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X-Men comics of June 20 2018

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

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

X-Men Gold #30

The Jeans are definitely just trolling.

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

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

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

X-Men Gold #30

Really effective line.

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

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

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

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

And the non-X.

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

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X-Men comics of June 13 2018

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

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

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

New Mutants Dead Souls #4

Maggott?!

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

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

Domino #3

Damn. Simone can write.

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

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

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

Non-X-titles.

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

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

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

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

X-Men comics of June 7 2018

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

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

X-Men Red #5

Damn, Jean fights dirty.

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

X-Men Red #5

One hell of a mission statement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dazzler: X-Song #1

Good line.

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

X-Men comics of May 30 2018

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

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

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

X-Men Red Annual

This is a good sequence.

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

X-Men Red Annual

Chad threw the hot dog earlier.

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

And the non-X-title.

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

X-Men comics of May 23 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’ll probably be going to see Deadpool 2 this weekend. I’m pretty excited, though I saw a spoiler that dampened my interest a little. Oh well. Still excited. In the meantime, comics.

X-Men Gold #28, by Marc Guggenheim, Michele Bandini, Arif Prianto, David Marquez, Matthew Wilson, and Cory Petit. It opens with the Marquez/Wilson art, for a flashback, to Astonishing X-Men, and him being freed from the lab he was in, and seeing Kitty, and thinking he’s dead. It’s a callback to an incredibly powerful scene, but as with so much of this series, it relies on the power of an older story rather than putting in the effort to do something effective itself. In the present, the Sentinel is escaping in a rocket with Piotr, Iceman and Storm team up to stop the rocket’s exhaust from killing them, and Nance declares that she’s not a monster because she’s willing to let the X-Men hug their loved ones before the nanite plague kills them. The team heads up to the Alpha Flight Station to get a ship to head to the Roxxon space station that the Sentinel took Piotr to. Storm takes out a bunch of missiles fired at their ship. So it looks like August is when we’ll actually get a story that deals with Storm’s hammer. I’m sure it’ll suck. This issue’s certainly as bland and uninteresting as the rest of the run. It’s just . . . nothing. A big ol’ bag of nothing. I don’t care about any of it. The character dynamics are still so damn flat and boring. I like the art. Bandini and Prianto do good work. There’s a certain softness to Bandini’s lines, and it’s an appealing style. It’s a shame this arc doesn’t have more comedic moments, because I know he’s a pro at those. (Not actually a criticism of the arc, by the way, just an idle thought.) He’s good at making characters look like people. He does a good job with facial expressions, body language, stuff like that. He’s also good at action. Really nice flow to his action sequences. I’m really rooting for him to go places, and I’d love to see him on a better comic than this. Maybe give him an X-title with Kelly Thompson? I would buy that, in a heartbeat.

Weapon X #18, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Yildiray Cinar, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. Omega Red is crossing the Siberian tundra, with Sabretooth along as rations, which is one hell of a way of dismissing Sabretooth as a threat. Warpath, Domino and Deathstrike are fighting a Russian mutant prison. Sabretooth finally starts using his mind, instead of just trying to claw his way out of trouble, and starts manipulating Omega Red. And also sics some tigers on him. I like tigers. Tigers are so pretty. They’re cute, even when they’re mauling someone. And back at the prison, things finally come to a head for Warpath, who confronts Deathstrike about her and Sabretooth planning on betraying the team, and Domino’s focus on money over doing good. Also, I wouldn’t normally spoil an end-of-issue thing, but Sabretooth apparently adopts a tiger kitten. Tiger kitten yaaaaay! I hope it becomes a permanent part of the book. I want my tiger kitten. Cutest things. Anyway, another good issue, and does a good job leading up to the upcoming dissolution of the team so it can be relaunched with a different line-up. (I’m hoping for Adam-X, the X-Treme.) Sabretooth is craftier than he’s been at any point in the series, and even thinks about how stupidly he’s been behaving. Sad that Domino and Warpath seem to be breaking up. I hope Domino decides to do the right thing, though, because she is a good person, sometimes despite herself. The art’s good. Dark and moody, which fits, and he does some very good facial expressions, doing a really good job getting across how characters are feeling, and what they’re thinking. I enjoy this comic.

Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery In Madripoor #1, by Jim Zub, Thony Silas, Felipe Sobreiro, and Joe Sabino. Psylocke is thinking about how she loved Logan, as she and the rest of an X-team consisting of Kitty, Storm, Jubilee, Rogue, and Domino go looking for him. Domino has no idea what’s going on and isn’t happy about it. They go to Madripoor to talk to Magneto, figuring him as a suspect for stealing Logan’s body. Magneto meets them, and invites them out to dinner, because he’s classy. The team goes to the Princess Bar, and get admitted into Logan’s private suite beneath the bar. We get a couple flashbacks to earlier days, with Logan giving Logan a panther-head thing, and Rogue finding a letter from Carol Danvers asking Logan to kill Rogue. Yikes. Psylocke asking Logan about death. And Kitty finds a photo of her most iconic costume. The one with roller skates. Then, they get dressed for dinner. I’m not completely on board with a lot of these clothes, though.

Mystery In Madripoor #1

Not sure these outfits warrant this cool shot.

So, I don’t know a thing about fashion, but here are my totally uninformed opinions. Jubilee looks fantastic. Little Black Dress with bubblegum pink jacket? Hell yes. She looks killer. Rogue’s outfit is on point, too. She knows green works for her, and the dress is just a good design. Domino looks dressed for trouble, a good outfit to go clubbing and then fight a guy with a club, which is pretty fitting for Domino. I would’ve preferred Psylocke in a dress. The top is pretty much perfect for her, but Betsy strikes me as someone who enjoys dressing sexy when she gets the chance, and I think a short dress would’ve been sexier than pants. Kitty’s outfit, I just don’t like at all. It’s the pants, again. I just don’t like the design on those pants. And they seem weirdly high-waisted to me? That’s probably just my ignorance of fashion. Still, I think I would’ve gone with a different design for the pants. And Storm’s outfit just seems to casual to me. I would have liked to have seen her dressed to kill. Preferably with a sexy dress, too. All in all, Jubilee’s got the most killer outfit here. Love the pink jacket, it absolutely ties the outfit together and makes it definitively Her. Anyway, at the restaurant where they meet Magneto, Jubilee takes the opportunity to eat before anything happens, because she has her priorities. And then it turns out the whole thing was a trap, but not one laid by Magneto. There’s some OK stuff here. It’s not bad, really. But it’s also not great. I think it might have worked better as something other than a shameless tie-in. A team of X-Men hearing rumours about Magneto being up to something in Madripoor, and deciding to check it out, and not bothering with memories of Logan, instead focusing on intra-team dynamics. That would’ve worked better. The art’s good. Silas isn’t a favourite of mine, I find he doesn’t have a wide range of facial expressions. What you see in the panel I posted is pretty much the extent of what he does. It can make things a little less interesting. But it’s still an attractive art style, overall, and Sobreiro’s colours are always good. This was an OK start, but we’ll have to wait and see how the story goes from here.

Old Man Logan #40, by Ed Brisson, Ibraim Roberson, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit. I’m still mad at Brisson breaking up Glob and Sprite. On the other hand, it is sweet how Shark Girl swears to hunt down and eat the face of the girl she thinks broke his heart. Shark Girl’s a good kid. Anyway, Glob’s got a suicide bomb strapped to his chest. The bomb actually doesn’t hurt him at all. Huh, didn’t realize he was that tough. Of course, the main thing I’ll always remember him for is being lit on fire and declaring himself the Inhuman Torch during Riot At Xavier’s. I really loved that bit. But anyway, the Purifiers attack the school, so Logan, Shark Girl, Glob, Anole, Rockslide, and Dr. Reyes have to defend it. Also, Anole is weirdly dismissive of Nature Girl, who’s shown in the past that she’s pretty capable in a fight. Oh, and it turns out the girl Glob went to see is one of the Purifiers, and she was manipulating him. What a bitch. See, that’s why Glob should’ve stuck with Sprite, she’s too sweet to toy with someone like that. And naturally, Glob feels bad about everything, and Logan gives him a pep talk, and it’s all very nice, but I want Glob/Sprite romance acknowledgement dammit. I know, I shouldn’t harp on that so much, but man, I really enjoyed that background element in Generation X. Side note: Remember when Jason Aaron had Glob as a mole for the Hellfire Brats? Funny how thoroughly that’s been ignored. Anyway, this is a fun issue about Glob feeling bad and the kids at the school being good kids, and Logan being good with kids. The art’s very good. Roberson’s a top-notch artist, very reliable. Makes for solid reading.

Legion #5, by Peter Milligan, Wilfredo Torres, Lee Ferguson, Marc Deering, Belardino Brabo, Dan Brown, and Travis Lanham. Dr. Hannah is being attacked by the childhood doll she cut up. And yeah, that’s a cool idea, I’ll give Milligan that. That’s a creepy idea. David feels bad about the danger Hannah’s in, so offers himself up to Trauma, but Trauma still wants to kill her. And we get a flashback to Hannah’s childhood, going to a crappy school until she gets a scholarship to a good private school, where she doesn’t fit in. She gets bullied, and takes her frustration out on her doll, which makes her feel ashamed, and now she has to confront her feelings about all that. And that helps her to defeat Lord Trauma. I’m not entirely on board with the very end of the issue, but this is definitely the best issue of the mini. Hannah’s backstory is pretty interesting, and makes for some good storytelling. It doesn’t necessarily redeem the rest of the series, but it’s an enjoyable finale. The art’s fine, but I can’t help but wonder what this series would’ve been like with Marco Rudy on art. Seriously, can you imagine that? He would’ve been such a perfect fit for a Legion story. It would’ve been weird. It would’ve felt like an acid trip. It would’ve been perfect. Alas. This series is ultimately a missed opportunity.

And non-X-stuff I picked up.

Black Panther #1, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Daniel Acuna, and Joe Sabino. A small Wakandan colony on another planet has become a star-spanning empire, and has set their eyes on Earth and its galaxy. T’Challa wakes up on a spaceship, and he starts kicking some ass. And, huh, this is really interesting. I’m very much intrigued. Not so much with Acuna’s art, though. I just do not like his art. I know he’s a big deal, but I just find it so muddy. It’s distracting. Still, Coates and Acuna are setting up a very interesting story.

Champions #20, by Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse, Marcio Menyz, and Clayton Cowles. The shiny lady in the bubble, from last issue, is Sila, the Soul of the North. And damn, she’s pretty. Such gorgeous colours. Amka, in trying to free Sila, almost gets herself killed, so Sila saves her and gives her powers. And it turns out the villain the Champions are fighting is the Master of the World. It’s Canada, so OF COURSE they’re fighting the Master. Also, Canada’s big villain calls himself the Master of the World and that will never not be funny to me. Also, Ms. Marvel recognizes him, and props to her for that, she knows her supervillains. Also, his big plan is to repair glaciers to slow global warming so that, when he conquers the world, it’ll be worth conquering, and man, I appreciate the Master. I do. That kind of enlightened self-interest is good to see in a villain. Meanwhile, Sam, recovering from almost dying, asks Viv on a date, and gets shot down stone-cold. Damn, Viv, not even going to try to let him down easy. Anyway, I’m enjoying this. It actually gets into some pretty interesting discussion regarding Greater Good stuff. The Master is a villain who intends to conquer the planet, but he’s also working to solve global warming. Really interesting. And I’m looking forward to Snowguard joining the cast, I’m sure she’ll be fun.

Falcon #8, by Rodney Barnes, Joshua Cassara, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna. Falcon, Misty, Patriot, and Blade, fighting a horde of vampires. And Misty continues to decline dinner with Blade. And Redwing being a vampire gets maybe the most epic usage ever. It’s a pretty good conclusion to the arc. I’m kinda sad to see this series go, though not surprised. I remember that pretty much the entire time Sam was Captain America, the thing that whiny fanboys kept saying was that Marvel should have pushed Sam as Falcon. Then Marvel did it, and . . . yep, all those people were nowhere to be found. Because none of those people ever actually gave a shit about Sam as anything other than Captain Whitey’s sidekick. Not a one of them actually wanted a Falcon series, they just wanted their white Captain America back. Because not a one of those people has ever given a shit about diversity. They want theirs, and screw everyone else. But yeah, shame the book didn’t last longer.

X-Men comics of May 16 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So we’ve reached the final issue of All-New Wolverine. Laura’s time as Wolverine is at an end, as is her time with a great costume. Because the one she’s getting in her new solo is hideous. Bleh. Anyway, comics.

X-Men Red #4, by Tom Taylor, Mahmud Asrar, Rain Beredo, and Cory Petit. Storm takes the Sentinel out of the air, giving Jean and the others a chance to regroup and plan. Jean’s going to deal with Storm while the rest protect Wakandans on the ground. And I know Storm’s being mind-controlled, but honestly, this is pretty badass:

X-Men Red #4

So effortless.

Also, Jean and Storm facing off is a pretty epic visual. Storm’s defeated, and when she’s taken to a lab to have the telepathic suggestion of mutant murder removed, Jean learns that Ororo and T’Challa were married. Jean does some very complex telekinetic microsurgery. She’s very impressive. She decides that they have to leave Wakanda, and they take up residence in a set of ruins Namor offered them. He has abs. And Laura appreciates mermaids.

X-Men Red #4

That is one hell of a line.

They do also force Namor to put on clothes, which is outrageous. How dare. There is an explanation for it, though, with the new costumes being needed to block out nanite Sentinels that make people hate mutants. And Storm also gets a new costume, and it looks damned good. Anyway, I like this. Good plot development. I’d like more character stuff, though, more exploration of the team’s dynamics. Hopefully, now that the team’s assembled, we’ll see more of how they interact with each other. I will also admit that the threat – the “Sentinites” – is disappointing. It’s a new variation – nanites that detect mutants and make people try to kill them – but it’s a variation on something I’m bored of. And, of course, there’s my being generally over “everyone hates mutants” stuff. I’d prefer if we got more of the pushing for mutant rights, and actually got to see regular people who are completely OK with mutants, just for goddamn once. (Seriously. ENOUGH WITH EVERY SINGLE HUMAN HATING MUTANTS. Give me humans who are cool with mutants. Give me humans who support mutant rights. Give me humans who are supporting characters in mutant books.) The art’s good. Asrar’s a talented guy, and Beredo knows how to colour him. Asrar’s not really a favourite of mine – I often find it looks vaguely blobby and weird – but I do enjoy his style, and he’s doing very good work on this series. Even if it is a crime to cover up Abs-lantis.

X-Men Wedding Special, by a bunch of people. The first story is by Chris Claremont, Todd Nauck, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles. Kitty says she has this recurring fear that she’s still in the space bullet, and her current adventures are just a dream, and then she goes through the events of her life. Meeting the X-Men, Ogun, the Mutant Massacre and Excalibur, a mention of a guy she met briefly in a mini-series, like, 20 years ago, and then she goes back to the bar in Chicago where she worked in the MekaniX mini. And she apparently got her doctorate at some point? Does Claremont not know how long it takes to get a doctorate? Because it’s a long time. And then Kurt shows up to offer some advice about the marriage. Blah. Claremont is outdated. So, so outdated. His writing style is, to be blunt, not up to contemporary standards. I love his original X-Men run. It was fantastic stuff. But comics, as a medium, and superhero comics as a genre, have continued to grow and mature. They are not now what they were then. They are more refined. And Claremont has not kept up with that. And this story makes that so damn clear. So much exposition, and little of it particularly valuable. And holy shit, Claremont, that Scottish dude from that True Friends mini is someone that no one has ever cared about. Claremont makes it out like he was the greatest love of her life, and 95% of the audience will have no clue who the hell he even is, because it was a mini that wasn’t particularly notable. And then the story has Kitty seeing ghosts of people offering comfort, and it’s so cheesy, and not in a way that works. This is not a good story. At all. It is garbage, completely pointless, with absolutely no worth in reading it. Nauck’s art is fine, but nothing to get very excited about. It does little to elevate the sub-par writing. So it’s just a shit story.

The second story is by Marc Guggenheim, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Jason Keith, and Clayton Cowles. Guggenheim AND Land?! What the hell did the audience do to deserve that? Wong, who now manages the casino Dr. Strange recently raised from Hell (I love superhero comics), fires a demon. This is the hotel that the bachelor party goes to. And the demon attacks them. And it’s an OK story with Greg Land art. Holy crap, do I ever hate Land’s art. Cannot stand it. Let’s set aside, for a moment, the tracing. Let’s aside the way he constantly recycles the same faces (with the same expressions on them). His art is just so unsettling to me. It falls very deep into the Uncanny Valley and it creeps me out. It is distracting, which is not what art should be. Oh, you should absolutely notice the art. You should be able to get lost in the details. But it shouldn’t distract you from the story, which is what Land’s art does. So, yep, another garbage story, this one more on the art than the writing.

The third story is by Kelly Thompson, Marika Cresta, Federico Blee, and Clayton Cowles. Finally, a story by a great creative team. Kitty’s bachelorette party. I am vaguely offended that WordPress doesn’t have “bachelorette” in its spellcheck. They’re not a new development, you know. But anyway, Stripperoke. Ororo’s idea, evidently, and I have to think Ororo liked that visit to Hotbods way back in the day. Anyway, apparently Stripperoke is co-ed, so that’s nice. I guess the ladies wanted to make sure they’d all have someone to ogle. Half of the women are bisexual, anyway. Especially Kitty. Who should be dating Illyana. Regardless, Kitty and Rogue have a nice talk about Rogue and Gambit’s renewed relationship from the Rogue & Gambit mini. Then Kitty gets abducted by Callisto, who warns Kitty not to break Piotr’s heart. Back to the club, and Rachel thinks Storm should’ve been a rock star, and honestly, I could see it. Emma Frost sends Kitty a giant bottle of champagne, which is sweet of her. Also, Jean feels that, since she’s been dead for a while, she gets to pick the first song Kitty sings, which is totally fair. This is a fun story. This is just really fun. Thompson deserves to be writing an X-title. She deserves to be writing the flagship X-title. Because she has a lot of fun here, but also has a solid grasp on the characters, and includes some nice continuity nods without drowning in exposition. And Cresta’s art is really nice, too. It looks good, it’s expressive, it’s got the right amount of details. My one regret is there wasn’t more of the club, and the strippers. We needed more strippers. We were promised a karaoke strip club, and we saw precious little of either. A tragic oversight, and proof that this story should’ve been the entire book. Just give Thompson and Cresta all the pages. Fine, fair’s fair, the bachelor party needed room, too. 50/50. Cut the garbage Claremont story, and just do the two bachelor parties, giving both of them more room to have fun. Anyway, Marvel should fire Marc Guggenheim, then relaunch Uncanny X-Men with Kelly Thompson as the writer.

All-New Wolverine #35, by Tom Taylor, Ramon Rosanas, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. The end of an era. I won’t talk about the issue itself. It’s a great finale, totally fitting what Taylor’s done throughout the run, the message that things get better. It’s a lovely issue. And man, I am really going to miss this series. It was so good. Really fun, really sincere. It got plenty tense, but there was always Gabby to ease that tension and keep hope going. And it was really cool seeing how far Laura’s come. From an emotionally closed-off ex-assassin, to a noble and optimistic hero surrounded by friends, and even a family. The series has been a genuine joy to read. And this final arc was a fantastic rejection of the grim grittiness of the original Old Man Logan story, and I appreciate that. Now, we’ll see what Tamaki does with the character. We know Gabby and Jonathan will be in the new series, and that’s a relief. Kelly Thompson wrote Gabby in an issue of Hawkeye, but this will be the first time anyone other than Taylor writes Gabby on an ongoing basis, so I’m interested in seeing how that goes. I just wish Laura’s new costume wasn’t so very, very ugly. And that the comic wasn’t being called X-23. Because she is not X-23, dammit, she’s Laura Kinney, she’s the goddamn Wolverine.

Cable #157, by Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, German Peralta, Jesus Aburtov, and Travis Lanham. The ’90s! Cable’s meditating in his New York safehouse, and Nate Grey drops in for a visit. He’s been injured by Metus, who comes by to finish the job. Cable grabs Nate and teleports to the end of time, where they meet three more Cables. One of them seems to have grown up with Jean and Rachel, and I like the idea of there being a Cable and Rachel out there who grew up together. I wish we’d get to see more of them together, being siblings. Anyway, things are tense between the 5 Nathans, because they know there’s a monster around, and Nate thinks it’s one of them. It’s not. This issue is not great, honestly. I hate to say it, because last issue was really good. But this one isn’t as good. The relationship between Cable and Nate doesn’t get the same exploration Cable and Hope did in the last issue. The stuff with the multiple Cables in a safehouse isn’t particularly interesting. It could’ve been, but it felt a bit lackluster. Like Nadler and Thompson weren’t entirely sure how to make it work, but weren’t willing to drop the idea. It might’ve been better to drop it, if I’m honest. Have the Cables co-operate better, work together, while still having personality clashes. The art’s good. Does a decent job conveying the tone of the late ’90s, at least in the section set in that time. Maybe could’ve gone a bit further with that. It’s tough to argue it should’ve channeled Ladronn, because Ladronn was channeling Kirby hard, which made that book feel like something of a visual throwback at the time. (Not in a bad way. It was good art. But it was very much invoking Kirby.) This issue feels skippable.

Hunt For Wolverine: Claws of A Killer #1, by Mariko Tamaki, Butch Guice, Cam Smith, Dan Brown, and Joe Sabino. I want to note that I’m getting this one physically, but only for Mariko Tamaki. In the small town of Maybelle, Arizona, guys at a bar are complaining about how terrible their sport team has become. Then the power goes out. A couple guys go to the local power station, and get killed by Logan. Wait, this book’s actually going to use Logan? This book’s actually going to be relevant to the overall plot? Wow, because Adamantium Agenda sure doesn’t seem too interested. Anyway, Logan does something bad and the town is killed. In Chelsea, Deathstrike and Sabretooth tell Daken that his dad’s not dead. They want to team up to find him and re-kill him. They track him to the town of dead people. This is good. There’s some good writing here. Tamaki is really good at giving you a complete character with just a few bits of dialogue, like the people from the town. She has a good handle on Daken, Deathstrike and Sabretooth, too. Her Sabretooth is a bastard, her Daken is a snotty prick, and her Deathstrike has no patience for bullshit. They all have distinct voices and speech patterns, and their attitudes come through clearly. The art is good, too. Good job with tone, and with expressions. The horrifying bits contrast effectively with the mundane bits. This is a solid issue. I don’t regret buying it. Even if it is a shameless cash grab.

And a non-X-title.

Quicksilver: No Surrender #1, by Saladin Ahmed, Eric Nguyen, Rico Renzi, and Clayton Cowles. This is really interesting. It spins off from Avengers: No Surrender, with Quicksilver unstuck from time as a result of running too fast. And it explores his mental state, and who he is as a person. It’s good stuff. A good character examination. Ahmed’s good at that. The art is weird. Everything other than Quicksilver looks colourless and lifeless. Which is what the point, of course. Good comic.

X-Men comics of May 9 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). You know what I haven’t talked about in a while? I still play Marvel Future Fight on my phone. I still enjoy it. I’ve got nearly 3 dozen characters at Tier 2, which sounds like a lot, but there’s a lot of people with way more characters that high. However, my Ms. Marvel is in the top 50 highest-ranked. It’s honestly been limiting my ability to improve other characters, because I am laser-focused on improving her. But hey, I maxed out Squirrel Girl’s alternate costume, based on her USAvengers look. Woot.

X-Men Blue #27, by Cullen Bunn, Marcus To, Rain Beredo, and Joe Caramagna. Flashback to weeks earlier, with Magneto trying to earn Lorna’s trust by taking her out for sashimi and ice cream. He wanted her on his side so she could try to get through to Alex and get him back to normal. In the present, Lorna’s X-Men are fighting the new MLF, which unfortunately still includes Wildside, one of the least interesting of the original MLF. On the plus side, Lorna punching him out is satisfying. Magneto fights the Ultimate Marauders, and Evil Armour is surprisingly polite, apologizing as she hits Magneto. In the fight, he’s forced to kill the mutants he was trying to protect, and then flees through his time platform. Also, Emma has ethical concerns and is The Best at being haughty.

X-Men Blue #27

Man, Emma must be the most fun to write.

It’s OK. There’s some plot advancement, and some minor character beats. I’m finding myself most interested in Emma, here, as she’s clearly uncomfortable with everything going on, and she gets some pretty good reaction shots showing that. I gotta figure she’ll help the X-Men to stop Mothervine, showing that she’s still a hero at heart, preserving all the character development she’s had since the death of the Hellions, rather than continuing to let that development be thrown away because her boyfriend died. Regardless, I’m still largely bored when I read this series. It’s never grabbed me, and it still isn’t. The plot is more focused, compared to the early issues, but it’s not a plot I’m all that invested in. And that would be easier to deal with if there was more character work going on, but that’s been kept fairly low-key. Little moments, here and there, not as big a focus as I’d like. Nice to see Marcus To on art, though. I first came across him when he was doing the last New Warriors series. I like his style. Expressive. Not the most dynamic in fight scenes, though. Might be too many large panels – as I’ve said before, I much prefer a lot of small panels to a few large ones, for action scenes.

New Mutants: Dead Souls #3, by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, Michael Garland, and Clayton Cowles. Prodigy is on a plane, and the captain alerts everyone to it, and then announces everyone is about to die. The New Mutants are fighting Mindless Ones beneath New York. Prodigy calls Boom-Boom’s phone to let Magik know what’s happening so the Mutants can teleport to the rescue. And the passengers immediately attack them. Whatever’s affecting them seems to get to Rahne, too, as she starts snapping at Guido and Illyana. Guido is understandable, he did kill her son. Saying Illyana has no soul is what tips me off that something’s affecting her, because she likes Illyana. They get to the cockpit door, but can’t open it, so Boom-Boom suggests she blow it up, because that is literally her solution to every problem, even when even she knows it’s not a great idea.

New Mutants: Dead Souls #3

“You guys should know better than to let me ‘splode everything.”

It doesn’t work, and Illyana confirms there’s magic involved, and she gets rid of the others so she can try to save the plane. Except Rictor, who simply jumped out of the stepping disc, a plan so stupid no one had ever tried it before. And Illyana confronts the villain of this story, who hints that Karma might be the real villain. I do wish the story being told was more focused on Karma. She needed a bigger part in this. She’s only appeared at the end of the first issue, and she should’ve been a bigger presence. There’s still three issues left, but just the same, it feels like a major mistake on Rosenberg’s part. The cast he’s chosen is great, don’t get me wrong. They’re fun characters with fun chemistry. The dialogue is very clever, and this issue brings some tensions to the surface in an interesting way. But Karma still should’ve played a bigger role. I like the art. It matches the weird tone of the writing. It makes the story more entertaining. So this is still a great series. Even if it needed more Karma.

Domino #2, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Jesus Aburtov, and Clayton Cowles. Domino’s plummeting to her death, and Topaz finally gives her back her luck, so Spider-Man can rescue her. Old Dude and Topaz are found by Deadpool, Diamondback, and Inez, and we learn that Topaz’s ability is to mess with the powers of others. Diamondback notes that she doesn’t need powers, but, like, there’s a lot of people in that room who can kick ass without powers. You know what happens when you turn off Storm’s powers? You make her more dangerous. There’s a really nice scene between Domino and Spider-Man. She tells him his best power is being a decent guy, which is so sweet. And a really nice scene between Domino, Diamondback and Inez, highlighting their friendship. Which is also really nice. I like seeing good friendships. The next day, she goes jogging with Amadeus Cho, who is not good at jogging when he’s not Hulked out, and I relate, Cho. I relate so much. Don’t make me exercise. Domino also crushes a trio of muggers, and asks Amadeus to watch on a gig that night, since she’s not sure if Diamondback or Inez might not be on the level. The gig is to protect a casino boat from being robbed. It’s a nice boat. And we find out why the old guy hates Domino, and it’s pretty cool and intriguing. We don’t know yet why Topaz hates Domino, but Domino’s the kind of person to make a lot of enemies, so it’s probably not a big mystery. Regardless, it’s a really good comic. Domino’s emotional low point at the start of the issue is powerful, and it’s cool watching her try to reclaim her confidence, and show that she’s not just lucky, she’s got mad skills. But it’s the relationships that feel core to this book, and particularly her friendship with Inez and Diamondback, who are such good friends to her and I love it. I look forward to more of this female version of a bromance. Sismance? Can it still just be a bromance? Screw it, I say we let bromance be a gender-neutral term. This comic has a bromantic triangle and it’s lovely. Baldeon’s art is going to be the big obstacle for most readers. It’s a style with weird dimensions and faces. I’m mostly fine with it, but I couldn’t blame anyone who doesn’t like it.

Hunt For Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #1, by Tom Taylor, R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Jesus Aburtov, and Joe Sabino. Flashback to the New Avengers days, with Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Then-verine respond to a SHIELD situation with a bomb that will detonate with a radius of either a mile or 200 feet, depending on whether anyone is stupid enough to flick a switch. During the course of the discussion, Jessica reveals that she could get a dead body within 4 minutes. Logan, naturally, takes the boom. The bomb seems to have had something to do with Tony, so now, in the present, with Logan’s body missing, Tony feels obligated to help, and he gets the other New Avengers from that mission together. He’s got a lead on an auction involving the genetic code of someone in the superhero community. There’s a pretty cool twist regarding whose code it is. This is another well-crafted comic. The writing and art are both solid. There’s some fun dialogue. There are certain panels that actually remind me quite a bit of Stuart Immonen. Not to say I think Silva is aping Immonen, I would think it’s more a matter of similar influences and it just happens to be the way Silva’s currently moving his style. But hey, Immonen’s a beast, so it’s high praise. Seems to me I used to not be a fan of Silva, but he’s been growing over the past few years, and I’m liking the ways he’s growing. Still, this is another cash-grab mini trying to profit off the X-office’s apparent disdain for Laura Kinney.

Old Man Logan #39, by Ed Brisson, Ibraim Roberson, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit. Logan returns to the school to get help figuring out why his healing factor’s gone to crap. He runs into some of the kids, and says that his X-Men days are behind him and he has to make room for the next generation and maybe Marvel and the X-office could learn a little something from this. But none of this matters, here’s the important thing: Brisson ignores the Glob/Sprite romance that happened in the background of Generation X. We find out he’s going on a date with a mutant girl he met on a dating site, and I am so angry at Brisson for this. I love the Glob/Sprite romance that was completely in the background of Generation X. It was cute, and I loved that it was just there. No attention was ever drawn to it. We just kept seeing the two together, walking together, holding hands. It was cute. And Brisson had to come along and break them up, the jerk. Anyway, Dr. Reyes takes Logan to the lab to examine him. Yay for Reyes, she’s awesome and deserves so much more use. She tells him he can wear his eyepatch again. Also, Shark Girl gives Glob a pep talk in advance of his date, and fine, it’s pretty cute, too, and the fact that Old Man Logan is dealing with a student’s romantic life is so oddly up my alley that it probably says more about me than it does about the creative team. And he goes to a florist who doesn’t even comment on his looks, and why the hell can’t we get more of that in X-Men comics! Regular people who see a mutant and don’t shout, “Aaaah! Mutie! Kill it!” The date does not go well, though. Even so, I was way more invested in Glob Goes On A Date than with damned near anything else in this entire series. Even if I do still resent Brisson for breaking up Glob and Sprite, off-panel at that. He basically ignored their romance. How dare he. That background romance made me care more about Glob than any other writer has ever managed, at least since Riot At Xavier’s. (It was hard not to love Glob when he lit himself on fire and declared himself the Inhuman Torch.) So, mixed feelings. And yay for Cecilia showing up! Always happy to see her, and she was handled well here. Could’ve done with a touch more snark, but whatever. Still loved seeing her. In fact, can we make this book about Cecilia Reyes treating people and the weird kids getting dates? Just cut out Logan and make it about those two things. I would read that. You’re damned right I would read that.

And non-X.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #32, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. As shown in the Marvel Rising comic, Doreen is teaching computer science to high school students. And she looks different, in Charm’s style. This is going to take getting used to. I miss Henderson. I loved her on this series. Nancy looks different, too. Prettier. I don’t like that. Charm makes Nancy look too cute for my tastes. Anyway, Doreen and Nancy worry about Kraven potentially slipping back into bad habits, since he’s a good guy with them, but a villain the rest of the time, so they decide to just hang out with him to be good influences. And we get the return of the Kra-Van! Hurrah! And Kraven in street clothes, and not gonna lie, Kasual Kraven is kinda sexy. So Doreen, Nancy, Kraven, Ken, Tomas, Mary, and Brian go to an Escape Room. And antics ensue. And Brain Drain wears a tux. It’s a fun comic. The writing is as fun as ever. But, I don’t know . . . it’s going to take time to get used to the new art. It’s still got a lot of charm, it’s just not the charm I got used to with this series, you know? He does draw Brain Drain in a tux, though. Charm’s Doreen has a very androgynous appearance. She looks like a girlish boy. Which is fine, she’s still cute, I am all for girls who look boyish, but she’s not really familiar to me now, somehow. She’s not curvy enough, that’s for sure. Sigh. I miss Henderson.

Exiles #3, by Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, Chris O’Halloran, and Joe Caramagna. The Exiles are on a world ruled by talking dinosaurs with big guns. Then Atlantis meets the ’60s. Hippie mer-people! And we learn a bit more about Khan’s backstory, when she mentions her kid and husband being killed. Aw, Khan. Poor Kamala. Also: Morph! MORPH! Exiles Morph! Yay! For a page. I wish he’d joined the book, the team feels incomplete without him. He’s the best. Next, WWII world, with Captain Pegmerica, and Becky, who immediately flirts with Valkyrie, and this is good. It’s a fun issue. Lots of fun. Valkyrie and Becky flirting is delightful. Neither of them speaks like a normal person, and their clashing speech patterns are offset by the attraction being physical anyway. Neither cares what the other is saying, they just wanna hook up. I look forward to more issues where Valkyrie flirts with women. Captain Peggy’s cool, too. I guess she’s in that Marvel Puzzle Quest game? I don’t play it. Anyway, she’s cool, what little we see of her.

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