Comic Book Review: Excalibur (2019)

Details: Currently ongoing. More information can be found at https://www.marvel.com/comics/series/27547/excalibur_2019_-_present

Score: 5.9/10

I’ve read about twelve issues at the time of writing this review and it’s become clear that Excalibur exists merely as a prelude to X Of Swords.

Basically, in X Of Swords, the big crossover X-Men events, Apocalypse creates and interdimensional gate. This book just explains how that came to be. The stories aren’t great and don’t feel as if they have any urgency or point to them. The art is fine. It’s just a pointless book where the biggest draw to me is seeing the romance between Rogue and Gambit. Even that wasn’t that great.

Overall, this is a skippable book.

Comic Book Review: X-Force (2019)

Details: Currently ongoing. More information can be found at https://www.marvel.com/comics/series/27564/x-force_2019_-_2020

Score: 7/10

Of all the X-Men books currently in print, this book probably has the most meaningful story. All the other books feel like asides or slices of life of the new mutant nation. This book feels like it has a point to it.

As per the other current X-Men books, all the world’s mutants have united and formed their own nation. Threats have arisen to attack this new nation and a covert hit squad is needed to take those threats out. Enter X-Force.

I like that from the very start, the stakes are high. The story starts with the assassination of Charles Xavier. Thanks to the resurrection protocols, they can bring him back, but that an assassination like this was even possible endangers the entire nation. Wolverine then assembles a group of capable mutants to hunt down the enemies responsible.

What’s interesting about this book is that the members of X-Force are mangled and resuscitated constantly. Quentin Quire in particular has become a recurring joke where he usually dies off in the first few minutes of every mission.

Other than Quentin, there is some exploration into the implications of resurrection and the effect on people psychology. When you resurrect, you can have some of your most painful memories erased, enabling a more stable mind. Some character elect not to resurrect because they’d rather keep their scars than forget them. There’s a lot of interesting musings like this.

Mostly though, the plot revolves around threats that endanger the entire nation. Whereas the other books offer a small slice of the new mutant society, X-Force deals with national threats that endanger every mutant. It’s a nice change from the other X-Men books. Also, the tone here is more serious, which is nice since the other books are more humorous most of the time.

Overall, X-Force is good. If you want to keep up with the new X-Men status quo, X-Force is a good book to do that with.

Comic Book Review: X-Men (2019)

Details: Currently ongoing. More information can be found at https://www.marvel.com/comics/series/27567/x-men_2019_-_2020

Score: 7/10

About twelve issues have been published in this series and I think that’s about enough to form an opinion. While most of the moments in this series have been all right, I find myself mostly disappointed. I think that’s because I wanted a more focused story which has point. That is not what this series is.

After House of X and Powers of X, Hickman has created a brave new world for the X-Men. This series touches upon larger plot points, but for the most part, this book and all the books spawned from House of X and Powers of X are meant to show a different slice of life in this new status quo.

This X-Men book, more than any other, visits so many various characters. There is no real main thrust to it. It’s all stand alone stories. And some of these stories are good. I just wish there was a main plot to it or a common enemy.

However, I think that’s the point of this book. It’s the core book for the entire X-Men comic book franchise and the books in this franchise are meant to tell their own smaller stories. When a big story needs to be told, they’ll tell it in a miniseries like X Of Swords.

The art is fine. If you’ve seen Lenil Yu’s work before, you’ll know that it’s a lot of the same poses and facial expressions.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but there’s no main point or conflict to it. Reading this book is kind of like going to the zoo. You get to look at lots of animals, but those animals are segregated from one another with no real cohesion. The stories in X-Men are all separate stories that only relate to each other because they involve different members of the X-Men.

Comic Book Review: DCEASED (2019)

Details: Currently complete. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/dceased-2019/dceased

Score: 7/10

DCEASED is DC Comics’ answer to Marvel Zombies, a very successful series for Marvel that spawned a bunch of spinoffs.

DCEASED is a post apocalyptic alternate world story. In this alternate world, the anti life equation is infected the world and turned everyone into mindless zombies. We now get to watch the DC Universe fall apart.

This is one of those end of the world stories where we get to watch a lot of our favorite DC characters die horribly. I feel like this type of story has been done to death. Even still, this was mildly entertaining because the quality of the art and the story were decent. I don’t what it is, but these kinds of story remain entertaining no matter how many times they are told.

Overall, this was okay. It seems that DC wants to spin this off into a bunch of other books. I guess I’ll read along.

Comic Book Review: Doctor Doom (2019)

Details: Currently ongoing. More information can be found at https://www.marvel.com/comics/series/27932/doctor_doom_2019_-_2020

Score: 6/10

Somewhere along the way, Doctor Doom became one of my favorite characters. Part of that was because of Hickman’s time on the Fantastic Four and Secret Wars. Part of that was because of the Infamous Iron Man series where Doom became a good guy for a while. In any case, I really wanted to see more of the character.

Then this new series comes along that is all about Doctor Doom. This series focuses on all the aspects that make up the villain that is Doctor Doom. We get a look at the scientist aspect of Doom. We also get to see how Doom behaves as the leader of a country and his interactions with the rest of the world governments. Lastly, we get to see how Doom interacts with the other super villains of the Marvel universe as he himself is a super villain.

The story basically follows Doom getting dethroned. He is accused of some high crimes by the world’s government and goes on the run. Not something that is common for Doctor Doom. We follow Doom as he builds up his strength and tries to retake his country.

The story is fine, but it’s still a bit early to make any big judgments. I like seeing Doom vulnerable as he is often shown as an invincible character. Sadly, there is little to none of the morally gray character we saw in Infamous Iron Man. The Doom portrayed here is a super villain through and through and the reasoning he uses to get through his life is undoubtedly malevolent.

The art is fine.

Overall, the series is entertaining enough, but I would love to see a bit more of the Infamous Iron Man character. One who tries to do good despite his nature. This Doom here gives into his nature and any apparent acts of good are in truth self serving.