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X-Men comics of September 19 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So, the Captain Marvel trailer dropped yesterday. And . . . OK. Unpopular opinion time: I still have trouble buying Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. The trailer looks great, I have no doubt I’ll love the movie. And Larson’s a great actor, I am absolutely not questioning her ability. But she just looks so cute and sweet. I feel like Carol should be physically imposing, and Brie is not that. There are plenty of superheroes I could’ve believed her as. But Carol . . . I don’t know, man, she just doesn’t intimidate me enough. But like I said, the movie looks great, and I’m sure I’ll absolutely love it. And the poster is amazing. Anyway, here’s comics.

X-Men Gold #36, by Marc Guggenheim, Pere Pérez, Jay David Ramos, and Cory Petit. Kitty calls Piotr to hear his voice, and leaves him a voicemail saying how much what happened hurts. And uh, wow, she gets to leave a pretty long voicemail. In the Danger Room, Rachel has changed back to her earlier Prestige costume, and expresses angst about how she almost killed the team under Mesmero’s control. Then a new Omega-level mutant is detected, so the team gets ready, including Kitty and Storm talking while changing. Huh. How often do we actually see superheroes getting changed? not just whipping off their civilian clothes to reveal the costume, but actually putting the costume on. Tucking their boobs in and all that. And why is that something that I find interesting to see? They arrive in Port Washington, which has been messed up, according to the dialogue, though the art doesn’t make it look particularly bad. Kitty talks the mutant kid down in what is a genuinely great scene.

X-Men Gold #36

Kitty is very good at speeches.

Aaaaand the kid is immediately shot in the head, and an eagle-eye view shows the devastation the kid had caused before powering down. It’s an OK amount of devastation. I’ve seen better. He’s taken to the hospital, where the doctor refuses to do a necessary operation because of the risk of his powers flaring up again and destroying the hospital. Kitty tries to get Rachel to force the doctor, but a different doctor comes in and agrees to do it. The doctor was actually in the first issue, in an anti-mutant crowd that Kitty speechified to. Her mind has now been changed and she sees mutants as people. The note of hope, that minds can be changed, that co-existence is possible. Would’ve been great if the series had more of that sort of thing, and didn’t take its entire frigging run to get back to that idea. Also, the issue still inexplicably ends on a somber note with the X-Men sitting in the ER, unsure if the mutant kid will survive. What, did Guggenheim figure there was too much positivity in this issue and it needed to be balanced with an absolute downer ending? This was one of the best issues of the run, I’d say. It’s more personal, and it actually tries to show that progress is, in fact, possible. But there are still problems. The new Omega-level mutant, because calling a mutant Omega-level is a really easy (lazy) way of raising tension and drama without having to put in any effort. And, indeed, the kid doesn’t really doesn’t do much to earn that Omega distinction. He was powerful, sure, but a mutant can be powerful without being Omega-level. But Guggenheim is a lazy hack, so sure, Omega-level. The kid’s design is also super-generic. Oh look, a guy made of energy, how original. It feels lazy. And the ending feels almost mean-spirited. I think it’s meant to call back to the Kitty/Storm scene, when Kitty mentions that she thinks all the loss the X-Men suffer is a reminder of why they fight. But still, it feels mean. It feels like it’s still pushing the “being a mutant is suffering” angle I find so tiresome. Especially with this following the only moment in the entire run where a human didn’t hate mutants. Like, leave readers with the freaking win! End with the hopeful note, not the utterly miserable one. Ugh. The art’s good. No complaints there. Pérez has clear layouts, expressive characters. A boring design for the new mutant, but whatever. Still good art. And a pretty good final issue of a bland, forgettable X-Men run. I will not miss this.

Mr. and Mrs. X #3, by Kelly Thompson, Oscar Bazaldua, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Sabino. Gladiator’s unimpressed with the Imperial Guard, and Oracle sends Cerise to fix the problem. Rogue is not happy about a clone of her running around naked, and Kitty is concerned about why there are so many naked people in space. Rogue and Gambit want to know what Kitty got them into, and it turns out the egg was the genetically engineered child of Xavier and Lilandra. Neat! And it looks like Rogue because it’s psychic and mirroring Rogue for survival. Then it reads Rogue and Gambit’s minds for memories of its parents, and changes to look like their daughter, and she takes the name Xandra. And she’s really cute.

Mr. and Mrs. X #3

Hi, Xandra!

Then Deathbird attacks and disabled the ship’s weapons, so Gambit grabs Deadpool for a counter-attack, and damn, Thompson’s comics always have amazing fight layouts, and it’s consistent enough for me to think she’s gotta be doing something to get these layouts from her artists.

Mr. and Mrs. X #3

The second half of a 4-page spread. FOUR. PAGE. SPREAD.

Gambit reaches Deathstrike, who’s leading a rebellion against Gladiator. She doesn’t think he’s the rightful Majestor, and she wants to use Xandra to give her rebellion legitimacy and to put her on the throne. Gambit disables the ship and he and Deadpool teleport back to Rogue, who shoves Deadpool back into the teleporter to get rid of him. So it looks like that’ll be him out of the series, at least for now. Good, he was stealing a bit too much attention. Unsurprisingly, this issue is fantastic. Loads of fun. Xandra is really cool, a great concept. And she’s adorable. Not just how she looks, but her personality. She’s got a childlike nature that’s very endearing. I also really like the idea of Deathbird leading a rebellion against Gladiator. Rebellions are basically what she does, and I appreciate that about her. Fight the power, Deathbird. She doesn’t seem to particularly care that she has a niece, but the fact that she doesn’t want to kill Xandra is nice. It’s progress, for her. The fight is amazing. Gambit and Deadpool kick loads of Shi’ar ass, while carrying on banter. And Gambit has to be the responsible one, for once, which is fun to see. He keeps yelling at Deadpool for stabbing people. And the art’s great. Everyone looks really cute. Bazaldua draws very pretty people. The naked Xandra running around is hilarious. And that fight is, as I said, amazing. Great layout, phenomenal flow. I love fight layouts like this, they always give such a good sense of motion. Plus, FOUR-PAGE SPREAD. Damn. That takes confidence. Love this issue.

Multiple Man #4, by Matthew Rosenberg, Andy MacDonald, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. King Madrox has slain Good-ish Madrox, and is now full of doubts. He finds one of the time machines on the now-dead Madrox, and uses it, hoping to fix things. Which takes us back to issue #1. Madrox dupes are all around the timestream, picking up skills and items. Including one who ends up in the world of the Swimsuit Specials. And, again, all this leads back to the big fight from the first issue. Not actually sure how I feel about this issue. I think my big issue is that it shows how characters who died got powers that didn’t keep them alive, so it feels pointless. We’ll see if it matters in the next issue, but here, I just have to wonder what the point is. They died. They all died. So how they got powers doesn’t seem too important. The wacky adventures in the timestream are reasonably fun, but, again, not sure how they’ll be relevant, considering they’re dead. And after last issue’s ending seemed set to make the stakes feel more real, this issue largely goes back to that weird disconnect, where it doesn’t feel like anything we’re seeing actually matters even in the context of the comic. There is another last-page cliffhanger that might result in the final issue giving the impression it gives a damn about itself. The art’s good. It’s better than this comic probably deserves. This comic deserved Greg Land. Which is maybe the meanest thing I will ever say about a comic?

Return of Loganverine #1, by Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Laura Martin, and Joe Sabino. Logan is in his costume, surrounded by dead people, and grunting. A doctor is still alive in the lab, and he explains that he specializes in cloning, and when he found out what Soteira wanted him to do, he refused, and thus the massacre. The doctor tells Logan to kill Persephone, the lady in charge of Soteira, and also asks Logan to stab him through the brain. But then a bomb is tossed in. Which leads to what I have to grudgingly admit is one of the best panels ever.

Return of Wolverine #1

Flaming tiger. This belongs on the side of a van somewhere.

As Logan stumbles out of the wrecked lab, his memories talk to him. His memories are fuzzy, but past versions of himself talk to him. He chases the Soteria kill team to a camp, which they then destroy. When Logan tries to counter-attack, he takes a blow to the head, which gives us a glimpse into his mind, where his memories are in prison cells. A woman wakes him up, tells him to kill Soteira for taking her son, and tells him he’s Wolverine. Soooo . . . OK. I’ve made no secret of how I feel about Logan. So there’s no way I can really be fair to this issue. Still, I’ll do my best. It’s OK. He’s actually in it, which is, you know, a good thing. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if it had taken until issue 3 for him to appear, given how Marvel’s handled the return. Soule is classier than that, though. The mystery of Soteira is OK. They seem to just be a fairly generic evil company. Persephone only appears in Logan’s mindscape, but she’s got some charisma there. She could be interesting. She’s also probably not going to end up appearing outside this mini, let’s be honest. Logan’s amnesia has a pretty cool twist on it. I guess he’ll be unlocking different memories as he needs them. The art is Steve McNiven. Do I really need to say anything else? He’s perfect for a comic like this. He’s got an epic vibe going on. It feels big and important. Ultimately, though, my take on the issue is that we’ll see how the mini goes. I’m sure it’ll be good, Soule’s a great writer, but I’m also sure that I won’t care about Logan being back, because I don’t like him.

And the non-X-stuff.

West Coast Avengers #2, by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli, Triona Farrell, and Joe Caramagna. BRODOK is amazing, Quire accidentally talks himself into appreciating insanity, America thinks of ways to murder Kate, Gwen and Quire hate each other into make-outs. This is amazing. It is all the right kinds of ridiculous.

West Coast Avengers #3

She’s talking about Weekend At Bernie’s 2.

Life of Captain Marvel #3, by Margaret Stohl, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Marcio Menyz, Marguerite Sauvage, and Clayton Cowles. Kid Carol was adorable. Captain Shooting Star! Present Carol is not good at romantic moments. And there’s one hell of a last-page cliffhanger twist. This is a good mini. The first year of the run was rough, but Stohl’s really picked things up now, and the art is doing a lot to help, too. Making the story smaller and more personal has made it so much better than when Stohl was trying to make it big and epic.

Captain America Annual, by Tini Howard, Chris Sprouse, Ron Lim, Karl Story, Walden Wong, Scott Hanna, Jesus Aburtov, Erick Arciniega, Israel Silva, and Joe Caramagna. I hadn’t actually planned on picking this up, but it was in my subs when I went, so sure. I’ve got Captain America on my subs list, so they included the Annual in that, which I pretty much expected. WWII! Cap and Bucky find a sickly German lady who still leads them a good chase, they fight Nazis, and Bucky appreciate a good insult, no matter who it comes from. There are 3 escapees from a Nazi camp, including two women, and a gay man, and when he admits he’s gay, Cap accepts him and calls him a hero. Because even in 1944, Cap was down with it. The issue is fantastic. It’s really powerful. All about the will to survive, even in the face of horror. There’s some great social commentary. Also, Nazi-punching. I’m sure the Comicsgate crowd are outraged about that. (I’m mostly joking.) Yeah, great comic, highly recommend it. It’s Tini Howard’s first Marvel work, and she comes out strong, as someone to watch for. I mean, she was already someone to watch for from her non-Marvel work (which I haven’t read yet, myself), but yeah, this is one hell of a start with Marvel.

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X-Men comics of September 12 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I was out pretty late with my friend last night, so I didn’t have a chance to complete my reviews before I had to go to bed. Thus, a day late. Uh, not sure I really have anything to share this week. I have nothing in particular to talk about. Or, at least, nothing I’m comfortable talking about yet. There is one pretty big thing that’s been on my mind for a while, but I’m not ready to talk about it on here. I want to talk to a therapist first. I’m going to see about making an appointment once I’m out of training at work. It’s just scary, because it’s something that is life-changing that I’m wanting to do. If I can work up the determination to make an appointment with a therapist, then it’ll still probably be a few months before I’m willing to talk about it on here. But hey, feel free to take a guess at what’s been on my mind. I’ll even confirm it if you guess right. But for now, comics!

X-Men Blue #35, by Cullen Bunn, Marcus To, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. This takes place before Extermination. Jean and Jean are having coffee in Italy, as Teen Jean prepares to return to her own time. The Jeans get along well, with Teen Jean even saying she wishes she had more time to get to know Adult Jean better. Aww, it’s so sweet. Jean’s entire arc over the past few years has been a rejection of her destiny and her future self, and now she wants to get to know her future self. Meanwhile, the Hanks also talk, with Adult Hank admitting he was wrong to bring the O5 into the present. The Bobbys talk, with Adult Bobby saying Jean outing them the way she did was a bit messed up, which is something a lot of people have criticized about the whole thing. Even some people who supported the reveal of Bobby being gay took issue with the way Jean outed him. Teen Bobby’s a bit bummed about having to go back in the closet when he goes back to his time. The Warrens head to a temple in Tibet where Archangel has been taking care of the mutants that Xorn was taking care of. And Scott, of course, has no future version of himself to talk to. Throughout the issue, we also get glimpses of various futures if the O5 stay. Jean fights Galactus, Hank helps Goblyn Queen take over Limbo from Illyana, Warren kills Archangel to become Apocalypse’s new Death, and Bobby . . . goes on a date with a cute boy. Wow. Death and destruction and all is horri- oooh, that dude’s cute. Anyway, it’s a good issue. Everyone trying to get closure with their adult selves, and hating the fact that going back means undoing all they’ve learned, all the development they’ve had as individuals, and effectively killing themselves. And typing it out, wow, I don’t know if it’s intentional, but it really feels like a bit of commentary on the very nature of mainstream cape comics. Character development is never permanent; they always return to who they were. The O5 were a really interesting premise, an exploration of what a person might do when faced with who they’re going to become. It was a cool idea. I know a lot of people hated them from the start, but I liked them. I liked the idea behind them, and I thought Bendis mostly did interesting work with them. Hopeless’ work with them wasn’t quite as interesting, but was still good. Bunn’s work with them has been mostly mediocre, sadly. But I do like this quiet issue, and I like that all of them get some time. Warren got the shortest shrift here. The Bobby scene was pretty good. I do wish we’d gotten to see more of the Jeans before this story ran its course. I definitely would’ve loved to see them get a team-up issue, one that shows how they do differ. Ah, well. The issue benefits from Marcus To’s lines. The man’s damned good at what he does. Milla’s colours are an ideal match for To’s lines, too. But yeah, To does a great job with facial expressions, and just with camera angles, to keep things visually interesting, even in a talking-head issue. His spreads of the future are also gorgeous. Jean’s has gotta be a stand-out, unsurprisingly.

X-Men Blue #35

Daaaaaaaaang.

Bobby’s date is another great spread. All ice and light and cute boys. So, yeah, this was a really good issue.

X-23 #4, by Mariko Tamaki, Juann Cabal, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. The Cuckoos are trying to merge Esme with Gabby, but something goes wrong, possibly because of Laura’s presence. Laura tries to stop the process. But fails. Esme possesses Gabby. Laura wakes up outside, having been blown right out of the warehouse in the machine’s explosion. And there’s quite the interesting development in Laura’s head, while Esme makes plans to make the Cuckoos strong. This is good. Lots of plot developments. Really interesting stuff. Esme is quite menacing. Seeing Gabby act menacing is weird and creepy. Not gonna lie, I’m a little concerned about Irma. She’s so sweet, but the other Cuckoos are clearly getting impatient with her, and Esme’s not tolerating weakness. I hope nothing bad happens to her. The story is really interesting, and it’s getting tense. The art’s really good. As usual, Irma is easy to tell apart from the others, based solely on her facial expressions. She always has a different expression from the others. She’s more expressive in general, more emotive. Which is really cool, I like that touch. Also, this issue has a stellar opening.

X-23 #4

Clearly a fun bunch.

Love it. So the art’s great. And the writing’s great. And I’m really excited for the next issue. I’d love it if Irma became part of the supporting cast after this arc, insert a little Found Family stuff in there. The family theme, once again, is less prominent in this issue, but still pretty heavy. Regardless, it’s great stuff.

Domino #6, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Jesus Aburtov, and Clayton Cowles. Adelbert, the dude that Domino fought/rescued in the first issue is very particular about omelettes. I love him. Outback takes Diamondback to a hospital, and one of the doctors doesn’t want to work on a mutant, which just gets her threatened by Outback. In Hong Kong, Domino and Shang-Chi ride, grab something to eat, talk about her power, and get attacked by Topaz, who’s angry about Desmond dying. Fight! Which includes one of the greatest pieces of battle banter ever.

Domino #6

I would watch this Disney movie.

And then the fight has one of the most intense endings, and does it with just words. Damn. Simone kills it. Just three sentences, and it’s so damn powerful. A reminder that Domino isn’t like other X-Men, that she lives her life by different rules, while also making clear how hard that life is for her. This arc absolutely nails the ending. Gives Domino a bittersweet victory, wraps up the loose ends, and is just so powerful. The art is better than usual, too. Baldeon outdid himself for this. He puts so much emotion and power into the lines. Blee’s colours do so much to enhance the mood, too. This is a perfect end to the arc.

Iceman #1, by Sina Grace, Nathan Stockman, Federico Blee, and Joe Sabino. Bobby’s taking a walk in Hell’s Kitchen – which he points out has gone from being crime-ridden to upscale – and comes across a guy fire-bombing a club. Seems like he’s a homophobe, given his one line of dialogue. And then he sees a paper with something about the Morlocks. The next day, as he has one of his ice-golems train his students – Anole, Idie, Michaela, Eye-Boy, Glob – he shows Kitty the flyer about a missing Morlock. The day after that, Iceman and Bishop head into the sewers to investigate. They find a dead Morlock, and a fight, between a couple Morlocks and some other mutants. After the small group is defeated, Iceman teams up with Madin, one of the Morlocks, to try to lure out the rest. And we get a pretty good point raised.

Iceman #1

Not even a little wrong about the school.

I like when mutants call out the school. The focus on training X-Men means the focus actually is on training mutants how to solve problems with violence. I’d love to see more alternatives to Xavier’s presented. Alternative mutant schools that aren’t training soldiers. (Maybe with teachers who are actually qualified to teach.) I mean, Iceman had his kids fighting a monster, even though one of the kids has “eyes” as his power, and another has “spit.” Do they really need to be taught monster-fighting? Maybe they could be taught, I don’t know, math? Social studies? What is Xavier’s English program like? Anyway, the plan works, and the mutant assailants are ambushed and surrounded, and one of them declares the only hope for mutants is to be and look more human. Hmmmm. I suppose that is a debate among marginalized communities. There are some who seek mainstream acceptance by trying to be more like the majority group. POCs acting white, queer people acting straight, that sort of thing. Still a bit iffy, but sure, OK. I see what Grace was going for, and since he actually does belong to a marginalized community, I’m sure he’s more aware of these kinds of debates than I am. That aside, the issue’s OK. Lots of Iceman making bad jokes. Bishop’s cool, but a bit under-used. The art’s fine. Doesn’t really stand out. It tells the story, it’s nice enough to look at, it absolutely does what it’s supposed to do. It just doesn’t do much beyond that, at least for me. People who actually know stuff about art are probably huge fans of Stockman and deeply admire his work. But all in all, my reaction to this issue, as with Iceman as a character, is mostly just a shrug.

Old Man Logan #47, by Ed Brisson, Damian Couceiro, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit. A giant plant-monster is attacking Guardian. Shaman and Snowbird head off to help him, while Puck and Logan look for more plant killer. Guardian gets smacked by the plant, which then covers him. While Shaman and Snowbird free him, Shaman gets momentarily connected to the creature, and learns it’s an alien plant, its planet was attacked, it hitched a ride on one of the ships attacking, and it crashed into the water, and it’s just trying to survive. The plant killer plan hits a snag, so instead, Logan comes up with a plan involving fire. Fire is always a great plan. Enh, it’s a fun issue. Some fun Alpha Flight stuff. Wouldn’t have minded even more Alpha Flight focus, but that’s pretty much by default mood, so whatever. The story tries to draw a comparison between the creature and Logan, but I don’t know that I buy it. Whatever Brisson intended with the story, ultimately, all I got out of it was a reasonably entertaining Logan-teaming-with-Alpha-Flight adventure. With art that was a little inconsistent at times, but was mostly solid.

Old Man Logan #47

Why use a door when there’s a perfectly good window?

Couceiro has potential, he could be phenomenal, but it’ll be a couple more years before he’s there. I’m rooting for him, though. I hope he gets consistent work. He’s great now, but in a couple more years, he’ll be killer.

And the non-X-comics.

Ms. Marvel #34, by G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. Kamala apparently borrows her mass from time, which is pretty interesting. Shocker is actually not bad at science, neat to see that come up. but most important, Kamala gets to meet Singularity! Who remains adorable and helpful in a not-very-helpful way. I love Singularity and want more of her. Someone needs to put her back in an ongoing title, stat. Anyway, great issue. Weird, but great.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #36, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. A ghost silences New York. Squirrel Girl and Iron Man fight her. It’s fun.

Marvel Rising: Omega, by Devin Grayson, Georges Duarte, Roberto Di Salvo, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles. It’s a lot of fun. America hits a robot with its own arm. Ms. Marvel pilots a dragon. Squirrel Girl is untouchable by murder traps. The team does a Donkey Kong challenge. There’s even a Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur cameo at the end! It’s a great issue. A great mini, which Marvel numbered in the absolute worst way imaginable

Champions #24, by Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse, Marcio Menyz, Erick Arciniega, and Clayton Cowles. This is The School Shooting Issue. It’s called – ugh – “Trigger Warning.” Ugh, no, guys, that’s awful. It’s a bad joke, and kind of a dick move. It ends up diminishing the value of trigger warnings, which was absolutely not what anyone involved intended, but it does. Beyond that, the issue doesn’t actually provide a trigger warning. The issue opens with a black page saying it’s a special issue. Which actually would’ve been the perfect place to put a content warning that it dealt with school shootings. Anyway, there’s a shooting at Miles’ school while he’s not there. Goldballs was injured in it. Riri’s reaction to the shooting is actually pretty great. She says she’s seen it before, people get sad and angry and then get over it, and nothing ever gets changed. Which is pretty much exactly the case. A couple weeks later, Kamala’s school has a shooting drill, which, as a Canadian, is honestly one of the most insane things I have ever heard of. Fire drills? Absolutely. Tornado and hurricane drills? If you live in areas that get those, then you’ve gotta do them. Shooting drills? Holy shit, US, you’re messed up. Anyway, this issue’s about how people feel in the aftermath of shootings. Miles feels guilty about not stopping it, and Kamala actually gives him a really nice pep talk about deciding between despair and hope. It’s pretty good stuff. The people who constantly whine about “Politics In Comics” were convinced this was going to be some kind of anti-gun screed, but it very much wasn’t. It didn’t talk about gun control at all, it didn’t get into statistics or anything like that. It just focused on how hard it is to keep going after something like that happens, and when someone you know gets hurt. Also, the art is fantastic. I’ve enjoyed Izaakse’s art on this book, but something about it was especially strong here.

Exiles #8, by Saladin Ahmed, Joe Quinones, Joe Rivera Jordan Gibson, Chris Sotomayor, Muntsa Vicente, and Joe Caramagna. Four colour artists credited, including Quinones. Jeez. Never a positive sign. Anyway, the Exiles are put on trial for saving the multiverse. This issue is mostly just a way to let each character exposit on their backstory. It’s still pretty fun.

X-Men comics of September 5 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So my training at my new job is going well. But in more exciting news, I have a date this weekend. Yay! And man, that was quick. I knew it. I knew it wouldn’t take long to find a date in Ottawa. I hadn’t been on a date in the past two years in Cornwall, but in Ottawa, I got one within two weeks. She seems really cool. She liked the Jem comics, she was an animator on Wander Over Yonder and Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and she lifts weights so she can be big stronk woman. I’m really excited about this. But first, comics!

X-Men Gold #35, by Marc Guggenheim, Simone Buonfantino, Giovanni Valletta, Erick Aricniega, and Cory Petit. Aw, Bandini already left? That’s disappointing. Ororo’s been captured by a bunch of zombies, including her parents, and Uovu taunts her. She can’t beat him, and he tells her he’s going to kill her and bring her back as his slave. Honestly, I’m just glad to see he doesn’t care about marrying her. Refreshing change of pace. In New York, the team fights X-Cutioner, because Guggenheim needed the team to be doing something. They get summoned by Stormcaster, which creates a portal and returns to Storm. And man, I love a good smirk.

X-Men Gold #35

Even her smiles are epic.

The X-Men deal with the villagers while Storm beats the crap out of Uovu. And as a result of the battle, Stormcaster’s power is drained and it crumbles, never to be seen again, until another writer wants to score nostalgia points by bringing back plot points from the Asgardian Wars. I can’t say this issue did much for me. I think this whole arc suffers from being too short. It needed one more issue, I think, to really explore Storm’s feelings about her parents returning, and to show her bonding with them. As it is, the plot moves at a brisk pace, but it feels a bit flat. Hitting the points it has to hit, largely predictable, no surprises, and not enough emotional weight behind anything. It means that what could have been a powerful, emotional, epic story ends up being weirdly perfunctory and bland. Which is a shame. It’s not helped by the art, which is kinda inconsistent. The first half of the issue looks better than the second half. That smile is perfect, but there are few moments like that. The lightning looks a bit fatter than I would’ve liked. It’s somehow less impressive that way. Also, there’s one specific moment during the fight that was simply bad choreography. Storm hammers Uovu, and the next panel shows her having been knocked back, but Uovu doesn’t seem to have actually done anything to her. It’s a little thing, but those kinds of things are important. It took me out of the story for a moment. So the art is by no means bad, but there are little complaints I have about it. And, of course, I have much the same complaints I’ve always had about the writing, with it relying on reader familiarity with old stories to carry the emotional beats, rather than Guggenheim having any idea how to insert the emotional beats into the stories he’s telling.

Astonishing X-Men #15, by Matthew Rosenberg, Greg Land, Neil Edwards, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata, and Clayton Cowles. The group is gathered to discuss the fact that they just assaulted federal agents, and Dazzler gets spotted by a photographer who asks her why she’s hanging out with terrorists. They then grab a bus, much to Beast’s displeasure. Come on, Hank, it’s not the first time you’ve served on a team that had to grab a bus. Remember when the Avengers had to do it? That’s one of my all-time favourite Avengers moments. It’s wonderful. Alex admits that he thinks Bastion put something in him that the Reavers are looking for, and that he put together the team to protect him, which pisses the others off. Alison does offer him some comfort, though.

Astonishing X-Men #15

For certain values of “comfort.”

I love the Ali/Alex friendship. They play off each other so well. Alison is always so superior with him, and it’s really cute. Meanwhile, most of the named Reavers, who aren’t in government custody, are trying to figure out what to do about Pierce being captured by the government. Also, Pretty Boy makes a comment about wanting to marry Tom Cruise, so he might be bi? OK, sure, I can buy it. Warpath follows Alex to the Bar With No Name, and calls Alex out on his lie about gathering the team to protect himself. The others are at Piotr’s apartment, with Ali telling Piotr he needs to be more willing to open up and talk about what he’s going through. Then they’re attacked. That scene has Edwards on lines, and holy shit, the difference between him and Land is huge.

Astonishing X-Men #15

They don’t look traced from a magazine!

Greg Land aside, this is good. It’s good stuff. Some plot progress, combined with character developments. Good mix of humour and drama. Leans more towards humour, but not to the detriment of the story. Land, to be fair, is able to tell the story with the art. His style is still distracting, but nothing jumped out as bad visual storytelling. I still hate his art. And I’m also still mad at Rosenberg for what he did to Karma. No forgiveness for that.

Weapon X #23, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Yildiray Cinar, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. Weapon X-Force vs. Deadpool. He’s working for the evil cult, but in fairness, he actually has a very good reason.

Weapon X #23

Good font choice is a key thing to look for in a religion.

Fighting! And quipping! And he blows up Monet with napalm. Deathstrike tries to use her nanites to get Deadpool out of Mentallo’s control, but he’s just there because he’s being paid. Monet gets pissed about her hair being damaged by the napalm, and punches him out of the building. Don’t mess with Monet’s hair. Then Domino teases Sabretooth and Monet for liking each other. It’s pretty great. And then more fighting, and the reveal of the real villain. This series remains largely dumb fun. It’s great. No complex themes being explored, no deep character analysis. Just lots of violence and quips. And it’s honestly just good fun. Deadpool is maybe a bit much here. Pak and Van Lente obviously just had a lot of fun writing him, so he kinda steals the show, which is a little disappointing. But I’ll allow it, because like I said, Pak and Van Lente are just enjoying themselves too much for me not to also enjoy myself. And the art’s great, too. Really exciting action. Could probably have been a bit more violent, honestly, but the action flows really well, and that’s the most important thing. Also, even after being burned by napalm, Monet looks awesome.

Old Man Logan Annual, by Ed Brisson, Simone Di Meo, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Cory Petit. This story’s set in the Wastelands of Old Man Logan’s time. A town gets attacked by a gang called the Punishers. Because of course a dark and gritty future is full of edgelord jackasses who idolize a mass murderer. When Logan arrives in the town, he’s blamed for the attack. He killed the Hulk Gang, which opened the way for the Punishers. He tracks them down, and after a slight complication involving a bullet to the skull, meets Frank Castle, still alive. And they launch an assault.

Old Man Logan Annual

It goes as you’d expect.

There is, however, one thing that stands out. Panhead, the leader of the Punishers, talks about how guys like Logan and Castle, the old heroes, let the world fall. They had a good life, and they let other people of their generation ruin it all, and make life an absolute shitshow for new generations. Which is actually pretty much exactly the state of the world today. The Baby Boomers had great lives, and they screwed the world up for everyone who’s come after them. It makes Panhead actually kinda sympathetic. Except he’s still a murderous douche. It’s an OK story. It’s Logan and Castle teaming up to kill people. Yippee. The fact that they’re old doesn’t really mean a lot, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a pretty straightforward story, with the only interesting thing being Panhead calling them out for letting the world go to shit. Still, it’s always frustrating when an important message like this is delivered by a villain. I’ve no doubt Brisson intended Panhead’s comments as a reflection on the way Millennials have been screwed over by Baby Boomers, and it seems to be an argument he thinks has validity. But it does feel hampered coming from the mouth of a villain. The art’s good. It definitely suits the story. Got a Western vibe to it, dirty and rough and moody. This is my first exposure to Di Meo’s art, and he’s a perfect match. It’ll be interesting to see if Marvel gives him more work, and what they’ll put him on.

There’s also a back-up story, by Ryan Cady, Hayden Sherman, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Cory Petit. It’s an Old Man Punisher story. He wipes out a bunch of dudes in a gang called the War Machines. Kinda disappointing how gangs in the Marvel future are all named after heroes or villains. It bores me. I know why writers do it, but I still don’t like it. After he wipes them out, he’s confronted by a smaller group, wielding various weapons. One guy’s got a couple of Dr. Octopus’ tentacles. While Punisher kills them, the leader runs for Punisher’s van, and opens it to find three coffins, belonging to Punisher’s family. Ew, dude, no, why. This does seem to be setting up a possible Old Man Punisher story, which, ugh, no thanks. Hard pass. I’ve never cared about the Punisher. Gun fetishist revenge fantasy murder-porn has never been my thing. Which means this story did nothing for me. If you like the Punisher? Yeah, you’ll probably dig this. Though traveling around with the corpses of his family is really weird. Again, the art fits the story, does a good job with tone. Great job done with fire and shadows, makes for some great intensity. Also a fairly interesting last-page reveal of antagonist, if the story does get continued. (Has it been confirmed as continuing? I honestly don’t remember.) Still, not at all for me.

And non-X-stuff.

Captain America #3, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Sunny Gho, and Joe Caramagna. Steve is in a small town, talking to a guy about how the town was saved by Hydra, and is being kept alive by Power Enterprises. Steve then goes to talk to T’Challa and Okoye about the mine having no coal left. People are being paid to allow a terrorist cell to grow, basically. They’ve found the main Nuke hub, and they go in to shut it down. It’s a good comic. Exciting action. Still some good introspective narration. Still digging this series.

Quicksilver: No Surrender #5, by Saladin Ahmed, Eric Nguyen, Rico Renzi, and Clayton Cowles. Mirror Battle! And Pietro remembers that he likes things. Good finale to a good mini.

X-Men comics of August 29 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Summer can go to hell. Anyway, I’m now living in Ottawa. A few days into my training at Rogers. I don’t want to go into detail, but the training isn’t set up how I expected. They’ve got a different way of doing it from usual. I’ll see how it goes, but I’m really not worried. I can do the job. I’ve done it before, for a different company. The apartment I’m in is OK. I may end up looking for somewhere else, once I have a better idea of how much I’m making and how much I’m spending. I haven’t started looking for a girlfriend yet. Honestly, I’m kinda thinking I should get a therapist before I go looking for a girlfriend. I’ve got some Issues I want to work through. Of course, I also haven’t started looking for a therapist yet. Might wait until I’m out of training and know what my shifts will be like. Or maybe I’ll just keep avoiding it and never get around to dealing with my shit. That sounds a lot more like me. But hey! Comics!

X-Men Blue #34, by Cullen Bunn, Marcus To, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Magneto is confronting the now-adult O5, minus Iceman, because Bunn really had no use for him. So, tense conversation. Which leads to a fight, as the O4 try to kill him, which they’ve accomplished before. This time, the other mutants watching the battle jump in to save Magneto, since they see him as a saviour. And then Magneto returns to the present, to prevent the Reaver virus, and to be reset back to an older status quo.

X-Men Blue #35

Wow, Magneto, dick response.

So, yeah, spoiler here, but: Asteroid M is back. The Brotherhood/Acolytes are back. So Magneto is basically back to his early ’90s status quo. Yippee. Who needs progress when we’ve got nostalgia. I mean, he’s even got Exodus and Amelia Voght with him. (I think it’s Voght? It might be Scanner.) I won’t spoil who else is on his team. But yeah, this issue was all about putting Magneto back to his early ’90s status quo. More nostalgia shit. Bleh. The story here is well-told. The confrontation between Magneto and the future O5 is tense, with him angry that they never returned to their own time, and them angry at something he’s going to do. The art is great, with To capturing the anger on both sides perfectly. From a craft standpoint, there’s absolutely no complaint. I just have a problem with the move backward, and even that’s only because it’s part of a pattern of the X-office constantly moving backwards.

Extermination #2, by Ed Brisson, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Joe Sabino. Damn, it’s hot. Ugh. Oh, right, I was talking about a comic. And, uh . . . wait a minute. Young Cable shoots the Mimic while he’s doing his groceries. Dick move, but strangely amusing. (He was only shot with an electric tranq, he’s still alive. That makes it a little more OK to laugh.) At the school, Scott is angsting over Bloodstorm’s death, and Jean tries to comfort him. Bloodstorm deserved better than a fridging. Anyway, the X-Men gather to talk about what’s going on. Kitty proposes splitting up into teams to protect each of the remaining O5, while others look for Ahab. Scott storms out into the appropriately dramatic rain, the other 3 follow him, and Warren and Hank get tranqed. Scott manages to blast Young Cable, but is distracted by it being Cable, and he escapes with Warren. With only 3 of the O5 left, they get split into their teams, with Jean choosing wisely.

Extermination #2

She’s got good taste.

And then Ahab attacks. So . . . hmm. Trying to decide how I feel about this issue. And honestly? Not sure I can have an opinion yet. I think I feel largely the same as I did with the first issue. It’s not yet really doing anything particularly new or creative. This issue does have one plot point that’s incredibly messed up. I don’t want to spoil it, but holy shit, it’s harsh. No more shocking deaths, assuming Mimic wasn’t killed off-panel, so it’s got that going for it over the first issue. I love Larraz’s art, so it’s also got that going for it. He’s fantastic. Other than that? This issue mostly just keeps the story moving. Hard to have any strong opinions on it, one way or the other, for now. It’ll read well as part of the completed story, it reads fine as part of an ongoing story.

X-23 #3, by Mariko Tamaki, Juann Cabal, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. Laura gives chase after the van the Cuckoos are abducting Gabby with, and uh, wow, Laura’s good. But she takes out the wrong van. She heads back to the church to find out what Dr. Marks was up to for the Cuckoos, and she was involved in cloning stuff. Meanwhile, the Cuckoos are preparing to use Gabby to revive one of their sisters, while Gabby is still Gabby.

X-23 #3

I love Gabby.

Side note: I like how you can tell that this is Irma, because she looks sad. She clearly doesn’t want to be doing this. Cabal does a good job with facial expressions. This is good. Laura’s car acrobatics are awesome. She is extremely menacing to Dr. Marks. The Cuckoos don’t get much to do, but it’s fine. We still get to see that Irma’s conflicted, even if it’s shown a little more subtly. The main point of this issue is to explain what the Cuckoos are actually doing. It’s comic book science, but basically, they’re grafting the near-dead Cuckoo onto Gabby to make use of her healing factor. So this issue tells us the exact plan, which is important, and the end sets up for some sort of complication, and it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. The need to explain the plot does mean a lot of what made the first two issues good – the character dynamics and the complex themes – get minimized. But it’s a necessary evil, and I’m confident we’ll get more of those elements. We do still get some of the thematic stuff. This issue isn’t as good as the first two, but it’s a necessary part of the story, and it’s still very good, very enjoyable. Laura’s fear for Gabby’s safety is particularly strong here, and elevates the issue a lot. And Cabal’s work showing Irma’s sadness also helps a lot. So, yeah, great work.

Hunt for Loganverine: Dead Ends, by Charles Soule, Ramon Rosanas, Guru-eFX, and Joe Sabino. People all over the world have been getting kidnapped. Stark and Daredevil head to the X-Mansion to discuss what was discovered in the Hunt for Loganverine minis. Psylocke is apparently having some trouble dealing with being in her original body again. But anyway, Kitty, Stark and Daredevil talk.

Hunt for Guyverine: Dead Souls

Why even have students if not to exploit them for free labour?

And this comment is pretty great:

Hunt for Guyverine: Dead Ends

Comics!

They go over what they know, and find Soteira at the head of it all. The meeting is interrupted by rods being dropped from orbit. Stark, Storm and Firestar go to intercept, and hey, Firestar, cool, and a good choice. The rods are stopped, but then another dude shows up. Meh meh meh. It’s a recap issue. Recapping 16 issues, tying it all together, to set up another mini. It’s irritating, just how much Marvel’s milking this whole thing. It’s shameless. Also, I’m still not a fan of Rosanas. I don’t mind him as much here as I have on other stuff he’s done. I wouldn’t actually say it’s better than his other stuff, though. If I’m honest, it felt a bit rushed at times, a bit sloppy. It’s possible it’s just a matter of the colours not fitting the lines quite right. That does happen. But I’m inclined to think that Rosanas was probably just a little rushed. It’s not a big problem, it’s not bad, by any means. Just doesn’t quite look like his usual stuff. Like I said, I did actually prefer it over his normal style. But that’s a taste thing. Soule’s writing is definitely not up to his usual standard. So it’s not a great comic.

New Mutants: Dead Souls #6, by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gorham, Michael Garland, and Clayton Cowles. So, quick warning: There’s profanity in this review. A flashback to 3 months ago has Dani checking out a destroyed house for any indication of Tran’s involvement. Then she touched some weird gold dust and got covered by Warlock’s ashes. In the present, Illyana’s checking it out. Later, Shan and Illyana have a confrontation. Illyana has questions about how Shan’s been running Hatchi, some of the projects it’s involved in and people it’s partnered with. She also says that Tran’s been influencing Shan for years. Which is actually an idea I’ve felt for years should’ve been explored, but it should’ve been explored in a story where it didn’t take until the last damn issue for Shan to play an actual frigging role. Illyana summons Tran for a three-way confrontation. Tran denies any involvement in Dani going missing. Shan forces Illyana to kill Tran so she can absorb him back into her soul.

New Mutants: Dead Souls #6

Remember when Karma was a hero?

Fuck you, Rosenberg. Seriously? He’s basically turned her into a villain with this bullshit. There’s also Warlock-like duplicates of most of the classic New Mutants, and shit gets crazier and sets up a story that’s going to be continued. But I don’t care. Matthew Rosenberg turned Karma into a villain. Just a straight-up villain. He took a story that should have been about her, made it all about Illyana instead, kept Karma almost entirely absent until the final issue, where he turned her into a villain. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck that. I feel like I wished on a monkey’s paw. For years, I’ve wanted a story to follow up on the fact that Karma’s first appearance had her absorb her brother into her. And what do I get? Illyana’s the star of the story, Karma isn’t even a presence until the last issue, at which point she’s revealed as a fucking monster, as she uses her friend to murder her brother so she can re-absorb his soul and keep being awful. “Oh, the story’s continuing, you’ve gotta trust the creative team!” Fuck no I don’t! I don’t have to trust them at all! Because I see no reason why I should. Because they did not earn any trust when it comes to their handling of Karma. Oh, they could have. There are plenty of ways they could have earned that trust. But earning my trust would’ve required they actually fucking use her at some fucking point prior to the end of the fucking series! But nope, she was only brought in when it was time to reveal that she’s a fucking villain. I love Karma. She’s been one of my favourite characters for years. And this is what Rosenberg does to her? He turns her into a villain. And shit, it’s a huge missed opportunity with Tran, too. He could’ve been brought back as an antagonist for the X-Men. And hey, that also would’ve justified more use of Karma! And she deserves more use. And not as a villain. Yeah, there’s no way I’m going to be spending any money on anything Rosenberg writes. I’ll stick to the digital codes for the books he does. I don’t even give a shit whether this comic is well-made or not, what this entire mini has done with Karma is too much bullshit for me to talk about anything else to do with it.

There’s also X-Men Grand Designs: Second Genesis #2, but I’m not reviewing it, except to say it’s really cool.

And non-X.

Ms. Marvel #33, by G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. More of the Shocker. More of Kamala wrestling with her powers, and her struggle messing with her mind a bit, too. Also, the Shocker has the greatest headquarters ever, and I love him here. He is so much fun. This is a great arc of a great comic and if you’re not reading it already you should feel bad.

Jessica Jones #2, by Kelly Thompon, Mattia de Iulis, and Cory Petit. Elsa declares Jessica to be an Axe Girl. I don’t think anything else needs to be said. Jessica and Elsa get along really well. They make a good pairing, I’d love to see them interact more. She also goes to a nightclub that White Rabbit co-owned, and one of the bartenders mentions White Rabbit was smart and didn’t take crap, and hell yeah. White Rabbit was awesome. I love her. She was already rich, she committed crime just for the fun of it, and I appreciate that. She just wanted to have a good time. And then the investigation continues with more crazy twists and turns and weirdness. And a hell of a Spider-Man cameo. This is such a great series.

Exiles #7, by Saladin Ahmed, Rod Reis, Lee Ferguson, and Joe Caramagna. Pastor Xavier is creepy but also weirdly funny. The issue has triumph and tragedy. It’s fun but then it gets sad. Two deaths I have serious problems with. But still, a good issue.

X-Men comics of August 22 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). My farewell dinner was yesterday, which is why I didn’t post. I move tomorrow. I’ll leave Cornwall, and since my mom’s already sold her house, I can’t imagine I’ll ever be moving back here. Can’t say I’ll miss the place. There are three things I’ll miss: My cat, my LCS (Fantasy Realm), and a great local Greek restaurant called Philo’s. That’s it. Still, I have to admit, I’m kiiiiinda freaking out a bit. I lived in Ottawa before, but that was for college. This is for life. And I really don’t have a fallback if things don’t go well. Beyond that . . . holy shit, I’m moving. I’ve had to pretty much pack up my life. I’m having to abandon most of my books – I’ve got two kitty litter boxes with books I plan to bring with me, and two more with books going into a storage locker my mom’s getting. (And I’ve got a few other large books I’ll need to get a box for.) And 5 boxes of comics I want to bring, with I think 8 or 9 comic boxes going into storage. And that’ll basically be it. Clothes, my laptop, some little knicknacks, a few DVDs, a few CDs. But so much I’m leaving behind. So many books being left behind. As a book-lover, it hurts to abandon them. Even if I was never going to read any of them again, I liked having a bookcase full of books. It looked nice, you know? But all I can bring is what’ll fit into my friend’s car.

But hey, comics, right? I picked up a couple older comics, too. I got a copy of New Mutants #1, and even better, New Mutants Annual #1. Steal This Planet! Gods, do I ever want that cover on a t-shirt. Just the artwork, with the text removed. Because it’s a hell of a cover. I don’t collect old comics, but I saw that, and I couldn’t say no. And I picked up New Mutants #1 while I was at it. They were both cheap. $14 and $8. I think he only charged me $20 for the pair. Oh! I don’t think I mentioned it on here, but a bit ago, I watched I Kill Giants. It’s really good. Not as good as the comic, but very good, worth watching. I recommend it, especially if you don’t mind crying a bit. But! Comics!

X-Men Red #7, by Tom Taylor, Carmen Carnero, Rain Beredo, and Cory Petit. While Teen Abomination attacks Atlantis, the team trying to steal the dead ambassador’s phone from a plane get shot at. Trinary gets winged, and loses her connection with her pet Sentinel, which was flying above the plane. Gentle punches Teen Abomination out of the water, right into Storm’s mercy. She zaps him. So Atlantis is saved. Which just leaves the team on a falling plane. Of course it goes well, too. And Jean makes a statement to the world.

X-Men Red #7

Pretty great panel.

This issue is tough to talk about. Not much really happens. It’s got some exciting action, but even then, not that much. And almost nothing that really tells us anything about any of the characters. So on the whole, the issue actually feels like kind of a waste. I’d say the plane stuff is more interesting than the Atlantis stuff. Trinary getting shot adds some tension. Laura gets shot, too, she really should’ve kept the body armour. Gabby had the right idea. Wear something that doesn’t let bullets enter you. Anyway, as fun as the plane dive is, the issue as a whole is still, frankly, boring. Taylor can do better than this.

X-Men Gold #34, by Marc Guggenheim, Michele Bandini, Erick Arciniega, and Cory Petit. Ororo’s parents are back, thanks to Uovu, the god whose name literally means Evil. In New York, Kitty beats up some robbers in Mandroid armour, and Illyana shows up to talk to her about the wedding. Kitty tells her not to feel guilty about what happened, and also says Illyana will always be her sister. I guess Guggenheim wants to make it super-clear that Kitty’s totally straight. Bleh. It really does come across as Guggenheim trying to shoot down the decades of speculation about Kitty being queer. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s hoping to get another chance to have Kitty and Piotr get married, somewhere down the line, because that’s the ship from when he was younger, and he’ll be damned if it’ll go any other way.

X-Men Gold #34

“That should stop talk of them as lovers.” – A man who grossly underestimates how hard queer people cling to subtext.

“You’ll always be my sister.” Uh-huh. Nice try, Marc. Back in Africa, Ororo catches up with her parents, and also continues to investigate Uovu. She finds an underground chamber with the corpses of dead villagers, including Ainet. Which means, of course, super-dramatic Ororo.

X-Men Gold #34

Queen of Drama.

She confronts Uovu and he ups the evil factor. The Kitty/Illyana scene is the weakest part of the issue. The stuff with Storm, honestly, I feel like it needed a little more time with her and her parents. There was barely anything. Her shock and uncertainty about whether they were real, and then a couple panels later of her saying she doesn’t like being called a superhero. I think the issue would’ve benefited from showing her spending a little more time with her parents. As it is, their return doesn’t actually mean much, especially since they’re likely to die again next issue so Guggenheim can try to get cheap angst out of it, without putting in the work to earn it. We’ll have to wait and see next issue, of course, but that would be pretty typical of the rest of Guggenheim’s run: Trying to get people to care about things without putting in the work to make them care, and instead relying on them coming in with an emotional investment already. I have no complaints about the art, though. I love Bandini’s lines, and Arciniega’s colours. So the book looks good. It’s just bland writing.

Mr. and Mrs. X #2, by Kelly Thompson, Oscar Bazaldua, Frank D’Armata, and Travis Lanham. The Imperial Guard shoot down the cloaked ship Deadpool and Rogue are on, Cerise teleports away with the Guard, and Gambit heads down to the surface to make sure Rogue’s still alive. Deadpool tells Rogue that the egg is his, and he wants to get it back. Rogue declines. There’s banter and fighting, and then Technet shows up. It’s all fun and charming. Really fun, really charming. The dialogue’s great, with the three playing off each other really well. Rogue and Deadpool’s recent history in Uncanny Avengers gets lots of nods, especially their kiss. Deadpool flirts incessantly with Rogue, who still likes him as a friend and doesn’t actually seem too bothered by the flirting, she just doesn’t like the timing, what with the egg that’s being hunted. Rogue spends a lot of the issue trying to be The Responsible One, mostly because someone has to.

Mr. and Mrs. X #2

And it’s clearly not going to be these two.

I will say that the art makes it seem like she’s having fun despite herself. Not sure if that’s intentional or not, I’m guessing it is. She doesn’t seem to get upset or annoyed by the two, or really, by the Technet fight, either. A couple moments where she gets angry when the fight isn’t going quite the right way, but mostly, there’s a sense that she’s kinda having fun, and even enjoying Deadpool being around. The story progresses a bit at the end, with an interesting reveal, and it’ll be cool to see where that goes. But mostly, this comic’s all about the fun and the charm, and the book brings it.

Hunt For Guyverine: Mystery In Madripoor #4, by Jim Zub, Thony Silas, Leonard Kirk, Felipe Sobreiro, Andrew Crossley, and Joe Sabino. This issue kicks off with Psylocke being drained by Sapphire Styx, and her mind falling into a pit. She looks at some memories of her life, and then starts digging around in Sapphire’s head. Interestingly, being out of her body has her appearing in her white form, which is different from usual. Normally, even her astral self is Japanese. She finds a sliver of Logan’s soul, and frees it, so they can mess with Sapphire’s mind. And then she breaks Sapphire’s body apart, to reveal herself, in her white body. Magneto’s still too weak to stop the rocket, so Kitty hops aboard, while Psylocke, Jubilee and Domino fight Viper and her team. And obviously they’re victorious, the day is saved. Psylocke uses misdirection rather than ninja skills, so she really is back to her ’80s self. With that all done, Jubilee checks how Psylocke’s doing, in the way only Jubilee can.

Mystery In Madripoor #4

The mini couldn’t end without Jubilee getting one more bit of food.

That’s fitting. Jubilee was there when Psylocke first got her memories back after turning Japanese. Nice that she’s there when Psylocke gets her own body back. And she asks the perfect questions. She does also ask how Betsy feels, but that she starts by asking if she remembers the dumb shit is great. But yeah, the big thing here is that Psylocke is white again. This is something a lot of people have wanted for a while. It was always weird that she was turned into an Asian. It was uncomfortable, and a lot of people hated it. At the same time, she was visual Asian representation. I know X-Plain the X-Men had on an Asian-American woman who talked about her complex feelings about Psylocke looking Asian without having been born Asian. I imagine there are other Asian-Americans with similarly complex feelings about her. Still, this was probably the best way to go. The question is whether it’ll stick. Psylocke’s iconic as a ninja. She was even just added to Future Fight, with her ’90s leotard and baffling gratuitous straps. That look is how she’s best-known. It’s what most readers grew up with, it’s what she had in the ’90s cartoon (which she barely appeared in, but still), it’s what she’s worn in video games. X-Men Apocalypse had her looking like that. So it’s her definitive look. And we know how much the X-Men office loves going back to what’s familiar. So is Psylocke going to remain white, or in a couple years, is some other writer going to find some way to make her a Japanese ninja again? In the meantime, I do think it’s a shame she’s lost most of her fighting skills. I assume she’ll still get moments here and there where she beats people up while talking about being trained by Wolverine, but she won’t be a ninja any more. No more awesome acrobatics, no more ridiculous telekinetic weapons. The Uncanny X-Men teaser does indicate she’ll still use psychic knives. Eh, maybe she’ll still have some of her ninja skills. I kinda hope so. All that said: This mini ultimately has nothing to do with Logan, and would’ve been better as something other than a Hunt For Guyverine tie-in. Letting it be its own story would’ve done a lot to make it more palatable. As with the other minis, this was well-made, but still a shameless cash-grab.

Old Man Logan #46, by Ed Brisson, Damian Couceiro, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit. Something bad is going on in Nova Scotia. Logan’s in Ontario, and he gets picked up by Alpha Flight. Guardian, Puck, Snowbird, and Shaman. Shaman confirms Cecilia Reyes’ diagnosis of Logan’s skeleton poisoning him. He tells Logan he’s dying and there’s no way to stop it. As the group explores the town that was wiped out by some sort of alien plant thing, Logan and Puck talk about being old. Logan admits he wants to be with his family. They find the alien plant, and the people and animals it’s been absorbing, all dead. Logan and Puck do find, of all things, a post office that the vines have avoided. And then they almost get killed by the vines.

Old Man Logan #46

The best motivation to be a vegetarian.

Also, superhero comics are great:

Old Man Logan #46

The friendliest polar bear.

Anyway, this is fine. Logan feeling old and tired is interesting. His willingness to die, even hoping for it. It’s somewhat unusual in a superhero comic, though far from unheard of. It was also nice seeing Alpha Flight again, or at least some of them. Puck! Snowbird! Man, I love Snowbird, I wish she got more to do. Regardless, Logan’s fatigue mixed with the plot of an alien plant is an interesting enough read. Good art. Not familiar with Couceiro, but he does good work. I like him. Be interesting to see how his style develops over the next few years.

And the non-X-stuff.

West Coast Avengers #1, by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli, Triona Farrell, and Joe Caramagna. Land sharks! Kate being crazy! Snark! Cute boyfriend! Wet towels! Giant Tigra! BRODOK! This comic is ridiculous and awesome and great. The whole creative team kills it. Caselli’s lines and Farrell’s colours provide the perfect complement to Thompson’s dialogue. The whole thing is so much fun. But there’s still sincerity, which is crucial. Kate and Johnny are a cute couple, and the Gwenpool/Quire animosity is loads of fun. I love it all. Also, we get to meet the worst heroes in LA.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #34, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Devil, now Devin, goes to school, and antics ensue. Also, Eduardo totally likes Zoe but can’t admit it. And Princess is awful. This comic remains great. Really fun. Looks great, lots of funny bits. I really gotta wonder why you’re not reading it yet.

Black Panther #3, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Daniel Acuna, and Joe Sabino. This is such an odd story. It’s very exciting stuff, though. Lots of action. Only a few small character moments here and there, and I’d like more focus there, but Coates and Acuna are doing a big and ambitious story and it’s pretty great.

Wakanda Forever: Avengers, by Nnedi Okorafor, Oleg Okunev, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Sabino. Nakia gets the meeting with T’Challa that she’s been looking for, and he asks her to help stop the monster she’s unleashed, and apologizes for how hard her life’s been. T’Challa’s a good dude. Also, Storm finds the Mimic-27 uncreative. It’s a good finale to the arc. The Avengers get very little to do. This is mostly about the Dora Milaje, and mostly about Nakia’s redemption. So that’s cool.

Life of Captain Marvel #2, by Margaret Stohl, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Marcio Menyz, Marguerite Sauvage, and Clayton Cowles. Carol struggles with learning her father cheated on her mom, a very polite Canadian gets murdered by an alien, and Carol does not understand her family. This is pretty good. It has the heart and emotional weight that Stohl’s run has lacked.

X-Men comics of August 15 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So I got banned from the CBR forums for repeatedly calling John Byrne an asshole. And honestly? Worth it? In my defence, I only said it because he’s an asshole. And now apparently Marvel’s thinking of bringing him back. Really gotta question Akira Yoshida’s decision-making here. In personal news, I’ve got a job. I’ll be starting at a Rogers call centre in Ottawa on August 27. I’ll need to move up. I’ve got a room lined up, but I’m still waiting on confirmation for it. Once I get up there, I’ll have to find a new comic shop. Sadly, I’ll be missing the order cut-off for Maneaters, Chelsea Cain’s new series with Kate Niemczyk, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna. So I’ll be late getting that first issue. But for now, comics!

Extermination #1, by Ed Brisson, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Joe Sabino. 20 years in the future, the X-Men are all dead, so business as usual, really. A Mysterious Hooded Figure is annoyed and travels back to fix it. (Going to guess now that it’s Hope. We’ll see if I’m right.) In the present, in Chicago, people are protesting against mutants, because every single human being on the entire planet hates mutants and wants to kill them all.

Extermination #1

This is boring.

A couple mutant kids are about to be attacked, and the O5 (and Bloodstorm) show up to save them and take them to the Xavier Institute. A little later, Scott and Bloodstorm go to a Thai restaurant for a date, which is interrupted by Ahab and a pair of Hounds. Ahab kills Bloodstorm, because we can’t have nice things. Bobby gets attacked, too, with Cable trying to help him. Scott learns who Ahab is from Rachel. The Mysterious Hooded Figure blames Cable for what happens, with the scene implying Cable is the reason the O5 haven’t been able to return to their own time. And Mysterious Hooded Figure kills Cable, and we get to see Rachel react to that, which is nice.

Extermination #1

Rachel’s reaction is handled really well.

I love the fact that Rachel and Cable actually do see each other as siblings. It’s something I’ve always found sweet. I wish we got more of it. I can’t be sad about Cable’s death, because I know he’ll be back. The guy dies every couple years. Cable & X-Force had him die a bunch of times. This comic even includes a back-door for his return. Anyway, there’s some talk of vengeance and stuff, my guess about the Mysterious Hooded Figure was incorrect, though I won’t spoil who it is. So, the thing I find interesting about this is that it actually looks like Rachel will be a fairly notable part of the event, something that rarely happens. A message from Brisson at the end of the book notes it’ll be the final chapter of the O5’s story, so obviously, they’ll be prominent . . . except Bobby, I guess, since he’s already been captured by Mysterious Hooded Figure. Shame about Bloodstorm, she was cool. With X-Men Blue over, I suppose she wasn’t going to be getting any more use, but still. Having a vampire version of Storm running around was neat. Ahab’s return is kinda ugh. That guy. It does mean that Rachel pretty much has to play a role in the story, and I’m glad for her to get something to do, but man, I wish it didn’t have to include Ahab. There’s more to Rachel than a shitty past, but it seems like that’s the thing creators like focusing on with her. She has to Overcome Her Past every time she’s part of the main cast of a book, and it’s boring. Also, this story is yet another Prevent A Bad Future story, which the X-Men have done so many times before. Get some new material, X-office. You don’t have to keep wanking the same handful of Claremont plots all the time. You can move the X-Men into new territory. You can show humans who like mutants. You can show futures that aren’t total shit-heaps. You can do an event without the shocking deaths of any characters. The whole thing’s done well enough. Brisson’s a good writer, Larraz and Gracia a good art team. It’s just they did a good job setting up a story that isn’t particularly new or interesting, so I have trouble caring.

Astonishing X-Men Annual, by Matthew Rosenberg, Travel Foreman, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles. Beast goes to a fancy restaurant, and the maitre d’ initially turns him away for not abiding by the dress code (which is honestly kinda fair, he’s wearing a t-shirt and no shoes).

Astonishing X-Men Annual

This is amazing and I love it.

Anyway, he’s there to meet with Jean, Bobby and Hank. On a bittersweet note, there’s an extra place set. Which feels absolutely perfect. We learn that the restaurant they’re at is where Xavier took them after their first mission, and they were all uncomfortable and didn’t like it. Jean brought them there to say that following Xavier’s dream has screwed them all up. Almost all.

Astonishing X-Men Annual

Don’t talk with your mouth full, Bobby.

X, Xavier’s mind in Fantomex’s body, interrupts, and they all have questions. The two most telling questions: Hank asks why he’s not dead, and damn, Hank, that’s kinda cold. And Bobby asks why he has hair, and damn, Bobby. X admits to feeling partially responsible for their pain, and Hank says he’s mostly responsible, and holy shit, I know Hank’s cat-like now, but wow. He invites them back to his house, and then to a local tavern. Everything in the town seems very nice. And Bobby gets a free burger.

Astonishing X-Men Annual

Dammit, Bobby.

He eats that giant burger in under a minute in order to get it for free. Hank points out that the town they’re in, Lago, is a place where a mutant girl was murdered, and the killers acquitted. Some quick checking tells me that Lago appeared in an arc of Alias way back in the day, but that was for something different, so I think this is the first we’re hearing about that girl dying. Hank’s dialogue suggests it happened back in the early days of the X-Men, maybe even before they were assembled. An anti-mutant jerk tells them off, and then gets led off, and there’s definitely something weird going on. I mean, it’s not like it’s tough to figure out what’s happening. Someone is controlling the town and making them all super-nice to mutants. Later, when Bobby’s feeling sick from that burger, he asks Jean if she felt like that after eating a planet, and wow, dude. When they go to talk to X, he reveals that Lucifer is controlling the town. Ugh, that guy. He’s back? We’re going back to that dude now? Do we have to? Anyway, they go after Lucifer, and X says the only way to stop him is to kill him. Anyway, this issue’s kinda weird. It starts with all of them kinda hating that they ever became X-Men and resenting Xavier for how their lives have turned out, and X manipulates them into killing a town and makes them forget it and be proud of what they’ve done over the years, and it’s weird and kinda uncomfortable. X is an asshole. There’s some good tension, some really funny bits. I’m not sure I buy the pity-party at the start, at least not completely. The art feels inconsistent. I like Foreman, but there were weird panels and weird faces here and there. Though the panel of Bobby scorfing a burger is amazing. But yeah, on the whole, mixed feelings about this one.

Weapon X #22, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Yildiray Cinar, Frank D’Armata, Joe Caramagna. Mystique, wearing a really ugly variant on her normal outfit, meets with one of the refugees from Breakworld to sell him some Nuke pills. The Breakworld dude tries to double-cross her, but I mean, come on, how did he expect that to turn out? Does he know who Mystique is? So, Weapon X-Force takes them out, with Domino blowing up a tank of natural gas. Once the money’s been split between them, Domino says she wants to leave and make it up to Warpath, but Sabretooth convinces her to stick around for another mission, to find Monet and return her to her parents. This involves infiltrating a cult.

Weapon X #22

Kinda hate how fun this take on Sabretooth is.

So Smurfy and her security, Dick Steele, get in. And I actually gotta show Mystique’s reaction.

Weapon X #22

THAT FACE.

Turns out Monet was the one who had her parents hire Sabretooth, so she could offer him to the cult. And, damn, she keeps her zipper low under Yinar’s pen. Mega-cleavage. Just so much cleavage. She says she lured Sabretooth there so she could save him, and she’s definitely joined the cult, and the reveal of who the leader of the cult is is pretty neat. Not someone the X-Men normally deal with. A fun issue. This is not some great story, it’s not some fairly silly fun. And it’s good at what it does. Lots of good jokes, some fun action, a neat choice for an antagonist, a little Monet. It’s fun stuff.

Multiple Man #3, by Matt Rosenberg, Andy MacDonald, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. The bunker HQ of the anti-Madrox resistance is under attack, and the Cable/Warlock Madrox tells the regular Madrox he has to get a few of the other Madroxes out using the time bracelets Forge was working on.

Multiple Man #3

Pretty much the whole series is like this.

The bad guys bring in a Madroxnaut (Juggerox? A Madrox who’s also a Juggernaut) who kills Cabledrox, but the Warlock side still works and does more killing, and the sorcerer Madrox deals with Juggerdrox, and the main Madrox sends some dupes around time looking for help. These will become the dupes who all just died. The main Madrox is captured and taken to the Evil Emperor Madrox, and we find out what’s actually going on. And it’s probably the best scene of the series so far, if only because it’s the first scene where it feels like the story gives a shit about itself. Rosenberg pushed the Cool Detachment stuff too far, so it feels like no one in the story is actually all that interested in what’s going on. Which makes it hard for the reader to really care. Because if the characters are so detached, what reason does the reader have to get invested? And it’s a shame because I get what Rosenberg was going for. I get why he went the way he did. He was invoking PAD’s X-Factor, which did the same thing. But PAD’s X-Factor did other stuff, too. It had a lot of sincerity, and this book just doesn’t. That panel I posted really does sum up the whole series. And having that detached humour pushed to such an extreme just ends up making the whole thing boring.

Cable & Deadpool Annual, written by David Walker, with art by *deep breath* Paco Diaz, Danilo Beyruth, Nick Bradshaw, Luke Ross, Marco Rudy, Edgar Salazar, Flaviano, Francesco Manna, and Leonard Kirk, coloured by Chris Sotomayor, Jason Keith, and Marco Rudy, lettered by Joe Sabino. It’s a lot of people. Anyway, it opens with Cable and Deadpool in the middle of a big battle, and Cable yelling at Deadpool for messing with time travel. Flashback to Deadpool being visited by Dr. Gamble of the Time Variance Authority. Deadpool will eventually become and enforcer for the TVA, and someone wants to prevent that by killing Deadpool’s mother before he was born. So he’s given a time plunger to go save her. He goes to the Bronx in 1979. Cable shows up to stop Deadpool from messing with time, and then Incinerators show up, and Deadpool’s mom runs into a time portal. They go searching for her, and she’s a pirate. They escape the giant roboctopus and go to a TVA station in the Old West, where the woman insists she’s not Deadpool’s mother, and is actually a former TVA agent, Ali Ciad. I have no idea if that name is any kind of pun. More fighting, more time chases, and this is possibly the most straight-forward thing Marco Rudy has ever drawn at Marvel:

Cable & Deadpool Annual

This is downright tame, for Marco Rudy.

Wish we got more of Rudy’s art than this one splash. The guy’s amazing and weird. And then Deadpool expounds on the differences between comics and film, arguing that, with comics being a static medium, they’re more participatory, as readers use different voices for each character, and imagine the motion between panels. Meanwhile, visual madness. And then we catch up to where the comic opened. And more stuff happens. This is a lot of fun. Walker has fun with the comic. Lots of pop culture references and dumb jokes and violence. And also Cable and Deadpool being friends. Everything you need in a Cable & Deadpool comic. With all the different art styles, it doesn’t feel like there’s much point in highlighting any of it, aside from that Rudy page, becaise I just really like him. Some of the artists I like, some I don’t. I imagine it’ll be the same for most readers. Diaz is the main artist, though. On the whole, it’s a fun Annual, with a couple of valuable messages about love and family. Good stuff.

Hunt for Guyverine: Claws of A Killer #4, by Mariko Tamaki, Butch Guice, Mark Chater, Jordan Boyd, and Joe Sabino. Sabreooth has discovered his son, Graydon, is alive and working for Soteiro, and wants answers. Deathstrike also wants answers from her father, but has a little more trouble, emotionally, fighting him than Sabretooth does fighting Graydon. She still kills her father, even if she loses a hand first. Sabretooth actually gets beat around a bit by Graydon, and gets rescued by Deathstrike. The two go find the bomb that made the town into zombies, and Sabretooth smacks it until it explodes. This is certainly the final issue of the mini. Meh. Daken died, but he’ll be back. It’s not the first time he’s died. Plus, this mini brought back (and killed again) Graydon Creed and Deathstrike’s dad, so, you know.

Claws of A Killer

They don’t even pretend like his death will be permanent.

Yeah, this mini was deeply mediocre. I like Tamaki, and she did the best she could, but this was just a shameless cash-grab tie-in, and there was no way to make it genuinely worthwhile. Same as the other Search For Guyverine minis. The bastard’s been back for a year already, he’s gotten an 18-issue event to hype his return, that’s going to lead into another mini to hype his return, holy shit, Marvel, WE GET THE GODDAMN POINT, YOU REALLY FRIGGING LIKE LOGAN, WE GET IT. Christ, and today we learned that Old Man Logan, whose solo is ending at issue #50, is getting a 12-part maxi-series to kill him off. Because of course. Obviously. Why wouldn’t they? And when that’s over, I’m sure Regular Logan will get a second solo, in addition to the one he’ll be getting in the fall. Ugh. How am I already so damn sick of a character who’s not in any books? How does that happen? How does the X-Men office manage to be that obnoxious when it comes to Logan? Meanwhile, the franchise that’s a minority metaphor has no solos announced for any POC characters. I have no idea if the Coates/Bartel Storm solo’s still happening or it if’s been abandoned. But no, we definitely need all this hype for Angry Claw Man. Kill the bastard off again.

And the only non-X-title is one that was supposed to come out two weeks ago, Marvel Rising: Ms. Marvel & Squirrel Girl #1, by Devin Grayson, G. Willow Wilson, Ryan North, Ramon Bachs, Irene Strychalski, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles. (Also, Rico Renzi drew a Deadpool Villains Card.) Zombies! Jokes! Level-ups! Arcade’s a jerk! It’s a lot of fun.

X-Men comics of August 8 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So Cloak & Dagger’s first season is over. It’s a really good show. It’s not afraid to get political and make some Statements, which is cool. There were fantastic performances from the whole cast. Lots to love about the show. If you haven’t watched it, it’s definitely worth it. Anyway, comics!

X-Men Blue #33, by Cullen Bunn, Marcus To, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Magneto ends up 19 years in the future, and the world kinda sucks. It’s an X-Men future, of course it’s awful. As he wanders through New York, he comes across some Reavers. As he does, he obviously continues his inner commentary, because nothing stops his monologues.

X-Men Blue #33

X-Men and Time in a mutually-abusive relationship? Sounds about right.

Anyway, he draws metal around him to create his uniform, and then turns the Reavers to scrap, because cyborgs fighting a guy who controls metal is as uneven as it gets. Then a young mutant who looks a lot like Nightcrawler (alt-future Nocturne?!) brings him to where a bunch of other mutants are hiding, by a statue erected in his honour. Apparently, he stopped a Reaver Virus, by killing a whole lot of people. This is good. Magneto is confronted with a future he knows he’s responsible for, and he feels bad about it, but he’s also still Magneto which means he’s still pretty arrogant about it. And philosophical, of course. It’s interesting to see Magneto confronted with a Bad Future, I suppose, but just the same . . . ugh, another Bad Future X-Men story. At least this one wasn’t the result of humans hunting mutants, that’s different. Except apparently the Reavers still hunted mutants for sport. Well, whatever, I’m still a bite tired of Bad Futures, even if this one has some different twists from normal Bad Futures. The art’s great. To and Milla both do great work. There’s a great moodiness to the art, conveying really well how bad this future is. And when Magneto makes his armour, he looks appropriately impressive. So the comic looks great, and it’s well-written, it’s just a premise that bores me, unfortunately.

Domino #5, by Gail Simone, Michael Shelfer, David Baldeon, Jesus Aburtov, and Clayton Cowles. Domino and Shang-Chi are surrounded by a bunch of Shang’s old foes. Meanwhile, Diamondback and Outlaw are at the mercy of Topaz and Desmond. Luckily, Diamondback makes a boom. Topaz is hurt, which pisses Desmond off. Back to Domino! At Shang-Chi’s insistence, she’s trying to truly connect with her power in a way she’s never been able to. And it works. But she still has a lot of people to fight. So we get Desmond telling Diamondback and Outlaw his story, while Domino fights a bunch of kung-fu dudes with dumb gimmicks. He talks about how Dr. Rossini hated mutants, without realizing his daughter, Topaz, was a mutant. They had crap lives. Outlaw tries to tell Desmond they can be free now, not caught up in hate. And it turns out Desmond believed Rossini’s talk of mutants being monsters. Desmond and Topaz escape, and Domino gets an absolutely amazing sequence showing how ridiculous great her power is:

Domino #5

Also some great narration.

Seriously, the mace whacking that guy in the face is beautiful. Speaking of beautiful: I love Shefer’s art. He’s great. I like him more than Baldeon. (Baldeon did the layouts for the issue, Shelfer did the art.) The faces aren’t as weird-looking. He does good facial expressions, he does great action. Tone and mood are set really well, with the two different sections having very distinct moods. The craziness of Domino’s nightclub fight, and the dark tension of Diamondback and Outlaw dealing with Desmond and Topaz (and Desmond’s sad backstory). The writing is great, too. Domino is so funny and charming, while Demond is sympathetic, albeit still an ass. Shang-Chi is wonderful, so calm and wise. The issue’s at once fun and tense, and just great.

Old Man Logan #45, by Ed Brisson, Juan Ferreyra, and Cory Petit. Bullseye drives a cop car through a mall, Vendetta tags the car with a tracer, andshe, Logan, and Shotgun steal a car to give chase. Glob is still trying to get info at the school Bullet’s kid was kidnapped from, but he’s having trouble because he’s a visible mutant. Logan talks to Vendetta about how hunting bad guys is an endless job. They hunt Bullseye down and actually beat him. But there is, of course, still the matter of Bullet’s kid. And . . . eh, this whole arc is going to depend on how much you like Bullseye. I generally find him obnoxious. The comic works really hard to paint him as a legitimate threat, and it does this by having him kill tons of people while keeping at least one step ahead of the people chasing him. The thing is, almost none of the killing he does feels like it really matters. There’s dead bodies around him, and the book doesn’t treat them as people we should care about. All the terrible things he does have this weird “oh what a bad boy” vibe to them. Like we’re meant to find it entertaining. And I don’t. I don’t find Bullseye’s antics entertaining. I find them horrible. And the way the story keeps glossing over Bullseye’s atrocities bugs me. It’s harder for me to enjoy the story, because it treats his victims as meaningless. They don’t matter to the larger narrative at all. They’re just there to show Bullseye’s crazy. The art’s great, though. Ferreyra does solid work. He does a good car chase sequence, and a cool moment of a car crashing and flipping.

Old Man Logan #45

Brutal-looking.

On the whole? This arc is very skippable, I’d say.

Hunt For Guyverine: Adamantium Agenda #4, by Tom Taylor, R.B. Silva, Adriano di Benedetto, Guru-eFX, and Joe Sabino. Another flashback to the New Avengers days, and Logan telling the others to make sure Stark honours his wish of his body being taken care of. He notes he’s 80% sure they can trust him. In the present, the team’s come across one of Sinister’s bases, where he’s stored the DNA of everyone on the planet. Spider-Man admires the search function. He is a geek.

Hunt For Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda #4

Never underestimate the appeal of a well-done spreadsheet.

The team finds all the scientists and guards are all dead. They briefly fight Sinister, and then they have to make a choice whether to destroy the genetic database Sinister’s acquired. Also, there’s a couple reveals, one a personal thing for Laura, the other more general to the X-Men. Honestly? This mini still feels completely pointless. The reveal about Laura doesn’t really mean much. It’s nice for her, but changes nothing. The other reveal, well, we’ll see how it goes. But the story as a whole? Nothing was accomplished. It tied into the whole Hunt For Logan thing only very, very slightly. And it lacks the fun of Mystery In Madripoor or Claws of A Killer. Sinister gets a very poor showing, which is disappointing, since Sinister is awesome. The art is fine, Silva gets a bit blobby for my taste at times, but it’s mostly great. Taylor writes the characters well. It’s just that the whole story feels utterly meaningless.

That’s the X-stuff. I also picked up:

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #35, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. Squirrel Girl, Kraven, and friends, vs. Spider-Man, for the fate of Kraven. The fight is really mostly done through philosophical debate, because this is Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. It is a good comic.

Champions #23, by Jim Zub, Kevin Libranda, Francesco Manna, Marcio Menyz, and Clayton Cowles. Snowguard vs. Man-Thing! And it looks like Amka prefers rage to fear. The Champions fight Man-Thing, the Master of the World still has plans that involve the team, and Viv has an adventure in her mind. And we get the set-up for the upcoming Champions In Weirdworld arc, which looks like it’ll be great. This is really good. Zub finally gets Viv restoring her emotions. There’s also more of Sam feeling useless without his powers. And there’s other great stuff.

Quicksilver: No Surrender #4, by Saladin Ahmed, Eric Nguyen Rico Renzi, and Clayton Cowles. Quicksilver shows Mr. Dibbles the sights!

Quicksilver #4

This should be the entire issue.

He also fights more of his coloured duplicates, and learns more about them, thanks to Wanda’s occasional visits. And he changes his clothes. It’s a good issue. Ahmed’s doing a good character examination here, getting into Pietro’s anger, and his difficulty accepting responsibility. Good art, too. I’m enjoying this series.

Exiles #6, by Saladin Ahmed, Rod Reis, and Joe Caramagna. Reis’ art is gorgeous. The first bit of this issue is the team relaxing in the Bahamas, and it looks beautiful. Then they go searching for Blink’s old team, and end up in the Wild West. Or a Wild West, I suppose. And, uh, Valkyrie’s the best.

Exiles #7

The. Best.

And then there’s an Old West version of the Brotherhood. Also, I don’t want to spoil the last-page surprise, but eeeee. So cool.

Nancy Drew #3, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St.-Onge, Triona Farrell, and Ariana Maher. It’s great!

I also got my copy of X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis, though I haven’t read it yet. And I got a copy of Alpha Flight #1! It was $10, so I figured, screw it, I may as well own a copy of Alpha Flight #1. The guy threw in #2, as well.

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