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X-Men comics of June 7 2017

June 8, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So the X-Men are now in Marvel Future Flight. I’ll have to try to get them. In Avengers Assemble, I’ve got Captain America 2099, and she’s pretty cool, and I’ve also got the Classic Wasp costume, and the Captain Samerica costume for Falcon. Yay for those. Aaaaand I honestly don’t really care that much about anything else for this month’s Assemble event. But now, comics.

X-Men Gold #5, by Marc Guggenheim, RB Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Frank Martin and Cory Petit. Gambit’s hanging off the roof, and the nanoSentinel kicks his hand. Storm rescues him. I’m guessing she asked to be the one who saved him. They’re good friends. Logan is on search and rescue, and the rest of the team goes after the Sentinel. Colossus/Kitty Fastball Special! When she phases through the Sentinel, it gets screwed up, and Rachel’s hit by a psychic backlash, suggesting the nano-swarm is sentient. Bitchy McLady, Lydia Nance, goes on TV to blame the X-Men for the penthouse explosion. She’s, uh, she’s not entirely wrong. Gambit was primarily responsible for the boom. She points out Gambit is a known felon, and again, absolutely right, and the X-Men have harboured a wanted criminal for years. Back on the jet, Trask says she has no idea how to stop the nano-Sentinel, and says Gambit’s the one who combined the nanites with the Sentinel tech. Yep, he screwed up bad. But they find it, attacking . . . a hair restoration clinic. Uuugh. This book is so goddamn boring. It’s not even interesting enough to be bad. Bad, you can laugh at. Boring? You just want to be over. Marc Guggenheim is a goddamn hack. He is a hack, he has been a hack for years, I see no reason to expect he will stop being a hack. This book sucks. It’s just a by-the-books X-title with nothing interesting to say, no new twists on anything. Even this Sentinel isn’t anything new. It’s a Sentinel, but more dangerous. Oooooh! It’s not like we haven’t had that story a few dozen times! Shit, at least Bunn put an interesting spin on Sentinels with the save-mutants-to-kill-mutants thing. But Guggenheim is such an utter frigging hack that he can’t even do that much. His big twist is that the Sentinel wants to kill everyone. You know, like how a bunch of Sentinel stories went that direction. Maybe Kitty can convince the Sentinel to attack the sun. Wouldn’t that be clever and original? And the characterization remains almost nonexistent. The art is nothing special, either. This book is just boring and pointless and shitty and I frigging hate it. Get rid of Guggenheim, and give us a writer who isn’t a complete frigging hack.

Iceman #1, by Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Sabino. Bobby’s making a dating profile. The site he’s on is called Single not Stirred, which is a terrible name for a dating site but honestly I can believe it. He writes about himself while we see him sparring with Teen Bobby. After the match, Teen Bobby goes on a date with Romeo. Then he gets a text from his mom telling him his dad’s had a heart attack scare, so Bobby goes to see him. It’s, um, awkward. He apparently missed his mom’s birthday, and doesn’t know his parents moved into a new place. He’s about to come out to his parents, but hears noises, and goes to get involved in the fight in the hospital. A Purifier trying to kill a young woman. For some reason, Iceman actually has trouble with the guy. He does win, but it takes some real effort, which just confuses me, because a Purifier should be easy pickin’s for Iceman. Still, this is a good opening issue. It establishes who Bobby is very quickly and effectively. His jokes are terrible, and a very thin cover for his deep-seated emotional issues, and his insecurities resulting from his parents. His dad’s a prick, his mom’s actually not that much better. We get some hints of his combat abilities. It’s a well-made comic. About Iceman. So, honestly, I still didn’t particularly care about any of it. That’s me. I have never found Iceman interesting, and Sina Grace doesn’t change that. He does a great job on the writing. If you like Iceman, you’re sure to love this comic. The art’s good, too. Wonderful colours by Rosenberg, who is an exceptional colour artist. Vitti’s faces weird me out. They’re this weird mix of vague and over-lined. It just doesn’t work for me. It’s fine, I’m sure most people will still be fine with it, but the faces kept distracting me, in the wrong way. Still, while I may not like the faces, the art is otherwise really good, with good action choreography. But in the end? I just can’t care about this comic.

That’s the X-stuff, here’s what else I got.

Unstoppable Wasp #6, by Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Megan Wilson and Joe Caramagna. Nadia leaves her friends to return to Mother, while the girls try to figure out a way to get the bomb out of Ying’s head. They come up with the idea of gloves covered in the material that Vision’s skin is made of, to reach in and grab the bomb. The plan works! Obviously. But then Mother’s armed thugs attack the girls.  So then it’s just time for cleaning up. But then there is a really emotionally intense cliffhanger. This is great. Bright, fun, but with plenty of serious stuff, as well. Seeing the girls science it up is a lot of fun, and Nadia’s resolute optimism remains inspiring. The confrontation with Mother is tense. But there’s also plenty of humour throughout the issue. The art is wonderful, as usual. Charretier and Wilson make the comic so bright and positive. There’s also really good body language, and a sense of motion when characters move. This series is great, and I highly recommend, and next month is a Janet issue, so that should be loads of fun, too.

Hawkeye #7, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire and Joe Sabino. Kate, recovering from getting jumped in her office, decides to open the box they left for her. It has a letter from Madame Masque, and a necklace. Apparently, it was her mother’s. A triangle, represent Kate, her mother, and her sister. Aww. It’s really sweet. Kate had a good mom. But now Kate has to go after Masque and see what she wants. She goes to Masque’s building, and we get another flashback, of Kate at summer camp, and her mom coming for her, and things get tense in that flashback. Then, back in the present, fight time! This issue is a balance of funny and dramatic. In the present, Kate is Kate. Sassy and awesome. The fight scene is awesome. Romero just destroys it. There’s a double-page spread of Kate making her way through the army of goons, and it’s epic. So the present scenes are a lot of fun. But then we get the flashbacks. And they are really emotional, all about Kate’s mom. Kate had a good mom. And, based on the flashbacks, her mom was pretty scared of her dad. We’ll see where that goes. But the flashbacks are fantastic. They’re gorgeous – Bellaire’s colours are especially effective – and provide a real emotional depth. It’s easy to compare this series to the Fraction/Aja/Wu/etc Hawkeye run, and there is a sense of tonal continuity there. Thompson is clearly pretty heavily influenced, and it would be hard not to be, given how brilliant and how acclaimed that series was. But this book also stands on its own, and is great, and definitely worth a read.

Black Bolt #2, by Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward and Clayton Cowles. Black Bolt awakes, apparently having gone through a series of deaths. More than anyone else. Crusher’s pretty impressed. One of the other prisoners, an alien, knows Black Bolt, and assures him he can speak. The guy’s named Molyb, the Metal Master. And holy shit. Holy shit. This guy’s an OOOOOOOOOLD-school character. He fought the Hulk back in the ’60s. And then he also showed up in a Rom story in the early ’80s. And that’s it. Ahmed dug deep for this loser, which is actually pretty cool. Anyway, the prison is supposed to be an Inhuman secret, but it seems the secret got out. One of the prisoners, Spyder, works for the Jailer. I’m not sure if this is meant to be the same Spyder who the New Mutants fought. I’ll assume yes, because why not. Bolt messes with Spyder, who puts him in an arena against a large Skrull woman named Raava. She’s big. And a lot of fun. Raava is a delight. This book’s got a great supporting cast. Crusher’s a definite stand-out, being a guy who’s not necessarily smart, but who’s clever, and more insightful than one would expect. He’s also someone who’s got a lot of experience with prisons, which allows him to give a little insight into what it does to a person. Black Bolt himself is, of course, an arrogant prick. It’s who he is. But it plays well off the supporting cast. The art is fantastic. Ward’s style is pretty spectacular. I’m still angry at how much I enjoy this comic. I recommend it.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #18, by Joe Kelly, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, Jay Leisten, Jason Keith and Joe Sabino. Mephisto tells the reader that Spider-Man’s about to fall. Deadpool and Spider-Man fight over whether to kill Itsy-Bitsy. While they fight, Itsy-Bitsy recovers, and rejoins the fight. This issue is intense. Some intense fighting, and especially the climax. Deadpool does everything he can to keep Spider-Man a good guy, even as Spider-Man stays determined to kill. Man, I’ve loved this run. Kelly and McGuinness back on Deadpool? A dream come true. Especially because it wasn’t just them doing what they did 20 years ago. It was doing something new and fresh. Spider-Man and Deadpool have had a lot of interactions over the years, with Spidey always hating ‘Pool. But Kelly and McGuinness made them friends, and had it develop in a believable way. In a satisfying way, filled with emotional moments. It was so good. Kelly’s writing was full of great jokes and great depth. McGuinness’ art (along with Morales, Leisten and Keith, of course) was a great fit for the two characters, a bit cartoonish but still pretty conventional. The book could get ridiculous at times, but that fits the characters, too. I’m really going to miss this series. I know it’s continuing, but with a new creative team. And I won’t be following it after this.

Avengers #8, by Mark Waid, Jeremy Whitley, Phil Noto and Cory Petit. Side note: I actually got the Mary Jane variant cover, by the Allreds. It’s a good cover. Nadia sends out a call for help, and we flash back 2 hours, to the Avengers finding Avenger X. Vision recognizes her, and warns the others, but it’s too late, and she starts feeding off the energy of the Avengers to fight them and gain their powers. She picks them off one by one, until only Nadia’s left. This is a fun issue. Avenger X is a bit of a generic villain here. There’s not enough space to really get into her motivations or anything. But she is a pretty good threat, very dangerous and clever. I’m still not a big fan of Noto’s art, but it actually works really well here. I find it better at action-oriented issues than for more talking-head issues. So, yeah, this issue’s not exactly a classic, but it’s enjoyable.

Jem & the Misfits #5, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge, M. Victoria Robado and Shawn Lee. Turns out Jetta’s not British! She lied about it! And her name, too! She had a pretty sad childhood, honestly. Her mother died when she was young, and her father retreated into himself, so Jetta was raised by a miserable aunt, and at 16, she ran away, to London, and found herself. And this issue is just . . . it’s so sad and sweet and wonderful. This whole mini has been. And the main Holograms series has been. Guys, read Jem & the Holograms, and read this Misfits mini. You won’t regret it, because it’s brilliant work from everyone involved. I’ve said this over and over, because it’s true: The Jem comics are among the best comics of recent years. They are brilliant, funny, moving  and wonderful comics, and you owe it to yourselves to read them. You won’t be disappointed.

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From → 2017

2 Comments
  1. I should catch up on Hawkeye when I get the chance. Apart from that, I didn’t pick up any Marvel comics this week. Sounds like X-Men Gold isn’t improving much at all, and like you, I’m not all that interested in an Iceman solo book. The “new” sentinels in X-Men Blue sound much more interesting than the classic “more dangerous” sentinels we’ve seen so many times over the years. Even the Cerebro Sentinel in Extraordinary X-Men is an interesting twist.

    • Yes. You SHOULD catch up on Hawkeye. (And Jem & the Holograms, because it’s such an amazing comic.) EXM’s Cerebra wasn’t exactly a “new” concept – we already had a friendly Sentinel in the Sentinel series, about Justin Seyfert, and even before thta, there was Karima Shapandar, Omega Sentinel – but it’s not something that’s been done often, and it got some good focus. So I was fine with Cerebra. Gold’s nano-Sentinel swarm? Ugh. Guggenheim’s a hack.

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