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X-Men comics of March 11 2015

March 12, 2015

Comics! Finally got these reviews up.

First up, All-New X-Men #37, by Brian Bendis and Mike Del Mundo. (Side note, the cover has Bobby reading Ms. Marvel. Awesome.) Illyana drops off Emma and Jean in Madripoor. Illyana wants to stay with them, but Emma sends her back to the school. Madripoor seems to get weirder every time it appears – now, it’s full of alien-looking dudes and mutated rats. Emma brought Jean there because it’s a dangerous place, which makes it a good place to train Jean. She turns off Jean’s psychic powers for the length of the test. She sends Jean into an abandoned mall. There, she finds the Blob, and some Yakuza. Fight! This is another great issue. Just great. First of all, Del Mundo’s art. Oh man. Del Mundo is amazing. The art in this issue is gorgeous. Worth the cost of the issue alone. It looks good, it’s laid out well, it’s expressive. Amazing. But Bendis also does a fantastic job on the writing. Emma and Jean have a fun chemistry together. Emma, of course, is catty and bitchy, but she does also genuinely want to help Jean. Emma enjoys teaching, and that shines through here. Meanwhile, Jean’s inexperience also gets highlighted well. For all that she’s seen since coming to the present, there’s still a lot she hasn’t seen, and she ends up out of her element pretty easily. So this issue shows her having to learn how to deal with that. So this issue’s fantastic. Honestly, I think the only thing that stops it from being the best comic of the week is the fact that Ms. Marvel also came out.

Spider-Man and the X-Men #4, by Elliott Kalan and RB Silva. We start with a bank robbery by a bunch of loser villains. Swarm, Delilah, Melter, 8-Ball, Squid, Killer Shrike, the All-New Sinister Six. Spider-Man and the kids kick their asses. The fight ends with Hellion hitting Swarm with a heavy telekinetic blast. Spider-Man says he could’ve killed Swarm, and that killing bees is wrong when they make a person. Hellion wants to know why Spider-Man hasn’t been kicked out of the school yet, which leads to a flashback to the previous night. Storm chewed out Spider-Man. He tells her Logan asked him to find a mole, because he didn’t trust Storm. That pisses her off. Spider-Man apologizes for saying that, and she agrees to let him stay. Back in the present, Beast is tired of Spider-Man’s ignoring the rules, and challenges him to a science-off. Rachel wants permission to probe Spider-Man’s mind, but Storm refuses. Rachel decides to try it anyway, because she doesn’t trust him. But something’s keeping her out. Meh. Meeeeeh. This series is just so weak. The humour falls flat, and the “after-school special” aspects do, too. The writing, the art, the plots, all weak. And I still don’t understand why everyone at the JGS hates Spider-Man so much. There’s never a reason given. Spider-Man and Beast are friends! They like each other! So why does Beast suddenly hate him? The X-Men are all acting way out of character for no reason at all. This is such a stupid book.

Wolverines #10, by Ray Fawkes and Jonathan Marks. It’s Sabretooth’s turn to be trolled by Fang. The mission is to storm the flagship of a pirate fleet. They belong to the J’grajj, who’ve killed or enslaved trillions over the past 200 years. Fang and Sabretooth bust in, and Sabretooth heads for the bridge. He gets pretty bloodthirsty as he goes. Meanwhile, in Brazil, Fantomelle is on another heist in the forest. She’s attacked by a robot, but she and Culpepper defeat it, and get what they came for. Back on the pirate ship, the universal translator finally comes back online. The captain wants to negotiate, and says the J’grajj have changed, and now, rather than torturing people, they kill them quickly and mercifully. Like how Sabretooth has gone from a sadist who kills slowly, to a psycho who kills quickly. This is kind of an interesting issue. I love Marks’ art. It’s a great style. Dark, moody, violent. It works well, and looks great. Fawkes’s writing on this series is consistently better than Soule’s. Fun note: Ray Fawkes is Canadian. Woot yeah Canada. Anyway, this comic. It’s reasonably interesting. This arc is still weird to me. We’ll see how the next issue goes, since it’s going to focus on Laura. So I guess we’ll see how she gets trolled in order to give insight into the kind of person she is.

Deadpool #43, by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn and Salva Espin. At the Preston home, they’re taking the Christmas tree out and putting away the decorations. Deadpool’s chained up, and demanding the civilians be let go. Potter refuses, and leads the civilians out to be killed. Deadpool starts chewing his own arm off. Potter’s about the kill the two leaders of the civilians rebels, but Deadpool comes out with a machine gun. He saves the two guys, and the three go off together. Deadpool realizes he’s missed Christmas, and gets angry, and decides he won’t be taking the Tabula Rasa drug. The three guys go to free the rest of the prisoners, including Paste Pot Pete. This issue’s unusually light on humour. It’s a very serious issue. There is some humour, though. Mostly, it’s showing off Deadpool’s determination, and why a pissed-off Deadpool is an incredibly dangerous Deadpool. My biggest complaint remains the art, which is a weird mix of gory and cartoonish, and which I still feel doesn’t suit the tone of the book well enough. It needs a bit darker a style, I think.

That’s the X-titles. Here’s some non-X.

Ant-Man #3, by Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas. We start with Erica Sondheim, and some guy kissing her ass as part of a business offer. She’s not interested, but the guns pointed at her do interest her. Meanwhile, Ant-Man is on his first job, setting up some security at an office supply company. He goes out for lunch, and visits Cassie. She’s apparently an awful drummer. His ex speaks to him privately about his move to Miami. She’s pissed at him. He tells her he feels he needs to be close to Cassie, and that he’s doing boring work so she’s not in danger. He heads back to work, and it turns out the whole thing was a trap. He realizes he should’ve wondered why a paperclip warehouse needed blaster cannons. Taskmaster’s behind it, of course. I mean, the cover gives that away, really. Ant-Man calls taskmaster his archnemesis, and Taskmaster says all the times they fought, he was after real superheroes. At least he’s after Lang this time! This is another excellent issue. There’s some excellent plot twists that go right back to Scott Lang’s original appearances, which is nice. It’s a really cool storyline being developed. There’s also a lot of great humour. It’s a really funny series. Scott’s a really nice, relatable guy. Cassie’s cool, and her inability to play drums seems like it might be referencing an old running gag about Cassie’s awful cooking when she was a kid. Either way, Scott and Cassie are cute together. And Scott’s ex-wife is cool, too. I like her. This is definitely a series worth reading.

Spider-Gwen #2, by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez. Gwen wakes up on a garbage barge, with Spider-Ham trying to cheer her up. It turns out, when Vulture dropped her, she spun herself a pair of web-wings, which saved her. She realizes she’s lost her phone. The phone is back at the crime scene, found by a cop. The cop is getting chewed out by Captain Stacy for removing the phone from the crime scene. Captain Jean DeWolff arrives on the scene, too. She wants Captain Stacy’s help tracking down a lead related to the Kingpin. Gwen wakes up in an apartment, with Glory and MJ. Spider-Ham is still there, but Gwen’s the only one who can see him, so he’s definitely an hallucination. MJ wants to talk to Gwen about the band, but Glory thinks Gwen’s in no condition for that argument. Gwen just wants to get back out onto the streets. Detective Castle is trying to get information out of the Kingpin, and failing. This is another OK issue. No action here, which seems to have disappointed some people. Personally, I enjoy superhero stories with no action. I’m weird like that. So the lack of action didn’t bother me. It had plenty of character and story development. The Spider-Ham hallucination is an odd choice. I’m not sure I like it. It feels kinda lazy, actually. It gives her someone she can talk about her feelings to, and who can respond. But it basically gives Latour a way to get things across more easily. It’s a shortcut, and also a shortcut for easy humour. So I’m not sold on Spider-Ham’s presence. The police stuff is fairly interesting, but even there, there’s a certain sense of laziness to it all. So I’m still not feeling this book.

Howard the Duck #1, by Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones. On an alien planet, some guy is hunted and killed. Meanwhile, Howard is narrating about idiots making him angry, and how he always feels trapped in a cage. He’s actually in a holding cell, but he’s let out. A woman named Tara Tam is also released. They’ve both been getting in trouble a lot lately. Howard’s set himself up as a private detective. He and Tara chat for a bit. She owns a tattoo shop. Howard goes to yell at She-Hulk for not bailing him out. (She was listening to Taylor Swift and looking at cat pictures. Superheroes: They’re just like us!) He has a client waiting for him, a Jonathan Richards. He says he had a necklace stolen a few months ago by Black Cat. Howard agrees to take the case, then goes to bug She-Hulk, in order to steal a card from her rolodex. It turns out to have Spider-Man’s number on it. He wants Spider-Man’s help finding Black Cat, but Spidey refuses. Howard runs into Tara again, and mentions his case, and she says Black Cat lives down the street from her. Next, training montage! This is a pretty fun issue. There’s a lot of weird humour. Tara seems like she’s going to be a fun supporting character. The art is actually maybe a bit too conventional. The book might work better with a weirder art style. It’s not that the art is bad, just that I’m not sure it ‘s quite right for the book.

Guardians Team-Up #2, by Brian Bendis and Stephane Roux. Gamora is flashing back to Thanos training her in combat. She wakes up on the Chitauri ship, and Nebula says she was hired to capture her. The Avengers and Guardians are all down. Rocket wakes up first. The cops and EMTs are freaked out. Hawkeye wakes up and tells them not to shoot. The others also start waking up. They were hit by some kind of genetic disruptor that knocked them out. Back on the ship, Gamora tells the Chitauri to let her go if they want to live. They decide to try to beat on her instead. So, she’s free, but the ship’s reached its destination. Back on Earth, Rocket is looking for a tracking device. He slipped one into each of the Guardians, in their food. Flash Thompson comes out of the bathroom, where he’d been unconscious. Gamora busts in to fight Nebula, but gets shot in the back. She’s handed over to the guy who hired Nebula – not Ronan, shockingly – but the Guardians and Avengers teleport in, care of Manifold, to save her. Not a bad second part. Better than the first part. The sense of shameless tie-in isn’t quite as prominent. Also, the art is vastly better. I hated Art Adams’ art. Roux’s art is much better. It’s nothing spectacular, but it doesn’t have the clunkiness of Adams’ stuff. This is more conventional, but done well. It’s pretty art. The writing actually does have some fairly interesting bits to it. The scene of a cop and EMT trying to figure out what’s going on is actually really, really funny. And Gamora being Thanos’ daughter gets explored in an interesting way. Not a great issue, but not a bad one.

Ms. Marvel #13, by G. Willow Wilson and Takeshi Miyazawa. Kamala’s in Attilan, getting in some training. Medusa is watching, and worries about Kamala’s future. Back home, Kamala’s told some old family friends are coming over. They have a son who’s around Kamala’s age. He got an early admission to MIT, where he’s going to study microbiology, engineering and pre-law. Kamala hates him, until he mentions he likes World of Battlecraft. Also, he’s sexy. They also bond over enjoying Bollywood musicals. They seem to be pretty much perfect for each other. While they’re out (chaperoned by Kamala’s brother), a sparky woman shows up declaring “Anarchy in the 201.” Kamala slips away, and returns as Ms. Marvel and confronts Kaboom. This issue is amazing. So damned good. Kamala has a crush! And it’s totes adorbz! Kamran is actually almost too perfect, but there are some indications in the solicits that this will lead to problems, so it’s OK. Plus, who doesn’t think their first major crush is perfect? Also, it sets up Kamala being adorable. It was really nice seeing her family again. I’ve missed them, actually. Aamir is a great big brother – he worries about her, but he also makes fun of her. The fight against Kaboom is really good. I love Kaboom. I hope she shows up again. I’d like to see her become a recurring villain, and not just for Ms. Marvel, but a villain who just pops up now and then. She’s mostly here to introduce a larger threat, though, and I’m very intrigued for that plot. If you’re not reading this series, you’re doing comics wrong.

I also want to mention Captain Marvel #13, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez. I want to mention it because of how bad the humour is, and how much the terrible jokes made me laugh. At one point, her ship, Harrison, says his “updog” is damaged. Carol’s response: “What’s ‘updog’?” Harrison’s answer: “Not much, what’s up with you?” That is a horrible, horrible, painful joke. The issue also includes a warp bear. Similar to a real, gross thing on Earth called a tardigrade, nicknamed a waterbear. So, here, we get a warp bear. Yes. I love this comic.


From → 2015, Uncategorized

  1. I liked the first Spider-Gwen quite a bit, but Spider-Gwen 2 feels like a downgrade. Hopefully issue 3 will improve.

    All New X-Men is just fantastic. It’s almost a shame that Bendis didn’t make Jean and Emma friends sooner, because they play off each other so well. It also solves several loose plot threads from Bendis’s X-Men run.

    Wolverines 10 is like 9 in that how much you enjoy it depends on how much you like the subject character (Sabretooth for 10 and Daken for 9). That said, 10 is better in that the action is more intense and Fang’s lesson kind of hits harder. It doesn’t hurt that Sabretooth is, like him or not, a better character than Daken will ever be in my opinion.

    Spider-man and the X-Men just sounds bad. Even ignoring that Spider-Man and the X-Men generally get along, why would you want to stay at a school where the rest of the staff hates you, especially when you have a business to run, an Avengers team and your own solo superhero work to do. It doesn’t just sound bad, but the idea of the series is illogical in the first place.

    Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel in the same week … awesome.

  2. Hamburger Time permalink

    So that’s three for three JGS books you haven’t liked very much, hm? You think this has anything to do with the fact that, as you’ve said several times, you dislike the concept of the JGS itself (i.e. “Must protect the children!”)?

    • It’s possible that might be part of it. But I think it’s because the writers do such a poor job with it. Jason Aaron tried way too hard to make the book zany and crazy and wacky and other stuff like that. Plus, the frigging Hellfire Brats. Ugh. Uuuuuugh.

      Jason Latour just didn’t do anything particularly interesting. Too much focus on Quentin Quire, a character I just don’t care about.

      And Kalan is making it wacky again. At the very least, his student cast is better – Rockslide, Hellion, No-Girl and Ernst are all good. And I will admit I do kinda like the running gag of Ernst’s super-strength never actually being shown.

      Also, the fact that the JGS is a death trap where the students can literally be attacked by their own bathroom as part of their training is one of the dumbest things ever. Beast designed a school where kids are being taught to never ever let their guard down, to always expect trouble and react immediately and with force. And yet Scott is the bad guy training kids to be soldiers. Naturally, this hypocrisy is never addressed.

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