Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (November 8, 2023). I will be covering X-Men Issue 17, Creepshow Volume 2 Issue 3, and Count Crowley: Mediocre Midnight Monster Hunter Issue 1.
I have to begin by talking about X-Men Red issue 17 by writer Al Ewing. With Apocalypse arriving on Arakko, I was looking forward to seeing how he would reach out to Storm to enact his plan to stop his wife Genesis. I liked how the issue opened with Apocalypse freeing Vulcan and providing some details about what he wanted to do. Apocalypse’s quite into mutant magic. So, of course, his grand scheme involved… you guessed it… mutant magic. It consisted of the usual elements of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. However, the elements were supposed to be combined at the center of the magical circle, and that center, the necessary “magic”, was Storm.
The Storm fandom has waited a very long time for writers to explore more of Ororo’s magical heritage. Magic is her birthright. And the new era has allowed writers like Ewing to do just that. Here’s hoping the trend continues as the X-Men portion of the Marvel Comics enters the ‘Fall of X’ narrative.
Artists Yildiray Cinar and Federico Blee did an amazing job visualizing the magical ritual. I really liked the panel placement. The two-page spread featuring old comic book panels that connected to what was happening in the present was glorious!
I appreciated the callback to Rogue Storm. From what I could understand, the immense power from the elements was supercharging Ororo, making her remember her Rogue Storm persona. She had to remember to keep her emotions under control. She needed to be calm during the ritual and calling out to the Bright Lady helped her do that, as well as get the required result.
The goal of the magic ritual was to create a living island. And with Storm being an Omega-level Mutant Goddess, she was responsible for creating said life. Welcome, Kaorak. I wonder what kind of personality Kaorak will have and if it will survive the upcoming battle.
Now, one can argue that bringing an island to battle Genesis, an Omega-level Plant Granny, wasn’t the brightest of ideas. But I think we just have to trust Apocalypse (who knew his wife) at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Storm vs Genesis battle involved giant islands fighting in the background while the women fought in the physical as well as the astral planes. I brought up the astral plane because Storm’s got to use her willpower against the Annihilation Staff. The finale between Storm and Genesis is going to be epic. I can feel it!
As for the more quieter yet impactful moments, X-Men Red issue 17 did a good job of explaining Ororo’s position when it came to not using the Uranos Trigger. Storm, as a character, would never say yes to genocide, even if the opportunity to have someone else do it presented itself to her. Storm’s dialogue of how Uranos merely offered an illusion of clean hands while countless beings would be massacred hit hard, especially with what’s going on in the Middle East. Yes, Ororo’s forces had experienced massive casualties but when it came down to it, genocide is never the answer.
I liked how Ororo decided to destroy the OP Uranos Trigger so no one else would be able to use it either. The scene where she called down a bolt of lightning to strike the Uranos Trigger in her palm without hesitation… Yay!
With Jon Ironfire disagreeing with Ororo’s decision regarding the trigger, he walked away to face his boyfriend on his own. I don’t know what the outcome of such a fight will be, but I’m expecting some messy emotions as it continues.
Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.
Recommendation: PICK IT UP!
Count Crowley: Mediocre Midnight Monster Hunter Issue 1
Writer David Dastmalchian‘s Count Crowley series continued as supernatural threats stacked up for our lead character Jerri. Even though she’s managed to survive a zombie attack, a werewolf, and a vampire, there’s still a lot she needs to learn. And while she’s willing, the unfortunate news is that none of the older “good guys” are interested in training her because she’s a woman and women aren’t supposed to be paranormal hunters. She also lost a “friendly” werewolf. And to top it off, Jerri’s got a drinking problem. It’s a mess. But it’s for sure an enjoyable mess.
The first issue gave a nice little recap of the prior events and got new readers up to speed regarding Jerri’s current predicament. With how the vampires have started to move toward their goal, I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen next for Jerri and how she will manage to come out of it alive. Apparently, vampires don’t take kindly to someone killing their own.
Does it have obvious queer characters? No.
Recommendation: Pick it up!
Creepshow Volume 2 Issue 3
The first short story, ‘Eternity, Eternity, Eternity’ by writer and artist Zoe Thorogood, told a familiar tale featuring a warning about wanting eternal life. Even though immortality sounds like a blessing to many, when it comes down to it, human beings weren’t created to handle all of the sufferings that would accompany such a “gift”. Wars. Diseases. Losing loved ones. There’s only so much one can take, let alone having to go through tragedies until the end of time.
I have to say that I found nothing surprising in ‘Eternity, Eternity, Eternity’. Having said that, I did like the overall visuals. The panels showcasing the locust infection were a highlight for me.
As for the second short story ‘Sacrifices’, by writer Joel Farrelly and artist Goran Subzuka, with colors by Ive Svorcina, it shared a fast-paced tale of a professional thief deciding to double cross a client over a rare red diamond. However, it quickly became clear that he was in over his head when the red diamond ended up being connected to an ancient deity.
I don’t really know what this particular short story was getting at. I mean, was it even supposed to have a message or was it to be taken as a fun little read? I’m not sure. Frankly, I like horror tales that touch on a life lesson or two. It helps make the supernatural aspect feel more grounded.
Does it have obvious queer characters? No.
Recommendation: Pick it up.
Which comic books did you read this week? What did you think of X-Men Red issue 17?
Let us know.
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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