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Welcome back to the Splash Page Spotlight. I want to thank everyone who read and shared the first edition of this feature, where I focused on the horror comics of Steve Niles. Hopefully someone out there found a comic or two that they wanted to read. After all, that’s the Spotlight’s goal. Now, enough with the jibber jabber and let’s dive into some comics.
Story: Cullen Bunn
Art: Gabriel Hernendez Walta , Javier Fernandez, Roland Boschi
On Comixology: https://www.comixology.com/Magneto-2014/comics-series/15031
Sometimes, when villains are the focus of a story, they tend to become watered down versions of themselves. Magneto avoids that trap. He’s as ruthless here as he’s ever been, wreaking havoc and leaving all those who cross his path in the rubble. Whether he’s dealing with Sentinels or scientists seeking to segregate humanity away from mutants entirely, Magneto is still every bit the villain the Marvel Universe has come to love and fear. He’s still the guy who does the wrong things for the right reasons, dispensing his brand of justice and protecting his people with little thought given to the cost of his soul. Despite his mercilessness, Cullen Bunn continues to give Magneto the tarnished nobility that fans have come to identify with. His Magneto isn’t a butcher. He’s a surgeon, cutting away the threats to his kind. Magneto’s narration plays a key part in keeping the character grounded, while adding to the book’s film noir like feel.
One of my favorite things about this title is it’s accessibility. Personally, I sometimes avoid X-Men titles and spin offs, because I know that huge X-crossovers are almost always around the corner and my comics budget doesn’t have room for five titles I’m not particularly interested in, yet need to buy for three months, so I can keep up with the ones I am interested in. Thankfully, this is another trap that Magneto avoids. Despite not reading his appearances in Uncanny X-Men, or even the AXis event mini-series and it’s tie ins, I never feel lost. There’s enough references within the story itself to keep me caught up with anything important I may have missed in another title. If you’re a reader who’s not well versed with Magneto’s fifty year history, Bunn and crew use ample flashbacks to fill in new readers on relevant bits of the character’s past, and refresh the memories of the older readers too. So far, the book has twelve issues under it’s belt, and as good as it’s been so far (and it’s been really, really good) I feel like it’s just starting to really pick up steam. I’m really curious to see where Magneto goes after the end of his AXis issues, and can’t wait to see what Briar Raleigh has to gain by helping him out. If you’re looking for the further adventures of the X-Men’s preeminent villain, this book is a great place to start. And if you enjoy Cullen Bunn’s take on Magneto, he’s also writing Sinestro for DC Comics, another villain headlining his own title.
Writer: Nick Spencer (1-9, 12-17) James Asmus (10) Tom Peyer/Elliot Kalan (11)
Artist: Steve Lieber (1-9, 12-17) Various (10-11)
Boomerang leads his crew on heist after heist, promising them fame and fortune each time, and for some reason they believe him. They chase after underworld urban legends, cross paths with the Owl and the Chameleon, and swap hard luck stories along the way. Superior Foes was one of Marvel’s most entertaining and engaging books for it’s entire run. Like Magneto, this book is very accessible to new readers. There’s references to Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe at large, but this book stands on it’s own. If you’re unfamiliar with crooks this deep into Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, that’s a-ok. Spencer and Lieber breathe new life and direction into each character, and after just the first issue, each character is clearly defined. Overdrive is the getaway driver and the quiet guy in the group. Beetle is new to the supervillain game and the one who tries to emphasize the ‘organized’ part of organized crime. Shocker is the resident coward and pushover. Speed Demon is the sleazy goofball and the one who’s most likely to buy into whatever Boomerang’s selling out of pure greed. And then there’s Boomerang..
Boomerang never met a lie he wouldn’t tell. He’s a treacherous, underhanded crook with no real redeeming qualities. He’s always one step away from pulling his next double cross. He’s also the perfect guy to steal the spotlight in this book. Despite all his many faults, it’s hard to keep yourself from wanting Boomerang to win, because he’s so openly terrible. It’s easy to see why his crew believes his lies when we get to see just how much Boomerang wants to succeed. He lies to the point that I think even he believes what’s saying, all the way until he sees a chance to change his mind and try to make a better deal.
Comixology has a free preview of issue 1. You can’t beat free comics. (https://www.comixology.com/Bedlam-1-Preview/digital-comic/32179?ref=c2VyaWVzL3ZpZXcvZGVza3RvcC9saXN0L0lzc3Vlcw )
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Dennis Culver
On Comixology: https://www.comixology.com/Edison-Rex/comics-series/8520
When Rex realizes that it’s up to him to protect the earth now, the fun kicks in, and this book is a blast. Edison Rex is a supervillian who won, and then has to learn to adapt to his new found responsibilities as a hero. The best part about Rex’s change of heart is that he’s not playing the role of the reluctant hero. Rex wants to do the right thing, embraces his new job wholeheartedly,and can’t believe that The Valiant’steammates in the Peacemakers doubt him when he says he’s a good guy now.
Edison Rex is a comic book that celebrates being a comic book, all the while delivering an amazing story. Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver created the comic I didn’t know I always wanted, but I absolutely did. This book is pure fun. It has an old school feel to it that I’ve missed in modern comics. Each digital issue is available for 99¢ on Comixology, and 1-12 being available in two print volumes. Edison Rex has sixteen issues so far, with the last one being put on Comixology back in July. Hopefully, we’ll get issue 17 soon, and see how Rex further adapts to his role the Earth’s newest protector.
The Joker’s 1975 run was weird and wonderful, and it’s sneaking it’s way into the article because it’s only 99¢ an issue on Comixology and that’s crazy. So, buy that if you love wacky Seventies comics, pally.
I’ve posted the links to buy these comics digitally, but if you prefer to buy you comics in print, that works too. Try your local comic shop. Find the comic shop nearest to you usinghttp://www.comicshoplocator.com/storelocator orhttp://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=csl.
Thanks for joining me in the darker edges of the Splash Page Spotlight. Supervillain books aren’t as numerous as their heroic counterparts, but when they get to center stage, it can lead readers to new and exciting places. Hopefully, you’ve seen something here that you’ll want to give a shot. If nothing else, you got to see Hillbilly Frankenstein, so I’m calling this one a win. I’ll be back next time with three more books, and a new theme. Until then, have fun with comics.