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X-Men comics of July 5 2017

July 5, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I had my first day of training at my new job today. It was very boring, as all first days of training are. But now, comics.

X-Men Gold #7, by Marc Guggenheim, Ken Lashley, Frank Martin, and Joe Sabino. It opens with a flashback to Magneto attacking Central Park and a father seeing his son die. In the present, the X-Men are playing softball again, because Guggenheim really wants to play up that nostalgia angle, while Kitty talks to Piotr, who’s still injured from the nano-Sentinel attack, and can’t turn to his steel form. Inside, Rachel and Kurt are making out. Blah! Claremont teased Kurt and Rachel during one of his 2000s X-Men runs, so this doesn’t come as out of nowhere as a lot of people will probably think, but it still sucks, because hey! This pretty much guarantees Guggenheim’s not going to have Rachel come out as bi. Not that I expected him to, of course, but it’s still a shame. Anyway, the Darkforce Dimension covers Manhattan, which includes the school, and also, there’s an anti-mutant killer in the school. He’s already killed a young girl. So some of the team is in Manhattan, fighting demons, while the others are searching the school for the serial killer. He’s not named in-story, but he’s a new X-Cutioner, a repeat of a ’90s antagonist. So this issue . . . I’d say it’s better than the previous issues. Marginally. It’s rehashing an old idea, but it’s an idea no one cared about at the time anyway, so no one will notice. Here’s my problem with it: The motivation behind this new X-Cutioner? It is stupid and tired. It’s been done before. So, so often. “A mutant killed someone I loved, so I’m going to kill all mutants!” It’s so over-used. It is the absolute laziest motivation to give an X-Men villain. And in this issue, at least, he shows absolutely no personality. And it’s not like Guggenheim’s left much room for him to be nuanced and interesting. He’s lame and boring. He’s not a character, he’s a tool to create tension. And he doesn’t create much of it, because, again, boring. Guggenheim does at least give Rockslide and Dust a brief scene. Dust deserves more attention. And Guggenheim does a little more character exploration, in general, than in the previous issues. Still pretty brief, but it’s there. The art’s good. I like Lashley’s style. He’s the best artist this book has had so far. Martin’s colours remain adequate. Still, the art isn’t good enough to balance out what is still a fairly lackluster series.

All-New Wolverine #22, by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher, Michael Garland, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Sabino. Laura wakes up in the hospital, with Gabby and Deadpool still BFFs. I actually kinda want a Gabby/Deadpool mini.

All-New Wolverine #22

Bestest of BFFs forever.

Carol lets Laura know the geniuses have made an inoculation and cure for the alien virus, and also that Laura’s been unconscious for two weeks, after she died absorbing the virus. Laura immediately heads over to SHIELD to continue working the case. They’ve tracked where the pod came from, and called the Guardians of the Galaxy to give Laura (and Gabby and Jonathan) a lift. For the record, Jonathan is wearing his costume and mask and it is adorable. Anyway, they go find where the alien girl came from. Awesome, as always. Gabby/Deadpool fun. Gabby/Laura fun. Some fun interactions between Laura, Gabby and the Guardians. And one hell of a cliffhanger. There’s a strong focus on comedy in this issue, as a breather between two more intense portions of the arc, and it’s great. Baby Groot rides Jonathan, OK? That happens. That’s a thing in this issue. You want to see that image? Then buy the comic. Because Baby Groot riding Jonathan the Actual Wolverine, the first actual wolverine in space. The story is still interesting, but the core of this particular issue is the tone, and how positive it is, to make the dark cliffhanger even more intense. The art is really good. Laura and Gabby seems to have more similar facial structure, but their facial structures do seem to change quite a bit, depending on the angle. It’s kind of a quirk of Kirk’s style, actually. But he absolutely nails the visual comedy, whether it’s facial expressions or background gags. The  various inkers and colour artists do good jobs. The art has a consistency to it throughout the issue, at least to my untrained eye, so that’s nice. Laura will always be the best Wolverine, and issues like this are a good example why.

And that’s the X-stuff. But here’s what else I picked up.

Unstoppable Wasp #7, by Jeremy Whitley, Veronica Fish, Megan Wilson, and Joe Caramagna. Janet’s trying to sleep, and talks about the ways in which being a superhero changes you, including how you sleep. She reveals that Carol Danvers glows in the dark, which is honestly amazing. She’s woken by a call from Matthew Modok, who lets her know Nadia’s in trouble, so Janet has to rush out to help. Nadia’s freaking out about Ying’s collapse, and Janet tries to calm her down, but just gets punched in the face for her trouble. Side note: Janet mentions that she’s been in therapy for most of her life. Another hero who tries to take care of her mental health! Yay! I love when superheroes are in therapy, because they honestly should be, given how stressful their lives are. Anyway, they go to the hospital, where the doctors operate on Ying, and Janet does what she can to comfort Nadia, even as she starts getting messages that her friends are being pulled out of GIRL by their parents. Janet narrates about how she was never the Team Mom, never the maternal type, but Nadia gets to her. It’s really sweet. So she starts making some calls to make things happen. But as she’s making a whole lot of phone calls, she gets interrupted by Whirlwind and Beetle. The fight comes with an amazing layout. This is a fantastic issue. It’s Janet-focused, and Whitley writes her so well. Smart, compassionate, funny, determined. I love that her power basically includes a large social circle. She knows people, and she knows how to talk to people. And that is absolutely a power. That’s more power than most superheroes, really, because even though talking to Cory Booker may not stop Mole Man, it does get other stuff done. Like funding for a lab. Janet’s determination actually keeps the book’s tone positive, even as the normally-irrepressible Nadia has a breakdown. And it shows Janet’s strength as a character. Nadia’s positivity is manic, and that means it’s also fragile. Janet’s positivity, while less ebullient, is more resistant to setbacks. And it’s a welcome presence at a time when Nadia is feeling her bleakest. The art’s wonderful. Fish and Wilson are both excellent. Fish has a knack for body language, and I think the stand-out scene, for me, is when Janet’s making all sorts of calls. While the fight layout is obviously what’ll get the most attention – because it really is fantastic – I think Janet casually growing wings and flying up to sit on the roof is just a really well-done sequence. And Wilson’s colours mesh perfectly with Fish’s lines. Even by the standards of this series, this issue is incredibly strong.

Hawkeye #8, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and Joe Sabino. Kate has a tense conversation with her father, in a younger body than he should have, which is contrasted with her meeting a new client, a girl who wants Kate to find her missing father. She calls her father a supervillain. The girl, Anna, talks about her dad, and it hits Kate close to home. Kate then walks Lucky, and sees Larry the stalker, talking to Mikka. She’s about to kick Larry’s ass, but Mikka stops her, saying she asked Larry to meet her. Back to the conversation with her father, who reveals his new body has suggestion powers. And then to the other story, where she goes to a fight club to find Anna’s dad. So, this is a good issue, but before I get to the praise, I do need to raise one complaint. There’s a double-page spread of panels, and it’s a poor layout. So, the way we’ve been trained to read comics is left-to-right, top-to-bottom. That’s how we prioritize. But this spread messes it up, by expecting readers to go top-to-bottom, left-to-right. It’s difficult for me to explain, because I’m terrible at explaining that sort of thing. But basically, the layout doesn’t really follow how we’re trained to read, which leads to some confusion for a moment. Other than that, though, this is a great issue. Kate tries to snark a bit, but she’s pretty clearly too messed-up by the meeting with her dad to snark well. Her head’s not on right, and it makes her act out in some wrong ways. She’s tense and wound-up, and that gets passed on to the reader. So a lot of the fun from the first arc is replaced by tension and drama. Which is handled just as well as the humour was. It’s some very strong writing. And some very strong art. Romero and Bellaire make the visuals a little darker and more subdued. Unsurprisingly, Bellaire kills it with her colours. She’s the best. And that one awkward layout aside, Romero’s style still works really well for the book, giving it a bit of a noir feel. This is a great issue.

Avengers #9, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso, and Travis Lanham. Thor is in an alien dimension, covered in muck. Evidently, in this dimension, she remains Thor, even separated from Mjolnir. One of the aliens helps her out, gives her food, takes her to find a way back to Earth. He also explains his world, and a ruler named Yod, some kind of monster who tore down their civilization, and also apparently brought constant storms. But Yod supposedly has a way for Thor to return to Earth. So, they head to Yod’s place. This is great. Waid lets Del Mundo draw weird stuff, and cool stuff, and it’s gorgeous. Del Mundo, guys. He’s so good. And he clearly brings out the best in Waid, too, as the writing is stellar. Clever and touching and just stellar. This is such a good issue. A great done-in-one tie-in to Secret Empire, though you don’t really need to be following Secret Empire to follow along. Honestly, the idea – Thor ends up in another dimension, without Mjolnir – isn’t exactly complex. It’s easy to accept as is, because it’s the kind of story that could be told without even needing set-up. There’s a couple epic moments, and a couple hilarious moments, and a couple heart-wrenching moments. It’s a really good issue.

Black Bolt #3, by Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward, and Clayton Cowles. Crusher and his friends have a plan for breaking out. Black Bolt’s part in the plan is to get the box from Spyder to turn off the power dampeners. He finds Spyder paying Death’s Head for bringing in a prisoner. So Black Bolt and Death’s Head fight, which results in one of my favourite Death’s Head tropes: He stops fighting as soon as money clears. With box in hand, Black Bolt rejoins the others, and they get their powers back, and go after the Jailer. Also, Metal Master is gay. He mentions losing the man he loved, in his quest for power. Neat! As always, excellent work. Ahmed and Ward are doing great stuff here. Ward’s art is weird and trippy and gorgeous. It really gives the book an air of being unnatural. Ahmed’s narration is dramatic, and the voices for the characters all compelling. This really is a good series, one worth reading.

Jem & the Holograms Misfits Infinite #1, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge, M. Victoria Robado, and Shawn Lee. The Misfits follow the Holograms through the portal to another world. The other world is pretty damn shiny. It’s a Jem world. But only for the rich. The rest live outside The Wall. And then Pizzazz wonders where Jem is. Jerrica comes clean about being Jem, but Synergy isn’t with them, so she can’t transform, and the Misfits don’t believe her. Until she sings. Then plans are made to get the Holograms to their dad, while the Misfits want to see what’s happened to them in this other world. As always, a delight. Weird and crazy, but fun and sweet. With wonderful art.

Snotgirl #6, by Brian Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung, Rachel Cohen, and Maré Odomo. Lottie’s life continues to be odd. At a brunch with her friends, they run into Cutegirl’s identical twin sister. Who’s very normal and pretty and has a family. Cutegirl’s real name is revealed as Winnie, rather than Misty. And also, she’s 32. She’s the same age I am! That’s weird to me. Then at a Meet & Greet the following week, Lottie meets a fan! Two of them, in fact, with the second being Caroline’s brother, who wants Lottie to text Caroline. That meeting goes . . . oddly. There’s even more going on with Caroline than it seems. O’Malley and Hung really are crafting a bizarre, twisty story. I love it. You never know exactly what’s going on, or where it’s going to go, and it’s captivating. Also, gorgeous art. This issue is sadly lacking in amazing outfits, with most characters dressed fairly normally, albeit still stylishly. But Hung and Cohen just do brilliant work. I love Hung’s line’s. Very loose and pretty. And Cohen does a great job on colours. She’s the new colour artist, and she’s a great choice. She brings perfect colours to the book. I really enjoy this series. Check out the first trade, and then come back for this issue.

The Wicked + The Divine #26, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles. Everyone’s looking for Sakhmet, after her slaughter in the previous issue, and Laura feels pretty much like garbage. So, standard WicDiv. It’s horribly good.

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From → 2017

One Comment
  1. All-New Wolverine 22 is great. It’s lighter on the drama than most issues in the series, but in exchange we get a lot of fantastic comedy, a compelling story and an intense cliffhanger. The story kind of feels like the Aliens movie, just with Wolverine and the Guardians of the Galaxy. That’s a good thing.

    Both this week’s Avengers and Hawkeye sound good. After I clear out some room, I’ll be catching up on Hawkeye and probably checking out the first Avengers trade.

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