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X-Men comics for January 28 2015

January 28, 2015

Let’s do this.

Uncanny X-Men #30, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo. Maria Hill is a bit freaked out at reports that Scott, Illyana and Matthew have just been killed by SHIELD missiles. She doesn’t know whether the mutant population is going to go to war with SHIELD or send them a big bouquet of flowers. In the past, Eva is meeting with Xavier. In the present, Beast and Emma are arguing a bit, and he gets an update from Cerebro that Scott’s dead. In the past, Xavier refuses to read Eva’s mind, and isn’t eager to change the future, either. In the present, the SHIELD agents on site are ordered not to touch anything. One of them starts bad-mouthing Hill, and another says SHIELD records everything they say, and then says the guy is an idiot. Then Matthew comes back to life. He can’t bring back Scott and Illyana, which makes him angry, and he’s ready to end things. In the past, Xavier does read Eva’s mind, and says he’s very upset. He says he could erase Eva’s mind and make her leave, and she calls him out on that. And this arc still isn’t frigging over! Seriously, this thing just won’t end. It was supposed to end in the previous issue! It’s all really well-written and compelling stuff, but holy shit, Bendis, how long is this arc going to last? At this point, I’m almost expecting it to still be going on after Secret Wars ends. It’s not that it’s a bad story. On the contrary, it’s actually a great story. And if the solicits hadn’t said it would be over already, I would be fine with it still going. But Bendis had promised a different story for these last two months, and he’s still doing the last one. And yeah, Bendis is the one to blame for the solicits being wrong. He told Marvel that this issue would be about Axis fall-out, so that’s what they put in the solicit, and then Bendis decided that he needed even more time to tell this story. As for Bachalo’s art, it’s as meh as usual. I don’t like his style. It’s ugly.

Amazing X-Men #16, by Chris Yost and Jorge Fornés. Cyttorak has sent out a call around the world to people he feels he can control. Cain Marko hears the call. He’s apparently been living in Utah, working on a very nice garden. He’s also grown a beard. In Korea, in the temple, the X-Men are fighting the Ruby’s guardian. Some guys with guns run in, going after the Ruby. Storm tells Rockslide to deal with the demon while the others deal with the new guys. Firestar, who’d been knocked through a wall, wakes up to see Crossbones. He really gets around these days. Back at the School, Colossus is asking Pixie to teleport him to Korea. She refuses. She’s not a big fan of him, what with his sister stealing part of her soul and him yelling at Pixie to help him save Illyana. He begs her to help him help his friends. Back at the temple, Northstar tells Nightcrawler he shouldn’t have brought Wanda to the school. Then Northstar’s knocked out by Man-Killer. Ooh! I actually like her. Iceman complains to Rachel about bad guys all having psychic defences these days. Firestar takes down Crossbones – yay! Crossbones gets taken down by a woman! That’s great. It’s a shame she’s not a woman of colour, but hey, seeing a rapist get his ass kicked by a woman is satisfying. Oh, yeah, Crossbones is a rapist. Did you know that? He is. He’s a racist and a rapist. So, of course, he only ever seems to be taken down by white men. That annoys me. Crossbones needs to be taken down by more women and minorities, to show that his philosophy of white men being the strongest is actually not right. Because the fact that Captain America is always the one who beats Crossbones actually completely validates Crossbones’ philosophy. Anyway. This is another solid issue. There’s lots of cool fighting, and some pretty nice character stuff. And tons of jokes. Rockslide gets one of the funniest moments in the issue, as he should. He’s such a loser and I love him. Firestar taking down Crossbones was, as I said, immensely satisfying, especially coming right after Storm just dismissed him as a waste of time. And he kinda would be, for Storm. The art is nice. Fornés captures the action well. Good comic.

Wolverines #4, by Ray Fawkes and Ariela Kristantina. Laura tells Fantomelle to back away from the monster, and Shogun gives Laura the same advice. Skel tackles Syphon, while Fantomelle jumps out the window. Her boyfriend’s alive, rescued by Sabretooth. Laura chases Fantomelle, trying to get her to talk, but Mystique shoots Fantomelle in the back with a tranquilizer. Fantomelle wakes up on their ship, surprised at being sedated. Daken also wakes up, thinking he should be dead. Neuro talks to Fantomelle about hiring her. Sabretooth is arguing with Deathstrike. He’s also trying to talk Daken into a card game. In separate rooms. This was pretty good. Fantomelle is slightly more interesting here. But there’s a lot of other interesting stuff going on, too. Fawkes does some fairly solid writing. And Kristantina’s art is really nice. It’s very good work, for the most part. There are certain panels that look weird. Normally, the muddiness is a nice touch, but sometimes it goes a bit far. She does draw one hell of a Fantomelle, though. Seriously, there’s a panel of her preparing for a fight where she looks fantastic. Kristantina does an excellent job with body language, something that isn’t always a focus in comics. I like her. I hope she has a long career with Marvel.

Deadpool #41, by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn and Salva Espin. Deadpool’s feeling in a funk, like he doesn’t belong anywhere. Shiklah tells him to go on a walkabout to clear his head. he heads to Butler’s lab. He finds a vial of the memory-erasing drug, and contemplates drinking it. Then Trapster calls him, and invites him to do a job for Roxxon in Al Waziribad. Deadpool decides to do it. Trapster mentions not liking Roxxon’s mercs, thinking they’re too hard on the locals, then introduces him to Potter, the guy in charge. He’s a big man, and he scares Trapster. Deadpool finds Potter annoying, too. Potter shows him the first targets, and they seem like ordinary people, so Deadpool isn’t eager to do it. The next morning, Deadpool’s contemplating the drug when Potter comes in. Deadpool decides to inject Potter with it. This is pretty good. It’s contemplative. There is some humour in it, of course, but it’s actually proper Deadpool humour. When he’s alone, or with his wife, he’s more serious. When he’s around other people, he makes jokes to hide how he feels. It also highlights that he does have a conscience. Espin’s art is pretty good. It’s a more conventional style, which I feel actually works well with Deadpool.

Uncanny Avengers #1, by Rick Remender and Daniel Acuna. In a bar, three New Men are talking about some humans who’ve been causing problems, and talking about what they’d do to the humans. Quicksilver agrees he’d slap them around. One of the New Men runs away, and Quicksilver chases him. They’re on Counter-Earth! Wanda helps Quicksilver take out the one who fled. They’re shot in the back, and the New Man is shot in the face. Elsewhere, Rogue is worried about Wanda disappearing, though Vision points out that she goes on sabbatical pretty regularly. He’s still bitter towards her, and feels she’s a timebomb with too much power, but Rogue sticks up for her. She thinks Wanda’s just looking for answers, and thinks she’ll start with Wundagore Mountain. They brought Sabretooth along to help track her and Quicksilver. Brother Voodoo keeps Sabretooth on a mystic leash, because Rogue doesn’t trust him. They find a computer lab, and Vision learns they went to Counter-Earth. Voodoo teleports the team there. Not a bad start to the new volume. It’s an interesting team Remender’s put together, this time. Much better than the previous line-up, I’d say.  I like that there’s actually multiple people of colour this time around. Two of them is better than only one, plus Wanda and Quicksilver are both half-Roma through their mother (and they were raised as Roma, by their adoptive parents). So there’s some actual diversity this time around. It does look like the PR premise of the team is going to be even less important in this volume, which is a shame. I’m not a fan of Acuna’s art. I find it too muddy. This still isn’t a book I’ll be picking up, but it does look more promising than the previous volume.

There’s the X-Men. Last up . . .

Bitch Planet #2, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. It starts in a kitchen, where a woman is getting a fresh tray of champagne, while someone is talking about a Byron quote about the two tribes of the bores and the bored. The guy says he’s interested in the psychology of tribes. He’s delivering a speech to kick off some war games. Solanzo, the bureaucrat from the previous issue, talks to the dude. Back on Bitch Planet, Kamau Kogo has spent 18 hours in solitary confinement, with no food, water or sleep. So the nun program is activated to make her confess to the murder of Marian Collins. So then a woman from Specials is sent in. The woman asks her to form a team for the Games mentioned earlier. Later, in the exercise yard, another prisoner, Violet, tells Kamau she should do it. In the background, Penny gets in another brawl with some guards, and after Violet makes her case to Kamau, decides to join in. I love that Penny doesn’t even need to get any lines to steal a scene. Another woman, Meiko, also tells her to do it, saying that the final bout will take place on a ship she designed, with half the Council on it. And now, we have the ongoing plot. It’s not a terribly unique plot, but I have no doubt KSD will put a unique spin on it. This issue is less aggressive in its feminism than the first, but it’s still a major theme. KSD does a great job with the characters. Kamau says a lot without having to speak much. The cases Violet and Meiko make for doing the Games helps to explore them. And Penny continues to be awesome. She doesn’t say a word, and she doesn’t need to. All she needs to do is be big and brassy. De Landro’s art is excellent. It’s got a pulp feel that accentuates things. There’s also an essay in the back by Tasha Fierce, about feminism. It’s very interesting. Every issue is going to have an essay, apparently, which is going to be cool, and which makes a strong case for picking up the single issues rather than trade-waiting. Also, I noticed that the Bitch Planet website is bitchpla.net. And the email address is blahblahblah@bitchpla.net. I love it. So yeah, this series is awesome and you should be buying it.

I do also want to mention that Invaders #14 has a cameo from Niels, Speedball’s old cat, which has his powers. It’s being studied at Camp Hammond, and they plan on euthanizing it. Jerks. I’m sure they could find a home for it. A superhero who wants a cat with powers. Carol Danvers can take it. She’d probably love having a cat she can use as a weapon.

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