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X-Men comics for July 8 2015

July 8, 2015

I’m over halfway through the book I’m currently reading. But for today, comics.

Age of Apocalypse #1, by Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval. Holocaust leads an assault into the Savage Land. Destiny tries to get Doug to escape, but Holocaust kills her and is about to kill Doug. We get a mention of Sabretooth already having tried to capture Doug. He’s rescued by the X-Men – Storm, Dazzler, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Iceman, Exodus. The fight him and kick his ass, until he blows up. Doug seems to be the only survivor, and he’s found and taken to New Cairo, Apocalypse’s home base. Dark Beast, Dr. Nemesis and Sinister talk about him a bit, then bring him to Sinister’s Prelates – the Summers Brothers. Havok delights in torturting Doug, but Scott’s bothered by it. Sinister tells them to take Doug to the Flatscan Ghettos, and they decide to do it the next day. We meet Peter Corbeau, the Human Liaison, and Sheriff Carol Danvers. This is a really good comic. It’s definitely very reminiscent of the original AoA. Which I enjoyed, so this is cool. It keeps that same dark tone with just a hint of hope that the original story had. I like Doug in general, and Nicieza writes him really well here, especially near the end of the issue, when he starts reading between the lines to see what has everyone on edge. Also great was the fight at the start, as Nicieza shows why the X-Men are so damned good, and how impressive they are to people watching them. Sandoval’s art works well here, giving it a real ’90s feel. I still don’t like the style, of course. There’s still weird body proportions, weird angles, weird everything. But the ’90s had plenty of that, too, so it doesn’t feel out of place. Anyone who enjoyed the original Age of Apocalypse owes it to themselves to pick this book up. Especially if, like me, the more recent Age of Apocalypse book that spun out of Remender’s Uncanny X-Force left a bad taste in your mouth. Because that series was awful and destroyed everything worthwhile about the original, while this one honours what made the original so great.

Inferno #3, by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Garron. Colossus has climbed up Illyana’s tower, and stands in front of the door to her chambers. Illyana’s not there. Colossus thinks Madelyne’s betrayed him, but Domino calms him down. Maddie opens up the tower, to show Illyana leading a demon attack on the X-headquarters. Madelyne takes enjoyment in the situation – she’s now ruler of Limbo, and she hopes Illyana will lose the fight against the X-Men. The Demonic Nightcrawler is doing a lot of damage, and the joint Science/Magic team comes out to help. Scott tells them they can’t abandon their post protecting the force field generator, and the notices Illyana’s not on the battlefield any more. The series remains strong. The big X-Men/demon battle is really cool. Very big and chaotic, especially with a giant demonic Nightcrawler popping around. Plenty of cameos in that big battle. Colossus’ obsession with Illyana reaches dangerous levels, forcing Domino to talk him down. Madelyne is charmingly evil. Garron continues to do a good job on art, doing action and expressions equally well. Good series.

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #2, by Gerry Duggan and Salva Espin. We open with Deadpool reading Mark Waid’s Daredevil, and saying how awesome it is. Cute. Anyway, Shiklah and her escort reach the River Styx. Charon refuses to carry them across, saying he only carries the dead. Then he calls up some zombies to kill them so he can bring them. Marcus makes a lot of terrible puns, and Frankenstein gets scared of the zombies. Eventually, Charon agrees to bring them, but Frankenstein smashes his head. Once they get across the Styx – which is really just a stream – Werewolf By Night decides they need to have a talk. He admits Dracula ordered them to kill her, but says they’re not going to do it. She agrees to let them accompany her further. They also explain they didn’t kill the Invisible Man – he’s still spying on Dracula. They want him gone, and want to work with Shiklah to get rid of him. They have a short debate about who’s in charge, which she settles by kissing Werewolf. Bleh, this book is so unfunny. I think I might have smiled once, and that was about it. I certainly didn’t laugh. And considering how many attempts at jokes are in here, the fact that not one of them was funny is certainly a mark against it. It might’ve actually been better to treat this as a serious book, rather than a comedy book. The basic premise isn’t bad, but it’s dragged down by all the lame jokes. The art is the same. It’s bright and colourful and a bit cartoonish. If it were darker, more serious, it would be a lot more interesting. Hell, it might even enhance some of the jokes. (Some, not all. Probably not even most.) This is just bad.

That’s the X-titles. Here’s a few other Secret Wars books.

Ghost Racers #2, by Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon. Gabe feels bad about Robbie having to race, and worries about what’ll happen if Robbie loses. We get a flashback to before Robbie joined the races. Robbie and Gabe were sitting on their front step, with Gabe complaining about the heat. Guero and his buddies come up, and they greet Robbie and Gabe warmly. This really is an alternate reality. Three girls walk by, and one gives Robbie a look, so he goes to talk to her. Awkwardly. So, so awkward. Gabe tries to help by opening a fire hydrant, splashing Robbie and the girl. But then a robot cop shows up. Robbie jumps in front of Gabe and takes the blame, and the robot senses a spirit in Robbie, and calls a couple Thors. Then he’s brought to the Killiseum. He’s later shown to his car, and finds out he is a Ghost Racer after all. He loses the first race, with Alejandra winning and Ketch taking second. As an aside, the race set in the present includes a Ghost Rider on a shark. Yes. I think I also saw a Ghost Ape-Man. Which is amazing. This is an awesome issue. There’s a lot more character focus this time around, and we learn a little bit more about the Races. The stuff with Robbie and Gabe is touching, as usual, and it was actually pretty nice seeing them as friends with Guero. Guero still comes across as a douche, but a more tolerable douche. Gedeon’s art works equally well for everything. He does the action of the races well, but he also draws a cool nightclub, and he does a very hot city street. I love this book. I really, really hope Smith gets another title at Marvel after Secret Wars. He’s a talented writer, and he deserves more work.

Secret Wars 2099 #3, by Peter David and Will Sliney.The Avengers and Defenders are staring each other down, while Hargood, the guy they’re there for, slips away unnoticed. He gets in a very, very brief fight with Sub-Mariner and Valkyrie. Hercules hits on Valkyrie, who’s dating Roman the Sub-Mariner. So, naturally, the two men start brawling, until Silver Surfer breaks it up and makes them apologize to each other. Cap and Strange debate which of them will get Hargood, and reach an agreement. Hulk punches Hercules, just for fun. Back at Alchemax, Miguel is trying to torture Hargood into saying what he knows about the attempt on Cap’s life. Hargood turns out to be the grandchild of Baron Mordo. Meanwhile, Hawkeye is trying to chat to the Defenders, and failing. Hercules asks why Valkyrie chose Roman over him, and that only a god is a suitable mate for a Valkyrie. She points out they’re not even the same religion. Which is a good point. Hawkeye suggests they have a drinking contest. Which turns out as hilarious as you might expect. And then things get tense, and bad. Another solid issue. Hercules and Roman make fun rivals. Valkyrie actually seems less annoyed than I would expect – I suppose she’s mellowed with age. A hundred years of putting up with people being idiots has probably made her a lot more patient. I am glad that she’s a part of the Defenders 2099, though – honestly, any Defenders line-up feels incomplete without her. I know Strange, Hulk, Namor and Surfer are seen as the classic Defenders line-up. But she joined the team only a few issues into their series, and lasted right to the end, the only one who did. Miguel seems to be moving towards straight-up villain here, which is interesting. Sliney’s art remains mediocre. It’s not offensive, at least. But it’s just bland and uninteresting.

Runaways #2, by Noelle Stevenson and Sanford Greene. Valeria leads the opening ceremonies, before the big test of worthiness everyone has to take. In the locker room, Jubilee is complaining about being Team Puce, since she doesn’t even know what puce is. Pixie wants Jubilee to try to make up with Sanna.  Jubilee agrees to do it, for Pixie. She does try, but Sanna just tells her to stay out of her way. Once they all go into the Final Exam room, with a simulated environment, Amadeus starts thinking of ways to game the system. They start fighting holographic robots. I just want to note that Delphyne apparently uses her own hair-snakes as arrows, and that is awesome. Anyway, Amadeus starts leading them to cover, but because Jubilee screws around, Pixie gets hit and disappears. They enter into a glitched area where the system can’t detect them, and they find out the truth about what’s going on: The simulations were other students. Their dead bodies are around them, including Pixie’s. They all agree that they need to run away from the school. This is a good issue. Better than the first one. Loads of tension. Still some humour, but mostly tension. The big reveal is really cool. Shame that Pixie’s dead, though. That leaves only one X-Man left in the book, and the main reason I was reviewing it was because there were X-Men present. I’m not a fan of the art. It’s a style I don’t like. An odd mixture of sharp and vague. I don’t like it.

Master of Kung Fu #3, by Haden Blackman and Dalibor Talajic. We see the Masters of the various Houses: T’Challa of the Panther Clan, Ava of the Jade Tiger, Drew of the Spider Cult, Karnak of the Terrigen Mists, Namor of Atlantis, Creed (a female one) of the Tooth and Claw, Spector of the Moon, Lady Mandarin (Psylocke) of the Spirit Blades, Sai of the Red Hand, and Rand-K’ai of the Iron Fist. Then Shang-Chi announces his own entrance, as Master of the Lowest Caste. Kitten follows Shang-Chi into the Thirteen Chambers. Not much mutant content in this one, which is a shame. Still a great comic, of course.

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From → 2015

7 Comments
  1. G'kar permalink

    Most those books were pretty good, I don’t know if you read Spider Island yet or if you’re going to but if you have I wonder do you think of…… Spoilers feel free ignore if you haven’t read Spider Island.

    At the end when Agent Venom injects Carol you the same stuff that turn michael morbius into the living vampire thus truing Captain Spider Marvel into Captain Vampire Marvel. Maybe, it’s just me but I kink find the idea of Vampire Carol interesting.

    • I have no problem with Captain Vampire Marvel in a what-if story like this. It doesn’t strike me as actually having all that much “life” as an actual story, though.

  2. I’d say Age of Apocalypse 1 feels like a love letter to the original event, except it’s written by one of the original writers. I guess that’s part of the reason it works, It’s almost identical in tone to the original story, yet there are enough differences to make it feel fresh and new. Fabian Nicieza is one of the few writers from that era that’s still on top of his game. The art is very much 90’s, but it’s consistent and detailed enough that you could say it’s good, even if its not your style. I wouldn’t go quite so far to say Rick Remender’s revisit destroyed the original story, but it’s definitely inferior.and doesn’t do it justice. I’d sooner say the 2005 mini-series did damage to the original event.

    Inferno 3 takes a very dark premise and somehow makes it a lot of fun. Also, Colossus and Domino make a great couple.

    • Nah, I would definitely say Remender destroyed AoA. He killed off almost all the characters, turned the world into an even greater shithole, and generally did everything he possibly could to take a grim and gritty setting and make it even worse. There was nothing left of the soul of the original AoA. I will never forgive Remender for what he did to the AoA.

  3. Just curious, but are you intending to only review the print editions of X-Men ’92? Because I do enjoy reading your thoughts on the other books, and that one’s been going increasingly weird and meta over digital 3 and 4.

    Otherwise, basically echoing what you said r.e. AoA and Inferno. Pleased with both so far. And I’ve never much cared for Duggan’s various Deadpool books, so, money saved there.

    • I genuinely keep forgetting about X-Men ’92. I think I might have missed the first print edition, too. I’ll probably stick to the print editions, when I remember them.

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