This week, the chickens from Devil’s Reign come home to roost in Devil’s Reign Omega #1, the epilogue for the street level crossover event! Plus, we’ve got rapid reviews of Legion of X #1 and ASM (2022) #2!
What did you think of this week’s fresh Marvel Comics issues? Let The Beat know, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat.
Devil’s Reign Omega #1
Writers: Chip Zdarsky; Jim Zub; Rodney Barnes
Artists: Rafael De Latorre; Luciano Vecchio; Guillermo Sanna
Color Artists: Federico Blee; Carlos Lopez; Java Tartaglia; Dijjo Lima
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Main Cover Artist: InHyuk Lee
The Devil’s Reign event saw Mayor Fisk tightening his iron fist around New York City, attempting to outlaw super heroes and then enforce his draconian authority by means of fleets of otherworldly drones constructed by Dr. Octopus using Reed Richard’s inter-dimensional gate and a system that allowed the Purple Man’s powers to be disseminating on an election-swaying scale. After six main Devil’s Reign issues and quite a few tie-in titles, we’ve arrived at Devil’s Reign Omega #1.
There are two types of “Omega” books that are released by Marvel. The first are actually the conclusive chapters to the events with which they are associated, like Darkhold Omega #1. These are usually associated with the “smaller scale” crossovers, like Welcome to Pleasant Hill or aforementioned Darkhold event. Then there are “Omega” books that serve as epilogues, which are usually associated with the larger events: for example, 2017’s Secret Empire Omega #1.
Devil’s Reign Omega #1 falls squarely in this latter category, with three separate stories that help tie-up loose ends from the Devil’s Reign event and/or establish the new status quo for storylines moving forward.
The first story, “Fall and Rise,” focuses on unpacking the fallout from the various plotpoints that transpired in the climax of Devil’s Reign. In addition to the funeral of Mike Murdock and how his passing will affect his closest friend, Butch Pharris, we also see Matt Murdock and Elektra preparing to embark on the next leg of their journey, made possible by the fact that Mike was posing as Matt when he was killed by Kingpin. As New York City’s new mayor, Luke Cage disagrees with the methods being utilized by Kingpin’s police force, but not everyone is happy that there’s a new boss in town.
Meanwhile, Jessica Jones adopts Joe, the one child of the Purple Man who wasn’t de-powered, taking him home to live with her, Dani, and Luke. In addition to finishing up storylines that were left by Devil’s Reign #6, it’s a whole lot of interesting changes for everyone’s respective storyline… and they all provide a lot of potential for narrative moving forward.
Speaking of moving forward, the next story, “Cleaning House,” serves as the introduction for a new volume of Thunderbolts. Zub and Sean Izaakse will be reunited on the title with an all-new team (apparently headed by Hawkeye, capitalizing on his experience developing unforgettable super hero teams like the West Coast Avengers). The writer and artist previously collaborated on Thunderbolts (2016) #6 and #7, the former being the glorious “Beer Run” issue, and as a reader who enjoyed that series so much that she wrote to Marvel in hopes of another run, I really couldn’t be more excited about this one.
The story introduces Helen Astrantia, a public relations specialist who is working with Mayor Cage in order to “take back the narrative” about the Thunderbolts, whose public perception has been sullied by the fact that Kingpin had used them as his fist. Presumably, this is all just an overture for the storylines that will unfold in Thunderbolts (2022) #1, but as excited as I am for that title, even this short introduction whet my appetite for more.
The final story, “Mayor for Hire,” centers the figure that has been played a leading role in both preceding stories: Mayor Cage. These pages set up how Cage is approaching being a leader from inside the system, and underscores that the New Thunderbolts will be an official team.
Setting Cage up as mayor is an intriguing foundation for lots of interesting storylines, and with Joe having joined their family and the New Thunderbolts ready to hit the streets, this corner of the Marvel Comics universe is looking especially narratively promising.
Verdict: STRONG BROWSE if you’re in need of Devil’s Reign closure (but an absolute BUY if you’re as excited about the return of Thunderbolts as I am).
- Legion of X #1
- Si Spurrier does a solid job of making sure readers aren’t lost coming into this issue if they weren’t regular readers of Way of X. The way Spurrier writes Storm and Nightcrawler doesn’t work great for me, but I’m hoping that he’ll smooth that out as the book moves forward. The plot of this book jumps around as we see how Kurt’s Legion polices the island, and while that draws me in, I’m much more interested in how Spurrier fleshes out the Arakkii here. Seeing the things that are built from that sandbox and the way they affect Krakoa is one of the best parts of the X-Books and I can’t wait to see how these decisions impact the rest of the line. Jan Bazaldua’s art is lush and serene, especially with Federico Blee’s colors, and the scenes with Legion in The Altar (a paradise for mutants on the astral plane) feel like something out of a psychedelic poster from the Sixties. They’re such a solid team together and I hope they stay on this book for the long run. I know he did this in Way of X too, but I’m fascinated by the way Clayton Cowles chooses to letter some of the smaller moments in this issue. When characters feel awkward or have an aside to themselves, the words shrink down a size, making the scene feel a lot more personal. It’s such a cool choice and I’m curious to know if he made that decision or if it was in Spurrier’s script. — CB
- Amazing Spider-Man #2
- With Peter Parker back in the spider suit in this soft reboot of the current run of everyone’s favorite Amazing Spider-Man, we find him, 6 months later, a pariah to his friends and family for unknown reasons, currently facing a street war with the meta gangster Tombstone. The Casual reader picking up this issue without knowing what was going on won’t have a lot to catch up on as Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr. do a great job helping to fill the gaps and catch a reader up to speed with Peters’s quippy dialog. Wells gives the reader that flavor of the early Spider-Man days having Peter struggling for money and Spider-Man picking fights to help protect the little guy and Romita delivers with his kinetic-filled action. Overall the issue is action-packed and moves the story along, teasing out more of the mystery of the missing 6 months and leaving you with a conundrum of a cliffhanger. — GC3