Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 2/4/23
If you’re reading this when it goes up, I have hopefully not frozen to death. Upstate New York had a really bad cold snap the past two days, and I am hopefully bundled up nice and warm in my apartment. It helps that there were only a few comics I read this week, including Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty. I love that comic.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Scarlet Witch #2 for an excellent second issue that helps to flesh out and establish what this comic is going to be like, and how it looks pretty darn good so far.
Meanwhile, I’ve started playing Marvel’s Midnight Suns and it’s pretty fun. I would have liked something more akin to X-COM, but it’s close enough for my tastes. I watched all of Lockwood & Co. on Netflix and it was fine, but probably forgettable. And I don’t yet know how deeply I will dive into Sins of Sinister or not. We’ll have to see.
Comic Reviews: Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #9 and Scarlet Witch #2.
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #9
Writers: Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
I still need to get caught up on the other Captain America title ahead of the upcoming Cold War crossover. This is one crossover I don’t want to miss!
Captain America and the new Invaders invade Lower Manhattan to fight off the AIM takeover. They break off into pairs to get at different angles and take down different sects of bad guys. Mainly though, we focus on Peggy and Steve as they fight through some bad guys, and Peggy tries to get Steve to open up about his feelings with Bucky. She tries to explain that Bucky is gone now (though the reader sees that she’s only parroting talking points that Bucky gave her). In the end, though, we find out that the new MODOC with mind powers has them trapped and is running through these scenarios over and over in their minds.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
This was another fun and exciting issue, as our heroes leap into battle against the oppressive foes. I was a little confused in the back half reveal, but more on that in a bit. New York is under siege and our New Invaders bust in and get to work. The action and character stuff is great, along with the art. It’s the usual quality we’ve come to expect from this series. Personally, I think I would have preferred a bit more patience with this story. Like, a large section of Manhattan has been conquered by A.I.M.; I feel like more could be done to flesh this out and really explore the scope and the stakes. But the issue instead just jumps right to our particular group of heroes getting in there and wrecking shop. Which is fine and enjoyable, but again, I feel like it could have felt bigger in scope.
Like, one of the teams is sent to specifically hunt down Steve’s civilian friends to get them to help. I enjoy those characters and what they bring to fleshing out Steve Rogers in this series, but of all the people they could turn to in New York City, they really go for this handful of Steve’s pals? I’m nitpicking, I know, it was just a weird scene.
My only real problem with this issue is that I don’t fully understand what happens with MODOC. Was this entire issue just in the minds of our heroes? And MODOC has been replaying their attempts to save the day over and over? Or are they only captured at the end? The art, dialogue and general pacing of the final few pages isn’t as clear as I would have liked. Either one works fine for the story, frankly, so it’s not a big deal. I was just thrown for a loop. Also, did Cap really take his team back into battle with zero protection for another psychic attack? Emma Frost totally should have joined the New Invaders.
TL;DR: Another excellent adventure comic starring Captain America and his pals, though, personally, I wish this story dealt with a bigger scope, and parts were a bit confusing.
Scarlet Witch #2
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Inking Assist: Elisabetta D’Amico
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
This is exactly what I like to see in a second issue of a new series. Nothing too insane, nothing that veers off in some strange new direction. Just a nice continuation of the first issue, exploring the characters and their new status quo.
Viv Vision has been having nightmares, and she has come through the Last Door to get help from the Scarlet Witch. So Wanda enters her dreamscape and finds the culprit: Dreamqueen, daughter of Nightmare and former enemy of Alpha Flight. So classic, obscure villain; awesome. Anyway, they have dream battle and Wanda uses all manner of tricks to eventually get the upper hand and banish Dreamqueen to some clever comeuppance. Viv’s problem is solved and Wanda and Darcy remain fun together.
Speaking of Darcy, it seems her problem involves Scythia of the Bacchae, who may or may not also be classic, obscure villains. My Google-Fu is turning up some possibilities.
Also, there’s a fun little back-up where Wanda and Storm hang out and go on a little adventure. I am also in favor of having friends pop in for tea, chat and adventure.
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
First and foremost, I am 100% on board with Orlando plucking random obscure villains from the past and using them as adversaries in this series. Marvel is full of a bajillion oddball characters over the decades, many used once and never thought of again. I haven’t personally recognized those used so far, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying random appearances from the likes of Dreamqueen. Google is our friend, after all. And it makes for a fun issue. Scarlet Witch, in her awesome new costume, strolls into an android’s dreamscape and does mystical battle with a wicked villain, getting clever with how magic and dream magic work.
This is just a fun issue that fully embraces the new series and the characters being used. It touches on the relationship between Wanda and Viv, while paying fine attention to their continuity. The issue puts Darcy to good use, making her into an excellent supporting character. And Wanda is just plain fun. She’s a superhero, she’s been given a fun new status quo to warrant this series, and she’s being put to great use seeing it through. This is what I like in a new superhero solo series. Put the hero to good work, give them a clearly defined status quo and story, and just keep telling good stories with them and their supporting cast. And that’s what Scarlet Witch has delivered in its second issue.
TL;DR: This fun new series delivers a solid, enjoyable second issue that keeps things going in a clear and entertaining way.
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.
Posted on February 4, 2023, in Comics, Marvel, Reviews and tagged Captain America, Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty, Scarlet Witch. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
Great casule-sized reviews. Stay warm!