X-Men comics of February 1 2017
All-New X-Men #18, by Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy and Nolan Woodard. The X-Men are attacking Attilan, and Scott is finding himself useless. Adult Iceman saves him from Inferno, and Magneto saves him from Medusa. After, they all go to Muir Isle, where Scott feels everyone is staring at him as a painful reminder of the Adult Scott. Warren talks to him about it, with Scott saying he feels like he’s repeating Adult Scott’s crimes. He worries they’re on the wrong side. No, Scott. You’re not on the wrong side. You’re eliminating something that kills your people. And the cost to the Inhumans is that no more of them get cool powers. That’s it. Anyway, he then gets possessed by mosaic, and he learns something big. This is a good issue. Scott’s self-doubts are interesting. I think he’s being too hard on himself, though it’s not like that’s out of character. I do dislike how we keep seeing questions about the morality of what the X-Men are doing, but we’ve seen jack shit about whether the Inhumans are right to stop them. It’s ridiculous. “Do we have the right to destroy this thing that is murdering us, when no one will actually be harmed by its destruction?” Yeah, you probably do have the right. Meanwhile, on the other side: “We have to save this thing that gives neat powers to a small number of people, even if it means another group of people has to die!” Where the hell are the Inhumans who actually think destroying the murder-gas might be a goddamn worthwhile idea? And it’s not that I expected that in this book, this book isn’t about the Inhumans, but I’m getting fed up with the X-Men being portrayed as morally questionable in this event, while the Inhumans get to be free of any and all guilt or responsibility for mutants dying. Rant aside, this is a good issue. As always, excellent art and solid writing. And a Mosaic cameo! Yay! I like Mosaic.
Old Man Logan #17, by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo. Logan remembers being in his time, at Niagara Falls, looking for Kang, and being attacked by some thugs who threw him off the Falls. And, uh, I just want to remind everyone that Sorrentino and Maiolo are frigging amazing.
Then he flashes back to the current time, in a space ship. He was dying in space and Puck rescued him. They pick up a distress call from inside the station, which means someone else is still alive. Back to the Wastelands, and inside a cave, he finds a badly-injured Puck, and Alpha Flight dead. And he finds Kang. Then he’s back on the station, killing Brood. Then the Brood disappear, and he’s back in the Wastelands. The twist at the end of the issue is great, and actually has me a lot more invested in the arc. It explains what’s going on very effectively, and raises the stakes considerably. So it’s a great twist. As always, though, the art is why you want to read this. So. Frigging. Gorgeous. Sorrentino still does some cool layouts, and tons of great-looking images, and Maiolo makes them live. Look at that panel of Niagara Falls. Look at those colours! The real world wishes it could have colours like that! Sorrentino and Maiolo very well may be the best line artist/colour artist team in comics. I cannot imagine either of them working with anyone else. They just mesh so damn perfectly, like they’re one person.
All-New X-Men #1.MU, by Jeremy Whitley, Carlo Barberi, Ron Lim, Terry Pallot, Walden Wong and Cris Peter. Laura’s with most of the ANXM team (Scott seems to be absent). She’s there to help a friend, and doesn’t want the others along, so they’re just going to enjoy Mardi Gras. She gets dropped off in the swamp so she can meet up with Gambit, who’s called her for help investigating some murders. And having really fun banter. Laura and Gambit always played off each other really well. Gambit’s at his best when he’s hanging out with Laura, I think. Something about her just brings out the best in him. Back in the city, Idie is awed by St. Louis Cathedral, which makes her feel closer to God. Aww, I like this scene. I really do. I’m agnostic, but Idie’s faith is something I do appreciate seeing, just because it does make her happy. Meanwhile, Bobby gets a flier for an LGBTQIA Annual Mardi Gras Ball. Back in the swamp, Laura is chasing an alligator that took her arm. She gets it back, but then she and Gambit get caught in a net trap, and their captor, Dr. Chimera, begins to monologue to them. But then a monster crashes nearby. It looks like a giant crayfish. It heads for New Orleans, there’s fighting, and Laura comes up with an awesome plan for stopping it. This was great. It’s just fun. Laura and Gambit reuniting was really nice to see. I think I’ve figured out why Laura brings out the best in Gambit: he’s not flirty around her. He’s still charming, but it’s a friendly charm. Gambit has a reputation for being sleazy, because a lot of writers have written him as sleazy (the ’90s cartoon often made him come across that way, too). But that sleaziness disappears when Laura’s around. It makes him much more likable. Whitley’s got a pretty good handle on Laura’s current voice. She’s more Hopeless’ Laura than Taylor’s, but still, she’s good. She’s a lot of fun here, which is still a really weird thing to say about Laura, but she’s become a really fun character lately. The rest of the team is handled really well, too. Whitley does a particularly good job with Idie and Evan. Those two are really good bros. Of course, being people of colour, they’re both being thrown away in Resurrxion. The art’s good throughout the issue. The two different styles match well enough. Facial expressions are good. The monster looks cool. So, yeah, good comic. Definitely worth picking up.
That’s the X-titles, here’s what else I picked up.
Unstoppable Wasp #2, by Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier and Megan Wilson. Nadia’s fallen asleep in her lab, and the phone rings. Not her cell, but the landline, which she’s never seen before. It’s Jarvis calling her, and when she expresses confusion about the landline, it makes him feel old. He’s there to take her to see an immigration lawyer Janet’s arranged, but she wants to start recruiting for GIRL. Also, she’s turned her cell phone into a laser. Jarvis agrees to take her to Washington Heights for her first recruit. There’s a street hockey game! A bunch of girls of colour, who’ve arranged themselves into two teams, the Hawkeyes and the Aranas. Nice. I miss Anya, she needs to be brought back. She’s so cool. Anyway, the Aranas have a robot goalie. Neat. Its arm is broken off by a wicked slapshot by the Hawkeyes captain, Alexis. The robot was built by her little sister, Taina, who is delightful. She’s so snarky and sarcastic and she won’t stop yelling at Alexis and it’s great. I love Taina. (She’s Puerto Rican and disabled and needs crutches to walk.) She and Nadia science-talk about the robot, then Nadia invites Taina to join her. Her presentation brings up Lunella, and Taina asks if Lunella’s already been invited, and Nadia feels stupid for not actually thinking of inviting her yet. Jarvis thinks Lunella’s too young to be doing anything like that, and should be skating, playing with toys, and learning about dinosaurs. When they find Lunella, she’s skating and has toys, and Jarvis starts to make a comment about dinosaurs. It’s some hilarious dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is usually, you know, dramatic, but here, it’s used for pure laughs. Also, we find out Nadia has no interest in boys. I’m guessing this is Whitley just shutting down right now the idea that this will be a romance comic. We’ll have to wait and see if she’s gay or asexual or if she’s just not interested now or what. Whitley’s someone who cares a lot about all kinds of representation, so gay or ace are definitely possibilities. Wouldn’t be the first time he included gay or ace characters in an all-ages comic. Princeless, and especially Raven: Pirate Princess, which is chock full of representation of all sorts. Anyway, this issue’s great. It’s hilarious. There’s so many great jokes all through the issue. But even more important, there’s a lot of heart beneath it all. Nadia is a good-hearted person, so kind and happy and sincere, and it makes for a genuinely lovely read, as well as being a really funny one. Taina gets off to a great start. I mean, she could kinda be considered a “hot-headed Latina” type, but she’s so funny about it, and she’s definitely more than that. Lunella’s written well, too. And the art’s great. Really fun and colourful and cute. Very expressive. This book’s great.
Hawkeye #3, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire. Kate gets tackled into the water, and the person who did it turns out to be Detective Rivera, who’s gone undercover with Take Back Control. Rivera tells Kate to stay away from the case. Kate heads back to the office to get dry and changed and talk with Ramone, who’s invited her brother over to help. Her brother is Johnny, the Hot Black Guy. Then Quinn calls, and between the four of them, they figure out where they need to go next, to find the people who’d been stalking Mikka. It’s a pretty bitchin’ house party. She talks to a cute fratty guy, then investigates upstairs. This is a lot of fun. Kate’s great. It was fun seeing her get all dorky when Johnny showed up. I don’t blame her, the guy’s cute. If I was into guys? I would be all over that. So you go, Kate. But not the frat-bro. I mean, he’s cute, but meh, you can do better, Kate. The plot remains really intriguing and exciting, as well. And the art’s great. The targets of things she sees remain great fun. This is just a really fun book.
Avengers #4, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso. Kang narrates how awesome he is. His empie, his history. With lots of big double-page spreads by Mike Del Mundo, because sometimes, you just gotta let Del Mundo run wild. It’s a cool issue. The look through Kang’s history is neat. It’s mostly stuff we already knew, but it expands on some of it, and adds some nice emotional connection to it. But mostly? This is just Del Mundo getting to kill it. So many amazing splashes and spreads. The whole issue is just gorgeous. It’s an issue all about the gorgeous, and I’m fine with that.
Jem & the Misfits #2, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge and M. Victoria Robado. The other Misfits are moving into Pizzazz’s house for the reality show, and no one’s happy. Stormer needs to talk to Pizzazz in private about her concerns, and we get a flashback, to Stormer’s career in music. Mostly, the people who’ve called her fat. So this issue is about the crap she’s had to put up with, being overweight. But it also shows how close the relationship between Stormer and Pizzazz is, and I really do love it. I love Stormer, and I love how sweet Pizzazz gets with her. It’s really sweet, really touching.
There’s also the Jem & the Holograms Annual, by Kelly Thompson, with a framing sequence drawn by Gisele Lagace and Jason Millett. There’s also short stories for each Hologram. MJ Barros does Kimber, M. Victoria Robado does Aja, Katarzyna Witerscheim does Shana, Savanna Ganucheau does Jem. The Holograms show up to listen to the Starlight Girls play, but the Girls aren’t there. But there is an Exquisite Corpse Holograms fan-comic. It starts with the Kimber story, where Pizzazz is an intergalactic Queen, and the Holograms are pop-punk princess rebels. Pizzazz has banished Stormer for falling in love with Kimber, and Kimber, in a dream, figures out where Stormer is. The art on this story is really good. The explanation of the backstory has characters wearing big, bright, colourful and awesome outfits, but the skin and faces are completely blacked out. The rest of the story is very cartoonish, and it works well. The Holograms come up with a plan for rescuing Stormer, which is when it switches over to the Aja story, where the art is adorable. It’s this really cute Chibi-style art. The Holograms put on weird and cute disguises, then go to the Planet of Jetta-Rox, where Aja will be fighting in gladiator matches. She challenges Jetta, to get the mystery of navigating the planet they need to go through . . . which is when it switches to Shana’s story, with more cool art. They reach the planet and find Stormer and Aja proves that she’s pure of heart and good-intentioned, so suck it, planet. In this story, Shana is psi-sensitive, and she figures out that the ball and chain, Pizzazz stuck on Stormer is also where she put her heart after cutting it out. And that leads to Jem’s story! Which also has great art! They decide the only way to stop Pizzazz is to put on an awesome show. Because, you know, Jem & the Holograms. Of course music is how you save the day.