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Pull list for October 22 2014

I’m off again Wednesday. Yay! So reviews will be up that day.

I’ll be going to the store for: All-New Ghost Rider #8, by Felipe Smith and Damion Scott; All-New X-Factor #15, by Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico; My Little Pony: Friends Forever #10, by Christine Rice and Agnes Garbowski; New Warriors #11, by Chris Yost and Marcus To; She-Hulk #9, by Charles Soule and Javier Pulido; The Wicked + The Divine #5, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie; X-Force #11, by Simon Spurrier and Rock-He Kim.

I’ll also review: Amazing X-Men #12, by Chris Yost, Kyle Craig and Carlo Barberi; Axis #3, by Rick Remender and Mike Deodato; Cyclops #6, by John Layman and Javi Garron; Deadpool #36, by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn and Mike Hawthorne; Logan Legacy #2, by Tim Seeley and Ariela Kristantina.

So that’s 7 comics I’m picking up physically, and 7 reviews total.

I’m most looking forward to She-Hulk and TW+TD. She-Hulk has been fun from the start, and I’m digging the current story of her representing Steve Rogers in court against Daredevil. I’m eager to see how that goes, and to get more of the story of why Steve’s being sued. As for TW+TD, well, it’s the end of the first arc, and it’s been amazing so far, so how could the finale be anything less than awesome?

I do want to mention how hopeful I am that Avengers #37, with Captain Marvel on the cover, has her in a major role in the issue itself. She actually hasn’t done much under Hickman. I’d like to see him give her something big. I’m kinda doubting it, though.

In other comic news: A few days ago, the new cast for the relaunched Uncanny Avengers was revealed. Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Quicksilver, Vision, Brother Voodoo, Captain Falcon, and Sabretooth. Obviously, I’ve been pretty critical of Remender all along his UA run (and even before it started). So it may be surprising that I say I approve of this team. Out of 7 characters, four belong to real-world minorities (Falcon and Voodoo are both black, Wanda and Quicksilver are both half-Jew/half-Gypsy). Sabretooth’s a bastard, but other than that, most of the characters are largely reasonable, and the team doesn’t seem designed to hate each other. I’m hoping this means Remender’s going to do a different type of team story. A story that isn’t about the team hating each other and splitting apart, causing problems they’re forced to resolve by slowly coming back together. Maybe he could do a story about a team that actually does work together. If he does, it will be literally his first Marvel team book that does have a team actually working together. I’d like it if it had a more optimistic tone, too, moving away from the often oppressively miserable feel his work usually has. Include some more humour, some more stuff of characters hanging out and having fun together. That sort of thing. I hope so.

I read Seconds, by Bryan Lee O’Malley, last week. I loved it. It’s a weird, funny, creepy, sweet, clever book. There’s a lot of humour from Katie, the protagonist, arguing with the narration. There’s other types of humour, too, of course. There’s a nice romantic plot, and a wonderful story of her becoming friends with another girl. There’s some interesting mystical stuff with “the spirit of the house.” And there’s some surprisingly dark stuff. O’Malley’s not generally known for being dark, but he gets a great horror vibe at times here. His art style is adorable, a bit of a chibi-anime-type style. It works for comedy, of course. He’s always made it work for drama. Here, he makes it work for horror, too. Awesome book. I loved it, and I very highly recommend it.

In personal news: I work Thursday6:30-11, Friday 5-9, Saturday 6:30-11. So no posts those three days. I actually have little going on in my life, unfortunately, so I have not much really to talk about. No Goodreads wins this week. I’m getting first aid training next month, so that’s cool.

I did apply for a job at Yukon College. In Whitehorse. For American readers, the Yukon Territory is beside Alaska. So it’s very far north, and gets pretty cold. I’m not a big fan of the cold, so it’s possible I’d be kinda miserable in Whitehorse. But for $50 000 a year, I’d be glad to be miserable. I don’t mind the boredom – I’m bored in Cornwall, too. It’s the cold that would get to me. But I’d be working in a library, and that matters to me. That would make me happy. It’s what I want to do. And Yukon College is as good a place as any to do it, really. And actually, I think it would probably be pretty cool moving up there. It’d be an adventure. I’ve never been one for adventures, so it’d be a really rewarding experience getting to go on one. And even the cold wouldn’t be that big a deal, frankly. I mean, it’s cold here, too. I’d have to be very, very careful, because it gets colder up there than it does here, but “be outside less” isn’t exactly a burden.

I was reading up on Whitehorse while typing this. And you know what? I think I actually would like to try living in Whitehorse. It’s the city with the least air pollution in the world. It’s apparently a little bit milder than other northern cities, because it’s in a valley. That far north, I’d be able to see the Northern Lights, and man, I figure it’d take some time for that to stop being amazing. So I feel like I actually might kinda like the city. Maybe I’d hate it. Won’t know until I’ve been there. And I might end up loving it. And, again $50 000 a year. I’d be making at least $29 an hour, and I’d be working 75 hours bi-weekly. That’s great pay, for a job that I am absolutely qualified for. No doubt in my mind that I could do it, and that I’d love doing it. And since it’s in Whitehorse, I can’t imagine too many people applying for it. I mean, how many people want to live in the Arctic? I’m hoping that does lead to less competition for the position. If I can get the job, it would be an amazing opportunity for me.

Other news: My friend wants me to put together a Christmas list. In October. Halloween’s not even over. She wants it early because she’s paranoid about things taking forever in the mail. Anyway, I’m putting together my list. Just books. I figure I’ll list a half-dozen books, and let her decide which to get me. The books I’m probably going to ask her for are: Drawn To Marvel (poetry about superheroes), Dungeons and Drag-Queens (a fantasy novel about drag queens, which is a book that exists and how awesome is that?), Ages of the X-Men, The Law of Superheroes, Steampunk World by Sarah Hans, and In Real Life by Cory Doctorow. Those are the half-dozen I’m thinking of suggesting. I may change my mind on some of them. There’s plenty of other books I could suggest. I’ll figure it out in a few days.

Other than that, I’ve nothing new to talk about. So I’ll leave off here.

Dazzler #34 (1984, October)

Fans of Marvel’s ’50s girl comics will be pretty excited by today’s comic,  by Michael Carlin and Geof Isherwood, titled “Where Have All the Models Gone?”

Where Have All the Models Gone?

Fierce!

We start at a fashion show, where one of the runway models vanishes in a burst of light. At Alison’s aerobics class, one of the girls, Janet, says she’s dropping out of Alison’s class, because she got hired by Millie’s Models, who will pay for her classes in the city. Janet suggests Alison try modelling. She decides to take some glamour photos of herself, and sends them to Millie’s Models. I find it amusing that she took selfies. A few days later, Millie sees the shots, and decides to call Ali in. Millie has kind of a crazy face. Her assistant then tells her that another model’s gone missing.

Roman Nekoboh hits on Ali some more, and she turns him down. There’s a girl! She finds out she was called in to Millie’s. A week later, she goes in. She’s excited to see Millie the Model. While there, she meets Chilie Storm. Millie and Chilie bicker a bit, and Alison gets hired.

A few days later, Alison’s talking to Janet, and they’ve both been hired for the same show. At the show, Ali sees Chilie, and while chatting to the fashion designer, she sees a card on the floor for Revenge Inc. She wonders if Chilie is looking for revenge against Millie. During the show, all the girls are captured. Including Chilie, who was arguing with Alison at the moment they were grabbed.

Alison and the captured models are in a cell together, and the man responsible – fashion designer Tom Devine – comes to taunt them. He leaves, and Alison sneakily melts the lock so they can escape. They kick Devine’s ass, and Ali resigns from modelling.

This was good. I liked it. I like these entertainment-focused issues. They’re fun. This one has modelling! But doesn’t do much with it, unfortunately. It would’ve been cool if these issues had something to say about the various fields they were presenting. Still, these little one-offs of Alison trying to make it in LA are enjoyable. Isherwood’s art is nothing special. It’s pretty meh. Sadly, this is Carlin’s last issue as writer. He was doing some good work, and I feel he could’ve kept the series pretty interesting. But he gets replaced with the next issue, and while the next two issues actually don’t drift too far from what Carlin was doing, after that, the series mostly becomes a straight superhero book, for its final few issues.

Other X-related appearances that month: Secret Wars #6, by Shooter and Zeck, has Klaw appear, and a bit of a flashback to his last fight with Dazzler, where she absorbed him. It turns out that, while she was on Galactus’ ship, trying to get his attention, she let out all of Klaw’s energy, and he got stuck in the ship. We do see the X-Men a bit. They bicker a bit with Magneto, and Xavier manages to read the minds of the villains to learn their plans. He sends Scott, Rogue and Wolverine to a volcano to watch the bad guys. Storm gets pissed at Xavier taking command. They argue a bit, and Storm threatens to leave, but Xavier threatens to control her mind. Colossus is falling for Zsaji. Then the three X-Men Xavier sent off fight against Dr. Octopus, Absorbing Man, Titania and the Molecule Man. The three get their asses kicked, until Wolverine manages to slash Molecule Man, and the bad guys race him back to the base to be healed. Then Scott blasts open the volcano for some reason. So they still don’t get a particularly good showing here.

Meanwhile, Marvel Team-Up Annual #7, by Louise Simonson and Paul Neary had Alpha Flight. The Collector has learned of a Plodex on Earth, and wants it for his collection. He captures Spider-Man, then grabs Marrina. He uses a magic lamp to get both. She does manage to use her amulet to call Alpha Flight, first. He uses a Kymellian flute to control a Xanthian boulder snake, whose gaze puts Marrina and the djinn to sleep. Then we see Alpha Flight approaching the ship. This story happened after AF#12, but presumably before #13. While Alpha Flight is flying, Northstar and Aurora bicker a bit. This includes Aurora saying that Walter is “all man.” I’m assuming this is another shot at Northstar’s homosexuality. I wonder if Byrne told Weezi about it, or if she just picked up on it in the book. It’s not like Byrne made it subtle. On the ship, Spider-Man’s free of the clam he was imprisoned in, and starts fighting. Alpha Flight lands on the ship, and Northstar thinks that if he can provoke Sasquatch into a rage, it might get her to leave him. Inside, Marrina wakes up, and the Collector tells her about the Plodex (even though she should know most of it from when the Master captured her). He’s captured other Plodex, too, from other worlds. Spider-Man asks about his own capture, and the Collector mentions him being a double prize. Flight busts in before he can explain. Hint: Spider-Man was wearing a new black costume that was actually a symbiote. The Collector attacks Flight with Boxers – boxes that sap sanity. Flight gets some to smash each other, but Puck is first to be caught. He frees himself immediately. Sasquatch is next to be trapped, and goes wild. Aurora is next to be caught. Northstar tries to free her, but still has to dodge debris thrown by Sasquatch. In the process, other glass cages are shattered. Aurora, trapped in darkness, reverts to Jeanne-Marie. Sasquatch throws some crystals, which Collector says power the ship, and which Puck catches to break the glass on the aquarium Marrina’s in. Eventually, she and the other captive Plodex are all free, and Marrina doesn’t want to kill them.

Not a bad story, but a little heavy-handed at times. Simonson wanted to give the readers an idea of what the members of Alpha Flight were like, but she had to do it all within one story, as opposed to Byrne being able to spread it across a series. So the characters end up being exaggerated a bit. This means that half of them act insane, and only Puck and Marrina seem reasonably normal. And Marrina still comes across as lacking a personality at all. Sadly, no one could ever give her a personality until the most recent volume, where she became a punk. The art here is OK. Nothing exceptional, but it’s solid work.

Tuesday’s review will be a very very special one.

Song of the day: Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again by Cat Power.

Alpha Flight #15 (1984, October)

So, the cast for the relaunched Uncanny Avengers has been revealed. I’ll talk about it in my next pull list post. For today, by John Byrne, “Blind Date.”

Blind Date

Oh, goody. A Marrina issue. Wonderful.

Doug Thompson is in his small home in the Northwest Territories, and Anne McKenzie comes to see him. He has a lot of questions, and she feels he deserves answers, which was the only reason she visited. She reveals herself as Snowbird, and gives a quick version of her story. He tells her he loves her.

Later, in Toronto. She goes into the lake to find the creature killing people, and is worried about it being one of her race. We get some captions about how big Lake Ontario is, including a list of 8 states that are less than a fifth its size. She senses a loneliness, and realizes she feels the same, and wants to know what it means. As she swims down a narrow tunnel, she gets wedged between some rocks, and then pulls herself free. She finally emerges into a cavern. She still feels herself being pulled forward.

Out in BC, Aurora is still recovering from Jeanne-Marie’s assault that morning. She looks in another mirror, and sees only herself. But she can still feel Jeanne-Marie trying to get out. Aurora decides to combat her by cutting her hair.

Back in Toronto, Puck is worried about Marrina. She comes out of the water, looking a bit crazed. She attacks him, and he fights defensively, despite his specialty being offence. He pulls off his jacket and does a matador act with her. Then Namor shows up. And, of course, he completely misunderstands the situation and decks Puck.

Out west, Elizabeth arrives on the Sarcee reservation outside Calgary. She walks into Shaman’s medical office. He’s glad to see her, but she tells him to back off, and it’s a business call.

Back to Toronto, some guy is watching Namor and Marrina fight. It’s the Master! He seems to think Namor’s race will have to die. He also knocks out Puck. Marrina slashes at Namor’s eyes. Then the Master knocks him out.

I want to mention one of the letters, talking about #10. Specifically, it mentioned the US importing Canada’s resources, including people. He says that LA is the seventh largest Canadian city, based on all the Canadians living there. I found that really funny. I sometimes joke that Canada’s plan is to conquer the US through the entertainment industry.

Anyway, this issue. It was good. Very good. We get a couple of subplots advanced, and the main plot is pretty good. Marrina, despite being the focus of the plot, doesn’t actually get much to do, which was always the biggest problem with the character. She was never allowed to develop a real personality, because she was always going crazy. When she wasn’t crazy, she was just “Namor’s girlfriend.” She’d go from “murderously crazy” to “loves Namor” and back again, and that was all. She wasn’t a compelling character. And she never had any real agency. She didn’t explore the tunnel and cavern because she chose to, but because she felt something drawing her there. This was the same reason she went to the Arctic in the first arc.

Puck, despite also getting little to do, winds up being much more interesting. We find out he knew Ernest Hemingway, and that Hemingway convinced Puck to train as a bullfighter. While I detest bullfighting, and find it a barbaric and disgusting sport, and I think it should be outlawed and that Spain should be ashamed of letting it stay as long as it has . . . despite all that, I do find Puck’s background in it adds a neat layer to him. He would’ve been doing it in a different time, before the idea of “animal cruelty” existed.

Byrne’s art – do I need to comment on it? It’s John Byrne. If you don’t like Byrne’s art, I don’t know how to help you. There would have to be something wrong with you. It’s always excellent. Great expressions, great action, great everything.

This issue’s very good.

Song of the day: Gosh, Darn, Damn by Rebekah Higgs.

X-Men comics (October 15 2014)

Time for another bunch of comics.

First, Uncanny X-Men #27, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo. The X-Men are trying to figure out how to deal with the new mutant without getting killed. Storm and Scott both favour talking to him, everyone else thinks that would be a bad idea. Rachel has an idea. She sends an illusion of Xavier with a bunch of superheroes to try to talk Matthew down. It seems to be working, but then Matthew thinks maybe they shouldn’t be suppressing his power, that maybe he’s supposed to be able to do things. Then he smashes the Helicarrier. Cyclops finds himself back at the New Xavier School. Rachel and Storm are back at the JGS. No sign of Wolverine. Scott comes up with a plan for dealing with Matthew. One which solicits for future issues have already spoiled. Oh well. This was a really good issue. I still dislike Bachalo’s art, but Bendis does a great job. He gives Rachel a very nice showing. Matthew is really interesting here, going from freaked out to believing he should have his power.  I also like Scott empathizing with Matthew, having a pretty good idea of what he’s going through. It’s a cool issue. I liked it.

Wolverine and the X-Men #10, by Jason Latour and an assload of artists. I’m not even going to list them. Storm is looking at the watch Wolverine gave her, and crying. Beast goes to talk to Melita, but doesn’t remember her. He talks to her about her book, and she’s honouring Wolverine’s wish by not publishing it, but Beast wants to use it at the school. She starts interviewing the X-Men, to get their views on him. They go over some stories. They remember a time Wolverine tried to deep-fry a pterodactyl. And then him doing karaoke. Rachel does her impression of him when he thought she was cheating at cards.  Then Melita talks to Armour, trying to fix her armour. She says Wolverine really believed in the school. Then Eye-Boy, and we get a bunch of panels of Wolverine declaring himself The Best There Is. Then Fantomex talks about loss and theft. Then a conversation with Evan. Idie talks about a class photo. Then Broo talks about his race. Then Nightcrawler takes her to Harry’s Hideaway. There’s bits of fun in the issue, especially at the bar. However, my dislike of Wolverine hurts the issue in my eyes. I don’t want to see all this crap about what a complicated man he was and blah blah blah. I want to not have to read about the little dickbag at all. As far as the art goes, some I like, some I don’t. Some of it’s just way too cartoonish, some of it is Kris Anka. So there’s good and bad.

Storm #4, by Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez. Beast flies Storm into orbit, so she can let loose her grief, and cause one hell of a light show across the planet. It lasts 4 hours. Later, back at the school, she sits in the den and notices Wolverine’s phone getting a message from Yukio. Storm meets her in Las Vegas, and after a few moments of reminiscing, Storm lets Yukio know that Wolverine’s dead. Yukio decides to throw herself off the balcony, but Storm catches her with wind, and they hug it out. Storm insists on joining Yukio with whyatever’s going on, and they head down to meet a woman from Breakworld, a CEO, and Moses Magnum. It’s a business meeting for criminals. Storm gets pissed off when they head to an arena to watch a couple people fight, but Yukio says that they’re hired killers who are being kept from killing civilians. This is an interesting issue. I never liked Wolverine, so I never liked the Storm/Wolverine romance, so a fair bit of this winds up meaning little to me. But it’s nice to see her hang out with Yukio, and I like Yukio’s plan, getting gangs together to talk rather than go to war. It’s cool. Ibanez’s art is nice. The Stephanie Hans cover is as gorgeous as everything Stephanie Hans does. I’m so excited to get her on interiors for Angela. I will say that Storm isn’t as good as I want it to be. There’s a lot of room for improvement, still. Hopefully, after this grieving arc, we get some better stories.

Death of Wolverine #4, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. Wolverine drives up to a secret base in Nevada, and fights through some guards, using claws strapped to his wrists. In a lab are some people being experimented on. Dr. Cornelius is glad to have Wolverine finally show up. He’s creating new heroes. But in order to bond the adamantium to them, he needs Wolverine’s healing factor. Oops. Cornelius orders him killed, instead. Major Sharp attacks while Cornelius rambles on about Wolverine being an animal and a killer. And about how he’s going to create thousands of Wolverines, but better. Wolverine manages to beat Sharp, but Cornelius starts the adamantium bonding process on his latest subjects. Wolverine stops it, but gets covered in adamantium in the process. So Wolverine’s finally dead. Yay! I guess he got a pretty good send-off. But the important thing is that, for a little while, I won’t have to see that bastard anywhere. Good riddance to an unbearable jackass. Soule’s writing was great, and McNiven did an amazing job on the art. And now Wolverine’s dead and I’m happy.

The Logan Legacy #1, by Charles Soule and Oliver Nome. In Croatia, Laura’s been captured, and makes sure her captor knows she’ll probably kill him. Sabretooth and Daken have already been captured.  And are fighting. Daken wins. He also compliments Laura’s hair, which has some nice colours in it. Then Lady Deathstrike is brought in. There’s also a guy sitting in a corner of the cell, who reveals himself as Xavier. They all talk, and there’s little hints of what’s to come in future issues of Logan Legacy. Xavier passes out, and is revealed as Mystique. Then Elixir’s brought in. Elixir! He’s been missing for a while. Nice to see him show up again. Then the guy in charge starts talking to them. Meh. It’s OK, I guess. A lot of it is set-up for the next 5 individual issues. There is some good characterization going on. I’m not keen on the art. It’s a blocky style, like Nick Bradshaw’s work. I don’t find it enjoyable.

Magneto #11, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta. The Red Onslaught and his Sentinels are kicking some major ass on Genosha. Magneto decides to flee. He talks to Briar, and wonders how he’s going to be remembered when he dies. He angsts a bit, so Briar punches up videos of him. Most are reports of him being an evil terrorist bastard. But one shows a girl saying that without him she’d be dead, so she’s glad mutants have someone who can be angry. Magneto decides to start recruiting a team to fight the Skull. Meh. I’m just tired of this book. I’m tired of the melodramatic narration, and the heaviness of it all. I’m tired of the art. I enjoy this book less with each new issue.

Deadpool’s Art of War #1, by Peter David and Scott Koblish. Sun Tzu talks about how he trained a bunch of women as soldiers. Then Deadpool kills him and sees the Art of War and realizes he could make a lot of money selling it. The publisher he talks to says it’s already a best-seller and no one’s interested in another translation. He threatens her, so she has a bunch of guns shoot him. He comes up with an interesting angle for a new version – how to survive a world at war – and then shoots her chair. First, he needs to world to be at war. So he decides to get Loki involved. He grabs Loki circa Silver Surfer #4. There’s a bit of a “Who’s on first” routine related to “Aye/I” sounding alike. Because PAD loves bad jokes. Luckily, so do I, so I found the routine funny. This whole issue’s pretty good. This is Comedic Deadpool, while I usually prefer a little more tragedy to the character. But PAD’s a really funny writer, so the comedy here is pretty solid. Koblish’s art is rather pleasing. It’s a good style.

Axis #2, by Rick Remender and Adam Kubert. Iron Man feels pretty awful, and doesn’t know how to stop the Sentinels he created. Captain Falcon snaps him out of it and gets him thinking about how to do it. The handful of remaining heroes – Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Magneto – develop some plans. Wanda and Strange are going to invert Red Onslaught, to bring Xavier’s personality to the fore. Iron Man and Magneto will run interference with the Sentinels, while Rogue distracts Skull. Unfortunately, Nova screw things up. Then Magneto runs off, leaving Iron Man about to die. But Nightcrawler saves him. The handful of remaining heroes do one last assault. This is pretty good. Remender’s keeping some optimism in the story, which is incredibly odd for him. Usually, he’s all dark all the time, but this story, so far, has a definite optimist undertone to it, despite the fact that the heroes are getting their asses kicked. It makes for some of his best work. Much better than any of his UA run, which always had cynical undertones. And overtones. It was a cynical book, is what I’m saying. This one is not. Kubert’s art is stellar. Fantastic work. Really exciting action.

There’s the X-comics. Now one more comic.

Ms. Marvel #9, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Kamala’s school is under attack, and her power isn’t working right. So she gets Lockjaw to distract the civilians, then attacks the robot from behind with her Embiggened Fists of Rage. She beats the robot, of course. As a side note, the sign outside the school says “Asbestor Removal Scheduled For Monday, Volunteers Needed.” What an awful school. There’s also a news van out front, “Ye Local Newes.” One of the police cars has a “W1L-L0W” license plate – cute joke. There’s take-out of “Olmec donald’s.” After beating the robot, Kamala passes out, and Bruno rushes over to her side, and Lockjaw teleports in Medusa. Then they all go to New Attilan. Bruno talks to Kamala while she heals up. The doctor wakes her, and Medusa explains the whole Inhuman deal. Then Kamala goes home to deal with her family, and then she gets ready to deal with the Inventor. Buy this comic. It’s fun and funny and smart and so damned good. Buy it. If you’re not buying it, you’re wrong.

New Mutants #20 (1984, October)

Now that Thanksgiving’s over, it’s time for a week or so of leftover turkey. But for right, by Claremont and Sienkewicz, “Badlands.”

Badlands

OK, Magma looks really, really weird there. But Illyana looks awesome.

The Demon Bear has transported itself, the New Mutants, and the operating room Dani’s in, into an alternate version of America, one where Europeans haven’t yet arrived. As an aside, throughout the issue, there’s a little grid showing the spread of the Demon Bear’s corruption on the land.

The Demon Bear also has Officer Corsi and Nurse Friedlander as its captives, and it stabs them with its claws, which turns them into Native Americans. Or, rather, into weird, freakish monsters who kinda look like Native Americans. It’s time for a big fight. As the Bear moves around, its shadow touches more places, and the darkness grows, which increases the Bear’s power, and that of its slaves. The Bear slices into the OR, and one of the doctors sees outside, but the wall returns, and he thinks he’s just seeing things. He also questions if it might be more merciful to let Dani die, given the severity of her injuries and likelihood of permanent damage.

Magma tries to blast Corsi, but Sunspot tackles her and says they can’t kill Corsi or Friedlander, since they’re not responsible for their actions. Magma figures that innocent or not, it’s them or the Mutants, and sacrifices sometimes have to be made. I like that she’s got that attitude, coming from a wildly different culture. Then he gets grabbed by Corsi’s rope and thrown away, where he lands in a dark patch, with stars above him. Friedlander grabs him and starts draining his life, but Rahne comes to the rescue. Amara gets clawed by the Bear, and starts turning into another slave. Illyana summons her Soulsword, slices the Bear’s paw, then stabs Amara. Cannonball freaks out, thinking Illyana just killed Amara, and attacks her. Then Amara calls him an idiot, and says Illyana was saving her from being turned into another monster.

The Bear’s taint has filled almost the whole grid. Illyana remembers the Bear’s fear of Dani, and tells Rahne to link back up with Dani to find out more. The Bear resumes its attack on Illyana’s wards around the OR, leaving Illyana helpless as she struggles to maintain them. The other Mutants protect her from the Bear’s slaves. Rahne cries out that she has the answer, then gets knocked on the head from behind. And she’d been doing so well lately. She hadn’t gotten hit in the head for several issues. Anyway, Illyana stabs the demon in the heart, and it reverts to a normal Native American. Rahne says the key was Dani’s knowledge, and the Mutants’ power, especially Illyana’s sword.

Amara lights up the ground at the Bear’s feet, and it gets a hilarious facial expression at it. It’s cartoonish, and reminds me of a Wile E. Coyote look. Anyway, while it’s distracted, Cannonball gets Illyana to its head, and she splits its skull. It splits apart, and disperses, and a pair of Native Americans are seen.

Then the New Mutants  find themselves outside the OR, with everything back to normal. Dani points out that Corsi and Friedlander aren’t demon, but they’re still “Red Indians.” Really, Rahne? “Red Indians”? Is it just me, or does that sound kinda racist? Anyway, another pair of Native Americans say that’s how they’ll remain. These two were the Bear, before they were freed. It’s Dani’s parents! A doctor comes out and says that Dani will live, but is paralyzed.

Luckily, Xavier has Storm call up the Morlock Healer. Dani’s going to recover, though it’ll take some time. By the way, Sienkewicz draws a hot Punk Storm. Seriously hot. Anyway, Dani’s then reunited with her parents.

An epic conclusion to the Demon Bear Saga. The fight is cool and exciting. The issue probably could’ve spent a little more time on Dani’s reunion with her parents. Or, perhaps, a little less time. The moment is dragged down a bit by some exposition. It might’ve been more effective to have multiple silent panels. One of Claremont’s problems, I suppose: He’s never been very good at shutting up. He loves his captions, and his exposition, and all that. Someone should challenge him to do a “silent issue” of Nightcrawler, just to see if he can do it.

Sienkewicz is amazing. There’s a few weird bits that are a bit tough to follow, but for the most part, it’s simple enough to understand what’s going on, and the weirdness of the art style enhances the story. It gives the issue an otherworldly feel that makes it all that much creepier.

One interesting note about the story: At the end, we’re given a little bit of explanation about the Demon Bear. Dani’s parents were transformed into it, enslaved by some greater power that took joy in tormenting them. It’s never said, on-panel who their “master” was. The indications are that it was probably the Adversary, and that is apparently mentioned in a letters page later on. Also, I just now realized that Dani and Forge are both Cheyenne. I never made the connection before. Holy crap, I feel weirdly stupid. It would be cool to see them together at some point. They could be part of a new team, and bond over their shared heritage.

Anyway. Awesome issue, awesome storyline.

Song of the day: The Lion The Beast The Beat by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Pull list for October 15 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, to any fellow Canadians. For any Americans, Happy Monday. I actually worked today, from 7-3:30. Doing shelving and stocking and stuff, since the store was closed. And now I’m getting ready for turkey dinner.

I’ll be going to the store on Wednesday for: Deadpool’s Art of War #1, by Peter David and Scott Koblish; Loki: Agent of Asgard #7, by Al Ewing and Jorge Coelho; Ms. Marvel #9, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona; Spider-Man 2099 #5, by Peter David and Rick Leonardi; Storm #4, by Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez; Uncanny X-Men #27, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo.

I’ll also review: Axis #2, by Rick Remender and Adam Kubert; Death of Wolverine #4, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven; Logan Legacy #1, by Charles Soule and Oliver Nome; Magneto #11, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta; Wolverine and the X-Men #10, by Jason Latour and a bunch of artists.

So I’ll be buying 6 comics, and doing 9 reviews. A heavier week than the past couple. But not too bad.

I’m most excited, of course, for Ms. Marvel. Because it’s Ms. Marvel. It’s always a delight. Just a wonderful series. I’m giving Deadpool’s Art of War one issue to impress me. I’ve generally been unimpressed with the Deadpool minis of the past few years. But there does seem to have been a move back to treating the character with some respect, and I love PAD as a writer. PAD is, in fact, the only reason I’m giving this first issue a try. By the way, last week, I saw someone criticizing the more serious tone Deadpool’s series took starting with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The person was saying they don’t want to read an emotional Deadpool, they just want fart jokes. This person is not a Deadpool fan. I’ll say it right-out: Anyone who doesn’t want real emotions in a Deadpool comic is not a fan of the character. They’re a fan of a shitty caricature of the character. Deadpool is a tragic character, and he simply doesn’t work without a certain degree of angst. The amount of angst can vary from one story to the next. It’s fine having occasional arcs that are just ridiculous comedy. But it always needs to be remembered that he is a tragic character.

Other comic news: NYCC was this weekend. We’ve gotten a few announcements. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, was announced a couple days before the con. I’ll be buying that. Squirrel Girl is a fun character, and while the Henderson cover was pretty ugly, a Google Image search suggests she normally has an adorable style. Spider-Gwen is getting an ongoing, by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez. I have no plans to buy that. Marvel’s big 2015 event is going to be a new Secret Wars. I’ve recently re-read the original Secret Wars, and I can’t say I particularly cared for it. So this event means nothing to me. Especially since I’m not a fan of Hickman’s Avengers run. Naturally, some people are speculating that it’s going to lead to a reboot, because some people never frigging learn, no matter how often they’re wrong. There’s a new Ant-Man series, a new Hawkeye series, a Peggy Carter mini. Black Vortex will be an event crossing over All-New X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Legendary Star-Lord, Nova and Cyclops. Gamora’s getting an ongoing, to be written by Nicole Perlman, the screenwriter for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. G. Willow Wilson will be doing an arc of X-Men after Guggenheim finishes up, which is awesome. I’m excited for that, and I hope it leads to Wilson getting more big jobs. Silk is getting an ongoing, which will be drawn by Stacey Lee, who’s amazingly talented. March is going to have a month of Women of Marvel variant covers, all drawn by female artists. It’s like Marvel looked at DC’s “Bombshells” month, saw the complaints some people had, and decided to do their own version of it demonstrating the proper way to do a month of female covers. All in all, the things I’m most interested in are Squirrel Girl and Wilson’s X-Men arc.

I did have some disappointments, mostly related to the fact that there’s only one new ongoing written by a woman (Gamora), and only one new ongoing starring a person of colour (Silk). And no new ongoings with an LGBT lead, though there will be the weekly Wolverines series, which will have Daken and Mystique (both bisexual, though Mystique’s bisexuality is something that’s basically never actually addressed on-panel; maybe this new series will do something with it, though I wouldn’t bet on it), along with Laura and Sabretooth. I will not be buying this series. I’m also a bit annoyed at the comics press for how little it seemed to care about the Women of Marvel panel. That was one I was interested in, but there’s been no coverage of the panel itself. Only brief overviews of the announcements made. With all the women at the panel, I’d hoped to get an idea of what they talked about, what questions were asked, all that stuff. But nope. I’m also disappointed that there’s still no word about any women being signed on to be exclusive, so they can take part in writers’ retreats. Those remain sausage-fests. And naturally, women aren’t being allowed to write any male-led solo comics. They can only write the female-led titles. Oh well.

In personal news: I got another nice pay on Friday, so I picked up a few more My Little Pony figurines. I picked up 5 packs, and got Rainbow Shine, Peachy Sweet, Strawberry Sunrise, Royal Riff and another Lotus Blossom – my first-ever duplicate. So that was $4 wasted, but the other four are OK. Peachy Sweet and Rainbow Shine are basically clones, except that Shine has wings. Other than the wings, they use the same mold.

I finished reading Virgin, by Radhika Sanghani. Here’s my review from Goodreads:

I received this as a Goodreads Giveaway. I want to say, right off, the first chapter was awful. Just bad writing. It felt like an amateur, online writer. After that, the style did get better. Even so, it still definitely feels like a debut novel. It’s mostly OK. The protagonist can be annoying at times, especially when she angsts about her virginity, but she can also be a lot of fun, especially when she and her friends complain about social standards and expectations on women. Or when they gossip. I am not a girl, so there’s obviously plenty of stuff in here that I have no experience with, but it still amused me to read about them.

I wouldn’t give this a strong recommendation. But if you want to read a book about a young woman in university who describes her vagina in rather graphic detail, then this isn’t a bad book.

Not being a girl, I can’t really say for sure, but I suspect this book does do a good job of capturing the experiences of some young women. I generally enjoyed the book, but it’s definitely not a great one. I gave it three stars out of five. Next, I’ll read the second Land of Nod book, while I wait for my other two won books to come in (and Seconds, which I bought; I need to read that).

I’m off work tomorrow and Friday. I work 3-7 Thursday, so I probably won’t be posting that day. 8-1 Friday, so I’ll post on Friday. Off Saturday, then 4-8:30 Sunday, 3-11 Monday, and off next Tuesday. So my posting schedule for this week will be Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Tuesday. I’ll try to get my pull list post for next week posted on Monday again.

That’s it for today.

X-Men comics (October 8 2014)

New comics. Edit: Also, this is apparently my 500th post. So, woot?

X-Force #10, by Simon Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat. It starts with X-Force chasing Forget-Me-Not, only to forget him as soon as he drops out of their line of vision. They go for a coffee break, and find a video Dr. Nemesis made saying there’s an intruder who’s impossible to remember. Meme was apparently monitoring inconsistencies in the use and supply of TP in the men’s room and idenfitied his favourite stall, and they set a trap. He gets chased. Again and again and again. (He also stumbles on Meme and Fantomex having cybersex.) He finally gets caught and shot (through Cable) by Fantomex, but before X-Force can kill him, Dr. Nemesis, having had a cup of coffee that put his mind in a state of hyper-awareness, but Forget-Me-Not slips away again. He eventually learns why X-Force wanted him. This is a really fun story. The base’s cleaning bots talk a bit about X-Force being broken, but trying to stay human, and it’s interesting stuff. The ending is pretty awesome, and also kinda sad. And a bit chilling. I’m still not a fan of Huat’s art, but it’s not too bad here. It’s less unpleasant than it was for Legacy. But I still don’t like it.

Nightcrawler #7, written by Chris Claremont and Marguerite Bennett, art by Todd Nauck. Nightcrawler is mourning Wolverine, who won’t actually die for another week, because he’s an inconsiderate prick who can’t even die without dragging it out. Anyway, Nightcrawler heads to the Danger Room to see him again, and go through their history together, starting with the fight against Krakoa, then Dark Phoenix’s sacrifice and Wolverine’s grief in the aftermath. Then the Mutant Massacre, where Nightcrawler was badly injured and rendered comatose. Then waking up on Muir Island to learn the X-Men had “died” against Adversary, and forming Excalibur. Then dying against Bastion, rescuing Hope. Then fighting free of Heaven. Then we see Wolverine and Nightcrawler walking down the street of Salem Centre, with Nightcrawler using an image inducer out of nervousness, until Wolverine smashes it. The people of Salem Centre were fine with him. Then Nightcrawler decides to honour Wolverine by creating a house to him, one that Wolverine would like, and filling it with his friends. This is just a flashback issue. It’s meant to tell us what kind of guy Wolverine was, what he meant to Nightcrawler, all that stuff. But meh. I’ve never liked Wolverine, so this didn’t end up having much of an impact on me. Nice art from Nauck, though.

Avengers and X-Men Axis #1, by Rick Remender and Adam Kubert. An Avengers team – Vision, Thor, Captain Sam, Wasp, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, Sunfire – is in LA fighting giant plants that have overgrown the city and making bad jokes. It’s Plantman! Against a team that involves Iron Man, Thor, Vision and Sunfire! Cap tells Thor to chop up some vines to free buildings, but Thor refuses, and throws his axe at Cap. The whole team starts fighting. Red Onslaught is behind it, of course, manipulating their minds. Iron Man manages to block it out. Havok is dreaming he’s in bed with Wasp and his daughter, but Xavier’s corpse tells him to wake up, back in Genosha, with Red Onslaught fighting Magneto, Rogue and Wanda. Red Onslaught’s trying to take them all over. Magneto’s knocked through a wall by Havok, and finds Scott, Quire and Genesis chained up. Havok attacks Scott. Rogue fights against the Skull’s influence long enough to touch him, and absorbs a bit of Xavier, enough to free Wanda. The Avengers and X-Men show up to fight him, too. There’s a whole lot of back-up. But Skull, obviously, still has an ace in the hole. Otherwise, this would be a pretty short event. I won’t spoil the ending, but Remender’s definitely drawing from the original Onslaught story in a variety of ways. This start isn’t too bad, but we actually already know that the event follows Remender’s standard style of “everyone hates each other and splits apart before managing to unite at the end.” That’s every single team story Remender’s written at Marvel. Every single one. Still, there are some nice hope moments in this issue, which Remender has often struggled with, especially on UA. Kubert’s art is excellent. It always is. He’s an immensely talented artist. The book looks great. Dark without being oppressive.

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #1, by Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli. It starts 8 hours earlier, in a federal court in Manhattan, at a hearing for Typhoid Mary. The judge immediately releases her. Even the defence objects to that, but Mary just flips out of the court and gets into a car to do a job for the person who ordered her release. Then we go to the psychiatric hospital that Black Cat has been using for “recruitment” (brainwashing). She wants FBI, NSA and SHIELD slaves. Cat goes out and gets a briefing from Typhoid Mary and another guy, who say they saw the hacker killed, and think Hawkeye may have the information they want. At Hawkeye’s apartment, Kate finds him and Deadpool, then hits Deadpool with a coffee pot. Then she congratulates him on Freddie Krueger make-up. When Hawkeye says that’s his face, she gives Deadpool a grin and a thumbs-up, then gives Clint a “what the hell?” look. Clint tells her what happened earlier, and she says she’s sorry. While eating toffee. Clint and Deadpool head to the coroner’s to see if they’ve ID’ed the dead Punisher. Meanwhile, Kate watches the dead guy’s video, and thinks she recognizes where he’s filming from. At the mental hospital, Hawkguy and Deadpool fight crazy people. This is really fun. There’s some good jokes in here. Honestly, it makes me all the more certain that Duggan is primarily responsible for all the good stuff in the current Deadpool run, because Posehn isn’t involved with this comic, and the humour’s really strong here. Kate gets some good moments, of course, because she’s Kate and can’t help but be awesome. Her facial expressions after learning that Deadpool really is that ugly are hilarious. Lolli’s art is good. It’s fairly standard stuff, but there’s nothing wrong with that, and the fighting is done well. It’s enjoyable. This is a good mini so far.

That’s the X-titles. Now one more comic.

Rocket Raccoon #4, by Skottie Young. The evil raccoon claims to be Rocket’s brother, then laughs his ass off at Rocket’s face. He bribes Macho to leave, leaving just the two raccoons. And a tied-up Groot. Who then gets exploded. The bad raccoon taunts Rocket. But then it turns out to not be a raccoon at all. It’s a rabbit – Blackjack O’Hare! Blackjack was hired to kill the princess Rocket rescued at the start of the first issue, and has been planning revenge for three years over the damage his rep took for failing. Before they can kill each other, Rocket’s pissed-off exes crash the party. The princess who put it all together brings up a fair point: When a man gets wronged, he’s angry, and everyone cheers his rampage of revenge. When a woman is wronged, she’s “hurt.” Fight time! This is great. It’s so heavy and dramatic and then – crazy fight scene! The Mexican stand-off between Rocket and Blackjack is an amazing moment – the two aiming big guns at each other, and counting to three. So awesome. Then Rocket vs. the Federation of Angry Exes was a lot of fun. The art, all through, is cute and fun and great. This series is really enjoyable. I love it.

I may as well mention Amazing Spider-Man #7, by Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Giuseppe Camuncoli. A woman with blue skin, dressed in a variation on the original Ms. Marvel outfit (but with pants!), is committing crimes. Kamala learns about it, and goes to check it out. Anna Maria’s trying to teach Peter to give the authorities more trust, rather than rushing off at every emergency alert, but then he also learns about the fake Ms. Marvel. He gets there just in time to see the real Ms. Marvel put her giant foot down. In the back of a truck is a cocoon, like the one Kamala hatched from. The fake Ms. Marvel decks her, and Spider-Man catches her. She’s excited to be in a Spider-Man Team-Up. Also, we learn that Ms. Marvel ships Spider-Marvel. Kamala is adorable. I love her so, so much. They confront fake Ms. Marvel, who’s been using NuHumans to give herself some neat powers. Like growing into a giant monster. Team-Up! Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel! And she’s adorable and awesome! She really is. Ms. Marvel is so great. (On another note, the back-up story has Morlun kill Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Yep. Then Bora and Brix catch and kill Spider-Kitty. Poor Kitty! This story also shows that the Captain Britain Corps are aware of the Incursions, and looking for something to do about it. This was a minor complaint some people had about New Avengers. Now it’s been addressed, albeit in a different book.)

 

Edit: I added Nightcrawler #7, up above.

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