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X-Men comics of May 25 2016

May 25, 2016

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Last night, I livetweeted Deadpool, and you can read that here, if you’re so inclined. But for now, there’s comics to discuss!

Extraordinary X-Men #10, by Jeff Lemire, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Edgar Delgado. Fight! Colossus wants the ark. The X-Men aren’t super-keen on the idea, but he takes it anyway. Meanwhile, in Limbo, Sapna is creating golems that Illyana destroys. Illyana congratulates Sapna on her progress. And she gives Sapna her old uniform. Aw, it’s a sweet moment. Illyana and Sapna really are the best part of this series. Sapna serves as a great foil for Illyana, reminding her of herself, a reflection of she could have turned out if her life hadn’t been awful. And it’s cute, and I like it. Back in the future, Storm finally gives in to despair and gives up, until Iceman pep talks her. Meeeh. Storm giving up? I don’t buy it. I don’t like how Lemire writes her. Regardless, they go, and right before Glob confesses to his crush on Jean, they all get attacked by Moloids. Which gives Jean a chance to be awesome. I d always enjoy seeing Jean be awesome. She’s got a real flair for the dramatic when she wants to, and it’s always great. The issue also has a pretty good scene between Illyana and Forge. And a Fastball Special via Colossus and Venom. The issue, as a whole, I find OK. I still hate Ramos’ art. That’s never going to change. I will always dislike his style. As for the writing, I’m not sold on Lemire here, either. There is some good stuff. Any scene with Illyana is great. I really love what he’s doing with her. Iceman’s pep talk to Storm is bound to make Iceman fans happy, but the fact that she even needed one is going to sit poorly with Storm fans. She’s Storm. Despair is not something she does. She does not give up, ever. Also, something bothers me about Glob’s crush on Jean. There’s two ways it can go. Either Jean can reciprocate, which nope, nope, lots and lots of nope. Or she can turn him down and Glob’s feelings can be hurt, which would just feel weirdly mean. It doesn’t help that I don’t actually particularly like Glob. The overall plot is OK. Not great, just OK. Nothing special. The weakest of the Apocalypse Wars stories.

Worst X-Men Ever #4, by Max Bemis, Michael Walsh and Ruth Redmond. It starts with a softball game. Yay! It’s been waaaaaaay too long since the X-Men have played softball. This scene also has the single greatest description of the Xavier School ever: “It’s like a Hogwart’s for future dead people!” Harsh, but amazing. Then Bailey storms out and blows them all up. Of course, it was all a fantasy, with Bailey chained up in a junkyard, admitting that he’s thought about killing the X-Men. Magneto delivers some pretty fantastic stuff about fighting for change. It’s really cool, interesting stuff and I love it. Magneto wants Bailey to kill Xavier and create a world without X-Men. Later, Rags and Riches try to stop Juggernaut from robbing a bank. They fail, but Miranda creates a well he falls into. She can make things, as well as make things go away. No one really asked her. Bailey and Riches get into a bit of a fight, and get sent to see Xavier. Where Xavier admits there’s no real point to anything, and all he’s doing is fighting for a collection of moments. Which is actually a really great moment, too. There’s a lot of very metatextual commentary in this series, and I love it. It provides a really interesting way of viewing the X-Men franchise, and superhero comics as a whole. I really enjoy. The story is really good, there’s some very good character stuff. The art isn’t my favourite, but it’s good enough. This is a really enjoyable series.

Deadpool #12, by Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish and Nick Filardi. Future Lady Deadpool 2099 heads down into the long-dead Monster Metropolis, where someone has broken in. Most of the junk Deadpool collected is still there, but one item’s been stolen. The Grey Lady Deadpool 2099 heads to where Regular Dude Deadpool Not 2099 But In 2099 And Is Now Old As A Result has been locked up, and she blows him out. Deadpool 2099’s team of BOBs give chase. Turns out what Grey Deadpool stole was Preston’s holo-matrix. The reveal of who the Grey Deadpool is isn’t terribly surprising. I won’t spoil it, but yeah, not surprising. Also, not exciting! This issue is as lame as the previous 2099 issue! As lame as this whole volume has been! Duggan just can’t seem to get it right, on his own. It’s a boring comic. The art isn’t my style, either. So on the whole, very meh.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #5, by Joe Kelly, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and Jason Keith. It opens with Spider-Man seeing Madame Web and the Great Web of Life. Deadpool and Shiklah head to Hell to see Peter’s soul get tortured, but Hell doesn’t have his soul. And someone has taken Peter’s place in Parker Industries. Deadpool has Shiklah bring Peter back to life, and then shoots him again, hoping this time it’ll send his soul to Hell. It doesn’t. And Deadpool realizes he got tricked into killing someone who wasn’t a bad guy. Meanwhile, in the afterlife, Mysterio is trying to torment Peter with his failures. Because that’ll work. Not like he doesn’t think about this stuff all the time already. Deadpool shows up to help. After Mysterio’s beaten, Mephisto shows up. With a secret. Also showing up: Death. I always liked Deadpool’s deep love of Death. This is a good issue. Kelly’s always been the best Deadpool writer, making Deadpool funny without the comedy being overbearing. The fact that Deadpool never shuts up is fun, but it never sucks away any tension or drama. He also does a fantastic job writing a Deadpool who wants to be a better person. And on top of that, he’s doing better work with Deadpool’s marriage than Duggan, the guy who came up with the whole thing. This issue also touches on One More Day in a very effective manner. So there’s a lot going on here that’s excellent and fascinating stuff. The art is great, too. McGuinness is probably my favourite Deadpool artist, because it’s not a cartoony stye. It’s a fairly normal superhero style, which grounds Deadpool in a way that cartoony art doesn’t. I love it. This is the best Deadpool series in a long, long, long time.

So that’s the X-stuff. And here’s brief thoughts on other stuff I picked up.

Ms. Marvel #7, by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring. It’s a science fair! With exhibits at least as ridiculous as you would expect of a science fair drawn by Adrian Alphona in the pages of Ms. Marvel. “Moose Juicer.” I’ll leave it at that, but the page is filled with jokes like that. Another thing I will say without comment: Skyshark. There’s also a really nice moment for Josh the jock, and a great bit of commentary on how screwed up the college system is. How much it sucks that kids have to compete for scholarships, or else get insurmountable amounts of debt. (Also serves as a little advance poking at Civil War II: “Why do good guys always end up fighting other good guys? Who wins in that scenario?”)

Captain Marvel#5, by Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas, Kris Anka, Felipe Smith and Matt Wilson. Puck sings Bryan Adams. Ew. I never liked Bryan Adams. Sasquatch uses his science to come up with a plan for taking out the Satori attackers, and Carol adds her special brand of recklessness to the plan. And Puck gets to be awesome, too. It’s a fun issue.

Weirdworld #6, by Sam Humphries, Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso. Rebecca wakes up for a conversation with Morgan Le Fey. Where they bond over a love of fries. I’m not sure fries are the best food ever created, but they’re up there. We get Morgan’s history in Weirdworld – that she’s been trapped for 60 years, was initially enslaved, but learned the world’s magic and took over. And then Becca tells her story, about her mom. It’s emotional. And I hate that this is the last issue. There needs to be more! There’s so much left undone! Humphries and Del Mundo did such amazing work on this book and it’s ended far too soon and that makes me sad. Damn everyone who didn’t buy this comic!

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8, by Eryca Renzorth. Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi. Oh, and a short sequence drawn by Andy Hirsch. To start with, the opening recap page is amazing. Galactus tweets about having forgotten his password, and it’s the dumbest thing and I love it. The issue starts with the New Avengers fighting a giant tree lobster, along with a history lesson on tree lobsters, and it’s why I love this series. It’s educational! Just because learning is fun! But then Squirrel Girl gets really sad about Chipmunk Hunk having a date. And Nancy cheers her up by helping her set up an online dating profile. Hells yeah! And it’s tough! And you know what? Yeah, writing a good dating profile is tough. Like, I always feel like I put too much in my profile. But I want to give women an idea of who I am, you know? And then the bottom text paraphrase Blur’s “Girls and Boys” and it’s great! I’m not even big into that song, but my ex was for a little while, so I know the song, and it’s fun seeing it referenced like that. And there’s a dating montage! Which includes Fancy goddamn Dan! And a Sentinel! This comic is the most amazing thing you guys!

Mockingbird #3, by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk and Rachelle Rosenberg. For the record, I spelled Niemczyk from memory, without checking, because I am awesome. Nothing makes me feel better than remembering a really weird name like that. The issue begins with a montage of attempts young Bobbi to get superpowers. These include inventing a laser helmet. She eventually gave up, believing she couldn’t be a hero because she was a girl. Wow. Cain is not even trying to be subtle here, and I love it. It’s a strong statement she’s making about the sexism and racism inherent to the superhero genre, and it’s really cool. Anyway, after this commentary on superheroes, Bobbi goes to help a young girl who’s just developed powers and is sitting on a ledge with a bunch of hostages in a bubble. The girl also sings Hamilton. Because of course she does. I’m shocked we haven’t gotten more Hamilton references in comics the past couple months. The issue is fantastic. It’s a very, very staunchly feminist issue. It doesn’t seem to advance the plot, that I can tell. Instead, it’s a statement issue. It does do an exceptional job exploring who Bobbi is, but mostly, it feels like Cain just had some things she really wanted to say, and she wanted to say it early in case she didn’t get a chance later. And I am absolutely fine with that, because it made for a brilliant issue. It says a lot about how society treats tween girls, and just how shitty we are towards them when they’re going through an incredibly complicated time. And, obviously, Niekczyk and Rosenberg do great work on the art. Rosenberg, in particular, gets to really stretch her stuff, as there’s a lot of rainbow-colouring going on. She does gorgeous work with it. This is such a good comic.

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #7, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Marco Failla and Tamra Bonvillain. Lunella comes out of her terrigenesis, looking unchanged. Out in space, a young Kree named Mel-Varr is analyzing Inhumans. His screen includes Ms. Marvel, because of course it does, we know she’s the best Inhuman ever. His father chews him out for not getting into the Academy. Mel decides to prove his worth by capturing an Inhuman. He goes for the weakest of the bunch – Lunella. Poor Mel. He just wants his father to be proud of him, but he’s not cut out to be a strong warrior. So that’s what this arc will be. Mel trying to capture Lunella, and presumably eventually learning to respect and like her. Well, that, and we know Lunella’s mind will swap with Devil’s. So that’s going to be amazing.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #6, by Kate Leth and Natasha Allegri. First off, I have to say that Allegri’s art is adorable. It’s just the adorablest thing ever. (Also, as I said yesterday, Patsy’s ringtone is Regina Spektor who is amaaaazing.)

Anyway, Jen, Ian and Tom grab Patsy and take her to Coney Island to relax. And then Arcade shows up! It’s an Arcade issue you guys! Hurrah! Arcade issues are always really fun treats. Also, we learn that Ian is bi. Which is so great! There’s not a lot of bisexual people in fiction, especially not ones who identify as bi, so it’s cool that Ian identifies as bi.


From → 2016

  1. I’m completely with you on Extraordinary X-Men 10. There are parts of it that work very well, like Magik’s scenes and Jean Grey being awesome. At the same time, the main story lacks substance and Storm’s characterization is not only questionable, but it’s a reminder of the needlessly hopeless feel of this series as a whole. It makes for a frustrating comic to read.

    Ms. Marvel 7 is such a weird yet fun comic. There’s really no other way to describe it.

    Captain Marvel 5 is so much fun. Some great character moments all-round, an imperfect solution to the problem that leaves us with a more complex story, and Puck being awesome.

    Deadpool/Spiderman, Squirrel Girl and Patsy Walker all sound like fun, so I’ll have to pick them up in trade at some point.

    • Yes. Read Squirrel Girl and Hellcat, especially. They are wonderful. Two of the most hilarious comics out there.

  2. I’ve loved Worst X-Man Ever as well. It’s a fun story. I wish Marvel would do something to differentiate comics like this and the Guardians and Spidey books that aren’t necessarily in universe. It can be a little confusing when looking at books on the rack.

    As for the main X-Men books, I haven’t been able to get into any of them. I am having a hard time getting past things like Iceman suddenly being gay and the young X-Men being brought to the present and stuff. I know some of this has been going on for a while but it just feels like a cheap comic book thing to do. Kinda like a certain new Hydra agent making headlines lately…

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