There’s a lot to cover on Wednesdays. We should know, as collectively, we read an insane amount of comics. Even with a large review staff, it’s hard to get to everything. With that in mind, we’re back with Wrapping Wednesday, where we look at some of the books we missed in what was another great week of comics.
Let’s get this party started.
Written by Rodney Barnes
Illustrated by Alex Lins
Colored by Luis Nct & Mar Silvestre Galotto
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Reviewed by Alexander Manzo
Rodney Barnes delivers a focused follow-up issue after the debut of “Monarch.” Initially, it felt like an alien science fiction storyline where it’s ‘us versus them,’ but as the reader learns in this issue, it becomes more about ‘nurture versus nature.’ Barnes reveals that the protagonist, Travon is not a young child but an alien emissary sent to gather information on humans via experience firsthand. His report came back with what they already had in mind, that the human race isn’t worth saving. Throughout the issue, the perspective constantly shifts between Travon, his adopted mother, and the alien species to showcase the different sides of humanity. Showing the views of a young child, an outsider, and a mother’s love gives the reader hope that Travon can make the right decision. His experience with love could be the world’s saving grace, even though he had specific instructions not to reciprocate. By the end of the issue, there is this innocent E.T.-like character who has a strong urge to return home but does not know where his home is.
Alex Lins does an excellent job with his world-building illustrations. Not only in the metaphorical sense of showcasing nearly the story, i.e., the aliens coming to destroy humanity, but by being able to display the semi Fall Guy aliens, the destruction of their planet via disintegration but also Earth’s self-inflicted wounds due to war, famine, and rampant drug usage. Reading an alien’s point of view of the Earth and its problems is one thing, but seeing a man inject himself on the edge of death hits the reader in the heart when this is a tragic reality of life. Lins not only went deep and focused on a drug addict, but he can also display the strength of the alien technology by destroying fighter pilots and soldiers daring to challenge them. It’s not gritty with blood and gore but just sheer annihilation of an alien race that can’t be stopped. Luis NCT and Mar Silvestre Galotta work seamlessly with Lins to create this dark and dreary mood throughout the story that can only lead the reader to think that nothing will stop the aliens. The creative team pushes the message of hope being gone and lying solely on Travon.
Final Verdict: 8.0 – The message of Earth being the cause of its destruction is not new, but that decision in the hands of a “child” alien may be something new that keeps the reader locked in for the next issue.
Red Goblin #2
Written by Alex Paknadel
Illustrated by Jan Bazaldua
Colored by David Curiel
Lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Reviewed by Alexander Jones
While you might scoff at the idea of Marvel introducing yet another Goblin character for the Spider-Man franchise, there’s been an interesting hook with some of the new Goblin heroes. The Red Goblin is actually the grandson of Norman Osborn, Normie who is pursuing a superhero career. In the second issue of the series, Norman finds himself kidnapped by a former Goblin and it’s up to his grandson, Normie to try and save the day. Will writer Alex Paknadel and artist Jan Bazaldua thread the needle of telling an endearing story that isn’t too violent with Normie in “Red Goblin” #2?
Artist Jan Bazaldua is great at drawing small children in Normie’s high school while depicting a harsh level of violence in Norman’s sequences. The juxtaposition of these two characters has made Marvel’s “Red Goblin” series really interesting and Balazaluda does a wonderful job switching artistic sensibilities appropriately for the scene. The tense facial expressions from Norman look much different from the reserved glances from Normie. Bazaldua’s depiction of the Rascal symbiote makes the character move and shift like a sentient alien that Rascal is supposed to be. Bazaldua seems to be working closely with Paknadel to get the storytelling in this issue just right.
“Red Goblin” #2 uses an incredibly unique script to highlight the differences between Normie and Norman. Normie is an innocent, but kindhearted young person trying to help his Grandfather. While Norman is delusional and doesn’t even realize the status quo shift with Normie in the issue due to the drugs from The Goblin Nation. Over the past couple of months, Marvel has done a great job adding more subtext to Norman and Peter’s relationship but ”Red Goblin” #2 crafts a beautiful layer of subtext between Normie and Norman. “Red Goblin” #2 enriches a young character in The Marvel Universe and strengthens relationships from “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
Final Verdict: 8.0 – A kinder Norman Osborn shakes up the pages of ”Red Goblin” #2!