X-Men comics for October 7 2015
This week marks the launch of All-New All-Different Marvel. It also marks the two-thirds point of Secret Wars. Because Marvel is great at planning! Anyway, here’s the comics I’m reviewing today.
Old Man Logan #5, by Brian Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino. Logan’s wondering where he is, and what the hell’s been going on. He thinks back on all that’s happened. An Iron Man head lands next to him, and he sees some big Avengers fight going on. It’s done by the time he climbs down off the building he’s on. On the street, he’s found by Emma and Teen Jean. They bring him to the other X-Men. As he eats, the X-Men talk about him. Right in front of him. Then they take him to the Xavier School – the Ultimate version, to meet his alternate-reality son, Jimmy. Not awkward at all. Emma tells Logan he’s proof that Doom did something to reality, and that he needs to be opposed. This was such a weird series. There was a lot happening, but nothing happened. Lots of fights, lots of worlds, but there was never really a point to it. It ended up feeling like a waste of time. Except the art. Sorrentino’s art is never a waste of time, or of money. He continues to do amazing work. Sorrentino is phenomenal. I honestly can’t praise him highly enough. Great layouts, great art. Maiolo does great colours to go with it. The book looks gorgeous. It’s just the writing makes it all pointless.
And that’s actually the only X-title. But there are other comics to review.
Siege #4, by Kieron Gillen and Filipe Andrade (with spreads by Pepe Larraz, Gary Choo and Bill frickin’ Sienkewicz). Thanos asks Brand to take him to a cell. Once there, he talks to Grimm. Outside, Summers, Da Vinci, Kate and America are having pizza, and talking about how great pizza is. Thanos says he’s united the denizens south of the Shield, and they attack. This is the Larraz spread. It gives us the Kitty Pride, and the Fantastic Thors – the Fantastic Four as Thors. There’s also mention, in Brand’s log, of other fights going on, which involve Galact-USA The Great Consumer. (There’s also someone shouting that Squirrel Girl’s dead, no, she’s fine.) Thanos and Grimm talk, with Thanos explaining to Grimm that the world is wrong. He wants Grim m to let through the forces beyond the Shield. In the battle, Leonardo uses an Enlightenment Cannon that makes the zombies realize they’re logical contradictions and should lie down. Kate expresses doubts about the fight, but America rallies her by telling her she’s a princess and to own it. Grimm asks for a shot of the Enlightenment Cannon, which takes the last of Michelangelo’s life essence. Apparently, Mike and Leo were lovers. Grimm realizes Thanos was telling the truth, and Thanos asks Grimm what time it is. Choo’s spread is Grimm moving north. Thanos leaves. Kang tries to go back in time to stop it all. America kicks her way free with Kate. And then Sienkewicz’s spread is the last stand of Brand and Summers. It’s an awesome finale. There’s a lot of great moments. Everyone gets an awesome moment, and there’s some really sweet, dramatic moments. Thanos is at his morally ambiguous best neither hero nor villain, just someone doing what needs to be done to preserve reality. America’s nice and mysterious, because it’s what she does. It does make me wonder where she jumped to. It’d be pretty awesome if 1602 Kate was able to show up in ANAD, maybe in Ultimates. The art is great. It’s really tense, with some great action sequences. The spreads are all pretty awesome. I loved them all. Sienkewicz probably had the bets, but that might just be because it’s Bill Sienkewicz and I have a lot of love for him for his work in the ’80s on Moon Knight, New Mutants and Elektra. But his spread included three different types of horrors. Any one of them would have awesome, but the three of them was just amazing. I loved this series. It’s a nice swan song for Gillen’s time with Marvel.
1602 Witch Hunter Angela #4, by Marguerite Bennett, Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans and Kody Chamberlain. Angela and Serah’s talking skull ride into the forest to confront the Enchantress in the Realm of Faerie. Enchantress says she and Angela are alike, then looks to see what tempts Angela. The first illusion is the Mother Abbess raising Angela to the first among them. Angela breaks that illusion, so the next has Anna Maria bringing her into a nice little cottage where Serah’s just cooked supper. Serah’s spirit helps Angela break free. Enchantress says that if Angela cuts her down, she becomes the new Faerie Queen. Angela accepts, despite the Enchantress’ warnings. That done, she restores Serah to life and then kicks her out of the Faerie Realm to avoid hurting her. Another great finale. It’s very emotional. Serah is fun early on, but once they get to the Faerie Realm, things get very serious, and very emotional. Bennett and Hans both do an amazing job with everything there. With the illusion temptations, with the fight between Angela and Enchantress, with all of it. And, of course, the story ends with more about the magic of stories. I really enjoyed this. It’ll be great to get back to the main Angela series, though. Really, I’m just happy for more Stephanie Hans. So good.
Avengers #0. This, of course, is previews of the upcoming Avengers titles. I’ll skip the Squadron Supreme story, since I don’t care about them. I’ll also skip the Vision/Scarlet Witch story, though it’s rather sad. There’s a story about Captain Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson and Victor Ibanez. We see Nico, Dazzler and She-Hulk all noticing something weird with the sky, then it goes to orbit, where a new woman is welcomed on the Alpha Flight Low-Orbit Space Station. Captain Marvel goes outside to investigate an anomaly, a person in space. Fight! And the new woman, Tempest Bell, heads out in a space suit to deal with it. A pretty interesting story. It establishes Captain Marvel’s status quo as defender of the Earth from cosmic threats. It does also seem to indicate that Captain Marvel will probably be involved in the formation of the upcoming A-Force team, though we know that she won’t be a permanent part of the core cast. Next is a New Avengers story, by Al Ewing and Gerardo Sandoval. A SHIELD psi-agent is being forced by W.H.I.S.P.E.R. to focus on Sunspot. It’s a precognitive flash, showing a press conference, a general declaring AIM a threat, an American Kaiju, Wiccan calling Hulkling the King of Space, White Tiger being threatened by the Tiger God, Songbird saying one of the team is a traitor, and Squirrel Girl calling shotgun on Avenger Five. And more! Clint declaring himself a traitor while giving a thumbs-up, Pod, the Avengers of 20xx, Power Man talking about a telephone to the dead, and the end of the press conference with Sunspot asking who wants to see their time machine. New Avengers is going to be batshit insane, and it will be glorious. Seriously, I am so excited for that book. Too bad about Sandoval’s art, though. Ugh. It’s not a style I like at all. I’ll skip the Uncanny Avengers preview, except to note that Rogue is apparently deathly ill and comatose, as a result of flying through Terrigen Mists. I really, really, really hope this isn’t a way to have Rogue lose control of her power again, to reset her back to her old status quo and to retell the same damn story that writers spent 30 years telling with her. And finally, Ultimates, by Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort. Black Panther is out in space, and lets Carol know that the being she encountered created a hole in space-time. Luckily, he has America Chavez to help him, even if she had to break a date with an EMT. She goes through the breach, to seal it from that side. She beats up some monsters, because she’s really good at that, but then comes the tough part. The hole’s too big to close her normal way. So she has another idea. She calls up her date, Lisa, and asks if she wants to dance over the phone. So, yeah, the day is saved through the power of dance. I approve of this. I approve whole-heartedly of America Chavez fixing reality through dancing. It’s fun, it’s sweet, it’s weird. It’s great. Ultimates is the book I am most psyched for, and this just made me more excited. It looks like Ewing will be writing Chavez as someone who’s tough and serious and surly around most people, but can also be really fun and sweet and even a little goofy with someone she really likes. Rocafort’s art is good, too. Overall, this anthology was good. It gets me psyched up for the three books from it I’ll be reading (A-Force, New Avengers, Ultimates). It’s good.
Contest of Champions #1, by Al Ewing and Paco Medina. It starts in North Yorkshire, with Outlaw, a guy who was a UK Punisher for an arc in the ’90s, and then disappeared after that. He has a cat. Yay cats. He gets abducted. Outlaw, not the cat. I wonder what’ll happen to the cat? I hope someone finds him and takes care of him. He ends up in a jungle with dinosaurs, where he’s attacked by Venom, then rescued by Gamora. Iron Man calls for help – he’s being beat up by Joe Fixit. After Fixit is knocked out, Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur show up next. They’re apparently with Hydra. Outlaw shoots Moon Boy, and is thus now one of my favourite characters ever. Because I hate Moon Boy. Hate him so much. We also meet White Fox, who beats up a couple armoured assassins while being briefed on Gun-R, a robot who hates crime. And who was abducted and torn apart. There’s also a story from 18th century Paris of a thief finding a magic sword. He calls himself Guillotine, and it looks like his sword has been passed down through his line, so it’s now wielded by a woman. She’s engaged to a Paris Inspector, and the sword wants her to kill him., but she refuses. That story is drawn by Thomas Labourot. It’s good. This is a pretty good comic. Some interesting things in here. Medina’s art is always nice to see. Just a bit of cartoonishness that enhances the story. Ewing’s a good writer, and he definitely has fun with Outlaw. Guillotine seems pretty interesting. I look forward to seeing more of her. Good comic. Not good enough for me to keep reviewing it, though. Unless X-characters show up in an issue, of course. Them, I’ll review. Or, at least, I’ll review the roles of the X-characters.
Dr. Strange #1, by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo. Strange is exploring some mystic realm. Aside, Bachalo apparently only knows how to draw, like, one type of shoe. Seriously, every Bachalo character wears the same shoes. Anyway, Strange tells a bunch of mystical creatures they can’t be where they are. Their leader, a woman, says they go where they want, and sends her champion after him. Strange beats the champion and makes out with the woman. He wakes up to tell a couple parents that the beings have been driven out of their son’s mind. He leaves, and thinks about how many mystical beings live in the world, on and in people. He takes down some gross monster, then heads into a wizards’ bar. He meets Brother Voodoo, Shaman and Scarlet Witch. An old wizard tells Strange that he hasn’t kept up on his debts with the magic he’s used. He heads home and finds a woman outside his house. A librarian from the Bronx. Meh. I don’t like Bachalo’s art. It works reasonably well here, because it’s a weird book, but I still don’t like it. Which is weird, because I liked it on Generation X back in the day. But here, even for Dr. Strange, I don’t like it. Aaron’s writing is OK. The cameos from Voodoo, Shaman and Wanda are cool. Voodoo is weirdly goofy, Shaman is serious, and Wanda just seems to be enjoying her fruity drink. Strange himself is good. His concern for people is nice – when the parents of the kid he helped ask how they can pay him, he tells them to bake their nighbour a cake and buy him a goldfish for his birthday the next day. That’s nice. His conversation with the librarian is also cool. Still, not a book I’m overly excited about. I do hope Voodoo, Shaman and Wanda remain supporting characters, though.
Secret Wars #6, by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. Valeria is briefing Doom on the two refugees they’ve found, Corvus and Proxima. Black Swan corrects what Val gets wrong. Susan doesn’t trust Black Swan. And Val has no idea where any of the other refugees are. Val calls up the Foundation, and they say they’ve found the source of Doom’s power. Meanwhile, Reed and Reed have been sending out drones to gather information so they can find a way to defeat Doom. Reed isn’t ready to kill Doom, until Maker shows him an image of Susan with Doom. Reed says they need to find the source of Doom’s power. The Spider-Mans are investigating, and find Val also investigating. She’s not going to go down – she’s not emotionally prepared – but she lets the Spider-Mans go. They find Molecule Man, who asks for something to eat. Miles has a hamburger in his pocket. Peter finds it gross that Miles has an 8-year-old hamburger in his pocket. Molecule Man is fine with it. Doom talks to some barons about a revolt being led by the Prophet. Bar Sinister seems to have Captain Marvel under his control, via a forehead diamond. Though even under his control, she still punches him when she doesn’t like his ideas. So it’s a little unclear exactly what the hell is going on there. But Carol is punching things, so she’s still there. Black Panther and Namor find Strange’s hidden isle, where they’re given two objects. The Siege Courageous, which will transport them wherever they need to go. The other is an Infinity Gauntlet. Pretty good, still. Doom’s control over Battleworld is starting to fail. Various plans are unfolding. The end of the issue connects to Siege #4, including dialogue being the same. I’m assuming Gillen was given Hickman’s script and just used that. The scene with the Spider-Mans is pretty good. Ribic’s art is still strong. It’s a good comic.
I should mention that Invincible Iron Man has a woman with a cure for the mutant gene. She’s keeping it a secret because she says it would be like a cure for Judaism.
There’s also What If Infinity: Inhumans, where Thanos conquers the Earth with Black Bolt serving under him. The Inhumans come up with a plan to try to beat Thanos. It involves Dazzler. Black Bolt screams, and Dazzler lasers Thanos. So Dazzler kills Thanos. That’s kinda funny, actually.