Review: Outlawed #1

Outlawed #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Eve L. Ewing
Artist: Kim Jacinto
Colorist: Espen Grundetjern
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Released: March 18th, 2020
Rating: 4 Star

Outlawed #1 is the start of a new event about to rock the Marvel Universe. It is technically a standalone issue, but the events that occur within it are going to affect many series. Especially the series focused on our youngest heroes.

The events of Outlawed #1 follow everything that happened in Incoming, which can make following the thread a bit more difficult. From here, if you want to keep up with events, you’ll want to check out Champions: Outlawed (April), as well as New Warriors, Power Pack, Ms. Marvel, and Miles Morales: Spider-Man.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the actual issue at hand, shall we? Outlawed #1 focuses on many of the teen heroes we’ve come to love from Marvel. But it also takes into account the one thing they all have in common: they’re underage. And they’re vigilantes. Until the events in these pages, most (but not all) people had been willing to look the other way. But that is no longer the case.

Outlawed #1 pg1

The Plot

Holy cow. Eve L. Ewing sure knows how to set up an event, huh? Outlawed #1 starts out on one note, and ends on a completely different one. Even having a strong idea of what was going to happen (I made the mistake of reading another issue first, one that gave away everything that happened here), I was still blown away by what happened.

The introduction was something else though, seriously. I love the idea of everyone being interviewed. It was dramatic, but it also provided insight into how many of the characters were reacting to what happened (or will happen, I suppose).

As for the core plot, which resulted in such drama? It was fairly interesting. I love all of the hat tips and references that are strewn about. It made the whole setup feel more plausible, and certainly less forced. It also (obviously) went a long way in explaining how on earth we ended up in this situation, to begin with.

Did the reaction feel slightly out of proportion? Maybe. Probably. But then again, most political reactions in comics feel that way – with intention. Think about the arguments that happened during both Civil Wars. So I’m not surprised at all about what is happening here.

Side note: It’s so cool to see Speedball referenced again. Though seriously, how does he keep ending up on these task forces? Does somebody have something on him, or does he just like feeling included?

All that aside, I really am looking forward to seeing how this is going to affect all of the series. I’ve already seen the impact in another series I adore (Ghost-Spider), and will be curious to see how it impacts the heroes that actually reside in Earth 616.

Outlawed #1 pg2

The Art

The art behind Outlawed #1 is every bit as dramatic as you might expect – and hope. We’re talking about a dozen different characters (heroes) working together, as well as the trouble that would actually put them at significant risk.

Leading the project was Kim Jacinto, who provided the foundation of everything to follow. Their lines allowed for dramatic scenes, including several fights, a dragon, and many emotional reactions for what actually occurred. It’s a lot to take in, and all the more impressive for it.

Meanwhile, Espen Grundetjern provided the colors, and I honestly love what they did here. The colors are bold and bright, especially in times of stress or drama. The colors portraying powers (be it tech-based or organic) were fantastic and really added a whole new visual element.

Finally, VC’s Clayton Cowles was the letterer, and they did a brilliant job here. I’m honestly not sure that the words would have had the same impact if they had not been so meticulously placed.

Outlawed #1 pg3

In Conclusion

Outlawed #1 is one of those events that fans should check out, especially if they’re reading a series that’s going to be impacted by it. There are some obvious series (Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, etc), but there are also some series that you might not have expected on that list (Ghost-Spider), so be sure to read it soon. That is, if you don’t want it to be spoiled for you.

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