Steve Batley's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Watch Reviews: 82
7.5Avg. Review Rating

7.6
Books of Magic (2018) #1

Oct 28, 2018

Kat Howard and company succeed in pulling a completely different rabbit out of the hat. A highly promising start, with a seeming reboot or the telling of another version of Tim in a refreshing new light.

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8.5
Doctor Strange (2015) #25

Oct 27, 2017

The art of Bachalo while missed has been successfully and adequately replaced here by Nowlan (did I mention it's been a long time coming for him to be given more than the odd cover to do?) giving me the feeling things are in good hands and the way forward will be as demanding and challenging for Stephen Strange as ever before. The Doctor is most definitely in. Bring in the mischief I say.

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7.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #381

Nov 22, 2017

Following on in the format of all Legacy initial issues we also have a great little recounting of the origin of Doctor Strange. Written by Robbie Thompson with art by Nico Henrichon its a fitting swan song for the artist of the last few issues who will be sorely missed. However, the title is in good hands as the colors of Jordie Bellaire are a good match for Gabriel Hernandez Waltas art. Similarly the writing talents of Donny Cates transition so smoothly it feels good to see the team is warming to the task, especially given the arc is a complete role change for everyone concerned, artist, writer, colorist, Dog Whispering Doctor and God of Lies alike.

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9.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #382

Dec 16, 2017

As comebacks go this one has just come out of left field. Logan seems to have left the door wide open when he returned and now not only Xavier, Jean, Adam Warlock and Bruce are returning but they will be joined by another Marvel powerhouse. And with this one having a track record of being a God-killer Loki had better watch out.

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9.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #383

Dec 29, 2017

The image of Strange giving up the body of Bats as an offering to the World Tree is tragic and somehow apt given it was Loki who caused the death in the first place. Strange may well have taken the bull by the horns here as he grapples with magic he has barely reckoned with and I wonder if the solution is worse than the problem. Magic this big must surely come at a cost.as we have already been warned.

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9.5
Doctor Strange (2015) #384

Jan 22, 2018

The finale of this arc is going to have to pull out all the stops here and I don't think it will disappoint. I do wonder if the balance of humor may suffer when the final confrontation is played out. I hope not as its been a roller-coaster so far and perfectly balanced. Like a carefully crafted spell, it has all the right ingredients to keep us in its thrall.

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10
Doctor Strange (2015) #385

Feb 20, 2018

Magic, Muscle and Mischief join forces in a truly spectacular battle royale to get the dark genie back in the bottle.

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8.5
Doctor Strange (2015) #386

Mar 5, 2018

Cates never fails to deliver the gold standard in tongue in cheek humor while keeping the seriousness of the plot ticking, which is no small feat.

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9.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #387

Mar 16, 2018

Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends. Who can you trust in Hell if you cant trust a witch and the God of Lies?

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9.0
Doctor Strange (2015) #388

Apr 15, 2018

Even in his darkest hour Strange can rely on his friends to rally round, whether its a dust-up in a Necrotic Realm or a much needed mental slap round the chops from Bats.

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10
Doctor Strange (2015) #389

Apr 30, 2018

Nothing like a friendly meal with the ex to sort out your priorities.

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10
Doctor Strange (2015) #390

May 31, 2018

Cates gives us an outstanding finale that returns Strange to his roots.

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7.5
Doctor Strange (2018) #1

Jun 11, 2018

Taking us into space, a not too familiar ground for Doctor Strange, Mark and Jess have cleverly wiped the slate clean ready to give us a totally different take on the world of magic. Lets see where the journey takes us.

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7.0
Doctor Strange (2018) #2

Jun 26, 2018

It all looks very shiny and full of spacey goodness but we need to know who the big bad is and SOON so I forget to focus on plot holes.

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8.5
Doctor Strange (2018) #3

Jul 10, 2018

Well Bats is back and so all is right with the world once more.

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8.2
Doctor Strange (2018) #4

Aug 24, 2018

The only thing missing was Bats. With the end reveal of the last issue that he is still active in Bleecker Street and has possibly gained news of what could be behind Stephens dilemma this was an omission that was less frustrating than the chopping and changing of narrative this issue and Im sure he will turn up with the answers we need. Similarly the cliffhanger of issue #2 and the mysterious individual aware of Stranges goings on while goings-on off the Gryndan homeworld is also conspicuous by his absence, but Im positive this is going to come to light soon and they are also keeping score.

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7.6
Doctor Strange (2018) #5

Sep 28, 2018

Stunning finale to the first arc with some truly spectacular visuals, which might have overshadowed the writing a little, but not much.

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6.6
Doctor Strange (2018) #6

Oct 12, 2018

A safe return back on home ground, in what could have been a challenging transition, with the artistic talent making for a truly smooth landing.

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8.0
Doctor Strange: Damnation #1

Mar 2, 2018

As quick as the introduction to this latest crossover is, it delivers a grand opening and the overture is unmistakable. The deck is shuffled. All the pieces are on the board. Let the games begin.

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8.5
Doctor Strange: Damnation #2

Mar 13, 2018

With so many changes from last issue it could have been a struggle to keep things ticking but an admirable job was done by all concerned from artist to writing team. Keep it up, guys.

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8.5
Doctor Strange: Damnation #3

Mar 31, 2018

Not long to go now until the grand finale and its all to play for as we enter the final round. Does the House always win? Lets hope not…for all our sakes!

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10
Doctor Strange: Damnation #4

May 3, 2018

This whole epic was worthy of Sin City, with high stakes and huge gambles taken and people risk everything for the biggest prize of all. Their very souls.

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8.2
Domino (2018) Annual #1

Sep 30, 2018

Overall a great mix of creative talent, with everyone getting an equal share of the spoils and delivering a view of Domino in their own definitive voice. All of whom manage to seamlessly blend the larger story into one grand piece, without the narrative or art coming off jarring. A major achievement considering the vastly different cast of Unusual Suspects on hand.

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5.5
Exiles (2018) #1

Apr 16, 2018

The constant repetition of the impending threat, though necessary to inform each new character is a little dull and reminds me of the dad in Silent Hill who CONSTANTLY describes his daughter to NPC's he meets in the game and this drags the pace down somewhat. Though we only have two to go so hopefully next issue this will pick up.

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4.0
Exiles (2018) #2

Apr 29, 2018

The whole addition of the cartoon element was a letdown, in what would have otherwise been a vast improvement on the last issue, sorry to say.

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5.0
Exiles (2018) #3

May 17, 2018

With the weird action and characters this issue Im sensing someone is trying to channel Chris Claremont's much loved Cross-Time Caper arc from Excalibur. This must stop, NOW!

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6.0
Exiles (2018) #4

Jun 19, 2018

Still not my Exiles. Hurry back Kevin and Talia!

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5.0
Exiles (2018) #5

Jul 18, 2018

Exiles #6. The Exiles land in the Old West! A dusty town of innocents is under the thrall of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, The Toad, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and their sharpshooting leader, Magneto! But this town aint big enough for all those mutants, and the Exiles arent about to let the Brotherhood get their way. Saddle up for a wild ride with guest artist Rod Reis! On Sale 8th August 2018!

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6.8
Exiles (2018) #6

Aug 27, 2018

Until Wolvie goes this team will always suffer a little from being unrelatable. Though it has improved with Khan gone and even Iron Lad isnt as vapid and boring as before. Maybe with the return of the original Exiles, things can improve and the team can really get off the ground?

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5.0
Exiles (2018) #8

Sep 20, 2018

Too many cooks spoil the broth. A hodgepodge rushed fill in issue with distracting art that was far too disjointed compared to the smooth and satisfying work of the previous two issues, with a story that didn't cover all the bases and so the game was lost on me.

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5.8
Exiles (2018) #9

Oct 17, 2018

A visually stunning feast, with no actual ingredients. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder there is something to be said of substance. And there was none of that here.

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8.0
Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Madripoor #2

Jul 3, 2018

Bring on round 2 and the pitched battle to come when Magneto regains consciousness and Storm gets her turn for revenge. It's going to be electric I'm sure.

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7.0
Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Madripoor #3

Jul 28, 2018

Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Madripoor #4. Past and present clash in a final battle on an island of secrets and sin! What darkness lies within Sapphire Styx? Can a ghost from the past save Psylocke from oblivion?

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6.8
Ice Man (2018) #2

Oct 16, 2018

Overall a solid characterization, although a little short on interplay between Emma and Bobby, with an ambiguous outcome for the Frost family.

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7.4
Ice Man (2018) #3

Nov 13, 2018

Some fun, irreverent off the cuff humor and a good old fashioned team up with the spotlight firmly on our hero Iceman, which is where it belongs

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7.0
Lockjaw (2018) #3

May 5, 2018

Added points for the Amazing Fantasy Spider-Man homage cover by David Nakayama, complete with onlooking Black Bolt & Medusa. A fine touch that fed into the bizarre world perfectly.

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9.0
Lockjaw (2018) #4

Jun 4, 2018

A fun and furry finale to a furiously fiendish fable.

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9.0
Mr. and Mrs. X #1

Jul 29, 2018

Mr & Mrs X #2: Love & Marriage Part 2. Technet, Deadpool, Shiar Imperial Guard.What could possibly go wrong?

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7.8
Mr. and Mrs. X #2

Aug 30, 2018

A perfect marriage of humor and drama with just the right touch of ridicule to keep Remy in check, with the right ensemble characters. After all, the bride had to shine and she clearly took center stage here. Go get 'em Rogue.

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8.0
Mr. and Mrs. X #3

Sep 26, 2018

This title started off well and is going full steam ahead. With a supporting cast of stellar proportions, it can only go one way. To the stars.

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8.0
Mr. and Mrs. X #4

Oct 24, 2018

Great mix of drama, action, suspense, angst, and inner turmoil. I cant wait for the next installment of this wonderful saga.

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9.0
Rasputin: The Voice of the Dragon #1

Nov 27, 2017

Mignola and iZombie co-creator Roberston have teamed up before on Hellboy projects and it is clear that they work as comfortably as hand in glove together. With the art of Mitten, illustrator on Rise of the Black Flame, as team-ups go its as illustrious as those of the likes of Depp, Burton, and Elfman. You know what you are getting and it doesnt fail to deliver. The score here is an unmistakeably recognizable refrain. If you listen closely you can almost hear it can't you? The approach… of Hellboy!

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7.6
Terminator: Sector War #1

Aug 26, 2018

Has Lucy got what it takes to survive the night against an unstoppable enemy? So far she is giving him a real workout. The city of New York is almost a character in its own right here as with the movie. Let's see who's side it will be on, I think Lucy has the home team advantage so far, but the Terminator already makes it clear not everyone is on her side.

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7.2
Terminator: Sector War #2

Oct 5, 2018

The diminutive lone warrior has again taken on the big guns and is winning where it counts. Defiant to the last, no fate but what we make.

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8.5
The Crow: Memento Mori #2

May 5, 2018

A return to form and puts The Crow back on the road to its true origin set out by James OBarr almost thirty years ago.

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9.5
The Crow: Memento Mori #3

Jun 5, 2018

With the finale to come will Raphael feel he deserves such retribution or will he deny Davids will in the belief that he is righteous and David is an abomination of his God?

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9.5
The Crow: Memento Mori #4

Jul 15, 2018

Follow www.idwpublishing.com to find out when The Crow will return, as it surely must!

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7.0
U.S.Avengers #11

Nov 7, 2017

Whereas before this series has been focussed on the rest of the team during Secret Empire its finally coming to light what has befallen Cannonball in a story that is centered around him and the Cannonball Run is a welcome change of pace. Its not only a shout out to current TV show Riverdale and the heady days of Archie and Jughead comics but also a tongue in cheek reference to Fantastic Four #91 involving Skrulls when Ben Grimm was sold into slavery on Kral IV, a planet where the inhabitants are obsessed with mob culture. Also the Star Trek episode A Piece Of The Action of the same era when the crew of the Starship Enterprise met up with a culture obsessed with prohibition era gangsters.

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7.5
U.S.Avengers #12

Dec 8, 2017

Casting Ritchie as the villain unable to 'move with the times' makes me wonder if there is a hidden message in there for fans from Ewing. Recent criticism for ignoring past continuity, characters origins and making established characters come out were all used to great effect here. Could this be a tongue-in-cheek way of them telling us to 'get with the times' and not be so down on changes? If so it was very cleverly done, in what could be the final issue of a fun series and a great mix of characters.

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5.0
Venomized #4

May 4, 2018

Too many Symbiotes, not enough Sympathy. Must dig deeper!

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7.0
Venomized #5

May 9, 2018

Given the end result of the battle in space, which WAS epic and decisive, could it not have been amply covered already…in Poison X?

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6.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #14

Oct 24, 2017

While the previous instalments have treated us to such delights as Spider-Man and the Champions tackling the barrier trapping the X-Men, Kitty telling Rachel they WILL have a discussion about her and Kurt, Jimmy calling Old Man Logan "pops", Rachel and Scott similarly discussing what she should call him (apparently dad is actually acceptable compared to adolescent dad, tyke dad or little dad) this issue hasn't given us too much to go on in the way of plot development and team interaction with Nightcrawler, Colossus and Beast in particular taking much of a back seat. While this is a common hazard with ensemble cast and the fact it's three separate teams it may just be too much to juggle story wise.

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #15

Nov 11, 2017

The use of matching scenery at the end of the last segment with Magneto and the start of the main teams final battle of this issue shows genius foreshadowing, almost pointing us to the reunion that will surely follow in the final instalment over in X-Men Blue as Magneto is forced to reveal he is still alive. All going toward wrapping up in time for the two teams next separate adventures with Blue in The Cross Time Capers and Gold in The Negative Zone War AKA The Dartayus Odyssey.

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9.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #16

Nov 24, 2017

We didn't get to see Ink or the uniforms as hinted on the cover but all good things come to those who wait. I am also much preferring the name Kologoth to that of Kleevus originally mentioned in pre solicit listings for issue #12. Bullet dodged there I feel. Speculation was rife on some news media sites as to it being the name of another alien from previous Fantastic Four stories or just an Ike Perlmutter pet name. It could also have been a derivation of the Albanian name Klevis. Whatever the reason, I for one am glad its gone. To quote Marc Guggenheim I just came up with a name I liked better. He aint wrong.

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7.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #17

Dec 15, 2017

As confused as I was by our heroes decisions this and last issue it is reassuring to see its clear now that Kologoth is the true enemy here and not the ruling party. Not only has he killed his own parents for abandoning him as a child but seemingly the only recourse his soldiers have for failure is their immediate death at their own hands. Clearly, he is a force to be reckoned with.

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6.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #18

Dec 29, 2017

Guggenheim has waxed lyrical for so long now about wanting to do a space saga story and I think it isnt living up to the hype despite a great start the last two issues. It almost seems as though hes distracted here and trying to sneak in some foreboding for Rachels fate while NOT dealing with the drama at hand.

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5.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #19

Jan 13, 2018

The change of artist and colorist is not at all jarring here as the team of Lashley and Prianto hand over to Bernard and Sotomayor who perform admirably mid-arc to keep things smooth. The colors are a little brighter but it doesn't distract from the story at all and are in fact its saving grace, which is a shame as, though the plot is a solid one, the pacing and dialogue suffered compared to last issue.

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #20

Jan 20, 2018

Despite the big reveal at the end Storm is the runaway winner, in my opinion, this issue and it's been a long time coming. Whether it be in a powerless duel for leadership against Cyclops or for the lives of her teammates against Callisto she rises to the occasion unbeaten"EVERY single time.

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4.5
X-Men: Gold (2017) #21

Feb 15, 2018

The team has yet another short order status shuffle but it has done them little good here. Someone's heart just isnt in it maybe?

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5.5
X-Men: Gold (2017) #22

Mar 4, 2018

Another fight the X-Men lose in short order with no logical reason but to move them to the next drama in prison. Lets see how that one goes and if some character insight comes of it. Maybe some support and sympathy from other incarcerated mutants?

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8.5
X-Men: Gold (2017) #23

Mar 11, 2018

As prison stories go this is looking to be an interesting one and Im sure Storm will be taking her familiar fighting stance very soon. Put em up Cal, you could be in for a rough ride!

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #24

Mar 28, 2018

Trial by fire pays off for the newbies. Pyro and Magma are on fire without even using flames.

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9.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #25

Apr 7, 2018

The art here really showcases the talents of Sequiera and Luiz on pencils, Smith and Olazaba on inks and also last but not least Prianto, Tartaglia, and Fernandez with some dazzling colors. This whole team seems to really get their teeth into the action.

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8.5
X-Men: Gold (2017) #26

Apr 21, 2018

Arif Prianto's colors are again perfect and suit the new artist style admirably. And yes, of course, the artist changed again this issue and though I really loved the art last issue, Michele offers something new as the atmosphere is starkly different from the last few issues and the battles the team have faced.

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #27

May 6, 2018

A nice twist to the hero/damsel in distress trope as Kitty comes to the rescue of the Knight in Shining organic steel.

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8.5
X-Men: Gold (2017) #28

Jun 3, 2018

As the finale of this arc looms next issue and the wedding due in the one after, not to mention the set up for Rachels new status, its full steam ahead.

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #29

Jun 14, 2018

Now the dust has settled we can all breathe and relax, ready for the real drama ahead. The day thats been nearly thirty-eight years in the making, let the Wedding March begin.

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #30

Jun 25, 2018

The shock value aside this had some deeply emotional scenes that deserve to be explored in more depth. And now Wolvie is back, will he take Kitty to a bar and set her up to fight with Juggernaut and make her pay for hurting Pete?

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #31

Jul 8, 2018

Will Rachel be the villain or merely the pawn in the events to come?

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #32

Jul 24, 2018

Storm goes back to the Kenyan village where she was once revered as a Goddess…except now it's true…isn't it? What IS the deal with Stormcaster? Find out next issue.

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6.5
X-Men: Gold (2017) #33

Aug 6, 2018

Storm must battle a mysterious figure from her past! But with the true nature of Stormcaster revealed, can she trust her powers any more?

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6.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) #34

Aug 30, 2018

As a finale to the series, this is becoming sadly lacking. There was some improvement in recent months in this title for Storm, but this is not the woman we know. The penultimate issue coming next and Guggenheim is really going to have his work cut out for him to dig himself out of the hole hes created.

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5.8
X-Men: Gold (2017) #35

Sep 16, 2018

Averyunsatisfying finale to a disjointed and clumsy arc, with no forethought or feel for the characters, hero or villain. Its as though Marc Guggenheim has decided as its ending he doesnt need to even bother.

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5.6
X-Men: Gold (2017) #36

Sep 25, 2018

A tale that includes all the hallmarks of what the X-Men is all about, without any hint of the heart and soul that gave previous incarnations of the team the life and energy we love. For the first time ever I am relieved to see the end of an X-title, which saddens me greatly.

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8.0
X-Men: Gold (2017) Annual #1

Jan 14, 2018

The back up story with Storm was equally heart-warming, very well scripted by Nero and the blind adoration of the girl, though maybe a little overly saccharine sweet, IS the way any child would idolise their hero and given the negative assertion from all around her (even her own aunt) it was nice to see a child who's innocent opinion could not be swayed by their supposed betters.

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9.5
X-Men: Gold (2017) Annual #2

Aug 8, 2018

Storm must battle a mysterious figure from her past! But with the true nature of Stormcaster revealed, can Storm trust her powers any more?

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8.5
X-Men: The Wedding Special #1

May 18, 2018

A heart-warming farewell to Kitty from BOTH of her fathers.

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8.0
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #1

May 4, 2018

The art itself is stunning, from the battle lines being set up in the dawning sun to the bloody fighting itself.

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8.5
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #2

May 8, 2018

We now know the reason for Xerxes thirst for vengeance and death and his ire of the Grecian warriors. All that is needed now is the rise of a champion to stave off the bloody battle he brings to the shores of Greece.

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7.0
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #3

Jun 16, 2018

Xerxes has risen. We need now only to see the man who will rival him, in the form of Alexander.

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4.0
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #4

Jul 14, 2018

If this were being made into a movie this would be the part where you'd take a comfort break.

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5.0
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander #5

Aug 9, 2018

A severe disappointment and not how I thought this would pan out when I began reviewing the title. And Im talking artistically not historically.

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