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X-Men comics of January 18 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So, before I start on the reviews, something exciting happened. Last night, I started going through some of my favourite Marvel panels of 2016. Yes, I am very late on it. And it’ll take me forever to get through them. ANYWAY! Tana Ford and Stephanie Hans both ended up following me! Squee! That’s so exciting for me. I’m not worthy of their follows. They’re too good for me. But anyway! Comics!

All-New X-Men #17, by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Nolan Woodard. Bobby and Romeo are on a date, and Bobby’s not paying attention to what’s ahead of him, so his ice slide hits a sign and they wipe out. Bobby heads back into his motel room, feeling stupid for not kissing Romeo, and the rest of the team is waiting to let him know that there’s an event going on so he and Romeo have to be enemies now. While Bobby argues with Hank, we get some flashbacks of the previous dates Bobby and Romeo have been on. First, running up a mountain. Then, laser tag. Then, a water park. These last two flashbacks take place while Bobby is helping with the invasion of New Attilan. If you guessed this was all building up to a Big Damn Smooch, you’re right.

All-New X-Men #17

Awwww.

This is a really good issue. Bobby and Romeo are both cute. Their dates are really sweet, and we do get a sense of them getting closer, and being really into each other. It’s cute. And it’s nice. And it does a good job tying into IvX, by exploring Bobby’s reaction to the whole thing. Spoiler: He doesn’t like it. He calls out Adult Cyclops, which still feels hollow to me, but I think my favourite bit is when he talks about how important the Terrigen Cloud is to the Inhumans. Of course Bobby would think that. Romeo is his first boyfriend, his first massive crush, so of course Bobby would get really deep into Inhuman stuff. Like, if you’re 15, and you’ve got it really hard for a Catholic, you are going to become a frigging expert on Catholicism. So I really like Bobby taking the Inhumans’ side here, even if he’s wrong, because seriously, poison cloud killing off mutants. As always, Bagley, Hennessy and Woodard are perfect together. Excellent art. Bagley is a master of facial expressions and body language. You can always tell exactly what characters are feeling. This is a great comic.

And that’s the only X-title, but here’s what I picked up.

Ultimates 2 #3, by Al Ewing, Travel Foreman and Dan Brown. It opens with Lt. Col. Tensen delivering a speech to a bunch of recruits who want to be Justice Warriors. One of the recruits makes fun of the whole thing. So Tensen knocks the guy on his ass, while still being very philosophical. I like this Tensen. I should note that, in the new universe, Tensen was a warrior named Justice, hence the name, but I’m pretty sure Ewing was also being intentional with the similarity to Social Justice Warrior. Philip Vogt comes to meet with Tensen, to talk about a recon and monitoring group. Tensen mentions the First Eternity Battalion, and dammit, now I want that mini. That sounds awesome. We then cut to the present, where Vogt is meeting with some of the Troubleshooters, including Tensen. And then – Cosmic! Galactus, Order, Chaos, and a dead Living Tribunal. Fight! Order and Chaos have realized they’re no longer constrained by the laws of the old Multiverse, and Galactus wants to stop them from taking over the new one. Tensen takes his team of Troubleshooters into Adam’s base, and they learn that Adam and Monica aren’t on Earth. And they recently met Anti-Man. The Cosmic Battle goes in an interesting direction. I absolutely love Ewing’s Take on Order and Chaos. They’re so fascinating. And Chaos is just a lot of fun. This continues to be a damned good series. I’m really enjoying what Ewing’s doing with the new universe characters, these new takes on them, fitting them into the Marvel Universe in really clever, subtle ways. It’s neat. The Cosmic stuff is fascinating, too, and what I find really interesting about it is the fact that he sees no need for a human perspective on it. Galactus, Order and Chaos argue and fight, and we don’t get all this through the eyes of the Silver Surfer or Quasar or Captain America or whatever. It’s gods fighting amongst themselves, and Ewing knows that doesn’t need a smaller character to be interesting, or even relatable. He writes the gods as characters in their own rights. So, yeah, I think it’s cool. Also, still great art. Foreman actually does an especially good job with the Troubleshooter stuff. The Tense stuff at the beginning. I’m still on the fence about the bigger stuff, with its CGI vibe, but when it comes to doing characters? Foreman’s excellent. Marvel should really be doing more to promote this as a Must-Read book. (On a side note: Starlin turned Adam Warlock into the Living Tribunal. And Ewing has now just straight-up murdered the Tribunal. I’m sure we’re all eagerly anticipating Starlin’s Infinity Correction to demonstrate how this was a mistake and Adam’s totally fine and alive and awesome and the only one awesomer than Adam Warlock is Thanos.)

USAvengers #2, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and Jesus Aburtov. Speaking of Must-Reads. We open with Thanos having killed all Earth’s heroes. Turns out, this is Captain Danimerica’s back-story. Look, I have a theme with Captain America nicknames, OK? Samerica, Steverica, now Danimerica. Huh, I just realized I should use Stevemerica. Anyway! Danimerica is Danielle Cage, the daughter of Luke and Jessica. Luckily, the Black Widow managed to form a team to take Thanos down. Hulkling, Black Knight, Excalibur and Guillotine all stabbed him with their magic swords. That’s . . . pretty awesome, actually. Thanos’ attack was what Captain Marvel stopped, so clearly, she made the right call with Ulysses, in that case, and Tony was an asshole for getting all pissy about it. Screw Tony. Also! Dani mentions multi-versal adventures and team-ups with a dozen versions of herself! That sounds amazing! Dammit, Ewing, why do you keep teasing awesome stories I want to read? Anyway, she’s come back in time, chasing the Golden Skull. He’s been hitting some targets, but they’re not sure what his real goal is. But Roberto guesses where they can learn more: A conference of rich people in Miami. So the team goes down, looking fiiiiiine.

USAvengers #2

SQUIRREL GIRL IN A TUX!

This really is a magical panel. And I love how Medina captures each character. ‘Berto, Toni and Maverick all look comfortable, because they know the value of looking good. Sam and Aikku look more awkward, because they’re both pretty down-to-earth people. And Doreen? Doreen’s rocking the tux because she knows she looks good. This issue is as good as the previous one. Dani’s cool. I like her backstory. It’s really neat stuff and hints at a ton of stories I want to read. (Most notably, it hints at an Eternity War. This isn’t the first time it’s been referenced. It’s definitely something Ewing wants to build up to. With any luck, it’ll be an actual event, somewhere down the line.) The Golden Skull is a thinly-veiled shot at Trump, which is great. I mean, Ewing created the character years ago. But him being Golden Skull? Perfect. There’s also this description:

USAvengers #2

Subtlety is overrated.

So, yeah, Ewing’s turned the Golden Skull into a commentary on Trump. And it’s fun. I love the art. Medina does make Dani a little slimmer than other artists have. I prefer Ripped Dani, myself. Medina makes her more conventionally feminine, and it’s disappointing. But it’s still gorgeous art. Medina, Vlasco and Aburtov are top-notch at what they do. It’s nice to look at, and it conveys humour really well, when appropriate. Also, look at the team in their sweet-ass tuxes.

Mighty Captain Marvel #1, by Margaret Stohl, Ramon Rosanas and Michael Garland. Captain Marvel is fighting Hero Man, and they start to kiss. Turns out it’s a TV show, produced by Wacker Studios. Jessica Drew is delighted. Carol, less so, but it keeps Alpha Flight funded. Also, there’s a chair set aside for DeConnick. Aw, what a nice shout-out. It’s like they’re leaving an open invitation for her to come back any time. While Carol argues with the director, she gets a call from POTUS. Her ringtone, by the way, is, “Tell him, boy, bye.” Anyway, he lets her know there’s been an attack on an alien refugee camp. Army Rangers have taken hostages, including a little Kree girl. Carol goes to beat some ass and rescue the kid. So, uh, guys? This was really good. This was better than I expected. And I expected it to be good. This is really good. There’s a lot of humour, which has become something of a trademark for Captain Marvel, at this point. I will always love Jess taking joy in Carol’s suffering. I’m so glad Jess is still around. Brand and Puck are still great, too, and Wendy is still very sweet. As for Carol, she’s what she should be. Snarky, commanding, confident, self-questioning, frustrated at limitations placed on her, driven to help anyone she can. Very nuanced and complicated, basically. She makes a Star Wars joke, so there’s that. So Carol’s great. And Stohl’s building a very interesting story, very quickly. We’ve got the alien refugees fleeing the Chitauri, who are on a path for Earth (which also connects to events in Captain Stevemerica’s title), and we’ve got bounty hunters going after targets within the camps. An intriguing mystery, that. And we’ve got the Cap’n Marvel TV show, and I’m not gonna lie, I would love an entire issue of Carol, Jess, and a couple other characters doing an MST3K-style commentary on an episode. Make it an annual. Oh my god I want that annual so bad now. The art is also better than I’d expected. I wasn’t on board with Rosanas. But he did a solid job here. It’s very superheroic, but he also nails the comic beats, which isn’t a surprise, given his last project was Ant-Man. But it’s really good work. And Garland’s colours are solid. I’ll be honest, I still would’ve preferred an all-female creative team on this book, but I feel more confident now that Rosanas and Garland will deliver great work. And yeah, assuming Stohl stays on this book, I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna be a great run.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #14, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Rachelle Rosenberg. Patsy, Ian and Zoe are back at the apartment, and Ian and Zoe have a lot of tension. Zoe’s trying to sleep on the couch, but can’t sleep, and Ian’s not sleeping, so they talk. Zoe tries to get him into bed, but he refuses, and tells her she never accepted him, she abandoned him when he needed someone, and as soon as the whole thing with Black Cat is over, he wants her out of his life. Go, Ian. She was toxic, so cut her out. She looks crushed, which is actually a really nice touch, but Ian is 100% in the right here. In the morning, Jubilee shows up with coffee and pastries. She says she’s heard word that Black Cat was going after the super-people on the temp agency rolodex. Black Cat leads her gang in a bank robbery. When Patsy and the remaining gang check it out, Zoe notes that getting the claws off Black Cat will break the spell, and Patsy comes up with a plan. As always, this book is fun and adorable and wonderful. It was nice seeing Ian put his past with Zoe away. And his concern for Tom through the issue was really sweet. Obviously, we all root for Ian and Tom. They are the best couple. Hellcat’s great. Read it.

Black Panther World of Wakanda #3, by Roaxane Gay, Alitha Martinez, Roberto Poggi and Rachelle Rosenberg. Mistress Zola delivers a speech to the Dora Milaje about their decision to cut ties with T’Challa. Folami questions the decision. Aneka and Ayo request a leave of absence, with Aneka making the mistake of saying they’re friends. They’re more than that, and Ayo hates Aneka trying to hide it. Especially when Zola has made it clear all along that she knows what’s going on between them. Folami goes to Shuri and Ramonda, who are discussing T’Challa’s secrets. Folami says some of the Dora Milaje plan to betray Shuri. Ooh, Folami, you liar. Shuri doesn’t buy it for a second, and trusts the Dora Milaje implicitly. Luckily, someone else overheard, and tells Folami to get in contact with a guy named Aoko. In the airport, Aneka says she needs more time to adjust to what they are. In Central Park, they declare their love for each other. Aww. I like this issue. It doesn’t jump around in time, the way the previous issues did, so it’s a little more focused. It goes deeper into the relationship between Aneka and Ayo. And we also get more developments with Folami, who’s a really interesting character. I’ve been wanting to see more of her. I’m really looking forward to seeing where her subplot goes. But mostly, this issue’s all about the romance, and it’s sweet. You can’t help but root for these two crazy kids. The art’s nice. Not great, but nice. Faces are sometimes weird-looking, but there’s also some really pretty, romantic panels. Rosenberg’s colours are obviously on point. She’s amazing. I think Martinez’s style just isn’t for me, though. Still, while this may not be a classic comic, I’m enjoying the story.

Gamora #2, by Nicole Perlman, Marco Checchetto and Andres Mossa. Gamora is approaching the planet Ubliex, which is on the edge of a singularity. She’s also being chased by Badoon fighters. She uses the singularity’s accretion disk to kill the Badoon, but gets caught herself. On the planet, the Badoon Princess is being mugged. She’s mouthy. I like her. She completes her delivery of some drug to Klaxon, the guy the Badoon have hired to capture her. Gamora’s ship crashes, and L’Wit goes to check it out, and meets Gamora. So this issue feels like a step up, but it’s still not great. It’s trying very hard to be clever, and it feels a little cliched. L’Wit being a spunky drug runner rather than a pampered princess feels like it’s meant to be a surprising twist, but it’s not at all surprising. I do find myself liking her, but honestly, that’s more down to my own tastes than any real value in the character. She is bland and generic. “Spunky crime girl with a heart of gold!” It’s a really common idea, and Perlman doesn’t really bring a unique spin on it. The ansgt of the first issue is absent here, as Gamora is a mix of snark and murder. So that’s more enjoyable. I like the art, but once again, I take issue with L’Wit. Her design, once again, is really bland and generic. She’s a Cute Alien Girl, who looks mostly human, but with a slightly weird forehead. Bleh. I think it would’ve been far more interesting to make her look like a Badoon. Give her a very reptilian look. If anyone decides they don’t want to read the comic because one of the women isn’t hot? To hell with ’em. Give us alien chicks who look like aliens! It’s way more interesting than alien women all looking conventionally attractive by modern North American standards of beauty. That’s boring. We live in a time where people proudly jerk it to cartoon animals. I think we can deal with a weird-looking alien girl in our comics.

Mosaic #4, by Geoffrey Thorne, Khary Randolph, Thony Silas and Emilio Lopez. A Brand guy calls his boss on her vacation to let her know about the Morris situation. Morris, meanwhile, is in Spider-Man’s mind, and not having an easy time of it. Spider-Man thinks a lot of science thoughts. Awesomely, we also get snippets of panels from classic Spider-Man comics, using the actual art from the comics. Morris uses Peter’s brains to figure himself out. Then he’s attacked by Peter, defending against psychic intrusion. And Morris learns a lot more about what he does. He also disagrees with Uncle Ben’s Power and Responsibility line, and has a fairly interesting perspective of his own. Very selfish. He feels that special people rise to the top. If you’ve got a gift, you use it to go for as much as you can, as fast as you can. Morris isn’t a superhero. This series continues to be very intriguing. This issue has some space I feel is wasted, but it’s got a really good premise. Spider-Man is one of the biggest heroes, and a major part of that is his philosophy of responsibility. While I actually have issues of my own with the mantra, there is definitely value to it. Which is what makes this issue so valuable. Because it’s arguably the biggest superhero philosophy, it’s worth seeing Morris’ response to it, and seeing what his own philosophy is. It says so much about him. It shows what kind of person he is, and his outright contempt of the mantra displays his arrogance and his selfishness, and his utter faith in his own father, which is touching. The art is great, too. The psychic battle is fantastic, and really lets the team play around. So, yeah, great issue, and the series continues to develop really well.

Pull list for January 18 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I work tomorrow, but not too late, so reviews should go up.

I’ll go to the store for: Black Panther World of Wakanda #3, by Roaxane Gay, Alitha Martinez, Roberto Poggi and Rachelle Rosenberg; Gamora #2, by Nicole Perlman, Marco Checchetto and Andres Mossa; Mighty Captain Marvel #1, by Margaret Stohl, Ramon Rosanas and Michael Garland; Mosaic #4, by Geoffrey Thorne, Khary Randolph, Thony Silas and Emilio Lopez; Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #14, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Rachelle Rosenberg; USAvengers #2, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and Jesus Aburtov; Ultimates 2 #3, by Al Ewing, Travel Foreman and Dan Brown.

I’ll also review: All-New X-Men #17, by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Nolan Woodard.

Deadpool and the Mercs For Money is doing an IvX tie-in, but since Marvel’s decided to be assholes and end their free digital copies program, and I’m not paying to read that shitty series, I won’t be reading that issue.

So that’s 7 comics I’m picking up, and one additional review. Jeez. Lots to pick up.

But lots of good stuff! WoW hasn’t been the best-written story, it has definite problems, but I’m still enjoying it, and I think the relationship between Aneka and Ayo has been written really well. Gamora got off to a bit of a weak start, but I’m willing to give it some time to grow. We’ll see if Perlman improves. Captain Marvel #0 showed a lot of promise, and I am interested in seeing what Stohl does with the book. Assuming she sticks around longer than the first arc. Mosaic’s been cool. Again, it has some rough edges to work out, but it’s intriguing, and it’s got a ton of potential. Hellcat is always wonderful. Fun and heartfelt. I love it. USAvengers was always going to have my money, but the Helivolcano in the first issue reassured me that this series will be totally amazeballs. And Ultimates 2 is continuing to be awesome with big cosmic ideas. So it’s a good week.

So, as I mentioned, Marvel’s ended their program where you get a free digital copy of the comics you buy. This is bullshit. It is such bullshit. So, here’s some quick history. When they first implemented the program, it was on select books, which they charged an extra dollar for. Eventually, they raised the price across the line, but also included the digital copies. Which cost them nothing. They were not losing money by including the digital copies. I suspect it made them money – after all, it allowed people to try a series for free, and if they liked it, they might start buying it. That happened to me with All-New Wolverine and Vision. I doubt I’m alone in that.

I imagine Marvel’s thinking here is that people trading digital codes was resulting in lower sales. So by taking the code away, now the people will just pay for the books. But they won’t. I guarantee they won’t. No one who was reading Captain Samerica via digital code is going to switch to paying for it. It may result in some of the people who were buying the book physically to switch entirely to digital, which does make Marvel more money, but screws over the retailers. This change is going to hurt retailers, have no doubt about that.

Meanwhile, digital copies will still cost as much as physical copies, even though they cost less to produce. Which is stupid. Digital should be cheaper. But nope, Marvel are greedy assholes. It’s getting harder and harder, all the time, to support them. It really is. It’s like Marvel wants to turn readers away. Bunch of assholes.

Oh, also? Making Civil War II one of the comics included in the new “you’ll take what we give you and you’ll fucking like it” digital code program? What. The. Fuck. Everyone who gave half a shit about that book has already read it, you shit-gargling cock-wranglers. No one benefits from this. No one. Not one single person will be excited at getting a free digital copy of CWII. The people who wanted to read it already bought it. Know how I know? Because it was Marvel’s top-selling comic. By a large margin. So CWII being one of the issues included is a big “fuck you” to everyone. Because the people who bought that event get no added benefit, and the people who didn’t buy it didn’t want to buy it, and this is Marvel trying to push it on them. Either way, no one’s getting any added benefit from this. If they have to change the program to be them telling people what they’re going to read, then at least use it to push under-appreciated books. Instead of including Amazing Spider-Man – which they will absolutely do – include Silk. Instead of Invincible Iron Man, go with Moon Girl. But no, it’s pretty easy to predict what Marvel’s approach will be. They’re going to use the digital code program to push the books that already get the best sales, because they’re fucking idiots.

I backed Undercities, an anthology of queer stories in an urban fantasy setting, by queer and POC creators. Support diverse creators!

I’ve been reading Juliet Takes A Breath, by Gabby Rivera. I’m reading it in anticipation of Rivera launching America. My expectations for America have gone up. It’s a great book. Definitely worth reading.

I’ve been in a funk for the past month. No real will to do anything. Which is why I didn’t post anything this past week. Just couldn’t get myself motivated to do it. Just feeling generally burnt out, I guess. I could use some kind of recharge. Something to pick me up. I don’t know, maybe I should watch some Ghibli movies again. But I don’t want to watch Ghibli movies by myself. Bleh, being single sucks so much.

My schedule for the week: 3:15-10 Friday, 12-6:45 Saturday, 11:45-6:30 Sunday, 11:15-6 Monday. So I’ll try to do posts Thursday and Tuesday.

And that’s it for this week.

X-Men comics of January 11 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I saw Rogue One last night. It was great. I look forward to live-tweeting it when it comes out on DVD. But now, comics!

Uncanny X-Men #17, by Cullen Bunn, Ken Lashley and Nolan Woodard. Sabretooth and Rachel are in Limbo, looking for some Inhumans who’ve gone missing. One’s been killed by demons. Rachel’s having a hard time tracking them telepathically, and Sabretooth tries to reassure her, but she tells him not to touch her. I don’t blame her. He may be a “good guy” now, but he has a long history as a psycho killer. One who particularly enjoyed killing women. Sabretooth finds himself almost appreciating Limbo – before he was turned good, it would’ve been his kind of place, dark and dangerous. He eventually finds Monet, about to feed on the last two missing Inhumans. She’s, um, not herself. She’s pretty crazy. But also pretty great. Monet does villainy very well, I have to say. Which isn’t surprising, because her mutant power is basically “be perfect,” so of course that would also apply to being perfect at being a villain. When Sabretooth tells her to stop, she attacks him, and says he doesn’t have what it takes to stop her. Which is true. Because one of her powers is invulnerability. Turns out, by feeding on him so often, she’s picked up his claws and healing factor, while his own abilities have been dulled. So he’s fighting “a faster, tougher, more vicious version of” himself. Ha, that was always the point behind him and Wolverine fighting. And throughout this scene, Monet twice mentions Madrox. Aww, she misses her friend. She’s still in mourning about his death. That’s sad, but also really nice. But this issue is mostly about Sabretooth, and his struggles to be a hero while his instincts want him to be a killer. It’s fairly interesting. Probably the most interesting Sabretooth has ever been as a character, though that’s not a high bar to clear, as he’s seldom been particularly interesting. Lashley and Woodard do a great job on the art. Monet looks sexy-scary, and it’s really cool. I wish Lashley had been on this book from the start, and Land was never involved with it. Alas.

All-New Wolverine #16, by Tom Taylor, Nik Virella and Michael Garland. Kimura tells Laura that she’s a weapon, and her first target is Tyger Tiger. On the ship with the slave kids, Roughhouse refuses to let them be sold, and throws a pirate overboard for suggesting it. Roughhouse is a cool guy. Gabby tells the kids Roughhouse will protect them, but that she can’t go with them, and she has a plan. Back in Madripoor, Kimura continues to explain the situation. Tyger apparently wants to make Madripoor legitimate, which is actually kinda cool and fits her history. I like that. Kimura’s people managed to hurt Tyger, and had one of her personal physicians inject the trigger scent into her blood. And if Laura doesn’t do what she wants, then her aunt and cousin will be killed. She then puts Laura into a combination sensory deprivation tank/iron maiden, where Laura will be aware of nothing but pain. Harsh. A week later, her tank is thrown into Tyger’s skyscraper. And man, I love Tyger. She’s awesome. Very cool under pressure. This is a great issue. Excellent work. It’s what I’ve been wanting to see from this story. It’s darker and more intense. There’s still some humour, especially in Gabby’s scenes, but it’s toned way down compared to normal. But even more important, it’s a lot more focused than the previous two issues, both of which felt a bit meandering. This issue’s a lot tighter. Kimura is done well. She’s an intimidating character. So cruel and vindictive. It works really well. And I like that, when Laura talks back to her, she doesn’t get angry. She finds it amusing. Again, it sells how dangerous she is. The art is really good. I like Virella’s style. I will admit she might not have been the optimal choice for this arc. I think I would’ve liked art that’s just a bit darker. Though that may come down to colours. Garland continues to use fairly bright colours, and I’m not sure it’s the best match for the story. Still, it’s a good-looking comic. This arc is definitely getting into great territory.

Inhumans vs. X-Men #2, by Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and David Curiel. New Attilan prepares for the approach of the X-Men. Medusa actually mentions she doesn’t think the X-Men will attack civilians, since they’re heroes. I find that a nice touch. She sends Iso and Inferno to gather all the Inhumans who aren’t in the city, to prepare for a counter-attack if New Attilan falls. Good plan. She also puts on one hell of a battle-costume. She puts a bunch of blades in her hair. That’s awesome. I’m no fan of monarchs, but damn, Medusa is badass. And then the X-Men reach the city and it’s a lot of fighting. Storm actually orders everyone not to harm civilians, because she’s still a hero. Another nice touch. Magneto and Cerebra are actually rounding up Inhuman civilians to keep them safe. Good work, Magneto. Way to not be awful, for now. I want to mention that, during the battle, Johnny takes on Sabretooth and burns him. Yay. Yet somehow, Sabretooth, a guy whose offensive capabilities consist of scratching things, manages to take out a flying man made of fire. I find that so stupid. Especially when it would have made more sense for Storm to take him out. Anyway, this was an OK issue. Half of it is Medusa preparing for the battle, the other half is the battle itself. I like the first half more. The battle is fine and all, but it’s not particularly exciting. Medusa vs. Teen Beast was pretty great. The thing is, this issue was necessary, but it’s not all that interesting. I’m also not a big fan of the art. I find Yu’s style to be muddy. I don’t like it. So, this issue gets a shrug from me.

Deadpool #24, by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Christian Dalla Vecchia and Guru eFX. Deadpool rushes in with the cure to the virus killing Preston’s family, and realizes that Madcap spoofed Preston’s phone to get Deadpool to go and infect them. Deadpool tracks the phone, and he and Preston go to the abandoned factory he’s hiding in – as part of Hydra Bob – and deal with him. This is actually a pretty OK end to the arc . . . except it’s not actually over. Madcap escapes, so he’s still out there to be dealt with. Ugh. The whole thing should have been wrapped up here. It hasn’t been interesting. Also, once again, this issue is lacking in Deadpool making jokes. That’s been the biggest problem with this run. Even serious Deadpool should be making a lot of jokes. But Duggan writes him as largely subdued, and it’s just not right. I also still dislike the art. I have nothing new to say about that.

That’s the X-titles, here’s what else I read.

Ms. Marvel #14, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa and Ian Herring. It starts with Kamala saying how great MMOs are, as a place where you can escape reality and be a legendary hero, and how none of the daily crap matters. Her guild beats a boss and she gets a really rare sword as loot, yay for her. But when she’s logging off, one of her guildmates reveals he knows where she lives. Which is weird and creepy. She spends the evening trying to track the guy, and confronts him in Manhattan. And it turns out his account was hacked. She’s freaked out, and then she gets attacked by a car. This is a solid issue. Really good stuff. It gets into just how freaky the modern world is. Because I kinda is. I mean, the world we live in is amazing and wonderful. But it’s also pretty freaky. Online stalking, hacking cars, and all sorts of other crazy stuff. It’s scary to think about. So it’s interesting seeing Ms. Marvel exploring that, especially since it’s an issue young people need to be especially mindful of. The art’s great. Miyazawa! And Herring’s one of the best colour artists out there. They do good work together. So, yeah, another great issue.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16, by Ryan North, Will Murray, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi. This issue marks the 25th Anniversary of Squirrel Girl! Since she was created by Steve Ditko for a silly little Iron Man story. And now look at her. She’s come a long way. Anyway, this issue details how she became Squirrel Girl. Her parents met at a Meet Cute Singles Mixer. They fell in love and had a baby, Doreen. Then we see her fifth birthday party, where she leaped into a tree. Then her tenth birthday, in a new town, where none of the kids like her, so no one went to her party. Aw, poor Doreen was so sad. Also, she had a stuffed Fin Fang Foom. Cute. On the plus side, she learns that she can speak to squirrels. She meets Monkey Joe, who tells her she’s going to be a hero. Aw. Then, 5 years later again, and Doreen’s reading Nancy Drew so she can learn how to solve mysteries. This section is co-written by Will Murray, Doreen’s co-creator. Aw! Something crashes outside her treehouse. It turns out to be Bruce Banner. He’s being chased by the Abomination. Doreen helps the temporarily-blind Hulk beat him. This marks the second time she’s helped a superhero beat a villain. And then we skip another 5 years, to today, and her 20th birthday party. Aw. Also, the letters page has the URL for a fan-made stop-motion Squirrel Girl video:

So this is a great issue. Interestingly, it’s actually not the laugh-a-page norm of the book. It’s a lot more sentimental, and it’s really nice. I mean, obviously there’s still a lot of jokes. But it’s less a focus than usual. And I actually appreciate that. This issue is all about her childhood, so I like that it’s more sentimental. Doreen’s been adorable all her life, but I think my favourite section was when she was 10. And she felt lonely and hated and felt like a freak. You just want to give her a hug and tell her it’ll be OK, and that she’s going to be amazing and an inspiration. I love this series.

Power Man & Iron Fist #12, by David Walker, Sanford Greene and Lee Loughridge. We start a few months ago, with Alex Wilder meeting a crooked ex-cop and asking him to test out the Agnitus. Then, a week ago, to Luke and Danny questioning the cop. Then five days ago, they met with Tombstone, who wants them to stop Alex Wilder, and stop a war in Harlem that could cause a lot of collateral damage. Four days ago, Alex learns the Agnitus is completely useless now, but he has another plan: Violence. Two days ago, Black Cat is still manipulating Piranha Jones into continuing to go after Tombstone. Then, the day that Piranha Jones attacks Tombstone’s stronghold. And Wilder’s men also going in. And then Luke and Danny getting in the middle of it all. And Tombstone has a plan for all of it. This is excellent. Fantastic work, as the gang war picks up in a huge way. Walker’s building a fantastic story here. I really like the art. Greene and Loughridge work well together, and the style is very fitting for the book. This is such a great series, and I’d definitely recommend you check it out if you haven’t yet.

Occupy Avengers #3, by David Walker, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Sonia Oback and Wil Quintana. Nighthawk is beating the shit out of Clint, over something Clint did in a previous encounter. We don’t actually find out what. Meanwhile, Tilda and Wolf watch the fight, and Tilda flirts with Wolf. She wants to have sex with him on the fire escape, a place she’s never done it before. I really like Tilda. Anyway, Wolf breaks up the fight, and Clint says they need Tilda’s help. They need her to examine a robotic head of Ronald Reagan that they found. And it’s too old to be as advanced as it is. They also found an element called Epidurium, key in making the skin for LMDs. So it’s a team-up to find out what’s going on! Yay! This is great. Walker’s Nighthawk series was fantastic stuff, really smart and intense, but Tilda was always a ball of pure sunshine there, and she continues to be a delight here. Seriously, Walker’s Tilda is one of my favourite characters. I love her. If she becomes a permanent member of this book’s cast, I will be so happy, because she’s just the best. She spends basically the whole issue flirting with Wolf, and it’s so fun. Nighthawk’s great, too, with his hatred of Clint, and Clint is really fun. The plot here is interesting. Not a social justice thing, from what I can see, but not everything in this book has to be. Fun LMD stuff can be good, too. The art’s great. It’s a great art team. Pacheco’s a top talent, Fonteriz’s inks complement him well, and Oback’s a top-notch colour artist. So great work from all of them. This is a really good issue.

Silk #16, by Robbie Thompson, Irene Strychalski, Ian Herring and Irma Kniivila. Cindy sees how happy JJJ is at being with his family again, and it makes her feel worse about running away from her own family. He has to go with Marla for her check-up, so Mattie Franklin takes over the tour, and knows Cindy is “Silkworm.” She also says that if Jonah cares about her, there’s something to care about. And she admits there’s something about New U that makes her uncomfortable. Cindy and Mattie are becoming friends? Mattie says some of the clones have glitches, and those ones disappear, and she finds it weird. She takes Cindy to “Haven,” a peaceful little village beneath New U’s California lab, and brings her meet with Hector, alive again. This eventually leads to smooching. And then bad stuff happens. Another excellent issue. I like that Mattie is as suspicious as Cindy. I’ve never actually read any of the Mattie Franklin stuff – someday! – but she seems like a cool character, and it’s cool that she’s got suspicions about New U. It’s an interesting twist, to have a clone who’s not on-board with the Jackal’s activities. Thompson also continues to do stellar work with Cindy, and her ongoing struggles with mental health. Her anger. Her anxiety. I love that about this book. The art is gorgeous. Strychalski’s line art is so pretty. So soft and expressive and really nice to look at. And the colour is perfect. Silk was dragged into the Clone Conspiracy crossover, but Thompson, Strychalski, Herring and Kniivila are making it work, and making it worth it. I really think this book deserves a lot more attention than it gets. This is the best Spider-title on the stands. Hands down. Yes, better than Spider-Woman.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #13, by Joe Kelly, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, John Dell and Jason Keith. It opens with a merged Spider-Pool. But it turns out to be something the actual Deadpool is looking at, while the actual Spider-Man is still resting and recovering from the explosion. They’re in a pocket dimension, which Deadpool proves by opening a zipper and poking out through Eternity’s pocket. That’s . . . an odd joke. They’re actually in Weirdworld. Which means Morgan Le Fay! And her bitchin’ dragon! And now I’m remembering how much I miss the Humphries/Del Mundo Weirdworld. That book was so good. So gorgeous. Weirdworld just doesn’t look right drawn by someone else. Spider-Man takes her out with some tech in his costume that apparently neural shocks her when she touches him. That’s . . . disappointing. Things continue to be crazy in Weirdworld while Deadpool and Spider-Man talk about Itsy-Bitsy, with Spider-Man ready to kill her, and Deadpool wondering what’s happened to Spidey. This book remains fun. Spider-Man being dark is interesting to see, and this issue actually provides a good explanation for why he’s changed so much. Meanwhile, Kelly still writes the best Deadpool ever, with constant jokes mixed in with really emotional stuff. And the art is really good. So I really enjoy this book.

Pull list for January 11 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m off tomorrow, yay.

I’ll go to the store for: All-New Wolverine #16, by Tom Taylor, Nik Virella and Michael Garland; Ms. Marvel #14, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa and Ian Herring; Occupy Avengers #3, by David Walker, Carlos Pacheco, Rafae Fonteriz, Sonia Oback and Wil Quintana; Power Man & Iron Fist #12, by David Walker, Sanford Greene and Lee Loughridge; Silk #16, by Robbie Thomas, Irene Strychalski, Ian Herring and Irma Kniivila; Spider-Man/Deadpool #13, by Joe Kelly, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, John Dell and Jason Keith; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi.

I’ll also review: Deadpool #24, by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Christian Dalla Vecchia and Guru eFX; Inhumans vs. X-Men #2, by Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, Leinil Francis Yu; Uncanny X-Men #17, by Cullen Bunn, Ken Lashley and Nolan Woodard.

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

Good week, though. Wolverine looks like it’ll be getting dark, with Laura in Kimura’s hands. Ms. Marvel is Ms. Marvel. Occupy Avengers will have Nighthawk and, even better Tilda. Walker writes the best Tilda ever. PM&IF has more of the cool gang war plot, which has been really good. Silk is a deeply underappreciated series, and Strychalski’s art for this Clone Conspiracy tie-in arc has been gorgeous. Spider-Man/Deadpool is a lot of fun, at least under Kelly/McGuinness, and this issue has fourth-wall breaking, so that’s fun. And Squirrel Girl is celebrating 25 years! Yay!

I have nothing at all to actually report this week. I’m still needing to get back into a habit of doing shit.

So, I might be watching Rogue One right now. The only show time for it this week is 5 in the evening. If this paragraph is in this post, that means I decided to go tonight. If it’s not here, then I’m going tomorrow or Thursday. Of course, if this paragraph isn’t here, you can’t read it, so it makes no sense to type it out. Making sense is overrated.

The jacket my mom ordered me for Christmas came in last night. It’s not quite the right fit for me, and it’s also not really the kind of jacket I wanted. It’s a light jacket, I wanted something a bit heavier, for when the weather hits that point where it’s too cool for a t-shirt but not cold enough for a winter jacket. As it turns out, though, the jacket fits my brother pretty much perfectly, and looks really good on him. So he’s going to give my mom the money for it, and she’ll order me something else.

My schedule for the week: 11-5 Friday . . . aaaaaand I somehow managed not to not write down next week’s schedule. Oops! Dammit.

Well, this is a short post.

X-Men comics of January 4 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I decided midnight was too late to start in on comics last night, so instead, I’m doing them today.

Old Man Logan #16, by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo. Logan wakes up back in the Wastelands of his world, and gets eaten by a T-Rex with a symbiote, because the original Old Man Logan story got pretty weird at times. He cuts free and tries to remember what happened. He’d gotten a call from Puck, and went to space to help him. And he found Brood. In the Wastelands, he goes to Danielle Cage’s shack. The baby’s gone, and Danny’s in the closet. She tells him Kang took the baby. In space, he found Alpha Flight, some in cocoons, some – like Sasquatch and Brand – already infected. But Puck’s still free, and helps get Logan away. This issue is . . . interesting, I suppose. Sorrentino and Maiolo get to have some fun, at least, switching between the Wastelands and the space stuff. They get to do big vistas for both, and also close details. They also get to do a T-Rex with a symbiote. So, you know. As for the story? I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. At this point, it could go either way, good or bad. I’m not sold on it yet. I’m taking a “wait and see” stance here. It’s making the dual timelines more connected, presumably because Kang’s involved, but Kang being involved is just weird to me. Especially with Waid and Del Mundo doing a cool Kang story over in Avengers. But, we’ll see.

That’s the only X-title, but there’s other comics.

Unstoppable Wasp #1, by Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier and Megan Wilson. Nadia is hanging out with Ms. Marvel, at a shop where Nadia wants to try the balushahi, and wants to know which are most delicious. It honestly takes her three panels to become the most adorable person ever.

Unstoppable Wasp #1

You now love her.

Ms. Marvel’s taking Nadia to get her citizenship sorted out. In the immigration office, Nadia shares some of the tons of pastries she picked up, which cheers up everyone there. She gives her life story to the woman working her case, about being the daughter of Hank Pym and his first wife, Maria Trovaya. When Maria was kidnapped, she was pregnant, and she gave birth to Nadia, who was raised in the Red Room. She escaped to go meet her dad, who was already dead. The interview is interrupted by a giant robot piloted by Monica Rappaccini. Yay for her! There’s a fun little “science fact” about the kinds of joints used on the robot’s arm, which is a great touch. Mockingbird is fighting Monica, and Ms. Marvel and Nadia jump in to help. Nadia makes the robot dance. I love Nadia. She’s also a big fan of Monica’s biochemistry work, and Monica expresses anger that the world only hears about the male geniuses. Which is brilliant. That actually explains why so many female super-geniuses are evil: They get fed up with not getting recognized. Because the lack of recognition of women in STEM is a real problem. After, the three ladies get smoothies, and Nadia finds out Mockingbird’s name is Barbara Morse, and says Bobbi is her hero, for her science work and her adventures before she met Clint. Awww. See, that’s the shit I love about Bobbi, too! Forget Clint, Bobbi being a badass science-adventurer is what I love. Bobbi also tells Nadia about a list SHIELD has of the Smartest People In the World, and how, until recently, the first woman on the list was 27th, and that she never thought that was right, and that it was a result of the guys making the list only dealing with each other, and not seeking out new people. So she thinks Nadia can look for Girl Geniuses. And, at the back, there’s an interview with a couple cool comic-reading lady scientists, to promote women in STEM. This is a great comic. Nadia is the most bubbly and happy person ever. If she and Squirrel Girl ever meet, the world might explode. It’s impossible not to like her, because she really is just so friendly and cheerful and adorable. She makes this a real joy to read. But this is also an Important Book, I think, simply for pushing hard to recognize female scientists, both in-universe and in reality. Nadia’s a big fan of Monica Rappaccini’s work, and she idolizes Bobbi, not as a spy who hits things with sticks, but as a scientist who has adventures. I hate that Bobbi is most often seen as Clint’s ex. She is so much more than that. She is so much better than he is. I’ll be honest, I think the marriage was the single worst thing to ever happen to her. But that’s not important right now! What matters is that I appreciate that this is a book that wants to highlight the intelligence of women. Also, she makes a robot dance to Dazzler. So, you know. The art is really cute. It’s very expressive, and totally matches the tone of the writing. Lots of fun, really cute, very expressive, and just really good. This is a great comic, and I very highly recommend it. And if you have a daughter? This is a must-buy, I think, preferably in single issues so you can get the Agents of G.I.R.L. interviews.

Hawkeye #2, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire. Kate takes Larry the Stalker to the police department. She also finds out he’s been going to a group called Take Back Control, which he thought would be a therapy thing to help him stop his harassment, but they just made it worse, and he also says it sometimes didn’t even feel like him. But she can’t reach Mikka to get her to come down, so the Detective can’t do anything to hold Larry. Outside, Kate meets with Quinn, the cute computer guy she has helping her out. She spots a TBC poster and checks it out, and finds some guys harassing a woman. She takes them out, quick and easy and awesome. Side note: I love her collapsible bow. That’s a great touch from Thompson and Romero. It makes it that much easier to believe what’s going on. Anyway, the woman Kate saved says the guys are her friends, but they just snapped. Kate talks to a cute local guy named Johnny, who says that Venice Beach has been getting weird lately. Johnny seems nice. And cute. When she gets back to her office/home, Ramone’s inside, wondering why Kate is calling her girlfriend. She says Mikka’s missing. Kate has a hunch it has to do with TBC. This is another great issue. Lots of fun. Kate is full of sass and is very endearing as a result. This Take Back Control story is really interesting. It feels like it could be the Hate Monger, maybe? Initially, it does seem like it’s just an MRA thing, but when we actually see a TBC meeting, there are women there, too. So it looks like it’ll be going a bit of a different direction. So we’ll see how this plays out. We get confirmation that Ramone is gay, though I think it was easy to guess. She and Mikka still seem to have a thing going, though, so I officially revoke the Kate/Ramone ship, because I think Ramone and Mikka would probably be super-cute together. Instead, Thompson has set up what could be some pretty epic shipping wars, with Quinn and Johnny. They’re both cute. Quinn is geeky and awkward, Johnny is smooth and cool. Not gonna lie, I think I like Johnny more. I feel like I should prefer Quinn. The Cute Geek vibe is nice. But Johnny just seems really cool. He’s confident without being cocky, he’s friendly and outgoing and he makes a comment that’s at once self-deprecating and confident. But back to Kate! One thing I like is that she keeps stealing borrowing things. She calls herself the best at what she does. The art in the issue’s great, too. Romero and Bellaire are excellent. Bellaire is the best. Just, like, the best. Romero does great work. Really good body language, really good action scenes.

US Avengers #1, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and Jesus Aburtov. Side note: I got the Skottie Young cover. Because if Skottie Young is available, why would you get anything else? Especially Skottie Young drawing Squirrel Girl. Anyway! It opens with Roberto thinking back to the New Mutant days, watching Magnum, PI with the others, and how it gave him a sense of belonging. Awwww. Then, we see the Secret Empire moving on California with a volcano base on top of a Helicarrier.

USAvengers #1

A Helivolcano.

I. Love. This. Book. We then get Toni talking about her dad, about joining AIM, and about becoming the Iron Patriot. And then she attacks the Helivolcano, using a force field to slow it down. Enigma has boarded in disguise. We get a brief moment of Aikku saying America’s frightning sometimes, but Toni and her friends are there, and she’s finding her life again. Aw, Aikku. She’s sweet. She takes out the Empire agents, but the leader orders drones launched. Luckily, Cannonball and Squirrel Girl are on it.

USAvengers #1

I. Love. This. Book.

Then, General Maverick explains the deal with American Intelligence Mechanics, as a part of SHIELD. And then he goes Red Hulk. With his mustache. Because this book is wonderful. And then Sam gets to talk. All these things were the members of the team speaking to a camera, for videos being posted as internal memos to make the SHIELD people feel better about AIM being a part of them. So, this is wonderful. It’s very much a continuation of New Avengers, with the utterly ridiculous ideas that you can’t help but be delighted by. Helivolcano! Squirrels with jetpacks and bombs! A Hulk with a mustache! It’s so over-the-top and amazing. But there’s also a lot of real heart in the issue. The bits with the characters introducing themselves are all great. ‘Berto and Sam get the most touching ones, I think, though it’s possible being an X-fan kinda skews it for me. (I do want to note that Sam wears a Lila Cheney t-shirt. I love that. That is such a great touch, calling back to their romance.) Toni’s is really cool, too. Aikku’s is brief but sweet. Doreen is literally a single panel, but this being Doreen, it’s at once funny and sweet. Maverick’s is mostly exposition, but it’s delivered with so much personality. I like him. So there’s a lot to love. The art is also something to love. Medina does great facial expressions and body language. Also, I like that he does draw Squirrel Girl as a bit beefier than most comic women. Very hippy. I appreciate that. It makes her look very distinctive. So good on him. And the colours by Aburtov are great. It’s bright and colourful and fun. This is so good.

Avengers #3, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso. While Wasp tries to get Baby Kang back to his own time, the rest of the Avengers fight Kangs. The Kangs realize Wasp and the baby aren’t there any more, and chase her through the timestream. She gets yanked out by the 26th Century Priests of Pama, who’ve picked up some chronal powers. They now feed on time, and they’ve dedicated themselves to protect history from paradoxes. They want to sacrifice the Baby Kang to the Flame of Pama, eliminating the threat Kang poses. Nadia has a different idea. This is really good. The fight against Kang is really exciting, and the moral dilemma Nadia deals with is interesting. Her solution makes perfect sense. Waid’s doing some really interesting stuff with Kang. And Del Mundo! Hot damn! Del Mundo is just . . . how is he real? I don’t understand how he can exist in this world. It doesn’t make sense. His art is too good. Yeah, it’s very stylized, and normally, I’d say “well I can see how people might not like this” but holy shit have you seen Del Mundo’s art? If you don’t love his art, there might be something wrong with you. It’s beautiful.

Jem & the Holograms #25, by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren. I feel this is very important:

Jem #22

Cat in a sink.

Jerrica is having trouble balancing her Jerrica and Jem identities, and it’s messing her up. In Milan, Shana and her fashion designer friend throw a maybe-not-legal fashion show. This issue really is just Meredith McClaren drawing all sorts of pretty dresses. Shana and Regine get a job offer . . . from the woman they already work for. (Well, they intern at her fashion academy, they don’t work for her personally. Still a funny moment.) And then the 5×5 Records Masquerade Ball goes interesting. This is a really good book. Thompson’s been killing it all along with the writing, and she’s been paired with fantastic artists. For a while, someone on Twitter was doing a Best Kimber Panel of the Month thing, but I think McClaren’s specialty might be Riot. His expressions are always delightful. They make me laugh. But McClaren’s art is just so expressive in general. When she’s going for comedic expressions, they are hilarious, but as adorable as her art style is, I think what I like most is that her style is also stellar at drama. Looks of fear, confusion and sadness all work beautifully. I love McClaren’s art. She’s one of my favourites. She’s also delightful on Twitter, by the way.

The Wicked + The Divine #25, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson. Cassandra and Woden manage to talk Persephone out of killing him. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t mess with him. She tells him he’s going to work for her and do what she wants. So then Persy, Cass and Woden talk about what’s going on and how to figure everything out. As always, fantastic issue.

X-Factor #38 (1989, March)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). My pull list for tomorrow is up. But now, by the Simonsons, Milgrom, Tom Vincent and Rosen, “Duet!”

Duet!

I’m not sure either of them have the best stance for this sort of fight.

Maddie’s preparing to sacrifice Nathan, and X-Factor tries to talk her out of it, and she points out they were the reason Scott left her in the first place. You know, she’s not wrong. They knew he had a wife and son, and they were like, “Forget them, hang out with us!” They were kinda dicks. Scott begs her to just destroy him, but she sees no reason to limit herself like that. The X-Men and X-Factor both try to attack at the same time, and just trip over each other. The two teams bicker and start to fight each other. The X-Men still believe X-Factor to be mutant hunters; they haven’t seen the more recent news coverage. While Scott and Storm fight, Maddie reveals that their earlier battle, where Storm defeated Scott for leadership of the team, was the result of Maddie influencing things with her psychic abilities. I don’t like this retcon. It diminishes Storm, and says the only way she could defeat Scott is if Scott was basically brainwashed into losing. It’s a stupid, unnecessary retcon.

Anyway, Scott makes Storm realize that Maddie kept the X-Men from learning the truth about X-Factor. Maddie also convinces Longshot and Dazzler to switch to her side, by appealing to their vanity, their desire to be stars. They take down Angel, and Maddie talks about how similar they are, and sways him with a kiss. She also makes a pretty epic speech.

X-Factor #38

The Goblin Queen has a real flair for the dramatic.

Angel resists Maddie’s temptation enough to sever the mystic leash connecting to Jean, which also clears Wolverine’s head, in time for him to save Angel from demons. Scott and Alex fight. Maddie throws up a bubble around herself, Nathan and Jean, so Jean and Maddie can fight and talk. Maddie reveals she’s a clone of Jean, and Jean freaks out about it being the same as what Phoenix did to her, creating a copy and stealing her life. Angel takes out Alex with paralyzing feathers.

Inside the bubble, Jean and Maddie continue the revelations. Phoenix brought Maddie some of Jean’s memories, and a portion of the Phoenix is still hanging around, and Jean learns about what the Phoenix did, and remembers rejecting it when ti tried to restore the part of her self it had taken.

Outside, the X-Men come up with a plan. They’ll attack at different spots on the bubble, force Maddie to stretch her telekinetic focus, then Scott, Alex and Dazzler will use their power at full strength at a specific point to break through. Rogue gets Dazzler to agree by reminding her that Maddie’s the real star of the story, the one at centre stage. I like how well Rogue understands Dazzler. Wolverine gets Alex to agree, by saying the Maddie in the bubble isn’t their Maddie. Throughout all this, we continue to get Maddie’s story. Which we actually already know: She was cloned from Jean Grey, awoken by a portion of the Phoenix, programmed by Sinister to fall in love with Scott and have a baby with him. But now we get a little more. Sinister bought Scott’s grandparents’ air freight company, and she was hired to fly cargo to San Francisco, where she was attacked by the Marauders.

Outside, Psylocke gets Longshot to throw a blade to find the spot where Scott, Alex and Dazzler should focus. Inside, Jean tries to reach out to Maddie, offering understanding and even friendship. Jean’s a good person. The X-teams break through, and Maddie tosses the baby in the air. Scott grabs it and protects it from Maddie’s blast, and Maddie decided to just kill everyone. She tries to blow everything up, but the X-teams work well together to protect everyone. That’s one of the best things about the X-Men, honestly: They work really damn well together. I would argue they work together better than any other team.

Anyway, Jean and Maddie are mind-locked together, as Maddie dies. Maddie plans to bring Jean with her into death. But the piece of the Phoenix returns what it borrowed and keeps Jean alive. And with that, everything returns to normal. And everyone starts talking. Longshot and Alex both want to be left alone. Beast gives Warren the name Archangel, so I can finally start calling him that. And they all decide to go find and take out Sinister.

This is actually a rather interesting conclusion to Maddie’s story. The whole Goblin Queen character arc she’s gone through was ultimately about agency. She was created with no agency. No choice in loving Scott, no choice in having his child, no choice in Scott leaving her. She was someone things happened to. As the Goblin Queen, she’d had enough of that, and made her own choices. They weren’t good choices, but they were her choices, even her death. She may not have chosen to live, but she chose to die, on her own terms. It’s weirdly inspiring.

That said, this is easily the weakest of the three big giant-size Inferno issues. Too much exposition, with too much of it being repetitions of information from previous issues. Also, the dialogue is back to being too melodramatic for my tastes. Even for Inferno, it’s a little over-wrought. There’s some really nice character moments, but the stilted dialogue drags it down. I also still don’t care for the art. It’s fine here, it just doesn’t really do as much for me as Silvestri/Green/Oliver on UXM, or Blevins/Williamson/Oliver on New Mutants. It lacks the same energy, and even the same sense of darkness and creepiness.

So, yeah, this is a good issue, but not great, and the weakest of the giant-size Inferno specials.

Pull list for January 4 2016

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m starting the new year off with a cold, woo. Here’s what I’ll talk about tomorrow.

I’ll go to the store for: Avengers #3, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso; Hawkeye #2, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire; Jem & the Holograms #25, by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren; Unstoppable Wasp #1, by Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier and Matt Wilson; US Avengers #1, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and Jesus Aburtov; The Wicked + The Divine #25, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson.

I’ll also review: Old Man Logan #16, by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo.

So that’s 6 comics I’m picking up, and one additional review. Odd week for me.

And they’re all exciting comics! The Waid/Del Mundo Avengers has been fantastic so far; the two work really well together, managing to give it a feel that’s at once classic and modern. Hawkeye’s first issue was a lot of fun, and I’m sure that’ll continue. Jem is one of the best comics coming out these days. Wasp looks cool; Whitley’s Princesless and Raven: Pirate Princess comics are among the top all-ages comics out there, and the preview for Wasp #1 is adorable. US Avengers is carrying on the insanity of New Avengers – the preview has a Helicarrier that’s also a volcano base. Which is amazing. And WicDiv is just horrible fun every month.

I read Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks. My review:

This was a lot of fun. It’s a great book. A strong blend of humour and drama. It also does a really good job uncovering the layers of the characters. Nate and the cheerleaders start off coming across as crazy jerks, but as the story develops, more and more of their empathy comes across. The head cheerleader smiling at one of the robot-making girls might be one of my favourite panels, just because it shows how far along things have come, in a short time. The student council election lends itself to plenty of comedy, while Charlie’s tension with his parents provides a lot of emotional weight all through the issue. Hicks’ art is characteristically wonderful. Very cartoonish, which makes it very expressive. She sells the comedic moments perfectly, and that helps make the dramatic moments work even better, as well.

Great book. I definitely recommend it.

Hicks is such a great artist. I definitely recommend everything she’s ever done.

So I feel like I’m burned out. Just in general. Haven’t been doing any of the things I normally like doing. Especially reading. I need to get back into better habits. But bleh. Lazy and bored and apathetic. Ah, well.

My schedule for the week: 3:45-10:45 tomorrow, 2:45-11:15 Friday, 11-5:45 Saturday, 10-4:45 Sunday, 8:45-5:15 Monday. So there should be posts Thursday and Tuesday, assuming I can push myself to do them.

And that’s all I’ve actually got for this week.

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