This week, Sam enjoyed the pay-off of Lumberjanes #32 from BOOM! Studios with a callback to the very first arc. Kylee continues to be enthralled by Harrow County and Kingsway West from Dark Horse Comics and Jackson, unfortunately, wasn’t exactly wowed by the finale of Death of X from Marvel Comics, but it did manage to give readers a closer look at Cyclops.
Want to hear more about what we thought about these issues? Read on – and let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Author: Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
Artist: Carey Pietsch
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
This was a fantastic ending to our latest mythological-themed story arc!
With the giant Gorgon-killer-chicken things chasing after the girls, they take refuge in the catacombs they had once explored back in the very first arc. They meet up with an old friend and take part in some old school Olypmian games from Diane and Lido’s childhoods. In the end, they realize the games are all rigged but they still make it to the end of the little labyrinth where they find none other than Zues.
In goose form.
Zues apparently planned all of this with the eventual intention of turning his daughter, Diane, to stone for a few centuries to teach her a lesson or something. Basically, he’s being a dick. And Molly really gives him a piece of her mind about it, too. There’s not a whole lot of time to talk, though, because the Gorgon chicken things break into the chamber and turn Zues to stone.
With a little help from all of Lido’s cousins and her sister, Artemis, Diane, and the girls eventually battle the Gorgons and save the day. Then they go back to camp and turn the others back from stone with the power of friendship. (Seriously – we could have probably done this back in the first issue of this arc even without them all making up with Diane.)
Overall, though, super satisfying ending. I love how this arc came sort of full circle with the beginning of the series and finally brought Diane and her cabin into the fold as friends and allies to the Roanoke girls. Seriously, couldn’t have ended better. FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX.
Sam Wildman is a co-founder and co-editor at Nerdophiles. She has no idea if Gorgons are actually chickens or what’s going on but she’d probably be turned to stone before she had time to think about it anyway. Follow her on twitter @samaside.
Harrow County #18
Author: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Carla Speed McNeil
Publisher: Dark Horse
Source: Dark Horse DRC
With the second half of Carla Speed McNeil’s artwork arc, I will admit that her renderings of The Family are growing on me. I thought she lacked some of the whimsical elements that Crook provided, but as The Abandoned continues to weave the story for Emmy the extra sinister edge that McNeil provides in her artwork is more than welcome.
This is another issue light on Emmy and heavy on the explorations of the rest of The Family. Cullen Bunn takes readers through a somewhat mundane (and repetitive, we’ve seen this before) meeting where The Family is squabbling about rules, but this time with Hester instead of Emmy. Malachi’s thoughts and actions are detailed more fully, while also showcasing how the inhuman Hester seemed to take on the worst of his traits, ultimately leading her down the road that readers already know her for.
Crook is still present in the issue with the one-sheet at the end of the issue that once again calls back to earlier events in the series. Priscilla, the creature that Emmy helped previously with housing and a name, meets with other critters, only to learn that something like Priscilla is killing owls… It’s an ominous short that will no-doubt tie into troubles down the road.
The end of this issue makes the arc worth it, as The Abandoned drops two major revelations that shifts how Emmy, The Abandoned, The Family, and the entire series should be viewed. This information ties everything back into the main focus of the series and gives readers a reason to revisit the story from the beginning. I can’t wait to look at everything through the lens of this new knowledge.
Kingsway West #3
Author: Greg Pak
Artist: Mirko Colak
Publisher: Dark Horse
Source: Dark Horse DRC
Mirko Colak delivers another beautiful issue that capitalizes on the fantasy elements of Kingsway West wonderfully. The frenetic action sequences and introduction of windigos as another threat to the Red Gold is done masterfully. The full-page spread that ends the issue deserves to be studied for its menace alone.
This issue focuses again on how Kingsway wishes to be left alone to find his wife, but continually is pulled back into the fray for Red Gold. Ah Toy brings him somewhere and reveals to him that they’ve got their own cache of Red Gold, but they need help clearing it of windigos and ultimately harvesting it. At first, he doesn’t want to assist, but Ah Toy’s rash actions once again force his hand.
Though the stakes are growing for Kingsway to be reunited with his wife Sonia, it’s often difficult to remember her as anything more than a plot device unfortunately. In attempting to help the people around him, Kingsway tries to sacrifice himself and apologizes to his wife as he’s possibly plunging to his death. Fortunately, Strode – the scout from New York – saves his life and offers them all an alternative.
The ending of the issue leaves everyone in a perilous place once more, with enemies closing in and few options for free folks, it’ll be interesting to see how Pak writes his characters out of this one. There is just so much going on in each issue of Kingsway that I wish there was a little bit more time to breath between death-defying battles to really dig deeper into the world.
Death of X #4
Author: Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule
Artist: Aaron Kuder and Javier Garron
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It’s often hard to square Cyclops the Symbol with Cyclops the Character. Since 2009, Scott Summers has been the reluctant de-facto leader of the mutant race, despite murdering Charles Xavier, declaring war with the US Government, becoming an international terrorist and being killed by Doctor Doom on Battleworld.
He’s a character frequently defined by his willingness to make decisions for others, often without their permission, he’s a demanding leader, willing to put lives on the line to take a stand, and requires that those closest to him do the same.
There was only one way that story was going to end and the title alone of Death of X probably made that abundantly clear. The miniseries wraps with Scott’s final act as leader of the X-Men sending a message to Medusa and the Inhumans that even an inadvertent attack on the mutant race cannot stand.
Like much of the series before it, Death of X #4 is overly slight, wrapping maybe half an issue of story into an oversized, needlessly loose issue. It’s also disappointing to see the series bring in Javier Garron to assist Aaron Kuder on the finale here but the big moments still land. There are plenty of plot holes and strange choices here but for those invested in Scott’s story, it’s a comic that works.
Death of X feels like a story that barely gets off the ground, a problem Charles Soule also had when writing the Logan-offing Death of Wolverine miniseries and not really helped with Jeff Lemire sharing co-writing duties. It doesn’t help that the miniseries is a transparent attempt to set up the upcoming Inhumans vs. X-Men event. It makes this about as compromised and soulless as a comic can be, but it admirably squares Scott’s humanity with the symbol he’s become and the issue’s final twist drives this home and paints a compelling portrait of the people closest to mutant kind’s greatest leader.