Mega Princess #2 from BOOM! Studios continues to work well as a true comic series for kids according to Sam and the first issue of Inhumans vs X-Men from Marvel Comics has an intriguing central conflict that overshadows some of Jackson’s concerns.
Want to hear more about what we thought about these issues? Read on – and let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Mega Princess #2
Author: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Brianne Drouhard
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
In its second issue, Mega Princess does a fantastic job of covering a lot of ground within the confines of a single issue. When we last left Max and Justine they were shrunken down to a tiny size in search of her brother, Bobs. Max thought the Tiny Kingdom had kidnapped him and, in her haste, put herself at risk of being stepped on in her own tiny form or, actually, eaten by a fox.
The issue has a lot of lessons to teach in such a short period of time. It shows kids that they don’t have to resort to violence to solve their problems. Max outsmarts the fox and saves their lives by confusing him with a riddle rather that fighting wit him.
It also teaches kids not to jump to conclusions. It turns out that the Tiny Kingdom didn’t kidnap Bobs and Max didn’t take the time to look at all the clues available to her before accusing them. In fact, they remain very good friends to Max’s kingdom. The issue also stresses the importance of telling your parents where you’re going, as Max’s parents are incredibly worried the whole time because now BOTH of their kids are missing!
I’m a really big fan of this book. I think it’s a really great kid’s book that actually reads primarily as a kid’s book. So many young adult authors and kids authors focus on crossover appeal with older readers. This book – while entertaining – is very much the kind of book that is geared towards the younger readers. Amber the terrible fairy godmother is definitely a character with witty, more adult-focused jokes in her repertoire but for the most part the book keeps things simple while still respecting kids’ intelligence. I’m still disappointed this is still just a five issue miniseries.
Inhumans vs. X-Men #1
Author: Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire
Artist: Lenil Francis Yu
Publisher: Marvel Comics
In the wake of one of the most contentious presidential races in American history, Marvel’s Inhumans vs. X-Men speaks profoundly not to a divided nation but a divided voice of dissent. In much the same way as liberal voices have debated for weeks about the lessons to be learned or not learned from Hillary Clinton’s defeat, Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire’s script paints a picture of two people at an impasse, forced to confront ugly facts about their differences and what makes them exclusive.
Building out of the recently wrapped Death of X miniseries, Inhumans vs. X-Men sees a radicalized Emma Frost plan to strike a blow against Medusa for the murder of Cyclops, with the need for action accelerated as Beast and Magneto realize that no cure is coming for M-Pox, the disease that’s ravaged mutants as it spreads terrigenesis to latent Inhumans. It’s a conflict building off really the only compelling plot point of the Inhuman’s story for the last few years, that a marginalized, nearly extinct people find a chance for survival at the expense of another group.
In a way, it’s a hook that works so much better than something like, say, 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men storyline because it’s actually built to operate on the idea that these characters are all fighting over a genuine question of the greater good.
Both the Inhumans and X-Men have their own survival at stake here and can only prosper at the expense of the other. That’s not to say that it makes M-Pox anything more than the plot device it’s always been but, hey, at least it’s using that device effectively.
Lenil Francis Yu delivers his fairly realistic art here and, frankly, it’s an odd fit. Inhumans vs. X-Men is a story with a massive cast of characters with a diverse and fantastic look, from the shaggy morose Hank McCoy, to the burning Johnny Storm, the elegant Medusa and the sloppy but lovable Lockjaw and Yu’s art sort of ends up flattening these characters when the story could benefit in focusing on how bizarre and truly inhuman these heroes are.
Especially in an issue as static, talky, and dialogue heavy as this, a cartoonier, more expressive penciller, like Chris Bachalo, Ed McGuiness, Nick Bradshaw, or Valerio Schiti, maybe have infused more energy and personality into what’s a promising, albeit dry opening issue.
Unlike other recent heroes-fighting-heroes events, Inhumans vs. X-Men benefits from having a compelling central conflict, albeit one with a clear plot device for a center. That’s still a step-up from Marvel’s recent output and the focus on two minority groups looking to prosper in the face of an indifferent world is timely and compelling. A more distinct art team, better pacing and some visual dynamism would certainly benefit the series but Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 offers up a compelling enough opening gambit for Marvel’s newest inter-universe bout.