This month, Marvel launched a slew of new superheroine comics, introducing new storylines, villains, and even some unlikely partnerships. Whether struggling to understand their place in the world, or sacrificing everything to protect those who need it, each of these illustrious leading ladies prove that they are forces to be reckoned with. Here are my reviews of a few of them, and a list of the impressive amount of variant covers that were released with each title (because there are a lot of them and they are all very pretty).
ELEKTRA: BLACK, WHITE & BLOOD #1
Release date: January 5th, 2022
Main cover by John Romita Jr.
A character that I had previously overlooked, I became a fan of assassin Elektra Natchios back in 2014 when I read Elektra volume four and discovered the extreme physical, mental, and emotional lengths that she would go to to accomplish her goals. Often crossing the line into antihero territory, the brutality that I saw from her in that series is matched in Elektra: Black, White & Blood.
Featuring three different tales told by three different writer and artistic teams, this comic chronicles the amount of blood that Elektra is willing to spill to take out the true villains, be it theirs or her own. Although all three tales featured delightful twists and glimpses into the darkness in Elektra’s own soul, it was the first one, titled “Red Dawn” and written by Charles Soule with art by Mark Bagley, that spoke to me the most. Although that could just be because it was about vampires, and I’ve always loved a good vampire tale.
This comic features a main cover by John Romita Jr. with variant covers by Jonboy Meyers, Mirka Andolfo, and Bill Sienkiewincz.
Jonboy Meyers variant
Mirka Andolfo variant
Release date: January 19th, 2022
Main cover by Jen Bartel
Written by Rainbow Rowell with art by Roge Antonio, this She-Hulk series is sort of a back to basics beginning for attorney-turned-superhero Jennifer Walters. No longer a member of the Fantastic Four or any other superhero group, with no apartment of her own or the practice that she’d thought she’d have by now, Jennifer is making her way to her new job in her only suit when she crosses paths with Mary MacPherran, also known as former super villain Titania. Although she’s supposedly reformed her evil ways, Mary is looking to pick a fight with She-Hulk.
Thanks to her run-in with Titania, Jennifer arrives late to her job, although it a job that she knows she needs more than actually wants. Later, a meeting with an old friend starts to bring her out of her funk and convince her that maybe her life isn’t as off the rails as she had thought…until an even older friend crashes unexpectedly back into her life. It seems that Jennifer’s boring, ordinary life isn’t destined to be either of those things after all as issue one leaves readers in anticipation of what’s to come for the strong, green lady with really incredible hair.
This comic’s main cover features art by Jen Bartel with variants by popular artists such as Adam Hughes, Artgerm, Rob Liefeld, and Skottie Young, to name a few. It also seems like no coincidence that it releases just a few months ahead of the announced Disney+ She/Hulk tv series.
Adam Hughes variant
MARY JANE AND BLACK CAT: BEYOND #1 (ONE SHOT)
Release date: January 26th, 2022
Main cover by J. Scott Campbell
This long-anticipated team-up between two of Spider-man’s most notorious leading ladies was sure to be a hit, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Written by Jed MacKay with art by C.F. Villa, both freshly off their run together on the Black Cat comic, comes a delightful romp that pairs up Mary Jane Watson and Felicia Hardy, a.k.a. the Black Cat, as they unexpectedly work together to save Spider-man’s life.
Although Felicia is hesitant at first to let Mary Jane join her, the two discover that they both have their own strengths that compliment each other quite well as they set off together to track down some of New York’s seediest villains before time runs out for our favorite spidery superhero. Encompassing scenes that made me laugh out loud and a little surprise twist at the end, as well as some gorgeous artwork, this is a one shot that shouldn’t be missed and really doesn’t need me to do much work to sell it.
The main cover is by, of course, J. Scott Campbell, who also drew several variant covers that were for sale on his website and sold out in record time, which surprised no one. There are also several more variant covers by artists such as Adam Hughes, Peach Momoko, Humberto Ramos, C.F. Villa, and many more.
Adam Hughes variant
Peach Momoko variant (virgin)
Other female-led comics that Marvel released this month that I haven’t gotten my hands on yet, but which I would be remiss not to mention, include: SILK #1 (Cindy Moon is back!), DEVIL’S REIGN: X-MEN (which focuses on Emma Frost and her mysterious past with Kingpin) and DAREDEVIL: WOMAN WITHOUT FEAR (Elektra as Daredevil!). With so much good stuff to read, you’d better hurry to your local comic book store and check it all out!
Silk #1 main cover by InHyuk Lee
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.