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X-Men comics (April 24 2013)

April 24, 2013

A full dozen books for today. No time to waste.

First, Uncanny X-Men #5, by Brian Michael Bendis and Frazer Irving. First off, I like Frazer’s art more than Bachalo’s. It’s less cartoony, and a bit darker, which suits the tone of the book. SHIELD is reviewing Scott’s speech from Australia, with Hill very unhappy. Back at the New Xavier School, Scott talks to Illyana about the attacks from the previous issue. Turns out it was Dormammu dragging her into Limbo against her will to show what’s happened to the place. Her broken mutant powers are screwing with Limbo, and with Dormammu’s dimension. Interesting. He decided to kill her, and in the process, the Darkchilde came out, more terrifying than ever. While this is going on, Magneto is congratulating Angel on breaking ranks with the others. Angel says he may not have thought it out completely. Also, the Cuckoos troll Christopher in an awesome way. They ask his name, and make him forget it, and threaten to make him forget what sex he is if he thinks dirty thoughts about them again. This is an awesome issue. Great humour, great drama, Magik being both badass and vulnerable, Scott being the great, understanding guy he’s always been. Dormammu’s brought in in a way that makes sense, and should be a very interesting threat for the team. The art’s very good, too. Dormammu looks terrifying. And Bendis writes Illyana really well, as she realizes that she just doesn’t know enough about anything. I love it.

Wolverine and the X-Men #28, by Jason Aaron and Ramon Perez. Idie and Broo are hiding out in a cave, with Idie saying they’ll stay in the Savage Land for the rest of their lives. But Wolverine had told Broo where the Blackbird will be landing, and Broo runs off, leading Idie there. The rest of the kids are arguing about what to do while Dog goes on a berserker rage. Eye Boy shoots a bunch of robots and starts revealing the issues the kids obviously have. Dog then threatens them all, and Glob runs away, but the others don’t even flinch. They just get ready to kick some ass. Wolverine shows up, and Dog pounds the crap out of him, until Iron Mask stops the fight by almost shooting Dog in the head and demanding some answers. Dog just teleports away, with all the cavemen, cowboys and robots, feeling defeated. Meh. I just didn’t particularly care about this issue, really. I don’t know why, but it really didn’t do anything for me, one way or the other. I can’t even care enough to hate it, really.

X-Termination #2, written by David Lapham, with multiple artists. This is the final part of X-Termination. And it’s about time. Prophet is trying to get Dazzler and the others to leave, but she’s reluctant to go. Nightcrawler starts teleporting people through the portal. Dark Beast hitches a ride – good. I’m glad he won’t be dying. Dazzler invites Prophet back to her world, but he refuses. Jean knocks him out, and tells Dazzler to take him back. Bah. I hate Prophet. Nightcrawler closes the portal, cutting the AoA off from the rest of the multiverse. Howlett and Summers head off to rescue Hercules’s soul – I’m a little disappointed Summers isn’t staying with Dazzler – and Wolverine offers Dazzler a job at the school. She needs time to think about it, and heads to Venice Beach, California. This event ends blandly. I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad to have Age of Apocalypse over and done with – that book sucked. The end of X-Treme X-Men is much more disappointing. I hope Pak lands somewhere good.  Anyway, my expectations of this event were low enough that I can’t really say I was disappointed. Whatever. It’s over now.

Gambit #11, by James Asmus and Clay Mann (with Paco Medina). Rogue confronts Gambit and Joelle, and Joelle attacks her. Rogue’s power doesn’t work on her, oddly. Joelle thinks she’s working for Tombstone. Gambit puts a stop to the fight. His explanation for why he didn’t stop it sooner is hilarious. Some of Tombstone’s guys actually are tracking them, and Tombstone asks Fence for all information on Joelle. Rogue talks to Gambit, expressing concern about everything he’s been up to, and about Joelle. Fence finds a lot of information about Joelle – she’s definitely not what she seems. Rogue and Gambit are found by Tombstone’s men in the middle of their discussion. Then we get a sexy, sexy splash page of the two using Gambit’s power together. The fight’s cool. Joelle flees with the plane Rogue came in, leaving Rogue and Gambit behind. And we finally get her motivation. Very interesting. This is a good issue. Gambit and Rogue play off each other well here. Tombstone’s cool and menacing. The art’s good. Just a good book. Definitely worth reading.

Uncanny Avengers #7, by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna. Genocide, son of Apocalypse, is on Starcore, to make a request of the gods to become the new Apocalypse. A Celestial shows up to give him a Death Seed. Then the Apocalypse Twins – now adults – show up. Uriel uses Jarnbjorn to cleave the Celestial’s helmet. Eimin, Uriel’s sister, throws out balls of acid that burn through time, killing War and Famine. Uriel dismisses Genocide’s plasma blast through time. At Avengers Mansion, Hill and Fury, Jr. are talking to Havok about Rogue killing Grim Reaper. The Avengers argue about Rogue being benched, with a lot of name-calling and accusations. Thor stands up for Rogue, but Alex asks her to hunt down Magneto. Cap and Sunfire (why Sunfire?) are called up to the Peak, so Brand can show them the assassination of a Celestial. Wanda talks to Simon, and says she loves him like a brother. Janet shows Alex the fashion line she developed to help with Unity, and she also hits on him. Apocalypse’s old Ship rams into the Peak, destroying it. This is pretty OK. The bickering was nice. But I really wish Rogue wasn’t being made out as a petulant child for her attacks on Wanda, and that others were as suspicious of Wanda. I like Wanda – I really do – but she wiped out the mutant race. And Rogue is the only one who seems to be bothered by the fact that the woman who wiped out the mutant race is now on a team dedicated to bridging the gap between humans and mutants. I actually kinda wish Rogue had left the book, and been replaced by someone else. Warpath, or Karma, or Northstar – someone belonging to a real minority. I’m also not sure how I feel about a Celestial being killed. It feels wrong. These guys are gods. They gave an Infinity Gauntlet-wearing Thanos a challenge – not much of one, but still. Ah well. I suppose it’s still a good book.

A+X #7. The first story, by Zeb Wells and Dale Keown, teams Iron Man with Beast. Iron Man was called in for SHIELD failsafes related to Banner. He finds Hank already there, and they quip a bit. SHIELD’s Hulk-buster armour has been infected with a dangerous code. Tony tries to disable it, but fails. The armour attacks. The fight goes poorly, until the Hulk smashes in. He’s returning from an op, and destroys the armour without even thinking about it. He returns to Banner. Tony and Hank leaves, and we find out Banner was the one behind the code. A reminder that he’s the smartest there is. It’s a fun story, but not a great one. This series has had much better. The second, by Christopher Yost and artists R’John Bernales and Chris Turcotte, teams Iceman and Thor. The art in this one is really weird. Cute, though. Anyway, Iceman and Thor are fighting Frost Giants, including Ymir. Thor tries to lightning Ymir, but it turns out it’s what Ymir was counting on. He constructed a new Casket of Future Winters. Iceman keeps making jokes, and Thor tells him off. But then Iceman goes into action. Giant Icemen. After some ass-kicking, Thor remarks that Ymir is probably licking his wounds, and Iceman says his tongue will get stuck. Thor laughs. It’s a nice story. Iceman gets to be badass, something he seldom does. He also got to make some pretty decent jokes, something he also seldom does. Because most of the time, his jokes suck. Anyway, this issue was OK, but pretty skippable.

Deadpool #8, written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, art by Tony Moore. Deadpool and Preston are talking about their situation, and Deadpool visits Preston’s family. Afterwards, Deadpool gets visited by Vetis, the demon from last issue, who wants Deadpool to kill four people, or else Michael the Necromancer dies. He kills one target, then gets attacked and drugged on the street by some people who steal some blood and a kidney. Blah. I don’t care. About any of this. Give me a Deadpool with some depth, dammit.

Deadpool Killustrated #4, by Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli. Holmes and gang are following Deadpool’s trail. Macbeth. The Raven. Dorian Grey. The Metamorphosis. Then we cut to Deadpool in Ancient Greece, going after Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla turns into Galactus. Next stop, Paris, and the Three Musketeers. Deadpool gets stabbed through the head, and thinks that if he never existed, he never started down the path. He also realizes that something is repairing the damage he’s doing. He killed the concept of a team – lots of dead bodies around him – but it’s not working. Then Holmes and his team arrive. The Frankenstein Pool gets shot in the head, and the voice returns to Deadpool, who says things always return to the status quo. Deadpool tries to teleport away, but Mulan cuts his hand off, along with the teleporter he was using. He steals the Time Machine, but Holmes attacks and they both go away. Deadpool waxes philosophical about planting the idea that heroes can die, and the voice in his head says the Ideaverse can’t survive the damage done without a bandage that could keep the ideas alive. Holmes strives to be that bandage. This is an odd finale to an odd series. The whole thing was rather enjoyable, though. It was a lot of fun, with a neat ending, and some interesting thoughts on the Ideas behind stories, and the inspiration for various characters. I liked it.

That’s it for X-titles. Now for the Now! ones.

First, naturally, Young Avengers #4, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Noh-Varr and Kate find the others. Kate knew they were in trouble because Wiccan wasn’t responding to texts within seconds. Noh-Varr busts in with a dramatic entrance. I love Gillen and McKelvie. They are clearly having such a great time on this book. Seriously, the two page spread of him kicking ass was amazing and funny and just incredible. Buy this book. As they all pile into Noh-Varr’s ship, his parents show up, very disappointed in him. They fly away, and Teddy comments on how cute Kate’s new boyfriend is when he says “Park of Central.” They’re right across from Avengers Mansion, and a big fight’s going on, but Thor and Cap don’t even notice it. The ship gets hit, taking out the Kirby Engines, so they’re losing 4.2 epiphanies a second. Seriously, the writing in this book just makes me crack up. Anyway, Wiccan’s grabbed, and Loki implies to Teddy that Wiccan being a reality warper may have been responsible for Billy and Teddy meeting – and even for Teddy’s very existence. Wow. Very wow. Also, Kate gets a Kree composite soul-bow. She loves it. Anyway, they try to figure out a plan. Loki says his best plan is for Wiccan to loan him his power for 10 minutes. Plan B: Kill Wiccan. Loki realizes Laufey isn’t there, and has a new plan: Wiccan loans him his power for 10 minutes. It . . . goes as well as you’d expect loaning Loki power would go. I love this book. So, so much. Seriously, this is one of the best books ever, and if you’re not buying it, you’re wrong.

Morbius #4, by Joe Keatinge and Richard Elson. We start years ago, with the teenaged David Brill being abducted. Back in the present, Morbius gets shot, and gets annoyed. He hurts one of the goons, but doesn’t kill him. He tries to find out where his friends are so he can save them, while also being shockingly snarky. Then the place comes under attack from a bunch of guys with guns and masks. At the diner, the mother threatens Noah’s guy, who doesn’t take her seriously. She easily disarms him and threatens him again. Her son is impressed. When Becky mentions that Michael’s a vampire, the mom and son seem less than pleased. Back at the fight, the guys escape with Noah’s body, and Rochelle explains that Brownsville’s always been a violent hellhole, but that Noah brought a semblance of order when he returned. We also learn who was behind David Brill becoming Noah, and who lured Morbius to Brownsville. It’s very interesting. This is a great book. Morbius himself is a lot wittier than he usually is. Normally he’s too busy wallowing in self-pity to make jokes, but here, he’s full of snark. It’s a nice change of pace. Beyond that, the book is moody, violent, full of intrigue, but with real heart beneath it all – just like Brownsville. Great book. Read it. It deserves to be loved, and deserves a chance to succeed.

Guardians of the Galaxy #2, written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Steve McNiven and Sara Pichelli. London’s under attack, and communications are blocked, so the Guardians can’t contact the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Defenders, or Power Pack. The Guardians charge into action, each taking a ship. We cut a flashback to the Negative Zone, 6 weeks ago, where King J’son of Spartax, the Supreme Intelligence, Gladiator, Young Annihilus, Queen of the Brood, Freyja and Y-Gaaar of the Badoon all came together to talk about Earth, and how utterly insane the planet is. Back in the present, the Guardians are kicking ass. Quill asks about British superheroes, and Iron Man mentions Captain Britain, but says he’s not really good. Ahem. Captain Britain is a very good superhero, most of the time. How are we supposed to get a new Excalibur if one of Marvel’s top writers has one of their top characters saying they suck? At least Rocket’s having fun. Back to the Conclave, and Freyja declares Earth under her protection, and that any attack on Earth is to be considered an act of war against Asgardia. Which makes sense, given that Asgardia is currently on Earth. But you know. Good issue. Something seems to be up with Drax, which is interesting. The Conclave was cool. Also, I want to mention a letter asking about Cosmo, because the response was, “like every other character we publish, I’m sure he’s currently a member of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers.” That was a great line from Wacker. Anyway, this series is shaping up to be very interesting.

And finally, New Avengers #5, by Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting. Reed’s gone to Black Swan for more information. Black Panther lets her out, and puts a collar with a bomb around her neck. We flash back to the battle with Terrax on the other Earth. They couldn’t stop Galactus, but they did beat Terrax, and took him with them. Black Swan then gives her history. She was the sister of a prince who had a key to a library of worlds. Her world was attacked, and she was the only survivor, because she took the key and escaped to another world. She explained about the Great Destroyer, Rabum Alal, whose birth initiated the early death of everything, and to whom worlds are offered to save others. She says that the Beasts of various worlds have evacuated their worlds to save lives. This is mostly an exposition issue, but Hickman’s generally good at making those not feel like exposition. This is well-written, as usual, and well-drawn, as usual. But as usual, it’s not for me. It’s too dark and cynical for my tastes. I won’t be reviewing this book any more, but really, my problems with it are entirely a matter of personal taste, and not meant as a criticism of the book itself. The book is very good at what it’s meant to be, but what it’s meant to be is something that doesn’t appeal to me.

I’ll also mention Journey Into Mystery #651, because it’s adorable. A Hel-puppy! One of Volstagg’s daughters! Fenris Wolf! OK, that one’s not adorable, but still. It’s a cute, fun story, and the series as a whole has been excellent, well worth reading.

From → 2013, Uncategorized

  1. My local store actually ran out of X-Termination 2 before I got there. Sounds like I’m not missing much. How’d I miss Gambit 11 though? Have to pick that up tomorrow.

  2. natetreese permalink

    I love the current Gambit series! Clay Mann is a really good artist. I think your criticism oh Hickman is fair, though I have been enjoying the book, and I feel like he might address the cynicism soon.

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