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X-Men comics (August 20, 2014)

August 20, 2014


All-New X-Factor #12, by Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Quicksilver finishes updating Havok on X-Factor’s last mission, and Havok says he doesn’t need to monitor Polaris any more, and invites him back to the AVengers. Quicksilver declines. He seems to think the Avengers don’t really want him as a person, and he seems a bit torn when it comes to Wanda. At Serval later, Danger is annoyed at having to wear a uniform. She also seems less than enthused about being part of a team. Gambit – with his shirt open, because they know what Gambit’s fans want – goes to yell at Snow for leaving him behind. He admits to sleeping with Snow’s wife, Angela. Snow doesn’t seem all that upset about it. Warlock compliments Danger on her outfit, and is trying to us the personal pronoun, after Danger had previously commented on his method of speech. She gives him a kiss on the cheek. Doug talks to Georgia, apologizing for pretty much ruining her life. He lets her slap him, and then she thanks him. And then it’s time for the press conference. Polaris has one demand: No name changes. She explicitly mentions Guido deciding on “Strong Guy” back in Peter David’s classic first run on X-Factor in the ’90s. And then the press conference, which goes as well as you would expect an X-Factor press conference in a Peter David book to go. This is another excellent issue, in terms of the writing. PAD gives some fantastic insight into the characters, particularly Quicksilver, exploring his state of mind. The scene between Danger and Warlock is very sweet. Doug’s attempts to get Georgia to like him remain really sweet yet sad. The dialogue is as sharp and clever as one expects of PAD. But man, CDG’s art just does not do it for me. Every other book changes its artist after each arc, but this one has had the same artist for its entire first 12 issues, and shows no signs of changing. It’s a shame, because this just isn’t the right book for him. He’s a talented artist, but he should be on a more action-oriented book. This book needs a more conventional artist, or at least one who’s better at facial expressions.

Storm #2, by Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez. Storm and Wolverine are out for lunch, and he expresses some concern about her. She talks about being tired of holding it all in. They start to dance, but the bartender tells them to knock it off. She starts a rainstorm directly outside his doors. Wolverine leaves, with a ray of sunlight over him. Storm wanders around a bit, and sees a missing girl poster. She remembers her childhood in Cairo, and wants to help this girl. She goes to the women’s shelter the girl – Angie – had been staying in, and is given Angie’s cell phone. Then she calls Hank to get some help. He manages to track her to 300 feet beneath Manhattan, along with 3 other missing teenagers. Storm goes down, making some noise to lure Callisto out of hiding. They fight, and Storm’s hit in the back of the head by another Morlock. Callisto and her buddies run, but before they can shut a door, winds blow it open. And is pretty surprised by what she finds.  This is another good issue. It touches a bit on Storm’s childhood, and her past with Callisto. Truthfully, there’s maybe a bit more animosity between the two than there probably should be – they more or less buried the hatchet a long time ago. Storm also got to show a bit of her badass side in the fight with Callisto, though Callisto got the upper hand in the following argument. The art’s great. This is a really good book. Not the best on the stands, but a solid book that’s doing a very good job at humanizing Storm.

Magneto #8, by Cullen Bunn and Javier Fernandez. The SHIELD agents tracking Magneto find the dead Predator X monsters. The explanation seems to be that someone sold the arena the tech to identify mutants, and then MGH was harvested from the mutants. The MGH was manufactured elsewhere. And one of the techs is able to load up a computer to find where Magneto’s going next. Magneto’s visiting some dead town, a hazardous waste site. He reflects back on some of his previous life, until he reaches a warehouse where MGH is being made. He walks in, and the guards shoot up to get their superpowers. He’s hurting from the fights he’s been getting in, but tries not to show it. He orders them to shut down their operation, but the guy in charge refuses. And that’s when SHIELD busts in. This is another solid issue. The SHIELD agents are competent, and Magneto remains threatening even with his weakened powers and his injuries. The art here is better, though still not my style. But it matches the tone of the book well. I’d like Fernandez to stay on this book. I prefer him over Walta.

Wolverine Annual, by Elliott Kalan and Jonathan Marks. Wolverine and Jubilee are on a camping trip, and Jubilee brought Shogo along. She’s warming a bottle over a campfire. That’s great. Wolverine wants to make sure Jubilee will be able to take care of herself after he’s gone, apparently forgetting who he’s talking to. He waxes sentimental, and she’s her usual self. Elsewhere, a husband and wife – who her also both in the military – are on a camping trip. The husband’s grumpy. She yells at him until she gets a smile out of him. Back to Jubilee. Wolf attack! She gets ready to tear them apart, but Wolverine stops her. They were just playing. It’s more of his family. He used to run with the pack, and he keeps an eye on them. Back at the married couple. He’s uncomfortable with being touched. They start to argue about having kids. She cheers him up again. The pack hunts down a deer. Jubilee lays Shogo down, and a wolf stays near it. The couple comes by and sees a wolf standing over a baby, and the husband shoots it. Wolverine gets in the way. The couple leaves with the baby, and Jubilee has to take care of Wolverine first, and then tells him to sniff out Shogo. This is OK. Kalan has a good grasp on Jubilee’s humour. But he goes too far with her anger. Yes, she was worried about losing Shogo. But as soon as she got him back, she should’ve calmed down. She shouldn’t have been prepared to kill the guy. The art was good. Wild and creepy at the right points. Still, the story ended up being a bit chilly, especially the ending, with its talk about the role of women and shit. It honestly came across as condescending. It was meant to say how great women are, but the whole “men fight, women heal” idea is just so unbelievably cheesy. It’s insulting to men, of course. But it’s also insulting to women. Like their whole role in life is to take care of men? Bullshit. Patriarchal nonsense. So the end of this issue is total crap.

Deadpool vs. X-Force, by Duane Swierczynski and Pepe Larraz. Deadpool’s got a collar on Cable that inhibits his movement, and lets Deadpool control him. He forces Cable to shoot at some soldiers in the Box Rebellion, but Cable misses them all. Cable wants to know why Deadpool’s wrecking history. Deadpool says the US has to take control of the British Empire from the beginning. And then the Confederacy has to take control of the Union’s advanced war machinery, so that the US will get its empire on. And then the next step is to weaken China, so the US can take it over. Cable decides its time to get free and fight back. Deadpool grabs one of Cable’s guns with two big chambers, and asks if it shoots bullets or personal massage devices. Heh. Nice. Cable shoots him up, then leaves to do some triage on the timestream. This is another really fun issue. It could use more of the rest of X-Force, but it’s still good. Duane writes an awesome Deadpool. I wouldn’t mind seeing him do the modern Deadpool, actually. The story is insane, but believably so, and a lot of fun. And Larraz’s art continues to be excellent, like the early ’90s but better. This is a very, very good Deadpool mini.

That’s the X-titles. Now the non-X.

Ms. Marvel #7, by G. Willow Wilson and Jake Wyatt. Ms. Marvel and Wolverine are being attacked by a giant mutated alligator. Wolverine distracts it and tells Kamala to get on top. She punches it in the eye, and it throws her off, then prepares to eat Wolverine. Kamala grabs its tail. She’s surprisingly strong. This lets Wolverine claw it up. She feels terrible about hurting something, even a giant mutated alligator. She’s a good kid. The way out is blocked, so the only way to go is forward. He mentions not being a good swimmer, so she says he can ride on her back. He delivers a flat what. Heh. Nice. While they go, he talks to her about healing factors, and the best power being the power to get up after being knocked down. They also talk about why she’s got Carol Danvers’ old name. They’re almost out, when the small room they’re in starts closing in. Another awesome issue. It’s fun and adorable and sweet. Even Wolverine’s kinda lovable here. We get some more hints about how evil the Inventor is. But really, this is about Kamala being brave, compassionate, determined and funny. I love her refusing to accept that there’s no way to help people without hurting someone else. I have to say, I’m really rooting for her to figure out a way to do it. If anyone can do it, it’s her, and I think every time a superhero helps people without resorting to violence, it sends an incredibly powerful message. I should also mention the art. It’s great. There’s one particular page with a really neat layout – it’s not the first comic to feature a layout of that type, but it’s always neat, and it’s done very well. Wyatt also draws her powers very well.

Elektra #5, by Haden Blackman and Michael Del Mundo. Elektra is being fired on by Black Crow, but all the bullets miss. Intentionally, as he wanted to get her in close. He knocks her down, and she reflects that a more rational hero would try to reason with him. Too bad she’s not a hero. Black Crow’s a bit of a precog. He knows Elektra’s next move before she does. She clears her mind, and goes back on the attack. Now it’s a bit more clear. He grabs her sai, but gets a synaptic shock. She points out that after Bullseye killed her, she didn’t want anyone else using her weapons against her again, so she took precautions. She takes his helmet off, and sees her father’s face. She realizes it’s Kento in her mind. She decides not to kill him for trying to protect his father. And then Bloody Lips attacks her. She cuts her hand and drips some blood into his mouth, to let him see what it’s like being her. Del Mundo’s killing it on this book. Blackman’s doing a great job, too, telling a compelling story, with a really good characterization of Elektra. But man, Del Mundo’s art is just gorgeous.

Original Sins #5. First up, by Al Ewing and Butch Guice. The Orb is on Fury’s station, and Fury’s talking to him, and Dum Dum shows up. Dum Dum mentions that he still has some of the Infinity Formula in his own body. Fury feels bad, then takes Dum Dum to where a new unit is being built. Dum Dum’s dead. Died back in ’66. He’s been a series of LMDs ever since. Dum Dum’s pissed. He feels like a hairshirt – there only to make Fury feel bad about the things he does, so he can still feel like a good guy. Then Dum Dum kills himself. It’s a good story. It’s a good way of explaining how Dum Dum was still around. We’ll see if he sticks around after this, since he shot himself in the head. Next, the final part of the Young Avengers story by Ryan North and Ramon Villalobos. Noh and Teddy wake up and attack the Hood. The Hood’s subdued quickly, but he reminds them about the decryption key. The YA figure he must have a pretty decent safe period, and they assume an hour to find the server and destroy it. Unfortunately, the Hood escapes. Luckily, Prodigy’s a damned genius. He replaced the Hood’s encryption key with a one-time pad, a completely unbreakable encryption scheme. But he never knew the pad, so the knowledge is all gone. Then he gets home, and it turns out he knew the pad all along. So now all the secrets are his alone, and he’s going to try to use them to save the world. This was a really fun story. All five parts. I hated the art. It’s distinctly unpleasant. But the writing was great. It was really funny. It was bizarrely casual, which just made it funnier. The characterization was really good. It was all great. The final story, by Chip Zdarsky, is a whole lot of secrets. Gambit’s not actually French. She-Hulk never passed the bar. Rick Jones knew it was a Gamma bomb site, and has a fetish for playing his guitar while in terrible danger. Luke Cage hates both sweets and Christmas. Punisher chose to go to the park that day, and still enjoys parks. Storm dated a weatherman once and then ruined his career after they broke up. (This is the greatest idea ever, and I would kill to see that happen in an actual comic.) Magneto doesn’t control metal, he just talks to it, the way Aquaman does with fish. Frog-Man once killed a man just to see how it felt – “just kidding I’m Frog-Man.” Black Panther has Avril Lavigne CDs in his car. Kingpin actually really likes Matt Murdock. Beast has been writing a TV pitch called “Stars and Garters” about a pair of cops, and keeps saying it because he wants someone to ask about it. Jean Grey killed a planet of aliens. And thinks she also slept with Wolverine. Which grosses her out. Hawkeye said he was great at boats, but it was his first time driving one. Silver Surfer ate a couple planets when he was Galactus’ herald. Rogue can barely remember if it was her or Cyclops who cheated on Maddie Pryor. Namor pees in the ocean all the time. Scarlet Witch meant to say, “No, MORE Mutants.” (Awesome.) The Watcher faked his own death.Squirrel Girl hates squirrels. Blade sometimes kills people he knows aren’t actually vampires. Dr. Strange’s real last name is Strangowski, but he changed it because he wanted to be in a metal band. This story is hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. So silly, and so perfect. Squirrel Girl is called “the Magneto of Squirrels.” I love it.

I suppose I should mention Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #4, by Mike Benson and Tan Eng Huat. As Midnight Sun prepares to use magic to do something, Leiko Wu emerges from a big puddle of blood. OK, so she was deader than I thought. She’s got dark magic. She was the rightful leader of Skull Crusher’s clan, which ruined Midnight’s ritual. The rest of the issue . . . meh. Don’t care, really. I like Leiko. So I’m disappointed about what Benson’s done with her. Especially since – as usual – it was all done to advance Shang-Chi’s story. Her death and rebirth and turn to the Dark Side aren’t about her, it’s all about the guy who used to love her 30 years ago.

Also, The Wicked + The Divine #3 is awesome. No review, I just want to say it’s awesome. We see the Morrigan. She’s multiple types of crazy.

From → 2014, Uncategorized

  1. Yeah, I was considering picking up the Wolverine Annual to see more of Jubilee, but after a quick glance through, I didn’t buy it. Jubilee felt way out of character with the comic’s ending. If anything, it should have been Wolverine who acted that way and Jubilee, still retaining much of her humanity, would calm him down. Otherwise though, it’s a good week for X-Men comics in general.

    Also, Ms. Marvel is brilliant – that is all.

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  1. X-Men comics (August 20, 2014) | X-Men
  2. The Comic-Verse: Awesome Art & The Top 15 Featured Links (08/15/14-08/22/14) | The Speech Bubble

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