X-Men comics for September 9 2015
Better late than never, right?
Giant-Size Little Marvel AvX #4, by Skottie Young. Off the bat, we learn that Skottie Young thinks Galaxy is a stupid word that rhymes with nothing. The X-Men, Avengers and Guardians are all arguing about who gets Zachary and Zoe, the twins. Before they can make a choice, Medusa and the Inhumans make their bid. Medusa says they’re royals, and mentions their royal treehouse. Cyclops makes fun of her for saying royals a lot. She shows them a couple kids being transformed with Terrigenesis, and it makes them freaks. Cyclops laughs, so Black Bolt yells at him, which hurts him pretty badly. More arguing! Even the Avengers think Black Bolt went over the line. There’s more arguing, until Zachary and Zoe yell at them. Iron Man, Cyclops and Medusa all apologize for their behaviour. Then they all fight, because it’s still Little Marvel. It seems to be all-on-all. Little Ms. Marvel is there! Yay! Awesome. Adorable. Hilarious. It’s Skottie Young doing Little Marvel, how could you not love it? It’s a pure delight from start to finish.
Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #4, by Gerry Duggan and Salva Espin. It’s a battle between Shiklah’s forces and Dracula’s. A Monster Mash, a joke that fortunately doesn’t get made. Dracula grabs Shiklah, but Werewolf jumps to her defence. Then gets his throat torn out by Dracula. Mummy, Frankestein’s Monster and Marcus all get killed, too, and Dracula gets the Manticore Sceptre. He orders all her people killed. Ghostpool possesses the vampire holding the sceptre, and throws it to Shiklah. She kills Dracula, and takes over as ruler. Meh. Meeeeeeh. This is so meh. This isn’t as bad as the past couple issues, I guess. At least it doesn’t continue the war on comedy. Instead, it’s just boring. The writing, the story, the art – it’s all so damned boring. This entire series was boring to the extreme. Bah.
That’s the X-Men stuff. Here’s other comics.
Siege #3, by Kieron Gillen and Felipe Andrade (with double-page spreads by Juan Totino Tedesco, Juan Jose Ryp and Michael Kaluta). It starts with Tedesco’s spread, and holy shit. It’s gorgeous. I’ve never even heard of Tedesco, but damn. I may have to look into him, because it’s an absolutely jaw-dropping spread. Anyway, Nick the Fury is leading an assault on the Shield. Immediately following is Ryp’s spread. It’s nowhere near as good. It’s fine, I guess. But it’s a huge drop from Tedesco. Ryp reminds me a lot of Andrade, actually. Anyway, Nick the Fury is killing everyone, so Brand goes down to threaten Unite. We found out the two Units are actually in love, but never admitted to it. They agree to fight for their lives. Nick keeps saying, “I am the Fury. I kill superheroes.” MAC says, “I am Ms. America! I kick your ass!” Because America Chavez is awesome. In the end, Kang grabs the Fury and jumps into the timestream to blow it up on chronomines. So the Fury’s taken care of, but there’s still an army. But Leah and Magik pull a Big Damn Heroes for Kaluta’s spread. It’s a pretty great spread. And as it turns out, they were actually ruling a domain south of the Shield, where Doom had no control. They’re pretty awesome. This is awesome. It’s big crazy action with crazy plans and crazy day saves and it’s just crazy. There’s a bunch of epic moments, and there’s plenty of terrible jokes that just make it all so much better. This is such a great series. Andrade’s art is also really good here. It helps that it’s mostly action, which he does well. His style is kinetic, which translates well to action. The three double-page spreads are good, especially Tedesco’s. Man, that’s amazing work.
1602 Witch Hunter Angela #3, by Margurite Bennett, Stephanie Hans, Kieron Gillen and Frazer Irving. Angela and Serah are at Castle Caldecote, in Cumberland. X-Men fans may recognize Caldecot. It’s where Rogue’s from. They’re there to see a young woman named Anna Maria, who’s apparently gone mad. She’s definitely made a deal with the Enchantress. Serah hopes to save her. And have sausages. She does some research, and figures out that the Enchantress is using Marlowe’s play about the Faustians to gain belief. Stories as magic. I get the feeling Gillen may have been involved with plotting this story. Anyway, Serah thinks they need a story of their own to fight it. Anna Maria tells Angela she was Witchbreed, with a touch that killed, and she asked to be made something else. Anna Maria is having a rough night, and asks Angela for a story. So now it’s Gillen and Irving. Angela tells a story of a play she saw at the Globe. Two actors – a male and a female, because this is alternate history so a woman was allowed to act – who were very talented, and wanted to be Romeo and Juliet. A jealous actor decided to poison the new Romeo. But it turned the pair into Cloak and Dagger, instead. The story ended, Enchantress makes her move. This continues to be an excellent series. Bennett does a great job with the characters and their relationships. The dialogue is fantastic. She also slips in some nice humour, including some fourth-wall-breaking jokes. And then a joke at the end that absolutely wrecks the mood of the cliffhanger in the best way possible. Gillen’s section, of course, is also excellent. It was really, really interesting. And a neat little addition of 1602 Cloak and Dagger. That was great. This issue dwells a lot on stories, and their power, and creating one’s own story and the power in believing in one’s story. It’s good stuff. Also good: The art. Irving’s section looks great. And Hans – I cannot praise her highly enough. Her work is always stellar. Gorgeous. She’s my second-favourite artist of all time, and my favourite currently working for Marvel. Her work is sublime. This is a great book.
Ms. Marvel #18, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Aamir is sitting in some mist, but Captain Marvel says it’s not Terrigen Mist, and Aamir isn’t going through an actual Terrigenesis. Kamran tries to get Aamir to leave with him. Aamir now has some sort of force field power, which he doesn’t want. He was happy the way he was. And he’s certainly not going to take Kamran’s side in whatever went down between him and Kamala. He’s a good big brother. He beats the shit out of Kamran, then passes out. Kamala takes Aamir back to the school, along with Carol. Carol gives Kamala a nice little pendant with her star and Kamala’s lightning bolt, along with a GPS locator. They have a really bittersweet scene. Carol accepts Ms. Marvel, which is nice. And then Kamala has a funny scene with her brother, and her parents. And then holy crap that ending. That is one hell of a shocker. Seriously, I did not see that coming. But it’s an awesome development. This issue’s awesome in general. Aamir shows what a great guy he is, and also shows that he’s pretty amazing at snark. The Kamala/Carol scene is wonderful. It’s really nice, really sweet, but also really sad given we know what’s about to happen. Of course, it becomes less sad when you remember that Ms. Marvel’s already confirmed to continue after Secret Wars, so, you know. Still, wonderful scene. The scene between Kamala and Aamir is really good for how thoroughly it avoids being saccharine. It seems like the kind of scene that should be saccharine as the two show their affection, but nope! They act like siblings, which means they piss each other off. The best part is Aamir saying Kamala can’t understand what it’s like to wake up with powers, and Kamala’s absolutely perfect expression. Alphona nails that expression. He does a great job in general. As always, he fills the backgrounds with visual gags. For example, the school’s nurse’s office has a book on Practical Voodoo. There’s a movie poster for Astro Shark. There’s a sexy leg lamp in the back of a car. It’s fun to look for the gags. This is another great issue of one of Marvel’s best comics.
A-Force #4, by G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina. Singularity gets to safety and releases her friends. Nico says she’s been learning from them. It’s a sweet scene. She-Hulk reveals that when she went through the portal, she saw a Rainbow Bridge, meaning Asgardian magic, meaning Loki is the traitor. In Arcadia proper, Gathora (Thormora? Gamora Thor, anyway) thanks Loki for her loyalty to Doom, and says she’ll likely be the next Baron of Arcadia. Loki says “Queen” has a better ring. She goes to look out the window, and notices stars. Singularity says hello, and A-Force says punch. She-Hulk tells off Loki for gambling Arcadia’s peace just for power, and Loki tells off She-Hulk for letting America be taken. Loki’s defeated. This was good. No surprise that Loki was the traitor. She is Loki, after all. It’s explained how She-Hulk knew where the magic came from, and who the traitor was, and it does make sense. I still kinda think the previous issue dragged a bit at the beginning, but it’s less of a problem. It’ll probably read well in the trade. Singularity saying what she’s learned from each of A-Force was sweet. I like Singularity. She’s really interesting. I’m eager to learn more about her when the book launches after Secret Wars. Molina’s art is solid. Great work. Singularity continues to be adorable. The action is done well, as brief as it is. Good comic.
Red Skull #3, by Joshua Williamson and Luca Pizzari. Magneto and the Red Skull are leading the Annihilation Wave in an assault on the Shield. The Sentinels are released. Magneto figures they’ll be easy, but the Sentinels aren’t made of metal. They blast Magneto and push back the Annihilation Wave. Magneto survives, and is pissed at the Red Skull for tricking him. They fight, and Magneto dies. The end of the issue’s really cool. This was a pretty OK series. Cool story. Red Skull is a nice manipulative bastard. Magneto comes across a bit poorly, but meh, no big deal. The art is good. Not quite to my liking, but good. Good mini.
I also want to mention Bitch Planet #5, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. It is so awesome. You should really be reading this book. It’s not subtle – its version of subtlety is a sports team named the Arizona Wetbacks, because subtlety is for pussies – and that’s what makes it so fantastic. And this is one of the very, very few comics where trade-waiting does yourself a real disservice – the essays are always fascinating. This one has an essay from Lindy West about victimhood. Specifically, how we need to stop being so damned condescending towards the very idea of being a victim. Key phrase: “Victimhood is not the opposite of strength.” The letters pages are also generally something special, as a lot of them are very personal, intimate confessions from the people writing in. Not a lot of comics inspire that sort of openness so consistently. And speaking of the letters pages, this issue includes tweets from Jen Van Meter, Wil Wheaton, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Bill frigging Sienkewicz, along with fan art from Kris Anka.
Also, The Wicked + The Divine #14, by Gillen and McKelvie. Really interesting. It’s the Wodan spotlight issue, using art recycled from earlier issues. Which was really interesting. Also, Wodan is a dick. He knows the patriarchy is bullshit that hurts everyone, but he still uses women as props.
And Phonogram is also Gillen and McKelvie being very Gillen and McKelvie, but it has a short back-up story drawn by Jamaica Dyer, and holy shit it’s gorgeous. I’ve never heard of her before, but damn, I need to look into her, because it is amazing art.