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X-Men comics (January 14 2015)

January 14, 2015

Agent Carter was good again last night. But today is a time for comics.

X-Force #14, by Simon Spurrier and Rock-He Kim. While X-Force fights Fantomex in various locations, Marrow thinks about who she used to be before her baby died. She thinks about the program she was part of that gave her back her powers, and she grieves for her baby. She also says that grief feels a lot like fear. At the base, Forgetmenot says Hope wants Marrow to sit with her. There, Hope copies Marrow’s power, which lets her move her body so she can turn on a video file. It shows Cable repeatedly contacting Fantomex to set up a place for a fight, with each time resulting in a lot of dead people. Cable’s been using Fantomex to destroy intelligence agencies around the world. Then Forgetmenot shoves Psylocke into Hope, so Hope can borrow her telepathy so she can show the team images of family. She also broadcasts the team’s location to Fantomex. All part of her plan. Cable declares himself the one in charge, so Marrow puts a spike through his skull. Then Fantomex shows up for the fight. The fight includes Psylocke and Marrow pulling a Fastbone Special. This is another great issue, as it continues down the path of deconstructing anti-heroes, and exploring how a lack of trust hurts a person. Hope shows some very clever tactical abilities. Cable’s an asshole. The action’s really good. Kim’s art is excellent. It’s very fancy and cool. This book is great. I’m sad it’s coming to an end. So sad!

Amazing X-Men #15, by Chris Yost and Jorge Fornés. The story starts in 736, with an Iron Fist and a Sorcerer battling Cyttorak, who’s demanding worship. He’s banished, but he still wants to return to humanity. So he lets sorcerers use his power. Then he created a Ruby, so he could have an avatar on Earth. But his avatars kept failing, and his gem was lost. He places the Ruby back in its temple, and some people see it. Colossus wakes up with a scream. Domino tells him to be quiet, because if Storm finds she’s there, she’s in deep trouble. Colossus says he felt Cyttorak calling to him. He paints the temple. Surprisingly quickly, actually. That day, Rockslide is not eager to let Pixie try a spell on him, and Pixie’s worried, too. Rockslide thinks he’ll die, and Pixie also thinks he’ll die. Scarlet Witch is there to help Pixie learn more magic. Pixie tries the Mists of Morpheus on him. He explodes. Colossus goes to tell Storm that the Ruby is back on Earth. She wants him to stay behind while the other X-Men deal with it. Storm doesn’t trust him, and she’s kinda pissed at him. The team assembled is Storm, Rachel, Nightcrawler, Firestar, Northstar, Iceman and Rockslide. Firestar worries about what’ll happen if someone who isn’t as stupid as Cain Marko manages to get the Ruby. This is a good start to the arc. Rockslide and Pixie! Yay for New X-Men characters! There’s a cameo from Trance, too. There’s a lot of jokes at Rockslide’s expense, which is always funny. I love Rockslide. He’s one of my favourite characters. He’s so much fun. Storm’s anger at Colossus was interesting. It does seem like her grief at Wolverine’s death is probably a part of it, but she does raise some valid points about how his history over the past few years has had him being controlled an awful lot. Juggernaut, the Phoenix Force, his sister, Cable – it’s been a rough few years. So the question of exactly why Storm should trust him on this mission is definitely a valid one. Speaking of Colossus, though, it was great seeing his relationship with Domino show up. They were kind of an odd couple, but a pretty good one. So I’m glad Yost included it. Even the Scarlet Witch cameo was good. This issue was full of fun stuff. And very nice art by Fornes. It’s pretty. It’s a good style. It reminds me a bit of the Dodsons, who are great. So I like the art here.

Cyclops #9, by John Layman and Javier Garron. Scott’s been assigned to torture Corsair, whose screams are actually starting to annoy the rest of the crew. Of course, the torture sessions are really a way for them to talk and help each other. Meanwhile, Scott seems to be getting pretty well accepted onto the ship. He also makes out with Vileena, the captain’s daughter. He gets called to the bridge, where he’s told to lead a mission on a planet. Scott and the big guy are sent to sell the weapon they picked up from the Shi’ar ship. Meanwhile, the ship’s first mate goes to torture Corsair, but Corsair breaks free. Another solid issue. Scott’s starting to like the pirates, which is complicating things. The plot advances nicely. The art is good. Fairly conventional, but done well. Good comic.

Nigthcrawler #10, by Chris Claremont and Todd Nauck. The Blackbird shows up, with Rico and Ziggy and some Bamfs. Shadow King sends his astral image up, and knocks out Rico. He starts to take over Ziggy, but she modifies her blaster to hurt his astral image. Down below, it turns out Psylocke was faking, in order to troll Nightcrawler a little. He attacks the Sea-Dogs while Psylocke and Bess beat up Bess’ friends. That done, Psylocke and Bess help Nightcrawler onto the psychic plane so he can fight the Shadow King on his own level. Hew forms a psi-sword, the “totality of his will.” Oh, Claremont, now you’re just parodying yourself, with Psylocke’s old psi-knife, the “focused totality of her psychic power.” With Shadow King defeated, he gets back to his body, then gets stabbed by Sea-Dogs. Meh. So meh. Just meh all over the place. It’s all cheesy and bland and meh. Honestly, this issue’s lame, and the whole series isn’t very good. I’m not at all disappointed to see it end, because Claremont’s simply not impressing me. He’s outdated, and he’s not able to keep up with that times, and as a throwback, it just doesn’t hold a candle to his older work. A lot of it feels cliched. Nauck’s art is good, but it’s nothing particularly special. This series is so very, very meh.

Wolverines #2, by Ray Fawkes and Alisson Borges. The Wolverines are in bad shape, and Endo’s asking Mystique what they should do. Mystique tells her to grab Daken and bring him to Neuro, while she deals with the enemy. Junk knocks Daken out with a control word to keep him from moving around, which pisses Laura off. Mystique shows up and offers to pay off the Wrecking Crew, or else destroy everyone they know and care about. Wrecker agrees. Daken’s brought to the plane, where he’s bleeding out. Shogun found a regen serum needle, and uses it to save him. As Daken lays recovering, Laura comments he’s the only family she has left. This is OK. The art is certainly better than the previous issue. Borges’ style isn’t anything exceptional, but it’s good. Far better than Nick Bradshaw, whose style I hate. I’m not really keen on how Laura’s being written in this book. She’s a little too emotional. Mystique’s conversation with the Wrecking Crew was pretty great, though. She’s pretty scary when she wants to be. But still, this book isn’t doing much for me.

Deadpool #40, by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn and Scott Koblish. A guy is complaining about his energy bill, while his house is freezing cold inside. Dario Agger and Deadpool show up to tell him about gracking, “gamma fracturing.” They get natural gas and shale oil out by pumping in a gamma-infused cocktail. It causes earthquakes. A kid shows up to say he’s gotten leukemia from living close to a gracking site. His tap water ignites. Agger takes Deadpool to a gracking site that’s being protested. The site turns out to be unsuitable, anyway, since it’s so close to where rich people live. Sarah Silverman shows up, with Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, for more protesting. This was awful. Really, really awful. It was just unbelievably stupid and not the least bit funny. It was obviously meant as a parody of the whole fracking controversy, but the jokes pretty much all fell flat. Even the Sarah Silverman cameo ended up sucking, because it wasn’t really her. There was nothing in her dialogue that set her as Silverman. I have a feeling this issue was mostly the work of Posehn. And it tells me that Posehn should stop writing comic books. Because holy hell, was this ever an unfunny piece of garbage.

There’s the X-Men. Now the others.

SHIELD #2, by Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos. In London, a Roxxon executive is on an angry phone call with his daughter, who he feels is wasting the education she got by being a party planner. Turns out his daughter his Jemma Simmons, who only used “party planner” as a cover for her job as a SHIELD agent. I’m not sure why she would have to keep her real job private. Anyway, the next day, she’s acting as a substitute biology teacher (“Ms. Steranko,” a neat shout-out to the iconic artist) at Kamala Khan’s school. One of the kids in the class is a smuggler. She’s about to remove the kid from the class, and he activates a distraction. A flying glove. Kamala sees the glove, and thinks it might be the Wizard, so she runs off to change to Ms. Marvel. She saves Jemma and a couple students from getting crushed by a falling wall. She then catches the glove and smashes it, and then Jemma asks her to leave. Coulson arrests the smuggler. Jemma and Ms. Marvel join him, and Ms. Marvel geeks out over all the villain gear the kid had in a bag. She even out-geeks Coulson! Coulson asks the kid where “the dough” is. Ms. Marvel remembers it’s pizza day. The cafeteria doors are blocked, but Coulson sends Ms. Marvel in under the doors. This is good. It’s a lot of fun. I get the feeling that Ms. Marvel’s a character every writer kinda wants to figure out a way to use. She’s so much fun. She’s a total dork, but she’s also a total sweetheart. She and Coulson have kind of a fun scene when they debate which version of Plant-Man’s gun they’re seeing. And she also has some nice scenes with Jemma. I don’t much like Ramos’ art, though. He’s got an unpleasant style. Too sharp and angular. Also, he forgot her little wristbands. They may seem like a little thing, but they’re a part of her costume, and kind of an important part, I feel. Leaving them off just doesn’t look right. And Ramos left them off. So shame on him for that.

Guardians 3000 #4, by Dan Abnett and Gerardo Sandoval. Vance Astro is hanging in space, with no sound, and he thinks back to when he signed up for a space mission. He’d just legally changed his name from Astrovik to Astro, to keep it simple, and because it’s what everyone already called him, and had absolutely nothing to do with it being a cool name for his application to an interstellar mission. He remembers another guy telling him a bit about the mission, about how superluminal speeds are impossible. Vance quoted Scotty, which the guy didn’t get. Then he remembers waking up on Centauri IV, and finding humanity had beat him there by 800 years. Then his mind returns to the present, and he finds Martinex and Starhawk still OK. The three of them fight the Stark drones, and then attack the ship that attacked them. There, they have a conversation with the A-Sentience. Meanwhile, Geena, Yondu and Charlie are on Star-Lord’s Ship. He tells her that if it’s her destiny to save the timeline, she’ll do it. I still hate Sandoval’s art. It’s sharp and pointy and just not pleasant to look at. Also, I hate to spoil something from the end of the book, but . . . Sandoval draws a crappy Nikki. He doesn’t give her flame hair. He just draws her as a redhead. The fact that her head is literally on fire was a pretty important part of her visual design, and Sandoval completely screws that up. He doesn’t draw Nikki, and that’s lame. Abnett’s writing is fine. I still kinda feel he tries too hard with the future-speak. The plot is reasonably interesting, though it’s actually feeling oddly slow. There’s some decent character work going on. But I don’t know, I’m not feeling this book.

I do also want to mention Captain Marvel #11. It doesn’t feature her awesome supporting cast, sadly. But it does feature Grace Valentine and June Covington, two awesome villains. It also features the line “Captain Princess!” Which I loved. Also, one of the strangest guest stars ever. There’s also Jarvis expressing concern at Carol having an idea, a line I thought was hilarious. It’s a great issue. Carol shows how badass she is even with her powers blocked and her hands in manacles. Some really good art from David Lopez. Actually, during the fight scene, I was reminded a bit of Emma Rios, with all the motion lines. And considering how much I adore Emma Rios, that’s definitely high praise from me.

From → 2015

  1. Dare I say that Simon Spurrier’s X-Force might actually be the best X-Force series yet?

    I didn’t have a problem with Laura getting emotional in wolverines 2. She’s known to be fiercely loyal and protective of those she cares about, and part of the emotion could be lingering effects from Wolverine’s death. But either way, the series still isn’t great yet (and it still feels like a Wolverine comic, so if you don’t like Wolverine, well …). It has potential but the first two issues are still mostly build-up. Fully agreed on the art though – it’s a huge improvement.

    Holy crap SHIELD 2 is fun. I think it’s great that more writers want to use Kamala Khan, and Mark Waid has a pretty good handle on her personality and heroic nature. Also, dough monsters!

    Forgive me if I seem to be living under a rock, but what controversy is Deadpool 40 a parody of?

    For everything else we both read, Cyclops 9 = pretty good. Captain Marvel 11 = great. Amazing X-Men 15 = good. It’s so nice to see someone treating the younger X-Men with respect again, even if they’re minor characters.

    • Deadpool is parodying the whole fracking thing, where a bunch of chemicals are pumped into the ground to bring up natural gas deposits. It’s been known to cause people living near fracking sites to have flammable tap water.

  2. Hamburger Time permalink

    The fact that Rockslide can reform after being exploded makes me feel bad for poor Onyxx, who has similar powers but apparently… can’t do that. His candle burned out long before his legend ever did.

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