Comic Book Reviews (Week September 27, 2023): Storm Issue 5, The Avengers Annual Issue 1 & More!

Avengers Annual issue 1 review
The Avengers Annual Issue 1 – Contest of Chaos (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (September 27, 2023). I will be covering Storm Issue 5, The Avengers Annual Issue 1, Godzilla: War for Humanity Issue 2, and more!

Let’s begin by talking about the comic books I didn’t enjoy reading. I don’t know why I decided to pick up both Storm Issue 5 and The Avengers Annual Issue 1. I knew they were going to disappoint me… but I guess a part of me wanted to see how all of the mess concluded. Sigh!

Starting with The Avengers Annual Issue 1, it delivered the finale to the ‘Contest of Chaos’ storyline that had (from my understanding) Agatha wanting to create a new Darkhold. The event had her pit superheroes against each other with the winners falling under Agatha’s control. The final chapter, from writer Stephanie Phillips, had the Avengers following a signal to locate Agatha and encounter the heroes that had fallen under her spell.

For a book that featured extremely powerful characters, the fight sequences in the finale were lackluster. After showing the heroes throw a couple of punches, the narrative decided to focus on Captain Marvel and the Scarlet Witch trying to defeat Agatha. Like whose idea was it to do that? Where were the cool fights in a freaking storyline involving superheroes battling it out? Ugh!

A thing that stood out to me was Carol stating how she thought Storm should have been able to break free of Agatha’s control. And you know what? I agree with Carol. Ororo is supposed to basically possess indomitable will. That’s why seeing Ororo not being able to resist Agatha’s spell made no sense to me throughout the story. I take it Carol’s statement was supposed to tell the readers that Agatha’s spell was just too powerful to overcome? Hmmm.

Even if that was true, I still would have liked to see Ororo try to resist a little bit. Also, with Agtha defeated and the heroes finally being freed from the spell, seeing Ororo not wanting revenge felt out of character. Storm is not a fan of being mind-controlled.

Also, I can’t help but roll my eyes at the Marvel Comic editors working overtime to ensure Ororo and T’Challa did not share a single interaction during the ‘Contest of Chaos’ finale. Ororo just got freed from Agatha’s possession and T’Challa’s not even going to ask how she feels? Wow!

All in all, ‘Contest of Chaos’ was a boring event that served as yet another example of Western comics fumbling the ball when it comes to telling stories that have the potential to compete with manga. Can you imagine how a manga would have handled such heavy hitters fighting each other? It would have been epic!

Does it have obvious queer representation? No.

Recommendation: Meh!

Storm issue 5 review
Storm Issue 5 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Storm Issue 5

Moving on to the second disappointing comic book I read this week, we have Storm Issue 5 by writer Ann Nocenti. I don’t know what the X-Office was thinking greenlighting such a Storm mini-solo series, especially with how Al Ewing has been handling her in X-Men Red. As far as my opinion is concerned, this particular Storm mini-series was a deliberate attack against the Storm fandom.

I don’t think anyone particularly enjoyed reading this solo series regardless of them being a Storm fan or not. The five-issue story served no purpose (other than to test me every month).

The finale had Storm face Blowback and we got to learn a bit more about his personality and the struggles he’s been facing. Apparently, he wanted to go back to the dimension he came from and Storm reluctantly decided to help him. The entire narrative was supposed to explore Storm’s sense of self, but having Blowback be the one to do so was just not handled well. Again, why was such a mini-series allowed to exist?

Also, there was quite a bit of focus on the other X-Men members even though the solo was promoted as focused on Storm.

Sigh! An unfortunate mess all around.

Maybe one day we will get a Storm-centric solo series that does the iconic character justice when it comes to exploring Ororo’s character with regards to her Omega-level powers and her magical ancestry.

With two comic books disappointing the Storm fandom this week, at least we got a treat via the newly released Marvel Tarot Deck that featured Storm as the High Priestess card.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Meh!

Godzilla War for Humanity Issue 2 review
Godzilla War for Humanity Issue 2 (Image: IDW Publishing)

Godzilla: War for Humanity Issue 2

From writer Andrew McLean, the second issue of Godzilla: War for Humanity continued Zoospora’s spree of infecting other Kaiju and making them wreak havoc. I’m really enjoying McLean’s voice when it comes to painting Kaiju as giant animals who follow certain natural patterns and how Zoospora’s very unpredictable and ruining the ecosystem.

We did get a surprising explanation about why Godzilla hadn’t intervened to stop Zoospora. I liked how the so-called reveal impacted our lead character Dr. Yuko Honda. She’s been hoping for Godzilla to come to the rescue and being told that the iconic Kaiju was allowing Zoospora to roam free because Godzilla wanted a virus (Zoospora) to end another virus (humanity) really shook Yuko to her core. Heck! It even surprised me.

However, thankfully, there’s more to the story and Mothra (one of my favorite Kaiju) decided to help humanity by reaching out to Godzilla. I didn’t like Godzilla being so aggressive toward Mothra, but I think such an interaction was necessary to showcase that Godzilla indeed had his own reasons for staying on Monster Island and away from Zoospora… for now.

I’m looking forward to seeing how humans will try to defeat Zoospora. I mean, they will fail. But it will still be interesting to see. As we don’t know what other powers Zoospora might have, Godzilla needs to rethink his priorities and consider attacking Zoospora before it evolves or something.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Black's Myth The Key to his Heart Issue 4 review
Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 4 (Image: AHOY Comics)

Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 4

I was provided with a free digital copy of Black’s Myth: The Key to His Heart Issue 4 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From writer Eric Palicki, the penultimate issue continued to raise the stakes for our cast. We still don’t know the identity of the mysterious woman behind the supernatural book and murders continue to occur. I think Claire has gotten herself into more than she bargained for with the witches.

I get that Claire wanted to help Strummer solve the case, but you don’t make a deal with a trio of witches, especially when you only found out that witches existed in real life like yesterday. But hey! Teens will do what teens will do- and that’s to get into trouble and involve adults. There’s also the issue of Claire talking to a mysterious homeless guy. Who was he?

With Strummer taking responsibility for looking after Claire, I wonder how she will manage to help the teen intern control the half-demon inside of her.

Not only that, but Carly’s in prison for murdering her ex-husband Eddie in a state of fear. I liked her opening up to Ben about it and doing her best to make sense of the hidden supernatural world she’s found herself in. I do think that Ben asking Carly not to tell Strummer about the accidental shooting might backfire. Be ready for more queer romance drama!

Strummer’s got her plate full and I’m looking forward to seeing how everything will come together during the finale and what seeds will be planted for a potential third season. I really want to see this series continue. I want Strummer and Ben to travel the world and interact with a variety of supernatural lore.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Which comic books did you read this week?

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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