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X-Men comics of August 2 2017

August 2, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I like small weeks. I would like more of them.

X-Men Gold #9, by Marc Guggenheim, Ken Lashley, Andrew Crossley, Frank Martin, and Cory Petit. IN Russia, some dudes are planning on bringing someone back from the dead. In the US, Whiplash is musing on how much the US sucks. In Central Park, Kitty asks Colossus if he wants to join her on a trip to DC, where she’ll speak to Congress. She claims it was Logan’s idea, which means Logan very definitely ships them, which isn’t news. Outside, Kurt and Rachel talk about their kiss, because Rachel finally getting to come out as liking girls is just not an option, because Guggenheim clearly has no interest in doing anything that rocks the boat at all. On the plus side, he DOES bring back Stevie Hunter. She’s a Congresswoman now, from Connecticut. Yay for Stevie cameo! Boo for it being clear she won’t be a recurring character! GIVE THE X-MEN HUMAN SUPPORTING CHARACTERS ON AN ONGOING BASIS, X-OFFICE! Anyway, Kitty testifies about the proposed mutant deportation bill, and compares it to segregation and the internment of Japanese-Americans. (Fun note: There are still people defending internment of Japanese -Americans! Racism is still going on! Sadly, the X-Men titles are unbelievably awful at actually showing what it’s actually like to be part of a marginalized group, probably because the X-Men titles are all written by straight white dudes. Relaunch Uncanny X-Men, put a WOC as the writer.) And then there’s a few pages alternating between Kitty and Peter on a date, and Rachel and Kurt on a date. Even though it should be Kitty and Rachel on a date. More meh. Always the meh. This issue actually brings in some politics, which is nice to see, I’d like to see more of that in the X-titles, but it’s still incredibly shallow, equating the struggles of gorgeous (mostly) straight (mostly) white people to the civil rights struggles of the ’60s. And not noticing that, hey, the civil rights struggle is still going on today, racism against black people didn’t end in the ’60s, Japanese-Americans still have to deal with crap. Let’s see some frigging intersectionality in this shit. Shit, in this issue about the civil rights struggles of mutants, guess who we don’t see? A single POC mutant. The only POC in the issue is Stevie Hunter. Oh, wait, no, there’s also one Congressman, a black dude with no lines. Which is a pretty perfect encapsulation of how the X-Men franchise is the absolute frigging worst about handling the minority metaphor. They do it by excluding actual, real-world minorities. Where the shit is Storm? Where are any of the minority students? But nah, gotta make room for the already-done Kitty/Peter ship, and the Rachel/Kurt ship. Because, much as this book tries to hearken back to the Claremont run, Guggenheim can’t even include some frigging gay subtext, and has to make CRYSTAL GODDAMN CLEAR that everyone on this team is totally, 100% straight. There is no aspect of this series where Guggenheim doesn’t fall short. The art is fine. It’s blobbier than I prefer. Vaguer. Background characters are just amorphous blobs, and even focal characters are a bit vague and could use some tighter lines. The colours match the line work, at least. Still, this book is just so aggressively mediocre, on every single level.

That’s the only X-title, but here’s what else I read.

Unstoppable Wasp #8, by Jeremy Whitley, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Megan Wilson, and Joe Caramagna. Janet wakes up after the best sleep she’s had in a long time. She takes Nadia and Ying to a superhuman holding facility, to see Poundcakes and Letha. Nadia apologizes for breaking them, and then Janet offers them jobs, as bodyguards for Pym Labs (and GIRL), along with new costumes and branding for their wrestling careers. Janet then takes Nadia and Ying to Pym Laboratories, which she’s been running since Hank’s death, and shows her a video log Hank made when he started testing Pym Particles. The video also shows Nadia’s mother, Maria. It’s a very emotional moment. Then limos bring the rest of the GIRL girls to the lab. And then treats them to a gala. Where Ying and Shay become a couple, because Jeremy Whitley cares about all kinds of representation, so he just casually confirmed two of the characters as being gay. Yay for that, especially because Shay rocks a tux. This is a very emotional issue, as the finale. I am mad at every single one of you who didn’t buy this book, because it was wonderful and joyful and just so, so good. The whole thing. It was positive and optimistic and believed in good. And now it’s gone. And I’m so sad. But happy it existed. This series gets my highest recommendation, and you should read the trades, or check it out on Comixology, if you haven’t read it already. And if you have read it already: Omgiosh how good was it when Nadia saw that video of her dad?

Avengers #10, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso, and Cory Petit. The Superior Dr. Octopus thinks about how shitty the rest of the HydrAvengers are. The team consists of him, Wanda, Vision, Deadpool, Odinson, Black Ant, and Taskmaster. On a side note, he prefers teams of 6 over teams of 7. Also, the possessed Wanda and hacked Vision mack it. Anyway, the team is out to protect an outpost that provides a signal boost for the Shield around the planet. Inside the outpost are some weird freaky monsters, as only Del Mundo can draw weird freaky monsters. There’s one hell of a twist involving them, too. This is a great issue that really spotlights the mental states of these characters, and how awful they are. It’s a lot of fun. With Mike Del Mundo art. Mike Del Mundo is magical.

Black Bolt #4, by Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward, and Clayton Cowles. Blackagar and Creel wake up, chained to a post, feeling pretty miserable about failing to kill the Jailer. The room they’re in has the oxygen slowly being drained, so the more they breathe, the more they talk, the quicker they run out of air. Bolt initially tells Creel not to waste air on speaking, but finally decides they shouldn’t die quietly. So Creel goes over his life story. Turns out he had a great mom, but she died when he was young, and his dad was kind of a dick. He was kicked out of the house at 16, became a boxer, got involved with the Mob (doing jobs for the Owl’s gang, actually). Then he went to prison and Loki gave him a magic potion to make him the Absorbing Man, and we all know what happened from there. If you don’t, just go ahead and read his few hundred previous appearances. And man, this issue’s so good. Ahmed does write the best Creel. He’s always been a pretty great character, especially since he met Titania, but here, he’s at his most compelling. His life story is so believable, and while he was hardly an admirable person – he hurt people and he enjoyed it – he still doesn’t come across as a bad person. And the way he talks about Titania is really sweet, and shows just how much he loves her. Plus, his interactions with Black Bolt are just so good. They play off each other perfectly, and their mutual respect is good to see, and Creel teasing Bolt over how ridiculous Bolt’s life is is a lot of fun. And the art’s great. Ward’s art conveys so much mood and emotion, and nails the comedic beats. This is such a great book, so much better than a Black Bolt title has any right to be, and you should totally read it.

Hawkeye #9, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and Joe Sabino. Kate wakes up in a cage, and finds Liam Donnelly, the guy she was hired to find. At her office, Ramone, Johnny and Quinn are worried about her, and Detective Rivera arrives with some info for her, and gets very unhappy when learning where Kate went. Back at the fight club, Kate goes up against Clem. A dude with a battleaxe. Who can also set himself on fire. Without hurting himself, I mean. It’s a great fight. A great issue. Kate is so damn charming, but there is some real emotional depth here. There’s some heavy stuff beneath all the charm and fun. And the art’s great. Romero and Bellaire are both excellent. This is just a great comic.


From → 2017

  1. I actually didn’t pick up any of the comics you talked about this week, although I am starting to catch up on Hawkeye.

    And hearing how X-Men Gold hasn’t changed in quality at all since I dropped it has only re-enforced my decision.

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