Comic Review – Domino: Hotshots #1 (Marvel Comics)

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

Warning: minor spoilers.

“So much for the whole Boromir pledge” Domino

Cover by Silva & Woordward (Marvel Comics)

Marvel have released a new run on Domino aka Neena Thurman, the luck-based mutant super spy and assassin. It’s written by Gail Simone, whose writing is consistently outstanding throughout her work – I strongly recommend picking up Clean Room, and her runs on Batgirl and Red Sonja. I’ve read a little Domino over the years and enjoyed Gail’s solo run on the character. This issue is pulling in a wider team for Neena to interact with.

This issue is bought to us by:

  • Writer – Gail Simone
  • Artist – David Baldéon
  • Colour Artist – Jim Charalampidis
  • Letterer – VC’s Clayton Cowles
  • Cover Artist – R.B. Silva and Nolan Woordward

A meteorite crash-lands in a distant frozen desert on the Antarctic Coastline. After being picked up by a researcher and it having some kind of super-natural effect on them, leaving them with Darkseid-like powers, Domino and the Hotshots are commissioned by Black Widow to find the meteorite and make sure it doesn’t fall into a single country’s grasp. The central team, the Hotshots, are made up of:

Outlaw – a super-strong cowgirl; Black Widow – … the Black Widow; Diamondback – demolitions prodigy; White Fox – secret agent living anime; and Atlas Bear – exiled Wakandan who can apparently see the future.

As you’d expect from Gail Simone, the character interactions between the team are key to the plot and each of their personalities shine through. The tensions become clear as well, with many loyalties and individual agendas of the hotshots called into question during the issue. This looks to be an ongoing theme providing a central tension to this series. The issue could have done with more time exploring these, however it appears that’s what the series will be for.

Art by Baldéon, Charalampidis & Cowles (Marvel Comics)

Baldéon’s work is very strong here, with the image where the meteorite takes effect on the researcher in particular really jumping out of the page. Charalampidis’ colour brings it all to life, providing an integrated tone, from the alien to the emotional really emphasising and complimenting the story, combining well to portray a world that feels dreamlike.

Cowles’ lettering is simple but effective, Cowles happened to be the letterer for my previous comic review and is proving to be flexible and skilled in his work with the dialogue-heavy scenes not detracting from what is happening on the page.

Final Verdict

This story left me wanting more. Domino is not a character I grew up with or am that familiar with through film and TV, however I certainly want to get to know her more during this run. Simone has a talent for really picking out what really makes a character tick and I look forward to seeing her take on the cast, including the last minute addition on the final page, in future issues. The team is promising compelling conflict and insight into characters, new and familiar to me as well.

Comic Review – The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics)

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

Warning: minor spoilers.

“I’ll beat down the memories so hard they’ll never come back” Captain Marvel

Cover art by Julian Totino Tedesco

It may not be out until next year, but I am very excited to see Captain Marvel when she’s released into the MCU. In the meantime Marvel are building up the hype for her character with a new short series exploring her origins. Not the alien experimentation/power obtaining origins though, her childhood, family life and what makes Carol Danvers Carol Danvers. Both the premise of this story, a more in depth analysis of a fascinating super hero, and the art style on the front cover (which I’m sure you’ll agree is excellent) drew me in to pick this up.

This comic is bought to us by:

  • Writer – Margaret Stohl
  • Penciler (present day) – Carlos Pacheco
  • Inker (present day) – Rafael Fonteriz
  • Colourist (present day) – Marvio Menyz
  • Artist (Flashbacks) – Marguerite Sauvage
  • Letterers – VC’s Clayton Cowles
  • Cover Artist – Julian Totino Tedesco

The story begins with the Avengers doing their thing and knocking a few bad guys around. As the battle progresses though we see that Captain Marvel isn’t really battling her enemy but her own trauma. It’s father’s day and that’s brought with it a whole range of memories and challenges that Carol is doing her best to repress without much success. She decides she has to face her past and goes home to her family. While the battle is dynamic and very much a spectacle as always the real conflict in this story is a very personal one, providing insight into a hero that isn’t usually offered in mainstream comic books.

The series appears to be following two primary plot threads – Captain Marvel in the present reconnecting with her family and looking back on her upbringing and Carol as a child and revealing the challenges she faced and a family life that wasn’t as ideal as she pretends it was. Stohl’s characterisation of Carol is gripping and makes her feel very human.

Art by Pacheco Fonteriz, Menyz and Sauvage

The art in this comic is fantastic. With two art teams there’s a risk the styles will clash or one will seem out of place, however both feel very realistic – in the modern day both Pacheco’s pencil work and Fonteriz’s ink work provide detailed and grounded feeling scenes while the colouring from Menyz is vibrant and brings the pages to life. However, the muted colour pallet adopted by Sauvage during the flashbacks makes them feel dream like or as memories are, something very separate to what is currently happening. For me, all of the art is of a very high calibre in this issue, both styles complimenting each other and suiting each other (young Carol in Sauvage’s work really looks like she’ll grow up to become Captain Marvel), however Sauvage really steals the show with outstanding work during the flashbacks.

Final Verdict

I’ve owned this comic for about 6 hours and read it twice. If you want a little more depth to your super heroes, especially if you want to get to know Captain Marvel better then you should absolutely pick this up.

Final Score – 9.5 Alien Cat Things out of 10

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