X-Men comics of September 28 2016
Extraordinary X-Men #14, by Jeff Lemire, Victor Ibanez, Guillermo Mogorron and Jay Ramos. Iceman and Nightcrawler, in Egypt, get attacked by Colossus. In another world, Storm has been possessed to fight Illyana. Illyana rips the spirit out of Storm’s body. As the fight continues, Storm and Illyana try to get information on what’s going on. Their opponents ramble about a World Eater, but the World Eater is apparently male. Sapna’s trail continues through the next portal, so Storm blows away the others to make room. So, was this entire interlude a waste of time? In X-Haven, Apocalypse tries to manipulate Forge. Forge puts duct tape over his mouth. The Handyman’s Secret Weapon. Back to Egypt, where Kurt tries to talk Colossus down. It doesn’t work. So the kids bust in. Anole, Glob and No-Girl. Good to see two of those kids again. Glob can just go away. Stop trying to make us like Glob, writers. He’s an idiot. And a poor replacement for the vastly superior Rockslide, Anole’s BFF. In X-Haven, Jean talks to Logan about his feelings for Storm. Ugh. I don’t care about the Storm/Logan/Forge love triangle. Have Storm hook up with Illyana. How about that? Anyway, this issue. Meh. Whatever. Even the search for Sapna plot feels weak and pointless this issue. Which is a shame. The fight against the random losers on a random world slows it down too much. They may become relevant again as this arc moves forward, but as it is, they feel pointless. Pages that could have been better spent on more important stuff. There isn’t enough of Illyana’s feelings for Sapna, and what Sapna represents to her. The scene between Forge and Apocalypse is pretty OK, as a nice show of Forge’s loyalty to the X-Men, as he rejects Apocalypse’s offers of working together. That was good. And Kurt was back to talking about his faith, though it feels like a bizarrely quick turnaround from his recent Stab Everyone Because The World Is Misery garbage. So, yeah, this run remains not worth buying.
X-Men ’92 #7, by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla. The audience at Lilapalooza is growing restless, demanding Lila. X-Factor shows up to take over the investigation into the disappearance of Lila and the X-Men. The X-Men are on another world, and Brand has no idea where they are. And Death’s Head refuses to help if he’s not getting paid. Wolverine finds a bunch of Brood, who have powers, and confronts them. Which leads to the rest of the team joining in. Shockingly, they’re not knock-offs of the ones from that story about mutant Brood. Sims and Bowers actually made new mutant Brood. I know, I’m shocked, too. Back on Earth, Xavier and the students show up to help with the investigation. Cortez returns to the club of the Upstarts, to find mysterious figures who are pretty clearly Cassandra Nova and – sigh – Joseph. Ugh. They’re in shadows, but their profiles make it obvious. Back at Lilapalooza, a bunch of mutants are feeling restless, so Adam-X the X-Treme – I will never not post his full name – suggests they get X-Treme. Because he’s Adam-X the X-Treme, you see. So it’s him, Maggott, Random and marrow, who go to confront Lorna and Wolfsbane. And then back to the other world, and the fight goes in a strange direction. Meh. Meh meh meh meh meh. I don’t care. I really don’t. I have no shits to give about this comic. It’s so pointless. Too much of it revolves around “HEY GUYS DO YOU REMEMBER THIS CHARACTER? HOW ABOUT THIS CHARACTER? OR THIS ONE? HEY HERE’S ANOTHER CHARACTER YOU MIGHT REMEMBER!” Too much nostalgia, not enough merit of its own.
Deadpool #19, by Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish and Nick Filardi. We’re in 2099 again. Wade returns to his Schaeffer Theatre hide-out. The one from the current Uncanny Avengers run. He cleans up and gears up, and goes out trying to find Ellie before Warda can. Ellie and Warda are his daughters. Warda, his daughter with Shiklah. Meanwhile, Ellie is kicking Warda’s ass. Warda calls her minions to enact one of her plans. They bring one of Shiklah’s glass coffins, with a horrible monster, to Madison Star Garden, and Warda says they’ll open it if they don’t hear from her. Warda tells Ellie to find their dad and get him to reveal where Shiklah is. This issue . . . it’s actually not too bad. There is a reasonably interesting plot building. But just the same, I’m not really invested. I don’t really care. It’s still a mediocre comic. Mediocre writing, and mediocre art. Just really meh.
Deadpool Annual, by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, Scott Koblish and Chris Sotomayor. This is a take on the Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends cartoon. The idea is that it’s a “lost episode,” because all those “lost issues” from the Duggan/Posehn run weren’t stupid enough. Blegh. Anyway, Firestar and Iceman talk about Peter being missing. Iceman says he’s probably fine. Then they talk about the new roommate. Firestar says she was going to kick him out unless Bobby was interested. That is, at least, a nice nod to Iceman being gay. The new roommate, of course, is Deadpool. Then they get a phone call about the Sinister Six robbing the Federal Reserve, and the three go to fight them. Deadpool kills Mysterio, then he tells Firestar that the Six admitted to killing Peter, so she fries the Vulture in anger. Then she uses her heat to fuse Sandman and Deadpool blows him up with a rocket. And Iceman skewers Dr. Octopus with an ice javelin. Deadpool shoots Kraven, and Iceman kills Electro in the most brutal way possible. Then Spider-Man shows up and beats up Deadpool, for trying to kill him and take his place. Now that he’s back, he sees the dead bodies of the Sinister Six. Iceman freezes Deadpool, but Firestar melts him free so she can burn him instead. So, yep, this whole story was just “Haha can you imagine if this old kids’ cartoon had brutal murders on it haha how wacky right how crazy and unexpected oh man we are such funny guys we are the funniest people ever.” Fuck this story. It is awful. It is a terrible story. It’s not funny. It’s not the least bit clever. It’s stupid, and it’s boring, and it’s shit. Fuck this story.
But! There’s a back-up! By Adam Warren and Ryan Kinnaird. If you don’t know who Adam Warren is, shame on you. Go read Empowered now. He’s been posting it online, so you can start here. It’s great. So read the first volume online, then come back here. I’ll wait. Done? Well, either way, let’s move on. Deadpool wakes up surrounded by what look like gross mucusy stuff, with a woman saying he’s been kidnapped by Nu Flesh, a biotech splinter faction of AIM. The woman calls herself Gothic Lolita. So, hey! A few years ago, Adam Warren did a Marvel project called Livewires, about a group of androids hunting down renegade black-ops projects. I haven’t read it yet, but I will read it at some point. Anyway, this story is obviously following up on that. And Deadpool immediately starts shooting some creature. But it has a pirated version of his healing factor. Gothic hopes to use him to confuse the targeting systems of the creatures. So he rides her shoulders attacking the things while she runs through the base. They finally reach the biggest creature. A biokaiju. Luckily, there’s an off-switch, which is unusual for AIM and it’s splinter groups. This is really fun. Gothic Lolita is delightful. I’m even more interested in that Livewires than I was before. (It’ll still take me forever to get around to reading it. Ah well.) She’s really fun. Deadpool is probably dumber than usual, but he does have some good jokes. And I love Warren’s art. Kinnaird’s colours really bring a lot to the art, too. But Warren’s manga-inspired art style is really fun. This story is fun. Why couldn’t the first story be this good? Or, like, a quarter this good? Even a tenth this good? This was great.
Spider-Man/Deadpool #9, by Joe Kelly, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and Jason Keith. A bunch of loser villains are gathered at a diner. White Rabbit, Gibbon, Swarm, Squid, Bearboarguy (a new guy making his first appearance!) and Ox. A few days later, they make their team debut as – Hateful Hexad! Spider-Man and Deadpool beat them up. We learn that Deadpool and Shiklah are having problems, as a result of Deadpool’s face being normal now, as of the last issue. Also, because he’s not killing people any more. He’s a good guy, and that turns Shiklah off. And then back to the fight, where things get . . . dark. And also, uncomfortable, in a not-good way. More like in a ’90s way. There’s an antagonist introduced here who has me concerned. Because she is very ’90s. OK, so, I normally avoid late-issue spoilers here, but just the same, but I think here, it’s important for you to see what I’m talking about:
I’m relieved she at least has pants, but other than that, this is a ’90s Bad Girl design. It’s the shirt that really does it. Just a little strip of cloth to cover her boobs, but lots of cleavage, and from another angle, it’d be under-boob. On top of that, she calls them “Daddies,” and makes a comment about letting them “touch her” next time. It’s creepy in the wrong way. So I’m not sold on this character. We’ll see how it goes, but she’s operating at a disadvantage, as far as I’m concerned. Other than that, though, the issue’s really fun. I like loser villains, so the Hateful Hexad were great. Endearingly stupid. Spider-man and Deadpool both had a lot of great banter, as well. They do play off each other phenomenally well, not just because they’re similar, but also because they’re different. The contrasts work really well. So, yeah, weirdly sexualized woman aside, this was great.
That’s the X-Men-related stuff, but here’s other stuff.
Ms. Marvel #11, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona and Ian Herring. We open in the recent past, as Bruno asks Kamala’s mother if he can borrow her bangles, in order to make some alterations to them. Her mom asks if Kamala’s in danger, and Bruno is horrible at lying. It is a really nice scene, though. Seeing Bruno and Kamala’s mom interacting is sweet. The scene does a great job conveying just how well they know each other. There’s a comfort between them. It’s very sweet. In the present, Kamala is worried about Bruno, but his brother Vic sends her off to sleep. But instead, she goes to play through a plan. Hijinx is in an old car lot, thinking about blowing it up, when Vicky crashes down to detain him until the threat has passed. Ms. Marvel shows up to tell her there was never a real threat, it was just a way of showing that Ulysses isn’t as reliable as everyone wants to think. And then a car blows up. Look, Hijinx is a Canadian ninja, and Canadian ninjas don’t do things halfway. Fighting fighting, then Captain Marvel shows up, and there’s tension and morality speeches. And big developments. This is great. The confrontation between Kamala and Carol is really sad. Kamala wanted Carol’s respect so much, and now she’s lost it. It’s sad. What happens with Bruno is also really sad. By the end of this issue, Kamala feels really alone. (Which is presumably why the next arc has her going overseas.) So, yeah, this is a really sad issue. Though still with some humour, of course. Hijinx is entertaining throughout. There’s a really nice visual gag near the end where Kamala’s wearing mismatched shoes, though she’s wearing them all through what is easily the most dramatic scene of the issue. As always, Ms. Marvel is an excellent series and I love it.
Captain Marvel #9, by Ruth and Christos Gage, Thony Silas and Matt Wilson. Carol feels bad about losing Kamala and Miles. Especially Kamala. Poor Carol. Despite her harsh words towards Kamala in Ms. Marvel, it’s clear Carol really liked Kamala, and losing her hurts. But there’s a situation in Canada. Kolomaq, one of the Great Beasts, has shown up. Carol, Aurora, Sasquatch and Puck manage to defeat him. Pretty quickly and easily, too. I remember when the Great Beasts were a big deal. Anyway, with Kolomaq defeated and the guy who released him in custody, Carol and Alpha Flight are questioned why the guy wasn’t already in custody. Carol says they had no legal basis to hold him, and Aurora says she objected because the man had mental health issues, and her own history of mental illness makes her more sensitive towards that sort of thing. Beaulieu and Gyrich talk to Carol about how the whole operation is going, whether the recent defections are affecting her judgment, and the importance of stopping problems before they start. They also talk about the criminal profiles Ulysses is being provided with to help him predict what supervillains will do. Beaulieu proposes building similar profiles of heroes who oppose the pre-crime program. Carol agrees to add those with criminal records, but says she won’t go further than that. She wants to stop crime, not just target people they don’t like, and if they want her to go too far, she’ll quit. It’s really cool, actually. A few days later, Magneto confronts Carol with drones sent to spy on him. And we get this panel:
So this is actually worth talking about. Christos Gage apologized for this panel, on Twitter. He got some heat for it, because it has Carol mocking a Holocaust survivor for drawing parallels to the Holocaust. Gage’s explanation is that he didn’t think Carol would know he’d been de-aged and was a Holocaust survivor. First, as Gage admits, the text doesn’t make it clear that she didn’t know. But even if the text made it clear, I think that line would have been a mistake. It should have been cut. That said, Gage made a mistake, and he owned up to it, so there’s no real need to pile on him for it. He said he hopes to fix it for the trade. It’s worth noting that Gage is a really nice guy, very thoughtful, someone who really does want to avoid offending people (especially inadvertently), and this really was a lapse in judgment, not an act of malice. Anyway! That misstep aside, this is a great issue. It contiues to show how hard Carol’s working to do the pre-crime stuff in the right way, to be careful and thorough and avoid politicizing it. There’s also really good work here with Alpha Flight, especially Aurora, who gets a lot of focus in this issue. Which is great. Her history with mental illness is brought up in a really good way, without having her relapse. She’s healthy right now, and she’s damned proud of the fact that she’s healthy, and rightly so. It’s a point of legitimate pride, which makes it an entirely fair sticking point for her in general. So, yeah, I love the use of Aurora here. The art’s good. Nothing outstanding. Just competent workmanship from Silas. Though Matt Wilson is one of the best colour artists in comics, at least.
New Avengers #16, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and Jesus Aburtov. Right off the bat, we have the caption boxes being salty. “Did I stutter?” Anyway, Garrett is angry at Songbird making him look stupid. Meanwhile: New Avengers vs. New Revengers! Hulkling keeps his phone in his arm, and pauses in a fight to check a text message. Wiccan uses his words. The Maker uses a gun from a reality where WWII was fought in space and hijacks Air Force One. Songbird rejects Angar’s guilt-tripping. Tippy-Toe rallies Vermin’s rats in a militant strike action. This issue, like so much of this series, is a mix of awesome and absurd. I mean, rats going on strike. That happens. It’s ridiculous. And I love it. Most of what’s in this issue isn’t that ridiculous. But there’s still a distinctly off-beat approach to a lot of it. Wiccan defeats a villain by talking at him. And by literally declaring himself a bigger deal than the bad guy is. And, through magic, it’s true. It’s at once weird and awesome. I love this comic. This is a great issue. So great.
Ultimates #11, by Al Ewing, Djibril Morissette, Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown. Thanos tries to convince Conner Sims to embrace death, and then talks about his recent experiences outside reality, and the power vacuum he’s noticed. Ewing writes Thanos so goddamn well here. He’s brilliant, and brilliantly manipulative. Sims ends up fleeing, leaving the Ultimates and Thanos to face off. MAC charges in, and gets knocked aside. So next up is Carol, going Binary via Blue Marvel. That keeps Thanos occupied so Monica can go through his eye in his brain. It works a lot less well than one might expect. Turns out, Thanos’ head is not a place you want to be. She’s expelled, and she says fighting Thanos won’t work. So while Carol and MAC keep Thanos busy, T’Challa thinks of a solution, and he, Blue Marvel and Monica quickly implement it. The Ultimates out-thought Thanos. That’s awesome. Of course, with Thanos defeated, it’s back to the CWII debate. This issue is phenomenal. Ewing writes a great Thanos. I might even be so bold as to say he writes Thanos better than even Starlin did. Yes, I went there. He’s everything Thanos was always meant to be: Brilliant, powerful, ruthless, manipulative. But Starlin turned Thanos into a Mary Sue. Ewing makes him the monstrous bastard he should be. There’s a lot of great character work for all the Ultimates here, as well. Carol, MAC and Monica are all still clearly feeling Rhodey’s death. T’Challa is cool and calculating. Blue Marvel tries to talk Conner down, and seems to be recalling their past friendship, indicating a degree of forgiveness. It’s subtle, but it’s nice. The art is gorgeous. Rocafort, Morissette and Brown do amazing work. There’s a couple double-page spreads that are just stunning. And the action scenes are done really well, with great flow, and a great sense of power behind everything. Yeah, this is stellar work from everyone involved. Sadly, this is Rocafort’s last issue. He will be missed.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #12, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi. So, right off the bat: On the recap page, she tells Tony Stark to change his name to Ira Onmann. So, you know. Hell yes. Anyway, the issue opens with the bank robbers from the first volume’s third issue. The ones who robbed a bank when Nancy was just trying to get money for falafel. Those jerks. Anyway, Brain Drain stops them with an homage to the cover of Action Comics #1. Since Brain Drain is an effective superhero, and New York has a lot of other superheroes, Doreen agrees she and Nancy (and Tippy) can visit her mom in Canada. It turns out the cabin they’re staying at has no electricity. Nancy loves it, Doreen thinks it’s boring. I’m with Doreen. Give me Internet or give me death. Actually, scratch that last part, just give me Internet. So while Doreen is bored in the woods, Brain Drain continues to patrol New York, as a mystery reveals itself. So, this is Squirrel Girl. Weird and clever and hilarious. It’s nice to see Maureen again. She’s cool. She’s a great mom. She and Nancy are so fun together. They pair wonderfully. Doreen’s torment is amusing, but at the same time, I feel that pain. I’ve been camping, though it was an RV, rather than a cabin, and it wasn’t in the woods of Northern Ontario, it was in the frigging nothingness of Alberta. And it sucked. I want to be comfortable, and being comfortable means the Internet. So, I totally feel Doreen’s pain here, even if I’m laughing at it because it’s not happening to me. And it’s great to have Erica Henderson back! I love her art on this book. It’s cute and funny. Oh, and Brain Drain is amazing in this issue. He keeps going on these nihilistic monologues and it’s amazing. I love Brain Brain in this, he’s so great.
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #11, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos and Tamra Bonvillain. Kid Kree is in Lunella’s secret lab. So Devil chases him out, while she calls Ms. Marvel. She wants to show Ms. Marvel she’s cooler than their first meeting. So, that’s when her Inhuman power strikes again, to make her mind swap with Devil’s. So Ms. Marvel, quite reasonably, takes the now-howling Lunella to a doctor. She also leaves Lunella a message for when she returns to normal. Unfortunately, Devil (in Lunella’s body) manages to get hold of the communicator. And eats it. A few days later, Mel-Varr visits her at home so they can work on the Lego thing for school. Aw, Mel-Varr, you’re a good kid. This is good. Poor Lunella can’t catch a break. She embarrasses herself in front of Ms. Marvel even more, and even though Ms. Marvel’s nice and leaves a message, Devil destroys it. That’s sad. I hope Kamala and Lunella do meet up again soon! I want them to be friends. I also hope things go well with Mel-Varr. He’s a good kid and I hope he and Lunella can be friends. By the way, I love how Ms. Marvel looks in Bustos’ art style. I just love Bustos’ art style. She and Bonvillain make a great-looking comic. It’s pretty, and cute, and just really nice. This is a wonderful series. Read it. If not in floppies, then at least read the trades. Get it from your local library!
Nighthawk #6, by David Walker, Martin Morazzo and Tamra Bonvillain. Nighthawk wakes up, handcuffed to a radiator in the lair of the Revelator. The two have a quiet, rational discussion of the optimal approach to opposing racial injustices. Then Nighthawk kicks Revelator out a window. Tilda has the owl-drones looking for Nighthawk, while Hanrahan, the villain, watches TV reports about the chaos in Chicago. He calls Dixon, who mentions Burrell being onto him, and Hanrahan says to kill him, despite Dixon’s reluctance to kill a cop. Tilda picks up Nighthawk in a car, so they can discuss the next move. Another great issue. Tilda gets more funny bits, and she also gets another awesome outraged rant. I love Tilda in this comic. Easily the best part of the series, because when she’s not hilarious, she is full of righteous fury. Morazzo’s art is very different from Villalobos’. It’s at least a little more conventional, and would likely appeal to a broader audience. I enjoyed Villalobos on here, though. But I’ll be fine if Morazzo does other stuff. Anyway, another great issue of this comic.
Snotgirl #3, by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung. Lottie and her intern go to a party! Normgirl is throwing it, in the OC. Lottie and Esther look a-may-zing. Seriously, Hung and Quinn give them gorgeous outfits. And then it turns out Cutegirl got the same dress Lottie did. Horror! She goes to the snack table, and meets a cute guy, but she has trouble speaking. And it turns out the cute guy is Normgirl’s fiance. And then she has a confrontation with her old intern who’s now dating her ex-boyfriend. And then . . . uh, things. I have no idea what’s happening in this comic, or where it’s going. All I know is it’s entertaining as hell. Lottie is vacuous and self-obsessed, but she’s also vulnerable with low self-esteem, and she’s really endearing. I love her. This is a great comic. Oh, and Leslie Hung and Mickey Quinn are killing it on the art.