X-Men comics of May 11 2016
All-New X-Men #9, by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Nolan Woodard. A bunch of the teen X-Men have gathered on the ruins of Utopia for Evan’s birthday party. And, OK, i have to post this panel because it is perfect:
That is so great. Anyway, the kids all congratulate Evan on turning 16, and he thanks them, but then steps outside because he’s in a sad mood. And we all have those days, when pretending to be happy is just a chore. And you just want to sit on the couch and watch Studio Ghibli movies and cry. Meanwhile, Hank, over the course of 5 weeks, has obtained 13 time machines. Evan comes in to have Pickles the Bamf teleport him to the town of Tolmen’s Field, in Kansas. He wanders around the town, thinking how he wants to belong there. He has artificial memories of growing up there, and his birthday just reminds him that those memories are false. Aw. Poor guy. He also notes he always smiles because, as the clone of Apocalypse, him getting a bad mood might scare people. It’s some really good stuff, and honestly, it’s probably a better exploration of who Evan is than any other writer has done. It’s not exactly a revolutionary take on the character. It’s stuff that’s well-known already. But Hopeless writes it really well, and brings a lot of quiet pathos. And I think that’s the key here, actually. Most of the time, Evan’s origin is explored as a way of raising tension. The whole “will he revert?” thing. This is a lot quieter. There’s no story tension, it’s all just introspective malaise. He’s just depressed from thinking about where he comes from, and that’s actually pretty easy to relate to.
Anyway, he heads back to Hank’s trailer to put Pickles to bed, then puts on the weird magic mask Strange gave Hank, just as Hank tries another time travel test. And they end up in Ancient Egypt. Because that’s what this arc is about. This is a great issue. It’s good seeing Scott recovering, albeit slowly. But mostly, it’s a lot of great work with Evan. I can’t say I’m a big fan of the character. He was one of the better-written characters in Aaron’s WatXM, but that’s damning with faint praise. I hated that run so much it dragged down my opinion of Evan. But he is a good character. He’s a good exploration of Nature vs. Nurture. As a proponent of Nurture, I am hoping he doesn’t end up being turned back into Apocalypse down the line. Apocalypse is complicated enough as it is that he can always be brought back separate from Evan. I already talked about how he’s written here, but I should talk about the art, too. It’s great. It’s Mark Bagley. He does not do bad work. The highlight is Tolmen’s Field. The town looks so much like a small town. It looks like an archetypal small town. Complete with a run-down factory. But the strongest part is the people of the town. All white, because it’s a small town in Kansas, and also visibly shocked at Evan’s appearance. The Ancient Egyptian desert looks great, too. Like I said, Bagley doesn’t do bad work. This is an excellent comic.
Deadpool #11, by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli and Ruth Redmond. Sabretooth tells Deadpool that if Deadpool kills him, he’s throwing away everything he’s built. Which Deadpool is fine with. Scott Adsit, via a spell by Michael the Necromancer, takes over Sabretooth’s mind to talk to Deadpool. He says Deadpool killed his own parents. Deadpool decides not to use the Terrigen Mist on Sabretooth. Still plans on ripping him apart with the truck for other stuff he’s done. But Magneto comes to the rescue, while declaring Deadpool the Worst Avenger. Before Magneto can kill Deadpool, Sabretooth says Deadpool’s looking for a cure for the Terrigen Poisoning, because his own daughter’s a mutant. Which is apparently true, or at least Butler thought so. Before he got killed. After Sabretooth leaves, Deadpool decides to get some help from Dr. Strange, because I guess every book needs to shoe-horn in a Dr. Strange cameo right now. And this one really does feel shoe-horned. Some of his other cameos in recent months have been done well, but this one was not. Meh. Meh meh meh. This series is so boring. It’s honestly not even interesting enough for me to trash. The humour is insufficient and weak, and the drama isn’t particularly compelling. So meh. Don’t bother with this book. Especially since next issue is going to be another stupid 2099 one.
That’s the X-stuff, but I’ll talk about other comics I picked up today, too.
Black Panther #2, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin. Damn, this book’s good. This is very much a political book, and exploring a lot of complex political themes. The Midnight Angels are definitely my favourite part of the book. They represent the rage of the marginalized. They’re fighting to protect women from the abuses of men of power. But there’s a lot more going on in the issue, too. One of the leaders of the anti-Black Panther forces visits an old teacher, where they discuss Locke: “What is my remedy against the robber, who so broke into my house?” There’s talk about how the power of kings comes from what the people believe he might do. It’s a very intelligent book. And it’s great writing. And great art. This book is off to a fantastic start, and I very highly recommend it, because it’s obvious that it’ll be going to some really interesting places. (As a minor spoiler: Shuri!)
Ultimates #7, by Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown. There’s a lot of great character moments here for everyone. Carol is dealing with some stress from Galactus showing them time. Black Panther and Blue Marvel have a great confrontation over how to deal with Conner Sims. Carol meets with Adrienne Brashear, Blue Marvel’s daughter, and new administrator for Project PEGASUS. Actually, it’s cool seeing PEGASUS in this book. It’s a very natural fit. Anyway, that meeting doesn’t go well, but it is an awesome scene. This issue does a lot to set up Civil War II. But Ewing’s a master, so he does it in a way that advances the story he wants to tell, too.x`
Vision #7, by Tom King, Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire. It’s the story of Vision and the Scarlet Witch. Which means it starts off a little awkward, quickly becomes incredibly sweet, and ends up deeply tragic. And, given what book we’re reading, it also inevitably turns deeply creepy. Because this is not a book where good things happen. This issue is fantastic. This series is fantastic. If you haven’t been reading it, then what’s wrong with you? See if your LCS has copies of the other issues available. If not, buy them on Comixology. Or get the first trade, when it comes out, but also pick up this and the previous issue for after you read the trade. This is genuinely one of the best comics coming out. Not just from Marvel, but from anywhere.
Silk #8, by Robbie Thompson, Tana Ford and Ian Herring. It’s great. Silk and Gwen still have a lot of tension. I side with Silk, because she’s sweet and Gwen’s a jerk. But the real highlight of the issue is Silk and Black Cat. They have a great conversation about trust. Evil Cindy isn’t in the issue much, but oh well.
ANAD Avengers #9, by Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar and Dave McCaig.The new Wasp is Nadia, no last name, the daughter of Hank Pym and his first wife, Maria Trovaya. She was raised in the Red Room. But she was better at science than combat. She seems OK. The issue’s pretty good. This is a series that I enjoy each month, but not one I find myself especially looking forward to. It’s more an “Oh it comes out this week? Cool.” It’s easily the weakest title on my pull list, I think. But I do still enjoy it.