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Reviews - Page 5

‘Gwenpool Special’ Is Actually A Bit Special, But Not So Gwenpool [Review]

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I had absolutely no interest in Marvel’s Gwenpool Special #1 when it was announced. I like Spider-Gwen a whole lot, but what looked like essentially a gender-bent Deadpool in pink? Yeah, the best I could come up with was a shrug at the news that this random mash-up character would be getting a holiday issue.

Which is why I’m quite honestly shocked that I liked Gwenpool Special #1. I liked it a lot.

It’s a real Christmas miracle, people.

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‘Scarlet Witch’ #1 Spins a Story of Witchcraft and Redemption [Review]

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Scarlet Witch #1 opens with a flashback to the press conference from Avengers (vol. 1) #16, in which Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch officially join the team. It’s hard to imagine now, but this was the first time the Avengers ever had a new lineup. Wanda doesn’t always get the respect that this deserves, but she's been an Avenger since almost the very beginning. In fact, she’s only the second female member after the Wasp.

But in this fractious post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe, being a longtime Avenger doesn’t necessarily mean what it used to. Many things have been cast into doubt. For decades, being the mutant daughter of Magneto was a huge element of the Scarlet Witch’s story, and now it seems that she’s neither his daughter nor a mutant. That may be frustrating for her longtime fans (it certainly is for me), but it doesn’t feel important to this story. This isn’t a story about mutants, or Inhumans, or people who’ve been experimented on by the High Evolutionary. This is a story about witchcraft.

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ICYMI: ‘Batman And Robin Eternal’ Is Going Full ’90s And It’s Great

Batman and Robin Eternal #9

Batman and Robin Eternal is a treasure. Weekly comics can be a pretty mixed bag, and I'll admit that I was a little leery of following up last year's Batman Eternal with another rapid-fire series so soon, but we're heading into the third month of this one and it's working really well. The tighter focus on Batman's family of sidekicks --- and the sheer number of Robins, Batgirls and even the occasional Bluebird that you can use to bounce the story around --- has made for a fast-paced, engaging adventure.

Oh and also, it's got the Order of St. Dumas and Bane, who debuts a new catchphrase in this week's issue. In case you missed it, Batman and Robin Eternal is going full '90s, and it's amazing.

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The X-Files Cold Cases #2: ‘Falling’

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From 1995 to 1998, Topps Comics published a comics tie-in to The X-Files that featured original stories and, among other artists, some of Charlie Adlard's earliest US art. With Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully returning to television in January, we're revisiting this classic series and highlighting some of the best stories it had to tell.

This week, we revisit a story that mostly steers clear of the paranormal, but still finds interesting ways to explore paranoia, bureaucracy, and the nature of evil.

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‘Daredevil’ #1 Returns Matt Murdock to the Grit of Hell’s Kitchen [Review]

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This week saw the release of Daredevil #1, one of the latest launches in Marvel’s All New, All Different lineup. Given the critical success of the previous volume, which featured a “lighter” take on Matt Murdock by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, Javier Rodriguez, Joe Caramagna, et al, the new series, written by Charles Soule, with art by Ron Garney and Matt Milla, and letters by Clayton Cowles, came with high expectations.

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All For the Wookiee: The Star-Warsiest Moments In ‘Vader Down’

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Welcome back to All For the Wookiee, where we take a look at the recent Star Wars universe offerings from Marvel and pick the most Star Wars-ish moments. In this installment, we look at the first three issues of the massive crossover event, Vader Down, starting with Vader Down #1, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato, then Darth Vader #13 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, and then Star Wars #13 by Aaron and Deodato. There's death, destruction and dangerous droids galore as the Rebels try their hardest to take down a vulnerable Vader.

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‘All-New X-Men’ #1 Brings Back Superheroics and Road Trips [Review]

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The beginning isn’t always the beginning, especially in comics. The All-New X-Men #1 that came out this week, written by Dennis Hopeless and drawn by Mark Bagley, is not the first comic with that title and number. The previous All-New X-Men series began in 2012 and ended a few months ago with the departure of writer Brian Michael Bendis and the beginning of Secret Wars.

And of course, the All-New X-Men were never exactly all new. That first series told the story of the original five X-Men — Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, and Angel — being plucked out of the past from their early days with the team and into the present, which to them was dark future timeline. This series picks up their story — minus Marvel Girl, who’s over in Extraordinary X-Men instead — and takes it in a direction that really does feel “all new.”

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On The Cheap: What To Pick Up In The ‘Robin War’ Sale

Robin: Year One, art by Javier Pulido

This week marked the start of DC's Robin War event, in which children dressed as birds will presumably battle each other with consequences far more dire than that description might suggest. But while we wait to see who will survive and what will be left of them, now's a pretty good chance to catch up on the history of Batman's sidekick.

Fortunately for us, there's a big Robin sale going on at Comixology, with a ton of great stuff from the character's long history, covering everything from the Silver Age Teen Titans to the modern super-spy adventures of Grayson. If you need a place to start, read on and let me be your guide!

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The Delinquents: A Beginner’s Guide to ‘Bloodshot’ and ‘Harbinger Wars’

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Valiant Comics‘ shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Steve Morris knows Valiant inside out; J.A. Micheline is new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, and Morris has the answers.

Last time, JAM was champing at the bit to talk about Harbinger, one of the flagship titles of the Valiant Universe. This time, she and Steve are back to finish out the Harbinger Wars and talk about Bloodshot, the Jason Bourne of the comics world!

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Vaughan And Martin’s ‘Barrier’ #1 Deserves All The Fanfare That It Didn’t Actually Get

Barrier #1, Panel Syndicate

Here are two things you already know and one thing that you probably could've guessed: Brian K. Vaughan is a pretty great comic book writer. Marcos Martin is a jaw-droppingly amazing comic book artist. Their new comic with Muntsa Vicente, Barrier, released digitally this week through their Panel Syndicate imprint, is easily one of the best comics this week, and it's well worth picking up.

Those are the basics --- and if we're being honest with each other, that's all you really need to know before you head over to their website and pick it up for yourself --- but Barrier is a comic that deserves a whole lot of fanfare. It's not just that it's well done, and it's not just that it's engaging and interesting, telegraphing an ending that still manages to come as a surprise when the last few pages hits. It's that everything about it is something that goes beyond those basics in every way.

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