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X-Men comics of June 21 2017

June 22, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I finally got a Wednesday off, yay.

X-Men Gold #6, by Marc Guggenheim, RB Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Frank Martin and Andrew Crossley, and Cory Petit. Rachel dreams about her Franklin, who tells her the Prestige name isn’t actual growth. Dr. Reyes is unable to help Rachel out of her coma. Always glad to see her, and I think head doctor at Xavier’s is a good job for her. Elsewhere, heroes are beating up drones. Good. Screw drones. Squirrel Girl is among those attacking the drones, which makes sense, I’m guessing squirrels probably do hate drones. Ms. Marvel’s there, too, so yay for her. Also, Silva drew a pug, so that should make some people happy. Kitty builds herself a big ol’ Cable gun, so OK, I see where the ’90s nostalgia of this series comes in. Seriously, the gun’s as big as she is, and all hi-tech, with just one long vertical barrel. It is absolutely the kind of thing Cable would’ve run around with in the ’90s. As they fight, they’re being watched by the new X-Cutioner. Back to Rachel’s dream, where Jean tells her she’s afraid of reaching her potential, but she’ll have to to help her friends. I don’t know, that doesn’t feel right. Rachel never struck me as being frightened of her potential. At least, not since the ’80s. In Excalibur, she always seemed pretty comfortable with being pretty much a goddess. Back in the battle, Storm tells Gambit not to feel too bad about letting loose the nano-Sentinels. And then kisses him. Uuuuuuuuuuuugh! No, Guggenheim! I’ll just be straight-up about this: Storm/Gambit is a bad ship. It is. It is a ship that completely misses the point of their relationship. They’re friends. They’ve always been friends. They’re bros. There was never anything romantic or sexual between them. Or, at least, there was never supposed to be. Never should have been. Storm and Gambit are at their best together when they’re pulling heists. And when Gambit’s being intentionally obnoxious and Storm is patiently annoyed. So Guggenheim apparently setting up a romantic relationship for them? No. No. Bad, Guggenheim. Bad. Back to Rachel, who’s now dreaming a conversation with Scott. And aw, now I’m sad again, because I feel like we’ve never gotten enough Scott/Rachel interactions. I would kill for a series with both Scott and Rachel in the main cast, having a father/daughter relationship. Regardless, this issue . . . meh. It’s not that it’s bad, necessarily, it’s that I disagree with a lot of it. Like, I don’t agree with Guggenheim’s take on Rachel, as someone who’s afraid of living up to her full potential, and especially not the reasoning for it. I also really dislike the ship-teasing between Storm and Gambit, as I explained. And other than that, the issue was mostly just fighting against mini-Sentinels. Plenty of fun cameos, but it’s really just people beating up drones. The art’s fine. I’m not really keen on Silva’s style, but it’s hard for me to explain why. Maybe because I already spent so much time complaining about Guggenheim’s writing. Regardless, this is still a book I wouldn’t recommend.

Iceman #2, by Sina Grace, Edgar Salazar, Ibraim Roberson, Ed Tadeo, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Sabino. Bobby finishes up with a class, then heads to the jet for a mission. He’ll be going on the mission with Kitty. There’s some awkwardness, interrupted by the plane getting screwed up and going down. Iceman sleds the plane to a relatively safe crash, then they go inside a store to find the mutant who caused it. A kid who can, to quote, “pulsate amplifications on various wavelengths.” Whatever that means. It does seem to blow out electronics, though, so at the very least, he’s a walking EMP. And he’s being attacked by locals angry at him for destroying their electronics. Including one woman angry at her TV exploding during Agents of SHIELD. Nice gag. Kitty tries to talk the mob down. Then Kitty and Bobby both lose control of their powers, because Zachary can apparently amplify powers. Once they get away from the crowd, Kitty tells Bobby she’s upset that he never told her he’s gay, and she had to find out from Goldballs. What I take away from this is that Kitty talks to Goldballs, and I’m happy about that. This issue’s pretty good. It’s Iceman. But it has Kitty, and she’s always good. She’s funnier than he is, and their little heart-to-heart is pretty nice. The new kid is kind of a brat. Bobby makes a lot of really stupid jokes. The art’s good. But this is still a comic about Iceman, so my interest is still really limited. Grace is doing fine work, but I just don’t care about Iceman, it’s just personal taste, this book should be just fine for anyone who likes the character.

Weapons of Mutant Destruction #1, by Greg Pak, Mahmud Asrar, Nolan Woodard, and Joe Caramagna. In Serenity Hills, Texas, a pizza is delivered to a secret, ultra-high-security lab. Why do I love that so much? Just seeing the pizza make its way through the lab. Being transferred from one security station to the next, until it reaches a scientist watching some guy in a vat. There’s something really pleasant about the whole scene. We then cut to Kitty getting a call from Logan, telling her to check her . . . sigh. Her “X-mail.” Really, Pak? Really? “X-mail?” Why? Why would you come up with that? What even is “X-mail”? How is it different from email? Jeez. But anyway, he tells her to keep an eye on all mutants, everywhere, while his team tracks down the source of the new Weapon X cyborgs. Then he goes to attack Sabretooth and Deathstrike while they take a coffee break, and OK, these crazy murderers taking coffee breaks is just bizarrely entertaining to me. Deathstrike even complains that they were on a coffee break. This is followed up by a pretty great demonstration of Domino awesomeness. Warpath throws a knife at Sabretooth, which misses. Domino drops under a lunge by Deathstrike and fires her gun, so the bullet bounces off the knife and hits Sabretooth in the forehead. I always enjoy nonsense like that from Domino. Even better: She doesn’t spill her coffee. Because she’s that awesome. Anyway, they get a couple leads, and split up to investigate, and Sabretooth calls cats “land piranhas,” and I am delighted by that. So, yeah, “X-mail” notwithstanding, this is great. It’s dark, but with some good dark comedy, too, especially with the pizza. There’s some good character stuff throughout. Domino is really fun. Domino’s a character who tends to contrast with others. So, here, with the others being dark murdery types, she’s a lot more upbeat than she normally is. But she still manages to seem like herself. Just a different face she presents. She doesn’t need to play the professional, so she plays the goofball. Asrar’s art is always good. And it’s a good demonstration of the difference a good artist makes. Asrar elevates Pak’s writing, and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable comic.

That’s the X-stuff, here’s other comics.

USAvengers #7, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov, and Joe Caramagna. Red Hulk is attacking Iron Patriot, while yelling at her to take him down. She’s getting some mixed signals. Squirrel Girl and Enigma are fighting Hydra jerks, and when Aikku gets hurt by a blast, Toni realizes Captain Stevemerica’s behind it. Of course, she realizes it as Captain Hydra flies in. So, you know, not much of an epiphany. Then she teleports Enigma and Squirrel Girl away, while Maverick claims she blew them up, and that there aren’t even any bodies. Toni tells him to tone it down, because everyone knows what “no body” means. Which is when it cuts to alien scavengers finding Sam out in space, still alive. Back to Squirrel Girl and Enigma, in Paris, after Toni phased them so the planet passed through them. And there’s Hydra there. Which is fortunate for Aikku, as it gives her someone to take out her frustrations on. This is really good. It’s a great tie-in. There’s some good character stuff, particularly with Toni and Aikku. Also, Squirrel Girl shows off some of her French. Interestingly, the issue reveals that at least part of Europe has fallen under Hydra control, which I was unaware of. I thought it was just the US. But nope, Europe, too. While it’s tying into a pretty serious event, this issue’s still got a strong comedic focus, which keeps it a lot of fun to read. Maverick’s terrible acting is amazing, and Squirrel Girl can’t not be a joy. The art remains excellent. I actually really like that this book has a more-or-less permanent art team. It feels like it keeps the book more focused, and it’s great.

Ultimates 2 #8, by Al Ewing, Aud Koch, Dan Brown, and Joe Sabino. Galactus sleeps, and dreams of Galan. Then he wakes, and exits the safe realm, onto Ego’s surface. Ego still carries a grudge against Galactus for attempting to eat him, and then sticking an engine on him. Galactus enters into Ego, down to his core, and introduces himself as Galan. And we then meet Ego’s true self. And stuff happens. Cosmic-level stuff. Ewing is still bringing the big to this book. It’s very big in scope. This issue’s got a very strong focus on Galactus, and really demonstrates how much he’s changed. Despite the Secret Empire banner, this issue has absolutely nothing to do with the event. It is entirely about Galactus wanting to make peace with Ego, and developing a backstory for Ego. Which is pretty interesting. Koch’s art . . . it won’t be for most people. Personally, I actually think the biggest problem is the colours. Dan Brown is a great clour artist, but I don’t think he meshes well with Koch. I think the colours clash with the lines. I’d love to see what Jordie Bellaire would do with Koch’s lines. But as it is, the art ends up not being great. Oh well.

Silver Surfer #12, by Dan Slott, Michael and Laura Allred, and Joe Sabino. Dawn is on an alien planet, being fed by her father. Some kids drag her away to play, and her father is revealed as Euphoria, the alien planet from much earlier, who gives people what they want. Then we cut back weeks or months, right after Dawn learned her dad’s dead. She’s shaken up by it, and by learning that he’s already been cremated and his ashes scattered in the ocean.Dawn’s angry that Eve didn’t wait, and Eve’s mad that Dawn took off all those months ago without even telling them. Later on, Eve says she and Costas are thinking of selling the inn. That’s when Dawn decides she wants to go to Euphoria. This issue’s phenomenal. Brilliant work. It’s powerful, emotional stuff. All about grief and love. It tones down the fun and whimsy, in exchange for straight feels. And it’s beautiful. Just a beautiful comic, in a wonderful series, and if you haven’t been reading this book, you are missing out so badly.

America #4, by Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones, Ming Doyle, Joe Rivera, Jose Villarrubia, Jordan Gibson, and Travis Lanham. First, a flashback, to America’s moms saving the Utopian Parallel, at the cost of their lives. In the present, America fights the pink energy monster. She realizes that punching it won’t work, and comes up with a different plan, which involves time-traveling back to her first encounter with it, and stopping herself from hitting it. Instead, they grab it, and Present-America drags it through a portal and locks it in a chamber. So this comic? Eh, it’s OK. The pacing is still a bit odd. America still doesn’t sound like America to me. So there are still issues with the series. But there is still some good stuff, as well. There’s an authenticity to the characters, there’s a sense of fun and adventure. And there are moments where America’s surliness shines through. Not a fan of Quinones’ art. Just not a style I enjoy. I’m getting a little more accustomed to it. And there’s some Ming Doyle in here, so that’s pretty great.

Luke Cage #2, by David Walker, Nelson Blake II, Marcio Menyz, and Joe Sabino. Warhawk takes Luke back to his place, and then cauterizes his wound so he doesn’t bleed to death. Luke does pass out from the pain. Dr. Mornay’s been taken to the home of a local crime lord, who wants her to find a way to treat his son’s psychosis, caused by Dr. Burstein’s experiments. Luke wakes up, and asks Warhawk some questions, but Warhawk’s brain isn’t great, so he doesn’t have many answers. This is another good issue. The plot continues to develop in some interesting directions. Luke’s irritation at everything is entertaining. The art’s good. This is good stuff. Worth reading.

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From → 2017

2 Comments
  1. Wait … Storm and Gambit? No … just no. Bad idea. They’re friends with a similar past and some similar skills, but their personalities are completely incompatible as romantic partners. It sounds like X-Men Gold in general is banking a bit too hard on nostalgia and not enough on good storytelling.

    I never cared enough about Iceman to bother picking up his solo series. He can be fine on a team, but he’s never the character I read a team book for.

    Ultimates 2 8 is a great Galactus focused issue, showing him connecting with a former enemy of his. I agree that the art isn’t all that special though.

    • Yeah, X-Men Gold is all about nostalgia. Guggenheim has no new ideas. Marc Guggenheim is a goddamn hack.

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