X-MEN BLACK – WHITE QUEEN / SPIDER-FORCE / HEX WIVES / JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK [Sunday Stash]: One Last Jump-Scare!
Happy Sunday, geeks and geekettes! While the Halloween season might be CHRONOLOGICALLY over, that doesn’t mean we can’t throw some more spooky scary stories your way. So before we take down those decorations, and before we start looking ahead to turkey and stuffing, let’s get a heaping helping of comics goodness, reviewed by some of our great writers, only here, at GodHatesGeeks!
I have been lucky enough to be able to bring y’all most of the X-Men Black series. So for the final time, let’s rock and roll the X-Men Black: White Queen. Like I said with the last issue and the Magneto issue before that, this series has given us a series that shows these villains both dangerous and vulnerable.
Leah Williams gives us something that we haven’t had in awhile, a sympathetic Emma Frost. The issue sees the White Queen asking the X-Men for help to, once and for all, take down the Hellfire Club all around the world. Frost has spoken to Hellfire Club members and feels their grief what has gone on in the club. Williams shows just how dangerous grief can be when not dealt with properly. How it can twist a person. The turn comes when Frost confronts the Black King himself, Sebastian Shaw, and after a brutal off-screen death, assumes the mantle of Black King herself. Chris Bachelo is back after the tragic death of his wife and damn he has not lost his step. He gives us beautiful panel after beautiful panel culminating in some very pissed off X-Men and a stunning look at the Black King herself. While this is a fun read, you don’t need to get this single issue and you can maybe just wait for the trade.
The Black King is dead… all hail the Black King… 4/5 X-Bibles.
If you loved Rick Remender’s run of Uncanny X-Force, then this is the Spider-Geddon spin-off for you! Spider-Force #1 by Christopher Priest brings all the blood and action of X-Force, but with the humor of a Spider book. Scarlet Spider Kaine Parker leads a no-holds-barred crew of questionable morals Spiders as they return to the post Apocalyptic planet where Solus, the father of Spider-devouring Inheritors has been held. The team includes an unusual mix of existing Spider-folk (Kaine, Spider-Woman, Old Man Logan’s Spider-Girl) and a pair of original creations. Priest focuses a significant amount of attention to a new character named Spider-Kid.
The art team consists of Paulo Siqueira, Oren Junior, Craig Yeung, and Guru-eFX giving the whole world a edgy end of the world feel with a coloring that resembles more of an inorganic feel. I’m sure this will be one of the more dreary of the side stories, but I’m okay with that. 3/5 Web-Heads agree!
Hex Wives tells the tale of an immortal coven of American witches and centuries’ spanning quest to eradicate them. Written by Ben Blacker (Supernatural, Wolverine), it’s a feminist tale from DC’s Vertigo imprint, of spooky, queer women and the men who just won’t let them live.
Our journey through their history begins with an obligatory stop in ye olde Salem, and ends up in modern California where a backdrop of fierce wildfires cast a long shadow over suburbia. Witches are having a moment right now with the reboot of a darker, yet blonder Sabrina the teenage witch and the anticipated time travel telenovela Siempre Bruja on Netflix, mass rituals cast to influence the U.S. Supreme Court, countless photo essays, and growing interest in paganism as a departure from the Judeo Christian standard.
Hex Wives feels particularly timely with its particular focus on gender politics and how authoritarian forces have played a long game on controlling women’s bodies. The images are beautifully and dynamically rendered by Italian artist Mirka Andolfo (Bombshells) and colorist Marissa Louise (Merry Men) with great attention given to variations of body shapes of the multicultural female characters. Hex Wives is a gorgeous and intriguing read, I wished it was longer which is a great sign. I highly recommend this one. 4.5/5 Bibles.
Wonder Woman once again teams up with the magically inclined Justice League Dark to wrap up the Witching Hour arc. Seems apt, given that the spooky season has all but wrapped up, but there’s still room for some more magic and mayhem. Here, our favorite magicians and spectrals are fighting for their lives (and the existence of the multiverse, and all the magic therein), as the ancient goddess Hecate, more powerful than any ancient gods, has taken over Wonder Woman’s body. The only way to stop her? Kill her.
James Tynion IV continues The Witching Hour arc, wrapping up the Justice League Dark/Wonder Woman crossover. As always, he’s got a great sense of pacing and character, and remains great at pushing exposition without slowing down any of the action (and there’s plenty here, don’t get me wrong). DC continues to pivot Wonder Woman as one of the — if not THE — central figure of their universe, transposing her hope and sense of self-sacrifice across each character she encounters. It’s refreshing, and leads the climax of this story to resonate more otherwise. The art by Jesus Merino is clean and sharp, complementing Tynion’s layout and direction.
However, it’s hard not to feel as if the stakes are a bit low here, despite how often characters were explaining how important the outcome of the event is. Just felt like another crossover.. something that rarely pushes my buttons anymore. But if that’s your thing, and you’ve been following along this long, this might be for you. On the other hand, any comic that features my man Constantine, AND Detective Chimp,is worth at least a read. 3/5 Mount Olympuses.