Honeysuckle listening to the radio and hearing about a group of scientists figuring out a possible way to get rid of the deadly rain instead of having her be part of the mission.

Similar to how the general public never knew about what caused the zombie outbreak in The Walking Dead, I think Rain would have been served well if Honeysuckle was not attached to the deadly rain and the story solely focused on her emotional healing process. The overall mystery and how Honeysuckle solved it just felt anticlimactic to me. She kind of addressed the situation, but then again, the main character addressing said anticlimatic situation didn’t take away from the ‘meh!’ nature of how the mystery unfolded.

Anyway, what’s done is done. I would still recommend you read this queer-led mini-story even though I didn’t find the ending to be very satisfying. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

You can read Jessica’s review of Nightwing issue 92 here.

Which comic books did you read this week? Did you enjoy X-Men Red issue 2?

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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