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X-Men comics of June 14 2017

June 16, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I hate when I work late on Wednesdays! But hey, I’ve finally read yesterday’s comics.

X-Men Blue #5, by Cullen Bunn, Julian Lopez, Cory Smith, Irma Kniivila, and Joe Caramagna. The X-Men vs. the Ultimate Marauders. Which includes Mach-2, Armour, Quicksilver, and the Guardian. Fighting, fighting, Jean tries to go into their heads, and finds Miss Sinister. Oh hey, Miss Sinister’s back! She was created waaaay back in Mike Carey’s X-Men Legacy run. Cool seeing her pop up. I’ve kinda wanted to see her again. Anyway, Sinister expresses an interest in Jean Grey, who just wants to know why Sinister wants Jimmy. She explains that mutants on Jimmy’s world differ from mutants on their world. The conversation between Jean and Sinister is pretty interesting. Sinister’s definitely interested in Jean. And the attention of anyone named Sinister is usually not a good thing. So it’ll be cool to see where that goes. The rest of the issue was . . . good. It’s mostly an extended fight scene. And it’s a well-done fight scene, and there’s still a few character moments during it. But still, the issue is mostly a fight scene with groundwork for a future plot. And that feels like it’s becoming a trend with this series. And it’s not a trend I like. I think Bunn needs to tighten it up a bit more. Less focus on his ideas, more on the characters. The art remains good. The action is done well. Exciting stuff. Some really fun visuals during the fight. The psi-scape where Jean and Sinister chat is nice, with the pink colouring being really pretty. So this book’s still OK, but it could be better.

Generation X #3, by Christina Strain, Amilcar Pinna, Roberto Poggi, Felipe Sobreiro, Nolan Woodard, and Clayton Cowles. Nature Girl is talking to a seal about the Purifier attack on the school, and the fact that no one cared about the plants. Eye Boy is surprised that Nature Girl can talk. Turns out she just never had anything to say to him. Ouch. Eye-Boy tries to ask if she wants to join him and Nathaniel, but she really does not seem interested in him, and I actually feel kinda bad for him. Then the trees let her know about an attack (oh, they’re in the Central Park Zoo, by the way), and it turns out Face has been attacked. Back at the school, Roxy asks Chamber if she can join his class, so she can be an X-Man, but Chamber says she’s where she needs to be. Poor Roxy. I do wonder why she’s in Jubilee’s class. She’s definitely got what it takes to be an X-Man. She’s tough, she’s smart, she can follow orders. Maybe she’s there to protect the rest of the class? Inside, Ben Deeds is playing a video game against Pixie, who’s very good, and has one of my favourite taunts ever:

Generation X #3

“Rarebits.” Dammit, that’s amazing.

The group from the zoo gets back, and they take Face to the medlab, where Dani checks him out. She mentions him not having a Deathglow, so she’s still got her valkyrie abilities. Also, Dani! Yay! Dani’s the best! She and Chamber go out to investigate what happened to Face, which is cool and I would absolutely love to see that part of the story because they’re both great characters who don’t get the appreciation they deserve. This is great. I’m really enjoying this book. The characters are all really good, and really fun. Nature Girl ignoring Eye-Boy’s attempts at flirting is really amusing. I still ship Ben and Nathaniel, but Quire really seems to be flirting with Ben here, too. I’ll note that there’s not much Jubilee in this issue. Which is disappointing, but it’s fine, as it means more focus on the students. And that focus is spread around. People worried that Jubilee and Quire would get all the focus should probably feel a little more assured that Strain won’t fall into that trap. I’m still not liking the art. Maybe I’ll get used to it, but I do find Pinna’s art unappealing. Weirdly long faces and big mouths. The colours are nice. Sobreiro does good work there. But yeah, I do not like Pinna’s art style. Still, I can overlook it, because the writing is great. This is still by far my favourite team X-title.

Weapon X #4, by Greg Pak, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. After a quick briefing on the Roxxon oil rig that Weapon X has turned into a lab, the team begins their attack. And you know, I think I’ll start by saying something nice: Land draws a really good Cho-Hulk on the first page. No, really. He doesn’t look like he’s traced from any particular source. He’s got an expression that’s unique and clear. It’s probably the best face Land’s drawn in years. Aaaaand then you turn the page and it’s the weird unnatural recycled faces for Logan, Creed and Domino. Sigh. Turn it again, and Hulk looks weird, too. Anyway, fight. Fight fight fight. Hulk struggles with a bunch of cyborgs, until Sabretooth shoots him in the face. Even when he’s helpful, Sabretooth’s a dick, which is actually kinda funny here. So, fighting, Warpath and Deathstrike get freed and join in. Blah blah. So. Writing-wise? This issue’s fine. Pak’s a good writer. He does good work here. There’s some good moments here. He obviously does an especially good job with Cho, who is, after all, his pet character. (I don’t say that as a criticism. Every writer has pet characters. I mean Cho is a character Pak is especially passionate about.) So Cho is great here. But he’s writing a good story in general. Unfortunately, he’s still saddled with Greg Land. The art here is incredibly uneven. Sadly, that actually means it’s the best I’ve seen from Land. There are panels with faces that look fine. They look normal. But then there’s also plenty of panels with his trademark recycled faces that look creepy and unnatural. So, yeah, uneven. Makes it hard to really recommend this book.

All-New Wolverine #21, by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher, Terry Pallot, Michael Garland, and Cory Petit. Wolverine heads out into the streets to use her healing hands to take the virus from people. She gets swarmed by people and knocked down, forcing Riri and Gabby to get people back. Gabby insists on helping Laura with the virus, and then they get some more help: Daken, Logan and Deadpool. Laura and Daken care about each other. Which is sweet. I actually really like their relationship, and I should talk about how I view it in-depth at some point. Meanwhile, Deadpool and Gabby are my new favourite best friends.

All-New Wolverine #21

Best friends!

Someone shoots at them, because this is a superhero comic so an action scene is required, and then the five people born, bred and trained as killers start saving lives. Another great issue. Really powerful, seeing these five, several of whom have issues with each other, working so hard to save lives. There’s some really nice character interactions. Laura and Logan have a good moment. Laura shows her determination, leading to one hell of a cliffhanger. The art’s good. I maintain that Laura and Gabby should look more alike, but other than that, the art’s good here. It feels less rushed than the past couple issues. Garland’s colours are always top-notch. All-New Wolverine is one of Marvel’s top titles, and Laura is truly the Best Wolverine.

Old Man Logan #25, by Ed Brisson, Mike Deodato, Frank Martin, and Cory Petit. Some old dude and four kids are out in the Yukon Territory, with the old guy saying men are hunting them for being different, so they have to kill those people first. Logan’s at a diner/gas station in BC, just getting out of the city. The diner he’s stopped at is one he knows well, but there’s new people there. Turns out they’re part of the Hulk Gang. Sigh. Yet another X-title treading old ground. Yeah yeah, the Maestro’s here, so it’ll be a new take on the Wolverine vs. Hulk fight. But did we really need the Hulk Gang? Did we really need Old Man Logan’s past to keep following him? Especially right after an arc all about his past? Come on. I will say Deodato’s art bugs me less than usual here. I still don’t like his style. It feels very static and posed. It always feels to me like action figures. Also, proportions are always weird. Like, characters routinely have arms that reach down to their knees. That’s weird. But it distracted me less here than it sometimes does. Still, as the first issue by a new creative team? I am not impressed in the slightest.

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

Ms. Marvel #19, by G. Willow Wilson, Marco Failla, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. It’s Eid Al-Adha, a day of cooking a feast to share with others, to celebrate Abraham not having to sacrifice his own son. Kamala’s family is picking out a goat to butcher, and Kamala wants to keep it. Also, Tyesha’s pregnant. Kamala’s gonna be an aunt! When they get home, they find road blocks and signs calling to “Bring Back the Real Jersey City.” Looks like the gentrification efforts from this volume’s first arc are back. She slips out of dinner to investigate. (She’s joined by Gabe, who’s playing Pokemon Go.) The mayor elected in the election issue a few months ago has been replaced by Chuck Worthy, the Hydra guy, and he’s created what is basically an Un-American Activities Investigation agency. Kamala guesses Becky, from the CWII arc, is behind it. And then Becky gets a henchman to attack Ms. Marvel, who’s learned to bend around attacks. Nice! This issue’s really, really good. Wilson’s definitely getting more political here, and taking inspiration from relatively recent events. (Specifically, Trump getting elected, off a campaign of hate, divisiveness, racism, and just all-around assholery.) It’s to be expected, really. The guy who called for a ban on all Muslim immigration got elected president. The President of the United States doesn’t want Muslims in the country, and neither do his supporters. That’s millions of people who don’t want Wilson, herself, in the country. So, yeah, that’s going to be reflected in Wilson’s writing. And it’s something I’m looking forward to. Wilson’s very smart and insightful and thoughtful, and while I’m sure there will be people – conservative assholes – who will complain about the social commentary in the book, I honestly don’t think anyone should give a single wet hot shit what those people think. Because, and I’m not sure I can stress this enough, those people are assholes. And if you’re one of those people, if you’re about to tell me off for calling you an asshole for not wanting social commentary in this book, then just stop, I really don’t give a shit what you think, because you are an asshole. Anyway, the art’s good, too. I think I’ve disliked Failla’s style on other books, but it works well here, as this is a series that’s already established a pretty cartoony art style. Failla does a really good job with Ms. Marvel’s power, with the way she bends looking really cool. And, of course, Herring’s colours help to maintain the book’s visual identity.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #21, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. Doreen, Nancy and Tippy are going to the Negatize Zone for a vacation and to check on Doreen’s clone, Allene, from the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe graphic novel, which, if you haven’t read it, involves Doreen being cloned, and the clone goes by Allene, and at the ends, Allene goes to live in the Negative Zone. Anyway, with the ladies gone, it falls on Chipmunk Hunk, Koi Boi and Brain Drain to protect New York. And for Brain Drain to try to become better friends with the other two guys. He’s not very good at becoming their friend. They do fight four Dr. Octopi, parodying the four Supermans in the ’90s. Yeah, keeping it topical. And then there’s more criminals, and heroes who are fakers, and friendship is earned, and it’s really just a great issue. Lots of Brain Drain, and since Brain Drain is amazing, that’s definitely a good thing. There’s also a couple really good friendship lessons in there? And! I learned the word “Weltschmerz.” “The world-weariness of someone who believes that the real world can never satisfy the demands of the mind.” That the Germans have a word for that probably says a lot about Germans. Anyway, I love this series.

Hulk #7, by Mariko Tamaki, Georges Duarte, Matt Milla and Cory Petit. Jen’s at a trauma support group! Great! Good for her. Though she doesn’t seem to much like it. In Brooklyn, hipsters! Goddamn hipsters! There’s a dude saying movies aren’t a thing, and that he’s “making reality.” I want him punched in his goddamn soul-patched face. Anyway, he and his buddy are getting a new drug called Monster. Jen gets out of the trauma meeting, and gets annoyed when a woman asks if she’s cried lately. She gets petty about cliches about feelings and crying, then goes to a construction site to smash stuff, and is found by Hellcat. Hellcat! She and Jen chat about how Jen’s been feeling about her Hulk form lately. Though first, we cut to the set of an online cooking show, where the host is getting ready, and his boyfriend is with him. And the hipster douches show up, because they work on the show. So hey, gay couple, cool. But the Jen/Patsy scene is fantastic. They’ve got this great friendly chemistry, and their love really shows. And Patsy is completely non-judgemental, and she isn’t pressuring Jen or anything like that. And Jen isn’t getting emotional. It’s just a couple friends talking. It’s really good to see. This issue’s so good. So, so good. Wonderful issue. We see Jen still trying to cope with her trauma, but she’s also still making jokes, and she’s renewed her friendship with Patsy which is great. The baking show stuff is a lot of fun, with a great cliffhanger. Tamaki is doing such a great job on this series. Duarte’s art is good. I liked Leon more, more Duarte does good work. Very expressive. I love Hulk’s expression when she sees Hellcat. It’s not a big grin. It’s a lot more subtle, and that makes it a lot more powerful. Duarte also draws a buff-looking Hulk. Not as feral as Leon’s, but the context is different. So she’s just big. And, as always, Milla’s colours are stellar. Anyway, this series is fantastic. Read it!

Black Panther & the Crew #3, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Butch Guice, Mack Chater, Scott Hanna, Dan Brown, and Joe Caramagna. In 1956, Harlem, Ezra and Frank talk about the need for an army for Harlem. In the present, Ororo and T’Challa talk about being part of Ezra’s plans. The woman who brought Ororo to T’Challa, Marla, tells them there’s a war going on and they need soldiers to lead the people. She lets them know about luxury condos being built in South Harlem, part of a gentrification program to push the regular people out of Harlem. They investigate, and T’Challa learns about Frank Ocean, and is soon singing his songs. Heh. Anyway, this is good. The plot moves along. There’s some great tension between T’Challa and Ororo. Interestingly, that tension is not present in the main Black Panther series, which Coates also writes. So this one guy is writing the same relationship in two different ways. Regardless, the tension is written well. It makes for some really good moments. The art’s good. The whole thing’s good. Solid book.

Jem & the Holograms #26, by Kelly Thompson, Gisele Lagace, M. Victoria Robado, and Shawn Lee. The final issue. It honestly doesn’t feel like a final issue. There is the Infinite mini coming out. But just the same, this felt like a middle issue of the series. It’s weird. But it’s still good. Didn’t make me cry, though. I was expecting it to break me, but it didn’t have anything that would break a person.

Bitch Planet Triple Feature, with three stories. One by Cheryl Lynn Eaton and Maria Frohlich, one by Andrew Aydin and Joanna Estep, and one by Conley Lyons and Craig Yeung (with colours by Marco D’Alfonso). The whole thing is lettered by Clayton Cowles. The first story is about a woman who spent years as a soldier, and then two years working on Bitch Planet, before she was fired and reduced to being a maid.  The second story is a congressional assistant who gets sexually harassed. The third is a woman who wants to be a major businesswoman, but gets looked over and fired because she has small tits. And, as always, there’s the fantastic backmatter. This one has an essay by Tasha Fierce about violence as a method of non-compliance. As always, Bitch Planet is a must-read reminder that the patriarchy needs to be torn down.

I also should have mentioned this: Vision Director’s Cut #1 also came out yesterday. It collects the first two issues of Vision, by Tom King, Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles. It also has behind-the-scenes stuff. If you haven’t read that series, read it. It will fuck you up. Just thinking of that series makes me tear up. Absolutely one of the best things Marvel has ever put out.

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From → 2017

2 Comments
  1. I enjoyed X-Men Blue 5 a lot more than 4, but I’m still not convinced one bit that Jimmy Hudson was the right character to add to the series.

    My store didn’t have enough copies of Generation X 3, but I dl’d it and really enjoyed it, with the intention to order it along with some other gaps in my collection some day.

    All-New Wolverine 21 might actually be my favourite issue in the series so far. A lot of really dramatic moments. Each guest character adds something different to the issue in a way that increases its overall depth. There’s enough action and humour added that it’s still an entertaining read. Also, I’m convinced that a Deadpool/Gabby mini-series would be awesome – with the right writer of course.

    The reception for Old Man Logan 25 seems to be very mixed from what I’ve seen. That might not be a good sign for the series going forward.

    Hulk 7 is great. It shows Jennifer starting to recover. Part of her old, joyful self is returning and she’s starting to enjoy her hulk form a bit more, but there’s clearly still some work for her to do. Interesting introduction to a new story arc as well.

    • Yeah, Jimmy’s presence in Blue is still disappointing.

      Gabby/Deadpool make for a wonderful pairing. They’re both weird, and as with most dark characters, Deadpool plays off young girls really well.

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