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X-Men comics (June 18, 2014)

June 18, 2014

Bleh. Haven’t been feeling great the past few days. Maybe reading comics will make me feel better.

Uncanny X-Men #22, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo. We start with Magneto flying in with Dazzler and getting Triage to heal her. When Dazzler wakes up, she’s not in a good mood. She demands a Walkman. Only Dazzler can make asking for a Walkman, and “Really. Loud. Music” sound badass and thrilling. At the JGS, Hill is calling for reinforcements, and Beast is calling for an evacuation of the school. Then the Sentinels are activated. But for some reason, they don’t attack. And then control of the Helicarrier is taken back. Hijack to the rescue, bitches! And holy crap, it’s quite a rescue! We also find out who Bubble-mask is. I won’t spoil the surprise. But it’s not Mysterio, for the record. This was a great issue, and a great climax to a few long-running storylines Bendis has had running. It’ll be interesting to see where the SHIELD angle goes from here. There’s some cool characterization throughout the issue. Magik is pissed, Dazzler is pissed. Beast and Scott are actually pretty friendly with each other, which is a nice touch – it’s a nice reminder that, at the end of the day, despite their differences in opinion, they’re still X-Men, and they’re not going to bicker when there’s something needing done. It actually kinda feels like the rift between Scott and the other X-Men is starting to heal, though I really, truly hope this doesn’t lead to Scott rejoining the rest of the X-Men. I like his current angle far too much. The art is a bit weak. Bachalo’s style can make things tough to follow at times. When Bubble-mask is revealed, Bachalo makes it pretty much impossible to recognize who it is without our being told. So that brings the issue down a bit. But still, it’s a great issue. Bendis knocks it out of the park.

X-Men #15, by Brian Wood and Matteo Buffagni. The JGS is on lockdown, and The Future finds Jubilee and demands his son. He kicks her ass. It turns out it’s Kymera telling the rest of the team what’s going to happen, or what happened in her own timeline. She wants to prevent it. Storm takes charge and shows her badassitude, and the others are glad to fall into line. Even Rachel, who’s been waiting for this Storm. So say we all, I’m sure. In the med-lab, Beast tells Jubilee he’s going to use some Arkea genetic material in his treatment for Teon and Sprite. Jubes and Beast have a very touching moment, too. The next day, The Future starts his attack. This is really good. There’s a lot of strong characterization, and some very sweet moments, between Jubilee and Hank, and between Storm and Kymera. Storm herself is very much the ’80s Claremont Storm – warm, caring, compassionate, but also willing to be as ruthless as she needs to be. I like that about her, and I’m glad Wood’s brought that side back to her. Kymera’s really cool, too. The art is mostly good, aside from a couple bits that look off. For the most part, the characters look strong, matching the strong writing. There’s also the Bromo-Superior back-up, by Wood and Phil Briones. Hellion is smashing the Danger Room army to bits. One soldier approaches him from behind, and Psylocke kills him with a psychic arrow. Turns out he was her Danger Room lover. Then she explains the lesson she was making. This was a really fun back-up story. It was nice seeing some of the New X-Men students get some page time. I also like the callback to what felt like a throwaway joke from X-Men #4, with Psylocke having a Danger Room lover. The art was good; better than in the main story, actually, aside from one odd pose for Psylocke when she’s using a bow and arrow. So, this is a great issue.

Wolverine and the X-Men #5, by Jason Latour and Mahmud Asrar. First, to translate some Doop-speak that I won’t even give the context for: “Easy, Sparky. Drink this, amigo.” At the JGS, Hellion and Rockslide are talking, and Idie’s actually being nice to Armour. Beardy fights Fantomex. And Scott and Quire confront Younge. Fantomex and some of the students beat Beardy. All very meh. I don’t even care enough to make jokes about it. The writing, the story, the art – they’re all just meh, and I can’t work up the energy to care. Especially today, when it’s so frigging hot and I’m not feeling great.

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

Silver Surfer #3, by Dan Slott and Michael Allred. We start with a flashback to a sweet moment between the Never Queen and Eternity, a moment that allowed for all sorts of possibilities. Dawn painted a lawn gnome. And in that moment, the Incredulous Zed cut out the Never Queen’s heart and used it to build the Impericon. In the present, the Silver Surfer talks to Dawn, gets attacked by Battle-Lon, and lets all the prisoners know their heroes died.  Dawn takes the Surfer to the Heart, and he frees it. This means the Impericon is going to crumble, but he keeps it alive long enough for everyone to escape. The Heart also takes the form of a toy monkey. Surfer and Dawn escape, but are attacked by Zed.  This series continues to be ridiculously good. It’s weird and funny and inventive and wonderful. Slott’s writing is more solid, I would say, than anything he’s ever done, and Allred’s art is as good as it always is, and they’re working together in a way that’s just magical. This series really is great. If you’re not reading it, you’re really depriving yourself of something wonderful.

Original Sin #4, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. Blah blah, stuff happens. The Fury Bucky killed turns out to be an LMD, because we didn’t all see that coming. Meh. The art is dark and muddy, the dialogue is all about Lies and Secrets and Trust No One, the story twists are predictable. Yep, it’s a summer event.

I also picked up The Wicked and the Divine #1, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. I’m very smart, and I got the Bryan Lee O’Malley cover without realizing it was Bryan Lee O’Malley. Yay! We start on December 31, 1923, with a bunch of people around a table, and an old woman saying she loves them all and will miss them. Then the four people snap their fingers, and their house blows up. Then, to January 1, 2014. A woman goes to a club, puts on a red wig and some make-up and a cool dress, in order to see a singer named Amaterasu. Everyone passes out, but the girl – Laura – wakes up first, and is met by a woman named Luci, who appears to be Satan if Satan was a girl who loved Bowie. Luci brings her to meet Amaterasu. Sakhmet is there, too. And now, we get the story hook: People become gods for two years, then disappear. “Just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.” It’s a great concept. Really weird and clever and cool. The book is, of course, a Gillen/McKelvie project. So the story is weird, the dialogue is sharp and clever, and the art is sharp and gorgeous, a world filled with beautiful people doing and saying beautiful things. It’s great. if you enjoyed Phonogram, you’ll enjoy this. (And if you haven’t read Phonogram, you should, it’s great. See if your local library has the first two volumes. Gillen himself always recommends starting with Volume 2, The Singles Club.) If you enjoyed the Gillen/McKelvie Young Avengers, you’ll enjoy this. Really, if you enjoy quality storytelling revolving around art and culture and incorporating mythic elements as a statement on art and culture, you’ll enjoy this this. Also if you like looking at beautiful people, because as Gillen has said in the past, any world drawn by McKelvie will be populated entirely with beautiful people.


From → 2014

  1. Yeah, Bachalo’s art made it nearly impossible to recognize (you know who) at the end of Uncanny X-Men 22. I read through it twice and I still didn’t visually recognize him the second time. Everything else about the issue is amazing though.

    Also, I’m glad to hear I’m not missing much by not reading Wolverine and the X-Men.

  2. G'kar permalink

    Well Original sin # 4 did end up being a bit predictable, it’s still decent. Uncanny x men I finally drop, it not like I will be missing anything buy not reading it.

    • Not missing anything except solid characterization, interesting stories, clever dialogue, and . . . pretty weak art.

  3. G'kar permalink

    No, I won’t be since none of those things are in Uncanny x men at the moment.

  4. G'kar permalink

    I can’t see them because the not there, what I did see was Dark Best tacked on at the end because Bendis realized at the last moment he need a villain, but I will give you this the art was weak.

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