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X-Men comics (October 16, 2013)

October 16, 2013

I’m back from my lunch, so now I can read comics. And what a disappointing week this was.

First, Uncanny X-Men #13, by Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo. First off, I hate Bachalo’s layouts. He leaves way, way too much blank space. We start with the Uncanny team, along with the future X-Men, looking at the JGS while Adult Scott says how unhappy he is. He doesn’t want mutants fighting mutants. Raze, the son of Wolverine and Mystique, has captured Young Beast and Iceman, and the bad future X-Men attack the good guys. Magik and Future Colossus teleport in and fight Future Deadpool and Molly. Magik kills Deadpool, and maybe Molly – I’m not sure if being stabbed with the Soul Sword actually kills someone. Anyway, Future Jean thinks she’s trying to save the X-Men from a bad world, and is annoyed that the X-Men never listen. She almost makes Magik kill herself with her own Soul Sword, but Magik teleports away. Meanwhile, Future Colossus stabs Future Xavier. Again, not sure if it’s lethal. While all this is going on, Future Beast tries to send the Past X-Men back home. It doesn’t work. Apparently, they’ve screwed things up so seriously that the laws of space and time don’t even apply to them any more. I’m not crazy about this issue. It’s very action-focused, and I don’t think Bachalo draws action all that well. The writing is fine, with a few good moments here and there. But this is an issue that was going to rise or fall purely on the art. And for me, it fell. I’m sure people who like Bachalo will love this comic, but I don’t care for him, and so this issue did little for me.

Cable and X-Force #15, by Dennis Hopeless and Gerardo Sandoval. Nemesis plugs something into the back of Forge’s head, which is going to map out his mindscape. We get to see a cross-section of their new base. Said cross-section includes Boom Boom blowing something up. She then goes into the lab and asks Forge to help her put together the guns she destroyed when she caved in the ceiling of Cable’s armory. Which she did while trying to write a note to Cable explaining why setting the Eiffel Tower wasn’t her fault and was necessary as a distraction. Forge tells them to go away; he’s got a migraine and he’s running two ops. Hope is on a mission in a Reaver base in the Australian Outback, and is annoyed at how easy it is, since Forge is scrambling their security systems. She takes out Bonebreaker with hilarious ease – a rocket will do that. Forge then cuts to Domino and Colossus, interrupting them when they were gettin’ it on. They then bust in and Domino slaps a transmitter on the Sentinel inside, but Forge has collapsed. This keeps him from dealing with the Sentinel Domino’s fighting, or the bomb that Hope’s sitting beside. This is good. A lot of small moments for all the characters, and they work well. They all get to be funny, and the two missions are cool. I’m also pretty sure the Adversary is back, so that’s neat.

X-Men Legacy #18, by Simon Spurrier and Khoi Pham. Legion’s become a freaky monster, and Luca’s going to kill Blindfold to stop her from stopping him. But then Legion destroys Luca’s body, and people start fading away. It all turned out to be an illusion created by one of Legion’s personalities, all a way to trick Luca. Scott punches him, and David explains that Luca was killing mutants and needed to be lured out. He also explains to Scott that he didn’t particularly care about him. They argue a bit. Then David collapsed as his mind shreds apart. Pyrrhic. A desperation move the Uncanny X-Men came up with to take down anyone who takes them down. And there’s nothing they can do to stop it. So, you know . . . a bit of a problem. This was OK. I like scheming David, but I feel like Spurrier went to the “not what it seems” well just a bit too often. I’m also not keen on the art, still. Pham is better than Huat, but it’s still not a style I’m a fan of.

Wolverine MAX #12, by Jason Starr and Felix Ruiz. Mother Night has taken control of Logan, and gives him a card with a man she wants dead. She learns about his claws, then snaps him out of his trance and sends him on his way. The next day, at breakfast, Logan freaks out on his manager. He goes back to Mother Night, who continues to manipulate him. At his next fight, he gets his ass kicked, until she tells him to win the fight and kill the guy she told him to. This is good. Very dark and moody. Logan sounds right, and Mother Night is a pretty cool villain. I also like that she doesn’t have powers; she’s just a good hypnotist. (Hollywood hypnotism, naturally, but still.) This is cool.

A+X #13. The first story, by Gerry Duggan and David Yardin, is about Captain America and Cyclops. They get abducted by a Skrull who wants their help. Cadre K, a bunch of mutant Skrulls who’d previously been trained by Xavier, is going to attack the Earth. The Skrull we meet thinks that would be a terrible idea, and would only hurt the Skrulls as a race, and he wants the help of Captain America and Cyclops to stop them. He releases them from stasis, and they immediately attack each other. Cap says he doesn’t work with “stone-cold killers.” Scott says to tell Logan he says hello. Their fight leads to the ship they’re on getting damaged, but the Skrull manages to save them all from crashing. Then Cap slaps some handcuffs on Scott. Not a bad story. Some good fighting. I’m intrigued by the story. I’m not sure if the Skrull is on the level and Cadre K is really a threat, or if he’s manipulating the heroes to take out Cadre K. It could go either way, I figure. The second story, by Howard Chaykin, is about Emma Frost and Black Widow. I’m not a fan of Chaykin’s art. He just doesn’t do much for me. Anyway, Emma Frost needs Black Widow’s help tracking down a guy who’s using a sex tape to blackmail Emma. They beat up some people before Widow goes to SHIELD. They find the guy, who’s actually wearing a White Queen costume. Emma manipulates his mind to make him vomit at the sight of bare breasts. It’s a bit of a stupid story. Kinda fun, I guess. But pretty weak.

And Infinity stuff.

Avengers Assemble #20, by Al Ewing and Pepe Larraz. Wasp, Wonder Man and Scarlet Witch fight off some of Thanos’ ships, and then on the flight home, they come across a giant naked guy. In flashbacks, we see that his wife had been put into a cocoon by the Terrigen Mists. His house – along with his wife, and a neighbour lady and her daughter – is gone. Wasp figures that a size transference had been done – the house and its contents shrank, and their size was transferred to the man. Wasp gets Wanda to help her shrink down to the Microverse, where she sees the three missing women being hassled by Gouzar, the centaur dude who’d been chasing Wasp last time she was in the Microverse. The wife sees Gouzar about to kill the neighbour’s daughter, and transfers Gouzar’s size to the daughter, who proceeds to stomp on Gouzar. Repeatedly. By the way, I think Gouzar might have hired Bucky O’Hare into his forces. Anyway, then the woman puts everything back to normal. I found this kinda meh, truthfully. I just didn’t really care about any of it. It was all very flat. The characterization, the humour, the story – all just flat.

New Avengers #11, by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Deodato. The Illuminati is in Australia, seeing another incursion. An Aleph shows up and tells them its master wants them to watch a world be destroyed. Then to Wakanda, under attack from Thanos’ forces. Corvus’ plan weakens them, so his wife, Proxima, can lead the charge into the city. Deodato is an excellent artist. The Illuminati travel to the other universe, and meet with some Builders, who are about the destroy the alternate Earth. In Wakanda, Thanos’ forces are winning, and Shuri orders her troops to regroup at the palace. Thanos goes by, and enters the Necropolis, and is impressed to see the anti-matter bombs. He also meets Black Swan, but declines to free her. In the other universe, an Ex Nihilo pulls a mind web bug from Strange’s head. Then the Builder talks about what they’re doing, and about the Builders being defeated in the 616 universe. The Builders want to destroy all Earths, in order to save the multiverse. Meh. Whatever. Don’t care.

Edit: I forgot Avengers #21, by Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu. The Supreme Intelligence is having some repairs done, and he talks about Thor killing a Builder. He considers it an anomaly, and says that victory is still impossible. Ronan was pissed to hear the Intelligence say that, and smacked him in his giant face. Now, Ronan leads the Accusers to free Kymellia. The Spaceknights help free Centauri. But the war is still going poorly, so the Annihilation Wave is brought in. It doesn’t last long. But the Ex Nihili wake up Captain Universe. She heads to the Builders, and kills them, with one escaping into another universe. More shit I can’t be worked up to give a damn about, because Hickman can’t give me a reason to care.

Edit 2 Electric Boogaloo: I also didn’t review Indestructible Hulk Special #1, by Mike Costa and Jacob Wyatt. We start with some SHIELD agents trying to bring in the Hulk. They use a crate full of puppies to calm him down. Wyatt drew two dozen puppies. Yeah. Anyway, then Banner’s brought in to New York to help Spider-Ock with the Dr. Octopus situation. The X-Men explain they’re the time-displaced original X-Men, and they believe Dr. Octopus followed them through time. Banner thinks it’s plausible. So they get to work on figuring it out, rather happy to be in a shitty old lab with shitty equipment and actual paper, instead of a high-tech state-of-the-art lab. There’s lots of science-talk across a really cool two-page spread, then Young Hank talks to the girl he was flirting with before. She asks his favourite musician, and he says Rod Stewart. He gets relieved when he hears a loud roar. Turns out it’s the Abomination. Banner Hulks out to deal with him. They fight, and everyone else leaves to go back to the time machine to keep anything else from popping up. Molly falls down a hole, and Beast jumps down after her. They find a weird lab. Hulk tears Abomination’s head off, and it’s a robot. This is a cool second part to the three-part story. Sharp writing, fun art, a cool story. I love that two-page spread of the nerds sciencing it up. It’s really well-done. In a disappointing week, this made for a really nice way to end it.


From → 2013

  1. Bachalo is the kind of artist you either like or hate. The fact that he’s not colouring helps this issue, but it’s still sometimes hard to see what’s going on in the action. The writing is solid enough though. A part of me doubts the same could be said of next week’s issue, seeing as how it’s WATXM again.

    And by the sound of it, I’m glad I didn’t pick up the DeConnick-less Avengers Assemble issue. The preview looked boring, so I figured I’d skip it this week.

  2. Oh, and I’m not sure if you’ve heard or not, but it’s been confirmed that Hazmat will survive Avengers Arena.

    • Yeah. I saw that. She’ll be in that new book whose title I forget. Even so, fuck Arena.

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