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Pull list

So the weekly review is not going to be tonight. Just no way. I did get to the store this morning, though.

At the store, I picked up: All-New X-Factor #14, by Peter David and Pop Mhan; All-New X-Men #32 by Brian Bendis and Mahmud Asrar; Uncanny X-Men #26, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo; The Wicked + The Divine #4, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.

I will also review: Deadpool Bi-Annual #1, written by Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti, art by Salva Espin; possibly Edge of Spider-Verse #2, by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez; Hulk Annual by Monty Nero and Luke Ross (and others); Original Sin: Thor & Loki #5, written by Al Ewing and Jason Aaron, art by Simone Bianchi and Lee Garbett; Savage Hulk #4, by Alan Davis; possibly Superior Spider-Man #33, written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage, art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Miguel Sepulveda; Uncanny Avengers #24, by Rick Remender and Salvador Larroca; Wolverine and the X-Men #9, by Jason Latour and, uh, someone.

So that’s 4 comics I picked up, and 10-12 reviews, depending on my mood when I start writing them. Hopefully tomorrow, but we’ll see how I feel.

No point talking about what I’m most excited for.

The December solicits came out yesterday. I’ll be buying Loki #9, All-New X-Factor #17 and 18, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #3, Angela #1, Spider-Man 2099 #7, Rocket Raccoon #6, Captain Marvel #10, She-Hulk #11, All-New X-Men #36, Uncanny X-Men #29, probably the Uncanny and All-New X-Men Annuals, Storm #6, X-Men #22, X-Force #13. 16 comics, probably. The Axis and Spider-Verse tie-ins aren’t definite, though. I’ll be spending probably $80 or so in December, just on Marvel. Not too bad, I suppose. It looks like December is also when Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet launches, so I’ll be picking that up.

I read Courtney Crumrin Vol. 2 this week. Such a great series. It’s dark and creepy and cute. It’s appropriate for kids, but it’s enjoyable at any age. Vol. 2 has a story where Courtney becomes a cat. It is adorably and amazing and I loved it. There’s also a story about a genuinely scary monster, and a larger arc about Mystic politics, full of intrigue, drama and comedy. It’s awesome. Read it.

I read Anya’s Ghost. Another good book. It starts pretty fun, and gets increasingly dark.

And I also finished Wonder Woman Unbound. I don’t read DC, but I do respect Wonder Woman as a feminist symbol. This book is an interesting exploration of her complex relationship with feminism over the years. She started off as a way to prepare young men for a world where women ruled, and to promote Marston’s ideas that bondage was great. (That’s a simplification, but only barely. Marston really did believe that submitting to a benevolent mistress was the ideal way of living.) After Marston stopped writing, though, most of Marston’s ideas were tossed, and she became less and less feminist, and increasingly subservient to men. It took a long, long, long time for that to end – it didn’t really end until George Perez’s post-Crisis run. And while she’s an iconic character, she’s generally been an afterthought at DC – her sales are usually middling, and she’s gotten few truly iconic stories. It’s a shame. She deserves so much better than she’s gotten. The book does a great job explaining all this. It’s well-written, and occasionally pretty funny. So definitely worth reading if you’re interested in Wonder Woman.

In personal news: This week is going to suuuuck. I worked today from 11:30-8. Tomorrow and Friday, I work 7-3:30. Those are long shifts. And it’s going to be awful getting off at 8 and then having to go in for 7. I’m not going to be in good shape tomorrow, I think. It’s going to be a rough, rough day. I haven’t had any luck finding a library job, obviously. It’s very disheartening. It makes me worry I’m going to be stuck at Wal-Mart for years. And that would just be more suck than I want to deal with.

I won another book this morning, finally. The Eye of Zoltar, by Jasper Fforde.

I have to go to work, so that’s all for today.

Alpha Flight #12 (1984, July)

I’ll post my pull list tomorrow, either before work or after it. But for today, by John Byrne, “. . . And One Shall Surely Die.”

. . . And One Shall Surely Die

What a terrible title.

Heather demands to know where her husband is, and Courtney suggests she watch some TV to pass the time. Jaxon’s on the TV. It’s a pre-recorded message. He accuses her of betraying him. We get a quick recap of the events from Guardian’s origin, and then Jaxon talks about what happened after. He was fired from Am-Can, his wife (who was also the boss’ daughter) left with the kids, and he couldn’t find another job. He tried to hang himself, but his landlady came in to evict him before he was dead, but he did render himself unable to walk. After Guardian first appeared on the scene, Jaxon began following his career. Then he went to Roxxon, and the chairman agreed to help him.

Jaxon’s finished, and Heather says she refuses to be used as bait, but Courtney doesn’t let her. They argue a bit, and start to fight, but after Heather scratches Courtney’s face, Courtney’s revealed as a robot.

Back in Canada, Shaman and Snowbird are waiting for more of Alpha Flight. Shaman says he senses death on the wind. In Vancouver, Walter’s waiting for Aurora, who flies back from St. Tropez. He tells her to get into costume, which happens while he’s talking. They fly off to meet Shaman. In Toronto, Puck gets the message, and Northstar arrives to pick him up, and snaps when Puck mentions Aurora. In the Atlantic, Marrina doesn’t get the signal because she’s playing with Namor. When Alpha meets back up, Northstar tries to talk to Aurora, but she brushes him off. Sasquatch grabs him, but Puck kicks Sasquatch, which pisses him off into almost killing Puck. Shaman stops Sasquatch with some vines, Northstar lets loose some punches, and Snowbird chases Northstar off. Aurora brings Sasquatch back under control, not knowing what happened. Shaman teleports them all to Guardian, in battle with Omega Flight.

Fight time! Flashback surrounds Guardian with duplicates. Wild Child slices Aurora. Snowbird tries to transform, but can’t, and Diamond Lil uses the opportunity to start trying to garrotte her with a strand of hair. Snowbird says she mustn’t bleed, and Shaman uses some magic to scare Lil off. Shaman realizes that because Snowbird’s essence is bound to Canada, she’s withering away in the US. Smart Alec grabs Shaman’s bag, and takes a look inside. That’s him out of the fight. Box is beating up Sasquatch, who’s afraid to use his full strength. Wild Child is threatening a scared Aurora, until Northstar grabs him and slams him at high-speed into a wall.

Meanwhile, Courtney leaves Heather, but leaves the door open.

Back at the fight, Puck takes out Flashback. Box launches at Guardian and carries him through  door into a long shaft, and starts pounding on him. Then it’s revealed that Jaxon is controlling the Box armour himself. Guardian grabs his power pack and jabs it into the Box armour, short-circuiting it, and killing Jaxon. Guardian figures he’s got about 10 seconds before his own suit explodes, and starts disconnecting it. Once he does, Heather opens the door, and Mac shields her from his power pack’s explosion and dies.

It’s a hell of an issue. A great way to end the first year of the book. Alpha Flight’s reunited after far too long apart, the action is exciting, there’s several sub-plots set up and advanced, and the finale’s a big twist. Of course, Guardian’s death is eventually reversed, and he’s still alive and well right now, showing up in the current arc of Amazing X-Men. Still, even knowing that, it’s a tragic ending to the issue. Heather’s reaction is captured excellently. The characterization throughout the issue is strong. So is the art – Byrne really was one of the best artists of the time.

But wait! This wasn’t Alpha Flight’s only appearance that month. They also showed up in Rom #56, by Bill Mantlo and Mark Bright. Rom and Starshine are in Northern Ontario, the area of Beaverkill Valley, and the town of Beaver Falls. It’s Canada, so obviously it’s going to have a name like Beaver Falls. All our towns are named like that. Beaver Falls, Moose Creek, Bear Mountain – just an animal and a geographical feature. Anyway,some Dire Wraiths are believed to be hiding in the area. Marrina’s swimming around in the water around Beaver Lake, and finds a bunch of small eggs. She pops out of the water to give the eggs to Shaman and Walter. She thinks they’re salmon eggs, but they’re not near any known spawning ground, which seems to concern her. Snowbird is also flying around the town, and she and Shaman both sense something more dangerous than the pollution, so everyone gets ready for a fight. The Wraiths send out a bunch of weird fish-monster things. Shaman senses alien magic at work, and Rom and Starshine show up to help fight and explain about the Wraiths. Shaman sprinkles some powder on the water, and Marrina stirs the lake the get it to act more quickly, so the monsters are turned back to fish. Which all die because of the pollution in the water. The issue gets pretty heavy-handed in its environmentalist message. The heavy-handedness actually kinda drags the message, and the issue, down. I’m all for environmentalist messages, I think it’s important to say that stuff. But holy hell, Mantlo just hammers it to the point of making a reader go, “Yes, I get it, pollution is bad, you can stop saying that in every other panel.” t gets worse when you reach the end and realize that this is a continued story – there’s another issue of it. Another issue of the equivalent of a guy standing on the corner screaming. Sometimes, it helps to trust that the readers aren’t idiots who need to be smacked in the face in order to get what you’re saying. But that’s the kind of writer Mantlo was. His work was always tiring to read.

And I should also talk about Secret Wars #3, though I don’t really want to. Magneto’s in a base of his own, with the Wasp. Magneto wants to talk to her, and also flirt with her. At the superhero base, Spider-Man comes across the X-Men saying they don’t belong there, and preparing to leave to join up with Magneto. Spider-Man busts in saying he’s going to rat on them, then proceeds to beat the crap out of the whole team. He runs off, but then Xavier mind-wipes him. Then they find a vehicle and leave. Magneto rejects an alliance with Doom, then goes back to talk with Wasp some more, and they start making out. Other stuff happens, too, but that’s the X-Men side of things. They get beat up by Spider-Man while Magneto makes out with the Wasp. Beh.

Song of the day: Stompa by Serena Ryder.

New Mutants #17 (1984, July)

It’s my weekend. I have today and tomorrow off. So I’ll probably do another review post tomorrow, and post my pull list on Wednesday. But for today, by Claremont an Sal Buscema, “Getaway.”

Getaway

I guess June Brigman and Bill Sienkewicz were too lazy to add a background.

Jetstream is telling off Empath for almost getting him killed in the fight against the New Mutants. Empath says it wouldn’t been no great loss if he’d died, calling him “Arab.” So not only is Empath arrogant with rapey powers, he’s also racist. Yep, a real charmer, this fella. Jetstream starts to beat him up, but Empath takes control of his emotions. Emma breaks up the fight. Empath resents her giving him orders, and Emma thinks he’s both an asset and a danger, and either he’ll be a good candidate for the Hellfire Club, or she’s going to kill him. Anyway, she starts a class to review the performance of the Hellions in their fight. Empath admits he was wrong for endangering Jetstream’s life. Tarot accidentally draws a Lovers card from her deck.

Elsewhere, the New Mutants (and Kitty) are in a nice room, with the door locked. ‘Berto’s back is still hurting from what Roulette did, so Kitty massages it. They talk about the White Queen wanting to control them, and Sam mentions the X-Men, along with a lot of other heroes, having gone missing.

In Limbo, Dani and Illyana are passed out, and some demons are moving in. Dani bashes them away with a stick, then uses her fear power. She conjures an image of S’ym, and the demons run. Then the real article shows up. Illyana wakes up in bed a little later, and says S’ym serves her now. Both girls are in new clothes – Illyana a dress, Dani in skins. Illyana gets rid of S’ym, then magically heals herself. They teleport back to the Academy, but it’s a year later, and the New Mutants have become Hellions. They wonder if they can go back to prevent it, and when Emma shows up, they disappear. They reappear a week after they’d initially left. It’ll have to do.

They sneak down to where the Mutants are being held, and wake them up, but they’re caught by the Hellions. Jetstream says they’re not happy about the Mutants being forced to join up, and proposes a challenge – a one-on-one duel. Dani accepts. They all head to the combat room, where Jetstream and Cannonball square off. Jetstream initially controls the fight, but Cannonball winds up with the win.

Which is when Emma and Shaw enter. Emma says she never agreed to the deal the teams made, and tells them all to go back to their rooms. Obviously, the Mutants refuse. Cannonball launches at Shaw, which is a terrible idea. Sunspot tries his luck next, with the same results. Dani tries to hit him with her fear, but Emma reverses it so she sees the Spirit Bear. Meanwhile, in all the confusion, Kitty sneaks away into the Combat Room’s control room, and starts messing stuff up. Catseye helps Wolfsbane drag the unconscious Sunspot over to the other New Mutants. Catseye asks Wolfsbane to stay, and Wolfsbane asks Catseye to leave. Neither agrees. I really, really like Casteye.

Illyana teleports the Mutants back to Xavier’s. And Dani sees an image of the Spirit Bear in the clouds, telling her it’s coming for her.

A solid issue. We get some nice characterization from some of the Hellions, though a few get barely anything. Roulette may as well not be there, and Tarot’s only characterization is that she trusts her cards a lot. Thunderbird says he blames the X-Men for his brother’s death – that’s going to come back in a big way in a little while. So will Tarot’s mention of the Lovers card, actually. Cannonball and Sunspot remain reckless, and Dani is growing into more of a leader. Interestingly, the Mutants leave without Doug Ramsey, and the fact that he was at the Academy seems to be forgotten after this, as we never see Emma release him.

This is Sal Buscema’s last issue as artist. It’s another strong issue. I’m not keen on Limbo – it still seems a bit too bright to me. But it’s a minor gripe. Expressions are handled well, and the fight between Cannonball and Jetstream is done really well. It’s a great scene, as the two fly around, smashing the room. Still, while the art was fine, I’m glad to see him go. Because the new artist is Bill Sienkewicz, and he does an amazing job. Sienkewicz’s presence elevates the book a lot, taking it from “pretty good” to “must-read.”

Song of the day: Any Moment Now by Koufax.

Uncanny X-Men #183 (1984, July)

I’ve finished my first week at Wal-Mart. Bleh. Today’s story, by Claremont and JRJr, is “He’ll Never Make Me Cry.”

He'll Never Make Me Cry

Oh yeah, this is going to be a fun issue.

We start with Colossus and Kitty sitting on the cliff watching the sunset. He mentions that while in space in the Secret Wars, he fell in love with someone else. Here’s the actual dialogue. Kitty: “Anything interesting happen out there?” Piotr: “I met someone else. We fell in love.” A master of tact. He mentions that she saved his life, and Kitty thinks she did, too. A fair point. He apologizes for it, but says he can’t deny his feelings, and that the love he felt for Kitty isn’t there any more. She says she wants him to be happy, and then excuses herself to do homework. She heads back to her room, and starts crying.

Storm heads down to the Danger Room, where Rogue’s fighting a couple robots. She gets knocked down by one, but Storm destroys it with a lightning bolt, then yells at Rogue for running a combat program alone. Rogue’s been feeling pretty upset since the thing with Rossi. Storm thinks Xavier picked a terrible time to be away, between Rogue’s bitterness and Kitty’s heartbreak. She also thinks it would’ve been better if Colossus had died than to have brought Kitty so much grief.

Piotr gets back to the house, and gets marched right back out by Wolverine, who says they’re going into town for a drink. Nightcrawler teleports into the car to keep things from getting out of hand. Storm checks in on Kitty, and finds her packing. She’s going to visit her dad in Chicago.

Then, an intermission to Dallas, where Valerie Cooper and Raven Darkholme are driving and chatting about mutants. They’re on their way to meet Forge.

Back in Manhattan, Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus are at a bar. Apparently, in 1984, in New York, the legal drinking age was 18. Now, of course, it’s 21, because the US is a weird place sometimes. Nightcrawler tells Wolverine not to go through with what he’s planning. After a few hours and lots of drinks, Wolverine demands an explanation. Colossus says he fell in love. Wolverine doubts him, and thinks Colossus is just scared of how serious things had been getting with Kitty. He also catches Juggernaut’s scent. He figures they should leave before Juggernaut spots them. He tries to get Colossus out, but he refuses and falls over and spills his beer on Juggernaut. It’s fight time, and Wolverine plans on enjoying the show. Juggernaut’s annoyed – he just wanted to have some drinks and some fun, maybe get laid.

Juggernaut kicks Colossus’ ass and collapses the whole building on him. Then he spots Wolverine and Nightcrawler, who decline to fight. Juggernaut says Colossus did himself proud, tosses some money for the owner to rebuild, and walks away while Wolverine helps Colossus out of the rubble. Colossus is pissed at them for not helping him. Wolverine reminds him he never even thanked Kitty for saving his life by agreeing to join the Morlocks. Nightcrawler says Wolverine was harsh, but Wolverine says it was justified. That Colossus never considered Kitty’s feelings, only his own, and he reneged on the debt he owed her.

Meanwhile, Selene has eaten a man. She’d been hitting on Juggernaut earlier, before the fight, but had to settle for some dude. She’s out in the world now, able to hunt, and eventually, to rule.

This is a very good issue. It’s mostly a downtime issue, exploring the various feelings of the characters. There’s a fight, but even the fight is actually meant as a character exploration, which is cool. I am glad to have the Kitty/Piotr relationship ended. The age difference was too much. He’s almost 20, and she’s 14. The rule is “half your age plus 7,” so Colossus shouldn’t have been dating anyone younger than 16. Still, the break-up here was done well. It was really sad, and Kitty’s feelings were presented well. Rogue’s fear and bitterness regarding her powers was another good scene. Supposedly, Jim Shooter ordered the break-up, because, seriously, a 19-year-old dating a 14-year-old is not cool.

This issue does accomplish a couple other things. It brings Selene back, and establishes her as a threat the X-Men will have to worry about. It continues the plot of the government wanting to exploit mutants, and sets up Forge’s introduction next issue (which is a huge issue). And it sets up the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine limited series.

JRJr’s art is effective. He manages to capture Kitty’s pain, and her refusal to show that pain. He also draws an awesomely angry Rogue. There’s some nice use of shadows here and there. The fight could be better. There isn’t much power to the hits. The action is much weaker, here, than the character work.

I forgot, in my previous post, to do the other X-Men appearances for June 1984. There was Secret Wars #2. The X-Men didn’t do much, but Magneto captured the Wasp. In Spectacular Spider-Man #91, by Al Milgrom, the Blob shows up. Unus’ power is still acting up, and he winds up dying when he repels the air. Blob goes insane with grief, and goes on a rampage. Spider-Man and Black Cat fight him. They make fun of him, and Spider-Man makes a joke about how Blob expects to make friends, and Blob gets depressed and sits in the middle of the street crying. It’s kind of an odd issue, really.

Song of the day: Apply Some Pressure by Maximo Park.

Dazzler #32 (1984, June)

I said I’m going to keep trying to do these. But it’ll largely depends when I get off work, and how I feel that day. So I can’t make any guarantees. But for today, written by Jim Shooter and Mike Carlin, and with art by Mark Bright, “Moonlighting.”

Moonlighting

This is so ’80s.

Alison’s teaching her aerobics class, when Medusa teleports in with Lockjaw. The class flees, and Alison yells at Medusa, but Medusa says her help is needed on Attilan. Alison tries to refuse, but Medusa reminds her how Black Bolt helped against Absorbing Man. Alison still refuses, and she gets her class back in to finish it. She goes out for coffee with one of the students, a dancer, where she spots Medusa and Lockjaw again. She still feels guilty about refusing, so she runs to catch up and agrees to help. They all teleport to the moon.

Medusa explains the situation. There’s a large black cloud advancing towards Attilan. Alison’s being asked to light it up. She’s taken to see Black Bolt, and sees a cute Inhuman, because of course she’d spot one.

Inside the cloud are Moonstone and Blackout. He’s the one generating the cloud. She brought him there to help her get another moonstone. Black Bolt powers up Alison so she can create a powerful enough light to pierce the cloud. The Inhumans see the two bad guys. Another light burst has Quicksilver try to capitalize, but Moonstone knocks him away, and then fires a blast at Attilan. Then she lets off a pretty powerful light show of her own. In the end, Blackout’s knocked out by the light, and without him providing air, Moonstone passes out. Both are grabbed by Quicksilver.

Alison is congratulated by Generically-Cute-Guy, then taken home. Just in time to have to get up again for work. Apparently, the fight took the whole night. I’m not really sure why. Probably just to set up the joke.

Another in a long line of meh issues. The fight isn’t particularly exciting. Her career isn’t touched on. The Generically-Cute-Guy is utterly pointless. The story is dull. The best part of the whole issue was her getting coffee with a friend. Which just makes me even more certain that a series about superheroes getting coffee would be awesome. The art was good. Mark Bright was a solid artist. Not exceptional, but talented. The splash page of the moon being lit up was pretty neat. This issue does continue the trend of Dazzler having trouble finding a set creative team.

Song of the day: We Get On by Kate Nash.

X-Men comics (September 10 2014)

I made it to my local shop. And now my feet are dead. So I hope you appreciate this week’s reviews!

X-Force #9, by Simon Spurrier and Rock-He Kim. Nemesis begs for dialogue before violence. Nope. It’s X-Force vs. MI:13! Psylocke takes out Meggan (and herself) by using Marrow, and the rest of the fighting is interrupted when the bad guys the soldiers were hunting take the boss-lady. They all finally start talking, and the soldiers learn their powers came from Volga. Meme chats to the gay soldier, and tries to cheer him up. Everyone agrees to look for the Quaddees together. More fighting! Awesome fighting! Psylocke and Meme find the boss-lady and find she knows nothing about Volga. So then it’s time to extract. Another great issue. Some really sad stuff, and some really funny stuff, and some great action. There’s some great snark here and there.

Nightcrawler #6, by Chris Claremont and Todd Nauck. Storm asks Nightcrawler to check out a new mutant who works at an advanced weapons facility. Her name’s Ziggy, and she’s a genius. Nightcrawler and Rico teleport in while the Crimson Pirates are attacking. Nightcrawler jumps in to fight while Rico gets out survivors. Nightcrawler gets in a sword duel with Bess. She’s good, “I’m better.” Claremontism. Rico rescues Ziggy, who’s impressed with him. Overall, I found this issue pretty meh. Lots of fighting, and it was well-choreographed and enjoyable fighting. But . . . the Crimson Pirates? Bleh. And on the whole, I just had a hard time really caring. I’m sure this will lead to more of Voge later, which . . . ugh. Really, Nauck’s art is the only worthwhile part of this issue, because the plotting and writing were just bland and formulaic.

Magneto #9, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta. Magneto’s back on Genosha, and finds a whole lot of dead mutants and Inhumans, piled in the streets. Then he flashes back to his childhood in Auschwitz. He’s still ashamed of how he behaved, disposing of the corpses of his own people in order to survive. In the present, he finds a couple young women with inhibitor collars. He frees one, but the other begs him not to, because she’ll be punished if she’s found without a collar. He’s told about the Red Skull. And he learns the Skull took Xavier’s brain. So he tries to kill the Red Skull. You can guess how that goes. Another strong issue, though I still don’t like Walta’s art. Bunn’s writing is strong. But, maybe it’s just me, I’m growing bored of Magneto’s narration. It might’ve been nice to get at least one issue somewhere in here without him narrating. His narration’s dark and a little arrogant, and it gets to be a bit much, when it doesn’t get broken up by something else. Bunn should do an issue following someone Magneto’s hunting, and show how frightening he can still be to his opponents.

Death of Wolverine #2, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. Madripoor. Some thug-looking guy goes into the Princess Bar, which has gotten a fancy make-over. and meets Wolverine, who’s in a disguise. It’s a little better than his classic Patch disguise – he’s got a thick beard and sunglasses, his hair is in a realistic style, and he’s got a different demeanour. He’s offering to sell something to Viper. It’s an Iron Man helmet. Mark IX. He’s taken to meet Viper. He beats the crap out of Viper’s guards. He then asks why she put out the contract on him. She tells him someone hired her to do it. She’ll tell him if he can beat Sabretooth. Wolverine’s rescued by Lady Deathstrike, who’s part of the same contract as Wolverine. This is good. Wolverine shows that he actually does know how to disguise himself in Madripoor. The Patch “disguise” was always ridiculous. How did Claremont think anyone would ever actually be convinced by that? He has the most identifiable hairstyle ever. Anyway, I liked the disguise here. The fight against Sabretooth was short and nasty, and Lady Deathstrike’s appearance was pretty awesome. I also liked that Sabretooth didn’t actually seem particularly upset about being Viper’s pet. He wasn’t happy, but he apparently accepted it as the cost of getting careless. So that was cool. And, of course, McNiven did a great job. He he a double-page splash of some of their previous fights, and it looked really cool. McNiven also draws a damned fine Lady Deathstrike.

Deadpool #34, written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, art by Scott Koblish. This issue is a ’90s flashback. As a result, the art is fairly Liefeldian. Deadpool’s playing Mario Kart with Butler. Sabretooth is impressed with how thoroughly Butler controls Deadpool, and thinks about missions he could be sent on. Butler suggests sending Deadpool to kill his own parents. So Sabretooth drives Deadpool to Canada. They’re attacked by Alpha Flight – Sasquatch, Windshear, Aurora, Northstar, Vindicator, Weapon Omega, Goblyn, Puck. Lots of fighting. Deadpool and Sabretooth escape, then Deadpool returns to his parents’ house. And he burns it down. That whole sequence, starting when he shows up at the house, is fantastic. It’s wordless, and it lets the art tell the story, and it does a great job. The early part, the ’90s stuff, is stupid and awful. The art is hideous, even worse than Liefeld. The jokes are stupid and not the least bit funny. It is, like the other “inventory” issues, awful. But then it hits that one sequence, and it’s incredibly powerful. So it creates an unbalanced issue.

There’s the X-Men comics. Now the non-X.

Ms. Marvel #8, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Ms. Marvel’s asking around about a couple missing kids, and sees Lockjaw. She hugs him. Kamala asks her parents if she can keep him. She keeps him in the backyard while she calls Bruno for help with the missing kids. They look up the location of her last known Facehead status update, and then Lockjaw teleports into her room. She says he Bamfed, because Kamala’s awesome. She has him teleport her to the location, for investigating. And fighting! Fighting a robot! Inside is one of the kids she beat up when rescuing Vick. And then she goes to school. Another awesome issue. We get snippets of all her supporting cast while also continuing the main plot, adding a new plot, and throwing in some action. This issue is packed, but it’s great. There’s still plenty of Kamala being adorkable, which is what really matters. Alphona’s art is probably an acquired taste, but it really does work for this series. Love this series. I command you to love it.

Edge of Spider-Verse #1, written by David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky, art by Richard Isanove. This issue is about Spider-Man Noir. Mysterio is looking for Spider-Man. Peter takes his Aunt May and MJ to see Mysterio’s magic show. After the show, Kingpin visits Mysterio, and brings him to talk to the Ox. Then they go see Felicia Hardy, but she refuses to give them any information about Spider-Man. Instead, Mysterio captures her, and puts an ad in the paper challenging Spider-Man to save her. Fight! With, of course, a different bad guy crashing the fight to kill Spider-Man Noir. This is a cool comic. I never read the original Noir comics – I’ll get around to it someday – but this is good. Isanove’s art is great. He’s a fantastic artist.

I should also mention that Captain Marvel #7 was really good, really fun. And New Warriors #9 was hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.

And, contrary to speculation, Avengers #34.1 did not reveal Hyperion as gay. So, at this point, I’m thinking the matter of which Avenger is LGBT won’t actually be addressed on-panel. I’m expecting another Secret Warriors, where it was only in an interview after the book ended that Hickman mentioned Stonewall was gay. If that is what ends up happening here – if we only find out through an interview which of the characters was LGBT – then, to be blunt, Jonathan Hickman can go fuck himself. LGBT representation in comics is not yet so widespread that it’s acceptable for a character’s sexuality to not get so much as a single line of dialogue.

Pull list

I’ve started my training at Wal-Mart. I work tomorrow from 10am-3:30pm, and my local comic shop closes at 5. So I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to make it to the shop tomorrow. It’ll depend on how I feel. I will try, though.

Assuming I make it, I’ll be going to the store for: Captain Marvel #7, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Marcio Takara; Ms. Marvel #8, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona; My Little Pony: Friends Forever #9, by Christine Rice and Tony Fleecs; New Warriors #9, by Chris Yost and Marcus To; X-Force #9, by Simon Spurrier and Rock-He Kim.

I’ll also review: Death of Wolverine #2, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven; Edge of Spider-Verse #1, by Fabrice Sapolsky and Richard Isanove; Magneto #9, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta; Nightcrawler #6, by Chris Claremont and Todd Nauck.

So that’s 5 books I’m buying, and 6 reviews. Not too bad.

By the way, if Avengers #34.1 does reveal that Hyperion’s gay, I’ll probably talk about that, too.

My most-anticipated comic of the week is obviously Ms. Marvel. That book’s been amazing fun. This issue’s going to have Lockjaw show up. Kamala’s getting a dog! I’m sure that’s going to be a lot of fun. Lockjaw’s great. I’m also really looking forward to Captain Marvel, though, because this issue and the next one are going to be about Chewie. Kitty issues! Yay! I’m sure it’s going to be totally adorable. I’m excited for it.

In other comic book news, Comic Book Resources is doing a poll on the 75 Most Memorable Moments In Marvel History. Each voter picks their top 10. My own top 10 were:

1. Jean Grey’s sacrifice (X-Men #137)
2. The Death of Gwen Stacy
3. Professor Xavier Is A Jerk
4. Wiccan and Hulking save the world with the Power of Love (Young Avengers Vol. 2 #13)
5. “Now It’s My Turn!” (Wolverine, X-Men #132)
6. Kitty finds Colossus (Astonishing X-Men #4)
7. “Whoever saves on person, it is as if he has saved all of mankind.” (Ms. Marvel #3)
8. “Damn me. Damn you all.” (Journey Into Mystery #645)
9. Jamie Madrox absorbs his own son
10. Throg (Thor #365, specifically at the end, where he lifts the hammer)

Most of them are pretty straightforward. Should I do a post explaining why I voted for each moment? I’ll leave it up to you whether I should do that.

There are apparently no plans for Iron Man 4. I’m going to go ahead and say I was relieved to hear that, for one simple reason: It’s one less possibility for what the yet-to-be-named movies are. The more possibilities get eliminated, the more likely it is that at least one of the upcoming movies will have, as the primary lead, someone other than a white man. Marvel needs to get on that already.

Also this week, I read Princless, by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin. It’s great. I loved it. It’s a twist on a classic fairy tale. Usually, a fair maiden is placed in a tower until a brave prince slays a dragon and rescues her. In this book, the princess, Adrienne, is black (and tells off a prince who calls her “fair,” because “fair” means “white”), headstrong, and has no interest in marrying a prince. So, when she finds a sword under her bed, she decides to rescue herself. She makes a deal with the dragon guarding her to rescue her sisters and then look for more dragons. This leads to some really fun adventures. There’s also some parody of the normal “Women Warriors” in fiction, as Adrienne finds a blacksmith (a teen girl) who’s made various “armours” based on famous women warriors. There’s Red Sonja, Wonder Woman and Xena, along with a couple others. Adrienne points out how impractical it is. The bit goes on maybe a bit too long, but it is really funny. The blacksmith is hilarious. The whole book’s hilarious, and really cute. It reminds me of The Paper Bag Princess, my all-time favourite kids book (and one of my favourite books in general), with the princess not needing a man to give her validation. I also like that she’s black – it’s a nice bit of diversity in a genre that seldom has any. This is a great book for kids, but it’s also fun for adults, so yeah, I’d recommend it.

Away from comics, I finished Aversion by Eric Monsky. I really enjoyed it. Here’s my review from Goodreads:

I got this as a Goodreads Giveaway. I really enjoyed it. I don’t often read straight fiction like this, but this was really well-written and interesting. I suppose I should issue a warning about plenty of profanity, sexual content and drug use (particularly alcohol, marijuana and cocaine). But the character lives in LA, so what do you expect? His hatred of his job, the sensation that it’s crushing his soul, is easy to relate to. He’s got some major anger issues that many readers may also be able to relate to. He can be a bit of a dick sometimes, but he can also be a nice guy.

I think what makes the book work is that the characters all feel authentic. They feel like real people. Monsky does a great job writing friendships, and it makes the book a lot more enjoyable. I do find some of the dialogue a bit weird, but I suspect it’s just because I’m not from LA, so I’m simply not used to hearing people talk the way the characters do, and it didn’t happen too often and wasn’t too much of a distraction.

All in all, I thought this was a great book, and one that’s worth checking out.

The book is about a guy who works on a reality TV show. He’s fed up with the life he leads, and decides he needs to go on a long trip around Europe and Asia. He’s also dealing with unresolved issues related to his father’s death, his worsening relationship with his brother and mother, and a whole lot of other problems. He’s got some self-destructive tendencies, but he is also trying to be a better person. It’s a good book. An enjoyable read.

My next books will be from the Land of Nod series: The Artifact and The Prophet. The books are actually meant for younger readers. So, they’re not really for me. Oh well. They shouldn’t take too long to get through, at least.

In personal news: I’ve started my training at Wal-Mart. I worked today from 10-4. I’m there as a cashier, so I did some shadowing, and then got some time on the cash, with someone else helping me. It’s pretty straightforward, for the most part. It’ll probably take a couple weeks to get fully adjusted. Can’t say I’m happy to be working at Wal-Mart. I spent two years in college, I’d like to get a better job. I should be getting decent hours, though, so I’ll be able to pay all my expenses, maybe even save up a little money for when I get a better job and have to move.

This job may throw off my daily reviews, though. And even my weekly reviews – I work next Wednesday from 11:30-8, and then 8-4:30 the next two days, and I have no idea what I’ll work next Saturday. So that’ll complicate things. Ah, well.

That’s all for this week.

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