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X-Men comics of July 11 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m pretty sure I’ve talked on here before about Tee Franklin, writer of Bingo Love, and of the upcoming Jook Joint. I’ve talked about her being a valuable voice in comics, someone worthy of supporting. Last night, a lot of comic artists called her out, saying she’s abusive to artists, and a lot of the people calling her trash are very much worth listening to. So, yeah, turns out that Franklin’s someone worth avoiding, which is a shame, because she does have a valuable voice that’s needed in comics. But not at the expense of artists. Anyway, here’s comics.

X-Men Blue #31, by Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. A flashback, to Jean reading Magneto’s mind, and finding a young Max, who’s scared of Hitzig, a Nazi bastard. Hitzig warns her that the real Magneto will return, and Jean wanting to find a way to make it so he doesn’t have to. I appreciate Jean’s belief in saving people, even from themselves. She’s a good person. Lorna meets with Alex for a very brief scene. And Magneto attacks the New York Hellfire Club. So the X-Men start looking for him. They talk to Briar, who suggests they just let him get his murder-spree out of his system. They still go find Emma to protect her. It’s not bad. Magneto gets to be the terrifying force of nature he is. I wouldn’t have minded a touch more of the Alex/Lorna scene, but space constraints, I get it. And the scene got what was most important in there, with Alex still insisting what happened was a part of him. So I wanted more, but it did what it had to do. Briar’s always fun. And Emma’s as charming as usual. The art’s very good, Molina and Milla kill it. Some fantastic storytelling there, and some just plain excellent work. Most of the X-Men, sadly, remain superfluous. Jean and Scott talk a little, but the others are just along for the ride. Which still sucks. We’re nearing the end of the series, and we still have no idea why Romeo ghosted Bobby, which makes it pretty clear it’s because Bunn didn’t want to have to bother writing the relationship. Which is pretty lame.

New Mutants: Dead Souls #5, by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, Michael Garland, Andrew Crossley, and Clayton Cowles. The last issue ended with Karma saying rather dramatically that it was time she had a talk with Illyana. So you’d think this issue would follow up on that, right? Have a scene where the two of them talk about what’s been going on? Maybe let Karma have some reaction to the news that her dead brother is active and looking for revenge? NOPE! Of course not! Why the hell would we get anything like that. Nope, this issue, once again, doesn’t feature Karma in the goddamn slightest. She doesn’t appear at all. This story about Karma’s dead brother continues to come damned close to ignoring Karma’s very existence, and it remains absolute bullshit. There’s room for Boom-Boom watching TV, but just no room for the woman whose dead brother is the antagonist. Fuck that shit. Fuck Matthew Rosenberg for that. He’s a nice guy and a talented writer but holy shit, fuck him for not using Karma in a story that she should have been the star of. There is no good reason not to let Karma be a big part of the story, but nope, it’s more important that it go to a white girl instead. Fuck that. Anyway, they go to Dr. Strange’s house to find clues about what Tran might be looking for, the house is weird, Rahne yells at Guido and then they make up, and Dr. Strange is possessed by Tran. At least the issue ends with Illyana saying it’s time they had a talk with Karma, so I’m fucking assuming she’ll get to be in the final issue. Given how the rest of the mini’s gone, I wouldn’t put it past Rosenberg to bypass that conversation, too, and leave Karma out of the final issue. It’s a well-made comic. There’s some great drama, some funny humour, the plotting’s tight. I mean, this is some great comedy right here:

New Mutants: Dead Souls #5

These snakes are great.

And it’s still all bullshit, because Rosenberg took a story that should have been Karma’s and he gave it to Illyana instead, and didn’t let Karma be an actual part of the plot. The final issue had damned well better have a loooooooooooot of Karma in it. It still won’t be enough to get me to forgive Rosenberg for stealing her story from her, but damn, will I ever be salty if the big dramatic conversation is, like, two pages long and that’s it. And hey, can I just note that Rosenberg’s doing a story where Punisher steals the War Machine armour. A white guy stealing a black guy’s costume. It’s fucked-up, right? Is it just me? And I’m not reading it, I don’t particularly care for the Punisher as a concept, never mind as a character, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that, since it’s his comic, we’re probably expected to be rooting for him, at least a little, as he runs around murdering people using the costume and weapons of a black man. And Multiple Man #1 had Madrox steal Bishop’s time traveling device. Just saying, it’s becoming a pattern. Don’t be surprised if Astonishing X-Men’s villain ends up being, like, Killmonger or some shit.

X-23 #1, by Mariko Tamaki, Juann Cabal, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. On the day before Laura’s birthday, she and Gabby are assaulting some building to retrieve stolen mutant DNA. After beating the people up, Laura goes to see Beast, who gives her another lead. They also run into the Cuckoos, who have gone back to looking alike. Which is disappointing. Their increasing individuality was interesting. Also, it’s their birthday, which they chose for themselves. And Gabby is upset because she wants a birthday, too. And the Cuckoos are up to something. This is a good start. I still hate that Laura’s back to being called X-23. And I hate her new costume. But the comic itself is good. Laura and Gabby are both great. Gabby is her usual delightful self but she also gets a little bit of drama in there, with her wanting a birthday. She gets pretty angry at Laura about it, which is new. I actually appreciate it. Laura herself remains consistent. She doesn’t present much emotion, but she’s got some, most of her emotions having to do with Gabby. Their relationship remains the heart of the book, and it’s sweet. While I’m disappointed the Cuckoos have reverted to looking alike, they’re still neat. They show some individuality, still. And they are really cool. I’m very intrigued by what they’re up to. The art’s mostly good. Cabal’s not one of my favourites. A couple panels look odd to me. But mostly, it’s good, and he’s a good storyteller. It’s never hard to follow what’s happening. The action flows well, and he keeps the talking scenes visually interesting. So even though this comic has the wrong title, it’s good, and I’m looking forward to more. Also, there’s this:

X-23 #1

Even the Cuckoos can’t leave Gabby hanging.

Domino #4, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Jesus Aburtov, and Clayton Cowles. Flashback. Desmond and Topaz, this comic’s villains, were in a secret project. Topaz’s father ran the place, Desmond was a test subject, and after Desmond learns that Domino got a kitten, his arm breaks itself. In the present, Diamondback and Inez decide to find out who sold them out, to restore Domino’s trust in them. Domino, meanwhile, is, um. Well.

Domino #4

Clearly going well.

He trains her, and she can’t hit him, until she uses his luck power to get him while he blinks. And she makes him go dancing with her. While Inez and Diamondback track down Desmond and Topaz. Another good issue. Inez and Diamondback are a lot of fun. Inez demanding her “finest chaps” is pretty priceless, and you’ve gotta love her with a line like that. Domino and Shang-Chi play off each other well. I want to see the Trampy Iron Fist costume. She has good chemistry with Shang-Chi. Baldeon’s art is expressive. And he draws fights very well. The Domino-Shang-Chi sparring looks really cool, I wouldn’t have minded another page of it, actually. I’m still enjoying this series. It’s good stuff.

Old Man Logan #43, by Ed Brisson, Juan Ferreyra, and Cory Petit. Sarah, that reporter from the Kingpin arc, gets home, and gets killed by a playing card. Bleh, fridging. Logan’s forced to stick around in New York to avenge her. He meets a woman whose husband was killed by Bullseye, and she’s out for revenge, and they decide to team up. She was apparently in that Bullseye mini a couple years back, and she’s got a fancy suit. Logan gives her the codename of Vendetta. They go to Bullseye’s agent, and Bullseye kills him. More Bullseye, ugh. I find Bullseye boring more often than I find him enjoyable. He gets a couple decent jokes once in a while, but mostly, he’s honestly boring. Just this one-dimensional psycho killer. I don’t enjoy that. So this arc is very much Not My Thing, off the bat. This Vendetta woman doesn’t seem particularly compelling, either. Comics are littered with characters just like her. Maybe she was cool in that Bullseye mini, I wouldn’t know, but here? Not actually a whole lot to her. At least the art’s good. I like Ferreyra’s style, though it can be a bit inconsistent at times. Vendetta’s design, while generic, is generic in a way that makes sense. So the art is the highlight of the issue, but unless you like Bullseye, there’s probably not a whole lot to recommend this issue.

Hunt For Guyverine: Adamantium Agenda #3, by Tom Taylor, R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Guru-eFX, and Joe Sabino. Flashback, to Logan saying he knows what happened with the bomb and that he’ll keep Tony’s secret. The present, and Sinister’s lost a hand to Wolverine. And then he loses his other hand to her. Tony pushes the sub to the surface, where a South Korean Helicarrier is ready to arrest the criminals on board, and they question the one who said he could sell Logan’s DNA. He tells them where Sinister’s base is, and Tony gives everyone armour to help them get in. What a meh series this is. Three issues in, and this still doesn’t actually tie into the big Logan plot. Sinister is taken out way too easily, though it’s easy to head-canon that as it just being a clone while the real Sinister is busy with more important matters. But he’s still lame here, not at all menacing. Which sucks. There’s some cool bits, but on the whole, it’s just a boring, pointless story. Good art, though, so at least it’s got that going for it. But on the whole, meh, skip this whole mini.

And the non-X-stuff.

Ms. Marvel #32, by G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. Kamala and Bruno try to figure out how her power works. Science! It screws up her powers, right when she has to fight Shocker. It’s a good comic. It gets into some of the oddities of her power, and while we don’t have any answers yet, it’s still interesting stuff. She and Bruno are back to being friends, and they’re good together. Leon and Herring are always amazing. What’s not to love?

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #34, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham.Squirrel Girl and her friends are in jail, and Tony Stark can’t get them released. And Doreen gets to read Kraven’s record and see how bad he was before he met her. And there’s a brief argument. And then the trial, with She-Hulk representing the defence, because come on, who else was it going to be? As always, this is a lot of fun, but also pretty smart, with this issue dealing with the question of whether people can change.

Champions #22, by Jim Zub, Kevin Libranda, Marcio Menyz, and Clayton Cowles. Toni Ho makes a cameo! Yay! She’s finished repairing Vision after he got smashed during that No Surrender event. Also, Vision agrees to let Amka stay with him and Viv while she’s with the Champions. There’s also a development with Vision that I actually really like. One that I think works very well for the character. It’s not something that’s likely to ever have any real pay-off, but it’s still one that makes sense. And it looks like Zub is going to finally move Viv away from the whole “deactivated emotions” garbage. I always hated that. It was a shitty decision that Waid made, and I wasn’t happy that Zub continued it, but it does look like he’s going to have her start feeling emotions again. About damn time. Also, very good art. This series has gotten very good now that Zub’s writing it.

Exiles #5, by Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, and Joe Caramagna. Kang is the Time-Eater, in a quest to become the multiverse. And Iron Lad has an idea on how to stop him. And AoA Sabretooth shows up. And the arc concludes. Pretty good conclusion. This isn’t the best Exiles has ever been, but it’s not the worst, and with this big opening arc over, hopefully we can get some more character-driven stories going forward.

Quicksilver #3, by Saladin Ahmed, Eric Nguyen, Paul Renaud, Rico Renzi, and Clayton Cowles. As a monster attacks Wanda, Pietro reflects on his life with her. A lot of it is him admitting what an asshole he’s been to her, which is good of him. It’s a good issue.

Nancy Drew #2, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St.-Onge, Triona Farrell, and Ariana Maher. Pete is handsome. Nancy knows the value of libraries. Jenn St.-Onge is amazing. This is good comics.

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X-Men comics for July 4 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Happy Independence Day to Americans. Belated Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks. Happy Wednesday to everyone else. Scarlett Johansson is apparently unwilling to learn from her mistakes. She got a lot of criticism for playing a Japanese character in the live-action Ghost In the Shell. Now, she’s going to be playing a trans man in an upcoming movie. A biopic about a real trans man. And at this point, you’ve gotta figure that she just doesn’t care. She had to know that real trans people would be upset – as they are every time a cis actor plays a trans character – and she just didn’t give a shit. She knows she’ll get an Oscar nomination for playing a trans man, and she genuinely does not give a shit how actual trans people feel about it. I’ve never liked Johansson as an actor, but now, I don’t even particularly like her as a person. So I am even less interested in a Black Widow solo than I already was. Anyway, I’m making my way through Luke Cage. Finished up to episode 9. There needs to be a Daughters of the Dragon spin-off about Misty and Colleen being awesome together. But for now, here’s comics.

X-Men Gold #31, by Marc Guggenheim, Pere Pérez, Jay David Ramos, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Rachel wakes up in her room at the Clarebyrne Hotel, which I guess is kind of a semi-clever nod. Mesmero’s waiting for her, and takes control of her. Piotr leaves, telling Kitty he’s thinking of going back to Russia to sort out his head. Then we’re in the Days of Future Past timeline, with some differences from the first time around. The team’s still planning a break-out, but Scott’s in the camp with them. They break out, but lose a few along the way. We find out Kitty’s pregnant, right as the team gets tracked down. This is not bad. Setting aside that I don’t really buy frigging Mesmero as a Big Bad, the DoFP stuff is handled fairly effectively. Familiar setting, but with enough differences to keep it interesting. The Kitty/Piotr scene is good. You know, this might be the closest Guggenheim has come to capturing the actual feel of Claremont’s run. Not just paying homage to it, not just ripping off elements without understanding why they worked for Claremont and his artists. But the actual feel of a Claremont comic. You know how much I dislike Guggenheim. But this comic is actually well-written. And the art, of course, is very good. Perez does great work. As do the colour artists. There’s one particular panel of an optic blast that is just exactly what it should be. It’s an inspiring panel. In fact, here:

X-Men Gold #31

Epic.

See, this is why Scott’s cooler than Logan. So yeah, that’s an awesome panel. And the art as a whole is strong. Perez is a good visual storyteller. And Guggenheim’s finally managed to learn how to write. So this is actually a legitimately good issue. Except for Mesmero. Mesmero? Really?

Astonishing X-Men #1, by Matthew Rosenberg, Greg Land (sigh), Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata, and Clayton Cowles. Havok blasts a monster and knocks it over into a building. The Avengers show up and Iron Man says they had an agreement to relocate on of Mole Man’s monsters, and now it looks like they broke the deal. Captain America tells Alex to take some time to figure out some things. Elsewhere, Pierce and the Reavers attack and capture Miss Sinister. Back at the school, Alex tries to recruit some of the students into a new team. Rockslide quite reasonably points out that Alex was recently a villain. Kitty yells at Alex, and reveals that she legally owns the name “X-Men.” Later, Alex has a nightmare and blows out the wall of the motel room he was staying in. He then goes to see Beast, who’s teaching a class at Harvard. He wants to recruit Beast, but Hank says he’s tired and sore. Apparently, half his teeth are dental implants. And then the Reavers attack. And there’s quite the last page cliffhanger. Pretty good issue. Rosenberg goes the Hawkguy route with Alex, writing him as kind of a loser who’s bad at doing the right thing, and who no one really likes. A bit of a departure from the norm, but it’s entertaining. Unfortunately, Rosenberg is saddled with Land on art. Honestly, I think I’ve reached the point where my eyes just glaze over Land’s art. I don’t even see it any more. Because I’ve seen so much of it before. He gives Alex slightly different stubble than most of the men he draws, but that’s about it. He still sucks. And I still find his art falls deep in the Uncanny Valley. Even when he’s not recycling the same traced photos, his art creeps me out. I don’t like it, at all. And it hurts this comic. Land is just not a great visual storyteller. This would be a much better comic with a different artist.

Weapon X #20, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. First off: That Rahzzah cover is amazing. Gorgeous work. But, the issue. The Weapon X team attacks the SICKLE Helicarrier. And I quickly take a liking to Ortiz’s lines. It’s a cool style. Kinda scratchy. I dig it.

Weapon X #20

Tiger kitten! Kitty kitty tiger kitty!

So you see what his art looks like. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but I took an immediate liking to it. Warpath tries to catch up to them, and Domino asks the others not to hurt his abs, but the Winter Guard grabs him first. Warpath vs. the Winter Guard is a pretty awesome fight. Ortiz brings a real energy to it. Omega Red talks to his brother, providing a distraction for the others to get onto the Helicarrier. It’s a tense conversation between them, and gives some more insight into Omega Red’s backstory. It doesn’t make him more sympathetic, which I appreciate. He was always a bastard. And then Weapon X vs. SICKLE, and again, it’s an awesome fight. And I want to note that Omega Red keeps the tiger kitty safe throughout the fight. I love that kitty. And I love how much Omega Red loves it. This is such a good issue. So much fun. And the art is a big part of it. I am completely in love with it. Ortiz has come out of nowhere to grab my attention in a big way. He just kills it here. That rough style works perfectly, and he’s got a great expressiveness. Love it. Pak and Van Lente are clearly having fun, too, and it shows through. So, this is a really good comic.

Hunt for Guyverine: Weapon Lost #3, by Charles Soule, Matteo Buffagni, Jim Charalampidis, and Joe Sabino. Daredevil, Misty and Frank find Cypher, barely alive after having his throat slashed. They get him into their little jet thing so the medical technology can keep him alive. And then it turns out the one who attacked Cypher was Albert. Albert! Yay! So the team goes after him. Turns out he’s looking for Elsie-Dee. I hope she’s OK, she’s awesome. We don’t find out here, they just kinda leave Albert out in the Canadian wilderness and then continue looking for Logan. Also, Misty and Frank start to make out, so I guess Soule’s just going to ignore Misty being with Falcon. Meh on that. Meh on most of this. I love seeing Albert, but it’s not like it really seems to tie into any larger story, and he doesn’t get much characterization. He’s just an enemy to be defeated. Misty and Frank do have some fun interactions. And the fight against Albert is kinda cool. But it doesn’t feel like any of this has anything to do with anything. It feels too much like a shameless cash-grab tie-in. The writing’s fine, the art’s fine, but the overall story just isn’t really working.

And the non-X-stuff.

Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl & Ms. Marvel, by Ryan North, G. Willow Wilson, Devin Grayson, Irene Strychalski, Ramon Bachs, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles. North and Strychalski do the Squirrel Girl part at the start, where Ms. Marvel gets to meet Squirrel Girl’s friends. And Chipmunk Hunk is the most awkward person ever. He asks if Ms. Marvel can turn into a truck. And Kamala feels left out of being the only one in the room who isn’t a computer scientist, poor Kamala. ALSO! Strychalski’s Ms. Marvel is SO CUTE. Her everyone is super-cute, of course. But especially her Ms. Marvel. And the whole thing is so much fun. Kamala and Doreen even figure out each other’s identities! Which is cool. They’re good friends now. And then Wilson and Bachs do a second half of the comic! Which is maybe not a great plan by Marvel, because it means the comic is $6, which is still cheaper than if it was split in two, but it feels like this is a series Marvel should’ve been putting out at a reduced price to try to grab newer readers. The second story has Ms. Marvel fight an RPG chicken, and is joined by Inferno, while Squirrel Girl talks to America. And for some reason, squirrels do not like Inferno. Both parts are great. Lots of fun, lots of humour, Wilson’s part has a lot more drama, which isn’t surprising. Ms. Marvel realizes Emulator is an Inhuman, and is scared and doesn’t really understand what’s happened to her, and wants to help. But we also get to see that Emulator is a little torn over what she’s doing. On the other hand, North’s story has a giant robot. And it also has a bunch of computer science, because Squirrel Girl. But both parts are great. I’m loving this storyline. It’s great stuff. Really fun.

Captain America #1, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Sunny Gho, and Joe Caramagna. In Russia, a woman named Alexa gets broken out of a Hydra prison transport by Selene. Huh. Interesting choice. Coates is a huge X-Men fan. Still, Selene was never one of the better X-Men villains. We’ll see how she works as a Captain America villain. In the US, Captain America and Bucky fight Nukes. And Sharon gets an actual scene to talk about her own feelings on everything that’s happened to her in recent years. It’s a small moment, but it’s frankly more than she got under Spencer, and certainly more than she got from Waid. This is a very strong start. Selene is an unexpected threat, and I’m curious to see where that goes. Interesting that Coates also has Selene and Alexa operating out of Russia – I doubt that’s a coincidence. He’s still dealing with the Hydra stuff, having Cap deal with how it happened, and people still distrusting him. It’s good. It’s a very strong start, and I’m very excited to see where Coates and Yu go with this, though I’m not a fan of Yu’s art. But still, great comic.

X-Men comics of June 27 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Two days until I’m unemployed. Also: The US continues its descent into fascism, everyone who supports Trump is a garbage person who supports the suffering of others, particularly the suffering of people in marginalized communities. It’s impossible to be both a Trump supporter and a good, compassionate person. Support for Trump is support for fascism. Anyway, here’s comics.

X-Men Blue #30, by Cullen Bunn, Nathan Stockman, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Daken’s planning on killing Jimmy, but the X-Men stop him, because they still want to save him. Not sure why, Jimmy’s boring. Let him die. If they need an X-Man from an alternate reality, go see what Nocturne’s up to, she’s awesome. Jimmy uses the opportunity to escape, and when Jean tries to read Daken’s mind, he somehow turns it against her and the others. Um, OK? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that. Call it the pheromones or something, I guess. And then there’s a big Daken/Jimmy fight. I seldom find myself rooting for Daken, what with him being an unrepentant monster. But Jimmy is just so dull. And this issue doesn’t give him any more personality. It doesn’t really do much with anyone. It’s just a wrap-up to the whole Poison event Bunn just finished. The story isn’t particularly interesting, and there isn’t much more character development for anyone. The art’s good. The Daken/Jimmy fight is exciting. Effective use of layouts to make it dynamic. Stockman’s the hero of the issue. I have to say: X-Men Blue has not given me much reason to be excited about Bunn’s Asguardians of the Galaxy. (Though he has said Sera will be addressed in that comic, and said that he has big plans for her, if the book lasts long enough. Which puts me in the position of hoping for a lengthy run on a comic I won’t be reading. I might jump in if it reaches a Sera-heavy plot, because Sera’s awesome.)

Multiple Man #1, by Matthew Rosenberg, Andy MacDonald, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Quick moment of unreasonable bitterness: I wonder which POC character will have their story given to a white character in this series! (I will never not be salty about Rosenberg taking Karma’s story and handing it to Illyana.) Illyana and her team break into a secret lab and find Jamie Madrox. They take him to Beast for treatment, and when Jamie wakes up, he reveals he’s a dupe who experimented on himself to be able to live on in the event that Jamie-Prime died. But he wasn’t able to complete it, and while Beast has stabilized him, he’s still dying. Also, we see Illyana wearing a Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirt, and I can definitely buy Illyana being a Siouxsie fan. Then Jamie finds Bishop and steals his time travel gadget, and things get silly. So, uh, this is . . . kinda weird. The first half of the issue is pretty straightforward, and Rosenberg does a pretty decent job with the kind of casual-about-nonsense tone that PAD’s X-Factor always had. (PAD’s very much the definitive Madrox writer.) He keeps that tone throughout the issue, but the second half of the issue does get a lot weirder. It sets up what could be an intriguing plot. As a first issue, this is good. It’s fun stuff. Good art, too. MacDonald’s art fits the writing, and colourists don’t come much better than Bonvillain. As long as you’re not as petty as I am, you should enjoy this.

Hunt for Loganverine: Mystery In Madripoor #2, by Jim Zub, Thony Silas, Felipe Sobreiro, and Joe Sabino. Kitty, Jubilee, and Domino have escaped into Madripoor’s sewers. Aw yeah, that’s a pretty great line-up. Above, the Femme Fatales have captured Storm and Rogue, and HOLD UP! “Femme Fatales?” No. No. I refuse to let that slide. It is “Femmes Fatale.” It’s the Femmes that’s plural, not the Fatale. Femme Fatale translates to Fatal Woman. Woman Fatals makes no grammatical sense. Neither does Femme Fatales. So it’s Femmes Fatale. I will overlook a lot of grammar stuff. But this is a hill I will die on. Moving on, they’ve also captured Magneto, Viper talks to their benefactor, and Sapphire Styx can’t feed on Psylocke because Psylocke’s already dead. Man, Sapphire Styx. There’s a throwback. Goes all the way back to the Marvel Comics Presents storyline that first brought Logan to Madripoor. She totally disappeared after that. Kitty comes up with a plan for fighting back, through swagger and deceit. Playing by Madripoor rules, following Patch’s example. The best moment of the following montage is Jubilee getting noodles. Honestly, I would love it if this entire mini had Jubilee constantly eating. I can easily see that as an entire character trait for her. Also, at one point she’s asked to make a scene, and if you need someone to make a scene, no one makes a scene quite like Jubilee. Her special brand of energy, sarcasm, and recklessness can’t be beat. Anyway, this is still fun. It’s a fun comic. And still a shameless tie-in to a cash-grab event. Yes, I will be saying that about all the Hunt For Loganverine minis. Also, I refuse to call him Wolverine. Laura is Wolverine (aka Bestverine). I’d call him Broverine, but Jimmy probably fits that better. So, Loganverine. Anywho. Like I said, it’s fun stuff. I could definitely do with a longer story about Kitty, Jubilee and Domino playing around in Madripoor. Seriously, I don’t even care what they’re doing there, just those three going on a big Madripoor adventure. You could get at least a 5-issue mini out of that, preferably even more. You get Kitty trying to focus on the mission while still enjoying herself. You get Domino messing shit up. And you get Jubilee just having an absolute blast, eating and gambling and fighting and having the best vacation ever. And Kitty and Domino want to be mad, but can’t resist joining in. I would love it. Actually, maybe replace Domino with Armour, or another younger mutant. Someone who’s nervous and uncertain about Madripoor. And Kitty tries to instill both confidence and caution, while Jubilee tries to get her to loosen up. So Armour would be all, “I’ve heard a lot about Madripoor, are you sure I should be here?” And Kitty’s like, “You wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think you could handle it, but you’re right, Madripoor’s dangerous, and you can’t let your guard down.” And then Jubilee’s just, “Drink this and let’s hit the dance floor!” That’s the book I want. But I guess this is fine, too. I like the art, though I imagine it’s not for anyone. There’s a roughness to it. It works well in a Madripoor story, which is as rough as it gets. He has fun with it. Also, there’s a panel of Storm, locked up inside, with her hair blowing in the wind, and yep, totally reasonable. There was no wind, her hair just does that, especially when she’s being dramatic. And Storm is always dramatic. So, pretty good comic.

Old Man Logan #42, by Ed Brisson, Francesco Manna, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit. Logan vs. Kraven vs. some river dinosaur. Logan gets the dino attacking Kraven, then slips away to find a place to rest and heal. And he dreams about his family. They want him to return to them. Then Kraven finds him and they finish their fight. This was not the big exciting story I’d hoped for. It was frankly pretty dull, in the end. You’ve got Logan and Kraven, in the Savage Land. And this is what we get? No awesome vistas? No cool stuff with each hunting the other? No traps, no tricks? It really just comes down to a brawl in a cave, and Logan wins because he’s Logan? So disappointing. This shoudl have been awesome, but it really wasn’t much of anything. And then Logan decides he has to return to the Wastelands, and yeah, with the regular Logan back, it probably is time for Old Man Logan to leave, but next, we get some big Bullseye arc. We’re going to have solo titles for two different Logans at the same time, because the X-office is incapable of getting off his dick. Logan is probably the most divisive X-Man – the most popular and the most hated – and the hate is down entirely to how damned many titles he always appears in, all the time, and the X-office is still pulling that shit. Christ, there are other X-Men, you know? Bleh. Bitching aside, like I said, it’s a boring issue. The art never gets to be what it should be, because Brisson keeps the story so basic. Manna has some fun with the fights, but he could’ve done so much more by making this a bit bigger an arc. A shame.

And the non-X.

Ms. Marvel #31, by A LOT OF PEOPLE! This is the 50th issue special. So, G. Willow Wilson, Saladin Ahmed, Rainbow Rowell, and Hasan Minhaj all write, Nico Leon, Gustavo Duarte, Bob Quinn, and Elmo Bondoc do line art, Ian Herring colours, Joe Caramagna letters. It’s cool that Herring colours the whole issue, because it does provide a sense of visual continuity. I’ve said it before, many times: Ian Herring defines the aesthetic of Ms. Marvel, more than even any of the line artists. Anyway, sleepover! Kamala has Nakia, Mike and Zoe over for a slumber party. Lockjaw takes Kamala on an adventure to rescue an adorable teleporting kitten. Then an incredibly angry pizza delivery woman hates Kamala for having a sleepover, and that conflict is resolved through compassionate conversation. Then she has to go help Spider-Miles with an emergency. And then it ends with a big reveal that’s not shocking to anyone. This issue’s great. It’s really fun seeing other writers do takes on Ms. Marvel, and they all do good jobs. The stories are all fun. Rowell’s story is a stand-out, highlighting Ms. Marvel’s dedication to helping people rather than just fighting crime. Also, the pizza girl is awesome and I really like her. And she’s got awesome hair. Love her hair. I hope she shows up again. And the end of the issue is something I’ve been expecting for a while, and I’m glad it finally happened. And it happened pretty much exactly the way I expected. Love this comic.

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #32, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Lunella has a nightmare about turning into Devil during a test, and complains about hating her school, because it’s too easy for her. That’s fair. She should be in a special school. You gotta figure her race factors into her not getting into any. Also, she’s really good at rollerblading. Even grinds down a rail. Also, Wilson Fisk is enrolling a young girl he’s adopted into Lunella’s school. And Fisk’s new rules about schools are going to be trouble. Great issue. Fisk’s plans for the New York school system is very much in the vein of No Child Left Behind – standardized testing, with failing schools being punished. This is, of course, an idiotic way of doing things, as standardized tests aren’t good at much more than helping kids memorize standardized tests, and schools with poor results are in need of more resources, not fewer. You know, given Kingpin is a supervillain who’s now a political leader, the obvious move is probably to compare him to Trump. I have one issue with that angle: Kingpin is smart. Kingpin knows what he’s doing. Trump is an idiot. He’s incompetent. He’s a terrible businessman, a terrible liar, a terrible person. Terrible at everything. So comparing Kingpin to Trump gives Trump far more credit than he actually deserves. Anywho, it looks like this arc’s going to be a pretty good bit of political commentary and will presumably also explain why the NCLB model is awful, and will probably also involve Lunella learning to appreciate her school more. And of course, the art will remain wonderful.

Black Panther #2, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Daniel Acuna, and Joe Sabino. T’Challa is part of a squad of fighter ships about to attack an array that’s more heavily defended than expected, and Nakia thinks they should retreat, but T’Challa is way too badass to bother with that crap. This is another action-packed issue. The big complaint about the Coates’ run, early on, was that T’Challa got few chances to be badass. Well. Two issues in a row that are basically nothing but T’Challa being the baddest man in the galaxy. Even while he can’t remember who he is. And now I have a different complaint: Not enough character work. There’s some, with T’Challa’s flashes of memory of Ororo. But I’d like if the comic slowed down just a bit to delve more into his headspace. Show him interacting with the other rebels. I also still dislike Acuna’s style. It’s always felt muddy to me, and it still does, and I don’t like it. Still, this is some good comics.

Wakanda Forever: Amazing Spider-Man, by Nnedi Okorafor, Alberto Alburquerque, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Sabino. A cloud has descended on Bed-Stuy, and Nakia is looking pretty sick. She turns the cloud into a devouring blob. So it’s the Dora Milaje to the rescue. Okoye, Ayo, and Aneka. Nakia escapes, and the Milaje seem split on Spider-Man. Aneka especially seems unimpressed. And then they fight Hydro-Man. This is a lot of fun. I’m not a fan of Alburquerque’s art, I must admit. There are times when it looks fine, and times when it looks super-weird. He’s a good storyteller, though, it’s easy to follow what’s happening, and that’s the most crucial part. But Okorafor’s great. I love her writing. I’ll be picking up her Dark Horse comic with Tana Ford. ‘LaGuardia.’ That should be great. And this is good. It’s very fun. The Dora Milaje are absolute bosses. I will say that Spider-Man doesn’t get a whole lot to do in this issue, but honestly, who cares? Don’t buy this comic for Spider-Man, if that’s your main priority. Instead, buy it for Wakandans being condescending about Westerners. Which is something I will never tire of.

X-Men comics of June 20 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Took today off from work, so this is going up at a reasonable time. Next Friday is my last day at my current job. Then begins the panicked flailing for a new job. Good times. In other news, I feel like the only person who’s not excited about Marvel getting the film rights for Fantastic Four and X-Men back. Fox has done a bad job, yes. But they were starting to learn. Deadpool wouldn’t have been greenlit by Marvel Studios. Logan wouldn’t have been greenlit by Marvel. New Mutants wouldn’t have been greenlit. (I’m curious if that one will even still be released. I was very interested in the idea of New Mutants as a superhero horror film.) They’re all too different from what Marvel does, which is family-friendly, and usually with a fairly comedic bent. (There are a couple recent films that keep the comedy toned down, but endless quips have become very much the norm for their films.) Fox was getting to the point of doing different things, and I don’t believe Marvel will keep that going. We’ll get X-Men films that are well-made, lots of fun, and not very tonally different from the Avengers films. Also, hope you like Logan as a character, because when Marvel starts releasing X-Men films in 5 years, you can bet your ass we’re going to be seeing a whole lot of him. He’ll be the main character in the first three (maybe more) main franchise X-films, he’ll get his own solo trilogy (again), he’ll pop up as a major character in several spin-offs. It’ll be Tony Stark, but likely even worse. I suppose, on the plus side, Marvel probably won’t try to explain Xavier’s baldness. (Seriously, X-Men Apocalypse, what the hell was that shit?) But yeah, I’m not all that excited. Also: Greater media conglomeration is awful. But now, comics. And it’s a tiny week.

X-Men Gold #30, by Marc Guggenheim, David Marquez, Matthew Wilson, and Cory Petit. Ah, a wedding issue. I won’t lie, I do enjoy wedding issues, if for no other reason than because they’re usually batshit insane. The wedding of Rick Jones and Marlo Chandler was visited by Death (visually modeled after the Sandman one) and Mephisto. Though the Scott/Jean wedding was actually a pretty uneventful affair. Still a great comic, though. Anyway, flashback intro, again, to the time Piotr told Kitty about that alien healer on Battleworld. In the present, they’re both pretty excited about their impending wedding. First, the rehearsal dinner, which has a pretty amusingly awkward moment between Jean, Jean and Rachel.

X-Men Gold #30

The Jeans are definitely just trolling.

Gambit tells Rogue the wedding’s got him thinking romantic thoughts, Lockheed shows up with a dragon family, and Illyana takes Kitty aside for some drinks. She confesses that she isn’t sure Kitty and Piotr belong together. There were some people speculating that Illyana would confess to having feelings for Kitty, but I knew it wouldn’t happen, because the X-office actually cares about Illyana, so they would never let her come out, no matter how clear it is that Illyana is 100% a lesbian. (Her arc in the original New Mutants is about being a lesbian. She feels wicked and sinful, she engages in performative heterosexuality while never actually trying to hook up with any guys, the people who have the biggest problem with her are the fundamentalist Christian and the hyper-masculine guy. Witchcraft has a distinct association with lesbianism. Illyana’s a lesbian. No one will ever convince me otherwise. And Marvel won’t have her come out, because she’s just too prominent, and Marvel does not want prominent characters being gay. They let Iceman come out because no one gave a shit about him, but that’s as far as they’re willing to go.)

Anyway! Wedding! Kurt tells Piotr that he plans on proposing to Rachel, and seriously, they’ve been dating for 5 minutes and he’s spent 4 of those minutes worried about how she’s been changing. At the wedding, the rabbi asks Kurt if he has the rings, and it is the second time Kurt’s been best man and had to teleport away for the rings. It happened in the final issue of Excalibur, for the wedding of Brian and Meggan. At least this time, the rabbi caught it before the ceremony. The rabbi also mentions a time when the bride and groom had to use cocktail napkins around their fingers, and I want that to be based on a real wedding Guggenheim went to. It’s funny, and I want to believe it actually happened. So, the wedding. Right in the middle of exchanging the rings, Kitty phases and runs away. The big twist that was spoiled earlier this week by people who are kinda assholes. Hey, since I’ve got time today, can I take a little bit to talk about people who post big spoilers of things before they come out? It’s a dick move. It really is. Let storytellers tell their stories. Leaking spoilers just sucks the air out of their stories. It’s rude. They deserve better. Yes, even Guggenheim. He’s a hack and is apparently a prick, but even he deserves better than leaks. I mean, he deserves to lose this book (and it turns out Gold actually is ending in September!), but he also deserves better than leaks, especially of major plot twists.

But back to the story. After Kitty runs off, there’s this admittedly brilliant panel:

X-Men Gold #30

Really effective line.

For all the crap I give Guggenheim, I’m willing to admit when something works. That line works. It’s a powerful moment, and it works by being so understated. Later, Piotr finds Kitty on the same hill where he told her about Zzaji, and she talks about how all the messiness isn’t a good foundation for a marriage. And at the reception, Gambit decides to propose to Rogue. Kitty gives her blessing on co-opting her wedding, so hey, as was also spoiled, someone does get married this issue. This is going to be the basis for Mr. and Mrs. X, by Kelly Thompson and Oscar Bazaldua, and, I’m assuming, a colour artist and a letterer, but major publishers still seem to think those jobs aren’t that important. I suppose colour artists should just be grateful they get to have their names on the covers; letterers don’t even get that much. Wow, I am going on all sorts of tangents.

So! The comic! Ehhhh . . . it’s honestly tough to review it. The big twist of Kitty leaving Piotr at the altar isn’t handled well. It comes absolutely out of nowhere. The thing is, I can’t honestly blame Guggenheim for that. It wasn’t his idea. He was told to call off the wedding. And given his entire run up to this point was building to them getting married, there was no good way to end it. The entire point of the run was to declare that Kitty and Piotr are soul mates who belong together, and their marriage was an inevitability. Much as I disagreed with it – and dude, did I ever disagree with it – it was the story he was telling. And it made stopping it feel too forced. He did what he could, with Illyana expressing her doubts about the pairing, and those doubts subconsciously influencing Kitty. But it still felt forced, which made for a weaker story. Not that the story was all that strong to begin with, truthfully. It wasn’t bad. It was a fairly standard wedding issue. Vastly superior to the Excalibur one, honestly, which was just not at all a good comic. It didn’t have the craziness of a lot of superhero weddings. But it didn’t quite have the emotional weight of a lot of them, either. It had some strong moments. There was a nice flashback to the old hilltop break-up, when Kitty thinks about Piotr’s words being poetry. That was an effective bit. Kitty bonding with her three moms – her birth mother, Ororo, and Stevie – was also a nice moment. Kitty’s scene with Illyana could have gone two ways, and if Guggenheim had been allowed to go ahead with the wedding, it probably would’ve been a sweet, cute scene. As it is, it was mostly just an OK scene. There were some amusing quick character interactions, which are always a big part of wedding issues. So there was some good stuff. And the Rogue/Gambit marriage at the end was a fun twist, though only because Kelly Thompson will continue to be the one handling them. Forced twist aside, this was a better-than-average issue of Gold. But I may just be a sucker for wedding issues. Good art, for sure Marquez is an excellent artist, and Wilson’s one of the top colour artists. So the whole issue looks excellent, and does a wonderful job telling the story.

Cable #158, by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, German Peralta, Jesus Aburtov, and Travis Lanham. The ’90s! This issue takes place after X-Force #2. Cable doubts his ability to lead X-Force, and Domino tells him he just has to open up to them. I’m inclined to side with her. He also puts together a Danger Room for them, complete with holographic environments. First training mission is against Deadpool, and even hologram Deadpool breaks the fourth wall by guessing he’s only there because of the movie. He kicks their asses until Cable telepathically lays out their strategy. Then the Danger Room glitches out and Warlock shows up, with his more contemporary design. I would’ve liked if he’d looked more like he did back in the ’80s. He attacks them, and Cable, with his arm going crazy, breaks in with a giant gun. Warlock is, of course, Metus, and he beats the crap out of X-Force. This issue is OK. But not great. Honestly? This arc’s starting to drag. Each issue brings almost nothing new. It’s fun revisiting bits of Cable’s past. Seeing the early X-Force again is fun. But it doesn’t really do anything all that interesting with them, or with Cable, or Metus, or anything. It feels a bit filler-y. Peralta does a good job giving the art a ’90s vibe, which helps, but even so, the story just feels largely pointless. Like the arc is being drawn out to fit a trade, rather than because each issue is really crucial. So, I’m a little disappointed.

Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of A Killer #2, by Mariko Tamaki, Butch Guice, Mack Chater, Cam Smith, Dan Brown, and Joe Sabino. The Soteira kill team, the guys working for a clearly evil organization who have turned a small town into zombies, capture Daken. Deathstrike is sure Logan’s in the town, Sabretooth thinks he is and says he’s leaving. Then they’re both attacked by the zombies. Then their car explodes. Sabretooth runs for cover in a garage, and Deathstrike barely gets in before the door closes. Meanwhile, Daken wakes up unhappy. Good issue. It’s fun. No plot advancement, not much character work. Tamaki makes Sabretooth look like a total douche. Running from the zombies and leaving Deathstrike to fight them herself. Deathstrike, on the other hand, comes across really well. A certain nobility in the way she saves Sabretooth’s ass, even if she hates him. I’ve noticed something: Deathstrike is very compelling when women write her. Marguerite Bennett, in that one Death of Wolverine one-shot, and Tamaki, in this mini. The sad truth is that Deathstrike’s long been inconsistent, but women sure seem to get her. I want more women writing her. Daken doesn’t get a whole lot of panel time, but what he does get is pretty entertaining. Soteira does make for a somewhat intriguing antagonist. They’re as blank as it gets here, we know nothing, but we know they’ve turned people into zombies, and that’s some crazy shit, so I’m already intrigued. Good art. There are two line artists, but their styles don’t clash, luckily. At least not from what I noticed. The action is done well. Deathstrike looks badass throughout. It helps to elevate the story, too. I’m enjoying this mini, shameless cash-grab though it is.

And the non-X.

Champions #21, by Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse, Marcio Menyz, and Clayton Cowles. Alpha Flight and the Champions face off over the Master of the World, who is hilariously trolly about the whole thing. Meanwhile, Miles sneaks around the Master’s base and finds a glowing girl chained up. It’s Amka! She turns into a giant arctic wolf with antlers. Hey, it’s like what Snowbird does, but bigger. Luckily, Talisman’s there to restore her sanity. And after the fight, Carol and Kamala apologize to each other and make up, and I really like that they’re friends again. Though Carol calls her Kamala, I don’t think she actually knows Ms. Marvel’s secret identity. Good issue. The inevitable Hero vs. Hero Fight is honestly pretty entertaining, And the Master is wonderful all through the issue, just a total dick and I love it. Amka’s cool, and Menyz’s colours for her are gorgeous. Totally ethereal and lovely. And it’s cool to have a First Nations hero showing up in an ongoing series. Indigenous people don’t get anywhere near the respect and recognition they deserve, and I’m glad to see someone who is good and clearly kind of a dork be brought in for some representation. At least, I hope she’s a dork. I love dorks, OK, and I feel like dorks make for some of the best representation of marginalized groups. Uber-confident badasses are all fine and good, but I love human characters, and it doesn’t get much more human than someone who’s sometimes awkward and goofy. It’s why Ms. Marvel is such a great character. She is the dorkiest of all, and it makes her endlessly lovable. It was also nice seeing Snowbird and Talisman in this issue. I miss those two. Snowbird always had an epic quality to her, and Talisman was just cool. Anyway, good comic.

X-Men comics of June 13 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So Jay Edidin, comic editor and co-host of X-Plain the X-Men, recently came out against Dark Horse because their health insurance doesn’t cover anything related to gender dysphoria or transition. Which is pretty shitty of them. I’ve never really bought any of their comics, but I was planning on getting one coming up, by Nnedi Okorafor and Tana Ford. Now, I’ll probably end up skipping it. No disrespect for Okorafor and Ford – both top-notch creators, and they’ve done good work together on short stories at Marvel – but meh, Imma support Edidin on this one. Plus, other people have talked about Dark Horse being downright gross when it comes to intimidating its employees into silence. It sounds like Dark Horse is run by assholes, so I’ll pass on them. Meanwhile Unstoppable Wasp is coming back! With Whitley being joined by Gurihiru! They are an amazing art team. Iceman’s coming back, too, but I still don’t actually care about Iceman, so. Unstoppable Wasp! Also, comics.

X-Men Blue #29, by Cullen Bunn, Nathan Stockman, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. I think Stockman will be the artist on the relaunched Iceman solo. I wonder if Bunn will give him anything to work with here regarding Iceman. I’m betting no. Let’s find out! Jimmy’s at a bar, and a pretty waitress flirts with him. The girl’s actually got some curves She’s not the typical rail-thin body type that almost all women in comics have. I appreciate Stockman drawing a woman who looks, well, normal. Anyway, her ex-boyfriend picks a fight with Jimmy, who tries to defuse the situation by buying a round of drinks. This . . . actually makes me think better of him as a character. Like, he was boring as hell since he came into the book, but offering to buy a round of drinks? Yeah, this is a character I can read. Then he turns into a Poison and starts attacking people, though he stops short of killing anyone, and he runs away, right into the X-Men. Jean tries to talk to him, but he Poisons out and attacks them some more. This is actually a really good issue. It’s a character-driven issue, about the inner turmoil Jimmy’s experiencing, and the X-Men’s hope to save him. There’s real drama, and real tension. It also hints at a Jimmy/Scott rivalry, but only on Jimmy’s part, as Scott really seems to have no personal problem with Jimmy, which amuses me. But the issue is mostly about Jimmy and Jean, with everyone else basically just there for the fight. I still think Jean/Jimmy is a bad ship, but whatever, Bunn still does a good job here, with Jean’s concern for Jimmy and her desire to help him, and Jimmy’s feelings for Jean keeping him from going homicidal. Bunn does a good job with some of the terrible ideas he’s saddled himself with. The art’s good. Stockman’s a good visual storyteller. His art keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, with some pretty good character work. So no complaints there. This is, on the whole, a good comic, and I’m glad to say that about X-Men Blue.

New Mutants: Dead Souls #4, by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, Michael Garland, and Clayton Cowles. After the plane they were on has crashed, the Mutants find Illyana. She says she couldn’t save the others on the plane, or Rictor. So, it’s time for his funeral, with Kitty helping Illyana get ready for it, while trying to cheer Illyana up. Shatterstar gives the eulogy, and invites Illyana to say a few words. But she’s too shaken. She’s really messed up about leading Rictor to his death. It’s very emotional. Then Rahne tries to kill Guido for killing her son. And . . . wait. Wait wait wait wait wait. Is that . . .

New Mutants Dead Souls #4

Maggott?!

Did Rosenberg and Gorham just casually insert Maggott into the background? Did they just casually reveal that Maggott’s alive? I’m not complaining if they did! Maggott’s awesome. People hated Maggott because he had a weird power but that’s exactly what made him so great. (The “obligatory-Afrikaans-slang” is actually a much more justifiable reason to hate him, though that’s less to do with Maggott and more to do with the writers.) Illyana tells Dani about Tran having escaped Shan’s soul, and asks why Dani, as a valkyrie, wasn’t helping to search for him. She knows that Dani’s not Dani. And none of what we’ve seen is what it seemed. Very cool twist. And three panels over two pages at the end that feature Karma. Woot. Because why would she be a bigger presence in a story about the brother she killed coming back from the dead. That remains my single biggest complaint with this series. It’s a great Karma story that has, for four straight issues, kept her sidelined. Four issues out of six where the obvious main character is barely an afterthought. That is bullshit. This is a well-made story. There’s some great emotional drama in this issue. A lot of weight. And a great twist at the end. It’s not the way I expected it to go, but it’s really clever. And I do also like the art. No judgment of people who don’t like it, it’s not going to be everyone’s thing, but I enjoy it, at least here. Roberto’s paler than he should be, which is unfortunately just how he’s coloured now. But Gorham and Garland handle the emotional aspects of the issue well. Very good character work. So it’s a very well-made issue. In a story that I have a massive complaint about. Seriously, if Karma doesn’t play a very substantive role in the final two issues, there’s a good chance I’ll just give up on Rosenberg entirely. It is 100% bullshit how he’s treated her in this story, and if that doesn’t change in a BIG way for the last two issues? Then I don’t think I can forgive Rosenberg. This is Karma’s story. The brother she killed has returned from the dead. It’s her story. There is absolutely no good reason for her not to be the main character, or at least one of the main characters. But she’s not. And that needs to change. The final two issues need Karma to get as much panel time as Illyana, or else what the hell is even the point of telling this story? We’ll see, I suppose. I tweeted these complaints, and I didn’t tag Rosenberg in, but he did end up responding anyway, and said that he has reasons why the story isn’t about Karma. So it’s looking doubtful that she will end up playing a significant role. Which is so fucking frustrating. She’s a great character who gets no use, and then a story that should be hers gets handed off to someone else instead. Handed off to a white girl, to boot. Queer women of colour get few enough stories as it is. Much as I love Illyana – and I do love her – it’s bullshit that she’s the lead of a story that belongs to a queer woman of colour. Ugh.

Domino #3, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Jesus Aburtov, and Clayton Cowles. Domino, having just seen her friends blown up, slips into unconscious and remembers her childhood. She was in a lab, and the other kids in it were all gone, and one of the guys there took a taser to her.

Domino #3

Damn. Simone can write.

And then gave her a cat, which young Neena named Christmas. She wakes up again in the present, remembers her friends are dead, and goes after Topaz for vengeance. It doesn’t go well, we learn that Topaz’s hatred of Domino has something to do with the lab Domino was raised in, and we also learn Domino has a brother, Lazarus. And it turns out her friends aren’t as blown up as she thought, yay. And we also learn how Domino met Diamondback, and it’s a pretty fun little flashback. Also, the issue ends with her meeting someone else and she is adorably flustered at how hot he is. I don’t blame her. He is a sexy, sexy man. No spoiler, but he’s on the cover of the next issue, so . . . yeah. Anyway! Great issue! It’s cool to learn about Domino’s origin, and it’s dark as hell, which is about what one would expect. Even then, there’s some fun bits, especially when the evil lab guy threatens to kill her cat. You wouldn’t think that would result in something fun and satisfying, but it absolutely does. Domino’s rage and grief at losing her friends (or thinking she lost them) is really powerful. The art takes a step up. The action is phenomenal and where Baldeon shines. There’s a real sense of motion, and a brutality. But the flashbacks are killer. Baldeon and Aburtov do fantastic work. The grey colours add an eeriness that works well, and Baldeon’s lines are more understated, which makes the scenes so effective. This is just brilliant work from the whole creative team.

Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #2, by Tom Taylor, R.B. Silva, Adriano di Benedetto, Guru-eFX, and Joe Sabino. In the past, after an explosion destroyed the building Logan was in, Iron Man searches the wreckage for any sign of him. And gets clawed through the head. Luckily, it was just a drone. Logan makes Iron Man promise not to use his dead body for any sort of experiments, and to stop anyone else from doing it. In the present, villains are trying to auction Dani Cage’s DNA, but none of the villains care, so Tony buys it. Then he bids on parts of the Z1, one of the first computers. Here’s the Wikipedia article. Tony heads back to the cabin to finalize the purchase of Dani’s DNA, and asks the seller if he has Logan’s DNA. And he does! He stole it from Sinister, who is very upset and teleports in to kill him. It doesn’t go as planned, and the sub starts to sink. It’s Spider-Man’s fault, but Jessica has the best solution. And there’s a surprise guest who’s actually not all that surprising in retrospect! I won’t spoil it, but yeah, really should’ve expected the character in this mini. Anyway, so far, this mini isn’t Taylor’s best work, and is probably the weakest of the Hunt for Loganverine minis. Sinister pops up out of nowhere, not that he’s ever really unwelcome, especially when he’s dressed dapper. Actually, he could’ve been dapperer. Which is actually a word? Holy shit. WordPress’ spellcheck recognizes dapperer. Awesome. Anyway, I wish Sinister looked even dapperer than he does here. Other than that, I’m fine with him popping up. But so far, this mini isn’t wowing me. There’s some fun dialogue and all, but the plot is bland. And man, the cliffhanger from last issue amounts to nothing, with not a single villain giving a shit about Dani Cage’s DNA. Not sure how I feel about that anti-climax. We’ll have to wait and see how the flashbacks really relate to current events, and how the mini as a whole unfolds. But so far, it’s just some fun dialogue and fantastic art. Silva’s doing great work on the art. For the most part. There are a few panels here and there that just look weird and unnatural. But not too many, and most of the book looks great.

Old Man Logan #41, by Ed Brisson, Francesco Manna, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit. In Japan, Kraven buys Logan’s severed hand off the owners of the restaurant where he lost it. In New Jersey, Logan fights Roughhouse and Bloodscream. I remember when those two would be dangerous enough for an entire arc. Now, they’re minor goons he trashes in a random encounter to open a story. Turns out they were just there to get him outside so Kraven could tranq him. He’s decided that, with Logan being old and sick, it’s time to put him out of his misery. So, it’s a hunt in the Savage Land. And it’s fun. Kraven’s written well, here, a “noble” hunter who’s also still a murderer. It’s not as great as his Squirrel Girl characterization, but it’s still enjoyable. The idea of Kraven hunting Logan is a fun premise, and the Savage Land is a good setting for it. Manna’s art is very good. He doesn’t get to do much in the way of glorious vistas, which is a shame, because a Savage Land story without a glorious vista feels incomplete. But he does action well, so that’s something, at least. Great fight between Logan and Kraven. I look forward to seeing what Manna gets to do in the next issue. I’m hoping it’s insane.

Non-X-titles.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #33, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. I automatically typed “Erica Henderson” there before remembering she’s not on this book any more. Still sad. Anyway, the gang’s in an escape room with walls closing in, and Doreen has an idea based on something from her new novel. I have yet to read the first one, because I’m terrible. I do want to read it. I will read it at some point. Anyway, lots of escape rooms and jokes. And the villain is a classic(-ish) Marvel villain! He’s not a great one. But he’s connected to a great one. And it’s a great comic. I’m still getting used to Charm’s art, I still think he draws Doreen and Nancy too pretty.

Marvel Rising: Alpha #1, by Devin Grayson, Georges Duarte, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles. A teen girl is really good at video games, which pisses off the guys she plays against, and they harass her. And I’m sure the people who bitch about “SJW comics” will love that. How much you wanna bet there’s already people bitching about it? Doreen continues teaching and figures out Kamala is a fanfic writer. While Kamala figures out Doreen is Squirrel Girl. It’s a good comic.

Exiles #4, by Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, Chris O’Halloran, and Joe Caramagna. The Exiles are still alive after last issue’s nuclear bomb ending, but New Jersey and New York are gone. Blink and Kamala bond over their own worlds nuking themselves. Then a black man runs out asking for protection from slavers. And holy shit, Valkyrie does not like slavers. She gets scary mad. And then they meet Blackbeard the Pirate, the Thing, who’s fighting against slavery. With help from Sam Wilson and Misty Knight, or 17th century pirate captain versions of them. And there’s Rebecca Barnes, and Valkyrie immediately flirts with her, because of course she does. Another fun issue, and one which also has some commentary on America’s past. Slavery is something worth remembering. Seeing a bunch of heroes beat the crap out of slavers is pretty satisfying to see.

Quicksilver #2, by Saladin Ahmed, Eric Nguyen, Rico Renzi, C. Brunner, and Clayton Cowles. Quicksilver keeps fighting speed monsters who look like him and attack anyone he knows. And when one leads him back to a Romani camp, he thinks about how shitty his culture is treated. He’s not wrong. And he adopts a pet turtle that he calls Mr. Dibbles. It’s a good issue that pushes Quicksilver hard, in order to explore what makes him tick. His thoughts on his home, in a caravan, are really good. He’s proud of his heritage. And it also shows how hard he’s willing to push himself to save lives. Even a turtle. I hope he keeps Mr. Dibbles when this ends. I want him to be his permanent pet, wherever he goes. Anyway, yeah, this is good.

X-Men comics of June 7 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Oh cool I forgot to actually post this last night. Good job, me. So, here’s my post. So Brandon Graham, a big name in indie comics, has been “canceled,” as the kids say. If a whole lot of people calling him out on being an asshole didn’t do it, his “diss track” comic sure destroyed any credibility he had. But it brings up an important point: Listen to people of colour, and to trans people. Both groups – particularly women in both groups – have been speaking out against him for a while. A garbage person could’ve been booted from comics so much earlier if only people had listened. But anyway, here’s some comics.

X-Men Red #5, by Tom Taylor, Mahmud Asrar, Rain Beredo, and Cory Petit. In Warsaw, the president signs a law against mutants, and a cop warns a mutant friend to take his son and leave the country. This is a good cop. I like this cop. He doesn’t hate mutants. Back in Louisiana, Gambit sneaks into a hospital room where the guy who shot the winged girl is being held. Jean, Kurt, and Trinary are all there, hoping to disable the Sentinel in the guy’s head, at which point the guy is filled with remorse at having killed someone. Poor guy. Jean promises to find out who used him, and to return to defend him. That’s nice. Then it’s off to meet a Sentinel with rainbows and flowers, for a ride to Poland, to save the mutants being hunted there. A fight breaks out, which Jean ends by momentarily merging the minds of the soldiers and the mutants, to show the soldiers who they’re attacking, which is a pretty cool idea.

X-Men Red #5

Damn, Jean fights dirty.

This is a great issue. It begins the push back against the anti-mutant narrative. It shows humans who aren’t hateful. It shows how familiarity breeds understanding and acceptance. It’s hopeful, in a way that so few X-Men comics ever actually manage to be. It’s nice to see. Makes me happy.

X-Men Red #5

One hell of a mission statement.

I’m hoping this ends up being a book that routinely shows humans that support mutants, because it’s something the franchise has always struggled to show. It’s time to get some optimism up in here.

X-Men Gold #29, by Marc Guggenheim, Geraldo Borges, Arif Prianto, David Marquez, Matthew Wilson, and Cory Petit. Once again, Marquez and Wilson for the flashback, to Kitty, at university, hearing about Piotr’s death from the Legacy Virus. In the present, Kitty finds Piotr and the Sentinel, too late, as the new Legacy Virus has already been launched. Sthorm heads out to stop them, helped by Alpha Flight. The new Pyro also helps, while standing on the outside of the Blackbird, and fine, I’ll acknowledge his dialogue there made me smile. There’s a last-second escape from the exploding station, the plague sphere are all destroyed, yadda yadda. Meh. This issue’s fine for what it is. It’s the heroes foiling the villains’ plan at the last moment, and random crap happening to try to keep the tension up. Absolute dumbest is this: At one point, a chunk of the station collapses, blocking the ship they planned to escape with. It also knocked out Rachel, Rogue, and Sasquatch. It conveniently hit the three people who could have lifted it, leaving the others conscious, so that Piotr could fight through pain and become steel so he could lift the debris. It’s meant to be an awesome moment for Piotr, but it ends up feeling so contrived that it’s impossible to take it seriously. At least this ends the arc, and it ends with Racist Lady locked up, so hopefully she’ll be out of the book forever and we can just goddamn stop with the lives of every mutant being in danger, and can move on to something that isn’t the most goddamn pessimistic view of the experiences of marginalized groups that you can have. (This isn’t just Guggenheim’s sin. So many X-writers pull this shit, and it never gets less tiring.) It’s not even that this issue is bad, aside from the debris magically knocking out only the people the plot needs to be knocked out. It’s just . . . there. It’s a comic. It features the X-Men. They save the day and save the mutant race. Yippee. The characterization throughout the rest of the series has been lackluster enough that I still can’t bring myself to care about anything in this issue, especially since it does nothing to try for more interesting characterization. The art’s fine. No complaints about it. Doesn’t elevate the story, doesn’t drag it down, just does a perfectly adequate job telling the story. The only rating you can really give this issue is a shrug emoji, but I don’t do emojis, so.

Astonishing X-Men #12, by Charles Soule, Gerardo Sandoval, Erick Arciniega, and Clayton Cowles. So I guess X wasn’t the Shadow King, but the Shadow King emerged from X, and X is still alive, sort of, but has become detached from events around him. Shadow King spews despair on the X-Men, which takes the fight out of them. Logan even stabs himself through the chest. Good for him. And I’ll be honest, that does feel like the only reasonable response to having someone spew on you. Psylocke is the last one standing, and even she falls. Then X stands up and continues the fight, with him and Psylocke asking for power from every psychic on the planet in order to save the day. It’s a solid finale to a solid series. I can’t say I’m really on board with X. Still not crazy about that. At least he considers himself to be different from Xavier, but still, it’s a way of bringing Xavier back. And walking, because of course he’s walking, disabled characters never stay disabled, they always get healed somehow. That’s a trope I could do without. But other than those grumblings, this is a good finale. Stuff about X-Men not giving up, represented by X, despite his head being cracked open, standing up. I actually really like Sandoval’s art here, which is surprising. I’m not generally a fan of his work. When he was on New Avengers with Ewing, I didn’t like his art. But something about it really works for this story. I think it lends a sense of unreality to what’s on the page. It makes me think of the Nocenti/JRJr Daredevil. I seldom enjoyed JRJr’s art, but I loved it on Daredevil, because it made everything look so damned weird. And that weirdness works for some stories. And I think this issue is one of those times where going weid, where going sharp and jagged and even unpleasant just enhances the story so much. I would be down with Sandoval doing more comics like this one, dealing with mindscapes and stuff like that. Or a horror comic, he’d probably rock a horror comic.

Weapon X #19, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Yildiray Cinay, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. Domino and Deathstrike are following the trails left by Omega Red and Sabretooth, who have reached Omega Red’s target: A Russian general who opposes mutant camps. Omega Red’s supposed to kill her, Sabretooth points out that killing the general who doesn’t want to round up mutants seems like a bad idea. Also, Omega Red is still carrying the tiger kitten. It’s a good kitty. Meanwhile, Warpath gets all the Russian mutant prisoners onto the team’s plane, and learns about Logan’s healing factor getting weaker. Back with Sabretooth, he’s fighting Titanium Men and referencing lolcats. He actually shouts “I can haz cheeseburger.” Seriously. Also, the tiger remains a good kitty. Before Omega Red and kill the general, Domino and Deathstrike show up to stop him. And there’s more twists, and more bonding between Sabretooth and Omega Red, which is a weird friendship but I’m kinda digging it. This comic remains crazy fun. Sabretooth killing Titanium Men while protecting a tiger kitty is a definite highlight. Honestly, the tiger kitty itself is a highlight. Because it’s just there. There’s no particular plot purpose for it. It’s just Omega Red and Sabretooth deciding they like this tiger kitten, and being oddly protective of it, and I love it. Seriously, keep the kitty around, it can be the team’s mascot. It’s already given the prerequisite number of fucks, which is none. No fucks given. Which actually describes this series pretty well. Weapon X: No Fucks Given. Which makes for a hell of a fun ride.

Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost #2, by Charles Soule, Matteo Buffagni, Jim Charalampidis, and Joe Sabino. Cypher’s given the group a lot of leads on Wolverine, so they have him start filtering, while also trying to figure out how to handle his Internet addiction. There’s some banter between Misty and McGee, and an indication of something between them, and man, it was like two weeks ago that Misty and Falcon officially got back together, and now Soule’s trying to hook her up with another guy? Bleh. So, they go looking for leads. The best is a biker saying he beat up Wolverine, and got claw scars in the process, but McGee points out he’s got four scars and Logan only had 3 claws, and he tells the other bikers to look it up, and the panel of three bikers all checking their smartphones at once is kinda funny. Also, there are rangers in Saskatchewan being attacked by someone who might be Logan. Which results in an ending to the issue that I’m not terribly happy about. Bleh. But anyway, this is another decent issue. Detective work going on, which means talking to people. There’s some fun bits. But it’s not an issue that really blows me away. Not as good as the first issue, and it’s starting to feel more like the forced tie-in that it is. The art’s still good. Buffagni is a good match for a story like this. His style lends itself easily to detective stories, especially ones that are a bit darker. I could see him on  Noir-ish Misty Knight solo. This is my subtle way of saying I really want a Misty Knight solo. Seriously, Marvel, give Misty a solo. Regardless, this issue is mostly meh.

Dazzler: X-Song, by Magdalene Visaggio, Laura Braga, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Sabino. I got the Sienkewicz cover and I’m so happy. Goddamn. Not that Torque’s cover is bad, it’s very nice. But holy shit that Sienkewicz cover. When you can get something he drew, get it. Damn. Alison, who now leads a band called Lightbringr, is putting on a show, and people are excited. Including a couple of girls, one of whom is Inhuman. Some mutants waiting for the show talk trash about Inhumans. The show goes well, and Piotr shows up to invite Alison to rejoin the X-Men, which she declines, and it’s probably the right move. The Inhuman girl and her friend try to meet the band, but are harassed by some mutants. Who quickly get their asses handed to them by Alison, who will not put up with exclusionary bullshit. She learns they’re part of a group called Mutant Action, who want to keep Inhumans out of mutant spaces, and who go to all Alison’s shows. It escalates to a breaking point. This comic is not subtle. It is not trying to be subtle. It’s got a message, and it shouts that message loud and proud. And rightly so, given that message ultimately comes down to “don’t be a dick.” This issue is basically about the need for marginalized communities to stand together, and a denouncement of people from marginalized communities trying to exclude other marginalized groups. Given Visaggio is trans, the obvious analogy would be TERFs – Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists – who are indeed garbage people deserving to be criticized. I’m confident Visaggio was thinking bigger than that, though. Intersectionality is a big issue, after all, and affects all groups. And the way it’s done in this issue makes sense. Of course there’d be mutants who resent Inhumans, and of course some of them would be exclusionary pricks. And of course Alison would think that’s bullshit and would be all about inclusion and acceptance. And I gotta say, Visaggio writes Alison really well. She also writes Piotr really well. But she does such a great job with Alison. The art’s top-notch, too. Rosenberg does a fantastic job on the colours, which are so important in a Dazzler comic, with all the fancy lights. Braga’s got a really nice art style, one that breathes well. Also, there’s a gorgeous close-up of Alison smirking. Also also, love her look. It’s a cool outfit she wears. A little punk, with the face paint adding the glam touch that she needs. So, yeah, I love this comic. I need to check out more of Visaggio’s work, I just always keep forgetting.

Dazzler: X-Song #1

Good line.

And the non-X-title, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #31, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Ray-Anthony Height, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. The anti-smoking PSA issue. It opens with Lunella being very animated in telling a story about an altercation with Deadpool, which doesn’t keep her from being grounded for being home late. Which is adorable. Anyway, she tells her mom about how the neonicotninoids in bug sprays kill bees, and why bees are important, and her mom tells her not to smoke. And then everyone starts smoking, and even Lunella’s tempted. And it’s all because of Swarm, the Nazi bee, because superhero comics are often wonderful like that. This is good. It’s A Very Special Episode, but those aren’t inherently bad, and it’s handled well here. It helps, of course, that this is a book aimed at kids, where this kind of thing is both expected and arguably necessary. And Swarm is always a fun villain. He’s one of the few Nazi villains I enjoy, because his being a bee outranks his being a Nazi.

X-Men comics of May 30 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So, just one more month until I’m unemployed. Good times. It’s one way of making me commit to moving. Also, I saw Deadpool 2. It was good. One questionable decision in the first act notwithstanding, there was a lot to enjoy. Lots of fun stuff. Domino was awesome. I loved how her power played out in action scenes. That was so much fun. And damn, Brolin channeled Cable. He was perfect in the role. Also, Zeitgeist! Man, that X-Force/X-Statix series was frigging weird, and so brilliant. Worth a read, if you haven’t read it yet. But Deadpool 2, good movie. And now here’s comics.

X-Men Blue #28, by Cullen Bunn, Marcus To, Rain Beredo, and Joe Caramagna. Magneto emerges somewhere, to meet some allies. In the present, Lorna’s team is locked up. Miss Sinister is experimenting on Jimmy and Bloodstorm, and sassing Emma, who finally has enough and takes over the Ultimate Marauders, in order to free Jimmy, so he can attack Miss Sinister, while Emma sasses her. Emma to the rescue, yay! In Mexico City, Magneto, Exodus, and Elixir are are reversing the artificial mutations. Neat! Yay, Elixir! Lorna’s team finishes off Alex and Bastion. Happy endings! It’s a good finale to the arc. An arc I’m glad to see over, as it presumably also means the end of the really stupid secondary mutations Bunn came up with. Emma was awesome. Nice to see her turn good again. Curious to see what Bunn’s got planned for her. The Lorna/Alex confrontation was fairly satisfying, though I think it needed just a bit more room to breathe. I think showing us some memories of their time together would’ve made for a more effective scene. To’s a great artist. I think he’s under-appreciated. I mean, modern comics are thick with amazing artists, but I still think To deserves more love than he gets. He’s phenomenal at facial expressions, of scenes with characters just talking, but he’s just as good at action sets. Just an all-around excellent artist who I think deserves more attention.

X-Men Red Annual, by Tom Taylor, Pascale Alixe, Chris Sotomayor, and Cory Petit. This picks up with Jean’s return to life, and all her friends hugging her. (Side note: I find it interesting that Kitty gets counted among Jean’s closest friends. They’ve actually had surprisingly little to do with each other, as best I can recall. Considering how long they’ve both been associated with the X-Men, they really don’t have much history together. Kitty joined after Jean died, and was on Excalibur when Jean returned, and stayed on Excalibur for most of the ’90s. Not long after Kitty rejoined, Colossus sacrificed himself, and as I recall, Kitty left the team around that time. Then she came back after Jean died again. They know each other, sure, but mostly through mutual friends. They’ve never really had much opportunity to forge a close friendship of their own. Just an observation. And hey, maybe I’m forgetting a run where they were on the same team at the same time. I never claimed to be an exper- oh. Right.) And then it’s time for catching up.

X-Men Red Annual

This is a good sequence.

By the way, Jean and Jubilee were good friends. I liked their friendship. Then Kurt takes Jean back to the school, where someone throws a hot dog at Kurt, and man, there are a couple of great lines about that hot dog. And then a reunion with Rachel, and it’s beautiful. They’ve had a tumultuous relationship, and to see them just be together and be happy is so great to see, and I wish we could see more of it. Then Jean goes to meet Laura, and also gets to meet Gabby, and Jean is so lucky to get to meet Gabby. Jean and Gabby are great together. They form an immediate bond and it’s nice. Jean’s got a really nice nurturing side that means she plays really well off young characters. Something else I’d like to see more of. Then Jean, Rachel and Laura go to see Black Bolt, who’s responsible for Scott’s death. For another great splash.

X-Men Red Annual

Chad threw the hot dog earlier.

And Black Bolt apologizes for Scott’s death, which Jean recognizes was an accident. Oh, she also meets Blinky. Yay Blinky! She’s such a good kid. This is a really good issue. The aftermath of Jean’s return was something that deserved to be explored, and Taylor handles it really well. I think part of why it worked so well, interestingly, is that he didn’t focus on the people who are closest to Jean. We didn’t spend a lot of time on her reuniting with the original X-Men, or Ororo, or Logan (they got a page to introduce themselves, but it was only a few panels), or the others. I think the natural inclination would’ve been to focus on them, on the classic characters. Taylor went a different direction. He looked at unexplored relationships. Jean and Rachel were the arguable heart of the issue, seeing them share their thoughts and emotions, and to be close. They’ve seldom had much opportunity for that, so it was very rewarding. It was interesting seeing her meet Laura, but more important, she met Gabby. And that was wonderful. Gabby’s so in awe of Jean, and Jean is amused at Gabby. This issue also does a lot to explore who Jean is. She gets righteously angry at Chad, after he throws a hot dog at Kurt, but very quickly calms down and tries to get him to think more about why he acts the way he does, and as the splash shows, she wants to make sure he’ll be OK. A hot temper offset by a bottomless well of empathy. I’m not as happy with the art as I am with the writing. This is my first exposure to Alixe, and I’m not keen on his style. Faces can get a bit blobby at times, and there’s some really weird and awkward body language at times. Especially Jean. She just looks awkward in her skirt. I’m not even opposed to Jean wearing a skirt – on the whole, I think I like her skirt costume more than the costume she currently wears in XMR – it’s just that she often gets poses that just look kinda weird with the skirt. But that might just be me. Regardless, Alixe is a good artist, just not one I like. Doubt I’ll become a fan, but you never know.

And the non-X-title.

Ms. Marvel #0, by G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. First of all, I hate/love whoever came up with the “It’s Khan-plicated” pun on the cover. That is awful and they should feel ashamed of themselves and I love it. Anyway, Mike has feels about Bruno, Red Dagger has feels about Ms. Marvel (a robber she captures thinks she should date him). The new Mean Girl is a returning villain. There’s a really nice Bruno/Mike scene where they try to get back to being friends. Also, Kwezi is still a delight and I love him. This issue’s great. I love it. So fun, such great art, just a wonderful comic.

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