X-Men comics of November 16 2016
Uncanny X-Men Annual, by Cullen Bunn, Ken Lashley and Nolan Woodard. Elixir is back from the dead. He’s actually in Genosha, torturing the Dark Riders by bringing them back from the dead. Magneto, Monet, Sabretooth and Archangel find him, and Elixir actually name-drops the “Hope you survive the experience” meme, and adds that he didn’t survive. He’s also angry at them for not checking on him sooner, and proves how impermanent death is by trying to revive everyone who died on Genosha. He passes out, and when he wakes up, they take him to Kansas City, MO, and a camp full of mutants dying from Terrigen poisoning. He tries to cure the people, and let’s just say the results are mixed. Because remember, he doesn’t only heal. There’s a second side to his powers. It’s a good story. I’m glad Bunn brought Elixir back from the dead, and kept him alive at the end of this story. He continues the evolution of Elixir’s power, which does have the unfortunate side effect of making him a character who can never play an ongoing role again. He can only ever be a very occasional guest star. He’s too powerful, in too specific a way, for him to be used often. But still, he’s a good kid, and I’m glad he’s alive. The real focus of the story, though, is split between Magneto and Monet. Magneto sees Elixir as a tool, which bothers Monet. So we have Magneto getting a lesson in being less of a dick, while Monet gets a better understanding of why Psylocke left, and shows some signs of being jaded about Magneto, herself. I’m sure that’s going to play out in interesting ways in UXM. The art’s good. Lashley’s a solid artist. Woodard does very good job with the colours, as well, which are pretty key with Elixir. And the back-up, by Anthony Piper. Domino is asked by Sunspot to do him a favour. Assassinate some jerkass former Colombian Army Officer who slaughtered mutants. She makes her way into the compound, via lots of stealthy killing. And, you know, for most of the story, it’s just really cool. Domino being awesome and efficient at killing. But then, the end. I won’t spoil it. But it involves the most ridiculous example of Domino’s luck power that I have ever seen. It goes beyond luck, into straight-up stupid impossibility. I had trouble not cheering out loud. Is it stupid? Yes. Is it awesome? YYYYYEEEEESSSSS! It’s so over-the-top, it goes past irritating, and swings right back around to amazing. That’s not an easy thing to do. It really isn’t. So, yeah, I loved this story. Domino’s a great, fun character, and she gets to be both lethally competent and impossibly lucky in a way that even action stars don’t get to be. It’s great.
All-New Wolverine #14, by Tom Taylor, Nik Virella, Scott Hanna, Jesus Aburtov and Michael Garland. SHIELD arrives in Daylesville, the town Laura slaughtered under the influence of her trigger scent, and takes her into custody. She tells them about the planes, and Fury, Jr. gets some SHIELD fighters to go after them. The planes go into a giant flying base thing. The vehicle has a Madripoor flag, which means SHIELD can’t follow it. Since SHIELD won’t do anything about the people who made her murder a town, she decides to take care of it herself. And escapes via decompression.
She jumps out an airplane, getting shot a couple times in the process and falls. Later, she returns to the cabin, and prepares to go to Madripoor, with Gabby insisting on going with her. Because Gabby is awesome and will not let Laura go it alone. I love Gabby and her protectiveness of Laura. Laura’s plan for getting to Madripoor is great, too. It involves pirates!
This is really good. It’s not as good as it feels like it should be, I’ll say that. The previous issue delivered on hell of a set-up. This issue feels a little fumbled. Too much of SHIELD, I think, honestly. And I get why there was so much of them in the issue. They needed to be there, and they needed some room. Laura killed a bunch of people, and even though she wasn’t really responsible, she still feels responsible, so it makes sense for her to let SHIELD take her. Then she needed to have a reason to escape them – for example, them refusing to go to Madripoor to find the person who made her kill innocent people. So SHIELD’s role in the issue makes sense, and the space given them is necessary. Just the same, it ends up feeling like too much space on them, not enough on Laura’s emotional state. I think seeing a little more of Laura during the SHIELD section would have been useful. Regardless, it all adds up to an issue that doesn’t equal the previous one, though it’s still good, and the arc still has a lot of promise. I’m still excited. The art is good. I have no complaints on that end. The art team does a solid job. They’re not the best art team the book’s had, but they do good work. It’s a good comic.
Old Man Logan #13, by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo. Deathstrike threatens to kill the boy who leads the Silent Order, if they don’t let them out of the pit. The kid wakes up, and gets them out of the pit. And then goes Akira.
Have you got a better term for this than “going Akira”? I’m referencing the classic manga/anime, of course, especially the anime. Side note: That movie was so good, wasn’t it? So good. I loved it. Anyway! Sohei and his guys spear Logan, and he starts cutting them up. Then he remembers the future, Maureen telling him she’s pregnant, him saying he loves her and wants the baby, and smooches her in the rain and it’s all very sweet and romantic. Back in the present, he tells the boy to look in his head, and damn, it’s one hell of a spread. This is a good issue. Solid conclusion to the arc, all about forging one’s own future. With lots of gorgeous art. This arc has been largely middling, I found, but man, there can be no such thing as a bad comic when Sorrentino and Maiolo are doing the art. Because everything in this comic is beautiful. Seriously, if you’re someone who reads comics for the art, this book is absolutely worth your time. If it’s the story you’re more interested in, well, this issue still did a really good job with it. There’s a lot of poignancy, as Logan tries so hard to get through to the boy, to convince him that Logan doesn’t want to hurt him, and as the boy starts to believe him, climaxing with the boy deciding to take his future into his own hands. It’s really nice, and it does make the arc a lot more worthwhile. Still feels a bit padded, it probably could’ve been done in 4 issues. But still, really good work from all involved.
Deadpool #22, by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli and Guru-eFX. Deadpool wakes up during his autopsy. Once the doctors have put his organs back on, he talks to some cops about what happened at the zoo. He goes back to his theatre, and finds he owes a lot of money for the construction work to repair the place, so he goes and steals money from a horse race place. He also hits a horse with a big bag of money. I follow a couple people on Twitter who would be pretty happy about that, actually. Jay, of X-Plain the X-Men, has repeatedly said horses are jerks, and Wendy Xu, artist of Mooncakes, hates horses. Hates them. If you want to piss her off, send her horse photos, except don’t do that because it’s a dick move and she’s a lovely person and doesn’t deserve to be trolled by random assholes. Her friends already troll her anyway. Oh right, comic. The horse kicks Deadpool. After Deadpool escapes with the money to pay the construction crew, he gets a text from Ellie inviting him to dinner at Preston’s house. And, after a couple great issues, this one . . . sucks. Ugh. That’s disappointing. The humour is lame. The only laugh I had was when Wade hit a horse, and the only reason I found it funny is because of other people calling horses jerks. I think what bothers me most, though, is that the whole plot of him going to the racetrack to steal money was just filler. It has nothing to do with the Madcap plot. It’s just . . . there. Duggan had an idea for Deadpool, in a Spider-Man costume, robbing a horsetrack. So he threw it in, whether it fit or not. Because it doesn’t fit. It’s pure filler, and that’s stupid and makes for a crappy issue. We get a little bit of plot stuff at the start, and a little at the end, but the bulk of the issue is stupid filler. Argh.
That’s the X-stuff, but there’s other comics worth talking about.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #14, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi. Squirrel Girl and her squad meet a friendly Enigmo, who explains his backstory. He uses to be in the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation, but when it went bust, he ended up homeless. When some guy came after him, most of him rejoined and got punched in the nose, giving all the Enigmos a nose scar, but this one didn’t rejoin. Instead, he started to travel, and saw a lot of good in people, which the other Enigmos have never seen. So then we get a heist-planning montage, which is Ant-Man suggesting Good-Enigmo to get a bunch of Bad-Enigmos to merge with him and become good. It’s . . . not much of a heist, honestly. And it immediately falls apart. Luckily, while the heroes fight Enigmos, Nancy comes up with a plan. Which is explained via a physics teacher, because if there’s one thing this comic loves, it’s squirrels. Second is friendship, but third is learning! The plan Nancy and Doreen come up with involves action figures. Canadian variants on Marvel heroes. Like “PALactus: The Friendly Canadian Galactus.” Though that one isn’t actually used in stopping Enigmo, sadly. This issue’s great. It’s a lot of fun, as it always is, and it throws some science at us, and some Canada facts, and the whole thing is just the best. I don’t know how anyone could not like this book. It’s wonderful. It’s joyful and positive and educational and I love it.
Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #12, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Rachelle Rosenberg. Ian’s secret origin! He used to live with this girl, Zoe, who was a total bitch to him. She treated him terribly. And then the Terrigen Mist happened. And Ian still has some anger towards Zoe. Hellcat holds Ian back, and Zoe and her girls run off. They go back to the Black Cat, who has one of their friends in Bailey’s bag. Black Cat can’t pull the girl back out, but Bailey does it. Back to Ian and Patsy, and it seems like Zoe didn’t like Ian being bisexual. Which is rough. Bisexuals face a lot of pressure, and that’s from gays and straights alike. Poor Ian. But now, Ian has people who accept him and care for him! And Patsy’s ringtone for Jubilee is “Fireworks” by Katy Perry and that is both appropriate and a little bittersweet, what with Jubilee no longer having her firework powers. Another delightful issue! Ian’s backstory is really sad, and makes you really feel for the poor guy. Kate Leth identifies as queer, but I seem to recall her mentioning that, in practice, she’s bisexual, and is simply nervous to call herself that, because of how people react to it. So I think she kinda infused a bit of herself into that little bit of Ian’s backstory. The fact that Zoe hurt him so much makes you instantly hate her. Like, more than Black Cat, and Black Cat’s the actual supervillain. But Black Cat’s a supervillain, carrying out a supervillain plan. What Zoe did is a much more mundane kind of badness, simple cruelty and callousness, and so it makes her stand out as that much worse. I don’t know if she’ll end up being redeemed or not; we’ll have to wait and see. This is definitely a book that places a lot of emphasis on redemption, of people who made bad choices getting second chances. So we’ll see. Either way, I really enjoyed this issue, and I’m enjoying this arc. Oh, and the art is still adorable. Williams and Rosenberg make the book look so bright and cute and joyful, though they can also bring the drama and tension when they need to. The cuteness of the art makes Ian’s flashback even more effective. This book’s wonderful! Read it!
Black Panther #8, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Walden Wong and Laura Martin. T’Challa sees off the Crew, and then and he Eden prepare to help Shuri. T’Challa talks about how Shuri was trapped in the “living death” that Thanos had been trapped in at the end of Infinity, and how he could do nothing to free her, but then he figured out that the Shuri in the amber was a doorway to the Djalia. Shuri, meanwhile, talks to Mother, and tells a story of the Bako, who unified Wakanda. A princess, Sologon, was married off to a chieftain, and when the chieftain died, she was sent back to her tribe, with her son. And when conquerors came, she rallied the troops, and her iron spirit gave her stone skin, which Shuri now has. As always, stellar work here. This is one of Marvel’s smartest books. This issue is even more exposition-heavy than usual, with T’Challa’s talk of what happened to Shuri, and his attempts to save her. It’s a lot of information, and I think that does hurt the issue a bit. But Coates does as good a job as he can, making the exposition still interesting. But then there’s Shuri’s section, and the story of Sologon. And this is why I love the book. Coates gives Wakanda a history and a mythology that it’s never had before. And it’s fascinating stuff. I enjoy mythology. I’ll admit to having read virtually nothing from any African legends or myths, which is a huge blank spot that I really should do something about. But the myths in this book have a distinctly African feel to them. They’re fantastic. It looks like we probably won’t get more of that, now that Shuri is out of the Djalia. Instead, she’s going to start putting into practice what she’s learned, and that should be great to see. Awesome comic.
Silk #14, by Robbie Thompson, Irene Strychalski and Ian Herring. Cindy finally has everything in her life going well. So, of course, it’s left her probably more screwed-up than usual. She feels alone, she barely sees her family, she cancelled a therapy session. She volunteers to fly out to San Francisco to help JJJ with the New U. story going on in Spider-Man and Clone Conspiracy. Her ghostly ex, Hector, goes with her. They have a really sweet connection. I like these crazy kids. When JJJ hears Cindy’s family is back, he hugs her, which makes her suspicious. So she whips up a new costume, with Hector dubbing her Silkworm, much to her annoyance. Again, I love these two. They’re so happy with each other. As they investigate JJJ being happy and nice. This is a good issue. Lots of focus on the Cindy/Hector relationship, and they are delightful together. Hector is a great guy. It is sadly amusing that Cindy is so used to having a shitty life that good things make her freak out. I should note that the art is really pretty. Strychalski has a very pretty style. Like, suuuuper-pretty. Just so soft and pleasant and nice. I love it. I really, really hope she gets more work from Marvel. (She’s also Asian-American. Yay for diversity.) She definitely deserves it.