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[Comic Book Review] Marvel Comics’ MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (2019-) #2

by Adrian Care
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PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #2 from Marvel Comics. Available February 27th, 2019, the creative team for this issue features writing from Charles Soule, Mark Waid, David Lapham, and María Lapham, art from Paulo SiqueiraDjibril Morissette-Phan, and David Lapham, inks from Oren Junior, colors by Frank D’Armata, Dan Brown, and Lee Loughridge, and lettering from VC’s Joe Caramagna.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

Marvel Comics Presents #2

Writers: Charles Soule, Mark Waid, David LaphamMaría Lapham
Artists: Paulo Siqueira, Djibril Morissette-Phan, David Lapham
Inker: Oren Junior
Colorists: Frank D’Armata, Dan Brown, Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
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Main Cover Artist:
Arthur Adams
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Three fantastic fables in one mighty magazine! First, a tale of Logan in the fabulous fifties! Then, a new swinging story of the jungle’s cursed crusader, Gorilla-Man! Finally, Reed Richards and Victor Von Doom enter the space race as Sputnik takes orbit!


PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #2

Wolverine makes a pledge and meddles in the supernatural. Reed Richards has a brief adventure years before he would become synonymous with the Fantastic. Gorilla Man, guided by Black Panther, learns an important lesson about his true nature. Marvel’s anthology series calls again, bringing three tales from the periphery of the Marvel Universe.

Writing:

The Marvel Comics Presents title of the past was more renowned for breaking in up-and-coming talent, while every now and then striking gold with stories like Barry Windsor Smith’s Weapon X. It’s always been great value, a way to learn more about the B-players and extended universe, for completists, or as another way to showcase Wolverine before having multiple titles became the norm.

The latest iteration acts like a kiss being blown to the original version of this anthology series; Great art, high-calibre writing names, and more winks to other long-gone Marvel concepts (Marvel Age and Marvel Spotlight, here used to classify the short stories, were formerly stapled of any Marvel fan worth their weight).

Charles Soule writes Wolverine’s segment with a tighter grasp on the character than he has been elsewhere. The constraints of the smaller page count work in his favour to supplant a version of Logan into a legitimately intriguing and engaging story.

Mark Waid proves that he can deliver big and small-scale tales with equal genius. Continuing his love affair with the Fantastic Four, he pens a pre-cosmic rays adventure chock-full of forecasting Easter eggs, fun, and thrills.

The Laphams spin an engrossing yarn that makes the reader really invest in the obscure character Gorilla Man. The indie impresarios prove they are just as skilled at crafting an interesting and entertaining superhero tale that couldn’t be further from their urban crime story base.

Art:

Paulo Siqueira shows glimpses of a much more accomplished penciler. An artist who is much more than the journeyman appearances he has credited to his name. Surely his character design and the animated body language he bestows on the characters of the Wolverine segment are enough evidence to let the artist really flex his muscles on titles like Swamp Thing or Justice League Dark. His layouts are dynamic and his sequential storytelling eye is well-developed.

Djibril Morissette-Phan pairs well artistically with Mark Waid’s story, yet still leaves his mark on the work. That’s saying something when you compare the heavyweight status of Waid with a relatively unknown artist. Check out Djibril’s attractive work on Glitterbomb if you’d like to see what more the man is capable of. Here he handles Waid’s pacing with a firm sense of control. Blending a mix of styles that drag the reader along for the moments of intensity and bring gravitas and legitimacy to the conversation moments and impactful reveals.

David Lapham, he of Stray Bullets and more recently Lodger, shows off with, what should be a ridiculous character and setting, an action-packed story that features gorillas. The jungle, spirituality, and inner truth. He shines melding his comic strip-style characterization with lush and detailed landscapes and backgrounds. His small moments keep your attention and his large moments are jaw-clenching effective.

Colors:

Frank D’Armata gives the mystical Wolverine segment a genuinely suspenseful and haunting atmosphere. Using muted colors to emphasise the impending dread of the near-horror tale with full effect.

Dan Brown blends acts of Pop-Art with subtle nostalgia and throws down with a paranoid cold war energy in the Mister Fantastic segment. Making the most of the shadowy, nighttime visuals. The result fills the story with an authenticity that it may literally be a product of the time period it’s set in.

Lee Loughridge brings an exciting visual flair and packs a punch with a color palette fitting and appropriate for a jungle tale that crosses into other realms. The mood is ever-present, working in the background as a musical score would in film to prompt and provoke the reader’s feelings and reactions as the story constantly turns on a dime.

Letters:

I maintain that you have no business lettering a Wolverine story if you can’t nail the Snikt. Joe Caramagna pulls it off with presence as well as working with the imagery to embellish action in the cold depths this story finds itself in.

He then shows great restraint to adapt a more classic style to the dialogues, monologues, and narration of the Reed Richards tale, before seamlessly blending his style into David Lapham’s tried and true Roy Lichtenstein-like own letters of the Gorilla Man section.

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment

A welcome package of homages. Marvel Comics Presents honours the nostalgic past while breathing new life into the concept. There’s something for everyone here and the draw of the talented names who are contributing work for this title speaks to the regard and fondness with which it should be held. Read it as a primer, a circuit breaker for whatever else you may be reading, or just as a guaranteed quality read.

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating - 4 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating – 4 Stars

MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #2 can be purchased on ComiXology and
available 
at your local comic shop and online retailers on Wednesday, February 27th!

Comixology button

Buy Direct from Marvel Comics!


Follow the creators online!

Writer – Charles Soule

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Writer – Mark Waid

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Writer/Artist – David Lapham

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Writer – María Lapham

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Artist – Paulo Siqueira

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Artist – Djibril Morissette-Phan

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Inker – Oren Junior

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Colorist – Frank D’Armata

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Colorist – Dan Brown

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Colorist – Lee Loughridge

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Letterer – Joe Caramagna

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Publisher – Marvel Comics

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