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X-Men comics for May 13 2015

May 14, 2015

Hey, I got these up!

Storm #11, by Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez. Kenji is crushing everyone, so Storm lightnings him apart. She has Beast take the students to safety while she continues trying to get through to Kenji, but he’s not listening. He shows her his last thoughts before he died before – all the pretty people staring at him in horror and disgust. Then he shows her all her friends being attacked around the world. He wants her to kill him again, at the cost of Marisol, Callisto and Forge. She seems to freeze up, but she takes control of him. This boosts her power to crazy levels, and she starts tapping into the fundamental forces that determine weather. The magnetic fields, specifically. She gets rid of all Kenji’s flesh-monsters, but weakens herself enough that he starts taking her over. But she has a plan, using all the friends she just saved. As usual, it’s very meh. It gets way too after-school-special at times, which is par for the course with this series. The writing isn’t strong. The art also isn’t particularly spectacular. It’s not bad art, by any means. Ibanez is reliably good. But it doesn’t really grab me. It’s a bit muddy at parts, a bit vague, a bit rough. It’s OK, but nothing special. OK is really the only way to describe this whole series. I had high hopes, but none of them were met.

Magneto #18, by Cullen Bunn and Paul Davidson. Magneto and Polaris have a little chat about how much Magneto sucks at being a father, but that they’re glad to have known each other. Meanwhile, the world is ending. Magneto wants to stop the Incursion, even if it kills him. He flashes back to years and years and years ago, all the way back to X-Men #6, and meeting Namor. Magneto wanted Namor’s help in deposing humans, in favour of mutants. Back in the present, Polaris says she would’ve liked to have seen where his actions on Genosha would’ve gone. While he gathers his strength, his Marauders protect people. Polaris goes up to join him. Flashback again, to a few months ago, on Utopia. Namor was watching an injured Magneto sleeping, and asks Magneto if he thinks he’s doing enough to protect mutants. Another scene in the present, and then another flashback, to a few weeks ago in Genosha, with Namor giving Magneto information about the Incursions. This is a good issue. t uses the end of the world to do a deep exploration of who Magneto is as a person. And also his relationship with Polaris. It even makes time to throw in a couple jokes here and there to cut the tension, which has been the biggest problem with this whole series: A distinct lack of any sort of jokes at all. This issue has a few somewhat funny moments – Namor’s arrogance actually works pretty well for that, as usual – and it really makes the comic more enjoyable. It doesn’t take away from the tension of the issue, but it does make that tension a little easier to take. The art is pretty good, too. I’m not a fan of Walta. Davidson’s style isn’t that different, but it’s different enough to be pleasing. There is something oddly sweet about Polaris showing up in her original costume – a statement that she’s standing with him. It’s nice.

Wolverines #18, by Charles Soule and Jonathan Marks. Sinister’s taken control of the Wolverines using the control words. That can’t stop the Changeling from crashing into Arcadia. Shogun stumbles out of the flames, and gets attacked by Laura. He uses the release word, erasing all her control words. Sabretooth attacks, and keeps Laura busy, while Deathstrike goes after Shogun. He releases her, too. Mystique is angry at all her plans being shot to hell. So she makes sure Sabretooth can’t hear his release word, which puts Shogun in a bad position. Sabretooth tears Junk’s head off. Laura and Skel start pounding on him. Shogun shouts the release word again, and this time it works. Endo attacks Shogun, saying she can’t die but wishes she could, but will kill him instead. Mystique shoots her. Then shoots Sabretooth in the head. Then shoots Skel. There’s a lot of chaos in this issue. Marks does a very good job with it. Soule’s writing actually isn’t particularly outstanding in this issue, sadly. There’s a nice scene between Shogun and Deathstrike, and Mystique gets an awesome moment, but other than that, there’s lots of screams, lots of shouts, lots of nothing. It’s presumably meant to highlight how crazy things have gotten, but it just ends up being a little annoying. Marks makes the whole issue look like pure chaos, though, which works well. So he does a much better job than Soule does. Though I still don’t care that much about the series. Also, Daken doesn’t show up this issue at all, which is nice, though it does make me wonder if he’s now dead. No big loss.

That’s the X-titles. Here’s some other stuff.

Ms. Marvel #15, by G. Willow Wilson and Takeshi Miyazawa. Kamala’s pissed at Kamran. She even calls him gross. He says she put herself in that situation. Legacy says he wants her to be part of his plans for New Attilan. She tries to keep him distracted while she mashes buttons on her phone in her pocket. She calls Bruno, and he leaves chemistry class to get her help. Back in New Attilan, Kamala throws her phone at Legacy’s head (the phone doesn’t much like that). She runs through the place until she finds the training room, and initiates her own Legendary module. Bruno arrives via water taxi, and is immediately captured. Kamala’s found and cornered by Kamran, who gets ready to punch her for making him look bad. She realizes that, despite his good looks, he’s a buttwipe. So it’s fight-back time. As always, this comic is just so damned good. This issue has fun references to both Star Trek II (“KHAAAAAAAN!”) and Star Wars (“Into the garbage chute, flyboy.”) Kamran is a dick, and Kamala is wonderful. So good. Miyazawa’s art is really cute and fun, too. This series is amazing and you should be reading it already.

Silk #4, by Robbie Thompson and Annapaolo Martello. I had no idea Stacey Lee wasn’t the artist for this issue. Dang it. Silk and Reed Richards are out in a field, and Galactus grows up, holding her in his hand. It’s a VR thing, with Reed playing Galactus. Sue knows he enjoys it. Johnny decides to ask her out while she takes down Galactus, AT-AT-style. She’s the one who calls him an AT-AT. I like Silk. With all the tests done, Reed talks to her about the problems with her powers. He asks how long she spent in isolation. There’s nothing physically wrong with her, so he figures it’s anxiety. He admits to having had anxiety, himself, and gives her the number for a psychologist who specializes in people with secret identities. She goes out and punches Peter. The Fantastic Four all like her. She’s upset he told Reed about her history, and feels it wasn’t his business. Johnny cuts the tension by suggesting she join them in eating Ben’s cooking and watching The Hobbit. She declines, but does accept a dinner date for that night. She heads to work to do research on Black Cat, but Jameson tells her to go away and be young. He’s actually not a bad guy, Jameson. She goes to a club to dance, and talks to one of her friends. She flashes back to her parents finding her in her room filled with webs, and promising to work through whatever’s happening together. The date starts painfully awkward, because superheroes have no idea how to be normal for any period of time, so they decide to go superheroing. This is another good issue. I miss Lee’s art, by Martello actually does a great job. Her style’s not that far from Lee’s, so it’s not a big shift. She doesn’t have the same sense of motion that Lee brings, but she does have the expressiveness, and the fun. Thompson does a good job with the Fantastic Four – I liked Reed saying his natural state is a puddle. He also tosses in the two lesbians from the first issue, which was nice. I’m a fan of supporting casts, and this series has been somewhat lacking in that area. I like this series. You should definitely read it.

Howard the Duck #3, by Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones. Aunt May has robbed Tara’s tattoo shop, and now wants Howard to hand over his wallet. She’s got a gun pointed at him, and when he threatens to use Quack-Fu on her, she pistol-whips him. He wakes up to She-Hulk leaning over him. Tara called her from Howard’s phone, since apparently the only two contacts in his phone are She-Hulk and “SpiderMandrewGarfield.” Heh. Not a bad name, actually. I like it. Too bad Garfield isn’t Spider-Man any more, so there won’t be any more opportunities to use it. Howard realizes the necklace he found was stolen again. He returns to his office, and finds Mr. Richards there already. He explains the situation. Richards is pissed, and gives Howard three days to get the necklace back. Three days later, Howard is in a park, pretending to be a normal duck, being fed bread by old people while he looks for Aunt May. Tara says he’s put on weight, and bread makes you fat. Scott Pilgrim reference! Her sees May, and confronts her, but she has no memory of robbing him. The next day, Howard hatches a plan. May gets robbed by an old guy, and Howard, Tara and May follow him to his lair (and Tara learns that May almost married Dr. Octopus). Turns out the ringmaster of these crimes is – the Ringmaster! You know, the guy with the hypnotic hat? The Circus of Crime is closed down, and an attempt at reinventing in Vegas failed. So he hit on this current scheme. He orders his hypnotized old people to kill Howard. There’s also a back-up story of superhero impersonators asking Howard to find out what happened to the heroes they’re impersonating. Howard tells the Captain America and Thor impersonators to pick different characters, and tells the Wolverine impersonator that Wolverine’s dead. The back-up is drawn by Jason Latour. It’s a pretty fun issue. Aunt May’s good. Tara’s a fun character. Ringmaster’s always a fun villain. But I don’t know, this just isn’t a Howard the Duck comic. It’s silly and wacky and funny, but it lacks the cutting social commentary that made Howard such a brilliant character. As it is, he’s just a talking duck. He’s a cartoon character. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there are funnier books out there (Squirrel Girl!), so Howard doesn’t feel particularly relevant.

Secret Wars #2, by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. It starts with a young man becoming a Thor, and joining the Thor Corps. They all kneel before a giant image of Doom’s mask. The new Thor gives a quick rundown of the story of how the world came to be. There was nothing, then there was something. Everything, created by Doom. The Thor Corps are intended to keep peace in the various kingdoms. In Utopolis, Alex Power meets some Moloids who say they’ve found something. Dragon Man talks about the world not naturally occurring, but being a construct, a composite. An Old Thor and the New Thor visit Higher Avalon, seeing Baron James Braddock waiting for them to deliver justice. They pay a visit to the Bar Sinister. They take Sinister to Doomstadt to be judged for the crime of discord. Doom sits in judgement on Yggdrasil, with James Braddock, Dr. Strange, and Sue and Valeria Richards gathered around him. And others watch, too, from the stands. Sinister is found guilty, and challenges Brian to a duel in the arena. Brian decapitates Sinister, but then Sinister still kicks his ass. Doom stops Sinister from killing Brian, because he’s heard that some rebels speak Brian’s name. He wants to know where the rebels are. Brian says he doesn’t know, so Doom sentences him. James speaks up, and says he’s the one the rebels talk about. Doom orders the entire House of Braddock destroyed, but Sue tells him to be merciful. He sends James to the Shield. With court adjourned, Val talks to Strange about what Alex Power found. She says research suggests it comes from before Creation, and Strange orders a quarantine of the site. At the Shield, James puts on his Captain Britain armour, then jumps off to go fight zombies, Ultrons and the Annihilation Wave. So now, we’ve seen Battleworld. It’s an interesting set-up. This issue is, as usual for Hickman, extremely heavy on exposition. The story is exposition, and the exposition is the story. It’s really what Hickman’s done on Avengers, and it doesn’t change in the slightest here. In fact, this issue is arguably even more exposition-heavy than usual for Hickman. It’s somewhat necessary, in order to give a context, but that’s kinda part of the problem with Hickman’s writing: Everything needs huge mounds of exposition for context. He tries his best to make it interesting, but it’s still narration telling the reader what’s going on. It’s world-building, rather than story-telling.

I should also mention Captain Marvel #15. Contrary to the solicits, the issue has absolutely nothing to do with Secret Wars. Instead, it’s all about Carol mourning Tracy Burke, who died a week before Carol got back to Earth. It’s a very sad, sweet issue. Also, Tracy was apparently a lesbian. This is the second time in this volume that Kelly Sue DeConnick has outed a character after removing them from the supporting cast. Just kinda funny. Maybe after Secret Wars, she’ll have an out LGBT character as part of the ongoing supporting cast.

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From → 2015, Uncategorized

2 Comments
  1. It’s weird that the End of the World issue of Magneto feels more light-hearted than the rest of the series. It’s a good issue though, and bringing in Polaris makes it work that much better.

    Actually, Wolverines 18 is written by Ray Fawkes. I had to double check before writing my review because I also thought it was Charles Soule. This also makes the second time that Ray wrote two issues in a row. I wouldn’t call Wolverines 18 good, but it’s fun. And I’m with you on not missing Daken all that much, but it’s weird that he disappeared without a mention or a trace when he was shown standing up in Wolverines 17’s last panel.

    I have to wonder who else in Kamala’s family is Inhuman. It would be interesting if it’s her father.

    Secret Wars 2 was heavy on exposition yes, but I found the worldbuilding interesting. So long as he gets into storytelling soon it should be fine in this case. The last thing we need is Infinity part 2.

    And of course Captain Marvel 15 is fantastic, but were either of us expecting anything different?

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