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X-Men comics (December 18, 2013)

December 18, 2013

So this is going up on the right day after all. Woo-hoo, I suppose. I’ll be briefer than usual, though, because I don’t feel great. Also, I just got dumped. Like, an hour ago. Ah well. Well, here we go.

First off, Pretty Deadly #3, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios. A few people online have complained about the story being hard to follow. This issue brings a few answers. We know who Fox is, we know his relationship to Deathface Ginny, and we know where Sissy came from. There’s some callbacks to the first issue. We see Molly talk to Johnny Coyote. The characters all have interesting voices, and while we get some answers, there’s also some more questions raised. The art remains gorgeous. Just stunning pencils by Rios, and great colours by Bellaire. I want this series to go on forever. Buy this series. Buy it. It is absolutely incredible. The best book on the stands.

All-New X-Men #20, by Brian Bendis and Brandon Peterson. X-23 is introduced to the team, and once she figures out that it’s not a trick, she asks their help in going back after the Purifiers, led by the son of William Stryker. The assault seems to go well . . . at first. This is pretty good. Bendis doesn’t have Laura’s voice right, though. She doesn’t fit his style well. Bendis’ dialogue is quick, clever and has a lot of babbling. Laura is brief, terse, and to-the-point. She doesn’t do quick and clever. She does short sentences, and she thinks before she speaks, so avoids babbling. I don’t normally mind Bendis’ dialogue style, it just doesn’t work for Laura. He has her talk too much, and she is not a talker. Other than that, though, it’s good. The cover is a bit of a lie – Scott and Laura don’t kiss. Scott is attracted to her, but there’s no indication she’s attracted to him. She probably will be soon, but not yet. The art is good. Some very good action scenes. Laura’s eyes are still coloured wrong – I’m resigned to the fact that her eyes seem to have permanently changed from green to blue. I was also glad to see Lockheed, if only briefly. I always love seeing Lockheed. This remains a solid series.

X-Men #8, by Brian Wood, pencils by Terry Dodson and Barry Kitson. Typhoid Mary steals all the files the X-Men have on Arkea, including the only live sample. She escapes, but Psylocke tails her. Lady Deathstrike meets with John Sublime, who explains to her what Arkea actually is, and why she has to be destroyed, rather than being used as a body upgrade. Deathstrike doesn’t believe him, and she and Mary go hunting for more Arkea specimens, meeting with the Enchantress along the way. We also get a little more advancement on the Bling! subplot, as she talks to Jubilee about the Mercury thing. Roxy also gives Jubilee a kiss, which is something I saw coming, but I don’t mind being right. Mercury’s reaction face is interesting. Perhaps Mercury is actually confused by the feelings she has for Roxy? Perhaps that’s why she punched her? Either way, I’m really enjoying that plotline. I like it as a little continuing personal drama running through the series. No high stakes, no superhero stuff . . . just some good high school girl interpersonal drama. All the plots are continuing along really well. This is a great book. Wood’s doing a lot of excellent character work while also telling an interesting story. The art looks great, too. Especially Dodson’s stuff – I really like Dodson’s art. Kitson’s stuff seems to be a bit cleaner. It looks just as good, really; the difference between the two is slight, and it comes down to just a slight preference for Dodson. This is a very good book.

Uncanny X-Force #15, by Sam Humphries and Phil Briones. Fighting! This is the big climactic showdown. Spiral saves Ginny, Bishop learns that Storm messed with his memories, Psylocke frees Demon Bear from Cassandra’s control, and Psylocke kills her own British body to save the world. I really enjoyed this series. It was crazy and fun. Puck ended up being wasted, and Storm didn’t get much to do, either, and that’s a shame. But Psylocke got a lot of great stuff, and Bishop got some nice rehab work done. Spiral got to be cool, too. The art was always good – some really nice ethereal qualities all throughout, that played off the writing very well. It was a good series, and I’m sad to see it go, though not too surprised. It never seemed to catch on. Shame, that. Ah well.

Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe #4, written by Chris Hastings, pencils by Jacopo Camagni and Victor Calderon-Zurita. While big fighting chaos goes on, tests are run on the teddy bear, which turns out to be a Cosmic Cube that was split in half – teddy bear on one side, demon on the other. Meanwhile, Longshot keeps getting weird memory flashes. Eventually, they manage to save the day. The finale is as weird as the rest of the series, appropriately so. It was definitely a lot of fun. The art was fairly bland, and Longshot’s new haircut is so, so bad. But it was still a fun little mini.

Deadpool #21, written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, art by Mike Hawthorne. Deadpool and Agent Preston are visiting Strange for help with getting Preston out of Deadpool’s head. Preston’s SHIELD friend goes to the LMD development labs to ask for a Preston LMD, but one has already been built. Agent Gorman puts a price on Deadpool’s head – $10 million. Crossbones finds him first. This is pretty OK. It’s not the goofy antics I was worried the book would return to. It feels a little more like Deadpool should feel. Some comedy, some drama, about equal amounts. I don’t like the art, though. I hate it. Still, if the writing stays like this, the series should be worth reading.

Uncanny Avengers #15, by Rick Remender and Steve McNiven. Daken and Grim Reaper lecture Wolverine, mutants are all teleported into capsules on the Twins’ ship, Wasp is chased down by Sentry, Thor fights him, Captain America fights the Twins, and a Celestial shows up to destroy the Earth. I continue to be unimpressed. Whatever. I don’t really care about this book.

There’s the X-titles. Now the Inhumanity stuff.

Avengers Assemble #22, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Warren frigging Ellis, pencils by Matteo Buffagni. June Covington finds she can’t analyze the Inhuman she found – he’s invisible to machines. Team Lady Spiders manage to free themselves from the AIM goons about to shoot them, in a scene that’s hilarious. Spider-Girl calls Black Widow dumb, and asks the AIM goons to back her up on it. So weirdly goofily funny. Once they’re free, they need to find out who AIM sold her teacher’s body to, so Wolverine gets Banner into Kashmir Vennema’s car for another fun scene, which ends in him Hulking out and about to kill Vennema, until Spider-Woman suggests they go get sandwiches. I love Spider-Woman and the Hulk. They make such a great pair. I want a whole series about those two having adventures together. Anyway, another great issue. Ellis inserts himself flawlessly, so you can’t even really tell that he’s co-writing. It’s still got DeConnick’s clever style. June is great. I love June. This arc is going great. The art is good, though not spectacular. I don’t think Buffagni’s ever going to top anyone’s “favourite artist” list, but at the same time, I doubt he’ll be on anyone’s “least favourite artist” list, either. He’s just kinda bland. But the story and writing are good.

And should I mention Young Avengers #14? We get Miss America’s backstory. It’s neat. I hope she lands in another series soon. She’s too cool to be wasted. All in all, it’s a cool issue, with some very nice fill-in art from a bunch of cool artists who are clearly having fun. It’s a party issue, it’s great.


From → 2013

  1. The on field pairing of Hulk and Spider Woman is pure genius. Avengers Assemble is the Avengers book to read right now.

    Apart from Laura’s speech patterns, Bendis seems to have a decent grip on her character. One common criticism of his writing is that most of his characters sound a bit too similar. It didn’t bother me because I kind of expected it. Otherwise though, great issue.

    I’m about ready to drop Uncanny Avengers. I’m finding it harder to care with each passing issue.

    And what is this you say about Deadpool improving? I didn’t see that one coming. I think I’ll still stick with the Deadpool classic TPs though. Today saw the first re-release of Gail Simone’s run on the series and that’s supposed to be good.

    That’s too bad about your breakup. Have a virtual beer to help you feel better, or maybe just print copies of the Avengers Arena books you downloaded and start tearing them into pieces.

    • I really want a Spider-Woman/Hulk series.

      Bendis’ characters do sometimes have a same-ness to them, but they still generally have distinct personalities. I just think he needs to dial back his style when it comes to Laura.

      It’s pretty clear that nothing in UA will end up mattering. And the story is so grimdark, so focused on death and misery, that it makes it that much more difficult to care about a story that won’t matter.

      Simone’s run was pretty OK. As I recall, she did Agent X, which wasn’t bad. It’s far from the best run, but far from the worst.

      And thanks.

  2. Well I have agree stuff by Kelly Sue is great, but I think I’m done with Bendis. I just wish he didn’t convince marvel let him write Carol Danvers again next year…

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