Comic Book Reviews (Week March 3, 2021): King in Black – Wiccan and Hulkling Issue 1, Nocterra Issue 1 & More!

king in black wiccan and hulkling issue 1
King in Black: Wiccan and Hulkling – Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (March 3, 2021). I will be covering King in Black: Wiccan and Hulkling issue 1, Nocterra issue 1, 40 Seconds issue 5, and more!

I’m going to begin by talking about King in Black: Wiccan and Hulkling issue 1. From writer Tini Howard, this tie-in focused on Billy and Teddy as they tried to fight a Symbiote invasion while on a resort vacation gifted to them by the Shi’ar. Even though I’m a huge fan of Wiccan and Hulkling, I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as I had hoped. The comedic tone (including the art by Luciano Vecchio) didn’t mesh well with the Symbiote threat. Also, I’m a bit tired of Billy always having to chant his spells to warp reality. He should have leveled up by now.

I did like Billy and Teddy doing everything possible to save the people on the resort as well as those who were infected by Knull. Even though Hulkling is the King of Space and Wiccan is the Demiurge-to-be, both of them are superheroes first, and that means they don’t leave anyone behind.

Reading this issue made me remember how much fun I always have when going through a Wiccan and Hulkling story written by Anthony Oliveira. Here’s to hoping Marvel Comics gives him more work. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Meh.

Runaways issue 34 review
Runaways issue 34 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Runaways issue 34

From writer Rainbow Rowell, a lot of craziness occurred in Runaways issue 34. Wolverine and Pixie told the Runaways about why they thought Molly was in danger and wanted to come to Krakoa. It was revealed that there’s another mutant in the same location who required rescuing. Logan, Pixie, Nico, Molly, Chase, and Old Lace decided to search for the mystery mutant and found themselves in a weird dimension.

The fun banter between the characters continued to be a highlight. I wouldn’t mind having Logan and Pixie stick around for another issue or two. Also, is it just me or were there some romantic sparks between Nico and Pixie? I am intrigued!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

nocterra issue 1 review
Nocterra issue 1 (Image: Image Comics)

Nocterra issue 1

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

By writer Scott Snyder and artist Tony S. Daniel, this new comic book story takes place in a world where the Sun stopped shinning and the resulting darkness mutated living beings. Only a few humans were able to survive in various outposts. You always have to be near a source of light if you don’t want the dangerous mutated monsters to kill you. Other than that, staying too long in darkness will infect your body and you’ll start mutating.

Our lead character is a truck driver named Val. She’s trying to find options to help her brother Emory beat an infection. During one of her jobs (transporting humans to an outpost), she meets an old man and his granddaughter. Apparently, they know the location of a Sanctuary. Val decides to take them there because she hopes to find something that will cure Emory. And while Val’s prepared to handle the monsters they will encounter along the way, she has no idea about a mysterious person following her because of reasons I don’t want to spoil.

Nocterra issue 1 did a good job when it came to introducing the main players and the kind of world they live in. From what I could tell, it’s been 13 years since the world went dark and things have continued to grow worse for the remaining humans.

I like Val as the protagonist. She can hold her own in a fight, and her tough demeanor hides an emotional side. It’s clear she will do everything in her power to protect Emory. I enjoyed reading their interactions.

While I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen in the present timeline, I hope the narrative continues to offer us flashbacks (similar to the debut issue) back to when Val and Emory were younger. Growing up in such a world must have been tough for them. I want to see it!

Daniel’s art is quite dynamic during the action sequences and I’m interested in seeing more of his monster designs.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

40 seconds issue 5 preview cover
40 Seconds issue 5 Cover (Image: comiXology)

40 Seconds issue 5

I was provided with a free digital copy of 40 Seconds issue 5 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From writer Jeremy Haun, 40 Seconds issue 5 concluded the current arc while setting things up for the next one. I would be lying if I said I understood everything that happened in this five-issue story. There is a shady corporation, alien worlds, alternate dimensions, something to do with an old god, and evil clones; so many things I want to learn more about. So, here’s to hoping Haun and his creative team return for a second outing because I need answers.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Which comic books did you read this week? What did you think of Nocterra issue 1?

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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