Comic Book Reviews (Week October 7, 2020): Marauders Issue 13, Batman Issue 100, and More!

Batman Issue 100 review
Batman issue 100 (Image: DC Comics)

Welcome! In this week’s comic book review round-up (October 7, 2020), I will be covering Marauders issue 13, Batman issue 100, and more.

Of course, I will open with Batman issue 100. The latest issue from writer James Tynion IV served to bring the Joker War to an unsatisfying conclusion. While I understand there are many who enjoyed Tynion’s work, for me, it was much ado about nothing. In the end, Batman’s still Batman. Apparently, he’s incapable of changing. You can chalk it up to Bruce’s stubbornness or DC Comics being extremely hesitant to do something interesting with the dynamics of Bruce and Joker’s relationship. Now, Bruce did refuse to save the Joker from an explosion (courtesy of Harley). So, at least, there’s that.

I did like the video Punchbag released. I think it was supposed to be a jab at how easy it’s become for certain people to sway public opinion by posting a sympathy-seeking video online. 

Tynion also introduced another new character. Apparently, he’s supposed to be Bruce’s friend (and classmate) from the time Bruce was on his journey to become a skilled fighter. Let’s see how that pans out.

Recommendation: Meh!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

DCeased Dead Planet issue 4 review
DCeased: Dead Planet issue 4 (Image: DC Comics)

DCeased: Dead Planet issue 4

This issue of DCeased: Dead Planet from writer Tom Taylor showed the heroes figuring out the cure to save humanity. However, in usual DCeased fashion, even more trouble came knocking.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Far Sector issue 8
Far Sector issue 8 (Image: DC Comics)

Far Sector issue 8

If you still aren’t reading Far Sector from writer N.K. Jemisin, you better get on it. DC’s Far Sector is undoubtedly one of the best comic books right now. Issue 8 followed Jo and her assistant apprehending the murder suspects from a virtual world. There are still a lot of questions in the air. But you can feel that Jo’s slowly getting near to some answers.

Even though she’s on an alien planet, the parallels to Earth are quite obvious. No matter where you travel to, certain things don’t change, especially politicians wanting to shift the blame away from themselves.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

The Magnificent Ms Marvel issue 15
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel issue 15 (Image: Marvel Comics)

The Magnificant Ms. Marvel issue 15

From writer Saladin Ahmed, The Magnificent Ms. Marvel issue 15 showed Kamala Khan needing to stand her ground against the government officials out to get teen superheroes. She clearly didn’t like her name being used to stop her superhero friends from helping people. The issue did seem to plant some seeds involving what to expect as far as Kamala’s relationships are concerned.

Zoe, from what I understood, was in support of the new law. I think it will be interesting to see if that will temporarily change her friendship with Kamala. As for Kamala’s so-called romance with Bruno, the two decided they are better off as friends. I know that certain members of the Ms. Marvel fandom don’t like Kamala being forced into useless romantic drama. She deserves better storylines than that as a character. Let’s see what happens to Kamala and Bruno down the line.

Also, Amulet will return in the next issue. So, yay!

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Marauders issue 13 review
Marauders issue 13 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Marauders issue 13 (Chapter 5 of 22 – X of Swords)

I had been looking forward to Marauders issue 13 ever since it was announced. It was coming out on my birthday and was supposed to showcase Storm while giving her a new direction. Jordan D. White (the current Senior Editor of the X-Men comics) has continued to tease big things coming for Ororo Munroe in 2021. Alas, I should have known better.

Ororo’s been nothing more than a supporting character in the X-Men books for years now. It’s my fault I bought into the hype. I thought that the amazing work Ta-Nehisi Coates’ did with Ororo in his Black Panther run would trickle into the main X-Men books.

The fact the Marauders series, written by Gerry Duggan, (randomly) decided to have writer Vita Ayala come onboard for a single issue should have been the first warning sign (for some Storm fans it was – I overlooked it). So, yes, after reading Marauders issue 13, I can’t help but think the decision was made to soften the blow a bit. It was as if having Ayala do away with Coates’ work (he spent freaking 4 years developing Ororo and T’Challa’s relationship) would make it easier for certain fans to swallow.

Marauders issue 13, in my opinion, was disrespectful to what I had been enjoying about Coates’ work; made worse by the fact Marvel Comics decided to delay the release of the final three issues in his Black Panther run. We still don’t know when (and if) those issues will be released.

Storm’s mission to procure the Skybreaker sword was predictable. Seeing Shuri and her mother not willingly give the sword to Ororo made no sense to me. Ororo has been described as an actual Wakandan Goddess (in the Marvel Encyclopedia).

storm marvel encylopedia

She’s helped them fight Adversary and bring balance to nature. She’s helped them survive an intergalactic attack. And yet, when the Goddess of Wakanda walked into the royal palace to ask for a sword that can help her save Earth, Shuri and her mother refused and told her to wait for T’Challa?

On top of that, Marauders issue 13 gave us a sword no one has ever heard of. From what I could find out, Skybreaker never existed in Wakandan lore before this particular issue. It’s as if the writers created a new sword and linked it to Wakanda just to cause more drama between Ororo and T’Challa.

Why didn’t the writers just give the Sword of Bone to Ororo to link with her magical heritage? Sigh!

And with the Skybreaker sword being capable of increasing energy levels, why would Ororo even need such a thing? She’s an Omega-level mutant. By definition her powers are unscalable. What the heck is she supposed to do with an energy-amplifying sword?

Seeing Ororo being impatient also didn’t sit well with me. She kept talking about how she’s running out of time and couldn’t wait for T’Challa to come and meet her in Wakanda. However, after she stole the sword, she just sat there with Magik and Logan to wait for the others to arrive?

So, Marauders issue 13 basically told me that Ororo couldn’t wait 30 minutes for T’Challa to return but was okay with sitting around waiting for the other champions to appear with their swords? Sure, Jan.

Marauders issue 13 review
Image via Twitter – @WESTINDIANPAPI

And what was up with the flimsy excuse involving T’Challa not answering Ororo’s calls for help? Apparently, the two can always find each other when it’s time to hookup and provide emotional support, but it’s all “New phone. Who dis?” when the fate of the world is concerned.

As for “appreciating Marauders issue 13 for the plot”, this comic book literally had no worthwhile plot. Everything was conveniently created to fit a specific narrative purpose which included doing away with the years of work Coates put into mending Ororo and T’Challa’s relationship.

Everything could have been handled better if Storm had to go through a mystical trial to determine if she was indeed worthy of arming herself with the Skybreaker sword (which no one had even heard about until now. Ha!).

At this point, I think certain TPTB over at Marvel Comics need to look into how certain PoC relationships are portrayed. Why isn’t there an iconic PoC couple in Marvel Comics?

Everyone knows of Sue and Reed Richards (from the Fantastic Four). Everyone knows about Jean, Scott, and Logan. Even Rogue and Gambit have a huge following as a couple. Yet, I still don’t see lasting iconic couples where both partners are PoC. Where are they, Marvel Comics?

And don’t get me started on how Storm is the only PoC in the list of 14 identified Omega-level mutants. Considering how white people aren’t the majority (on a global scale), why does the Omega-level list only have Storm in it?

These are things people over at Marvel Comics should really look into, especially when the X-Men franchise is supposed to mirror real-world racial discrimination and prejudice.

I do see some fans enjoying Marauders issue 13. Good for them. They shared they liked seeing Ororo have agency. All I can say is that characters can still have agency while maintaining relationships if the writers are interested in showcasing healthy couples.

Wanting to be with someone you love doesn’t mean your agency is being taken away. In my opinion, understanding how to work together to accomplish a goal shows more maturity and compassion than saying “peace out!” and walking away.

Anyway, I’m done with the X-Men books for the foreseeable future. I’m at the point in my life where I have no interest in spending money on content that doesn’t entertain me. With Jordan D. White saying that Storm will have something big happen to her in 2021, well, I’ll pick up an X-Men book in 2021, or perhaps sooner if I feel Storm’s getting the respect she deserves (which I doubt will happen).

The fact Jordan D. White, a Senior Editor, allowed Storm to literally change into a different outfit instead of simply using her powers to create a new suit for herself is just wow.

No wonder he got into an argument with the Storm fandom over on Twitter, a couple of days ago, when it looked like he didn’t understand how her powers could work in outer space. 

Jordan D White tweet Storm power
Image via Twitter @stormbrasil1
Jordan D White Storm power
Image via Twitter @cracksh0t

To be fair, Storm did mention how T’Challa (likely) showed her how to get to the Skybreaker sword. She thought he did it in case she ever needed it. Now, if everything that happened in Marauders issue 13 is revealed to be some sort of plan Ororo and T’Challa cooked up (and for what? To see who will cause an uprising in Wakanda?), I will scream. That’ll be some Batman-level-thinking that I don’t want.  

Which comic books did you pick up 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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