X-Men comics of August 17 2016
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So Hulu is developing a Runaways TV series. That’s cool. I hope they do it justice. It’ll be great getting Nico and Karolina on-screen. Confession: I haven’t read the Runaways comics yet. I’ll get to it at some point. But there’s a lot of stuff I want to read. And holy carp! You know how I love Unbeatable Squirrel Girl? One of the supporting characters, Koi Boi, was revealed on Twitter as being trans! That’s awesome! Anyway, here’s comics.
All-New Wolverine #11, by Tom Taylor, Ig Guara, Walden Wong and Michael Garland. SHIELD agents are surrounding Laura’s apartment, and Hill’s on the phone saying Logan’s going to kill Gabby. Who rushes out of her room and runs into Captain Steverica, and Gabby is wonderful.
Steve wants Logan to let himself be detained until the danger from Ulysses’ vision is past. Laura refuses to let Steve take Logan, so it’s a fight! Between Laura and Steve, which is sadly brief. I’d love to see a full fight between those two. And then a chase! Gabby still has the SHIELD jetpacks from the Fin Fang Foom adventure, but there’s no exit, so Logan claws through walls, passing through people’s apartments. It’s really fun. And then it all leads to a very shocking and concerning ending. The first half of the issue is really fun. There is some tension, with the CWII stuff, the vision and all. But there’s also Gabby interacting with Steve, and it’s as delightful as Gabby doing anything.
Then the last chunk of the issue, after Logan gets shot out of the sky, gets a lot more intense, including a cliffhanger that I am desperately hoping won’t be what it seems. The Ulysses stuff is used in an interesting way here. It seems that, in this case, the vision was a self-fulfilling prophecy. The vision happened because they tried to stop it from happening. That’s a bit different from how his visions work in CWII itself. Though this isn’t the only book that plays with that idea – A-Force’s current arc seems to be leaning that way, as well. The art is mostly fine. A bit odd at times. I miss Lopez. And even without Lopez, Guara’s not the artist I’d like to see on here. He’s not great. He’s OK. But there are weird moments, and facial expressions don’t always seem quite appropriate. So, yeah, the art does drag the issue down slightly, though for the most part, Guara does an acceptable job with the visual storytelling. The colours are solid, at least, so Garland’s fine. I have no problem with Garland staying on the book as colour artist.
Civil War II X-Men #3, by Cullen Bunn, Andrea Broccardo and Jesus Aburtov. We start with Rachel Grey! She’s in London! I hope that means she’s been hanging out with Captain Britain and Meggan. I’m going to assume she’s been hanging out with them. Magneto meets with her, and they discuss the state of mutants. Rachel’s been keeping a low profile since What Cyclops Did (shut up, comics, just tell us what he did), staying away from the X-Men. Magneto wants her back in the game. In new York, Storm and Medusa meet. Two badass queens. Medusa’s not happy about mutants infiltrating Attilan, but Storm explains why she sent in Gambit, and asks that the X-Men be allowed to deal with Medusa. Medusa is haughty, which is a mistake. Because as soon as you make it a contest of dramatic speeches, Storm will destroy your ass. Doom himself would be hard-pressed to deliver a more regal speech than Storm. Because Storm comes with her own dramatic lightning. Medusa quickly realizes her mistake and tones it down. Meanwhile, Gambit and Fantomex flirt. I really want a reveal that they’ve slept together in the past. Or have them sleep together in the present, either way. It just feels like these two should have sex at some point, you know? This issue’s OK. There’s some reasonably interesting stuff. But to an extent, it feels like a bit of a bridge issue. I do love that Rachel’s back, because Rachel’s awesome. The scene between Storm and Medusa is cool, with the two playing off each other in a logical and effective manner. They’re both leaders, both queens, and they both want peace. They really do have a lot in common, with the notable difference that Storm has never supported keeping a slave race. (Nope, not something I ever plan on letting go. The Inhumans kept a slave race.) But there’s not a whole lot really going on in this issue. The plot isn’t developed that much. The art, likewise, is pretty well forgettable. It’s not that it’s bad. It’s just kinda . . . there. It does what it’s supposed to it, it tells the story effectively, it just doesn’t really stand out. This issue does feel like a bit of a step down from the previous two, though that’s hardly uncommon, and most arcs end up being like that. At the very least, there’s nothing really to complain about.
Ultimates #10, by Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort, Djibril Morissette and Dan Brown. Thanos has psychically projected himself into Anti-Man’s cell, and is manipulating him. Then, Carol, with the Ultimates and Inhumans as back-up, arrests Alison Green. We saw this scene in CWII #4, with no dialogue. Here, it’s expanded upon. Adam and Monica discuss Ulysses a bit, and Adam’s doubts about Ulysses. T’Challa and America also have reservations about where things are going. We check-in with Vogt, and another of his Troubleshooters, Kathy Ling. In the Newuniverse, she was part of Psi-Force, with telekinesis. She was an angry type. We get no insight into this version’s personality yet. The Ultimates gather to discuss the empty briefcase, and America’s seen enough and decides it’s time to shut down the Ultimates. And I’ve gotta say, her plan for Monica? Pure genius. This issue’s great. The debate among the team is really interesting, providing great insight into each character. But mostly, this issue is about America. And the fact that she’s an absolute badass. I’ve seen quite a few people refer to America as a “hot-headed Latina,” in a dismissive way. This issue actually provides a perfect demonstration of how wrong that is. At no point here does she actually lose her temper. She is in complete control of herself the whole time. She makes a conscious decision to smack Carol with a chair (and then a table). Because that’s the thing about America: Control is a big deal to her. She’s not an angry person. Grumpy, yes, but not angry. So I love the way Ewing and Rocafort capture that sense of control. I just love this comic. I want a Ms. America solo so bad.
Mockingbird #6, by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Sean Parsons and Rachelle Rosenberg. Bobbi’s on a nerd cruise! She got a ticket with a mysterious note, and even though she knows it’s probably a trap, she wants to get away from Hawkguy’s trial. A nerd cruise isn’t the best place for that, it turns out. On the ship, she gets another note, to meet someone in the Grand Ballroom. She gets there early, to play A Fantasy Board Game. She seems to be pretty good. She follows her contact out of the ballroom, and a horde of corgis run past. Hunter is there! For the Annual Royal Society of Corgi Enthusiasts Retreat. The issue gets stranger and more glorious from there. There’s a lot of emotional weight, with Bobbi dealing with her feelings about Clint’s murder trial. There’s also corgis running around, and a maker faire, a naked Hunter with a dolphin covering his junk. It’s great. This is so much fun. Cain’s clearly having a blast writing Bobbi, and the art team has a blast drawing whatever Cain comes up with. It’s great. It’s hilarious and just good fun.
Power Man & Iron Fist #7, by David Walker, Flaviano, Sanford Greene and John Rauch. Danny’s in jail, and Misty visits him, then she visits Luke, who doesn’t want to let Danny rot in prison. Jessica calls Luke to let him know they’re definitely being staked out, and that she’s investigating them, with the help of Colleen Wing, and two former Sons of the Tiger. In prison, Danny is worried about the guys who don’t belong there, and who’s hunting them. In Luke’s apartment, one of the people who’d hired him has fixed a dropped tablet that runs a program to access the criminal records of people it scans. There’s other stuff going on with each of the pair. Jessica and Luke have a really nice conversation on the phone where she tries to make him think clearly and not do something stupid. It’s a great scene. And a great issue. This is a lot more dramatic, as most of the CWII tie-ins have been. This issue doesn’t have much to do with CWII itself until the end, but it’s still got a more serious tone. And Walker does a great job with it. There’s a couple moments of racial commentary, but mostly, it’s character exploration. Exploring why Danny isn’t making a greater effort to contest his imprisonment, and how Luke reacts to his best friend being in jail, and how Jessica tries to stop Luke from reacting. It’s a lot of great stuff. The art is good. It’s still a style that works well for the book. Greene and Rauch do fantastic work setting tones, using lights and shadows effectively. Flaviano’s pages aren’t so different from Green that it’s jarring. This is a great issue.
The Wicked + The Divine #22, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson. Shit’s gone crazy in a spectacular fashion. Woden is an ass, and he can’t even do the right thing without being awful. Cassandra is the adult in the battlefield. Ananke is too good for the gods. Laura wonders what her sister would have wanted. And hot damn, that moment. You’ll know the one I’m talking about. Trust me, you’ll know. Damn. OK, one hint: “KLLK.” This is one hell of an end to the arc, and has me excited to see what comes next. Call me paranoid, but I’m guessing it’s going to be horrible and tragic for everyone. In the meantime, the 1831 special! With art by Stephanie Hans!
Insexts #7, by Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina, Jessica Kholinne and A Larger World. Horror. Monsters. Devouring. Not just the obvious, with Lady and the Hag, but the dialogue. The Hag is all about filling people with self-loathing. But this issue is about women being stronger than what society demands them to be. It’s really good. No sexiness in this issue. Just lots of horror, and lots of tragedy, and lots of hope. Bennett is a writer who’s more than willing to throw subtlety aside in favour of speaking to the audience. And I like that. I also love the art. Kholinne’s colours are pretty similar to Valenza’s, so the change there isn’t noticeable. And Kristantina kills on the lines, capturing horror and violence beautifully. I’ve been loving this series, and I look forward to the next arc.