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X-Men comics (December 10 2014)

December 12, 2014

Here’s Wednesday’s comics.

Uncanny X-Men Annual, by Brian Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino. Eva finds herself in another time. A time where Martians are apparently attacking the Earth, if the tripods are any indication. She’s rescued by Killraven. Then she’s in the Wild West, being licked by a buffalo. She walks into town and asks for help, but she looks weird, and the townsfolk are suspicious. She’s helped a bit by the Rawhide Kid, who’s not too surprised by her because of his previous meeting with the Avengers. He helps her by holding a gun to her head. Next, she meets the X-Men of 2099. Woot! 2099! They bring her to the Sorcerer Supreme – Illyana! Illyana’s willing to help her to help herself. Cut to seven years later, and Eva’s got a husband and a child. This is a very weird story. But it’s awesome. Bendis throws in some nice cameos, and tells a really neat story. Eva’s freaking out is done well. When she finally meets with Illyana, it’s a cool scene. Sorrentino does a fantastic job. He does different styles for each era. He also does a lot of neat layouts – once again, the meeting with Illyana is a stand-out. The art is fantastic in general, though. This is a really, really good issue, definitely worth checking out.

X-Men #22, by Marc Guggenheim, Harvey Tolibao and Dexter Soy. Rachel tries to send a psychic distress call to the Earth while she, Psylocke and Monet head out to beat up some minions – Skrull-Brood hybrids. They see Jubilee rocket out, and Monet heads after her. Brand orders everyone on the Peak to start fighting, and tells Tyger that she’s going to have the X-Men pick his mind apart. Deathbird doesn’t leave him a mind to pick. The crazy lady’s ship arrives, and Monet helps Jubilee get the defibrillator off the Dove and bring it back to Reyes so she can save Storm’s life. Meanwhile, Sharada, the crazy lady, has captured most of the remaining good guys. But it’s Storm, Monet, Jubilee and Reyes to the rescue! This is a great conclusion to a cool arc. Guggenheim does some good character stuff with Rachel, in particular, but all the girls get some nice moments. The art is a bit uneven. Tolibao’s work is kinda meh. It’s not great. It’s not necessarily bad, just not great. Soy’s work, on the other hand, is amazing. Just gorgeous stuff. I love it. It looks painted, and it’s fantastic. The next arc will be by G. Willow Wilson. That should be good.

X-Force, by Simon Spurrier, Tan Eng Huat and Kevin Sharpe. We find out Fantomex didn’t kill the others, he was just plugged into a hallucination that made him think he did. Now, he’s on a global rampage, trying to prove his superiority, while Mojo’s kept in X-Force’s base to spy on him. Someone is talking to Hope through a radio, saying Cable has captured Volga, and that Hope’s pissed he did it without her. It also turns out Hope’s been talking to the guy for three days, but doesn’t remember it. He’s trying to convince her that “lesser of two evils” is crap. It’s Forgetmenot! And he shows Hope who Meme was. This issue is a big deconstruction of the whole “grim’n’gritty antihero” thing. And it’s awesome. It shows how these cool tough guys who do what it takes are just broken assholes. It’s a plea to remember that good and evil are real, and that morality is important. It’s a really powerful issue. Spurrier is one of the smarter writers at Marvel. He’s a guy who clearly likes exploring big themes and important ideas. The art wasn’t my style. I just didn’t care for it. I’ve never liked Huat’s art. Sharpe’s stuff is better, but still pretty bland. Nothing special. But the writing’s fantastic. It’s a shame that Spurrier keeps doing these big books that no one reads. X-Force has been awesome right from the start (I don’t care what anyone else says, Marrow’s narration in that first issue was great), but it’s not selling great. Shame.

Amazing X-Men #14, by Chris Yost, Carlo Barberi and Iban Coello. In Winzeldorf, Germany, Nightcrawler sees a priest. He’s there to torment that priest. Outside Winzeldorf, some SHIELD agents exploring an old church get beat up by Mystique. She thinks about how she was changed on Genosha. She seems to be resisting it somewhat, as her feelings of good come and go. But she can’t let Nightcrawler become like her. This is pretty good. It shows that Mystique really does love Nightcrawler. I like the art. There’s a touch of a cartoon feel to it that’s pleasant. Decent issue.

Spider-Man and the X-Men #1, by Elliott Kalan and Marco Failla. Storm isn’t happy about Spider-Man being brought into the JGS staff. They arrive while the school is being attacked by Unus. Who’s inexplicably back from the dead. Unus. Attacking an entire school of mutants. Why? Why would he think that could ever possibly turn out well? The X-Men are all sceptical about a non-mutant joining the school. Spider-Man argues that he can teach the kids responsibility beyond waiting for their school to be attacked. This could be the start of a direction where the X-Men actually move beyond hiding in their school, and get more directly involved in fighting for mutant rights through real political action. But it won’t be! X-Men writers never seem to want to do that. They’d rather just do the same thing Claremont did, and since Claremont never had political rallies, neither can anyone else. Anyway, Spider-Man covers Unus’ force field in webbing, stopping him. Toad seems to be back as janitor. Spider-Man remembers Toad starting a team with Frog-Man. I read that story. It was awesome. Any Frog-Man story is awesome, simply through the presence of Frog-Man. Also, Spider-Man is apparently at the school to ferret out a mole among the student body. His Special Class consists of Hellion, Rockslide, Shark Girl, Glob, No-Girl, Eye-Boy and Ernst. Hellion points out it’s the “bad kids” and the “most likely to turn supervillain kids” – in other words, this is Avengers Academy but X-Men. The kids are misbehaving, so Spider-Man takes them to the Danger Room. In the class, he talks to the students, and tries to tell them they have a responsibility to use their powers to help people. Then he takes them to a museum, where they’re attacked by Stegron the Dinosaur Man. This is OK. Not as bad as I’d expected, but my expectations were very low, and I still can’t say this was particularly good. It makes the X-Men look like a bunch of assholes, for one thing. It plays up their insularity to a ridiculous degree. It also dwells really deeply on the whole “power and responsibility” theme, in a heavy-handed way. It’s something that we all know already. The art is also OK. It’s very standard, conventional art, not standing out at all, for good or ill. Totally forgettable. This whole book is forgettable. The only thing that makes it memorable is the presence of Ernst and No-Girl, and that’s only memorable because Morrison’s New X-Men was awesome.

Nightcrawler #9, by Chris Claremont and Todd Nauck. Nightcrawler flashes back to simpler times, in the Danger Room. It’s tough to tell exactly when this would have happened – he was up against Iceman, Beast, Punk Storm, Colossus and Rogue. So it’s mid-’80s, but Beast and Iceman didn’t really hang around with the X-Men at that point. Wolverine was trying to teach him how to fight smarter and nastier. Cut to the present, and Nightcrawler’s up against the X-Men. First, he takes out Rachel and Psylocke, the telepaths. Next, he slaps around Storm, to piss her off, creating crazy weather. Then, he hits Beast hard, knocking him out, and throws him into Storm’s tornado which spits him out right into Iceman. Psylocke is teleported by the Bamfs, right next to Bess. Psylocke kicks her ass. Nightcrawler continues beating up the X-Men. It’s always nice getting a reminder of how dangerous a lot of superheroes can be when they need to be. Nightcrawler systematically takes apart the X-Men. There’s some nice character stuff throughout the issue, too. Nauck’s art is good, and he captures the action well, with a very old-school feel to it. This is good all around. It’s not outstanding, but it’s good for what it is.

Logan Legacy #6, by James Tynion IV and Andy Clarke. At Seaside Heights, NJ, a guy walks down a carnival, then enters a stall leading to a secret SHIELD archive, which has been attacked. He sees his daughter, who stabs him in the gut. Mystique! Cut to Madripoor, 1974. A wealthy businessman is under attack by himself. Mystique, seizing his fortune, after months of manipulations as different people. She kills the guy, and then Irene comes out, saying they’re ready to start building their life together. Then Logan has to show up and spoil it. In the present, Hill wants to know what Mystique is doing in the archive. In the past, Mystique asks Irene to find a path where Logan dies, and they can work to make it happen sooner so they can build their world. In the present, she finds a tape left by Irene. This is a good issue. It delves into Mystique’s character in a way that few writers really have. It shows that she actually does have a dream beyond merely personal power, though we don’t really know exactly what kind of world she and Irene wanted to build. It also explores why she hated Wolverine so much. I do wish there’d been a panel where she and Irene actually share a kiss – for all that it’s one of the more famous same-sex couples in comic book history, they were never actually shown kissing. (Also, I still want a mini showing how Mystique and Destiny met and became lovers. That would be an awesome mini.) The art’s nice. It’s not exceptional art, but it’s nice, and it gets across everything it’s trying to.

Deadpool’s Art of War #3, by Peter David and Scott Koblish. A bunch of trolls are attacking Queens. Meanwhile, Loki has left Hela in charge of Asgard. Odin and Thor are free, and Hela retreats. Odin demands Loki be brought to him, and Deadpool says he’s probably on Earth. He says Loki’s probably getting defeated. He has an army, but “we have a Hulk.” Meh. Pushing the reference too hard. Complete with Hulk smashing Loki into the ground. Though this time, Hulk calls him a dumb ass. Then he’s dropped into the subway, where the Mole Man attacks. Later on, the Avengers rally against Loki’s army. Thor heads down with the Asgardians to kick some ass. Doom and Red Skull are watching, trying to decide which side to take. They decide to fight against Loki’s forces. This is pretty fun, forced movie references aside. There’s some very good Deadpool comedy, and some cool fighting. There are things about it that made no sense to me – why are Doom and Skull suddenly hanging out? – but the fighting was all fun. The art’s good. Good comic.

Axis #7, by Rick Remender and Adam Kubert. Havok wants to know if the Gene-bomb can spare Wasp, but Scott says it can’t. Outside, the Avengers have Assembled. Inside, Deadpool and Spider-Man attack Apocalypse. Deadpool fights Apocalypse – peacefully – while Spider-Man tries to disarm the bomb. It goes less than well. And in Latveria, Wanda’s still attacking Doom, with Magneto and Quicksilver trying to stop her. She curses her family, striking down Quicksilver. Magneto’s unaffected. Yep, if you haven’t heard, Magneto is apparently no longer the father of Quicksilver and Wanda. This is OK. The big “reveal” with the family is silly, especially because, come on, we know it’s going to be retconned again in a few years. Whatever. There was some good comedy in the big battle early on, then it got all dramatic after the cut to Latveria, and stayed dramatic when it returned to the battle. Kubert’s art is excellent. Just great work. Exciting action, and good drama. Apocalypse’s beat-down of Deadpool is brutal.

And the non-X.

Bitch Planet! Bitch Planet #1, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. We start on Earth, with a woman running to a recording session. She does a history lesson, saying people used to talk of Mother Earth, but now they know the Universe is their mother, and the Earth is their father. This lesson is for a handful of convicted criminals. All women. They’ve all been sent to Bitch Planet. A fat woman gets angry at how small her uniform is, and gets hit by a guard. That starts a brawl. One woman, a white woman, claims she’s not supposed to be there. Back on Earth, a guy is asking for his wife to be released. His name is Collins. The white woman is also named Collins. She wants to talk to someone in charge, so a Catholic nun hologram is pulled up for her. A sexy nun. So now we get the two conversations, as husband and wife talk about what happened that got her sent to Bitch Planet for non-compliance. The wife starts being taken somewhere, and another woman decides to step in to get involved. This starts another brawl. This is awesome. It’s brilliant stuff. It’s cutting social commentary, to start with, on not just prisons, but, as the essay at the end of the issue explains, on the prisons society puts all women in. “Non-Compliant” is used as a criticism against any woman who doesn’t fit the ideal. It’s very, very intelligent writing. And there seems to be some pretty awesome women. As a bonus, there’s a lot of women of colour, and it looks like the main characters will be primarily women of colour. Already standing out is Penny Rolle, the fat black bitch, who is bound to be the favourite of a lot of readers. The art’s excellent. Very, very nice work. There’s a lot of female nudity, but it never feels exploitative. It’s appropriate to the story. As a note, I think De Landro is black, himself. So that’s neat. This is an awesome book, and you should totally buy it.


From → 2014

  1. In my opinion, Logan Legacy is the best of the mini-series so far in terms of quality. All the one’s I’ve read (haven’t touched Daken’s issue) are good, but this one hints at more of an overall picture than the others while still remaining character focused.

    Good week for the X-Men in general, even if Spider-Man and the X-Men is ok at best (kind of glad I skipped that one). The Axis plot twist, well … I’ve read what it is and seriously, what’s even the point?

    Also, Bitch Planet 1 is kind of genius.

    • Yeah, Logan Legacy’s actually been really good. The first issue was lame, but the rest have been good to great. And it was definitely a good X-Men week. Good week in general, actually.

      And yeah, Bitch Planet is fantastic.

  2. Hamburger Time permalink

    So, Unus is alive and powered despite being dead and depowered last we saw him?

    • Yep. With absolutely no explanation. Because, really, is an explanation even needed any more when villains come back?

      • Hamburger Time permalink

        Well technically Unus was last seen UNdead in Selene’s thrall, and it was mentioned that some of her zombie slaves could’ve escaped.

        But I doubt anyone remembers that.

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