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X-Men comics for July 15 2015

July 16, 2015

So, here’s yesterday’s comics.

Years of Future Past #3, by Marguerite Bennett and Mike Norton. Lockheed is huge. Kate explains that some radiation-based Sentinels mutated him, making him huge and half-blind. She asks him to fight the Sentinels while the other mutants get to safety. He busts out of the ground and attacks the Doom-Sentinels. Storm helps out, too. One of the Sentinels blasts Lockheed out of the sky, and a wall almost collapses on Cameron, but Kate saves him, calling him her son. Soooo . . . that ends any Chrissie/Cameron shipping, I guess. Right? Because they’re both the children of Kate and Colossus. Kate takes them to a Doom Cathedral in Coney Island, run by Nightcrawler. Kate explains to Chrissie and Cameron what happened. Chrissie goes off to be alone, and after an emotional talk with Kate, Cameron follows her. He jokes about their situation being very Star Wars, a reference Chrissie doesn’t get. Poor girl’s never seen Star Wars. She really has had a deprived childhood. Another excellent issue. This issue has some stuff about how messy growing up is, and how weird an age 14 is. And it is. There’s some strong emotional stuff here, with Kate, Chrissie and Cameron. Nightcrawler showing up is neat. The twist at the end of the issue is neat. Bennett’s doing great work here. Norton likewise does excellent work on the art. The action is exciting, and the emotional scenes are tense and heavy. He does an excellent job with expressions – Chrissie’s little smile when Cameron tries to cheer her up is just wonderful. Also, badass giant Lockheed! Woot! Loved that. But then poor Lockheed gets hurt. I hope he’s OK.

Battleworld #3 has a Wolverine story, by Ivan Brandon and Aaron Conley. Mojo, a pirate radio host, has set up a fight between various Wolverines. Lots and lots of Wolverines. Too many to even describe. Spiderverine is a particular stand-out. Antverine. What looks like Rancor, the 30th Century female descendant of Wolverine (from the ’90s Guardians of the Galaxy series). Watcherverine. Daken’s in there, and I think Raza is being killed, with a sound effect over his face. Various different looks for the main Wolverine (including his time as Death, and when he was more feral and wore a bandana over his upper face, and his New X-Men look). Just so many Wolverines. There’s one Wolverine who’s staying out of the fighting, meditating peacefully. The fight is brought to him, but he refuses to fight, trying to create peace. It’s kind of a meh story, with the various Wolverines being the only cool thing about it. The art is ugly, and there’s just no seeming point to the story. There’s also a Deadpool story, by Ryan Ferrier and Logan Faerber. A Western version of Deadpool is riding Lockjaw through a desert, in search of a new steed. He’s looking for Devil Dinosaur. Moon Boy attacks Deadpool, and Deadpool beats him. Lockjaw attacks Devil, against Deadpool’s wishes. Devil eats Deadpool, but then vomits him back up. Moon Boy suggests the four of them travel together. I suppose it’s a fun story if you like Deadpool being really annoying. A lot of people like that. I found the story pretty meh. With ugly art, again.

And non-X-Men.

Siege #1, by Kieron Gillen and Felipe Andrade (with two-page spreads by Andrade, James Stokoe and Jorge Coelho). 10 years ago, Brand won a Secret War, and was sentenced to the Shield, which is what she wanted. Cut to the present. Brand is woken up by Leah. Leonardo comes in with a message from some Units, reporting an impending attack. Brand heads out to organize a defence. 1602 Kate meets Ms. America. They already have a fun chemistry. A Ben Grimm serves as transport to the area being attacked. It’s giant ants. After the battle, Brand and Leah chat. Leah is going to be leaving the Shield, to search for her lost love, Illyana. Her replacement as Brand’s second is Kang. Brand is not impressed. And the final double-page spread shows what happened 30 years ago, when the Shield last failed. This story’s already off to one hell of a start. Some crazy ideas, lots of references, sharp dialogue, and a compelling premise. Brand is her usual delightful self, but even harder. Andrade’s art is somewhat hit-or-miss for me here. There’s some pages that look really nice, and other pages with weird faces – in particular, the Kate/America scene has weird faces. But the Brand/Leah stuff looks much better. Andrade draws a really, really pretty Leah. He makes her look very graceful. Truthfully, aside from the Kate/America scene, this is a very good-looking book, though not the best-looking book of the week, by a long shot. Still, it’s good enough that, coupled with the writing, it’s a fantastic read. I’m already loving this book, and I’m so psyched to see how it goes.

Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1, by Al Ewing and Alan Davis. We start years ago, with Stark sacrificing himself so Yinsen can escape in the Iron Man armour. Not a new idea, of course. A few years later, Yinsen is delivering a speech in honour of the progress made in the world. Then – boom, Incursion. He wakes up in a meeting with She-Hulk, saying he had the dream again, of a planet in the sky, and Stark sacrificing his life for Yinsen. He knows it makes no sense, but he wonders what came before Battleworld. She-Hulk says that as Thor of that realm, she’d have to arrest him if she heard him say that. As an aside, She-Hulk has a gavel. (Yinsen asks why a gavel. She raises her fists: “Because I’ve got my hammers right here.” Awesome.) She heads out to talk to Hobie Brown, Spider Hero Man. He’s had dreams of Spider-Man dying. Antonia Yinsen (Kid Rescue) and White Tiger let She-Hulk know about a woman approaching the wall bordering the Warzone. It’s Faiza Hussein. White Tiger thinks they should let her in – that utopia can’t just be for people lucky enough to be born there. Faiza breaks the wall with her sword, then apologizes. She talks about her own memories of Britain, which none of the others have heard of. She also says Doom isn’t god, which Yinsen remarks is Heresy Plus. But he also says she’s right. Unfortunately, Doom’s heard the whole thing. This is awesome. I love it. Ewing and Davis are both top-notch creators. Davis is an artistic icon (and a writing icon, but he doesn’t write this comic, so that’s irrelevant right now). He’s got a very distinctive style, particularly his faces, and it’s a very cool style. This issue has little action in it, but I know he does action well, so I’m looking forward to that. This issue is mostly talking, and Davis keeps it interesting by varying angles. And Ewing, of course, does an excellent job with the dialogue. There’s a lot of humour, and a lot of intrigue. I love that he makes Faiza oddly adorkable right after she broke an unbreakable wall. As an aside, She-Hulk is the only main character who doesn’t belong to a real-world minority group – Yinsen and his daughter are both Vietnamese, Spider Hero is black, White Tiger is Latina, and Captain Britain is Muslim, though I forget if her racial background’s ever been mentioned. One final thing that I found hilarious: “Hello, everybody! Look at all my guns!” I’m not giving the context for that line. It needs no context. It’s hilarious regardless.

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #2, by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kelly Thompson and David Lopez. Carol is checking out where that ship was destroyed, and finds a piece of the hull. The ship was named the Albatross. She heads back to barracks, and the sailor wakes up. He’s Captain Rhodes. Yay! He needs a doctor, so Carol brings a woman in to check him out, Dr. Nayar. Nayar treats him, but then warns them that they can’t keep him there, and that as an officer, she has a responsibility to Doom. Bee shouts that “Doom is lies!” Which is just an amusing line, truthfully. The Corps keep making their case to Nayar, and she eventually has to concede. They let her leave, and then they make plans to fly up to the Void. Solid. The Corps continues to grow more suspicious of everything they’ve been told, and more determined to find the truth. Dr. Nayar is interesting. The Baroness actually comes across pretty creepy in her scene. There’s some good characterization with Helen, in particular, showing how rebellious she is. Lopez’s art is very nice. Very shiny. It’s good stuff. This is a great comic. I’ll be sad when it ends, and KSD leaves Marvel completely, at least for the time being. I hope she comes back before too long.

Edit: I forgot to talk about Island #1! The story by Emma Rios is amazing. The art, obviously, is gorgeous. Stunning work. Fluid, intimate, alive. Masterful use of facial expressions and body language. You can tell exactly how each character feels at every moment. but it turns out, Rios can also write. She writes really well. Actually, her style reminds me of Kelly Sue DeConnick. Which makes sense – they’re friends, and they’ve collaborated a few times. And KSD is a very human writer, and Rios is a very human artist, which is why they work so wonderfully together. So it’s natural that Rios’ style would have some similarities to DeConnick’s. Regardless, Rios’ characters have a real depth and humanity to them. And as a bonus, one of them is a transgender man. She’s also developed an interesting setting that’s revealed slowly, and an interesting premise that’s revealed equally slowly. I loved her story, and I’m eager to read the second part. It’s a shame that the indications are that it will only be a two-part story, because I could definitely read it as an ongoing. As an aside, Rios also provided a couple illustrations to accompany a text piece by Kelly Sue DeConnick. KSD wrote of her friendship with the writer and poet Maggie Estep, who died early last year. It’s a very personal, very emotional piece. But also with plenty of humour, because that’s life.

The Brandon Graham story was . . . weird. Very surreal. I’m honestly not sure I liked it. It’s just so bizarre that I can’t figure out how I feel about it. There’s some elements I definitely liked. And then there’s a lot that I just can’t decide about. Ludroe’s story is pretty cool. Not enough to make me want to look into more of his work, but it’s some good stuff. Kind of a cool depiction of skateboarding, too.

All in all, Island is a good book, but I’m not going to keep picking it up after Rios’ story finishes.

From → 2015

  1. Years of Future Past is probably the best X-Men tie-in for Secret Wars so far. I’m now convinced that Marguerite Bennett deserves a chance at an ongoing X-Men book if she wants it.

    I glanced at the Wolverine fight in Battleworld 3 and it just looked dumb, with a bit of an abrupt ending too. It also leads to a complaint of mine. So far, there’s no sign of X-23 appearing anywhere in Secret Wars. For someone who is supposed to be taking on Wolverine’s identity after the event, you’d think she’d appear somewhere.

    Siege 1 is brilliant. I’m not a fan of the art style, but it works and I’m sure some people will like it. The story though; it’s not only a creative look at the SHIELD wall, but it already feels like the most important tie-in for Secret Wars.

    Capetian Marvel and the Carol Corps is great, but by this point, should we expect anything less from Kelly Sue DeConnick? I’m sure a lot of credit goes to Kelly Thompson for the story and writing too.

  2. Siege #1 was an interesting read. Odd (and exciting) to see one of the tie-in books seemingly tease something that’s yet to transpire in the main Secret Wars book, I’m still generally digging Andrade, and the full cast is introduced well, albeit not really implemented for anything yet. I kicked myself when someone on the CBR boards suggested Ben Grimm IS the Shield – that seems so obvious after how he seems to ‘morph’ out of it here. Plus it continues Doom’s bastardization of the F4: he’s taken Reed’s role, he’s married Sue and forced Johnny to be the sun…Ben’s the only one missing. Him being the Shield has the same ring to it as Johnny’s treatment, where Doom wants him out of the way but is hung-up on trying to ‘respect’ them in a twisted sense, by making them integral to Battleworld. Also interesting to note just how deep the mind-warping effects of Battleworld life affect people, with Brand having 30-year-old memories of a world that’s only existed for 8.

    Captain Britain and Yadda Yadda was delightful, but I am exactly the kind of person who dreams about Judge Dredd invading the Marvel Universe, which is basically what happens here. Even stuff like the ‘instruction sheet’ for the Overseer handgun is ripped word-for-word from an old 2000AD issue. Lovely.

    Captain Marvel continues to be great because of course it does. The more time Lopez has spent on the book, the better he’s gotten, and I dug him to begin with. I’d actually figured Jolene from the Banshees as a sort-of rule 63 Rhodey (not just for skintone – the crew cut and the fact she’s the only Banshee whose uniform is 100% to spec without rolled-up sleeves or added personal effects is a very Rhodey look) so it was a little surprising to have him turn up. Shocker of an ending, too.

    Also picked up Where Monsters Dwell #3, not sure if you tried that one. It’s gone very different from how I expected – I wouldn’t say it’s become a pro-feminist book (maybe it is?) but it is a very anti-misogynist one, with Phantom Eagle repeatedly shoving his foot in his mouth and getting beaten up for it. It’s all very tongue-in-cheek, and of course this is a ‘hero’ with 1920s values or whatever, but the things he’s saying are very in-line with current MRA types, which does make it pretty satisfying when the idiot suffers.

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