X-Men comics of April 13 2016
All-New X-Men #8, by Dennis Hopeless, Paco Diaz and Rachelle Rosenberg. Beast is in a hospital waiting room, while a TV shows a news report about Dr. Strange visiting some Idaho town that’s been hit with a string of calamities. He goes in to see Scott, who’s busted up and comatose. Hank thinks the future is too broken to be saved, and that they should go back to their own time. And he gets the idea to go visit Dr. Strange to take them back. He shows up and immediately starts bad-mouthing magic. Real smooth, Hank. Very diplomatic. Then he asks Strange to send him and his friends to their own time. Strange declines, and goes back to trying to seal the rift in Idaho. He gives Hank a mask that lets him see the world as Strange does, and Hank can’t handle it and passes out. When he wakes up, Strange apologizes, which leads to the best line of the issue: “Horrifically overwhelmed seems to be my new normal.” It’s a great line. Strange then explains how magic isn’t a cheat. Which is a really nice moment, as well. And the resolution of the magic threat is also really cool. This is a really good issue. Strange’s cameo doesn’t really feel shoe-horned in; Hopeless uses him well, and has the cameo make a certain amount of sense. Hank and Strange also interact effectively, with Strange gaining respect for Hank, and Hank learning to appreciate what Strange does. Hank himself gets good character work here, with an exploration of his growing frustration at his inability to change the world he’s living in. The art is excellent. Diaz is a great line artist, and gets across a lot of the emotions of the characters. Rosenberg’s colours are excellent, and made even more effective by their absence when we see the magic world Strange sees.
X-Men ’92 #2, by Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla. It starts with Bishop wanting to know what was on the disks Maverick brought in, and threatening to kill him. Wolverine threatens to kill Bishop. Psylocke threatens to fry Wolverine’s brain. Storm tells them all to stand down. Then Chamber comes in with Jubilee, who’s been bitten. We then cut to the Upstarts, with the main takeaway of the scene being that Fitzroy isn’t in the timeline he thought he was. Also, the Gamesmaster tells them the game is more complicated than they think. And back to the school, where we learn Jubilee is dead. So, they’re doing Vampire Jubilee. OK then. Also, Maverick tells Wolverine about the Darkhold. And then it’s Wolverine, Maverick and Omega Red against Alpha Red and the vampirized People’s Protectorate. And the X-Men show up just in time for Rogue to punch Ursa Major. Is Rogue fighting a bear going to become a running joke in this book? I would be pretty OK with that. As far as this book goes . . . uugh. Why can’t I enjoy this? It has plenty of elements that I should enjoy. It makes use of some of the students. It’s got some solid humour, and it’s got an interesting plot. It’s a very positive book. And yet, I just can’t get into it. I think it just feels too exaggerated for my tastes. Plus, I think I’m also held back a bit by it re-telling existing stories. Alpha Red is a new idea, and I find it the most interesting part of the book. But everything else is just taking an existing story and trying to put a different twist on it. So we get the Upstarts, we get Vampire Jubilee, we’re getting Dracula. And these are all stories I’ve read; I’m not convinced they need to be told again. I think I’d like this series more if it was doing its own thing, coming up with its own stories, rather than modifying stories other books told. The art, as well, isn’t really my taste. It’s very competent art, it matches the writing expertly, and it’s totally appropriate for the book. But it’s not my thing. That’s just personal taste. Like the writing, I find it more exaggerated than I generally prefer. As I said, though, that is entirely down to taste, and there’s certainly no reason other people wouldn’t enjoy it.
That’s the X-titles. I may as well talk about a couple other comics, though.
I should talk about Weirdworld #5, by Humphries, Del Mundo and D’Alfonso. So. Frigging. Gorgeous. The story’s great, too, full of drama and high stakes and just great. But the art. Mike Del Mundo is phenomenal. Pick the book up for the art alone, because I promise, you will not regret it. No matter what you think of the story, you won’t regret buying this comic, because the art is stunning.
Mockingbird #2, by Cain, Niemczyk and Rosenberg. It’s loads of fun. She goes to the London branch of the Hellfire Club, and while wearing a sexy black fetish costume, rescues Hunter, wearing a black speedo. She’s pretty condescending towards him, which is fun. There’s also a helpful diagram of how to kick in a door! There’s a pair of pitbulls named Cagney and Lacey. And a villain decides not to delay killing Bobbi and Hunter because she was already paying a work crew overtime. There’s just so much humour in this book. It is so much fun. I highly recommend it. The writing is sharp and clever, and the art is bright and exciting. It’s wonderful.
Silver Surfer #3, by Slott and the Allreds, is awesome. Alicia’s great in it – she gets to be immensely strong, and even Dawn kinda falls a little bit in love with her. And Ms. Marvel gets to say “Avengers Assemble!” And man, this is just such an amazing series. It is filled with so much joy and wonder, even in an issue with as much pathos as this one has. This series has been brilliant from the start, and it remains brilliant. Whether you like the Silver Surfer or not, this is a series that you should be reading, because it is so incredible.
A-Force #4, by Thompson, Wilson, Molina and Martin, is really good. Nico gets a jetpack. I just wanted to put that out there. The dialogue is clever, and Molina sells the dialogue with perfect facial expressions. And Dazzler’s back! Which isn’t a spoiler, given she’s in the preview for the next issue. But it’s an awesome moment when she shows up. “That’s right, bitches. Not dead yet!” And after Antimatter is defeated, there’s burgers. And discussion of food. Which I am all about! Hell yes, give me superheroes getting burgers in their costumes! And I have to say, I love that Dazzler’s repeated resurrections from New Excalibur are getting referenced here. It’s something that never got resolved in that series, and that I think a lot of people forgot about, so I’m glad Thompson and Willow brought that back. It’s a really fun issue.