Welcome back for another week of a review round-up of new comic books. This was a packed week of releases from across the board. We already posted induvial reviews for Daredevil #14, Knight Terrors: Nightwing #2, Tales of the Titans #2, The Cull #1, and Void Rivals #3. To spotlight even more comic books this week’s review round-up includes Hawkgirl #2, Sirens of the City #2, and X-Men Red #14.
Writer: Jadzia Axelrod
Artist: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Hawkgirl #2 is very much like the previous issue. The issue is at its best when the characters are just allowed to go on the journey the story sets them on. Unfortunately, Jadzia Axelrod gets in her own way as the narration boxes continue to be annoying rather than helpful.
When Axelrod simply focuses on Kendra Saunders trying to figure out what is going on and interact with other characters we see that there is a good understanding of the character. We get a story with Kendra seemingly haunted by her past reincarnations. This story makes Vulpecula presented as an even more dangerous threat. Giving Kendra new villains to face is a smart idea to help break her away from Hawkman and the Justice League. Adding in what Vulpecula accomplishes by messing with the life Kendra is trying to build outside of being Hawkgirl was a good hook to end this issue.
Unfortunately, as mentioned before, Axelrod gets in her own way with how she inserts herself as the narrator. The immersion of the story is immediately broken with this narrative choice. The way it is written there is a sense that Axelrod isn’t fully confident in her own story or the reader understanding what she is trying to do.
Luckily Amancay Nahuelpan does as much as he can to carry the story, even when the narration tries to get in the way of the artwork. Nahuelpan does a great job presenting Hawkgirl as a powerful hero in and out of her superhero costume. The action we do get is smooth and leaves you hoping that Axelrod trusts Nahuelpan to help carry the story because he has too much talent to deal with a writer getting in their own way.
Hawkgirl is a series that is quickly battling its own creativity. When Jadzia Axelrod simply lets the characters tell the story Hawkgirl #2 is at its best. Unfortunately, Axelrod gets in her own way with how she unnecessarily inserts herself into the story. Luckily Amancay Nahuelpan is there to pick up a lot of the slack with great artwork. All we can hope for is that Axelrod quickly learns how to fix the issues with the narrative direction she is taking with Hawkgirl.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Writer: Joanne Starer
Artist: Khary Randolph
Letterer: Andworld Design
Expanding on what was successful in the first issue, the world feels even more alive in Sirens of the City #2 with more characters who get lines. Each character is given a developed voice even if they are on screen for a short time. This helps create an immersion with the story as the world feels alive as each interaction gives more context or changes your view on specific characters.
This in turn makes Layla’s journey much more engaging. You see as she gets involved with other characters that more of the fantasy aspects of the series are opening up. Developing the story in this way allows there to be a natural flow to how high fantasy is integrated into a 1980s New York City setting. It all leads you to get even more invested in what the endgame is with the journey Layla is on.
But by far the biggest standout for Sirens of the City #2 is Khary Randolph’s incredible artwork. Randolph’s artwork is even better in this second issue as he is able to draw an even more wide range of characters. The way different powers are showcased standout even more with how bright colors are integrated into the largely black-and-white comic book.
Sirens of the City #2 is yet another gorgeous issue with a story that gets you further invested in the world. Joanne Starer and Khary Randolph have created a story that is a can’t miss read.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Yıldıray Çınar
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Ariana Maher
The fallout from Hellfire Gala has been tackled in various ways throughout all of the X-Men comics in the beginning stages of Fall of X. No comic has handled the fallout better than X-Men Red #14.
Al Ewing utilizes the devastating fallout of the Hellfire Gala to enhance the story they have going on with the split of The Great Ring of Arakko. Rather than Fall of X dictating where they go with the story in X-Men Red, Ewing and Cinar use the new status to give more importance to the actions Storm and others have to take. With the situation back on Earth there is an even greater sense of urgency to try to resolve things on Planet Arakko. That urgency only highlights all of the problems with trying to do that as things are way too intense and don’t appear to be settling down anytime soon.
What particularly works well is the scale of everything. Yıldıray Çınar nails how the war caused by the split of The Great Ring of Arakko has become so world-consuming. And even without appearing Genesis’s impact is felt strongly. Even more impressive was how Çınar nails showcasing how powerful Storm, Nova, and others are. The scope of these powers helps create an epic look to this book.
X-Men Red #14 is thus far the best issue in the Fall of X era we’ve gotten so far. Al Ewing does an excellent job using the fallout of the Hellfire Gala to enhance what he has going on with the split of The Great Ring. The intensity of the warring faction creates even more interest in the war that has consumed Planet Arakko.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10