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X-Men comics (October 1 2014)

October 1, 2014

I won another book on Goodreads Giveaways. Virgin, byRadhika Sanghani. Hurrah! It’s classed as Chick Lit, but whatever.

Last night’s Agents of SHIELD was good. Raina’s back! And pretty cool. But now, on to comics.

First, X-Men #20, written by Marc Guggenheim, art by Harvey Tolibao and Dexter Soy. Rachel’s under attack, so she psi-calls Monet and Psylocke to come help. Rachel refuses to help the Shi’ar dude with her. Elsewhere, some woman’s being criticized for not telling the council she’s part of about Deathbird escaping. She says their goal is to bring uniformity to the universe, and she’s begun that with the creation of a new race. Back on the space station, all the creatures have been killed, and the ladies find the creatures are branded, with the sigil of the Providian Order. At the Peak, Cecilia and Brand guess that Deathbird was knocked up by Vulcan, who Deathbird was married to. Jubilee thinks Thanksgiving at Rachel’s must be awesome. This remains a solid story, with some good character stuff. Rachel’s utter hatred of the guy who suggested her family’s death is great. It’s a cold hatred. The Providian Order seems delightfully messed up. Nice and creepy and insane. The art is mostly good. Tolibao’s style is a bit odd, I find. I can’t really explain what it is, but faces look off, somehow. It’s not that it’s bad art – it does look pretty good – but it’s just odd enough to be distracting. Soy’s art, on the other hand, is gorgeous. I love his style. Luckily, the two styles aren’t so totally different as to be jarring. They’re both distinct, but it’s not a shock going from one to the other and back again. This is still worth picking up.

Death of Wolverine #3, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. Kitty threatens Deathstrike, but Deathstrike doesn’t think Kitty’s a killer. Kitty does blow up Deathstrike’s hand, and tells her to leave. Then Wolverine passes out. She injects him with a regen serum that fixes him up. We find out she was the one he called last issue, and she was worried about him, and guessed he would go to Madripoor. He tells her about the hit, and about Ogun’s involvement. Kitty’s going to join him in looking for Ogun. They go to Japan, and he talks about what it means that he’ll get to grow old. Kitty kisses him, and asks if she’s not as good as all the dead women he’s loved. He’s been possessing her for a while, it seems. Wolverine figures out it’s Ogun. Fight time. Wolverine’s knocked into a room with some samurai armour and swords. He gets dressed for combat. Ogun’s forced to flee Kitty’s body, and Kitty tells Wolverine Abraham Cornelius is behind it all. Wolverine follows Ogun, and finds Cyber, dead and being eaten by acid. Another good issue. Ogun was cool. Even cooler here than in the Kitty and Wolverine mini where he first showed up. Him kissing Wolverine was also interesting. A pretty interesting way of messing with Wolverine’s head. I wonder how many people got excited when it seemed like Kitty was making a move. Personally, I never saw their relationship as being like that. I always thought she saw him as more of a father figure. Or maybe an uncle or something. And I figured he almost certainly saw her as something of a daughter. Soule’s writing is good. And McNiven’s art is great. He’s a fantastic artist, and he’s doing some fantastic work here. Wolverine’s getting a good send-off.

Uncanny Avengers #25, by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna. Red Skull has Havok, Wanda and Rogue mind-locked, and is talking to Magneto. He offers to spare Wanda’s mind, if Magneto bows down to him. Magneto kneels. Magneto takes the Skull down using Ahab’s spear, freeing the others to fight back against the S-Men. Wanda and Magneto find themselves in a room filled with mutants strapped to chairs,  their lives being drained away. Ahab kicks Rogue’s ass. Magneto kills the S-Men, to Wanda’s disgust. Then he moves on to the Red Skull. Dark, dreary, melodramatic. That applies to both the writing and the art. I can’t get into this. It’s well-created, I suppose, but it’s not at all for my tastes.

There’s the X-titles. Now the others.

Spider-Man 2099 #4, by Peter David and Will Sliney. Miguel is fighting Scorpion while saying they actually have nothing to fight about. They both want Tiberius Stone out of there, so they’re on the same side. Scorpion doesn’t care, he just wants to kill Spider-Man. The fight is carried outside the building, and the building itself is coming apart. Mussaret covers Stone’s body with her own to protect him from some falling rocks. He survives, she doesn’t. Outside, Miguel manages to escape, switching the hologram to his normal clothes so he can avoid the Spider Slayers, which Scorpion says are programmed to target anything spider-y. Scorpion orders to Slayers to target civilians, and gives 30 seconds for Spider-Man to show before they open fire. Solution? Hologram! This is really fun. I like that Miguel has no actual interest in fighting the Scorpion, and his solution for ending the fight is clever. The end of the issue is foreshadowed well, and done in a really effective way. Sliney’s art remains mediocre, but it’s fine. He does handle the action pretty well. Good issue.

Thor #1, by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman. In the Norwegian Sea, a small Roxxon sub is looking for something. The sub is destroyed, and whatever did it is moving towards Roxxon’s Seabase, so the attack sharks are sent out. Yes, attack sharks, because comics are awesome. Anyway, turns out the base is under attack by Frost Giants. On the moon, Thor is still trying to lift Mjolnir. He refuses to eat or sleep, or to talk to anyone other than the hammer. He even ignores Odin. Odin shoves him aside and tries to lift the hammer himself. And fails. Which pisses him off. Odin’s ravens let him know about the Frost Giants. Odin says it’s not Asgardia’s fight, while Freyja says they’ll be marching. While Odin and Freyja argue, Thor walks off to get a weapon. Back under the sea, Malekith enters the Seabase to ask about the location of an item. So, this issue doesn’t reveal who the new Thor is. In fact, we don’t even see the new Thor until the very last page. However, I have a guess. I think it might be Freyja. The book seems to hint at that. We’ll have to wait until issue #3, I believe, to find out. But that’s my guess. As to the issue itself, it’s good. Good story, good art. If you’ve been enjoying Aaron’s Thor run, you’ll continue to enjoy it. I won’t be doing any more reviews, because it’s not an X-title and I reviewed the first few issues of God of Thunder when it started, and this really is just a continuation of that run.

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1, by Ales Kot and Marco Rudy. Bucky’s been captured on an alien planet, and they plan on killing him and moving his soul into an animal with no capability to kill. Luckily, he’s got Daisy Johnson out on one of the moons with a sniper rifle. Boom. Then we go to Fury’s secret station, now belonging to Bucky. He asks Daisy to work with him as a collaborator. He tells her about the whole deal, the “Man on the Wall” and all that. On another planet, a princess wants to step down. Back on Earth, Bucky and Namor are fighting underwater drug smugglers. I think the main draw here is going to be Rudy’s art. The main turnoff will be Rudy’s art. It’s a weird, unique style he’s got, and I think it’s probably very much a “love-it-or-hate-it” thing. It’s abstract, with weird layouts. But I find it very cool. It’s very striking. It’s usually simple enough to follow, and it’s definitely eye-catching. The writing here is good. Kot’s making the premise a lot more interesting than I’d expected, after the pile of shit that was Original Sin. He’s doing some interesting character work with Bucky, and Daisy’s addition is really neat. This is actually pretty good.

Guardians 3000 #1, by Dan Abnett and Gerardo Sandoval. Right off, I want to say I find Sandoval’s art unpleasant. It reminds me quite a bit of JRJr’s art, with lots of sharp edged. But Sandoval’s even more cartoonish, and it just doesn’t work for me. Anyway, the Hideaway Parliament is under attack by the Badoon. The Guardians fight and flee. They pass by a body that looks like the classic ’70s Star-Lord. Yondu dies. Then Starhawk dies. So do Martinex and Vance. Then Charlie and Geena. And that’s the end of the series, I suppose. That was quick. Oh wait, no, it cuts back half an hour, with the Guardians approaching the Hideaway. This is OK. We already know what’s special about Geena. Some characters have their personalities established well, others less so. The overall storyline is interesting enough. I’m still a bit annoyed at Nikki’s early exclusion. Abnett already changed the timeline to give Vance Astro Captain America’s shield much, much earlier than in the original stories – in fact, he didn’t get it until the ’90s series. And in the original comics, Nikki didn’t join until after the Badoon were defeated, so unless Abnett plans to have that happen, he’s going to have to ignore the original timeline again in order to bring her in. So why the hell not just have her there from the start? He’s said that Nikki will show up, but I’m concerned about whether she’ll actually join the book, or just cameo. I guess we’ll see in a few months, or whenever he actually gets around to having her show up.

Legendary Star-Lord #4, by Sam Humphries and Freddie Williams. Peter’s ship’s AI, Lydia, is making fun of him for his feelings for Kitty. He says they’re not going to see her while they’re on Earth, because he’s got a dangerous job to do. That job? Kill Thanos. Once they reach the moon, Peter tells Lydia to go away as fast as possible. Thanos is building a monument to Death on the moon. Fight time! It’s a cool issue. It’s a good fight. Very exciting. And some really good drama as part of it. The art’s good. Good issue all around.

I should also mention Black Widow #11, by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto. X-23! This takes place after Wolverine’s death. Widow and Laura are in Macau, looking for Widow’s attorney, Isaiah. They do what they do. Laura takes the front, Widow sneaks in the back. Which means Laura gets shot and slices guys up. Then they wreck a helicopter. Laura’s pretty awesome.

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3 Comments
  1. Are you getting excited yet? One issue left and Wolverine is dead. I’m planning something special for my review of Death of Wolverine 4. But yes, it’s a good series so far with an interesting story and good characterization all-round.

    If the next issue of X-Men is also good, I’ll just have to catch up with the series.

    It’s probably good that they split Legendary Star Lord and Rocket Raccoon into different weeks instead of having them both release on the first Wednesday of each month. Spread the Guardians love a bit. Also, such a good fight between Star Lord and Thanos.

    With how good Spider-Man 2099 is so far, I feel like tracking down the original one-shot and reading it, especially since Peter David wrote it.

    Also, Black Widow 11 is awesome. X-23 has everything good about Wolverine, without the hypocrisy, animistic personality or being overexposed. She and Black Widow work so well together.

    • By the Spider-Man 2099 one-shot, do you mean the series that ran for several years? Because it was really good.

      And yeah, I’ll be glad to have Wolverine dead. It’ll be even better a few months from now when all the “oh no Wolverine is dead” issues are over and done with, and we have a Wolverine-less Marvel. That’ll be so damned sweet.

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