This week, the Marvel Voices anthology series based on the podcast of the same name is back with another special. Marvel Voices: Indigenous Voices #1 features a selection of stories by Native creators, featuring some of the many indigenous characters from across the Marvel Universe.
We’ve got a review of that one-shot, plus a Rapid Rundown of a few of the other new releases from the House of Ideas, all ahead in this week’s installment of The Marvel Rundown!
Marvel Voices: Indigenous Voices #1
Written by Jeffrey Veregge, Rebecca Roanhorse, Darcie Little Badger, and Stephen Graham Jones
Illustrated by Jeffrey Veregge, Weshoyot Alvitre, Kyle Charles, and David Cutler & Roberto Poggi
Colored by Jeffrey Veregge, Lee Loughridge, Felipe Sobreiro, and Cris Peter
Lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher
Designed by Salena Mahina
Afterward by Taboo & B. Earl
Cover by Jim Terry & Brian Reber
Marvel’s focus on spotlighting creators and characters from marginalized groups continues with this week’s Marvel Voices: Indigenous Voices one-shot. Oftentimes anthology one-shots can be a real mixed bag of quality, but the trio of tales presented here are all great introductions to the characters and creators, and a lot of fun to boot.
The issue opens with an overview, guided by The Watcher and by Jeffrey Veregge, who spearheaded the creation of the one-shot and the recruitment of the talent for it, of the Marvel Universe’s indigenous characters. The presentation is stunning, as Veregge’s visuals guide the reader across a spread featuring images and info on the characters. There’s so much beautiful detail and clever design work in the representations of each character that the spread almost begs to be blown up and framed. Of course, the fact that, of the hundreds of notable named characters within the Marvel Universe, only sixteen of them are indigenous is also a pretty clear indication that the publisher has room for improvement as far as representation of Native peoples goes.
Following that overview, the three stories that make up the bulk of Marvel Voices: Indigenous Voices focus in on one or two of the characters, sometimes teaming them with non-indigenous teammates or friends. The Echo story by Rebecca Roanhorse, Weshoyot Alvitre, and Lee Loughridge takes the relatively street-level character to an alien world, where she helps a group of planet’s own natives against a violent swamp god. The story is a nice spotlight for Echo as she’s introduced to the alien’s culture and learns about herself in the process, and the action sequence of the story is executed wonderfully. Given the twist of the story and how Echo came to be on that alien world, it seems that these creators may have more up their sleeve for the character, and it should be worth checking out.
The second story, by Darcie Little Badger, Kyle Charles, and Felipe Sobreiro, features The New Mutants’ Mirage and Wolfsbane investigating a missing persons case involving a mutant who happens to also be Native American. The story nicely folds in the current status quo for mutants in the Marvel U, as Dani Moonstar is faced with a question of whether she considers herself Cheyenne or Krakoan. The answer speaks to the complexity of the indigenous experience, and is also entirely relatable to non-indigenous readers.
The issue concludes with a story featuring Silver Fox and Trigo, a pair of Indigenous Canadian characters with whom this reviewer was not familiar at all (and it appears Trigo may be an altogether new character). The conceit of the story by Stephen Graham Jones, David Cutler, Roberto Poggi, and Cris Peter is entertaining, as the pair sneak into and subtly sabotage a newly-established military outpost in order to ensure its failure to survive the coming winter. The story is intense, as the focus is largely on the violence inflicted on indigenous peoples by others, something that comes through in Trigo’s experience of intermittent visions of violence and painful futures when he touches people and things. That is unfortunately an important aspect of the indigenous experience and to omit it from this special altogether would’ve been a disservice.
Overall the Marvel Voices: Indigenous Voices one-shot gets a BUY verdict from me. It’s an exceptionally strong collection of stories by a group of talented creators, most of whom are new to Marvel Comics. Hopefully we’ll see more work from them, and more stories spotlighting these characters and situations, in the future, as they bring a unique and interesting perspective to the Marvel U.
Final Verdict: BUY.
Avengers: Marvels Snapshots #1
- The Marvels Snapshots one-shots have been by and large fairly enjoyable, and this latest entry is no different. Barbara Randall Kesel and Staz Johnson present a story sent during an unidentified skirmish in downtown New York between the Avengers and I guess a giant robot – honestly the details aren’t really that important, as the focus of the story is on the civilians and first responders caught in its wake on the ground. In that sense it’s somewhat by-the-numbers, especially for anyone who’s read any Astro City. Not at all an essential read, but also not something you’ll regret picking up if you’re so inclined. —JG
- Hellions’ second X of Swords chapter hits as the event is nearing its climax and, despite largely being pointless in the grand scheme of the event, is a fantastic issue. Zeb Wells fills the tale to the brim with equal parts tragedy and pitch black comedy while Carmen Carnero renders every bloody slash and nightmarish monster the team faces in a gorgeous, grounded style. It may not be essential X of Swords reading, but Hellions #6 makes that into a strength and proves why it is one of the strongest titles in the X-Men line. —ZT
Immortal Hulk #40
- This series. I don’t know how Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy Jose keep coming up with new ways to disgust and delight me. This week’s issue finds everyone reeling from the latest attack by The Leader, and I don’t want to say more about anything that happens here because it’s all so damn good and so damn terrifying. This is also probably a pretty decent place to jump onto the series if you’re looking to do so (and really you should be). —JG
Next week, the massive X of Swords crossover reaches its conclusion, and a new Power Pack miniseries debuts!
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