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X-Men comics (July 9, 2014)

July 9, 2014

My diploma came in the mail today. So I’m now officially a college graduate. Also still officially unemployed. Yay. Well, here’s some comics.

First, All-New X-Men #29, by Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen. Jean fills Laura in on what’s going on while blocking Laura’s mind from Xavier. Laura does some damage, and the others are freed. Celeste is annoyed that Jean is handling Xavier. Heh. Laura asks if anyone would mind if she finished it, but Raze stops her. The rest of the Brotherhood starts to wake up, and Scott realizes Xavier’s the only threat. He takes over everyone and forces them to fight each other. This includes Eva putting Teen Beast in a choke hold. Ha. There’s something adorable about that. While they’re distracted, Xavier tells the Brotherhood to kill them. But instead, Deadpool nearly shoots him. Jean and the Cuckoos are combining their powers to keep Baby Xavier out of everyone’s heads. Also, the fact that it took this long for someone in-story to call him Baby Xavier is a little surprising. It’s also disappointing that I didn’t think of it. In retrospect, it’s such an obvious nickname. Anyway, Baby Xavier slips away. Future Beast tells the X-Men to find him and kill him, but Molly says she wants to kill him. Bendis now shows that he gave a whole lot more of a shit about Molly’s character than Aaron and Lowe, by having her say she would never hurt the X-Men. Aaron and Lowe turned her into a villain, Bendis redeemed her. Bendis is a better writer than Aaron, if there was any doubt remaining. There’s a little more drama, and a few more twists. The final page also shows why Angel is on a motorcycle on the cover. This was a really good conclusion, though it does leave a hook for a future story. There was some good characterization, and some good action. Perhaps most important, he fixed the mistake from BotA of having Molly Hayes turn out to be a bad guy. Immonen’s art, as always, is gorgeous. He’s one of the best in the industry. One of the best comic artists ever. The guy is an absolute master. His work is gorgeous.

X-Force #7, by Simon Spurrier and Rock He-Kim. Psylocke asks Cable how he deals with dying every day. He says the clones have no memory of their deaths. His plan that day is morphine and jumping into the reactor, which Psylocke finds both morbid and appropriate. We also find their headquarters is former SHIELD Helicarrier named “Pericles,” bobbing in the Pacific. Psylocke offers him any comfort she can provide, and he’s not sure if she’s flirting or offering him a beer, but he turns her down either way. Then we cut to Domino, who’s in some trouble. Some creepy voice is taunting her, and she finds a portal behind some bars. Her good luck can’t get her past. So she relies on good explosives. Elsewhere, Nemesis has taken Marrow out to a nice restaurant to psychoanalyze her. She thinks his analysis is crap, but also destroys their table. So, you know. He gets annoyed and prepares to leave, but she asks if he wants coffee. Then to a princess in the Enchanted Tower of Western Cliches. This is an odd book. It’s a dream that some weird dudes are having. Domino interrupts it, and then meets the one responsible. It looks a little like a Punk Arnim Zola. Then Meme and Fantomex get a scene. She offers to sex him up in the head. The guy Domino’s with is watching all mutants, and explains how dangerous they are. Cable wants to keep an eye on anyone who migth exploit mutants. There’s a whole lot going on here. Tons of developments, lots of twists and turns and surprises. And it’s a lot of fun. Spurrier’s doing a good job with the writing. He-Kim takes over art duties for this issue, and it’s great. He’s got a very cool art style. It’s big without taking up more space. It’s sharper than real life. This is a great book, and anyone not buying it is really missing out on some fantastic stuff.

Amazing X-Men #9, written by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, pencils by Carlo Barberi. In Forrest, Canada (oh, hey, little-known fact, Canada decided not to bother with provinces any more, so every city is just “City, Canada” now, isn’t that convenient?), a girl sees the X-jet approaching. But it’s not really in control. It crashes and almost kills her. Cut back an hour. The X-Men are on the plane. Then we see Wolverine fighting Wendigos. He’s saved by Talisman and Puck. Yay for them! They’re awesome. Even if Talisman could probably use a slightly different outfit. Seriously, her boobs are going to pop right out. We then see the town of Brandon overrun by Wendigos. Captain America and Thor show up to the border of Minnesota and Canada (remember, no provinces). In the X-jet, a few minutes prior to the start, a fighter jet tells them to gain altitude. A Wendigo attacks the fighter jet, then the X-jet’s attacked. And then it crashes. Icemand and Firestar save everyone through teamwork. I’m most disappointed by how little Northstar this issue has. He’s there, but he doesn’t say or do much, and considering this is taking place in Canada, he should be playing a bigger role. Actually, no one here seems to have that big a role. I’m feeling underwhelmed. Colossus comes back to the team, but does nothing. We go to Canada, but Northstar does nothing. Storm, Rachel, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Firestar – none of them really add much to the story. There’s not much characterization for any of them. There’s some subtle stuff, but I feel like it’s not enough. Hopefully, once this arc is over, Kyle and Yost will get into a better groove, but I get the feeling this arc is totally skippable. It’s an interesting concept, and the horror is actually really well-done, but in terms of the X-Men themselves, it’s all very meh. The art’s good, though I’m thinking another artist might have been a better choice for this arc. Someone with more of a horror feel to them. Barberi’s style is a bit light to be fully effective. They should’ve gotten someone darker and moodier. Nothing against Barberi – he’s not one of my favourites, but he’s a good artist – I just think he’s not the right choice for this particular story. Regardless. Skip this arc.

Nightcrawler #4, by Chris Claremont and Paul Nauck. Once again, the McKelvie cover makes me want to see him do interiors on the book, too. Oh well. Trimegas are attacking the JGS. We see Husk and Chamber working together. I appreciate that, Claremont. I really, truly do. We haven’t really seen them interact in years. It was a brief moment, but as a Generation X fan, I was happy to see it. Cecilia tells the students to get close so her force field can protect them. Nightcrawler grabs a couple swords off the wall. Psylocke tells Nightcrawler and Wolverine to deal with Amanda and Margali, and reminds Wolverine that he has limits now. Sigh. Oh, Claremont, you and your need to constantly remind people of a character’s powers. Is Psylocke going to use the focused totality of her psychic powers, too? Anyway, the pair find Storm and Beast reduced to paper with pictures.  (Most of the ones we see are Storm from Claremont’s run. Turning into a Brood, in another during during LifeDeath 2, fighting Callisto, and in her awesome punk period.) Amanda starts putting them back together, but their memories of Nightcrawler’s resurrection are missing. She’s going to follow the same path the X-Men did to bring Nightcrawler back. He asks Amanda to stay and help his friends, then he goes after Margali. He finds her opening a portal to Heaven. This does remain a very Claremontian comic, but something about it works better than usual. I can’t put my finger on the difference. OK, it might be that seeing Husk and Chamber put me in a more positive frame of mind. Even beyond that, though, I actually liked this comic. There was exciting action, big drama, emotional beats, and cameos from two members of Generation X (OK, I’ll stop referencing them now, except to say I’m still waiting on a Generation X reunion). Claremont’s writing is the same as ever, and does still tend towards the melodramatic at times. Ah well. He comes from a different time, when that was acceptable. Nauck’s art is very good. The action is drawn really well. He does a great job. I’d still prefer McKelvie, but that’s not at all a criticism of Nauck, because I’d prefer McKelvie over almost anyone (Rios, Hans and Immonen are the only three who rank above McKelvie for me). Nauck’s great, especially with a bit of a throwback series like this.

That’s the X-titles. Now the non-X.

Captain Marvel #5, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez. Carol’s looking for Tic, but gets annoyed and throws the object in her hand. Through a building. While looking for Tic, she notices the thing’s not even scratched, despite creating a small crater. She tries blasting it, but still nothing. Tic is on a slave ship, helping to sort through metal. It turns out to be vibranium, which J’son wants to outfit his ships with to make them invincible. The Haffensye pirate tries to play hardball for it, but J’son threatens to kill them all. He also orders an attack on Torfa. Back on Torfa, their leader, Eleanides, says they’re evacuating. Carol and her team talk to the leader about the situation they’ve found. There’s vibranium mines on Torfa. The reason people are getting sick is vibranium sickness from the mines. Then some Spartax troops show up to arrest Eleanides. The ending of this issue is badass. Like, so much badass. Two-page spread badass. Next issue’s going to be great. This issue’s great, too. The reveal of J’son’s plan is cool. It’s a good plan. Carol figuring it out was also neat. And her reaction is great. There’s a lot to love about this series. The art remains very good. It’s very expressive, which counts for a lot in comics. You can tell what characters are feeling, even without the dialogue. There’s not a lot of action in this issue, but next issue’s going to have a ton, and Lopez is good at action. So I’m very, very excited. So excited, guys. That double-page splash at the end of this issue was just amazing and makes me want to read the next issue right now.

Spider-Man 2099 #1, by Peter David and Will Sliney. I got the Skottie Young cover. Woot! I actually read Spider-Man 2099 when I was younger. I really enjoyed it. It was the only 2099 comic I read, aside from a single issue of X-Men 2099, and I think maybe a single issue of Ravage 2099. Maybe. But Spider-Man 2099 was awesome, and it was Peter David who wrote it, so I came into this comic with high expectations. It starts with a Serval truck smashing into some guy who appears out of nowhere. The guy then kills a guy and steals his car. Meanwhile, Miguel’s checking out an apartment with a blood stain on the floor. He takes it anyway. The super comes up to clean the stain, and it turns out to be the cute girl he’d saved a few days earlier. Her name’s Tempest. Also, he apparently gamed the lottery using future-information to get a lot of money. Miguel chats with Tempest, and actually does get a smile out of her. He heads back to Alchemax, where the guy from earlier is demanding to see him so he can kill him. The guy is from TOTEM – Temporal Oversight Team Eliminating Mistakes. From the year 2211. Miguel gets Lyla to drop the clothing hologram, and she offers him a tux. Even the killer thinks it looks good on him. Then it’s fight time, with Miguel coming up with a very clever solution. This is great. It’s got solid characterization, and plenty of great humour. Some of the humour ends up being pretty dark and inappropriate (like the killer giving a guy with no kids condolences on the loss of his child 11 years in the future, right after killing the guy next to him). TOTEM is a neat idea. Of course, there’s already other agencies monitoring time travel, but there’s something I find oddly appropriate about there being multiple time travel agencies. Tempest seems interesting, and the end of the issue creates a very interesting situation with Liz Allan. The art’s good. I was never really impressed with Sliney on Fearless Defenders, and he’s still not a great artist. But he’s serviceable. The action flows well enough. I could wish for better, but Sliney’s adequate.

Original Sins #3. First is an Inhuman story, by Charles Soule and Ryan Brown. For the record, probably not a good sign that Marvel’s last big event is actually trying to get some attention from its new big event. A guy named Lineage is in a hot tub in a New York penthouse, while faces on him spill secrets. An explosion nearby creates a new face. The new dead guy had a heart attack when the Eye went off, and had a vision of Black Bolt, Lockjaw and a couple others checking out a Kree ship. Inside were some experiments. Black Bolt shut them down, though the two Inhumans with him died in the fight. Black Bolt learned that the humans killed weren’t real Inhumans, they just had some degree of resonance with them. Then he killed the Kree with a single word. This was OK. The writing’s good, the art’s good, it’s all good. Except that it’s still nearly impossible to care about Inhuman. Next is part 3 of the Young Avengers story by Ryan North and Ramon Villalobos. Hood threatens to kill Prodigy if Noh-Varr or Hulkling get closer. Noh-Varr boasts about his own speed, and Hood doesn’t believe him. Noh-Varr wasn’t bluffing. Unfortunately, he didn’t give Hood a chance to pull the trigger so the Hood would shoot himself. He’s too good. Noh-Varr also suggests that instead of crushing the guns, Hulkling should shapeshift them inside himself and have gun-eyes. That actually sounds awesome. Back inside, ood apologizes, but says he really does want to help the people in the building. In the end, they agree to help without calling in SHIELD. Prodigy builds a Cerebro Jr. The story remains interesting, the art remains horrendous. Just horrible art. But North’s writing is funny. The final story, by Dan Slott and Mark Bagley, is a JJJ story. He’s remembering a guy, Ray Rothman, a researcher at the Daily Bugle back in the day, who was asked to find all the hit pieces the Bugle had done on Spider-Man over the years. He found an editorial JJJ had wrote praising Spider-Man’s original TV appearance. JJJ fired the researcher and burned the article. It’s a short but cute story. All in all, this probably isn’t worth picking up at all.

Original Sin #5.1 – Thor and Loki, story by Jason Aaron and Al Ewing, scripted by Ewing, pencils by Lee Garbett (and a couple pages near the end by Simone Bianchi) – I am so glad none of them have long names. The first page shows a realm of eternal night, a prison of gods. Then it’s back to Earth, as the Eye-bomb goes off. Thor learns that Angela, from Spawn and Guardians of the Galaxy, is his sister. He heads up to Asgardia, no longer on Earth, and tells Freyja he knows about the Tenth Realm. And he says he saw his sister. Freyja tries to lie, then says she saw her die. Long ago, there was a war between Asgard and Angels. One of the angels grabbed one of the kids, Aldrif. Then she kills Aldrif. Odin wiped out the attacking Angels, but the queen escaped with Aldrif’s corpse. Then Odin tore the Tenth Realm off the roots of Yggdrasil and sealed it away. On Earth, Loki is in a diner, sulking about last issue’s reveal regarding Old Loki. Thor finds him and tells him about their sister. Loki remembers the map he saw with an X on it. This is good. The war with the Angels was cool to see, even if only a glimpse of it. Freyja’s remaining grief over her daughter’s death was easy to feel. That was gotten across very effectively. The overall story is told well, even if I’m still not really sold on the concept. But then, Jason Aaron’s come up with a lot of ideas I haven’t much cared for over the years. Garbett’s art is great. A great mix of fantasy and contemporary that works really, really well. Again, he gets across Freyja’s grief really well, along with the expressions of everyone else. The panels of Odin ending the war are awesome. So is Loki and Thor breaking into the Tenth Realm. This is very good.

And finally, the Amazing Spider-Man 100th Anniversary Special, by Sean Ryan and In-Hyuk Lee. As with the FF one, this starts in media res, with a recap explaining what came before (Spider-Man ha been wearing a Techno-Symbiote suit, which he tried to destroy, but he and Eddie Brock were captured by the Kingpin, who shot and killed Eddie). This is part 8 of an 8-part story, “Great Power”. We open with the suit merging with the Kingpin, who looks unusually young, and smaller than usual. Kingpin/Venom punches Spider-Man out the window, and he hits a fancy TV billboard with MJ on it. Then Kingpin comes out of the billboard and knocks him off the building. Kingpin boasts about how the suit connects him to all technology, and Spider-Man flees north. He escapes into some woods, and gets a small torch lit. He lights up the suit, and it burns to death, though Kingpin lives. It’s a good story. It kinda makes me want to read the rest of the arc, frankly, because it sounds totally awesome. The story is all about Peter Parker fighting against an unbeatable foe, and beating him, which he does a lot. The arc as a whole was apparently about Peter losing himself in power and then finding himself again, in which case, this would’ve been a very cool finale to that story. Unlike the FF one, this story, while taking place in the future, has the characters pretty much the same age. Maybe even looking a bit younger. Peter Parker’s not a tough character to get, so Ryan does a very good job with him. His Kingpin’s really off, though. Way, way too casual. He doesn’t sound like the Kingpin at all, even before getting the suit. He does throw in one moment that’s absolutely hilarious, though, as Peter tries to ask a guy which way is north. Lee’s art is fantastic. I think it’s either painting or digital painting. Either way, it’s excellent. He does some awesome explosions, too. Like, totally awesome. Way too awesome for the real world. I think that, from now on, In-Hyuk Lee should be responsible for all explosions in comic books. My big complaint is that, as I said earlier, he draws Kingpin looking too young and too small. Anyway, overall, I did enjoy this.


From → 2014, Uncategorized

  1. As an X-23 fan, it delighted me to see her as a vital part of a fight scene for the first time since Avengers Academy. Even ignoring that, All New X-Men 29 is great.
    And while Jason Aaron can be good with certain characters, I agree that Bendis is better. I’d much rather read a bad Bendis comic than a bad Aaron comic.
    Captain Marvel deserves to be read by anyone who reads Marvel Comics or is curious about reading them.
    Simon Spurrier’s X-Force is shaping up to be the best volume of X-Force in a while.
    Personally I’m enjoying the Wendigo arc so far, but I could agree that it’s not Kyle/Yost’s best X-Men work and that there’s not too much characterization yet. Still, it’s fun watching Wolverine get pwned.

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