X-Men comics of December 2 2015
Extraordinary X-Men #3, by Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos. In Manitoba, Teen Jean and Old Man Logan have an awkward meeting. In Limbo, demons are attacking the school, and Cerebra is one of those people who says “actually.” Cerebra’s actually pretty cool. I like her. Iceman brings out a snowman army he’s built up over a few weeks. Back with Jean and Logan, we find out that Scott died in an attack on the Inhumans. I reeeally hope there’s a lot more to it than that, because, honestly? Scott attacking the Inhumans? That doesn’t seem in-character, even with how militant he’d been getting. Then Jean invades his mind to learn about where he came from. Because Jean has no concept of privacy. Which feels a bit off. A key part of Bendis’ ANXM was Jean learning not to invade people’s minds like that. But apparently, she’s learned nothing. Back to the Jean/Logan argument, which is now about destiny vs. choice. In the end, Logan agrees to go. In Limbo, Storm gets knocked down, but a vision of Xavier tells her to get back up. Aw, jeez, is this leading to a return of Xavier? I really hope not. Xavier was an ass, and he works far, far, far, far better as a martyr than he ever could have worked as an actual leader. As a martyr, his dream is something to fight for. As a leader, he always undermined his own dream by having the X-Men hide away from the world. This issue is . . . meh. Mostly just a big fight scene, mixed with scenes of Jean and Logan talking. The conversation was better than the fight. I mean, the fight was fine and all, but I’m a fan of character-driven stories, so all the action means less to me. We do get to see Anole and Glob in the fight. I don’t particularly like Glob, but Anole’s always cool. I still think we need another series about the New X-Men. Of course, I also want a Generation X reunion where Synch gets brought back from the dead, but we know that’s not happening any time soon, either. Anyway, Lemire’s writing is fine, but doesn’t blow me away. I don’t like Ramos’ art. It’s just a personal taste thing. He’s doing a good job at what he does, but what he does isn’t something that appeals to me. There are some artists with similarly cartoony styles that I love, but for some reason, I just don’t enjoy Ramos’ art. I’m not dropping this series yet, but neither is it really cementing its place on my pull list. It’s still balanced on the edge.
All-New X-Men #1, by Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley. Angel and Laura are skiing in Vail. Hank is in Florida with Evan and Idie. Scott seems to have gone off the grid; Hank is trying to find him with a Cerebro unit, but apparently, Scott hasn’t fired any optic blasts in months. Angel also mentions the older Scott died, and became hated in the process. They’re worried about him. Meanwhile, he’s in Chicago, tracking a gang called the Ghosts of Cyclops. A cute girl named Marla sits down and talks with him. Then the Ghosts attack – 6 people in Cyclops’ goofy X masks – and Scott goes to town on them. They run when the cops show up, but one of them dropped their wallet. Marla compares Scott to Ronda Rousey, which is funny because she just recently lost a fight. Still, Rousey is one hell of a fighter. She also starts talking crap about mutants. Sigh. Then we cut to Austin, where Iceman is doing tricks, and the people like it. So at least we are seeing that there are people left in the world who don’t want to kill mutants. We need more of that. We desperately need more of that in the X-franchise. We need that hope and optimism. We need an X-Men title that says, “Hey, you know, being a mutant is fine. There’s problems, sure, but there’s good, too!” Also, it turns out Hank’s van is a tesseract. With slushies. And back in Chicago, Scott tracks the Ghosts to Algar University. This was a good first issue. I mean, it’s hard to be unhappy when you’ve got Mark Bagley on art. The guy’s a phenomenal artist. He’s a master at facial expressions, and he also does some awesome action sequences. He’s great. Hopeless does good work here. This is a much cheerier book than EXM, which has very much of a “things are awful for everyone forever and progress is impossible so don’t even bother trying and you’re better off in a literal Hell than you are trying to become an active part of society” message. This book shows a little more complexity. We meet one girl who doesn’t like mutants, and we see a small crowd who’s fine with mutants. Which is, you know, how it Actually Works in the real world. The characterization is fine. I’m not sold on his Laura, but other than that, it’s fine. We’ll also have to wait and see more of his Idie. But he does write a really good Scott. One thing I like is that his Scott doesn’t come across as broody. He has so much reason to brood, but instead, he’s channeling it into action, and that’s great. So, this is a pretty good first issue.
As an aside, related to my comments about ANXM being more positive than the horribly cynical EXM, the Twitter feed FemmesInFridges went on a very, very long rant about wanting more positivity in comics. It’s a great read, with a lot of great points. It starts here, and goes on for, uh, a while. But it’s really worth reading, and I agree with it so much.
And that’s it. But here’s a couple more comics anyway.
All-New All-Different Avengers #2, by Mark Waid and Adam Kubert. Miles is webbing up some wounds on Captain America’s legs, and Vision arrives to get Tony Stark out of his melted armour. That done, the Tower’s new owner, Mr. Gryphon, demands to know what happened. Nova arrives in New York, having seen a news report on his phone about Warbringer’s arrival. As he arrives, he gets another report, about an attack in Jersey City, which distresses him. Ms. Marvel confronts Warbringer, and Nova pops in to help. Which annoys her, since she was trying to move the fight outside the science building they’re in, and Nova just smashed through the wall. The fight carries outside, and Warbringer lights a building on fire. Nova collapses the building to contain the blaze, and Ms. Marvel yells at him for being a jerk and smashing the building. Then the pair meet the Avengers, and they all rush off to fight Warbringer some more. This is a solid second issue. It’s got some great humour, some great action, and some solid character stuff. Nova and Ms. Marvel continue to be fun to watch. Nova’s really hot-headed and reckless and doesn’t really think things through, while Ms. Marvel’s compassion drives her to be a lot more concerned about property damage. Kubert’s art is great, too. My desire to avoid late-issue spoilers means I can’t praise one specific splash page, but if you read the issue, you’ll know the page I want to praise, because it’s such a badass moment. The final double-page splash is awesome, too, with Ms. Marvel’s body language being my favourite part of the image. I just love Ms. Marvel in general, though. This series is already picking up steam, and it’s definitely looking like it’ll be a great run.
Vision #2, by Tom Taylor and Gabriel Walta. Vin is at school, and sinks through the floor. Viv is at home, hooked up to machines. Virginia lies to Vision about what happened, saying the Grim Reaper attacked, cut up Viv, and was about to kill Vin when Virginia fought him off hand-to-hand and he fled. Vision comforts comforts her. Back at school, Vin is asked where Viv is. He says she’s out, she’s ill. The kid keeps bugging Vin, and he grabs the kid, and starts choking him out. Vision and Virginia go to talk to the principal, who’s not happy. The Vision says Vin will be given a standard suspension, and when the principal objects, Vision states he’s saved the planet 37 times, so each breath the principal takes is due to the Vision’s actions. Truthfully, 37 times seems like a low-ball estimate of how often Vision’s saved the planet. This remains a great series. Really eerie and creepy and unsettling in very subtle ways. The writing is very simple and straightforward, which just enhances the oddness of it all. This is definitely a series worth reading.