Jean Grey #1 Featured Reviews 

Wrapping Wednesday: Micro Reviews for the Week of 8/23/23

By | August 28th, 2023
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

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.

Dark Knights of Steel #12
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Yasmine Putri
Colored by Arif Prianto
Lettered by Wes Abbott
Reviewed by Gregory Ellner

Having a good ending to a saga can be difficult. It can be built up significantly, only to fall flat at the last second. With twelve issues and some additional side content, “Dark Knights of Steel” seems to hit the sweet spot of a very interesting Elseworld story on Earth-118, and “Dark Knights of Steel” #12, apparently the conclusion, does stick the landing. While some newer alternate universe stories have had rushed endings, Tom Taylor uses what he has and pushes for the end of this particular tale in a very satisfying, fun way that is true to the overall themes of the story. Furthermore, Taylor leaves plenty of room for more stories down the line for these characters.

Yasmine Putri’s artwork is as seemingly effortlessly beautiful as ever, making the scenes of quasi-medieval warfare come across very well, and making the use of superpowers and aliens fit in rather seamlessly regardless. Emotion is palpable regardless of the distance from the viewer, including everything from anger and determination to sheepish embarrassment and joy. Putri even makes use of characters without any facial expressions at all through body language to showcase their reactions, making for an overall very compelling piece.

Arif Prianto’s colors emphasize all of the hard work of the others, work that comes together thanks to his expert use of hues. The cold darkness of ice comes up as much as the comforting warmth of the flame, and light seems to dance across characters’ features to enhance their emotional states or give a sense of calm depending upon the situation.

Final Verdict: 7.5 – A story closes with a satisfactory ending in this final chapter of “Dark Knights of Steel.”

Jean Grey #1
Written by Louise Simonson
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo
Lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher
Reviewed by Alexander Manzo

“Jean Grey” continues the trend of familiar X-Men characters going down a dark and sinister path post-Hellfire during this Fall of X chapter. Louise Simonson uses the age-old question of the “What if you could kill Hitler” path by having Jean go back in time with her knowledge of the future, and she tries to prevent the mistakes of the past only to create a more messed up path or a new villain to rise. Simonson also doesn’t waste any time when the X-men’s first mission back is against Magneto, and Jean wastes no time to not only wipe his mind to put him in a comatose-like state but also change the perception of any humans watching on the sidelines. Once Magneto’s mind returns, thanks to Xavier, who offers different methods to change the minds, the reader can tell things are going off the rails. The sub-title of the issue, “Mind Maze,” offers proper context for the ending because, post-Phoenix explosion, it feels like she’s getting ready to try and restart things again, similar to what Moira did a while back. Another positive note is that this issue feels like a slight spin-off vibe because anyone who randomly picked it up could enjoy it without any background information.

Bernard Chang’s artwork in this issue is grounded in reality in terms of design. Still, he can flex his creativity with the psychic attacks from Jean, lasers from Cyclops, and especially the flames from when Jean goes into Phoenix mode at the end. Another vital element throughout is the ability to display and translate the characters’ emotions, Jean specifically. The reader can follow from when she first lands “back in time” and has this open-eyed and hopeful desire to this darkened and dilated state of mind that no one will stand in her way. The transformation isn’t sudden, and as the issue progresses and she is challenged by Xavier, Magneto, and even her crew, she feels more isolated and fueled with rage. Marcelo Maiolo’s color choices maintain the flow and transition for Jean, but the key factor is that there’s a dark undertone throughout the issue. The whole creative team is on the same vibe of having the reader question whether it happened in reality by the end of the issue.

Continued below

Final Verdict: 8.0 – It’s an easy pickup for anyone who is or isn’t reading the current line of X-books that has a lot happen in a standard-size book.

The Schlub #1
Written by Ryan Stegman and Kenny Porter
Illustrated by Tyrell Cannon
Colored by Mark Spicer
Lettered by John J. Hill
Reviewed by Quinn Tassin

It’s bold to open an original comic by declaring that its protagonist “sucks.” Roger doesn’t even suck in the dynamic way, he’s trying as hard as he can but he’s a middling dentist, overly reliant on his ex-wife, and can’t seem to take control of his life. Everyone knows a guy like this and it’s rare that he’s the center of a story. “The Schlub” #1 takes it up a notch by having him switch bodies with the superhero Cirrus, the main person keeping the planet safe in this universe.

It’s an excellent piece of showing not telling when Roger picks up a mysterious object while Cirrus and his nemesis, Wyrm, fight in Roger’s office, and just presses a big button. We’ve been told he sucks and we’ve seen him be a loser but that moment is a brilliant piece of writing, telling us everything we need to know about how much thought and care Roger uses in his daily life. The reckless way he goes about finishing the fight post-body swap and chooses to bask in Cirrus’s fame is more obvious but works just as well. Between that and the fact that Roger destroys a billboard for his father and brother’s more successful dentistry chain (is that a thing?), it’s clear that this isn’t a comic about becoming a guy that doesn’t suck. It’s more of a (humorous) Oppenheimer-esque cautionary tale.

The artwork in “The Schlub” #1 is strong and reflects the tone of the writing perfectly. The exaggerated, cartoonish designs communicate who these characters are incredibly effectively. The bright colors help to make the comedic intent of the issue clear. The art has real deference to classic comic book penciling while doing something approaching to parody, threading a needle that’s very very hard to thread. The fight between Wyrm and Cyrrus/Roger is clearly the best thing this comic has to offer visually, other than its striking first page of course (opening a story from the inside of someone’s mouth is a great hook). The art team does striking work at creating a sense of dynamism and momentum between panels. While the action feels almost incidental dramaturgically, it’s exciting to see, nonetheless. The ability to balance real superhero spectacle with the general tone of the issue speaks to the strengths of this comic.

“The Schlub” #1 has effectively laid the groundwork for a genuinely novel, exciting story. It’s tempting to imagine a smart satire about toxic masculinity and the danger of giving boundless power to men who only wish to dominate the people around them. But what we’ve seen so far suggests that this is going to be at least a bit more straightforward than that. Roger sucks, now he has power. However it shakes out, this is a funny, fresh comic that deserves some real attention.

Final Verdict: 7.3- “The Schlub” #1 is a funny, original comic that dares to tell the story of the most mediocre guy you know

//TAGS | Wrapping Wednesday

Multiversity Staff

We are the Multiversity Staff, and we love you very much.


  • -->