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X-Men comics, February 20 2013

February 20, 2013

I’ve been visiting my mom this week. I’ve been playing a lot of Dynasty Warriors 7. But now, it’s time for comics!

We start, obviously, with X-Factor #252, by Peter David and Leonard Kirk. Pluto is threatening them, and Polaris steals his sword. X-Factor fights his demons, while Monet attacks him. He beats her up, until Polaris flings a whole bunch of swords and axes at him. He catches his easily, then throws one of the axes at her, knocking her out. He kills Madrox, then knocks the rest out with waves of power. Tier freaks out and attacks Pluto. He wins. Mephisto decides it’s time for the final war between the Hell-lords to begin. As X-Factor gets ready to teleport away, Rahne glances up and sees the sky is bleeding. And it’s bizarre and awesome. This is so awesome. First off, it’s awesome seeing Pluto demolish them so easily. He’s a god, and they’re a bunch of mortals, so it should be that uneven a fight. But it’s also cool seeing X-Factor fighting against insurmountable odds, even if they don’t actually win until Tier gets involved. Tier himself is cool. His narration is good. The twist on the last page – I won’t spoil it, but it’s pretty obvious – is cool. This is just an awesome, awesome book. David’s telling an amazing story. And Kirk’s art looks good, too.

Next, Savage Wolverine #2, by Frank Cho. It starts with some Amadeus Cho showing up in the Savage Land. He’s attacked by cavemen, but brings up a force field to defend himself while talking to his computer, Calvin. Then we cut to Wolverine falling and crashing through some trees. Shanna’s fighting one of the Sauron-looking things, and doing well, when Wolverine reaches her. He does less well. Shanna saves him by shooting the damned things with an assault rifle. We go back to Amadeus, who’s asking his computer what the situation is. His tech has limited power due to the damping field. Back to Logan and Shanna. She keeps talking, and he’s getting tired of it. It starts raining, eroding the ground. They fall down a hill, and wind up in front of a bunch of velociraptors. Shanna runs, and they attack Wolverine. Back to Amamdeus, trying to get information from the natives. He starts to hover, and the universal translator finally comes online. He’s asked if he’s a god, and he says yes. Back to Wolverine and Shanna. She gets Wolverine to lure them to a dead end, so she can spear them from above. I like that Shanna actually comes across as more capable than Wolverine. He’s visited the Savage Land plenty of times, but she actually lives there, so she actually should know how to survive there better than he does. If only Cho didn’t draw her with such ridiculously large breasts. She looks like solid muscle otherwise, so it’d be nice if her chest was toned down just a bit. Nice to see Amadeus join in. He’s always fun. I’m looking forward to seeing the mystery explained, but considering this is only the second issue, I didn’t expect it resolved yet anyway. Overall, this is a fun book. This isn’t high-stakes, deep characterization stuff. This is people fighting cavemen and dinosaurs. And it’s fun for what it is.

Wolverine MAX #3, written by Jason Starr, art by Roland Boschi and Felix Ruiz. Creed and Logan slaughter Shingen’s men, with Logan disgusted and Creed telling him to embrace it. In the present, a guy whose family was just slaughtered tells Logan that Creed did it, before dying himself. Logan goes to Exotica, a strip club that the guy mentioned, to see if he can find clues about Yami, the woman from the plane. He’s taken into an office by a Yakuza leader who asks if he’s the Wolverine. Logan kills him and his guards, then has a memory of himself with Mariko, 150 years ago, when news comes that her father was killed in battle.  In the present, he runs out of the bar, and finds Creed. This is an OK series. Very much out-of-continuity, of course. But it’s fairly well-written and has decent art.

Deadpool #5, written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, art by Tony Moore. Michael the Necromancer teleports Deadpool up to the orbital weapons platform Reagan’s taken over. After fighting some Russian cosmonaut monkeys, he finds that Reagan’s already prepped the nuclear missiles for launch. Deadpool sets the platform to return to Earth, since the missiles won’t arm until they’re launched. He then puts some holes in the wall behind Reagan, causing Reagan to be sucked out through the several very small bullet holes. Later, on the Helicarrier, Agent Preston thanks Deadpool for a job well done in stopping Reagan. Michael and Franklin teleport in, soon followed by Washington and Johnson. Washington kills Preston, causing Deadpool to snap. He still can’t beat Washington, though. This is still a dull series, full of flat jokes and references, with virtually no characterization. We’re 5 issues in, and they’re still not really bothering with making Deadpool anything more than bad jokes. Enough is enough. Posehn and Duggan need to cut the crap, and start treating Deadpool as a real character, not a frigging cartoon. But I have absolutely no expectation that this run will ever treat Deadpool as anything other than comic relief.

That’s all the X-Men comics. So now a few Now! titles.

Avengers #6, by Jonathan Hickman and Adam Kubert. I think this will be the last issue I review of this series; I figure 6 is plenty, for a non-X-title. This issue’s about Captain Universe, with Iron man, Spider-Man, Shang-Chi, Sunspot and Cannonball along for the ride. It starts with Shang-Chi and Captain Universe sitting together, talking about how everything came form her. He says he wants to speak to the girl. Cap says the host is broken. Shang-Chi says he brought pie. The girl comes out. Shang-Chi says her name is Tamara Devoux, but she’s not convinced. Sam and Roberto walk in on Spider-Man eating some of Sam’s salad, which Roberto apparently had specially made for Sam. It’s clearly Spider-Ock. Back to Shang-Chi and Tamara; looks like Tamara lost her little girl in a car crash. Spider-Ock talks to Tony about Sam and Roberto, and Tony tells him not to eat their food. Tamara remembers her daughter, Ella, six years old. Shang-Chi says there’s no record of what happened to Ella, and that Tamara was in a coma for 10 years. She freaks out and turns back to Captain Universe, who explains that everything is broken, and that she needs to be on Earth because it’s where “the life and death of everything will be decided.” Shang-Chi takes her to see Tony, who’s still trying to translate Adam’s speech. She fixes it so they can understand him, and he says the system is broken. He mentions the White Event. And then things get weird. This is a bit of an odd issue. On the one hand, you’ve got a great conversation between Shang-Chi and Captain Universe. On the other hand, you’ve got the brief scene between Spider-Ock and Sam and Roberto. That scene felt out of place, under the circumstances. And right now, I’m worried that Sam and ‘Berto are just going to be used for superfluous stuff like that. I hope they do get some good usage, but I’m concerned. This is a pretty good issue overall, but I’m still not entirely satisfied with this series. I think maybe Hickman is being too ambitious off the bat.

Nova #1, by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness. It starts 17 years ago, with three members of the Nova Corps (the “Black Novas,” who seem to be some sort of secret ops team) busting Rocket Raccoon and Gamora out of prison. We cut to Earth, 6 months ago, where Sam Alexander is watching his father throw up in the school washroom. His father, Jesse, was the one telling the story about the Black Novas, having apparently been one of them. We see a helmet on a shelf in their garage. The next day at school, he’s hassled by bullies. After school, a cute emo girl asks him if he’s going to stay late to clean the bathrooms for his dad again, since his father isn’t doing his job. We start another story, with Jesse telling it to his daughter. 15 years ago, they’re being chased by a Rigellian cruiser after stealing a Recorder. Jesse’s told to go back to Earth, since he found a bride. Sam tells his mom that Jesse’s a loser, and she tells him off. A few days later, his dad’s gone. Sam goes out looking for him, and ends up tripping and falling. He wakes up in the hospital, and gets a visit from Rocket and Gamora. The first problem is I’m not entirely sure how the timeline works. The Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t exist 17 years ago. There’s also the problem of Jesse Alexander being a Nova 17 years ago; Richard Rider was the first human Nova, and he got his powers way less than 17 years ago in-universe. Hopefully these problems will be addressed later. As far as the story itself goes, though, it’s not bad. It’s actually reasonably well-written. It’s not great, but with Jeph Loeb, expectations are so low that anything that isn’t insultingly bad looks pretty good. There’s some interesting stuff, even if it’s mixed in with a lot of generic stuff. I’ve got hopes that this will turn out to be a moderately entertaining series.

Indestructible Hulk #4, by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu. He wakes up in a town full of mannequins. It was an old testing facility that seems to have been turned into his lab. He calls someone as he walks to work, doing a weekly check-in. It’s not SHIELD he’s calling, so we have no idea who it is. He introduces himself to his new assistants, and freaks out about the lack of an Internet connection, to test their reactions. He’s then called to see Maria Hill, who tells him his expedition to Lemuria has been approved. Because it turns out Attuma has taken over Lemuria and is using a bunch of monsters to attack ships in the Pacific. Banner’s sent to hitch a ride on China’s aquatic version of the Helicarrier. It’s actually pretty cool. It’s a giant sub that has other subs docked in it. I like the design. R.O.B. was sent along, and Banner threatens to do to it what he did to the last 5. Attuma attacks, and Banner’s loaded into a torpedo tube. He turns to Hulk as he’s fired out. There’s some fighting, before the Hulk gets dragged down by some seaweed. Still a solid series. I’m disappointed that we don’t get anything from the assistants this issue. I was hoping to get to know some of them a bit better. But they barely even got any lines. I’m sure we’ll get more of them in future issues, I was just hoping to get some in this issue. I do like that SHIELD set him up in an atomic bomb testing ground.

Morbius: The Living Vampire #2, by Joe Keatinge and Richard Elson. Morbius is thinking about what a dangerous world it is, and always has been. He’s in the subway and heals himself as a woman named Becky asks him if he wants help. She takes him to an abandoned movie theatre.  We cut to 20 minutes earlier, and what caused the chase and fight from last issue. He punched Noah St. Germain in the face. Then Morbius tells Noah to stay away from him. We actually see Becky watching. Then he’s shot and starts running, and that brings us up to date. Becky tells him she’s homeless, but employed, and shows him the portraits she does in her spare time. The two of them go to Becky’s babysitting job, and see Wanda, the woman who told Morbius off last issue. Her son, Henry, is missing,. Noah got him, and is getting ready to train him to be a criminal. Becky and Morbius confront Noah, and Noah has one of his girls punch Becky. Then he threatens Morbius. It, uh, doesn’t go well. This is really good. Morbius is cool. Becky’s a little too typical a character, though on the plus side, she doesn’t look quite as attractive as most women in comics. She’s still attractive, no question about that, but she’s a little more realistically attractive. Still, the best part of the book is Morbius himself, and he’s written very well. This is a very good series, worth checking out. At least until it’s inevitably cancelled for poor sales a year from now.

Thor: God of Thunder #5, by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic. We get a little bit of insight into Gorr, as he narrates his feelings that the gods were never there when people needed them. He goes back 14 billion years, to the void before creation. He see a bumbling god creating misshapen creatures, and kills it, bringing its heart back to Chronux. Thor attacks him, and we cut back to 893. Thor’s endured 17 days of torture without telling Gorr how to reach Asgard. Before he can break, some Vikings show up. Gorr reluctantly kills the Vikings, while Thor breaks free of the chains and cuts off Gorr’s arm. As we see this, Gorr in the present tells Thor that his actions that day influenced Gorr’s plans, saving his ambitions from inevitable failure. He gets ready to go kill all the gods. Thor jumps into the pool and lands in the future, where he and Future Thor fight through Gorr’s creatures. Future Thor tells Present Thor that Gorr’s been in Asgard for 900 years. This continues to be a great book. Epic in scope, with the three Thors being nicely differentiated. I won’t be reviewing this series any more, but it’s well worth reading.

Captain America #4, by Rick Remender and John Romita, Jr. It’s 11 years since Cap entered the crazy world he’s in. He’s training Ian with the shield. They happen on a mutate outpost, and Ian shoots a mutate who shows up. Cap finds a bike with a functional map, a way for him to get home. Ian talks about Earth not being his home, and asks about his mother. The Zola virus puts images in Cap’s mind of Zola’s wife. They apparently couldn’t have any kids, and she tried to leave when she found his lab. He caused her car to crash, and then took her to his lab. He tells Cap no one escapes Zola’s will. Steve flashes back to 1933. His mother’s laying in bed, sick and dying and a little delirious. The landlord comes by and says to pay the rent the next day or he’s kicking them out. Rogers asks Hutch, a kid who bullied him for a while, to help. Hutch sends Steve into a pharmacy, then throws a rock through the window to distract the owner while Steve swipes medicine and money. When he goes back to his mother, she tells him to promise he’ll always be good and honorable, no matter what. The next day, he goes to the shop and admits to stealing the money, and says he wants to work off his debt. Cap wakes up and finds Zola telling Ian to escape. Cap says they need to get back to Earth before Zola takes him over completely. We then see Jet Black bringing the former chieftain to Zola, who disbelieves that Cap’s alive. She wants revenge on the man who killed her brother. Things are coming together in interesting ways. This is well-written and intriguing. The flashbacks to Steve’s childhood shine an interesting light on what made him into the man he is. Ian learning the truth about where he comes from is an interesting development. This is worth reading. I’m not enamoured of JRJR’s art, though.

Superior Spider-Man #4, by Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli. Spider-Ock is catching four times as many criminals as Peter did, and has improved his reputation to the point where the White Rabbit surrenders as soon as he shows up. He then goes to visit May at her physical therapy with Sha Shan. He wants May to be able to walk without a cane, so he designs a lightweight exo-limb with a neuro-interface grafted to the spin and brain. When he tells Max about it, he discovers that Parker never got his doctorate. This infuriates Ock, who decides he has to fix that. We get an interlude at Ravencroft, where a guy named Massacre breaks out. The next day, Ock shows up at Empire State University, where he learns his teacher in advanced physics is one of his old classmates, Don “The Schnoz” Lamaze. He’s then called by the mayor’s office to go to Ravencroft, where he learns about Massacre’s escape. Massacre is at a burger joint. He shoots the whole place up, except a mother and her child that he plans on using as hostages. This is a fun book. It’s going in some interesting directions. This is my first experience with Massacre, and I gotta say, I kinda like him. There’s something entertaining about him. And Spider-Ock going to university is kind of a fun twist. I do hope it’s a temporary thing, though. I’d hate for it to become the new status quo when Peter returns – it’d be way, way too much of a step back. But as a short-term thing, it’s fun.

And, lastly, Dark Avengers #187, by Jeff Parker and Neil Edwards. Richards is trying to get through to Grimm, but failing. Grimm temporarily confuses Moonstar with Alicia, but then realizes his mistake. Then we go to Stark Tower, where Stark realizes that Pym’s cerebral override has been hacked. He freaks out. The Dark Avengers are walking through the streets, and come across an area controlled by Spider-Man. They’re attacked by Daredevil. After he’s put down, then it’s time for Iron Fist, Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Shang-Chi, Hawkeye, and Spider-Man himself to make their entrance, ready to kick some ass. And they do. Back to Moonstone kicking the asses of Grimm’s monsters. It’s a great issue. I love this series. The Dark Avengers are really interesting, and the universe they’re in is so cool. Great writing, great characterization, great plotting, great art – it’s all great.

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From → 2013, Uncategorized

4 Comments
  1. Sounds like I missed a good issue of Superior Spider-Man (I had to cut back this week due to temporary budget issues). Same goes for Captain America. I’ll have to pick them up when I can.

    At this point, why even read Deadpool anymore? I mean, I know you’re dedicated to reading every X-Men comic that you can, and you’re knowledge of the franchise is impressive, but is it even worth the hard drive space temporarily wasted for downloading it?

    • Why do I still read Deadpool? Stubbornness, basically. (Besides, if I don’t keep reading, how will I know if it gets good?) I’ll probably start doing shorter, more sarcastic reviews of it, though, until it does something worth actually talking about.

  2. Hamburger Time permalink

    I have to wonder how much of this story, in X-Factor, was planned out back when Rahne first got pregnant in ’09, if it was at all.

    • I’m guessing that there were no particular plans when she first got pregnant. But when PAD got her back, I’m betting that’s when he started planning stuff.

      I’m wondering what role Terry will play in all this. She just became a goddess, after all. I can’t imagine she’s going to sit idly by and watch all this without getting involved.

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