X-Men comics of September 21 2016
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I got a new watch today, because my old one broke down. My trade of Pretty Deadly Vol. 2 also came in! I’ll need to post a review of it on Goodreads soon. Anyway, here’s comics.
Uncanny X-Men #13, by Cullen Bunn, Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Dave Curiel. Psylocke, Monet, Sabretooth and Black Tom are fighting for their lives. Mystique sneakily captures one of the Sleepers, with Archangel’s assistance. Psylocke, Tom and Monet are surrounded and about to be killed, then the Sleepers all fade away. The team investigates the facility, and finds stasis pods with dead bodies. They go back to the Hellfire Club to report what they found, and they check on the guy Mystique grabbed. Psylocke goes into his head, and he’s got a sad history, but then she comes across a psychic landmine to keep her out. And another bad guy enters the field. I won’t spoil who it is. Except to note that it’s a powerful psychic and it’s not Emma Frost. This issue is OK. There’s some nice plot developments, and Psylocke’s handled well. I suppose I noticed Land a little less than usual here, so that’s a good thing. He still sucks, but whatever. This is good. It’s fine. It’s just still not really much appealing to me, personally. That’s not a knock against the book. It’s just personal taste.
Extraordinary X-Men Annual. The first story is by Ollie Masters, Carlo Barberi, Walden Wong and Israel Silva (with Rachelle Rosenberg). Storm is talking to a couple guys from the British government, about two imprisoned mutants in danger from the Terrigen mist. The British government doesn’t recognize the mist as dangerous to mutants, so refuses to move the two in danger. The mutants are Ramrod and Ruckus. Nasty Boys! Nice! Storm tells Jean to move to Plan B, which involves breaking into the prison. Jean, Nightcrawler, Illyana, Logan and Forge. It’s a crazy plan: Forge will put the cameras on a loop. Nightcrawler will teleport out, and once he’s found the two he’s looking for, Forge will shut off the power dampers long enough for Nightcrawler to teleport out with them. Jean will be outside, making sure no one in the prison sees him. So Nightcrawler and Logan go in . . . during a riot. Kurt gets hit by a stray punch, and momentarily knocked unconscious. Logan carries him and finds Ruckus in his cell, but Ramrod’s on the other side of the prison. It’s a really fun story. It’s very much a Murphy’s Law thing, where everything goes wrong. That’s always entertaining. Also entertaining is Logan getting increasingly annoyed by it all. There’s also a great moment from Illyana cheerfully smashing a wall. The art is good. Barberi’s a very good artist. It’s a good story.
The second story is by Brandon Montclare, Rosi Kampe and Ian Herring. Forge and Lunella are trying to build a rocket. The Moon Rocket, or the USS Girl Power. Forge is impressed with the research Lunella’s done on Terrigen, which she posted online (on Reddit, apparently). She wants to go to the Blue Area of the moon to check out the Kree ruins up there. He offers to use a Blackbird modified for spaceflight, but she wants to do it her own way. Forge assumes the Terrigen made her a genius, but she says she was always smart. He’s the second person to assume her intelligence is a power, instead of being who she is. He does tell her the rocket is still too dangerous to use. The Terrigen mist shows up, and Lunella sees only one way to get Forge away from it in time: The Moon Rocket! This is a really nice story. It’s really cute and sweet. Lunella and Forge have a fun chemistry. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing them interact more often. The story’s cute, and the art is cute, and it’s just really nice. It’s a nice Moon Girl story, with Forge thrown in. I like that. The X-Men needs more positive stories like this.
Civil War II X-Men #4, by Cullen Bunn, Andrea Broccardo and Jesus Aburtov. Magneto and Rachel are assaulting New Attilan, to find Ulysses. Rachel insists that no one dies. She also mentions that none of the Inhumans hate mutants. Meanwhile, the X-Men are fighting the X-Men. Storm and Archangel take each other out, so Nightcrawler and Psylocke save them. Logan and Sabretooth continue trying to kill each other. Gambit and Fantomex face off. Illyana summons something with tentacles to keep Monet busy. Then back to New Attilan, for a conversation between Magneto and Ulysses. This is OK, again. It ends with everything pretty much back to normal, with nothing having changed. Which is fine, I suppose, but it does feel like a bit of a waste of time, in the end. There was some interesting fighting, at least, but that’s about it. In the end, meh. Whatever.
All-New Wolverine #12, by Tom Taylor, Ig Guara, Walden Wong and Michael Garland. Captain Steve knocks out Logan, while Laura tries to wake Gabby up after Gabby got stabbed by Logan. Logan slips into the sewers, and Laura goes after him (after telling off Steve for attacking Logan in the first place).
While they fight below, up above, Steve covers Gabby with a sheet. Then she wakes up, scaring the crap out of a medic. Whew! She’s alive! She has a healing factor! I am so relieved. She stops Laura from killing Logan, then Laura yells at Logan instead. Aw, she doesn’t like him any more. Oh well. This was really good. Laura’s reaction when she thinks Gabby’s dead is really good. And her reaction when she sees Gabby’s alive is wonderful. The fight between Laura and Logan is really cool, with Laura very clearly outclassing Logan. Which is neat. The art is really good. Nice flow in the action scenes, and it hits the emotional beats really well. It also hits the very few comedic beats really well – the main one is the medic’s reaction when Gabby sits up. So, yeah, this is great. There’s a hug!
Also, Gabby manages to be scarier than Logan:
I love that little interaction. Logan’s trying to be all tough and scary, and Gabby turns it right back on him, but ups the ante. Gabby is THE FRIGGING BEST.
Deadpool v. Gambit #5, by Bens Acker and Blacker, Danilo Beyruth and Cris Peter. Deadpool, who’s now an Iron Fist, racks down Chalmers and does a martial arts fight with him. The fight is ended when Gambit shows up, having been unable to find Scrambler to get unscrambled. Deadpool learns that Chalmers hid the Dragon Tongue in a tree, so Deadpool and Gambit go to find the tree. Which is Yggdrasil. Odin sends the Warriors Three to check why someone from K’un-Lun is going to the World Tree. They go to K’un-Lun to talk to Fat Cobra and explain the dangers if the tree is messed with. Then Scrambler shows up, and Gambit throws Deadpool at him, and their powers go back to normal. This is . . . so goddamn weird. It’s funny. But so goddamn weird. There’s all sorts of weird stuff going on. It turns out Loki wanted to precipitate a war between Asgard and K’un Lun, so that one of those worlds would be destroyed and he could lease land he owned in Florida. So all this batshit insanity was about a real estate scheme. How? Regardless, it’s a fun conclusion to a fun mini. This was a lot better than it had any right to be. If you’re wondering whether to check it out, I’d say do it. I would recommend Deadpool v Gambit, which is a statement I never expected to say.
That’s the X-Men comics, but there’s other things worth talking about.
Civil War II #5, by Brian Bendis, David Marquez and Justin Ponsor. Superhero fight! Blah blah blah, Dr. Strange tries the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak on the X-Men, which goes about as well as you’d expect against the people who routinely fight Cyttorak’s avatar. Storm fries them. Luke Cage is there, which is a shame, since his own series has him decide to sit the whole thing out. And also has Captain Marvel leading a team to fight him. Illyana takes Captain Samerica out of the fight, by teleporting him to Hollywood. Then she gets hit in the head with an arrow. Might as well also mention that Kitty messes up Vision. Other than that, this really is just a big, issue-long fight scene. There’s a little bit of debating in it, too, but mostly, it’s about the fighting. Which means this is an issue that lives or dies by the art. Luckily, Marquez and Ponsor do a solid job. The fighting is done fairly well. It’s exciting stuff. There’s a sense of disorder and anarchy. So, yeah, it’s good for what it is. Unfortunately, “what it is” is also more expensive than it’s worth. This issue is very much skippable, even more than the rest of the event. The last few pages add a new twist, but that’ll be detailed plenty in the next issue when it comes out, what, sometime next year? What with the delays. (Jokes aside, the delays are largely the result of Marquez having a child, and you know what? That is absolutely a good excuse for delays, and congratulations to him, and I won’t even make any more jokes about delays.)
Vision #1, by Tom King, Gabriel Walta and Jordie Bellaire. Virginia tells Viv that Vision is on his way to kill Victor Mancha, and that no matter what happens, odds are good Virginia and Viv will be turned off. It’s a really sad scene. Then we cut to Vision, facing down a group of Avengers. He says he’s there to kill Victor. And then there’s a fight. Back home, Virginia tells Viv how CK, the boy she crushed on, died. Viv doesn’t take it well. And then, back to Vision doing what the narration notes he was created to do: Destroying the Avengers. And back home, Virginia’s breakdown reaches a point of absolute horror and tragedy. An, uh . . . man. Guys. This comic, guys. This is rough. I knew shit was going to get bad for Virginia. I did not expect this issue. At all. This was . . . this was something. This was one hell of an issue, and I am terrified for the finale. Because there’s no happy ending here. Any possibility of a happy ending has been brutally, ruthlessly crushed. The fight between Vision and the Avengers was amazing. Vision was designed to kick their asses. That’s what he was meant to do. And here, he lives up to that design perfectly. It’s one hell of a team he goes up against: Iron Man, Thor, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, two Spider-Men, Beast, Medusa, Crystal, Black Panther, Blue Marvel, Monica Rambeau, Ms. America, Ms. Marvel, Nova, Captain Samerica. That is a monster line-up. And Vision wins. You could argue that he shouldn’t be able to beat that line-up. But you would be wrong to do so, because this makes for a fantastic story and that’s what matters. King and Walta do a great job selling it. The art is excellent. Walta and Bellaire work really well together. This series has been incredible, and I am so excited to see how it ends, even though it may destroy me.
Power Man & Iron Fist #8, by David Walker, Flaviano, Sanford Greene and John Rauch. Luke visits Danny in prison, and Danny explains why he’s still in there. He’s still looking into those people they were hired to help. The former criminals who were assaulted. While Luke tries to find the jerks, Danny talks to people in the prison, who were assaulted despite doing nothing wrong. One guy – black, naturally – was on a date with a white girl and got attacked, even though he’s never committed a crime.
Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #10, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Megan Wilson. Patsy wakes up in Hell. Which turns into Centerville. So, still Hell. Back in the real world, Jubilee convinces Mad Dog and Daimon that Hedy lied to them both. And she calls Daimon “emo phase,” because Jubilee is great. Inside, Sharon, Tom and Ian wonder if they should go out to see what’s going on. Also, Tom and Ian smooch! Yay! About time, you guys! Jubilee threatens to bite Daimon if he doesn’t bring Patsy back, but he can’t do it. He’s sent her to the realm of Belial, and only Belial can bring her back. Belial is trying to manipulate her, showing her her life, and trying to convince her that he could give her power. She manages to get him to return her to Earth, mostly by refusing to even consider making any deals until he does. Then Daimon says it was all a mistake, and even Belial thinks it was extreme of Daimon to send her to hell without actually confirming if she was planning trouble. This is great. It’s really cool, seeing the exploration of Patsy’s history, and her life. Belial talks about how she should feel angry and want revenge. Patsy doesn’t really try to argue with him, mostly because I think she doesn’t care enough. She just wants to get home. Jubilee is awesome, as usual. The art is really cute. It’s fun, as it always is. Williams and Wilson do really good work together. The fact that it’s so cute actually adds a lot to more dramatic panels. There’s a couple panels in particular that really stand out for that. So, yeah, I loved this.
The Wicked + The Divine 1871, by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans. It starts in Rome, with Ananke about to kill a delirious Hades. In Geneva, Inanna and Lucifer banter a little, then Ananke shows up. Lucifer goes to talk to her, and they clearly have something planned, but Inanna chooses not to push it. Later, she goes to meet Woden and Morrigan. The four of them start telling horror stories. The inspiration for this issue is pretty clear. Inanna’s story is pretty bland, about her becoming a god. Then Woden tells a heartbreaking story. Hint: “One day, you, you have a corpse in a crib.” Lucifer tells them Hades is dead, but that he and Morrigan have a plan: They’re going to attempt to revive Hades. It, uh . . . it could have gone better. This issue . . . man. This is so good. Gillen’s writing is excellent, full of clever wordplay, and full of tragedy and hate and love and all that. And the art. Stephanie Hans, guys. Stephanie Hans. So gorgeous. This issue’s beautiful, even by her standards. She really sells the anger, the love, the horror, the tragedy, all of it. It’s so pretty.