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X-Men comics (July 17 2013)

July 17, 2013

Comics!

First, X-Factor #259, by Peter David and Carmen Carnero. Turns out Rictor and Shatterstar aren’t dead after all. Instead, when Mephisto blasted Rictor, he was sent to Mojoworld, where he’s been battling in an arena. His next match puts him against Shatterstar, who doesn’t seem to recognize Rictor. Luckily, Longshot and his rebels show up just in time to save Rictor’s life. Longshot doesn’t recognize Rictor, which just leaves Rictor confused. He goes with the rebels anywhere. He meets Arize, the Creator. Arize created everyone, except Shatterstar. ‘Star just fell out of the sky one day. So Arize cloned him. It turns out that Longshot is Shatterstar’s clone, albeit modified. Arize manages to bring ‘Star’s brain back online (it was put offline when ‘Star went after Mojo). Mojo shows up, with his new toy, Spiral. Rictor continues to be confused, until Shatterstar clues him in that they were sent back in time, to before Longshot went to Earth. That was pretty obvious, but hey. ‘Star teleports himself and Rictor forward through time, where they wind up running into Dazzler. A pregnant Dazzler. One guess who the baby is. We now know the origins of both Longshot and Shatterstar, and it is as bizarre as two people from Mojoworld should be. I’ve never seen Carnero’s art before. It starts strong, but seems to weaken a bit near the end. The latter half reminds me a lot of Kirk. The first half is better. PAD, as always, does a fantastic job. The character work is strong, even with people who only appear briefly, and especially with Mojo.

All-New X-Men #14, y Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. Jean is Dark Phoenix, ready to burn everyone. Lady Mastermind is entirely too excited. Wolverine jumps out to kill Jean, but she says that’s not cool and returns to normal. Lady Mastermind is disappointed. It turns out Jean was actually projecting the images into the bad guys’ heads, and accidentally included the X-Men. It is hilarious. It’s a terrible case of bait-and-switch, it’s Bendis completely trolling the readers, and it is hilarious. Jean then gets to kick Mystique in the face. Teen Jean is awesome. Xavier shows up and tells the kids it’s time to go home, but of course, it’s an illusion. Jean goes after Lady Mastermind, who taunts her a bit with illusions. Jean takes her out with telepathy. She also beats Mystique by putting her to sleep. Iceman hits Sabretooth with an ice slide, and then Jean makes Sabretooth whine. Wolverine approves. The Avengers show up to mop up, but they’re an illusion. Doesn’t stop Kitty from punching Lady Mastermind in the face. Then the real Avengers show up. Cap starts chewing Wolverine and the kids out, until Iceman throws a snowball at Thor. Bendis writes the best Bobby ever. Cap does acknowledge the team did a great job. This issue is great. Just so much fun, start to finish. It’s one big fight scene, but it’s filled with all sorts of jokes, and you can’t not laugh. Immonen’s art, as always, is excellent. He sells everything going on. The panels of Iceman hitting Thor with a snowball are just amazing. Bobby looks horrified, like he’s expecting to get the hammer thrown at him. Just such a great moment. I think it might be my moment of the week, actually.

Uncanny X-Force #8, by Sam Humphries and Ramon Perez. We start in the past, with Fantomex checking up on Psylocke and Cluster, who are naked in bed together. Cluster feels bad about Fantomex, but Psylocke hates him because he was right about her loving stealing. In the present, Psylocke and Cluster are locked in a pirate dungeon. Cluster wants Psylocke to kill Weapon XIII and rescue Fantomex so the three of them can go back to Paris and be in love. In the past, Psylocke steals the bottle of King Champagne from the Louvre. She’s found by guards. Wearing Fantomex masks which make them immune to her psychic powers. In the present, Psylocke is about to share the bottle with Weapon XIII. He uses his misdirection on a grand scale to create a vast landscape around them, and change their clothes, while talking about how Fantomex and Cluster don’t love her the way he does. He also says he wouldn’t pressure her into killing again. It’s oddly touching. There’s a brief flashback to Psylocke heading home after the Louvre disaster, and seeing Fantomex and Cluster kissing, where she realizes Fantomex set her up. In the present, she’s enjoying her date. This is really cool. Fantomex setting her up at the Louvre was awesome as soon as the guards showed up, but it was a neat twist. Also neat is the fact that Weapon XIII actually does seem to care about her more than the other two do. They both want her to be someone specific. He just wants her to be herself. Fantomex wants her to be a thief. Cluster wants her to be a killer (and into menage a trois). Weapon XIII just wants her to love him. Considering he’s the killer of the three, it’s pretty cool. The art’s good, too. The flashbacks start with the same bright colours they had last issue, but as things start going wrong, the colour starts to fade. And once again, the psychic stuff – in this case, Weapon XIII’s misdirection – is stunning. With a lot of weirdness to it. I do suspect that we won’t be getting Psylocke and Cluster as an ongoing item now, though. Damn. Well, one can still hope.

Cable and X-Force #11, by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larroca. Domino’s in a hospital, preparing to steal a kid before his mutant power activates and destroys the place, while Boom Boom is going to knock out some EMTs and steal their ride. Boom Boom wants to keep talking about Domino and Colossus, but Domino doesn’t want to talk about it. Oh, also, Boom Boom is terrible at subtlety. We then cut to Hope, who’s just been blasted by Blaquesmith. She’s in a wasteland. Blaquesmith pops up and says it’s a future. They’re attacked by Vi-locks, like the New Mutant Warlock. Domino is annoyed at Boom Boom screwing up the plan and getting cops after them. I love Boom Boom. They shake the cops after them, but then get stuck in traffic. The cops closed a bunch of roads. The result of a chase with some super-freaks. Luckily, Boom gets a plan. Doctor Madame McSplode declares the bridge for herself, and tells everyone to get off her bridge. She starts blowing stuff up, and clears the bridge. But time’s up. The new mutant turns the chunk of bridge they’re on into water. That’s pretty neat, actually. Luckily, Domino had a parachute, and also planned to have a boat ready. She’s . . . really good at plans. Boom apologizes for screwing everything up. Domino says everything worked out, and Boom just made things more fun. Boom Boom and Domino are a great pair. Putting them together will always make for an entertaining story. Always. So this was really fun. Some good art, and some general hilarity from Boom Boom. “Doctor Madame McSplode.” Ha. And I have to say, Larroca draws the hell out of her blowing stuff up. He does a fantastic job with her powers, right down to the glow in her eyes and the smirk on her face.

A+X #10. The first story, by B. Clay Moore and Kris Anka, teams Black Widow and Fantomex. Widow’s investigating some old Russian “ghost town” that she’s head is connected to the Red Room. Unfortunately, Fantomex is thrown out the window of the building she was trying to get into. Chased by a bear. A smaller version of Ursa Major. Fantomex uses his misdirection on the bear (this presumably takes place before he was split), then a couple women run up. Widow fights them while Fantomex heads back into the building. One of the women turns into a version of Sibercat, another old Soviet Supersoldier. The other woman uses Darkstar’s dark matter. Fantomex jumps out and the building explodes. He escapes with the data Widow was there for, leaving her with the three supersoldiers. It takes her five minutes to put all three down. As she drives away on her bike, she comes across Fantomex, who gives her back the case with the data. It’s a good story. Moore has a good handle on the characters, and Anka’s a great artist. There’s some clever dialogue, and the plot is interesting. (Actually, the plot is something that could probably be turned into an entire miniseries.) One nice touch is how torn-up Widow’s costume is when she’s standing over the defeated supersoldiers. It shows how tough a fight it was for her. The second story, by Adam Warren, teams Scarlet Witch and Domino. They’re 10 000 feet over Yellowstone. Domino’s got a lot of weapons that Scarlet Witch doesn’t feel are necessary. Witch is overclocking Domino’s own luck powers. They’re checking out a Celestial Extermination Drone, used for expunging failed experiments with doomsdays brought about by probability manipulation fields. Domino says humanity’s going to be wiped out by the Celestials’ Runaway Roomba. Wanda can’t go in because if her own powers interact with its probability fields, it would unravel the fabric of reality. Domino points out that’s something Wanda would know about. Nice burn. Domino manages to make her way inside, and her enhanced powers actually let her see the paths she doesn’t want to take. She makes it to the core, but gets hurt a lot on the way. The core is surrounded by a giant pile of dead Dominos. She spontaneously drops dead. Then we cut back to 8 minutes earlier, with Domino outside. She says there’s no way she can get to the core. Instead, she tazes Wanda. When Wanda hits the drone, reality unravels, then re-ravels without the drone. That leaves Wanda and Domino falling, and Wanda saying how irresponsible that was. Adam Warren is best-known for Empowered. I have to say, it’s weird seeing his art coloured. It’s a very, very manga-inspired style. But it’s also a really fun art style, so even if you don’t generally like the manga-esque stuff, you’ll probably still enjoy it. The story itself is really fun. His Wanda and Domino are totally different people, but they’re both fun. Domino, in particular, is awesome. She gets that great burn on Wanda, and then she gets to taze her. This is exactly what I love about A+X – creators who don’t normally do much work for Marvel coming in and doing fun short stories. I still think they need to start bringing in more indie up-and-comers who could conceivably do a lot more work for Marvel (or DC, for that matter), but there should also be fairly established indie creators who can do something fun like this. I’m waiting for Bryan Lee O’Malley to do a story for it – come on, Marvel! Do it!

Savage Wolverine #7, by Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira. Wolverine and Elektra drop to a rooftop, and a whole lot of Hand ninjas pop out. One of them starts taunting her, but she just throws her sai into his head and says time’s short. A lot of dead ninja later, they head inside. Downstairs, Bullseye’s being resurrected. Wolverine and Elektra come across Mikaru the Blind, “the truthsayer.” He makes threats about Shikaru, a giant behind him. Wolverine gets fed up, and throws a rock at Shikaru. He takes Shikaru while Elektra confronts Mikaru, who indicates things aren’t what she believes. Wolverine and Shikaru are both smiling – they’re enjoying the fight. Shikaru wins, and Elektra learns Bullseye wasn’t the one the Hand resurrected. Very interesting. Who was resurrected is unexpected, and a great twist. I’m still torn on the art. Some panels I like it, some panels I don’t. It’s hard to say exactly why. It just feels muddy, and occasionally it works and occasionally it doesn’t.

Wolverine MAX #9, by Jason Starr and Roland Boschi. He’s driving towards Las Vegas when he gets a flat tire. Eventually, a van pulls up and the driver, Sean, gives him a lift to the nearest town. The guy wants $100 for the lift. Wolverine gives him nothing. He heads into the diner, and some drunk punks start hassling an old man. Wolverine gets rid of them. He doesn’t even need to really hurt them, only show that he could. Once his bike’s fixed, he starts driving again, but someone’s following him. Eventually, he gets fed up and starts bashing on the van’s window. The van goes off the road and flips over. He saves the driver – the old guy he helped at the diner. The guy wakes up on the bike, and knows who Logan is. This isn’t bad. The series started weak, but it’s been pretty good lately. The profanity sometimes feels a touch overdone, but it might just be that it’s still weird to see profanity in a comic. Starr seems to have moved away a bit from using new versions of existing characters, instead using wholly original ones. That’s definitely appreciated. Boschi’s art isn’t as bothersome here, possibly because of the lack of action. Boschi does a great job on the world and the characters, but I’ve found his action scenes to be less enjoyable. So, yeah. I started off hating this series, but I’m actually kinda digging it now.

What If: AvX #2, by Jimmy Palmiotti and Jorge Molina. While the space team watches the Phoenix Force getting closer, back on Earth, the Avengers are abandoning the Helicarrier Magneto destroyed. Magneto tells Hope they have to go, and Emma insists on going with them. Scott sends the X-Men to save as many lives as they can. Falcon dies. So does Colleen. Namor is furious at Wolverine, and pounds the shit out of him, and even seems to kill him. Iron Man tells off Scott, but Captain America steps in and shuts them up. Out in space, Thor fights the Phoenix Force. It take out Thor, but he hurts it, too. Vision, Nova and Ms. Marvel go after it while Black Panther heads back to Earth. The Phoenix Force briefly possesses them, then abandons them. Hope, Magneto and Emma are on the moon, to wait for the Phoenix. This continues to be meh. Stuff happens largely for the sake of it happening. It’s hard to really care. The writing and art are both only serviceable, nothing particularly special.

Deadpool #13, written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, art by Scott Koblish. This is another flashback issue, this time to 1977, and Power Man and Iron Fist. Because it’s the ’70s, and no one working on this book is anywhere near as clever as they think, Deadpool’s wearing bell-bottoms and has an afro. Because it’s the ’70s, get it? Oh man, that is just so funny! Who needs to be making a point with humour when you can just reference something that people already find funny! Ugh. Idiots. He walks down the street and comes across Aunt May, because these are comedic geniuses right here. She maces him. Then he beats up a couple guys in roller skates and suspenders, and then some guys wearing baseball uniforms with painted faces. Turns out they were a softball team going to a Kiss concert, because hey, Kiss started in the ’70s, didn’t they? Comedy! Deadpool busts into the Heroes For Hire offices saying he’s a hero who’s for hire. There’s a woman there whose husband was killed by the White Man, and now he’s threatening her and her daughter. Iron Fist and Luke Cage pretend to be the new owners of the dead guy’s store, so they can beat up the White Man when he tries to shake them down. Deadpool shakes the place down instead in order to draw the White Man out. We get a parody of the famous Steranko Fury/Countess love scene. Blah blah blah, shitty jokes, I don’t care. A lot of this is just Seltzer and Friedberg-style “humour,” referencing things and hoping people will laugh just because they know what’s being referenced. It’s lazy, and it’s stupid, and it’s not funny. And it infuriates me that people buy this bullshit! The Seltzer and Friedberg movies make money, too, despite sucking hard. This book sucks. It is awful. It is not funny. It is not clever. It is not insightful. It is not good, in any way, shape or form. There is absolutely no redeeming value to this series, and I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would actually pay money to read this pile of complete and utter shit.

That’s the X-titles. There’s a couple Now! titles I want to mention.

Thanos Rising #4, by Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi. He’s killed the last of his kids, and now he’s still killing. He now has energy projection powers, and finds it weird killing people without getting covered in blood. Mass murder is starting to bore him. His pirates collect trophies, while one of the planet’s inhabitants attacks Thanos. He fails, of course. Thanos tells the guy it was nothing personal. He chose the planet at random. And he says if the guy wants to know why, he can go into his ship, and speak to the woman laying in bed listening to the screams, and ask her when it’ll be enough. The guy goes in, and finds a dead woman laying on the bed. He stumbles out and vomits, and Thanos kills her, saying it’s still not enough. Back on Titan, A’lars is getting chewed out by his father for not doing anything about his son. On Thanos’ ship, the girl visits him in his lab. He asks her when it’ll be enough. She says when he no longer cares to ask that question. Thanos orders his guards to throw her in a cell, but they can’t see her. She says no one’s ever seen her. Except him. Now we get the big, expected reveal of who she really is. It freaks him out. This is really cool. Thanos is now quite mad. But he’s not quite the Thanos we know and love yet. He’s still filled with doubts. He doesn’t have that self-confidence, that belief in himself. But he’s almost there. The art, as usual, is great. Dark and muddy, exactly as it should be for this series.

Superior Carnage #1, by Kevin Shinick and Stephen Segovia. A guy convicted of insider trading has been transferred to a super-prison, part of the governor’s way of dealing with prison overpopulation. A guard is taunting the guy, and suddenly something takes control of him. He releases Carnage, who immediately goes to work killing people. Turns out the Wizard was the one who let him out. He wants Carnage to join his new Frightful Four. He goes to take control of Carnage’s mind, but it’s gone. There’s not much plot here, but there’s some excellent set-up. And some fantastic art. Carnage is damned good at killing people. The Wizard is pretty good, too, actually. He’s utterly without mercy or compassion. He’s a socipath. And it’s great. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this series goes. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be terrifying and messed up.

And lastly, Avengers Assemble #17, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matteo Buffigni. Carol’s on her way to confront Yon-Rogg, joined by the Avengers. Including Hulk clinging to the bottom of a small plane. Wasp goes to one of Sersi’s parties to get her help, but Sersi seems uninterested. Sersi! Yay! Cap sends Carol to New York to see if she can find Yon-Rogg. Spider-Woman and Hulk are in West Virginia, Wolverine’s in Quebec, and Thor’s off the coast of North Carolina. Falcon’s in Kingston, Ontario (yay!), Hawkeye and Black Widow are in Ohio. But it’s all for nothing, as the Senries complete their circuit, forming the Star of Hala (like the one on Carol’s costume). Wasp demands that Sersi use her psionic abilities to track Yon-Rogg. She doesn’t want to, but she realizes she has no choice. Sersi pinpoints him at 54th and Lex. Where Cap and Carol are. He’s in her head. This is awesome. This is mostly an action issue, as the Avengers fight Kree Sentries. But there’s also some good character work, especially for Carol. The other Avengers mostly get minor moments, but they’re still really good. Wasp and Sersi get a really good scene. Sersi hasn’t really been seen in a while. It’s been even longer since she was an Avenger. So it was nice to see her again. And I liked that Wasp was the one who went to her. DeConnick clearly enjoys writing ladies, and she can give them a lot of personality with few words. Buffagni’s art is good. It’s solid art, though generally nothing particularly outstanding. I do like his Sersi. He drew her well. There’s also a good panel of Carol’s mask assembling. And, of course, Hulk clinging to the bottom of a plane.

And I forgot to do this last week, because I’m forgetful. My comic of the week is . Panel of the week, I think I will give to All-New X-Men #14, and Iceman hitting Thor with a snowball.

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From → 2013

2 Comments
  1. Personally my favourite comic of the week was Cable and X-Force 11, but both that and All New X-Men 14 were brilliant.

    So Deadpool still sucks? Can’t say I’m surprised, yet there are actually people who like this series.. The whole Aunt May thing was done much better when Deadpool was trapped in an old Spider-Man comic during Joe Kelly’s run, and that wasn’t even the real Aunt May.

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