X-Men comics of August 24 2016
Extraordinary X-Men #13, by Jeff Lemire, Victor Ibanez and Jay David Ramos. Illyana is searching for Sapna, and finds the portal she went through. Meanwhile, Forge has built a cell to hold Apocalypse, and hopes to use him to find a way to return Colossus to normal, once they find him. Iceman and Nightcrawler are looking for him, by going after some Clan Akkaba dudes. Nightcrawler remains a bit murdery, which, no. No. No, Lemire, no. Iceman stops him. He also makes bad cold puns, because he’s Iceman. Storm joins Illyana at the portal, which startles her. It’s kind of cute, actually, with Storm saying she didn’t think Illyana would scare so easily. Illyana also says Storm’s the only person more stubborn than she is. You know, these two have had very little interaction over the years, and I’m realizing that’s a shame. They play off each other well, here. So they go through worlds until they stop in one, and get attacked. Back in the Mansion, the injured Ernst wants to help Forge repair Cerebra, but he’s a jerk to her. He seems to be under a lot of stress, and it’s making him a dick. A bigger dick than usual. This issue is OK. As usual, it’s split between two plots: Illyana/Sapna, and less interesting stuff. The search for Colossus could end up being a decent story, we’ll have to wait and see, but this series has given me no reason to be optimistic. Forge’s grumpiness could actually lead to a fairly good character arc for him. Probably not, but we’ll see. The main thing here is the search for Sapna. The Illyana/Sapna stuff has been, to me, the best part of the whole series so far. So I’m already invested in this arc. Storm joining along does make me nervous, because Lemire has shown a terrible grasp of her character so far. I’m not looking forward to seeing how he makes her look weak and ineffectual in this arc. She’ll probably be completely lost and need Illyana to tell her what to do. That’s been the trend in this series. Well, we’ll see. At least Illyana’s bound to be awesome. The art’s good. Ibanez is a fine artist. He’s not one of my favourites. I find his style can be a bit blobby at times. But it’s fine. For the most part, it looks good. Weird stuff is done especially well. The group that attacks Illyana and Storm have pretty decent designs. So, yeah, on the whole, this issue’s OK.
Deadpool #17, by Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot and Jordie Bellaire. Deadpool and the Mercs are fighting each other in the vault they locked themselves into. Stingray finds their contracts with Deadpool, and Solo burns them, with Stingray saying they’ll make more money as free agents. But Stingray’s not actually a mercenary! He only joined to keep an eye on the group for Steve Rogers! Anyway, more fighting, and then they all end up tied up by SHIELD, with Preston yelling at them. Stingray says they all need to come up with a story about a big threat and mind control. And that’s the end of the Mercs’ relationship with Deadpool. Meh issue. Meh meh meh. As usual, Deadpool – known for making constant jokes – makes almost no jokes throughout the issue. I know what Duggan’s going for. He wants to show how angry Deadpool is, or how depressed he is, or how serious he is. But the thing is, Deadpool still makes jokes when he’s angry, depressed or serious. The tone of the jokes changes, but he’s still making jokes. Duggan has him making virtually no jokes throughout the issue. I have always hated how he wrote the Mercs, of course, as they have been out of character right from the start. No change there. So, yeah, shitty comic. And I don’t like the art, either. Not a style I enjoy. So there’s nothing about this that I enjoyed. At all.
That’s the X-stuff, but here’s other things I picked up.
Captain Marvel #8, by Ruth and Christos Gage, Kris Anka and Matt Wilson. Carol’s busy, taking various teams to help stop disasters. Then she reports to T’Challa, Gyrich and Beualieu, from the Alpha Flight governing board. T’Challa raises concerns about their actions, and Ulysses’ visions. So Carol takes T’Challa to see the Rapid Response Room. Ms. Marvel and Spider-Miles are hanging out there. Yay them. Carol shows off just how much of an operation they’ve put in place to ensure Ulysses’ visions are accurate and acted on quickly and properly. She really has put an immense amount of work into it. Then she goes to visit Clint in prison while he awaits trial. And it’s a fantastic scene, where she talks about how hard she’s working, and how much everyone else is riding her about how she’s doing things, and how she has no one to talk to about it. Then she gets called in about a new vision, involving Stewart Cadwall. Who’s he? Some loser TV writer who was briefly given powers by the Beyonder in Secret Wars II, and called himself Thundersword. And holy shit, the Gages called back to goddamn Thundersword. That’s amazing. Anyway, this is a great issue. It goes over all the precautions Carol’s taking, and explores how much she believes in what she’s doing, and how desperate she is that it be done right. It’s going to great pains to show how reasonable and responsible she’s being, and how hard it is for her, and how alone she feels. She doesn’t have doubts, but she does clearly have fears. And it’s nice to see that explored. So, yeah, this is a really good issue, and is arguably a must-read if you’re reading CWII.
New Avengers #15, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and Jesus Aburtov. Let me just show you the opening panels:
Warlock then flows over Roberto, to be his armour, shield and sword. I love Warlock. Toni is still defending Pod, wearing some Rescue armour, and actually uses the force field as an effective battering ram. She’s clever. Also clever: Roberto. Because the location Songbird gave SHIELD last issue? It’s not the New Avengers HQ. It’s the WHISPER HQ. Nice. That takes out OMNITRONICUS, who goes out with a lot of ‘D’ words. I love OMNITRONICUS. And Toni decapitates Skar. Because Toni’s awesome. And she also tells Aikku she loves her! Yay! It does mean a sad sacrifice, though. There’s also the White Tiger vs. White Tiger fight, which goes awesomely. I love Ava. She is the best. This issue is all about plans coming together, and it’s epic. There’s so much awesome win going on, and I love that ‘Berto has spent this entire run setting up this epic take-down of WHISPER. He out-smarted a Reed Richards. I mean, one could arguably object to this whole arc because, hey, the good guys secretly had the advantage the whole time. But the way it plays out is so damned satisfying. We also finally get pay-off to the Toni/Pod shipteasing, though not without a bit of tragedy. There’s a super-sad moment. So it’s nice that it was followed by an awesomely triumphant moment from Ava. The art is good. The action flows well, and expressions convey a lot. This is so good. Soooo good.
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #10, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain. Ms. Marvel! Yay! She chastises Lunella and Kid Kree for fighting near civilians. Lunella has clear hero worship for Ms. Marvel, and who can blame her. Ms. Marvel’s amazing. Meanwhile, out in Kree space, Mel-Varr’s parents are arguing. His mother is being a good mom, his dad is being a jerk dad. And then back to Earth, for Lunella and Ms. Marvel bonding! Squee! And Devil gives MS. Marvel the stinkeye. There’s a great moment where Ms. Marvel tries to tell Lunella to embrace being an Inhuman, and Lunella respond that other people telling her what she is gets old. It’s moments like that that really make this series. Because it’s true. And it’s something people tend to forget. We always want to tell kids who they are, rather than letting them learn for themselves, or trusting that they do know for themselves. Ms. Marvel gives Lunella an old Avengers communicator, if she ever needs to talk. Aww, it’s just like when Captain Marvel gave Ms. Marvel a communicator! And later, Mel-Varr (as Marvin) tries to be friends with Lunella. I think he has a crush! This remains wonderful. A wonderful comic. So good. So nice and cute and good. Lunella’s hero worship of Ms. Marvel is especially great, because, let’s be honest, if you’re reading Moon Girl, you’re almost certainly reading Ms. Marvel, as well, so we also think she’s boss. But what’s more, for the first time, we’re seeing Ms. Marvel through someone else’s eyes. We’re used to seeing her as a bit of a mess. Someone who’s young and inexperienced, trying her best but struggling not to screw up. But here, she’s cool. She knows what she’s doing. It’s really neat seeing her like this. And, of course, the issues is just super-cute and fun. I love this series so much.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11, by Ryan North, Jacob Chabot, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi. Dorren’s eating falafel, and sees Dr. Octopus outside the window. So she smashes through it to fight him. He says he’ll leave her alone if she leaves him alone, which she points out is an if statement, a computer programming thing. Then she smacks him with her tail. He makes another statement she interprets as relating to computer science. Then she beats him with a clock to the head. Tippy-Toe comes out of the falafel place with a doggy bag and mentions Doc Ock is dead, and Squirrel Girl realizes they’re in a dream. Nightmare shows up to explain his plan, then summons Count Nefaria, who challenges Squirrel to count to 10 on one hand. She says she can count to 31, using computer science techniques, because that’s what this issue is all about. Count Nefaria is delighted to learn this new way of counting. Because why wouldn’t he be? Then Nightmare summons a Venom symbiote to attack her himself. As usual, this is goofy and silly and fun. It’s just a dream about defeating villains using computer science, which is a bizarre idea, but really great. Chabot’s art is really good. I love Henderson’s art on USG, but Chabot made for a really good fill-in artist for this issue. It’s a cute and fun style. Very expressive and cartoony. I love this series so much.
Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #9, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Megan Wilson. Hedy Wolfe is on a date with Daimon Hellstrom, Patsy’s ex-husband, and says Patsy’s plotting to kill him. Meanwhile, Patsy’s temp agency is in debt, and Patsy’s not willing to ask the people working for them to give a bigger share to her. So she goes to get coffee and talk to Jubilee. Yay Jubilee! Jubilee! She has her son, Shogo, with her. Fun note: Patsy grabs a mug that says Magneto Was Old. Nice. Also, Jubilee’s door has a skull and an X symbol. Nice to see her paying respect to her past like that. Elsewhere, Hedy pays a visit to Buzz Baxter, aka Mad Dog, Patsy’s other ex-husband, with information. And Jubilee takes the gang to karaoke! Where Tom is the fricking boss. He is the mayor of this karaoke club. Everyone there knows him and loves him. And he sings goddamn Ursula’s song from The Little Mermaid. Then Daimon leads Patsy outside and attacks her, while Mad Dog attacks the people in the club. Which gives us a chance to learn that Jubilee can turn to mist. And when she does, her sunglasses stay on. Do you have any idea how yes that is? Anyway, it’s another delightful issue. After last issue’s heavy emotional drama, this one brings back the fun. With Jubilee, and karaoke! Two great things! The adorable ship-teasing between Tom and Ian continues. Tom is smooth here, leaving Ian flustered. Jubilee very clearly ships them. Everyone ships them. Tom and Ian clearly need to get together. I’m happy to have Jubilee in this book. She’s written really well. Being a mother has clearly given her a much stronger sense of responsibility, and she’s actually doing really well at Patsy’s temp agency. People tend to forget it, but Jubilee’s actually pretty smart. And, of course, she’s still got her sense of humour. She’s not the motormouth she used to be, but she’s still a high-energy person who loves having fun. And, of course, the art is adorable. I love Williams and Wilson. The book is super-cute. The adorablest comic ever. Here:
Nighthawk #4, by David Walker, Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. Good cop Burrell is following bad cop Dixon, who’s telling evil businessman Hanrahan about a shipment of guns being destroyed. Hanrahan then calls white supremacist Caldwell to stir shit up. And as chaos spreads throughout Chicago, Nighthawk feels a little fed up. He goes to beat up some white supremacists who are killing blacks and Latinos, while Tilda tries to convince him to let her join the fun. He shoots a bunch of them up, then tells the people they were targeting to stop looting. He also beats the crap out of a cop, and he thinks of his mother’s words to control his rage, and he throws up. Another strong issue. Intriguing plot, great character stuff, and brutal action. What’s not to love? This is a very good book. Tilda remains the best. I love her.
And Snotgirl #2, by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung and Mickey Quinn. Lottie is at home, pretty freaked out about Caroline being dead, and she tries to call the cops to turn herself in, but then she passes out. When she wakes up, her phone is dead, and spends the next three days with her phone turned off so the cops can’t trace her with it. She uses the library to search for any online news about a dead fashion blogger. She finds nothing, so she goes home and paints her nails, until her intern, Esther, shows up. Esther is pretty great. I like her right off the bat. A few days later, Lottie finally decides she can go out, and meets her friends, Normgirl and Cutegirl. They tell her about a new blogger, Caroline. Then the three go to the coffee shop where Lottie’s ex-intern, Charlene, works. Charlene is dating Lottie’s ex-boyfriend, who she’s clearly not over. Man, this series is so weird. So good, though. It’s a blend of comedy and drama, with some psychological horror thrown in. Lottie hiding in terror of being hunted by the police is a little unsettling. At one point, she drops an egg on the floor, and it reminds her of Caroline’s head, and it’s genuinely creepy. A really effective moment. But at the same time, she’s still this incredibly shallow and self-obsessed person, which is funny. It’s a really weird comic, but a really good one. And the art is gorgeous. Hung and Quinn are fantastic. I’m loving this series.