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Pull List for September 20 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I think I can probably do reviews tomorrow.

I’ll go to the store for: America #7, by Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, Jen Bartel, Annie Wu, Ming Doyle, Aud Koch, Joe Rivera, Rachelle Rosenberg, Jordan Gibson, and Travis Lanham; Avengers #11, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso, and Cory Petit; Bitch Planet Triple Feature #4, by various; Generations Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson, Paolo Villanelli, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna; Luke Cage #5, by David Walker, Nelson Blake, Marcio Menyz, and Joe Sabino; Mirror #8, by Emma Rios & Hwei Lim; Snotgirl #7, by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung; USAvengers #10, by Al Ewing, Paco Diaz, Jesus Aburtov, and Joe Caramagna; World of Animosity, by Marguerite Bennett, Roberto De La Torre.

I’ll also review: Jean Grey #7, by Dennis Hopeless, Alberto Jimenez Albuquerque, Jay David Ramos, and Travis Lanham; X-Men Gold #12, by Marc Guggenheim, Luke Ross, Frank Martin, and Cory Petit.

Why I’m getting them: America’s got one hell of an art team. The preview pages are from the section drawn by Jen Bartel, and hooooooolyyyyyyy shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Seriously, guys, the issue’s worth picking up for Bartel’s pages alone. So gorgeous. Avengers has more Mike Del Mundo. And pretty much anything he draws is worth spending money on. The Bitch Planet Triple Feature has been great, seeing creators take on the setting created by DeConnick and De Landro.Wilson has obviously been doing great work on Ms. Marvel, and Kamala meeting a younger Carol who was just getting a start as a superhero should be really cool to see. Luke Cage has been good, some interesting stuff. Mirror is weird and hard to follow but gorgeous. Snotgirl is ridiculous and hilarious and deceptively tense, with more gorgeous art. USAvengers has been a delight. World of Animosity looks like it’ll be the kind of book that would be a cash-grab if it came from Marvel, but Animosity’s been so good that I’m still excited for this.

So I’ve been reading Iron Fists, by Kaare Andrews, Afu Chan, Shelly Chen, and Travis Lanham. (In fact, while tweeting a bunch of cool panels, one of my tweets got, as of 2am this morning, 44 retweets – including Andrews, Kelly Thompson, Rahzzah, and freaking Brian Bendis, and let me tell you, “Brian Michael Bendis Retweeted your tweet” is one hell of a thing to see – and 147 likes. It’s a lot! It is so bizarre to me when I have a tweet get that much attention.) It’s a pretty great comic. I’ve read the first three issues so far, and it’s really good. Afu Chan is a fantastic artist. Really dynamic, really gives a sense of motion. Andrews is a great writer, Chen’s doing great colours. It’s a really fun book, and Pei is such a great protagonist. Well, deuteragonist. She and Danny are the co-leads. But Pei, I think, is the main draw here. She’s the reason Andrews is even doing the series. She’s a compelling character. I’m thoroughly enjoying the comic, and I recommend it.

I need to get new shirts. All the shirts I have are getting old, and have lots of little holes from my cat picking at me, and are fraying at the bottoms. New jeans, too. I could probably order some t-shirts online, but jeans I would have to buy at a store, to check the fit. Bleh.

I finally got around to setting up a savings account. I’ve got $2500 in it right now, which is pretty great. I also owe $12 500 in credit card debt. Which is . . . less great. I know it could be a lot worse, I know I’m lucky to owe as relatively little as I do. It’s still painful. I’ll never actually pay my credit cards off entirely.

I got myself a fidget spinner for at work. I can be pretty fidgety. I honestly don’t know if the spinner actually helps me or not. But I play with it plenty, so, I guess it does its job.

I guess that’s all I’ve got for this week.

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New Mutants #80 (1989, October)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today, by Simonson, Blevins, Williamson, Oliver, and Rosen, “Curse of the Valkyries.”

Curse of the Valkyries

Boom-Boom’s having a bad day.

Some of the flaming Valkyries confront the Mutants and dwarfs for a fight. The Mutants launch into the fight, except Boom-Boom, who’s totally freaked out by everything going on. Rictor snaps her into action by calling her a chick dwarf, which also works to get Eitri going.

New Mutants #80

Rude, Eitri.

Hela watches the fight, and is pleased the dwarfs will fight, so she can add them to her forces. She also wants the New Mutants, but:

New Mutants #80

Dani doesn’t give up easy.

Back on Earth, Freedom Force is still trying to get at Rusty and Skids, but they can’t get through Skids’ force field. She and Rusty plan on staying right where they are until the morning, when tourists arrive, and media, and then they can blow Freedom Force’s secrets wide open. Avalanche and Crimson Commando return in a new helicopter, blow a big hole around Skids’ force field, and then Blob can just pick them up. Clever.

Back in Asgard, Dani shows up and sprinkles a powder that freezes the Mutants and Dwarfs. The Mutants are taken to a cell, where Boom-Boom complains and the others argue with her, but honestly, let the girl vent. Though I suppose the arguing does actually help.

New Mutants #80

Bombs are always the solution.

With her out of the room, she can move again, but the guards outside heard the commotion. She thinks about how she could run. But she doesn’t, of course.

New Mutants #80

Boom-Boom’s good people.

I really love how she doesn’t even really hesitate. Even as she thinks about escaping, she’s already taking steps to free the others. She complains about it, but she still rescued them. With them saved, there’s still a few guards to deal with. And a pretty great joke.

New Mutants #80

Love this little bit of teasing.

Also, I’m kinda with Boom-Boom in this panel:

New Mutants #80

She gets my vote.

They see some trolls bring Hrimhari, Rahne’s wolf prince from her last visit, to a cell. They free him, and he tells them they need to get out. He explains that Hela is building an army for an assault on Asgard. She also starts creating a portal to Hel. The Mutants debate what to do, with Sam considering it carefully. In the old days, they would’ve tried for a shot at Hela. But the team isn’t at full strength, and Doug’s death is still pretty fresh in Sam’s mind, so he decides on going to Odin. Also, Hela starts to create a portal sealing the fortress of from Asgard, and Warlock isn’t able to get everyone out in time. Only he, Boom-Boom and Hrimhari are outside the seal when it closes, while the rest are still stuck inside.

Side note: In the letters page, someone complained about the issue where Warlock has to come to terms with Doug being dead was “useless.” Useless! One of the most tear-jerking issues of any comic, and this guy calls it “useless.”

Pretty good issue. Boom-Boom is her usual delightful self. Always complaining, but still getting the job done, and being more effective than any of the others, if we’re honest. She’s great. Really fun. I can’t blame her for being freaked out, and I love that, for all she hates everything going on, she’s loyal to her friends. She really doesn’t want to abandon them. I also actually really like Sam’s thoughts when deciding what to do. It shows him really maturing into being a good leader in his own right. He and Dani had always been co-leaders, but Dani always felt like the main leader, the one who decided what the team should do. Sam shows that he’s good at it, too. He makes a smart decision. Even if it doesn’t quite go as planned. Hela is awesome. I love Hela.

Blevins’ art is very good, I enjoy his art style, though I’m still not entirely sold on him being the right choice for these issues. Still, it feels like it works better here than the previous issue, and I’m not even sure why. But I like it in this issue. I think the writing just goes better with the cartoonish art. Simonson and Blevins liked working together, and this issue has their collaboration back to its full strength, after an issue of them getting back into their groove.

So far, this arc is still good. It’ll run into problems soon, though. But I’ll get to those in later issues.

X-Men comics of September 13 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert).So Marvel Future Fight is doing an Age of Apocalypse thing right now, which is cool because AoA was awesome. Anyway, here’s comics.

X-Men Blue #11, by Cullen Bunn, Douglas Franchin, Scott Hanna, Guru-eFX, and Cory Petit. Scott and Jean are the only ones standing against the Hex-Men. A Colossus who went into Limbo to save Illyana, but found she was already dead. Bloodstorm, an Ororo who tried to pick Dracula’s pocket when she was a kid. A Pixie who was trapped and corrupted by a second Inferno. A Nightcrawler turned into an awesome dragon-like monster. Scott and Jean combine their powers, with Jean creating bumpers for Scott’s blast to ricochet off of, and OK, that’s pretty awesome. And it seems like such a Scott and Jean move, too. The X-Men love combining their powers, and this is such a logical combination to use. It also gives them a chance to escape via Pickles the Bamf. Meanwhile, Jimmy, Angel and the Sheriff are in a bunker. I suspect it’s probably from the Life Foundation, a recurring organization that were Spider-Man antagonists for a while. Although I feel like all their bunkers kept getting destroyed any time Spider-Man was in the same time zone. Anyway, they find a recording from Miss Sinister, who notes that mutants on Jimmy’s world were man-made, which was a pretty weird thing from the Ultimate Universe. This is pretty good. The scene with Jimmy and Warren was boring, though Warren was actually pretty good. He flirted, and failed, but was very charming about it. And he also raised a pretty intelligent point about not listening to what someone as manipulative and sadistic as Miss Sinister has to say. He’s not wrong. So he was good in the scene. Jimmy remains Jimmy. A boring waste of space with no real personality. A constant reminder that Laura is so much more interesting a character, but the X-office seems to want to downplay her for some goddamn reason, and it sucks. Screw Jimmy. Jimmy’s lame and boring and stupid. The Hex-Men are pretty neat. The little glimpses into their origins are neat. Nice “What If” scenarios. Indications are Bloodstorm will be staying with the team, and I am definitely fine with that. I enjoyed her in the Earth X series about Havok. She was cool. And she seems like she’ll be cool here. I look forward to more of her, at any rate. The Goblin Queen is always entertaining, and her plan here is really interesting, and definitely another callback to that Earth X series. The art’s good. A perfectly fine art style. Good visual storytelling, which is key. The art does what it’s supposed to do. If it doesn’t do much for me beyond that? That’s fine. It’s still a good-looking book.

Weapon X #8, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Ibraim Roberson, Marc Borstel, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. Hulkverine vs. Weapon X. It’s not even close to a fair fight. Domino does get to make a “bullets & bracelets” joke, so that’s nice. And Sabretooth gets kicked damned near into orbit, so yay for that. A kick to the groin, too. Considering his rapist tendencies, that’s beautiful. A kick to the groin that launches him miles away. Mwah. Dr. Alba remains pretty wonderfully amoral. On the plus side, the fact that Domino is the only one who isn’t damned-near dead tells Logan that Weapon H is holding back. He’s got a moral code, and he can still be talked to. And we also get this moment:

Weapon X #8

The Fight of the Century!

I won’t spoil the last-page reveal, except to say frigging finally! You know, this series really has been excellent since Land left it. A testament to just how important art is to a comic. Good artists elevate mediocre writing. And Pak is definitely not mediocre. So the art ensures this book is excellent. The action is fast and brutal, and there’s some great expressiveness. Like Domino’s face-palm, above. Which is hilarious. There’s plenty of clever dialogue from Pak, too. For all that the book is about a group of killer mutants hunting a monster designed to kill mutants, there’s a lot of great comedy. Like Sabretooth being kicked right in the crotch and flying away. Because the top panel of each of the next three pages is him screaming as he flies through the air. Beautiful. One of the best things. Kudos to the whole team on that.

All-New Wolverine #24, by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Michael Garland, Erick Arciniega, and Cory Petit. Gabby is now a Brood Queen, and wants Laura to join them. Star-Lord says they have to blow up the moon to keep the Brood from escaping. Laura refuses to leave without Gabby. And, uh . . . I’m not going to spoil how Gabby’s saved (because of course she is) but it’s . . . something. There’s also a very strange development with Jonathan. And Rocket is very good at solving moral conundrums. This is a good finale to the arc. It’s a weird arc. But a fun one. Wolverine vs. Brood is always enjoyable. And Taylor makes good use of the Guardians, especially Rocket. He actually highlights how similar Laura and Rocket are, both being the results of experiments. Makes me want to see more of them together, a little. This is Kirk’s last issue on the series, and it’ll be a shame to see him go, as he did good work. But man, this series just cannot keep an artist longer than a single arc. I hope whoever’s next sticks around a little longer. Give Taylor someone he can do a more long-form collaboration with. I’d love to see what would come from a solid year of collaboration with a single line artist. I do appreciate Michael Garland providing a sense of visual consistency with his colours. And he and Arciniega do a good job on the colours. This remains a fantastic series.

Old Man Logan #28, by Ed Brisson, Mike Deodato, Frank Martin, and Cory Petit. In the Wastelands, Logan and Clint find out who’s been poaching Logan’s pigs, and it turns out it’s a Hulk girl who ran away from home. He lets her take the pig, but says it’s the last one. In the present, only one Hulk walked away from Logan’s latest slaughter. She manages to tell Maestro what happened before she dies, which has always struck me as one of the weirder tropes in fiction. People always hang on to life long enough for their last words to be cogent explanations of what happened. (Unless they die right before they get to the major revelation.) I don’t mean to single it out here, because every work of fiction does it. I just find it odd. After a brief but rather definitive leadership squabble, Maestro tells everyone to get ready to leave. Meanwhile, Clint wants to help Logan, and pretty much insists on it. And now it’s a race against the clock to find the Hulks before they use the nukes they stole. This is pretty OK. I’m really not a fan of Deodato’s art. I find it too static, too posed, too Uncanny Valley. I know he’s a big star, but it’s just a style I don’t enjoy, and it makes it harder to really judge this book fairly, I think. The story’s mostly fine. I do like Clint’s role in the issue. He’s good. Fun. Chatty and a bit dorky. He and Logan play off each other well, I’d definitely be up for more of them as a buddy duo. The Hulk Gang is still mostly boring. But for the most part, this arc’s generally OK.

That’s the X-stuff, here’s quick thoughts on other comics.

Ms. Marvel #22 has a nice follow-up on Kamala revealing her identity to Josh, a really interesting bit of discussion between Nakia and Tyesha about the hijab (I love that bit). The return of Lockjaw. The realization that there are still people in Jersey who support Ms. Marvel. A new use of her power. And a background cameo by Dust and Monet. Yay for them! No lines, but still, awesome cameo. It’s a great issue. After a rough arc, Kamala gets a win. Which is how it should be. The good guys win the day! She’s learned some bad things about Jersey City and her place in it, but she’s still in the fight, and it’s great to see. Love it.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #24 has Ultron as a T-Rex. Turns out, after one of Ultron’s fights with the Avengers, a piece of his finger landed in the Savage Land. Where it was eaten by a dinosaur and then pooped out. And now he wants to kill all organics. Fair. Also, Antonio the Doombot is pretty awesome. This comic’s great.

Hulk #10 has Jen contemplate Frankenstein (the book), and being a monster. And she also Hulks out to fight Oliver. And it’s fantastic stuff. This is a really powerful issue. Jen’s still trying to cope with her recent changes. With feeling like a monster. The combination of rage and suffering that accompany being a monster. And how much she misses Bruce. The one real criticism I have has to do with the art. Her Hulk form is somewhat inconsistent. Sometimes, it’s big and scary. Other times, she looks a little softer. Still, this issue is by far the high point of the arc. Hulks are usually compared to Jekyll and Hyde, but this issue makes a strong comparison to Frankenstein and his monster. Hyde was evil, but Frankenstein’s monster, while angry, was also persecuted simply for looking inhuman. Rage and suffering. Who among us doesn’t feel those? Some of us more than others, more at some times than others. But damn if they don’t make us feel less human. Like monsters. Like I said, this issue’s some powerful stuff. I love it.

Generations: Captain Marvel. Carol meets Mar-Vell back when he was stuck in the Negative Zone. It takes her a while to adjust. She also decides that Annihilus’ name should be Fred. I can support this. I actually kinda hope that catches on. Anyway, it’s an OK issue. It suffers from the same problem as the main series: It’s kinda bland and typical superhero fare. This book could be great. It really could. But it needs, I think, to be bolder. Marvel’s pretty clearly trying to position Carol as their lead female. So let her own that position. Make her book something big, something epic, and something heavy. The book is a bit light on drama – it always tends to back away from it lighten the mood with a joke. The art doesn’t help. Actually . . . I think the colours don’t help. I think just making the colours just a few shades darker would do wonders for the tone of the book. Also an artist with a more dramatic style. And a writer with a more dramatic style. They’re going for a fairly light YA tone, but the thing is, YA literature can get pretty damn heavy, too, and I think the book needs to be more willing to go there. Less flippancy. Aaron’s Thor run is probably a good model – big and epic, while also having a strong streak of humour.

Pull List for September 13 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert).  Reviews will probably be up tomorrow.

I’ll go to the store for: All-New Wolverine #24, by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Michael Garland, Erick Arciniega, and Cory Petit; Generations Captain Marvel, by Margaret Stohl, Brent Schoonover, Jordan Boyd, and Joe Caramagna; Hulk #10, by Mariko Tamaki, Julian Lopez, Francesco Gaston, Matt Milla, and Cory Petit; Insexts #13, by Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina; Ms. Marvel #22, by G. Willow Wilson, Marco Failla, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna; My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #58, By Tom Zahler, Agnes Garbowska;; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #24, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Alan Smithee, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham.

I’ll also review: Old Man Logan #28, by Ed Brisson, Mike Deodato, Frank Martin, and Cory Petit; Weapon X #8, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Ibraim Roberson, Marc Borstel, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna; X-Men Blue #11, by Cullen Bunn, Douglas Franchin, Scott Hanna, Guru-eFX, and Cory Petit.

So that’s 7 comics I’m picking up, and 3 additional reviews. Pretty heavy week.

Why I’m picking them up: Wolverine! Vs. Brood! And I need to see how Gabby gets saved. And to see that Jonathan is OK. Generations Captain Marvel I’m getting kinda out of inertia. I’ve been getting the Captain Marvel series since 2012. I want the comic to be better than it is. But hey, maybe this team-up will be cool, even if I’ve never given a damn about Mar-Vell. Hulk’s current arc hasn’t been as powerful as the first, but it’s still great work, and still pretty strong stuff. Insexts has been really gorgeous and really joyously messed-up and it’s great. Ms. Marvel’s current arc has been a really good commentary on current politics. And Squirrel Girl has been a really good commentary on dinosaurs and programming and romance.

How about some Kickstarters? Gothic Tales of Haunted Love: a comics anthology. Gothic romance stories. And it looks like a few of them will have queer content, and diverse content. And diverse creators. And the stories will all be great gothic romance stories. Destiny, NY, Vol. 2. I’ve read the first volume now, and it’s good stuff. A girl who was the subject of a prophecy, and who’s completed that prophecy, and now has to just deal with life. And is dating a cool studly girl. Lady of Wrath, which looks gorgeously violent, and just really cool. Mine!: a comic collection to benefit Planned Parenthood. It’s raising money for Planned Parenthood. And it has stories by some amazing creators. Neil Gaiman should be enough to sway you, but if not, there’s a ton of other incredible people involved.

Mysterious Things, about a djinn resurrected into the modern age. Seems neat. Heroes of the Homefront, a book about the artists who made comics for Bell Features in WW2. So it’s all about Golden Age Canadian comic creators. Bell Features, for the record, put out the comics for Nelvana of the Northern Lights, and Johnny Canuck. And it just seems like a really cool bit of both Canadian and comic history. I’ve actually backed it for a physical copy, which I never do. And finally, The Bear and His Daughter, which has some gorgeous art.

So, Inhumans debuts on TV on Friday. I guess I’ll probably watch it. But meh, can’t say I’m excited. I’ve never cared about the Inhumans, and this show looks really bad. I’ll bet they don’t even give Crystal a very big role, despite her clearly being the best of the Attilan Inhumans. She’s a sweetheart and is too good for the rest of her family.

I don’t know, I never have anything to talk about. Too tired from working all the time to really have the energy for anything smart to say. So I guess that’s it for this week.

Uncanny X-Men #250 (1989, October)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Len Wein, co-creator of the All-New All-Different X-Men, died today. While Wein only wrote the Giant-Size X-Men where the ANAD team first appeared, it was the success of that book that took the X-Men out of reprints and made it an ongoing again. And, of course, he was a legendary writer beyond just that book. He was an icon in the industry, and the world is a bit brighter for him having been in it. But anyway. By Claremont, Silvestri, Leialoha, Oliver, and Rosen, “The Shattered Star.”

The Shattered Star

Can’t say the cover much impresses me.

It opens at a Russian research station in Antarctica, and it’s a pretty cool scene, actually. I like these people. They’re very much Claremont-ian background characters. Of course, the station is immediately destroyed and the researchers almost all die, a result of a tower bursting through the ice beneath them. Zaladane is responsible, and Alex is disgusted, but keeps his cover. But then he sees Lorna in danger, being placed on a platform beneath some fancy device, so he blows his cover, and is immediately subdued by the Mutates, who knew all along that he was there. With that done, Zaladane gets up on the platform, the machine is activated, and magnetic energy flows through Lorna, until she turns into energy and is absorbed by Zaladane. (Lorna does survive, she’s seen being carried, unconscious, on the next page.) The surviving Russians are given to Worm, who covers them in a mucus that lets him control them. He’s creepy. I don’t like Worm.

Psylocke overhears all this telepathically, and is so disgusted that she strips off her armour and dives into some water. She gets caught in an undertow, and Colossus tries to save her, but his body falls under someone’s control and he starts drowning her instead. Alison’s distracted trying to figure out what to do, and gets caught by Worm. As Psylocke slips unconscious, she has a weird dream. She’s back at the Outback base, and finds herself, strung up, partially turned into a cyborg. She finds her friends likewise dead. Gateway is chained and shackled, and she guesses there’s danger back home, and he shows her the Siege Perilous, so she guesses that’s their only chance of escape.

Back in reality, Brainchild’s a perverted little prick.

Uncanny X-Men #250

Ew. Gross, Brainchild.

Lupo suggests just taking her, and dude, no, no. Claremont, no, that’s not cool. Don’t turn rape threats into cheap drama like that. Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Nereel have all been captured by the enslaved X-Men, and threatens to kill their kids. Back in the dungeon, Lorna breaks free of her chains, and takes a laser-blast point blank. So now she’s super-strong and invulnerable. And also bigger. And Alex acts a lot wilder now. He’s still too weak to fight, so Psylocke takes over his mind and makes him. Whatever works. And that’s the tides of battle turning. Worm’s blasted unconscious, Dazzler blasts the membrane off herself, the fight is finished, everyone escapes, hurrah. And I find this funny:

Uncanny X-Men #250

Comics!

Psylocke figures that staying the Savage Land to defeat Zaladane will keep the X-Men from their fate, but then Gateway teleports them home anyway.

So, this issue. It’s, um, an odd one. It’s a perfectly serviceable issue of UXM, but . . . I don’t know, it feels like a bit of a let-down. It’s coming in the middle of issue after issue where things are falling apart, and then this two-parter is just a fairly normal story. It sets up next issue’s complete disbanding of the X-Men. But this is the 250th issue of Uncanny X-Men, and the story doesn’t live up to that. This is not a Special Anniversary story. I’m probably judging it unfairly, but just the same, the story is pretty bland. Zaladane and Lorna Dane being sisters feels random and out of nowhere. Also, it’s not explained here, but apparently, the similarity of their names is what made Zaladane believe they’re related. Even though Lorna’s adopted so “Dane” wouldn’t be her original family name. But oh well. The rape-y elements are weird and bad. Zaladane is a boring villain, which is probably why she’s a rare villain to stay dead. There’s not much really exciting going on. The characterization mostly falls a bit flat.

The art is actually a bit of a let-down, too. There’s some distinctly wonky images here and there. Like that one panel I posted where Alex is missing most of his hair. This really isn’t the best work of any of the artists. I mean, middling for Silvestri is still pretty damn great, but I expect better of him. Oliver, too. She was the best colourist in the industry, and obviously, there’s still some fantastic colours, but there are also bits where the colours aren’t as good as they should be.

All in all, this is just a really weak issue of UXM.

X-Men comics of September 6 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Here’s comics.

X-Men Gold #11, by Marc Guggenheim, Lan Medina, Craig Yeung, Frank Martin, and Cory Petit. Piotr’s uncle explains that he lured Illyana in as a trap so Omega Red could use her power for a permanent resurrection. He takes the team to where Illyana will be, which is also where Omega Red is, so fighting. Old Man Logan vs. Zombie Omega Red. Meanwhile, turns out the uncle is a lying liar who lies, but luckily, the X-Men knew that, so prepared accordingly. During the fight against Omega Red, Kitty says she doesn’t speak Russian. But I could swear she had learned at least some? Anyway, the issue ends with Kitty and Piotr pretty definitively back together, and uuuuuuuuuuuuugh, why? We’ve had that romance. So many times. Why is Guggenheim so scared shitless of doing anything the least bit genuinely new or unique with this book? It’s just warmed-over Claremont duplicates. It’s just so boring. I guess everything here is handled competently enough. It’s not bad. It’s just there. It’s very safe, very by-the-books, no surprises, everything goes pretty much exactly the way it’s supposed to go. It makes for a book that ultimately feels pointless. If Guggenheim isn’t going to do something new with the franchise, then why the hell is he even writing this? What is the actual point of this book? What’s it trying to say? Bleh.

Astonishing X-Men #3, by Charles Soule, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, Jason Keith, and Clayton Cowles. It opens with Logan climbing a wall of ice, as narration talks about how he killed everyone he loved, and was sent back to replace his younger self, and how everyone sees him as being their Logan, but he’s not that man, and being around them just makes him feel the blood on his hands. It’s really good narration, honestly, and it’s the right way of handling Old Man Logan. Don’t let him be comfortable with the X-Men. In the real world, the police are ordering the conscious X-Men to stand down. Bishop tries to figure out a plan, while Angel takes the direct approach: Say hi and try to explain the situation. I like when heroes try that approach. He actually gets to be badassedly kind in this issue. He’s nice to the point that it becomes legitimately badass, and it’s probably one of my favourite Angel moments. Back in the Astral Plane, Logan has set his mind on Farouk, and I gotta say, the way he just straight-up ignores everything Farouk tries to distract him with? Pretty awesome. Just “nopes” through it all.

Astonishing X-Men #3

Yeah, this seems right.

This is a great issue. Soule focuses primarily on Logan, and he writes the character very well. He delves deep into Logan’s psyche. His determination, and his need to suffer for what he’s done. Which is a great touch and makes a lot of sense. I love Soule’s take on Old Man Logan. There’s a bitterness to him that’s lacking in other takes on him. McGuinness does a great job, too. I really like McGuinness’ style. There’s a certain weight to it. Even without dark shades, there’s a dark undertone. Which is enhanced by Keith’s colours, of course. Keith’s worked with McGuinness for a while now, and they clearly know how to work to each other’s strengths. The visual storytelling is top-notch. This is a very solid series. All that stuff I said about Gold? Yeah, doesn’t apply here. This is actually kinda what Gold aspires to be. There’s a real classic vibe to the story, but it also feels contemporary and new. X-Men vs. Shadow King isn’t a new idea, but Soule’s handling it in a unique and interesting way that makes the book feel like its own thing, while still having plenty to appeal to fans of the older stuff. Good book.

Iceman #5, by Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Sabino. Juggernaut asking a pair of girls for directions to a turtle pond is a great visual. I’ll say that off the bat. But anyway, Bobby’s come out to his parents, and things are going great. His parents are homophobic assholes. So, I’ve been reading some ’90s comics, and I actually just a couple nights ago read an issue of X-Men where Bobby’s dad was badly beaten because he stood up for mutants against Graydon Creed. It was a great story that showed that Bobby’s dad really does love him. And now, he says their son is dead. Yep. He does talk a bit about his past relationships, though, and that’s pretty good stuff. Luckily, Juggernaut shows up, which allows Bobby to escape the really, really uncomfortable conversation. Also, Juggernaut apparently has an idea for a fried donut delivery app, and I am 1000% in support of this idea. Make it happen, Juggernaut. Bring this joy into the world. Anyway, while Bobby fights Juggernaut, Kitty gives his parents a letter he’d tried to write to explain his feelings. Rough as the start of the issue is, the ending is pretty great. The fight against Juggernaut is actually really good, very exciting, with Bobby make really nice use of his powers. Juggernaut is even impressed. The letter that’s shown over the fight is very nice, very emotional stuff that really delves into Bobby’s feelings. The final conversation of the issue – won’t say who it’s with – is an incredibly powerful moment, one that really brings tears to your eyes. I can’t say I’m a fan of the art, though. Vitti puts a loooot of lines, especially on faces. And it’s really unpleasant to look at. Still, he does a good job with the fight. He makes it very exciting. So, yeah, very good issue.

Generation X #6, by Christina Strain, Eric Koda, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles. The issue opens with Doop teaching a class on mutant sexuality. Hmm, should I translate his speech here? Fuck it, let’s do this. “Truth is, everyone’s different. Some of us just can’t help but be more obvious about it. Doesn’t mean we should stop ourselves from livin’ and lovin’ ’cause of it.” “Don’t I know it. People have looked at me like I’m a sexy boy for years. When people project an image of us, it can leave us feeling misunderstood. Even highlight our deepest insecurities. Not to say that you shouldn’t feel sexy, because you should. For yourself. ‘Cause if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else?” Also, Nature Girl has a crush on Doop. Girls loving Doop is a pretty great running gag throughout his existence. Meanwhile, Benjamin is falling asleep, because Quentin has been dragging him out to clubs every night, and Nathaniel’s not happy about it. After class, Quentin is pursuing Idie, asking her for sushi. (He also asked her about sushi in Iceman. I’m guessing Strain and Grace worked that out as a joke. I like that. I like things crossing over between books like that.) Idie shoots him down, and it’s actually kinda sad. Ben even notes that, much as everyone thinks Quentin’s a jerk, he’s also the loneliest guy Ben knows. Ben’s a nice guy. The nicest guy, honestly. Nathaniel decides to invite himself along with Quentin and Ben on their newest adventure. We also get a scene of Jubilee and Chamber talking about M, and about Jubilee’s own vampirism. It’s a good scene, and I like that Strain isn’t ignoring Jubilee’s vampirism. It’s a distinct part of who she is. Something Jubilee has to work around. They also beat up a mugger, and have a good time with it. On the downside, Quentin takes Ben and Nate to an auction where Kade Kilgore, one of the obnoxious Hellfire Brats who needs to die so hard that it retroactively erases his existence, is at. Quentin also declares Ben his boyfriend, which certainly seems to throw Nate off. Ben and Nate are so going to hook up and I want it so much. Anyway, it’s a fun issue. Nice spotlight on the boys. More flirting and teasing and I’m not sure my heart can take it. I also like Strain’s take on Quentin. He’s not a Rebel With A Heart Of Gold. He’s a lonely kid covering his insecurities with acts of rebellion. That’s the real root of Quentin Quire. He’s not the cool kid, he’s a loser hiding behind a mask of what he thinks is cool. He’s got a lot of deep-rooted emotional issues. Ben, probably because of his power, is one of the few people who’s able to really see through that, and he really wants to help Quentin, and it’s really nice. Ben is such a good kid. I also loved the Jubes/Chamber scene. They’re total BFFs and it’s sweet. I’m not a fan of the art. Koda’s style is very blobby and everyone looks vaguely swollen. Not a style I like. The brief fight scene is fantastic, though. There’s a panel of Jubilee kicking a gun so it hits the mugger’s head, and it’s really dynamic and awesome. Koda kills it on action, and Sobreiro’s colours add a lot of energy and dynamism. Give Koda an all-action issue, it’d be an amazing comic. Anyway, I’m still loving this. Still my favourite team X-title.

Pull List for September 6 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I honestly don’t know when I’ll end up posting the reviews this week.

I’ll go to the store for: Animosity The Rise #3, by Marguerite Bennett, Juan Doe; Black Bolt #5, by Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward, Frazer Irving; Generation X #6, by Christina Strain, Eric Koda, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles; Hawkeye #10, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and Joe Sabino; Jem & the Misfits Infinite #2, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge; My Little Pony Legends of Magic #5, by Jeremy Whitley, Brenda Hickey; My Little Pony Movie Prequel #4, by Ted Anderson, Andy Price; The Wicked + The Divine #31, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles

I’ll also review: Astonishing X-Men #3, by Charles Soule, Ed McGuinness; Iceman #5, by Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Sabino; X-Men Gold #11, by Marc Guggenheim, Lan Medina.

So that’s 8 comics to pick up, and 3 additional reviews. Pretty heavy week.

Why I’m buying them: Animosity! Horror, tragedy and drama, all involving animals. It’s good stuff. Black Bolt is one of Marvel’s best comics right now, and this issue is all about Lockjaw, which means giant puppy. Yay giant puppies. Generation X is all about the boys – Quentin, Benjamin and Nathaniel – and I am confident it will do nothing to dissuade me from my shipping. Plus, it’s just been a great series. Hawkeye’s been fun, but it’s also been getting increasingly dramatic, and the preview for this issue is weirdly tense. Jem has just been wonderful from the start. And WicDiv is WicDiv. A comic that hurts so good.

So, I’m thinking for tomorrow, I might just try to bang out the X-comics real quick, and not even bother talking about the rest. See how I feel after work, I suppose.

So I’ve been debating asking out a girl on OKCupid. She likes books, indie music, cats, and puns. So I kinda love her a little already. Two things are holding me back. First, she’s pretty, and I’m an ugly bastard. Second, she’s 24, and I’m 32. The age difference is acceptable, by any standard. But it’d still feel weird to me. Realistically, I should just grow some guts and take a chance. But it’s scary and I’m bad at it. So, I don’t know.

You know what character really needs to be brought back? Silhouette. A disabled mixed-race woman. Marvel doesn’t have many disabled heroes, and Silhouette was one of the rare few who didn’t have anything to offset her disability. She doesn’t have a power that lets her walk. She doesn’t have artificial legs that fire rockets. She has crutches. Which she uses to hit people, or to let her kick them in the face. She’s a pretty interesting character aside from all that, too, but the fact that she’s a disabled person who still kicks bad guys in the face is something that really stands out. I really want some writer to do something with her.

Uh, some Kickstarters worth backing. Mine!: a comic collection to benefit Planned Parenthood. Do you support women’s reproductive health? Then this helps support that. Do you like awesome comic creators? Some of the people involved in this include Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, Becky Cloonan, Gail Simone, Brittney Williams, Trina Robbins, Mark Waid, June Brigman, Ann Nocenti, Natacha Bustos, Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and just so many others. Tons of industry legends, tons of up-and-comers, tons of immensely talented creators. It’s an amazing list. So regardless of the cause, it’s definitely worth backing. But it’s also for a great cause. It’s got just over a week to raise another $10 000, so give it some money.

Beyond that, there’s Lady of Wrath, by Austin Chuck-Yin and Oliver Castaneda. It’s got some pretty fantastic art. And the story seems reasonably interesting. So why not check it out. And Destiny NY Vol 2, by Pat Shand and Rosi Kampe. I actually haven’t read the first volume yet, though I did back it. I’ll try to read it this week. It’s about a former magical girl who realized her destiny and is now just living her life. Which is a great premise. What happens after the story ends? I’m endlessly fascinated by the mundane lives of superheroes. Big battles for the sake of the world are all fine and good, but paying bills, going on dates, watching TV – that’s so much more real, and so much more compelling to me.

I forgot to set this to auto-post, so this is really late going up. Oops. Anyway, that’s it for this week.

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