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X-Men comics (December 24 2014)

December 26, 2014

So here’s the comics from this week. A couple days late, on account of work and Christmas.

Uncanny X-Men #29, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo. The cover, for some reason, has Harry frigging Leland. Who’s he? He’s a character who died over 25 years ago. He was in the Hellfire Club, and could affect an object’s mass. He’s the one who put Wolverine through the floor during the Dark Phoenix Saga, setting up one of the greatest moments of all time. I have no idea why he’s on the cover of this issue. Anyway. Illyana is in Strange’s house a few years ago, looking for him. She finds him banging some lady. She tells him about Matthew Malloy, and asks if there’s any spell she can use to stop him without hurting him or taking away his power. Illyana mentions a few specific spells, and Strange shoots them all down (the final one, he says they couldn’t find enough turtles – I really want to know more about that spell). In the future, Magneto is confronting Scott. They engage in some verbal sparring. They’re both very good at it. Matthew sends him away, back to Scott’s school. Magneto lands in the exact same position Scott did a couple issues ago, which I find amusing. Anyway, Magneto thinks Scott’s having a nervous breakdown over Xavier’s death, and regrets not helping him due to his own anger at Scott over Xavier’s death. Eva comes up with an idea that the Cuckoos think is crazy. Her idea is to go back in time and tell Xavier his approach to Matthew doesn’t work. Celeste says it’s the worst idea in the history of the X-Men, and that includes Adam-X. Yay Adam-X reference! He’s such an awful character and I love him for it. I think he needs to show up again. But it needs to be the Adam-X who swears a lot and says “bro.” The way Matt Fraction wrote him. We need that Adam-X. The argument is really, really, really good. Back at the JGS, Emma, Kitty and Dazzler are cooling their heels, and feeling a little annoyed about it. The X-Men come in to say the Avengers and SHIELD are going to attack Matthew again. Matthew thinks he shouldn’t be alive, that he’s too dangerous, and Scott tries to convince him he’s wrong. Illyana says the Eye of Agamotto can reveal the truth. This is a fantastic issue. Just brilliant. It’s pretty much all talking, again, but the conversations are all really compelling. Illyana and Strange are entertaining, Scott and Magneto are interesting and catty, Eva and the other students are great, Emma and Dazzler have a really nice exchange, and then the conversation between Scott and Matthew is just wonderful. Scott’s trying so hard to help Matthew, to save him, and it’s compelling stuff. He seems to be desperate to help him, even when Matthew doesn’t feel he deserves it. I love these sorts of issues, where Bendis just has a bunch of really interest conversations. He still throws in some really good humour – like the Adam-X reference – but mostly, it’s just cool character stuff. Awesome issue. Though I still dislike Bachalo’s art. At least here, with the lack of actual action, it’s generally easy enough to tell what’s going on.

All-New X-Men Annual, by Brian Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino. Eva’s got a triceratops charging her, and she stops it. It breaks out of her time bubble, but then gets blasted through the head. She passes out, as the woman who rescued her watches. Eva dreams about her child, now dead. She wakes up, and we learn her rescuer is Morgana le Fey. Yay Morgana! I really like her. Morgana already knows all about Eva, thanks to some sorcery. She gives a nice demonstration to Eva. She also tells Eva the future with her kid is gone. Morgana manages to force Eva to launch through time, across multiple splashes showing different time periods. It’s actually a five-page spread. How many artists do five-page spreads? That is an insane level of work from Sorrentino. Anyway, Eva reaches 2099. But it’s not the 2099 she lived in. This is another fantastic issue. Just brilliant work from Bendis and Sorrentino. Sorrentino’s art is gorgeous. Just breathtaking stuff. Lots of big, cool splashes, and tons of detail, and just beautiful work. Bendis likewise does some the finest work he’s done in years. Despite having some pretty big stuff, the story is intimate and heart-breaking. Eva’s dialogue reads like someone’s whose heart is breaking, and it’s great. This is an absolutely brilliant comic. I cannot recommend highly enough this two-parter. Get both parts. Brilliant art and beautiful art. You can’t go wrong.

All-New X-Factor #18, by Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico. First, congratulations to PAD’s daughter on her engagement. I wish her and her fiance the best. Anyway, Snow is telling X-Factor about his old friend’s daughter’s body being stolen, over in some war-torn country. Snow wants X-Factor to find her. Gambit and Quicksilver agree, which they both find a bit uncomfortable. Meanwhile, Doug and Danger just had sex. Hey, she finally managed to find someone willing! Good for her! And good for Doug. Anyway, X-Factor is heading for the plane, and they meet with Sunfire, who apologizes for attacking them. Polaris and Gambit invite Sunfire along to find the girl. Quicksilver objects, and decides to stay behind and spend time with Luna. On the plane, Warlock finds out that Doug and Danger had sex. It turns out Danger is a really bad liar. Or else an amazing troll. Sunfire is amused at the team’s antics. They arrive in the Old City, and enter the tunnel to look for the terrorists who grabbed the girl’s body. This is a really fun issue. Warlock, Danger and Doug get the most focus in this issue, and they’re hilarious. There’s a lot of great jokes. Still not a fan of Carmine’s art, but whatever. This is a really fun issue. PAD’s always a great writer, especially dialogue.

Cyclops #8, by John Layman and Javier Garron. The Starjammers wake up on a cargo ship. The Starjammers are quickly chained up to be brought in for the bounty on their heads. Meanwhile, Scott’s taking part in an attack on a medical ship. But it turns out it was a trap, and it’s actually full of elite Shi’ar soldiers. Scott isn’t a fan of the Shi’ar, since learning they killed his mom. The pirate captain guesses the ship is probably carrying something very valuable, and wants the crew to find it. Back on the ship, Scott finds another pirate, Zebble, questioning a Shi’ar, and learns about something called the Vortex. Zebble hates Scott, and tries to kill him. Scott manages an utterly ridiculous bank shot to hit Zebble. And by ridiculous, I mean over a dozen rebounds. Scott refuses to kill him, so another pirate does it, instead. Good issue. Lots of fun fighting. Scott gets to be badass, as usual. He also gets to kiss the cute pirate girl.  Garron’s art is very conventional, but well-done. This still isn’t a series that manages to excite me, but it’s good. I also liked seeing the Starjammers again. I’d like them to actually play a role in this series.

Magneto #13, by Cullen Bunn and Javier Fernandez. Briar is thinking about ghost stories while going into what seems to be a convention for people who love villains. She talks to a guy selling Magneto stuff, including footage of attacks he’s done. Including an attack on Seattle, which pisses Briar off, because it’s where she was hurt. She points out he’s not selling footage from Sacramento, and he thinks back to what happened there. He did an attack, obviously, and some tabloid journalists for a program called “Mutants Among Us” tried to interview him. He blew up the camera, scarring the cameraman. In the present, a couple girls ask Briar about her brace. They think it’s cool. They’ve got their own scars. They used to work on a magazine about Magneto, until he found them and hurt them. He used his power on one girl in a way that made her feel really weird, and left her with the scars on her neck. After the girls leave, Brian and the guy both agree their story was bullshit. A nice issue. Not much in the way of melodramatic narration, which was a nice break. Briar’s a cool character, and she’s interesting here. I liked the little flea market she went to – it was kind of a cool place. The art’s good. I like Fernandez more than Walta. It’s a similar style, but a bit softer, a bit more pleasant. The colours were a bit bright than usual, too, which was good.

Logan Legacy #7, by Charles Soule and Peter Nguyen. Shogun tells Elixir to wake Mystique, but Elixir’s skin is black, not gold, meaning he kills, not heals. Sabretooth offers to wake her. By trying to stomp on her head. Obviously, she was faking unconsciousness, and she throws Sabretooth into the force field. Neuro comes in to help Shogun explain the deal. They give a rundown of the Weapon X Program mini. Neuro then explains that the team from that mini all have expiration dates, and they think the Wolverines hold the solution to curing them. Mystique wants to know what they would get out of the deal, and Shogun explains the fourth control word erases the other control words. Then a monster busts in. It’s name is Siphon, and it kills Elixir. This is meh. Bleh. It’s setting up the Wolverines ongoing, and it’s kinda lazy about it, truthfully. I’m not impressed. The art is a bit off, too. It’s not a great style. The rest of this mini was so good, but the bookend issues were lame. Also, killing off Elixir? Lame. Super lame. The New X-Men kids deserve better than to be used as cannon fodder. It’s especially annoying that Elixir was clearly brought in just to be killed. That’s lazy, bullshit writing. He served no purpose at all except to show how dangerous the Siphon creature is. I normally like Soule’s writing, but this was just crap.

Axis #9, by Rick Remender, Jim Cheung, Terry Dodson, Leinil Yu and Adam Kubert. A few years ago, Sabretooth is about to kill a guy, and Wolverine tells him that Xavier can help to bring out the good inside him. Sabretooth declines. In the present, Steve Rogers is wearing his ’90s Captain America armour, and fighting Captain Sam. Turns out it was all in Sam’s head, thanks to the Red Skull’s stolen telepathy. The Skull’s also been inverted. In New York, the Inverted Avengers have defeated the X-Men, and they go off searching for Steve. Sabretooth and Mystique share a tender moment, before Rogue starts beating the shit out of him. Spider-Man shows up to save him. Havok and Wasp are running through some tunnels. She’s mad that he almost let her die, he says he never would’ve allowed that to happen. Wasp sees that the heroes stopped the bomb, and she blasts him for trying to make her think he stopped it. Apocalypse wakes up, feeling defeated, but Deadpool tells him to get up and be a hero. On the moon, Thor is chasing Loki. Loki smacks him with Mjolnir. Steve and the Skull get to Avengers Mansion, which comes under attack. And then it’s Apocalypse to the rescue! With Deadpool’s head tied to his waist. The fight goes back and forth, until more reinforcements arrive – Doom, Magneto, Wanda, Quicksilver and Brother Voodoo. They start reversing the inversion, but Havok interrupts, not wanting to go back to how he was, since he wouldn’t be able to live with himself. But the heroes still manage to undo the inversion. But a few people aren’t affected. Iron Man, obviously. And Sabretooth and Havok are also both still inverted. So, no deaths, aside from Carnage, and villains don’t count. Seriously, they just don’t count, because villains don’t stay dead. So I do find it interesting that a kill-happy writer like Remender wrote an event – which are notorious for killing off characters – and didn’t actually kill any heroes. Regardless, this was a pretty good finale. A lot of really cool fighting going on, and some interesting character stuff here and there. Deadpool talking despite being decapitated was something that actually annoyed me, though. I know it’s not exactly uncommon in comic books, but still, a decapitated head shouldn’t be able to talk. He has no neck, which means he has no larynx. He also has no lungs for pushing air through the larynx he no longer has. Also, no heart pumping blood to his brain. That’s three huge obstacles to him being able to speak. It’s probably a silly thing to be nitpicky about, but I don’t care. Other than that, it was a pretty solid issue. Very nice art. Lots of it, too. It looked good. All in all, this was definitely one of the better Avengers events. Not as good as Age of Ultron, but way better than frigging Infinity. In general, I thought it was pretty good. And considering how little I think of both Remender and events, that’s definitely some high praise right there.

Deadpool #39, by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, Mike Hawthorne and Mirko Colak. The reversion is cast, and Deadpool is left as a decapitated head in the rubble of Avengers Mansion. Zenpool tells normal Deadpool to remember the balance he felt. Evan finds Deadpool, and takes him back to Times Square to find his body. Evan feels awful about almost killing humanity, and Deadpool keeps trying to make him feel better. They run into the sewers to hide out for a bit. Shiklah is not happy about seeing En Sabah Nur. She refuses to let Evan into her city, so Deadpool sends him to the Morlock tunnels while he goes to check on the Korean X-Men. Deadpool’s heart is taken out and put into a magic evil tree, so it can grow spare organs for the Koreans. Then he takes Evan to his safehouse across from Preston’s place. Pretty good end to the arc, and it sets up some big emotional development to come for Deadpool. There’s some nice humour, but it feels like Deadpool is forcing himself to make jokes, which is nice. I still hate the art. It’s still just ugly art. Oh well. At least the writing continues to understand how tragic a character Deadpool is.

Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #3, by Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli. We start a few nights ago. Hawkeye is annoyed at Deadpool, and not in the mood for whoever broke into his apartment. He gets captured, then tied to a chair and brainwashed. Cut to the present where Deadpool has a knife in his chest. He asks Kate to pull it out. She’s grossed out, but she does it. Then she figures out he wasn’t actually dying, which pisses her off, so she stabs him again. Then they chase after Clint. It’s a bike chase! Then Kate and Deadpool order an Ooper car. Duggan really likes using Ooper in this mini. They manage to knock him off his bike, but he prepares to commit suicide before they can grab him. This forces them to back off, so they follow him to the Black Cat’s lair. There, Deadpool’s arms dealer arrives with some goods. He gives Kate an RPG. This is another fun issue. I love Kate. She’s awesome. She’s the awesomest. And even awesomer with an RPG. There’s some good jokes in this issue, and some good action. The art’s pretty good. It’s a fun issue, all in all.

And the non-X.

Superior Iron Man #3, by Tom Taylor and Yildiray Cinar. Daredevil is shocked at being able to see again, as a result of the Extremis Stark introduced into his system. It’s temporary, but Stark is willing to give him regular boosts to keep it going, free of charge. Daredevil accuses him of playing god, but Stark disagrees. He sees himself as having been playing human all along, Holding back to make people feel comfortable. But he’s done holding back. In New York, Pepper and an Iron Man suit are talking about the changes in the world. Back in San Francisco, She-Hulk calls Stark to let him know Teen Abomination is free and heading for him. He attacks Stark’s Alcatraz party house, and Stark attacks him. The series is still well-written and well-drawn. But Stark is still an unsympathetic asshole. He’s not a good protagonist, because you need to care about the protagonist. Even if the protagonist is a villain, you need to care. They need to have some positive traits. But Stark lacks those positive traits. So it still doesn’t really work.


From → 2014

  1. Hamburger Time permalink

    Shame about Elixir, and double shame a good series ended with a whimper. I hate when that happens. Endings in general seem easy to screw up for some reason.

  2. Is Deadpool actually getting consistently good lately? Because the first few issues weren’t anything special whatsoever but you’ve been giving it a fair number of positive reviews lately.
    And while I enjoy the Iron Man movies, I never enjoyed him in the comics. He’s a bit too much of a jerk, and from what I’ve heard, his Inverted personality has only multiplied that side of him. No thanks.

    Logan Legacy 7 is better than the first issue in that it doesn’t keep interrupting things with their “read this to learn more” schtick, but it still feels a bit rushed. My thought is that it would have been better to have the character 1-shots as the only part of Logan Legacy, and then somehow combine the Weapon X-Program mini-series and maybe the first few issues of Wolverines to cover the Legacy 1 and 7 storyline.
    As for killing off Elixer – he was by no means my favourite New X-Men character, but it’s still a waste. Although considering how powerful Syphon appears, I can understand why X-23 didn’t rush in to save Elixir and even hesitated before breaking Daken free. Syphon could be an interesting threat; we’ll have to wait and see how things turn out. I’m still looking forward to Wolverines, but Logan Legacy 7 makes me a little weary.

    It’s kind of hilarious how negative the Comicbookresources X-Forums are reacting to both Axis 9 and Uncanny X-Men 29. The level of complaining, conspiracy theories and dismissing the entire year of X-Men comics is reaching critical mass. From everywhere else I’ve read of the event, it sounds like the only thing I won’t like is the Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver retcon, and that’s not a huge deal. Also I hope Carnage returns and is still inverted, because I read the mini-series where he acts as a hero and besides the somewhat weak ending, the whole thing was hilarious.

    • Hamburger Time permalink

      The X-Boards hate Bendis’s stuff now?

      • A lot of them have always hated Bendis’s stuff, even before he started on X-Men.

      • Yeah, Bendis has been deeply polarizing for a few years now. When it was announced he’d be taking over UXM, a lot of people automatically hated him, just on principle, and never even tried to give the books a fair chance.

        Then some people did try, but they just hate his style. They don’t like how decompressed he is, and want him to just get to the damned point already.

        Plus, the X-boards do like bitching.

    • Deadpool’s been consistently good since The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. A couple weaker issues here and there, but that arc dropped a drama bomb, and the series has largely kept a level of drama, which the character desperately needs.

      Yeah, Elixir was nowhere near one of my favourite New X-Men kids, but he was still an interesting character.

      CBR in general seems to have hated Axis. The CBR forums have gotten totally sick of Hero vs. Hero, so they automatically hate any story that uses that trope. But the hate for Axis does seem a bit over-the-top to me. As for Carnage, he’s actually already back – he appeared at the end of Nova #25 – and he seems to be back to normal, since he killed a random guy. Which is a shame, because yeah, Hero Carnage was amazing.”You can’t rob the bank if I burn it down first!”

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