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X-Men comics for July 1 2015

July 2, 2015

A day late, thanks to Canada Day, but here’s yesterday’s comics.

Years of Future Past #2, by Marguerite Bennett and Mike Norton. Christina and Cameron are each giving quick life stories – Christina grew up in a camp, surrounded by family, who taught her about all sorts of things, while Cameron grew up with his father, learning survival. They met each other while Chrissie was on a scouting mission, and they took an immediate liking to each other. That brings us to the present, where they’re under attack by a Sentinel. They flee into the sewers, where Chrissie asks what Cameron did to Blob. His mutant power is apparently merging – he can go into anything and come out at another point within the target. Mystique blames Kitty and the X-Men for selling her and Blob out, but Wolverine says they had nothing to do with it, and Chrissie calls for an end to mutant-on-mutant violence. Topside, Rachel is trying to free Storm, and wonders what’s powering the new generation of Sentinels, given the lack of gasoline and limited electricity. It’s Storm. Storm is powering them. Unwillingly. Rachel frees her. Back in the tunnels, the team reaches Centrum, a mutant safe haven in the old Morlock tunnels. On an interesting note, when Kate introduces Cam, she says he “belongs to” Wolverine. There’s some exploration of Centrum, and a whole lot of philosophizing, particularly a speech from Colossus about how great tragedies often start from small jokes, with his specific example being “there should be a test for becoming a parent.” This is a good issue, with a lot of character stuff going on, and some interesting plot developments. Nice to see Rachel, and to see her kicking some ass. Bennett’s doing some good stuff here. Norton’s art is excellent, too. He does a great job with the characters, and their expressions. I’m enjoying this. I’d like to see Bennett get another X-title after Secret Wars.

X-Tinction Agenda #2, by Marc Guggenheim and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Rachel is demanding to know where someone is, and Beast says they’re not screwing up the time-space continuum. She wants to know what they’re doing, and Beast says that Thunderbird, Wolverine and Banshee are all happy not being dead. Beast brought all three back from before they died. Apparently, “messing with time” has become something of a hobby for Beasts. Then boom. Fight! Rachel calls her X-Men, which includes Maggott. It’s Maggott! During the fighting, Kitty gets hit by one of Alex’s plasma blasts. I’ll be honest, I would not have recognized her as Kitty if someone didn’t say it was her. Nightcrawler takes Kitty to the infirmary so Reyes can check her out. Reyes says she needs Triage. Rogue pulls a Fastball Special with Wolverine, who’s never actually experienced one. Rachel arrives on the scene, and Wicked scares her off. Karma takes control of Rogue and has her take down Rachel. Nightcrawler brings Triage to Reyes, who turns out to be Mystique in disguise. This is another good issue. Mostly fighting, but there’s also some cool planning from Alex and his team. Karma actually gets to be pretty badass with her possessions – she takes over Rogue, Tempus, Beast and Wolverine, and also takes down Rachel. Seriously, she probably kicks more ass in this issue than anyone else on Alex’s team. Which is great to see, because I love Karma. So her getting a chance to really show off was very much appreciated. A shame about the art, though. I really, really don’t like Di Giandomenico’s art. He’s got bad design sense, and really weird perspectives, and a very narrow range of emotions, and it’s just not art that appeals to me in the slightest. Still, Guggenheim did a very good job here.

That’s the X-stuff, here’s some remaining Secret Wars stuff.

A-Force #2, by G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina. The sub-mariners report back to She-Hulk that they’ve found a portal. It shows some of the other domains. I see Angela, but more important, I see Baby Cyclops and Cap. Hell yes. That’s awesome. The portal collapses, with the sub-mariners barely escaping. Meanwhile, Nico’s sneaked Singularity into her room. She starts doing Singularity’s hair while Singularity plays with the cat. Singularity’s actually pretty adorable when she smiles. Loki comes in, and when she notices Singularity, she says She-Hulk has to be told. At that meeting, Singularity likes Dazzler’s lightshow – she really does have the cutest expressions. A portal suddenly opens, and a Sentinel falls out. The Sentinel throws a pillar at Dazzler, but Singularity teleports her and some bystanders on top of a roof. Dazzler gets grabbed again, while playing decoy, but Captain Marvel blasts her free, and she falls into Singularity’s arms. How is every expression she makes so damned cute? The team finishes the Sentinel off in a pretty cool way. This is a great issue, even better than the first. The fight is very exciting, and there’s a lot of really nice character stuff with Nico. There’s a cool confrontation between She-Hulk and Medusa. And Singularity is really, really interesting, a very compelling character. And, as I said, so Doomdamned cute. Seriously, Molina just keeps giving her these big cheerful smiles, and combined with her glowing white eyes, and the fact that her skin is made of stars, it’s just so adorable. His art in the rest of the issue is great, too. Really nice expressiveness, good fight choreography, it’s a great-looking book. Indications are that he will stay on after Secret Wars, which is great.

Giant-Size Little Marvel AvX #2, by Skottie Young. We start with the Theme Song, and a game of dodgeball. Cyclops immediately takes Cap out while Cap is still outlining the rules, and then gets taken out himself by an arrow-ball that smashes his visor, and then it’s war. Until recess is over. Professor Xavier introduces the new students, twins named Zachary and Zoe. The kids ask the twins some questions, with Arcade inviting them over to his house to play his indie game, Murderworld.  After school, the Avengers and X-Men both invite the twins to their secret clubhouses for the next day. We see some of the homes of the kids, as they go home and go to bed. The next day, the two groups – whose clubhouses are in trees right beside each other – are getting ready for the twins. The X-Men have a banner. So do the Avengers – created by Iron Man. Cyclops tells off Iron Man for being a rich daddy’s boy. Another hilarious and adorable issue. I love the constant fighting. There’s all sorts of funny cameos – Baby Ghost Rider gets a good one. Fewer bad puns from Cyclops, but him cheap-shotting Cap during the dodgeball game was gold. This is Skottie Young doing a story that’s good, silly fun. What’s not to love, really?

Secret Wars #4, by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. While the Cabal fight some Thors, Strange explains Battleworld, and why Doom is needed to rule it. Carol thinks he sounds insane. He says Doom defeated the Beyonders and took their power for himself because Strange was too frightened of it. Scott asks if the world shouldn’t be burned down and something better built in its place. At the fight, a call has been sent out for the entire Thor Corps. The fight against the Cabal isn’t going so great. One of the Thors instead says a prayer to Doom. Doom takes a look at what’s happening, and decides it’s north worth his intervention, especially when Strange arrives. Sue notices Reed, and senses something special about him, which Doom agrees with. he decides it’s time to get involved. Talk time! And that talk gets very intense. This is another solid issue. This is usually right about when events start to suck, but Hickman’s keeping it strong. There’s a lot of tension, and Doom talking to the survivors is a great scene. This series actually keeps getting better with each issue, which is virtually unheard of with big summer events. A lot of it comes down to Hickman actually, shockingly, increasing the character focus. It’s unexpected, given Hickman’s Avengers run was so devoid of character stuff. I do wonder at one thing, though: Pod. When will she pop up? I mean, she has to, right? Surely Hickman didn’t toss her outside of time just to leave her there? That has to have been setting up something. Ribic’s art is very good. It’s muddier than I like, but he does a good job with it. His style isn’t for me, but it’s top-notch work from him.

Future Imperfect #2, by Peter David and Greg LAAAAAAAND (shakes fist). In a flashback, we see Ross and Talbot flying a space rocket, trying to beat the Russians to space. The cosmic rays force them to crash-land. Talbot is turned to glass and partly shattered. Ross turns into the Thing. In the present, Hulk and Thing start fighting. Ruby gets grabbed by a dog soldier and taken away. The soldier turns out to be Layla Miller, which is the only reason I’m reviewing this issue. Also, fuck Greg Land that giant frigging hack just recycling the same traced faces every damned issue I hate him and I want him to never work for Marvel again. Seriously, good as PAD’s writing is, Land’s art makes the comic unbearable. It’s not so bad during the fight – which is luckily most of the issue – but any time a face is on panel? Ugh. His Layla Miller is just Emma Frost. So is his Ruby Summers. Of course, every single woman he draws in every single comic has exactly the same faces, with exactly the same expressions, because Greg Land is a hack. Ugh. Layla’s appearance is only brief here, so I shouldn’t even have bothered reviewing this issue.

Red Skull #1, by Joshua Williamson and Luca Pizzari. In Killville, Electro is at a bar, telling a story about him telling off some Thors by saying he only follows Red Skull’s law. Someone else comes in and shoots Electro’s friends, then drags him out to a truck. The truck also has Moonstone, Bucky, Magneto, Jack O’Lantern and Deathstrike. They’ve all done things that pissed Doom off, but he’s given them an opportunity to make it up to him. Years ago, Red Skull tried to lead an uprising against Doom, and was sent over the Shield to die. But there’s been rumours that the Skull didn’t die. The guy who’s captured them puts on his mask – it’s Crossbones. He’s working for Doom now, and he’s been tasked with finding proof of Red Skull’s death. So he found a bunch of lousy good-for-nothings – and Bucky, who volunteered. He sends them through a secret tunnel he made himself, while he stays behind to watch the gate.  Pretty good issue. Mostly set-up and exposition. Not much for Magneto and Deathstrike to do, but it looks like Magneto will get more focus going forward. I’m not a fan of Pizzari’s art. It looks off to me. Just weird.

Secret Wars Journal #3 has a Wolverine story by Frank Tieri and Richard Isanove. I suppose I should review it. Let’s see if Tieri can get through the story without Wolverine making a gay joke! Detective Wolverine has found Tony Stark dead. Pepper found him dead with a knife in his gut. She mentions he had a lot of enemies. Logan recognizes the dagger as belonging to the Mandarin and his Triad gang. Tony had issues with the Mandarin over a Fin Fang Foom dragon statue, which is now missing. Logan pays a visit to the Mandarin, who denies any involvement in Stark’s death. But Logan recognizes him as not being the regular Mandarin. The guy attacks Logan, but Punisher shoots him in the head. Then Punisher shows him a dead Whiplash, with the same tattoo as the Mandarin. They’re fugitives from the Age of Apocalypse, it looks like. There were three of them. Two are dead. No points for guessing the third. It’s a good Noir story, with a nice Battleworld twist. It’s obvious from the start who killed Stark, but the actual twist to it is a nice surprise. The art is good, too, giving a nice Noir feel to it. And Tieri even managed to restrain himself from making any gay jokes! Good for you, Tieri! I know it must have been hard, having Wolverine and Punisher on panel together without Wolverine calling Punisher gay. Good on Tieri for restraining his natural impulses on that.

I also want to mention Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson. It’s hilarious. It had me genuinely laugh out loud on almost every page, and the remaining pages still had me smiling and laughing inside. The two Thors try to break up a fight over pancakes vs. waffles. That’s all I’ll say. If that’s not enough to make you want to read it, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

From → 2015, Uncategorized

  1. I would like to see more of Marguerite Bennett on X-Men also. She really seems to understand the core of the franchise, the characters involved, the general mood of Days of Future Past, and is clearly creative in how she’s building on the story and making it her own. We’ll see – she’s already going to be the sole writer for Angela: Asgard’s Assassin after Secret Wars, and she’s supposedly writing the Gamora solo as well.

    Pretty much everything about A-Force 2 works. The story is interesting, the characters are fun, the art is fantastic and the action is intense.

    Giant Sized Little Marvel AVX 2 is classic Scottie Young – how could you go wrong with that? it’s a hard series to review in full though, because after a while you’re just on repeat, saying that it’s good in the same ways that all the issues are. Of course, that doesn’t make his work any less worth reading – he still finds ways to make fresh jokes and situations out of the same kinds of comics. The last few pages in this one are particularly good.

    Secret Wars 4 is so good. HIckman is a great writer when he actually focuses on characters, something he did a lot of in his Fantastic Four run yet often forgot about in Avengers. What really makes this event work so far is it feels like Doom’s story, and considering he’s at least among Marvel’s best villains, who better to focus this even on?

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