X-Men comics of March 30 2016
All-New X-Men #7, by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Nolan Woodard. Hank, Bobby, Idie and Evan are trying to figure out where Toad may have taken Scott. Idie finds some videos he posted to YouVideo, including one where he talks about Scott having done something. Fuck off, X-writers. If you’re not going to frigging tell us what Scott did, then shut the hell up about it, because this noodle incident routine is stupid and annoying. Anyway, the videos continue, until one video makes it seem like he’s going to kill Scott to keep him from doing whatever he did. We cut to Scott, who’s awake but playing possum while Toad keeps drinking. Then Toad bashes his head with a whiskey bottle. Then he starts muttering to himself, arguing with himself. Very Gollum-esque, actually. He’s ready to kill Scott to fix the timeline. To save himself, Scott unleashes an optic blast that brings down the roof of the tunnel they’re in. The collapsing roof ends up breaking his leg. And he can’t find his visor, so he has to crawl away with his eyes closed. This issue’s very dark. It’s got an especially dark ending, though I can’t imagine it’ll stick. But it’s a very good issue. Toad is pathetic in a very different way from usual. He’s depressed and drunk and desperate to fix things and chooses the only way he can think of, which is also the worst way he can think of. And he’s not happy about it, but he sees it as necessary. It’s sad. The art is still Bagley. So it’s fantastic. The scene of Toad beating Scott with a whiskey bottle is intense, and Scott’s face after looks really messed-up. And his leg looks messed-up after the collapsing roof breaks it. He does great expressions, capturing Toad’s depressed desperation and Scott’s growing fear. The inks and colours obviously do plenty to enhance the pencils. But man, the art in this book is so good. Bagley, man. Such a brilliant artist.
X-Men ’92 #1, by Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla. I didn’t read the X-Men ’92 Secret Wars series. I kept forgetting about it. So if anything from that story affects this one, I have no idea. Anyway, this one starts with Trish Tilby – black, here – reporting on Xavier opening the school to new students to be taught by the X-Men. Because obviously they’re totally qualified to be teachers. I just want to state that X-Men as teachers has never made sense, and will never make sense. Most of them have no post-secondary education. Storm has never attended school at all! Having them as teachers is stupid. Regardless, Beast talks to Xavier about it, and then heads for his first class, though not before Wolverine slams into him on roller blades, because Jubilee talked him into trying them. Because Jubilee is the most ’90s person ever. Fun note: His first class has Monet, Chamber, Synch, Penance, Blink, Mr. Sensitive, Dead Girl, Vivisector and Leech. I’m really happy about Mr. Sensitive, Dead Girl and Vivisector being there, because X-Statix was such a great series. So, so good. You really have to read it, because it’s just brilliant work. Anyway, the class is interrupted by Maverick crashing through the window to warn them about a game. Then the People’s Protectorate arrives, with Omega Red a member. For some reason. They want Maverick, because he stole something. So a fight breaks out, and in the fight, Rogue throws Ursa Major at Omega Red. Which is definitely good. I approve of Ursa Major being used as a weapon. This issue . . . I don’t know. Part of the reason I forgot about the Secret Wars series was because it was kinda boring me. This issue does nothing to change my mind. There’s nothing wrong with it. But at the same time, reading it, I felt kinda meh. It failed to grab me, somehow. I’m not sure why. I smiled a couple times while reading it, but a lot of that came from seeing characters I love. (X-Statix!) I think a major problem I have is that, by its very nature, it’s going to be rehashing existing stories, to a certain degree. This issue begins an arc about the whole Upstarts story that was big for a year or so before fizzling out. It would be hard for this book to do a worse job on that story, considering the original story had literally no pay-off. It started, it was built up as a big deal, and then it just . . . stopped. There was no climax or anything. The story just stopped being told. I’m guessing that Sims and Bowers do actually plan on going somewhere with the story. Though how hilarious would it be if they did just suddenly cut to another story and never got back to the Upstarts? I think I might prefer if they did that. The art was OK. I really liked Firmansyah’s art in the Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde mini. I’m less enamored of it here. It’s too cartoony. Which is a weird complaint, when talking about a comic based on a cartoon. But there it is, I find the art too cartoony. So, yeah, this issue just didn’t do anything for me. Oh well.
That’s the X-titles.
I’ll talk briefly about Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8, by Ryan North, guest co-writer Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi. It starts with Doreen talking about Hellcow, who is a real character who appeared in a canon story. She’s a vampire cow. Doreen is obviously a fan, because vampire cow. She also complains about the fake pockets on women’s clothes, and I can’t disagree. What the hell is with that? Come on, clothing manufacturers, why can’t women have pockets? She also talks about squirrels being more similar to humans than almost any other non-primate mammal (in a moment that gets an amazing callback later in the issue). She also makes a lot of duck puns. And then Kraven shows up in his Kra-van. Which has bitchin’ van art. There’s also a slight reference to Howard being legally required to wear pants because of Disney. Which raises a question, actually: Now that Disney owns Marvel, including Howard, shouldn’t Howard be allowed to go pantsless again? The reason he was required to wear pants was because Disney threatened a lawsuit, saying Howard’s pantlessness made him too similar to Donald Duck. Is that really a concern now, though? I suppose Disney might still force Marvel to put pants on Howard, but I suspect it’s simple inertia at this point. He’s worn pants for 30 years, so he keeps wearing them. Also, we see Weapon II. I don’t want to spoil it. But I want to spoil it so hard, because it’s so amazing. This issue is awesome. It’s hilarious and I love it. I’m loving this series. Howard’s humour meshes well with Squirrel Girl’s. The art, as usual, does a lot to boost the humour, too. And, of course, there’s the gloriousness of the Kra-Van. Observe:
That van art, by the way, is by Joe Quinones, not Erica Henderson. And it is amazing.
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #5, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain. We learn that New York has a Department of Dinosaur Control. New York. Has a Department. Of Dinosaur Control. Marvel Earth is amazing. The issue is cute and fun and really good. This is a great all-ages comic. I recommend it.