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X-Men comics of July 26 2017

July 27, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Everyone who voted for Donald Trump is an asshole. Here’s today’s X-comics.

X-Men Blue #8, by Cullen Bunn, Cory Smith, Joey Vasquez, Terry Pallot, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Jean and Jimmy recover from last issue’s attack, and try to figure out how to find their friends. Luckily, their plane has been tracking them. And also talks. Good plane. In Utopia, the capital of New Tian, Scott is in a cell, with Emma Frost. She tells him that New Tian is a safe place for mutants, while Scott thinks she’s only looking out for herself. Which is just inaccurate. Emma cares very much about the mutant cause. She’s made great personal sacrifices for the cause. She then tries to brainwash Scott to agree to with her. And she also seems to be having a little bit of trouble keeping Teen Scott distinct from Dead Scott. In another cell, Bobby and Warren are debating how doomed they are, while Hank thinks about the magic he knows. And Briar is in a plush room, with Havok asking where Magneto is. He’s actually in Vietnam. His promise means he can’t help the X-Men personally. But he’s arranged for some support. I do really like the support they get. Partly because it includes a character created later than 1990, which is really rare in Blue or Gold, partly because it means the team isn’t limited to just the one lone girl any more, partly because it involves a couple characters who are just really cool. Anyway, this issue’s not bad. The conversation between Scott and Emma is the clear highlight, with Emma pretty fascinating. She wants Scott to side with her, and for a moment, she confuses him with his older self, suggesting her mental state is still very precarious right now. It makes her more threatening, because it’s tough to know exactly how far she’s willing to go. Interestingly, while Jean and Jimmy get probably the most panel time this issue, we don’t really see much in terms of how they interact. It’s very businesslike, which is appropriate for the circumstances, but it’s still weird that we don’t see what kind of relationship they have. No real banter, no real arguing, no real chemistry. It’s basically just two teammates planning how to free the rest of their team. The art’s good. Really solid work with expressions. There’s one panel in particular, where Emma says sometimes, the rebels die, “Sometimes . . . even the best of them.” And the sadness comes through really well. The facial work is really strong throughout the issue. Great colours, too. All in all, this is a better-than-usual issue of Blue.

Weapon X #6, by Greg Pak, Marc Borstel, Ibraim Roberson, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. The team breaks into the Serenity Hills Weapon H facility. They fight cyborgs. Including a pair with Domino’s luck power. Luckily, Domino isn’t just lucky, she’s also awesome, and she beats them by distracting them with a pair of assault rifles on auto-fire, while she jumps behind them and shoots them in the back of the head. Domino’s great. Stryker an his people are cut off from the escape route – bad planning, only having one escape route – and Dr. Alba refuses to release her latest experiments before they’re ready. I kinda like Dr. Alba. She may be an amoral monster who experiments on people, but dammit, she does not compromise the viability of her experiments. This is a good issue. Tons of great action as the team kicks ass. Alba refusing to follow Stryker’s orders was a great moment, because Stryker’s a dick so it’s fun when people just refuse to listen to him. There’s also some good tension between Amadeus and the rest of the team, over their willingness to kill. Which makes for a great moment. Amadeus’ idealism being contrasted against the team’s ruthlessness if really cool to see. There’s also a little ship-teasing between Domino and Warpath, and while I am all about the Domino/Colossus ship, I’m fine with this one, if it happens. (Warmino? Dompath? WarDom? I’m sure their ship name has already been decided.) The art is good, too. I am so, so happy not to have Land for this crossover. Because what we get instead is great. The whole art team does excellent work, with really good action, and emotions portrayed well. This whole crossover really has been a treat.

Cable #3, by James Robinson, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Thony Silas, Dono Sanchez-Almara, Federico Blee, Jesus Aburtov, and Cory Petit. It’s 1121, and the Mayan Civilization. A guy is being chased by dudes with future-wings. Who are still running after the guy, for some reason. Cable teleports in and quickly takes the guys down. Kagan, the guy he just rescued, takes him to the city, one that’s very advanced, more than it should be for the time period. They talk about the Conqueror, and his quest for the Time Sword, a gift from the same aliens who made their city. The Sword was broken into 5 pieces, spread throughout history. The Sword and city seem to be the result of the Eternals, who at one point had a war with the Inhumans, which is when the Sword was broken. So we finally learn the plot of the series, and we get some neat MU history stuff, too. That’s always fun. Anyway, Cable has to keep following Conquest, which means a really good extended silent action sequence. The action in this book remains a lot of fun. Pacheco’s killing it (with the rest of the art team, of course). It’s nice to finally get some information on the plot. Cable himself is still a little on the flat side. He gets slightly more personality here, in his conversation with Kagan. But not much. Cable’s flatness is the book’s biggest problem. It makes it that much harder to get invested. To care. It’s basically just a series of cool fight scenes, with no reason to care about them.

Iceman #3, by Sina Grace, Alessandro Vitti, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Sabino. Bobby’s outside his parents’ new house, checking his phone. He texted a bunch of people to let them know he’s gay. Northstar, Opal, Johnny, Spidey, Boom-Boom, and Lorna. Johnny and Spidey make bad jokes about it, Northstar demands they get coffee and talk about it, Opal just kinda brushes it off, Boom-Boom pulls a “new phone who dis?”, but the best response is Lorna. She says she always kinda thought so. Why do I say that’s the best response? Because I frigging called it! I’ve been saying for months that I wanted Lorna’s response to be that she always thought he was gay. (I mean, what I wanted was for her to triumphantly shout “I knew it!”, but this is close enough.) I am amazed that I was pretty much right about Lorna knowing. I feel pretty vindicated. Anyway, he goes inside, and things are, um . . . tense. Bobby’s kind of a prick, and his dad’s an ass. His dad does mention pro-mutant rallies, and says people don’t hate mutants any more. Man, wouldn’t it be great if we got to see that sort of thing in one of the main books? His father does raise a good point, though, that if Bobby wants to save people, he’d probably get plenty of respect as a fire fighter. His dad doesn’t like the way the X-Men are so flamboyant, and would prefer they be a little more, you know, a part of the society they’re supposedly trying to be accepted by. I partly agree. I think the slug-fests do more harm than good. But I also think that mutants need to be extremely public to gain more acceptance. His mom has the best point of all, though: If he’s not in a cult, where’s his 401(k)? I kinda love his mom, I think. Even if she’s not listening to what he’s trying to say. Anyway, the family visit is then interrupted by a bunch of Purifiers, led by the father of the guy Bobby beat up in the first issue. Bobby’s dad gets to show that he’s pretty awesome. And Bobby gets to have a total badass moment. This is a good issue. It gets off to a bit of a rough start, I think, but it does a good job exploring Bobby’s relationship with his parents, and demonstrating how complex all three of them are. His dad initially comes across as a prick, but even while criticizing Bobby, he says he loves him for wanting to do the right thing, and he does want what he feels is best for Bobby. And the way he tells off the Purifier leader? Awesome. Great job, Mr. Drake. And Bobby dealing with the Purifiers is an awesome moment. A reminder that, if he wasn’t a hero, he would be terrifying. I’m not a fan of the art. Rosenberg’s colours are great, but Vitti’s lines don’t appeal to me. Too many lines on faces, which makes them less appealing. Not expressive enough for my tastes. So, the art’s a turn-off, but the writing is very strong here.

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

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #21, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Joe Caramagna. Lunella is trying to explain to Lunella where she came from. Our Lunella’s clearly crossed over into an alternate reality. One where T-Rexes had feathers, so it’s clearly the superior reality. Also, it has flying buses with kitty and shark balloons on top. Again, best universe. Lunella II thinks Lunella I is a copycat trying to take her place. So, dinosaur throwdown! And Moon Girl and Devil Girl obviously fight, too. We cut in briefly on a Lunella-bot with Lunella’s parents, who aren’t very observant, since they think she’s the real Lunella. Back in the other reality, Moon Girl and Devil run from Devil Girl and Moon Dinosaur, and Zoe and Eduardo help them hide. As always, this issue is wonderful. So much fun. There’s some real emotional tension in some bits. The Lunella-bot questions its purpose, and that’s presumably going to lead to something amazing. Lunella and Lunella playing off each other is cool to see, and Moon Girl learns a lesson about appreciating where she’s from, and her friends. So it’s very nice. And the art’s wonderful, too. The alternate Earth is truly the best possible Earth. Flying vehicles connected to big balloons. Weird headgear. One dude has a life preserver around his neck, for no apparent reason. It’s a strange world and I want to live in it. And Bonvillain’s colours are always gorgeous. Speaking of Bonvillain: Please do what you can to show support for the trans community, as the Trump administration, and Republicans across the country, attack trans rights. It’s vital.

Black Panther #16, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chris Sprouse, Dexter Vines, Karl Story, Walden Wong, Andrew Crossley, Laura Martin, and Joe Sabino. Storm waxes poetic about the weather, while letting it embrace her. She notes that the storm isn’t her slave, but her champion, which is a good way of putting it. It explains why she always calls to it, asking its aid. I mean, at least in the cartoon. Anyway, she’s checking out Wakanda’s weather, which has become corrupted. Meanwhile, T’Challa and his mother pay a visit to the Constitutional Council, then he heads on to New York, to investigate Asira’s kidnapping. This leads him to Club Fenris, which has Thunderball and Piledriver watching the door. Oh, and T’Challa’s accompanied by a pair of Wakandan superheroes named N’Kano, aka Vibraxas (of Fantastic Force, from the ’90s), and Asha, who appeared in that Infinity: The Hunt mini. Also, Black Panther talks to Thunderball, in an incredibly powerful scene, about how white people try to diminish black people by comparing them to white people. Like Thunderball having once been described as “the black Bruce Banner,” rather than a genius scientist in his own right. This is such a great issue. Even by the high standards of this book. Coates is juggling a lot. We get Storm being Storm, loving to be a part of the weather, to ride it and view it. The democratic reforms get touched on, with the visit to the Constitutional Council, which is cool to see. And then Panther leading a couple of fellow Wakandan superheroes into a fight, and the brilliant conversation with Thunderball, which gets very much political. Which I am 100% down with. The art is really good. Especially the opening section with Storm. I feel like she’s one of those characters that artists must just love to draw, someone who really draws out the best in them. Because she is such an inherently dramatic and regal character. She’s a goddess, and everyone wants to show that. The art is good in the rest of the issue, too (special mention, once again, to the Thunderball scene), but that opening is just spectacular.

Mighty Captain Marvel #7, by Margaret Stohl, Michele Bandini, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Caramagna. Carol’s down, and the cadets are being fired on by AFSS’s defence systems. Carol wakes up in time to save them, but sadly, not before Itz the drone gets smashed. Aw, I’m really sad about that. Itz was cute. Carol’s angry at them for almost getting themselves killed, but they did briefly manage to get into contact with Wendy, so now, she has hope. She also has an idea for dealing with the next Chitauri wave. It’s a cool plan. It’s a pretty good issue. The cadets continue to get nice development. They seem to be pretty controversial additions – a lot of people would rather the book focus on the existing cast – but honestly, Glory and A’di are too cool for me to dislike their inclusion here. Dante is bland and dull, though. Carol gets to show some decisive leadership, and strategy. Nice to see. I like the art. Bandini and Arciniega are both good. I’d be fine with this as the permanent art team, though truthfully, I’d prefer a female line artist (and colour artist). Maybe I’ll get into my reasoning another time, but for now, Bandini and Arciniega do good work, it’s an art style I enjoy, cartoonish in a way that suits my tastes. Good issue.

Occupy Avengers #9, by David Walker, Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles. Tilda, Wolf and Wheels are fighting Hydra, badly outnumbered and outgunned and doomed. Good thing they have reinforcements: Tarantula, Challenger, and El Toro. Elsewhere, Frank and Silas hijack a Hydra food convoy. In the dumbest way possible, and I love them for making it work. The Occupy team are taken to the Underground’s base, on an Indian Reservation. Battlestar, Cloud 9, Texas Shooter, and Puma are all there. Neat! Tilda calls on them to follow her to a nearby weapons cache, so they can take down as many Hydra bastards as they can before they die. It’s . . . kind of an abrupt end to the series. But I can’t say it’s a bad one. A bunch of people fighting a hopeless battle against unbeatable odds? There’s a certain romance to that idea. A shame this book had to end so soon. I would’ve loved more political commentary from it. And more Tilda. I really hope she shows up again, because Walker took a great character and made her amazing, and then made her even better.

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From → 2017

One Comment
  1. I have mixed feelings about X-men Blue 8. There are definitely some good moments, and the art is fantastic, but I found Emma Frost a bit creepy in this one. Jimmy is still a boring character, but since his scenes rely more on the story and action, that’s not a problem in this particular issue.

    I liked Cable 3 more than the previous two issues because it actually gives us a story. That said, I will go so far as to agree that cable is at his best when he’s got someone to bounce off of – someone who isn’t nearly as serious as he is. Because of that, I’m looking forward to the “new mutants” story arc.

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