Tag: X-Men

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    Iceman #1: Two Icemen for the Price of One

    Marvel’s newest X-Men solo comic, Iceman #1, features the exploits of Bobby Drake (the original, not the time-displaced younger version) battling baddies as well as…his parents? That’s right. Bobby has had so much trouble with his parents’ lack of understanding around him being a mutant, he hasn’t dared telling them he’s gay. Instead, Mr. and Mrs. Drake are waiting for him to bring a nice girl home.

    Iceman Comics at TFAW.com

    If that weren’t bad enough, Iceman is busy schooling the younger version of himself in the ways of his mutant powers. For years Bobby could do little more than creating ice ramps and freezing bad guys, but now he’s an “omega-level mutant” with powers far beyond his imagination. Older Bobby teaches the younger, hipper version of himself how to maximize the potential of those powers.

    And, of course, Iceman has to deal with the real bad guy, which in the premiere issue is an anti-mutant purifier. Not a Sentinel-level threat, but an adequate one in the middle of everything else going on in this story.

    Vitti and Grace Are a Great Choice for Iceman #1

    Artist Alessandro Vitti gives the book a unique style – different from the other X-titles, but still clearly in the family. Writer Sina Grace cleverly bookends the story by having Bobby explain who he is on a dating website. “My friends would say I’m a team player,” he writes while looking at a photo of the X-Men.

    Grace tells a compact yet complete story for this initial outing, one that has drama, humor and enough action to keep fans coming back for more. Finally, Iceman gets his time to shine and it’s one story that is sure to rank among the classics.

    Iceman #1: Marvel Comics, Released June 7, 2017, Written by Sina Grace, Art by Alessandro Vitti, Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, Letters by VC’s Joe Sabino; $3.99.

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    Take a Trip Through Time in Cable #1

    In the history of comics, few characters offer a more complex history than Cable. Much of this is due to the character’s penchant for time travel. In Cable #1, Cable is back in his own ongoing series as part of the ResurrXion relaunch. The comic sees Cable embrace the elements that make him great while trimming the confusing bits down.

    Cable #1 Review

    The first issue opens up in Arizona, 1872. It’s a classic western setup, as a group of outlaws have overrun a town of innocents. They’re in a bar celebrating their wickedness when a mysterious drifter enters through the swinging doors. The catch is that this mysterious drifter is actually everyone’s favorite time-traveling mutant: Cable. Surprisingly, these outlaws aren’t packing six guns but instead have laser blasters; unlucky for them, Cable’s are bigger.

    Right from page one this book announces itself as exactly what fans are looking for. Cable as a time traveling avenger wandering through different eras defending those who can’t defend themselves. Following his takedown of the old west bandits, Cable travels to feudal Japan. We see him assure the frightened survivor of a razed village that he will root out the evil that devastated her home.

    Cable #1 Sports an Incredible Creative Team

    James Robinson’s script perfectly captures the grit and edge of Cable but also shows off his heroism and humanity. Another standout of the book is the art from Carlos Pacheco, who mixes kinetic action and character design with the stunning vistas of the various time periods Cable travels through. One of the appeals of a time travel book is the ability to escape to varying locales and eras, and the detail Pacheco puts into each setting gives the book a sense of authenticity in addition to its sci-fi heroics.

    Cable is a character born out of the ’90s comics’ obsession with extreme badassery, but he’s managed to endure longer than a lot of other characters crated at the same time. There’s an edginess to him, sure, but underneath is nobility that makes him compelling and infinitely readable. That’s something that shines through in this first issue.

    Longtime Cable fans will no doubt enjoy their hero’s newest adventure, but for new readers it’s a fun story without an emphasis on previous continuity. All in all, Cable #1 is a great introduction to a classic Marvel character.

    Cable #1, Marvel Comics, Released May 31st, 2017, Written by James Robinson, Pencils by Carlos Pacheco, $3.99

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    Generation X #1: Talking ’bout My Generation

    In all the acts of superheroics and protecting the Earth from calamity, it’s sometimes easy to forget that X-Men is ostensibly a book about a school. We all know the Xavier Institute secretly houses the X-men and all their crime fighting gear; however, it’s also home to a group of scared and confused young mutants just learning their powers. These young people are the focus of the latest X-title Generation X #1.

    Generation X #1 Review

    In this first issue we meet a ragtag group of new mutants just entering the institute. Headmaster and X-Men team leader Kitty Pryde can’t possibly juggle all the responsibilities of her demanding positions. So, she’s called in everybody’s favorite 90’s mallrat Jubilee to help mold these youngsters into a new team of heroes.

    It’s a big thrill for longtime X-Men readers to see Jubilee step into a leadership position. For so long, she’s been the kid sister of the team, and to see her come into her own and become a mentor to young mutants is very satisfying.

    Generation X #1 Starts Off Strong

    One of the strengths of this first issue is its focus on character, and rather than leaping directly into super villain fighting, we get a sense of the characters and their dynamics. This team has a lot of dysfunction: It’s clear these characters are young and unproven. There’s much infighting and self-doubt, and this will no doubt be the center of conflict for issues to come.

    Generation X #1 feels like the right step in the continuation of the Marvel X-Men relaunch. It’s a direct appeal to a younger market who will no doubt relate to this mismatched bunch of characters. A treat for X-readers new and old, Generation X #1 is another success for Marvel’s Resurrxion relaunch.

    The X-Men are back and better than ever! Check out all of our Resurrxion comics!

    Generation X #1, Marvel Comics, Released May 17th, 2017, Written by Christina Strain, Art by Amilcar Pinna, Cover by Terry Dodson, $3.99

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    It’s Jean Grey’s Time to Shine in Jean Grey #1

    This week for New Comic Book Day, we’re kicking things off with Jean Grey’s long-awaited solo series and a return to DC’s Injustice universe. Only two books this week because we’re busy prepping for our biggest Free Comic Book Day yet!

    As always, this is just a sample of the new books out this week; you can check out everything that came out this week on our website.

    Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Jean Grey #1
    By: Dennis Hopeless, Victor Ibanez, David Yardin

    I’ve always thought that Jean Grey should have her own solo series. Out of all the X-Men, Ms. Grey has always dealt with a host of issues that were generally underexplored in the core X-Men books. In Jean Grey #1, writer Dennis Hopeless gets the chance to give Jean Grey the spotlight and a story that dives into her mind.

    Throughout the book, we see Jean Grey struggle with the legacy her older self left behind, namely in terms of the Phoenix. We also see her other struggles, such as being the only female on a team of men and what it means to be a hero. The inner monologue of Jean Grey presents the character in a new light, and Hopeless captures her voice perfectly.

    The book isn’t all narrative, as Jean Grey faces off against 3/4 of the Wrecking Crew. The art from Victor Ibanez captures the action perfectly.

    If you’re a fan of the X-Men comics, Jean Grey #1 is a must-read book. Without spoiling anything, I’m positive that this book is going to end up being a game changer for Jean Grey and have repercussions for the larger X-Men books. Without a doubt, this is my pick for book of the week. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    Check out all of our other Resurrxion books!

    Injustice 2 #1
    By: Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Juan Albarran, Jim Lee, Scott Williams

    The Injustice series by Tom Taylor was one of DC’s biggest surprises in recent years. Writer Tom Taylor took a simple video game tie-in series and turned it into one of the greatest Elseworlds stories that DC has ever told. With Injustice 2 on the horizon, Taylor is back to pen the tie-in series of the same name.

    The Injustice 2 comic tells the story that takes place between the first and second games, which means Taylor is free to explore characters and ideas that won’t show up in the game itself. One such idea is Amanda Waller and Suicide Squad, an idea that quickly turns violent much earlier than you’d expect.

    Tom Taylor and a collection of artists such as Bruno Redondo are off to a great start with Injustice 2 #1. If they can keep this pace up, DC will have another huge success on their hands. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    Check out all of our Injustice comic books!

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Is All New Wolverine Immune?

    One of the most popular and acclaimed titles of the last X-Men relaunch was Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine. It saw fan favorite Laura Kinney take up the mantle of the fallen Wolverine.

    And All-New Wolverine is the only returning title from the previous generation of X Books as Marvel announced the new X-Men Ressurxion initiative.

    An Alien Ship! A Dying Passenger!

    All New Wolverine #19
    All New Wolverine #19

    In All New Wolverine #19 there is a continuation of Laura’s journey that began last year. But a couple of things are revamped for the new era of X-Men. One of the biggest changes is a redesign of Wolverine’s costume. It’s now very reminiscent of the costume Wolverine sported in the X-Force books. Laura now dons a sleek, black tactical outfit. Her loyal companion Gabby, has upgraded the costume to be completely bulletproof. Gabby points out getting shot still hurts, even if you have a healing factor.

    Issue 19 is also the beginning of a new story arc. It kicks off with an alien ship crash landing. Ironheart makes a guest appearance and she prevents the crashing ship from leveling Manhattan. The badly injured alien pilot has just two words for Ironheart–Laura Kinney.

    Laura is just as baffled about her connection to this alien as Ironheart or the SHIELD agents monitoring the situation. Even more baffling is the mysterious virus that lead to a quarantine of Roosevelt Island.

    All-New Wolverine has been one of Marvel’s strongest since it’s launch. And it’s new story arc begins with the same energy and intensity that made past issues a hit. Putting Laura at the center of a mystery with such high stakes will surely give Wolverine fans the charge of excitement they’ve come to expect. Plus, a number of beloved Marvel characters make cameo appearances in this first issue. But make no mistake, this is Laura’s story, and she’s here to do what she does best.

    FOLLOW LAURA KINNEY’S NEXT MOVES AND PRE-ORDER ALL NEW WOLVERINE #20

    All New Wolverine, Marvel Comics, Released April 5, 2017, Written by Tom Taylor, Art by Nicole Virella and David Lopez, $3.99

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    Go for the Gold with X-Men

    Coming in the first week of April for NCBD. We have X-Men Gold, Sovereigns and Shade #7. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Sovereigns #0
    By: Ray Fawkes, Johnny Desjardins, Stephen Segovia, Mohan, Kyle Higgins, Jorge Fornes, Chris O’Halloran, Chuck Wendig, Alvaro Sarraseca, Triona Farrell, Aubrey Sitterson, Dylan Burnett

    The End of the Golden Age. Sovereigns #0 kick off a new era for the Dynamite heroes. The comic starts off hinting at the end and slowly moves backwards to give us small bits of what’s to come in the series. Not only are we shown what Sovereigns will bring but what the other Dynamite series, like Mangus and Turok, will also bring.

    Sovereigns #0 is split into several sections and timelines, each one giving us a taste of what’s happened and what’s coming next.

    Sovereigns writer Ray Fawkes, along with artist Johnny Desjardins and colorist Mohan, does a great job with the set-up in the first section. Everything looks peaceful and calm until you flip the page and see the truth. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    At a Dollar for This Introduction You Can’t Go Wrong!

    X-Men Gold #1
    By: Marc Guggenheim, Ardian Syaf

    After the success of X-Men Prime #1, a great deal of pressure falls on writer Marc Guggenheim to keep the ball rolling with this brand. I’m proud to say he does just that and then some.

    The story in X-Men Gold #1 opens not with large amounts of exposition but with a bang, putting us directly into a fight between the X-Men and Terrax, of all people. By the second page, the book gives us almost everything the X-Men are known for, including teamwork and humor. By the end of the book, everything else the X-Men is missing is now there: prejudice, romance, softball games, and the surprise return of a group of villains that takes the X-Men back to their roots.

    X-Men Gold #1 is a home run and is such a callback to the days of Claremont that you’d almost expect his name on the cover. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    CATCH UP ON ALL OF RESSURXION

    Shade: The Changing Girl #7
    By: Cecil Castellucci, Marguerite Sauvage, Becky Cloonan

    Billed as a stand-alone story, Shade: The Changing Girl #7 is a great jumping on point for anyone who has wanted to see what this book is all about. Fair warning: As part of the Young Animal line of comics, this is a book that is intended for mature readers only.

    The story that writer Cecil Castellucii tells is a sad one, and while it involves aliens and other interplanetary forces, the core of the story will resonate with anyone. The story touches on issues such as struggling to fit into society and feeling like an outsider even among friends. It’s a powerful issue with an ending that will truly make you feel for the main character. The art by Marguerite Sauvage is breathtaking and brings the story to life.

    If you’ve yet to check out Shade: The Changing Girl #7, this is the perfect issue to jump right in. The story is well-written, the art is fantastic and it’s story unlike anything else DC is currently putting out. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    Be Sure to Pre-Order Shade: The Changing Girl Vol 1!

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    X-Men at a Crossroads

    The war between X-Men and Inhumans has ended. What’s next for the X-Men? If you’re looking for answers, X-Men Prime #1 is a good place to start.

    X-Men Prime #1
    X-Men Prime #1

    X-Men Prime #1 wraps up loose ends from the X-Men/Inhumans struggle and sets up the new X-Men status quo. In addition, Prime brings together three of the writers from upcoming X-series. And it lays groundwork for upcoming events and sets the tone for all the new X-books.

    Beloved X-Man Kitty Pryde has returned to Earth following her exploits with the Guardians of the Galaxy. She thinks she will be able to lay low and live a simple, somewhat normal life. However, that illusion is quickly shattered when Storm arrives and attempts to cajole Kitty into rejoining the X-Men.

    The X-Men Need a New General, a New Direction, a New Mission

    Storm doesn’t only want Kitty to return. She wants the veteran to take over Storm’s duties as leader of the X-Men. In Storm’s own words, “The X-Men cannot continue as we have. The X-Men need to move forward. And I’m the one who’s holding them back.”

    The X-Men and X-Mansion are in shambles, recovering from the battle with the Inhumans. Lady Deathstrike is on the move. The original time-displaced X-Men have disappeared on their own.

    The writers have delivered a script that is full of potential and interesting beginnings for the upcoming titles. Next month, Marc Guggenheim pens X-Men Gold, Cullen Bunn moves on to X-Men Blue, and Greg Pak writes Weapon X.

    X-Men Prime sets up all three individual series beautifully, while keeping continuity between them. Resurrxion is a perfect place for new readers to jump in. However, long time readers will also be fed by references to previous incarnations of the story, and the return of favorite veterans.

    After the three initial Resurrxion releases, keep an eye out for the other titles dropping this year. Generation X, Jean Grey, Cable, and Iceman are all scheduled for release in 2017.

    SEE WHAT’S NEXT FOR X-MEN AND PRE-ORDER ALL THE UPCOMING BOOKS

    X-Men Prime #1, Marvel Comics, Released March 29, 2017, Written by Marc Guggenheim, Greg Pak, Cullen Bunn, Art by Ken Lashley, Ibraim Roberson, Leonard Kirk, Guillermo Ortego, Color by Morry Hollowell, Frank D’Armata, Michael Garland, Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna, $4.99

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    The Best Marvel Sidekicks

    Sidekicks are an integral part of comic books, serving alongside superheroes as they save the day time and time again. These characters have become icons in their own right. But they often lack the recognition that their hero counterparts get. So, it’s time to give these characters the credit they deserve.

    Last week, we brought you a rundown of the best sidekicks in the DC Universe. This week it’s time to highlight comic giant Marvel’s best sidekicks.

    HYDRA Bob

    HYDRA Bob

    Bob is a fan favorite character. He appears in the Marvel Universe as Deadpool’s sometimes sidekick. Deadpool’s feelings toward Bob vacillate depending on the specific series. Bob’s contribution to Deadpool’s well-being (well, whatever passes for well-being for Deadpool) can’t be ignored. Bob defected from HYDRA when Deadpool broke into the organization’s headquarters in order to save Agent X. Bob supplied the Merc with valuable insight into HYDRA’s inner workings. Since then, HYDRA Bob has been present for many of the antihero’s greatest antics–getting a nod in the 2016 movie.

    Dum Dum Dugan

    Dum Dum Dugan
    Dum Dum Dugan

    A member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Howling Commandos, Dum Dum Dugan is best known as Nick Fury’s sidekick. And he has a great deal of page time in his own right. But he got his start helping Fury out after he saved the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader from Nazi’s in World War 2. Fury relies so much on Dugan he had his personality uploaded into an android (a “life model decoy”) to keep him going after the original Dugan was killed in a mission in the 50’s.

    Bucky Barnes

    Bucky Barnes
    Bucky Barnes

    Some might argue that Bucky doesn’t really count as a sidekick because he’s now a hero in his own right. But we disagree. Bucky got his start as a member of Captain America’s team. He even joined Rogers on his first mission against Red Skull. During World War 2, Bucky was a constant companion of the good Captain. Like many other Marvel sidekicks, Bucky was soon molded into a hero in his own right. He first took a long detour as the villain version of the Winter Soldier. Then eventually took over the Captain America mantel. Currently a hero, the Winter Soldier would never have become the crime fighter he is had it not been for Roger’s tutelage.

    Jubilee

    Jubilee
    Jubilee

    We could make a strong argument that all of the X-Men are Charles Xavier’s sidekicks, but we’ll save that for another time. Instead, let’s highlight one of the best hero sidekick relationships in the long history of the X-Men franchise–Wolverine and Jubilee. Jubilee was first inducted into the X-Men after saving Wolverine from Reavers. After that, she joins the man on several missions, illustrating first hand how useful she is by saving Wolverine time and time again. Their relationship immediately takes on a father/daughter dynamic. Jubilee is constantly prodding at the older X-Men member and Wolverine doing everything he can to protect her.

    Jim Rhodes

    Jim Rhodes
    Jim Rhodes

    Jim Rhodes has evolved from his sidekick beginning, becoming a superhero in his own right. For decades, Rhodes (Rhodey to Tony Stark) has piloted a version of the Iron Man suit known as War Machine. A former military commander and pilot, he met Tony Stark when his plane was shot down over enemy territory. After they successfully teamed up to escape, Rhodes and Stark forged a lasting friendship that developed into partnership. Stark trusted Rhodes to back him up in any crises. Rhodes even took over the Iron Man mantle when Stark was unable to safely fill the roll, However, the suit hadn’t been properly calibrated to Rhodes’s brain.

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    10 of the Greatest Black Superheroes

    The history of black characters in comic books has often been controversial and exploitative, However, the legacy of some has helped to define the public consciousness of race and culture. Black representation is still an uphill fight. But comic books are at the forefront of this fight, bringing characters of color to the forefront of the media.

    There is still a great deal of work to be done. But creators and fans alike can unite through the fantastic characters that have come onto the scene in recent decades. These characters of color celebrate black lives in all forms. In honor of Black History month, here’s a countdown of some of our favorite black heroes.

    War Machine Alias: James Rupert Rhodes

    War Machine
    War Machine

    Rhodes is best known for his inclusion in Iron Man’s arsenal of suited support, However, War Machine is a hero in his own right. He’s taken on such evil-doers as Obediah Stane and Hydra. He’s not just a part of Iron Man’s shadow, but a leader and a hero. Not only does he kick badie-butt, but he’s also a brilliant aviation engineer and a Marine in the US military. Rhodes also served as Iron Man for a stint filling in for Tony Stark when he was too inebriated to fly. War Machine single-handedly saving Stark Tower from the villain Magma. That’s just the beginning of Jimmy Rhodes road to super herodom. He later became the director of Worldwatch and the CEO of Stark Industries. Check War Machine out in Marvel’s War Machine Classic trade paperback by Scott Benson for a taste of what he has to offer.

    Blade Alias: Eric Brooks

    Blade
    Blade

    Maybe you know him best as played by Wesley Snipes in his millennium-spanning movie series about vampire hunting. But this unlikely superhero got his start in Marvel comics as a side character in the lesser-known title Tomb of Dracula. While his story got its start there, he’s had a much longer and more popular run as a leading man. His origin story alone sets him apart from your average comic character.

    Born in a brothel, Blade’s mother was killed by a vampire (Deacon Frost) who had disguised himself as a doctor brought in to help assist with his birth. Frost feasted on Blade’s mother, in so doing passing on vampiric enzymes to the newborn Brooks and effectively infecting him with a modified version of the vampirism. He gained super strength, a lengthened lifespan, the ability to sense other supernatural beings and an immunity to other vampiric effects. After training for several years with vampire hunter Jamal Afari, Blade put these powers into action by traveling around the world to kill evil beings wherever he can find them. You can find Blade in the eponymous series, as a member or the Avengers, and in Blade: Black and White.

    Ironheart Alias: Riri Williams

    Ironheart
    Ironheart

    If you are unfamiliar with Ironheart, you need to get yourself acquainted with her comics as quickly possible. Williams is currently the protege to Tony Stark. She started out as a fifteen year-old super genius attending M.I.T. Haunted by the memory of a violent incident that left both her stepfather and best friend dead, Riri built her own version of the Iron Man Armor suit using materials she stole from her campus. After catching wind of Riri, Stark officially took her under his wing and helped her to become a full blown superhero–Ironheart. After the second superhero civil war, Riri even built an A.I. version of Stark to help guide her heroing when the real billionaire was put into a coma. Ironheart’s story is still unfolding in the Invincible Iron Man comic series.

    Spider-Man Alias: Miles Morales

    Spider-Man
    Spider-Man

    Miles Morales is probably the best known of a new generation of superheroes, having taken up the mantle of Spider-Man. Like Peter Parker, Morales was bitten by a mutated Oz Corporation spider. As a result, he has superpowers similar to the original Spider-Man’s, but with a few twists. Morales, like Parker, is also driven by a similar motivation to do good for his city. He is Black Hispanic and grew up in New York,. His experience is a perfect starting point for conversations about race in the realm of comic books. And writers of the series are not afraid to approach that subject. While his story isn’t as expansive as his mentor Peter Parker’s is yet, there are enough comics out there to be a little intimidating. So, a good place to start is the Ultimate Comics Spider-Man.

    Luke Cage (Power Man) Alias: Carl Lucas

    Luke Cage
    Luke Cage

    Luke Cage was the very first black hero to have his own title. Debuting in 1972, Luke Cage, Hero for Hire came out at the height of Blaxploitation. Despite this, he’s become a particularly powerful representative for the black experience in the superhero genre. He’s imbued with super-strength, and unbreakable after being forced into involuntary medical experimentation. Cage has had a storied history. He’s gone from working as a mercenary “hero for hire” to partnering up with The Fantastic Four to fight off Doctor Doom. He’s used his powers to defend the people of his Harlem home. Find Luke Cage in his own title trade Luke Cage: Avenger or the ongoing Power Man and Iron Fist series.

    Storm Alias: Ororo Monroe

    Storm
    Storm

    Storm is best known for affiliation with the Marvel comics team X-Men. Before being part of the X-Men, she was tragically orphaned when her parents were killed by an airplane crashing into their Cairo home. Left alone, Orora sought out her mother’s ancestral home in the Serengeti desert. There she was trained to respect and hone her powers, which had been passed through several generations of her family. After meeting with the X-Men, she learned the true nature of her magic (a mutant gene just like the rest of the team) and set  about using them to better the world around her. Orora has seen a great deal of action in other titles like Marvel Team-Up and Black Panther. The best Storm story has to go to  X-Men: Worlds Apart. Otherwise, you can find her story continuing to unfold in the Uncanny X-Men series.

    Green Lantern Alias: John Stewart

    Green Lantern
    Green Lantern

    John Stewart became DC’s first African American superhero when he took up the mantle of the Green Lantern in 1971. Since then, his story has helped to define a generation of DC comics. Originally selected by the Green Lantern Corps as a backup for Hal Jordan, Stewart has served as a Lantern several times. He eventually became the first Guardian of the Universe- the Master Builder- during the Green Lantern Mosaic arc. Stewart’s incredibly keen intellect and preternatural will power makes him not only one of the most dynamic Green Lanterns, but one of the most remarkable characters in the DC universe. While you can find Stewart throughout most of the Green Lantern arcs after the early seventies, we recommend checking out Blackest Night or Green Lantern Corps: The Lost Army.   

    Spawn Alias: Al Simmons

    Spawn
    Spawn

    Al Simmons was a highly skilled Marine who learned too much about the nature of the CIA. In death, Simmons is Spawn, a demonic assassin with supernatural abilities and a huge agenda. Charged with battling both the forces of heaven and hell in order to hold a balance in the universe, Spawn is the anti-hero to end them all. Spawn’s long crusade has pitted him against street criminals, gods and everything in between. While originally conceived of by Todd MacFarlan, Spawn stories have been written by a number of other comics luminaries such as Alan Moore and Brian Michael Bendis. The best place to pick up the Spawn series is in its very beginning with Spawn Origins.

    Falcon Alias: Sam Wilson

    Falcon
    Falcon

    Sam Wilson was originally a social worker and former soldier. He was kidnapped by Red Skull after his plane crashed.  Villain Red Skull used a Cosmic Cube to give Wilson the power to communicate telepathically with birds. While Red Skull was attempting to craft Wilson into a minion of Hydra, he was rescued by Captain America. The two quickly became friends and Steve Rogers helped to hone Wilson into the superhero Falcon.

    After rescuing Black Panther, the Wakandan king gifted Wilson with a suit that would enable him to fly. He uses his ability to communicate with birds, his suit, and his will to do right by the world. Sam Wilson is a shaping force behind the Avengers team and the entire Marvel Universe. While best known for his service as Falcon, Sam Wilson was also selected by Steve Rogers as his official replacement as Captain America when he had aged out of the role. Find Sam’s origins in Captain America Epic Collection: Coming of Falcon or follow his current series Captain America Sam Wilson.

    Black Panther Alias: T’Challa

    Black Panther
    Black Panther

    King T’Challa Wakanda is without doubt one of the most powerful superheroes both on the page and outside of it. Widely considered the first true black superhero, Black Panther is fan favorite. His power and influence makes him fight against injustice and racism throughout the world. Black Panther is powerful in all senses of the word. He’s got physical strength and political pull as the king of technologically advanced African country Wakanda. He uses his power to unite people across the world. Black Panther’s story has spanned decades. He’s teamed up with just about everyone imaginable in the Marvel Universe from the Avengers to the X-Men. If you’re new to Black Panther, check out the incredible new series by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze.

     

     

    Who else would you include on the list? And, which black heroes do you wish would get more attention in the future? Leave your answers in the comments below.  

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    Power Couples

    Power Couples

    It’s Valentine’s Day and love in the air. So, it makes sense to look at some of comics most beloved and enduring couples. These pairs have had their share of ups and downs. In fact, many of the couples have survived and stayed together despite insurmountable odds. As a result, these relationships have provided us with decades of compelling (albeit, sometimes non-traditional) love stories.

    5 Comic Couples That Have Managed to Make it Work (Mostly)

    Kitty Pryde and Colossus

    Kitty Pryde & Colossus – The X-Men have never had great luck with romantic relationships. However, the romance between the iron-skinned Colossus and the phasing Kitty Pryde has often been one of the sweeter, more affectionate stories in the occasionally dark and bleak X-Universe.

    Aquaman and Mera

    Aquaman & Mera – Talk about opposites attracting. Mera comes from a culture of Atlanteans who seek Aquaman’s destruction. In fact, they initially met when she was sent to kill him. Instead, she ended up falling in love with him. If a relationship can weather a few assassination attempts, you can bet they’re in it for the long haul.

    Green Arrow and Black Canary

    Green Arrow & Black Canary – Ask any comics fan and they’ll tell you these two belong together. One of the biggest complaints of the DC New 52 relaunch was the elimination of this relationship. Fan demand lead to the two being reunited in the recent DC Rebirth event. The relationship between Green Arrow and Black Canary is one of the most romantic stories in the modern DC universe.

    Batman and Catwoman

    Batman & Catwoman – This is one of the more on again/off again couples in comics. Catwoman is the one person who can make a loner vigilante like Batman think about actually letting love in his life. Their separate paths in life mean that hopes for anything long term are probably impossible. But there is a beauty in their tragic love affair.

    Superman and Lois Lane

    Superman & Lois Lane – They are comics most enduring couple. It takes a spectacular woman to get Superman to settle down and start a family. And the feisty and intelligent Lois Lane is just that woman. These two are basically an institution at DC and have consistently found their way back to each other for almost 80 years.

    Leave us a comment and let us know which comics couple is your favorite paring.

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    A New Detective Team Shines Bright In A Dark City

    New Comic Book Day is here! This week we take on Zombies, Time-Travel, get interrupted during a vacation, and build a new team. Remember, these are only a few comics that came out this week. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    The Walking Dead #163
    By: Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard

    Man, for 25¢ this was a non-stop pulse-pounding issue. The largest group of Walkers they’ve ever encountered is headed right toward their town. Like everything in this world, the only thing they can do is fight. They send off a few of the crew on horseback to hopefully lead the heard away. While others in the town try a fend off the rest.

    I’ve been reading The Walking Dead on and off for about 5 years now. Full disclosure this is the first issue in a while for me, and it reminded me why I got hooked on this series in the first place. Even though it’s a story, Robert Kirkman has always been able to make this feel real. I know these people and what they’re going through. I don’t want to say goodbye to them anytime soon. Let’s hope the herd isn’t too much for them. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    CATCH UP ON THE WALKING DEAD

    Detective Comics vol 1
    By: James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Al Barrionuevo

    While Batman has always had one of the most extensive networks of supporting characters and partners, he’s always operated like a lone wolf, often to his detriment. Realizing this, Batman is now embracing the importance of operating and training a team of heroes to better protect Gotham City. Lead by Batwoman, the two of them assemble of a team of fan-favorite characters, Red Robin, Spoiler, Orphan, and Clayface, to revolutionize the concept of the Bat-Family.

    James Tynion IV kicks off this series with an explosive punch that shakes an already new team to the core. The depth in which he develops every character in the group in just 7 issues is not only impressive but easily sets this series up as being one of the most important Batman books in years. Eddy Barrows art is certainly to thank for how impactful this is as well. Whether it’s giant cityscape action scenes or fights in a room, this is easily one of the best-looking books on the shelves for superheroes.

    If you’re a Bat Family fan, or just jumping on board DC’s Rebirth, Detective Comics Vol 1 is a must read…especially for what DC has in store. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    CATCH UP ON ALL OF DC COMICS REBIRTH STORIES

    Paper Girls #11
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chang

    Monsters, Time Travel, the 80’s? Why aren’t you reading this book? Holy crap. After the events of the first 10 issues our heroes find themselves hoping they’re back in their own time, on their own planet. It looks to be the case, until Mac finds someone who doesn’t speak any language I’ve seen before, and a beast that’s not of our world.

    If you’ve been urging for Season 2 of Stranger Things, Paper Girls is a great way to spend that in-between seasons time. Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Change, and Matt Wilson have done a tremendous job with this series thus far and Issue 11 is no exception. I can’t wait to see where this goes from here. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE PAPER BRIGADE TODAY

    All New X-Men #1.MU
    By: Jeremy Whitley, Carlo Barberi, Adam Kubert, Ron Lim

    A tie-in to the Monsters Unleashed event currently happening, The team of young X-Men decide to take a vacation to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. While the team goes to see the sights, Wolverine meets up with her old partner Gambit in the swamps. What starts as a team-up investigation, quickly turns into an all-out monster battle, with New Orleans caught in the middle of it.

    While a tie-in, Jeremy Whitley weaves a fun, stand-alone adventure. Even if this weren’t part of a bigger story, this issue could easily stand up as one of the classic weird X-Men books the series is known for featuring from time to time. Carlo Barberi and Ron Lim bring to life all the spectacle of a monster movie, but all the dynamic shots of a superhero comic.

    Whether or not you’re picking up the main Monsters Unleashed title, All-New X-Men #1.MU is worth your time. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    PICK UP ALL OF MONSTERS UNLEASHED

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Neither Can Live While the Other Survives

    Terrigen Mist, the source of The Inhumans’ abilities, is deadly poison to Mutants. Mutants, naturally, want the Terrigen Mist destroyed. The Inhumans will protect it at all cost. Cyclops was able to destroy one Terrigen cloud before losing his life, leaving one remaining cloud. The Inhumans and X-Men called a truce in the aftermath of Cyclops’ demise in an attempt to resolve the issue amicably.

    At the start of the new story, Inhumans vs. X-Men #0, Beast moves into a lab in New Attilan to work with Inhuman Iso in an attempt to scientifically reach a mutually agreeable solution to the problem. After nearly eight months, Hank and Xiaoyi reach the conclusion that it isn’t possible. In order for Mutants to survive and retain their powers, a unique cure would have to be designed for each individual.

    Meanwhile, Emma Frost and Medusalith Boltagon are each working on antithetical contingency plans that benefit their respective teams. While the White Queen is recruiting Mutants to destroy the remaining Terrigen cloud, Queen Medusa is positioning her Inhuman subjects around the cloud to protect it from annihilation at the hands of Mutants. The fragile truce between the Inhumans and Mutants is about to snap under palpable mounting tension.

    This Means War

    In the latest issue (Inhumans vs. X-Men #1), Beast has gathered the X-Men together to release his findings. There is no cure for Terrigan Mist poisoning and the Mist is spreading. As the Terrigen cloud dissipates, it is covering a larger area. It will soon make Earth uninhabitable by Mutants.

    Without the Terrigen Mist, The Inhumans will lose all their superhuman abilities. If the Mist continues spreading over the globe, the Mutants will die. As Dr. McCoy so aptly describes the situation, “There are no solutions. There are choices, but no solutions.”

    Writers Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire are setting up for an amazing war with this slow burn in this limited 6 part series. Both sides seem perfectly reasonable in their respective vacuums. When the two perspectives are lined up, though, it becomes abundantly clear there can be no peaceful resolution.

    DON’T SURRENDER WITHOUT A FIGHT AND PRE-ORDER INHUMANS VS X-MEN #2

    Inhumans vs. X-Men #1, Marvel Comics, Release date December 14, 2016, Written by Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire, Art and cover by Leinil Yu, $5.99

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