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Uncanny X-Men #245 (1989, June)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today is . . . let’s call it a mixed blessing. OK, by Claremont . . . Liefeld . . . Green, Oliver and Orzechowski, “Men!”

Men!

Sigh.

So, before I actually get into the issue, it needs to be noted that the story is satirizing the Invasion! event that was going on at DC at the time. You can read about that at the link. But the important bit is that bunch of aliens, led by a race called the Dominators, tried to wipe out humanity. So, the issue starts with . . . an alien who looks like the Dominators calling for a conquest of Earth. Now, this issue was drawn by Rob Liefeld. Which means the art sucks. But:

Uncanny X-Men #245

Admittedly, pretty great.

OK, so, who do we recognize? Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Jawas, Jabba the Hutt (and his advisor), Boba Fett, Yoda, ET, the Xenomorph, Alf, Hawkman. Those are the ones I recognize. I have no idea if there’s anywhere to to find out all the cameos. Regardless, it’s great. Meanwhile, a lowly archivist is pulling up information on Earth. The fact that we’ve fought off incursions by the Kree, Skrull, Aakon, Badoon, and others. That we’ve repulsed Galactus multiple times. That we might be the adopted homeworld of the Phoenix. I never get tired of aliens looking up Earth and realizing how crazy its recent history is.

In the Outback, Alex is at the monitors, watching everyone. Except Logan, who disabled his scanner. Luckily, he’s standing right behind Alex. He doesn’t like Alex spying on the team, Alex thinks they need to be familiar with the computers, Storm yells at both of them for arguing. She tells Alex they do need to be careful of the systems, and she tells Logan his frequent absences are making things harder. He tells her the boys just need to blow off some steam.

Ali uses make-up to cover Colossus’ steel skin, so he can pass for normal. She also thinks about how her powers have been getting stronger, and her personal bioluminescence is upshifting from yellow to white. This doesn’t actually go anywhere. One of those times where Claremont had an idea, dropped a reference to pick up later, and never got around to it. Anyway, as the men leave for their fun, we cut back to the aliens, who are reviewing their ultimate secret weapon: The Jean Bomb!

Uncanny X-Men #245

Ha! Cute joke.

Invasion!, of course, had a gene Bomb as the aliens’ secret weapon. So we get the Jean Bomb, with a bit of humour about the results of her resurrection. In Sydney, the guys go to a bar called Munden’s, with a bartender named Ostrander. Claremont loves his references. Also, Alex suggests they go to Madripoor, and Logan says they’re not old enough. Longshot is immediately surrounded by ladies, while Alex bemoans his bad luck with women. And then the invasion starts! And the Australians take it pretty much in stride. The Mayor even surrenders immediately and quite cheerfully, glad for a vacation.

Colossus is fighting some aliens, and Longshot tries to help, but gets grabbed by the Cosmic Cutie Commandos (or “See-Cubed”). Women with wings. I just want to note that I want the Cosmic Cutie Commandos to get their own series. I mean, just the name is perfect. Tell me that’s not the name of a wonderful anime series?

Uncanny X-Men #245

Longshot certainly wants them to be anime heroines.

Uncanny X-Men #245

He’s so positive.

The C3 decide to take him to their queen, to see if he can convince her. Meanwhile, in America, at the Daily Planet’s broadcast news place. I guess Clark Kent was a TV news reporter back then? So this is a rather weird reference to that. Chief what’s-his-name, the “don’t call me Chief” guy, is told about the invasion of Australia, and brushes it off, saying the Inauguration of the President is real news.

The aliens decide to activate the Jean Bomb. The loss of the troops already there doesn’t bother them – cannon fodder are supposed to be gratuitously sacrificed. In Sydney, the Strike Force Commander finds the missing cadres, laid out in front of the bar. Inside, the C3’s are dancing with and fawning over Longshot. An Autarch is playing poker against Logan. Alex invites the Commander to step outside. Logan escalates the poker game in a big way:

Uncanny X-Men #245

Hell of a bluff.

The Autarch has a Full House. Logan has a pair of twos showing. Outside, the Commander sees the leader’s vessel lifting off, preparing to drop the Jean Bomb. So Alex blasts it out of the sky.

Uncanny X-Men #245

Nice.

The men finally get back home in the morning, with Storm inexplicably annoyed at them. I’m not sure why. For not calling them about the alien invasion? For coming up at sunrise? But Logan told the girls not to wait up. Regardless, Storm’s annoyed, but Logan knows exactly how to calm her down.

Uncanny X-Men #245

Note: Don’t do this.

He then proposes a road trip to Alex. This, of course, would be the Meltdown mini. Oh, and as an epilogue, Tessa takes some Hellfire goons to a house in Kentucky. It’s been wrecked, and everyone in it dead. And Donald Pierce is free. This . . . is not followed up on.

This issue’s great. It’s just a ridiculous bit of fun. Even more than the previous issue. It plays into the stereotype of Australians being laid back, which . . . I guess it’s a stereotype? Maybe it was a bigger stereotype back then? This was when Crocodile Dundee was really popular, so it was before my time, so was that a thing back then? Where Australia had a reputation for being laid back? Regardless, it makes for some great humour here, as the invasion goes pretty well ignored. We get some good character moments for each of the guys. Colossus kicks loads of ass while saying there’s no need to fight. Longshot wins over a bunch of women with his positivity. Alex is mopey and a bit dick-ish. And Logan’s just having a good time, and is also a bit crazy. The satirizing of Invasion! is pretty amusing, even if I’ve never read the event. Claremont was clearly just having a blast writing this.

The art . . . is not as bad as usual, for Liefeld. (Fun fact: In the issue, he’s miscredited as Leifeld.) There’s still plenty of Liefeld-isms. The weird poses he likes, the weird faces he does, the bizarre anatomy. His eternal vendetta against feet. But for the most part, it feels a bit toned down from his usual style. Not as line-heavy. I actually wonder if Dan Green might have done some revisions while inking, because there’s a lot of times where the art just doesn’t look like Liefeld, or at least not just Liefeld. Still, all his weaknesses are here, and it is often distracting.

On the whole, though, this is just a really fun done-in-one issue.

There’s also Classic X-Men #34, a reprint of X-Men #128. The back-up is by Nocenti, Bolton and Rosen. Mastermind is hanging out at the Hellfire Club, thinking the skimpy lingerie looks silly on a woman he scorns. Not that it stops him from ogling her. Clearly, he’s trying to think of himself as classy and dignified and refined, but he’s just a dick. The waitress goes back into a dressing room, where the White Queen is getting herself ready, and the waitress complains about the outfits and how worthless the place makes her feel. Emma is unimpressed with the girl’s whining. And I think I’ve gotta post most of the speech, because it’s great.

Classic X-Men #34

Classic X-Men #34

It’s all a matter of confidence.

The girl doesn’t really get it, and thinks they’re all horrible people. Emma points out they’re called the Hellfire Club. I mean, it’s hard to argue. Emma then goes in to meet Mastermind, for a psychic chess game. And it’s pretty awesome, and Bolton draws the crap out of it.

Classic X-Men #34

Awesome.

The game is a draw, for the record. This is a pretty fun story. Emma’s speech on looks and power is some good feminist stuff, though complicated by coming from a villain who was created by two guys based on something from an older TV show created by more guys. But Nocenti is still able to make her speech compelling, without necessarily making it true. It’s certainly what Emma believes, but the waitress believes different, and believes that Emma is too wrapped up in the Club’s power games. And it’s hard to argue she’s wrong. The one thing I will take issue with in the story is the game ending as a draw. I feel like Emma should’ve won. She’s way more clever than Mastermind. But other than that, the writing during the game is really good.

The art is great, all through the story. Bolton does fantastic work here. Especially with the game, which is really abstract and shadowy, and kinda reminded me, at times, of Sienkewicz. Which is about the highest praise you can give someone. Nocenti and Bolton really seemed to work well together.

X-Men comics of April 26 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Too many comics today. Ugh. Well, let’s get to it.

X-Men Gold #2, by Marc Guggenheim, Ardian Syaf, Jay Leisten, Frank Martin and Cory Petit. It’s the X-Men vs. the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Which includes Magma (why the hell won’t Guggenheim stop making her awful?), Avalanche, Pyro, Masque, and some monster-mutant. Magma burns Logan – OK, so she’s not all bad – so Kitty has Kurt get him to safety, and since Colossus, Storm and Rachel are busy inside the burning building, that leaves her alone against them. So she calls in a Telekinetic Fastball Special. Colossus is the Wolverine here. Oh, also, Mesmero. The Brotherhood teleports away as SHIELD arrive, so Kitty has a sit-down with Nazi-Cap. He tells her that Lydia Nance, from the first issue, is making a big deal out of the attack. Kitty’s pretty sure the Pyro and Avalanche are new guys using old names. Kurt’s in Madripoor, Logan’s being held by Mesmero, and in New York, a mutant gets shot dead by a guy calling himself the X-Cutioner. Blah blah, more stuff, Lydia Nancne suggests deporting mutants, which makes no fucking sense in the goddamn slightest. The ones who aren’t American citizens? Sure, they can be deported. But you literally can’t deport American citizens. She talks about making a new mutant country, but the thing is, even if mutants reclaimed Genosha or something, the US still wouldn’t be able to forcibly send US citizens there. You can’t deport US citizens. The fact that Guggenheim has a character seriously suggest it is just laughable. Also, Kid Gladiator is worried about her proposal. Kid Gladiator is an alien prince, not a mutant. Also, Kid Gladiator’s immediate reaction to every problem is “I will punch it.” So the idea that he would be worried about some jackass lady wanting to deport mutants? No. But Guggenheim’s a hack, so what else is new. This issue is less good than the first one. Because here, we start getting into why I’ve hated Guggenheim’s other work. A lot of characters get piss-poor characterization. Also, he almost goes out of his way to not give a shit about the status quo of some characters. Kid Gladiator hasn’t even attended the school since before Secret Wars, and he’s written 100% wrong. Amara is a straight-up villain for absolutely no reason. The scene with Nazi-Cap seems to have been shoe-horned in just to detail the new Brotherhood, when it could’ve just as easily been done without him or SHIELD. And, of course, Guggenheim is still pushing the tired old “everyone hates mutants and their very personhood is under threat” angle that we’ve always gotten, because if you belong to a marginalized group, you should know that things never ever ever ever ever get better for you and you fight literally the exact same fight for decades with never even a single iota of progress. The art is OK< mostly, though Syaf is not good at drawing teens. Hardly worth talking about the art, considering we know Syaf only did the first four issues. But man, this series just pisses me off with its utter refusal to move forward. It’s still early, maybe we’ll see some new shit as it goes. Maybe we’ll get human supporting characters (because the franchise needs human supporting characters, holy hell does the franchise ever suck when there are no human supporting characters, why do X-writers refuse to include human supporting characters), maybe we’ll see some signs of mutant subculture, and support for mutant rights. But so far? This is tired, warmed-over Claremont shit, without Claremont’s charm or his knack for consistent character focus.

X-Men Blue #2, by Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina, Matt Milla and Joe Caramagna. Two months ago, Jean met Magneto at a salvage yard, where she chews him out for repeatedly attacking the X-Men and the world. She’s not wrong. He tells her he’s decided that Xavier was right that mutants and humans have to co-exist. He even lets her read his mind to earn her trust. Now, the team is fighting against him. Jean telepathically boosts the powers of both Scott and Warren. So Magneto hits Scott with a train car. Turns out it was just a Danger Room session, which Jean erases so Magneto doesn’t know they’re training to fight him. Jean’s annoyed at Hank and Bobby missing the session, so Scott goes to talk to Hank, who’s kinda pissy. Warren tries to talk to Bobby, but Bobby’s leaving a voice message for Romeo, who’s apparently ghosting him. And Jean has a brief conversation with Magneto. And actually, before I get to fuller thoughts: I frigging LOVE Molina’s Jean. She looks so cute. There’s actually something almost anime-esque about her, and only her, and it’s just really cute. Anyway, the issue. It’s OK. Mostly exploring the mindsets of the characters. Jean’s views on Magneto, Hank’s changes from his magic, Bobby missing his boyfriend. And, of course, Warren and Hank both comment on Scott’s feelings for Jean, because Bunn really wants to push that angle, apparently. Bleh. Still, this issue doesn’t feel too tied up in the past, at least. There is some good character stuff. Jean and Magneto have a good chemistry, I look forward to more scenes of those two interacting. And the art’s great. Molina’s such a great artist. There is a really good expressiveness to the faces, body language is great, and Milla’s colours really help the art pop. I really like the art on this book. More than the writing, honestly. On the other hand, this is pretty much the perfect encapsulation of the X-Men:

X-Men Blue #2

It always is.

Weapon X #2, by Greg Pak, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Ibraim Roberson, Frank D’Armata and Joe Caramagna. In Arizona, Warpath is relaxing. He’s not sure if he should an X-Man, helping out with his reservation, or screwing around with his cousin in Flagstaff. All good options, and get a Native American writer on a Warpath solo, I will read the hell out of it. Anyway, helicopters show up and scare a herd of horses. He takes the helicopter down, but it was flown by remote, and the horses turn out to be cyborgs. Don’t trust horses. Apparently, Weapon X wants his healing factor. Because apparently, he has a healing factor. Which is new. At least, the idea that he has a healing factor on par with Logan or Sabretooth is new. Not sure I buy that – feels like Pak just trying to figure out how to justify including Warpath in the book. Not that I really mind, because Warpath is pretty awesome. Though I don’t like the flying. I always thought that giving him flight was a mistake, and I preferred when writers ignored it, but Pak makes use of it here. Meanwhile, Logan and Sabretooth are fighting cyborgs, too, ones that have had their senses and reflexes incorporated in. The issue’s not bad, writing-wise. the art is still Greg Land, so screw that. But the writing’s good. One thing I actually like is how human the Weapon X people we see are. They’re just regular people, doing something awful. It highlights that atrocities are seldom carried out by mustache-twirling villains who gloat about how evil they are. They’re done by people who get upset at working overtime because it’s their custody day with their kid. So I like that aspect. Logan and Sabretooth bickering is kinda fun, too. And Pak shows a good handle on Warpath. Pak does a good job on the writing. A shame he’s saddled with Greg Frigging Land.

Old Man Logan #22, by Jeff Lemire, Eric Nguyen, Andres Mossa and Cory Petit. Logan vs. Hulk and Wendigo. Logan just wants to get the amulet ad get out of that time, but Hulk wants to smash. He does finally manage to grab it, and next up, Jean going Dark Phoenix in Central Park! After that, killing Hand ninjas in Japan. Finally, something he can enjoy. Still not digging this arc. It’s just a series of “hey remember when this happened?” segments. It does see to be pushing a theme about not being able to change the past, about accepting things as they happened and just living life. But, as I said about the last issue, Logan’s been learning that lesson all along in the book, and an arc that’s just snapshots of classic stories just feels like a bad way to do the theme. Nguyen and Mossa do a killer job on the art, at least. So there’s that. But still, unless the next couple issues pull out something big, I just don’t see the point of this arc.

Those are the X-titles, but here’s what else I picked up.

Hulk #5, by Mariko Tamaki, Nico Leon, Matt Milla, Andrew Crossley and Cory Petit. We open with a flashback, to Jen in the hospital. She has an awkward conversation with Carol, then Bruce tells her everything will be fine, before getting an arrow to the head. That’s when she pretty well snapped, and found out her Hulk form wasn’t as stable as it used to be. So now to the present, and Jen’s being attacked by something in Maise’s apartment building. Maise and the other residents explain they found it and raised it to protect them from the dangers of the world. She tries to talk them down, to make them stop the creature. She’s, uh, not successful. This is probably the darkest issue of the series. The message, all through the issue, is, “I am not OK. You are not OK. No one is OK. The world is awful and no one is OK.” Which, you know, hard to argue sometimes. There are times it absolutely feels that way. So hey, since this book is all about personal feelings, why don’t I get personal for a moment? Last week, Ms. Marvel had the message that people are good. I believe that. I believe that, on the whole, people are good, and the world is a good place, and that the world will continue to get better. I believe that. But I have to force myself to believe it. It is a conscious decision. My natural instinct is towards cynicism. Deep down, I can’t beat that voice saying the world sucks and everything is meaningless. That’s my emotional belief. Intellectually, I am certain the world’s good. But man, there are days when it is really goddamn hard to hold onto that. And I suspect that’s true for a lot of people. So this issue’s cynicism hits hard. It’s very effective. When Jen says there’s plenty of hope, and Maise says even Jen doesn’t believe that? That hits hard. It’s a very powerful moment. Because it feels like it’s not just Jen’s optimism being challenged, it’s the reader’s optimism, too. Tamaki is doing such a phenomenal job. Also, the art is still excellent, too. Leon does a great job with facial expressions, and the colours do a really great job with tone-setting. The art team is doing such great work. This is such a good book, and I think it’s one that is so very worth reading.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #17, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, Rachelle Rosenberg and Clayton Cowles. Patsy wakes up to a package from Jen. It includes a check for a lot of money, and a letter explaining it’s royalties from the Patsy Walker comics, and a tentative film option. She actually gets more emotionally worked up about Jen ending the letter with “love, Jen,” because she’s happy Jen is OK. Now that she’s rich, she decides to take Ian, Tom and Jubes to the mall. Jubilee at a mall. Yes. YES. Yes yes yes yes YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #17

YEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!

There’s actually a page with cutouts. Like, a Patsy, and three possible outfits you can cut out and put on her. (Including a super-cute skirt and blouse.) Then the power goes out. When the lights come back up, they’re faced with the threat of – the Somnambulisters! They’re actually pretty adorable. Just a couple girls, one short and fat, the other tall and thin, and both of them super-cute. They’ve actually appeared before! And, man, the whole thing is just the cutest gosh-darn thing ever. This is, tragically, the final issue. It’s a shame, because the series really was a delight. Just so much fun. So positive, so cute and funny. The CWII issue brought in some heavy feels, which the series did keep up to the end after that. This final issue was really just a happy send-off to the run, embracing the pure joy and cuteness that won readers over in the first place. The Somnambulisters were the perfect “villains” for the final issue. Also, Leth used the opportunity provided by this final issue to get in a shot about her not being able to make Patsy queer. I wish Marvel’d had the guts to let her do it. But Leth did still try to make the series as queer as she could. The art was always adorable. Williams’ style is just the cutest, and the colours, from Wilson at the start and Rosenberg after that, were bright and cute, too. I’m really going to miss this series.

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #18, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain and Travis Lanham. Lunella is gathering allies. She starts with the Killer Folk who came to this time with Devil. She promises not to send them back to their own time, if they help her. Then Ms. Marvel, Dr. Strange, Kid Kree and the Thing. At school, her teacher finishes a lesson on how Columbus proved the Earth was round. It’s worth remembering that pretty much everything this teacher says, while “common knowledge,” is false. Columbus didn’t prove the Earth was round. That was known long before Columbus was even born. After class, she goes to her lab, where her Doombot head yells at her. Then she swaps minds with Devil again, and realizes it’s the full moon that causes it. She does manage to reverse it. Meanwhile, Doombot is hilarious. Lunella remembers she was supposed to help her mom with the turkey dinner, and runs home, and gets there just in time to hear a news report about an army of Doctors Doom. So it’s time for Moon Girl vs. Doom in final battle! (The Killer Folk, Ms. Marvel, Kid Kree, Dr. Strange, Thing, Cho-Hulk, Ironheart and the X-Men are all there, too.) It actually pretty much skips the fight, which I find hilarious. This is a good finale to the arc, because it’s really about Lunella acknowledging that having friends is better than being alone. That being able to rely on other people is a strength. And also, that Devil is her best friend. I love their friendship. Sadly, this is Amy Reeder’s final issue on Moon Girl. She will be missed. Luckily, the rest of the creative team will stay in place. We’ll still get the amazing art from Bustos and Bonvillain. And they are a pretty big part of why this book’s so great. The art is so good. Devil is the cutest dinosaur ever. Anyway this book’s great and if you’re not reading it then why aren’t you reading it?

Black Panther #13, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Wilfredo Torres, Laura Martin, Andrew Crossley and Joe Sabino. T’Challa and Ororo are in a hotel room, and he talks about how the gods of Wakanda seem to have abandoned the country. He investigated rumours of monsters, and yep, there were snake-men running around the countryside. On the plus side, he got to beat the crap out of some monsters. But one of the monsters said the Orishas (the gods) are in flight. T’Challa wants Ororo’s perspective on gods. Which is weird. He figures that, because she was worshiped as a goddess, it might give her some special insight. She does mention that the worship of the people made her feel stronger, and that the same is likely true of any god. And the things Wakanda’s been through in recent years has likely taken a heavy toll on the faith of the people. Back in Wakanda, Shuri and Eden talk about the snake-men, and Shuri says they’re called the Simbi, and they once plagued the ancient Wakandans, enslaving them. Then T’Challa calls to help with another group of Simbi. This is good. The first year of this series was an exploration of politics. Here, we kick off an exploration of religion and faith, and I’m very intrigued to see how that goes. I’m guessing we’ll get more focus on T’Challa himself than the first year had. But Shuri and Eden are clearly going to remain major supporting characters, so yay them. It’s an interesting kick-off to the arc. Going way back to the pre-history of Wakanda, which is neat. On another note, it might just be me, but it felt like maybe Shuri was flirting a little with Eden? I would be down with Shuri and Eden getting together. They seem like they’d be a good couple. The art’s good. I miss Stelfreeze, but Torres still does good work, and Martin’s colours provide a good sense of artistic continuity. She’s great. This series remains very strong.

Ultimates 2 #6, by Al Ewing, Travel Foreman, Matt Yackey and Joe Sabino. History lesson! At the dawn of existence, there was only the First Firmament. It felt alone, so it created life. And those beings created their own servants, which worshiped the Firmament. But then another group – who look like the Celestials we all know – who decided they wanted the universe to grow and evolve. That led to war, and that war shattered the Firmament, and created the multiverse. The Firmament watched the multiverse age and die, which created another, then another., and so on, until the current Eternity. After the Secret War, when Eternity was re-created and weak, the Firmament captured him, and started sending out Aspirants to corrupt him. Including the Celestial Destroyer from CWII #1, by the way. And now, with Galactus corrupted to hunger, his plan has come together. Rodstvow taunts the Ultimates, who then team up to kick his ass. Monica and Adam actually merge together, which is neat. Not the first time Monica’s merged with someone – she merged with Carol during KSD’s Captain Marvel, and she merged with She-Hulk during Ewing’s own Mighty Avengers run. While the Ultimates fight Rodstvow, Terry lets the Troubleshooters know that Vogt wants them helping him, and mentioned the name Emmett Proudhawk. More history about the First Eternity Battalion! Emmett was the leader, but on a mission on Mount Wundagore, in a battle between beast-men and demons, and most of the team died, and when Tensen and Vogt awoke, they were connected to the Psi-Force. Tensen’s taught his own team to access the Psi-Force, and now, they combine their powers to summon Psi-Hawk. I love Ewing’s use of the New Universe concepts, in clever new ways. This is a great issue in general. The history of the First Firmament is really interesting, and also gives some great new insight into the Celestials. The teamwork against Rodstvow is fun, and the way he’s ultimately dealt with is awesome. The art’s great, with a few bits in particular being absolutely gorgeous. This book remains full of big cool cosmic ideas, and great character moments. It seems to get overlooked way more than it should be.

Mighty Captain Marvel #4, by Margaret Stohl, Brent Schoonover, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Michael Garland and Joe Caramagna. Carol’s been cut, and exposed to Hala blood, and now her powers are completely out of control. While she rampages, Mim captures Bean, and Carol gets knocked out. She wakes up strapped to a hospital bed. She stands up, taking the bed with her, which is a great touch. Jessica and Natasha are there to let her know what happened. Nat’s drinking a juice box. Why is Nat drinking a juice box something I like? Anyway, they let her know where Bean’s trail leads. The alien refugee camp here Carol found Bean. She finds a secret base nearby, and struggles to keep control while she looks for Bean and any other Hala kids there. And we meet the bad guy, Dr. Eve. One of those “the world isn’t black and white” types. And her secret weapon she’s been working on is pretty neat. This is a pretty good issue. Carol showing her heroic resolve, maintaining control past when she should have lost it. Some nice emotional weight to the climax. I do have to note the art, because Carol looks buff here. She looks built like a brick shithouse. Which I am 100% OK with. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t look that way. Female superheroes almost always look delicate. We’re getting a few more women allowed to look toned. But women who look thick? Incredibly rare. So seeing Carol looking like? Completely OK by me, and I would not mind the least if more artists drew her that way. Being built doesn’t make a woman unattractive, so let’s see more women with thick physiques presented as being attractive. So I really liked the art. I would’ve been fine with Stein and Brandt as the new art team going forward, but it looks like someone else will be taking over. As far as the writing goes, it’s fine. It’s a bit cheesy at times. But Stohl’s mostly doing well enough, and I do hope she stays on for a while, if only to give the book a consistent direction for a while.

Occupy Avengers #6, by David Walker, Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles. In Dungston, Iowa, guys are demanding that all the Skrulls in town be brought out to be executed. So Clint and his team have to fight them. They seem to have heightened reflexes, as one catches an arrow. Clint guess Kree bounty hunters. (He’s wrong, as we learn at the end.) While the fighting goes on, Clint’s van talks to Wheels, and says they can work together to save lives. The van creates a neural link, so Wheels can act as the brain to control the van’s weapons. And things continue to escalate. Another good issue. Some great action, some intriguing plot developments, and a pretty big emotional moment near the end. The art team is Walta/Bellaire. They work well together. Walta’s style generally isn’t my thing, but he’s good at what he does. And you can never complain about Bellaire’s colours. She\s the best. So, yeah, this is still a good series.

Jem & the Misfits #4, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge, M. Victoria Robado and Shawn Lee. Roxy issue! She’s angry at Pizzazz for moving her bagels. She gets fed up and goes to the gym. There, a cute little girl asks for her autograph. Aw. I like that Roxy is nice to the kid. The Misfits, for all they’re obnoxious and often bad, really do love their fans, and I appreciate that about them. But something sets her off, and we get flashbacks. She was a scrapper as a kid, it turns out. She got sent to the principal’s office for fighting another girl. She also loved bagels back then, and even wanted them for supper. And then her dad bought her a drum set. Also, she had trouble reading. The narrative makes clear that she is not stupid. Her trouble with reading isn’t because she’s dumb. She’s smart. Then her dad died before he could help her get better, and her life kinda sucked, and she ran away. And in the present, she gets help from Jetta to write a note to the girl, and a pep talk to make her feel better. Roxy and Jetta are such a great friendship. This is a great issue. All these Misfits issues have been great, really humanizing them, even more than the main series did. The reveal here that Roxy’s functionally illiterate – that she’s gone most of her life hiding that she can’t read, finding ways to avoid reading – is pretty big, and very emotional. And the way the narrative repeatedly states that she’s not stupid is good. Thompson’s put a lot of effort into making sure the Jem comics are inclusive and positive, and this is part of that. There may be people reading these comics who have trouble reading. Maybe a kid who reads with her parents, or a teen or young adult who just finds comics easier to read than novels, and this issue reassures them that there’s nothing wrong with them, they are still smart, and they can learn. And, of course, the art is gorgeous, too. St. Onge is such a good fit for this series. Her style’s very cartoonish, which works, because Jem is a cartoon. And the characters are cartoonish. Robado’s colours are really good, too. Seriously, the Jem comics are legitimately among the best comics that have come out over the past few years, and if you’ve been sleeping on them, it’s time to catch up.

Bitch Planet #10, by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Kelly Fitzpatrick and Clayton Cowles. Last on this list, but it’s the first thing I read this week. It’s New Protectorate Day, and the High Father is about to give a speech. And on Bitch Planet, there’s fighting and killing and awesomeness, and President Doane is badass. And back at the speech, there’s some chaos. It’s a great issue. A little plot development on Bitch Planet, and a huge development at the end of the issue. There’s a couple really good character moments, too. And, of course, the back matter. As I keep saying, buy this series in floppies. The back matter is so damned important. KSD talks about how she felt after the election, Sarah Jaffe writes about emotional labour. And the letters, which are always very moving as people talk about what the book’s meant to them. It’s always great stuff. This series isn’t just great, it’s important, and I really can’t recommend it enough. Read it! (Where else will you ever see the phrase “SEXY, SEXY DTF FETUS”?)

Alpha Flight #70 (1989, May)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). My pull list post is up. But now, by Hudnall, Calimee, de la Rosa, Barta, Nyberg (three inkers is never a good sign), Sharen and Chiang, “. . . Is But A Dream Within A Dream.”

. . . Is But A Dream Within A Dream

Boring cover.

It starts with some admittedly pretty cool narration about the people in Edmonton dreaming about bad stuff, and the arrival of Alpha Flight. In Ottawa, the Prime Minister (Brian Mulroney, at the time) is being briefed on the situation. The General briefing him says they don’t know if it’s a plague or chemical attack or something else, but the US can’t spare any of its super-teams, so Alpha Flight is all Canada’s got, despite the government’s efforts to break them up. The Dream Queen is in her penthouse, angry that Alpha’s coming for her, and that Talisman is protecting their minds. Alpha enters the building, and Talisman . . . might not be a great tactician.

Alpha Flight #70

“Let’s make ourselves easier prey.”

Liz, you’re dealing with a horror movie villain. Why would you suggest splitting the party? Wouldn’t it be safer to stick together, where it’s easier for you to protect everyone? Talisman also says she’s going to go off on her own, and that as the most powerful person there, she can take care of herself, and she knows what she’s doing.

Alpha Flight #70

People who say that should clearly be trusted.

Heather’s suspicious, but still thinks splitting the team is a good idea. But . . . dammit, did no one on this team watch any horror movies? Sasquatch, Laura and Goblyn go up to the 10th floor, and the elevator opens onto a restaurant, where Aurora is waiting for Sasquatch, and Laura’s parents are waiting for her and Goblyn. Heather, Jeffries and Shaman go up to the 15th floor, and a greenhouse, and Jeffries sees Heather and Shaman making out. While Jeffries yells at Heather, Shaman sees Talisman threatened by monsters.

Back at the mall, Kara wakes up, and wonders why Alpha left her behind. Aw, poor girl, she feels abandoned. Meanwhile, we find out Aurora is a monster.

Alpha Flight #70

People who laugh at their own terrible jokes are awful.

That is actually pretty cool. That panel of her eyes popping out actually reminds me of Michael Allred’s style. Shaman rushes to Talisman’s aid, and falls out the window. Sasquatch beats up Aurora, but Laura gets thrown out the window before he can get to her. Jeffries admits he probably didn’t actually see Heather and Shaman making out, but then they get attacked by vines, and Jeffries can’t get back to his armour, and they get dragged towards carnivorous plants.

The Dream Queen is pleased. Her power’s growing. Nightmare shows up to tell her she’s about to be killed by Talisman. The Dream Queen was actually prepared for Talisman, though, and has her buff sexy boytoys grab her. And they are boytoys. She says she brought them up pleasure her. Since they had no say in the matter, this does mean the Dream Queen is a rapist. But since she was raping men, it’s not a big deal. Because a lot of people haven’t yet realized it’s possible for a woman – even an attractive woman! – to rape a man. Mystique routinely commits rape by deception, and never gets called out on it, and it’s arguably part of the reason she’s so popular. Always uncomfortable when that pops up in a comic.

Anyway. Shaman’s rescued Laura, and Heather and Jeffries have freed themselves, and Sasquatch and Goblyn break for an elevator, and they all head for the top floor, figuring that’s where the Dream Queen’s likely to be. Why none of them thought of this before isn’t addressed. It’s sloppy writing, frankly. Hudnall wanted to have the dream fights, so he half-assed a justification, even if it made no sense. Talisman frees herself from the boytoys, but the Dream Queen manipulates Alpha into starting to attack her. Laura opens a portal behind Dream Queen, Talisman punches her through it, the day is saved. By a good right hook, which amuses me. I like the idea that Elizabeth, for all her mystic power, is kind of a brawler at heart. It’s not like there’s any real evidence of this. She did seem to enjoy sparring with Puck in another issue.

Regardless, with Dream Queen vanished, Heather yells at her for lying to them, and Talisman explains that the closer they got to her, the stronger her control would be, and that by trying to help her, they almost killed her. Well, you know, it’s a great point, but I kinda wonder if maybe telling them that from the start might have helped?

On a side note, the letters page has letters reacting to #66, the issue where Manikin told off Bill Mantlo. I noted the issue as the best of Mantlo’s run, something that was fun and clever and great. The letters about it were mostly negative. Apparently, people hated the entire idea of a character being aware of the writer. Hilariously, the same month Marvel printed letters complaining about it, they also launched Sensation She-Hulk #1, by John Byrne. A series built on the idea of She-Hulk routinely breaking the fourth wall, including talking to Byrne, and to editor Bobbie Chase.

But this issue! The finale of the Dream Queen arc. It’s mostly OK. There is some pretty good narration early on. There’s a few good character moments. Talisman’s dishonesty and bloodlust is actually pretty interesting. She fully plans to kill the Dream Queen. Of course, that’s nothing new for Alpha Flight – “kill ’em all and let god sort ’em out” is Heather’s default strategy for villains. And children. (To be fair, it tends to be my strategy for children, too. Never ask me to babysit.) But still, seeing it from Elizabeth is interesting, and does set her apart from normal superheroes. Man, I miss Talisman. I would kill for her to be part of an ongoing book again. A new volume of Alpha Flight would be wicked. Get Ryan North to write it.

While the dream stuff is inserted awkwardly, most of it is actually still really good. There’s a nice horror element, particularly with Sasquatch and the girls. Being attacked by monsters who resemble people you love? Great nightmare scenario.

The art is . . . not great. Calimee’s style is a bit odd, and not particularly expressive. The body language is pretty generic, too. I do not know nearly enough about art to judge the inking, but when multiple inkers are applied to an issue, that usually means the issue was being rushed a bit, and there are parts of the issue that do seem rushed.

All in all, it’s an OK issue.

Pull List for April 26 2017

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

I’ll go to the store for: Bitch Planet #10, by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Kelly Fitzpatrick and Clayton Cowles; Black Panther #13, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Wilfredo Torres, and ‘m not sure who else; Hulk #5, by Mariko Tamaki, Nico Leon, Matt Milla, Andrew Schoonover and Cory Petit; Jem & the Misfits #4, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge, M. Victoria Robado and Shawn Lee; Mighty Captain Marvel #4, by Margaret Stohl, Brent Schoonover, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Michael Garland and Joe Caramagna; Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #18, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain and Travis Lanham; Nameless City The Stone Heart, by Faith Erin Hicks and Jordie Bellaire; Occupy Avengers #6, by David Walker, Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire; Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #17, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, Rachelle Rosenberg and Clayton Cowles; Ultimates 2 #6, by Al Ewing, Travel Foreman, Matt Yackey and Joe Sabino.

I’ll also review: Old Man Logan #22, by Jeff Lemire, Eric Nguyen, Andres Mossa and Cory Petit; Weapon X #2, by Greg Pak, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Ibraim Roberson, Frank D’Armata and Joe Caramagna; X-Men Blue #2, by Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina, Matt Milla and Joe Caramagna; X-Men Gold #2, by Marc Guggenheim, Ardian Syaf, Jay Leisten, Frank Martin and Cory Petit.

So that’s . . . jeez. 9 comics (and one OGN) I’m picking up, and 4 other reviews. Wow. This is way too heavy a week and it’s not fair.

Bitch Planet! That book’s suffered a lot of delays. But it’s always worth it, because it’s always phenomenal. This is the end of the President Bitch arc. So, woot. Black Panther starts a new arc, dealing with Wakanda’s gods. That should be fascinating. Hulk finishes its first arc, and it’ll have some action, but presumably still tons of drama. Jem is always a wonderful read. Captain Marvel’s pretty decent, and I do like the fill-in artists (and would be happy if Stein and Brandt took over full-time art duties on the title). Moon Girl finishes its current arc, by calling in everyone she’s worked with, so that should be great. Occupy Avengers is always good, and this issue is the team fighting Skrull-killers. Hellcat ends, sadly, but it ends with a trip to the mall, so yay! And Ultimates 2 will be more big cosmic stuff as we learn about the First Firmament.

So,this weekend, there was a local “pop event.” A con, basically. My town’s small and shitty and doesn’t have a particularly big geek population, so the event is always really lame and has no one that really interests me. Still, I bought a few things. This set of prints of the Force Awakens kiddos, by Dredfunn.

The precious kiddos.

This actually pretty bitchin’ metal print of Nightcrawler, by Rob Thibodeau.

Metal!

It loses a bit by being photographed. It looks better in reality. Anyway, this Spider-Man print, by Geof Isherwood:

Pretty!

Silk and Spiral sketches, by Michael Simbajon:

I already miss Silk.

I do want to note those aren’t prints. He does daily sketches, and these are just a couple of sketches he’d done. And, finally, an Arrietty poster:

Such a great movie.

Arrietty, by the way, comes from Studio Ghibli. The studio behind Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and others? I feel like the later Ghibli films don’t get enough love. So go watch Arrietty. And also The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which is amazing and probably the best of the Ghibli movies.

Anyway, yeah, nothing particularly notable. Like I said, it’s a really lame con.

That’s all I feel like talking about this week.

Wolverine #7 (1989, May)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I went to a local geek convention today. I’ll post photos of what I bought on Twitter later. But first, by Claremont, John Buscema, Mike Rockwitz and Ken Bruzenak, “Mr. Fixit Comes To Town.”

Mr. Fixit Comes To Town

I love Mr. Fixit!

In Tahoe, Nevada, Mr. Fixit is meeting with a powerful gangster, who wants to make use of his services. Mr. Fixit, of course, is the Hulk, with grey skin, working in Las Vegas as an enforcer for Michael Berengetti. This gangster wants Fixit to check out the operations of a guy he’s partnered with in the East. So that’s prologue. Now, the main story, in the Prince’s Palace in Madripoor, surrounding Logan and his friends. Things are tense, and everyone’s preparing for a fight, but luckily:

Wolverine #7

Lindsay is the real hero of this series.

He’s a fan of Lindsay. So he declares them all his guests. Back in the US, Fixit’s hot lady chauffeur is filling the tank on his limo, and some yuppie bikers ride up and one of them flirts with her. One of the female bikers is named Muffy. What the hell kind of name is Muffy for a biker girl? What the hell kind of name is Muffy? Just, like, in general? Who names their kid Muffy? Was that actually a name yuppies gave their kids? Anyway, Fixit beats the yuppies up, and then drives off on one of their bikes, leaving the rest to help his chauffeur repair some damage to his limo.

Back to Madripoor. Tyger’s annoyed at being a prisoner in the Prince’s palace, and in her armour, but Logan tells her he has a key for it. He tells her the Prince has an offer to let both Tyger and Coy live, running their respective markets, balancing each other for a relative peace. With the business taken care of, Prince Baran shows Lindsay, Jessica and Logan his room dedicated to Lindsay.

Wolverine #7

This kinda gets into “creepy stalker” territory.

Wolverine #7

Clearly, an interesting career.

She says that after Ms. Merc, she decided to go back to theatre, but before she could do any productions, she was thrown off a roof by Viper. I love this scene. All the terrible movies Lindsay’s done. She needs to be brought back, she really does. Or maybe reference movies she’s appearing in now. Yeah, that’s the ticket. We should start getting references to terrible movies that Lindsay’s done. Posters, maybe we see one on TV, someone says they want to go watch the latest one. Make it happen, writers.

Coy’s back at his penthouse, throwing a tantrum, while Shan gets changed. Roughhouse comes in and hits on her.

Wolverine #7

Dammit, Roughhouse.

I feel like Shan’s probably heard that a lot since she came out as gay. Logan punches him, which stuns him enough for Shan to put him to sleep. She tells Logan that Fixit is coming, and she worries Fixit will kill Coy, but she still needs her uncle’s help to find her siblings. Logan watches Fixit arrive at the airport, where he’s attacked by a bunch of thugs.

Wolverine #7

He’s surprisingly gentle with them.

Logan takes Fixit to the hotel, and at sundown, Fixit reverts to Banner, and Logan decides he’s going to have some fun while Fixit’s in town.

This is a pretty good issue. It’s fun. The Prince being a huge fan of Lindsay is the kind of ridiculous moment that I love Lindsay McCabe for. Of course the Prince of Madripoor is a fan. Why wouldn’t he be? Where would be the fun if he wasn’t? It’s such a great moment. Lindsay is so under-appreciated. Bring back Lindsay McCabe! The tentative balance between Tyger and Coy was a cool idea, and made things interesting in Madripoor for a little while. The rivalry between them was the basis for a few good stories. The Joe Fixit stuff was fun, and helped set up what’s going to be an amazing next issue.

I actually like the art more than usual. Buscema inked himself this time around, and it works really well. It makes a big difference. It doesn’t feel as heavy. Still not an artist I’m a fan of, but I like his work a lot better when he inks himself. So yay for that.

So, good issue.

X-Men comics of April 19 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Captain Marvel’s co-directors have been announced! The line-up for the New Warriors show has been announced! A Cloak & Dagger trailer was released! Holy shit this is a busy day for Marvel fans. There’s also some comics.

No X-Men comics this week. Boo. So here’s other stuff, instead.

Ms. Marvel #17, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring and Joe Caramagna. Zoe gets to school, and people make fun of her leaked love letters to Nakia. And there’s only one solution for that: Group hug! Started by Nakia, because she’s a sweetheart. With Zoe feeling a bit cheered up, Kamala implements her plan. She brings in the other people from her guild. So now they know they game with a superhero. She explains the Doc.X virus to them. She tells them they need to make the Internet nice. They go on Battlecraft and start spreading niceness. Ms. Marvel herself tries to lure the virus away from people, and runs right into a parade, because it’s funnier that way. It’s a really good issue. All about the triumph of kindness and compassion over anger and hate. The power of just being nice, and the belief that, ultimately, people try to be good. Which is something I believe, myself. Yes, there are assholes who like hurting people, who take pleasure in the suffering of others. We all have that impulse. We all enjoy videos of people getting hurt. Show me a clip of a guy getting a football to the groin, and I’ll laugh. But we also try to be good. We donate money, we send each other messages of support, we amplify the voices of the marginalized. It’s easy to feel like the world is a terrible place full of terrible people, but I think it is important to remember that things are always getting better, that people are always getting better. Trans rights weren’t even on the radars of most people just 20 years ago, now it’s a huge deal. Yes, there’s still a lot of hate, and yes, the Internet can often feel toxic. But there’s also immense amounts of love. An endless supply of love and support. And that’s what this comic tries to get across. And it’s a good message, and one that encourages readers to push past hate, to push past negativity, and to just be good to others. Hug a friend who’s feeling down. Do something nice for someone you don’t know. Try to make the world a nicer place to be. So I really love the message of this issue. Also, great art, as always. Miyazawa and Herring are a great team. The book always looks nice. The cartoonishness is really effective. This is just such a wonderful series.

Silk #19, by Robbie Thompson, Tana Ford, Ian Herring and Travis Lanham. Cindy confronts her father about him going to a woman named Fang, who promised to help him cure Cindy, but actually just wants to steal her powers. Fang is a member of the Spider Society and worked for Ezekiel, the guy who put Cindy in the bunker way back when. Fang wants to lead the Spider Society. While Cindy keeps Fang busy, Hector slips into her lab and shuts down her electronics. Cindy beats Fang and her father decides he’s happy for her to be Silk. Aw. Then it’s just some wrap-up. Cindy at supper with her family. A phone conversation with Peter, to echo one from the first issue. Lola and Rafferty’s wedding (yay!), and a promise to keep seeing her therapist, and good on Cindy for that, because mental health is important. This is, alas, the final issue of Silk. It’s actually had a pretty good run, but I still want more. It has been, in my opinion, the best of the Spider-titles over the past few years. Spider-Woman would be the other contender, of course, but I give the nod to Silk, which was more dramatic, and also had a dragon named David Wilcox. Plus, it’s one of the rare superhero titles that actually addresses the issue of mental health. Fiction in general almost never does that. The fact that this comic made it a recurring story element is a huge deal. This issue does feel rushed. It’s very much an “oh crap we need to wrap this up” finale. Still very well-done. Silk vs. Fang is an exciting fight. Silk making use of Hector was good to see. The last scenes, showing Cindy’s family and friends, were sweet. I do wish we’d seen more of the wedding, but I always enjoy weddings in comics. And obviously, it’s always good, in fiction, to see a same-sex couple get a happy ending. And Cindy gets a happy ending, so good for her. I hope it doesn’t take too long for her to show up again somewhere. She’s a good character. I’m also hoping it doesn’t take too long for Tana Ford to get more work. She’s a good artist, especially given she only taught herself to draw not even 10 years ago. It’s an expressive style. A bit blobby, and I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone for not liking her art. But I like it. And much as I want Duck! Vol. 3 to be finished, I’d rather see Ford get more work that pays her bills, you know? Anyway. If you haven’t read Silk, I’d definitely recommend picking up the trades, now that the series is over.

USAvengers #5, by Al Ewing, Paco Diaz, Jesus Aburtov and Joe Caramagna. Roberto meets with Steve, and it’s tense and creepy as Steve praises ‘Berto’s work with AIM while also coming across as really smug and condescending. Then we get Aikku talking to Toni about all the guns and armour Toni keeps building. She’s worried Toni’s become obsessed. It reminds her of when Toni worked hard to get Aikku out of the Pod armour, and she wonders who Toni’s trying to rescue now. And Toni’s not sure. In some underground lair, Maverick’s Red Hulk form wears off, and Arthur Nagan, Gorilla-Man, a guy with a human head on a gorilla body which makes him one of the all-time great ridiculous villains, is about to kill him, but Squirrel Girl rescues him. Sam’s out in space, on a Shi’ar colony planet, with his wife and son. Yay! Josh Guthrie shows up! He has some kind of blasting field of his own, apparently stronger than Sam’s. Sam’s feeling a bit miserable with the commute to see them. He’s on Earth 5 days a week, so he only gets his weekends to spend with Izzy and Josh, but he doesn’t actually want to leave Earth. This is a great issue. Ewing always knows how to use current events in comics to tell his own stories. He does an excellent job of it here, using Nazi-Cap very well. He starts off kinda smarmy, too nice and friendly, and gets more serious as the conversation continues throughout the issue, trying to throw Roberto off his game. The other scenes are all excellent. Aikku and Toni highlighted Toni as a workaholic, and Aikku as very sensible but also still pretty cute. Sam and Izzy was sweet, they do make a nice couple, and if Sam does leave the book to stay with Izzy in space, I’d actually be totally fine with that. It’d be a shame to not have him in a book any more, but knowing he’s off with his wife, raising their kid, would make it a lot easier to bear. Maverick’s irritation at the time limit on his Red Hulk form was nice, and I’d actually love to see more Maverick/Squirrel Girl team-ups, because they play off each other well. Plus, Gorilla-Man! I do love that guy. He’s such a stupid concept, which just makes him amazing. And the art’s great. I love Diaz’s style.

Mirror #7, by Emma Rios and Hwei Lim. As always, gorgeous. As always, tough to follow. But so pretty.

Pull List for April 19 2017

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

I’ll go to the store for: Mirror #7, by Emma Rios and Hwei Lim; Ms. Marvel #17, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring and Joe Caramagna; My Little Pony Friends Forever #38, by Andy Price; Silk #19, by Robbie Thompson, Tana Ford, Ian Herring and Travis Lanham; USAvengers #5, by Al Ewing, Paco Diaz, Jesus Aburtov and Joe Caramagna.

I’ll also review: Nothing. Not a single X-title this week.

So that’s just the 5 comics I’m picking up. Pretty light week.

Mirror is a gorgeous comic. I don’t always understand what’s going on, but it’s just so lush and beautiful – art and writing alike – that I don’t even mind. Ms. Marvel’s always excellent, and this is the end of a big arc, and the preview has a group hug. So yay. Silk has been, in my mind, the best of the Spider-titles over the past few years, so I’m sad to see it ending, but I’m hoping it ends on a big note. (I also hope the Raff/Lola wedding does happen. Ford strongly implied it was planned, I’m hoping she and Thompson managed to fit it in. I’ll be devastated if I don’t get that wedding.) USAvengers is a Secret Empire tie-in, but Ewing’s made great use of tie-ins to move his own stories forward, so I’m confident this’ll be great, too.

July solicits are out. My Marvel pull list for that month: All-New Wolverine #22, Avengers #9, Black Bolt #3, Generation X #4, Hawkeye #8, Unstoppable Wasp #7, Black Panther & the Crew #4, Hulk #8, Ms. Marvel #20, Silver Surfer #13, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #22, America #5, Luke Cage #3, USAvengers #8, Ultimates 2 #9, Black Panther #16, Moon Girl #21, Occupy Avengers #9, Mighty Captain Marvel #7.

So I back stuff on Kickstarter. I mostly talk about the comics and books I back. But I back some games, too. Including some visual novels. One visual novel I backed was Four Horsemen. It’s been released to backers, and it’ll be coming on Steam soon. And, uh, holy shit. Really good. There are some terrible jokes that I absolutely loved. But the focus was on the drama. It’s a story about immigrants, refugees. They avoided going with real-world countries, but they did base the fictional nations on real cultures, to an extent. I’ve only done one playthrough so far, and it was great. It’s basically just some immigrant teens living their lives. Things get super-dramatic in a very unexpected way. And there’s some really good commentary about what it means to be an immigrant. And it’s just a great story, and if you enjoy visual novels, or if you might want to try them, it’s definitely worth playing.

So we got a Star Wars trailer and poster. And now we need to wait until December for the movie. So unfair. That poster is perfect, I gotta say. Simple, eye-catching, evocative. It’s a great example of what a movie poster should be. Too often, movie posters are just People Standing, or Heads Floating. They’re boring. The poster for The Last Jedi clearly had tons of thought put into it. It’s a classic image, perfectly done.

So this Saturday, there’s a local “pop event.” Kinda like a convention, but, you know, shittier. I live in a shitty town. Just the same, I go to this event every year. It’s something to do. I’ll take some pictures, and buy some stuff. But to give you an idea how lame it is: The biggest guests this year are Sean Gunn, Michael Koske, Kimberly Leemans, Don Teems and Yanic Truesdale. I have no idea who any of those people are. Geof Isherwood will be there, though. Classic comic artist. He was at the last one, too. I got an X-Men print from him.

Isherwood

Of course, Isherwood lives in Montreal, so he’s just an hour’s drive away. So it’s not like it’s a big deal for him to come down. But still, it’s neat.

I still keep forgetting to come up with things to talk about each week. Oh well. Oh! I watched Star Trek: Beyond the other night. It wasn’t bad. Best of the reboot trilogy, definitely. Moderately less bad as a Star Trek movie, significantly better as an action movie, than either of the ones Abrams made, which frankly failed at both. So, yeah, I actually kinda liked it. I did livetweet it, but I didn’t collect the livetweet, because I didn’t care enough, so if you want to read it, you’ll just have to go back through my Twitter feed.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for this week.

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