Review: Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal

 Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No NormalComics are one of those things I’ve fallen out of love with.  I used to be an avid collector and have a few long boxes full of comics  to prove it but I wasn’t very good at keeping up with them. I know they come out monthly but somehow I tend to get behind.

And the other thing is I find it hard to be a causal comic reader.  It feels like you have to keep up with not just one comic but ten to know what’s going on (though this might be a spillover from my X-Men days). I tried to get back into comics when DC relaunched The New 52 but failed and still have Mieville’s Dial H to finish.

So I really thought my comic days were done. But  if you hear enough people talk about something you get curious to find out what all the fuss is about and that is how I came to buy a copy of Ms. Marvel: No Normal (collecting #1-5 plus additional material) in New York in November last year (I did say I had trouble keeping up). If it makes any difference I was only one or two comics in when I bought Generation Why (the next collected edition).

G. Willow Wilson introduces us to Kamala Khan – an ordinary girl from Jersey City – who is empowered by extraordinary gifts. For Kamala Khan being 15, a Muslim girl and a a superhero definitely makes her life complicated and Wilson acknowledges that and explores life for a muslim teenage girl at the same time as exploring her new role as a community hero. I think that’s a hard thing to pull off but Wilson makes it smooth and it works well.

Wilson keeps a sense of fun both with the powers and the character even as Kamala struggles against her parents expectations and the limitations they place on her.

Adrian Alphona’s art is fun and the characters expressions encapsulate the script. They make a great team.

If I don’t pick up another series anytime soon I’m still happy that there the buzz out there has made me read this one.  Wilson has done something important without making it a ‘message’ book. It’s just a tale, and you can see and experience different lifestyles and ways of living without having to ‘learn’ about them as a life lesson.

Comic Review: Generation Hope #10 Marvel Comics

Generation Hope 10

As I mentioned in my review of X-Men Schism #3 I finally clicked who the youngsters were who appeared in several scenes due to the link with this issue. My curiosity got the better of me as I was wondering what I was missing so I bought this issue. Now that I know, well, meh.

It’s great comic if you’ve kept a keen eye on the X-Men I’m sure especially you get to see more from the exhibitions in the Mutant History Museum and we get to see what made Idie enter the fight in Schism #3.It also explores the dynamic of Generation Hope and how the work as a team.

The art by Tim Seeley is great as is his ability to capture facial expressions and mannerisms. The panel layout is coherent as is the dialogue.

But as enjoyable as the whole thing could be I really don’t fancy committing whole heartedly to X-Universe and all it’s interweaving connections right now.


Review: X-Men Schism #3 of 5 (Marvel Comics)

X men schism issue 3

Right, I’ve concluded that this isn’t a ‘jumping on’ point for the X-Men. Not that it’s being sold like that but I’ve just figured out who all those youngsters are that wondering around and that’s only due to the link it has with Generation Hope ergo the youngsters are the ‘team’ of that title.

Speaking of children we get a clearer insight into the new Hellfire Club. And there exploitation of the X-Men’s individual weaknesses. Though it does make me think why no one has thought of this tactic before (maybe they have and I’ve not been around to see it).

A couple of questions come to mind including an object that there is one of suddenly multiplying. Why Wolverine so protective of Idie? is another. Plus when did Wolverine become think first and Scott become so mission over people focused?

Another think that is slowly starting to bug my that’s £2.99 for 25 pages with 22 pages of actual story. Is it just me that finds that pricey?

Overall this is turning into a slightly more confusing tale than expected. It’s a story talking to itself if that makes sense. And after this mornings post I’m wondering if it’s worth continuing?

Comic Review: X-Men Schism #2 of 5 (Marvel)

Xmen schism 2 1

The trouble with Marvel seemingly releasing digital editions at random is I’m not quite sure when to look for the next book. I assume they are releasing these at once a month. I’m sure it’ll settle down. But it’s not helping a sense of rhythm.

Anyway, leading straight into the aftermath of last issue in X-Men Schism #2 we have Sentinels coming online all over the globe and a mix of mutants and other super heroes.

Some slightly random observations I have no idea who the kids in the school currently are or what powers they possess. There is some connection to Idie and and Wolverine.  Cyclops has aged. If you’ve seen X-Men First Class the Hellfire club has been altered beyond all recognition though I’d place money on the new person in charge being a mutant. I’ve never seen a girl go to quite the extremes one character does over a ‘kitty’. I enjoyed the idea of the current events  trending on twitter.  I’ve never quite seen Namor as an x-man.

Frank Cho’s artwork is really excellent. Especially the panels show over events around the world with Jason Arron’s dialogue make a good combination. Some of the personal choices look a little strange like Colossus’s teeth. But there is no arguing that we’re seeing a team on their game.

The pressure in the story is mounting quickly and it feels like there is a still a lot yet to be revealed. One interesting change in the dynamic I mentioned is the collaboration between the other heroes and the mutants but the low numbers of mutants seems to be creating a survive first and then fight each other second vibe. I could be calling that wrong but it makes sense.

I bought this on release so I assume I’ll have to wait a full month for the next one. Beats a year between books I guess.

Review: X-Men Schism #1 of 5 (Marvel Comics)/A Re-Introduction to the X-Men?

X-Men Schism

One of the things I love about my iPad and the embracing of it by various developers is that it becomes something different each time I open an app (though I do have several apps that do the same thing slightly differently). One app that I’ve been toying with is Comixology and it’s Marvel and DC Comics variants which instantly turns my iPad in any comic they offer. And they offer quite a few.

It seems like a good time to be getting back into comics as DC are going digital and print simaltantiously from Septembers relaunch/push/refire event – New 52. And finally Marvel instead of just filling up their iPad app with old (but none the less worthy comics) are actually releasing books closer to their print release. So I feel confident in commiting to X-Men Schism for at least five issues and we’ll see if that reignites my love of the X-Men (it helps to know I have two or three thousand comics in four long boxes with a good percentage of those X-Men from 1995 to 2002-ish).

So what do I find? There are only 200 mutants left and they live on the Island Uptopia. Scott Summers and a grumbling Wolverine head off to a U.N. International Arms Control Conference only to have Scott’s speach derailed and a humanity/mutant stand off occur.

The X-Men has always been an interesting idea for a comic book series because as mutants they are something to be feared. They have unimaginable (and sometimes unbelievable powers) that in the Marvel Universe are seen as the next stage of human evoluation. What’s different with the status quo played out in Schism #1 is that humanity definitely think they have the upperhand in some ways but are also petrofied of the power that 200 mutants can contain.

I’ve missed the events that changed their world from having millions of mutants to this comparitive handful and have only seen few mutants I know so far but I’m looking forward to seeing how this split happens. There a hints later on about how it’s going to arise. I already know that Scott and Logan go their seperate ways and it shows something about the power of the events to come because there is a scene which shows you the heart of their relationship blow the banter that they have on the surface.

The art and colouring is excellent and really captured the right clean comic art feel that I prefer and that makes me thing of the model comic look. Some nice touches like Iceman on the beach sitting in a puddle of ice/water.

The cover of Issue 2 has two of my favourite X-Men Rogue and Colossus. Things are definitely getting interesting.

Issue 2 Preview

X men schism 2 frank cho