VOTE LOKI / CIVIL WAR II: X-MEN / HAN SOLO / CIVIL WAR II [Reviews]: School’s Out For…

"Reverend" Ryan Ford @nayrdrof
“Reverend” Ryan Ford
VOTE LOKI #1 – Marvel Comics

Every four years the United States elects a new commander-in-chief. But what happens when both candidates are proven to be crooks and the third-party is the worst of all evils? No, this isn’t directly the 2016 election, but rather a “what if” scenario of galactic proportions and the premise of Vote Loki.

That’s right: Asgard’s favorite trickster is running for the highest position in free world. After thwarting a failed Hydra attack on the presumptive nominees (which he most likely instigated), the God of Mischief unveils his candidacy in the most American way. He furnishes a fabricated birth certificate, asks the American public to deny his murder record and uses clever rhetoric to ingratiate himself into the hearts and minds of the cattle-like voters. And in the humble opinion of your righteous Reverend, he seems like the perfect politician.

What isn’t perfect, however, is the entirety of the book itself. The writings of Chris Hastings get brownie points for timeliness, but that’s about it. With a minimal supporting cast, the character development is limited to Loki himself, which is basically an amalgamation of all the worst qualities we’ve seen in congress since the beginning of this century. Where it tries to be clever, it comes across as trite, with clear indications of the narrative’s direction despite an attempt to fool the reader. It’s like a game of three card Monty where all the cards are face up. The artwork of Paul McCaffrey doesn’t do much to help save it either. While unique in style, it appears out of place set against the subject material. Kind of like common sense in the Senate. In any case, this first installment seems akin to Bernie Sanders’ run: nice try, but ain’t gonna make it. Nevertheless, Loki appears far less evil than Hilary and far more competent than Trump, which is perhaps the best thing to take from this book. 1.5/5 Hanging Chads.

CIVIL WAR II: X-MEN #1 - Marvel
CIVIL WAR II: X-MEN #1 – Marvel
"Inquisitor" Luke Anderson IG @lukepoisoner
“Inquisitor” Luke Anderson IG @lukepoisoner

The second Marvel Civil War crossover event begins, and so do the tie-ins. I could really just end the review right there. It’s not that it’s bad; it’s just a kind of rehashing of the main Civil War II book, except played out amongst the X-Men. Storm’s team of hopeful heroes versus Magneto’s embittered strike force, with the future and the Inhumans at the centre of it all. Throw in some Prime Sentinel action and some early side-switching, and it looks like … every other book in this event, basically. There’s added grist for the mill in that the Terrigen Mists are killing mutants, and thus, in Magneto’s mind, so are the Inhumans; but the crux of the story is the same as the main book.

Civil War II: X-Men #1‘s saving graces come from the execution: writer Cullen Bunn (Sinestro) makes respectable use of these (mostly) classic characters, giving time for each in a very fast story; and Andrea Boccardo‘s vibrant artwork, which it has to be said carries a bit of a Chris Bachalo-esque look to it. However, it’s still a side-story, and a set-up for the real story to play out afterwards; cluttered by necessity; and doesn’t resound with the consequences or ramifications that I remember from Marvel’s Civil War brand of cash-grab.. sorry.. “crossover”. Buy this book if you want. Or don’t. I’m sure it won’t matter either way. 3/5 Bibles.

"Dynast" Dana Keels IG/Twitter @hatandwand
“Dynast” Dana Keels
IG/Twitter @hatandwand
HAN SOLO #1 – Marvel

He’s Han Solo. You know him, you love him. But how does our favorite Galactic smuggler fair in this new book this new book written by Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine, Astonishing X-Men) with art by Mark Brooks (Cable & Deadpool) and Sonia Oback?

Well, for the most part, the book is solid. We catch up with a post-“New Hope” Han Solo who has been spooked into laying low out of fear of both Jabba the Hutt and the Galactic Empire. The book has a decent amount of verbal exposition, Hans inner dialogue almost reminds me of the Blade Runner cut where Deckard has the internal monologue. While a good amount of the story works, it cant help but ultimately feel a little flat for this first issue. Exposition for pages and pages.

But on the flip side, Brooks’ interior artwork is consistently great and gives the book a much needed liveliness that the story is lacking. Mixed in with Oback’s gorgeous colors and the art is more than enough of a reason to pick up this first issue. 3/5 Star Wars.

CIVIL WAR II #2 - Marvel
CIVIL WAR II #2 – Marvel
"Archangel" Andrew Leos @MrAndrewLeos
“Archangel” Andrew Leos

Civil War II is off to the races and like the first, the consequences and weight of the story are front and center. Loss, pain and confusion as the world and more namely Tony Stark struggle to understand the death of James “Rhodey” Rhodes. His best friend gone, Stark takes to the warpath in search of answers, leading him to invade New Attilan, home of the Inhumans and to kidnap the precog Ulysses, forcing the hand of the team and their Queen Medusa. Carol Danvers and the rest of the Ultimates are waiting in the wings and readying to intervene in what looks to be building to an all out incident, with war and death just on the horizon.

The story is steamrolling along and it’s clear that Brian Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, Daredevil) came to play, this issue is good and although some of the dialogue can read a bit quippy and canned the majority of this issue is exposition and to keep the story barreling along. There’s a lot going on here, many arcs crossing over and setups to be had, a solid issue that will be good ground work for the meat of action that is about to come. David Marquez (All-New X-Men) is in pure form as he always is, the art is stunning and exactly what we have come to expect from him: Art that drives the narrative but also entrances and imagination. Reading his books has always felt like page come to life and here it shines as pages are riddled with heroes. Justin Ponsor‘s colors, as usual, bring the entire book to life and make the story sing with a rich saturated look that sets the stage for the grand story that is set to unfold.

Civil War II #2 is a great issue that lays the essential character groundwork for what’s to come, ending on a jarring cliffhanger that has me ready for the next issue. 4/5 Millarworld Bibles.

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