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X-Men comics of October 18 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I was really late getting my Pull List post up last night. I forgot I hadn’t set it to auto-post. Oops. Oh well, not like there was really anything important in there. So here’s comics.

X-Men Gold #14, by Marc Guggenheim, Marc Laming, Rain Beredo, and Cory Petit. You know, for all the crap I’ve been giving Guggenheim pretty much since this book was announced, I do want to be willing to give him credit where it’s due. And the first panel of this issue? Credit is due.

This describes so many X-characters.

Anyway, Kitty, Rachel, Scott, and Longshot are facing Magneto, and get switched to ’90s looks. With Rachel getting Jean’s ’90s costume. It looks good on her. And Scott expresses doubts about his own team working with Magneto, which is news to Kitty and Rachel. Meanwhile, the team of Storm, Logan, Iceman, and Angel switch from Frost Giants to the X-Tinction Agenda. And they all get killed, with Mojo reminding everyone of all the times major X-Men have died, as proof that important characters can totally die. And the third team, Jean, Beast, Kurt, Peter, and Jimmy, are fighting demons. And Jean meets another Goblin Queen. Yay. Aaaaand then, of course, it’s back to Kitty’s team. Because why should we spend more than a couple pages each on the other two teams? Screw all those guys, none of them are Kitty, so they totally don’t matter. Kitty argues a bit with Scott over working with Magneto, as though working with Magneto isn’t something the X-Men have done pretty routinely over the past 30-odd years. Then, they switch to AvX. This issue is another example of Guggenheim’s total lack of subtlety. Mojo going on about “you think they wouldn’t kill the cash cows, well remember these stories!” is stupid.  The book continues to be “HEY HEY HEY REMEMBER THESE OTHER STORIES WEREN’T THESE GREAT STORIES YOU REMEMBER THESE STORIES AND YOU LOVE SEEING THEM REFERENCED AND MY REFERENCING THEM IS TOTALLY GREAT STORYTELLING RIGHT GUYS?!” Marc Guggenheim’s approach to the X-Men is the same as Hollywood’s approach to parody movies: Reference better stuff and bet on people knowing that stuff being delighted at something they love being acknowledged. There’s no depth to the character, there’s nothing particularly interesting to say about any of the stuff being referenced. Actually, I think that might be what pisses me off most. He has a team re-visit X-Tinction Agenda, and . . . that’s it. No commentary on what X-Tinction Agenda was about, how it affected the team, anything like that. The fact that X-Tinction Agenda happened is good enough. He does use ’90s Magneto to comment on Magneto as a whole, with Scott saying that Magneto will always be that supervillain. And that started to be some good stuff, until it turned into Kitty saying that Scott’s team working with him is completely different from the other times the X-Men worked with Magneto. I’m thinking that this issue would’ve been better-served by focusing primarily on Storm’s team in the X-Tinction Agenda setting, with Scott’s reveal about working with Magneto being saved for nearer the end. Start with the “This guy” page, then go to Storm’s team, for a couple pages, and cut away with Angel’s death. Then Jean’s team for a couple pages, then back to Storm’s team for a couple more pages, and another death. Kitty’s team, for the fight against Magneto. Storm’s team, the last two deaths. Kitty’s team, Scott admitting his team is working with Magneto. Jean’s team, for the end, to set them up to be the prime focus of the next part of the story. That’s how it should’ve been done. The previous part was mostly about Kitty’s team. There was no need for this one to be as well. Switching the main focus to Storm’s team would’ve given them room to breathe, while also allowing for Guggenheim to say something about X-Tinction Agenda. But nope! Guggenheim pretty clearly wanted this whole crossover to be about Kitty, Scott and Rachel. Everyone else is totally irrelevant and good only for some cheap shock drama. Which actually about sums up X-Men Gold on the whole. Kitty and Rachel matter, everyone else exists only in relation to those two. At least the art’s nice.

Generation X #7, by Christina Strain, Eric Koda, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles. Heist! The plan is for Benjamin to ambush Andreas Strucker in the bathroom, knock him out, take his place, grab the nano-Sentinels the Struckers won a bid for, and walk out. Quire also points out how creepy the Strucker siblings are. Andreas goes into the bathroom, and Ben follows him, and instinctively takes Andrea’s face, for an incredibly creepy conversation with Andreas. Strain really plays up the incestuous vibes, and I’m not sure if I hate it or enjoy it. Nathaniel knocks Andreas out and gives Ben a pep talk. I still ship them. And Nate definitely seems interested, since he asks Quire if there’s anything between him and Ben. And then the heist goes badly. As all heists have to. And then the whole room breaks out in a fight, because it’s a hall full of supervillains. We also get to see a nice, albeit brief, Jubilee/Jono scene. And Jubilee bites her tongue because of her vamp teeth. I appreciate how Strain doesn’t actually try to ignore Jubilee being a vampire. This is great. Lots of fun. Even Kilgore gets to be kinda fun, though he’s still conceptually obnoxious and shouldn’t exist. But yeah, Ben getting to be awesome is always great to see, and he does get to be awesome here. But dammit Strain, stop playing with my heart! The Ben/Nate ship-teasing is going to kill me. They’re adorable but neither of them is admitting what’s so obvious and aaaaaahhhhh. So yeah, I love this series. It’s wonderful. It’s what a teen X-title is supposed to be.

Cable #150, by Ed Brisson, Jon Malin, Jesus Aburtov, and Travis Lanham. The story starts 13 years ago, with Cable and Longshot examining Candra’s corpse. Which is interesting, since she’s been dead less than 13 years in-universe. Hmm. Longshot reads her corpse, and sees she was assassinated by someone she knew, but he can’t see who. Cable mentions that the other Externals were all killed a few years ago, but the timeline for that doesn’t make sense. So I don’t know. Whatever. Selene is the last surviving External. Cable knows they can’t just go talk to her, so he recruits Doop, whose dialogue I’m not going to bother translating, because I find it too hard to care enough right now. Sorry. Then they meet Shatterstar outside the Hellfire Club, and go in, and fight Selene. This is definitely something. It’s somewhat interesting. Cable feels a lot like in his X-Force days. It’s a classic take on the character, which I guess makes sense with this being a Legacy arc. Shatterstar is very much his classic self, complete with his original costume. Combine that with the presence of the Externals, and this is certainly effective at pushing the nostalgia button for people who read early X-Force. I actually kinda like the Externals coming back. There’s a common myth around their deaths. The story goes that Marvel was sued by whatever studio had the rights to Highlander, because the Externals were so similar to the Highlander concept. That’s false. There was no lawsuit. The Externals were killed for being lame. Which is definitely fair. They were so incredibly lame. But sometimes, lame villains can be fun to have around. So I’m fine with them being brought back. They could still be made interesting, maybe. All in all, this issue does feel very much like an early ’90s throwback. It’s fine, it’s just nothing particularly special, yet. As for the art, I’m not a fan. Entirely down to personal taste. I just don’t like Malin’s style. I find his lines, I don’t know, too straight? Or something? It just looks too flat to me. Just my own tastes, I can definitely see why people love his work, it just doesn’t appeal to me. Still, if the story’s good enough, I won’t mind the art, so we’ll see how it goes.

Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan #1, by Declan Shalvey, Mike Henderson, Lee Loughridge, and Joe Sabino. The issue opens on what is, essentially, a Looney Tunes gag, with Logan and Deadpool getting vehicles dropped on them, each bigger than the last. Then it cuts back two days, and Deadpool getting paid to beat up some jackasses on a train. He then runs into Old Man Logan, and they get into a fight. Then they fight over who gets to help a girl who seems to be a mutant. This issue is kinda meh, honestly. It feels largely pointless. It’s just a series of Stuff Happening for the sake of Stuff Happening. It’s a lame start to the mini. It sets up the plot by the end, but the main thing it seems to do is to set up the fact that Logan hates Deadpool. And it takes entirely too long to set that up. So much of this issue just feels like wasted space. I think back to the first issue of the Deadpool v. Gambit mini, which was mostly one long fight scene, but none of it actually felt like wasted space. Here, it does. And that’s a shame, but not very surprising. As I said earlier in this post, at least the art’s pretty nice. I think I might’ve disliked Henderson elsewhere, but I like his art here. It works well. I think the colours make a big difference here. The art, overall, has just a bit of a scratchy aesthetic, giving it a rawer look, one that I think does fit the story quite well, and sets an effective tone. So I like the art more than the story.

That’s the X-stuff, and I’m tired and don’t feel like reviewing Luke Cage or any of the other stuff I got today. So that’s it.

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Pull List for October 18 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So I’ve given up on Inhumans. I’m not watching it any more. But I’m still reading comics.

I’ll go to the store for: Animosity #10, by Marguerite Bennett, Rafael De La Torre; Animosity Evolution #1, by Marguerite Bennett, Eric Gapstur; Bitch Planet Triple Feature #5, by various; Generation X #7, by Christina Strain, Eric Koda, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles; Jem & the Misfits Infinite #3, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge; Luke Cage #166, by David Walker, Guillermo Sanna, Marcio Menyz, and Joe Sabino; My Little Pony Legends of Magic #7, by Jeremy Whitley, Tony Fleecs

I’ll also review: Cable #150, by Ed Brisson, Jon Malin, Jesus Aburtov, and Travis Lanham; Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan #1, by Declan Shalvey, Mike Henderson, Lee Loughridge, and Joe Sabino; X-Men Gold #14, by Marc Guggenheim, Marc Laming.

So that’s 7 comics I’m picking up, and 3 other reviews. heavy week, but a heavy non-Marvel week.

Why I’m getting the books: This will make three Animosity series all running at the same time. Clearly, Bennett’s fans are devoted. And I count myself among them. Animosity is fucked up in compelling ways. BP Triple Feature’s been an excellent anthology series, spotlighting some fantastic creators, and letting them tell fucked-up stories. Generation X continues the Adventures of Quire, Ben and Nathaniel. The first part of this story was fun, so I have high hopes for this second part to be a delightful debacle. This will be the final issue of Kelly Thompson’s time with Jem & the Holograms and the Misfits, and that makes me sad. It’s been so good. Now that it’s over, this is a great time to just binge it. You won’t be disappointed. Luke Cage hasn’t been Walker’s best work, but I’m actually pretty intrigued by this new arc. I’m expecting it to be pretty interesting.

So I’ve given up on Inhumans. On Friday, I realized that I’d missed the first 10 minutes of the new episode, and I was OK enough with that to decide, hey, I’ll just miss the rest of the series. It’s a garbage show not worth watching, so screw it. Maybe I’ll finish it some day, down the line. See how I feel. But for now, yeah, I’m not gonna bother.

I’m still loving Star Trek: Discovery, though! It’s a great show! And The Gifted is still good. I’m enjoying that.

The new Black Panther trailer is pretty cool. I’m excited for that movie. And Thor Ragnarok looks great, so I’m excited for that, too. And there’s the new Star Wars in December. Dammit, there’s too many good movies these days!

I ordered a No-Face t-shirt. Because No-Face. Spirited Away is probably my favourite movie ever. So much wonder and magic and beauty. I will add that I think the best Ghibli film is probably The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which is just an entirely new level of gorgeous animation, as well as being a really well-told story.

Uh, what else? Oh! Kickstarters! Jelly Vampire, by Ida Neverdahl, looks delightful. Chubby Anthology, Love and Derby. Two anthologies, one about love, one about derby. Body positive! Circlet Press 25th Anniversary Best Erotic Sci-Fi anthology. Sexy, sexy sci-fi stories! Madeleines and Maledictions, by Lela Gwenn and Valentine Barker. It’s edited by a woman I follow on Twitter, so I figured I should probably back it, and it does look pretty cool. Circadia #1, by Jenn Dugan. A comic about a bisexual ballerina and non0binary assassin. It seems fun! Modern Dread: A Horror Anthology of Modern Anxieties! It’s just what it says!

Wayward Sisters: An Anthology of Monstrous Women! It’s published by TO Comix Press, a Canadian publisher, and seems really frigging cool. Monstrous women are neat. And speaking of monstrous women: Bad Ass Bitches, by Meredith McClaren! An art book of various female monsters from around the world. 38 of them, to be exact. I FRIGGING LOVE McClaren’s art style. She’s one of my favourite artists. Her style is so expressive. At first glance, it’s just super-adorable. But there’s a real depth to it. I pretty much never buy physical books any more. But I decided to buy this one, even if the shipping does cost more than the book itself, since I’m Canadian. Buy it! (She’s actually been posting them on her Twitter and Tumblr. I don’t think she’s yet done my personal favourite monster, the rokurokubi, a Japanese monster-lady who looks human except with a long neck. That’s it. That is amazingly weird. I love it.)

I guess that’s it for this week.

X-Men comics of October 11 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So, Storm is getting a new solo, by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jen Bartel. I’m actually a little torn. On the one hand, it would be really fucking nice if Marvel let black women work there. Storm should have a black woman writing it, and a black woman drawing it. Marvel’s institutionalized misogynoir is bullshit and needs to end, and it needs to end immediately. On the other hand, holy shit Jen Bartel. She draws some pretty pictures. Still, when does J.M. Michelinie get to write a Marvel ongoing? I guess she needs to become an award-winning literary darling, first, because Marvel does not give a shit about POC already working in comics. BUT ANYWAY! Comics came out today!

X-Men Blue #7, by Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Much like the first part, this issue starts with a meta-joke. Unlike Gold, this one is good.

X-Men Blue #13

Second speech bubble is a vicious drag.

“Self-proclaimed marginalized fan base.” Harsh, Cullen! Not wrong, though. You ever hear of The CompleX? It describes a subset of X-Men fans who believe Marvel has it out for the franchise and is actively attempting to dismantle it. They are paranoid jackasses, and they see everything as proof of how much Marvel hates the franchise, and its fans. It is downright pathetic. So Bunn just dragging them like that is pretty epic. Also, there’s a great Scott/Rachel moment.

X-Men Blue #13

Scott and Rachel are one of my favourite pairings.

You have no idea how much I want Scott and Rachel on a team together. I love it so much that, alternate realities and time travel aside, they still look at each other as family. Not in the “X-Men are family” way, but in the “dad/daughter” way. I’m not sure why it means so much to me, but it does, and I want it to get more focus than it ever does. Let them be on a team together! Anyway, Bloodstorm ends up staked. And Mojo is actually a very good TV hype man. And he has The Wheel Of Angsty Mutant Pain And Suffering, and I’m honestly struggling to come up with a more fitting description of this entire franchise, so good work, Mojo. Unsurprisingly, this is miles ahead of Gold in quality. Bunn is better at everything than Guggenheim. Better comedy. Better character interactions. Better plotting. Better Mojo insanity. The one complaint I do have with this issue is that it is, perhaps, a little too focused. It sticks pretty much to the Kitty/Rachel/Scott/Bloodstorm team. And Bloodstorm dies fast. There is a real value in not spreading things out too much, as it means we do get some good character beats. But I wouldn’t have minded a little more space to the other teams. Hopefully, the next two issues of the crossover will do that. I’m guessing the next issue of Gold will have a heavy focus on Kurt and Peter, and the next issue of Blue a heavy focus on Jean’s team. Seems like the logical way to do it. Really good art here. I really do love Molina’s style. Just the right amount of cartoonish to be expressive. He and Milla do great work on characters and environments alike. And a Mojo story lets the art have even more fun than usual. So, yeah, solid issue.

Weapon X #9, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Marc Borstel, Ibraim Roberson, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. Laura beats up Sabretooth a little more, which is always nice. Sabretooth makes the argument that Logan and Laura both killed tons of people while mind-controlled, and there’s no reason to think Hulkverine wouldn’t be even worse. Which is an annoyingly fair point, but ignored for now. Dr. Alba finds the cabin Hulkverine’s holed up in, and I do like Alba. She’s so wonderfully evil. Oh, also, Sabretooth points out Hulkverine is searching for his past, and Logan and Laura both agree it’s a bad idea, and it’s pretty cute, in a screwed-up way. And this issue is full of more cool stuff going on. Lots of Hulkverine stuff. He’s getting his own book, which is kinda weird, but hey, if Pak’s writing it, it’ll be good. He’s been a surprisingly compelling character, for as dumb a concept as he is. This issue is a bit lacking in terms of focus on the team. They don’t get that much to do here. Comparisons are drawn between Hulkverine and the Wolverines. And not just the fact that they all have claws, either. The whole “experiments designed to make them into killing machines” deal. The comparison’s fair, but I still would’ve liked more Laura here, given she’s spent the past 6 months not being allowed to interact with other X-Men. The art’s good. It’s fine. I have no complaints about it. Sometimes it’s excellent. Sometimes it kinda sucks. Mostly it’s good. It’s a good comic.

All-New Wolverine #25, by Tom Taylor, Juan Cabal, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. We open on a flashback of Muramasa, the master swordsmith, creating Logan’s fancy revenge sword. And also keeping hidden a fancy shield. In the present, Daken is at a bar called The Defiant Platypus, and that is one of the best names ever. Anyway, there’s a dude being really nice, and Daken immediately recognizes it as a lie. Which is sad, but not wrong. Then there’s a bar brawl, then he gets defeated and captured by the Orphans of X. Later, Laura and Gabby are called to where Daken’s arm is hanging from a bridge. There’s a note with an X on it, and a smell that’s definitely not good.

All-New Wolverine #25

This is very well-done. Great use of colour.

It makes her flash back to her childhood, which is never a good thing for her to flash back to. Later, when Gabby’s sleeping, Laura slips out of their apartment. Also, Gabby was reading a comic called The All-New All-News, so bravo to whoever came up with that joke. She gets a helicopter ride from Warren, up to The Facility. And what a lovely trip down memory lane it is. So this looks like it’ll be one hell of an arc. Returning to Laura’s origins. This is going to be pretty intense, I suspect. It’s already pretty intense, and it’s just the start of the arc. Just set-up. There’s a huge cliffhanger, and I’m expecting it’ll lead to tragedy. Great art. I still wish this series would keep an artist beyond a single arc, but Cabal’s pretty great. I think this is my first time seeing his art, and I like it. It’s a good style, clear, good body language. He draws a cute Jonathan, which is really the most important thing. This arc looks like it’s going to keep this series’ high quality going.

That’s the X-stuff. Here’s what else I got.

Ms. Marvel #23, by G. Willow Wilson, Diego Olortegui, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. Bruno is declared an honorary citizen of Wakanda, and Kamala’s a bit sulky about it. Aamir and Tyesha are moving out, and Kamala’s sad about that. She may bicker with him, but she loves her brother, and that’s sweet. And at school, she gets put in charge of a new exchange student from Pakistan, who turns out to be Hunkeem. Er, Kareem. Who is hunky. Kamala’s also apparently been getting anxiety attacks looking at her costume, since the thing with Josh. Which is a cool touch. Plus, there’s a great scene where Ms. Marvel and Red Dagger meet, and Red Dagger mentions liking her Karachi costume better. Also, there’s a runaway train, but it’s a runaway train going something like 25 miles an hour, so it’s not like it’s actually all that disastrous, and Kamala at one point even calls it a “leisurely disaster.” This is just a great issue. This is so, so good. It’s pretty much classic Ms. Marvel, with great humour and great character stuff. Kamala is kind of a miserable jerk in this issue, which is pretty relatable. She’s just unhappy about everything, because things have been going weird for her lately, so she just wants to be miserable. And who can’t relate to that? She knows she’s wrong. She just can’t help it. And it’s really fun and charming. There’s great banter with Red Dagger. And the art! Oh man, I really like Olortegui’s art. It looks so cool. It’s stylish and expressive and has such fantastic body language. There’s a perfect moment where Zoe closes Mike’s jaw, and it’s just so small, and so funny. Action scenes are done well, too, with a good sense of motion. And, of course, Ian Herring’s colours always ensure the comic feels like Ms. Marvel. Ian Herring, to me, defines the visual style of the Ms. Marvel series. The man gets nowhere near enough credit. Colour artists never do, but I think we especially need to give Herring credit on Ms. Marvel. I love this series so much, and this issue is a prime example of what makes it so easy to love.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #25, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. ULTRONASAURUS REX. Also, Squirrel Girl’s knuckle spikes make their long, long, long-awaited return. And Nancy makes a World of Cardboard speech that is nearly word-for-word Superman’s speech in that cartoon. There’s an inspiring speech by Nancy and Stefan. There’s Kraven. And the gift shop from the first issue in the arc gets a callback. And there’s Nancy and Stefan. And it’s just a great comic. It’s fun and wonderful and I love it.

Hulk #11, by Mariko Tamaki, Bachan, Federico Blee, and Travis Lanham. Patsy, who is inexplicably in costume, is helping Jen with online dating. The Jessicas helped Carol with online dating recently. So I guess this is a thing now? OK then. So yeah, Jen’s going on a date with some dude. At a restaurant called S’il Vous Bolt. Odd name. Also, Jen gets angry at a caption. Oh man, what a great callback to the classic Sensational She-Hulk! And she also objects when Hellcat talks to the reader! Also, the date starts off reasonably well. It goes downhill pretty fast, though. And then it gets bad. This issue is just good, silly fun. The team has fun hearkening back to She-Hulk’s glory days, with the fourth-wall breaking. It’s an issue that is just pure fun. It does set up the upcoming arc, but mostly, it’s Tamaki and the art team – including Lanham – doing something joyously and knowingly stupid. It’s great.

Falcon #1, by Rodney Barnes, Joshua Cassara, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna. Falcon’s helping to make Chicago safer. He’s also been training the new Patriot, and he’s apparently working with Dr. Voodoo, who Patriot is a big fan of. We don’t see Voodoo, though. And Sam also has a fancy new bulletproof costume, which is a pretty good idea. This is a good debut. Lots of talk of hope, Sam feeling guilty about not seeing through Hydra-Cap, and gang stuff. Sam and Shaun both have good, unique voices, and they play off each other really well. The art’s good, too. All in all, a good start to the series.

Pull List for October 11 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Hope my fellow Canadians had a nice Thanksgiving. But now it’s back to the grind.

I’ll go to the store for: All-New Wolverine #25, by Tom Taylor, Juan Cabal; Falcon #1, by Rodney Barnes, Joshua Cassara; Hulk #11, by Mariko Tamaki, Georges Duarte; Ms. Marvel #23, by G. Willow Wilson, Diego Olortegui; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #25, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham; The Wicked + The Divine #32, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles.

I’ll also review: Weapon X #9, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Marc Borstel, Ibraim Roberson; X-Men Blue #7, by Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina.

So that’s 6 comics I’m picking up, and two other reviews. Good week.

Why I’m getting them: Wow, 25 issues of All-New Wolverine. Doesn’t feel like it’s been that many. It’s been a great series. I’m not big on Daken, so an arc where he’s a big presence isn’t my thing, but whatever. Falcon I’m getting primarily to show my support for diverse creators. I try to put my money where my mouth is on that. So I’ll at least get the first couple issues. We’ll see if it’s worth continuing beyond that. Hulk is a really good series, one that’s been capturing Jen’s humour while also showing hr dealing with a screwed-up emotional state. Ms. Marvel is Ms. Marvel, and it’s looking like this arc might have a bit of romantic teasing, with the Red Dagger, that cute hero she met in Pakistan. Squirrel Girl is also at 25 issues. Crazy. Dino-Ultron! And WicDiv is smart and twisty and tragic.

Inhumans remains boring as shit. It is so tragic how they’re treating the characters. Maximus should be fun, but he’s so goddamn boring. In the comics, he’s Maximus the Mad, and that madness is pretty key. He is eccentric, he is unpredictable, he is dramatic, and he has fun. But here, he’s so restrained and monotone. They need to let him loose. Let the actor enjoy the role. Make him someone who is captivating to watch, just because he demands your attention. He’s a fascinating character – a man born into a life of privilege, leading a revolution against the very system that benefits him, and using that revolution to get what he wants as well. He is helping the common man, but he’s also manipulative and cruel. He’s fascinating. But the performance isn’t allowed to capture that. Instead, he’s forced to show no emotion at all. And it sucks.

Star Trek: Discovery remains great, though. I love that, even with the backdrop of a war, the show still shows an unrestrained love of science. Michael Burnham has been tasked with creating weapons, but she cannot set aside her curiosity, her passion for discovery and for learning. It’s who she is. And it’s great to see. I love when Star Trek embraces that pure love for science.

And The Gifted is still pretty good. The new episode isn’t as good as the first one. It doesn’t actually do that much to advance the plot or the characters. But it’s still a well-made show, with some good effects, some good performances, and reasonably tight plotting. So, pretty good.

NYCC was this weekend. Kelly Thompson will be doing a Rogue & Gambit series. And Peter Milligan doing a Legion book. I don’t think there was anything else from Marvel that caught my interest. That Northrop-Grumman thing was not their best idea, so I’m glad they ended up canceling it.

I don’t think I mentioned this on here. But a couple weeks ago, I ordered a Ms. Marvel t-shirt. I’ll hopefully be getting that soon. Probably next week. This week, I’m going to order a No-Face t-shirt. I should really also head down to the mall for a couple new pairs of jeans and some new plain t-shirts. But I’m lazy. So I don’t do that. I suck like that.

And I guess that’s it for this week.

Wolverine #14 (1989, October)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Happy Indigenous People Day! (And happy Fuck Columbus Day.) Today, by PAD, Buscema, Sienkewicz, Wright, and Bruzenak, “The Gehenna Stone Affair (Part 4 of 6): Flying Wolves.”

Flying Wolves

Is that a baboon wearing pants?

Logan and his friends are catching up with the plane with the vampires, so Logan goes to get changed. In Madripoor, Captain Tai is talking to O’Donnell about the dead twins, and O’Donnell’s got the shiny rock. He refuses to let Tai have it, and he refuses to let Lindsay hold it. Back on the plane, Jessica thinks about Lindsay, and about her job working for the Prince, and the fact that the Prince will want that stone fragment stolen from Burt. Their plane catches up, above the vampire plane, and a vamp leans out and starts shooting at them with an assault rifle. So Jessica dives out. Because she’s like that. I do love that she doesn’t even say anything as she does it. Just opens the door and jumps. Like it’s a totally normal thing for her to do. In fairness, she is a superhero, so doing crazy shit is pretty much par for the course. Anyway, she’s soon joined by:

Wolverine #14

He’s finally put on the costume.

14 issues in, and he’s actually put on his Wolverine costume. Funny how long it took for us to actually see Wolverine in the Wolverine comic. Regardless, he jumps out and takes out the guy with the gun, and regroups with a totally unsurprised Jessica.

Wolverine #14

Your disguise was an eye patch, dude.

I do like that Jessica knew all along, and over the next few issues, it’ll be a great running gag that everyone knew. But for now, there’s a different joke that amuses me more than it really should.

Wolverine #14

Poor shark!

I just picture a shark swimming along, minding its own business, and suddenly, some dude drops on top of it. Like, this shark doesn’t want to eat people. It’s never eaten a human in its life. And then, whomp, a guy just falls onto its head, right out of nowhere. That poor, poor shark. Maybe the shark even has a history with stuff like that happening? It’s just got the worst luck of any shark ever. All the other sharks make fun of it. “Oh, there’s Steve! Hey Steve, get your snout stuck in anything today?” Yes, I’ve decided the shark’s name is Steve. Steve the Shark. He’s the comedic relief character in a shark-based cartoon, the victim of various pratfalls and humiliations. I have officially put entirely too much thought into a stupid joke in a Wolverine comic. I have put more thought into this joke than I have put into Logan as a character.

Anyway! Wolverine and Jess slip inside and beat people up, and then Jess goes out the plane door. Back in Madripoor, Lindsay seduces O’Donnell for a chance to hold the stone. Huh. Weird that they weren’t already bangin’, honestly. They’re both attractive, charming, and available. O’Donnell seems the type to love sleeping with women, and Lindsay strikes me as sexually independent. So yeah, I could definitely see them as Friends With Benefits. The plane! Wolverine fights a dude transformed by Ba’al. The fight ends up wrecking the cockpit, so the plane goes down, and Wolverine and Jessica barely get onto a rope ladder from Archie’s plane in time.

So this effectively marks the end of the Patch disguise. Not entirely, it keeps popping up from time to time. Hell, it was even seen in Old Man Logan. (And there’s a mutant gang in X-Men Blue who take their inspiration from “Patch,” too.) But with this issue, Patch as a legitimate disguise that works is over. After this, it becomes a joke. End of an era, people!

Oh, and I guess the issue as a whole is actually pretty fun. There’s a lot of fighting, but it’s done well, it’s cool and exciting. Jessica getting to kick some ass is always nice to see. The plot doesn’t get advanced much, but meh, who cares, Wolverine and Jessica drew jump out of a plane to land on another plane and beat up pseudo-vampires. Sometimes, you just gotta let superhero comics be stupid and entertaining. Buscema’s still not my thing, but he does fight scenes very well, they’re easy to follow, with a good flow and ebb to them.

So, this isn’t some classic issue, but it’s still enjoyable.

Marvel Comics Presents #29 and #30

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. Haha you don’t get a long weekend to everyone else. Today, by Mackie, Buckler, Patterson, Yanchus, and Oakley, “Pharaoh’s Legacy (Part 6): A Heart Beaten.”

A Heart Beaten

Now with bonus Wolverine.

Plasma tells the guards to take Havok away, but he breaks free, and escapes into an airshaft, which he falls down while thinking about how he needs to rescue Leila. The next day, out in the desert, Logan finds an unconscious and near-dead Alex. Plasma’s followers find then and grab Alex, passing right by Logan, who proceeds to give chase and it’s fight time. Havok wakes up in the middle of the fight and helps finish the dudes off, then says he going after Plasma and rescuing Leila.

So Logan’s here now. Great. Not a whole lot really happens here. Alex escapes and meets up with Logan. And doesn’t realize that the redhead in armour is the redhead he’s been hanging around with for weeks. Which doesn’t speak too highly of his observational skills. How many white women with red hair does he expect to find in an Egyptian cult? But OK, sure, he’s just not letting himself accept it, I guess. Still funny, though. Anyway, this chapter’s OK. The writing’s fine, the art’s fine, it’s all fine. No real complaints. It moves the story along, though I do feel like it’ been drawn out in order to get Logan in there.

And, Part 7, “A Heart Defeated.”

A Heart Defeated

And now Logan gets co-billing in Havok’s story.

Alex and Logan head back to that warehouse where Alex got captured before, and fight a bunch of goons. They fight for a bit, then head into the tunnels beneath and find Plasma. Alex blasts her, and she gets stronger while asking where Leila is. She removes her helmet to reveal – gasp! – she is Leila!

The twist is predictable. I mean, a redheaded woman who gets involved with Alex? Of course she’s a villain. You’d think Alex would have learned by now. Anyway, this story’s been dragging. It’s mostly just very short fight scenes against random mooks. I feel like it could’ve been tightened by leaving Logan out. Don’t have Alex make the escape in the previous chapter. Instead, he gets captured, and he tries to figure out a way to beat Plasma. As it is, it’s starting to feel repetitive. Alex’s rant about wanting a normal woman in his life is pretty good, though. Poor guy, he just wants to be loved by a woman who doesn’t then turn into a supervillain. But the universe hates him.

Anyway, it’s a good thing the story’s almost over, because it’s been kinda boring.

Wolverine #13 (1989, October)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. So may as well kick it off with the Canucklehead. By PAD, Buscema, Sienkewicz, Oliver, and Bruzenak, “The Gehenna Stone Affair (Part 3 of 6): Blood Ties.”

Blood Ties

What’s scarier than Wolverine? Wolverine on fire.

A couple brothers walk into the Princess Bar, and one flashes a shiny stone. In San Francisco, Logan and the others are being pursued by a cop car, so Logan jumps out to land on the cop car. He admits to knowing little about car engines, so he just stabs it. Then he flips back into the other car. It’s honestly a stupidly over-the-top scene. It’s too silly to even be fun, honestly. It’s just cringe-y. “Look how cool he is!” No. It would’ve been better if he’d landed in the car hard.

Back in Madripoor, Larry and Garry bicker a bit, then make up. Something strange about them! And that rock, I’ll bet! Then Burt gives a history lesson on the Gehenna Stone. At Gehenna, outside Jerusalem, people used to do all sorts of evil stuff, led by a demon named Ba’al, and god was pissed, so he sent a hero known as the Hand of God to kill Ba’al. His soul slipped into a gem prepared ahead of time, but it got smashed by the divine metacarpus, and scattered to the winds. But archaeologists have been finding pieces, and those pieces have been getting stolen from museums. So Burt stole a piece so he could protect it. Logan asks to see the rock, and Burt pulls a Gollum.

Wolverine #13

His Preciousssss.

Back in Madripoor, Larry and Garry aren’t getting along. Larry is paranoid, convinced Gary wants to steal the rock. In San Francisco, the group gets to the airfield where Archie landed, and are attacked by dudes serving a guy who claims to be a descendant of Ba’al. While Larry and Gary fight to the death in Madripoor. In San Fran, the heroes are outnumbers by the pseudo-vampires, and one of them grabs the stone off Burt. And the leader of the gang shows up, so Logan pops the claws to attack him. And this bit’s stupid:

Wolverine #13

Bones do not work that way!

Does he have adamantium ligaments, too? Anyway, he gets his ass kicked.

Wolverine #13

Same here. Except I don’t drink coffee.

The bad guys get away, Logan declares they’re going to give chase.

This issue didn’t really work for me. I do like the stuff with Larry and Gary, getting progressively more paranoid and more resentful of each other. That running bit was done really well. The history of the Gehenna Stone is reasonable enough. A perfectly fair supernatural background for an evil rock. It’s Logan himself who didn’t work for me here, I think. He was just too . . . Logan. Too cool, too badass, too over-the-top awesome. It ended up being boring. I’m also just not a fan of John Buscema. A consummate professional, a great visual storyteller, just not a style I enjoy.

So, yeah, this is a pretty weak issue.

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