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X-Men comics of May 27 2015

May 28, 2015

So that job I interviewed yesterday for is only 8-20 hours a week. Nowhere near enough to live off of. So I’ll have to keep looking. Dammit. Today, though, comics.

Inferno #1, by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Garron. It’s four years since the X-Men lost Inferno and New York was taken over by demons from Limbo. Illyana’s been a prisoner of Limbo, and one day a year, Colossus leads a team into Inferno in an attempt to free her. This year, he’s accompanied by Scott, Jean, Beast, Boom-Boom, Nightcrawler and Psylocke. They’re as close as they’ve ever gotten, but N’astirh is waiting and attacks. He injures Colossus, and hurts Scott. Jean goes crazy, which gives Colossus a chance to go in. Illyana is sitting on a throne, seemingly catatonic. She grabs his arm and deforms it as she changes to her Darkchild form. A year later, Peter is sitting on his bed, with Domino. They take a shower together, and then go on patrol. This year’s team to head into the Inferno will include Colossus, Domino and Boom-Boom. The X-Men base has Dr. Strange, Brother Voodoo, Wiccan and Nico – neat! Scott, in a hover-chair, tells Colossus that there won’t be a mission this year. Jean and Nightcrawler convince him to let Colossus have one more chance. The team is Colossus, Domino, Boom-Boom and Nightcrawler. They’re attacked immediately, and Boomer is grabbed by a flying demon. Nightcrawler teleports after her, leaving Colossus and Domino against a huge horde of demons. This is pretty good. Hopeless obviously really liked the Colossus/Domino relationship he set up in Cable and X-Force, since he’s decided to carry it over to a completely different universe. They’re a cute couple, though, so OK. Boomer is always awesome. I love that she rambles on while being carried by a giant demon. Nightcrawler’s fun. The art’s good. This one’s off to a pretty solid start.

X-Men ’92 #1, by Chris Sims, Chad Bower and Scott Koblish. Westchester has apparently been at peace for a while, so the X-Men play laser tag. Which Jubilee kicks ass at. She takes down the entire team. Apparently, Wolverine broke the Danger Room, which is why they’re training with laser tag. Wolverine gets annoyed and leaves. Sentinels! Fighting! After the fight, Baron Robert Kelly, Lord of Westchester, flies in on a chariot pulled by Warwolves. He asks if the X-Men are OK. He says the Sentinels were some leftovers from the Wars, tough to track down and which didn’t receive the shutdown order. We get a bit of a flashback to Magneto and his Brotherhood declaring war on humanity, opposed by the X-Men, and the War ended with Magneto’s death. The Bureau of Super-Powers built the Clear Mountain Institute to hold his followers. The X-Men decide to check it out. Pretty decent start. It definitely reminds me quite a bit of the ’90s cartoon. And I loved that cartoon, but I do wonder if perhaps it was a product of its time. I’m not convinced going back to those days is the best idea, and this issue didn’t really convince me. Beyond that, the plot set-up isn’t all that fresh or interesting – pretty standard stuff, really, with a secret facility that’s supposed to be benign but is almost certainly evil (especially once we see the director). All this book really has going for it is nostalgia, and nostalgia is something I’m philosophically opposed to. So, all in all, this is a book that didn’t really grab me.

Old Man Logan #1, by Brian Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino. In New Vegas, some guys in Daredevil masks are playing poker and talking about rumours from Carson City that the Hulks are gone. Their leader, a guy named Gladiator, wearing an Iron Man helmet, wants to know more. Logan comes in and tells the gang to stop stealing and selling kids. Fight. Sort of. “Fight” might not be the right word. “Fights” don’t usually have so much blood and body parts flying around. When all’s said and done, the women he rescued are less than grateful. They want to know what they’re supposed to do next. They don’t want to go back to Santa Fe. He tells all the people in the area to build something new and better, then he takes his leave, riding off on horseback. He heads home, where Danielle Cage is looking after the Hulk-Baby, and finds an Ultron head. Logan figures something’s wrong and he sets out to find out what. He heads to a hotel to meet with Emma. She tells him that what he did set some things in motion, of people looking to grab a piece of what the Hulks had. The Punishers were among those who came looking. This was pretty good. An interesting set-up with Logan trying to figure out where the Ultron head came from. Seeing Danielle Cage and Emma Frost was really nice. But honestly, if you pick this up, do it for the art. Because holy hot damn, Sorrentino is an amazing artist. The art is gorgeous. Logan slaughtering the gang at the start was brutal and stunning. Him wandering the desert was stunning. Sorrentino is one of the best artists Marvel has at the moment.

That’s the X-Men titles. Here are a few other books.

Uncanny Avengers Ultron Forever #1, by Al Ewing and Alan Davis. Doom has become god of the machines. He’s reminded of the Avengers he had doing his bidding. The Avengers have fled to Asgard. Vision wants a chance to talk to Doom, but the others all wonder if he’s been compromised. He leaves. Captain Cage asks Sword Thor shows if the other Asgardians can help against Doom, but they’ve all been trapped behind a magic mirror. Doom’s forces arrive. Fight! Iron Rhodey stays with the mirror to try something. Cap asks Hulk for a Fastball Special. That’s pretty great, actually. Vision helps her out, and she decides to trust him as they take over one of the ships and turn it on the other two. Inside, Rhodey and Beta Ray Bill come up with a plan to free the Asgardians. This leads to one hell of a cavalry charge. Vision asks them to trust him, and they teleport back to Doom’s place. And Vision calls him Doombot. It is, indeed, the Doombot of Avengers AI. So now it’s time for a verbal battle! This is a great conclusion to a great mini. There’s plenty of exciting action. The characters are balanced well to each get appropriate focus. The end is really nice. Davis’ art is as fantastic as always. This was an enjoyable read.

All-New Hawkeye #3, by Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez. Clint and Kate are in a debriefing room on the Helicarrier, and Kate thinks Clint is a dork for once carving “Clint + Bobbie” into the table. He gives her his knife so she can vandalize the table, too. He says it’s his good luck charm, and she points out she’s never seen it. Hill comes in, and Hill and Kate don’t get along at all. She does say the kids are safe, and also says the intelligence on Project: Communion was too vague. She hints that someone wanted to keep Communion off the records to explot the kids, and also says they’ll only be on the Helicarrier a couple more hours. Kate is determined to rescue them. Clint is less sure if they should, and she tells him off. They go to the lab where the kids are being examined, and kick some ass. More accurately, Kate kicks some ass while Clint sits back and watches. Kate’s awesome. Best Hawkeye. This is another great issue. This one’s almost entirely focused on the present, and the superhero plot. However, the bottom of each page is a past panel, showing Clint and Barney at the circus, sneaking in to watch the show. Those panels are gorgeously drawn. The present stuff is really great and exciting, though. Mysteries and action. Kate’s fight scene is fantastic. Kate is so awesome. This is a really good book. Very much a worthy successor to the not-yet-finished Fraction run.

Secret Wars 2099 #1, by Peter David and Will Sliney. A guy is asking a girl named Tania if she thinks Captain America is sexy. He doesn’t like that many muscles on a woman. They go grab some food, though Tania doesn’t eat anything. She gets a call to report as Black Widow, to meet up with the other Avengers – Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Hercules. The Chain Gang has stolen some gems. Cap offers them a chance to surrender and walk away, but Herc dives right into the fight. The Chain Gang takes to the air, and the Avengers give chase. Hawkeye carries Cap, but gets blasted and drops her. Luckily, she apparently has some fancy hologram wings that let her fly. Hawkeye is about to be killed, but Black Widow shows up and gets ready to kill, before Cap stops her. Herc is hitting on some woman whose car he smashed, and the woman tries to get him to leave, so Cap has to step in and knock him down and tell him to behave. Cap reports back to Alchemax, and her boss – Miguel. Then she reverts back to Roberta. This story is really, really interesting. The characters are all introduced effectively. Cap 2099 is really cool. She’s a lot like Steve Rogers, but the twist with her secret identity – a separate personality – is really neat. I could wish for a little more diversity in the make-up of the team – Black Widow is the only person of colour, and it looks like she enjoys killing. She’s cool, it’s just unfortunate that the one minority character is also the one killer character. Hawkeye 2099 is as useless as Clint. He can fly. He doesn’t even have the bow and arrows. He flies. And all he does in this issue is get shot and need to be rescued. It’s nice to know that even in the future, Hawkeye is the lamest Avenger. It’s great seeing Hercules again. He hasn’t done anything in a couple years. This is Hercules in the future, but it’s very much the classic version of Hercules, complete with the skirt-and-sash costume he wore back in the day. Sliney’s art remains pretty meh. He’s not a bad artist, by any means, but he’s not great. He’s probably one of Marvel’s weakest artists. Limited facial expression, occasional muddiness, mediocre fight choreography – he’s a very middling artist. Though he did a great job with the design on Cap 2099. She looks like a female Captain America, not a woman doing Captain America cosplay.

MODOK Assassin #1, by Chris Yost and Amilcar Pinna. MODOK gives a quick rundown of Battleworld and his own purpose – killing. He attacks Bullseye, who’s in the middle of killing Otto Octavius. Bullseye actually manages to do MODOK some damage. But he’s still no match, and a psi-attack kills him. Then he kills Octavius, who stole Sentinel technology from AIM labs – MODOK’s labs. It’s a Nimrod chip, from another zone, and thus forbidden in MODOK’s zone. Baron Mordo and Clea pay MODOK a visit, and Mordo wants to know what Bullseye wanted with Otto. MODOK evades the question. The zone they’re in is called Killville, filled with villains and monsters fighting each other with no heroes to stop them, because the heroes are all dead. MODOK says he killed them all. He killed Gravitron. The House of M is to the west. To the east is Sentinel territory. The Sentinels want to attack the House of M, but would need to cross through Killville. Sometimes, the House of M sends scouts into Sentinel territory, and Gambit escapes into Killville, which leaves MODOK wondering if the Sentinels will follow their programming to kill Gambit by entering Killville. They do, and MODOK defends his territory. This is fun, as one would expect. MODOK’s narration is an interesting mix of normal and computer. Arrogant and violent, either way. And amusing as a result. There’s a charming giddiness to his psychopathy. The art is fun, too, and nicely violent. Good book.

Secret Wars Journal #1. The first story is by Prudence Shen and Ramon Bachs. In 1602, a caravan on a journey is talking about the Arrowhead, a notorious thief. The Sheriff supposedly has a magical orb to reveal his identity. Kate wants to stop that, with the help of Billy and Teddy. They arrive at a cathedral, and during a presentation, Billy teleports them outside. As they climb the outside of the cathedral, Teddy thinks it’s going too easy. They get into the treasure room and start looting it, and Kate finds a box with a note saying to look outside. It’s a trap, and the Sheriff has an army outside waiting for her. She heads out to distract the forces by kicking some serious ass. As I said earlier, Kate is awesome. This is a good story. It explains why 1602 Kate is sent to the Shield, for Siege. Same as A-Force explains why Ms. America is there. Sadly, we don’t get any real hints of a romance between Teddy and Billy, though considering the timeframe and limited panel space, it’s not surprising. This is a fun story, all around. The second story is by Matthew Rosenberg and Luca Pizzari. It’s in Egyptia. The X-Men are gathered and waiting for Logan to arrive. They’re off to kill Khonshu and get out from under her control. It’s Logan, Shadowcat, Colossus and Nightcrawler who set forth. Wolverine leads them to meet Moon Knight, who tells them that Khonshu takes walks at night, alone. Then he transforms as a bunch of werewolves attack. The fight is fierce, until Khonshu ends it. She wants to know why they wanted to kill her. Shadowcat says her people don’t want to be slaves any more, and Khonshu says there’s no difference between lords and slaves to her. This was good. It was very interesting. Egyptia seems like an interesting setting. Khonshu as a woman was an odd twist. Nothing wrong with it, just odd. Good writing, nice art. Good story.

From → 2015

  1. I agree, Inferno 1 is off to a good start. It’s not what I would call great, but it’s dark, fun and there’s nothing particularly wrong with it.

    Old Man Logan 1 is also good, but Sorrentino’s art really is the true highlight. It’s worth at least a read for the art alone.

    X-Men 92 1 hasn’t released in stores yet, so I haven’t read it. If it’s mostly going off of nostalgia though, it might not be that special, and that’s coming from someone who does like a touch of nostalgia from time to time.

    I didn’t like All New Hawkeye 3 as much as the first two, but it’s still good. The flashbacks really mesh well with the main story so far.

    MODOK Assassin 1 is stupid in the best way possible. It’s just MODOK killing people and loving it, and that sentence alone should be enough for people to figure out if they want to read it or not.

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