X-Men comics of March 1 2017
Let’s start with the X-Men comics: There are none. Unless you count Deadpool. But now that Marvel’s cancelled their digital copy program, I no longer count Deadpool as an X-title. So, let’s get to the stuff I did pick up today.
America #1, by Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, Joe Rivera, Paolo Rivera, Jose Villarrubia and Travis Lanham. America! Fuck yeah! I’m a little sad because I could only get the default cover. My LCS doesn’t expect to sell many copies, so ordered too low for any of the variants. The opening page is actually one I want to talk about. It has the question, “Who is America to you?” And then 9 panels of people saying how awesome she is. Which I’d be fine with – she is awesome – except that it definitely implies that she’s becoming pretty famous in-universe. And that bothers me. I don’t think America should be famous. Her work is done out of sight, because she’s dealing with things people on Earth don’t even know are happening. (Or she’s dealing with problems on another Earth entirely.) So America being famous doesn’t ring true to me. Anyway, we then get into the story proper, with America, Carol and Monica saving the planet, Maltixa, which is under attack from some lady made of energy. America shatters the woman into stars, and the damage to the planet starts reversing itself, and the three head back to Earth so America can go on a date with Lisa, her awesome nurse girlfriend. They have a falling-out over Lisa deciding not to go with America while America attends college. Aw. We get a very, very brief cameo from Kate, and then America drives off into the sunset. Through a star. She goes to Sotomayor University. Nice. Named for Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic/Latina Supreme Court Justice. Apparently, in another universe, she has a university named after her. Go, her. The school seems to have a strong mutant/magic/superhuman presence. She gets to her first class, which is odd, and is also attended by Prodigy. Hey, Prodigy! Yay! He and America didn’t really interact much during Young Avengers. Turns out he’s also invented a Wayback Machine. (A time machine, which he’s named the Wayback Machine, because David is a delightful little geek sometimes.) And hey, you know how I don’t usually spoil stuff late in issues? Well, here:
So, this was really good. I do have some nitpicks here and there. But they’re minor complaints. For the most part, this is a solid debut. It establishes who America is and what she can do, gives her a strong voice, introduces the premise of the series and her supporting cast (or at least part of it, we’ll see if there’s more), and introduces a mystery to be unfolded over time (the energy woman). Rivera gives America a nice authenticity, and some fun snark. But mostly, she focuses on how much America cares. It’s nice. We don’t actually get to see that much with her. In team books, she’s been mysterious and knowledgeable and kind of a bitch. This issue highlights that she’s all about helping people. I’m not a fan of Quinones’ art. It’s just not a style I like. I find his faces are odd and off-putting. But that’s personal taste. I do like the colours. Very bright and dynamic. All in all, this is a really good debut, and promises to be a series well worth reading.
Unstoppable Wasp #3, by Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Megan Wilson and Joe Caramagna. Nadia’s old friend from the Red Room, Ying, has been sent to bring Nadia back in. Ying feels bad and is sure it means Nadia will kill her. Instead, Nadia hugs her and says they’ll fight off the Red Room together. But Nadia enlarges a raccoon as a distraction to leave. Devil plays with the raccoon, while Nadia and Lunella chat a bit. Lunella declines to join GIRL. Nadia gets a new phone, and starts talking to a blue-haired punk girl who’s big into science. Jarvis picks Nadia up and Janet calls Nadia to ask why she didn’t go see Matt Murdock, and she made some kind of threat towards Jarvis to make sure Nadia goes to see Murdock. Then Nadia and Jarvis go to meet with Lashayla Smith, a black girl in Brownsville, Brooklynn, who does physics that launch her out a window. And whose dad is amazing. Best dad. He spends an entire page embarrassing Shay. Everything he says is embarrassing her and I love it. Then, she has one more recruit. Once again, it’s fun and adorable and wonderful. There’s some really neat science stuff. Shay seems cool, and has a sad backstory. And the other girl Nadia tries to recruit is also cool, and Whitley uses her to explore racial micro-aggressions a little. A major theme of this particular issue is that it’s not easy being a smart girl, and the way you can feel very alienated from peers. There’s a couple characters who note that stupid people are happier. Which is unfortunately true. Nadia, of course, remains irrepressibly happy. This book is just so good and pure and fun, and if you’re not reading it, you’re really missing out, because Nadia is adorable.
Avengers #5, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso and Cory Petit. Vision shows the Avengers a time travel device they can use to implement Captain Samerica’s plan, to attack Kang’s various strongholds throughout time. The device was built by Vision, several centuries in the future, and Future Vision explains they can also use it to attack Kang himself, by sending Time Bombs along the timestream to take out his fortresses. It’s a really cool plan. And we find out that, in the issue of ANAD Avengers where Vision abducted Baby Kang, Future Vision was the weird spectre that kept following him. Cap has the team recruit a bunch of Avengers from throughout history (none from the future, it seems, which is actually pretty reasonable, I guess). Cap also accidentally teaches the original Avengers their battle-cry. And Spider-Man doesn’t know that the Hulk wasn’t originally child-like and spoke in full sentences. That amuses me. Another great issue. Waid and Del Mundo are doing amazing work. I love the idea of the Avengers using Kang’s own strategies against him. I guess if I had a complaint, it’s that there isn’t much character focus. It’s a plot-driven comic. But when the plot’s this good, I’ll forgive it not having more character work. And, of course, Del Mundo. Mike Del Frigging Mundo. He’s such an odd choice to draw Avengers, because he is not by any stretch of the imagination a conventional artist. But I’m glad he’s drawing it because his work is gorgeous. And any time Waid gives him an opportunity to draw something weird, Del Mundo kills it and makes something bizarre and awesome. This is an excellent Avengers run so far. If Waid and Del Mundo keep this up, this will definitely be one of the best Avengers runs. It’s already one of the best Kang stories. This is the kind of classic superhero story Waid excels at.
Hawkeye #4, by Kelly Thompson, Leo Romero, Jordie Bellaire and Joe Sabino. Kate’s tied up and sassing the villain, Aggregate, until he gets annoyed enough to smack her, which breaks the chair she’s tied to. She throws a bobby pin at him, which is somehow a flashbang grenade. Which is amazing. Her bobby pin is a grenade. That distracts Aggregate enough for Kate to grab Mikka and get to the party upstairs, where she’s attacked by the party-goers. Ramone wakes up Mikka with a kiss. Then Aggregate turns out to be Greg, the cute frat-boy Kate met last issue. The fight carries over to . . . an outdoor showing of The Sound of Music. Which means the supervillain is defeated by Julie Andrews. Yes. I’ve never seen The Sound of Music. But I whole-heartedly approve of The Sound of Evil defeating villains. It’s a perfect idea. I really enjoy this comic. Kate’s endless supply of sass is always so charming. Aggregate is actually kinda fun. He’s such a douche. It’s fun. It’s easy to root against him. Also, Ramone and Mikka have a really sweet moment and aw, it’s sweet. Yay for love winning over hate. The art’s really good, too. Romero makes Aggregate look so damn douchey. And also gives him convincing ripped clothes. And, of course, Bellaire is on colours, and she’s the best. So, yeah, Hawkeye’s great.
Silk #18, by Robbie Thompson, Tana Ford, Ian Herring and Travis Lanham. After burying Clone-Mattie’s ashes with Real-Mattie’s body, Silk quits the fact Channel. She doesn’t need its resources to find her family now, and it just doesn’t feel like her thing. Lola and Rafferty help her pack up her desk, and she also talks to Jonah, who’s also boxing his own desk. And is feeling terrible. Cindy moves back into the Washington Heights place where her family’s living, and talks to her brother. At his behest, she talks to her therapist, and while we don’t see any of what’s discussed, we do see that she leaves with a smile and a willingness to return. Aw. Good Cindy. Stay in therapy. This issue is just about Cindy wondering what she’s going to do with her life. She does make a decision at the end, one which is kinda cool, and which I’m really hoping will make it easier for her to cameo in other books, since Silk seems to be ending. I like this issue. It’s a quiet, downtime issue. No fighting. The most action we see is her climbing a tree to get a kid’s kite. It’s just exploring Cindy’s mental state, saying farewell to her foray into journalism, and to an extent, it’s establishing for readers what readers can expect Cindy’s life to be like once the book ends. Which is nice. Tana Ford’s back on art. I’m sad to see Strycahlski go, but I’m glad to have Ford back, because I do really like Ford’s style. There’s an appealing blobbishness to it. And Herring’s colours remain great. This has been such a good series.