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X-Men comics (July 2, 2014)

July 2, 2014

So hoooot! And WordPress seems to have changed the layout a bit for new posts. That’s annoying. So here’s comics. This was a really, really light week.

First, All-New X-Factor #10, by Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Lorna, Doug and Quicksilver wake up after being attacked by Memento Mori at the end of last issue. Snow expresses concern about what tortures Georgia is probably suffering. The answer is a big-ass ice cream sundae. She calls her father a supervillain, and he asks if it’s because he uses his power to obtain money illegally. Admittedly, a fair point. He shows her around. They’re in a hotel he owns, which is in a mall he also owns, which is open 24/7 so that superheroes can’t attack him without endangering civilians, which they won’t do. He’s a clever man. He’s also a bit of a dick, as he tells Georgia she’s going to use her power to serve him. She runs away. Meanwhile, X-Factor gets together to track Georgia down. I’m sensing a theme with this series. It’s all about corporations. There’s X-Factor working for Serval. There was Magus’ company. Georgia’s adoptive father was a businessman. And now her real father is a businessman. I’m assuming PAD’s got a reason for all this, that there’s some point he’s building up to. Of course, much more important is that the book is funny. PAD’s always had a great sense of humour with his writing. I think the funniest part might be near the end, when Gambit and Doug almost get into a debate about the first Star Trek movie while being shot at. It’s such a good example of David’s humour. The characterization remains good, though there’s a bit less here, as the focus is instead on action. Doug gets it best here, as we see a lot of his concern for Georgia. Carmine’s art remains good, but I still think it’s not a good fit for this series. That’s not going to change, I don’t think.

Deadpool vs. X-Force #1, by Duane Swierczynski (is it wrong that I kinda hate him a little for that name?) and Pepe Larraz (see, that’s a simple name to type out). In Pennsylvania, in 1777, the American Revolution is under name, and things aren’t going well for the Americans. But then one of the rebels turns out to be Deadpool. He slaughters the Redcoats, while making jokes. I should mention that his speech bubbles are in the style of his early X-Force appearances, with the red outline around them and the speech in a mostly normal font. Cut to just a few years ago, when Cable first arrived in the present, and he’s having visions about the timestream being at risk. He goes to visit a Francis Talbot, an inventor whose lab will actually create the time machine Cable uses. Talbot’s grandson died in Operation: Desert Storm, so Talbot sent Deadpool back in time to save him. Cable grabs some mutants to help him stop Deadpool: Domino, Warpath, Cannonball, Boom Boom, all before they actually joined X-Force. I was unimpressed with Deadpool vs. Carnage, and I’m frankly tired of the never-ending stream of Deadpool minis (once this one’s over, he’s getting another one, Art of War, though at least that’s going to be written by Peter David). However, this was good. It helps that it feels a bit nostalgic. It’s got an element of being a love letter to the early X-Force comics, and while plenty of people would like to forget the ’90s ever happened, it’s still a nice little throwback. Deadpool’s sense of humour is similar to what it was back then, which is great, because he was actually really, really funny back then. So it’s nice seeing that classic humour, compared to the lamer humour that’s become the norm for him for the past few years. We don’t get any characterization from X-Force this issue; hopefully, we’ll get plenty in the rest of the event. Especially Boom Boom, who’s awesome. The art is good, too. Like the writing, it has that early ’90s feel to it, but, you know, with an understanding of anatomy. Interestingly, Boom Boom and Domino both have fairly modest chests. There’s none of the broken-back poses, there’s no gratuitous T&A. So the worst part of the ’90s doesn’t show up. But there was a certain energy to a lot of comics back then. A certain larger-than-life aspect to it that a lot of current artists have kinda moved away from. So the art is a definite appeal.

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

Rocket Raccoon #1, by Skottie Young. I got the Skottie Young cover. We start three years ago, with a mysterious figure sneaking onto a ship, and taking out a pair of guards debating a show about a Living Planet. I’m already in love. It’s such a ridiculous scene. The figure takes out the guards and gets into the room, then removes the suit. It’s Rocket! He’s rescuing a princess, who rewards him with a kiss. In the present, he’s taking a girl on a date, to a wrestling match. Groot is wrestling some weird tentacle monster with giant teeth. Rocket and Groot are on a Kiss Cam, which recognizes Rocket as a wanted criminal. He escapes, and then calls Star-Lord to let him know about it. StarLord finds that Rocket’s wanted for multiple murders, but Rocket’s pretty sure all his murders are accounted for and justified. So there’s another Rocket Raccoon running around. As expected, this comic’s hilarious. Skottie Young’s got such a fun art style, and it turns out his writing matches it. Rocket’s an arrogant flirt, and he’s totally charming. Still, the real draw is the art. It’s adorable and cartoonish and fun and just great. When Rocket calls Star-Lord, we see the Guardians get their ship shot down, fight some aliens and get chased off a cliff by a giant monster. The fight between Groot and the monster is fun to watch, especially when Groot drops an elbow from the top rope. Yes, that happens. And it is glorious. There’s just so much fun to this book, and I’m eager to see where it goes. Buy it. Buy this book.

Legendary Star-Lord #1, by Sam Humphries and Paco Medina. We start 20 years ago, with a priest consoling Peter after his mother’s funeral. Cut to the present, with Quill in an orphanage being threatened by aliens. The aliens were there to steal the Mandalay Gem. So was Quill. The aliens take him with them, and plan on turning him over to a “Mr. Knife.” The aliens don’t believe he’s never heard of Mr. Knife, but Peter says he’s been important with other things. Those other things involve sex, gambling and . . . karaoke with Rocket and Groot. (Side note: While I don’t enjoy karaoke myself, I always love seeing it in stories. Honestly, a series having an issue dedicated to a karaoke party is one of the easiest ways to make it one of my favourite issues. And I also now really want to see an issue of GotG where Groot does karaoke, because it would be hilarious.) Once he’s left alone, he calls up Kitty. Yay Kitty! I’m glad Humphries is following up on their flirtation during The Trial of Jean Grey. He asks if there’s any trouble on Earth, but then realizes she’s in bed and flirts some more. Then he frees himself. This is a fun issue. It highlights Quill’s personality: He’s a hero, but he’s also a liar, a flirt, a thief, and just an all-around scoundrel. He’s a Han Solo type, and it makes him a fun character. Humphries does a solid job. And as I said, I’m very happy that Kitty’s going to play a role in the series. She is, after all, my favourite character. And their flirtations were really fun. Besides, Kitty’s best boyfriends have been Peters. The art’s excellent. It’s some gorgeous work by Medina, which is to be expected. Medina’s a great artist. It’s a good mix of classic and contemporary. It’s sharp and expressive. He also draws a mighty cute Kitty.

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #4, by Kaare Andrews. I think I didn’t review the previous issue. It was good. For this one, though, we start with the reporter girl, Brenda, in bed with Danny, and feeling hurt, until he asks her to stay, and she asks to continue the interview. He talks about his father, and that he never felt entirely there. He says his mother was a woman whose eyes seemed like she was always hiding something. Much like Brenda’s. He then asks why she’s doing the interview, and she says people are talking about him being the ultimate privileged guy who’s hoarding his fortune instead of using it to create jobs. Fair point. He shows her some martial arts, and she tazes him. Then he goes down on her. Then he has a nightmare about his mother’s corpse attacking him. This is another good issue. This series is a very dark take on Iron Fist, much darker than usual. This issue is particularly dialogue-based, and it works well. Brenda is being fleshed out more. I might even start being able to remember her name. The art’s gorgeous. Very stylized, and very pretty.

Original Sin #5, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. We start in 1958, in Kansas, with Nick Fury, as an Army Intelligence officer, fighting some weird aliens. He’s rescued by some weird guy. The guy dies in the process, but kills the invading aliens. Their whole world. Howard Stark shows up, and explains to Nick about Earth being invaded before and that Howard works for a group that keeps the Earth safe. Then he asks if Nick wants to replace the guy who just died. Nick agrees. Then we see him over the years, shooting various monsters that threatened humanity. He even almost killed Spider-Man, but decided not to. This issue didn’t do much for me. It’s an interesting enough idea, I suppose, but I feel like it wound up being filler. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it has any relevance to the rest of the story. Even if it does, stretching it out over a whole issue feels like a waste of time. This does make it more likely that Nick’s going to die, though – this issue feels almost like a eulogy to him. (Not that we won’t get an actual eulogy issue after he dies, too. Maybe even a two-issue one. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if there winds up being an entire mini dedicated to it.) As usual, Deodato’s art is excellent if you don’t mind his dark and muddy style. Still, on the whole, this definitely felt like an issue in the middle of an event, draining away much of the remaining momentum that the previous issue hadn’t already drained away. As an aside, over on the TVTropes forum, I came up with an idea for an event story. Maybe I’ll make a post on here about it soon.

I also want to mention New Warriors #7, for the cameo by classic New Warrior Silhouette. Yay Silhouette!



Edit: Whoops, I apparently missed a couple comics.

Magneto #6, by Cullen Bunn and Javier Fernandez. Scalphunter is in a hospital bed, being interviewed by a couple SHIELD agents. Magneto left him with no arms and no legs. Elsewhere, Prism and Scrambler are attacked by Magneto. He kills Prism, and prepares to do the same to Scrambler. Briar was the one who gave them the information on the Marauders, and points out that they’re clones, so they don’t stay dead. The other Marauders try to run away, but Magneto chases them. And brutalizes them. The ending is very interesting. Very cool. Magneto taking down the Marauders is great. It’s a great fight. The art looks good. It’s a good comic all around.

Moon Knight #5, by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey. Moon Knight drives up to a building, puts a sword to the throat of the guy outside, and asks which floor an abductee is being held on. Then he walks in the front door. He beats the crap out of the thugs inside. A final done-in-one story by Ellis and Shalvey. Another issue very light on dialogue, but full of brutal action. It’s a shame that Ellis is leaving the book. It would’ve been nice to see what he would’ve done with a long-form story, rather than just a bunch of individual issues. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.

Fantastic Four #1, 100th Anniversary issue, by Jen Van Meter and Joanna Estep. We’ve got a new foursome – Trin Richards-Banner, aka Fantasm; Kirby Richards-Banner, aka Slip; Victoria Harkness, aka Enchantress; and Lee Minh Cam, aka the Human Torch. Valeria Richards is mission control. The recap page is written a though it’s continuing an ongoing story, which is neat. We start 15 years earlier, with the Fantastic Four about to be arrested for time-terrorism (from issue #477, on May 21, 2041 – cute) while they’re actually trying to fix everything. Reed, Doom, Johnny and Franklin all disappeared. In the “present” (meaning 2061), the Fantastic Four are investigating odd readings in Neolunar orbital space. They get a weird message from Reed, saying he’s coming for Sue. An hour later, Val goes into a secure zone to see her mom. We get a reference to “Bruce and the Gamma Girls” and a footnote to Gamma Girls #251. I have to say, I find it adorable that these footnotes keep acting as though any book will ever reach triple-digits again. Val tells Sue about the messages from Franklin and Reed, and Sue says it’s time to go. They go get Ben – who was being held in containment for years, and then the three go up to the moon. It’s time to bring back the others. It’s an interesting issue. It’s always nice seeing Jen Van Meter get work. I like her, but she gets used only sparingly. She does a lot of solid characterization here. She establishes personalities in a snap, and came up with a lot of crazy ideas. The story is actually probably too packed with ideas, but that’s just because of the concept of it being a 100th anniversary deal. Ordinarily, Jen would spend a little more time on each thing, but here, she had to rocket along at breakneck speed, so we basically get an entire arc in one issue. But it’s a lot of fun. Estep’s art is really nice. It’s soft and pretty, but the action is handled well, too. She’s someone I’d love to see get more work at Marvel. Admittedly, it’s partly because I want to see more female creators in general at Marvel. But beyond that, it’s just pleasant art. Take Greg Land off Mighty Avengers and replace him with Joanna Estep. Anyway, this was definitely a fun little comic. This whole 100th anniversary thing is an odd concept, but a fun one, and Van Meter and Estep do a good job with this one. I feel a lot more confident about picking up the X-Men one.

From → 2014

  1. Rocket Raccoon was very entertaining. I almost didn’t pick it up, and I’m glad I did.

    Can’t say it’s hot here. We’ve been pounded by heavy rain through much of the day, but at least I finished my bike back and forth to the comic shop before it started.

    I haven’t been reading Original Sin, but would you say it’s worth looking into … so far?

    • Nah, I don’t think OS is worth checking out. It’s very much a standard event comic. Dull and meaningless, just an attempt to fit in Cool Moments without taking the time to tell a genuinely compelling story.

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