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X-Men comics (July 24, 2013)

July 24, 2013

Kind of a quiet week. I do like those once in a while.

I suppose I don’t have much choice but to start with Wolverine and the X-Men #33, by Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw. We continue, unfortunately, the “Hellfire Saga,” though I feel like the term “Saga” should only be applied to things that don’t suck. But what do I know. Anyway, it starts with Quire choking Mojette or whatever her name is – I can’t be bothered to check – while Toad fights the wildly out-of-character Sauron. The other kids are killing some Hellfire goons. Idie narrates this part, talking about being a killer and blah blah blah, who even gives a shit. After Dog helps Toad free Quire, Kilgore asks Idie to be his Black Queen. Toad and Quire are intercepted by Husk and the new Hellions. Kilgore and Idie watch, and Idie decides to accept Kilgore’s offer, but says he has to kill Broo first. Kilgore admits to shooting Broo before. Wolverine’s fighting Lord Deathstrike, while Rachel telepathically talks to Krakoa, who says he can show them where he was created. Idie fails to kill Kilgore, because Aaron’s a bastard, but her scream attracts Broo. She finally gets Kilgore on the ropes, but then decides not to kill him, because she loves Quire, ugh. She couldn’t have killed Kilgore first? He’s a terrible character. Killing him would’ve been the best thing Aaron could’ve done, other than going back in time and making him never have existed at all, because argh he is such a stupid worthless idiotic awful concept on every conceivable level! Every single panel he’s in makes the book a million times worse. Get rid of him. Let him never defile the pages of a comic book again. If this were Marvel Adventures X-Men, then maybe he would be acceptable. But it is not, and he is not. Ugh. I sincerely hope this is not the Aaron we get on Amazing X-Men. I’d much rather the Aaron who isn’t awful.

Next, Wolverine #7, by Paul Cornell and Mike Pierfederici. It starts with Beast telling Wolverine his healing factor is gone. Beast says he’s consulted with Stark, Pym, and Santi Sardina – that’s the kid from Legacy whose mutant power is to take credit for things. Bravo, Cornell. Wolverine heads out, and is a little freaked out about not having a healing factor, when Fury, Jr. tells him they’re going for beers. Wolverine tells him he’s thinking of things that can kill him now. Thor joins them, and congratulates Wolverine on his new mortality. Wolverine stumbles out drunk on 10 beers. We also see some villains getting killed. Seems like people who control viruses are being targeted. Wolverine makes a phone call. First he thinks it’s Carol, then Jessica, then realizes it’s an answering machine. I don’t know if it’s Avengers Tower he called, or if Cornell was subtly referencing the idea of Carol and Jessica being lovers, or what. Regardless, a bum attacks him, and Wolverine pops his claws without thinking. Wolverine heads back to the school, and talks to the statue of Kurt. Storm brings him to her place for coffee. I think they might’ve had sex. Anyway, this is pretty good. Wolverine’s very shaken up by losing his healing factor, and it’s interesting to see. He’s actually scared. He always talked about not being afraid to die, but now that he’s lost his healing factor, he’s a lot more vulnerable, a lot easier to kill, and he doesn’t want to die. It’s got him questioning a lot. So I’m finding the book getting . . . not better, because it was never actually bad, but less off. Maybe I’m just getting more used to it.

Gambit #5, by James Asmus and Clay Mann. Gambit’s taking a shower while thinking about his life. When he gets out, he finds a message on his mirror to turn on his TV. His cat is disinclined to tell him where it came from. When he turns on the TV, he learns the bell from the New York Stock Exchange was stolen. Gambit always wanted to do that, but never did. He heads down, and uses Hawkeye’s Avengers ID (awesome) to get in. He runs into Fence, posing as a cop. Gambit mentions Rogue asking him to join the Unity Team, which makes Fence laugh his ass off. Gambit finds an Ace of Spades in the wall, and wonders why someone’s trying to provoke him. Fence points out all the heists Gambit’s pulled lately, and says someone’s gunning for his spot as top thief. He tracks down a clue, who turns out to have made fake passports for aliens, and the Maggia’s unhappy about it. Aliens meaning extraterrestrials. Gambit strikes up a compromise. He finds out where he has to go, then breaks into the mansion. A weird woman has left a recording giving him an option. He can take the bell to the authorities, or he can open the door. He chooses the door. Obviously. Fence is inside, and gases him. This is good. But . . . I don’t know, I found it hard to really enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with it. There’s a lot to like. But it just doesn’t do much for me. It might be that it doesn’t have as much humour as I’d like from a Gambit book. He’s very introspective, and a little too dry.

Uncanny Avengers #10, by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna. Wolverine’s half of the Unity Team find Ozymandias in Cairo. Havok and Wanda explore a temple in Guatemala, but everyone’s dead. Wanda mentions being the one who depowered the dead mutants there, but Simon (over the comm) and Havok quickly tell her not to feel guilty. Simon also defends his own pacifism. Wanda tells Havok she’s feeling hopeless, and she’s glad he stayed. Banshee busts in, knocks out Havok, and abducts Wanda. Back at Avengers Mansion, Simon’s attacked by the Grim Reaper. Cap and Wasp are in the Himalayas, where Cap explains what’s been going on in his solo series, spending a decade in Zola’s world, and that it led to his outburst at Wolverine. By the way, Wasp’s new costume is ugly. It just really doesn’t work for her. Wolverine’s team finds the way into the Twins’ base, and Sentry goes after Thor. Wolverine is taken to Daken, who monologues briefly, like the annoying little twerp that he is. Blah. Whatever. This is more Remender. More joylessness, more dark and gritty stuff. Remender would’ve been a great ’90s writer. He clearly seems pretty heavily influenced by that decade. And considering the general view people have of ’90s comics, it’s even more surprising just how much love Remender gets. I just find him tiring. I’m so totally over Rick Remender. At least until he does something fun. Something light and funny and not a depressing series of terrible things happening to people who become increasingly difficult to call heroes.

What If: AvX #3, by Jimmy Palmiotti and Gerardo Sandoval. Ms. Marvel, Vision and Nova are trying to convince the Phoenix-possessed Hope to go with them, but Magneto is opposing them. Hope says she needs time to think, to absorb everything the Phoenix is telling her. She sends the Avengers to Earth, then talks to Magneto and Emma. Magneto tells her humans are a cancer that should be destroyed, Emma tells her it’s not necessary. Magneto’s talk against humanity is ridiculous. He hasn’t believed humans should be wiped out in decades. Emma contacts the X-Men to fill them in, and Scott and Xavier say they need to stop Magneto, and they need the Avengers to help. Iron Man fishes a not-actually-dead Wolverine out of the water. Black Panther launches a missile at Hope, which she blocks. The Black Panther dies trying to ram them with his ship. Hope kills Emma. Hope and Magneto start wrecking the planet, including killing the Fantastic Four. This continues to be less of a “What If” and more of a complete and total re-imagining of everything. Magneto’s been turned into a mutant-hating maniac, for no good reason. People get killed because why not. The whole thing is just ridiculous.

There’s the X-titles. A few non-X to talk about, too.

I’ll start with Scarlet Spider #19, by Chris Yost and Carlo Barbieri, since it features Wolverine. The Assassins Guild, along with Kaine and Wolverine, are all at the mercy of Candra, the Red Death. Wolverine says he thought Candra was dead, but she says she’s an External, which makes her eternal. She figured out how to draw herself back together, drawing strength from death. Kaine has a spider drop onto her face, which freaks her out. Because seriously, spiders are creepy, no matter how powerful you are. Belladonna has the Guild fight Kaine and Wolverine to help Candra, which Kaine finds crazy. Candra’s weakening, so she starts killing the Assassins to get strength from them. They start fighting back. Wolverine and Kaine finally manage to finish off Candra, and the Guild is weakened enough for the Kingpin to acquire it. I actually kinda missed Candra. She was a silly character from a silly period, but there was always something charming about her. Makes me wonder if the other Externals are still forbidden. Marvel had to get rid of them because of a Highlander lawsuit, but considering no one’s cared Highlander in 20 years, I’m curious if Marvel could get away with bringing them back. Not that they probably should. It’s just idle curiosity. Anyway, this was a fun comic. I’ll be glad to have Aracely back next issue. We got a single speech bubble from her in this one, and it was wonderful.

Hawkeye Annual #1, by Matt Fraction and Javier Pulido. Kate tells Clint that she’s leaving. It’s a rough conversation. She takes Lucky with her. Madame Masque is told by one of her people that they think they know where Kate’s going, and that they can take her. At the hotel she’s checking into, her credit card is declined, but they let her sit by the pool, where she meets Whitney Frost. Lucky runs off, and Kate sees her car and her stuff being taken, and she’s kicked out of the hotel. Whitney takes her out to lunch, and invites her to stay with her until she gets on her feet. Kate realizes it’s Madame Masque, but figures she can handle it. She manages to escape through the proper application of a big explosion. Then she finds someone to give her a job. This is really good. Fraction is Fraction, of course. He likes jumping around in time, he likes clever dialogue, so he was just being himself. Writing-wise, you know what you’re getting going in, and he’s in fine form here. But the art is the real kicker. Pulido’s art alternates between adorable and stylish. Especially great is the little Chibi-Kate in her caption boxes. It’s so incredibly cute. And very expressive. I love it. More comics need things like that. So cute!

Hunger #1, by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Leonard Kirk. In an alternate reality, Rick Jones, Protector of the Universe, returns to Earth for a mission of the utmost importance. He needs a burger from Burger Shack. Unfortunately, the Watcher needs him now. It teleports him to the Kree/Chitauri War, and tells him he’s needed to protect universes. The Gah Lak Tus swarm shows up and interrupts the war. Rick Jones fights it, but then time and space break. The swarm changes targets, as Galactus steps through the tear in reality. The swarm initially wants to consume him, but then merges with him. I’ll be honest, a book with Fialkov and Kirk didn’t excite me much. I came in with low expectations. But this was really good. It was a good start. It started on a funny note, then slowly built up the tension, until it ended on a dramatic note. Rick Jones is cool, and well-written. There’s a lot of potential in this story. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next. And Kirk’s art is excellent. He seldom truly impressed me on X-Factor – he was reliable, but nothing special. This is much better than anything he did on that book. I think the inking and colouring helped. Gave it a more cinematic feel. So, yeah, this was actually really good.

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #1, by Chris Yost and David Lopez. A gang is harassing a couple people, and Cloak and Dagger – still with their powers reversed, as a result of the Spider-Island Cloak & Dagger mini (I’ll just repeat my promise to write my first-ever fan letter if Emma Rios does the art for another Cloak and Dagger series) – show up to stop it. Then Spider-Man drops in and punches Dagger. Then we see him go after Daredevil. Captain America gathers the Avengers and says they need to take Spider-Man down. Meanwhile, he takes down Gravity, Power Man and Iron Fist, Sun Girl, Moon Knight, Dr. Strange, and then he goes after the FF, specifically Scott Lang. That’s where the Avengers find him. Cap, Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Hyperion, and Captain Marvel. Because if you’re going to go overkill, you may as well go ridiculously overkill. They subdue him quickly, because obviously, and he tries to tell them they’re making a mistake. A virus seems to have infected Hyperiod, who destroys the Iron Man robot. It’s the Carrion Virus. It had been hopping from hero to hero all day, and Spider-Man was tracking it. After some fighting, Otto uses a device he built to destroy the Carrion virus. This is pretty good. A good set-up to the series. I’m interested in seeing where it goes next. I do find it hilarious the team Cap brought to deal with Spider-Man. Yost continues to have a solid handle on Otto. The art’s not bad either. Not great, but not bad.

I also want to talk about Young Avengers #8, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. It’s Week Five of the team going across other dimensions. We see a few of them. One is full of harpies with Kate’s head. Another has Noh-Varr’s giant head on legs. Another has all the Asgardians dead. They stop off at the Earth-212 Korean Barbecue place where Loki and Miss America had their little lunch date. Miss America is not allowed in now, even though the wall’s patched up great. Also, Noh-Varr is growing as beard as a result of his new love of country music. Miss America’s found the Patriot’s trail, and we get this issue’s amazing credits page, designed as a passport. (There are stamps that are cute references, too.) The post-apocalyptic world they go to next was apparently enough to scare Patri-not. There’s a bunch of women in bondage gear and gimp masks. When they remove the masks, their faces are black blurs. With horrible mouths coming out. Yeesh. Fighting and running. Prodigy says not to cross their event horizon. Miss America says the laws of physics can kiss her ass. I do love Miss America. They escape to the next world, with cute plant-creatures saying “Demiurge.” Everyone’s glad, until Miss America tells Loki to look at the sky. He urges a quick escape, while trying to distract Billy. His image is in the sky in stars. Um. Then they wind up in Mother’s dimension, where Patri-not is. The layout here isn’t unique, but the art certainly is. Lots of white space and boxes. As they try to escape, the panels sprout tentacles and grab Teddy, keeping him and Prodigy behind. The others find . . . well, I’ll just say it made me smile. And now we get the crazy layouts for a couple pages of Prodigy and Hulkling trying to get away from Mother. And then holy crap, that’s a pretty crazy last page. Big shocker there. I won’t spoil it, because you should be reading this book. This issue’s a lot of fun. I actually like these timeskips – they’re great ideas. Patri-not (I love that nickname) seems to be leading the team through realities where they turned bad, which they speculate is to show how easy it is to turn bad. Loki says he could’ve told them that, since he’s #7 on many all-time villains lists. He insists it’s a very respectable position. Gillen continues to bring the fun, and McKelvie and Norton continue the amazing art. The section in Mother’s dimension is really simple, but also really cool. It’s just really striking. There seems to be some controversy on the CBR boards about the last page. I don’t want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say, I find the controversy ridiculous. I may write my thoughts on it in a few days.


Edit: I forgot. Comic of the week will go to Young Avengers #8. Panel of the week is also from that, and while I’m tempted to go with the really cool bit near the end in Mother’s dimension, the sheer awesomeness of Miss America punching a singularity-face and saying “The laws of physics can kiss my ass.” gets the win.


From → 2013

  1. Did you notice that Oya’s breasts are fully developed in WATXM? Because that just feels wrong for a 14-year-old.

    • I tried not to notice. But yeah, she’s way more filled-out than she should be. Nature of comics, I suppose – I’m surprised Luna doesn’t have huge tits.

  2. This was always my problem with how Rahne developed from New mutants. by the end she was this big breasted amazon. Far cry, for her age, from what she was. The same thing happened to the Cuckoos and Pixie.

  3. John Bannre permalink

    It’s kind of odd that UA is so bleak when Remender’s heart seems to be with the fun stuff. I like things like the melodramatic narration boxes, which are old-school Avengers and probably influenced by Kurt Busiek (Remender used to be the inker of Avengers when Busiek was writing it). The basic plots too. But half of every book is taken up with Why Can’t We Get Along arguments that readers don’t seem to like much.

    • I’ve seen nothing from Remender over the past few years to suggest he likes fun stuff. UA, UXF, Secret Avengers, Venom, Captain America – he only seems interested, these days, in doing bleak stuff. He seems to be pretty clearly influenced by the ’90s.

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