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X-Men comics (June 5, 2013)

June 5, 2013

Comics!

First, X-Factor #257, written by Peter David, pencils by Neil Edwards and Carmen Carnero. This is Part 1 of the End of X-Factor. It starts in Marrakesh, with a car bombing. A kid runs to check on Demon Madrox, and is relieved he’s OK, since the kid plans on using Demon Madrox to bring his mother back. Layla then watches the kid pick pockets, and tries to talk to him, but he runs away. Layla tries to track him down. She finds him with his uncle, trying to use the Demon Madrox to create a portal to bring the kid’s mother back. The uncle actually succeeds in opening a portal, much to Layla’s surprise. It wasn’t supposed to work. Then the uncle gives Madrox a pendant to use to retrieve the mother. Madrox retrieves some creature from Jahannam, the Islamic version of Hell. She kills her son. Then it advances on Layla, whose force field doesn’t seem able to keep it out. It’s a really cool story. Layla narrates, and it’s cool insight into her head. The ending is rather interesting. I’m very sad that this series is ending, though. Only a few more issues. Very sad. I do wonder if Madrox will return to normal at any point.

All-New X-Men #12, by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. It opens with Alex watching Cyclops’s speech from a couple UXM issues ago, right after the UXM beat the Avengers. Then we pop to the present, where the All-New team is facing off against the Uncanny Avengers. Alex and Young Scott have an interesting reunion. Cap tries to get Alex back to business, but Alex blows him off so he can catch up with his brother. Meanwhile, Wolverine is arguing with Captain America, and Jean reads Wanda’s mind. She sees “No More Mutants.” Then she accuses Wanda of being a murderer. Well, yes, she kinda is. Jean freaks right out about it, and justifiably so, because Wanda pretty much wiped out the mutant race. She points out that mutants were thriving, that everything the X-Men had done was paying off, and she ruined it so now they have to start over from scratch, and asks how the Avengers can turn a blind eye to it. Thank you, Miss Grey. And thank you, Bendis, for having someone talk to Wanda the way she deserves, something Remender hasn’t had the guts to do in UA. Wanda defends herself by saying she didn’t do it consciously, which is fair, but she still did it, and she deserves to be called out on it. Constantly. Anyway, Mystique and her team rob the Bank of England, with Lady Mastermind telling Sabretooth that she thinks Mystique’s lying to them about what they need all the money for. Sabretooth mentions it to Mystique, and the girls snipe at each other a bit. Lady Mastermind wants to know what Mystique’s planning. Back to the stand-off, Cap shows them a video of a woman saying the X-Men robbed a Reserve and killed a couple guards. Wolverine says Mystique’s behind it. Which is probably a reasonable guess to make. As the X-Men leave, they talk about the Scarlet Witch. And, again, Bendis handles the whole thing far better than Remender has, and better than he probably ever will. If Bendis had been writing UA, we’d be seeing a Scarlet Witch who shows genuine remorse for what happens. He just established that her actions are always at the forefront of her thoughts, which does a better job showing how terrible she feels than anything Remender’s done. This was a great issue. The reunion between Alex and Scott was really nice, and as I said, Bendis did a great job with the Scarlet Witch situation, and pointing out how insane it is that she gets to be an Avenger after what she did. I’d add that Scott’s a wanted felon for things he did while possessed, while Wanda managed to get instantly and totally forgiven and got to join the Avengers team trying to bridge the gap between humans and mutants. Agh. Anyway, it’s a great issue, and also sets up something big in the works from Mystique. I’m interested in seeing where that goes.

Cable and X-Force #9, by Frank Tieri and Salvador Larroca. Rogue and Havok are looking around some old base, with Rogue talking about how weird it is hunting Cable’s team. They were friends. Havok points out so were Magneto, Emma, Archangel, Juggernaut and Bishop. And Scott. Meanwhile, Hope has had her foster parents drop her off at a bus station (by taking control of their minds). Alex, Rogue and Cap meet her there. They try to talk sense into her, but she says she wants to live her own life her own way, and that normal doesn’t exist. Cap then asks Hope what she did during an hour where she lost her SHIELD tail. Turns out she went to talk to Purple Girl in prison. That part of the plan doesn’t go too well, once Rogue tackles her. She also saw Martinique Wyngarde – Mastermind. Hope uses the confusion from an illusion to escape. Very nice. It’s a cool issue. Hope is clever and dangerous, Cable’s daughter. It’s really cool. The three UA members are handled fairly well, too.

There’s also Wolverine: Season One, written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, art by Salva Espin with Cam Smith. It’s narrated by Heather Hudson, and deals with her and James finding Wolverine, trying to bring out the man in him and suppress the animal, and making him a hero. Along the way, there’s fights with Wendigo, the battle with the Hulk, plenty of lies, and Sabretooth. It’s not bad. It tries to delve into some stuff we didn’t really get to see before. That’s the approach I prefer in these Season Ones: Showing us something new. This one does an OK job of that. It’s not the best of the Season Ones, though. Not by a long shot. The art sometimes gets weird, especially faces. There’s a tendency for hugely bulging eyes. The writing is pretty middling, as well.

And that’s actually the only X-titles. But there’s a few Now! titles.

First, Age of Ultron #9, written by Brian Michael Bendis. Pencils for the present are by Brandon Peterson, for the past by Carlos Pacheco. We start with a big double-page splash of a Helicarrier crashing into New York City and exploding. Then another double-page spread of the destruction, including a lot of dead people. Wolverine wakes up five days later, fully healed (his left leg had previously been reduced to the bones). After a couple pages of him killing things, the not-quite-dead Tony Stark tells him he can’t go back to fix his mistake. Every time someone travels through time, it hurts time, and eventually, they’ll kill it. Then we cut back to Wolverine about to kill Pym. He’s stopped by Wolverine, in what looks like his original costume. Future-Wolverine – or, I guess, Future-Wolverine 2? – tells Pym about Stark’s idea of a time-release virus. During the discussion, Susan comes in, angry at Future-Wolverine 2 for hitting her. Ultimately, Pym works out that he has to create an AI that doesn’t exist yet, install a time-release virus that doesn’t exist yet, and make himself forget all about it. This is . . . interesting. A huge chunk of it is just talking, but it’s interesting. There’s some big ideas being tossed around, and they’re very cool. All that’s left is the conclusion, and Bendis has just set up how that can be done. Not sure how Angela will enter into it. I’m also not sure why Angela still has such a horribly ’90s costume, given the redesigns Marvel’s been giving so many other female characters. But that’s beside the point, I suppose. The point is, this is pretty decent.

Fearless Defenders #5, by Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney. First, I do want to mention how much I like the cover. It’s a cute idea. Anyway, the issue starts in Brazil, on a mountain with Asgardian statues. They’re attacked by the Doom Maidens, riding their creepy dragon things. Hippolyta throws one of the statues in anger at being burned. The three heroes end up surrounded, which is when the cavalry arrives. Misty Knight and Annabelle, leading Colleen Wing, Black Cat, Storm, Thundra, Tarantula, Spider-Woman, Elektra, Tigra, Hellcat, Black Widow, Captain Marvel and She-Hulk. Yep, all the ladies from the cover. Oddly, 16 women running around in skimpy outfits doesn’t lead to cheesecake and ridiculous poses. After some ass-kicking, and a brief moment where Val justifies Annabelle’s presence, Dani confronts leFay. LeFay explains the Doom Maiden wakening is a continuing process, and that Val brought Dani out there, to power herself up. This is a cool issue. Seeing a whole lot of women kicking ass is always fun. The ending was foreshadowed well, and done well. My biggest disappointment is the lack of interaction between Val and Hellcat. Those two were besties for a long time in the original Defenders, so I keep hoping to see them together again. Oh well. Good issue. Worth checking out, I’d say.

Thanos Rising #3, by Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi. Thanos is talking to his mother about the day he was born, and her trying to kill him. He said he was sorry they wouldn’t let her. Months later, he’s in bed with some alien woman. He gets up and leaves, ignoring the baby sleeping in the crib. As he walks through the streets of the city he’s on, an alien mentions Galactus eating three planets in the Starlin System – cute. Thanos joins a pirate ship, and helps them attack a Shi’ar supply ship. He doesn’t take part in the killing, and leaves the crew, then finds another woman to knock up. He went from one woman to the next, one pirate raid to the next, never caring about any of it. Eventually, his captain tries to kill him. Thanos killed him and became the pirate captain. He returns to Titan, and there meets the mysterious girl again. He asks her to marry him. She says if she’s going to give him everything, he has to do the same. That means going back across the galaxy and killing all his wives and children.  This is good. It’s very dark, very moody. Thanos is complex and kinda frightening. The art is dark and muddy, which enhances the story. I like this.

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From → 2013, Uncategorized

3 Comments
  1. Definitely agree with Jean Grey’s reaction to the Scarlet Witch. Watching her going psycho was one of this week’s highlights for me.

  2. Glad you enjoyed THANOS RISING – a lot of fans feel his origins should remain mysterious, but I’m really enjoying that series.

  3. I don’t get the hate I’ve read for Thanos being too much of a puss or emo or whatever. His whole M.O. is that he’s a pussy-whipped psycho. Turning him into Marvel’s version of Dexter, though… ehhhhhh.

    Age of Ultron is everything wrong with comics today: ultra decompressed storytelling in a mega-event featuring twice as much Wolverine as anyone needs.

    My X-subscriptions come in a couple weeks after the release dates, so I’m chomping at the bit for All-New X-Men and X-Factor.

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