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X-Men comics (September 17, 2014)

September 18, 2014

Two 8-hour shifts done. Two more to go. Here’s this week’s comics.

Uncanny X-Men #26, by Brian Bendis and Kris Anka. Maria Hill is terrified of Matthew Malloy. She orders the evacuation of the entire state of South Carolina. She tries to call the Avengers, but the ones she needs are off-planet. At the JGS, Scott initially refuses to go on Xavier’s mission, accusing Xavier of hypocrisy in his dealings with the X-Men. The X-Men tell him to get on the damned plane, with Emma adding that Xavier would’ve done it for Scott. That convinces him. After the main group leaves, Firestar says she feels bad for Scott. He’s still in shock over Xavier’s death, and she thinks he must see Xavier’s dead body every time he goes to sleep. Iceman refuses to feel sorry for Scott, blaming him for Xavier’s death, and for ruining the X-Men. It’s a fantastic scene. Iceman’s reaction is neat, and makes sense for him. And I like that Firestar was shown as intelligent, mature and insightful – Aaron never really showed that, and neither have Kyle and Yost. In Amazing X-Men, she’s been written as the newcomer, and even comes across as a rookie at times. Bendis writes her as someone who’s been through enough shit to be able to empathize with what other people go through. Up on the Helicarrier, Hill brings in Exodus and Headlok to try to shut Matthew down. It doesn’t work. Interesting use of Exodus. It comes out of nowhere – he’s never been the type who would help humans. So I’m not sure why Bendis used him. Also, the NXS students fight the Avengers in a simulation. Triage wants to know why they’re training to fight the Avengers. The Cuckoos say they have to be ready to fight anyone who opposes the revolution, but Triage points out that the Avengers are heroes, so fighting them makes  the X-Men bad guys. He’s finding it all increasingly crazy. This is a really good issue. It furthers the exploration of where Scott’s at, mentally. His outrage at Xavier makes a lot more sense given Firestar’s comments. Nightcrawler and Kitty are both deeply concerned about Scott. We also get another mention of the coming revolution, and some discussion about what it’ll be. The Cuckoos have been around long enough to see everyone as potential enemies, while Christopher’s new enough to think taking on the Avengers is an insane idea. So we’re seeing some dissension on Scott’s side. Which is cool. Anka’s art is good. I’ve been finding myself less enthralled by his art than I used to be. It still looks good, but there’s some problems with it. It is, at times, a bit too simplistic, and cartoonish to an odd degree – it needs to be a little more or a little less cartoonish, I think. It’s in an odd middle area that doesn’t quite work. Anyway, it’s a great issue.

All-New X-Men #32, by Brian Bendis and Mahmud Asrar. Angel is in the Savage Land, where he’s confronted by Wolverine Jr. Beast is on the beach somewhere in eastern Europe – he thinks Turkey. Laura’s on a football field. Iceman is underground, in the Mole Man’s territory. And Jean Grey’s on a rooftop, with Spider-Man asking her what’s going on. She doesn’t know. She reads his mind, gets a crash course in his life, and learns she’s on a different world. He’s been to her world, so he offers to help her get back. Laura crashes a motorbike through a guard rail, bounces off a bus, and grabs her claws on a truck. Laura is awesome. She says it’s going to hurt, but doesn’t show any actual concern. This issue’s really good. It’s just brief little vignettes showing the situations they’ve all found themselves in, but there’s some solid characterization done with the scenes. The art’s good. It gets across what it has to get across. ANXM continues to be a solid series.

All-New X-Factor #14, by Peter David and Pop Mhan. Danger wants to have sex with Lorna. That is literally the first full sentence of the book. Then Wanda shows up. Lorna doesn’t like her, what with the whole “No More Mutants” thing. Lorna lost her own powers in all that, so it makes sense that she’d still resent her. Wanda says she just wants to visit her sister, but Lorna points out they’ve basically never interacted as sisters. Still, when Danger invites herself, Lorna agrees, and they all go to a Renaissance Faire.  There, a woman working complains to a friend about harassing messages she’s been getting from a guy, who secretly plans to kill her. At the Faire, Wanda mentions never having been much for socializing, is confused at having a giant drumstick, and has her first beer, which she chugs, then asks for another. Soon after, with Wanda drunk, they come across a staged witch-burning show, which the crazy guy from earlier has sabotaged to make it a real burning. A witch burning. With the Scarlet Witch wandering around. Yep. This issue’s great. It’s fun and hilarious. There’s still some nice drama. PAD’s dialogue is always clever. He makes some good use of Wanda – she’s goofier here than I think any writer has ever made her, and it’s kinda cute. The exploration of Lorna and Wanda’s relationship is also really cool. Pop Mhan’s art is a great match for it. It’s fun and expressive. I’m disappointed to have CDG back on the art next issue, because he’s just such a terrible match for PAD. Mhan might be one of the most PAD-appropriate artists I’ve come across. This is a great issue, one that truly feels like X-Factor.

Wolverine and the X-Men #9, by Jason Latour and Jorge Fornes. Tony Stark is at a superhero-themed party at the Hellfire Club, where he’s given a free drink of ice water. From Jotunheim. The bartender, by the way, is dressed like disco-era Dazzler. He is a man. It’s pretty great. Stark gets thrown out, and lets Wolverine know that the NYC branch of the Hellfire Club is owned by the Phoenix Corporation, and Quentin Quire is the White King. Because having kids as the Hellfire Club worked out so well during Aaron’s run. Argh. Anyway, Wolverine puts on a Magneto helmet and walks in. (There’s a guy dressed as Maggott, by the way. He gets praised for his great throwback costume. The bouncers think it probably was Maggott, because who’d dress up like him? Maggott gets so little love.) He sees Evan and Idie there, and then grabs Mystique. She grabs his helmet and lets him get beaten up. Then Quire goes down to have a talk with him. This is pretty good. It’d be even better if this led to Quire being removed from the X-titles entirely for a while. But I still have trouble caring about this book. I don’t care about Wolverine. I don’t care about Quire. I don’t care about this book. Bah.

Deadpool Bi-Annual, written by Paul Scheer and Nick Giovanetti, art by Salva Espin. Deadpool’s been asked to capture a Hydra chief. He jumps out of the plane without a parachute, and kills the Hydra guy when he lands on him. At Water World, a guy slaps a dolphin, and then gets attacked. The park is destroyed, and the animals stolen. Deadpool is told they were freed by the terrorist group Brute Force, and that they’re animals and vehicles. There’s Soar (an eagle), Boomer (a kangaroo), Lionheart (a kitty), Dr. Echo (a dolphin), and Bear (not a gay man). Deadpool’s asked to kill them. Brute Force talks about what to do next. At another Water World, Preston tries to talk Deadpool out of the mission, but Brute Force attacks, so it’s quip and fight time. Deadpool loses to Bear. He heads to Orlando for another chance to stop them. He starts having second thoughts, so calls Coulson for help getting out of the job. Coulson is on a tropical island getting a massage, because that’s what happened on the show, and these writers sure are clever fellas. (Sarcasm!) Coulson then takes Deadpool to meet with Brute Force. They team up to stop Water World. This includes Bear and Deadpool doing a Fastball Special. Meh. The use of Brute Force is fun on its own, but the story is weak. Bland humour, bland art, some really stupid bits. Just meh.

Uncanny Avengers #24, by Rick Remender and Salvador Larroca. Havok picks up some groceries in costume, and is a bit hurt by the reactions to his badly-mangled face. Walking home, he’s attacked. At the house, Wolverine’s chatting to Wanda and Rogue. He says they’re going to be united against the Red Skull. He leaves, and after Rogue has a brief conversation with him, she finds Wanda defeated by the S-Men. Then she’s taken out. She finds Xavier’s in her head, and he tells her to take out the Red Skull. Not bad.  Some decent writing. Decent character stuff. Too much Wolverine. The scene with Xavier was nice. The art’s pretty good. But overall, whatever. This series has never been for me, and that’s not changing now.

There’s the X-stuff. Now the rest.

Original Sin: Thor and Loki #5, written by Al Ewing and Jason Aaron, art by Simone Bianchi and Lee Garbett. Odin prepares to go to war. Thor’s already at it. The Queen finally agrees to tell Thor about his sister. In the past, the Queen hands Odin’s infant daughter off to be disposed of. The woman she hands the girl to finds her still alive, and declines to kill her. In the present, Angela wants to fight Thor again. It’s a fight to the death. He hits her with lightning, but before he can finish her, Odin interrupts. He’s ready to do some killing until he recognizes Angela as his daughter. Angela’s cast out of Heven, and threatens to kill Odin the next time she sees him. This was a good story. A lot of it was fairly predictable, but it was well-written, and pretty to look at. There’s some solid characterization. This issue doesn’t have a lot of humour, but it does have one hilarious moment right near the end, involving Odin talking to his kids. This story on its own wouldn’t make me want to buy Angela’s upcoming series. But, of course, it’ll be co-written by Kieron Gillen, and co-drawn by Stephanie Hans, and those are two names that mean a lot to me. So, I’ll be buying Angela’s solo title.

Savage Hulk #4, by Alan Davis. While the Leader monologues about Banner’s device, Xavier talks to Scott telepathically. Scott lets him know what’s going on – basically, Jean came up with an awesome plan for getting out of the Leader’s restraints. The Hulk busts out first. Fight! The Hulk’s a genius with a huge head and telekinetic powers. The Leader is revealed as a drone. Hulk destroys the machine he’d hoped to cure himself with, and the X-Men leave. This was a good finale to a cool arc. The writing was only average, but the art was Alan Davis, and his art always looks great. So it was a good read, if not an exceptional one.

The Wicked + The Divine #4, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. It’s awesome.

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From → 2014

3 Comments
  1. Scarlet Witch and Polaris really haven’t had all that much panel time together, and All New X-Factor 14 is proof why that’s such a travesty. It’s a fantastic mix of humour, drama and character exploration. In terms of overall writing quality, it’s probably my favourite of the week now that I’ve had a day to think about it.

    I didn’t like Uncanny X-men as much as you, but it’s still a good bridge issue that explains certain characters’ reactions to Cyclops being there. Also, quite a bit happened for a bridge issue.

    All New X-men did a good job at introducing the Ultimate Universe to non-readers without relying on too much exposition, and that’s where the issue probably shines the most. Beyond that, everyone feels in character (while Jean Grey did kind of forcably read Miles’s mind, she’s been known to do that in this series), the situations are all at least interesting and the issue’s ending hits you where it counts.

    I was considering doing a theory post for who is taking the Wolverine name, but it’s pretty much confirmed through Axis solicitations and covers that Sabertooth is taking it. Meh, it sounds alright, but haven’t they given him redemption arcs before, only to have him slip back into madness? I’ll wait and see where it goes, and at least it’s not Daken taking his father’s name.

  2. G'kar permalink

    Exodus working with S.H.I.E.LD nice to know still writes things that don’t make any sense glad I dropped this book.

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