Marvel’s X-Men Gold #1 and the Controversy Around it

Sorry for the missing post last week! Thing’s have gotten hectic at the Library – it’s the Easter holidays so lots of people have come in! So firstly let me apologise for that. However, when I was thinking about what to post, something bad hit the comic book world. The artist for X-Men Gold Issue #1 has come under fire for antisemitic references, hidden in the art of the comic.

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Cover art of Kitty Pryde leading Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan and Rachel Grey – X-Men- Gold #1, Marvel Entertainment, 2017

X-Men Gold, a splinter team of the original X-Men, lead by Kitty Pryde; known for the power of intangibility (or the ability to phase through solid objects). X-Men Gold #1 was her first comic as leader, and unfortunately she has become included in the disaster that now surrounds it.
A brief summary of the events are as follows. Ardian Syaf, the artist of X-Men Gold #1 referenced a verse from the Koran and the date of a Jakarta protest, all hidden quite well in the artwork. The Koran verse, 5:51, states something along the lines of “Oh you who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians as leaders/advisers.” The Jakarta protest is a Muslim protest against their Christian governor Ahok.

Here’s the full statement from Marvel Comics; “Marvel has terminated Ardian Syaf’s contract effective immediately. ‘X-Men Gold’ #2 and #3 featuring his work have already been sent to the printer and will continue to ship bi-weekly. Issues #4, #5, and #6 will be drawn by R. B. Silva and issues #7, #8, and #9 will be drawn by Ken Lashley. A permanent replacement artist will be assigned to ‘X-Men Gold’ in the coming weeks.”

 

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Kitty Pryde, a Jewish American, standing by to a store that says 212, date of the Jakarta protests. Next to her a store that says ‘Jewellery’ with the ‘-ellery’ bit obscured – X-Men Gold #1, Marvel Entertainment, 2017

Now this is all my own opinion – I am unsure what to think about this. I am very much of two minds. Though I understand fighting against tyrants, and am fully for being inclusive and what Governor Ahok did was wrong, I do not agree with the way Syaf has gone about it. Just putting it in a comic book about being inclusive (the X-Men date back to the times of Luther King and Malcom X, and the fight of blacks Vs whites) I don’t agree with the antisemitic way that it this has all taken place. I think placing it any other comic wouldn’t have been so damming for Syaf, but a comic that is all about living peacefully together in an unpeaceful word? That was not the way to go. It’s unfortunate he probably won’t work in the comics industry ever again, his art is very good, but after this I don’t think he deserves to work in such an inclusive business. All in all, I’m glad that Marvel are firing Syaf for his actions. I just hope this doesn’t tarnish Marvel more than they already have been.

 

Have you read X-Men Gold? Will you after all this? Do you have the super rare Issue 1, with all the references in them? Do you believe they were antisemitic? Leave a comment below! 

(Header image: X-Men Gold #1, Marvel Entertainment, 2017)

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‘This is how an idea becomes real’ – Saga

With volume 7 of Saga, from Image Comics, being released just around the corner, which all of us at the Library are very excited about, I thought I would re-read the first ever volume of it and give you all a brief insight into the world of Landfall, and it’s moon Wreath. Before we get into the review, I want to remind you that Saga is an 18+ comic, and there is sex, swearing, blood and gore below.

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Marko cutting the umbilical cord – Saga, Image Comics, 2015

Alana, a Landfallian – all whom have wings and horns (though she can’t actually fly) – and Marko, from Wreath – who’s people all have horns or antlers and can wield magic – get married and have a baby together, which is highly unethical and bad in this world. As a warning, this comic basically just puts you in the middle of the action – as in Alana is literally giving birth to a “mongrel” child – she’s born with horns like her father and wings like her mother. It’s narrated by an older Hazel looking back at her life. This narration carries on for the whole series – which makes for a slightly unreliable narrator, because she’s a child. But it does make for a more interesting story.

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Salient points made by Prince Robot – Saga, Image Comics, 2015

There are also TV people. As in people with TV’s for heads. I am not making this up. Next to this paragraph is Prince Robot, a Prince who is a Robot. The Robots are from a dwarf planet, “which doesn’t mean that dwarves live there” which is just some of the great lines narrator-Hazel has.

A big trope in this comic is love. Alana loves Marko and vica versa. Prince Robot has a wife whom he is about to have a child with. Marko and Alana have parents who love them, and despise the other race due to their war. It evokes feeling from the reader by reminding them that they have someone, somewhere, that loves them.

My main issue with the series is that it just feels like we’re going in circles story-line wise, however that is only noticeable in Volumes 5 and 6. Otherwise, it’s an amazing comic, which you should all read! Look out for Volume 7 on our shelves soon!

Have you read Saga? What’s your thoughts? Would you recommend it to anyone? Leave a comment below! 

(Header image: Saga, Image Comics, 2015-Present)

‘The Web? Yeah, It’s a Job and a Hobby’ – Lego Marvel Super Heroes

The Library has recently installed some computers, which we’ve installed some games on, and I am glad that people get to experience the thrill of running around as their favourite super heroes. I am also a huge fan of lego (it keeps the children quiet in the children’s section, so the parents can  go and browse). What’s better than putting those together and getting a Lego game? This game takes form in Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
Let’s get to ‘Master Building’ this review!

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They even look like their respective characters! – Lego Marvel Super Heroes, TT Games, 2013

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much of the story of Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Something about the supervillains getting together to rule the world. You know, general bad guy stuff. 
I remember that I liked playing it, and I liked the way that the characters were formed from their source material. The main characters were like how they were meant to be; Iron Man was indeed a millionaire playboy philanthropist, Hulk/Bruce was a smart man and a bumbling idiot (the villain Mastermind calls him a “Man of Two minds” and that really shows).  Lego probably get paid a lot of money to make their characters believable, so that’s no big surprise really.

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My favourite X-(wo)man; Jean Grey / The Phoenix in Lego form- Lego Marvel Super Heroes, TT Games, 2013

I do have a few issues with it though. Some of the characters are exactly the same; Wolverine and Beast have the same “beast senses”, claws, run on all fours and both even look the same bar being re-paints.
Some of the story doesn’t add up either. In one part, Storm flies to a secret island yet during actual game play she can’t actually fly. Not only is this annoying, it’s completely out of character for Storm – who can fly using the power of Storms (obviously.) The large model characters, like Hulk, Thing or Abomination, can sometimes go a bit wild and what you thought was hitting an enemy was actually killing your player 2.
And don’t get me started on the fact that Spiderman, (seemingly late-teenage Peter Parker), just pops up out of no where…just out of nothingness. Just there. He’s an extremely annoying character that the game makes you have to bring along with you at every step.

Overall, I suggest giving it a play. Even though the story is perhaps lacking in memorable content, there’s so many Easter-eggs and other small snippets or call backs to other Lego games and other Marvel characters. Plus, Mr Fantastic’s idle animation is him turning into a tea-pot – and that is hilarious.
Have you played Lego Marvel Super heroes? What about the DC  games? What’s your favourite Lego super hero? Leave a comment down below.
(Header Image: Lego Marvel Super Heroes, TT Games, 2013)

‘Sugar, oh Honey, Honey’- Riverdale; CW vs Archie Comics

Hello Readers, welcome back to the library. Have you seen that we have the new Archie, Volume One from 2016, back in stock? We decided to get it in to coincide with the new live-action version of Archie, called Riverdale, by CW Entertainment. All I can say, my dears, is that you’re in for a treat.
I will attempt to make this review/comparison as spoiler free as possible.

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Meet Archie Andrews – Archie, Volume One, 2016

Archibald “Archie” Andrews is your typical American high schooler; does average at school, is the popular American footballer, plays a guitar in the band ‘The Archies’. Did I mention he’s cool and popular? Like I said, typical American high schooler. People may know of Archie’s girlfriend, super smart and sporty Betty Cooper. Except, this comic starts by explaining that they are no longer together. Archie is extremely upset about it, but never tells the reader why they broke up. All he refers to is the “lipstick incident.” This is a running theme throughout the volume. And anyway, another girl (the new girl) called Veronica Lodge is beginning to draw Archie’s attention. Love triangle ensues.

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Left to right; Veronica, Betty , Josie, Jug-Head, Cheryl and Archie – CW’s Riverdale, 2017

Riverdale on the other hand is much more of a murder mystery. The story starts with a flashback; on July 4th Cheryl and Jason Blossom (twins -Head Cheerleader/Queen Bee and Quarterback of the Football team) head on a brother-sister outing to the local river.  Long story short, Jason does not make it back alive. The story that Cheryl repeats is that she “dropped a glove in the river, and Jason bent down to pick it up”.  Obviously, that story is extremely fishy.
As well as the overlying plot of murder and mayhem, there’s still; the love triangle, Archie’s still writing music and American football is where all of the plot seems to end up.

I would give Riverdale a solid 4 out of 5 for fidelity to the source comic. Obviously, characters have had to change to fit in with a television audience – characters have had to be spelled out for those who are either too young to remember the original Archie comics, or those that have only just tuned into their lives.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s my lunch break, and the next episode of Riverdale is out.

Here’s the trailer to get you as excited for this series as I am –

How much do you love Archie? Have you watched Riverdale or read any of the original comics? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment down below!  

(Header Image: CW’s Riverdale, 2017

‘Truly Outrageous’ – Jem and the Holograms

Do any of you remember Jem and the Holograms? You know the one from the 1985 American children’s tv show – the stereotypical morality show; don’t cross the road without an adult, stealing is bad etc. Perhaps you know of the movie we shalt never speak of made in 2015. I beg of you to not relate that to the review  I am about to give you. To counteract the pain felt while watching the film, we ordered in the first issue of the 2015 Jem and the Holograms.
Without further ado, I want to tell you how much better the comic book is. It’s showtime, Synergy!

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The new and improved Jem and her sisters Kimber, Shana and Aja- Jem and the Holograms, Volume One, IDW 2015

You may remember Jerrica Benton, a girl with an amazing singing voice and terrible stage fright. If that name doesn’t ring any nostalgic bells, Jerrica and her sisters are attempting to make themselves into the worlds next superstars, their only hold up being Jerrica’s extreme stage fright. Unfortunately, their father has previously passed away and the sisters have nothing bar their talent and each other. Luckily for them, however, is their father was a scientific extraordinaire – his final glorious machine being Synergy, a sentient holographic computer with the ability to  project just about whatever Jerrica wants/needs her to.

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Issue #1 art based on the 1980’s show – Jem and the Holograms, Issue One, IDW 2015

The Misfits, who have professed themselves to be the Holograms’ worst enemy, are also just as prevalent in this comic as they were in the original story. Pizzazz, their lead singer, is an absolute terror for everyone, and her band (Jetta, Roxy and Stormer) just go along with it because she might as well own them. But there’s one thing that makes Pizzazz’s life even worse – Stomer, the band’s songwriter and keytarist, has fallen in love with Kimber of the Holograms – as seen in the feature image. (And that’s the biggest and only spoiler I am going to give you).

For fans of the series, though, this first volume can feel a bit like an exposition slog. The first issue is purely an explanation of the characters and main plot. Though, if you were going to read it I wouldn’t suggest just skipping this volume. It’s got an amazing story line, which I’ve tried very hard not to spoil, and the art is absolutely gorgeous.

Do you remember Jem and the Holograms? Have you read the new Jem? What were your thoughts? Leave a comment below! 

(Header image; Jem and the Holograms, Volume One, IDW 2015)

 

Welcome to the Library

Hello, and welcome to The Faceless Librarian the blog to be for all things superhero review! Sit back, with a cup of something warm, and learn about the worlds of superheros, heroines and villains alike.
I will be reviewing anything from IDW’s Jem (feature image) to DC’s Bombshells or even Marvel’s Deadpool.

I hope you come back soon!

And remember – Shush! You’re in the library!

(Header Image: Jem and the Holograms, Volume One, IDW 2015)