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X-Men comics for April 1 2015

April 1, 2015

Happy April Fool’s Day. Here are some comics.

Cyclops #12, by John Layman and Javier Garron. Scott, Bobby and Groot are freed by Corsair. Except it’s only in Scott’s imagination. Instead, they free themselves, by having Scott use a very, very weak optic beam to duplicate a guard’s fingerprint on a console to deactivate the inhibitors. They immediately run into an army of guards, and just as immediately run away. They find the Black Vortex. Iceman says they need to submit to it, but Scott refuses, pointing out what happened to his adult self. Scott’s contacted telepathically by Corsair and Jean. Corsair tells him he’s strong enough to control the power. The three submit. So very, very meh. I honestly can’t even be bothered to analyze the issue, because it’s just so bland and unexceptional. It’s even worse when you realize this is the final issue of the series. The book is over, and it ended as a weak installment in a generally-middling events. It needed one more issue to tie things up, I think. As a series finale, this is borderline insulting. It’s not going to be the least bit satisfying to anyone who actually enjoyed the series. Also, I don’t like how Scott, Iceman and Groot don’t really seem all that affected by the Vortex, in terms of their personalities. I feel like that’s bad writing. They didn’t necessarily have to become crazy sociopaths, but it would’ve been nice to see that all the power did have an effect on them, same as it did with Gamora, Beast and Angel. So, yeah, this sucked.

Wolverines #13, by Charles Soule and Jason Masters. Deadpool says the world needs a murderous Canadian to protect it, and he puts on bits and pieces of assorted Wolverine costumes. The original mask, the Patch eyepatch, the New X-Men leather jacket, one Fang boot, one regular Wolverine boot. Also, fake claws. Fantomelle is sneaking onto the Wolverines ship. She-Hulk is in her office, and Deadpool comes smashing through the window. Jen and Angie wonder if it’s Wolverine, but Patsy can tell from the smell that it’s Deadpool. He’s there because Wolverine’s first appearance was fighting the Hulk. Jen throws him back out the window. She follows him, and she ends up kicking his ass pretty badly. Because she’s the goddamn She-Hulk. From there, he starts trying to duplicate other Wolverine stuff, like fighting ninjas, joining various groups. He fails at all of them. This issue is basically pure comedy. It’s Deadpool being an idiot. It’s also Charles Soule wanting to use She-Hulk again, and I can’t blame him for that. I loved his She-Hulk. So her appearance here was definitely enjoyed. This is a reasonably fun issue,  but it does have one problem: After an entire arc that did nothing at all to advance a damned thing, having an issue like this feels like even more stalling on the plot. See, this is the kind of issue that works best after a major arc with heavy drama. Coming on the tail end of the Fang arc, it ends up feeling like Soule and Fawkes just have no damned clue where they’re going. And I’m sure they do know where they’re going, but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like the book is just meandering aimlessly. Masters’ art here is good. Nothing special, but solid for what it is.

Return of the Living Deadpool, by Cullen Bunn and Nik Virella. Liz is grieving her mom, and Deadpool goes to tell her he’s sorry about what happened. The group they’re with pack up the camp to continue marching to the Deadpool-free zone, but a bunch of Deadpools attack. Deadpool figths them, but gets shot through the chest. Liz goes to help him, but a horse’s hoof crushes his head, and they both get captured, and taken to a city full of Deadpools. This is OK. Not great. Just OK. Too OK for me to want to actually talk about, frankly.

That’s the X-titles, here are a few others.

Avengers: Ultron Forever #1, by Al Ewing and Alan Davis. In the future, in a flooded New York, the Golden Skull is about to steal helium, but he and his crew are attacked by Captain America. Who is, of course, Danielle Cage, using Captain America’s shield, and with the invulnerability of both her parents. She suddenly disappears. In Avengers Tower in the present, Black Widow is doing a training session, with Vision acting as a training dummy. He calls her “fleshy one.” Apparently, he’s trying to work on his sense of humour. They disappear, too, and Vision drops his newspaper talking about the UN censuring Latveria over temporal experiments. Doom has captured a team of Avengers – Black Widow, the Lady Thor, Thor from his Asgardian armour days, Jim Rhodes Iron Man, Danielle Cage Captain America, and early Hulk. The heroes attack Doom, but a bunch of kids rush in and get the fight to end. Doom explains the situation: In 2420, Ultron taeks over the world and kills or enslaves everyone. Vision hints that Doom isn’t the Doom everyone knows. It’s strongly hinted that this is actually Doombot. Doombot! Yay! From Avengers AI! I missed him. That book was so damned good. Anyway, it’s time for action. This is pretty interesting. There’s a lot of fun character stuff. Ewing does a great job with that, and also creates an interesting story. I love how he writes Vision – he’s clearly building on Humphries’ take from Avengers AI. Also, Lady Thor makes a reference to a “new Qeng Dynasty,” which amuses me. The story also actually is based on something from Hickman’s Avengers run, when part of the team – including Black Widow – kept bouncing forward in time. Ewing really loves making use of existing stories, obviously. Alan Davis’ art is as great as always. One nice touch is how he draws Danielle. She doesn’t look like a typical female superhero. She’s more solid. She’s built like a brick shithouse. Part of that is that she doesn’t have big tits. It’s nice to see a woman drawn without giant tits. It actually makes her look even stronger. This is a good book. Probably worth checking out.

Uncanny Inhumans #0, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. In Rio de Janeiro, some mercenaries working for Ennliux are checking out the slums for terrigenesis cocoons. Black Bolt shows up and kicks their asses. Cut to New Attilan, and Medusa telling Black Bolt she made it clear she didn’t want him around. He lets her know the world is about to end, and he wants to bring back their son before it does. Black Bolt has Eldrac teleport him, and he immediately gets impaled in the gut with an arrow. It’s possible Eldrac carries a grudge. He attacks a castle and kills its guards. We find out he’s in Tunguska, in 1908, and the castle belongs to Kang. Ahura’s there. There’s also a back-up story featuring Flint and Iso, with Iso getting some Inhuman portal up and running. It turns out a couple of Inhumans – including Gordon – were exiled through the portal 2000 years ago. Overall, I found this kinda meh. Part of it is that Black Bolt doesn’t work as a protagonist. He’s mute, which complicates things, but it’s worse than that. He’s too powerful, and too smart. It makes him an incredibly boring character. McNiven kills on the art, though. He’s a fantastic artist.

Spider-Gwen #3, by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez. Captain Stacy gets home, and he and Gwen have a talk. He tells her the police won’t back off, so she can’t be Spider-Gwen any more. She’s still wracked with guilt over Peter’s death. The Vulture interrupts the talk by attacking. He wants to know why Spider-Woman saved Captain Stacy. Spider-Gwen fights him, and Stacy shoots him, so he flies off, and Spider-Gwen gives chase, even if it risks her secret identity. This issue actually feels a bit better than the earlier ones. Not sure why. It does a good job exploring her guilt about Peter. It’s got some good action. It’s a good issue. Rodriguez’s art is very nice, hip and stylish and expressive. That, at least, has been consistent in this book. He’s a great artist.

Avengers: Rage of Ultron, by Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. A few years ago, Ultron is attacking Manhattan, and the Avengers fight him. Captain America, Beast and Hawkeye take him down. It’s just a copy, of course. The three continue on, and the other Avengers – Iron Man, Thor, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Yellowjacket, Wasp – arrive. Ultron is kicking some ass, but then he hears that Hank is down, bleeding heavily. Ultron goes to gloat. They have a heart-to-heart talk, all part of a plan to get Ultron into position, so the Quinjet can launch him into space. On AIM Island in the present, the Descendants from Remender’s forgettable Secret Avengers run are doing stuff. They’re stealing a Stark Sentinel with Civil War files. The Avengers – Captain Falcon, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Sabretooth, Wasp and Spider-Man, which is a weird line-up – show up to stop them. Hank Pym’s also there, in his Giant Man costume. He turns the Descendants off. Vision’s pissed off, as he considers what Pym did to be murder. Pym says they were robots, so he didn’t kill them. On Titan, Starfox is throwing a party and hitting on women. He says that he’s not using his love power on them, since it would be immoral, so Remender’s clearly familiar with that criticism of the character. Something crashes outside, and starts burrowing down. Starox guesses who it is, based on Isaac being corrupted. It is, of course, Ultron. Back on Earth, the Avengers are discussing Hank’s actions against the Descendants, with Vision especially pissed off. For some reason, Lady Thor is there, too. Starfox shows up and tells them the situation, and then Ultron arrives in a giant ship shaped like his own head. Because Ultron really is gloriously vain. Ultron steals Hank’s AI-killing device, and sets robot duplicates of the Avengers on the team. Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Thor all get converted, and Ultron releases a bunch of spores to convert everyone else on the planet. He plans on infecting every planet in the universe. The remaining Avengers get steadily taken down, leaving on Falcon, Hank and Vision, and a desperate plan. I dislike Remender’s take on Pym. To me, the idea that Pym would ever claim that AIs aren’t alive is just wrong. He has always accepted that they’re alive. So for Remender to suddenly have him saying that they’re just machines, that’s a complete misunderstanding of Pym’s character. Remender also played up the bitterness and self-doubt way too much. It was a regression of the character. Pym hasn’t been like that in a long, long time. Really, not since his attempted suicide during the West Coast Avengers days. He’s had moments of self-doubt and even self-loathing since then, but only brief ones. I like Hank Pym as a character, but I don’t like how Remender writes him. Other than that, the story was pretty good. Opena’s art was good. But the bitter version of Pym dragged the book down too much for me.


From → 2015

  1. I agree that having another off issue of Wolverines after the Fang arc probably wasn’t the best decision, but I really enjoyed Wolverines 13. She Hulk’s appearance is certainly welcome. The Fantomelle scenes help balance the issue out with a bit of drama that doesn’t advance the main plot, but it helps ground it a bit more in the Wolverines series. I ignored the whole Fang fiasco while reading this and just enjoyed it for what it is.

    Yeah, Cyclops 12 wasn’t anything special. Didn’t add that much to the Black Vortex event and didn’t add much to the Cyclops story. It was alright, but it would have been better if at the least, Christopher Summers was there in person instead of just in Scott’s head.

    I kind of felt the opposite with Spider-Gwen 3; I didn’t like it as much as the first two, although I agree that the Peter Parker drama at the end works. The problem is that Frank Castle sees Gwen’s face, and Vulture catches Spider-Gwen at home very shortly after he attacks Captain Stacey. At this point, it’s almost impossible for Gwen to keep her identity a secret unless both Vulture and Frank are written as total idiots.

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