Welcome back to the Marvel Rundown! This week, we dig into the return of the Master of Magnetism, in a SPOILER-LITE review of Resurrection of Magneto #1! Spoilers not your style? Hop on down to the Rapid Rundown for quick reviews of G.O.D.S. #4, Immortal Thor #6, and Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances #1!

What did you think of this week’s batch of fresh Marvel Comics, True Believers? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat, and let us know what you’re thinking.

Resurrection of Magneto #1

Resurrection of Magneto #1

Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Luciano Vecchio
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Design: Tom Muller Jay Bowen
Cover Artists: Stefano Caselli Jesus Aburtov

I had no illusions that the return of Magneto would be easy, but this is something else.

Al Ewing and Luciano Vecchio take us on a metaphysical jaunt through the various afterlives, as Storm’s quest to find Magneto begins. There are an abundance of callbacks to a the many different realms after death, and it seems that Ewing is attempting to streamline this by centering them in the ‘Well Beyond the Worlds,’ working from Ian McNee‘s 2007 Marvel Tarot handbook (with frequent allusions to tarot in Vecchio’s pages).

I know it’s been controversial with some fans, but I’ve been enjoying the way Dominions have become the overarching threat of the X-Line. There’s this existential dread that’s unlike anything mutantkind has faced before, and this push into hard sci-fi territory has led to some fascinating storytelling.

Vecchio (who has completely leveled up with this issue) depicts Phalanx Dominions as ever-present, infecting the page layout in a mind-bending style that speaks to how horrifying these beings are. David Curiel brings a unique palette to these spreads, with brights reds and purples engulfed in this rusty haze that makes for an omnious sequence. Joe Sabino letters the story in a way that makes the deluge of information coming our way manageable, rather than overwhelming.

Although the Dominions and expansion of the afterlife are strong, the best part about this issue, along with the proceeding issues of S.W.O.R.D. and X-Men Red, is the focus on Storm and her story. Yes, she is hunting down Magneto in this insane pan-dimensional realm, but Ewing makes it clear that the story is, and always has been, about her identity and who she is as a person, outside of her many roles across the Marvel Universe. We’ve been lacking in quality Storm comics for years, and this whole sequence has helped to rectify that.

The only thing that gives me pause is how self referential the issue is. I’m someone who enjoys Ewing’s work and has read the majority of it throughout his time at Marvel. But for those who haven’t some of this feels a bit impenetrable. There are callbacks to Ewing’s excellent Defenders and Defenders Beyond, as well as deep grabs at Storm’s forgotten magical history, that speak to me, but might make it increasingly difficult for new readers to pick up on. 

That’s not to say they won’t find enjoyment in this story, but if I’d come into this blind (which, I would not recommend), I don’t think I’d have gotten anything from this. If you’re really asking me, I would’ve kept this an arc of X-Men Red to avoid the confusion (and this is written as such), but that’s a discussion for another day.

Verdict: BUY. Again, for those who have been following Ewing’s entire story about Storm and Magneto (and read some of his other work), this is an easy recommendation. Otherwise, this can be a difficult book to jump into.

Rapid Rundown!

  • G.O.D.S. #4
    • It’s been a few months since we checked in on the much-hyped series from writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Valerio Schiti. It’s a hard series to talk about because it continues to play its card so close to the vest. The book is clearly an ambitious piece of world building with a scope that has only revealed the barest hints of what it aims to do. Issue 4 doesn’t present anything new that the last few issues have not already revealed. Four issues in, including a supersized first issue, and the mission statement and themes of this series remain as opaque as they were in the mysterious lead up to its premiere. Hickman’s script refuses to give explanations on the characters’ histories or the systems in which they operate, which is less mysterious than it is frustrating. It remains as gorgeous as ever under Schiti’s pen. The characters and their designs are stunning, the layouts are playful and inventive, and the depiction of magic  is trippy and brimming with creative imagery. Marte Gracia’s colors are beautifully detailed and rich, giving depth and texture and evocative lighting. Travis Lanham’s letters anchor the far out art and keep the reading experience clean.  It all feels very cinematic and grand. But I would like to know what this story is really about or trying to say.  It can only coast on mystery and the charms of its Constantine-esque hero for so long. This is not a bad book. Any comic that looks this stunning couldn’t be considered such. It’s technically superb. But the storytelling choice to talk around the story as opposed to actually get to the story is one of those Hickman quirks that has diminishing returns. —TR
  • Immortal Thor #6
    • Thor sits down with his sibling Loki for the story of his first journey into mystery, kicking off a new arc in this ongoing. Al Ewing does a great job with a grandiose story that still keeps itself clear enough to be approachable to readers not overly familiar with Thor. Personally, though, the art is what shines here. Martin C​​occolo balances the constant shift between multiple art styles with deft expertise, and shows up with incredible, big visuals when the time for them arrives. All of this is heightened to stupendous levels by Matt Wilson’s first-class, sensitive coloring—as always, it’s both in line with his body of work and perfectly suited to the story. —LI
  • Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances #1
    • This graphic adaptation of Timothy Zahn’s 2018 bestseller of the same name showcases one of the most dangerous beings in the Star Wars universe, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Set during the Original Trilogy, Thrawn and Darth Vader are tasked with discovering a disturbance in the Force by the Emperor. As they seek to uncover this mystery, they flashback to an earlier mission during the Clone Wars involving Thrawn and Anakin Skywalker. Having read the novel back in 2018 and enjoying it then, I was happy with this iteration of the calculating Thrawn, the brash nature of Anikin foreshadowing the brutal sledgehammer that will become Vader, and their weird good cop/bad cop chemistry. Joining Zahn for this are co-writer Jody Houser and artists Pat Olliffe and Andrea Di Vito, giving gravitas and edge to the cold menace and power that the characters are known for as they maneuver through the machinations of the Emperor. —GC3

Next week: Marvel’s Voices: Legends and Dead X-Men!