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X-Men comics for June 3 2015

June 4, 2015

I’m late posting these, but oh well.

All-New X-Men #41, by Brian Bendis and Mahmud Asrar. The X-Men are still relaxing in the grass, when Maria Hill shows up. She wants their help dealing with the Utopia situation set-up last issue. Hill doesn’t want another mutant problem, because she’s concerned that another mutant problem will lead to major conflicts. So, she wants the X-Men to head over and settle things down. Illyana agrees, and takes the team to Utopia. The Utopians – Karma (yay!), Boom Boom, Elixir, Jeffries, Random and Masque, say they just wanted to live in peace. Jean puts them all to sleep, then Scott blasts her and Illyana. Beast knocks out Scott, and Laura starts attacking the X-Men. I like that, of the Utopians, the telepathic Karma proves most resistant to Jean’s telepathy. Jean grabs Karma (and Random) in a telekinetic bubble, and Boom Boom blows shit up. Laura doesn’t seem to know which one was controlling her, which is just silly. Laura, of all people, would know exactly what every single person there is capable of. Illyana obviously knows what Karma can do (and she was the one who said it was Karma controlling Scott and Laura), but Laura’s a trained assassin whose character arc has been her struggle to overcome that. There’s no way she hasn’t studied all the X-Men, and all their enemies. Oh well. This is a pretty decent issue. There’s a great scene between Jean and Karma. It’s a shame there wasn’t more character stuff with the Utopians here. Most of them get almost nothing to say, and nothing that’s particularly tied to their character. For the most part any one of them could’ve been saying any of the lines. It’s mostly because the issue needed a fight – I doubt most readers would’ve been satisfied with a full issue of the X-Men and the Utopians chatting, though I would’ve been totally OK with that. It also ends with a scene somewhat similar to how UXM ended. I get the feeling UXM #600 is largely going to be an examination of whether the X-Men do any real good for mutants. That should be neat. Asrar’s art is good. Actually, a lot of credit should go to Marte Gracia’s colouring. This series has always had excellent colouring that did a lot to enhance the art. I seldom talk about colouring in a book, but I think Gracia really does deserve a lot of praise for his work on ANXM. Aside from getting Laura’s eye colour wrong. That’s bad. But other than that, Gracia does stellar work.

Wolverines #20, by Charles Soule and Juan Doe. Mystique meets the Man-Thing. Portal lets Mystique know that fear and anger upset it, and then takes off to let Mystique handle herself. The rest of the Wolverines are somewhere else in the Everglades, along with Siphon. They all let Siphon go after Sabretooth, but Laura decides she’s better than that and helps him out. Mystique convinces Man-Thing to let her go by making him see her love for Destiny is stronger than her fear of not bringing her back. Siphon takes out Sabretooth and Laura, then it’s time for Shogun and Deathstrike to fight him. He beats them, too. Then Portal grabs him. He uses the Zhulong to absorb the healing factors that Siphon absorbed, then uses that energy to open a portal. She enters the portal he opened, but the Wolverines catch up to her. She uses a smoke bomb to cause enough confusion for her to stab them all, since they no longer have their healing factors. As a spoiler, Destiny doesn’t come back. Which sucks. I liked Destiny. I wanted to see her come back. I also still want Marvel to do a mini detailing their first meeting and falling in love. But that’s beside the point. This story was pretty meh, truth to tell. Everything about it. The plot, the writing, the art. None of it did anything for me. Especially the ending. Ugh. Stupid ending. Bleh. This series never really impressed me, so I suppose it’s fitting that it’s ending be as bland and lackluster as the rest of the series.

Years of Future Past #1, by Marguerite Bennett and Mike Norton. The world’s a hellhole. A young woman, Chrissie Pryde, is looking for medical supplies in the Bronx Zoo. A tiger attacks her, and Logan saves her. There’s a reference to his son, Cameron. Chrissie asks Logan if he thinks humans will vote to reform the Mutant Control Act. He seems sceptical. As Chrissie sneaks her way home, a Sentinel finds her, and seems about to kill her, but Kate jumps in to say she and Chrissie are on official business for the United Doomstates. Back in the internment camp, Chrissie says they’ve found the final chemicals they needed to deactivate the suppressing collars so they can be free. On Air Force One, President Kelly is angry at the attempts to reform the MCA, and tells two of his staffers to arrange for a reminder of why it was in place. On camera. Back in the Bronx, the X-Men bust loose. They fight some Sentinels, and Chrissie gets her power – she’s basically Mercury. Elsewhere, Mystique and Blob are awoken from the chemically-induced comas they’ve spent the last few years in. In the Bronx, the X-Men have a plan. They’ve learned of a virus that infected a Sentinel, reprogramming it to kill President Kelly. The X-Men hope that having Chrissie and Cameron rescue Kelly might convince him to change his stance.This is pretty interesting. It’s a neat twist on the original story. Chrissie’s neat – very, very much like young Kitty Pryde. She’s got the smarts and the irrepressible optimism and determination to see the good in people. I like those traits in characters. It keeps dystopias from being unbearable. It provides a light in dark stories, something I find necessary. Norton’s art is good. He draws the ruined city well. He makes Chrissie look a lot like Kitty, without being identical. There’s enough differences to be authentic. This is a really good comic.

X-Tinction Agenda #1, by Marc Guggenheim and Carmine Giandomenico. It starts with a flashback to the X-Men defeating Cameron Hodge at the end of the original story. Havok and Rahne both decide to stay in Genosha to look after the mutates. Cut to the present. Havok, Wolfsbane and Magistrate Anderson are fighting what look to be a bunch of mutants. The Press Gang arrive to help – Bulletproof, Rictor, Karma, Wicked. They manage to get the crowd under control, with the help of Xavier, who tells everyone that the Extinction Plague, while a challenge, can be overcome by working together. It’s actually Mystique in disguise. Havok and Rahne visit Doom to ask for help, but he refuses, and tells them not to break the quarantine around Genosha. They try calling Baron Grey – Rachel – again. They say they need Triage, since his healing power could cure everyone. Rachel refuses. So Anderson suggests they go to X-Topia and take Triage themselves. The next day, as the team prepares to go, Scott’s ghost asserts himself through Wicked to beg Havok not to go through with his plan. Havok orders everyone aboard the plane. This was a solid start. There’s some fun character stuff here and there. Guggenheim especially seems to enjoy writing Rahne. He does a good job with her. Karma gets less attention than I would’ve liked, but I wasn’t expecting her to get a lot. I just always want her to get more to do. The scene with Scott’s ghost was effective. Rachel as Phoenix as Baron of X-Topia is a neat idea. She also gets a nice scene with Beast that makes it clear she really does want to send Triage and Rogue to Genosha, and it’s only Beast’s advice that’s stopping her. I’m still not a fan of Giandomenico, but his style works much better here than in X-Factor. Guggenheim’s doing a more plot-focused story, rather than the character-driven style PAD has, so there’s less need to a lot of subtle facial expressions. Even beyond that, though, Giandomenico’s art just seems better here than it ever did in X-Factor. Overall, this was a good issue.

Giant-Size Little Marvel AvX #1, by Skottie Young. It opens with a theme song, and Magik attacking the Avenger with a giant demon monster in retaliation for Iron Man melting her Pony Pal toy. The fight comes to an end when Magik is called for dinner. Pizza night. The next day, Toad and Blob are walking down the street and want some food. Iceman offers ice cream, but they want hot dogs, so they go to Captain America’s hot dog cart. But Blob wants hamburgers, so it’s back to the X-Shack, which now has a grill, run by Wolverine. Then Toad decides he wants ribs, so Thor offers ribs. Then Gambit offers gumbo. Iron Man offers everything at his fancy hi-tech street van. Storm makes it rain, so back to the X-cart, with Beast as short order cook. All the food is eaten by the Hulk. Iron Man hits on Spider-Gwen, but she finds the fact that he’s a kid with a mustache and goatee to be creepy. Then Magneto rips Iron Man’s truck apart. And now it’s fight time! The best is Cable and Bishop firing their guns and Cable shouting “I’m from the future!” Also, this exchange: Scott: “One day you’ll appreciate my quick wit and clever puns.” Cap: “One day you’ll appreciate you’re the worst.” I love Scott, but that’s just such a hilarious exchange. Honestly, I shouldn’t have to tell you that this is great. It’s Skottie Young drawing kid versions of the X-Men and Avengers, fighting each other and telling really, really bad jokes. If that doesn’t immediately grab your attention, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s fun, it’s adorable, it has a silly plot, and the ending even manages to poke fun at the Marvel/Fox conflict. This is great. I love it.

That’s the X-stuff, here’s some other stuff.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson. Squirrel Girl and Nancy are guarding the campus bank until the wall SG broke is fixed. The Hippo shows up, determined to rob the bank. SG attacks, but is beaten to it by a newcomer. It’s Chipmunk Hunk! SG seems to like him. While they chat, another guy fights the Hippo. The Hippo explains why he robs bank – because he’s a damn human hippo. He needs 90lbs of food a day, and apartments in New York are insanely expensive, and no one will hire a damn human hippo with no education. SG actually thinks he has a good point. She suggests he get a job with a demolition company. He agrees to leave. We also learn that the other newcomer was Koi Boi. Chipmunk Hunk is actually Tomas, the guy Squirrel Girl crushed on in the first two issues. Koi Boi is Tomas’ friend from class. They all go back to Doreen and Nancy’s dorm to talk. A while later, Nancy kicks the boys out, and complains that all her friends are awesome superpowered heroes. She’s the Xander. Doreen thinks maybe Nancy can talk to an animal she doesn’t see often, and decides to take her to the zoo. While at the zoo, some lions escape their pen, but the day is saved by – Girl Squirrel! This comic. Dudes. Dudes. Read it. It’s wonderful. Once again, Squirrel Girl defeats a villain just by being nice. We finally meet Chipmunk Hunk, and Koi Boi. The comic is funny, and sweet, and cute, and just delightful. I love it. Read it.

Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #1, by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert. Peter’s working on his webshooters at the breakfast table, to MJ’s annoyance. He’s been working later than usual, having to take on other heroes’ bad guys. Peter goes to the Daily Bugle to turn in some photos, but apparently, the mayor has been cracking down on rumours that other superheroes are going missing. Punisher, Moon Knight and Night Thrasher are all dead. Spider-Man heads over to Avengers Mansion, where a bunch of other heroes have already gathered. The New Warriors, Hulk and Namor are all present. Cap’s leading a briefing, about non-powered heroes and enemies being killed, ones with special abilities going missing, and the X-Men can no longer be contacted. Iron Man invites Spider-Man to bring his family to live at the Mansion until everything’s resolved. Cap says they’re all going to attack a guy named Augustus Roman, CEO of a superhuman research company. Hawkeye, Tigra and Mockingbird call in to report a break-out from Ryker’s. Spider-Man rushes home to find Venom already there. They fight, while the Avengers fight Regent. This was . . . OK. It’s nice seeing the marriage again. Peter and MJ made a good couple. We don’t see enough of it in this issue. As a whole, the comic just doesn’t feel all that great. It makes me even more certain that it’s time for Slott to hand over the reins to someone else. Kubert’s art is very nice, though. He gives most characters a slightly different design to accentuate that it’s an alternate reality. It’s a nice touch. Regent looks as boring as he speaks, though. He’s just a really dull villain, at least in this issue.

Secret Wars #3, by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. Strange is giving Doom updates on affairs in Battleworld. Doom finds it tedious, and asks why Strange bothers. Strange says that he remembers the previous world, and he knows that Battleworld is the last world, and he wants to protect it. He gets a message. He heads to Utopolis to check on the Life Raft that was uncovered. The one the Cabal came from. The Cabal are gone, but there’s dead Thors. There’s tracks leading away. Strange sends the Thors off to follow them, and then meets Ultimate Spider-Man, who’d stowed away on the raft. Back in Doomstadt, Doom talks to Susan. She says she heard people in the Square singing about the Man In the Sun. It’s a song about Johnny Storm, who Doom banished to be the sun at Susan’s suggestion, to bring light to the world. Doom talks about how he makes a poor god. He wonders if he should’ve removed himself from the world once he created it. Strange, Thor and Miles go to the Hidden Isle of Agamotto. Strange has Thor open the second Raft, the one that has the heroes of 616. Strange explains what happened – 8 years ago, everything died, and god created a new world, made of the remnants of incursion points, and no one remembers the time before that, though it took some time to achieve that goal. So, my pessimism last issue may have been somewhat unfounded. This issue was really cool. It does some more world-building, but it also has some really good character work, with Doom and Strange, and the scene between Strange and the 616 survivors was really well-done. Of course, as with anything Hickman seems to write for Marvel, there is still plenty of exposition. Here, some of it actually seems meant to further characterization – the reveal of Johnny as the sun is done to show how Sue feels about it. Ribic’s art is good. It’s fine work. I don’t have a lot to say about it. It does what it’s supposed to do.

Secret Wars Battleworld #2. The first story is by David Walker and JJ Kirby. Blade fights a Vampire Duck. The fight crashes into the bar where Howard is trying to get a drink. Howard sees a human beating on a duck, and attacks Blade. The distraction allows Drakula to summon more Vampire Ducks. Team-up time! Duck Blade kills Drakula. It’s a very weird, weird story. The second story is by Donny Cates and Marco Turini. Nico just won a bout in the Killiseum. She’s led out, and the Taskmaster beats her for not winning in the fifth round, as he told her to. The next match is General Ross, the War Machine. Taskmaster doesn’t seem to like what he sees. He tells Arcade that he wants Ross gone. Meanwhile, Rogers talks to Ross, trying to get him to do more, to help the younger gladiators. The next day, Taskmaster is put in a match against Ross. Pretty good story. It’s kind of a shame there’s no series set in the Killiseum, following the battles and politics. This issue makes me think it would probably be really, really cool.

I should actually probably talk a bit about Master of Kung Fu #2, by Haden Blackman and Dalibor Talajic. At least the mutant aspect. Shang Chi kicks their asses in training. He finds them lacking in any sort of skill. He’s agreed to give them advice, but Kitten says they need more than that. He tells them how his father would “train” them – horrible torture – and refuses to train them. Later, they’re found by the Emperor’s men, and Cy gets killed, which prompts Shang Chi into action. It’s another solid issue. I do like the use of the X-Men characters. They’re interesting versions. Poor Doug gets killed protecting Rahne, which is a nice little callback to what happened to 616 Doug. It’s a good comic.

And I should also mention Guardians Team-Up #6, by Bill Wittingham and Diogo Saito. It’s about an intergalactic blade-fighting championship, with Nightcrawler competing. He gave a story that he was kidnapped by space pirates as a child, and they entered him in the competition to bet either for him or against him. He’s currently fighting a Skrull who took a form with 30 tentacles, each holding a sword. Nightcrawler jumps into her tentacles, to get to her vulnerable spots. The judges declare him the winner. His opponent in the finals, obviously, is Gamora. The final match has a neat little twist. It’s a fun story, though it does get wrong the extent of Nightcrawler’s teleporting abilities a little bit. That aside, it’s really fun. The art is really nice, too. Good comic.

Also, Ruby Summers is in Future Imperfect. I love Ruby Summers, and I think she’s a great character. But Greg Land drew the comic so hell no to that.

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From → 2015, Uncategorized

3 Comments
  1. All New X-Men 41 is great. It feels like the arc would have benefited from one more issue, and if Bendis knew that Uncanny 600 was being delayed until October he might have written one more, but the comic gives us a decent fight scene and brings up some very good points with the X-Men franchise as a whole.

    Wolverines 20 was … disappointing. Mystique took out the others way too easily, to the point where it’s almost cartoonish. Why did Deathstrike kill Siphon before he could take Mystique’s healing abilities? Why did the group spread out after Mystique dropped the smoke grenades? Why didn’t Laura try to use her foot claws when Siphon grabbed her, especially since it worked the last time. So many simple logical mistakes that all these characters are too smart to make. And all that for a huge cliffhanger ending to tell us that the story will continue, one way or another, after Secret Wars?
    After this issue, it’s worth saying that the only Wolverines issue worth buying is Wolverines 13, the Deadpool issue.

    Years of Future Past 1 is probably the best X-Men book of the week. Pretty much everything about this comic works. If this mini-series remains good, then it’ll suggest that Marguerite Bennett should be given an X-men book of some kind.

    Giant Sized Little AVX is such a Scottie Young book, and that’s a very good thing.

    Spider-Man Renew Your Vows 1 is alright. Nothing particularly bad about it, but nothing that really stands out either.

    Secret Wars 3 is great. The character work with Doom shows how he’s a more complex character than a lot of people think. Even with all his power, he still has his insecurities and feelings. If the rest of Secret Wars can keep a good balance of exposition and character moments like this, it should be good.

  2. Hamburger Time permalink

    I’m just glad that Elixir’s alive and the generic monster thing Soule tried to feed him to is now dead.

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