Comic Book Reviews (Week May 12, 2021): Guardians of the Galaxy Issue 14, Hailstone Issue 1 & More!

guardians of the galaxy issue 14 review
Guardians of the Galaxy Issue 14 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (May 12, 2021). I will be covering Guardians of the Galaxy issue 14, Hailstone issue 1, Youth Season 2 Issue 2, and more!

I’ll begin by talking about Guardians of the Galaxy issue 14 by writer Al Ewing and artist Juan Frigeri. With Doom deciding to pay a visit to Team A, the narrative also switches to Team B and the large threat they are investigating. Seeing Doom already aware of the upcoming danger made sense. And seeing him try and get Team A to listen and submit to him made me laugh. He’s Doom after all and that means he has a humongous ego.

As for the fight between Team A and Doom, taking out Wiccan was the best move. Billy’s clearly the strongest of the bunch, especially if his emotions aren’t kept under control. Star-Lord coming up with a plan to distract Doom while Moondragon makes her move was nice to see. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if all of it was part of Doom’s plan even if it includes getting stuck in a body that isn’t his. Kudos to Ewing to use Doom’s mind-swapping powers because as far as I can tell, we don’t get to see it a lot in comic books.

There’s a cosmic-shattering being ready to make an appearance and I can’t wait to see how the husbands (Hulkling and Billy), Doom, and the Guardians of the Galaxy will stand against it. Will the X-Men’s S.W.O.R.D organization have a role to play? I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Mighty Morphin issue 7 review
Mighty Morphin Issue 7 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Mighty Morphin Issue 7

From writer Ryan Parrott, Mighty Morphin issue 7 continues with an interesting narrative that makes the Power Rangers think in terms that aren’t clearly black and white. Our teen superheroes are dealing with a lot of gray, and are thus experiencing a lot of confusion trying to figure out how to keep Angel Grove safe from Lord Zedd.

With Zordon’s people coming to Earth to prepare for the Empyreals (the beings the Omega Rangers are also dealing with), you know Lord Zedd is planning something. Is he going to try and create a schism between the main team? Also, from what I know about Grace, she isn’t done either. There’s a lot of planning going on, and I can’t wait to see which strategies come to fruition. 

As a big fan of Kimberly, I loved seeing her not only take Tommy down a few notches but also give a piece of her mind (and fist) to Matt. Being the Pink Power Ranger can make others not feel threatened or take you seriously due to the outfit’s color. But we know underestimating Kimberly, is a mistake (especially after seeing the version of her from the future). That’s why I love it whenever she puts her foot down and calls people out on their behavior.

mighty morphin issue 7 review
Kimberly telling Tommy to stick to the plan in Mighty Morphin Issue 7 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Artist Marco Rena and colorist Walter Biamonte kick it out of the park, as usual, helping make Parrott’s current Mighty Morphin run one of the most pleasing (visually and content-wise) titles out there.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

seven secrets issue 8 review
Seven Secrets Issue 8 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Seven Secrets Issue 8

After being in the paranormal world in the previous issue and getting to learn about Caspar’s upbringing, I was a bit sad returning to the real world. However, writer Tom Taylor made up for it by finally revealing the first secret in Seven Secrets issue 8. After such a buildup, I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. With that being the first secret, I’m excited to learn about the remaining six. Also, kudos to Taylor for handling everything in the manner he did. The entire reveal could have easily flopped after so much hype.

While I’m still not a fan of the massive cast in this action-oriented story (there are just too many people for me to remember), I will still be sticking around to see how the current arc unfolds.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

The Silver Coin issue 2 review
The Silver Coin Issue 2 (Image: Image Comics)

The Silver Coin Issue 2

As an anthology series with some big comic book talent attached, I am so here for The Silver Coin to switch things up in every issue. The second installment, by writer Kelly Thompson, gives us a story many are familiar with. However, it’s the narrative execution and art by Michael Walsh that will keep you interested all the way to the end. If you’re a fan of slasher films set during a summer camp, you’re going to have a blast. The pacing, young characters, and gore are all done perfectly.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Time Before Time issue 1 review
Time Before Time Issue 1 (Image: Image Comics)

Time Before Time Issue 1

In my opinion, co-writers Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville bring a very interesting take on time traveling with Time Before Time issue 1. The premise, from what I could understand, involves a world where time traveling is a normal yet expensive thing. If you have the money, you can be transported anywhere in the past (especially when the future, the year 2141, isn’t the best place to be in). 

Our lead Tatsuo wants out of his job transporting people (including murderers). He and his friend Oscar think of a plan to steal a teleportation vehicle and run away. However, things don’t go as planned and Tatsuo finds himself in a predicament. The debut issue does a good job of setting up the fictional world and making you feel for Tatsuo, especially when he meets Oscar after a particular incident. Ending on an exciting cliffhanger, I can’t wait for the second issue to be released.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Project Patron issue 2 review
Project Patron Issue 2 (Image: Aftershock Comics)

 

Project Patron Issue 2

I was provided with a free digital version of Project Patron issue 2 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From co-creators Steve Orlando and Patrick Piazzalunga, Project Patron issue 2 focuses on the team after losing Conrad. According to Moro, Conrad’s the heart of the team and with him gone, cracks are beginning to show. Even though Moro’s a spy for the UN, I think it will be interesting to see his development into someone who connects with his team members at a deeper level. I also can’t wait to see him pilot the Patron machine for the first time. The process is incredibly risky and yet this group of humans is willing to participate to keep humanity safe.

The second issue introduces a villain named Matthew Mammon who, according to Orlando, can be described as “Lex Luthor meets Gordon Gecko, the worst type of privileged greed-worshipper, detached from reality”. 

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding a lot of things right now (especially Conrad’s death), and I’m definitely going to continue with this title.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Hailstone issue 1
Hailstone Issue 1 (Image: ComiXology Originals)

Hailstone Issue 1

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

I mentioned the release of Hailstone about a week ago, and now I can actually talk about it in-depth. By writer Rafael Scavone and artist Rafael de Latorre, Hailstone issue 1 immediately sets the scene of what kind of horror/thriller/mystery story you’re getting yourself into. Set during the U.S. Civil War, we have the people of Hailstone on the verge of running out of food and facing a very cold winter. They’re making do with pine cones and other edible things, but it’s clear they can’t continue much longer.

The debut issue opens with a young woman named Mary picking pine cones with her mother. However, she ventures a bit too far, is attacked by something, and disappears. All that’s left behind is Mary’s basket and splotches of blood. Turns out, five more people went missing before her. Apparently, things took a turn for the worst when the Union army built a factory to manufacture supplies to aid in the war.

Our lead seems to be sheriff Denton who is struggling to keep peace in Hailstone. I really liked the scene where Denton has no other choice but to meet with the Captain in charge of the factory. Their interaction’s quite intense, with both of them playing a game of tug-of-war trying to maintain an upper hand and prioritizing their needs.    

The first issue doesn’t waste time dragging the narrative in this 5-part limited series. Every panel has a role to play as it builds up the tension toward the inevitable confrontation at the end. Even a slower moment like the one involving Denton comforting Mary’s mother is done well.

Latorre’s art style compliments the story’s mature and serious vibe with Wesllei Manoel’s colors really making you feel the coldness the character’s experience. The color palette switching to warmer tones during Denton’s talk with the Captain is a nice touch and helps engross readers into the world of Hailstone.

Due to the era that this story’s set in, the narrative also includes a racially charged scene between a woman and Tobias involving Native Americans. The particular moment is handled well and helps flesh out the sentiments certain residents of Hailstone have.

Hailstone issue 1 review
Tobias looking at Sarah from behind Denton in Hailstone Issue 1 (Image: ComiXology Originals)

All in all, Hailstone issue 1 serves as a great start to what looks like an intriguing horror/thriller/mystery where the difference between humans and monsters might not be clear cut.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Youth Season 2 issue 2 review
Jan and Trixy bringing Akio to their base in Youth Season 2 Issue 2 (Image: ComiXology Originals)

Youth Season 2 Issue 2

I was provided with a free digital copy of Youth Season 2 Issue 2 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

My review of Youth Season 2 issue 2 was supposed to go up last week when the title was released, but I couldn’t get to it due to certain reasons. Anyway, I’m here talking about it now because a lot happened!

From Curt Pires and Alex Diotto, the second issue opens with taking the readers to Japan and introducing another young character named Akio. The poor kid’s coping with his feelings of loneliness. I think many of us went through that during high school (some even do as adults). Anyway, with Akio’s newly found powers not being fully under his control, Jan and Trixy show up to take him away. Due to how the previous season ended, we know Jan and Trixy are on a mission to locate others with superpowers.

There’s a very X-Men-y feel to the entire thing, with the difference being there’s no actual adult supervision. These superpowered teens are trying to create a team (family?) to possibly save the world while staying safe from an organization that wants them dead. The villains are okay with killing innocent humans as long as they can get to the teens.

Speaking of Adam, his conversation with his uncle is quite emotional. I liked how Pires handles the perspective of Adam’s uncle and the fact his uncle does feel guilty about abandoning Adam and his mother. As far as my opinion goes, it’s obvious Adam wants some kind of familial connection. He’s quick to forgive his father and he’s open to reconnecting with his uncle. It would have been understandable for Adam to hold a grudge against his uncle and only use his place to hide from the authorities for a while. But nopes, he’s genuinely interested in working on his relationship with his uncle. But that’s easier said than done considering what transpires. Sigh! Adam just can’t catch a break.

The second issue also gave me something I was hoping for ever since I finished reading the first season. Yes, River is alive! Frank better go and save him ASAP!

On a side note, Pires and Diotto exist as comic book creators in the world of Youth. Seeing Madison talk about them as her favorite duo is a funny little sequence.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Which comic books did you read this week? What did you think of Guardians of the Galaxy issue 14?

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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