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X-Men comics (August 13, 2014)

August 13, 2014

I won another book from Goodreads GiveawaysLand of Nod: The Prophet by Gary Hoover. Now, though, comics.

All-New X-Men #30, by Brian Bendis and Sara Pichelli. Laura wakes up in a nice room, and Angel joins her. They’re at one of his family’s estates. The night before, they’d gone to a nightclub. There was dancing, then there was a fight. Laura seemed to enjoy both. Back to the present. They talk about why they’re together. Laura talks about how messed up she is, and Angel tells her they should just enjoy each other’s company. At the Xavier School, Emma’s trying to train Jean, who’s not being cooperative. It’s a pretty awesome confrontation. Jean’s a bitch, and it’s awesome. Meanwhile, Kitty’s talking to Peter Quill. They’ve got a good chemistry. They’re a cute pair. The confrontation between Jean and Emma ends in the weirdest, scariest way imaginable. Illyana calls it the scariest thing she’s ever seen, and adds that she grew up in Hell. It’s great, though. This is such a fantastic issue all around. Angel and Laura have a surprising chemistry. I think I’m actually OK with them being a couple. Laura still sounds a bit weird. She talks a bit more than one would expect. But I suppose she’s been growing as a character over the years, so it’s OK. Still, she sounds too much like a teenager. Laura shouldn’t sound like a teenager. She should sound a lot more mature. Kitty and Quill, on the other hand, I fully enjoy. This proves that Kitty should only ever date guys named Peter. She has the best chemistry with them. I don’t know what it is, but this is the third Peter she’s dated, and all three have been great relationships. And then the scene between Emma and Jean is tense and funny and cool. Yeah, he manages to make it tense and funny. I love Bendis’ Jean. He writes the best Jean ever. Pichelli’s art is gorgeous, as always. Actually, this might be the best work I’ve seen from her. The flashback to the nightclub is awesome. She draws an incredibly sexy Laura, and does a good job making her scary when she starts to lose her temper for a moment. This is such an amazing issue. It’s a talking issue, but that’s the kind of thing I love. Punching is all fine and good, but I love seeing characters doing mundane stuff. I love seeing them just have conversations. So, yeah, this was so great.

X-Men #18, by Marc Guggenheim and Harvey Tolibao. We start with a flashback to Rachel’s family being wiped out in the End of Greys story from Claremont’s last Uncanny X-Men run. In the present, the team is about to go after an AIM-developed virus. The ones who can fly – including Psylocke – group the virus spores close enough together for Storm to fry them all. Then Beast calls to let them know about something that happened an hour ago. Cut back an hour, to the Peak. Brand’s annoyed at having her few minutes of free time a day interrupted. She’s apparently been watching Game of Thrones in 15-minute increments. They found Deathbird drifting outside the Peak. Brand wants the X-Men involved in the investigation. Cecilia Reyes joins them. The team’s three telepaths enter Deathbird’s mind. Then Sidrian Hunters show up. This was actually really good. Some very nice humour. Guggenheim doesn’t write Brand very well. But the rest of the characters are good. The reveal at the end is interesting. I do always like seeing SWORD show up. There’s maybe a bit of a reliance on pop culture references. Tolibao’s art is very good, too. He draws some good superhero ladies. It helps that none of them have particularly sexual costumes, but even aside from that, Tolibao doesn’t draw them in a sexual manner. The action looks pretty good. I have to say, I’m actually pleased with this issue. It’s only the first issue, so there’s still plenty that could go wrong. But as a first issue, it’s good. Good enough for me to keep buying it, for now.

X-Force #8, by Simon Spurrier and Rock-He Kim. A British military copter is flying into Afghanistan, with an American journalist on board. The woman in charge hates him. They meet up with a small unit already there, SAS troops who were better than the best. They were tasked with killing a group of terrorists called the Quaddees, who were particularly nasty, wiping out whole units and leaving not a trace. The reporter and the rookie both seem to be into guys. The unit comes under attack, and almost dies. They continue on, and are attacked again. But these aren’t the Quaddees. One of the troops is drugged, and has to be killed. Then they’re attacked again. Psylocke. The troops power up, and X-Force disappears. And now it’s time for MI:13 to show up – Peter Wisdom, Excalibur, and Meggan. The descriptions for each are pretty funny. This is a great issue. It’s interesting, the way X-Force are mostly antagonists here. And it’s cool seeing just how frighteningly competent they are, and how that would feel to the people on the other side. The art’s great, too. I like Kim’s style. It’s very fancy. It looks like a painting, but movement’s handled well, too. I’ve been really enjoying what Spurrier’s doing on this book. And I’m even more excited to see more of Wisdom, Faiza and Meggan.

Amazing X-Men #10, written by Chris Yost and Kyle Craig, art by Carlo Barberi and Iban Coello. Northstar is laying on the ground, about to die. Cut back 20 minutes, with Rockslide bursting out of the flaming X-Jet. Yay Rockslide! Apparently, he was hiding in the bathroom. Heh. Colossus is trying to hold Winderine (Wolverndigo?), but can’t, so Nightcrawler teleports Wolverine away. Northstar rescues the girl from the previous issue. At the border, the Wendigos start swarming over, and the Avengers have to stop them. Then we ctahc up with Northstar. But Alpha Flight saves him. Snowbird, Guardian, Sasquatch and Aurora. Yay Alpha Flight! I love me some Alpha Flight. Go Canada! Back at the big fight, Talisman is still alive. I figured as much. But she’s hurt bad. Winderine gets back, and slices Rockslide’s head apart. Good thing it was nowhere near his brain. Nightcrawler teleports Winderine to Colossus for a Fastball Special. The Wendigos are all chased off, but Talisman’s still dying. Firestar has to cauterize the wounds. Yeesh. Wer also get a glimpse of Shaman and Marrina. Marrina’s still punk. Woot! This is very good. This run’s getting better already. There’s some really good characterization, a lot of good humour, some great action. The plot’s becoming more intriguing. The addition of Rockslide is awesome. Alpha Flight showing up is appreciated. As a Canadian, I’m naturally a big Alpha Flight fan. Yost and Kyle are getting into a nice groove. The art is great. Very attractive. It’s got a bit of a classic feel, which works well. I said with the last issue that this arc was probably worth skipping. That’s no longer the case. It’s actually worth reading now after all. I do hope to see more from Alpha Flight in the next couple issues. In particular, I want to see more between Northstar and Aurora. It would also be awesome if Marrina shows up in the story proper, not just a one-panel flashback. Anyway, this is really good.

Wolverine and the X-Men #7, by Jason Latour, art by Massimiliano Veltri, Marc Deering and David Messina. Melita’s still working on her book about Wolverine, not knowing she’s being watched. By the Red Right hand. Luckily. Daredevil kicks a little ass. Inside, Melita opens a cease and desist letter from McDuffie and Murdock. At the JGS, Armour can’t get her, um, armour moving. She feels depressed about losing her powers, but Iceman says temporary power loss falls behind only meeting future selves in standard X-Men problems. Armour points out she’s never met her future self. Broo goes to class, but no one else shows up. It’s Idie’s idea – she figures nothing they do matters. Back in San Fran, Melita goes to yell at Daredevil for the cease and desist letter. She convinces him to try to let her talk Wolverine into letting her finish the book. At the JGS, Broo finds Idie, and so does Storm, who’s concerned about her. Another meh issue. Seeing Melita was nice. I like that Armour, at least, is sticking around in the book. But for the most part, I just don’t care. The art is another problem. The first bit, with Melita, looks great. Fantastic art. Then it cuts to the JGS, and it’s hideous. Just awful, awful art. Wolverine and Daredevil fighting the Red Right Hand looks good again. But man, everything at the JGS just looks so unbelievably bad. It is some of the worst art I’ve come across in a comic. And coupled with the mediocre writing, it makes for a comic that is in no way worth reading.

Nightcrawler #5, by Chris Claremont and Todd Nauck. First, I like the cover, a nice homage to UXM #168’s cover (that one had Kitty pressed against a wall, this one has Nightcrawler pressed against a blackboard). We open with Nightcrawler playing baseball. Him and the Bamfs. He starts remembering some previous baseball games, and the nostalgia makes him bitter and angry. Jean tells him to cheer up. That came out of nowhere. Then he gets ready for his first day of teaching. He feels nervous, but Rachel tries to help him feel better. Rachel takes him to the Danger Room, to train some students. We get some exposition about the Danger Room, I suppose for some of the newer students, like the girl with antlers on her head. Who actually talks. I wonder if Latour was aware that Claremont was going to have her speak, since she hasn’t said anything in WatXM yet. Anyway, Kurt and Rachel go with a pirate adventure program, one they played around in during a previous Claremont run. Rico gets himself grabbed the White Queen. Out in Maryland, some minions of Voge, another Claremont villain, from his X-Treme X-Men, attack a bar. Back at the JGS, Nightcrawler finds that Storm’s given him the old Blackbird as a present. This is good. But oh, yay, Voge. Wonderful. Ugh. He was such a lame villain. He was created well after Claremont had run out of good ideas for villains. Still, the interactions between Kurt and the others were all nice. Nauck’s art remains solid. But, I don’t know, I just find it hard to really care about this issue. It’s a bit too rooted in the past, I think. The recollections of the baseball games, and then multiple references to some of Claremont’s post-2000 X-Men work. Mercury being excited about a gym class in the Danger Room was bizarre, considering she’s quite familiar with it already. She acts like she’s never been in the Danger Room. Nightcrawler’s narration mentions she and Armour being two of the most experienced students, which does make it a bit weird that they’d be put in a class with several brand new kids. I mean, I always love seeing Mercury show up, but she’s way too good for these kids. She’s battled the Marauders – the only reason to put her in a class with rookies is if she’s helping to train them. Oh well. The point is that this issue’s good, but not great.

Wolverine #11, by Paul Cornell and Pete Woods. Sabretooth’s forced Pinch to decide who dies, her daughter or Lost Boy. She chooses Lost Boy. Wolverine, SHIELD and some Avengers are on their way to Sabretooth’s base, and Fury, Jr. mentions that a quote Wolverine had told him in the previous volume came from an anime. Wolverine comes up with a plan for the assault. Inside, Lost Boy’s about the die, and he uses his last words to call Sabretooth a wuss. Wolverine saves him. Offer tells Sabretooth that Wolverine must have brought friends. Sabretooth agrees, then kills Offer. He uses Mystique to distract Wolverine while he goes off with the orb, but Wolverine sees through her, and they get her to say where Sabretooth’s gone. This is pretty good. Wolverine’s growing as a person, becoming less of a dick. Appropriate since he dies next month. I still don’t like him. The art’s pretty good. Fairly crisp. Nothing too special, but adequate.

Deadpool #33, written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, art by John Lucas. We start in a coroner’s office, with a ton of dead ULTIMATUM bodies. Along with Joshua Utler and . . . Ellie. Go back two hours. Deadpool’s slaughtering ULTIMATUM goons. Meanwhile, SHIELD is on the way to help him. Deadpool’s taken down by a bullet to the spine, and Flagsmasher comes up and grabs Ellie. He throws her out the window. Deadpool freaks out, and goes back to killing. But Evan shows up, having caught Ellie just in time. Then Deadpool tells Flagsmasher he’s not going to kill him. Instead, he tears off his finger, and tells him that if anyone from ULTIMATUM comes after Deadpool again, he’ll be back to slice off another piece. This is another good issue. I like that Duggan (and Posehn, I suppose) have kept the series balanced, humour and tragedy. As I’ve said so often in the past, Deadpool as a straight comedy character is boring and annoying. I hate the art, though. Hate it so much. It’s gross art. It’s painful on the eyes.

That’s the X-Men comics. Now, the non-X-Men.

Spider-Man 2099 #2, by Peter David and Will Sliney. Miguel’s annoyed – he went to the bank to deposit some money, and immediately, a robbery started up. After stopping the robbery, he goes home, and tries to give his cute super flowers for cleaning up the blood. She slams the door in his face. Then she lets him in. They chat a bit, and he asks how sick she is, and mentions the medical bills he saw laying out. She gets pissed. Obviously. Because seriously, they just met, so that’s a weird thing to ask. When he gets back to his own apartment, Liz Allan is waiting for him. She wants to know who he is. She did a lot of research, and wasn’t able to find any trace of him. He fantasizes throwing her out the window, but instead just asks why she checked into him. She checked into everyone, and she thinks he’s Spider-Man. He tells her he’s not Spider-Man, but that he comes from 2099 and is Tiberius Stone’s grandson. Her reaction is to wonder how he changed his clothes so fast. And then things happen. Another great issue. PAD’s dialogue is always sharp, clever and funny. We don’t see a lot of action here, but hey, that stuff’s boring. It’s much more interesting to see Miguel interacting with Tempest and Liz. And Lyla, for that matter. There’s some interesting developments. Sliney’s art is meh. He’s an OK artist, but not a great one. His sloppy often feels a bit sloppy, and not in a good way. Regardless, this is a great series so far.

Nova Special #1, by Sean Ryan and John Timms. Monark Starkiller has brought Nova to his ship, and asks for his help. Stark’s been picked up by a SWORD team, and suggests they track the ship the X-Men stole. On another planet, a woman is talking to a guy about the revenge plan against Havok. She thinks it’s silly. The X-Men show up demanding Cyclops. She has no idea what they’re talking about. Then Nova and Monark show up. The woman gives everyone until the count of five to leave. Her five is interrupted by SWORD. The woman gets fed up and orders her security forces to kill everyone. Nova and Monark follow Monark’s employer inside, while outside, lots of fighting until Eva stops it. Triage was freaked out by the fight, and Magik talks to him. He says he doesn’t want to be another body like the ones from the picture he saw of the New Mutants, passed over and forgotten when a new set shows up. A fair point. Inside, the guy who hired Monark died trying to climb a small ladder. It’s a fun conclusion to a fun crossover story. Some good characterization, and some pretty good art.

Original Sin #7, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. We start two days ago, with the Orb taking Midas, Exterminatrix and a few Mindless Ones to the Watcher’s base. He sees them, and then there’s an explosion. Now. Hulk lands on the moon. Nick Fury’s fighting the Avengers. One nice touch: Everyone else is wearing space suits, Hulk and Carol are dressed normally. Though Carol should at least have her helmet on. Shame, Deodato. Thor takes Fury down. On Fury’s station, the others are arguing. The Orb comes out and blasts them all. Back to two days ago, it apparently was the Orb who shot the Watcher. Fury whispers something to Thor, and he’s no longer Worthy of his hammer. Fury knows a lot of secrets now. Back to two days ago, Fury entered the Watcher’s base. The Watcher was still alive. Blah. At least we got some damned plot development this issue. Actually, we got a lot of plot development. Which would be great, except some of it should’ve come in previous issues. After 4 wasted issues in a row, it’s hard to be happy about this one. This event has been badly-plotted from the start, and this issue is still pretty crap. The art remains dark and muddy, not my thing. All in all, I feel comfortable calling Original Sin, as a story, a colossal failure.

I may as well also mention that Captain Marvel #6 was great. We saw less of Carol kicking ass than I’d hoped, but there was a lot of story to fit in, too. There was also surprise space lesbians. Surprise lesbians are the best kind of lesbians. Anyway, it was really good.


From → 2014, Uncategorized

  1. In Nightcrawler 5, I just figured that they brought Armor and Mercury to help demonstrate their skills to the younger X-Men. But yeah, Mercury’s “Best gym class ever” line felt way out of place considering how experience she is.

    So the art of the Jean Grey School is absolutely terrible in Wolverine and the X-Men 7? It sounds worth checking out just for that. I probably won’t read it, nor will I pay money for it, but I’m curious to see how bad the art is.

    I’m still going to wait for a few issues and see how Marc Guggenheim handles X-Men before I give it a chance.

    Also, both Captain Marvel 6 and All New X-Men were fantastic.

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