X-Men comics of April 27 2016
All-New Wolverine #7, by Tom Taylor, Marcio Takara and Jordan Boyd. It starts with a flashback. Logan was on his way somewhere, and Laura stood in the middle of the road to force him to stop his bike. Because I guess Laura’s too good to obey traffic laws. Not cool, Laura. Anyway, she doesn’t think she belongs in the school, not without him. She wakes up in the present when she hears growling. She opens the door and finds Squirrel Girl with a wolverine. Named Jonathan. Squirrel Girl is one of the best characters ever. There are very few characters who can show up, out of nowhere, with a wolverine named Jonathan. I love Squirrel Girl, so much. Gabby loves the wolverine, and wants him as a pet so she can dress him in fine suits and make cardboard cities for him to tear through. I love Gabby, so much. Apparently, Squirrel Girl has a message for Laura, but thought it would come better from an animal’s perspective. She thought Laura could understand wolverines. And, honestly, it’s not all that unusual an assumption for Doreen to make, given two of her superhero friends also talk to specific animals. Squirrel Girl announces that Laura has wronged the squirrel world! You remember in, like, issue 3, when Laura attached a tracking chip to a squirrel? I remember saying, at the time, that I wanted it to lead to a Wolverine/Squirrel Girl meeting. It’s led to a Wolverine/Squirrel Girl meeting. This is one of the most delightful comics ever. It does turn out the squirrel is now missing, though, so we also get drama. Squirrel drama. The best kind of drama. We also get a callback to the earlier flashback, in a really great moment. We do get some development of the Laura/Gabby relationship. But mostly, this comic is just . . . it’s a Wolverine/Squirrel Girl team-up. A Squirrelverine team-up. It is amazing. It is one of the most amazingly fun comics ever. From the moment Squirrel Girl shows up, with a wolverine, shouting “Wolverine!” I had a smile on my face. I mean . . . buy this comic. Buy it. You have to buy this comic. It is too fun not to read. It is just one brilliant moment after another. I’ll be posting some panels on my Twitter tomorrow, but there is so much more going on here. It is perfect. Everything I ever could have wanted in a Wolverine/Squirrel Girl team-up, and so much more.
Old Man Logan #5, by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo. In Limbo, Logan tells Storm he’s going to be going off on his own for a bit. Storm accepts this, because really, he’s Logan, this is what he does. She does have him take a mini-Cerebro, in case they need him. This should probably go without saying, but: Damn, Sorrentino and Maiolo do a gorgeous Storm. He takes a bike and starts driving north, with Sorrentino doing a great panel layout to show his journey. Layouts are something he excels at. He might be one of the best layout guys in the industry. Anyway, Logan goes to the Northwest Territories. And as a Canadian, I have two issues: First, the comic says “Territory.” No. It’s “Northwest Territories.” That might seem like a petty objection, but screw that, it’s the name of the place. Second – and this is even more unforgivable from Canadian writer Lemire – it says it borders Alaska. No. No. NWT is not, in fact, on the Alaskan border. The Yukon Territory shares a border with Alaska. Regardless of Lemire’s failing grade in Canadian geography, Logan is in the fictional Killhorn Falls, an island that’s accessible by an ice road three months out of the year. He thinks back to his attempt to commit suicide, after he killed the X-Men, when he laid down on a railroad track. He survived that and went wandering, including returning to the Weapon X facility. Out of the flashback, he’s found work, and is fitting in. He also shows his skill with kids by insulting a little girl. And in the future, in the Weapon X facility, a woman saves him from a beating. This is a good issue. It’s actually got some similarities to Lemire’s All-New Hawkeye run, splitting between two time periods, contrasting and comparing events in the present with events in the future (which, in this case, is also the past – time travel!). I haven’t mentioned it in previous reviews, but Lemire does have Logan’s voice down perfectly. And, as always, the art is spectacular. Sorrentino and Maiolo are an amazing team. Interesting layouts, solid storytelling, and just gorgeous visuals. They’re a fantastic team, doing a great book.
Worst X-Man Ever #3, by Max Bemis, Michael Walsh and Ruth Redmond. It starts with Wolverine declaring that every X-Man turns into a traitor at some point. And threatens to kill anyone who does it. Later on, Bailey, along with Rags and Riches, go to a Mutant Youth Outreach Seminar to man a Xavier School booth. Bailey strikes up a conversation with a girl named Miranda. Who is awesome. She’s a cute chubby black girl. And she’s great. She says she’s living at a shelter downtown. Bailey talks about how Xavier’s took him in, even though his powers make him the Macklemore of the scene. Miranda likes Macklemore. And oh man it’s so cute. Not gonna lie, I ship Bailey and Miranda. Based on that one line, really, though they have other nice interactions in the remainder of the mini. Anyway, Miranda’s power is to make things not exist. She demonstrates by erasing everyone at the seminar. She does bring them back. She’s taken to the school, where she demonstrates her power in the Danger Room. Beast declares her an Omicron-Level Mutant, a term he just came up with. Bailey asks the obvious question of why, with reality-warpers running around, everything is still solved with punching. Beast says it’s about continuity, with a nifty little explanation that’s very meta but really cool. Note: This book is going to get way more meta. Beast asks Miranda what she wants, and she says she wants to be on a team with Bailey. Like I said, they’re very shippable. They need a ship name. Bailanda? I’ll work on it. And at one point, Miranda starts singing Ironic. Miranda is The Best. She is so great. I love Miranda. This series is great. This isn’t the best issue of the series – it’s very much a middle part, bridging the start and the end. But it’s still loads of fun. And it introduces Miranda, one of the best characters ever. Walsh’s art is good. It’s a rough style. I’m oddly ambivalent on it. I can’t decide if I like it or not. I think I like it, though. It’s a good style, even if it probably isn’t for everyone.
That’s the X-titles. Brief stuff about the other stuff I picked up:
Ms. Marvel #6, by G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon and Ian Herring. Ms. Marvel saves her brother and his fiance from being stepped on by the giant Kamala golem. Yes, it is that kind of comic, and it’s only going to get better. Bruno calls with his idea for stopping the clones: Make a giant dinosaur to eat them. Kamala disapproves, but I am 100% on board with this idea. Which is why I’m happy to note that he’s already done it. And one of the clones, wearing a pirate hat, is riding on its head. Because this book is amazing, if you haven’t figured it out yet. Kamala’s still trying to stop her giant double, but having no luck. So she takes out the pendant Captain Marvel gave her, and calls for help. Back at the school, Bruno and Mike try their next plan: Summon Loki, using magic. Said magic includes a lot of coffee. And it works! Actually, he was already watching them and chose the moment he thought would be most amusing to step in. And this all leads to The Greatest Splash Page Ever. The Greatest. All other splash pages can just give up now, this one will never be beat. And then Captain Marvel saves the day. And also gives Kamala the talk she needed, to help her figure out her priorities. Iron Man also shows up, and we get an Iron Hug. And we also get Aamir and Tyesha’s wedding. Feels! This comic’s fantastic. It does what the series does best: Crazy fun, heartwarming relationships, and valuable lessons. This is basically the perfect Young Adult superhero comic. It’s a wonderful issue of a wonderful series. This whole arc was about how important it is to find a balance in all the various parts of your life, and more, how important it is to make sure your family is part of that balance. To be there for the people you love and who love you. It’s really sweet stuff. But that lesson is presented through a horde of Kamala clones, a giant Kamala clone, a giant T-Rex, and Loki commanding a horde of his golems into battle. (Like I said, The Greatest Splash Page Ever.) It gets increasingly ridiculous until it just reaches a Critical Mass of Insanity. It’s resolved through a bit of a Deus Ex Machina, but it feels appropriate. Kamala made a huge mess that there was no possible way for her to solve, so having her idol step in and solve it in a matter of moments was a really effective way of handling it. And, of course, their conversation after was really good. The art is excellent, too. As usual, the panels are filled with little visual gags. This is an issue that lends itself really well to visual gags, what with the hordes of Kamala clones, a giant Kamala clone and a giant T-Rex. If you’re not reading this series, you’re insane. I genuinely don’t know why anyone wouldn’t be reading it. It is everything.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi. It’s the much-anticipated Choose-Your-Own-Adventure issue! And it’s great! As always, even the recap page is hilarious. It brings us the term #ironmansplaining, where Iron Man engages in mansplaining. We need this to catch on. The issue proper is a delight. And, as always, also features random bits of trivia. For example, diseases crossing from humans to animals is called “reverse zoonosis!” And there’s tons of bee facts! That’s one of the things I love about this series: Not only is it hilarious, it also strives to be genuinely educational. It is delightful.
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #5, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain. It’s great. Lunella’s this amazing mix of vulnerable little girl and badass action hero. It really is a special comic. I’d definitely encourage you to read it. It’s got a lot of fun stuff, but also a lot of feels.
Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! #5, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Megan Wilson. It’s fun. Very much. Ian saves Jen from getting coffee spilled on her! Hurray! Also, Ian is not gullible. This is important to remember. And Hellcat is awesome. Everything is awesome. Read this comic. Plus, last-page Jessica Jones cameo! I know that seems like a spoiler, but, uh, it’s actually stated on the cover.
Ultimates #6, by Al Ewing and Christian Ward. It’s great. Galactus punches Master Order. In his giant head face. It’s awesome. There’s actually a lot of great stuff about the issue. It’s some big idea stuff. It’s focused on Galactus, with a cameo from Owen Reece, which gets into some deep discussion of the nature of the new omniverse.
And Angela: Queen of Hel #7, by Marguerite Bennett, Kim Jacinto, Stephanie Hans and Israel Silva. It’s a really, really, really sweet farewell. The humour is toned down a lot, though still present. The metatext is still there. But mostly, it’s about Angela, Sera and Leah (and, yes, even Thori) being a family. It’s about the love hey have for each other. Leah sets off to be more than she’s been. Angela and Sera promise to love each other forever. And I tear up because it’s all really sweet. I’m going to miss this book a lot. I really, really hope that Bendis brings Sera along when he adds Angela back to GotG.