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X-Men comics of July 20 2016

July 21, 2016

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Comics!

Uncanny X-Men #10, by Cullen Bunn, Ken Lashley and Nolan Woodard. In Colorado, a flock of Archangels are descending to kill people. Psylocke goes into Warren’s mind, and actually puts on a variation of her old Lady Mandarin outfit as psionic armour. Kinda neat. Meanwhile, Magneto rips Genocide apart. Metal suit against Master of Magnetism has always been a bad idea. In NYC, Monet promises to stay with Emplate if he releases the Morlocks. He tells her to prove it by letting him feed. She throws him against a wall and tells him to fade back out of reality. She is full of contempt for him. Ah, I do love contemptuous Monet. But Emplate has one last trick up his sleeve. And then back to Colorado for a big Last Stand against the Archangels. This is a pretty good end to the arc. The Drone Archangel plot is resolved, with what is basically a return to the classic take on the character, because comics are nothing if not cyclic. The Archangel Wars plot was definitely the weakest part of this arc, for me, though this issue benefits from making it about Warren/Archangel, without trying to make it about Magneto, or trying to give Magneto an emotional connection to it that doesn’t feel earned. The Monet/Emplate plot is much better, and that’s a long way from resolved. It’s a cool twist, and sets up what should be a really interesting direction for Monet. The previous flirting between Monet and Sabretooth always felt gross, but Bunn is now setting up a situation where a bond can be made between them, that feels legitimate. The art is nice. Lashley and Woodard work well together. Lashley’s not quite as expressive as I’d like, but Woodard’s colours actually do a very good job in terms of mood and tone. And the action scenes are very exciting. The dream stuff is also done really well, with the faded colours being a great little visual cue. So, yeah, good issue all around.

All-New Wolverine #10, by Tom Taylor, Ig Guara, Bob Wiacek, Victor Olazaba and John Rauch. Ulysses has a vision about Wolverine, Logan, a little girl and a lot of blood. Logan wakes up to a wolverine staring him in the face. I do love Jonathan. He’s the friendliest wolverine ever. Logan’s chained down for his first official meeting with Gabby.

All-New Wolverine #10

I love Gabby.

Laura comes in and unties Logan, and they hear and smell people coming. Turns out it’s burglars. And there’s a good laugh about them picking that apartment to break into. And then Jonathan gets shot. No! Jonathan!  So those burglars get their asses kicked. Luckily, Jonathan’s OK. Not just OK.

All-New Wolverine #10

Jonathan needs his own spin-off.

Logan helps with Jonathan, and tells Gabby he knows she’s hiding something from Laura. But he also thinks she’s a good kid. Then Laura and Logan have a really sweet conversation. This is such a great comic. There’s a little bit of tension running through it with the reader wondering about Ulysses’ vision. Some great comedy when the burglars break in. More tension after Jonathan’s shot. And then relief and comedy when he turns out to be fine. The conversations Logan has with Gabby and Laura are both really sweet. Logan interacting with young women was probably when he was most endearing, and that’s what we see here. And it’s sweet. I’m honestly a little torn on whether I want Logan to become a supporting character in this book. On the one hand, I want Laura to stand on her own, without needing Logan to boost sales. On the other hand, it’d be fun to see Logan and Gabby hanging out more. Maybe he could just show up every so often for fun feels-focused comics. I also really like the relationship between Laura and Logan, as she clearly has a lot of affection for him, but is also completely unwilling to put up with any shit from him. It’s great. The art is really good. There’s good work with facial expressions and body language, and the action scenes are excellent, really exciting stuff. Dynamic. And Jonathan, of course, is totally adorable. This is a great series.

Deadpool & the Mercs For Money #1, by Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello and Guru eFX. It starts with Deadpool and Domino hanging out at a restaurant in Mexico and talking about his team. Interestingly, Domino says they make enchiladas, and asks if that’s his thing. Deadpool says it’s chimichangas. But here’s the thing: The chimichangas thing was a joke about him liking the world, and he actually prefers enchiladas. I’m honestly not sure if this is Bunn making a call back to the Cable & Deadpool joke. I’d like to think it is. But it’s tough to tell. Anyway, Deadpool leaves with Masacre. It was nice seeing Domino. She and Deadpool actually do play off each other really well, I find. They’ve got a good chemistry. Domino’s actually a character who has fun chemistry with a lot of characters, though. Anyway, the Mercs have a mission in Albuquerque, because they’ve been paid to bring in a teen girl who calls herself Negasonic Teenage Warhead. So, now we know how she gets from the movie to the comics. Because she was in the movie, remember? Do you remember her from the movie? She was in the movie and it was a cool movie and the movie was movie. Movie? Movie! She has the same name as the original comic character. And she also has some limited ability to tell the future. I have a feeling that she actually is the original Negasonic Teenage Warhead, with her spirit possessing another girl. Anyway, this issue was meh. The fact that a character whose primary character trait was “dead” is around and well is a bit odd, especially as she shows no sign of what little personality she had previously. She was very much a goth, when we got a glimpse of her in the past, but here, she seems like a pretty normal kid. A significant portion of the issue is taken up with her avoiding and beating the Mercs, which, frankly, drags it down. There’s some bits of plot here. What’s frustrating to me, though, is the ongoing lack of personality the Mercs show. They’re boring and bland and generic, and they don’t feel like themselves. And it’s just kind of a boring issue. Not as infuriatingly boring as the previous volume, but I don’t have high hopes here.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #7, by Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish and Val Staples. This uses the stupid conceit of being an inventory story, the thing Duggan and Posehn did several times in their run in order to completely miss what made the famous Kelly Deadpool issue so great. This one is set in 1968, exploring the political insanity of that year. Some corporate douche is threatening to pull advertising money from the Bugle if they don’t shift their election coverage to be more positive. JJJ sends Peter and Ned Leeds to report on hippies causing problems. So they head to Chicago, where “Jack McPherson” is promising to end the war in Vietnam. He’s presumably being used as a stand-in for Eugene McCarthy. The douche guy’s sister is booing him, while in a limo with Deadpool and Nixon. Deadpool reveals he was the one who killed JFK. Funny. She takes him to meet Mysterio, who’s posing as McPherson. A bit later, at the protest a riot breaks out, so Spider-Man goes into detail after some “wink-nudge” bits pointing out how ridiculous a lot of his ’60s tropes were. Like the fact that he takes time to get changed while people are getting hurt, or the fact that JJJ doesn’t get suspicious about his photos being taken from the side of a building. Because these are totally things that no one has ever noticed before, these are totally original observations. Ugh. Anyway, Spider-Man and Deadpool fight, then Spider-Man foils the evil plan of the rich douches. After we see Mysterio make some stupid comments that are supposed to be similar to things Republicans have said during the campaign. One specific one I want to note is that he says the Egyptian pyramids weren’t crypts, they were lairs for evil mutants. The thing is, in the Marvel Universe, this is actually a pretty reasonable assumption to make. I’m pretty sure several of the pyramids were lairs for evil mutants. Like, if Xavier were at that convention, he’d probably hear that and go, “Huh, yeah, that sounds about right, we should probably check on that.” Anyway, fighting, whatever. “Funny” political commentary, haha. Lame. Not particularly insightful or clever. It had nothing particularly valuable to say about ’60s comics, and even less of value to say about contemporary politics. Just pointing out things everyone already knows to be problems. Yeah, this issue sucked.

That’s the X-titles, but allow me to talk about other comics, too.

Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! #8, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Rachelle Rosenberg. Patsy wakes up with a feeling that Jen’s in trouble. She texts America, who agrees to get her in. And guys. Feels.

Hellcat #8

This panel makes me cry.

She tells their non-superhero friends about it. They hug, and then go for drinks to talk about Jen. And Patsy remembers a time they hung out, and it includes a Catball Special, and it is the most adorable thing.

Hellcat #8

Just look at her!

But man, this issue. So much in the feels. This issue makes me cry. It’s so sad! The fact that it’s normally such a fun, upbeat comic makes it even rougher. Leth, Williams and Rosenberg just wreck the reader here. This issue will destroy you, in the best possible way. There’s still some good laughs, but they’re sad laughs mixed with sobs, and it’s just such an amazing comic.

Nighthawk #3, by David Walker, Martin Morazzo and Tamra Bonvillain. Nighthawk attacks some gun-runners. Brutally. They get an advantage over him after he gets thrown from the roof of their van, but Tilda helps him out with one of her owl-bots. And man, Nighthawk is brutal when asking questions. Tilda, meanwhile, remains delightful. She’s such a supervillain, but she’s so charming about it. She keeps asking Nighthawk to bring her on missions, partly so she can get in on killing asshole cops. She really is a lot of fun. Aside from that, we get more progress on the larger plot, and we get the Revelator striking again, at an obvious target. And Nighthawk’s police contact is getting a little more involved in the plot, too, which is cool. The art’s good. There’s a real brutality to the violence that works well for this book. Also, those abs. This is a really good series.

Ultimates #9, by Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown. We start in Machu Picchu in 1998, with Adam Brashear being a dad. It’s cute. He and his son, Kevin, chase off the Infinaut. He’s returned a few times since then, and is about to return again, for the Ultimates to deal with. One of Philip Vogt’s Troubleshooters, Agent Terry Jessup, is standing by to watch and see if they can deal with it. A Tyrone Jessup was part of Psi-Force in the New Universe, and a thing on the letters page confirms Terry is based on Tyrone. Neat! Anyway, while setting up a device to deal with the Infinaut, Carol and Adam talk about what happened to Banner. There’s tension between them. That should go an interesting direction. Ulysses actually also says something cool about the Ultimates, admiring the fact that there’s no hierarchy, no leader, just a bunch of people working together to do things. Which is one of the best things about the team, really. And then they deal with the Infinaut. By helping him. Bringing him in, at a safe size. Which is so great! I love it! It’s what makes the Ultimates so great. They’re not about punching bad guys. They’re about solving problems. And I love this issue for going that direction. There’s also some more really cool high-concept stuff. The scene between Carol and Adam was great, and there’s another fantastic moment for Carol later in the issue, as we see how much she wants a win. The stuff with Vogt and his Troubleshooters is really interesting, too, and I’m curious to see where that goes. This series is great. Not much in the way of action, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you may as well look somewhere else. But this is a very smart comic, so if you enjoy that, this is great.

A-Force #7, by Kelly Thompson, Ben Caldwell, Scott Hanna and Ian Herring. Nico uses a spell to save A-Force from drowning. They realize the Countess’ power has limits, and She-Hulk has a plan for stopping her. Dazzthor confesses to being poisoned by the Terrigen Mists. And Singularity gives her adorable assurance. I love Singularity so much. She’s so positive. Also, we learn Alison Blaires don’t do subtle. Damn straight. They are stars and they will have the spotlight! And then it’s fight time. And after a setback, Countess has pie and lemonade, which is so great. And Dazzler gets a moment of epicness. And the day is saved with the Power Of Love. As in, the Huey Lewis song. This was really fun. There’s a lot of great quips. There’s also some really good emotional beats, especially with Dazzler and Dazzthor. And I’m a sucker for stories where the Power of Love saves the day. I’m a brony, I love Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl, of course I’m a sucker for the Power of Love. Though not the song. But I do think it’s funny that they explicitly referenced the song. Anyway. This was great.

And, finally, Snotgirl #1! By Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung and Mickey Quinn! We meet Lottie Person, fashion blogger with allergies. She’s also a very negative person. She presents herself as fun and happy, but she’s definitely not happy, and she hates a lot of people, and she’s got some pretty clear confidence issues. Then she meets a hot girl who’s really cool. Coolgirl. Lottie gives nicknames to people. Misty is Cutegirl. Meg is Normgirl. She has similar nicknames for pretty much everyone she sees. And now, Caroline, Coolgirl. I like the idea. It’s a cute idea. Lottie goes to see her allergist, who’s on vacation, so a new doctor prescribes a new treatment. I’m guessing it’s going to cause some problems. And, OK, the end of this issue? Holy shit. Did not go how I expected. This was great. Lottie’s a fantastic character. She’s really relatable. She’s such a Social Media Age character. She presents herself online as perfect, living a perfect life. But in reality, she feels like a mess. Which is how I think most people are. Most people are like that, right? Anyway, it makes her a great character for the zeitgeist. There’s some really good humour, and some great drama. And gorgeous art. Hung and Quinn are fantastic. This is a very pretty comic. There’s definitely manga influences in Hung’s lines, but she’s still got a distinctive style. And the colours are really bright and bring everything to life. I love the art. This is a great comic. If you were on the fence about it, then I highly recommend it. If you weren’t planning on picking it up, I still recommend it, because it’s great.

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From → 2016, Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. Yeah, it sounds like I’ll definitely need to pick up Uncanny X-Men’s Apocalypse Wars trade when it comes out. Still not picking up the main series until they get rid of Greg Land though.

    All-New Wolverine continues to be the best X-Men comic on the stands. This issue really captures the family feel that’s been lacking in all the current team books, even if All-New X-Men sometimes approaches it. I agree that Logan shouldn’t be a regular member of the All-New Wolverine cast, but they should interact more as well, preferably in other titles instead of just All-New Wolverine. When is she actually going to make an appearance in one of Logan’s solo titles? Because for some reason, that’s never happened beyond a tiny cameo.

    Part of what makes Ultimates such a great series so far is that it doesn’t rely on action to be exciting. It relies on exploration, creative storytelling and a huge scale while still being character focused. Ultimates 9 is no exception.

    A-Force is delightful as usual, giving both Dazzler and Nico moments to shine. The dynamic between She-Hulk and Medusa is great as always. At the same time though, yesterday’s issue is dramatic and tragic in the end. Kelly Thompson’s run as the sole writer is off to a great start.

    I glanced through Snot Girl in the store. It looks like a good comic, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s for me. I hope it finds its audience though.

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