X-Men comics of June 1 2016
All-New Wolverine #9, by Tom Taylor, Marcio Takara and Mat Lopes. Iron Man shows up to help against Iron Man, but Hill tells him they have people inside. Laura is climbing around inside. Which is just, you know, awesome. Then Captain Marvel shows up to punch Fin Fang Foom, which is never not delightful, really. Inside, Laura finds Old Man Logan, badly injured by the stomach acids. His legs have been melted, aside from his bones, so Laura carries him back out. Back outside, Fin Fang Foom knocks the Helicarrier out of the air. So, did you ever play Marvel: Ultimate Alliance? The first mission ends with saving the Helicarrier from Fin Fang Foom. So this comic actually makes me kinda happy. I almost want to go back and play that game now. Anyway, Gabby gets an adorable line: “Your Helicarrier lost its heli.” I love Gabby. She also geeks out a bit at Captain Marvel and Iron Man (mostly Captain Marvel). Also, we get Wolverine demanding a jetpack. And Iron Man makes a comment about having to sterilize a lot of rooms in his time. And near the end, Laura wears a Captain Marvel t-shirt! Lookin’ stylish, Laura! This comic is so much fun. It’s weird that a Wolverine comic, an X-23 comic, would also be one of Marvel’s funnest comics, but it really is. There’s plenty of exciting action. There’s plenty of neat guest stars. And there’s so many lines that just make me laugh my ass off. “Did you naked jetpack?” “Yes. It was cold.” Gabby is adorable and wonderful and I love her. But Laura gets a lot of really funny lines, too. The art is bright and colourful. There are some panels that skip out on background, which I find odd, but for the most part, there’s plenty of detail, and characters are expressive, and the humour is always sold perfectly. The panel where Laura demands a jetpack definitely stands out for that:
Old Man Logan #7, by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo. After Logan gives some angsty narration about madness and chaos, it gets into the story, where he stabs a Reaver through the face. And then decapitates another Reaver, after he reveals Lady Deathstrike is behind the attack. She has Maureen and her mother, and will kill one and let the other go. Logan has to choose which. Luckily, Logan has back-up, the local sheriff, who shoots Deathstrike in the back. And then it’s time for a one-on-one, and goddamn Sorrentino and Maiolo. This is another fantastic issue. It’s brutal and gorgeous and sad and goddamn Sorrentino and Maiolo. And I mean that in the best possible way. Because goddamn. They are spectacular. And it is the two of them. Anyone who discusses the art while only talking about Sorrentino is wrong and stupid, because Maoilo’s colours are an integral part of the art. Maybe even the most integral part, because holy shit Maiolo keeps killing it. Sorrentino’s lines and layouts are excellent, but then you add Maiolo’s colours and the book just becomes stunning. It’s one of the most gorgeous comics you’ll find. Beautifully brutal, beautifully heartbreaking. And that last page? Oh man. That may now be the Old Man Logan image. It would make one hell of a poster.
X-Men ’92 #4, by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Alti Firmansyah amd Matt Milla. While Storm’s small group is outside preparing to confront Alpha Red’s larger group of vampire X-Men, Beast sends Dead Girl into virtual reality to purge a virus from Cerebro, since Dead Girl’s immune to the supernatural. And Wolverine betrays Alpha and slashes him in the back. Seems to me an actual stab might have been more effective. And Psylocke kicks Ursa Major in the face. And U-Go Girl teleports the vamped kids into the Danger Room to fight holographic Blades. In the VR, Dead Girl meets the Darkhold Dwarf. While Rogue and Gambit break into the lab. And the Dwarf offers to use the Montesi Program to wipe out vampirism, at the cost of Dead Girl’s soul. With a “No more vampires” panel that’s a direct parallel of “No more mutants,” because this book has made a conscious decision that everything has to copy something someone else did. Uuugh. This book frustrates me! It’s just grabbing shit from all over and throwing it together and not even trying to be the least bit creative on its own merits. There’s some reasonably cool moments, there’s some cool characters, but there’s nothing truly unique here. It’s fueled entirely by homage, and that’s boring. Like, has anyone read any of the current Spidey series? It’s basically just a re-telling of some of Spider-Man’s early adventures. And yet, from what I’ve read, each issue tries to be original. So you have Spider-Man vs. Doom, but it’s not just the same story as the first time they fought, it’s its own story. And that’s cool. But this? Sims and Bowers are just saying, “Grab the Darkhold from the ’90s, grab Janus from the ’70s, grab Vampire Jubilee from a few years ago, grab the Montesi Formula from the ’80s, grab that ‘No more mutants’ panel from a few years ago.” It’s all other people’s ideas. And why the hell are we supposed to read this book when all the ideas in it belong to other people? Dead Girl is not enough to justify a book’s whole existence, especially since she’s written in a rather bland and generic way. This comic sucks. Learn how to make your own damn stories, rather than just cribbing from creators who are clearly more talented than you.
Deadpool #13, by everyone ever. Or, Gerry Duggan, Charles Soule, David Walker, Jacopo Camagni, Guillermo Sanna, Elmo Bondoc, Paco Diaz, Veronica Gandini, Mat Lopes, Nolan Woodard and Israel Silva. This comic is actually a four-part crossover that’s combined into one book. We start with Ben Urich’s narration, as he talks about a crime. At Starnes Bank, a dude and his secretary are burning papers and getting ready to leave. Some Yakuza show up demanding money they loaned him. Then Typhoid Mary busts in, also demanding money her employers loaned him. The guy goes to Deadpool for help. He agrees to help, once he learns of Typhoid’s involvement. He mentions she once raped him. She pretended to be Siryn, who Deadpool had been in love with. Rape by deception, still rape. I should note that this comes from the Joe Kelly days, and even then, it was treated as a horrible action on Mary’s part, and Deadpool felt violated at the time. So Deadpool goes to fight Typhoid. That goes poorly, so he takes the guy to the DA, and meets Matt Murdock. They head back to Deadpool’s office, with Daredevil joining them, to find a laptop that has information on all the gangs the guy was laundering money for, and which Deadpool dropped in the garbage. At the office, they get attacked by Typhoid and some thugs. She burns Deadpool’s face so he’s left blind, so he spends the rest of the Daredevil issue making comments about being blind. The laptop isn’t in his office, and Daredevil leaves, so Deadpool goes to hire Luke Cage and Iron Fist to help out. So it’s off to a landfill to search through 40 million pounds of garbage. Danny tries to be positive about it all, which is a lot of fun. We also learn that Luke’s daughter refers to pooping as going icky-yucky. Aww. Over the course of the issue, Deadpool manages to be so annoying that even Iron Fist loses his temper and wants to hit him. And then Typhoid and some thugs attack. So, landfill fight. And then another garbage truck arrives, with the missing laptop. Which leads into the final issue, which starts with the guy calling Murdock, and Typhoid setting a garbage fire to cover her escape. Which she accomplishes in a garbage truck. Fun. Deadpool manages to catch Typhoid and knocks her out of the garbage truck, then decides to end the fight. On the whole, this was OK. Each part was OK. The middle two parts were funnier than the Deadpool issues, which is unsurprising. Interesting that Typhoid was the main villain of the crossover, and that Duggan brought up the rape as a major source of drama and conflict. I do like that he did that, because it’s certainly worth remembering, and discussing. Female-on-male rape is usually played for laughs or titillation. “Can’t rape the willing” and the like. But the fact that Typhoid raped Deadpool is something that, at the time, we were supposed to find awful. It really screwed him up. And this story brings it back as something he hasn’t really gotten over. He still resents her for it, and it’s still treated as a genuine violation, as it should be.
That’s the X-titles, but there’s other stuff I should talk about.
Civil War II #1, by Brian Bendis, David Marquez and Justin Ponsor. Ulysses is running through some woods in a panic, and Medusa and the Inhumans show up to help him. Cut to a few weeks later, where the ANAD Avengers are hurting, and wondering how to fight a Celestial-looking thing. And then the reinforcements arrive. It’s one hell of a group. And the day is saved when the Celestial is sent back to its own dimension! At a party the next evening, Tony Stark thanks the Inhumans for making the win possible by giving everyone advance warning of what was going to happen. Medusa introduces some of the heroes to Ulysses. He doesn’t know how his visions work, so Tony suggests they get Jean to read his mind, but she can’t. His mind is a closed system. Tony gets concerned about that, about someone whose mind is closed and who can tell a future. He points out that what Ulysses sees are possible futures, and he’s worried about the idea of locking people up before they do anything wrong, based on Ulysses saying they’re going to do something wrong. Later on, Ulysses has another vision, and calls the Ultimates. Soon after that, Tony finds out something happened to Rhodey. Rhodey’s dead, she She-Hulk’s comatose. Tony blames Carol for Rhodey’s death. Which is stupid. I mean, I get that he’s upset, but Rhodey’s a superhero and a soldier. Fighting massive threats at the risk of his own life was kind of his job. It was his chosen career. So, this issue. This is definitely a Bendis comic. It’s a looooooooooot of dialogue. A lot of expositionary dialogue written in his trademark style, which means everything takes about four times as long to say. I’m still not sold on this story. So far, Carol’s side is completely valid. It’s preparing for massive threats. She hasn’t done anything actually wrong yet. Like, preparing an ambush for frigging Thanos is supposed to be a bad thing? He’s Thanos. If he’s around, shit is going down, and if he’s on Earth, it’s probably not going to be good for anyone on the planet. So, yes, ambushing him? Entirely valid move. If Carol did anything wrong, it was not having a big enough team with her. But the team included Blue Marvel, Monica Rambeau, Miss America, She-Hulk, Dazzler, War Machine, Human Torch, Crystal, Medusa and Black Panther. This was not exactly a lightweight line-up. They are heavy hitters. There’s some legitimate cosmic-level characters in that group. Could she have called in some more? Sure, but at a certain point, it just would’ve left them all getting in each other’s way. So it was a perfectly reasonable team to take into a fight against Thanos. And hey, they did beat him! They captured Thanos! So clearly, they were a good enough team, and clearly, the ambush worked. So what, exactly, is Tony’s objection? That’s not really explained here. It just seems he’s angry that Rhodey didn’t make it out alive, and is lashing out, placing blame on Carol because she was there. We’ll see how the event unfolds, whether Tony’s position ends up becoming more reasonable, whether Carol does start to go too far. But right now, in this issue? Yeah, Tony’s the one who comes across as a dick. The art’s nice, though. It’s a good-looking book.
A-Force #6, by Kelly Thompson, Ben Caldwell, Scott Hanna and Ian Herring. The team wakes up in a prison cell. Dazzler is picking the handcuffs, which I find great. I love the fact that Dazzler knows how to handcuffs. Her life is screwed-up enough that she just figured it would be a useful skill for her to have. The whole town is under the Countess’ control. Nico included. She-Hulk asks Nico about Singularity which causes Nico to begin shaking off the mind-control, at least for a moment. But she reverts in time to prevent Dazzthor from getting her hammer back. And then the Countess shows up to be kinda delightful. And tells Nico to have She-Hulk become more Hulk than She. And, of course, Singularity shows up to be adorable. It’s a very fun comic, with some great emotional tension with Nico.
And All-New All-Different Avengers #10, by Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar and Dave McCaig. They’re in space! To look for Sam’s dad. They follow a distress call to a planet, where their crate gets blasted out of the sky. We also see more of Nadia Pym’s story, as she meets Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp. The meeting goes . . . interesting. This remains a good comic, just good enough to remain on my pull list, but not one that’s going to blow anyone away.