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X-Men comics for August 5 2015

August 5, 2015

So the Deadpool trailer’s pretty good. It looks like the movie’s drawing mostly from Joe Kelly’s take on the character, which was the best take. Anyway, it’s now time for comics!

Age of Apocalypse #2, by Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval. X-Men vs. Elite Mutant Force! It’s nasty. Ramsey gives some thoughts on it, and the fighters. He thinks they’ve gone from being heroes to becoming dangerous. Quick cut to Dark Beast and Nemesis doing an experiment on Nightcrawler, then back to the fight, where Blink grabs Cypher, and Magneto orders the team to leave. Quick cut to Sabretooth paying a visit to Angel, to get information on the ambush. Then to the Xavier estate, for a brief chat between Doug and Magneto. This continues to be great. This is a really brief review, because a lot of the issue is taken up by action, which I see no reason to explain in any detail. But the action is really good, and there’s a lot of tension. Doug’s narration adds a lot to it, as he talks about how bad things are. The writing is solid, which should be expected of Nicieza. Nicieza, Lobdell and PAD were the three best X-writers of the ’90s. Sandoval’s art also carries a definite ’90s vibe that works well here. I’m enjoying this series.

Giant-Size Little Marvel AvX #3, by Skottie Young. First up, the X-Men show the twins their clubhouse, with a 400-inch 6-D TV. (6-D means the TV can kill someone.) And an ice roller coaster, created new every day so it’s never the same. Then Colossus gives them a pair of Fastball Specials, with Blob stopping them. Then Beast gives them serums to make them mutants. Finally, a visit to the Danger Room. The twins end up being thrown over to the Avengers treehouse, where Stark de-mutates them. And then it’s time for that tour. First, Capture the Flag. Then, a climb up to Asgard. Then, to a bouncy-castle made of webs, care of Spider-Man. (Wolverine’s there, too.) And then over to Iron Man, so they can use their twin psychic connection to control a robot. It . . . doesn’t go well. So adorable. So fun. So great. This comic is just full of laughs. The art is ridiculously cute, and there’s a lot of cute jokes. I’d highly recommend this to anyone with kids, or anyone with the maturity level of a kid. Like me. It’s great.

That’s the X-stuff. Now for non-X.

Ms. Marvel #17, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Ms. Marvel finally gets to meet Captain Marvel, her idol. She keeps her cool, obviously. “Everything sucks but you!” Carol does tell her she looks great, and loves the lightning bolt. She gives Kamala a quick explanation of what’s going on, and is less than convincing in saying things will be fine. She does give one hell of a speech about being defined by one’s actions. Kamala’s reminded of one of her Sheik’s lectures. “What will be in the book of your life? How will you be remembered?” Kamala decides to keep fighting, and asks Carol’s help. So it’s team-up time!  They stop a crime on their way, a trio of punk electricians trying to strip a generator. Carol mentions to Kamala that a lot of people have been impressed with her, and not to worry about feeling like a screw-up. Everyone feels like that sometimes. On the wharf, they hear something, and find a bunch of kittens in an apartment. Kitties! Kitties kitties kitties! Cute kitties! Kamala wants to help them, but Carol says they can’t save her brother with kittens in tow. Kamala feels bad about not being able to help everyone. Poor Kamala! And then – Kaboom! The henchgirl, not the sound effect. Actually, the sound effect, too. This issue’s exactly as great as you’d think. Kamala and Carol have a fun chemistry, with Kamala geeking out, and Carol being the wise mentor who’s sometimes a little weirded out. Wilson writes a great Carol. She’s got dry wit, compassion and intelligence. The scene where she explains to Kamala that sometimes the job means choosing between bad and worse was really sweet, and really sad. I also liked her speech to Kamala about choosing what she does with what’s around her. The writing is excellent throughout the issue. The art is also really good. Alphona continues to fill the backgrounds with funny little visual gags – once again, the kitten scene is a stand-out. A bag of catfood that’s Nermal’s Choice brand (Great 4 Kids!). Letters from D.B. Cooper, including one asking a Nigerian prince if he received some cookies. A cat with his head in a jar (of Pickled Hummingbird). Earlier on, there’s a pair of shops – downstairs is “Count Docula’s Benevolent Family Physician,” upstairs is “Lil’ Anya’s Body Disposal.” Next door is “Catapult Tours.” This comic is just sheer delight.

Siege #2, by Kieron Gillen and Filipe Andrade. Brand is trying to talk Leah out of leaving, but Leah says she stands a better chance in the Deadlands than Kang does, and also refuses to leave Illyana. Leah reminds Brand of when Illyana first arrived, in a double-page spread by Yasmine Putri. It’s been damned awesome. Leah and Illyana riding a giant werewolf Colossus, making out as it tears through zombies. Leah takes her leave of the Shield. Skip ahead a couple weeks, to five days before Thanos is scheduled to arrive and break the Shield. Kang tells Brand they’ve lost contact with the Hel-Rangers. Brand is about to kill Kang, but Summers stops her. Another flashback, this one by Kyle Strahm, to a messed-up Beast returning to attack the Shield as part of the Annihilation Wave. It’s a pretty gruesome spread. Great work by Strahm, though. Summers tells Kang that Brand won’t allow herself to love again, after McCoy. Grimm says he has news from Da Vinci. He tells her they only know of one Thanos who might fit the bill, the one from Infinity Gauntlet (I’m assuming it’s that one, since he mentions a glove). Brand decides to ask the two Units, who patch into the Ultrons and say there’s an attack coming. Another double-page spread, by In-Hyuk Lee, of an Ultron army. Lee’s art is fantastic. It’s a perfect match for the Ultrons – it’s dark, and almost looks like it was done on a particularly high-end computer. She orders a maximum alert. America and Kate are on their way, and Kate denies being scared, but a pack of large blue cats say she’s lying and is petrified. A very strange version of Kitty Pryde, apparently. Very cool. America does a good job comforting Kate.This is awesome. There’s less humour in this issue, though there is some. Instead, it’s mostly filled with pure badassery. Basically everyone is badass here. It’s great. The story is really interesting, and the character interactions are excellent. And the art’s great. I like Andrade’s style. I know a lot of people don’t, but I like it. It works well here – cartoony but still dark. The spreads are all gorgeous. Just fantastic work from all concerned. Big, epic battles. I’m loving Siege. I’m an unabashed Gillen fanboy, of course. But just the same, this is really, really cool. I’d highly recommend it.

Future Imperfect #4, by Peter David and Greg Land. I’ll specifically talk about the X-characters. The group are in the realm of Norseheim. Layla misses Jamie, her big monster dog. Skooter isn’t happy about working with the Maestro, and wonders if Ross shouldn’t be the boss any more. Ruby tells him to shut up. Eventually, the find Ulik, and Ruby blasts some of his trolls. This comic is well-written. The art is awful. So, pretty much the same thing I’ve said about the previous issues. Layla and Ruby get almost nothing to do here, either, so whatever.

Red Skull #2, by Josh Williamson and Luza Pizzari. Skull and Magneto fight against a bunch of zombies. Magneto still wants to kill the Skull, so Skull knocks him out. Magneto dreams of the Incursion that destroyed his world. Looks to have been the Age of X. He wakes up, and Skull cuts the ropes he bound Magneto with. Magneto wants to know why Skull saved him. Skull leads him inside a broken-down old Sentinel he’s turned into a shelter. (There’s a can of Trask Cooling Fluid, “Now with less cancer.” Nice visual gag.) Skull has been studying the Shield, and has found a weak point he can exploit, with Magneto’s help. Magneto refuses, and threatens to kill him. Skull invites him to do it, pointing at an adamantium dagger. Magneto’s unable to lift it with his power, and Skull says living under Doom has made him dead inside. Magneto tries to attack with the dagger in his hand, but fails. Skull takes him to New Xandar, land of the Annihilation Wave. He denies having attempted to assassinate Doom, and says he simply denied Doom’s godhood. They’re taken to Annihilus, and Skull says he’s brought a way to take down the Shield so Annihilus can expand his territory. This is pretty interesting. Red Skull is very charismatic and compelling, and very clever. All of which makes him very dangerous. Magneto comes across as something of a shell of himself, ruined by living under Doom’s rule. The writing is good. The art’s pretty good, too. Not really a style I like, but good. It reminds me a bit of Gabriel Walta. Not quite as stylized, but similar. All in all, a pretty OK comic.

I should mention Civil War #2, by Charles Soule and Leinil Yu. Stark sends a drone into the Blue, and it’s found by Storm, who tells Stark off, breaks his drone, and brings it to Colossus. He and Magneto turn it into a ball of scrap metal then hurl it back to Stark, with “Next time it’s a Hulk!” painted on it. It’s pretty cool.

I also want to talk about The Wicked + The Divine #13, the Tara (fucking Tara) issue. And, well . . . Tara. Fucking Tara. Poor girl. This issue is heartbreaking. It really is. Also, Tula Lotay’s art is so lovely. Wonderful work from her. But this is by far the saddest issue of this entire series so far. And yes, that includes #11. The deaths in that issue? Sad, but I was fine. This issue? Man, just absolutely heartbreaking, from start to finish.

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From → 2015

One Comment
  1. GSLMAVX 3 is just as good as the first two issues. My only complaint is that it takes a long time to write the title out in full, but then again, that’s part of the joke.

    Age of Apocalypse 2 is really good. Cipher makes for a unique and interesting protagonist for this version of Age of Apocalypse.

    Ms. Marvel 17 is just as good as I hoped it would be. Kamala and Carol finally teaming up is glorious, and Alphona’s visual gags are out of control in the best way possible. Dance Dance Confusion, the random pig that shows up everywhere, the crazy cat person’s various letters to different politicians (there’s a box full of letters to the president and another letter to the Queen in addition to the Nigerian Prince). In the first full page spread with the two heroes going through the city, there’s even a random fish and a … bizarre car accident.

    Siege 2 is also very good. It’s impressive how much of a sense of history the wall already has in only 2 issues, while the action still keeps up with a quick pace.

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