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X-Men comics (June 4, 2014)

June 4, 2014

So I still haven’t gotten a callback since my interview last week. I’m disappointed. o I’m stuck on welfare for now. But at least I have comics.

All-New X-Factor #9, by Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico. We start with some pervert security guard watching a woman getting out of bed, until his buddy covers the screen. Then they see X-Factor bring Georgia to the girl, apparently Georgia’s mother. Then we cut back 14 hours, to Snow chewing out Lorna. Doug tries to talk to Doug, but she’s not in the mood. So Danger talks to her instead. As they’re getting off the plane, Georgia thanks Gambit. At a bar later, Snow’s wife, Angela, flirts with Gambit. Back at Serval, Georgia finds out her mother’s alive, and that she was adopted. She wants to see her mother, and Lorna doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but Quicksilver insists she be allowed. It . . . goes pretty odd. PAD’s writing remains excellent. Carmine’s art remains a bad fit. There’s a lot of great jokes throughout the issue, and there’s also some really good drama. Georgia’s reaction to learning she was adopted was pretty believable. PAD’s doing a solid job, doing a great character-driven series.

Amazing X-Men #8, written by Chris Yost and Craig Kyle, art by Ed McGuinness. We start 52 hours ago, at a meat processing plant in Ontario, where a guy is yelling at someone about sleeping with his wife. And accidentally kills him. In order to hide the body, he throws it into a meat grinder. Cut to now, and Wolverine is visiting Heather McDonald, Vindicator. She’s worried about James, Gladiator. He went on a mission for Department H, and hasn’t come back. And they’d just had a big fight before he left. I’m wondering if it might have had anything to do with the events from the last volume of Alpha Flight. Back at the JGS, Colossus has a back-bruising reunion with Nightcrawler. There’s a bit of lampshade hanging at the number of times X-Men die and come back. Storm is looking for Wolverine. Which includes a panel of Northstar and Pixie flying, where Pixie is adorable. So, so adorable. Iceman knows Wolverien left for Canada, which angers Storm. She asks if Wolverine’s ever gone to Canada without almost getting killed. (The answer is no.) In Canada, they find Guardian’s trail. And another scent, that leads to Wolverine telling Vindicator to get the hell out and get everyone she can find. By the way, Puck and Talisman are now apparently an item. Good for them. And yay Talisman! I like her. This issue’s good. Yost and Kyle are a good team. They do humour very well, but they can also do drama well. There’s some fun characterization. McGuinness’ art is solid, as usual. There are some panels that are a bit more cartoonish than I’d like, but it’s fine. If anyone who enjoyed Aaron’s brief run was worried, this should reassure them that Yost and Kyle will do a good job on the title. And hey, no Azazel, so the way I see it, this issue is automatically superior to Aaron’s entire 6-issue run.

Amazing X-Men Annual, by Monty Nero and Salvador Larroca. We start in Kenya, with two girls being chased by a guy calling himself Meruda. Back at the JGS, we get some details about how he’s been killing a bunch of people, mostly from Storm’s mother’s tribe. So probably a tribal vendetta being carried out by a new Inhuman. The team flies out to Kenya to look for Meruda. Wolverine finds a trail easily, and some locals ask Storm for some rain. Storm is rather shaken by the condition the people are in. The team comes across Meruda in the middle of a ritual sacrifice to call dark gods. It works, and a gross monster is summoned. The way to beat it is to take down Meruda. Which is fine by Storm. Turns out that the guy harbours a grudge against Storm for wiping out his tribe when she saved T’Challa with a sandstorm as a kid. The fight’s brutal and hard-fought, but when Storm gets angry, spectacular things tend to happen. It’s a cool story. I get the feeling it’s partly a bit of set-up for Storm’s solo series, which is fine by me. She got sidelined for the past few years, with Lowe making the X-franchise all about Scott and Logan. So I’m glad she’s getting a bit more focus. I’m also glad to see her family touched on – her parents died, but it makes sense for her to have other relatives. The art’s good. Larroca always does good work. There’s a second story by Marguerite Bennett and Juan Doe, with various art styles and stories about Firestar. One is crayon art, for a girl talking about how Firestar saved her from kidnappers. Then some sketches by Hellion, with him talking about her. Then wall graffiti, with her prominently displayed (and also including a shot of her with the other Marvel Divas – Black Cat, Hellcat and Monica Rambeau). She talks about herself over a painting in the style of Byzantine Art – her major in university. Then some photos, with her father talking about her. These splashes are really nice. Very sweet. And some really cool art styles. Doe’s work here is great. Just fantastic stuff.

Cyclops #2, by Greg Rucka and Russell Dauterman. Scott and his dad are on a tour of the galaxy, seeing all sorts of amazing things. They land on a planet, and Corsair injects something into his neck. He seems to be keeping something a secret from Scott. They’re on the planet Yrzt, a bit of a dive planet, which Corsair compares to Vegas. They go into a small bar and Corsair introduces Scott to Baroque, a big weird alien with some tentacles, and Vass, a prettier alien. Scott and Vass go for a milkshake, and get attacked by a Skrull. The whole thing was just a Sensory Experience – virtual reality. As Scott and Corsair wander around the city some more, they get attacked by bounty hunters. This remains a good series. It’s always fun seeing the galaxy. Seeing different planets and aliens and stuff. The fight is cool. We’ve got a nice mystery with Corsair’s drugs. The art’s good, too, though Scott looks like such a dork with his clothes. He’s got, like, a polo shirt and slacks. He looks like the kind of guy who gets beat up in high school. Dude, you’re in space. Get some new clothes.

Magneto #5, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta. Magneto’s in some small town, and he gets a piece of paper from some guy. And a woman is observing them. Magneto spots her, and manages to catch her in an alley. She has a metal leg brace that helps her walk, which is dangerous with Magneto around. Her name is Briar Raleigh, and she’s been following him since he went to his hidden retreat. She wants to help him, and to keep him busy, to delay how long it takes for him to go crazy and go on a rampage. Briar’s an interesting addition to the book. She’s got a definite agenda, and she doesn’t seem trustworthy. I’m actually not sure I like her. As a character, I mean. Not in the sense of, “I want to see her get what’s coming to her,” or that sort of dislike. But in the sense of, “I’m not sure yet if she’s actually a particularly worthwhile character.” Wait and see, I suppose, but I’m sceptical for now. Walta’s art is what it is. It’s never really been my cup of tea. All in all, I just have trouble getting into this series.

That’s the X-titles. Now some Now! stuff.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #5, by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett. We start with a guy on a plane looking out a window and calling over a stewardess, who doesn’t see Loki and Lorelei on the wing. Loki’s such a troll sometimes. He and Lorelei jump off without parachutes. Heimdall is distracted by Thor blowing up an alien ship in space, which was just a ploy to distract Heimdall. Lorelei slows their fall with a magic item that drains momentum while passing them through the floors, right into the dungeons of Asgardia. Next is the Room Full of Incredibly Deadly Traps. Most of which are illusions covering the real traps. Luckily, he uses his phone to let Verity see the room so she can see the real traps. Next comes the impregnable door, which Loki can’t open. But Sigurd can, and does. All part of Loki’s plan, to get into the most secure cell in the dungeons. And we can all guess what he’ll find there, can’t we? I mean, if you’ve been reading the series, then obviously, you know. The mission half of the issue is a lot of fun. The latter half is very dark (though still has some funny lines). Ewing’s been crafting a great story, and this issue brings the first arc to a major climax. Sadly, the book will be on hiatus for the next two months, for Original Sin stuff. And we’re apparently going to find out that Angela is the sister of Thor and Loki, which . . . meh. Garbett’s art remains an excellent fit for the book, light when the writing is light, taking a major dark turn when the writing does. This is a great series, definitely worth checking out. I won’t be reviewing it any more, but I’ll still be buying it.

New Warriors #5, by Chris Yost and Nick Roche. In Wundagore Mountain, the New Warriors are fighting robots and trying to secure the High Evolutionary’s base. Justice has a fight with Water Snake about whether she’s Namorita, and Water Snake says she was tasked by Namora with finding and retrieving Namorita. I’m looking forward to seeing her show up, actually. She was brought back in the previous Nova series, but she’s dropped into limbo since The Thanos Imperative. Meanwhile, the rest of the team has gone down to a local village to see if the people are OK. They are. The craziness around the mountain is pretty normal to them. Also, Hummingbird remains hilarious and adorable. In the base, Justice, Scarlet Spider and Water Snake are attacked by something very, very fast. And, judging by Justice’s sneeze, I would guess something furry. In town, the others talk, and Aracely asks Speedball about his cutting himself, and sees him in his Penance outfit. Back at the base – kitty! It’s a kitty warrior! I want him to hang around because kitty kitty kitty KITTY! Sorry, I like cats. Anyway, this issue’s a lot of fun. And nice art. I like it. It’s not high comic art or anything, but it’s a fun, goofy series, that still manages to put in some drama. And it looks like Yost is finally getting around to addressing Speedball’s recent past, and his angsty days. Speedball’s personality has been one of the sticking points for me. He’s too cheerful and goofy. I’m not saying he should be dark and broody, obviously, because that was awful. But he should be more mature. He should be a bit more subdued than he is here. I mean, even if you leave out the Stamford incident, the guy’s not a teenager any more. He should be maturing simply because that’s what people do. He does get some funny line here and there, but still. Other than that, I have no complaints about this series.

Original Sin #3, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. We start a few weeks ago, with the Orb talking about dreams he had of going to the Watcher’s home, and the Watcher visiting him. The Orb is talking to Dr. Midas, Oubliette’s father. In the present, the eye has blown up and exposed all sorts of secrets. Fury arrests the Orb, who says he didn’t kill the Watcher. Under the Earth, they determine the same guy killed all the monsters. In the other plane, the Punisher determines there’s only maybe 10 people on Earth who could’ve made the shot that killed the weird thing they’re standing on. Out in space, Moon Knight, Bucky and Gamora find a bunch of shell casings. In New York, Wolverine and Hulk are trying to get answers out of the Orb while Fury talks to Cap. Turns out Fury didn’t see any secrets when the eye-bomb went off. This issue is OK. The ending is definitely a bit questionable, but I suppose we’ll see how that goes. The art remains great. No need to talk about it, really – Deodato’s good at what he does, and you know what you’re getting when you pick up a Deodato comic. The writing . . . I gotta be honest, I feel like this issue is going to be a tipping point. I think, from here on, the story’s going to get really weak. There are certain parts of this issue that leave me thinking that. It’s a little too busy, with a little too much going on. There’s a shocking twist that comes too much out of nowhere. We’ll see, I suppose, but I don’t have high hopes for the rest of this series.

Moon Knight #4, by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey. We start at Odinburger. Which is amazing. I’m already in love with that idea and I want to see it pop up in more places because it’s brilliant. Anyway, the customer, Dr. Skelton, is picked up by Moon Knight. Skelton knew Dr. Peter Alraune before Alraune’s death, and Skelton is continuing his sleep research. Moon Knight mentions Robert Markham, the insane guy with sleep-related powers who killed Alraune. A callback to Moon Knight’s original series. Skelton’s patients are all having the exact same nightmare, and he wants Moon Knight’s help. Moon Knight’s going to sleep in the guy’s “lab” – a shitty building. And then he enters the dream, and switches from his “Mr. Knight” suit, to his work costume. And then we get some really weird imagery. And the mystery gets solved. Another very good done-in-one issue. Ellis seems to be exploring Moon Knight’s early stories in new ways, and it’s really interesting. The issues are still too quick, though. Ellis only has a couple more issues on the book, then he’s handing it off. While the next writer’s going to have a hell of an act to follow, it will be nice to get some continuing stories, and maybe some thicker ones.

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From → 2014, Uncategorized

6 Comments
  1. Yeah, Craig Kyle and Chris Yost are a good team. They balance comedy and drama well, and they pretty much never write anyone out of character. Their Amazing X-Men run is off to a good start. Now let’s watch as Wolverine is almost killed by the Wendigos.

    It can’t be easy to write a Cyclops solo title that’s actually worth reading, but Greg Rucka is pulling it off so far. But wow is the art in Cyclops 2 good. It’s almost worth buying for the art alone.

    New Warriors 5 is better than the first arc was, and it’s fun, but I’m still not quite sold on the series. It has so much potential, but it’s leaning a bit too far into the comedy side so far.

  2. “This is a great series, definitely worth checking out. I won’t be reviewing it any more, but I’ll still be buying it.”
    Not reviewing Loki: Agent of Asgard anymore? Why would that be, if you don’t mind me asking?

    • Because I’m the X-Men X-Pert. I’ve been reviewing the first 5 issues of any non-X-title, but then I stop, even when I’m loving them. Unless, of course, there’s something I feel like saying about a given comic.

      • Ah I see. That means no more Ms. Marvel reviews either pretty soon. 😦

      • That series, I might make an exception for.Just because it’s so wonderful.

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