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X-Men comics of July 12 2017

July 13, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Well, this post’s up, and now I should go to bed. Bleh.

X-Men Blue #7, by Cullen Bunn, Cory Smith, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. This is a Secret Empire tie-in, because that’s definitely what this book needed, is for an event to sidetrack from any story Bunn had been trying to build. Anyway, the team busts a bunch of mutant prisoners out of Alcatraz. In “New Tian,” the chunk of California that Captain Nazi gave the mutants as a homeland – Emma’s pissed off about the break-out, and blames Magneto for putting the kids up to it. Beast defends their actions, by noting that not everyone sees New Tian as the paradise it’s being painted as. The X-Men return to their hidden fortress in Redwood National Park, where they’re greeted by Briar Raleigh, still hanging out with Magneto, I guess. I’m pretty sure Bunn’s going to keep her around for as long as he works at Marvel. Briar lets them know she’s been making a list of oppressive actions for them to deal with. And then their base is attacked by a team consisting of Firestar (in a black costume to show that she’s on the Bad Side right now, because sometimes, comics decide that ham-fistedness is more important than good design), Mondo (who’s mud), Marrow, Toad, and Wolfsbane. So, Mondo, Marrow and Toad, I can see for this. But Firestar and Wolfsbane? They’re good people. They’re people who believe very strongly in Doing Good. So I cannot see either of them going after the X-Men without a damned good reason, and “freeing political prisoners” doesn’t strike me as a good enough reason. They do try to avoid a fight, but just the same, I don’t think they should have been on this team. They don’t fit. Emma sent a team to bring the X-Men down and bring them in. Would she include two people who are good people? And who also still have some long-standing resentment towards her? Firestar may have buried the hatchet with Emma, but I’m pretty sure she’d still punch Emma in the face before taking orders from her. Anyway, there’s a fight, and Angel gets captured by Archangel. Also, Havok shows up. Also, Rahne can apparently now split it into an entire wolf pack? With it being justified as a “secondary mutation.” That’s stupid. I know secondary mutations have been an idea for a long time – since Morrison – but some of them work better than others. Emma turning into a diamond? It doesn’t actually make sense, but it’s kinda cool, so I’ll accept it. Rahne turning into multiple wolves? No. That’s just a stupid idea. And man, just . . . this whole frigging issue. Ugh to the whole thing. Frigging Secret Empire. Let me be clear: Absolutely fucking no one is looking good in Secret Empire. This whole stupid, shitty event is ruining every single character who even shows up in the background of a panel. And its overwhelming shittiness permeates this issue, too. Everything about Secret Empire is stupid, and it makes the tie-ins stupid, too. Last week’s issue of Avengers only avoided it by having jack shit to do with Secret Empire. The more a tie-in tries to deal with goings-on in Secret Empire, the worse it becomes, and this issue is very heavily tied to what’s happening in Secret Empire, and it sucks so much ass. This is, without question, the worst issue of X-Men Blue so far. Not even close. That utterly random collection of mutants who attack the X-Men is the worst part. Again, why the hell is Emma using good people who hate her for this mission? It even applies to the jailbreak scene. They’re busting out people who speak out against the New Tian government. Random was among them. What the shit does Random care about how New Tian is run? Shit, Rahne and Firestar would have made way more sense there than later on. The art’s good, it’s fine, no particular complaints there. And the writing, for the most part, isn’t really bad, though there’s more hints of Boyverine having feelings for Jean, because that’s a ship that people frigging demanded to see. But this comic is just such a goddamn tie-in, in the worst ways, and it sucks and I’m mad that this issue exists.

Generation X #4, by Christina Strain, Amilcar Pinna, Martin Morazzo, Roberto Poggi, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles. The students are looking for whoever attacked Face. Back at the school, Jubilee’s hanging out with Dani, when she realizes that her students have absolutely snuck out. A quick check of their rooms confirms it. It’s a great moment, with Jubilee thinking of what she would have done as a student, and her and Dani both having an “oh crap” moment. I mean, they really should’ve seen it coming, considering how much both of them snuck out when they were students. Oh, also, Jubilee loves Drag Race. Anyway, Dani sends Jubilee to find them. Phoebe Cuckoo tries to find them telepathically, but Quire gives them psi-hats.

Generation X #4

Lin gets a tophat! Fancy!

And then they’re attacked by Monet/Emplate. Who gets to show how dangerous she is. She even manages to beat Quire at telepathy, which is impressive. Pixie teleports in Jubilee and Chamber, and Monet is so shocked at seeing Jubilee that she immediately flees. Aww, that’s kinda sweet. It suggests Monet still remembers Jubilee as one of her closest friends. Which is nice, considering how much they sniped at each other, back in the day. Oh, also, there’s a really touching scene between Roxy and Chamber. This is another good issue. I still dislike Pinna’s art. I find his faces grotesque. So I still haven’t gotten used to it. I’m not sure I ever actually will. It comes down to personal taste, but Pinna’s definitely an artist that I think the average reader won’t enjoy. I’m able to get past it to enjoy the story, though. And it is a good story being told. The students are all compelling. Roxy gets a bit more focus this issue, and it’s easy to feel bad for her, with her mutant power making her look inhuman. Body image issues! I also like that Jubilee is well aware of her own youthful indiscretions, and keeps that in mind when it comes to her students’ behaviour. She doesn’t judge them too harshly, because she knows she did the same thing. And I’m really, really excited to see where the Monet plot goes. The Jubilee/Monet dynamic was always one of the best things about the original Generation X, so seeing it play out again now, after all they’ve both been through, is going to be so satisfying. So my dislike of the art notwithstanding, I am loving this series so far.

Weapon X #5, by Greg Pak, Marc Borstel, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. In Serenity Hills, a young girl sees a mouse, and her mother freaks the hell out, which annoys her husband. He thinks she’s been spending too much time at her lab. She then goes to her job at her lab, where some blue-skinned dude is being attacked by cyborg mice. Hence, her earlier freak-out. Robert Andrews is on his way to the Weapon X lab, Amadeus lets the rest of the team know they have to intercept him. And Sabretooth lets leak that he’s on Twitter. Amadeus also lets the others know that Reverend Stryker is behind the Church of Human Potential. Domino and Warpath go to a base Deathstrike lets them know about, while Domino complains about the hatred of mutants, and even mentions that mutants are statistically less likely to commit crimes than non-mutants. And shit yes, that is the kind of thing I want stated in X-Men comics. Domino’s amusingly righteous during the whole scene. Especially combined with her wild recklessness. Meanwhile, Logan and Sabretooth bring pizza to an interrogation of an accountant. I . . . kinda like Sabretooth as a Twitter-using pizza-loving guy. This issue’s . . . odd. In a good way. It’s odd in a way that works well. Very unsettling. There’s a lot of creepy and dramatic elements. There’s also some good humour. Ad the book finally has good art, with Greg Land taking a couple issues off, which is greatly appreciated. Pak’s telling a very interesting story. Weapon X got off to a rough start, but this WMD crossover is very interesting, very dark, and very smart. And I do appreciate Domino’s comment about mutants being statistically less likely to commit crimes. That was a great touch, and something that really gives a greater sense of authenticity to the very idea of mutants. So, yeah, this is a good issue.

Jean Grey #4, by Dennis Hopeless, Harvey Tolibao, Jay Ramos, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Travis Lanham. Jean is in Jotunheim, looking for help to fight the Phoenix. She finds a whole bunch of orcs, looking to kill the Odinson. Odinson is in a bar, telling a story about an early Avengers adventure. Jean tries to sober him up and convince him that he needs to be ready to fight. He tells her a story of an adventure from when he was young, and he and Loki went looking to prove themselves in battle, and getting badly scorched by a lava monster. Jean, meanwhile, is more focused on the army of orcs. Once they arrive, he starts kicking ass. Very casually. And still telling more stories. During the fight, Jean creates a big-ass telekinetic warhammer, which is awesome. This is a really fun issue. Odinson’s constant stories, even with a horde of orcs trying to kill him, are entertaining, and show just how little he actually cares about orcs. He’s so contemptuous of them that he doesn’t even pretend to take them seriously. Jean’s irritation at Odinson’s attitude is hilarious, with her freaking out about the orcs, and struggling to fight them off, while Odinson just won’t stop telling stories. It’s great. The fight is done well, with Jean making effective use of her telekinesis. The bigass hammer was especially awesome. The art’s great. Tolibao’s line work is fantastic, and the colours are really good here. It’s a very bright, colourful issue, and very nice to look at. And it’s just fun.

Old Man Logan #26, by Ed Brisson, Mike Deodato, Frank Martin, and Cory Petit. It starts with a flashback to the Wastelands of OML’s time, with Barton helping him on his farm, and Logan explaining to his son that some people detonated nuclear bombs that ruined the land and ensured that livestock living off things growing on the land would be sick from radiation poisoning. In the present, Maestro-Banner, and his kids, approach a secret facility in the Yukon, and take it over, to the horror of the nice female Hulk. (I actually thought she was the only female Hulk there, but she’s not. So it’s not quite as cliche as it could have been.) They’ve got a bunch of nuclear missiles taken from the Department H facility they were in before, and Maestro plans on using the missiles to wipe everyone out and create a new paradise. Logan’s trying to track the Hulks, and calls Puck to help him find them. Maestro knows Logan’s after them, so he sends a team out with a bunch of weapons to try to kill him. This is . . . OK, I guess. I think the big draw is Deodato’s art, and I’m just not a fan of his style. The only thing I can think of, when I look at his art, is that it looks like action figures being posed. It’s stiff and fake. And with weird body proportions. Arms are too long. Shoulders and chests too wide. The writing is fine. I’m a little tired of this series being all about Logan dealing with shit from his past. It’d be nice to have an arc that isn’t all about how he can’t escape his past. It’s gotten a little tiring at this point. And I doubt there were many people clamouring for a return of the Hulk Gang. So, yeah, pretty meh, all in all.

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

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #22, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. I first want to note that the Twitter-style recap page has Tony Stark decide that he’s going to build dinosaur-based armours for when he and Squirrel Girl are old. I really, really, really hope this gag comes back, so we can see the armours. Anyway, a few weeks back, Doreen and Nancy entered a programming competition, and it turns out they’ve won, and the prize is a trip to the Savage Land. Once Doreen explains to Nancy what the Savage Land is, they are both psyched. After the long, long plane ride, they finally arrive, and apparently the gift shop has posters explaining how the Savage Land dinos continued to evolve, thus explaining why they don’t have feathers. I love that North actually felt strongly enough about that question that he gave a canon justification. Also in the airport, Nancy and a Latverian catch each others’ eyes and are immediately attracted. Which is probably disappointing to at least some readers. There’s been speculation of Nancy being either gay or ace, but it seems that she is attracted to boys. And Doreen immediately engages in shipping shenanigans. And we see dinosaurs. And they’re awesome. And this issue is awesome. Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs! Also Nancy has a crush. And there’s dinosaurs. And there’s cool plot twist at the end, and the administrator in the Savage Land is a chubby middle-aged woman who looks exactly how you would think an administrator would look, and I always appreciate when female characters aren’t young bombshells. So it’s just a great comic all around. Dinosaurs.

Black Panther & the Crew #4, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Yona Harvey, Butch Guice, Scott Hanna, Dan Brown, and Joe Sabino. It starts with a flashback to Mississippi in 1964, with Ezra and his crew wanting to do something about the KKK killing some black people. In the present, Luke jumps out of his exploded apartment, and has some casual conversation with Misty, before going after the Hydra guy who fired the rocket at him. But he and his buddy blow themselves up. So Luke and Misty go looking for a guy named Eddie, who was probably the actual target of the attack. Eddie was in lock-up the night Ezra died. And he was walked out before Ezra’s death. So Ezra’s death was almost certainly no accident. This remains some really good stuff. Harvey was the scripter for this issue, and she’s got a strong handle on Luke’s voice. She and Coates continue to build a very compelling story, exploring contemporary issues of justice and law enforcement. It’s smart stuff. The art is really good, too. Guice has a very strong style. Some good, subtle expressiveness, which works really well. When the TPB of this comes out, I’d definitely recommend it.

Hulk #8, by Mariko Tamaki, Georges Duarte, Matt Milla, and Cory Petit. While the Internet mostly seems to think Oliver the baker’s monsterization is fake, Jen believes it’s real, and calls her assistant, Bradley, to have him get her some information. Then, she goes looking for Oliver, whose husband is trying to figure out how to help him. The next morning, she finds the set. She and Bradley do some CSI work. They’re good at it. This is a good issue. Jen and Bradley getting to show their smarts, Oliver being freaky. Steve being The Worst Dude Ever, while Ray needs to just grow a spine. But Steve is definitely The Worst. But I do like seeing Jen’s investigative side. She knows how to go about it. We also get a little more insight into how she views her Hulk side now. The art’s great. Duarte doesn’t fit the book quite as well as Leon, and I’d prefer to have Leon back. But Duarte does a good job. And Milla’s colours are still striking. This is still a comic well worth reading!

I didn’t have time to read the Animosity issues, but you can assume they’re pretty great.

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From → 2017

2 Comments
  1. I take it you don’t like that X-Men Blue is a Secret Empire tie-in. Ignoring the comic’s involvement with Secret Empire, it furthers the problem I have with this series where it keeps introducing new plot elements, and it’s starting to feel disconnected as a whole. Also I’m kind of wondering if these new abilities aren’t second mutations so much as some sort of manipulation going on, because otherwise all of these characters suddenly gaining new abilities is really silly.

    My store finally had enough copies of Generation X again, and I agree, it’s a great series that would benefit from better art. It’s not bad art, but it’s not particularly good either.

    Jean Grey 4 is good. And I like how they worked in Thor’s love of telling his stories with trying to teach Jean Grey something about becoming a warrior. It’s a nice touch that actually makes this issue benefit from multiple readings.

    Hulk 8 is really good. The tone is starting to feel a bit more like a classic She-Hulk series, yet it’s not shying away from the more dramatic elements. It’s striking a great balance.

    • I would assume the secondary mutations will have some sort of twist. I especially hope it ends up being undone with Rahne, who doesn’t need to be able to split.

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