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X-Men comics for August 12 2015

August 13, 2015

Here’s a bunch of comics.

Years of Future Past #4, by Marguerite Bennett and Mike Norton. The surviving X-Men bust out of the ground, and reunite happily with Storm. Colossus says Chrissie and Cameron have been taken to Nightcrawler, and the X-Men decide it’s time for them to get their last gift to Chrissie. Meanwhile, Chrissie, Cameron, Kate and Kurt are fighting the Brotherhood and trying to save the mutant prisoners. Avalanche and Pyro are killed, but Destiny stands with a whole lot of guards, who threaten to kill the prisoners. Luckily, the X-Men’s last present to Chrissie happens to be a Sentinel. With the prisoners saved, Storm flies off to find Baron Kelly before he can stage the attack on himself. But then Cameron figures something out. The Sentinel they brought has three DNA signatures as targets: Kelly, Cameron himself, and Chrissie. Someone had to program those targets into their Sentinel, since Kelly didn’t know about it. Magneto! And then a much bigger twist.  One that actually didn’t feel set-up at all well. It had the potential to be a brilliant twist, but it’s not foreshadowed very well, and when it happens, it just ends up coming out of absolutely nowhere. There’s definitely some interesting ideas presented about mutants and superhumans being a mistake, something that shouldn’t have existed and which ruined the world. That idea’s really interesting, given just how many bad futures we’ve seen over the years. Still, that’s hurt a little by just how weird and sudden the twist is. Before that, though, the issue’s great. Some great action. The Brotherhood throwing in with the humans to save their own skins was cool, showing how far some people will go to survive. Chrissie gets a chance to be inspiring. Most of the issue is well-written. The art is great, too. Norton just does a fantastic job. The action scenes are done well. He does good work with crowds, too. He’s an excellent artist. The art enhances the story without drawing any real attention to itself. Mostly a great issue.

Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #3, by Gerry Duggan and Salva Espin. Shiklah and the Commandos reach Weirdworld, though I think it’s different from the one in the Weirdworld series. Meanwhile, Dracula knows someone’s spying on him. But he can’t find the Invisible Man. Obviously. Back in Weirdworld, Shiklah and Werewolf argue-flirt a bit while Deadpool whines. Three days later, they reach the temple Shiklah wanted to reach. They fight some wizard, and then find what Shiklah was looking for. Ugh. Just . . . no. Why. Why does this comic exist and why does it have to be so stupid and so awful. It’s not funny. It’s the opposite of funny. None of the jokes are the least bit amusing or clever. The funniest line in the entire comic is the Living Mummy saying, “Finally, a mummy ransacking a vault.” That is the single cleverest thing in this entire series up to date. That should give you an indication of just how completely it fails at anything even closely resembling comedy. This comic actually has an interesting premise and would probably be pretty good if it was serious. But the bad humour makes it unreadable garbage. The art fits the tone of the book, meaning it’s lame and uninteresting. This comic sucks. It sucks hard.

That’s the X-titles. Here are other comics.

A-Force #3, by G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina. She-Hulk is attacked by Sentinels. Before she can wreck them, three Thors – Sif, Valkyrie and Gamora (who uses a sword rather than a hammer, because she presumably prefers chopping off heads to just crushing them) – show up to subdue her. She flees back to the portal, and realizes the magic in it comes from Arcadia. Speaking of Arcadia, Medusa gives Singularity a lock of her hair to play with. She-Hulk gets back and declares they have a traitor. Then the Thors pop in. Before more fighting can break out, Medusa wraps her teammates in her hair and slams She-Hulk into the ground. The Thors are pleased, until Medusa throws them back through the portal. Another good issue. The opening isn’t great. It feels like it was there just to give the Thors an excuse to get involved, and I’m not sure that was necessary. They already had an excuse with the portals even existing. The other thing the opening does is allow She-Hulk to travel through the portal a second time so she can figure out there’s Arcadian magic. But it’s not explained how she figured that out. Since when does She-Hulk know anything about magic? So the opening wasn’t very good. Once She-Hulk gets back to Arcadia, things pick up. Medusa gets to be badass, and there’s some really good dialogue. The art is excellent. It’s crisp and stylish, and just great. We get less of Singularity being adorable, but we still get a little bit of it. One thing I’ll say is that Valkyrie almost looks like she belongs in an anime or something. There’s just something about the way Molina draws her, especially her face, that reminds me of anime for some reason. She’s the only one that makes me think that. It might just be me. Anyway! Mostly a good issue.

Ghost Racers #3, by Filipe Smith and Juan Gedeon. Gabe is watching the Ghost Race on TV, and gets to see Robbie disappear. Robbie reappears in downtown Doomstadt. Once he comes to a stop, he asks Eli how he got them away. Eli’s pretty elusive. He has no idea why Zadkiel couldn’t control him, he just knows he’s different from other igniter spirits. Also, he can change the car’s appearance. But then the other Racers show up. Blaze, Ketch, Alejandra, Slade, Ape-Man, a guy riding a giant chainsaw, the late ’90s one no one remembers (I think his name was Vengeance, and he has a bone spike Mohawk). It’s a race and a fight. Another great issue. The Racers get a chance to show off a bit, kicking Robbie’s ass. This issue is mostly action, but there’s plenty of Eli’s voice throughout it. He’s a lot less awful than in the normal continuity. And there is still some stuff with Robbie’s concern for Gabe. The art is fantastic. Kinetic and violent. And Geldeon clearly enjoys drawing the craziest shit he can get away with. I like Monkey Ghost Rider. As an aside, there’s a poster at one point for “E I N – The Upward Spiral.” A nice visual gag. Another poster is for A Perfect Square. Great issue. I’m excited for the finale.

Secret Wars #5, by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. The issue starts with the funeral of Sheriff Strange. Franklin says that when they find out who killed Strange, he’s going to smash them. Oops. Valeria feels an odd sense of guilt, since her team found the life raft that sent Strange out there and which led to his death. But mostly, she wants to know why they aren’t already dead. Doom says he can’t search, because he’s upset, and with his power, that might cause him to break the world. He also tells her to stop asking him questions. Then he goes down to visit the Molecule Man. He talks about the Beyonders. It’s exposition from the later issues of Hickman’s New Avengers run. We find out how Doom stopped the Beyonders – he and the Molecule Man started capturing Molecule Men, and when he, Strange and Molecule Man went to confront the Beyonders, the Molecule Men were set loose to steal their power and store it somewhere, and then the power was used to create Battleworld. And then it’s off to Val’s little Academy of Sciences, for more exposition and a plan to find the 616 survivors. We also learn where a few of them are. This issue is a bit of a step backwards. It goes back to being too much exposition. Again, some of it’s important – it explains how Battleworld came to be – but it still slows things down a little too much. Ribic’s art is good. He keeps the quality level with the earlier issues. He gets a bit of a  break as there’s some voids in the issue. So all he has to draw are the characters. He keeps the characters very detailed. This issue isn’t as good as the last two, but it’s still not bad.

Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #2, by Sam Humphries and Alti Firmansyah. On a completely pointless note, I just want to mention that I can now spell Firmansyah’s name correctly without looking it up. I think it’s a result of reading so many comics – there’s a lot of weird names among comic creators. Anyway. Quill and Kitty are at Pizza My ♥ in Manhattan. I approve of the name. By the way, according to Google, there’s actually a pizza chain in California by that name. Anyway, Kitty and Quill beat up the New Mutroids – robotic versions of the classic New Mutants. While fighting the Mutroids, they talk about the anomalies Kitty investigates. Quill insists that there was a world before Battleworld, and Doom is a liar. Kitty finishes off the Mutroids, then slices Doug out of Warlock’s body. She asks where Gambit the Collector is. He tells her, then threatens to expose her. Stab! When Kitty wakes up, Quill’s freed himself of the handcuffs. Then they get to talking. It starts off sweet, but Quill’s a dick, so it doesn’t stay that way. This is really good. Quill and Kitty have a fun chemistry. Especially when they argue. We get this Kitty’s backstory, and it’s pretty sad. Also, she’s pretty hardcore. The New Mutroids were really funny. At the risk of spoiling something, I also want to mention that there’s a cameo from Widget, from the original Excalibur. Yay Widget! I love Widget. “Oh gosh oh golly oh wow!” So, it’s a fun comic. And I love Firmansyah’s art. She continues to draw Kitty in that gorgeous evening gown. Seriously, if I was a woman I would totally want that gown. Firmansyah also does a great job with expressions. She has a bit of a cartoonish style that emphasizes facial expressions. They’re maybe a little exaggerated at times, but it’s fun. And she can do subtler expressions when it’s appropriate. I’m already a fan of her art. I’m hoping she gets more work from Marvel after Secret Wars. I don’t think she’s confirmed on anything yet, but she’s too good for them to not bring her back.

Master of Kung Fu #4, by Haden Blackman and Dalibor Talajic. We learn the truth about Shang-Chi killing Lord Tuan – he was forced to do it to save the Red Hand’s School – and Kitten convinces Danny Rand to save Shang-Chi from some poison. She follows as Shang-Chi goes to the final chamber, to face Zheng Zu. During the fight, Shang-Chi manages to go ghostly, learned from Kitten. He eventually turns Zheng Zu into stone, a trick he learned while researching a way to turn Kitten back to normal. And that’s it. I’m a little disappointed the Low Caste didn’t do more in this series. Even Kitten was almost absent from this issue. Ah well. It was still a cool comic.

From → 2015

  1. A-Force 3 seems to move a bit too quickly for the story to really develop. Otherwise it was good.

    Years of Future Past 4 brought in some brilliant twists to the story. It’s a good exploration of how that kind of apocalypse would affect different people so drastically different.

    Secret Wars 5 is good, but it worries me that the rest of the event will start relying on tie-ins too much when it’s actually felt self-contained so far. Hopefully that won’t happen.

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