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X-Men comics (June 11, 2014)

June 11, 2014

Well, I’m still having no luck with the job search. Argh. So here’s some comics.

All-New X-Men #28, by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen. We start a few years in the future, with Beast writing on a huge chalkboard filled with future stuff. (He’s also mumbling, and mentions a President Brevoort. Heh.) Xavier and Raze walk in, and Xavier mentions that Beast has been struggling with the space-time continuum. Xavier fixes Beast’s brain. Then we cut back to the present, where X-23’s healed up and wakes up in a fightin’ mood. Xavier’s using the Cuckoo Hive Mind to attack all the X-Men, and focuses especially on Jean. He also explains that he hates the X-Men. In the future, Beast complains that he’s tired of fighting his fellow mutants, but Xavier says he’s controlling the minds of his whole team so what they want doesn’t matter. We keep switching between the fight in the present and the Brotherhood planning in the future. While I still can’t say I find the Brotherhood interesting, Bendis does do a pretty good job with them here. The fight in the present is really cool, but it’s looking like next issue is going to be where things get awesome. The last two pages are awesome. Immonen continues to just kill it. So damned good. I honestly don’t even know what else to say about his art. It’s gorgeous. Marte Gracia’s colours are also fantastic. Overall, I like this issue more than the last one, and I liked the last issue well enough already. So this one’s just great.

Uncanny X-Men Special #1, by Sean Ryan and Ron Ackins. Some dude is talking to some other dude about wanting another dude brought to him. Then we go to the NXS. Fabio found a picture in the archives of Illyana with the New Mutants. Scott calls the students into the hangar for flight training, and as soon as Fabio takes the controls, they get hit. Who attacked? Death’s Head! It’s Death’s Head! Hurray for Death’s Head! I love that Freelance Peacekeeping Agent! Death’s Head! DH has a couple half-robot buddies who are hilariously simple-minded. “Initiating getting him.” “Initiating massive gunfire.” In the end, Scott gets captured, because Death’s Head always gets his target. Then it turns out the guy from the first page actually wanted Alex, in a hilariously bizarre scene. Though Ryan doesn’t write Death’s Head well at all. Not a “yes?” to be found. He writes him like a fairly standard mercenary character, without the unique speech patterns that make the character so amazing. Anyway, the X-Men need to know who took Scott, so Emma and Illyana decide to send Benjamin and Irma to check out SWORD’s files. Benjamin manages to find a computer and find the record for Death’s Head, but Iron Man walks in and asks to join along. I can’t say I’m impressed with this. It actually starts really well, with the kids looking up that picture of the New Mutants, but that doesn’t end up going anywhere, so it feels out of place. The scene between Death’s Head and his employer is amusing, but Ryan’s not writing Death’s Head. Death’s Head should be recognizable based on his dialogue, but here, his dialogue could’ve come from any random mercenary character. Ryan also doesn’t really do a good Irma. He does a good Cuckoo, but it’s not Irma. She’s been moving away from snarky and condescending, and has actually been getting pretty upbeat. The story seems interesting enough, but nothing particularly special. The art’s good, though. I think this is the first time I’ve seen Ackins’ style. I like it. It’s very good. It’s bright and soft and pleasant to look at. I’m hoping he gets more work.

Nightcrawler #3, by Chris Claremont and Todd Nauck. Trimega attacks, and then splits in three. They seem pretty unstoppable, until Margali stops them. Nightcrawler suggests heading back to the school, and Amanda and Margali agree. Ororo is angry about Margali being brought there, and Kurt’s angry at Storm being angry. He goes to the Danger Room to sulk in a recreation of Heaven, and Wolverine brings some beer to cheer him up. This series remains OK. It’s Claremont. It’s hard for me to really get worked up one way or the other. There’s some good stuff, but it also feels a bit dated. Nauck’s art is good, though the McKelvie covers kinda make me wish he was doing interiors. That’s nothing against Nauck, who’s doing an excellent job telling a Claremont story; it’s just that McKelvie’s awesome.

Wolverine #8, by Paul Cornell and Kris Anka. We’ve now entered Three Months To Live. Which is three months too long, for me. I say just kill Wolverine now. Oh well. Wolverine is feeling all depressed and thinking about F. Scott Fitzgerald, and then Iron Fist and Shang-Chi beat him up, and then talk to him about all the stuff he’s been going through. Elsewhere, Silver Samurai shows Pinch her daughter, with Sabretooth, and has the Offer brought in. On the island – which is the Island of Death On Vacation – they’re attacked by guardian spirits, until Wolverine catches on that the spirits will only fight if he does. They continue into the temple, and meet Death’s servant, and finally Wolverine meets Death herself. Death is . . . rather odd. But fun. Shang-Chi’s cool here. There’s some more neat twists with Sabretooth and the Offer, and I get the feeling it’s not going where it seems to be going. The art’s very nice. I’m glad to get someone like Anka, who has smoother line work than a guy like Stegman or Sandoval. I like Anka’s work. It sometimes gets a bit weird – noses tend to disappear – but it’s pretty.

Deadpool #30, written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, art by John Lucas. Preston is excited about getting a lead on Deadpool’s daughter, Adsit doesn’t want to talk about what he saw. And Deadpool has brought Disco-era Dazzler to the present and down to Monster Metropolis. He has her kill a vampire, and then Shiklah sends him to kill more. Preston goes to Chicago to look through some files. It’s OK. It feels like a bit of a middle issue – something to get from Point A to Point B. It doesn’t really provide anything on its own, it just gets the characters to the place where they can reveal more next issue. So, it does come across as mostly filler. I’m not a fan of the art, either. As usual, it’s just not pleasant to look at. I’d like this series to have a bit more conventional an artist.

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

Captain Marvel #4, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez. Carol’s addressing a group of aliens, trying to offer her help while they make fun of her for not being able to actually offer them anything. One of the aliens, in a spacesuit, tells the others to leave the planet and leave his own doomed race behind to care for the ill, but another woman refuses. Carol comes up with a plan to create another ringworld in orbit, but the only ships they have are junk, so that won’t work. Carol and Gil, the guy who punched her last issue, start to argue a bit, until Tic and a spacesuit alien pop in. And then another alien with tentacle hair. Then space pirates do a quick fly-by attack, and Carol suggest taking her ship to go after them. The first outpost they visit gets them in a fight. This is great. We’re actually back to where the first issue started. We’ve met the crew, and they’re all awesome. We’ve got threats and mysteries and all sorts of fun stuff. Jackie’s awesome, and so is B-Bop. KSD’s dialogue remains sharp, clever and fun, and her plotting’s solid. She’s allowed Carol to find something she can do to help out, and she’s also given her an enemy to fight. Lopez’s art is always great. It’s got just a bit of a cartoonish quality that adds a little more expressiveness. The art is, for the most part, bright and crisp, aside from a few bits that are darker. This is a great series, and it looks like it’s only going to get better. I do have one suggestion to Marvel, though: How about getting Jamie McKelvie to do an issue? He did such an amazing job designing Carol’s uniform, I’d love to see him draw an issue of this. Get on it, Marvel!

She-Hulk #5, by Charles Soule and Ron Wimberley. We start with She-Hulk knocking on Shocker’s door, which leads him to panic and flee. Maybe she should’ve gone as Jennifer Walters. She does convince him to put on some pants and talk to her. They order Chinese and talk about the Blue File. In North Dakota, Angie Huang gets some sort of vision. Back in New York, Hellcat talks to Tigra about the Blue File. And then Tigra goes crazy. Shocker vibrates his head to try to refresh his memory about the case, Angie finds the Crosby, ND records room a total mess, and Hellcat fights Tigra more. This is another really good issue. The humour is toned down, though still present. The mystery of the Blue File gets more mysterious. The art didn’t do anything for me this time around. Wimberley’s style is just too weird. I couldn’t get into it. And I’m not sure it was the right fit for this issue, either – I think a more restrained style would’ve worked better. Still, the writing’s excellent, so I’d definitely strongly recommend this comic.

Original Sins #1. The first story is by Nathan Edmondson and Mike Perkins. In Grand Central Station, a guy named Henry Hayes is approached by some crazy-seeming guy, who mentions a Collins Project. Turns out Hayes is a Deathlok. The weird guy – actually a SHIELD agent – just wanted to see Hayes up close. Then a code is sent to put Hayes into killer mode, and he eliminates the SHIELD agent. And has no idea he did it. Deathlok’s series starts in October. This was a pretty good introduction to the current version of the character. The writing’s good, the art’s good. It’s a good story. Next, a Young Avengers story by Ryan North and Ramon Villalobos. Off the bat, I don’t like Villalobos’ art, at all. Once again, it’s just too weird for me. Anyway, Teddy and America are walking down the street, while Teddy sees some Twitter comments about the big fight against Exterminatrix. Teddy gives Noh-Varr a call to let him know. But Noh-Varr doesn’t answer, so Prodigy hacks Noh’s shuttle to grab him and Teddy to let Noh know what happened, and Noh needs to check it out. They go to the evacuated New York City, and see some crazy old lady, and then get attacked by the Hood. The writing’s good. It’s fun and cute. The art’s awful. Very unpleasant to look at. There’s also a two-page silent story by Stuart Moore and Rick Geary about Lockjaw remembering something and looking for help, and eventually getting Iron Man to go to the moon with him to uncover a bone Lockjaw had buried. This story is adorable and hilarious. And it features a Ms. Marvel cameo! She’s drinking coffee and doesn’t help Lockjaw.

Secret Avengers #4, by Ales Kot and Michael Walsh. Fury, Jr. gives Hawkeye a lesson about the Kowloon Walled City. It was torn down in 1993. And it’s reappeared. On the Helicarrier, the guy who tried to kill Hill is in a tank, in a coma, and one of MODOK’s assistants says he gave the guy an experimental antidote. In Kowloon, one of the agents sees a wall flicker, and MODOK asks them to bring some bits back for study. And then the Fury shows up. This is a good issue. It’s very dark and tense. There’s some moments of humour, but large chunks are actually completely silent as the team tracking the Fury move through Kowloon silently. Even in the scenes with MODOK, the humour is toned down. The art is all darkness and shadows and tension. It’s a very good issue.


From → 2014

  1. I’ve decided to read Wolverine from 3 months to die up till his death, and while today’s issue had some neat concepts with Wolverine on an island where death is forbidden, the sub-plot with that ball was really confusing. Even the recap page didn’t really explain it too well for a “new reader”.

    I felt that Nightcrawler 3 is an improvement over the first two. It’s still not great, but it’s going in the right direction.

    I’m with you on She Hulk 5’s art. It’s not bad, but it’s just not my taste. The writing is fantastic though.

    And Captain Marvel? This series kind of deserves to be Marvel’s top selling book with how good it is.

    You could imagine that because X-23 is among my favourite X-Men characters, All New X-Men 28’s ending kind of excited me.

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