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X-Men comics (May 7, 2014)

May 7, 2014

Still no luck finding a job. I need to look a bit harder, I think. Oh well. For now, comics.

First, All-New X-Factor #7, by Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico. We open some girl speaking on a Webcam about how much she hates being stuck in one place all the time. Her dad doesn’t approve of the video, and has his bodyguard shoot the cam. At Serval Industries, Snow and his secretary, Linda, talk about his wife knowing they’re sleeping together. Then Quicksilver argues with Danger about her reading a fiction book by a wealthy anti-mutant douche. Turns out it’s that guy’s daughter we saw earlier. The team debates going in and getting her away from her father. Lorna reluctantly agrees to go in, but only as civilians, to keep Serval uninvolved. They show up at the guy’s bunker, and immediately get shot all to hell. Of course, it’s worth remembering that Danger can create holo-images. And then we get to meet Georgia. Who’s . . . interesting. This is good. PAD’s back to character-driven stuff, which is what he’s always been best at. There’s plenty of clever banter that also gives insight into the characters. The story itself is pretty cool. I still think Carmine’s a bad fit, but his art does look good. He does an especially good job with Georgia. All in all, X-Factor’s getting back into a nice groove.

Cyclops #1, by Greg Rucka and Russell Dauterman. Scott gives a quick recap of who he is and what’s going on, and then we join him in space, trying to get the hang of doing a spacewalk, with Hepzibah helping him out. Scott propels himself with his optic blasts, and slams right into the ship. He reflects on not liking the man he’s become, and Hepzibah goes to make out with Corsair, who says he doesn’t know how to be a father. Scott keeps trying to write a letter to Jean, but the ship’s attacked by a Badoon ship. The Starjammer takes the Badoon ship out. And then it’s boarding time – Corsair, Hepzibah and Scott. It’s a nice issue. Some very sweet stuff going on. Fun action, good character stuff. It’s cool. Rucka’s a good writer, Dauterman’s a good (albeit conventional) artist.  It’s all good. I really don’t have much to say about this book, though. One thing I will say, at the risk of spoiling something, is that Scott and Corsair are going to take a break from the Starjammers. I actually wanted to see them hang around. Ah, well. I guess we’ll see how this goes.

Magneto #3, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta. The guy who gave Magneto soup last issue is being questioned by the authorities. The shanty town is being closed down, but the guy says he has no idea where Magneto went. Magneto infiltrates the Proto-Sentinel facility, sneaking in. He sees a couple of them being created, and thinks back on the Sentinels who wiped out Genosha. Then he starts a fight, capturing a doctor in charge. She explains that they don’t want to kill mutants, they just want to be left alone. This is another good issue. Magneto makes a good anti-hero. I’m still not keen on Walta’s art, but that’s a matter of personal taste – he does a good job nonetheless. Bunn does effective writing. Magneto’s inner monologue is well-done. He’s doing some solid work on this book.

Deadpool vs. Carnage #3, by Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin. They fight. Carnage gets the upper hand, and also gets annoyed at Deadpool not shutting up. Deadpool tells Carnage that Chaos is an imaginary friend, and Carnage throws him into the path of a semi. Carnage has commandeered a car, a minivan with a cowering family. His neck can apparently stretch a lot. Creepy. Eventually, they reach a ghost town – one with a secret military organization. Which happens to contain some symbiotes. This was OK. Just OK. Better than the previous issue. Carnage’s brutality is hinted at effectively, but when it’s shown it becomes less effective. Deadpool’s talk of signs gets old. Silva’s art is a bit bland. it doesn’t really fit the book well. They should’ve gone with someone like Rock-He Kim, or better, Clayton Crain. Someone with a style that makes the violence look more brutal and horrific. Silva’s got a very comic book style, that makes the violence feel a little sterilized. Even better if they’d also gotten Zeb Wells to write it – Wells and Crain made a good Carnage pair in the past. As it is, something that could’ve been great is just mediocre.

And that’s the X-titles. So now the Now! titles.

She-Hulk #4, by Charles Soule and Javier Pulido. Angie is talking to Jen about the Kristoff Vernard case, and Jen decides to go to San Francisco to get advice from Daredevil. Then they have a fun night out on the town. And Jen flies out to Latveria (using a fake ID under the name Carmen Foxglove – that’s a pretty awesome fake name). She breaks into the castle, but the Doombot refuses to summon reinforcements. So then she uses a giant cannon to blast some Doombots out of the sky. It works too well – a giant Doombot grabs her. And that’s when she lays an emotional smackdown on Doom, asking if he really loves Kristoff, and saying he’s being too hard on the kid. As usual, this series is fun but heartfelt. There’s great comedy, but there’s also a lot of sweetness. The stuff between Jen and Matt is great – there’s a cool camaraderie between them, as the two main superhero lawyers. The stuff between Jen and Doom is also oddly nice. I like that Jen wasn’t there to fight, but to talk. I also like that she did still get to smash a couple Doombots, and fire a giant cannon. Pulido’s art is going to remain divisive. I’m fine with it – I think the cartoonishness fits the tone of the book, but I can definitely understand why other people would find it unpleasant. It works for me, but it won’t work for everyone. Still, however you feel about the art, the writing is excellent, and it’s a great series, well worth picking up.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #4, by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett. I want to mention that the recap page ends with, “A gelatinous cube has entered the room. Roll 2D6.” Anyway. We start with Sigurd climbing a mountain in Tibet to talk to Kaluu (Al Ewing really likes Kaluu, it seems), and try to sell him Gram, the Sword of Truth. Kaluu asks how he came by it, so we cut to Sigurd climbing up the side of Loki’s apartment building and sneaking in while Loki has Verity over for dinner. Sigurd sneaks in using an invisibility belt he stole from an AIM warehouse in Schenectady, and I’m convinced the only reason that’s where he stole it from is because it’s a fun word. Schenectady. Say it out loud a few times. It’s fun. Anyway, Verity sees through the invisibility. Sigurd says he’s just borrowing the sword, which is his anyway, so there’s no need to make it a thing. A flashback shows Loki was tasked with bringing Sigurd back to Asgardia. Sigurd and Loki engage in a sword-duel. Fun! And then we return to the present, with Sigurd and Kaluu, and get all sorts of fun twists and tricks and things. It’s great. Ewing’s doing a great job on this book. It’s fun, funny, interesting, and unpredictable. The characterization’s really good, and there’s all sorts of cool deceits going on. The dialogue is really funny. He uses “rhubarb rhubarb” for indistinct talking. Sigurd slips into the Olde English to flirt with Verity. There are brief descriptions of what Sigurd’s wearing and what Verity’s eating (along with the secret to cooking good salmon). The art’s great, too. It’s a good match for the book. There’s a bit of a fantasy feel to it, which works. And Garbett captures expressions very well. This is a great book. There’s no excuse not to be reading this one.

New Warriors #4, by Chris Yost and Marcus To. We start a few months ago, with High Evolutionary and an Evolutionary both being summoned to Ethiopia, where they’re told how to ensure humanity survives. In the present, High Evolutionary tells the Evolutionaries to be merciful to the escaped Warriors, and kill them quickly. Then the other Warriors show up, and Big Fight Time! Mark, the Inhuman, turns into a giant monster. It’s pretty awesome. And then High Evolutionary activates a weapon designed to kill people with powers. Which leaves only Sun Girl still standing. I’m enjoying this series. Part of the reason I’m buying it is that it’s a fairly diverse team, but I’m finding it a fun book overall. The plot is pretty cool, and the dialogue is clever. The art’s very conventional, but it looks good. This is far from the best book Marvel’s putting out, but it’s good, and I’m enjoying it.

Moon Knight #3, by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey. A gay couple is watching down the street, and the older guy hears music. Then a group of punk ghosts show up and start beating people up. Moon Knight, as Mr. Knight,  shows up to fight them, but they’re ghosts. Back at his old mansion, Moon Knight asks Khonshu for advice. Khonshu tells him he’ll need to use equipment for fighting the dead. The next night, he shows up in a special costume that looks like armour for a mummy, complete with a Khonshu beak mask. This fight goes better. This issue’s . . . really, really weird. It’s good, but weird. It does read a little too quickly. That’s been a bit of a weakness with this series so far. The issues really don’t take long. There’s also a bit of an odd impersonal feel to them, though it actually kinda works for the character. Still, I’m looking forward to Ellis getting to something a bit meatier. The art’s good. I didn’t like Shalvey at all on Deadpool, but he’s doing better work here. It’s darker, moodier, and Shalvey does that well. For now, I’d have trouble giving the book a full recommendation, simply because comics are expensive enough that a story that’s finished in 5 minutes is a bit of a rip-off. It’s a good book, I’m just not sure it’s worth the price.

Original Sin #1, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. The Watcher’s in his base, and he realizes he’s about to die. But he keeps his eyes open. And then his house blows up. On Earth, Captain America, Wolverine, Black Widow and Nick Fury are eating steak. Nick Fury says the best steak he’s ever had was Christmas, 1944, Bastogne. It’s a great story, and one I actually wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find was based on some real event. And then Cap gets a call from Thor. They go up, and meet Thor and Iron Man there, to find the Watcher dead, his eyes removed. Cap asks Nick to lead the investigation. Someone else asks Black Panther to investigate. Ant-Man – Scott Lang – meets up with Emma Frost to look into one place. Strange and Punisher are another team. Moon Knight, Winter Soldier and Gamora make a third team. On Earth, Thing and Spider-Man fight a Mindless One who’s no longer mindless. This is a good start, but then, a lot of events have good starts. There’s some nice character moments, and the plot is fairly interesting. The art’s good, as is usual from Deodato. It’s a good first issue. The question is whether the rest of the story will be any good. For my part, I don’t particularly care about this event. I seldom care about events, because they;re so seldom truly worth caring about.

Punisher #5, by Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerards. Loot, Punisher’s coyote, finds Punisher’s base. He’s got a tracker in his ear. Electro goes to a power station and turns it off, causing a citywide blackout. Officer Stone, the female officer, finds a couple looters with gas masks. They shoot her, but her Kevlar vest keeps her alive, and she shoots them back. One gets away, the other she beats the crap out of. All over the city, cops are being killed. A Del Sol brother is driving, and comes across the Punisher, who blows up his car and shoots his thugs. This continues to be a good Punisher series. Good writing, good art. If I gave a damn about the Punisher, I’d probably be enjoying this. Of course, I don’t care about him, so I’m not enjoying this series much. Also, I was expecting Domino to appear for more than a single panel with no line. Oh well. Next issue, probably.

And finally, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #2, by Kaare Andrews. Iron Fist tells the reporter to call an ambulance. In K’un Lun, the death of the dragon Shou-Lao is being celebrated, as her death brings life to the city. A female Thunderer finds a young girl named Pei in a forbidden chamber with a dragon egg. The Thunderer’s brother, Davos, plans to kill their father. Davos kills his sister. Outside, military helicopters show up. A weird, monstrous thing wants to speak to the Yu-Ti, who’s the former Thunderer, Iron Fist’s old mentor. In New York, Iron Fist heads to a secret way to K’un Lun, beneath Rand Tower. Then he flashes back to his mother’s death. This series is good. The art’s great. Excellent work from Andrews. And the writing’s solid, too. The reporter’s hysteria is very well-written, and Iron Fist has a cool voice here. It’s different from usual. Angrier. I like it. This is a solid story Andrews is telling.

From → 2014

  1. Dude, I’ve been looking for a job for almost a year now. A couple weeks isn’t that bad.

    There kind of isn’t that much to say about Cyclops 1. It’s a good comic, but in some ways it feels like a prologue to the main series. Definitely worth reading for anyone who likes Scott Summers though, young or old.

    I think She Hulk enjoyed Doom’s big gun a bit too much, but that scene was awesome.

    I was hoping that New Warriors would be better, but there’s always the chance it’ll improve from here. So far, it’s just fun but nothing special.

    So Original Sin is off to a better start than Infinity? I’m still waiting until the full event releases and I can hope to find it bundled for a discount like I did with Infinity.

  2. Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design.
    Excellent choice of colors!

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