X-Men comics for August 26 2015
Woot comics OK let’s do this.
E Is For Extinction #3, by Chris Burnham, Dennis Culver and Ramon Villalobos. The X-Men stand united against an army of Beasts. That includes Beak and Angel’s kids. Emma and the Cuckoos join forces, pretty awesomely. And they discover the leader of the Beasts isn’t what he seems. “Something . . . viral. Something Sublime.” Yay Sublime! Weird, weird concept, not one I entirely liked from Morrison (ancient being who secretly shaped the history of the world are overdone), but it’s cool to see him show up here. Of course, he’s taken control of Beasts from all over Battleworld, which does also apply to this one. But then we get a pretty surprising twist via Quire. And then one hell of a cliffhanger. This comic just keeps getting crazier all the time, and it’s great. “No-Boy” delivers an epic speech. The Bohusk family, with the rest of the Atom Academy, gets a nice Big Damn Heroes moment. There’s a bunch of twists and turns that never come off as ass-pulls, but instead feel like reasonable ways if including elements from Morrison’s classic run. The art also does a good job of capturing the feel of Frank Quitely’s work. Emma and the Cuckoos telepathically joining together was especially cool-looking. And the art during “No-Boy’s” speech also did some really cool stuff. This is a great book. Definitely worth reading for anyone who enjoyed Morrison’s New X-Men.
Old Man Logan #4, by Brian Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino. Logan’s killing zombies. He has been for quite a while. He manages to escape them and finds cover in a cave, where he finds a She-Hulk (wearing a Fantastic Four costume). She apparently crossed Doom, and got sentenced without a trial, which offends her as a lawyer. Then they fight zombies some more. At this point, I think Bendis has just forgotten he’s supposed to be telling a story. I honestly think he just looked at Sorrentino’s art, and just decided, “To hell with it, I’m just going to let him draw things.” I don’t even mean that as a criticism of Bendis, because I can’t blame him for that decision. Sorrentino’s art is stunning. I wish, so hard, that he were doing a non-Wolverine title. Bendis has been doing a mediocre job, just having Wolverine thrown from one domain to another, with little narrative, and not a whole lot of character exploration. This issue does have him wishing he’d never left his territory. His conversation with She-Hulk is also fun, actually – he writes a fun She-Hulk. But if you’re reading this series for anything other than Sorrentino, you’re reading it wrong, because Sorrentino is just killing it here. He does great layouts, and stunningly gorgeous art. He’s the real draw of this book, and I think he’ll always be the main draw of any book he works on, because he’s just that good.
Magneto #21, by Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Walta. It starts with a flashback to his very first battle with the X-Men, then cuts to the present, with him trying to save the world. Then another flashback, to him sinking the Russian sub, Leningrad. He reflects that he’s always been a monster. Down on the ground, Polaris and Briar argue a little, with Briar saying he stole Polaris’ power so he wouldn’t have to sacrifice her, while Polaris says he’s always been good at letting the ends justify the means, which leads to another flashback, to right after he nearly ripped apart the Earth’s magnetic field, and was given rule over Genosha. And then he reflects on what an asshole he actually is. This is pretty good. An exploration of who Magneto truly is, beneath it all. It does get a bit heavily melodramatic at times. And I’m still not a fan of Walta’s art. I just find it too rough, too sharp. This series never really blew me away. It was OK, just not to my tastes.
Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #4, by Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli. This issue opens with Deadpool and Wasp just having had sex. It happened right after Doom became god, but before he killed all the heroes. Then we cut to right after all the heroes have been revived. Wasp talks to Deadpool about Zsaji’s death. Cut back to the heroes talking to Doom right after he became a god. Then to the heroes trying to assault Doom. Deadpool follows Cap to the confrontation with Doom. The Beyonder comes out of Klaw to try to reclaim his power, but Deadpool blocks him. He ends up in another plane of existence, where he realizes he lives in a comic book. This suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. Just an unfunny, pointless waste of time. The writing sucks, the art is bland, the whole thing is just bad. Bad bad bad. Bunn is one of the most inconsistent writers I’ve come across. Sometimes, his work is pretty good. Very seldom great, but pretty good. Other times, his work is downright awful. He’s better at dark stuff than light stuff. He’s done a bunch of Deadpool mini, and when they’ve been dark – Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, or Night of the Living Deadpool – they’ve been enjoyable. When they’ve been more humour-focused – Deadpool Kills Deadpool, or this piece of shit – they’ve been painful. He should just stop trying to do funny books. He can’t do it. He’s not competent enough to pull those off. So he should just stick to what he’s actually good at.
That’s the X-titles, here’s a couple other comics.
Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps #3, by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kelly Thompson and David Lopez. Carol manages to save Helen from the exploding rocket. The Banshees run out to check things out, leaving Rhodey in the barracks. Carol tells them all to get ready to leave, even if she has no idea where they’re going. They just need to get off-base. Carol grabs Rhodey and takes him with them. The Banshees and Carol each get planes tailing them. Carol shakes them off with “The Thing.” Nice callback to the first issue. This continues to be a really good, really fun series. This issue’s got a lot of tension, with them scrambling to get off the base and away from their pursuit. But there’s also some room for humour in there. Helen cheering for “The Thing” was fun. There was also an amusing scene between Carol and Rhodey, where she shows him how to put on the Go-Bag. Lopez gets to have some fun with the chase scene. He does a really good job with it. He makes it very exciting. I also like the scenes in the control tower. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about the art in those panels that’s appealing to me. I think it’s the variety of women there. Three in particular – the Baron (who’s a skinny old lady), a chubby girl, and a thin Muslim woman. Those are the main three there. But Lopez works to make each character in the book look distinct. He gives different body shapes and faces to each one, and colourist Lee Loughridge gives them different skin colours. Not just for different races, but even among races, there’s shading differences. It’s always nice to see that sort of diversity among characters, where they don’t all look like the same statuesque supermodels. I’m enjoying this series.
Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra #1, by David Mandel and Michael Walsh. First, I want to mention that the cover is great. Amanda Conner does a great Steranko homage (to whom she apologizes, which amuses me). Then the story starts with another Steranko homage, with Nick Fury climbing the outside of some facility and sneaking in. He takes down a couple Hydra goons, one of whom is Hank Johnson. At home, he’s nursing his head with a pack of frozen peas, and his family starts in on being a family. Which means complaining and stuff. His kids are brats, and he argues with his wife about money problems. Later on is a funeral for a Hydra agent who died. MODOK sings Amazing Grace. After the funeral, Hank and his wife go to his kids’ school, where the principal says it’s a nut-free school. A Hydra school with a ban on nuts. Allergies, of course. Then a softball game. Then a birthday party, where the baby drinks Red Bull. This is enough for Hank to agree with his wife that they need a nanny. He applies for a raise and promotion, and now works under Viper, who blatantly flirts with him. Then there’s Hallowe’en, with the kids dressing up as Avengers to go Trick Or Treating. Then a party thrown by Viper. This comic’s hilarious. It’s just a bunch of banal stuff based around a Hydra agent. There’s absolutely nothing not to love about it. It’s basically just a story about being a middle-aged family man, having to deal with all the mundane realities of everyday life. But he’s a Hydra agent, so there’s that nice contrast, providing a sense of absurdity to it all. The art also contributes to that. It gives a sense of normalcy, even banality, without actually being boring. This is a really fun book.