X-Men comics of December 7 2016
All-New Wolverine #15, by Tom Taylor, Djibril Morissette-Phan and Michael Garland. SHIELD has cut Laura off from any superhero support, which is fine, because she’s all about doing things on her own. On the pirate ship, the SS Yost (ha!), Captain Ash notes that Logan was an above-average lover and they shared some great adventures. A shipping container on the deck comes loose, and a restraining cable is going to cut through a crewman’s leg, so Laura cuts it, and it lashes back against her and almost knocks her overboard, requiring Ash to rescue her. They finally reach Madripoor, and it turns out Ash sold her out to someone. Also, she was transporting children. And then Roughhouse arrives! With his name spelled properly, by the way. As Roughhouse, with two ‘h’s. And he has someone else with her. Another great issue in the series. Things continue to get worse for Laura. Ash is done really well. Initially, she’s really cool and likable. She seems like a neat, friendly pirate. As it turns out? Nope, she’s awful, she deserves bad things. Selling out Laura is bad enough, transporting kids to sell into slavery is abhorrent. So I really like how Taylor plays with our expectations like that. The issue ends on a really dark note, which has me even more excited for the next issue. The art’s good. Morissette’s not my favourite artist. Faces can get pretty odd at times. But it mostly looks good. And Garland’s colours are top-notch.
Deadpool #23, by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Paolo Villanelli, Christian Dalla Vecchia and Guru-eFX. At a SHIELD facility, Preston’s been put through decontamination, and her family is in a medically-induced coma. Deadpool is also in decon, and wants out so he can go after Madcap. So they throw him into a crematorium to kill whatever virus is left on him, through fire. Once he’s done, they head out to beat people up to find out where Madcap got the virus. (For some reason, when they go after wizards, Deadpool’s wearing a snorkel.) They don’t find any answers. So Deadpool does something desperate to get a cure for Preston’s family. This is a pretty good issue. Lots of ass-kicking fun, but also really good emotional tension. Duggan makes great use of Preston for that, as she is furious at Deadpool, but also desperate to find a cure. It’s really good work there. Deadpool himself is fairly serious, but does still make a couple jokes. I still don’t like the art, of course. I’ll never like Lolli’s art. I’ve made peace with that. Still, good issue. Which is almost frustrating, because this series is just so damn uneven, going up and down constantly.
That’s the X-stuff, but there’s a couple other comics worth talking about.
Avengers #2, by Mark Waid and Mike Del Mundo (with Marco D’Alfonso). The Avengers are floating in nothingness, and Vision believes it’s Limbo. Not Illyana’s Limbo. Immortus’ Limbo. They were brought there by a future version of Kang, because if you’re doing a Kang story, you need to bring in more Kangs. They can’t leave Limbo without ceasing to exist, so their fates lie in the hands of Hercules, who goes to see an old friend, Sibyl. She tells him what Kang’s up to, and sends him off. In Vietnam, Kang and Scarlet Centurion attack the Temple of the Priests of Pama. Hercules shows up to fight them, and finds the Baby Kang. This is great. Waid is crafting a very Kang story, with paradoxes and offshoots and Limbo and all sorts of weirdness. Hercules is good in this, showing some of his boisterousness, but still being fairly subdued by classic standards. This is still modern Hercules. The fight against the Kangs is good; there’s a great moment where Kang tries to drain centuries of life off Hercules, who responds by casually bitch-slapping him while boasting that he’ll outlive the sun. You really do have to wonder at Kang’s sense in trying to age an immortal. The art is gorgeous. Of course. Del Mundo is spectacular. Worth the cost of the book alone. So, yeah, I’m really loving Avengers.
Champions #3, by Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba and Oscar Delgado. The issue picks up where the last issue left off: The team finding Cho and Viv making out. Viv explains she wanted to see how it would affect her. She says it didn’t, and that she may need to try a different gender. So . . . OK, I’ll actually talk about this after the recap. Viv then notes that there’s reports from Sharzad of terrorists gunning down children, and Ms. Marvel says they have to deal with it, so they get into a new transport Cho has built. Cho and Kamala argue a bit over who’s leader. They get to Sharzad and fight off jerkwads while protecting women. One of the girls has a suggestion for how to send a message to protect them long-term. The girls gather in the town square, and the Champions, staying hidden, make all sorts of havoc among the terrorists, to make everyone think God is defending the women. So this issue . . . I don’t know, man. Look, I’m very much part of the target audience. A book about Social Justice Warriors? Preaching positive messages? You all know that’s something I’m all in favour of. But this feels a bit too heavy-handed. It doesn’t really have enough authenticity. The characters all remain off. Especially Viv, who is written far too cold and analytic. And that brings me to the kiss. So, this is pretty clearly meant to indicate Viv as queer, though obviously, it’s too soon to tell if she’s going to be lesbian or asexual or what. But here’s the thing: We know Viv is capable of having romantic feelings for men. The Vision series made that very, very clear, as she was obsessed with the cute boy who said she was cool. She was obsessed with him for the entire rest of the run. And while that doesn’t prove she can’t be a lesbian, I don’t like the idea of erasing it. The fact that she wasn’t turned on by kissing Cho is also not exactly great proof of a lack of interest in men in general. She may not be attracted to Cho. And realistically, she should probably be aware if she has any sort of attraction to women. She should know who she’s attracted to, because we have seen her be attracted to someone. For Waid to now pull this “What is this thing called love?” bullshit with her is ridiculous, and it’s insulting. My guess is she’ll be revealed as asexual, which I would be fine with, except that I honestly do not have have faith in Waid to make it clear that her being an android is not why she’s asexual, or to understand that asexual people can still feel romantic attraction. (I knew an asexual girl in college. She complained pretty regularly about wanting a boyfriend.) I think I’m going to drop this book. It’s just not as good as I wanted it to be. It comes across as an old guy writing about Those Hip Kids Today. There’s a lack of authenticity that just drags it down way too much, and makes everyone sound off. Also, I hate Ramos’ art. Hate it hate it hate it. So, yeah, I think I’m done with this series.
The Wicked + The Divine #24, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson. It’s New Year’s Eve. Amaterasu calls Persephone “Persy.” That’s cute. And also they kiss, but mostly, “Persy” as a nickname. McKelvie draws Persy with wicked abs as Minerva tells her not to hurt Baal. She also drives a motorcycle super-fast. And the issue’s just awesome. Persy is great. She’s cynical and angry and downright dangerous. This series is fantastic and you should read it.