X-Men comics for August 19 2015
Air conditioning is one of the greatest inventions in human history. Here’s comics.
X-Tinction Agenda #3, by Marc Guggenheim and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Cameron Hodge wakes up, still a disembodied head, and the Genegineer says he brought Hodge back to kill mutants. Back in X-City, Rachel is briefing a team assembled to retrieve their friends taken prisoner on Genosha. The team is herself, Ink, Longshot, Storm, Rockslide and Thunderbird. Back on Genosha, Rictor goes to talk to Boomer, and gets hit with a guilt trip. Triage and Rogue are trying to do their thing to cure people, when the X-Men launch their attack. And then it’s a lot of fighting. This is pretty good. Not as good as the first two issues. It’s dominated by fighting, and with a better artist, that would make for a fantastic issue. Sadly, CDG is not that artist. He’s not bad, but he’s not great. At . . . anything, really. He’s really not a good dialogue artist, and he’s not a great action artist, either. It can sometimes be a bit hard to follow exactly what’s happening. Also, I hate his design sense. He has a poor sense of design. It’s a little too far towards practical, for one thing, but more than that, there’s a lot of same-ness to a lot of the designs. The writing in this issue is better than the art. We get some explanation of the plague, and we get the return of Cameron Hodge. Always nice to see him pop up again. He became a pretty interesting villain in the late ’80s. Especially when he went completely off the deep end for the original X-Tinction Agenda. We don’t really get to see that batshit crazy Hodge in this issue; he’s too confused by his surroundings. The Genegineer is lame. He’s a boring, generic bad guy. It’s actually a little hard to believe no one on Genosha knew he was so rabidly anti-mutant. I know comic book villains can keep secrets really well, but still, you’d think there would’ve been some clues that people may have picked up on over the years. Oh well. It’s just one of those standard fiction tropes you’re not supposed to think about too much. Along the lines of why people with super powers don’t use their powers to make money. All in all, this was still a good issue.
House of M #1, by Dennis Hopeless and Marco Failla. Magneto narrates about the life he’s led, and how he’s now a king. Meanwhile, the human resistance is still planning resistance, with Cage delivering a stirring speech. They’re attacked by the Red Guard, Wolverine’s security team. Hawkeye, Felicia and Misty almost escape. Back at Magnus’ palace, Quicksilver shows up to Lorna and Wanda’s breakfast. He’s supposed to be in Atlantis, negotiating a trade deal. Wanda is yelling at her boy over the phone. Then she sees them on the news, protesting for human rights. Back in the city, the three escaped humans are found by Sentinels, but they’re rescued by Deathlocket. Because why not, I guess? This is pretty interesting. There’s some nice intrigues going on. I like Wiccan and Speed apparently being mutant rights activists with a bad reputation. Wanda as the angry mother is oddly amusing. Hopeless does seem to be setting up quite a few plots to juggle at once. It should be fine, though. Failla’s art is pretty good. But he does such weird faces. They just look totally off. It’s weird and creepy and I don’t like it.
Inferno #4, by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Garron. Colossus is a bit shaken at seeing her sister expand Limbo. Longshot is spying on her. And Strange shows up with a couple Thors. Just generic ones, nothing cute. Strange appoints her as the new Baron of the Domain. The remaining X-Men are hiding in the subway. Jean tells Scott they should just try to escape, rather than try to find a way to fight back. She figures they’ve lost. Scott delivers an epic speech about standing their ground and taking back what’s theirs. Then they get attacked. Above, Colossus is leading the Goblin Queen’s forces through Illyana’s forces. While they all debate a little over what to do, Boomer shows back up. She leads them down into tunnels, where they meet the rest of the X-Men. This is really fun. There’s a lot of tension, of course. But then Tabby shows up and makes everything better just by being her delightfully crazy self. I love Tabby. I really do. She needs more use. But then, so do a lot of characters. I’m a little disappointed that the Maddie/Jean meeting didn’t get more space. They don’t really react to each other. Oh well, I suppose there was only so much space. Garron’s art is really good. He draws a messed-up New York, great expressions, and exciting action. And a delightful Tabby. Seriously, she just steals the book the moment she reappears.
That’s the X-stuff. Here’s a few other comics.
Secret Love, by a whole bunch of people. The first story is by Michel Fiffe, and is about Daredevil, Typhoid Mary and Karen Page. It apparently takes place during Inferno. Karen watched Daredevil fight some demons, and then fight Typhoid Mary. And then Typhoid turns into Mephisto. It’s a weird story. Very dark. Like, a lot darker than I expected of this comic. It’s good, though. I really dug it. Fiffe gives Karen a fairly nice voice, and he does a very nice job with the art. The art is perhaps the best part of the story. It’s a really good style. It has some very slight shades of Maleev, but nowhere near as dark. There’s some actual colour to Fiffe’s work. Faces are occasionally weird, though. Still, good story. Next is Felipe Smith’s story, about Robbie and Kamala. Yay! Robbie wins a race, and is being admired by Lisa. In the racetrack’s Circle Q, Kamala is hanging out with Bruno. The boss sends Kamala out with a Slurpee and hot dog for Robbie, as some advertising for the Circle Q. One of the monsters on the track suddenly attacks! Ms. Marvel and Ghost Rider knock it out. And then stare deep into each other’s eyes. I love this story. It’s awesome. They make an entertaining team-up. Kamala is dorky and cheerful, as she should be. Just irrepressibly happy. The art is fun. It’s very much a manga-influenced style, so it’s really expressive, and energetic, and fun. It’s a really good story, and it makes me hope the two get a team-up issue after Secret Wars, back in the normal continuity. Then Jeremy Whitley and Gurihiru do an Iron Fist/Misty Knight story. Misty goes to Colleen’s apartment, for help getting ready for a date. Danny’s gone to Luke and Jessica’s place for help, and a tie, because despite owning a company, Danny doesn’t own a tie. Also, Luke and Jessica apparently have a long-running argument on which type of peanut butter to buy. That is brilliant. Anyway, Danny and Misty are both really nervous. They both feel their marriage is having problems. At least their daughter is adorable. They go to dinner, and it’s awkward. Then they fight a dinosaur. Dinosaurs are apparently the ultimate relationship fixer. The story is adorable. It really is. The writing is adorable. The art is adorable. The characters are adorable. The fact that Luke and Jessica argue over peanut butter is adorable. All of it. Even the dinosaur. I love it. Next, Marguerite Bennett and Kris Anka do Squirrel Girl/Thor. Squirrel Girl wins a date with Thor. I’m already at, like, 94% of the yes. There’s dancing, there’s touching (and naming) Thor’s abs. There’s a chariot drawn by squirrels. The story is adorbz. It’s a story about Squirrel Girl winning a date with Thor. What more could you want? Bennett and Anka both clearly had a lot of fun with it, and it’s just great. And, finally, Katie Cook does an Ant-Man/Wasp story. With them as an actual ant and wasp. Ant-Man sends Wasp on a scavenger hunt. It’s so cute. So cute! The story has no dialogue, but it does have a few funny little captions here and there. And it’s just really, really cute. So, the book as a whole: Great. Aside from the first story, the comic is hilarious, and cute, and sweet, and fun. And the first story is still really good, just not, you know, funny or cute. So I’d definitely suggest giving this book a read. It’s great.
Captain Britain & the Mighty Defenders #2, by Al Ewing and Alan Davis. In the Domain of Mondo City, Maria Hill is both Baron and Thor. Maria Hill as Thor. Holy hell that’s a frightening thought. People from the Yinsen City domain are being put in detention zones, watched over by War Machine. I love this War Machine. “Look at all my guns!” It makes me laugh. Luckily, She-Hulk has a plan. Meanwhile, Boss Cage is interrogating Faiza. She frees herself by taking the sentient torture chair she’s in apart. Faiza is awesome. She then summons Excalibur from where it’s being studied. It smashes through walls to get to her. Again, Faiza is awesome. Especially when she gives a cheerful “bye!” Back outside, Boss Frost tries to read White Tiger’s mind, but isn’t prepared for the god living there. White Tiger: Also awesome. War Machine attacks the now-free Defenders, focusing on She-Hulk. Kid Rescue disrupts the energy walls of the cell, freeing the other detainees there. Spider-Hero attacks the guards. And She-Hulk takes out War Machine’s guns. Poor War Machine. And then Faiza confronts Boss Thor Hill. It’s a really good story. Very interesting. A great ending. I wish the series was longer. I mean, only two issues? Unfair. It’s too good to be so short. The whole issue works. There’s great action showing how competent the Defenders are as heroes. There’s Faiza being both a badass and also genuinely nice. There’s a wonderful twist regarding why Faiza was out in the wilderness in the first place. Davis’ art is as great as you’d expect of Alan Davis. This is just great.
Secret Wars Journal #4. There’s two stories, but the one I’m reviewing is by Sina Grace and Ken Lashley. In the Sentinel Territories, Northstar’s husband, Kyle, finds Psylocke, who’s been using her psychic powers to keep herself hidden under a false identity. He wants her help rescuing Northstar. She’s scared, and wants to live her life. He chews her out. Ultimately, she agrees to help. They attack the camp Northstar’s in, get a nice prison riot going, and find Northstar. It’s a good story. All about finding a reason to live, something to fight for and even die for. Grace’s writing is really good. She has a good handle on Psylocke’s voice. Lashley’s art is also excellent. He draws good rubble, and really exciting action. When Psylocke goes into action, it’s awesome to see. It’s a solid story.
Runaways #3, by Noelle Jones and Sanford Greene. The Runaways are in the 1872 town of Timely. Jubilee, Molly and Skaar go into the general store to steal things. It goes poorly, and they flee while being shot at. They return to the ship, where there’s lots of joking, except for Jubilee, who’s scared of losing anyone else. Delphyne gives her a hug. Later on, they end up in the Warzone, where the plan is to meet up with Cho’s parents. It’s a good comic. Jubilee’s little breakdown about not wanting to lose anyone was a nice touch. She’s really serious throughout the issue. It’s interesting to see, given she’s normally the one always making jokes.
I should talk a little about Guardians Team-Up #10, by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton. It features a team-up of Rocket and Deadpool. It starts with a fourth-wall-breaking section of Deadpool refusing to do a team-up, since he’s too big to be helping other books, until the writer points out Guardians is a massive franchise and might actually help his book. Then it’s off to the story, where Rocket and Deadpool meet each other on a mercenary mission. Macho Gomez, a stupid character from Way’s awful, stupid, awful Deadpool run is there. He needs help, and asks Deadpool and Rocket to help him. More mercs show up and try to kill Deadpool and Rocket. Then they’re attacked by Drakillars, creepy little space-monkey-bat-things. They find one of Cable’s weapon caches. This is a pretty mediocre story. The point seems to be that Deadpool just flies by the seat of his pants without bothering with tactics, while Rocket is obsessive about tactics and strategies. Except neither of those is true. Deadpool is fully capable of being strategic, and Rocket is capable of making shit up as he goes along. The writing is bland. The art is decent. Norton’s capable of better. This issue isn’t worth reading.
I also want to mention Loki: Agent of Asgard #17, by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett. It’s the final issue, and it’s wonderful. It’s just a beautiful story. More commentary on the nature of stories and myth, and also a really, really sweet final confrontation between Loki and Loki. It’s been a great run, and I’m sad to see it end, and I’m really hoping Marvel launches a new Loki series soon. The character seems to bring out the best in writers, bringing out stories that are really smart and really touching and really funny.
I will also mention Gamer Girl & Vixen #s 1 and 2, co-written by blogger Henchman-4-Hire. The writers are Kristi McDowell and Sean Ian Mills, the aforementioned blogger, and the artist is Gemma Moody. They funded the project through Kickstarter. It’s a pretty good amateur comic. Not professional-level stuff, but not bad. Some fun chemistry between the characters. The art’s not bad. Not a bad comic.