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X-Men comics (December 19 2012)

December 19, 2012

Wednesday is best day, because Wednesday is new comic day. Let’s start this.

First, X-Factor #249, by Peter David and Leonard Kirk. Madrox and Layla are fighting their way over to the rest of X-Factor. Pip leaves Monet’s body, and she is not happy about what happened. She throws Rictor, and tells Shatterstar the only she reason she didn’t snap Rictor’s neck is because Shatterstar didn’t laugh at her. She also attacks Lorna, who apologizes for laughing at Monet, but says it’s not the time to argue. Shatterstar’s enjoying himself killing through the demon army. While X-Factor tries to figure out how to shut down the volcano,an army of sword-wielding Madroxes show up and yell for them to kill all the demons. Big fight scene where X-Factor wipes the floor with all the demons until the volcano explodes, with six forms escaping it in the process. Great issue. Kirk’s always struck me as a mid-level artist, but he does a great job on the action sequences here. He seems to handle action better than talking heads. And Peter David, of course, is just a brilliant writer. So this issue is as awesome as usual. Next issue kicks off the long-awaited Hell On Earth War. Should be awesome.

Next, All-New X-Men #4, by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. Adult-Cyclops is, understandably, shocked at the appearance of the teenage X-Men. Jean seems to be having some trouble controlling her new telepathic abilities, which makes sense. She keeps hearing Adult-Cyclops thinking about her, and it panics her and she throws him and Magneto away. She’s still having trouble, so she also tosses Beast, Angel and Iceman. Then the two Cyclops’s blast at each other. Adult-Cyclops beats teen-Cyclops. Magneto busts Iceman’s ramp. Magnetohas Illyana teleport him and Adult-Cyclops away. The teens are trying to figure out what’s going on. Back at the Weapon X facility, Eva and Christopher (the earlier recruits) are getting to know each other. Magneto wants to know if Emma was responsible for the original X-Men showing up. Back to the school, Kitty’s trying to contact Reed Richards, but he’s not answering. We go back to the original X-Men. Jean wakes up, and finally manages to block out all the random thoughts around her. Adult-Cyclops and Emma figure out Beast brought the original X-Men to the future as a way of punishing him. The originals return to the mansion, and Adult-Beast goes into cardiac arrest. This issue is miles ahead of the first three. And the first three weren’t bad. Bendis is getting a hang of the characters, and they’re all sounding like themselves – young and old. The story’s great, the plotting’s good, the pacing’s good. We even get a really nice scene with the two new mutant recruits. This series has just come together fully. Definitely worth picking up.

Cable & X-Force #2, by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larroca. Forge teleports Cable’s team back to their base, where Colossus yells at him and tries to punch him. Back to the past a bit, Domino and Hope (who apparently still has a jetpack – she sure loves her jetpacks) go to Miami Beach to deal with the techno-organic outbreak. Nemesis performs emergency brain surgery on Cable, and cones across trouble. Hope is trying to save lives on the beach. Domino manages to plant the bomb Forge gave her to stop the T-O stuff, and promises she and him are getting very drunk. Cable wakes up, and Domino tells him his brain is swelling and he’s going to die. Cable mentions that the headaches he’s been getting were visions, and they’re now clear. Cable leaves and meets Colossus in the Art Institute of Chicago with a vest that’ll help Colossus with his malfunctioning powers. Pretty good issue. Colossus’s powers not working right is a pretty nice tie-in to the other Phoenix Five having problems with their powers. We’ve got some hints about something bad happening. There’s a cloaked, shadowy figure who looks like it could possibly be Stryfe, though I kinda hope not – Stryfe’s always felt a little overused, to me. Anyway, very good issue. Nice art, too. If I wasn’t still mad at Hopeless for killing Mettle, I definitely would’ve bought this. (No, I’m not going to let that go.)

X-Men Legacy #3, by Simon Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat. Legion’s in Japan, looking for the two kids from his vision last issue (“by readin’ the mind of a sentient pair of eyeballs” – oh, comic books). He’s attacked by a giant psychic raven. He wakes up tied to a chair, being held captive by some Japanese gang who apparently worship Ogun. The kids were apparently taken in and raised by Ogun before his death, and the gang now makes them do things they don’t want to to repay their debt to him. Someone contacts the X-Men and tells them where Legion is. He’s trying to distract the kids as they interrogate him, while also trying to take control of another of the personalities in his mind. He realizes that Xavier wasn’t a perfect father, and that trying to walk in his shoes is the wrong way to go. As he’s walking out of the place, he talks to the kids about wanting to help them. They agree to go with him, right when the X-Men show up. This series continues to be OK. Everything about it is OK. The scenes in Legion’s mind, with him trying to get a hold of his various powers, were pretty funny. And the gang leader was amusing in how he talked (Legion compared it to Google translate). But overall, it’s just . . . really OK.

Uncanny X-Force #35, by Rick Remender and Phil Noto. Logan buries Daken, and thinks about how much he wishes he’d known about him. Psylocke goes to see her brother, who forgives her for the situation with Fantomex. She asks if she can store the Shadow King and some Apocalypse Armour in Otherworld. Deadpool sneaks into Evan’s room at the JGS to talk to him. Evan calls Wade a hero, which makes Wade feel good. He leaves him with some porno mags. Logan and Eva show up at Psylocke’s apartment. While they’re flying off, we learn that Future-Wolverine told Logan to kill Daken. They go to the White Sky Facility, where Fantomex is somehow brought back. Three Fantomex’s, actually, including a female version. The two good Fantomex’s take Psylocke to meet their mother, and she kisses the male one. The end! Meh. I’ve found this series to be lacklustre since the end of the Dark Angel Saga, so I’m not sad to see it go. This is a vaguely annoyingly sappy issue. I never really bought the chemistry between Psylocke and Fantomex, so that stuff fell flat to me. This issue just didn’t do anything for me, in the end. It didn’t move me at all.

X-Treme X-Men #8, by Greg Pak and Paco Diaz. We see a version of Dazzler in a post-apocalyptic hellscape. She kills zombies. Xavier’s head recruits her. Back over the main Earth, they make contact with Xavier’s head, but he breaks off communication. They jump to the reality he’s in. They’re attacked by . . . cupcakes. Apparently thrown by unicorns. The unicorns panic and start to run away, but Dazzler calms them with pretty lights. They talk to Unicorn Xavier, who’s worried about Head Xavier coming to kill him. Zombie-Hunter-Dazzler shows up with a Hercules and a Cyclops to kill Unicorn Xavier. The Dazzlers face off. Hercules is reunited with Howlett, and Cyclops tries to blast Xavier, but Kurt teleports Cyclops’s eyeblasts back at him. Which is . . . new. New-Dazzler manages to blast Unicorn Xavier, who turns into a big creepy monster. X-Force kills him, and then Head-Xavier explains to Dazzler that it was a Demon-Xavier, who’d created the fantasy to hide in while he built his strength. The whole world starts to fall apart, and New-Dazzler refuses to follow Dazzler’s orders. The pair fight, and New-Dazzler seemingly kills normal Dazzler. It’s a good issue, and the series itself has gotten better than it started. But man, summing this comic up is downright weird. Still, it’s a fun book.

Wolverine & the X-Men #22, by Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw. It starts with a flashback of the Frankenstein Monster saving Calcabrina, the Satan-worshipping witch of the circus. Back in the present, the Monster is attacking his descendant, one of the insufferable Hellfire Brats. (Sadly, it’s perhaps the least insufferable of the Brats. He couldn’t have killed the girl? Or, better yet, Kilgore? How about all of them? Can someone please put us readers out of our misery, and just kill all those stupid, annoying, awful kids? They’re a terrible concept, and they don’t deserve to exist.) The JGS kids are fighting their brainwashed teachers. The Monster is preparing to kill the Brat, but Idie saves him. Dammit, Idie. You couldn’t have been a couple minutes later? Evan gets blasted into a Hall of Mirrors, where he sees himself as a hero. Storm knocks him out, then looks at her own reflections, which include her punk and goddess selves. Punk Ororo was awesome. She should be brought back. I’m serious about that, by the way. Brat and Idie fight through the circus to get to the witch (who apparently got her power form the Darkhold). Kitty finds Eye-boy and throws him out a window, and wonders at how good it felt. Storm breaks free of the mind control and starts kicking ass, while Idie burns the witch. The Monster grabs her from behind and starts choking her, while Brat tries to decide if he should save her. Lame as always. Such shallow characterization. The fact that the bulk of the character work in this issue was done with the Hellfire Brat just makes it worse. You won’t make us care about them, Aaron. They’re an obnoxious concept, and no one will ever give half a damn about them, because they are flat-out awful characters. Ugh. I hate this series.

A+X #3 features two stories. First, Jason Aaron and Pasqual Ferry do a story featuring Black Panther and Storm. Some AIM goons try to loot Wakanda, but the Black Panther tears through them. The last one is knocked out by electricity when trying to get into a ship. An elementary school is disappointed that their camping trip is being canceled by rain, when the rain suddenly stops. He’s being shown some potential brides from other African countries, when a sudden thunderstorm breaks out. He goes to talk to Storm, and they discuss their relationship. Storm suggests they do it one last time. A race to Kilimanjaro. Winner gets the island in Bora-Bora. So they’ve made up and are friends again. It’s a really cute, sweet story. Then, James Asmus and Billy Tan do a team-up between Gambit and Hawkeye. Gambit’s with his friend, Fence, at a play in Central Park. A monster pops out of the ground and grabs the actress. Gambit grabs a fruit to throw at the monster, but an arrow snags the fruit to get it to the creature even faster. Gambit and Hawkeye start arguing. They continue to insult each other as they fight the monster. It’s a really fun, funny story. It’s great. This issue was really good, actually. Just a lot of fun. The first story was sweet, and the second one was hilarious. What more could you ask for.

Astonishing X-Men #57, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Felix Ruiz. Jean-Paul is skating with Kyle, Gambit’s on a date with Cecilia, Warbird checks out an art gallery and visits Karma. While there, she sees a magazine. She leaves and grabs a jet to Egypt. She’s looking at a picture of something excavated in Egypt, and says the Shi’ar “killed them all.” She finds an alien masquerading as a human, and demands she help Warbird break into the facility the object is being kept in. She breaks in, and fights an alien from the Fianden race. He breaks open a vial that lets out a gas which is designed to break down Shi’ar minds. It doesn’t cause dreams in any Shi’ar except, apparently, the defective ones. Warbird dreams. When she wakes up, she’s told she drew some stuff. Syndren is brought in to read Warbird’s mind, and Karma punches him in the face for trying. You go, girl. Warbird explains the Fianden were artists, but their art could drive Shi’ar insane. An explosion happens in the SHIELD facility. Gambit’s finished wiping the security footage, and karma locks down all the SHIELD agents and tells Warbird to go. It’s not a bad issue. I don’t like the art at all. It’s unpleasant on the eyes. But the story and writing are decent. I’m always glad to see Karma getting used, so there’s that.

Gambit #7, written by James Asmus, art by Diogenes Neves and Al Barrionuevo. Wisdom wants a Sentinel. Excalibur asks if that’s wise. Black Knight asks if maybe there’s a reason Gambit did what he did. Gambit is opening weapon cases for Mr. Cich, and plants a card in one of the cases. It goes off, and he steals some weird gun. Mr. Cich’s assistant, Remlick, turns out to have been experimented on, implanted with the organs and tissues of dozens of subjects. Gambit does OK for himself in the fight, until Cich decides to detonate the anklet. The anklet that astute readers may have noticed isn’t on Gambit’s leg. Gambit happened to grab the detonator for it, too. Big boom as MI:13 teleports in, having tracked the anklet’s signal. Big fight. One of Cich’s men fires fairies at them, but the presence of Excalibur – the sword, I mean – has the fairies turn against them. Gambit flirts with Faiza, because he’s Gambit, what else is he going to do. The day is saved. But, of course, Gambit’s still under arrest. Wisdom tells Gambit off and kicks him out of the country. On the flight, Gambit calls Fence, who tells him about a bunch of calls and messages Gambit got from an ESU professor who needs his help in the Forever City. This was a very good issue. Wisdom was back to his usual, awesome self. I always love seeing Faiza, and the Black Knight’s response to Gambit flirting with her was fun. Now if only Marvel will launch a new Excalibur series. Come on, Marvel! It’s been long enough! And include Death’s Head 2 in it, because that guy’s awesome.

That’s all the X-books, but there’s a couple Now! titles I should mention. First, Avengers #2, by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña. The villains are analyzing Thor, talking about him being a god. Ex Nihilo talks about his origin. He and his sister, Abyss, hatched from seeds carried by an “Aleph,” a construct of what Ex Nihilo believes to have been the first race created. Now, the two of them travel the universe, finding planets to either destroy or ascend. Cut back. Tony and Steve are talking about expanding the Avengers concept. Back to the present, where the new Avengers Cap called together are repairing the Quinjet. Then we get to see how the members were recruited. Wolverine came for beer. Spider-Man came for money. The Falcon came for birdseed (and because he’s friends with Steve, I guess). Shang-Chi joined, apparently, for a new challenge. Cannonball and Sunspot were on a beach, on a permanent vacation when Captain America called. Eden Fesi wasn’t sure he was the man for the job, but agreed to try. Carol and Jessica were told something big was coming, and he wanted people of conviction. A bunch of origin bombs hit the Earth as Ex Nihilo tells the captured Avengers that he still believes in creation. Captain America has Manifold take the team to Mars. Good issue. Much better than the previous one. Still needs a touch more character work, but it’s off to a good start. And the art’s great, too. Hickman’s getting a quick hang of this title.

FF #2, by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred. Obviously, things didn’t go as planned with the Fantastic Four, and the next day, Scott tries to tell everyone they’ll be fine. Day 3, Artie and Leech try to make Darla feel a bit better, by taking her to the Machine that says “Boop-Boop” Room. Mole Man attacks New York, angry at the new FF for daring to call themselves the Fantastic Four. While the three actual heroes fight the Mole Man and his monster, Dragon Man shows Darla the Thing’s old mechanical suit that he used for a short while when he was returned to human form back in the ’70s. The next day, Darla quits. The Boop Boop machine goes off. Everyone rushes to the roof. The Human Torch flies through the hole the Fantastic Four disappeared into, apparently insane and now evil. As with the previous issue, it’s Fraction and Allred. What’s not to love. This is two really fun creators having fun, but making sure to infuse some depth to the characters, as well. It’s great. You should definitely consider picking it up.

Thunderbolts #2, by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon. 6 months ago, Ross is in Madripoor, unsure of whether he’s lost or just doesn’t want to be found. 3 months ago, a reporter is being told about a Gamma-powered weapon being detonated on a small island at the behest of a small-time dictator. The caller (almost certainly Ross) doesn’t want to expose anything. He just wants the world to know that sort of thing won’t be allowed any more. In the present, Red Hulk is telling the guerilla movement on that island that he’s going to take out the dictator. Some of the dictator’s men bust into a hut and harass the people, but are attacked and killed by Venom and Punisher. They’re surprised at the guys using Gamma-powered projectile weapons, since they’re banned worldwide. Two weeks ago, Red Hulk took his new team to Madripoor. Deadpool and Elektra are sneaking into the dictator’s palace, but his guards find them. There’s too many guards, so Deadpool grabs Elektra and jumps back into the water. A submarine raises them out of the water, and Deadpool’s shot in the head. Red Hulk, Venom and Punisher are waiting for some intel, which will apparently come from Samuel Sterns, who looks unconscious and is hooked up to some machine, presumably designed to turn him back into the Leader. This issue was meh. Dillon’s art is annoying – the feminine features he gives everyone is distracting. The Punisher shouldn’t look pretty. And Way’s just not a very good writer.

Indestructible Hulk #2, by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu. Iron Man shows up believing SHIELD is using someone to mind-control Banner. Hill explains Banner showed up willingly. Tony hears Banner laughing at something, and Banner points to some equation and says it’s a pun. Tony also laughs. Banner explains to Tony why he’s doing what he’s doing. They fly off to the Himalayas so Banner can test his Gamma-fracker probe. Tony starts tinkering with the probe, but Banner turns into Hulk, to vent his anger on Tony. Hulk and Iron Man fight, until the fracker overloads and explodes. Banner and Tony are hanging out, and Banner says he doesn’t want to be Stark, he wants to study the unknown and build backwards, rather than Stark always building on what he already knows. It’s a good issue, though I still take issue with Waid making the Hulk unintelligent. (Now, he doesn’t even speak. He just roars a lot.) It’s throwing out years of character development, and that bothers me. In Daredevil, Waid built on what had come before to make the character choose to return to an older persona. Matt Murdock made a choice, and an effort, to be the Scarlet Swashbuckler again. Here, there’s no explanation for why the Hulk turned mindless. He just did. That’s lame.

Captain America #2, by Rick Remender and John Romita, Jr. It’s a year later, and Captain America is still raising the kid, named Ian. We get a flashback of Steve’s childhood, being beaten up soon after his father died. His grandfather tells him Steve’s father was a good man, but lost hope, and a man who loses hope loses everything. Another lesson that stuck with Steve. Cap’s trying to lead Ian through a sandstorm before it gets bad enough to kill them. They’re attacked by weird creatures on flying sleds, and Cap takes them down. He gets knocked out by other creatures, and wakes up in a dungeon. They’re brought before the tyrant, who apparently kills Ian with Cap’s shield.

Journey Into Mystery #647, by Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti. Sif is in a bar with some guy being obnoxious. She tells him off, and he threatens her. She returns to Asgardia, and kicks Fandral’s ass for no apparent reason. Then she tosses his broken blade at Volstagg’s daughter. After telling the girl to close her eyes. Volstagg freaks out when he learns about it. Sif threatens a couple cleaning women in theHall of Heroes, and is found there by Heimdall. She tells him about the Berserker Spell she learned from Aerndis. They argue and fight, and he banishes her to another realm. She talks to herself about killing him, then comes across a giant. She seems quite happy about that. This issue was much better than the previous one. It flowed much more easily. Sif’s growing insanity is cool. Ths should be good. And, of course, I’m always happy to see female creators.

Thor: God of Thunder #3, by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic. Thor goes to Omnipotence City, nexus of all the gods, seeking answers. He wants to know all the gods killed by Gorr. He goes looking for various missing gods, and finds their corpses, all of which seem to be guarded by those weird black dog-things. He calls Gorr out, but gets no response. Back in the past, Thor wakes up a week after his fight with Gorr, and goes looking for him. In the present, Thor gets Iron Man’s help to find a cave he previously encountered Gorr in, then sends Iron Man to warn the gods of Olympus about the God Butcher. We see Thor in past and present entering the cave. In the present, he contacts Freyja and tells her to lock all the gods in Asgardia. In the past, he fights Gorr. In the future, he continues to fight through Gorr’s dogs. In all three timelines, Gorr takes him down.

Avengers Arena #2, by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker. I’m still mad at Mettle’s death. Ryker (aka Deathlockett) is the focal character for this issue. A female Red Raven tries to fly away, but hits a force field above the arena. She’s killed as a result. So Hopeless has already killed off another character. He could’ve killed her at the end of the previous issue, but nope, he went with Mettle. Bastard. The Academy gang are trying to comfort Hazmat. Ryker tries to say she’s sorry, but Hazmat’s angry and attacks her. Ryker instinctively turns her cyborg arm into a flamethrower, and apologizes to Hazmat. We cut back to her childhood, where her father made her swim constantly. She went home, and a Deathlok was there. It blew up. Back to the present, Cammi stops Ryker from stepping on a landmine, and tells her to go away. Back to the past, where her father is implanting her with Deathlok technology to save her life. We learn about the kids from the Braddock Academy. Kid Briton, and alternate-reality Captain Britain. Nara, an Atlantean. Cullen Bloodstone, of the Bloodstone family. Aiden, who’s inhabiting the body of an immortal Celtic warlord. And Katy Bashir, who can fly. This is an OK issue, but honestly, I don’t care about Deathlockett. Why should I? She’ll probably be dead before the series ends, so why should I bother getting attached to her? Hopeless has already killed off a character I loved, for cheap shocks, so I don’t know why he thinks anyone will care about any of the new characters he’s created. I hate this series. I really do. It’s an offensive concept, and one that makes it difficult to care what happens. So, once again, and pardon my language, fuck this series.

Finally, I want to mention Captain Marvel #8. It’s awesome. Carol and Monica trade quips while fighting a giant robot. Monica still seems to be in her sarcastic Nextwave persona, which is nice. This is Dexter Soy’s last issue on the series, which makes me sad, because he’s amazing. Kelly Sue DeConnick continues to write an awesome Carol, but Monica’s really the star of this issue. And about time. Monica’s been sidelined for way too long. It’s time for her to get back to kicking ass.

From → 2012, Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. Sounds like a lot of the books I’ll be saving for next week are well worth reading. Ha – I accidentally bought two copies of today’s X-Factor (I’ll probably give the second copy to a friend who likes comics, but doesn’t have much money because university is expensive). Looking forward to that, Gambit and Captain Marvel the most.

    Yeah, Thunderbolts was weak – I won’t be picking up issue three unless there’s little else out that week and I’m feeling curious enough.

    Just a quick note – today’s issue was Gambit 7, not 5. Feel free to edit this part of my comment out.

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