Another edition of Marvel’s Voices returns this week to celebrate Black History Month and feature a treasure trove of characters and creators. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, check out our review of the recently-released trade paperback collecting past editions. This year’s edition features Spectrum, Black Panther, Moon Girl, Blue Marvel, and more along with extras like interviews, essays, and a full retrospective on Monica Rambeau. It’s an extra-sized anthology that certainly has something for everyone.
Stories in this collection range from one to ten pages long. There are eleven stories, six by Cody Ziglar, collaborating with a variety of artists. There’s a good mix of characters used here — some stories are inspiring with a message (like Spectrum and Blue Marvel’s stories), while others are more about having fun adventures.
The book opens with an introduction by Kamara Horne, culture journalist and content creator at places like SYFYWIRE, Nerdist, and Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a good intro as it ties her growing up in a mostly white community in New Jersey to her nerdom and her discovery of Monica Rambeau which inspired her to find characters that looked like her in other stories. The intro helps explain the fact that representation has come a long way in the last eight years and Marvel’s Voices is part of that.
The first story in this book is a one-page tale by Ziglar and Jahnoy Lindsay. It’s a beautifully drawn full page spread of Black Panther and the ghosts of previous Black Panther characters supporting him. The captions are about death and the power of mourning. It’s a touching opener especially since the world is still grieving the loss of Chadwick Boseman.
Next is “Date Night” by J. Holtham with art by Julian Shaw and colors by Paris Alleyne, which features Sam Wilson. He’s rushing to get to his date with Misty Knight, but trouble is afoot. It’s a good action scene that’s choreographed well by Shaw.
Ziglar is up again for “The Coolest” which is another one-page story featuring Misty Knight and Luke Cage. Larry Houston draws this story with colors by Dijjo Lima, giving it a cartoony style. It’s a quick tale about fashion and whether or not Luke’s jeans-and-t-shirt fashion has really held up.
Natacha Bustos is next up with the longest story in the collection focused on Black Panther and his sister Shuri in “Wanna Play?” Bustos’ style is super fun and bright which adds to the festival storyline. There’s a supernatural element that’s fun and it doesn’t forget about T’Challa and Shuri’s sibling relationship.
After a good interview with Brian Stelfreeze by Angélique Roché, Ziglar is back with Eder Messias on art with colors by Lima in a story called “Legacy.” It’s an interesting story as it talks about Spectrum’s role in helping others and how that connects to her name.
After a great Monica Rambeau retrospective by Angélique Roché, which is honestly helpful given her long history, Ziglar and Larry Houston are back with a story set on Krakoa called “Growth.” Similar to the Spectrum story, Ziglar supplies an interesting angle on the character and how they help others in their special way.
Victor LaValle and Karen S. Darboe tell an eight-page story with Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur called “Gross Borough Caper.” Draboe’s art has a unique style that suits the younger character and Ian Herring’s colors add a painterly quality to the story. It’s an adventure involving sneaking about, surprises, and Moon Girl getting out of the house. It even adds an interesting wrinkle to a familiar locale in the Marvel universe.
“A Treasure Worthy of a King” is next up by Maria Fröhlich with art by Stephane Paitreau. This is a great fantasy tale using Rūna of Asgard who helps an archeologist. The art is great and plays out a tale that suits an Asgardian.
Ziglar is back with Sean Damien Hill (with Oren Junior and Dijo Lima) for a one-page story called “Perspective.” There seems to be a bit of a theme with Ziglar’s stories as each one seems to highlight something about the character that shows their uniqueness. It’s not their powers necessarily, but what they bring to the world or how they bring it. Here Blue Marvel is featured, and it honestly makes me want a Blue Marvel series after reading it.
Closing out the book is a Miles Morales one-page story by Ziglar and Paris Alleyne that’s quick, light, and fun. It’s a hopeful and bright way to end the book.
Ariana Maher letters the entire book giving the book a singular identity, in a way, that keeps things consistent. The Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur in particular had a ton of great sound effects that add to the fun of the caper.
After a few editions now of Marvel’s Voices, it’s abundantly clear this anthology is a great way to get a heavy dose of stories from new creators while highlighting characters who deserve a lot more attention. Marvel’s Voices: Legacy #1 is unique from previous installments thanks to the great one-page stories by Ziglar that are sprinkled throughout with a ton of good art from a wide variety of creators. All told, there’s something here for everyone, from Angélique Roché’s bonus materials to one of the eleven comics stories.
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