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X-Men Face Marvel's Destiny of X & Batman Beyond Returns – Major Issues – CBR – Comic Book Resources

CBR reviews the week’s biggest comics, including X-Men Red, Spider-Punk, Devil’s Reign, Earth-Prime: Batwoman, Marauders, & Batman Beyond: Neo-Year.
Each week, CBR has your guide to navigating Wednesday’s new and recent comic releases, specials, collected editions and reissues, and we’re committed to helping you choose those that are worth your hard-earned cash. It’s a little slice of CBR we like to call Major Issues.
If you feel so inclined, you can buy our recommendations directly on comiXology with the links provided. We’ll even supply links to the books we’re not so hot on, just in case you don’t want to take our word for it. Don’t forget to let us know what you think of the books this week in the comments! And as always, SPOILERS AHEAD!
With Marauders #1, Steve Orlando, Eleonora Carlini, Matt Milla and Ariana Maher help kick off the X-Men’s Destiny of X era with a solid relaunch of this fan-favorite series. As Kate “Kitty” Pryde and Bishop continue to rescue mutants, this comic officially assembles their new team — which includes one of Marvel’s deadliest villains — and sets their sights on a new cosmic mission.
Although January’s Marauders Annual provides some preamble for this issue, Marauders #1 is a strong debut issue with a clear narrative vision and distinctive visual style. Carlini gives Marauders expressive figures and action-packed pages that strike a balance between classic Marvel style and manga. From the tropical shores of Krakoa to explosion-filled space battles, Milla’s vibrant color palettes complete this book’s dynamic, energetic look. With an eccentric core cast, a surprising new mission and an impressive number of deep-cut X-Men references, Marauders #1 is already shaping up to be Marvel’s next great mutant title.
With Devil’s Reign #6, Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Marcio Menyz and Clayton Cowles bring Mayor Wilson Fisk’s attack on the superheroes of New York City to its dramatic conclusion. This climactic finale sees Daredevil and Elektra lead Marvel’s heroes against Fisk and the Purple Man before setting up major status quo shifts for several major characters.
Like previous issues of Devil’s Reign, this finale feels like a triumphant extension of Zdarsky and Checchetto’s acclaimed Daredevil run. Filled with beautiful and bombastic superhero action, this pitch-perfect end cleverly feints towards some familiar ideas before pushing Daredevil and the Kingpin into legitimately surprising new directions. While some of the crossover’s tertiary plots are only fleetingly addressed here, Devil’s Reign is a strong showcase for one of Marvel’s best recent creative teams.
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After taking over as Gotham City’s defender in the CW’s live-action Arrowverse, Ryan Wilder’s Batwoman jumps into comics with Earth-Prime: Batwoman #1, by Natalie Abrams, Kelly Larson, Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo and Tom Napolitano. Set during the show’s third season, this comic sees Batwoman take on a new Clayface with some help from another fan-favorite Arrowverse character.
While the story at Earth-Prime’s core is a fun adventure with solid art, this comic is mired in Arrowverse continuity and Batwoman’s complex web of relationships and betrayals. Although it summarizes the relevant points fairly well, the issue works best with some knowledge of the Batwoman show. The book’s Luke Fox backup story, by Camrus Johnson, Michael Calero, Matt Herms and Napolitano, rounds out the issue with a fun, light-hearted tale with a sharp visual style.
After spending years bouncing around the Spider-Verse, Hobie Brown’s alternate reality wall-crawler finally jumps into his own title in Spider-Punk #1, by Cody Zigler, Justin Mason, Jim Charalampidis and Travis Lanham. In this part of Marvel’s Multiverse, Spider-Punk, Captain Anarchy and Ironheart are part of a punk rock revolution against tyrannical villains like President Norman Osborn and — in this issue — Kraven the Hunter.
Much like Olivier Coipel’s original Spider-Punk design, this comic’s grungy world is a brilliant mash-up of Marvel and punk iconography. With clever interpretations of familiar Marvel characters and a bevy of subtle punk rock references, this comic has an anti-authoritarian exuberance that delivers on the promise of the concept. With heavy inks, bold colors and strong lettering choices, Mason, Charalampidis and Lanham give the comic a perfect aesthetic that captures punk rock’s D.I.Y. ethos and energy.
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Last year, the X-Men’s Hellfire Gala crossover saw Marvel’s most dangerous mutants colonize Mars. And with X-Men Red #1, Al Ewing, Stefano Caselli, Federico Blee, and Ariana Maher launch a new series dedicated to the mutant residents of the Red Planet. This debut issue follows Storm, Magneto, Sunspot and a few other familiar X-Men as they find their place among the other-dimensional mutants of Arakko.
With a focus on the brutal mutant politics of Arakko, X-Men Red comes across as a companion piece to Immortal X-Men’s terrestrial focus. Ewing has a pitch-perfect take on X-Men Red’s strong cast of characters, especially as Storm and Magneto start embracing their new roles. With an absolutely stunning final page, Caselli and Blee deliver one of Marvel’s most stylish comics as their sleek figures populate this alien world.
While Terry McGinnis has been Batman Beyond for over two decades, he’s usually had the advice of Bruce Wayne to guide him through his most dangerous adventures. But after Wayne’s death last year, Terry has to face a slew of new threats alone in Batman Beyond: Neo-Year #1, by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Max Dunbar, Sebastian Cheng and Aditya Bidikar.
Without Wayne watching over Terry, Neo-Year forces Batman Beyond to stand on his own in a refreshing update of his usual status quo. The comic’s hard-boiled narration adds some grit to Batman Beyond’s futuristic world, especially as Terry faces new villains like the tycoon Donovan Lumos and the hyper-dangerous Sword. With dynamic action sequences and bold swaths of neon colors, Dunbar and Cheng brilliantly capture the sleek look of Neo-Gotham as Batman Beyond faces an unknown future.
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Tim Webber is a writer, journalist and content creator based out of Atlanta, GA. With over a decade of experience, Tim has written everything from news analysis to cultural criticism about comic books, film, television and music. In addition to his work for CBR, Tim has written for a number of print and digital publications including Creative Loafing and Frequency Magazine. To put his worryingly deep knowledge of comics and superheroes to good use, he also helped design and teach courses based on graphic novels at Emory University, his alma mater. He can usually be found sipping tea, hitting deadlines or trapped under a very large pile of X-Men comics from the 1990s. If he sounds mildly interesting, you can follow Tim on Twitter @MrTimWebber.


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