Comic Review – Avengers #21 (Marvel Comics)

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

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Let us enjoy that victory together, Brother Stark! In the Avengers’ tub of hotness!” Thor

Cover by Caselli & Martin (Marvel)

I’m back with another comic review. This week, picking up from Adam’s War of the Realms round up last time, the Avengers are getting back into the swing of things and refocusing on the other threats around the world.

The current Avengers run has been consistently outstanding, and while I enjoyed the War of the Realms a lot I’m really looking forward to seeing what battles they’ll be fighting next! This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Jason Aaron
  • Artist – Jason Masters
  • Colour Artist – Jason Keith
  • Letterer – VC’s Joe Caramagna
  • Cover Artist – Stefano Caselli and Frank Martin

The War of the Realms is over and the battle is won. The Avenger’s are taking a well deserved break while Blade is on his way to pick up the good fight against the creatures of the night. We get to see the team relax and some enjoyable casual banter between Earth’s mightiest heroes. I enjoy these moments, they help the team feel more real and it helps develop the relationships between the characters. With this being a team series individual development for each character is more limited than in their own series, however Aaron’s writing is on point to give the team a chance to express themselves, help any new readers get sighted on who they are and what they’ve been going through in this run. We get reminded of the present threats to the Avengers – the vampires, Squadron Supreme of America (really looking forward to this clash!), the Russians and even Atlantis and the mystery around some of their opponents continues to deepen.

Art by Masters, Keith & Caramagna (Marvel)

Master’s art throughout is details and has a sense of calm to it. Working with Keith they bring an grounded feel to the issue, slowing the rampant pace from the War of the Realms to something where we can really see our heroes relax. The expressions and details on the characters works well to communicate their feeling in conversation, and I do appreciate the image of Iron Man shamelessly wearing his mask (apparently only his mask…) in the Avengers’ hot tub!

The cover art by Caseilli and Martin shows a victorious team which sets the tone for the issue. This is a time to take stock and get ready for the next challenge.

Final Verdict

This run continues to be something I look forward to every time it comes out. If you want a chance to hop on board now is the time and this is the issue to do so with. The events of War of the Realms I’m sure will lead to interesting stories for the likes of Thor, and the current take on Hulk has been really interesting. I’d highly recommend this series to anyone.

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 132 – Gotta Go Fast

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

We’ve been off for a while, but this week we chat about the trailers for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, the new Clone Wars series and the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, the success of Captain Marvel and Avengers Endgame, and the new versions of the Nintendo Switch that are coming.

Screentime – Avengers Endgame

This week we review Avengers Endgame, the latest Marvel film and the end of the ‘Infinity Saga’ and culmination of the previous 21 films. We go into pretty heavily into spoilers from 47:05-69:30 so skip that if you haven’t seen it yet! 

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing (a few things as we haven’t had an episode in a while!)
Adam A Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers, The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time Book 4) by Robert Jordan, and Fires by Raymond Carver/Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Netflix, Game of Thrones Season 6 on NOW TV, and Us/Super Smash Bros Ultimate on Nintendo Switch, The Surge on PS4
IanThe Charmed Life of Alex Moore by Molly Flatt and The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty /Fleabag Series 2 on BBC Three/The Elder Scrolls: Blades on iOS, Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered on PS4

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

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.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Comic Review: Generations: The Iron #1 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

This week, I picked up another installment of Marvel’s Generations, the stop gap between the contentious Secret Empire that wrapped up last week and their next event, Marvel Legacy, that will apparently smash together classic characters and their more recent legacy counterparts into a new status quo. Generations is a series of one-shots, where the current and classic versions of several of Marvel’s most recognizable characters team up for a short adventure. This time, I’m reviewing The Iron, written by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils by Marco Rudy, Szymon Kudranski and Nico Leon, inks by Kudranski, Will Sliney, Scott Koblish and Leon, colours by Rudy, Dean White and Paul Mounts, and letters from VC’s Clayton Cowles.

“The Vanishing Point – An instant apart! A moment beyond! Loosed from the shackles of past, present and future – a place where time has no meaning! But where true insight can be gained! Make your choice! Select your destination! This journey is a gift…”

The Iron stars Riri Williams as Ironheart, Tony Stark’s replacement shellhead in the wake of the punishment he received at the hands of Captain Marvel in last year’s Civil War II. The story picks up with Riri falling, her suit failing and the Tony Stark AI she uses as her version of Jarvis/Friday unresponsive. She lands in a futuristic Chicago, and how she got there is a complete mystery. But before she passes out, she meets a group of young Avengers, most of whom appear to be related to recognizable original members and all of whom know who Ironheart is. When she wakes up, she discovers that Tony Stark is alive and well, and is now 126 years old. And he has a new title too. Tony takes Riri on a tour of the future, a utopia of science and philosophy that includes the quickest thwarting of a villain ever, and the return of an old face (or an older version of a young face) that hasn’t been seen in the Marvel U for a couple of years. But Tony also needs to make sure he doesn’t reveal too many secrets, as knowing your own future can be a dangerous thing. They have banned time travel in the future after all.

There are still no more clues as to what the Vanishing Point is, or why heroes are being time displaced for these brief adventures. I had expected some indication to come in the finale of Secret Empire, but all there was was a throwaway line that something had happened. However, Generations continues to be a lot of fun, and The Iron is no different. There is a lot of interesting philosophizing, and it is rare to see a future in a Marvel comic where everything is actually going well. As with The Thunder, at least one hero here leaves with their horizons expanded. Generally, the story and dialogue from Bendis here are good, though both Riri and Tony have one instance where they add in a comment halfway into a speech bubble in parentheses, which just isn’t how people talk and so I’m not sure what the aim is, other than a snide comment within a comment.

Interestingly, while the art goes through several changes throughout the issue, it never feels incomplete or inconsistent. Rather, it feels like each section of the story and the tour of the future switches between discrete art styles that gives a satisfying overall flow. There are levels of Ditko-esque psychedelia throughout that almost resembles Christian Ward’s work on ODY-C, and some really interesting paneling is employed across the issue. The colorist on the book bring this psychedelia to life, as a contrast to the blue tones of the future.

The Iron is another strong Generations book, even if it doesn’t answer any more questions than the other issues. Pick it up at your LCS or digitally now!

Score: 7.5 Shards of the Odinsdottir out of 10

Comic Review – All New, All Different Avengers #1 (Marvel)

Kit is taking over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Great, she thinks I’m a lunatic. Don’t be nervous, just say something funny. SAY SOMETHING FUNNY.” – Nova doing about as well as I did when I met my now fiancé.

First things first, I’m engaged. I asked the question last weekend in the most spectacularly nerdy way I could – buy building my now fiancé a game where I ask her in the end. Bearing in mind I know nothing about programming I feel this was quite a feat! She said yes, she’s stuck with me now, success!

Anyway, you’re more interested in getting into the comic book review, aren’t you? Well now I’ve got that personal note out of the way I’ll get on into it. I’ve had a hell of a busy week with work and feeling smug, but I have managed to fit in an issue of the All-New, All-Different Avengers! Written by Mark Waid with art by Adam Kubert and colours by Sonia Oback for the main story, and Mahmud Asrar and Dave McCaig in the back up story, with letters from VC’s Cory Petit.

It’s yet another Marvel new starter, I picked it as I’m sure it’ll be one of their big pushes over the coming months, bringing in a lot of familiar faces into the line-up. Sort of. We currently have Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Vision, Ms Marvel and Nova. And only two of these are the ‘original’ versions of themselves. Currently wearing the titles we actually have Sam Wilson (you’ll know him as Falcon in the films), Thor – but female (actual identity is a secret), Miles Morales (started off as Ultimate Spider-Man after Ultimate Peter Parker died), Tony Stark, Vision, Kamala Khan (took over as Ms Marvel) and Sam Alexander (not the original Nova, I don’t know much about him yet!). So there you have it, it’s an All-New, All-Different Avengers, literally (not counting Iron Man or Vision).

avengersI went into this comic quite hopeful, I’ve really enjoyed this Thor and Spidey’s stories so far and I always like seeing stories mix things up a bit. And this is the ultimate mix up!

The very first page shows Ms Marvel calling Nova a jerk, standing on a huge pile of rubble, no context given, yet. The story itself begins with Captain America and Iron Man meeting up and stumbling across a huge explosion/blast of energy that Spider-Man was near. It turns out Warbringer, one of Nova’s enemies has teleported to Earth and is there to well… bring war. He happens across a potential ally is his war-bringing plans, only to be set upon by the Avengers.

After a very quick bout the story cuts away to Ms Marvel and Nova. A beast has been let loose and is on the rampage and they team up to take it on. To then VERY awkwardly introduce themselves. Nova tries to hit on Ms Marvel, he’s about as smooth as I am, which is roughly on par with sand paper.

I think there was a bit much happening by coincidence in this issue, but the character interplays were great. I enjoyed the Ms Marvel – Nova exchange a lot and I feel team up stories are usually built on these moments and on that front it’s a good start.

Final Verdict

It’s a start. I was disappointed not to see much of Thor (who has been incredibly badass in her own story!) or Vision yet, but there are only so many pages and bringing all seven characters into one issue may have been a bit much. As I mentioned I feel there was maybe a bit much happening be coincidence in this issue, but with some good writing coincidence can be fine to start a story as long as it isn’t used to end a story. I’ll give issue two and three a try most likely, it’s a fine start.

Final Score – 7.5 Awkward Pick-Up Lines out of 10!

Comic Review – Civil War #1

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

More Secret Wars tie-ins are coming out from Marvel every week, with varying quality and relevance to the main event series. Some are entirely new concepts, while some have been based on classic storylines that are being retold or continued, like Old Man Logan or Planet Hulk. So far I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried, but the Secret Wars series itself is especially strong for a summer event. This week Civil War #1 came out, a new spin and continuation of the hugely popular 2006 series by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. This new series was written by Charles Soule, with pencils by Leinil Francis Yu, colours by Sunny Gho and letters from Joe Sabino.

Civil War follows the original plot of the Superhuman Registration Act, a government initiative to have all masked heroes have their identities known to the government and to be trained properly before going out to fight crime. Tony Stark thought this was all a great idea, while Steve Rodgers (quite rightly) considered this a breach of civil liberties, leading to most of the heroes of the Marvel Universe siding with Iron Man or Captain America and fighting it out. In the original series, the Civil War eventually ended. Not so in this new tale (which bears the Secret Wars banner on the cover and the same intro, but seems totally unconnected to the Battleworld).

The story picks up during the prison clash, but this time the prison detonates and many heroes are killed, along with 15 million others in the city. 6 years later the country is divided. Literally divided down the middle, with the east side of the USA dubbed ‘The Iron’ and led by President Stark, and the west presided over by General Rodgers, known as ‘The Blue’. After all these years a peace treaty is organised on the bridge where the two sides meet. Each man is joined by one of his most trusted compatriots, the former by She-Hulk and the latter by a Peter Parker in what looks a lot like MCU Falcon gear (presumably because The Blue seems like a lot of open expanse, not a lot of buildings to web sling around). Steve and Tony meet and discuss terms, more land for The Iron, more resources for The Blue. But before they can get any further an attempt is made on Cap’s life, and the negotiation breaks down as soon as it has started. He and Peter depart, certain that the war can only end one way.

The potential for these retellings of classic stories that has come out of Secret Wars has been exciting to see, providing the opportunity for these tales to go towards a far more extreme end, rather than something that shakes up the MU status quo in some small way before ultimately being righted or changed again due to the nature of serialised superhero comics. Soule has done just that in Civil War, taking what was already a fairly bleak and grim story and making it even more so, resulting in an America that we never would have seen in the original story without it being savagely retconned a few years later. While there are a few narrative jumps as to how we got there, the real meat and strength of the issue comes when the two former comrades are negotiating. The character work is great, and there are some nice concepts like The Punishers and the Bullseye Boys teased which could be a lot of fun in the later issues. Yu’s art shines when showing off the landscapes of The Iron and The Blue, the latter particularly looking desolate but beautiful. The grizzled look of the two men, especially Stark who is starting to look a lot older even in 6 years, adds weight to the never ending conflict between them.

Civil War is a great ‘What if?’ tale if the question you ask is ‘What if the original Civil War never ended and was also far more depressing with loads more death?’. You don’t need to be reading Secret Wars to enjoy it, and the writing and art are both very solid. Check this out at your LCS or digitally.

Score: 7.5 SHRAs out of 10

Comic Review – Secret Wars #1

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

This week saw the start of Marvel’s new Secret Wars event, an 8 issue mini series in which the regular Marvel Universe (Earth-616) and the Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610) collide, heralding the end of both worlds and the multiverse itself. Amongst the new tie in series that will be coming up, several comics will revisit old defunct or What if? stories too. Secret Wars is written by Jonathan Hickman, with art from Esad Ribic, colours by Ive Svorcina and letters from Chris Eliopoulos.

“The multiverse is dying. Only two universes remain. Today, Earths collide”

Secret Wars opens in Manhattan on Earth-1610 in the Ultimate Universe, and with the universal incursion imminent Nick Fury and Reed Richards plan to strike first – to save themselves by eliminating the other Earth. Little does Fury know, Richards is working with The Cabal, a group of villains from Earth-616 including Thanos, Namor, Black Swan and Terrax, for some alternate goal. Tony Stark leads the charge, with huge ships appearing above Manhattan in Earth-616. But despite the surprise attack and the firepower, the metahumans of the Marvel Universe start to fight back and win. The X-Men, the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four and an array of other characters slowly destroy the ships. But they also fear the incursion too, and Earth-616 Reed Richards (keep up) and the Fantastic Four have been arranging a ‘Resurrection Ship’ full of scientists to escape the collision of the two worlds, and to rebuild the human race elsewhere. This obviously goes wrong, and plan B seems to be to teleport certain choice heroes into the ship and escape in it. As the worlds collide, the universes glow white-hot and then die, with the final page simply:

The Marvel Universe

1961-2015

The Ultimate Universe

2000-2015

The story continues next week, but it’s a pretty explosive ending. Those who escaped on the ark/resurrection ship will presumably form the main cast of Secret Wars, including Thor, Reed Richards, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Star Lord, but where it will go from here and how it will end up is anyone’s guess. Somehow the universes will be smushed together and we’ll have a new Marvel Universe.

As a first issue this was pretty impressive. What I have read of Hickman’s work on Avengers or Fantastic Four is very much in line with this, if a little more high-concept, but I think that will be played up in the coming issues. This is an action packed introduction to the story (and the FCBD Secret Wars #0 isn’t totally necessary, though it was pretty good). To totally unfairly compare it to the start of DC’s ‘worlds colliding’ story in Convergence a few weeks ago this was a lot more fun and cohesive, but also much harder to follow if you are even a casual reader, let alone using this as a jumping on point. I dabble in Marvel, and currently only follow 3 books regularly, but consider myself to have a basic working knowledge of the universe. This was dense. Though the only thing that didn’t make a huge amount of sense to me is why Fury and Stark from the Ultimate Universe seem to be so easily and totally bent on taking out Earth-616 rather than working together to find a solution like superheroes would.

Ribic’s art was largely very strong, with the actual action and the scale of the attack looking stunning. The only shaky moments in the art were with a few of the faces of various characters, where they didn’t quite look like a face anyone would actually pull, the most obvious of which was She-Hulk about halfway through. But the bulk of the issue looks great, and Svorcina’s colours make the action and all of the many explosions look intense and vibrant.

If you’re a Marvel fan, you’re probably going to check out Secret Wars. This first issue was a lot of fun, the stakes felt high and I’m genuinely interested in where it goes next. If you don’t really follow Marvel at all… this might not make a lot of sense to you, but you may enjoy it anyway! I really did, so I’m going to see what happens to the survivors of the incursion and what sort of universe we’ll end up with at the end. Pick this up at your LCS or digitally!

Score: 8 Incursions out of 10