X-Men comics for October 21 2015
Finally got these up.
Age of Apocalypse #5, by Fabian Nicieza and Iban Coello. Nemesis is fighting Cyclops, Havok, Burner and Wolverine. He has the powers of over 300 mutants, and he’s looking for a fight. He orders everyone to join him so they can overthrow Doom. Meanwhile, everyone’s been infected by the Legacy Virus. Blink is about to teleport Beast to his lab to search for a cure, but Nemesis blasts him. Emma absorbs Beast’s knowledge before he can die, and Blink takes her to Beast’s lab while Nemesis fights everyone else while trying to convince them to join him. Danvers is in the lab, and Wolverine carries in Jean. Whose thoughts show she wants to do a whole lot of killing. Emma thinks they can implant a portion of Emma’s brain into Jean’s, so Jean can access her powers. Sinister agrees it’s the only way. During the fight, Burner sacrifices himself to protect Scott and Alex, saying it’s what brothers do. Earlier, Sinister called him Adam. I kinda love that Nicieza brought that plot point back. The end is a bit weird. I don’t like it, to be honest – it goes against the whole point of the X-Men. I usually don’t spoil the ends of issues, but I have to this time: This issue ends with Jean curing the mutant gene, making everyone “normal.” This is stupid. It’s wrong. It is absolutely wrong. It would be like a story that ended with “curing” homosexuality, and writing it as a hope spot. No. That is not how it works. The X-Men are a story about diversity, so for Nicieza to end this story in a way that reduces diversity, and making it out as a good ending, it’s totally wrong. Additionally, Cypher does nothing. He did nothing in this entire series. He narrated, but he didn’t do anything. It makes me wonder why Nicieza even bothered to include him. This issue actually ends up making the whole mini a disappointment. That’s how thoroughly Nicieza botched it. At least Coello’s art is good. He does some solid work. There’s a panel of Jean’s mind in rage, and it’s especially effective. It’s really creepy and cool. So Coello did good work on this issue. A shame Nicieza didn’t.
And that’s all the X-Men comics! But there’s a couple other comics I should talk about.
Uncanny Inhumans #1, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. Black Bolt, Triton and Reader have arrived at Attilan, 13 000 years ago. Hey, did you know there were pterosaurs 13 000 years ago? According to this comic, there were! If there were a point to them being there, it’d be fine, but nope, just some pterosaurs flying around, several millions years after they went extinct, like it ain’t no thang. Anyway, Kang shows up, annoyed at Black Bolt breaking their deal, and teleports them to 1961. Specifically, he drops them about two minutes before Tsar Bomba was dropped. He refuses to let Black Bolt take back Ahura. In the present, Medusa is leading some NuHumans in a fight against some Chitauri. Then they do a news conference, where Medusa says the Inhumans defend the world because it’s their world, too. When they get back to Attilan, Medusa and Iso go to meet with Beast. He’s there working on a way to prevent the Terrigen Cloud from hurting mutants, so he can prevent a war between mutants and Inhumans. Beast indicates that Scott had been prepared for a war. I suspect Beast is exaggerating Scott’s attitude, given the fact that Beast has had a hate-on for Scott for a while. It’s not like his prediction of Scott waging war on humanity ever ended up happening. Beast is a dick. This is an OK story. I just don’t give a damn about the Inhumans. I can’t give a damn about them. The Royal Family spent far too long as isolationist, slave-owning monarchical bastards. I’m not a fan of monarchies. I’m definitely not a fan of groups that keep a slave race. So the Inhuman Royal Family always rubs me wrong. And that sours my view of Inhumans in general, even the NuHumans who are totally unconnected to the complete and total shitheads the Inhumans always were. Soule’s a good writer, and the story is fairly interesting and all that. And McNiven’s art is very nice. But Inhumans, bleh. There’s also a back-up story, by Soule and Brandon Peterson. Gorgon is training Flint. Gorgon compliments him on his improvement, then feels sorry for himself for being paralyzed. Frank McGee and Naja come to take Flint on a mission. Naja pokes fun at him a little for his crush on Iso, and being shot down by her. They go to Morocco to find a missing Inhuman, one who disappeared when Attilan fell. It’s an OK story.
Secret Wars: Agents of Atlas #1, by Tom Taylor and Steve Pugh. The story is in the Domain of Metropolitia, a factory city making weapons for Battleworld, ruled by Baron Zemo, and policed by SHIELD, who work for Zemo. There’s an underground resistance called the Atlas Foundation. Director Coulson is visited by Gorilla Man. Coulson tells Gorilla Man that Jimmy Woo is missing. Turns out Coulson has been secretly helping Atlas. We cut back a week, to Atlas saving a train of people being sent to Zemo. The plan involved Gorilla Man wearing a jetpack, because Woo wanted to see a gorilla with a jetpack. They also killed a bunch of Weapon X’s. During the battle, Venus had to get involved, and Gorilla Man thinks it may have led to them forgetting a Weapon X, so Zemo found out about Atlas, and now has Woo. Coulson goes with Atlas to free Woo, though they do agree they can’t actually kill Zemo, since that would attract Doom’s attention. Gorilla Man finds Woo, but gets killed by Zemo’s son, Helmut. Who then becomes a gorilla, as per the curse. This was a fun story. The Agents of Atlas are a cool group, and it’s always neat seeing them show up. Taylor does some interesting stuff here. Pugh’s art is great. It’s a good comic.
Karnak #1, by Warren Ellis and Gerardo Zaffino. I’ll be honest, the only reason I’m reviewing this first issue is because Ellis is a legend. Anyway, Karnak is in the Tower of Wisdom, meditating, when he’s interrupted to be told of a phone call. He leaves the tower, but gives his friends inside something to meditate on while he’s away. He takes a plane to the Arctic to meet with Coulson and Simmons. He’s taken to meet with a couple whose son underwent Terrigenesis, and got the amazing gift of . . . losing his allergies. Apparently, that’s all he got out of it. He’s been abducted. Because I guess someone without allergies is a precious resource or something? Anyway, Karnak agrees to find their son, but says the payment will include the object they get the most emotional value from. Part of a lesson about how utterly meaningless human lives are. Coulson tells him who has the kid, then Karnak gets shot at by a guy working for the group. He chops the bullet in half. Ellis’ take on Karnak is an absolute hardass. A prick, really. He cares about little, thinks lives and objects are equally meaningless, and has no problem at all with hurting people badly. It’s a well-written comic, definitely. I mean, it’s Warren Ellis writing a nihilistic kung fu philosopher. Of course it’s well-written. And Zaffino’s art is also great. It suits the book perfectly. There’s a lot of subtlety, some nice kineticism to the little action, and stylized in a way that works well for the book. The tone is set effectively. This is definitely a good comic. And one I won’t be reviewing further.