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X-Men comics (May 28, 2014)

May 28, 2014

I’ve got a job interview tomorrow. At a local library. It’s only part-time, but it’s better than welfare. For today, not many comics to review.

Wolverine #7, by Paul Cornell and Gerardo Sandoval. Sabretooth’s holding some glowing orb, but then some monkeys steal it from him. Heh. Wolverine chases after, and gets ambushed by the Hand. Luckily, Faiza Hussein heals him up before he dies. Pinch sees, and asks about it, but he avoids the question. Then his team catches up with the object, and Wolverine grabs it, but it summons alternate versions of Wolverine. It scans him some more, and then finds his opposite – which is actually him in his new armour. Pinch realizes she’s been sleeping with a lie. She manages to take control of the orb, and then it’s time for the truth. This remains a good series. It all went to hell for Wolverine a lot sooner than I expected. I suppose to gear up for his temporary death in a few months. I know Marvel hasn’t said it’s going to be temporary, but come on . . . it’s temporary. I’m not a fan of Sandoval’s art. It’s a bit too thick and sharp for my tastes. And the other problem with this series, of course, is that I still don’t care about Wolverine.

Deadpool #29, written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, art by John Lucas. Dracula’s forces are attacking Shiklah’s, and Shiklah and Deadpool head out to help. Deadpool kills a vampire with a Wakandan gun, but uses up the last of the energy. Shiklah tasks Deadpool with killing all vampires. Deadpool heads up to the SHIELD Helicarrier, where he talks to Preston about his missing daughter, and then chats with Dazzler, asking her help against the vampires, but she refuses. She’s also still Mystique. Then the Original Sin tie-in stuff starts, and we find out about more Deadpool’s daughter. Another good issue, though not a great one. It’s a bit of a mess, really; too much going on, and it seems to struggle a bit to figure out what tone it wants to go with. The art doesn’t help with that at all. The art, to be blunt, kinda just sucks. It’s a distinctly unpleasant style. But more to the point, it’s more on the cartoonish side, which hurts the dramatic moments of the issue. This book would be so much better if they put on artists who aren’t so gross. Actually, Emma Rios might be the perfect fit for this book. And I know I always want her drawing everything, but she actually does make sense. She’s very, very good at drawing violence. Pretty Deadly #2 had an eyeball being slices open, heads being sliced in half, and the whole series was full of gore. That works for Deadpool. But she’s also got a real tension to her work that would also work really well for him. And I’m sure she could do visual gags well, too. So I now want Emma Rios to do work on Deadpool, Elektra and All-New Ghost Rider, along with a Cloak and Dagger series. And to keep working on Pretty Deadly. I really want to work that poor woman to death. Anyway. This issue, a bit on the meh side.

Uncanny Avengers #20, by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna. Magneto is killing Havok, against Scott’s wishes. Magistrate Braddock is fighting Psylocke, who’s in a costume that makes her old purple bathing suit look positively modest – clearly, this is not among Marvel’s more progressive books. It’s actually a bit of a throwback to before even Remender’s UXF, which did a very good job highlighting Psylocke. Beast is fighting Blob, Pyro and a young, female Avalanche. Blob is about to kill Wasp. Cyclops blasts Magneto, and has a touching moment with Havok where he gives Havok his trust. That’s just the kind of guy Scott is, and always has been. He’s willing to take risks if it’ll save the Earth. Thor beats on Eimin while May Parker beats up Daken. Then Kang shows up to deal with Eimin, and everyone gets together to put the plan into motion. I’m actually not a fan of Acuna’s art. It’s a bit muddy, I find. I know he’s one of the bigger artists, but I just find his muddiness distracting. I also dislike the designs for Eimin and Psylocke’s costumes here. They feel like they fall into the ’90s exploitative style. I also dislike Wasp’s costume, though I’ve disliked that from the start – it’s just not a good look. Just a personal gripe, I suppose. As for the writing, some of it’s good, some of it’s awful. Thor gives a speech at the end that’s so on-the-nose it’s ridiculous. This issue is obviously the turnaround of the whole series – the issue that starts things towards the day being saved. This whole Apocalypse Twins stuff wraps up soon. I really, really hope we get at least a few issues of the team doing the thing they were put together to do – namely, PR and promoting tolerance for mutants – before Axis starts. There’s rumours that Bishop might be joining soon, which would be good, since it would add a bit of colour to this team that currently consists of only one person of colour out of as cast of 9. Storm’s also apparently going to be a part of Axis, and again, it’ll be nice to have more colour on the team, and another woman. I still don’t care about this series, though. It’s still dark and miserable and joyless.

And that’s all the X-titles. But there’s some Now! titles, including . . .

Ms. Marvel #4, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Yay Ms. Marvel! Last issue ended with Kamala (disguised as Captain Marvel) getting shot in the gut. This one starts with Bruno calling an ambulance. Kamala doesn’t want him to, and she reverts back to normal to show him it’s her. And morphing healed her, which is what a lot of people predicted would happen. I don’t think anyone predicted the bullet would fall down the back of her pants.  Kamala and Bruno talk to the cops briefly, then Kamala decides to help Bruno’s brother, Vick. But first, she needs a costume. She grabs her burkini – one she swore never to wear – and a fanny pack (yep, a fanny pack, but she rocks it in the front, ’cause that’s the way thew new Ms. Marvel rolls!) and heads out to where Vick’s been. And there, we get her first fight scene. This continues to be an utterly delightful series. Just wonderful. Kamala’s a fantastic character, one that I hope is around for a long, long time. She’s so adorably dorky. Bruno’s cool, too. Also a bit dorky. I like him wanting to feel like a secret agent. Kamala’s makeshift costume – not quite identical yet to what’s on the cover, but getting closer – is a clever idea. She’s a teenager, so it makes sense for her costume to just be whatever clothes she has laying around. (And by the way, speaking of the cover, can I just say how much I love Jamie McKelvie’s art? I’d love it if he did interiors for a few issues at some point. His Ms. Marvel looks so fierce and badass.) Alphona’s art continues to be excellent. Fewer visual gags this issue – aside from a sleep mask called “Coma Chameleon” – but he draws her morphing very well. Her body parts growing is always neat.  This is just such a great series. You need to be picking this up. You really do.

Thanos Annual, by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim. Before I start the issue, I want to mention that, apparently, Marvel’s put a ban on Thanos and Adam Warlock. This came right around the time they brought in Starlin to do some stuff (including a Thanos mini). I like to think that someone at Marvel just got fed up with everything Starlin writes being Thanos and said, “You know what? No. He’s not allowed to write Thanos any more, because it’s all he ever writes.” Anyway, the story. We start a few years ago, at the end of the classic 1974 Captain Marvel story where Thanos got a Cosmic Cube. Mar-Vell smashed the Cube and defeated Thanos, and Thanos broke. And then he wound up in Mephisto’s realm. Mephisto wants to recruit Thanos, but Thanos refuses. Mephisto decides to kill Thanos, but another Thanos – with the Infinity Gauntlet – stops it. While he fights Captain America – and before Silver Surfer fails in his attempt to steal the Gauntlet – he’s sent some temporal avatars to explore some mysteries. One is how he got over the loss of the Cube. Then Thanos tries to steal the Gauntlet from himself. Then there’s lots of talking about the nature of Thanos. Gauntlet-Thanos also mentions getting his heart ripped out by Drax as being one of his favourite deaths. I love that. This is really, really good. Starlin, of course, has always been the definitive Thanos writer, though DnA did, I thought, a pretty great job with him in The Thanos Imperative. Here, we get an interesting review of who he is and what he’s done, while also getting a nice look at his personality. And we get a set-up for the next story, Infinity Revelation. Which, I’m sure, will have some people pointing out as proof that Marvel’s going to reboot. Which won’t happen. Ever. Because Marvel knows it would cost them a lot more readers than they could possibly pick up. Lim’s art here is great. He did the classic Infinity Gauntlet series, and he’s lost none of his talent since then. His style, actually, seems to have remained much the same, making it feel like a classic comic. This is definitely a good Annual. Not really necessary reading, but worth reading.

All-New Invaders #5, by James Robinson and Steve Pugh. We start with a review of their plan. Bucky faking his death and sneaking off to free Aarkus, and the two would then go stealth. Tanalth finds the two, and Aarkus teleports away, leaving Bucky to try to survive against Tanalth alone. Meanwhile, the other Invaders are still fighting Ikaris. Time for the plan. Jim’s been increasing the radiation in the air, and lets loose a flame burst that takes out the Kree soldiers. Cap throws his shield – laced with nanites containing a super-virus – at the Supremor. And Aarkus shows up with the Eternal, Makkari. A fine conclusion. And one hell of a final page, which I won’t spoil, but the Eternals seem to be planning one hell of a vengeance against the Kree. I’ll admit, I do still find this series to be a bit too big and too cool. I do like the plan Cap came up with, though. Very clever. And it came together very well. The art’s great. It’s definitely a good book. And I can only hope that some diversity gets added on a permanent basis soon. I still think Jim Hammond should be revealed as pansexual.

Fantastic Four #5, by James Robinson and Leonard Kirk. The Fantastic Four are on trial. She-Hulk is defending them, obviously. Reed’s on the stand, and the prosecuting attorney goes all the way back to the start – literally – the show how dangerous the FF are. He points out that, when Reed fired that first signal flare to summon the team – back when they lived in California – the team did extensive damage when getting there. Ben is asked about one of his first fights with the Hulk, smashing up Manhattan. Sue is asked about her history with Namor, and why the FF never tried to bring him to justice for the crimes he committed against humanity. Then Johnny’s asked much the same about why the FF never shared their information about the Inhumans with any national security branches. Reed’s asked about Valeria being in Latveria with Doom. Reed’s also asked about the Ultimate Nullifier and the Negative Zone portal. Sue’s asked about the time she was Malice. A civilian is asked about his car being destroyed . . . by the Thing, who was angry at people gawking and taking pictures of him. It’s some brutal stuff. And it fits along the trend over the past few years of questioning whether superheroes do as much harm as good, and whether they’re too unrestrained. Betty Brant, talking to She-Hulk, even makes the point that the FF are on trial for all superheroes. And I know a lot of people argue that the civilians of the Marvel Universe are idiots for being so hard on superheroes, since there wouldn’t even be an Earth without them, but there’s some really valid points raised here, and it makes clear just how terrifying it would be to live in that world. The Thing, in particular, actually does have a history of being frigging insane. And while I’m sure this series is eventually going to prove once more that the FF are good and necessary, and the status quo will return, I do like just how willing Marvel is to question the very nature of the superhero genre. Oh, and, uh, the writing and art are good. Also, Doom beats up Count Nefaria. And there’s a Jim Hammond cameo! Where he shows what a great guy he is.

Inhuman #2, by Charles Soule and Joe Madureira. In the remains of Attilan, a scientist wants to examine the remains of Dante’s mom. Dante refuses. Medua agrees to have her scientist stand down, and Dante loses control of his powers anyway, because he’s an idiot. Gorgon tells him to close his eyes and count to ten. Gorgon punches Dante on three. I like Gorgon. Then Cap arrives for a talk. And then Cap and Medusa go beat up some guys from AIM. This is pretty good, but as I said about the last issue, the delays killed its momentum, and apparently more delays are coming. Soule is doing a good job on the writing, but it’s not enough to save the book. I don’t like Madureira’s art, though plenty of people do. But even so, his art isn’t enough to save the book, either. I really don’t see this series lasting very long.

I also want to mention Mighty Avengers #10, if only because it opens with Blade, in an electronics store, fight “fire-breathing were-roosters,” with the added caption of, “Don’t say we’re not good to you.” After killing the were-roosters, he mentions the were-snakes from last issue, along with were-slugs, were-bugs, were-rhinoceros, were-octopi, and a were-honey-badger. I love Al Ewing. There’s also Monica referencing Nextwave while killing a Mindless One. Monica is so badass it’s actually a little intimidating and it makes her that much sexier. Of course, Greg Land remains the biggest hack in the comic book industry, and the day Marvel fires that tracing asshole will be a good day.

And another note: Captain Marvel is on the cover of this issue of Guardians of the Galaxy. She is not on the inside. They did the exact same shit with the recent Free Comic Book Day issue, putting her on the cover but leaving her out of the issue. This time, she was front and centre. The solicit even mentions her being there. But she is not actually in the issue. So stupid. Don’t put someone on the cover if they’re not in the issue. Especially don’t put them as the focal point of the cover. As it is, that cover is a lie. It’s meant to get fans of the character to pick it up expecting to see her, and when they don’t see her, you have ripped them off.

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From → 2014

5 Comments
  1. Yeah, I’m ticked that Captain Marvel wasn’t in Guardians of the Galaxy too. In fact, there wasn’t much of anything in that issue. Hardly anything happened.

    I’ve dropped Uncanny Avengers, thus I’ll probably ignore Axis.

    But wow was Ms. Marvel 4 good.

    Not that I hate Wolverine, but I hope his death lasts at least a couple years. Allow other characters to take his place for a while, like Storm, Cyclops and X-23 for the X-Men and … pretty much anyone for the Avengers. Allow Storm’s solo series to thrive in Wolvie’s absence.

    A library job doesn’t sound too bad. Good luck with your interview.

  2. G'kar permalink

    Yeah the thing will Carol be front and center on the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy as well as its say” now with Captain Marvel” and then she not even in the issues that pissed me off a bit. The Editor dropped the ball here, and I just know you’re going disagree with when I say this but some of the blame is on Bendis too. He in all likelihood wrote the solicit, he was also the one writing the issue so he bears some the responsibility to make sure that Carol was in the issue like she should have been. So I guess what I’m saying is Bendis should get a free pass.

    • Bendis has nothing to do with the solicit. Nothing at all. The writers are never involved with covers or solicits. They write the comics, and that’s it.

      That said, Bendis has actually apologized for the misleading cover. Apparently, he did plan for Carol to show up, but he preferred the issue have the “hopeless” feel throughout. He felt it made a stronger issue. I still think he’s not to blame for the misleading cover and solicit, but it does also remove much of the blame from Bradshaw and the editor. Though I still think they probably could’ve whipped up a new cover to reflect the changes inside.

  3. Captain Marvel is getting a lot of exposure…on the cover of comics that is. Simply criminal.

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