X-Men comics for January 20 2016
Uncanny X-Men #2, by Cullen Bunn, Greg Land (by way of whatever photos he’s tracing), Jay Leisten and Nolan Woodard. It starts with Mystique in disguise in an office, being confronted by security, so she has to beat them up. She slips out of the Someday offices, discouraged at having been found out, and gets in a car driven by some Hellfire goons. Then we cut to Magneto in a coroner’s office, where the healer killed last issue was brought. Magneto mentions being offended that mutants are being killed by a mist, because mist is like gas. Three other healers have been killed over the past few days. They decide to find and protect other healers, starting with Triage and Elixir. Sabretooth and Monet are sent to protect Elixir. And flirt. Ew. Ew ew ew. They find Elixir at some sort of church thing, where he’s “finding himself” or whatever. And it looks like Elixir was killed. Again. This is the second time in as many years that he was killed off as cannon fodder for a story. I know writers don’t give a shit about the New X-Men kids, but this is getting ridiculous. Would writers please stop killing Elixir? Anyway, the story’s OK. Most of the characterization is fine. But the art! Ugh! I honestly cannot enjoy this book, and it’s entirely because of the art. Get any other artist on here, and I’d probably find it a reasonably enjoyable comic. But Greg Land drags it down so much. Because every single face is a face I’ve seen before. I hate his recycling. I hate it so much. I loathe Greg Land’s art. Every time someone says “it’s not as bad as usual,” all I can think is, “It’s still fucking shit!” He just recycles the same photo-references over and over and over and over and over and over, until everything he does looks exactly the same. He does an OK job with poses and action, but the faces! I wish someone else would just draw over every Land face. I’m sure Jay Leisten is a talented artist in his own right, so when he’s doing the inks on the book, he can also re-draw every single face so that I no longer want to scream. I hate Land’s art. I hate it. It constantly drags me out of the story and makes it impossible for me to get invested in the book. I honestly couldn’t even tell you if the writing is good or bad, because the art is over-riding any chance of me giving a critical analysis of the writing. Fuck Greg Land.
Deadpool #6, by Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish and Nick Filardi. It’s 2099, and a female Deadpool is being chased by the NYPD. Which means this isn’t the classic 2099, because the NYPD didn’t exist in those comics. It was the Public Eye. Anyway, she’s riding a flying robot dragon that questions her decisions. The dragon gets wrecked, but she manages to escape, with help from her friends, the Bobs. A TV shows a Congressional hearing on a hurricane that caused problems, with Congress arguing over the hurricane being named Jose, and voting to de-fund the National Hurricane Service for using a foreign name for a hurricane. Old Man Deadpool is annoyed at the TV. 2099 Deadpool comes in, and turns out to be his daughter, with Shiklah. Her name’s Warda. She wants to know where her mother is, but Deadpool doesn’t remember. It turns out that, in the near-future, Ellie will die, and that will soon lead to Deadpool and Shiklah going to war. This is very meh. I can’t even be worked up to talk about it. There’s little to talk about. Weak humour, weak drama, a weak premise. It’s a weak comic.
And that’s all the X-titles. But there’s other comics worth talking about.
Ms. Marvel #3, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa and Ian Herring. FDr. Faustud, working with Hydra, has brainwashed Bruno. So she embiggens for a fight. Things aren’t going great, so she emsmallens, and she escapes, but she’s forced to leave Bruno behind. She goes to his girlfriend, Michaela, who has a Sleep Guy poster in her room, and that amuses me. The Marvel version of Sandman. Anyway, Michaela also has access to Bruno’s Cloud, where he backs up his research. They break into the school to get his files, to see if he developed an antidote for the nanotech. They also bond a little. It’s sweet. And they also develop a plan to stop the bad guys. It involves science. And showing up Carrie-Ann Moss. This issue, as with all issues of Ms. Marvel, is great. It’s wonderful. So much heart to it, and plenty of good comedy. Ms. Marvel bonding with Mike was really nice to see, and hopefully, it allows Kamala and Mike to become friends. It’s a positive message to send, that just because a girl is with the guy you like, that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. And this series is all about positive messages. So I’m sure we’ll see Kamala and Mike as friends. The art is bright and colourful, and does a great job depicting motion. Ms. Marvel’s one of the best comics coming out, and if you’re not reading it, you’re a terrible person. Yeah, I said it.
Captain Marvel #1, by Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, Kris Anka and Matt Wilson. The issue opens with Carol and Alpha Flight breaking up asteroids heading for Earth, with Carol narrating that she’s not angry, she’s just good at punching things. (Puck, Aurora and Sasquatch use spaceships. She uses punches.) Then we cut back a day, to Rhodey talking to Carol about her new job. He reminds her that being the boss is different from being a soldier. She’s been a leader before, Rhodey. Jeez. She was Chief of Security for a NASA installation. She knows what she’s doing. Anyway, she takes a space elevator – an Aerolith, it’s labelled – up to her new home for the next two years. A space station, called Alpha Flight Space Station. Or AFSS for short. That F is very important, isn’t it? She notes that it’ll be nice getting out of the spotlight and being normal for a little while. She sees running a space station and fighting aliens as normal. That is delightful. And now we meet some of her supporting cast. Puck greets her, and then Brand comes in to tell her she’s late for a meeting. Brand! I love Abigail Brand. She’s such a bitch and she’s wonderful. Also, everyone is taking pictures of Carol with their phones, and Puck asks for her autograph. She also has a run-in with Rocket Raccoon, picking up supplies for the Guardians. Then she has to go to a meeting to negotiate with the race handling the station’s waste materials. Thrilling! And then she’s informed about approaching asteroids, and that takes us to where we came in. This is a great debut issue. It’s fun and exciting. It feels longer than it is, in a good way. Fazekas and Butters fit a whole lot into 22 pages. They do a great job with the characters, of course. Carol is confident, even cocky, and very action-oriented, which leaves her ill-suited to a desk job, but she’s definitely a good leader. I’m hoping Rhodey does remain a part of the supporting cast. I also hope Kit shows up, because she was so great in KSD’s run. The new supporting cast is good, too, though. Science officer Wendy seems cool. Brand is Brand. And three members of Alpha Flight! Puck stand out. One nice touch is a mention that his dwarfism causes him a lot of pain. That’s something that hearkens back to Byrne’s run, and it’s nice to see it referenced. He’s also really friendly, and a bit of a pervert. Aurora and Sasquatch don’t get much here, though Aurora does come across as a bit of a bitch. Which, you know, yeah. She always kinda was. I’m sure we’ll also see her fun side. The art is great. I do like Anka’s style. It’s a bit odd at times – faces lose noses a lot – but it’s a style I enjoy. And the colours work really well, as well. All in all, a great debut issue, and I’m excited to read more of this series.
Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! #2, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Megan Wilson. Patsy is working at a clothing store, and not particularly enjoying it. It’s pretty crazy. And a lot of fun. She also gets recognized, which bothers her, and also confuses her, because when did kids start reading comics again? Ian shows her an interview that Hedy Wolfe did, saying that everything in the comics is true, and Patsy gets filled with rage. Once she calms down, Ian asks why she’s working in the clothing shop, and she says it’s because they’re not strict with background checks. I guess the fact that she was dead raises flags. There’s also hints that Ian might like Tom. Aw, that’s cute. Anyway, a little later, Patsy catches a girl shoplifting. She has magic and a good fashion sense. I like her! Oh, she also likes stealing. And she’s working for some mysterious woman who’s mysterious and who has an interest in Hellcat. The woman escapes, but then Patsy has a run-in with a much more serious villain. She also gets burgers with the women from the cover. This issue is delightful. It’s so good. Just so much fun. Just lots of great humour. I was smiling the whole time I read it. Patsy is silly but sincere and it just makes her a great character to follow. The art is bright and colourful and adorable and fun. I should also mention that Squirrel Girl’s cameo is The Best. She’s so right. She’s perfect. Everything about this comic works, and you should totally be reading it.
I want to mention Silver Surfer, because it’s wonderful. So, so wonderful. Read it. Read Silver Surfer. If you like being happy, you won’t be disappointed. It involves New Hallow-Givings Birth-Mas, a combination of New Years’, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Birthday and Christmas, since Dawn missed all those things. And it’s just a great comic.
And New Avengers #5 has the Avengers of 20XX, which is great. Also, one of them is Marlene Brashear – I wonder if they might show up in Ultimates? Also, it’s a great comic. Ewing’s clearly having a blast with this book, making it as crazy as he can.
And Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson and Clayton Cowles. I won’t do an actual review or anything. Instead, I’m going to talk about my feelings on Phonogram. I discovered Phonogram pretty late. It was December 2013, when I was doing a placement at a library. They had Phonogram Vol. 1 in stock, and I read it during a couple lunch breaks. It wasn’t one of those “right comics at the right time” deals. It didn’t hit me in any meaningful way. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was smart and clever and fun and it talked about a lot of cool music. So then I read The Singles Club, and loved it, because it was just awesome. The two volumes made me check out quite a few artists I was unfamiliar with, and also got me to give a deeper listen to the Long Blondes, who are now one of my favourite bands. (Shame they’re disbanded.) So Phonogram wasn’t a life-changing series for me. It was just a comic I enjoyed. And as such, I’m still sad to see it go.