Comic Reviews: Outlawed and Iron Age 2020!


STL148064Outlawed #1 (Marvel Comics)

Marvel’s Champions series has quietly been one of the publisher’s most long-running team books (outlasting even the original 1975 series), and serving as a good place to put some of the newest heroes in the Marvel universe who maybe can’t support their own titles just yet. Nova, Ironheart, Miles Morales, and Ms. Marvel have all made a name for themselves as the new Champions, but it’s all going to come crashing down in Outlawed. This kickoff to the mini-event from writer Eve Ewing and artist Kim Jacinto reveals the event that causes the US government pumping the breaks on underage super-heroics, and in the end finds these young heroes in desperate straits.

Following a devastating attack on a college campus, the Champions find themselves on trial for their actions. Despite saving lives and preventing even more damage, the team is struggling to find the support they need, even though Captains Marvel and America are vouching for them. Yet despite all of this, the government decides that they need to step in and oversee any heroes under the age of 18, therefore making Nova, Ms. Marvel, Miles, and the other Champions outlawed heroes, and can’t help the people they’ve sworn to protect.

There are a lot of similarities to Civil War in this book, and I’m fairly certain that’s intentional on Eve Ewing’s part. Ewing’s script is absolutely believable, and definitely feels like something that would happen within the Marvel universe (hell, it’s probably the most “real-world” thing happening in the Marvel universe at the moment). Ewing’s script does a great job of setting the stakes, but she doesn’t put the focus on every member of the team. Surprisingly, major members of the team like Viv Vision and even Ms Marvel and Miles aren’t featured as much as you’d expect, and the end of the issue takes one of them seemingly off the board for the whole event. It’s still a pretty solid beginning though.

Kim Jacinto’s art does everything it needs to in this kind of book, bouncing from the action packed events that lead to the Champion’s trial to the stern and tense deliberations in the Senate chambers. It’s a testament to Jacinto’s skills as an artist that they’re able to balance these two aspects of the book, and lends itself to quite the thrilling read.

While I dropped off on The Champions a few issues ago, it was nice to see the team get their own event, and for that event to be pretty new reader friendly. The roster hasn’t changed that much since I stopped reading the title, and it is pretty great that all of these new Marvel heroes have a book they can call their own. While Outlawed won’t make the kind of splash that Civil War did back in the day, it should still serve as a good little event for the characters and their fans.

Iron Age 2020 #1 (Marvel Comics) 828882._SX270_QL80_TTD_

You may not be aware of it, but Marvel has another event happening right now surrounding Iron Man 2020. The Iron Age 2020 certainly doesn’t have any of the buzz of something like, say, the upcoming Empyre or even something smaller like Donny Cates’ Thor run, but…well I’ll be honest, it’s tough to get excited about an event focusing on Arno Stark and Machine Man, two characters that I struggle to think of having any real fanbase to base an entire event on. Yet Iron Age 2020 has a special event one shot focusing on Machine Man, the robot army, and the robotic cat that/s been featured in Iron Man, and it’s on stands right now.

There’s a definite sense of “we didn’t have any space for these stories, so let’s put them in this special” feeling to Iron Age 2020. Neither story has anything really substantial to say, and it doesn’t feel like Iron Age 2020 is a really important aspect of the story. That being said, Frank Tieri and Christos Gage do their best to try and make this special seem important, even though I can’t imagine anyone but the most die hard Marvel zombie wanting to pick this up.

The art from Andy MacDonald and Mike Hawthorne is pretty solid, and fits in line with what we’ve seen from previous Marvel series. But there’s nothing special here to make me not think that this was all just a bunch of holdover stories from other series in the Iron Age 2020 series. I don’t want to make you think that it’s a knock on either artist, they’re both great, but there’s nothing here to make me thing that this needed to be a standalone special either.

Iron Age 2020 is a special that probably doesn’t need to be on the racks. In fact, it simply feels like the kind of book that was put out to fill the publishing requirements for Marvel, and that’s it. It’s pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, and I don’t feel like I found out any great new revelations about the Iron Age event that’s going on. As it stands right now, you’re probably better off just skipping this one unless you’re heavily invested in the event.

Posted on March 18, 2020, in Comic reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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