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X-Men comics (September 3 2014)

September 3, 2014

So I had my orientation at Wal-Mart today. I also hung out with a friend, which is why this is so late. But now it’s time for comics.

Uncanny X-Men #25, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo. First, I just want to say how much I love the cover. Stunning work. The best I’ve ever seen from Bachalo. Anyway, Xavier’s message to the X-Men is being played. Back in the school’s early days, he detected a powerful mutant. The X-Men were off on a mission, and Xavier couldn’t wait, so he went to check it out. Matthew Malloy, 8 years old. He’s playing with action figures of Devil Dinosaur and Fin Fang Foom, and then energy exploded out. Xavier couldn’t get into the kid’s mind to stop him. He was concerned about what would happen if humanity found out about the kid, or if Magneto did. Scott needs a few minutes for a break, and Storm chats with him a bit. He wonders if Xavier left her the school, and they both agree to never let her enter the school. There’s also a reunion between Kitty and Nightcrawler. The reunion is just a hug, because it’s all that’s needed. Beast and Dazzler also talk, with Dazzler saying she needs a fight, hence joining Scott. The recording continues. Xavier – appearing as a young boy – talked to Matt, who confesses he think he killed his parents. Xavier then got into the kid’s mind to turn off his powers. Scott gets pissed off, Iceman insults him, and Scott blasts him out the window. Wolverine wants acknowledgement of his own good behaviour. This is really, really good. Awesome issue. The reveal of Xavier’s past actions with Matthew is . . . actually not at all surprising. Even setting up the awful stuff that’s been revealed over the past few years – the secret team with Scott’s brother, enslaving the sentient Danger Room, and more – this actually doesn’t seem all that far outside the norm for Xavier. I mean, the second issue of the original X-Men had him mindwipe Vanisher. So some of the emotional impact of the reveal is reduced by the simple fact that this seems like pretty normal behaviour for Xavier. Still, there’s some great character beats. The Kitty/Kurt scene was wonderful. Just a fantastic page. No anger, no recriminations, no arguments. Just a hug. I’ve seen some people annoyed that Claremont wasn’t allowed to do the reunion scene, but I’ll be blunt, there is no frigging way Claremont could’ve done the reunion as well as Bendis did here. Also, much as I dislike Wolverine, Bendis did give him one of the issue’s single best lines. “I think I’m behaving quite well and I’d like one of ya to acknowledge it.” The art isn’t as great as the writing, as usual. Despite the cover’s brilliance, Bachalo’s interiors remain unappealing. It’s not a style I like, and I don’t like his layouts, either. Still, I loved this issue.

All-New X-Factor #13, by Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Snow is talking to Lorna and Gambit about the press conference, and he suggests firing Quicksilver. Lorna says that he’s her brother, and if he goes, she goes. Snow asks if there are any other secrets he should know. Lorna mentions killing her parents, Gambit mentions being king of the Thieves’ Guild, Lorna mentions Doug being worried about turning evil, Gambit says it’s hard to know if Warlock will turn as crazy as his father. It’s an interesting team they’ve got. Lorna and Gambit leave the office, and he kisses her, because she’s a woman and he can’t not kiss women. She slaps him. Rightly so. Luna goes to talk to Georgia, and invite her to Colonial Williamsburg, and uses her power to convince her. Warlock goes to ask Danger out on a date. She asks if they’ll have sex. Warlock is freaked out. In Colonial Williamsburg, there’s father-daughter bonding. Quicksilver is surprised to learn that Crystal left Ronan. And then Gorgon shows up to bring back Luna. This was another great issue. This is the sort of thing PAD excels at. It’s lots of talking, lots of humour, and lots of character work. The scene between Danger and Warlock was hilariously awkward. The Quicksilver stuff was great.

X-Men #19, written by Marc Guggenheim, art by Harvey Tolibao and Dexter Soy. There’s hull breaches and the power’s down, so Jubilee has to head for ops to get it up and running again. The psychics are handling themselves against the Sidri, who are weak to psychic attacks. Jubilee calls Beast for help with the power systems while the psychics get ready to chase the retreating Sidri. The Peak has no power left, but a massive influx of electricity might jump-start the systems. The power system is apparently a “quantum folding Kirby reactor,” because when you need to name some sci-fi thing in a comic, just toss Kirby’s name in there. The psychics reach a Shi’ar ship, and are welcomed on board the Lilandra. They’re looking for Deathbird. Rachel says Deathbird was captured by the Sidrian Hunters. On the Peak, Storm makes an attempt to jump-start the reactor. The Lilandra comes across a giant . . . monkey-faced . . . thing. This is a bit better than the last issue, which wasn’t bad to begin with. So far, Guggenheim’s off to a good start. There’s some solid characterization, and some cool action. The art’s good, too. Especially Soy’s pages. He handles the stuff with Storm and Jubilee, while Tolibao does the psychics, and the Storm/Jubilee stuff is gorgeous. I love Soy’s work. Tolibao’s not as good. He’s not bad, but he’s got kind of an odd style. I’ll continue buying this series, for now, though I think there’s always going to be a part of me that wonders when the other shoe will drop, and Guggenheim will return to sucking.

All-New Doop #5, by Peter Milligan and David Lafuente. In Sweden, Mama Doop is beating up Wolverine in a hospital. Meanwhile, Doop is having a serious mental breakdown. Doops start spilling out to the normal world, confusing everyone (Jubilee wonders if everyone becomes Doop in the future). Raza threatens Rachel, but Bling! knocks him back. Wolverine goes to tell Doop the story he got from Mama. Kitty phases into the Margins. She shows up in U-Go-Girl’s hot tub (being shared by U-Go and Anarchist). Doop shows Wolverine out of the Margins, and uses something to make everyone forget what wasn’t supposed to happen. And then he talks to Kitty. A weird, bizarre finale to a weird, bizarre story. As with the rest, though, it’s a lot of fun. I really, really hope we see more of X-Statix. They were awesome. Tike and Edie made cool cameos here. The art is appropriately Doopish. Great book.

Death of Wolverine #1, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. In BC, Wolverine is sitting outside a burned-out cabin, badly hurt. He walks away, through a lot of dead people. In the past, Wolverine talks to Reed Richards about his healing factor, and Richards tells him to go easy, and not use his claws. In the present, he stumbles into a bar, bandages his arms in rags covered with Wein’s Canadian Whiskey (a nice shoutout to creator Len Wein), and calls someone. We don’t see who. But Wolverine just wanted to say hi, apparently. The next day, Nuke and three American soldiers walk into the bar. The bartender gives him a map to Wolverine’s location. Nuke reaches the shore, though his three buddies all die. And he finds a ton of dead baddies on the shore. This is pretty good. It sets up the conflict. It has to be assumed that this series is taking place before Nuke’s death in Captain America, but whatever, who cares. The art’s very nice. McNiven’s a great artist. Soule’s also a great writer, and he does a good job with Wolverine here. The writing and art both get across his anger and his pain. This comic also has an interview with Len Wein. It’s really interesting stuff.

Deadpool vs. X-Force #4, by Duane Swierczynski and Pepe Larraz. In the past, a time traveler pops up to kill Hitler, but Deadpool kills the traveler. Apparently, it happens a lot. Deadpool’s gun apparently not only kills the time traveler, but prevents them from ever having existed. In 1777, Cable saves Boom-Boom’s life, then helps throw off the edge the Colonial troops were given by Deadpool. In 1863, things have been fixed. Then, it’s off to 1991, which has a lot of Nazi Sentinels. Talbot’s in charge. Deadpool travels back to 1991 to fight X-Force. Fight time! With the world being saved. A fun finale to a fun series. As a note, the final page is taken directly from New Mutants #98 – the same art, but with the speech changed. Deadpool wonders where his feet are. Because Liefeld couldn’t draw feet. (I’ve started re-reading some of the early Liefeld work at Marvel. Who the hell hired him? Seriously, who looked at his art and said, “Yes, we should give him work”? It’s awful. Just awful!) Duane and Pepe both do great work. There’s plenty of good humour from Deadpool, and the art is excellent. This was a really enjoyable mini. Maybe Deadpool’s best mini ever. Though The Circle Chase was pretty cool, too, back in the day.

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0, by Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli. Some guy gets his neighbour to watch his cat, then leaves, because someone’s after him. It’s Halloween, and some kids knock on Hawkguy’s door. He’s dressed as Ultron. His neighbour, Simone, comes to the door with Deadpool and Deadpool’s friend, Preston, along with all their respective children. Preston chats with Hawkguy using sign language. Also, everyone hates Hawkguy for only giving out fun-size candy. The guy from the start of the story tries to give a flash drive to Hawkguy, but doesn’t get the chance, so he drops it into Deadpool’s bucket. Then there’s shooting and fighting. This is actually pretty good. Duggan writes both characters well. I’m actually more convinced than ever than anything good in the current Deadpool series comes from Duggan. The sign language bit is really cool. There’s also a bit that’s an amusing homage to the dog issue of Hawkeye. Hawkguy also keeps his lovable loser status from that series, such as everyone complaining about him not giving out full-size chocolate bars. So, yeah, this is really fun. There’s a reference to the impending finale of Thunderbolts. The last page even seems to tie into current events in Amazing Spider-Man. So, this book is definitely pretty connected. And very fun.

That’s the X-titles. Now the non-X.

Rocket Raccoon #3, by Skottie Young. Space fight! Rocket winds up falling off the ship, and sees one of his ex-girlfriends. Macho uses a guppy warp to escape. They reach Funtzel’s, after beating up a couple of Funtzel’s goons. Then Rocket talks to Funtzel himself to get information about the other raccoon running around space. Another great issue. There’s lots of fighting, lots of jokes, and lots of amazing art. What’s not to love?

Spider-Man 2099 #3, by Peter David and Will Sliney. Miguel’s uncertain about the situation with Liz. She makes it clear by saying she expects him to work for her the way any other employee would, and orders him to accompany Tiberius Stone to sell Spider-Slayers to the nation of Trans-Sabal. When they land, some rebels attack, and Miguel’s hit in the head by a sniper rifle. Tiberius is grabbed, and Miguel follows. The rebel’s leader – a woman – tries to get Tiberius to cancel the order with the warlord. She tries to get him to see the consequences of his actions. But then more stuff happens. Another solid issue. A bit of social commentary in regards to the selling of advanced weapons to dictators who use them to oppress the people. This is ground PAD’s covered in the past, but he does it well. Sliney’s art is meh. Not bad, not great, just pictures for the words.

Original Sin #8, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. In the past, Nick Fury is trying to get some information from the Watcher, so he can hunt down his assailants. In the present, Midas, Exterminatrix and the Mindless Ones are in the Watcher’s wrecked home. Midas wants to eat the Watcher. Fury shoots him. Back in the past, he tells off the Watcher. In the present, Fury fights Mindless Ones while Exterminatrix flees with her father’s severed hand. The Orb takes down Fury, and says he didn’t choose to attack the Watcher, the Watcher chose him. In the past, Fury admits to having bugged the Watcher’s house for years. The Watcher says it’s time for someone else to take his post, and raises his hands. In the present, the Watcher’s eyes wrap their stems around the Orb’s throats, and the random assortment of characters that Fury put together rush in to stop the Mindless Ones from killing Fury. And Fury finally confesses to having killed the Watcher. Then Fury heads inside to kill Midas. Meh. Whatever. Who even cares, at this point? Bucky’s now a Space Assassin, Exterminatrix wants to build an empire, the Orb is now a watcher, Thor can’t lift his hammer. Whatever.

The Legendary Star-Lord #3, by Sam Humphries and Paco Medina. Quill wakes up in a Badoon prison. He’d been at a bar, flirting with a girl. She knocked him out. Quill starts yelling at the camera in his cell, insulting the Badoon. A big one comes in and knocks him on his head. Another guy in the cell, Carmody, is a member of the Spartax Secret Service. Quill calls up Peter, saying he needs a distraction. She puts on a banana costume from the previous Halloween and sings “Ooga Chaka!” The guard, when he enters, is scared into dropping his gun. Quill, Carmody, and a Badoon kid who was in the cell start their escape, which involves Quill and the kid entering a sewage shaft. It leads them into a hangar, with a beautiful new red starship. The “Bad Boy.” They make their escape, leaving Carmody behind. The three – Quill, kid, ship’s AI – sing the Aquabats. This series remains good. Very entertaining. The “Ooga Chaka” was a bit too blatant a shoutout to the movie, so I rolled my eyes at that. But still, Kitty’s fun here, and she and Quill have a fun chemistry. The prison break is cool Medina’s art is always pleasant to look at. Good issue.

I also want to mention She-Hulk #8. In addition to the issue being awesome, one of Jamie Madrox’s dupes shows up. He’s LA’s best entertainment lawyers, and calls himself Matt Rocks. (“Because I do.”) He sends half his money to Jamie, so Jamie can keep on being a farmer. Awesome.

From → 2014

  1. Uncanny X-men, good. She Hulk, good. Death of Wolverine, good. X-Factor, good. Both Guardians of the Galaxy solo books, good. Spider-Man 2099, good. Almost too many good comics this week.

    All the reviews for Original Sin 8 I read basically said that the event started with a lot of potential, but with repetitive red herrings, a story that basically went nowhere and an inconclusive ending that doesn’t delve into the murderer’s motivations suggest that it ended rather terribly. I’ll probably read it eventually, but I’m in no rush to.

  2. Original Sin #8 was a huge letdown for me. The murderer’s identity was meh and overall wasted the idea of a murder mystery set in the Marvel Universe. Oh well. At least Rocket Raccoon came out this week to put a smile back on my face! 🙂

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