Comic Review – Generations: The Marvels #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Umm… protesting stuff? And unicorns.” Kamala Khan

Me again this week, next week I’ll be off on my honeymoon as I get married on the 22nd! This week I wanted to this new Generations run Marvel are currently doing. Ms. Marvel has always been a figure who I’ve liked the idea of but have never read up on as much as I’d have liked to, when I saw the Ms. Marvel and Ms. Marvel comic come up this week I figured it’d be a good place to start which appears to be the intention with the Generations – giving an easy pick up point for new readers to explore characters they want to get involved with, and if they’re a fan of the classic they get to know who is wearing those boots in 2017. This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – G. Willow Wilson
  • Artist – Paolo Villanelli
  • Colourist – Ian Herring
  • Letterer – VC’s Joe Caramangna

In this issue Kamala Khan, the current incarnation of Ms. Marvel, has been thrust back in time, for reasons. There isn’t much of an explanation as to how she’s got there, but that’s comic books for you. From what I’ve seen this is a theme in all the Generations releases and may well be explained as a more overarching theme. She finds herself in what appears to be the 60s with second wave feminism in the process of taking off. Through a series of accidents she finds herself working for Carol Danvers at the Daily Bugle on a leading women’s magazine insert. Naturally there’s an alien takeover attempt (maybe not quite in the way you expect) and both Ms. Marvels team up to kick some ass. As you may expect there are feminist overtones to the issue, with Kamala making some key points which feel as relevant today as they would have back in the 60s.

Villanelli and Herring’s work has been done through a rather vintage lens. The colours appear faded and with the exception of Kamala much of the art looks like you were looking at it through an early colour TV set. Naturally this makes Kamala stand out and look even more out of place. As always with Kamala in the action Villanelli appears to have had some fun playing with size and proportions during the battles, however Kamala often feels like she’s taking a back seat to Carol’s lead.

60s or not though, can Villanelli draw hands? Reading the issue while paying particular attention to the hands you see a lot of the character’s personality and mood communicated through them. Danvers feels in control and confident while Kamala’s body language is often nervous as if she feels out of place (of course). There’s also plenty to look at during combat and I think Villanelli certainly can draw hands. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I enjoyed this, it was a fun issue which has hooked me in to pick up more Ms. Marvel comics, its best not to think of some of the potential plot issues though. Well done Marvel, your promotion is working.

Score: 8.5 Ridiculously Cheap Outfits out of 10

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 39 – Whatever, I Don’t Care

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat about Crimson Peak, Twin Peaks and the Peak District (not really), the footage for Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, terrible criticism about Marvel’s A-Force, and we discuss Simon Pegg’s comments about sci-fi, while Gary makes awful jokes about hawks and Adam doesn’t care.

Also this (spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 1-4) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGLkIyZSCR8


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If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions on anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

Comic Review – A-Force #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he reviews of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

Another week, and the third Marvel review in a row. This week A-Force #1 came out, one of the first tie-ins to Marvel’s big summer event Secret Wars (review of issue #1 here), following some fairly ridiculous commentary that I will talk about later on. A-Force is written by Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson, with pencils by Jorge Molina, inks from Molina and Craig Yeung, colours by Laura Martin and Matt Milla and letters from VC’s Cory Petit.

Secret Wars started with the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe colliding, ending both universes and the multiverse itself.  From the second issue, it appears that this collision resulted in a reconfigured reality known as ‘Battleworld’ – a world ruled by Doctor Doom and divided into numerous regions, each presided over by a baron or baroness. One such fiefdom is Arcadia, the “feminist paradise” ruled by the baroness She-Hulk, who protects the area and it’s citizens with an all-female team of heroes called ‘A-Force’. When a Megalodon (giant prehistoric shark) attacks during a routine patrol, Captain Marvel leads Ms. America, Sister Grimm and Dazzler to deal with it before it harms any civilians on land. During the fight, the actions of one member of A-Force violates the border rules of Battleworld, bringing the punitive functions of the Thors, the enforcers of Doom’s absolute rule, to Arcadia. As She-Hulk struggles to fight against these laws she risks the safety of all of Arcadia, but the alternative is giving up one of their own to life imprisonment on ‘The Shield’.

SW Map.jpg

I was worried going in to some of the Secret Wars tie-ins that they would feel impenetrable to new readers, especially those looking to check out this female led book. The first issue of the main event did feel somewhat closed to those without any firm knowledge of the Marvel Universe, the second felt like more of a clean slate for the story. A-Force echoes the latter, with the basics of Battleworld covered in a summary on the fourth page (after a gorgeous double page splash of Carol Danvers leading her patrol in the skies over Arcadia), and each major player given the bare essential background early on in the issue (for example a green box stating ‘Jennifer Walters SHE-HULK. A-Force team leader. Baroness of Arcadia. Green’.). The writing is brisk, exceptionally tight and compelling, with each character (even the few I didn’t actually know or was more unfamiliar with) feeling fully realised and well rounded. Bennett and Wilson have a great handle on these characters, and the story at this point seems disconnected enough from Secret Wars to be self-contained, while still being shaped and informed by it. The art team of Molina, Yeung, Martin and Milla does a really nice job here too, bringing the superhero action to life and balancing the varied characters and colour palettes well. There is a vibrancy and enthusiasm, despite the dark undertones and cracks in Arcadia, that make this a real pleasure to read. And Captain Marvel punching a giant shark may be one of my favourite panels I’ve read all year.

A Force

Credit: Marvel Comics

I’d be remiss to not address the New Yorker piece about A-Force ‘Looking at Female Superheroes with 10-Year-Old Boys’ by Jill Lepore. In the article, she asks why the Marvel superheroes all look like pornstars (apparently she watches very niche porn where everyone wears spandex leotards, but fine), ignoring the variety of body shapes and characters that the comic presents. Instead she chooses to heavily criticise and rather than actually do any of her research, relies on the knee jerk reactions of two 10-year-olds and her own preconceptions of comics to undermine the importance of the book. The fact she both says that “Thor became female because he’s a Norse god and I guess he can be whatever he wants” and “Captain America became black” speaks to a lack of the most basic internet search that would indicate that neither of these statements are in fact correct, and has instead opted for the sensationalism response instead. The odd thing is that the article actually has a seemingly well researched section about DC Comics, William Moulton Marston and the creation of Wonder Woman.

I’ve not linked in the article, frankly because I don’t really want to give it any more clicks. I will link to G. Willow Wilson’s response, because she manages eloquently take the high road, without seeming angry (like I haven’t) and delivers an impassioned rebuttal. I’m rather fond of how she closes it out too:

“I have been a little cheeky thus far, so let me close by saying that I imagine Dr. Lepore and I want the same thing: better, more nuanced portrayals of women in pop culture. What I don’t understand is why someone in her position would, from her perch a thousand feet up in the ivory tower, take pot shots at those of us who are in the trenches, doing exactly that.”

I really enjoyed A-Force #1 and on top of following the series throughout Secret Wars, I hope that the series continues in some form after the Marvel Universe is put back together. Will you get more out of this if you’re up to date on Marvel, Secret Wars and all of these characters? Maybe. But even if you’re not, this is a great story with a well written cast of kick-ass, but just as importantly nuanced, characters. Did I mention Captain Marvel punches a giant shark? Buy this at your LCS or digital comics platform.

Score: 9 Megalodons out of 10