All New X-Men #32, The Wicked and the Devine #4, The Multiversity: Society of Super Heroes #1.1 – Short Comic Review

While I’m on vacation for three weeks, I’ve put together a short round up of comics published this week. I’ll return to full reviews on October 11, 2014.

All New X-Men #32

The young, time-travelling X-men are scattered across the planet after almost rescuing a new mutant with the ability to create portals between parallel worlds.

A grand tour of various locations in the Marvel Universe, the artwork in this issue captures vibrancy, colour, and danger. Latveria, The Savage Land, and New York appear. Also appearing is the gloomy domain of the Mole Man’s underground kingdom.

Jean Grey and Miles Morales share a deep conversation – dialog where two super-powered characters catch up on the defining moments in their careers so far is expertly written.

There’s more than one cliffhanger here – it may take several issues to resolve this plotline.

The Wicked and the Devine #4

Every 90 years, 12 gods from across the world’s pantheon’s reincarnate as 12 teens. Not everyone believes this story, however. One of them – claiming to be Lucifer – is arrested and imprisoned for murder. And Laura – a god-fan and amateur detective – investigates.

Introducing the home of several gods, Laura marches through wide, blue marble corridors alongside a powerful sky god called Baal – his character design favors gold chains and burnt orange suits with two buttons, which show the gods make interesting fashion choices.

Large powerful images of fire and water appear later in the comic, establishing an elemental theme. Lightening is also referenced.

Through body language and dialog, the god’s power is clearly underlined.

A final conversation between Laura and Lucifer effectively shows moments of deception and power, revealing that this is a mature, and complex comic book.

The Multiversity – Society of Super Heroes #1.1

Doc Fate, The Atom, Abin Sur, The Black Hawks, and a refined and still immortal Vandal Savage form a new team of super heroes on one of the fifty two parallel universes that exist in DC comics.

This golden age planet Earth, numbered Earth 40 – with technology, fashion, and popular culture references from the 1940’s and 1950’s – is under attack from invaders. A less refined and dangerous Vandal Savage is travelling across the multiverse, invading different Earths as he sees fit.

The comic book delves into themes about the costs of war and violence. The Atom reflects about the costs of using his Iron Monroe technique, the “Atomic Fist”, to kill the monster Blockbuster – he has crossed his principals at great cost. Artwork choices show clear and strong character design. Monsters in particular look fearsome. A skeletal Parallax torments the Atom and fights Abin Sur.

This comic book is one part in a segment of a larger story arc, which when fitted together, would show off characters and super heroes from across the previous seven decades.

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Comics Review – Earth 2 #11

Earth 2 #11

A common science fiction question is asking what if? What if alternate and parallel universes could exist, which spiraled out of decisions we could have made differently?

  In one of these parallel places is an Earth different to our own. That’s the premise of Earth 2 A world where the superheroes of the DC universe are different people with familiar code names. The audience is reminded again that we are reading a story about multiple Earths by the villain Steppenwolf. He’s looking for an escaped prisoner on Earth 2. But more on that later.

Last issue, another villain named Wotan talked too much. This time, he talks less, but Wotan’s origin story blockades the start of the issue, which slows the narrative pace to halt. Fortunately, Nicola Scott’s art is impressive for these scenes

James Robinson shows us that that Wotan is driven by a desire for power – he wants to be everyone’s boss, and take orders from no one.

Two heroes, The Flash and Khalid, were on a quest inside the Tower of Fate in the previous issue.

Inside the tower, The Flash looks impressive as he holds back a giant red demon, which allows his new friend Khalid to find the legendary Helmet of Nabu. After donning the helmet, he transforms into Dr.Fate, who arrives, in a spectacular light show, with gold and blue runes made of sparking magic floating around him as he levitates in mid air.

Khalid was scared to wear the helmet.

He feared the incredible power he would gain by becoming Dr. Fate. The Flash inspires him to face his fear with a show of bravery. I re-read these scenes carefully, and the decisions made by the characters make sense, and a little inspiring to read.

The Art of Earth 2 #11

Nicola Scott’s monsters look fearsome. She draws several of them here: a giant stone Sphinx – the Sphinx in fact, back when it was newly constructed – springs to life and attacks Wotan in ancient Egypt (the origin story). A giant red demon fights The Flash, and the page is skilfully painted with scarlet blurs of the hero and the beast fighting at high speed. Trevor Scott’s inking efforts are effective. He gives the beast weight and size with heavy black ink.

Colourists Alex Sinclair and Pete Pantazis deliver shining gold, since Dr.Fate is fond of wearing gold armor. As the hero makes his appearance, his armor shines, and the black of his costume is the same shade of blue as the night sky. It’s even peppered with specks of starlight.

Setting and physical places are becoming essential to the Earth 2 comic.

The Heroes are dwarfed by giant, stone chess pieces as they walk across black and white tiles the width of houses.

We also see Gotham city on Earth 2. It is a ruin, and the city streets are chaos as a giant blue ape fights a giant, red lobster. A thunderstorm rages behind them.

The makes a point of communicating character development. As Khalid faces his fear and becomes Dr.Fate, he shines a bright light on the red Demon. it becomes indistinct, blurred, and faded. The sharp inks and pencils that define it are washed out. The bright red colour fades. By accepting his role as Dr. Fate, Khalid has literally overcome his demons.

A bit more on Earth 2 #11.

If it wasn’t for Jay Garrick showing him support, and leading by example, Dr.Fate would not have appeared.

This comic is about a super hero team called the Justice Society. They are a team with a strong set of values. For example, leading by example, and doing your best to support people who need a hand. It’s not just about attacking criminals. The Flash definitely embodies these values in this comic.

About that escaped prisoner – This is a *Spoiler Alert*

Steppenwolf arrogantly declares he will capture the greatest escape artist in the DC universe, both old and new. He want’s fury to catch Scott Free: Mister Miracle. This character makes his first appearance in the new DC universe. He and Big Barda don’t have any dialog, but it’s great to see them back.

Earth 2 #11 is published by DC Comics