X-Men comics of December 21 2016
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). SO hey, I got down to the comic shop today, and now I have so goddamn many comics to talk about. Too many. Marvel needs to be better at spacing out the comics I want. Anyway, let’s go.
Uncanny X-Men #16, by Cullen Bunn, Edgar Salazar, Ed Tadeo and Nolan Woodard. Karnak is in New Attilan, and sees a bunch of dead Inhumans, killed by Sabretooth, who Karnak immediately kills. After a brief talk with Medusa, he starts to realize something feels wrong. It is, of course, a mental construct by Jean and the Cuckoos. Jean hopes the mutants and Inhumans can still mend fences when it’s all over, because Jean’s an optimist. Also, turns out Karnak is being held in the World, which Fantomex is also running around in. While Karnak imagines fighting a group of X-Men, Fantomex is looking for the security breach the Someday Corporation used to get World technology for their sleeper agents. And he’s using Irma’s psychic link to Karnak to help him. It’s a neat issue. Very interesting. It doesn’t have much connection to IvX, and is mostly just Bunn wrapping up the Someday plot while laying groundwork for future Fantomex stuff. Though we’ll have to wait and see if that does get followed up on in Resurrxion. The art’s nice. A bit static, which is unfortunate given how much action the issue has. It’s kinda snapshots of fighting. A more dynamic artist would’ve done wonders for the issue. Salazar does much, much better with people just talking. Because it is really pretty art, it just doesn’t have a sense of motion. Regardless, this was a fine tie-in issue.
And that’s actually the only X-title, so here’s aaaaaalllllllllll the comics I picked up.
Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! #13, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams and Rachelle Rosenberg. Black Cat has the brainwashed Bailey attack Patsy and Ian, and Jin throws some daggers, with one going into Patsy’s shoulder. Jubilee and Ian fight the Black Cats, while Patsy and Felicia fight. Attache gets all three heroes in her bag. Jubilee cleans up Patsy’s wound while also wanting to drink the blood. And also while wearing an adorable medical mask.
They make plans to get out and save the day, though since the arc continues next issue, they obviously don’t save the day in this issue. But there’s developments! And lots of Jubilee, which is great! Including her adorable face mask. The series remains adorable and wonderful and just so great. Leth is having fun with Evil Black Cat, even if Evil Black Cat is kind of a stupid idea. (Lots of writers are making use of her, and they’re all making it way more enjoyable than Slott did, but still, I’m not a fan of the idea. Though the way Slott went about it is probably the biggest sticking point for me.) And I really do love Williams and Rosenberg. The art is so bright so cute and fun and colourful. It’s a joy to look at.
Ultimates 2 #2, by Al Ewing, Travel Foreman and Dan Brown. Adam, Monica and MAC are on Galactus’ ship, with Monica inexplicably standing around as light. It’s actually really cool. There’s “snow,” which Monica senses is flecks of another, dead universe. Galactus and Anti-Man are in the Superflow, for a meeting with Master Order, Lord Chaos and the Living Tribunal. Order and Chaos want Galactus turned back to the Great Devourer. Carol is talking to the Alpha Flight Board of Governors, and thinks back to the end of last issue, when MAC said the Ultimates were back. Carol refused, especially to work for Galactus, in a confrontation that shows that Carol gives no shits. Because she argued with Galactus. The guy could blink her out of existence with no effort, and she challenges him. Like I said: No shits. But MAC does convince her to help. Back in the present, Carol gets a message, and leaves, with T’Challa also leaving the meeting. They go out to meet the others, and find . . . something. A cosmic ghost, basically. And we get its story. It is, of course, the ghost of the Shaper of Worlds. The solicit said so, so I’m not spoiling anything. This is another solid issue. Really interesting stuff. The Trial of Galactus was neat, and ends on quite the interesting cliffhanger. Adam gets some really nice stuff early on, talking about Christmas during the Great Depression, with no presents so his father told ghost stories instead, which is something that gets echoed throughout the issue. It’s really sweet. I also liked Carol’s reluctance to reform the Ultimates, and MAC overcoming her reluctance to ask for help, to ask Carol for help. MAC’s grown! I like Foreman’s art, though I suspect it’ll be divisive. Particularly the Galactus stuff, which has very much a CGI look to it. Kinda reminds me of the ’90s Silver Surfer cartoon, actually. It’s a little too CGI for my tastes, honestly, but the art in the main story is fantastic. So, yeah, this series is still great. Worth reading.
Mighty Captain Marvel #0, by Margaret Stohl, Ramon Rosanas, Emilio Laiso and Rachelle Rosenberg. It starts with a dream of a girls-only game night, interrupted by Iron Man. She wakes up, in a therapist’s office. She’s been having trouble sleeping, and keeps having that nightmare. The therapist wants Carol to talk about her feelings, which Carol isn’t interested in, so she ends the session by turning off the hologram. Neat! She goes to see Wendy, who lets her know NASA is suing her for accidentally destroying some satellites. Carol’s more concerned with a bunch of alien refugees they’ve been bringing in, who she thinks aren’t getting enough support. Also, Wendy has joined the Carol Corps. Carol heads to her office, which has been decorated with her posters, and has a feelings talk with Brand. Awwww. They’re friends! Carol thinks back to her childhood, her obsession with stars, her dad not being able to afford her college tuition and suggesting she find a man and get married. What a jerk. The flashback actually seems to be setting up a modified origin for her, one that leaves out Mar-Vell, which is interesting to me. Here, Stohl says Carol went to space and found an artifact that changed her. In the original comics, of course, she never went to space before getting her powers, and she actually got them as a result of being a damsel-in-distress, basically. I’m wondering if this was Stohl trying to set up something the movie can use to make her origin about her, rather than being about Mar-Vell? This issue also features Majesdanians! Neat! I’d love it if that means Karolina Dean shows up. Anyway, I guess this is supposed to be a prologue issue to show her new status quo, which is about the same as the previous status quo, but this really does read as more of a first issue than a prologue issue. So I’m not sure why this is a #0. Oh well! It’s a fine issue. Stohl’s got a good handle on the characters. There’s some good jokes – Puck calls Carol “Commander Crankypants” at one point, and another panel has Chewie sitting on top of Carol’s head – and some good emotional stuff. The art’s good, though it’s so weird to me to see Carol in shorts. I don’t know why. I guess because it’s actually rare to see shorts in comics? Short shorts, sure, plenty of those. But these are just normal shorts. Somehow, my mind just struggles with seeing a superhero in shorts. It’s so not what I’m used to. Still, it’s good art, though most of it isn’t from the book’s regular artist, so we can’t judge anything from it. But, I’m optimistic about this book, as long as Stohl stays on it for more than a single arc.
Silver Surfer #8, by Dan Slott and the Allreds. Norrin and Dawn are flying along, and get eaten, by Jumbonox the Giganormous. They’re attacked by antibodies, who are sentient and complain when Surfer blasts them. With the antibodies down, the mox-pox, sentient disease bodies, try to escape the space-whale. Dawn asks them to stop, and talks to the antibodies and mox-pox, and tells them about the Brundlebuds, the race the Surfer saved in the first issue of the Slott/Allred run. One of them became obsessed with the Surfer, and went into space looking for him. He found Surfer and Dawn, and became Surfer’s Harold. Tiny Harold! Who helped on various adventures! Aw, this is such a cute issue. It’s a cute bedtime story about a tiny hero! I love it! It’s all about how, no matter your size, you can be brave and do good, and it’s just really nice and sweet. Slott and the Allreds work so well together. They bring out the best in each other, and fill the book with so much imagination, so much heart, so much joy and wonder and goodness. I love this book. It never fails to make me smile. I genuinely can’t recommend it enough.
Black Panther World of Wakanda #2, by Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alitha Martinez, Roberto Poggi and Rachelle Rosenberg. After the events of AvX, where Phoenix Namor flooded Wakanda, the Dora Milaje are helping in the recovery efforts, with Ayo wanting them to go get revenge on Namor. Ayo and Aneka get assigned to guard Shuri, and a couple months later, at a Hall of Letters dedication ceremony, they grab some guy approaching Shuri with a knife. When they interrogate him, he says T’Challa brought the disaster on them through his association with the Avengers. Aneka and Ayo argue a bit, then they kiss. It’s sexy and sweet. Then they get sent to the Necropolis to serve T’Challa, around the events of the start of Hickman’s New Avengers run. So, the one issue I have with this story is that it does tend to have a lot of jumps ahead in time. This issue starts after AvX, jumps to New Avengers #1, and then jumps again to around Infinity. I understand why it’s happening – to show how Aneka and Ayo’s relationship developed – but a part of me thinks it might have been better for each issue to cover a specific time period. Of course, then it would mean the relationship developing arguably too quickly. But still. I think Gay (and possibly Coates, if he was involved in the plotting) made a mistake in how she went about telling this story. I’m enjoying it. The romance is really sweet, and Martinez, Poggi and Rosenberg really sell it with the art. The kiss is damned hot.
The art is great in general. Really effective, with great facial expressions conveying a lot of emotion. So it’s still an enjoyable story. It’s just not as strong as I think it could have been. Once it’s over, it’s possible my opinion will change. But for now, yeah, I think it could have been done better.
Gamora #1, by Nicole Perlman, Marco Checchetto and Andres Mossa. She’s laying awake in her room, and Thanos comes in to tell her about her “birthday” present. It’s the anniversary of the Zen-Whoberian race being wiped out. On Planet Moord, the Brother Royale, ruler of the Badoon, is dying, and says his daughter was going to wear the crown. After he dies, his son is ready to be declared the new Brother Royale, but Gamora slaughters her way through the Royal Family, while Thanos and Nebula watch. They also go to the Badoon’s secret horde to find some powerful artifact. This is . . . very interesting. It’s a bit of a mix of the comics and movie. Nebula being Thanos’ “daughter,” raised alongside Gamora, is very much taken from the movie. Of course, Perlman wrote the movie, so it’s not exactly a surprise. And it’s not that big a deal. Worst-case scenario, for people who absolutely have to have older continuity stay in play: The Nebula who claimed to be Thanos’ granddaughter is different from the one raised beside Gamora. Anyway. Gamora murdering the Badoon Royal Family was cool. Very brutal. Gamora herself is interesting here. Cold and bitter, with no real sense of joy. Even vengeance doesn’t make her happy. It’s sad. The art is great. Good action, good expressiveness with dialogue. Even the Badoon are expressive, and they’re lizard-people. So, this is a good start to the series.
Occupy Avengers #2, by David Walker, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz and Sonia Oback. After a quick recap of who Red Wolf is, we catch up to Hydro-Man trying to kill Wolf and Clint. We do learn Red Wolf’s memories of his old life are fading. Silas and Frank Fireheart prepare to help out, because they’re badass, but luckily, Hydro-Man’s boss tells him not to kill Clint and Wolf. Frank and Silas follow the bad guys back to their big water pumping station secretly set up on the reservation. Clint and Wolf get free and fight. Clint keeps Hydro-Man busy with insults, while Wolf shoots out a lot of legs. Good issue. Lots of fun. Clint mocking Hydro-Man is hilarious. You’d think Hydro-Man would be used to it, given his usual opponent is Spider-Man, but I guess Clint is just even more annoying. Frank and Silas are badass. Awesome to see a couple regular dudes help save the day, especially to have a couple regular Native American dudes help take down a group that’s been screwing over their tribe. Walker’s a writer who’s very much socially aware, which makes things much more interesting. The art’s really good. Pacheco’s a top-notch artist, with Fonteriz and Oback complementing him really well. This book’s off to a solid start. Definitely worth checking out.
Power Man & Iron Fist Sweet Christmas Annual, by David Walker, Scott Hepburn and Matt Milla. Schnuckies. Apparently, in the Marvel Universe, there’s a game called Schnuckies, which I guess is kinda like Pokemon Go, and now there’s a store open selling toys of them. Luke and Danny take Danielle there on Christmas Eve. While Danny and Dani have fun in the store, Luke gets a call from Jessica Drew asking for help with her son. She’s right behind Luke with her screaming baby, who calms down pretty much as soon as Luke takes him, which makes Jess feel useless. In the background, people keep shoving each other. And Daimon Hellstrom is wandering around in a Santa costume, carrying his pitchfork, and no one thinks it’s weird? Is . . . is that a New York thing? Anyway, it turns out the whole Schnuckies thing is a plot by Krampus, because this is a good comic. Hellstrom’s there to stop him, and then Luke, Danny and Jessica also get involved. As does one more hero, though I won’t say who. I’ll just say . . . screw it, it’s St. Nicholas. Santa Claus shows up to help beat the Krampus, because this is a good comic. Hey, he’s a legitimate character in the Marvel Universe. He’s shown up before. He even helped Carol Danvers a couple years ago! So, this is a comic about Santa Claus defeating Krampus. I mean, I don’t know what else to say about it. I don’t even like Christmas, and this delighted me. It’s great. Read it.
Animosity #4, by Marguerite Bennett, Rafael De Latorre and Rob Schwager. It starts 5 years ago, with Jesse taking care of puppy Sandor. It’s cute. Meanwhile, her mom talks to her dad about love. She feels bad because her son from a previous marriage doesn’t want a relationship with her. I think? Oscar says Adam was already in college when someone died, but Shannon does not look old enough to have a kid in college, and apparently, that was 5 years ago. In the present, the animals are pretty pissed off about one of their own being lobotomized. The wolf says to kill and eat the humans. But it turns out the humans didn’t lobotomize Pearl – the koala shot her in the head, and the humans saved her life, though they couldn’t do anything about the brain damage. Some of the other animals in the collective are mutinying, siding with the humans, and Mimico the wolf doesn’t take it well. He survives being attacked, and goes after Sandor, and says Jesse will kill Sandor eventually. This series remains really strong. I really recommend this book. It’s such a compelling story, with so many mysteries, so many twists, so much that’s unexpected. It’s very smart, with great art that captures the horror and the sadness. It’s fantastic.
I also picked up Jem: The Misfits #1. I wasn’t planning on picking it up, but the guy set it aside for me, so screw it, apparently I’m collecting this series now, too. Which is fine, it’s great, it’s a lot of fun but also really sweet. I love how good Pizzazz is, beneath the diva attitude.