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X-Men comics (July 30, 2014)

July 30, 2014

So before I start, I need to talk about something. I mentioned yesterday that I hadn’t won anything through the Goodreads Giveaways. This morning, right before I went to bed (at 4:15am – ah, the benefits of being unemployed) I got an email telling me I’d won a book. It’s called The Big Wide Calm: A Novel, by Rich Marcello, published by Langdon Street Press. Once I’ve received the book, I’ll read it, and I’ll post a review on the Tuesday after I finish it. Yay for me! I’m a winner! But now, for comics!

First, Uncanny X-Men #24, by Brian Bendis and Kris Anka. At the JGS, Iceman realizes the X-Men never took the time to really mourn Xavier’s death, and he leaves. Beast reveals that he knows where Scott is, but never said anything because he doesn’t his life dictated by Scott’s actions. Wolverine reveals he signed the school back over to Xavier. So they all guess that Scott probably owns the school now. The X-Men go to get him. (I’m going to guess this was before the current Wolverine series, since the X-Men clearly knew where to find Kitty. Or, rather, the current Wolverine series takes place after this.) In South Carolina, a guy just blew up a big chunk of a city, and is shell-shocked. Maria Hill talks to him through a robot, and he kills some SHIELD agents who try to subdue him. The X-Men head to the NXS, and tell Scott to come in. It’s a very tense meeting. This is another good issue. Dazzler doesn’t show up much, so the cover’s a bit misleading. For the record: The new design doesn’t look any better in the comic itself. It’s just a bad design. Anyway, this issue’s very subdued, very tense, though with a couple really funny moments (Emma, right near the end, gets an absolutely hilarious moment). Bendis writes the JGS X-Men really well. He gives them a lot of depth. Anka’s art helps with that. I’m glad he’s the one who’s been doing these issues, and not Bachalo, because Bachalo couldn’t get the emotion in there that Anka does. The opening panels of Iceman coming to the realization that Xavier’s actually dead were great; really sad stuff. Next issue will have the big revelations, and I’m looking forward to that. This issue could be seen as a bit of wasted space, dragging out the mystery, but the character work is good, and it’s vital. So now I’m eagerly anticipating the next issue. On a side note, I do find it funny that this is an Original Sin tie-in, considering it actually has nothing at all to do with anything that happens in Original Sin.

X-Men #17, by Brian Wood and Paco Diaz. Beast, Sprite and Primal bring Shogo to Kymera, and Kymera explains she’s going to take Shogo into the weaponized forest. Beast is sceptical, but decides to trust her, and follows her in. Cipher, in the Dove, is providing telemetry for Storm and Rachel in the Blackbird. I want to say again how awesome it is that Wood’s been making use of some of the students. Anyway, the Blackbird’s hit by, in Cipher’s words, “an entire frikken’ tree.” The forest is screaming telepathically, which hits Rachel a bit hard, but she manages. Storm decides to attack. No lightning, just heat, but still boom. Kymera tells Psylocke to tell Storm to stop. Monet finds a bunch of guards knocked out by heat stroke, and gets back in contact with Storm. Monet’s OK! Yay. And that’s her word, not mine. Monet also gets in telepathic contact with Jubilee. Which is a really, really sweet moment. And then all the different teams meet back up, and Kymera puts her plan into operation. A great finale to the arc. The Future’s end is a bit anticlimactic, but it actually kinda works. Wood does a fantastic job with the character work. I also like that Storm used a power other than lightning. Always nice to see writers remember there’s more to weather than wind and rain. Using heat to make trees explode is a nice twist. The students don’t get a lot to do here, but it’s still awesome that they were there. I can only hope that Guggenheim will keep that aspect of the book, using the students Aaron never gave a shit about. Diaz’s artwork is also great. He’s got a really attractive style. It reminds me a lot of Stuart Immonen. He does a good job with expressions, and also handles action well, though there’s surprisingly little of it here. Unless you count a flying tree. The Jubilee/Monet scene makes me continue to want a Generation X reunion. Please, Marvel! Do it already! Come on!

Cyclops #3, by Greg Rucka and Russell Dauterman. Scott writes a letter to himself, talking about what things have been like. Including his suspicion that his father’s addicted to drugs. Then alarms go off. The ship has some troubles. There’s hull breaches, loss of atmosphere, and exploding consoles. They find a planet to crash land on. The ship’s ruined. They set up a camp, and Scott confronts his dad about the drugs. Corsair explains that he died, and the medicine is what keeps him alive. But it’s illegal medicine. More specifically, it’s nano-bots that form a collective intelligence. All the galactic governments worry about uncontrolled AI. Hey, is Rucka a Mass Effect fan? He’s got enough left to last 27 days. Corsair tells Scott about Vulcan. They also talk about why Corsair never returned to Earth for Scott and Alex. This is good. Some nice writing, and some nice art. It goes pretty deep into Corsair’s experiences. We finally get an explanation for how he came back, which is nice. Still, I have trouble shaking the feeling of meh I get from this book. It’s all well-done, but I have trouble getting into it.

Uncanny Avengers #22, by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna. Kang’s future team is fighting the present heroes, since they’re mostly defenceless from Rogue draining their powers. Havok and Sunfire try to drain the Celestial’s energy, knowing it’ll destroy them. Kang kills Sunfire, and injures Havok. He tells Havok to stand down if he wants to see his daughter again. Down on Earth, Immortus shows up with the cavalry. In the Celestial, Havok decides he has to stop Kang, no matter the price. Kang is beating Havok, but Sunfire’s not dead yet. But now, without a body, he’s pure energy. Havok forces Kang to flee. I’m glad this is all finally over. Maybe now Remender can do something a bit lighter to pass the time until Axis. But probably not. As for this issue, whatever. I dislike Acuna’s art. I know he’s a big star, but I find his work too muddy. That seems to be the popular style these days, though. I also still dislike Remender’s writing style. I am pleasantly surprised that Sunfire didn’t die. So the book’s one person of colour is still around, though now made of pure energy, so you can’t actually see that he’s a person of colour. I guess it’s neat that he’s presumably gotten a bit of a power-up.

That’s the X-titles. Some other stuff.

All-New Ghost Rider #5, by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore. Robbie gets a call from his boss, asking him to come in for a late shift. Grumpy is attacking Zabo’s base, and Zabo decides to deal with him himself. Or, rather, to have Hyde deal with him. Which takes three panels. Literally, three panels. It’s very, very bloody. Hyde sends his troops to kill the rest of Grumpy’s gang. Gabe’s school bus drives right into the shoot-out, and ends up on its side. Ghost Rider gets there just in time to stop a soldier from killing the kids. Robbie’s torn between Eli’s calls to burn down the community, and his brother and teacher telling him to do good. He settles on good. Then Hyde shows up, and it’s big fight time! Smith and Moore are killing it on this book. Smith’s doing a fantastic job on Robbie’s inner conflict. Gabe is a really sweet character. And Moore is amazing. Just an incredible artist. The action flows so well. Val Staples deserves some praise for the colours, too; they’re bright but eerie, and a perfect match for the book. This book is genuinely fantastic, and so worth picking up. Especially if diversity in comics is something that matters to you. Or even just if you like seeing someone get their face smashed into the pavement.

Iron Man Special, by Sean Ryan and Rahmat Handoko. Benjamin and Irma are talking over the plan. Benjamin seems to have a crush on Tony Stark. Back at the NXS, Chris is nervous, figuring Iron Man will know they’re not SWORD agents. Emma tells them to relax. She also explains she and Illyana can’t be seen by Iron Man, because he knows them. And the other Cuckoos are staying behind, because she doesn’t trust Stark around triplets. Probably a wise choice. Stark gets on the ship and takes the helm, with both Benjamin and Irma acting a bit weird. Benjamin says it’s the eyes. The other students are teleported aboard, and Stark wonders if all SWORD agents are young or if he’s just old. He takes them to the planet Calculex, and a “gentlemen’s” club. Iron Man’s told off by a guy named Neut, who used to be an Anachronaut, until a run-in with the Avengers lost him his job. Now to the guy holding Scott. It’s Monark Starkiller. A rather obscure loser; he was in the previous volume of Nova, and in the execrable Wolverine: The Best There Is series. Monark’s fallen in the universe, and he’s depressed, and he’s probably going to die. Back on Calculex – bar brawl! And Goldballs finds Death’s Head. Because Goldballs is awesome that way. Seriously, Goldballs kicks ass. This is a lot of fun. Monark is pitiable, in an oddly amusing way. The scene is made even funnier by the fact that Scott is completely chained up while they talk. And doesn’t seem the least bit put out by it. I love that Scott’s been taken prisoner, and is perfectly friendly to his captor. No hard feelings. That’s the kind of guy Scott is, probably because being taken prisoner is what he calls “Thursday.” The bar brawl is a lot of fun. Some good action, and Iron Man gets a nice bit of exposition about his life. I also love Benjamin’s crush on Tony. Everyone’s gay for Tony Stark. Also, the fact that Emma thinks Stark would try to get a foursome with the Cuckoos is both funny and probably entirely accurate. And he’s charming enough that he might actually succeed, too. The art’s really good. It’s light and fun. It has a bit of a manga feel, but not too much. Just the right amount, I think, to enhance the fun mood of the story. This is good.

Guardians of the Galaxy 100th Anniversary Special, written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz, art by Gustavo Duarte. First, the backstory: The Silver Surfer was given omnipotence by the Living Tribunal, and was then absorbed by Galactus, now Silver Galactus, and the whole universe is dangerous is preparing for war. The Guardians are now comprised of Groot, Drax, Iron Man, Charlie-72, Rocket (and his three nephews), and a female Star-Lord. They’re on Asgard, where they meet Vance Astro. The new Star-Lord is evidently Gamora. Astro’s working for Silver Galactus, who’s attacking Knowhere. He wants to use it to get access to all planets in all realities. Later, the Guardians are able to teleport back, and Iron Man sends his nanites to wake up the Celestial brain and get free. This is an OK story. It’s fun. Some big action. Some good humour. Some nice art. It’s good. Nothing spectacular, but good.

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From → 2014

11 Comments
  1. So judging by how low-end mediocre Guardians of the Galaxy 17 and today’s anniversary special were, the best way to get in the mood for the movie is by reading or re-reading part of Dan Abnett’s run?

    Uncanny X-men 24 and X-Men 17 are both good. I miss Brian Wood already. UXM dropped quite the bombshell at the end, and the next issue could get very interesting.

    Cyclops is good in terms of quality, but you can tell Greg Rucka is rushing to finish his story before he leaves the title. It skips over quite a bit that could have made for a decent adventure.

    • Yeah, the DnA run would be a better psych-up.

      I’m not sold on the whole “Xavier married Mystique” thing. I’m willing to see how it plays out, but I’m sceptical. On the other hand, Emma’s reaction was priceless.

  2. G'kar permalink

    Yeah I read about the big revelation , god it so stupid but want can you expect form Bendis, I can only hope that marvel does the right thing and gets Carol away from Bendis soon.

    • I think Bendis actually does like Carol. During his time on New Avengers and Avengers, he treated her as a powerhouse, and he made her confident. He seems to be doing the same with her in GotG. So I’m not worried about how he’ll treat her there. She’ll be fine.

  3. G'kar permalink

    What he liked to do is use Carol to prop up Jessica Jones

    • Not really. I mean, in the story where Wonder Man attacked the New Avengers, Jessica was taken down by Wonder Man’s recruits while Carol took on Wonder Man himself. She lost, but he’s on Thor’s power level, so it’s actually perfectly reasonable for her to lose to him, and her loss was treated as the sign that the team had lost. There were other moments where she was shown as being a powerhouse. She was friends with Jessica Jones, but she wasn’t really propping Jessica up.

      And of course, it wasn’t until Dark Reign that Carol actually joined the New Avengers team with Jessica. Before that, Bendis had Carol leading the Mighty Avengers team.

      Bendis likes Carol. GotG is a mediocre book, but she’ll be fine in it.

  4. G'kar permalink

    Your right the book is mediocre, because Bendis is phoning it in, than there is the character assignation of Gladiator. So yeah I still say Marvel needs Carol away from Bendis, because to be honest she deserves better than to be in a book that the person writing it isn’t going to put any effort into.

    • Carol deserves to be a star. Like it or not, GotG is a high-selling book. One of Marvel’s top books right now. Carol’s presence there can only help her. The more Bendis uses her in the book, the better the odds people will pick up her solo title.

  5. G'kar permalink

    Yes Carol deserves to be a star that we agree on. As far as Carol presence in GOTG helping her I’ll just say that you have more faith in Bendis then I do and leave it at. No matter what of I think of Gotg I do hope that more people will pick up Carol solo title. That said as long as Marvel keeps printing her book I’ll keep reading it.

    Ps Whoa we agreed on two things shocking.

  6. Hamburger Time permalink

    Based on next issues cover, Sunfire’s new state is a leadup to his taking on his AoA/Horseman look.

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