X-Men comics of June 15 2016
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Speaking of Twitter, you can maybe check out the #queerselflove tag. If you’d like to show support for queer comic creators, a whole lot were retweeted by @QueerComics. But for now, comics!
Uncanny X-Men #8, by Cullen Bunn, Ken Lashley and Nolan Woodard. In Magneto’s Savage Land base, his robot assistant is checking Archangel’s vitals, while complaining about how it feels overlooked and ignored by the others. Dude, Magneto’s a dick. He made a robot that’s very clearly sentient, and then treats it as a servant. No, dude, don’t do that. If it’s sentient, it deserves to be treated with respect. And it’s definitely sentient. It’s self-aware and capable of reflecting on its own thoughts and, yes, feelings. So, yeah, Magneto’s a dick. Anyway, in the hidden Akkaba City Psylocke and Magneto stumbled on, Psylocke wakes up in a cell. She escapes, but then gets found by Fantomex. Then it cuts to the New York sewers, where Callisto, Monet and Sabretooth are fighting Morlocks possessed by Emplate. He speaks to Monet through them, saying he needs her and that he knew she still cared. And then back to Psylocke and Fantomex, who fight physically and verbally. It’s an awesome scene, actually. Amazing work from both Bunn and Lashley (and Woodard, of course). So much tension in the dialogue, so much excitement in the art. This is a good issue. Solid work. Bunn’s telling two good stories. The Monet story is still the one I enjoy more, because I love Monet, and as dumb a villain as Emplate is, I do still have a soft spot for Generation X, so I’m fine with him. While the Apocalypse Wars storyline holds less interest for me, Psylocke is awesome in this issue, and the fight with Fantomex is a phenomenal example of How To Do Superhero Comics. It really is. Because there’s no wasted space. Every panel has dialogue that gets across either character or plot, and there’s no unnecessarily large panels, no splash pages that are meant to look cool but which fail to really capture the sense of motion that a fight should have. Plus, the fight just looks really cool, and really brutal. And the dialogue and the action work together to get across the animosity these two have for each other. So, yeah, this is an excellent issue.
Civil War II: X-Men #1, by Cullen Bunn, Andrea Broccardo and Jesus Aburtov. A bunch of wealthy mutants in a skyscraper are watching a Terrigen cloud approach, safe in a hermetically-sealed chamber. Which Magneto and his team break into, leading a bunch of non-wealthy mutants. Then some of the servants turn out to be Prime Sentinels in disguise. So it’s fight time. One of them blows out the windows, so the X-Men grab some mutants and run, hoping to outrun the cloud. Then the actual X-Men show up to help. And Bunn writes Nightcrawler the way Nightcrawler should be written: Upbeat and a bit flirtatious. Once the day is saved, Monet reveals that she picked up some thoughts showing the Inhumans warned the X-Men what was going to happen. Magneto gets all righteous and declares there’s a war going on between mutants and Inhumans. Of course, I’m pretty sure Magneto will declare war between mutants and anything. “This movie is terrible! There is a war between mutants and Hollwood!” “Ow! I stubbed my toe on this chair! There is a war between mutants and chairs!” “Oh god, why did I eat at Taco Bell? There is a war between mutants and – urrrrgh! – Taco Bell!” Yes, that last one is a poop joke, because I am a child. Anyway! This is pretty good. There’s some nice X-Men-fighting-Sentinels-and-protecting-mutants stuff. But this issue is mostly set-up. It introduces the characters, who they are and what they do, and is actually pretty effective at that. The art is mostly just OK. There are some odd faces here and there. This isn’t a style to get particularly excited about. Broccardo’s a competent artist, he does a fine job of visual storytelling. But it’s mostly just there. It’s fine. Not bad, not stellar. Just fine.
Deadpool #14, by Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot and Jordie Bellaire. Deadpool’s in bed with Shiklah after they’ve bow-chicka-wow’ed, and finds what looks like a dog hair. After he does some stuff for her, she agrees to send her forces to the surface to help with the Celestial Destroyer from Civil War II 1. The Mercs go around saving people, with Solo also hitting on a woman. He also calls the bad guy Mecha-Marshmallow Man, and you know what? Let’s go with that. That’s legitimately funny. I give Duggan’s Deadpool run a lot of crap for how lame the humour is, but that’s a genuinely good line, so from now on, if I’m talking about CWII 1, I’ll use Mecha-Marshmallow Man, instead of Celestial Destroyer. Anyway, once Mecha-Marshmallow Man gets defeated, Deadpool gets a text invite to the Stark Tower after-party, and says he’s bringing Shiklah along. The other Mercs are annoyed at being left out. At the party, Deadpool expresses doubts about the viability of precognition. (Also at the party, Shiklah seems to be flirting with Beast.) This issue remains meh. It’s such a meh series, and a big part of that is the Mercs. They’re poorly-written, and wildly out-of-character. The jokes are mostly still weak. The art still does nothing for me. This is just such a nothing comic.
That’s the X-titles. There are other comics worth talking about.
Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #7, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Megan Wilson. It starts with Patsy and Jen going to Jessica Jones’ office to talk about the fact that Hedy Wolfe has hired Jessica, and other PIs, to dig up dirt on Patsy. Patsy doesn’t know Jessica, despite having attended her wedding to Luke, and offering to babysit their daughter. And then Patsy does a booksigning at Tom’s shop! Embrace the fame, Patsy! Fun note, one of the people she signs for is artist Brittney Williams, wearing a shirt that say “the ARTisT” on it. Cute. There’s also some shipteasing with Tom and Ian. Also, Tom’s shop has a Power x Fist comic, apparently. And Williams draws an adorable Danielle Cage! This is a great comic and I love it and you should totally be reading it. It’s so cute, and so fun, and so great. (And is written by a queer woman, and drawn by a woman of colour, so yay for diversity!)
Civil War II #2, by Brian Bendis, David Marquez and Justin Ponsor. Iron Man sneaks into Attilan and stands over a sleeping Ulysses. Medusa tells him to leave, and that they’ll talk when he’s not overwhelmed with grief. He zaps her, and then takes out the other Inhumans and steals Ulysses. Because Tony’s the hero of this story, you know! Seriously, this is not what a hero does. The Inhumans go to Stark Tower and demand either Stark speak with them or they’ll destroy the building. Because Tony Stark attacked a sovereign city in a declaration of war. Because Tony’s the hero of this story. Karnak prepares to bring the building down, but Carol shows up with some Avengers, a couple Ultimates, and SHIELD. Carol manages to talk Medusa down, at least temporarily. Meanwhile, Tony is trying to figure out how Ulysses’ visions work. And then Carol leads an attack on his hidden lab. And while Tony and Carol argue, Ulysses has a vision of a giant-size Hulk standing over everyone’s dead bodies. Everyone else experiences the vision, too, which is a new wrinkle. This was OK. We get some escalation. Tony is an ass, while Carol is eminently reasonable. But it looks like next issue is when Carol will start to do the wrong thing. But if Bendis expects me to start rooting for Tony, then no, to hell with that, he attacked a sovereign state and abducted one of their citizens. That is wrong. It was wrong when the Avengers tried it in AvX to grab Hope. It is wrong now. The reasons don’t even frigging matter. Ulysses did nothing wrong, but Tony Stark engaged in an act of war in order to abduct him. No, Tony Stark is an asshole and at this point, no matter what Carol does, I will not root for Tony. I may end up rooting for neither of them. I’ll be on Team Knock It Off Both Of You. Team Squirrel Girl, that’s where I am. Hmph.
On a final note, while I didn’t actually get the issue, Vote Loki #1 does apparently have Loki take a female form at one point, in order to set a female journalist at ease. Which sorta touches on Loki being gender-fluid, except she’s not a woman because she felt like it, she’s a woman as a tool of manipulation. I’d much rather Loki just occasionally show up as a woman, with absolutely no ulterior motives beyond “This is just how I felt today.”