Welcome to the fourth installment of Sunday Reviews with JoeLovesComics, a segment on here where I talk about comics I enjoyed, and why I liked them!
This review will contain some spoilers for Marvel Voices: Pride #1.
As a complete package, I loved this book. I loved the general design of it all and the way it was put together.
I already briefly mentioned the intro page above, just a really nice way to open the book before you even get to any stories. The brilliantly beautiful border from Luciano Vecchio and the soothing purple tint on the collage of promine
nt Pride moments, with of course the logo in the middle with "Voices" in rainbow.
Then even the contents page gives a warmer feel to the whole book.
The neatly designed boxes showing off the titles and teams of the stories, and then the perfect rainbow gradient over an art piece (which is at the end of the book). Just the extra details like that make it feel so special already and again haven't even got to the stories yet.
The feel from those first couple pages continues into the first actual story in the book, with this incredible introduction. LGBTQ+ history in Marvel Comics is summed up so eloquently here (in story by Prodigy) and the illustrations by Vecchio are so bright, vibrant, colourful and just generally full of energy.
I did see one criticism though, which I agree with, on a particular bit of phrasing: "Over time, our encounters with extraterrestrial and otherworldly beings challenged limited cultural notions of sex and gender" making it seem like trans and non binary people didn't exist until confronations with aliens, which is ridiculous and unnecessary.
But in general, I love the way it's all layed out, it's just so nice to look at. Something about Vecchio's style is so soft and full of colour I love it. A couple of my favourite parts of this sequence is one, seeing Vecchio draw Wiccan & Hulkling in their original costumes. The dialogue with them is utterly adorable, how their "debut brought a fresh wave of visibillity and acceptance." which is definitely an article in itself, but another day. As he continues narrating, "The wholesome love of these two nerds inspired many, myself included." Me too Prodigy, me too (in case that wasn't already obvious if you've seen my profile over on Twitter haha). And then second of all, him mentioning how on the Young Avengers "we inadvertenly became the first mostly queer super-team" which I just love, what a brilliantly awesome run and reminder of that team.
Then, as if my gay heart wasn't already warmed enough from that intro, next up is, wait for it... Billy & Teddy's vows!
All on one page, and one hell of a page it is.
I simply love the composition of this page. The two sheets of paper with each of their vows written down on it, then the PHOTOS! Before you even get to the vows themselves, looking at the photos is adorable enough to melt your heart. Top left, the original four Young Avengers, just below that, a SUNSET?! Then next to that them in their SUITS GETTING READY surrounded by some of their Young Avengers friends?!! Consider my heart melted already.
I mentioned earlier how awesome it was to see Vecchio draw them in their original costumes. On the flip side, absolutely love Cheung's art of them in their present day costumes, and just in general his art of the photos in general. Especially with Marcelo Maiolo's gorgeous colours.
Then the vows.
Allan Heinberg. Apparently currently busy being the showrunner of the Sandman Netflix show currently in production, from what I've just looked up. Which is amazingly awesome. So if he could have come back to write anything with them it's perfect that it was this. After his co-creations called married last year, there's something wholesome and full circle about him coming back to write their vows. They're just beautiful.
Now in my review of DC Pride #1, I gave my thoughts on each individual story. In that though there were less stories that were longer, whereas here there are much more 3-4 pages stories. I focused on Wiccan & Hulkling as those are the main two I have a connection to, but overall going to finish out this review with some final general thoughts.
So here's the thing. Both the Marvel and DC Pride anthologies have their own merits. With DC Pride #1, there are some great fun stories, as well as some more serious that make it a very enjoyable read. Whereas with this, Marvel Voices: Pride #1, it's the little things that do it for me. That beautifully stylised contents page, that brilliant intro, a fascinating interview with former associate editor Chris Cooper about behind the scenes on Alpha Flight #106 and just Marvel Comics generally at the time. Then the following spread page is titled, "Big Gay Moments" which is of course amazing. Speaking of Alpha Flight #106, part of it is reprinted in the back of the book, which as someone who has never read it was a powerful and interesting read. Don't get me wrong, I loved the stories in this book as well as the DC one, my favourites apart from naturally the Wiccan & Hulkling one being the David/Tommy story, the Iceman story and the Somnus story which were all brilliant and adorable. The Somnus story was particularly brilliant, the use of the ressurection protocols in it showing what makes this Krakoan era so intriguing.
That ended up being a longer "Final thoughts" segment than I first intended but oh well.
Throughout both the Pride specials from both Marvel and DC, there's one important message to remember and never forget which I want to leave you with:
This article was written by JoeLovesComics, who you can follow over on Twitter for (albeit shorter) thoughts on comics he loves.