X-Men comics of September 7 2016
Uncanny X-Men #12, by Cullen Bunn, Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Dave Curiel. We start with a flashback to a few months ago, on Genosha, when Psylocke met with Magneto to talk about how bad things had gotten for mutants, and to join his new team. They also talk about death.
Then to the present, at the Hellfire Club, where Psylocke says the Inner Circle are bastards who’ve repeatedly tried to kill the X-Men. This is true, but the X-Men and Inner Circle have also been allies. Sunspot used to run the Inner Circle. So I don’t think an alliance now is a particularly big deal. Psylocke does have a point that Magneto should have told her. Sabretooth mentions that it was being run by kids, but Briar Raleigh says they’ve been sent away. Good. They should have been killed. They should have been killed retroactively. Someone should have gotten a time machine, went back and killed their grandparents just to prevent that bunch of obnoxious little shits from every having existed. Anyway, the current Inner Circle is Shaw (Black King), Magneto (White King), Briar (Black Bishop), Black Tom (as White Bishop), Monet (White Queen). Shaw offers Psylocke a position as Black Queen.
Briar gives Psylocke a bit of brain matter with information for her to read, about what the Someday Corporation’s been up to. So, a quick flight to one of their research platforms in the Atlantic. And it turns out Someday’s been weaponizing mutants who came to them. This issue is . . . OK. It’s a lot of talking heads, which I’m generally fine with, but maaaaan, you do not want Land on a talking heads issue. The man is awful at that. Because he’s just tracing, expressions tend to be very limited, and when the issue is all about people talking, getting in a lot of subtle facial expressions and body language can be key. Land drags down every comic he works on. (Actually, the upcoming Monsters Unleashed might be the right place for him – he is genuinely good at drawing weird, inhuman shit.) The dialogue is good. With a good artist, the dialogue would be sharp and clever. Here, it’s passable. Psylocke gets some nice digs. I enjoy her snark. Her anger at Magneto keeping so many secrets is good, too. The second half of the issue, when they go after the Someday facility, is interesting. Lots of fighting, and it’s a little exciting. It could be neat, next issue. We’ll see. Of course, it’ll still be Land on art, so it won’t be too good. Ugh.
Deadpool & the Mercs For Money #3, by Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello and Guru-eFX. This issue apparently has a Liefeld variant, and he drew feet on it. They’re not great feet, but they’re not awful. It’s close to 30 years since he debuted, maybe he’s finally learning how to draw feet? Wouldn’t that be something? The Mercs are talking about how they want to quit, and we flashback a few days, in West Virginia, where they’re looking for Nuklo. They go into a dive bar, where they find Nuke. And a fight. Then another flashback to yesterday, and a fight against Cobalt Man. Meh, bleh, whatever, I don’t care. I don’t care about this comic. It is impossible to care about. It’s bland and boring and has weak writing and weak art and it just sucks.
Those are the X-comics, but there’s a couple other comics worth talking about.
All-New All-Different Avengers #14, by Mark Waid, Jeremy Whitley, Adam Kubert and Sonia Oback. Some guys claiming to be from the Russian Immigration Bureau show up at the Wasp’s house to take Nadia into custody. Janet tells Nadia she’ll call a lawyer, and Nadia agrees to go with them to the Consulate. But then Janet uses her knowledge of clothing to figure out the Russians aren’t who they say they are. Which I love. Janet’s a fashion designer. She knows clothes. So I just love that her knowledge of clothes is what really tips her off. Anyway, turns out the guys work for WHISPER. And Nadia freaks out at one of the guys having robot arms. Nadia’s pretty cute. She’s also very good at fighting. With the WHISPER guys down, Janet, Nadia and Jarvis learn about the new Civil War going on. Nadia takes it hard, feeling like American superheroes are supposed to do better. While I don’t hate the Hero vs. Hero stories as much as a lot of people – they do, after all, have a very long history in comics – I do like seeing characters point out how stupid the stories are. Regardless, Nadia decides she can solve the conflict through the magic of quantum science. I really like Nadia. So then she shrinks down into a micro lab, which she keeps in the Microverse, and again, she’s a very interesting character. This is a good issue. It’s really sweet. Nadia comes across really well, a genius, but still a teenager, still vulnerable in the ways teens are. She’s fun, a bit manic, a bit naive, and a really sweet kid. I like Jeremy Whitley’s writing, so I’d already planned on getting Unstoppable Wasp, but this issue did a lot to make me like Nadia, so I’m more excited for it now. Also, I love that Janet cares about Nadia, so much, so quickly. She talks about Nadia being her step-daughter, and does take a very motherly view of Nadia, and it’s really sweet to see. Janet never really stopped loving Hank, and Nadia is a little piece of him back in her life. And the best parts of him, too. I hope Janet will be a fairly regular supporting character in the upcoming series. The art’s really good. Kubert and Oback are artists I actually have little to say about. I’m not an art person, which makes it difficult for me to talk about it. But Kubert and Oback are both artists whose styles are fairly conventional – top-notch work, absolutely top-notch, but normal enough that I can’t think of much to say about it.
Silk #12, by Robbie Thompson, Tana Ford and Ian Herring. Silk, Lola and Rafferty are another dimension that clearly failed physics, looking for Silk’s parents. They find a campsite, and a parachute, so Silk weaves three web-achutes and they jump. Lola thinks she and Rafferty should get a cat, Rafferty thinks they should get married. Holy crap, that escalated quickly. They land, and see dragons. Which Rafferty thinks are dinosaurs, based on the Jurassic Park joke she makes. Rafferty, no. Dragons are not dinosaurs. Dragons are dragons. They’re not even the same family – dinosaurs are more closely related to birds. That’s right, T-Rex’s are just big ostriches, deal with it. There’s also a village, and Rafferty figures they need disguises, so Silk makes new clothes for them. Rafferty loves cosplay and wants sigils. She has her priorities. It also turns out Rafferty knows archery. Then they meet a dragon, named David Wilcox. A dragon. Named David Wilcox. This issue’s great. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s a chance to do some crazy fantasy stuff. Like a talking dragon named David Wilcox. And Lola and Rafferty in fantasy outfits. There’s references to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Really, it’s just Thompson and Ford having a blast, and clearly having a lot of fun. This issue has more of Lola and Rafferty than usual, and they’re fun. You get the feeling that they’re both too amazed to really think about being scared. Either that, or they’re insane, because they’re running around a fantasy world with dragons and they’ve got goofy smiles for most of the issue. There’s plenty of fun banter from the two of them, as well. Silk is a lot quieter than usual. Not much in the way of snark from her. Which is an interesting change. Ford’s art is more fun stuff. Again, she’s clearly having fun. And I have a hunch she’s been pushing for Lola and Rafferty to get a bigger role in the book, so she’s definitely making the most of their presence in this issue. And, of course, she gets to draw dragons. So that must have been a delight.