X-Men comics of August 10 2016
All-New X-Men #12, by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Nolan Woodard. Evan and Idie take Bobby out to talk to boys, which is really sweet. They want to train him to be good at talking to boys. Angel has tickets to Milan Fashion Week, but Laura doesn’t want to go. Scott talks to Laura, saying he knows how she feels. He also figures she’s going stir-crazy, but he has a solution.
Specifically, he’s made a list of missions she can go on. Not gonna lie, Scott and Laura as friends is kinda perfect. He’s so obsessively thorough, and Laura is the same.
So he sends her off to have adventures, and all he wants in return is for her to give him detailed stories about them. Awww. These guys! First up, Brazil, and an environmentalist offshoot of the Hand. So it’s enviro-ninjas. I am on board with that. But someone’s already beaten her to it. So, Toronto, where Moloids have been spotted in the subway. Unfortunately, someone’s taken care of that, too. Next, Cameron Hodge and the Right. Holy shit, they’re back? Cameron Hodge is being used as a throwaway villain? OK, that feels wrong. Hodge should always be treated as a big deal. Also already dealt with. Then Florida, where she is in time to stop some demons. Which allows her to unleash her violent side, which feels good. But then Angel interrupts by blowing all the demons up. And they have an argument. While beating up demons. This is a good issue. Hopeless finally shows an understanding of Laura’s character. He does good work with her here, with her ongoing attempts to be “normal,” and how difficult it is for her. Her internal monologue sounds about right. And in her argument with Angel, she brings up some very valid points about herself. I also want to bring up this panel, because I relate so hard:
Seriously, every time someone touches me, if I’m not expecting it, I flinch. I hate being touched. I know it’s weird of me. I don’t actually care. I wish people would just not touch me. Anyway, it’s good work with Laura. And also good work with Angel, as we explore more of the consequences of him keeping the cosmic power-up from the Black Vortex. All good stuff. Bagley’s art remains perfect. Great expressions, great job with comedic beats, great action scenes. The demon fight is brutal and freaky and awesome. Kudos to Hennessy and Woodard, as well. Woodard’s colours are really nice. This is a solid issue in a solid series. Great work.
Old Man Logan #10, by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo. The issue opens with a really cool sequence of Logan dreaming, as we see his silhouette in yellow, and Maureen’s in pink. It’s a great little sequence. He wakes up in a pit, and uses his claws to climb out. And an arrow to the gut sens him right back down. Then we go to the future/past, when Wolverine first encountered this group of weirdos. Logan and Maureen tried to fight the Silent Order, but got captured quickly. The leader, Sohei, cuts Logan’s throat, but of course, Logan survives. Back to the present, where we get a double-page spread of Sohei shooting Logan with arrows while Logan tries to climb out of the pit. This is another great issue. Lemire continues to use the dual time periods effectively, exploring Logan well in both periods. But mostly, that art. Holy damn, that art. Seriously, Sorrentino and Maiolo blow me away every month. Sorrentino does some stellar layouts and gorgeous lines. And Maiolo brings life to the whole thing with some of the most spectacular colour work you’ll find anywhere. I consider Jordie Bellaire to be the best colour artist in comics. But Maiolo, colouring Sorrentino’s lines, creates some stunningly beautiful visuals that are incredibly rare to find in comics. It’s just ridiculous how gorgeous this comic is. Every single month, I’m blown away by how gorgeous it is, more than any other comic. Just amazing.
Deadpool & the Mercs For Money #2, by Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello and Guru-eFX. In Vietnam, Gorilla-Man leads the Mercs to a hidden temple. The human Mercs put on radiation suits, and they all go in, except Stingray. They’re going after Radioactive Man. During the fight, Slapstick expresses anger at Deadpool not caring about any of the Mercs, and thinks they should get rid of him. Meeeeh. Stingray playing Big Damn Hero was definitely the highlight of the issue. The cast are all still out of character, and the story isn’t particularly attention-grabbing. This is dull.
That’s the X-titles, but there’s other stuff I bought.
Black Panther #5, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story and Laura Martin. Black Panther’s brought in Eden Fesi, Manifold, to help with the situation in Wakanda. Yay Manifold! He’s great. He brings T’Challa where he needs to be to kick some ass. It is brutal. Then, T’Challa deals with a bunch of security advisers to dictators from around the world, to learn how to defeat a revolution. Which is a pretty great scene, and a really cool idea. We check in with Shuri, in the afterlife, and get a bit of Wakandan history. This is another great issue. Coates continues to build a fantastic political story. The use of the counter-revolutionary advisers was really interesting, as they’re all bad people, while T’Challa still wants to be a good man. He also has an awesome scene with a would-be suicide bomber. The scene between Shuri and the Mother was also really cool, as an interesting history lesson ending with a declaration of where a nation’s power lay. This series is so great. Yeah, there’s not much action, but who needs action when you’ve got such a compelling narrative being built? This is fantastic.
Vision #10, by Tom King, Gabriel Walta and Jordie Bellair. Vision and his family are under house arrest. Vision declares to his wife that it is unjust that Victor lives while Vin is dead, and that the injustice must be addressed. He lets Virginia and Viv know that Viv will be sent recordings of her classes, along with the assignments, so she can still move onto her junior year on time. The family is not doing well. The roughest scene is Viv and Vision praying that there is a god, that Vin had a soul, and that Vin’s soul is allowed to rest. Man, that scene . . . I’m not religious. I’m agnostic, leaning atheist. And man, that scene still hit me hard. It is powerful stuff. This issue is fantastic, and it’s just moving further and further towards disaster. Virginia is breaking down even more, and I am terrified for what will happen to her. Viv, at least, we know will survive, and will join the Champions. But Virginia? There is no possible way for things to go well for her. And it’s heartbreaking. I say this every month, and every month, I mean it: This is one of the best comics Marvel has ever put out, and if you’re not reading it, you are depriving yourself. This is a year-long stomp on the heart and ripping of your gut and it is so goddamn good.
All-New All-Different Avengers Annual, by a bunch of people! The framing device is by G. Willow Wilson, Mahmud Asrar and Tamra Bonvillain. Kamala gets home after a day of fighting bad guys, and wants to check how her latest fanfic is doing, and finds a fanfic about her, Nova and Spider-Miles. Kamala is upset about the fact that there’s now a fanfic about her (and misses the fact that she writes fanfics about other heroes), and asks an admin to get her in touch with the writer. Her screen name, by the way, is SlothBaby. What a cute screen name. While she waits, she’s unable to stop herself from reading a bunch of the fanfics. First up! Mark Waid and Chip Zdarsky. Their story is about Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel fighting Skrulls who are trying to open a Space-Time Rift. Carol gets shot and died, but passes the Captain Marvel mantle (and helmet) to Kamala. For some reason, This gives her Carol’s blonde Mohawk. The new Captain Marvel shuts down the rift, but not before Mar-Vell comes through and reclaims his mantle. After all, it’s a mantle, not a womantle. She decides to give up her Social Justice Warrioring. I can’t help but feel this might be a bit of a dig at someone, maybe some group of people, but I just can’t think who it could be. I do kinda look forward to seeing how much people must be whine-assing about this. “Why is Marvel insulting its readers?!” They’re not, they’re insulting jackasses. Anyway, this story’s really fun. I mean, it’s awful, with just atrocious writing. Which is what makes it so fun. It’s great. Next, Natasha Allegri. She does a She-Hulk story! One where the writer, represented by a pencil, has no idea what to do, and is really bad at coming up with ideas. It gives her haunted glasses, then makes her fall in love with an apple. Then a weird blobby thing from earlier shows up and starts wrecking the city because She-Hulk doesn’t love it. A group of horribly-drawn Avengers “help.” She talks the blob down, and it walks into the ocean where it gets married. She-Hulk is jealous. This story is wonderful. It’s so cute! Allegri has the cutest art style ever! And she has so much fun with the story, with She-Hulk pointing out how bad it is, and getting annoyed at the pencil. It’s really funny, and it’s adorable. The adorablest thing ever. Next, Zac Gorman and Jay Fosgitt. This is a Marvel Animals one! About Hss. Marvel (Ms. Marvel as a snake) and Spider-Mole (Miles as a mole). They’re hanging out, and then they fight Quack O’ Lantern. Who finds Hss. Marvel a really forced name. She beats him, then suggests she and Mole get back to their date. It’s a cute, fun story. Ms. Marvel is shockingly cute as a snake. There’s a lot of animal puns in the background, which is enjoyable painful. The story’s a blast. Also, I would absolutely read Hss. Marvel and Squirrel Girl. That would be epic. Then, Faith Erin Hicks and Megan Wilson. Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl meet, and they fight. This leads to Ms. Marvel powering up with a blue flame, and Squirrel Girl forming Ultimate Squirrel Girl. And then it turns out it was a fighting arcade game they were playing. Another cute, fun story. I love Hicks’ art style. It’s really cute and fun. It works especially well with Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl, who really need an official team-up story. In either of their books. Or both? Maybe we could get a Squirrel Marvel crossover story? Finally, Scott Kurtz and Steve Hamaker. Which is about a normal guy who’s pretty great. Ms. Marvel busts into a coffee shop looking for him. A month earlier, during a fight against Hydra, he shouted a warning that saved her life, so now she loves him and wants to repay him. So he asks her to beat up his step-dad. And then we get back to Kamala herself, in her room, hating the Internet, and finally getting a chance to speak to the guy who wrote the first fanfic she objected to. It’s Miles, obviously. It’s a predictable ending, but in the best possible way. This whole comic is delightful and you should absolutely read it because you won’t stop laughing. It’s just the best.
A-Force #8, by Kelly Thompson, Paula Siquiera and Rachelle Rosenberg. It starts with a flashback to the fight against Thanos, where She-Hulk got injured. That’s expanded a bit, as we see She-Hulk not only get hit by the missile, but also get pounded by Thanos. In the present, A-Force is gathered around the comatose She-Hulk, and Nico goes to get coffee, and meets Misty Knight. They bond over both having metal arms. Dazzler argues with Carol over Carol giving too much credence to Ulysses. She doesn’t think Jen would support arresting people for crimes they haven’t committed. She also tells off Medusa, saying that if Ulysses said mutants had to be wiped out, Medusa would be first in line with a bomb to do it. Damn. Then Carol tells Nico that Ulysses had a vision about Nico murdering a young woman named Alice. Carol wants to take Nico into custody, but Nico is having none of that, and she leaves. She teleports to a safe house . . . which is in a town currently overrun by monster bugs. But hey, Elsa Bloodstone’s there to lend a hand! Alison argues a little more with Carol, then leaves with Singularity, and Medusa gives Carol a pep talk. This issue ramps up the drama quite a bit, creating more tensions within the group, showing them wrestling with some complex moral issues. And then Elsa Bloodstone shows up and swears her way into our hearts. Elsa’s great. A delight. Siqueira’s art is nice. He has a bit of a reputation as a cheesecake artist, but he’s fairly subdued here. I will say there’s probably too many big open mouths. It’s a little distracting and weird. Still, other than that, it’s nice art. This is a good issue, and I’m very curious to see how this story develops.
Spider-Man/Deadpool #8, by Joe Kelly, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and Jason Keith. We open on Deadpool playing with his daughter, Ellie. They’re playing with action figures. Deadpool has a Deadpool action figure, Ellie has an All-New Wolverine figure, because Ellie knows where it’s at. He’s also concerned with her wanting to kill bad guys in their play. She thinks he sounds weird. Aw, poor guy, he’s feeling guilty. Meanwhile, Peter is feeling angry and dark. He puts on a stealth suit that’s downright creepy, and he and Deadpool go after the guy who hired Deadpool to kill Peter. Patient Zero is protected by his Man-strosities, a name that Spider-Man thinks is pretty good. Spider-Man is very dark throughout this issue. Deadpool is actually pretty freaked out by it. Patient Zero reveals he’s someone from their mutual past, though he doesn’t reveal his identity. It’s great to have Kelly and McGuinness back. Kelly still writes, for my money, the best Deadpool ever. Capable of combining humour and pathos. He’s funny, but he’s tragic, and he feels things very strongly. It makes for great reading. I also like this momentarily dark version of Spider-Man. People have done this sort of thing before, Spider-Man going dark, but Kelly does it very effectively, because he’s still himself. He’s still making a lot of jokes, most of them bad, and he’s still opposed to killing. But he does loosen his feelings somewhat on causing injury, as he tells Deadpool to shoot Patient Zero’s knees to prevent him escaping. (Of course, Deadpool doesn’t land the shots.) So, yeah, there’s great character work all around here, and an interesting story. And McGuinness’ art is great. He’s my definitive Deadpool artist, because his style works really well for the character. His style also works great with Spider-Man. And honestly, the whole art team deserves so much praise for Spider-Man’s dark suit. It is damned cool. It’s not just a black costume. It’s a blacker-than-black costume, as though it’s actively repelling light. It’s such a weird, eerie effect. Keith just kills it there. I would love it if it showed up more.
All-New All-Different Avengers #13, by Mark Waid, Adam Kubert and Sonia Oback. Vision is playing Go with Ulysses, and asking advice on what to do about Kang. He wants to know whether he should kill Kang before he’s born. Before Ulysses can say anything, he’s taken back to the Information Womb, a chamber that bombards him with information in order to spark premonitions. Which is really messed-up. Like, that’s not cool at all. Regardless, Vision saturates himself with solar energy in order to power the time machine in the Parker Industries basement. He goes back to Ancient Egypt, when Kang was Rama-Tut. He’s attacked by a weird shadow-creature. He fights the creature off, and then travels to the future, to a week before Kang traveled to Egypt. And the shadow-being attacks again. And then Vision makes one last stop in time. This issue is very interesting. I’m not sure who the shadow-being is, but it’s up to something intriguing. The issue ends on an intriguing note, and it’ll be interesting to see that followed up on. The whole thing is cool. It has shades of the Vision solo, with the story primarily being done with a very straightforward narration style that nonetheless manages to be a little judgmental towards the Vision. It’s a really good issue, maybe the best of Waid’s run so far.