“Pontif” Tony Pattawon
X-MEN #1 – Marvel Comics

Not wasting any time coming off the ride that was Jonathan Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X saga, we hop right into this Brave New World of X-Men #1. My god, man.. this story is awesome. As a Wakandan American mutant, inside I was so proud of my mutant people and I’m considering duel citizenship with Krakoa. Back to the realness, Hickman continues this venture with a flashback of Cyclops getting his first pair of Ruby Red Ray Bans from Professor X– one of his first tests of bravery that helped him to be the leader he is today.

Hick is joined on the Pax Krakoa debut Hickman by artist Leinil Francis Yu, with a heavy focus on a Storm and Cyclops team-up. The born leaders trade philosophies while taking on a whole stronghold of Orchis soldiers, further showing us why they’ve earned their respect as the mutant centerpieces. And despite a heavily fatigued Storm tired from their run of missions, these Orchis still don’t stand a chance.

Once they locate their target, the location of the main lab, “Enter Magneto” as his daughter Polaris clears the rabble beneath his feet. Mags then shows Scott, who is trying to optic blast an Vibranium door open, why he is.. well.. the Master of Magnetism, busting through that main gate of the lab before the crew is attacked by a random battalion of gorillas. Yea, this happens.

The X-Men free their fellow captured mutants and get their first glimpse of a posthuman, the ancestor of Homo Novissima (the manufactured evolution of the human race, we saw in the year 1000 period of Powers of X). We also get a glimpse of who really “looks” over the Orchis’ affair; a bad pun, but read it and you’ll see just how bad.

In the rest of the story, we’re all invited to the X-Men edition of MTV Cribs. Scott gathers his whole Summers clan — pops Corsair, bros Havok and Vulcan, Cable, Rachel (Prestige) Summers, homegirl Jean — and some close friends, like the Starjammers and of course, Wolvie, to the Summer House located on the got damn Moon. Now that’s baller AF. Side note: Young Cable nerding out with his “Uncle” Raza’s giant space rifle, then proceeding to ask “Mom” (Jean) if can he trade guns with Raza, is.. freaking priceless. Plus, Vulcan is hilarious and kind of develops a little of that snide Summers sarcasm.

Thus, are the mutants the only ones that can bring people back from the dead? X-Men #1 is a great start full of action, with great story development for Cyclops; a stronger focus on family that also continues Hickman’s power of knowledge and data themes. Despite the warm feeling it gives me inside I wanted more Wolverine. 4/5 Bibles.

-Tony Pattowan

“The Dean” Gene Selassie
DOCTOR DOOM #1 – Marvel

Doctor Doom #1, while attempting to do way too much in a first issue, never suffers from dullness — even with the extended page count. While the last ten years has seen Doom ping-pong between good and evil a bit too much for my liking, Christopher Cantwell’s (creator of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, not the neo-nazi) script tries to make it all make sense, similar to how Geoff Johns or Robert Venditti did so for Hawkman.

Doom’s voice is pitch perfect; regal with condescension. However, the oft-times brutal dictator seems like the edges have only slightly been dulled. Age combined with a desire for what could have been in life, seem to have tamed the arrogant ruler of Latveria. What felt like an out of nowhere subplot involving Kang’s repeated popping up unexpectedly in Doom’s presence turned into an excellent discussion over drinks between two respected colleagues and I’m dying to see more.

Salvador Larocca’s more recent photo-realistic style has been either ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ with most fans. His layouts are technically sound and his machinery/tech pops off the page (just as it did in his awesome Iron Man run). Guru compliments the pencils, however, the bbn ddqvqqq in a few scenes are so saturated that some of the more somber moments don’t quite nail the landing from an emotional standpoint. But overall, the art is quite better than we’ve seen on most Doctor Doom solo outings.

This is a creative team that gets sci-fi and political intrigue and I cannot wait for the next issue. I also cannot wait for Cantwell to get the opportunity to write an Iron Man story at some point, because he seems perfect for the job. 4/5 Bibles.

-Gene Selassie

“Saint” Timothy Markham
SPIDER-VERSE #1 – Marvel

AWESOME! Jumping through various spider-verses, meeting different incarnations of Spider-Man, this debut mini ish tells a captivating story with a perfect sprinkle of humor. From the first page, I was sucked into the action and the fast-paced nature of the story kept me locked in. Jed MacKay (Black Cat and Man without Fear) has a great way of advancing the story while keeping the reader informed of what is going on.

Most issues with this much action are hard to follow. Spidey-Verse #1 is the exception. The art of each particular Spider-Verse was diverse and does a fantastic job at giving a brief look into the world that Myles is jumping in and out of. I will absolutely be picking up the second issue. 5/5 Interdimensional World-Saving Spiders.

-Tim Markham

Destiny “Evangelical” Edwards

A retelling of a storyline from The Adventures of Superman radio show, Gene Luen Yang (New Super-Man) transports us back to 1946 where a Chinese family, The Lees, moves into Metropolis from Chinatown and catches the attention of the local white supremacist group. Superman does no smashing in this issue, save for a quick fight with a Nazi villain in the first couple of pages. Instead, the focus is on the Lee’s youngest child, the nephew of the Klan’s Grand Scorpion, and where Superman really came from (because this is so early in his character history that he can’t fly and hasn’t encountered Kryptonite).

Gurihiru’s (Power Pack) manga-esque art is gorgeous as usual, but feels just a slightly out of place for the time period. Overall, it was a good read, even if I would’ve liked there to be more Klan smashing. It moves a bit on the slow side, but picks up towards the end. And, hey, he DID take out a Nazi. 3.25/5 Bibles.

-Destiny Edwards

Halli Borgfjord

First impressions? Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a stormtrooping blast of familiar faces in a new series (Kylo Ren, Leia, Finn, Rey, Chewie, C-3PO, R2-D2, etc), supported by Luke Ross‘ beautiful artwork that helps bring the story to life. But about halfway through reading, I realized that this first “Journey” was simply a narrative we’ve all witnessed before.

But that’s Star Wars, now, isn’t it?

With respect to Rogue One (which arguably doesn’t feel like the tried-and-true) and respect to Marvel for trying to show how ruthless the First Order — by making unprecedented decisions that even Darth Vader’s Empire found too evil — Ethan Sacks‘ initial ish felt ultimately like a highly enjoyable, recycled story.

For many (see: The Force Awakens), that’s not entirely a bad thing and may even be a plus. Also, this is only the first issue and there are a lot of places this journey can go. I’m particularly interested to see how much more we learn about Mon Cala and Leia’s past relations with them. This also gives me a new hope (sorry!) for the upcoming movie with what parts of the galaxy they plan to take the story. 3.5-3.75/5 Bibles.

-Halli Borgfjord

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