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X-Men comics of November 15 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I wrote this last night, but set it to auto-post now. So I’m posting FROM THE PAST! Not that impressive, actually. Anyway, it was really, really late when I finally got around to this, so I didn’t bother doing Hawkeye #12 this week, but I’m sure it’s wonderful and the best thing ever.

X-Men Blue #15, by Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. X-Men vs. Mojo’s minions. They split into two teams, one team keeping the minions busy, while the other heads for the control room. It’s Jean, Longshot, Logan, Jimmy, Colossus, and Angel, who split off. They fight Mojo, who’s leeching energy from the people on Earth glued to his broadcasts. They’re joined by Magneto, Polaris, and Danger. And the day is saved, hurrah, and there’s a confrontation between Kitty and Magneto, and all in all? Meh. A meh end to a meh crossover. The Blue issues were better than the Gold issues, since Bunn is a much better writer than sexist hack Marc Guggenheim. (Oh! Fun fact! A woman who worked on one of Guggenheim’s shows recently straight-up called him out as a sexist prick. Marc Guggenheim is a sexist hack.) But the format of the crossover meant that, no matter how good a job Bunn did, the story wasn’t going to be satisfying. It focused entirely too much on Kitty, Rachel and Scott, to the exclusion of the others. Jean got a little bit to do, and the Magneto/Polaris/Danger trio got to do a bit. But what could have been a fantastic, fun story, was instead just kind of . . . there. Mojo himself was entertaining, and there were a few good jokes, and some pretty good fight scenes, but all in all? This is one of the most forgettable Mojo stories ever told. Which is a real shame. On the plus side, Molina and Milla continue to do a stellar job on the art. An art team I don’t see Bunn letting go of very easily.

Weapon X #11, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Marc Borstel, Ibraim Roberson, Frank D’Armata, Joe Caramagna. Hulkverine’s about to kill Laura, so Logan slashes him up, but then gets grabbed. While Dr. Alba gloats. Sabretooth steals a nuclear reactor (and Stryker’s head). Domino drops a building on Hulkverine. Laura goes after Alba, and finds the weird little thing on her tongue she uses to control Hulkverine, but then she has to stop Sabretooth from detonating a nuclear bomb in the middle of a city. And Domino figures out how to stop Hulkverine from killing people. This was a pretty good conclusion to the arc. Some good action. I wish there was more Laura. More everyone, really. I hate to say this, because I do enjoy Pak’s Domino, but she’s starting to hog attention a little too much. I want to see more of Warpath in this book. Deathstrike, too. So the book does feel a little unbalanced. Luckily, with the Weapon H arc over, he won’t be getting all the attention here. So hopefully the next arc does a little more with the rest of the team. It’s still a well-made book. The dialogue and art are both very good. The story just went a little off-track with this arc. Not horribly so, it’ll be easy enough to correct going forward, and hopefully, they do correct it.

Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan #2, by Declan Shalvey, Mike Henderson, Lee Loughridge, and Joe Sabino. So there’s a tam of bad guys looking for a girl. Logan tries to distract them, while Deadpool keeps chasing her. He beats up another bunch of guys. And Logan shows up to take out a few more. Deadpool tries to get the girl to accept his help, and also asks her about her time-traveling. And there’s lots of fighting and quipping and it’s all fine. It’s fine. It’s Deadpool and Old Man Logan and a grumpy teen girl. It’s basically what you’d expect of all that. So, you know. It’s fine. I like Henderson’s art more here than I generally did on the main Deadpool title, which is odd. I think the rough, scratchy style works well for Old Man Logan. Regardless, it’s two over-used characters I have mixed feelings on at the best of times, so . . . yeah, this book was probably never really going to wow me. Still, it’s good.

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Pull List for November 15 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). And I’m on Mastodon, @XMenXPert@mastodon.social. Comics tomorrow! Will probably go up Thursday afternoon.

I’ll go to the store for: Hawkeye #12, by Kelly Thompson, Michael Walsh; My Little Pony Legends of Magic #8, by Jeremy Whitley, Tony Fleecs; The Wicked + The Divine #33, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles

I’ll also review: Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan #2, by Declan Shalvey, Mike Henderson; Weapon X #11, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Marc Borstel, Ibraim Roberson; X-Men Blue #15, by Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina.

So that’s 3 comics I’m picking up, and 3 other reviews. A light week.

Why they’re worth buying: Hawkeye’s been great all along, but this next issue’s got even more going for it. Kate teams up with the Wolverines! Laura, Gabby AND Jonathan!

So, X-Men Red. The line-up’s been mostly revealed, though apparently, not entirely. Jean Grey leading, of course. (And it’s cool and all that she’s back, but when can we get back Synch and Skin?) Nightcrawler, Gentle, Namor, Laura, Gabby, and a new character, Trinary. I am so, so glad that Logan’s not on this team. I was really worried that, with jean and Logan both being back, we’d get them on a team together, and that they’d end up dating, and ugh, no, fuck that. Instead, Jean’s teaming up with the Bestverines! It’s an interesting line-up. Except: Why is Namor wearing a shirt? Why would they cover those abs? Someone clearly doesn’t understand Namor’s character at all. That character is abs. With both Laura and Gabby being in this book, there is reason to worry that All-New Wolverine is ending, with Logan getting the Wolverine solo again. Bleh to that.

Marvel’s also now promoting a big wedding, and the safe money, at this point, is Kitty and Piotr. And, once again, uuuuuugh. No, why, please don’t. Frigging Guggenheim and his nostalgia crap. Oh, also? Marc Guggenheim is an asshole. Conan O’Brien tweeted about looking forward to “the all-female reboot of America.” Marc Guggenheim, proving that he does not understand the concept of humour, bitched about “not all men” and “reverse sexism.” And a woman who’d worked on one of his shows straight-up called him out as a sexist prick. So, screw Marc Guggenheim, he’s an asshole.

The Gifted. I’m so torn on that show. The stuff with the Mutant Underground is actually really cool. but then there’s the stuff with the Struckers. And holy crap, does that ever drag the show down. The Strucker Family Drama just does not work here. It’s boring and cheesy, and by far the weakest part of the show. This show would be so much better without them. I’d love to see more of the inter-personal relationships between the members of the Underground. Sage constantly second-guessing Johnny’s leadership. Lorna and the memory girl going out for a supply run. Just some general drama with the refugees. Instead, we have to watch a father deal with his daughter dating. Why? Why do we have to deal with the bland and cheesy TV family drama crap in this show? It doesn’t work. There’s genuine potential to this show, but it’s bogged down by the need to have Mama Strucker tell Papa Strucker to talk to his kids.

You know what might have worked? If the Struckers were black. If they were A Respectable Black Family, who thought that, because they were solidly upper-middle class, it meant they were accepted by society. And then it turns out, nope! They can still be hit by prejudice, too! Of course, doing that story would require having black people in important production positions, and there was no way that was going to happen with an X-Men property.

I’ve joined Mastodon, a new social networking site. But their rules explicitly call out Nazis as not being permitted. It’s still pretty small. But on the plus side, that means it’s really easy to get follows back. I’m currently followed on there by Matt Wilson and Al Ewing. Yep, that weirds me out. Anyway, we’ll see how that site goes.

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

New Mutants #81 (1989, November)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m also on Mastodon, the Nazi-free alternative to Twitter (@XMenXPert, again). Today, by Claremont, Shoemaker, Louis Williams, Rubinstein, Wright, and Orzechowski, “Faith.”

Faith

Do you think Herc’s a George Michael fan?

This is pretty clearly a filler issue. Possible an inventory issue, it doesn’t say if it is. Regardless, they did run up against the deadline, so this fill-in was done. Terry Shoemaker did the first three pages, and the final page, as a framing sequence, with Louis Williams doing the rest of the story. Anyway! Amara’s not too impressed with the Catholic Church, and its forced conversion of the people of South America. And its insistence that it’s the only faith that’s correct. Manuel comes up to meet her, and they talk about faith. He rejects her beliefs, and you know what? Not cool, guy. Don’t be a dick. She asks him to prove his god’s real, and he turns it around and challenges her to prove hers are real. She says she’s met hers. Which leads into the story.

New Mutants #81

With a fantastic Shoemaker splash.

It’s a movie, and the New Mutants are watching it, and giving it the MST3K treatment.

New Mutants #81

Talking during a movie? Who’s the real Jerkules, guys?

Side note: I like Illyana resenting the whole thing. You’d expect her to be talking about how sexy Hercules is, but nope, she’s clearly miserable at having to watch such a hyper-masculine film. Also, aw, Illyana, now I’m sad again. After the movie, they continue making jokes, and OH MY GOD WARLOCK IS A TIE!

New Mutants #81

Tielock!

Amara feels bad for laughing, and thinks about how Hercules is revered as a god in her home of Nova Roma. At home, she prays for forgiveness and guidance. And she gets a visit from Hercules.

New Mutants #81

Guy knows how to make an entrance.

Once she turns on a light and recognizes him from the movie, she doesn’t believe he’s really Hercules, and thinks the others are pranking her. He tries to prove it with feats of strength, which the Mutants keep matching, which is hilarious. He lifts a car, but so does Bobby. He hurls his mace at a boulder, but Sam smashes it first. He leaps, but Warlock’s already up there as a helicopter. Amara then uses magma to make a statue of Hercules, as she knows him, and holy crap, she can do that? That’s impressive. It’s a really good statue, and she just whipped it up in a matter of seconds. Hercules tries to prove it by calling his dad to take him and Amara to Olympus, but nope, Papa Zeus is a dick.

New Mutants #81

Olympus, more like Trollympus, am I right?

Zeus wants to teach Hercules a lesson for doing that terrible movie, and for making Amara question her faith in the Olympians. Hercules vows to find some way of making her believe him, and she decides to go along to keep him out of trouble. He asks if she doubts Thor, but she says she’s been to Asgard. Once they get to Manhattan – and struggle to find a cab – they hear gunshots.

New Mutants #81

Not the best reaction.

Amara and Hercules stop the robbers, and then go to a bar, where Hercules celebrates with beer and ladies. Amara heads off, and a building explodes, because Marvel New York. Their buildings just randomly explode. Amara turns into living flame so she can run into the already-burning building, which is maaaaaaybe not the best idea ever? But it seems to work well enough, and she’s able to create a rock sphere to get some people out, with Hercules catching it. Then the floor drops out from beneath her and another pair of survivors. Amara’s knocked out, so Hercules rushes in to save them all. Then he uses a water tank on top of the building to extinguish the flames. Unfortunately, one of the survivors breathed in some flame, and is going to die. His family’s on vacation, so Herc and Amara stay with him.

New Mutants #81

OK, this made me tear up a bit.

New Mutants #81

Philosophical Hercules is Best Hercules.

Amara reminds Hercules he did save the life of her and a baby, and to take comfort in that.

New Mutants #81

He really is a great guy.

This is enough for Amara to believe he is the real Hercules. He tells her that she’s much nobler than he is, because as an immortal, it’s that much easier for him to be brave and heroic, while mortals take big risks despite having so little time. He tells her not to worship him as a god, she asks if they can be friends, and he says that means more than worship ever could. Awwww. Now I want Amara and Hercules to serve on a team together. Being friends. That’d be sweet.

Anyway, that’s the end of Amara’s story she was telling Manuel. And he’s still a dick.

New Mutants #81

“I don’t have proof, so my religion MUST be better.”

Amara doesn’t respond, but she does think about how she received an answer when she needed one, and she has her faith.

It’s a good issue, honestly. I like it. Hercules is a lot of fun, and when the story calls for it, really dramatic. It’s something he’s always been good at. Even more than Thor, Hercules was great at ruminating on what the passage of time means to an immortal. The fact that he does enjoy life so much makes it more impactful when he gets serious. It also gives Amara a good arc over the course of the issue, going from resenting him for pretending to be Hercules, to kinda liking him for having some emotional vulnerability, to being awed when she comes to believe him. She’s handled well here. I like her struggle with her faith, and to maintain her faith in a modern world that mocks it so openly. It’s good stuff.

The art is good. I’m not familiar with Louis Williams, and I can’t say he blew me away. He’s a competent artist, he does an adequate job telling the story. The comedic beats are nailed perfectly. The dramatic beats are conveyed well. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the art. It’s just not particularly noteworthy.

Regardless, despite being a fill-in issue done solely to beat the deadline arising from Marvel double-shipping everything, it’s a fun little issue. I do enjoy it. And, as I said, I’d love to see Amara and Hercules meet up again, with something indicating they’ve maintained their friendship all these years. Maybe they’re pen-pals. Or they follow each other on social media. Something.

Uncanny X-Men #253 (1989, November)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). And yes, this is THREE issues of UXM that came out in the same month. Anyway, by Claremont, Silvestri, Leialoha, Oliver, and Orzechowski, “Storm Warnings!”

Storm Warnings!

So this is clearly a pretty quiet issue.

There’s a storm a-ragin’, and a city is at risk of being completely wiped out. Then a girl appears on top of a makeshift dike, and falls off. Jacob Reisz takes her to an ambulance, and that’s when the storm breaks. The city, it should be noted, is Cairo, Illinois. The girl, of course, is a young Ororo. In Australia, Cole, Reese and Macon, Deathstrike’s men, are cleaning up the damage done to the base. The other Reavers, Pierce’s men, are being repaired. He’s not being gentle. Outside, Pierce reports that she hasn’t found any sign of Logan. Of course, she’s lying:

Uncanny X-Men #253

And using Claremont-isms.

As I said of the last couple issues, I like Deathstrike being honorable. I like her being complex. It’s good to see. The next day, at the hospital, Dr. Lian Shen goes in, and another doctor shows her that Ororo doesn’t show on any of the monitors. They talk about her a little, and we get this somewhat uncomfortable panel:

Uncanny X-Men #253

Dammit, Claremont.

I get that Claremont wanted to highlight her exoticism. But this is just not the way to do it. (Actually, there is no good way to do it. Trying to highlight how exotic someone is is inherently racist. It’s common, but it’s something that needs to end.) Anyway, Lian and Stuart conclude that Ororo’s a mutant, and now they have to decide what to do about it. On Muir Isle, Moira’s yelling at Magneto, and I love that she just does not give a shit that he’s The master of Magnetism, she refuses to put up with any of his bullshit. He tells her there’s a war coming – yet another reference to that Mutant Wars story Claremont was building to which never happened – and that someone has to make sure mutants are ready. He also makes it clear he’s not the villain Byrne wanted him to be.

Uncanny X-Men #253

“Suck it, Byrne.” -Claremont, probably

This is pretty clearly Claremont thinking Byrne turning Magneto back into a villain is Grade-A Bullshit, and so coming up with a rationalization for why Magneto’s doing it, while keeping the door open for him to become good again at any time. Which has basically been Magneto’s status quo ever since, frankly. A villain who could return to heroism, or a hero who could return to villainy. Banshee sees Magneto off, and is quite friendly about it, because that’s the kind of guy Banshee is. Then Moira starts making plans for dealing with everything going on.

Back in Australia, Pretty Boy is missing most of his body – he’s got just the metal skeleton, nothing covering it. Pierce is a dick, but Pretty Boy did ask for it earlier by sassing him. Deathstrike, in a swimsuit, goes diving into the lake, watched by a pervy Pierce, who wants her advice on where Logan might go. Deathstrike seems pretty unimpressed by Pierce’s hatred of mutants. She doesn’t actually give a shit about his crusade. Back on Muir, their radio gets a call from Lorna on a ship where the crew’s gone nuts. When one of the crewman shoots her, the bullets bounce off, and she falls through a wall. The stormy weather causes the ship to sink, with Banshee barely saving Lorna in time. She says she feels like what happened is her fault. Survivor’s guilt! Down in Excalibur’s lighthouse, Amanda’s searching for Kurt, but finds Brigadier Alysande Stuart, instead.

And then to the US, where Forge is meditating. He finds a Wild West saloon, with Amahl Farouk welcoming him. And in a cage, Storm, who changes from woman to girl. Forge and Farouk arm-wrestle for her, but Farouk cheats, so Forge punches him, with his metal hand exploding in the real world as a result. In Illinois, Dr. Shen calls Reisz, the FBI agent who sent Ororo to the hospital. He’s got red eyes and a creepy smile. The Shadow King now controls him! And back in Australia, Pierce tells the Reavers to attack Muir Isle, and kill everyone there.

Pretty good issue. We actually don’t see much more of Logan and Jubilee, aside from them being spotted through a sniper scope. Obviously, a lack of Jubilee is going to make anything inferior. But there’s a lot going on in this issue. There’s the mystery with Child Ororo. And that’s going to be a fun one. This issue also brings back Banshee, Forge and Lorna. Banshee and Forge, in particular, are going to be major characters in the book for the next little while. Lorna, not quite as much. But still, after disbanding the team, Claremont’s bringing back some characters to continue the story, and that’s neat. Funny how, even with none of the title team, Claremont can still fill an issue with storylines and sub-plots. I’m starting to wonder if Claremont could manage it even with no characters at all. Because damn, this book is full. We even have Banshee’s sonic scream back! Hurrah! Moira sends Callisto to seal off the school, which sets up some stuff with her. Farouk is back, to set up a major sub-plot that’ll lead to a major story. Amanda Sefton’s return to UXM doesn’t really lead to much, sadly. Still nice to see her.

The art is great, naturally. Silvestri’s great. And Leialoha’s inks complement his lines perfectly. I wonder if Silvestri’s just got an easy style to ink, because no matter who’s inking him, it tends to look more-or-less the same to me. I mean that in a positive way, of course. I love the style. It’s very expressive and dynamic. I love Silvestri. So I’m glad his inkers always do such a good job making sure it looks consistent. And, obviously, you can never say enough about Oliver. Her colours provide a visual consistency even across different line artists, and I think that’s valuable, and something that doesn’t get talked about enough. The colours can do so much to give a book a distinctive look, even if the line artists keep changing. (I’ve made the same point about Ian Herring on Ms. Marvel. Ian Herring is that comic’s aesthetic.) Oliver was one of the greats.

Sad to think I’m getting pretty close to the end of Claremont’s run, but luckily, I’ve got tons more to go. And it’s all great.

There’s also Classic X-Men #40, because all Marvel’s comics had two issues cover-dated November 1989. (Same thing for December 1989.) Anyway, it’s a reprint of X-Men #134, with a back-up that’s actually written (and lettered) by Tom Orzechowski. Neat! Lines by Jim Fern, inks by Joe Rubinstein, colours and Glynis Oliver. Kurt’s wandering New York, and finds a crowd gathered around a young woman breakdancing. A one-legged woman, to boot. WHile everyone’s distracted, Kurt spots some pickpockets. Good scam. She keeps people watching her while her friends take their money. Kurt chases after her, wanting to compliment her skills. And he keeps chasing her. Uh, Kurt? Buddy? She’s made it clear she doesn’t want to talk. Back off. Seriously, what he does here is just not cool. As he chases her, he follows her into an alley, where four punks attack him. The girl decides to jump in and help him.

With the punks run off, Kurt finally gets to talk to the girl. He tells her she’s a mutant, and invites her back to the school. He also tells her that the thieves she hangs out with are just using her. I think I would’ve preferred if she said she was using them, honestly. She declines to join him, saying she loves the life she lives. Throughout the story, we see glimpses of her mom, first trying to take care of her, then getting angry and throwing her out. The story ends with the girl calling her mom, and it’s a pretty sweet moment that shows that, for all the anger, they still love each other. Aww.

This is a really good story, aside from Kurt being a creep and not leaving the girl alone. Orzechowski turns out to be a good writer. The conversation between Kurt and the girl (we never actually learn her name) is well-written. Nice bit of back-and-forth between them, with Kurt trying to convince her she can be better, and the girl saying she’s living a good life as it is. She does not that she and her friends return the credit cards, and only keep the cash. And, sure, fair. Kurt also expresses some amazement at the diversity of New York, the way walking through it is like walking around the world. It’s a good conversation. I do also like how the girl isn’t bothered by Kurt being a mutant. No one who sees him with his hat off seems bothered by it, actually. Always nice to see people who don’t have a problem with mutants.

The art’s good. One thing I want to mention: The girl isn’t gorgeous. She’s pretty, but she’s not the kind of stunner that virtually all women in comics are. She’s a bit on the pudgy side, despite being a dancer. It’s rare to see someone like her in comics, and it’s so great to see.

X-Men comics of November 8 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Congratulations to the US on having an election that wasn’t awful. Let’s celebrate with comics.

X-Men Gold #15, by Marc Guggenheim, Diego Bernard, JP Mayer, Rain Beredo, and Cory Petit. While the important X-Men are in Mojoworld, Mojo’s sending more spires to New York. We see Dani, Rockslide and Ink talking about the situation. So Ink’s still alive, huh? Meh, he sucked. We also see Riri and Miles, so that’s neat. Anyway, Spiral attacks the X-Men with a squad of mini-Mojos. Hmmmm . . . OK, fine, the mini-Mojos are cool. Back on Earth, Magneto vs. Apocalypse. Magneto’s not very impressed. Back on Mojoworld, Kitty leaves the fight to look for Mojo. The fight’s got some reasonably fun moments. And this:

X-Men Gold #15

How do we turn this panel into an entire series?

We also get the very first sign of a personality from Jimmy. He calls Logan “dad,” and says he does it just to annoy him. Somehow, Guggenheim gives Jimmy more character than Bunn does, and that doesn’t feel natural. On the whole, the issue’s not bad. Better than Gold’s norm, at least. Except I have a complaint! Spiral! She did nothing! Spiral was always such a fun character, but here, she’s just an extra in Mojo’s army, and that’s super-lame. I really hate how much this arc has dropped the ball on Mojo’s supporting cast. Bleh. This issue also suffers from being over-crowded. No one really gets much chance to shine. There’s a couple minor character beats, but mostly? They get a line or two, at most, and even the characters with more dialogue don’t get to show much character with it. This is very much a plot-driven story, and those tend to be the ones I’m least interested in. This crossover could have been so great, but the unceasing devotion to nostalgia hampered it. A shame. I do like the art in this issue, though. I’m not familiar with Bernard, but hey, that’s a name with a rich pedigree with the X-Men franchise. And he does good work. He’s apparently going to be back after the next arc ends, and that’s a good thing. The colours are great, too. Beredo’s colours really complement Bernard’s lines. Bernard, Mayer and Beredo make a good team. I still want a story about Storm and Bloodstorm teaming up.

Generation X #8, by Christina Strain, Amilcar Pinna, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles. Lin and Trevor take Shogo to see a bear. He’s a friendly bear. Roxy has a therapy session with Paige, who still seems to have a bit of a skin condition, which is interesting. Paige wants Roxy to know there’s life after the X-Men, but Roxy wants to be an X-Man, or at least she thinks she does. Paige also resents Jubilee not telling her about Monet. Speaking of whom, DOA, the weird creepy dwarf-guy who worked for Emplate, is now working for her, since she’s M-Plate. He still calls her “sir,” which I appreciate. And Krakoa returns! This is so good. I appreciate a little Bling! focus. She’s cool, and Paige asks her some very good questions to set up more character exploration for her. There’s also a little more Ben/Nate flirting, and these kids are killing me. I am entirely too invested in their relationship. I am more invested in seeing these two fictional dudes get together than I am in finding a girlfriend for myself, and I don’t think I care if that’s sad. Trevor and Lin still hanging out and being friends is nice to see. I enjoyed their issue that brought them together, and I’m glad to see it continue. Pinna’s art is . . . not my thing. I find his faces downright creepy. Those wide mouths. I don’t like it. And just in general, I find his art to be a bit too long, if you know what I mean. It’s a shame, because I love the story so much (and of course Pinna plays a major role in shaping the story), but I just find the actual art style unappealing. Still, I’m enjoying the series, and will continue to read and love it.

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

Ms. Marvel #24, by G. Willow Wilson, Diego Olortegui, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. Ms. Marvel gets to lift a goddamn train. That is amazing. She also gets to talk about how she’s feeling lately, with Red Dagger suggesting she take care of herself for a while. Then they continue talking while also trying to save the train, with Ms. Marvel getting to be totally boss. She shows off a lot of power and ingenuity. And it’s great to see. But I also love her conversations with Red Dagger throughout the issue. They have great chemistry. Red Dagger clearly has a vast amount of respect for her, and really likes her. Meanwhile, she resents how popular he is, though she does start to come around on him. And she realizes her resentment is irrational. Either way, this is so good. Oh, and the art remains stellar, with Olortegui doing some utterly delightful faces.

She-Hulk #159, by Mariko Tamaki, Jahnoy Lindsay, Federico Blee, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham. There’s a diner called Burgercakes. All their dishes are half-one-thing, half-another-thing. For example, their Burgercakes. Little cakes, with beef patties in the middle. It is one of the most repugnant ideas I have ever heard. I love it. Jen also gets her phone stolen and is very indignant because she got a good calendar app and it was a lot of work getting it set up. Oh, and this issue also has The Ditziest Scientist Ever, and she’s pretty gosh-darn cute. And, of course, this issue sees the return of the Leader. It’s all good stuff. Jen’s sense of humour is always amusing. She’s got a cynical humour, but it’s still funny. And there’s plenty of tension, too. The scientist, Robyn, is at once cute and creepy, and I love her. I also love the art. It’s good art. This arc’s got a promising start. Still a good series, worth reading.

Falcon #2, by Rodney Barnes, Joshua Cassara, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna. Shaun doesn’t know who Earth, Wind and Fire are. Sam and Shaun deal with riots caused by Blackheart. Blackheart takes Dray, a gang leader, to see a bunch of cosmic beings trading stories, which is . . . not what one expects in a Falcon solo. There’s also a fantastic scene between Sam and Dr. Voodoo. This is great. The first issue was strong, this one’s even better. The Sam/Voodoo scene steals the issue, and really feels like it completes the cast. There’s such great friendly chemistry. Blackheart’s really cool here, too. His little astral tour with Dray is interesting, and Dray’s reactions are all funny. He’s not at all prepared for what’s going on, and it’s delightful. The art’s very good. Often, books with minority writers have art that’s pretty divisive. Cassara, though, has a style that’s crisp, clear, hard to dislike. It’s still an interesting art style. It still fits the book perfectly, and is full of tension and personality. This book is great. It’s worth checking out.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26, by SO MANY CREATORS! It’s a zine issue! The premise is Squirrel Girl got a bunch of her superhero friends to do comics. The comics are actually created by a ton of comic creators. One of the stories has Logan go camping, and find a disabled Sentinel that wants his help reactivating so it can fight space monsters. It’s honestly a great, compelling story, as Logan wrestles with his hatred and fear of Sentinels. It’s really, really good stuff. This whole thing is wonderful and fun and great and you should read it.

Pull List for November 8 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’ll talk about Thor: Ragnarok below.

I’ll go to the store for: Falcon #2, by Rodney Barnes, Joshua Cassara, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna; Generation X #8, by Christina Strain, Amilcar Pinna, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles; Ms. Marvel #24, by G. Willow Wilson, Diego Olortegui, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna; My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #60, by Christina Rice, Agnes Garbowska; She-Hulk #159, by Mariko Tamaki, Jahnoy Lindsay, Federico Blee, Chris Sotomayor, and Travis Lanham; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, Travis Lanham, AND VARIOUS OTHERS ! Carla Speed McNeil, Chip Zdarsky, Michael Cho, Razzah. Jim Davis! Somehow.

I’ll also review: X-Men Gold #15, by Marc Guggenheim, Diego Bernard.

So that’s 6 comics I’m picking up, and 1 other review. Decent week.

Why I’m getting them: Falcon had a strong debut issue, and I do like to support minority creators at Marvel. Generation X will have Husk showing up! Yay! In her role as the school’s therapist, which is neat. I hated how Aaron wrote her in WatXM, but it’s nice that Strain is keeping her status quo from the end of that run. Ms. Marvel is Ms. Marvel. And I love her snarky chemistry with Red Dagger. She-Hulk’s been a great series, and this arc looks like it’ll be pretty interesting, with Leader as an antagonist. And Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! Jam issue!

So I did go to see Thor: Ragnarok. I enjoyed it. It’s a fun movie. Very funny. There is, perhaps, a little too much focus on humour. It sucks a little too much drama out of some scenes. A little more gravity at certain parts would’ve helped, I think. Still, it was fun. I like how Anthony Hopkins phoning it in is still epic. Hela is frigging epic. I loved her. Cate Blanchett was clearly having a lot of fun being a bad guy. And she was great. She didn’t have the most complex motivations or anything, but she was badass and threatening. Her slaughtering a bunch of Asgardian warriors was awesome. The Thor vs. Hulk battle might be the best fight in a Marvel film yet. So good! So much weight to the blows, and Thor showing just how skilled a warrior he is was really neat. The big battle in the third act is amazing, too. Valkyrie is pretty wicked cool. It is a shame her bisexuality didn’t make it into the film, but she was still fun, and got to be badass. But, digression!

Valkyrie starts off working for the Grandmaster, a bad guy. This fits a pattern with Marvel’s movies. Every single female hero in a Marvel movie started off working for a villain. Black Widow’s origin has her as an assassin. Gamora served Thanos. Scarlet Witch was given her powers by Hydra, and worked with Ultron. Wasp is going to be a hero next year, and she worked for Cross. Mantis served Ego. And now, Valkyrie, who worked for Grandmaster. It’s a trend. And it’s weird. I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s weird, can I? That Marvel Studios just seems to hate the idea of unambiguously heroic women? It’s weird, right? It’s a gross trend and it really, really needs to stop. At least Black Panther will be full of ass-kicking women, and then Captain Marvel will presumably be unambiguously heroic. Unless they decide to reveal that she was originally working with the Skrulls or some shit. It’d be hard to put that past them, at this point. Regardless, they need to be more willing to have female superheroes who haven’t worked for villains.

But back to Valkyrie. I hope she gets to show up in more movies, and that her bisexuality gets acknowledged. Maybe a scene where Valkyrie and Gamora are kicking ass together, and Val asks if Gamora and Star-Lord are an item, and Gamora asks if she’s interested in Quill, and Val’s just like, “Nope, not Quill.” I mean, it really can be that simple. Or she could ask Mantis if she wants to share some drinks after the fight. Just a quick little interaction. There are going to be countless little moments like that in the next Avengers movie, so why the hell not let one of those moments be Valkyrie flirting with a woman?

But anyway. I enjoyed the movie.

And I guess that’s all I feel like talking about this week.

Uncanny X-Men #252 (1989, November)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I saw Thor: Ragnarok last night. I enjoyed it. I’ll talk about it more in my pull list post. But for now, by Claremont, Leonardi, Kent Williams, Oliver, and Orzechowski, “Where’s Wolverine?”

Where's Wolverine?

Dingoes!

Pierce is throwing a hissy fit about Logan being missing, which does not impress Lady Deathstrike one bit.

Uncanny X-Men #252

My money’d be on Deathstrike in this fight.

He tells the others to search for Logan, then continues macking on Deathstrike, telling her he finds her fascinating, and just generally being a creep.

Uncanny X-Men #252

Kick his ass, Deathstrike.

The Reavers search. One of them declares his hatred of health food, and I’m right there with you, guy. While Reese, Macon and Cole talk about Logan, Jubilee steals some supplies from behind them. She’s so good at being sneaky and I like that about her. I also like her speech patterns.

Uncanny X-Men #252

Jubilee is the best.

She almost gets spotted by Pierce, and gets really freaked out, until he moves on.

Uncanny X-Men #252

She does a pretty good impression of herself.

I really do love this sort of thing about Jubilee. She wants to be brave. She wants to be strong and fearless. She tries hard. But she’s still just a kid. She gets back to where she’s stashed Logan, who’s in bad shape, still bleeding, and who starts hallucinating Carol Danvers and Nick Fury. And Jubilee doesn’t stop talking.

Uncanny X-Men #252

Seriously, how could you not love this girl?

Logan comes to enough to notice Jubilee, and threatens her, but luckily, his hallucinations are a little more with it than he is.

Uncanny X-Men #252

Thank goodness for hallucinations.

When Logan pops his claws on her, she freaks and plasma pops him. Good for her. He deserved it. Even Nick and Carol side with Jubilee on this. And rightly so! She’s awesome, and everyone should always agree with her. Back to the search, Pretty Boy has found the Honour Sword of Clan Yashida, much to Deathstrike’s displeasure. She is outraged at him handling it. It belongs to the Lord of Clan Yashida, or its champion. I really like this scene. It’s a show that, for all she wants to kill Logan, she is still a person of honour. Tradition matters to her. It’s cool, and an extra layer that elevates her beyond just being a cyborg villain. Given Logan’s so big on honour and all that, it does make her a good antagonist, because they do have some pretty core values in common. Elsewhere, Bonebreaker tells Pierce that the base’s computer systems have changed, with some elements looking almost like living organisms. Regardless, the system can’t be used to find Logan. So Pierce brings in cyborg dingoes. The computer thing is weird. Far as I know, it was never followed up on. It’s a safe guess Claremont was setting something up with it, but given the way things go, it never had the chance to be explored. I am curious what his plan was, though. But now, back to Jubilee.

Uncanny X-Men #252

Jubilee can carry entire conversations on her own.

She wakes up with Logan telling her to keep quiet. Pierce and the Reavers are searching, and split into teams, with Deathstrike going on her own, and suggesting that Pierce is afraid. He’d be right to be afraid. Three of the Reavers spot Logan’s mask, and open fire, though Pretty Boy tells them not to. For all he’s an ass, he also seems to be pretty smart. He’s observant and thinks things through. As opposed to Skull and Bonebreaker, who just shoot stuff. In this case, they blew a hole in the bottom of the lake so the tunnels get flooded. Logan’s sneaky. Deathstrike finds Jubilee’s hidey-hole, and leaves the sword, to be reclaimed by either Logan or herself.

Pierce finds Logan, who takes out the cyber-dingoes quickly, and then Jubilee buries Pierce. And that gives them a chance to escape.

Uncanny X-Men #252

Ah, Jubilee’s hate of his macho attitude.

This is a great issue. It’s all about Jubilee being The Best. She’s full of sass and guts. I love her motor-mouth. Een in thought, she just never pauses for breath. It’s so entertaining, the way she just constantly goes on. So this issue is a delight. But it’s also really tense. Funnily enough, it’s tense on both sides. The Reavers have never been a particularly serious threat, but with Logan so close to death, and Jubilee being just a kid, any fight is going to be very one-sided. So there is genuine tension about what will happen if the Reavers find them. On the flip side, though, the Reavers themselves admit they’ve gotten their asses kicked by Logan before, and there’s even an Alien comparison, with Reese noting that they’re the crew of the Nostromo. Which is hilarious.

Pierce’s temper tantrums keep him from coming across as a legitimate threat. Which works. He’s a coward, someone to be scorned rather than feared. Which makes it so satisfying when Deathstrike smack talks him. The sheer volume of the shits she doesn’t give is great. She’s really good in this issue in general. She respects Logan, even if she still wants to kill him. Or, rather, feels obligated to kill him.

The art! Leonardi usually worked with Dan Green, but here, we get Kent Williams, and as someone who is really bad when it comes to recognizing the work of inkers, I thought Williams was a seamless replacement. He maybe doesn’t bring out quite the same level of detail as Green usually did, but it’s still strong art, with Leonardi’s pencils coming through strongly. And of course Glynnis Oliver’s still on colours, so, you know. Gorgeous colours. The art’s got a dark tone that works well to enhance the tension for everyone involved. Except for Deathstrike. The art gets a bit brighter around her, which is a good touch, as it sets her apart from the rest of the Reavers, establishing her as a little more noble. It’s a good use of art to show more than the writing can tell.

So, really good issue.

There’s also Classic X-Men#39, a reprint of X-Men #133. There’s also the back-up, by Nocenti, Lee, Rubinstein, Wright, and Novak. Storm’s out for an afternoon fly around Manhattan, but she comes back down to wander the streets instead. Another mutant, Billy Briggs, sees her land, and follows her.

Classic X-Men #39

Kind of a douche-y approach.

Then a handsome guy shoves Billy away, and she smiles at him, and Billy gets mad.

Classic X-Men #39

She doesn’t owe you her time, guy.

Later, Storm, Colossus and Wolverine are doing some yardwork. Colossus pulls up an entire tree. He’s strong. Then Billy attacks. He blows up a car, and threatens to disintegrate one of them. He tells Storm to choose who dies. She thinks it through, and decides that Wolverine would have a better chance of avoiding the blast. He does manage to avoid enough to survive, and Colossus hits Billy with a chunk of tree. With him down, Storm tells Wolverine not o kill him.

Classic X-Men #39

No. I’m pretty sure you’re not as guilty.

Logan does seem a little resentful of the choice she made. This isn’t a particularly good story, honestly. The premise is over-done. Storm’s inner struggle rings false. And the tension between her and Logan at the end is also rendered moot by literally the entire history of the X-Men. Good art, though. Jim Lee’s always been a very good artist. Even so, it’s just a bad story.

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