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X-Men comics for February 18 2015

February 18, 2015

Lots of new comics today, so let’s get to it.

Uncanny X-Men #31, by Brian Bendis and Chris Bachalo. Everyone’s freaking out a bit about Eva bringing Xavier to the NXS. Then a message starts playing, recorded by Scott in the event of himself, Emma and Illyana all dying. He says to go to the Blackbird, and let it fly them to the JGS. At the JGS, hell is very, very close to breaking out. The adult X-Men are pissed at Malloy for killing Emma, and even though he didn’t kill Scott and Illyana, they died because of him.  He starts losing control again. There’s Storm gone, and everyone else looks not far behind. In the past, Xavier makes a slight change to Matthew Malloy’s destiny by preventing his parents from meeting. Matthew Malloy will never be born. Back at Xavier’s house in the past, he says Eva is either the greatest or worst mutant ever, and that he wants to make himself forget all of what he’s seen. And that brings us back to before the whole thing started, and the reading of Xavier’s Will. He left everything to Xavier. No secret marriage to Mystique, apparently. And then a huge bombshell. This was a rather interesting finale to an arc that went longer than it should have. It was still an interesting arc, it just went too long. Regardless, there was some good stuff in this issue. The X-Men getting pissed at Malloy for killing Scott, Illyana and Emma was really cool. It shows that, whatever else happens, they’re family. I also liked the stuff between Eva and Xavier. Erasing the random Xavier/Mystique marriage was probably a smart choice, especially since I have no clue why the hell Bendis even tossed it in. I do wonder exactly where he was going to go with it, but whatever. Actually, I am a little sad that Emma’s reaction to the marriage has been erased, because that really was a hilarious moment. Bachalo’s art remains weak. It’s hard to follow at a lot of times, and the “trippy” effect of Eva’s time travel isn’t all that visually interesting. Anyway, I’m glad this arc is over and done with.

Storm #8, by Greg Pak and Al Barrionuevo. Goddam does Stephanie Hans ever do some gorgeous covers. Anyway. There’s a protest outside the FBI office where Storm was held. Inside, Agent Robertson is investigating the Senator who accused Storm of attacking the plane. She thinks Storm’s telling the truth. Unfortunately, it’s a bit late for them to call off the hunt, what with her wrecking the Senator’s house and grabbing him. She escapes, and in the process of escaping, terrifies the hell out of the Senator. And she thought she was playing Good Cop. After getting the information she wanted, she flies to San Francisco, and heads into the bay. A clever use of her powers to make an air bubble as she heads into the water to check out Utopia. Eaglestar’s got robots picking over the remains for any tech it can use. Harmon is there. It doesn’t go well for him. She wants to know why he framed her. It was just business. Her actions have been hurting his company’s bottom line. He activates his ship’s self-destruct, which sends a tidal wave towards the bridge, and the people on it. Not bad. But also not that great. It’s just kinda there, as the series has been all along. This just isn’t that strong a series. It’s very bland and forgettable. The writing, the art – nothing really attention-grabbing. Storm does show off her power here, and some of that is very cool. But that’s about it.

Magneto #15, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta. Magneto’s surrendered himself to SHIELD custody, but still considers himself a free man. Agent Haines chews him out a bit, and says that while he thinks he’s been helping mutants, all he’s done has been a distraction. Magneto thinks back to before his first battle with the X-Men, when he visited Xavier at the school. He tells Xavier that Cerebro is dangerous. In the present, one of the guards watching Magneto starts trash-talking him. Magneto unlocks his power dampers and breaks free. He let himself be taken so he could find proof SHIELD has its own Cerebro, and what they’ve been doing with it. Magneto was informed about it by a SHIELD agent Rodriguez, whose high school boyfriend was a mutant who could fly, before he was killed by a hate group. Magneto puts a virus into SHIELD’s system that erases every mutant’s record from the government’s systems. This was a solid issue. No melodramatic narration. Just a mission carried out successfully. The reveal that Magneto has an agent inside SHIELD was cool. Walta’s art still isn’t to my taste. It’s very rough and sharp, and it just doesn’t work for me.

Wolverines #7, by Charles Soule and Kris Anka. They’re all debating about going their separate ways. Mystique tells them they’re all staying, and shows them how she can make their lives a hell if they leave. Part of the way she does it is by threatening to have sex with Laura while disguised as Warren. Which is, um, an interesting threat. Also, the first time I can think of where she’s actually shown that she would be willing to sleep with a woman. Seriously, she has a long history of using sex against men, but never against women. Later on, Mystique tells Shogun that Deathstrike’s interested in him, then says she needs him for a mission. She needs to steal something from a Chinese museum, and she wants Shogun to create a distraction. Ogun’s glad to mess with the Chinese. This is fairly interesting. The plan Mystique’s following is definitely designed to bring back Destiny, and I hope it works. We get the Shogun/Deathstrike romance starting up. Skel, Endo and Neuro are out of the book, at least for now, which is kind of a shame, since it means Endo’s gender issues aren’t getting explored any time soon. Anka’s art is good. I like his style. He can sometimes get a bit lacking in details, but it still looks good. In terms of writing, I prefer the issues Fawkes writes over Soule’s.

That’s the X-titles. Now the others.

Ms. Marvel #12, by G. Willow Wilson and Elmo Bondoc. Loki’s covered in manure from the horses of Sol, as a result of a plan not going quite the way he’d hoped. The All-Mother decides to send him to New Jersey. Evidently, the Inventor was close to developing a device that could breach the barrier between Earth and Asgardia. Loki’s tasked with figuring out if there’s still a threat, and dealing with it. Bruno’s trying to figure out how to ask Kamala to the Valentine’s Day Dance, and his brother is saying he doesn’t stand a chance. Loki comes in for a cup of coffee, and Kamala comes in complaining she’s going to fail PE. Bruno suggests going to the dance might count as extra credit, and she laughs. Loki decides to help Bruno compose a love letter, then rushes off to give it to Kamala. That night, Kamala and Nakia are hanging out, and Kamala’s creeped out by the letter, but then starts thinking that no one’s ever been in love with her before. She decides to go to dance after all. She drags Nakia with her, even though Nakia considers it a “patriarchal capitalist display of fake affection.” Nakia’s pretty great, isn’t she?  Loki spikes the punch bowl with a truth elixir. Arguments now! Hurrah! Ms Marvel crashes the dance and confronts Loki. This is great. It’s always cool getting holiday-themed issues. They don’t happen often any more, which is a shame. Valentine’s Day was never one of the more popular themes for special issues, either, which makes this even more out of the ordinary, but also so much more awesome. And it’s hilarious. There’s plenty of sweet stuff, of course, but more important, there’s a lot of great humour. Nakia was great. I was glad to see her again. She hasn’t gotten to do much. Loki was a delightful guest star. I liked how the conflict was resolved – very nice, very appropriate for this series. The art was cute. A bit weird, but cute. I do like how Bondoc drew a wide variety of people. Lots of different facial and body types. I did find myself genuinely disappointed that Field Hockey Girl wasn’t around. I did find it neat that there was a lesbian couple there. Not even sexy lesbians, either, which was a nice touch. This remains one of the best comics out there. It’s so good.

Silk #1, by Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee. I got the Skottie Young variant cover, because why wouldn’t I? The story starts with Silk fighting a loser named Dragonclaw. Her SPider-Sense starts overloading, and she almost falls to her death, before Spider-Man saves her. He asks if she’s OK, and she leaves to head to work. She thinks back to when she was younger, which she remembers perfectly as a result of an eidetic memory. She wanted to go to play hockey, her parents wanted her to go on a field trip. She mentions that the game is also a date, with a guy she’s been seeing for six months. Her father actually likes the guy, says he’s got a wicked wrist shot. Her mother insists she go on the field trip, and Cindy says she hates her. Harsh. In the present, she gets to work a bit late, while Jameson rants about needing headlines. Cindy tells one girl to ask out another, then impresses Jameson by not knowing what Twitter is. And pitches a story about Silk, which Jameson approves of because he figures it makes Spider-Man look bad. Cindy just wants to find her family. She finds Dragonclaw again, and almost kills him with what she intends as a tap to soften him up. But he slips away. This was OK. Not bad. There are some interesting elements to the story. I do like that Silk is no longer with Spider-Man. The pheromones made that relationship kinda creepy right from the start. Thompson writes her as a little uncertain, a little lost, and a little vulnerable. He also writes her as not all that great at witty banter, which is amusing. But the main draw is Stacey Lee’s art. It’s fantastic. It’s got a bit of a manga feel to it, which is appropriate for an Asian-American character. There’s a good sense of energy and motion, which I always appreciate in comics – there are a lot of artists who fail to convey a real sense of movement, but Lee does it really, really well. I love her art. So, so good. On a weird note, this is one of two comics this week to specifically mention eidetic memory, and one of two comics to have casual lesbian background characters. I just find that an odd coincidence.

Legendary Star-Lord #9, by Sam Humphries and Paco Medina. Beast and Gamora are trying to get the others to submit to the Black Vortex. None of them seem particularly eager to do that. Except Warren. He submits to it. Which is actually good, maybe it’ll make him less useless. Then Bobby tries to submit, but Drax stops him. While much debate goes on, Storm steals the Black Vortex. In J’son’s ship, things aren’t going well for him. Thane and the Brood emissary are both impatient with him. Back on the moon, Storm’s stopped by Gamora. Sword fight! Which Gamora is winning, until Thanos shows up. But it’s just Jean manipulating Gamora’s mind. After a couple issues of lots of debate, this one has a lot of action, and it’s very exciting. The fighting is all cool, and gets pretty chaotic. There’s still some very nice character stuff, too. Medina’s art is really good. Very crisp, very cool. This event’s going well so far.

Bitch Planet #3, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robert Wilson IV. A board of men is judging Penny Rolle, reviewing her case. Her charges include insubordination, assault, assault, assault, repeated citations for aesthetic offenses, capillary disfigurement and wanton obesity. The men are all grossed out by her size. They say they want to help her, and she flashes back to younger days. When she was a kid, baking with her grandma. She was a cute kid. She accidentally dips her curly hair into a cake tin, and then starts trying to shake the batter off. They start a food fight. But then some cops arrive. That’s when Penny was adopted by the state. She was 8 years old. She didn’t seem to take that long to become a bad egg. Her curly hair got shaved off by the woman who ran the facility she was in. In the present, a fancy device is being attached to her that will take images out of her head and put them on a screen. More flashback, we learn she worked in a bakery called Born Big. That went . . . poorly. This is a great issue. We see a lot of how messed-up the world is. She’s bold and tough and confident, and that kind of thing really does terrify a lot of guys, especially in a bigger woman. She’s spent her whole life with people trying to break her down, but she had too much love for her mother and grandmother to let it happen, and it’s great. We could all stand to be more like Penny, I think. Wilson’s art is really good. The flashback scenes have a very cool ’50s style to them, and it presents a great contrast. There’s also a really cool essay at the back by Megan Carpentier, about being more comfortable with ourselves. And, of course, I love the fake ads on the back page. Bitch Planet really is an amazing series, utterly wonderful, and you should totally be reading it. It has no time or patience for any of the patriarchy’s bullshit, and I love it. It’s as good as its name, and its name is one of the best names.

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From → 2015

2 Comments
  1. Bitch Planet is not a comic meant for those who appreciate subtle satire. Otherwise, it’s fantastic.

    I agree that the Uncanny X-men arc went on a bit too long, but it is a good arc that will probably read better as a whole than separated by weeks between each issue.

    Wolverines 7 probably has the best written Mystique in a while. She’s manipulating people in multiple ways, both behind the scenes and blatantly. It seems to connect well with her Logan Legacy issue also, with her growing bold after Wolverine’s death.

    And of course Magneto shows his own tactical abilities in Magneto 15, showing that he’s more than just the master of magnetism.

    I didn’t like Legendary Star Lord as much as the first two issues of the Black Vortex crossover. Big Picture-wise it’s good, but there were all these little flaws that added up for me that reduced my overall enjoyment.

    Ms. Marvel 12 is kind of a filler issue, but a very good one at that.

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