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X-Men comics (February 26, 2014)

February 26, 2014

This is a peculiarly light week, especially for X-titles. None of the X-titles I recommend came out this week. Virtually my entire pull list was actually books I don’t even review on this blog. But let’s get to some reviews anyway.

First, Wolverine and the X-Men #42, by Jason Aaron and . . . OK, there’s 8 artists listed, so to hell with that. This issue marks the end of Jason Aaron’s run on this series, and good riddance to bad rubbish. This series was awful. It was overly simplistic to the point of insulting its readers intelligence. It seems to be aimed at teens, but even for teens, this would be simplistic crap. It’s had two-dimensional characters and some of the worst villains I’ve ever seen. The Hellfire Brats never should have been created, and never should have been a real threat. They should be thrown into limbo, never to be seen again, except maybe to die horrible and permanent deaths. At least Aaron took the time to learn the names of a couple other characters. Hope has a three-second cameo, Pixie graduates to full X-Man, and Armour and Anole both get name-dropped. I guess Aaron felt like proving that he knew there were more than a half-dozen students at the school. You really showed us, Aaron. I sincerely hope you never actually write any of them, because if this series was any indication, you’d make them far less interesting than they actually are. This series was pure hack work. It ranks up with Chuck Austen’s work among the worst runs on any X-title. We’ll see if Jason Latour actually brings some depth to the characters in his runs, and if he can come up with villains who aren’t complete and utter shit, something Aaron never accomplished. (Hey, maybe the second arc of Amazing X-Men can use Paste-Pot Pete as the villain. It would still be an improvement over any of the villains Aaron’s used in his X-work.) In short, fuck this entire series. I guess I should mention the art in this issue, but meh.

Wolverine #2, by Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman. We start a few weeks ago, with Otto-Man beating up some of Goblin’s men, and Wolverine shows up. A guy puts a gun to Wolverine’s head, and he freezes up. Then we cut to the present, right after Wolverine shot a guy in the head. Offer’s pretty concerned about the fact that Wolverine just shifted his principles. Offer also explains his plan with Sabretooth. Creed’s been making some big plays, taking over a lot of criminal organizations. Offers doesn’t want to be taken over. So he’s going to use Wolverine to get Creed interested, merge their two organizations, and then take over. Back in the past, Wolverine wants any information Otto-Man has on Sabretooth, and the two talk about changing methods. Meanwhile, Kitty, at the New Xavier School, gets a letter from Storm asking her to speak to Wolverine. So Storm knows where the school is? Huh. Interesting. In the present, bow-chicka-wow-wow with Pinch. Next issue has Jubilee! Yay! She doesn’t show up in this one, it’s just that the solicit for the next issue mentions her. Jubes and Wolvie! Yay! Now if only Jubilee and Laura would hang out again. Anyway, this issue’s good. Minimal action, as we learn a bit more about what brought Wolverine to where he is now. The conversation between him and Otto-Man is really interesting stuff. And Offer actually seems really interesting. I like that he cares. Stegman’s art isn’t quite my style, but he does a good job. He can generally set tones well, and show expressions well. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s good art, quite a bit less cartoonish than his Superior Spider-Man work. It doesn’t bother me. It just doesn’t really do much for me.

Origin II #3, by Kieron Gillen and Adam Kubert. Clara is trying to convince Logan to talk, but his memories make him disinclined. Creed shocks him when he pops his claws. Sinister watches Logan at the circus, then asks to buy him from the owner. Creed has a nightmare, and then talks Logan. Turns out Creed used to be the one in a cage, and still has dreams about it. Sinister goes to Hugo with another offer, to examine Logan to prove he’s a wild man, to shut up the newspapers saying it’s a hoax. Turns out it was just a ploy. Sinister kills Hugo and starts to examine Logan. It’s kinda gruesome, but cool. Kubert’s a great artist. It’s very pretty. The story is interesting. Clara’s a bit of a cliche, particularly in Wolverine stories – the pure-hearted woman who takes pity on the noble savage. Creed gets some interesting complexity. I’m curious to see if this mini ends with Creed and Logan as friends or enemies. It could go either way, at this point, though I’m guessing enemy. I’m betting that Creed, already jealous of the attention Clara’s showing Logan, winds up killing her and blaming Logan. Just my guess. Either way, this book needs more Sinister. Gillen writes the best Sinister.

Uncanny Avengers #17, by Rick Remender and Steve McNiven. While the heroes of Earth try to prepare a defence against the Celestial, Thor and Eimin fight, and Grim Reaper tries to goad Wasp into killing him. Cap jumps in to help, but dies. So I guess that’s the end of Captain America. Surely, this won’t be retconned immediately. And the Earth is destroyed. And with that, all stakes in this story come to an end. We’ve just been told that nothing in this series will matter, because it’s all going to be erased anyway. So, whatever. Who cares? Matt Fraction, in his Defenders run, ended it all by retconning the whole thing out of existence. And it worked, because there was no real hint that that’s the way it was headed. Not until it was almost over. But Remender’s using the destruction of the Earth as a starting point for another story. A story that’s going to be that much harder to really care about, because nothing in it will have the least bit of importance. We know none of it will matter. That none of it will actually end up having happened. The main reason this bothers me is because, while we’re getting stories that aren’t actually happening, we’re missing out on stories of the Unity team actually doing things. The only question at this point is how much will be retconned, and whether Rogue, Wanda and Wonder Man will be brought back to life.

And that’s all the X-titles. But I do have a couple other Now! titles.

First, Guardians of the Galaxy #12, written by Brian Bendis, art by Sara Pichelli and Stuart Immonen. Yep, a double-dose of artistic beauty. This continues The Trial of Jean Grey crossover with All-New X-Men. We start with a flashback to young Scott watching his parents die in an exploding plane. Then he wakes up to see his father actually sitting beside him. (Side note: I’ve kinda missed the Starjammers. Glad to see Hepzibah back with them. Korvus has stuck around, too.) On Spartax, King J’son learns of Jean being abducted, and the Guardians getting involved, which forces him to get involved. On the Shi’ar throne world, the Imperial Guard are telling Gladiator that the X-Men are coming for Jean. Gladiator doesn’t believe it, and says they don’t have the technology to do so, but the Guard keep telling him that he abducted an X-Man, and they’re going to come for her. I love that the Guard are so genre savvy – of course the X-Men are going to follow. They always show up exactly where they’re not wanted, when they’re not wanted, no matter where or when it is. Then we cut to Scott and Corsair. Scott walks off, and Laura follows and hugs him. Aww. You know, if Scott’s going to be leaving ANXM to join his dad as a space pirate, that’s going to really derail the whole Scott/Laura thing that’s been building. That’ll be a shame. I’m actually really liking their budding relationship. Oracle pays a telepathic visit to Jean to update her on the tribunal about to be held, which then starts. The tribunal has Acanti there. Space whales. A trial with space whales. I love comics. This issue’s fantastic. Lots of really, really good stuff. The Guardians actually end up not doing much here. This is mostly about the reunion between Scott and Corsair, and the trial of Jean. And both of those are handled really, really well. There’s a lot of emotion and tension. And the book is gorgeous. Pichelli and Immonen are both top-notch artists, and they bring their A-game to this. They just knock it out of the park. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better-looking book on the stands. They really out-do themselves. Gorgeous.

Revolutionary War: Super Soldiers, by Rob Williams and Brent Anderson. We start with a movie being made based on the Super Soldiers, and one of the all-time greatest mockeries of ’90s comics ever, as one of the actors asks how he’s supposed to lift his gun, which is massive. The Super Soldiers are also apparently terrible actors. Pete Wisdom helicopters in, makes fun of the Super Soldiers, and then warns them that Mys-Tech is back. Not because he wants their help; he’s just giving them a head’s-up. And then a volcano in Edinburgh goes active. Lots of Psycho-Warriors. Including three named Killmuzzle, Big Guns and Andrea Dwarkin (with WAR in slightly larger letters). Such gloriously ’90s names. They want Hauer, the leader of the Super Soldiers. This is another fun issue, even aside from how it lovingly pokes fun at the ’90s. There’s some good characterization, some praise for the British Army. The Super Soldiers as bad actors was funny. The way they dive right back into combat the first chance they get was rather moving. The art’s good – matches the art from the rest of this story, and is reminiscent of the ’90s, but somehow in a good way. This is good. Next issue is Motormouth – that should be really cool.

Fantastic Four #1, by James Robinson and Leonard Kirk. You know, Kirk drew X-Factor for quite a while, andI always found his style to be fairly middling. Now he’s drawing the Fantastic Four. When did he go from a low-selling X-Men satellite to the Fantastic Four? Anyway. We start with Sue writing a letter for Franklin and Val to read when they’re a bit older, to explain what happened to the team. Reed’s become a broken man no longer capable of scientific wonders. Ben’s in prison for murder, based on testimony from Reed. Johnny’s become a “lost soul,” which seems to mean drunken party animal. Then we cut back. The team is taking on Fin Fang Foom. They work well together, though Reed’s concerned about why Finny went on a mindless rampage. Later, Sue wants to rush to Latveria and bring Valeria home, but Val needs time. Reed and Sue are interrupted by the FF kids, as Bentley is inventing a gun that transforms gross food into chocolate. Works for me. Ben goes to Alicia, hoping they could get back together, and Johnny goes to see his manager. Apparently, he’s going on tour. As a rock star. OK then. This is a good start. Interesting. It didn’t really blow me away, but I’m not a big fan of the Fantastic Four, so blowing me away with an FF story is hard to do. Especially a first issue. We’ll see how Robinson does. Kirk remains an artist I just find kinda middling. He’s not bad, but he’s not someone whose work I look out for.

I also want to mention Mighty Avengers #7, by Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti. Because it’s a damned fine comic. Ewing makes use of a ridiculous amount of history, referencing the last appearance of Gideon Mace back in 1981, and also mentioning Josie’s Bar, which showed up constantly in Daredevil in the ’80s (and also popped up in Spider-Man). He does some fantastic characterization, particularly with Ava, but Monica gets a really cool moment, too, when she starts giving out orders. And Schiti’s art is fantastic. This series is an absolute must-read.

I also want to mention that Secret Avengers ended today. Mockingbird’s not dead. I am so relieved. You seriously have no idea how glad I am that she’s still alive. She’s apparently teaming up with Bucky and Daisy – that’s a story I want to see. Hopefully they become a running plot thread in the next volume.


Edit: I forgot Deadpool #24, written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, art by Mike Hawthorne. I still dislike Hawthorne’s art. Oh well. It starts with Deadpool buying a whole lot of stuff for the mother of the woman he knocked up and is now dead. Deadpool heads to the LMD facility to get Preston out of his head. The SHIELD techno makes a comment about it being the same thing they do to Keith Richards whenever he dies. Apparently, since Tattoo You. Unless the SHIELD techno is really dedicated to her prank, which is what I prefer to believe. It amuses me more to believe she’s just decided to convince anyone she can that Keith Richards is an LMD. Anyway, the transfer starts to go wrong, forcing Michael the Necromancer and Ben Franklin to go into Deadpool’s head. Lots of Deadpools attack, and Strange explains it’s Deadpool trying to keep Preston from leaving. But he gets over it and lets her go. This was OK. I, uh, don’t have much to say about this issue.

From → 2014

  1. I know, you hate Wolverine and the X-men, but it’s a book that I felt started off well. and I initially enjoyed. However, reading this last issue I was sad that this utter crap was what the book that I used to like had become. And the art…… Don’t get me started. Hated this issue.

  2. I’m curious to check out Wolverine: Killable. Is it worth reading? And I agree with the Laura/Jubilee thing. Don’t you find it odd that X-23 has never really appeared in a Wolverine comic? You’d think Marvel would ensure that she would have by now as it could help promote the character while also showing the differences in their personalities.

    I also liked WATXM at first, but even then the Hellfire kids were the weakest aspect of the title. Boy did it go downhill after AVX. The Hellfire Academy arc was offensively bad with the way Aaron handled certain characters. Since AVX, there were a couple good issues that focused on specific characters (I forget the number, but there was the one serious issue that focused on Angel after his ordeal in Dark Angel Saga). I dropped the title after Battle of the Atom and I won’t miss it.

    If they made it clear early on that Uncanny Avengers was an alternate universe storyline of sorts, I probably would have read it longer, but I didn’t pick this issue up and learning that Earth was actually destroyed in it, I don’t want to.

    But yes, Guardians was very good, I’m not sure what I think about Fantastic Four 1 (might just stick to the runs of Stan lee, John Byrne, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction & others).

    • I thought Killable was actually pretty good. Especially the ending. Sabretooth verbally tearing Wolverine apart was glorious. Because Wolverine’s a dick and he deserves it.

      Byrne’s FF was so damned good. I’ve been reading it, and it’s just brilliant stuff.

      • Same here. I’ve been reading it slowly over the last few months to savor every issue. Just got to the part where She Hulk joins.

  3. Some one permalink

    Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty bad typical half ass writing from Bendis it makes me sad that he’s going to gets his claws in to Carol Danvers later this year.

    • GotG has generally been a disappointment under Bendis, very reminiscent of his Avengers run, with characterization largely replaced by quips and banter. The latest issue, though, was very strong. I’m not bothered by Captain Marvel joining the cast, because GotG is selling well, and it’s possible that her presence in that book will prompt people to pick up her solo title. Bendis doing a weak job with her will be OK if it means more people read KSD’s book and join the Carol Corps.

      • Some one permalink

        Despite my opinion of Bendis run on GOTG, I do hope that Captain Marvel joining does get more people to look at her book.. Since KSD does such a great job writing Carol.

  4. I’ve been thinking of reading the new Wolverine reboot. Maybe, maybe if I have a light week for books next week I’ll catch up.

    • Cornell’s a good writer. There’s some interesting stuff in the new book. But it’s still a Wolverine series, and Wolverine sucks. He’s a dick and I don’t like him. I never have.

  5. I found your Jason Aaron WatXM rant so therapeutic. I didn’t read the whole run, but subjected myself to about 15-17 issues in the middle. I love the Hellfire club, so that’s what drew me in. But I quickly grew to hate Aaron’s writing. Hate it. His dialogue was like nails on a chalkboard for me. It wasn’t saturday morning cartoon dialogue; it was CBS sit-com dialogue. It was like Wolverine and the Two Broke Girls. Terrible. Sadly, I did really like the art on this series.

    I found Wolverine #2 interesting. They actually turned a gimmick into a decent story. “Hey look, Wolverine and Spider-Man! Buy this issue! New Series! Over here!” But the idea that Wolvie wants to talky to Dr. Spoctopus about his methodology kind of fit with the story Cornell is telling here. I’m not in love with this series, but so far it’s holding its own.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Comic-Verse: Awesome Art & The Top 15 Featured Links (02/22/14-02/28/14) | The Speech Bubble
  2. Thoughts on Marvel’s Infinity and writing update | healed1337

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