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X-Men comics of March 15 2017

March 16, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Let me start by saying Brian Bendis is an asshole and he can fuck right off. I’ll explain below, and will talk about it at length on Tuesday. But for now, comics.

Uncanny X-Men #19, by Cullen Bunn, Edgar Salazar, Ed Tadeo, Ulises Arreola and Joe Caramagna. Psylocke goes to Magneto’s Savage Land base, in order to kill him. For his part in Emma’s attack on the Inhumans, and because she thinks the world will be better off without him. Magneto blows the base up with Psylocke inside. Psylocke’s counter is way better, though:

Uncanny X-Men #20

Honestly, it’s hard to top “sudden T-Rex attack.”

They debate Magneto’s actions a little. Mystique gives a quick run-down on the status of the rest of the team. Fun fact: A solid chunk of the team will be in Astonishing X-Men. Psylocke, Mystique, Fantomex and Archangel will all be in it. So Psylocke’s run-down is kinda funny. Anyway, the debate’s good, and the way Psylocke wins the physical fight is awesome. This issue’s actually a pretty good display of just how dangrous Psylocke is, even if it does require Magneto to be uncharacteristically stupid. He underestimates her in a way he probably shouldn’t have. But still, it’s a cool fight, with a really good debate between them, and some really good art. A lot of double-page layouts. Not spreads, just lots of panels crossing pages. It’s actually something I tend to enjoy. It’s a good use of space. As for the art itself, well, the T-Rex attacking Magneto tells you all you need to know, really. It’s really good art. Lines, inks and colours, all great. This is a really good final issue, of a run I found very uneven. On the whole, I think I’d say the issues that don’t have Land art are worth reading. The issues where Land is on art also had what I felt was the weakest writing. But this issue has really strong writing, so yay.

That’s the only X-title, but here’s the other stuff I read.

Ms. Marvel #16, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring and Joe Caramagna. It starts with the origin of the Doc.X virus. A programmer for Battlecraft Studios made it as a social experiment, something that would spread from computer to computer and could be used to model all sorts of things. In the now, the virus is in Kamala’s phone, threatening her. He says that if she doesn’t do what he says, he’ll reveal to Coles High School that Zoe’s in love with Nakia. Kamala’s initially sceptical, and then realises it’s true, and it’s actually pretty funny. He sends her to SHIELD HQ to upload him into their systems. She’s about to do it, but realizes she can’t, because it’s not what heroes do. So she goes to talk to Zoe, and it’s a great scene that really highlights how strong Zoe is. This is a really good issue. Ms. Marvel’s fear about what Doc.X might do to her, and to Zoe, is really good, and her realization that se can’t go along with what it wants is nice. But Zoe steals the issue. Her scene with Ms. Marvel is great, and she also has a scene with Nakia, and man, Zoe’s so great. Such a great character. So good and strong. I’m going to keep rooting for her. I want her to be happy. I’ll be honest, I want a spin-off that follows Ms. Marvel’s supporting characters, because they’re all so great. The art is great, as it always is. Miyazawa’s a great fit for this series. I love Miyazawa’s style. It’s so good. And Herring’s colours are perfect. The man’s a genius. This series is still a must-read. If you lost some interest with the CWII arc, it’s gotten back to being as strong as ever.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat #16, by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, Rachelle Rosenberg and Clayton Cowles. The building Patsy’s office is in is gone. Sharon is not taking it well. Then Patsy sneezes again, and in Hedy’s apartment, her little dog turns into Mr. Sniffles. Hedy calls Patsy, and the ringtone is “Cool For the Summer” by Demi Lovato. Honestly, Patsy’s assorted ringtones are one of my favourite parts of this book. They’re seldom songs I enjoy, but the fact that it’s a different song each time is cool. So the group – Patsy, Sharon, Jubilee and America – head to Hedy’s, and find Belial there. Remember him, the demon from a couple arcs ago? Turns out, Hedy and Belial are dating now. Patsy reacts with her characteristic calm. Meaning lots of screaming. Which is hilarious. There’s also a flashback to Daimon confronting Hedy about manipulating him and Mad Dog, and saying she turned them into “patsies.” Ha. Even Patsy actually finds it funny. Anyway, Daimon sent Hedy to Hell, where she met Belial, and the two hit it off. And Belial reveals that Patsy’s suffering a pan-dimensional stress flu. So now she has to deal with that, and especially the stress part. This is a great issue. It is, sadly, the penultimate issue. Next is the finale. Which is sad, because this series has been so wonderful. But sticking to this issue, it’s great. So much fun. There’s a lot of great comedy in the issue. But there’s also a lot of heart, as the issue goes deep into Patsy’s increasing stress throughout the series. It’s really good stuff, and a reminder of how important it is to just talk shit out once in a while. So it’s just a really nice comic. Funny, but also heartfelt. And adorable, of course. Williams and Rosenberg are great. Williams’ art is the cutest. And really expressive, which works especially well for this issue, which relies pretty heavily on facial expressions to work. There’s a lot of silent panels, where characters simply react to something somebody said, and the comedy is conveyed through their facial expressions and body language. And Williams nails it every time. Rosenberg’s bright colours really do a lot to enhance Williams’ lines, as well. This is a great issue, of a great little series.

USAvengers #4, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov and Joe Caramagna. A SHIELD plane is flying over Lichtenbad. An editorial note reminds us it’s from Daredevil #9. The original Daredevil #9. From the ’60s. Ewing loves classic continuity. General Maverick’s been sent there by Roberto, in order to subdue American Kaiju, who’s gone rabid and is causing problems. Maverick’s attacked by Dedd-Puul, a Frankenstein-ed version of Deadpool. He was sent in to find a mad scientist, Victor Vandoom. But the scientists injected him with a serum that made him a monster. And Vandoom was being helped by Todd Ziller. Ziller wants to be turned back into American Kaiju. This issue is an odd one. I didn’t really dig it that much. It’s a callback love-letter to classic monster comics, with multiple covers inside the issue, with poetic narration boxes, and with American Kaiju. The characters are pretty flat and one-dimensional, and while that’s obviously meant to be part of the joke, it does feel like it drags the issue down. I’ll grant that Deadpool’s pretty funny in it, and Vandoom has his moments. But for the most part, I just couldn’t get into this issue. A little too much winking at the reader. Too much referential humour. It just didn’t work for me. Good art, though. The art team is still tops at what they do, and they make some sweet-looking monsters and mayhem.

Black Panther World of Wakanda #5, by Roxane Gay, Alitha Martinez, Roberto Poggi, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Sabino. Folami gives Aneka a tablet, and tells her to turn it on in two hours. That’s when Folami makes her attempt on Ayo’s life. It, uh, it doesn’t go well for Folami. She ends up stabbed in the eye. Ayo’s pretty awesome. Then that brings us up to where we met them in Black Panther #1, with Ayo defending Aneka to the Queen-Mother.  Mistress Zola is told about reports coming in from all over Wakanda, from women asking for help. Zola agrees to send a few Dora Milaje out to the three main trouble spots, to deal with the troubles. Zola also slips Ayo a key to the armory, so she can steal the Midnight Angel armour. This finale’s pretty meh. The whole story was, to be honest. I enjoyed it, mostly, but it’s very clear that Gay’s not used to comics. She has a tendency to be too brief and to-the-point, in a way that doesn’t really benefit the story. Lines that are a little too on-the-nose, or scenes that play out too quickly. I think maybe she had too much she wanted to cover, and the story suffered for it, and she should have cut out some content in order expand other bits. In this issue, for example, the confrontation between Zola and Folami is way too rushed. And the first page, where Folami gives Aneka the tablet, is incredibly awkward. So I’m thinking the previous issue should’ve had Folami give Aneka the tablet, and this would open with Folami on her way to attack Ayo, freeing up an extra page for the Folami/Zola confrontation. Just off the top of my head. But yeah, this was a story with definite problems. Nice art, though.

I didn’t read it, but Hannah Blumenreich had a story in Amazing Spider-Man #25, and Blumenreich’s Spidey fancomics are delightful. So that’s great.

And finally: Fuck Brian Bendis. Some brief comments on Guardians of the Galaxy #18. Angela returns to the apartment she shared with Sera, but some new guy’s moved in, and there’s no sign of Sera. And . . . that’s it. Where did she go? Who knows! Why did she leave? Who knows! What does it mean for Angela and Sera’s relationship? Who knows! None of this is anything Bendis ever gave one wet hot shit about, so why would he actually show an interest in it now? So, after three years of pretending Sera doesn’t exist, Bendis had her actually vanish. And fuck that noise. This is just so frigging pointless. It honestly feels petty. Like he got tired of people asking him about Sera, so he threw this in just to spite them. “Oh, you want to know where Sera is? She’s gone! Are you happy now! Haha, that’s what you get for wanting to know where this character’s lover is! How silly you were for asking about the status of one of Marvel’s only two trans characters! You losers!” That is genuinely how this comes across, because I can’t see any reason for it beyond pissing people off. People who didn’t read Queen of Hel have no context to care about Sera being missing, and Queen of Hel fans are just going to be pissed at Sera getting mentioned solely so she could be shown as gone. And given we haven’t even had a hint of a possible announcement regarding where Angela will be showing up after this, we’re left with no idea whether this story will ever actually be picked back up. So, fuck Brian Bendis. I’ll talk about this more in my next pull list post, where I will make the case that Bendis is a homophobic asshole. So look forward to that.

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3 Comments
  1. G'kar permalink

    You know I’m not Bendis biggest fan or really fan of his either and I’m sure that Guardians of the Galaxy # 18 was bad. From your rant you pissed mostly like for good reason (I didn’t read the issue and won’t read it or anything else he writes because civil war II was the last straw for Me.) it’s most likely just his bad writing. I wouldn’t say he’s homophobic just because one thing.

    • It’s not just one thing, though. I have never seen him include a same-sex romance in any of his comics. Oh, he includes queer characters. But he keeps them celibate, and most of the time, their sexuality gets brought up once and is never referenced again. I think he supports queer rights and representation in principle, but is uncomfortable with it on a personal level.

  2. Uncanny X-Men 19 sounds pretty intense in all the right ways. I’ll eventually have to check out all the non-Greg Land Uncanny X-Men issues. Cullen Bunn can be a really good writer at times (not always, but sometimes). I’m looking forward to seeing how his X-Men Blue turns out.

    And yeah, Guardians of the Galaxy 18 sounds bad. I’m glad I didn’t start reading this current volume from the start (the previous volume was just ok at best anyway).

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