Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 9/12/20

Another week of new comics, another week of new reviews! It’s good to have consistency. Another short week this time, with me only reading new issues of Marauders, X-Factor and The Green Lantern.

Comic Book of the Week goes to Marauders #12 for a big Kate Pryde moment. Also, I love how her hair is drawn.

Let it happen

Meanwhile, The Magnificent Ms. Marvel returned and I looked into it…but it’s a tie-in to the Outlawed storyline going on in Champions. I haven’t read it and didn’t plan on it, so I’m skipping the new Ms. Marvel issue. Man…I just can’t work up any interest in these comic company Big Events anymore. I must be getting old.

Comic Reviews: The Green Lantern: Season 2 #7, Marauders #12 and X-Factor #3.

The Green Lantern #7

The Green Lantern: Season 2 #7
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Letterer: Steve Wands

Welp, leave it to a story set in the “underlife” to let Grant Morrison really go crazy with his craziness. Let’s see if I can make sense of all this.

Hal Jordan died at the end of the last issue, and now he’s in the underlife, where he’s being attended to by the New Guardians. They speechify a whole lot about all manner of things, while Hal insists they help him with saving the hospital. They are worried that Hal is a divided person, much like the universe is divided. But Hal mops up all of his divisions and explains he’s just a complicated person, but he’s really just a damn fine Green Lantern…or something. Anyway, they want to assign him as their new Death Lantern, but Hal points out that microsurgeons have been at work on his body this whole time. So he wakes up with no memory of the underlife, gets his ring back and saves the hospital. Now it’s time to go to war against the Anti-Verse…much to the dismay of the New Guardians.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

This is another one of those issues where Grant Morrison just goes off on the madness in his mind, getting all existential and cosmically weird. The issue comes together as an actual story by the end, but there is just so much impenetrable stuff about the cosmos, about Hal Jordan, about these strange new Guardians, about something Morrison has coined the “underlife” and so much more. Morrison even touches on the emotional spectrum…and possibly how it connects to Hal’s love life? I don’t know, it was far far too heady for me. Reading Morrison dialogue when he’s like this is like reading the densest of legalize. Fortunately, the issue does come together in the end. Hal Jordan, in full gruff badass mode, just shrugs off all this weird “divided man” and “underlife” stuff, reveals that his body has been healing all along and he returns to the land of the living to save lives and kick ass. That part I could get behind, and it saves the issue from being too much nonsense.

Honestly, season 2 has been more weirdness than actual Green Lantern storytelling. This whole series is a far cry from the police procedural we were promised once upon a time, and I’m quickly dreading each new issue…but I’m going to see this through to the end.

TL;DR: Morrison strives for new levels of existential, impenetrable philosophical waxing, but the strong narrative fights its way through in the later half of the book to make for a solid read.

Marauders #12

Marauders #12
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Matteo Lolli
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

It’s a damn shame that this comic wasn’t really about a team of X-Men out on the open seas playing pirate.

Kate Pryde is welcomed back in a quick resurrection ceremony, then she goes to attend a big party thrown by her friends. In between, she gets the low down from Emma about what Sebastian Shaw did and Kate comes up with a plan. She’s also lets nothing slip when she’s forced to interact with Shaw at the party. Kate eventually dips out with Illyana’s help and visits a new tattoo parlor since her body is brand new. She gets the words “Kill Shaw” tattooed across her knuckles. Kate also kisses the tattoo artist, who is a lady, and that’s a big deal for longtime LGBTQ+ fans of Kate.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

First off, a couple of things. One, Kate kissing another woman is a big deal out there in internet land. I was never a big Kate Pryde person because I didn’t read X-Men comics in the 1980s, and she never showed up in the 90s cartoon. But I guess it’s been heavily hinted for decades and this is the first confirmation that Kate really could be somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. That’s cool. More power to those fans and that storytelling. Though, one thing to note, I went back and checked and the tattoo artist she kisses is not the same one from the opening issues when they visited a tattoo parlor. Weird fact, Kate kissed that tattoo artist as well, who was a man. So I guess Kate thinks she can pay for tattoos with kisses?

Second thing, I really really liked what Matteo Lolli did with Kate’s hair in this issue. It’s big and poofy and looks really good. I think it’s a classic Kate look? Whatever the case, it was really noticeable and really neat. The art was good for the whole comic, but that hair was especially noteworthy.

The fandom is ready

Beyond those specific details, this was a fine issue that gave us a good look at life on Krakoa. Kate gets a cool red dress for her return ceremony, so hopefully that means the X-Men have stopped making their newly resurrected members stand naked in front of everybody. Kate gets a nice party and we get some solid character moments, especially between Kate and Emma, though sadly not with any other team members. This issue is all about the aftermath of Kate’s resurrection and her prep for dealing with Shaw, and it’s all solid.

My only real gripe, for the series as a whole, is that…I dunno…I guess I was hoping for more pirate adventures.

TL;DR: Some big character development and some cute art make this Kate Pryde-focused issue really standout.

X-Factor #3

X-Factor #3
Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: David Baldeon
Colorist: Israel Silva
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

There’s a Fortnite tie-in scene at the end of this issue that I’m just not going to touch upon. I’m all for Marvel trying to branch out with their marketing, but it’s not for me.

X-Factor try to get information out of Spiral, and we get a good, hard look at how insane the Mojoverse is now that it’s focused on streaming content. Eventually Spiral does reveal that the dead mutant in question is Wind Dancer, who came to the Mojoverse and had herself executed on livestream for the crowds. Her upcoming autopsy is also expected to be quite the show. X-Factor demand answers and Spiral teleports them into a battle arena. They fight their way to the top and discover Shatterstar, who reveals that he is the top streamer in the Mojoverse. He takes the team on a little tour of the place, while revealing that he’s the one who sent the mysterious package at the start of the story. He seems to be brainwashed and under Mojo’s control, but Shatterstar is able to get some information to the team and they go and grab Wind Dancer’s body. Polaris quietly promises that they will come back for Shatterstar.

Meanwhile, Daken and Aurora chat a little bit back at base and he tries to pry into the guy she was hooking up with in the opening issue. Aurora takes off without answering any questions.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

I liked this issue better than the last. It’s got a lot more forward momentum to help us get through the madness of the new Mojoverse. I can’t really blame anybody for that madness. This seems like a pretty accurate representation of what the Mojoverse would be like if it was all about internet streaming shows instead of the traditional network TV. So that makes sense…it’s just really hard to get through. The Mojoverse is already insane, but it’s even more insane when you try to apply streaming internet, so that is all a little tough to wrap my head around. But like I said this story had a lot more forward momentum, and actually explained a lot of things, so that made it easier to understand. Now we know the mutant who was killed, we know how she was killed and we know who tipped off X-Factor, and all of those answers come with even more questions and mysteries. So the story progresses nicely and builds even more trouble, which is good.

I love this redesign

There’s still a lot I didn’t quite grasp. I don’t know all the history with cloning in the Mojoverse, so I was lost with that stuff. But I understand that Shatterstar is under some kind of mind control, but was still able to fight it off long enough to get word to the X-Men that one of their own was dead, having become suckered into the Mojoverse madness. And X-Factor go there, find her body and get her out, while promising to help Shatterstar in the future. I understand and I dig it. I also enjoyed Daken and Aurora. Daken is definitely proving to be the breakout star of this series, which is also a hard concept to wrap my head around, but it’s all there in print. I love the idea that he seems like he’s flirting with Aurora, which is what he threatened he’d do when taunting Northstar, but what he’s really doing is pursuing his own, subtle investigation. That’s some fun, clever writing.

TL;DR: There’s madness at play in this issue in the Mojoverse, but story and character development are at the forefront, so it’s more enjoyable than the previous issue.

The comics I review in my Hench-Sized reviews are just the usual comics I grab from Comixology any given week, along with a few impulse buys I might try on a whim. So if there are any comics or series you’d like me to review each week, let me know in the comments!


About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on September 12, 2020, in Comics, DC, Marvel, Reviews, X-Men and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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