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X-Men comics for December 17 2014

December 17, 2014

Comics! And Corner Gas: The Movie is on CTV tonight at 8. Don’t forget it, Canadians!

All-New X-Men #34, by Brian bendis and Mahmud Asrar. Jean and Miles are facing off with the X-Men. Ultimate Iceman notices how similar the two Jeans look, except 616 Jean is hotter. Bendis writes a genuinely funny Iceman. Anyway, the Jeans swap memories. Then they both pass out. In Atlanta, Iceman is fleeing a giant monster. He notices the temperature is 114 degrees, and wonders why anyone would live there on purpose. He does manage to beat the monster, but then the cops show up to arrest him. In Canada, Laura guesses that they’re in the wrong world. She and Angel argue a bit, and Jimmy Hudson has no idea what the hell’s going on. In Latveria, Beast explains his situation to Doom, the result of a truth serum in his food. He also whines a bit about Jean not even looking at him any more. Great issue. Lots of strong comedy, and lots of cool character stuff. There’s a sweet moment where the Jeans feel they need to hug each other. I don’t know why I love that moment, but I really do. Bendis is clearly having fun with this arc. Iceman gets to be pretty badass, and also really funny. I normally don’t give a damn about Iceman, but Bendis manages to make me like him. A real accomplishment. Asrar’s art is solid. The double-page spread of the two Jeans reading each others’ minds was great. The layout is very similar to what Immonen did in some early issues, but Asrar does a good job with it. This is another great issue in a great series.

Storm #6, by Greg Pak and Al Barrionuevo. First off, I do always love Stephanie Hans’ covers. Anyway. Storm is feeling pretty bad, and she blames Yukio. Yukio tries to talk her into staying in Las Vegas a couple more days, but Storm refuses to as long as Yukio is in control of the gangs. She wants to sweep up Yukio in her arms for fun and excitement, but she’s too mad. She gets on a charter plane, where a nurse is excited to see her. She talks about the kidney donor whose kidney she’s delivering. Another woman refuses to fly with a mutant. She’s offered a chance to leave, but stays. The plane flies into some rough weather, and the woman gets terrified, but Storm just pushes it away a bit. The woman seems to appreciate it. Then the plane comes under attack. She gets blamed for it, and even gets kicked in her injured ankle. Her reflexive lightning kills the plane, but she uses wind to keep it in the air while she steps outside. More meh. It finally actually sets up an ongoing plot, which is good. But this is still only an OK book. It’s still largely bland. She gets a good show of her power, but whatever, she’s gotten a few of those in this series already. This book just isn’t good enough to justify its own existence. I’m no longer going to be picking this up. I feel bad about that. I wanted to love this book, I really did. A woman of colour in the lead role, written by another person of colour? I’m a supporter of greater diversity in comics, so I wanted this book to do well. But it’s just not impressing me. So, this book is dropped from my pull list, at least until it picks up and becomes the book it should be.

Weapon X Program #4, by Charles Soule and Angel Unzueta. In Cleveland, Endo’s been found, running at 531kph. Which is very very fast. She reaches her home, and finds its for sale. Her fiance, Taylor, is gone. Instead, she finds a trio of mutants. The rest of Endo’s team tries to figure out where she is. Neuro finds files on her, including her old address. Junk and Skel decide to go after her, Neuro and Sharp don’t. Back at her house, Endo wants to know what happened to Taylor. The mutants say they didn’t do anything to her. They came from Paradise, the same program that created her. One of them is a speedster, and fights her. We do get confirmation that Taylor was a woman. Endo? Not so much. Apparently, she was a he before Cornelius got him. S/He freaks out and throws the mutants out of the house. And we find out who’s in Sharp’s head. So, interesting reveal with Endo. Odd twist. I’m curious if it’ll go anywhere, or if Endo will survive. There’s some decent drama here. But my general apathy regarding Wolverine does drag the comic down a bit for me. And more, I just don’t feel it’s actually all that great. Decent writing, decent art, but nothing exceptional for either.

Axis #8, by Rick Remender and Leinil Yu. Spider-Man’s trying to disarm Apocalypse’s Gene bomb, but he can’t. Carnage comes in to try to help him contain the explosion. Carnage thinks he might be the only one who can do it. Carnage says a Kasady’s never done anything worthwhile, and he also says he wants a giant memorial in his honour. He manages to contain the explosion, and Spider-Man attacks the X-Men in anger. Then the inverted heroes show up to the fight. Loki wakes up Amora, so she can do something heroic to save the day. Thor’s ready to kill Apocalypse, but Absorbing Man interferes. Thor smashes him away, and then gets blasted by the Summers brothers. He’s about to kill them, but Hobgoblin rescues them. So Thor throws his axe at them. Next up is Loki, smacked down with ease. Which actually fits the plan, as Loki has him chase him through a portal to the moon. The fight continues in Manhattan, everyone vs. everyone. In Latveria, Wanda continues to be crazy and vengeful. But she’s interrupted by Brother Voodoo. This issue is another fairly solid one. One thing that’s fairly interesting: Most events kill someone as a big shocking moment. Remender, a writer who enjoys killing characters a bit too much, used Axis to bring back a character. Though not a major character. It’s still only Brother Voodoo. Funny story: I recently read Fred Hembeck Sells the Marvel Universe, which was a collection of comics he did for the Marvel Age magazine back in the day. He had a running gag of making fun of Brother Voodoo. Anyway, Remender is a big fan of the character, so it’s not surprising hes brought him back. Daniel still seems to have a hate-on for the Avengers. Remender also brings back another old bit of continuity from the ’90s, with some armour Captain America wore for a little while. Remender really does seem to love the ’90s. Which might be why his work tends to be so grim’n’gritty. This issue’s fairly serious. Not much humour. Still, pretty good. Nice enough art from Yu.

Axis Revolutions #4. The first story, by John Barber and Guillermo Mogorron, is about Iceman. He’s brooding as he watches an attractive woman. He’s being so totally emo and it’s hilarious. The woman is being stalked by some guy, and Iceman attacks him. He tries to tell the woman not to walk alone at night, and that she needs someone to protect her, but she’s not having any of his mansplaining bullshit. Also, it turns out the guy following her was her friend, trying to bring her the credit card she forgot in the bar. Iceman freaks out. This story makes me laugh. It is so ridiculously over-the-top. I love it. So stupid and goofy. I love that, even inverted, Iceman can’t help but be a huge loser. Except instead of bad jokes, he’s spouting bad melodrama. It’s great. Mogorron’s art is OK. Not my style. A bit too sharp, and maybe a bit too dark and muddy. The second story, by Howard Chaykin, is about Latveria. A narrator is talking about remembering when Latveria was free, as a guy works on a device. It comes from Madripoor, and the woman he’s with is worried about that. He tells her she’s got too much of a sentimental streak, which has gotten in the way of the resistance before. They argue, with him a fanatic, and her more cautious. The pair go to meet with Doom, who knows full well who they are. He tells them he’s stepping down as dictator and declaring Latveria a free state. He also reveals that the dude was actually a traitor to the resistance’s cause. Not a bad story. Not a great one, but not a bad one. I’m not a fan of Chaykin’s art. It’s a bit too . . . off, for my tastes. His writing is OK. It’s kind of a middling story, overall.

And the non-X-stuff.

Spider-Woman #2, by Dennis Hopeless and Greg frigging Land. Spider-Woman is on Loom World, the homeworld of the Inheritors. She seems to be something of a celebrity on the world. A pirate takes her onto his ship to give her first choice of his booty, as per a prior arrangement. Then that world’s Jessica arrives in town. A boy touches her to give her something, and gets smacked down by her guards. Then the two Jessicas meet. Silk, meanwhile, is being chased by the twin Inheritors. Her portal generator isn’t working, so she jumps through theirs, which leads straight to Loom World. Bad Jessica has gotten a servant to bring her some wine, and he’s going to get severely punished for it, but she doesn’t care. She’s told to keep an eye out for Silk, who shows right up. Good Jessica decks Bad Jessica, and gives Silk her watch so Silk can escape. Right to a destroyed world. OK writing, Greg Land on art. At least he seems to have found a couple new photos to reference. But the way Silk changes from one panel to the next is why Greg Land needs to be stopped. Seriously, that is not the sign of a talented artist! Silk’s face changes constantly throughout the issue, because Land is very blatantly tracing different photos. Fuck Greg Land. Hopeless does a good job. It’s an interesting story, well-told. But Greg Land is a giant hack.

Deathlok #3, by Nathan Edmondson and Mike Perkins. In the past, some troops in Afghanistan are debating whether Captain America’s presence would make a difference. Basically, whether it’s the tech or the man that matters. Then they get exploded. In the presence, Hayes is in Germany. He gets literally two speech bubbles before changing to Deathlok. Some terrorists have taken over the offices of an arms manufacturer, and they want the CEO to come so he can give them weapons. Deathlok shows up to deal with the hostage situation. On the Helicarrier, Agent Andrea wants permission to speak to Michael Collins. She’s denied. Deathlok finishes the mission, and then fights through the police on his way out. Another action issue, with Hayes getting basically no characterization. It’s getting very old, at this point. I know Edmondson can do solid character work, because he’s been doing it in Black Widow and Punisher. But with this series, Hayes just isn’t much of a character. Edmondson is focusing way too much on Deathlok, way too much on action. And as a fan of character work, it bores me. I want to know more about Henry Hayes. I want to see more of his relationship with his daughter. Perkins’ art is good. He shows the action well.But this is such a bland book right now.

Ms. Marvel #10, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. The kids she’s trying to rescue don’t want to be rescued. They think their whole generation is harming the planet, and they’re better off being used as batteries. She has Lockjaw take away Knox and Doyle while she tries to figure it all out. Then the building behind them explodes. Some helicopters show up, and she herds the kids away. Right into the Inventor in a giant robot. He jolts her with an electric shock, which causes her to lose her elasticity. Lockjaw distracts him long enough for Ms. Marvel to get her second wind and smash his robot. But he still escapes, taking Lockjaw with him. This is a big mistake, as the kids realize that a guy who’s going to save the world wouldn’t beat up a 16-year-old girl and steal her dog. Another awesome issue. This is such a fun comic. This issue’s all about the superheroics. And it’s great. Wilson’s writing, Alphona’s art. All great.

Captain Marvel #10, which is her 100th solo issue, so it’s a big one. Carol’s got a bunch of letters from home, including one from Kit. Kit! Yay! Kit’s awesome. Her letter says Grace Valentine broke out of jail, using rats she experimented on. Kit and her friends were playing in the Statue of Liberty – Kit apparently knows how to twirl a lasso, which is actually kind of a terrifying thought – when the rates swam across to it. One of the kids, wearing an astronaut costume, wasn’t able to run fast enough, but Kit saves him. Then Spider-Woman takes over the letter, with an art shift that’s pretty fantastic. Seriously, Takara does a fantastic job with it. Jessica apparently hates rats and mice – we get a hilarious flashback to her and Carol hunting a mouse, with Jessica wanting to kill it and Carol refusing, because it’s a mouse and they’re superhumans. Back to the main story, where Jessica starts marshaling resources. That means calling Wendy. Wendy tells her to find the lead rat and get the transistor off its head. Next is “Iron Machine or War Patriot or whatever his name is this week.” It’s Rhodey’s turn. He goes to Carol’s old apartment, and finds Grace Valentine in a Captain Marvel costume. She slaps a bomb on Rhodey, and Wendy tells him to “pull a Carol.” That’s pretty funny. I kinda hope “pull a Carol” catches on, because it’s a funny phrase. Anyway, “pulling a Carol” obviously means flying straight up, as fast and hard as possible. Wendy finishes the letter by talking about Tracy. This is a great issue. It was awesome touching in on all the amazing supporting cast KSD built up in the previous volume. Kit was adorable and awesome. Jessica was hilarious. Rhodey was sweet. Wendy was cutely excitable. The art throughout the issue was great. I especially loved Takara’s pages, as I said. It was cute and fun and just great.

From → 2014

  1. At least for the ones you mentioned, it seems that all the comics we both read are at least good (with Weapon X Program 4 being the weak one of the bunch). All New X-Men blends strong character focus with some actual good Iceman action and humour. Captain Marvel 10 made a unique and smart move for an anniversary issue by exploring Carol’s legacy rather than doing the normal “big fight” or flashback centered special most do. And of course Ms. Marvel is delightful as always, but by now we should expect that.

    It’s a shame to hear Storm still isn’t good. I gave up after issue 5 and by the looks of the dropping sales, it won’t last long enough to start improving.

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