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X-Men comics (November 6, 2013)

November 6, 2013

There’s things to get to. So let’s get to it.

We’ll start, I suppose, with Amazing X-Men #1, by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness. We start with Nightcrawler in Heaven. Some woman talks to him and says there’s no going back, but then they come under attack from some pirates. Yeah. Luckily, Kurt specializes in saving damsels in distress. Especially when swords are involved. After he beats them up, Azazel shows himself in. And then a thrilling teleporting sword fight! It could’ve been a bit longer, though. It should’ve been longer. Can you imagine how epic a fight like that could’ve been? Ah well. I suppose they only had so much space in the issue. Then we head down to Earth, where Angelica Jones – Firestar! Yay! – has arrived as a new teacher at the JGS. Angelica, for the record, majored in art history at university. Which was, like, a year ago in-universe. If that. Obviously, this makes her totally qualified to be a teacher. Seriously, is “be a mutant older than 18” the only qualification to be a teacher at the Jean Grey School? And apparently she’s there to teach physics. What does she know about physics? When has there ever been any indication that she’s well-educated in physics? Seriously, people, hire some qualified teachers! Being a mutant superhero does not in any way make someone qualified to teach anything! Anyway, she finds it a weird place, especially since no one is willing to actually talk to her about anything, since they’re all busy with their own arguments. Beast grabs her for a Bamf-hunt. They find a portal. Also, Firestar has a thing for Iceman. While that feels like it’s just trying to reference the Amazing Spider-Friends, I will admit, I can sorta see them together. Better than Iceman and Kitty, certainly. I never bought that relationship. This is OK. My hatred of Wolverine and the X-Men is holding me back from really committing to this one. That’s not fair to Amazing, but it’s not something I can really help. This is definitely different from WatXM. It doesn’t have the same wackiness. There’s a fairly strong focus on humour, but it’s not the “throw everything at the wall and see what makes people laugh” approach WatXM took. I’m not sure it’s a great book, but it’s not as bad as WatXM.

X-Men Legacy #19, by Simon Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat. Ruth and David talk in his head, and then David wakes up, confined by SWORD. Brand tells him he’s been held in stasis on the Peak for the last month, because SWORD has the best power-suppressants. There’s also a drone who routinely shouts “Space Justice!” I love that drone. It is the greatest thing ever. “Space Justice! For Space Crimes!” I love it. Anyway, turns out Aarkus wants his Space Justice over David screwing with his head. Aarkus also explains that David’s unleashed his own hate on the world. And David’s hate has been killing a whole lot of people. And now he’s on the Psychosphere. While Aarkus tells him about it, David slips into Aarkus’ mind to find information about a weapon Aarkus is thinking about. The writing here remains solid, even as the art remains frustrating. There’s a lot of drama here, and some big, big revelations.

Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe #1, by Christopher Hastings and Jacopo Camagni. We start with an old guy winning on a scratch ticket, and then a with in a mask touches him and he dies. At Avengers Tower, Reed Richards shows Tony Stark a weird artifact he found. We also see a TV report of a guy driving through 47 green lights in a row before dying. And now we see Longshot, just finishing up a haircut. His card gets declined, but the owner of the salon lets him have it on the house because he’s cute. I’m not crazy about his new look, to be honest. He looks awesome on the cover, but that’s not how he looks in the book. It’s just kinda . . . not good. Anyway, as he considers whether the luck-based deaths will affect him, he wants tacos. But he has no money, so an apartment blows up behind him and showers him with $100 bills. Meanwhile, Tony and Reed are trying to drive the device to a containment facility. We get a reference to a “Ms. Nocenti” – very nice. Longshot checks out the exploded apartment, and finds out it was done by some cable guys robbing the woman inside. Who wants to go out with Longshot. Because, you know . . . Longshot. When Longshot confronts the cable guys, they pull their guns. Which explode in their faces. Because Longshot. The old scientist standing there is OK, luckily. The guy killing the lucky people finally finds Longshot, and wants to kill him for throwing the universe out of balance with his luck powers. The scientist shoots the killer with some kind of fancy ray gun, though it passes right through. Instead, it hits Reed, since the truck he and Tony are driving happened to be passing by. It makes him lose control of his form. The truck blows up, and the object they were driving bounces over, landing right in Longshot’s hands. A Cosmic Cube. This is a really fun story. It’s ridiculous at times, which is exactly how a Longshot story should be. The art’s really nice – it feels like a bit of a throwback style, to an extent. It has the feel of a classic comic. And it works. Though Longshot’s makeover really doesn’t work at all. Too bro.

Fantomex MAX #2, by Andrew Hope and Shawn Crystal. Fantomex is in a sub at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, where he finds a base. There, the sub is attacked by an octopus-crap hybrid thing, because this is an awesome book. Anyway, an electric shock takes out the monster, and then the sub enters the fortress. Meanwhile, the bad guys have descended into another secret base, built to predict what the end of the world will look like. A 15-mile-wide comet is on its way to hit the Earth in 2025 and kill everything. A plan is in place to stop it. The bad guys want to steal the device that’ll do it, for fun and profit. Back to Fantomex, talking to the guy who invented the system. He admits why he’s there, and the inventor decides to kill him. This continues to be a fun book. Very dark at times, but also plenty of humour. The art moves back and forth between fun and annoying, but mostly, it’s not bad. It’s clear that Hope and Crystal are having fun with this book, and it makes it a fun read. The bad guys’ plan remains a mystery, but I’m sure we’ll find out more soon.

There’s the X-titles. Here’s some other stuff

Mighty Avengers #3, by Al Ewing and Greg Land. We start with Power Man finding White Tiger and cheering her up while Land makes me want to scream because he’s doing his usual tracing shit and dammit Land learn how to draw a fucking face without fucking tracing it you complete fucking hack! Ahem. Anyway, Shuma-Gorath is being evil, but Blue Marvel pops through his giant eye. Spider Hero says it bought them probably two minutes. Blue Marvel uses that time to check out Monica, who’s being killed by something that’s scientifically impossible, so he uses his powers to fix her up and, in the process, make her stronger. He calls her Ms. Rambeau. She says he can call her Monica. Or Spectrum, “if you’re nasty.” Someone’s a Janet Jackson fan, I see. Then they have to get back to Shuma-Gorath, who’s taking over a lot of people. Power Man and White Tiger jump in to buy some space (and apparently the group has a Mighty Avengers hashtag now), then Monica shapes her light form to imitate some mystic sigils that are protecting Shuma-Gorath. Yep, she’s got some power now. And a plan is hatched to fight Shuma-Gorath: Power Man gives a power boost to the tiger god inside White Tiger’s amulets. The tiger god is hardcore. This is a really cool issue. There’s some great humour in the bickering between Spider-Ock and Spider Hero. Monica’s gotten a major power boost, which is nice to see. Luke has a nice speech at the end about the Avengers. As far as the writing goes, this issue is rock-solid. Which makes it all the more disappointing that it’s saddled with Greg frigging Land on pencils. His inability to draw a face that accurately conveys the mood it should convey is a huge drawback to any part where he has to draw a face. Drop him, Marvel. I don’t care if he gets hi work in on time. He is not worth it. He is a shit artist, to the point where I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep supporting this series if he stays on it.

Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #1, by Matt Kindt and Marco Rudy. The first issue was a bizarre, trippy story that made less sense the more you thought about it, and it was awesome. This one starts with Spider-Man falling from a plane. We cut back 15 minutes, onboard the plane. Mysterio, Sandman, Hydro-Man and Shocker are all on the plane. Spider-Man punches Shocker while thinking about how he’s learned how to use his Spider-Sense to formulate plans. It’s actually a really neat explanation. Sandman smothers him, and he punches his way out. Then it’s Hydro-Man’s turn. Luckily, Shocker’s still there. No problem. That just leaves Mysterio. This one is a lot less trippy, but still weird. Kindt does a great job writing Spider-Man, going into his personality, his thought processes, his powers. But the star here is Rudy, who draws a weird-ass comic. The action is exciting. But it’s the little things. Like Peter’s memories of building a sand castle, or learning to swim. Those bits are drawn in a weird but cute style. And the layouts of the whole issue are weird and interesting. It’s a fascinating book just to look at.

And I also want to talk about Captain Marvel #17, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Filipe Andrade. Kit! There’s also a kid named Gilbert who’s so shy around Captain Marvel that he actually forgets his own name.  But mostly I loved seeing Kit. She’s awesome. This is a really nice, emotional issue. There’s a really cheesy bit with a bunch of people shouting “I am Captain Marvel!” but even that bit actually kinda works, and it’s a nice tribute to the Carol Corps. Carol also gets a new apartment: The crown of the Statue of Liberty. It’s a really nice issue, well worth picking up. I’m sad to see this volume end. Even sadder that it’ll be March before the next volume starts. And on a side note, the last page has a bit of a look at the new Ms. Marvel. We don’t see her face, but we see her putting up some Captain Marvel stuff in her bedroom. And man, I cannot tell you how excited I am for the new Ms. Marvel.

From → 2013, Uncategorized

  1. I’m with you on Amazing X-Men. Nightcrawler was the best part of the comic. I don’t know much about Firestar but she seems like she’ll fit into the X-Men field team. The story isn’t bad so far, but the humour did slow the plot down.

    Captain Marvel 17 might have worked better if it happened right after The Enemy Within, but it was still worth the wait. It’s also the perfect issue to leave off with until it restarts next March. I guess I’ll just have to re-read DeConnick’s first volume between now and then, and maybe try to find and read the rest of the previous 50-issue Miss Marvel run.

    As for Mighty Avengers, I’m not reading it yet because of Greg Land. I’ve kind of decided not to spend money on any book he’s working on. Tying into infinity was a little bit of a turn off as well. It sounds like a good issue though. After infinity, if Greg Land isn’t on it for a storyline I’ll definitely give it a go.

    • I don’t have a lot of experience with Firestar. But I’ve liked what I’ve seen. I read her debut mini. I’ve read a couple isolated issues of New Warriors. I read her time on the Avengers, and I think that, more than anything, made me absolutely love her as a character, because she really grew into herself in a great way. I also liked the Young Allies series she was in. And the one-shot by Sean McKeever and the amazing Emma Rios. That 2010 one-shot was a brilliant bit of work. Absolutely amazing. I’d highly recommend it if you can find it; it’s worth it. McKeever writes a really powerful, emotional story, and Emma Rios provides some gorgeous art.

  2. Hamburger Time permalink

    Glad to see I’m not alone in my love for the teleport-spam swordfight. That was cooler than anything involving Azazel has any right to be.

    • I thought the fight could’ve been awesome, but it was too short to accomplish that. It needed at least one more page, with just a dozen panels of teleporting and swordfighting. It could’ve been incredible.

    • I thought the fight could’ve been awesome, but it was too short to accomplish that. It needed at least one more page, with just a dozen panels of teleporting and swordfighting. It could’ve been incredible.

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