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X-Men comics (June 25, 2014)

June 25, 2014


X-Force #6, by Simon Spurrier and Jorge Molina. X-Force is captured, and Cable’s dead, and Meme’s very upset about it all.  She’s been trapped in Volga’s video files, and she decides to see how it all started, in Alexandria. There was a big arms fair, and Cable brought Hope, just wanting to spend time with her and figuring she’d enjoy a gun fair. She went into a panel on arms regulation, and was impressed by a human rights lawyer and arms trade reform advocate. The woman says her talk won’t be happening, because she’s a mutant. Cable gets a premonition, and things go bad. Cable gets shot with some bio-tech, and Hope accidentally duplicates it. And then boom. And then a little later, Cable and his team freed Meme. And then Cable died. Volga plans to erase Meme and kill and/or experiment on the others. Then boom, Cable and Dr. Nemesis bust in. How is Cable there? Science! Cable’s real body is in stasis, and his mind is uploaded to duplicates. Which eventually explode. The important thing is it’s big fight time. Meme gets some new toys, and even Squees about it. Meme is adorable. Also, Fantomex kisses Nemesis. Nemesis called him the best shot, which Fantomex appreciated. There are more twists, too. There’s a very, very big twist – with tons of foreshadowing – revealed at the end. This series is great. Lots of humour, lots of drama, lots of action, solid characterization, great art. Everything about this series is great. Spurrier’s writing a really cool story with plenty of twists along the way, and he writes all the characters very well. He also includes some really clever dialogue. Volga’s a fantastic villain. And as I said earlier, Meme is absolutely adorable. She narrates this issue, and her dialogue style is unique without being annoying. And her personality is just so much fun. Molina’s art is excellent. Action is hectic but easy to follow. Expressions are captured well. This is definitely a book worth picking up.

Wolverine #9, by Paul Cornell and Kris Anka. Death leads Wolverine into her bedroom, where she mentions how boring Thanos is (and calls him a stalker – OK, that’s pretty hilarious). Then she takes off her hood and kisses Wolverine. Outside, it’s Shang-Chi and Iron Fist vs. an army of Hand ninjas. In Sabretooth’s base, he grabs the magical doohickey from Pinch, then tells her to start begging. Wolverine refuses to sex death, and just wants to get over his fear of her. She continues to psycho-analyze him. She also mentions Daken being alive again, “thanks to this universe’s afterlife revolving door policy.” This Death is really funny. And then she brings in Rose. Who’s really, really pissed at him for killing her. I won’t spoil the rest of the issue, but I will mention one odd bit from Death after Wolverine leaves. “‘Three months to die,’ eh? Oh, what a deceitful plan of mine that was.” I’m wondering if that was Cornell hinting that Wolverine won’t actually die, or if it’s something else. Anyway, I love Death here. She’s got such an off-beat sense of humour. I actually kinda wish we’d seen more of Shang-Chi and Iron Fist against the Hand. That seemed like it was an insane fight. Plus, I like them a whole lot more than I like Wolverine. Because I still really don’t like Wolverine, which still makes it hard to care about this series.

All-New Doop #3, by Peter Milligan and David Lafuente. Kitty and Rachel look for “Future Kitty,” while Doop fights Raze. Then the Anarchist, from X-Statix, shows up. Raze gets Doop to let him go, by threatening to reveal a secret about Doop’s mother. Anarchist finds Doop drinking lemonade, and Doop admits to being scared of his mother. Doop grabs Iceman. He mentions having proposed to Kitty, which pisses Iceman off. Then Doop grabs Kitty. Kitty and Iceman argue for a bit and Kitty dumps Iceman. Yay! I never liked them as a couple. Another weird, weird issue. Still, I loved seeing Anarchist again, and a very brief cameo from U-Go Girl. I miss X-Statix. Such a great series. This series is really fun. Lafuente’s art complements Milligan’s writing, to make a gloriously absurd whole.

Deadpool vs. Carnage #4, by Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin. Carnage has taken over a psychiatric hospital or something, and wants to know if something’s controlling him. Then he gets shot with a high-powered rifle. Deadpool, with a bunch of symbiotes, starts tearing Carnage apart. Shriek blasts the dog-symbiote, which then turns into Carnage, which freaks her out and she runs away. And then more fighting. And a whole lot of meh. Who cares. This mini was lame. The writing was weak and got old fast, the art was too bright and cartoonish to be effective, and it was just not a good mini at all. Which isn’t surprising. These Deadpool minis just seem to get progressively worse. Things don’t look good for Deadpool vs. X-Force.

Uncanny Avengers #21, by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna. Wanda and Wonder Man are in bed talking about their plan, but Wolverine, Sunfire and Rogue let them know their plan will fail. Rogue admits that she was going to kill Wanda, but then hugs her. On Earth, the geniuses are trying to figure out a way to hold off and defeat the Celestial Excutioner, when Wanda, Rogue, Wonder Man and Captain America teleport in. They have a plan: Rogue is going to borrow everyone’s powers. On their ship, Uriel’s furious at the plan starting to fall apart, while Eimin’s more calm. At the Tachyon Dam, Wolverine, Sunfire and Havok confront the Grim Reaper. Rogue’s absorbed all the Avengers, now she needs all the X-Men. Rogue tries to stop the Celestial, and Thor gets Sentry to help, too. And then Thor hits the Celestial with a big axe. Remender actually went against type for once, and had the heroes actually work together. Usually, his stories end with the heroes still saving the day without actually working together to do it. Still, I found this issue oddly meh. I think maybe it’s too epic, with not enough humanity. At least it’s not more of the relentless dark’n’gritty gloom’n’doom Remender’s so in love with. There is a little bit of brightness. I do still find Acuna’s art a bit muddy. It’s not a style I really enjoy. I know a lot of people love him, and this issue’s a fine showing of his work. But it’s not a style I like.

That’s the X-titles. Here’s the non-X-stuff.

Ms. Marvel #5, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Doyle is threatening Kamala, and Kamala’s talking smack, which surprises her, since she’s not usually like that. Doyle is working for the Inventor, and isn’t going to let Kamala and Vick leave. So it’s fight time. She gets hit by a laser, and she can’t heal and keep fighting, so she shrinks down and feels awful about losing. She slips home, and eats a ton of food to get her energy back up (she guesses it’s because of her healing), and wants her mom. Her mother finds her eating and dressed up, and starts freaking out at her, then her dad comes in to calm things down. He’s concerned about Kamala. They have a really nice heart-to-heart, and Kamala calls Bruno to get some help rescuing Vick. He starts training her while also developing a costume for her using his super snot polymer. Then she’s ready to try again.Once again, this issue is straight-up awesome. So, so much greatness. Of particular note is the scene between Kamala and her dad – it’s a really nice, sweet scene that shows the love. The second rescue attempt, while short, is also really, really awesome. The art’s great, again. Kamala’s finally got her official costume, which is nice. If you’re not reading this series, you’re just wrong. Seriously. Read it. It’s wonderful. We also got our first look at the Inventor. He’s, um . . . not what I expected. I doubt he’s what anyone expected. It would be very, very difficult for anyone to expect it.

All-New Ghost Rider #4, by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore. We start in the morning, with Robbie shaving his head and finding a bunch of new scars. Eli tells him their bond is getting stronger. Then we flash back to the night before, with Ghost Rider facing off against a ‘roided-up Grumpy. The fight does not go well for Ghost Rider. Especially after Grumpy grows an extra pair of arms. Out in his lab, Dr. Zabo is working on his working on his pills, and talking to Hyde. At school, Robbie gets made fun of by some guys (and some girls say he looked cuter with his hair), and gets in trouble with the teacher. The teacher asks Robbie and Guero – the white kid who’s been a jackass since issue one – to join his community outreach program, but Guero just laughs and walks out. Meanwhile, Grumpy’s gone completely insane. I continue to really, really enjoy this series. The sales numbers are pretty low, so it seems to be in the danger zone, and that makes me sad, because it’s just too good for that fate. Smith gives all the characters unique and interesting voices. He’s creating an interesting dynamic between Robbie and Eli, with Eli trying to push Robbie towards violence, and Robbie trying to resist. Robbie’s relationship with Gabe is also really sweet. The amount of love they have for each other is great. The Hyde plot is also really interesting; Zabo and Hyde talking to each other is a new twist, but it’s really interesting. Moore’s art is great. The violence is exciting. He does motion very, very well. There’s a cartoonishness that keeps it looking cool. The series is great, and I’m sad that more people aren’t reading it. It really is worth reading, even if, like me, you never much cared for the Ghost Rider concept.

Savage Hulk #1, by Alan Davis. It actually starts with X-Men #66, from way, way, way back in the day, in 1970. The Leader is watching a news report about the fight between the Hulk and the X-Men in Las Vegas. The Hulk beats up a military assault, then leaps off. Back at the school, Xavier, just out of his coma, is looking for a way to help Banner. They search for the Hulk, while Banner gets invited for dinner by a guy with an RV. This is good. As one would expect of Alan Davis. Not much humour in this issue, but good character work, believable dialogue, and very nice art. Davis has an easy style to enjoy. Honestly, this is an Alan Davis book, what else should I really have to say about it? Alan Davis is great, so anything he does is worth reading.

Original Sins #2. We start with a Black Knight story by Frank Tieri and Raffaele Ienco. A woman named Rebecca Stevens knocks on the Black Knight’s door, saying she knows his secret. She wrote a book about him – or, more accurately, about the legacy of the Black Knight and the Ebony Sword. All the previous wielders got killed by it, except, so far, for Dane. He’s isolated himself in his apartment. We get a flashback to him fighting some guy in stupid armour. Dane attacked him savagely, and left him barely alive. Rebecca wants him to give up the Blade. He can’t do it. I’m guessing this story’s going to lead into something coming up soon. It’s an interesting enough story, but it’s very clearly prologue. Set-up. There’s not a lot of characterization in it; it just sets up what the Ebony Blade is, and that Dane is addicted to it. It looks pretty, though, which is more than can be said about the next story. The second part of the Young Avengers story by Ryan North and Ramon Villalobos. The Young Avengers fight the Hood. Hulkling captures him, and the Hood says he was trying to protect the people he kept invisible in the apartment building. When the Watcher’s eye blew up, a lot of the secrets went into a building full of drug addicts. The Hood wants to help them, and to help them help humanity. And he wants Prodigy to build a Cerebro to do it. The writing’s good. Some nice humour, and an interesting premise. The art is just gross. It’s awful to look at. Third story is Howard the Duck, by Ty Templeton. Howard was ejected from his car by an airbag, and is about to die. But the Watcher’s eye told him that he was a genius – he could’ve been a Reed Richards on his world, but his intelligence made him a target, so he hid it. Luckily, he’s able to access his mind to save himself. It’s a fun little story. Cute. Amusing. It’s good.

New Avengers Annual, by Frank Barbiere and Marco Rudy. In the present, Dr. Strange is climbing a mountain in Tibet. A flashback shows a woman at a hospital telling a bunch of students that they can’t save everyone, and Strange interrupts to say they can. In the present, he reaches a temple, and a bunch of techno-priests. They accidentally unleashed an otherdimensional parasite, and it’s taken over a Princess Phan, a star pupil and daughter of an emperor. In the past, the doctor lady wants Stephen to understand that not everyone can be saved, and she takes him to see a relative of hers who’s dying of an inoperable tumour. Strange decides he can help. In the present, Strange joins a bunch of priests fighting the demon on the Astral Plane. In the past, Martha is upset about Strange going against her relative’s wishes and looking for a way to save him. In the present, Strange keeps fighting the demon. In the past, Strange fails to save the man. In the present, Strange defeats the demon. The story’s good. Interest, well-written. But the art is the main draw here. Marco Rudy did the Marvel Knights: Spider-Man mini not long ago, and he has a very distinctive style. He does bizarre layouts with lots of circles and rings and just weird stuff. And it looks fantastic. It can, at times, be a bit tough to follow, but for the most part, it’s laid out clearly. The art is highly stylized, and just gorgeous stuff. If this is worth picking up, it’s only because Rudy does such a great job.

From → 2014

  1. All the twists in X-Force 6 were surprising, yet they still felt natural and built-up. Such a good issue.

    Death calls Thanos a stalker? That is hilarious. But oh goodie, Daken is alive. I hope you can detect my sarcasm over being glad that Daken is alive.

    And the Ms. Marvel series is fantastic. The pace is starting to pick up, yet there’s still room for some great character moments.

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