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X-Men comics of August 9 2017

August 10, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Hey, I did get it up tonight, instead of tomorrow. Yay me.

All-New Wolverine #23, by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Erick Arciniega, Michael Garland, and Cory Petit. Laura is ready to kill every Brood on the alien planet she’s on in order to get to Gabby, but Drax drags her away from the fight, and to the outpost, which is apparently commanded by Fang, of the Imperial Guard. Neat. Turns out it’s a medical centre, kept on an isolated moon in case of disease outbreaks. They were attacked by the Brood, and the scientists tried to use a virus against them, but it just made the Brood angrier, and led to some of their own people being infected. So they tried to send them for help, and only one got through. And that led to Laura coming to the centre, and now Laura plans to rescue Gabby, and Gabby is expecting Laura to come for her. They do have to wait until nightfall, but holy crap is Laura ever good at what she does. She’s more dangerous than Logan was. Sneakier, more ruthless, smarter. And then there’s one hell of a cliffhanger. This issue’s good. Fang’s re-appearance is neat, and he does reference the events of Wolverines, which, meh, I thought that arc was kind of a mistake. But continuity is always nice, I suppose. He doesn’t add a whole lot here, but it does explain why that alien girl was looking for Laura. Fang knew how good a person Laura is, and that she would come to help. The Guardians of the Galaxy are written well. The story remains interesting, and is a solid Wolverine vs. the Brood story. The art’s good. Honestly, if you’re not reading this series yet, you’re missing out.

Jean Grey #5, by Dennis Hopeless, Anthony Piper, Jay David Ramos, and Travis Lanham. In Japan, Psylocke is trying to teach Jean to meditate, but Jean is bad at meditating. She can’t turn her mind off. I know how she feels. Silence frustrates me. Plan B is a metal club in Philedelphia. That results in her knocking away some moshers, and getting cheered by the crowd. Plan C is a cavern full of irradiated, murderous mole-monsters. Jean actually manages to create a couple of psychic stab-picks, but almost gets bitten by one of the vampire Moloids. So Plan D! Madripoor! To fight an army of Hand ninjas! Jean seems worried, but honestly, the Hand are never a threat to superheroes. So Jean sneaks in, and starts generating psychic weapons to kill the Hand ninjas with. A big club, a big-ass axe. Claws. And more! This is a really fun issue. Hopeless clearly loves writing Psylocke. Her dry wit is perfect. She’s cool and weirdly jaded, with all the crazy places she brings Jean being pretty much just ways that Psylocke relaxes. She mentions that the metal band’s newest album is too soft, in the middle of a mosh pit. The cavern is one of those things that’s too ridiculous not to love. Mindless, irradiated Moloid vampires, because comics. And Psylocke seems to know that it’s weird, and yet, she just doesn’t care, and it’s fun. She actually does an admirable job as mentor to Jean, teaching her how to tap into her fight-or-flight – especially her fight – to generate weapons. I do like the choices of weapons Jean makes, too. A big-ass mace! Jean is plenty of fun, too, complaining about the situations Psylocke puts her in. Though I do like in the club, when the crowd cheers her, she just kinda goes with it. It’s a cute moment. There was also this panel, which is an eternal mood:

Jean Grey #5

Same.

Piper’s art is great. His style’s got a nice energy to it. He captures Jean’s various moods throughout the issue really well. The fights are really entertaining. Good colours by Ramos. This remains a top-notch title, and honestly, this is probably my favourite issue so far. Psylocke is just too well-written here.

Generations Phoenix and Jean Grey, by Cullen Bunn, R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Rain Beredo, and Travis Lanham. Jean finds herself on a nice beach, and “hears” people thinking about how much she looks like another woman there. A redhead reading a book. It’s Phoenix! Jean’s on the verge of a freak-out, but gets distracted when a cute guy chats Phoenix up. Phoenix sends the guy off, then tells Jean to come out. Jean starts asking all sorts of questions about the Phoenix Force, and Phoenix suggests they go get food, because she knows how to handle weird stuff. She says she’s felt lost since the X-Men died, because this is during the period where the Phoenix, believing it was Jean, believed the X-Men were dead. So the redheads go clubbing! Jean keeps seeing herself in Phoenix, and is frightened by that. And they go on a quick space journey. How’s that go? Well:

Generationx Phoenix

Pretty good, clearly.

So this comic is . . . OK. The basic premise is interesting enough – Jean meeting her slightly older self who’s not really her because retcons – and there are some interesting elements to how it plays out. But the pacing felt a bit off to me, some things felt too rushed. In particular, I think I would have enjoyed seeing more of them interacting on Earth. Maybe one more page that showed Phoenix enjoying the meeting and Jean really getting to know what her adult self was like. Her narration does highlight how much she relates to herself. But I wish we could have seen more of it. Jean, of all the O5, is the only one whose adult self was dead in the present. The only one who didn’t really get a chance to interact with herself, to actually meet the person she grows up to be. And I feel like Bunn kinda passes over that too quickly, to get to Jean interacting with the Phoenix. We also get a lot of Jean wondering if she should tell Phoenix about what happens, to try to change the future. Which leads to the Watcher showing up for a weird ending that doesn’t quite work. Still, for the most part, the issue’s good. And the art’s good. Silva’s not one of my favourite artists, but I don’t mind him, for the most part. His faces sometimes get blobby, but that’s not a big problem here. Mostly, they’re clear. And nice colours. So, nitpicks aside, this is a perfectly fine Generations issue.

Old Man Logan #27, by Ed Brisson, Mike Deodato, Frank Martin, and Cory Petit. A flashback shows Logan and Old Blind Clint sitting in Logan’s farm, waiting for whoever’s been poaching his pigs. In the present, Logan wakes up, chained to a big rock. The Hulk Gang shoots him up with a bunch of big guns to put him back under. In Maestro’s compound, he’s in his weak human form in order to work on the stolen bombs. One of the female Hulks, Cambria, isn’t keen on the idea. That night, Logan wakes up, with the Hulk Gang mostly asleep, and tricks the one who’s awake into breaking the rock he’s chained to, so he can go back to fighting them. This issue’s pretty much more of the same. If you’ve enjoyed the previous issues in this arc, you’ll enjoy this one. The flashback at the start feels a bit pointless. Like it was there for the sake of being there, because this book is obligated to have flashbacks to Logan’s time. I’m sure it’ll be relevant to the next issue, but even so, I have to wonder if it might have been better to leave it out of this one, because the scene we get doesn’t really seem to add anything of value. We’ll see, I suppose. I’m not a fan of the Hulk Gang – even in the original Old Man Logan story, I thought they were lame – and their continuing lack of a threat to Logan actually makes them even less interesting. He steamrolls them the same as he would pretty much anyone else. And they have virtually no personality. The art is Mike Deodato. Plenty of people like him. I don’t. I find it stiff, emotionless, and vaguely creepy, in an Uncanny Valley kind of way. Martin’s colours are well-suited to the line art, though, so kudos for that. But still, this is not an arc I’m enjoying.

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

Ms. Marvel #21, by G. Willow Wilson, Marco Failla, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. Discord has Aamir as a hostage, so Ms. Marvel surrenders, but then Aamir and the other Inhumans rounded up by KIND refuse to let her surrender, by fighting back themselves. So, fight! Which ends up spilling into the local masjid that Kamala attends. Sheikh Abdullah, who is obligated to offer them refuge as oppressed persons. Sheikh Abdullah’s a good dude. During the scuffle, he gets hurt, and Ms. Marvel gets hurt while worrying about him, and ends up in the wudu room, being attacked by Discord. And she finally finds out who he is. It’s exactly who I expected. He actually seems pretty scared once the helmet comes off. And we get a really emotional conversation between Kamala and him, as he explains what led to him becoming Discord, all the isolation he felt from everyone else. He talks about the fact that everyone told him how easy he had it, and how everything still felt hard for him. He is really sympathetic. It’s easy to feel for him, to understand where he’s coming from and to recognize his feelings as valid. He bares his soul, and it’s really good. I get the feeling it’s Wilson trying to humanize the cishet white guys who complain about how tough it is being a cishet white guy. She removes all the stupidity from their arguments, and gets to the core of their feelings, the sense of alienation many of them feel in a world that is becoming less easy for them. All debates about our feelings aside, Wilson does do a great job exploring Discord’s feelings. There’s also plenty of good political commentary throughout the issue, with the marginalized Inhumans refusing to give up, and continuity to Resist. Aamir talks about how he felt like, being a traditional and conservative person, he feels like the people who should accept him continue to hate him. It’s certainly not a coincidence that the Muslim Sheikh is the one who provides refuge to the oppressed. And Ms. Marvel makes a comment about defending the few from the evils of the collective many, which is, again, pretty clearly a comment on current events. The art’s really good. He’s actually a good fit for the way this series has changed over time. When the book started, it was fun and fairly light, with lots of visual gags. Now, while Failla’s style isn’t too different from Alphona’s, it is more restrained, more serious, without the gags. It works well, and is very good. And Ian Herring is still on colours. May he stay on this book forever, because his colours have done a lot to define this comic’s look. This series is still great.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #23, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. The systems that maintain the Savage Land are failing, and it seems to be a software problem, hence all the computer engineers brought in to help. Which means one thing: programming montage! After a little while, Doreen and Nancy see what the other teams are doing. The Latverians are building a Doombot to solve the problem, which actually isn’t all that bad an idea, maybe. Also, Doreen continues to play matchmaker between Nancy and Stefan. Including the three going out to dinner, with Doreen then excusing herself to go to the washroom so Nancy and Stefan can talk. And after the dinner, Doreen and Nancy have a great and heartfelt conversation about Nancy’s feelings about Stefan, and Nancy’s feelings about feelings. And it’s so good. They are such great friends and I love them both because they love each other so much. I love this comic. Nancy and Stefan are cute together. I’m excited for Nancy to get an opportunity to explore romantic relationships, and I kinda hope this is something that continues for a while. Maybe she and Stefan could maintain a long-distance relationship, once this arc ends. She and Doreen have the teleporter in their closet, after all. So it could work. And I’m just really curious to see where this relationship goes. I love this series.

Hulk #9, by Mariko Tamaki, Julian Lopez, Francesco Gaston, Matt Milla, and Cory Petit. A couple of kids are complaining about superhero drama, and get freaked out by the monsterized Oliver. Jen and Bradley visit Oliver, to help with the search for Oli. Jen tells Brad and Warren to look for Oli, and Warren asks Brad about Jen being the Hulk. Jen calls Patsy, who’s at the drug house Oli busted up earlier, and they have a nice conversation. And then Hulk pays a visit to Ray and Steve, for a friendly conversation. Good issue. I really like the Bradley/Warren conversation, with Warren wondering how Jen copes with her monster, and how Oli might be dealing with his. I really feel bad for those two. I want things to work out for them, because they both seem so nice, and so in love, and they deserve a happy ending to all this. Ray and Steve can go to hell. Especially Steve. What a douche. I want him to get punched in his douchebro face. I’m also glad the Jen/Patsy friendship is continuing. Jen still seems uncomfortable with her monster, but is willing to call on it to help others, because that’s who she is, and it’s nice. I also really like the art. This arc is definitely more of a conventional superhero arc than the first one, but Tamaki’s doing a good job with it, and she is still getting into some pretty heavy territory. So I’m still digging it.

And I didn’t have time to get to WicDiv #30, but it’s safe to assume it’s amazing and you should definitely be reading that series.

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From → 2017

2 Comments
  1. All-New Wolverine 23 is fantastic. It’s a lot darker than most issues in this series, fully embracing the story’s horror inspirations, but there’s still a touch of family drama and humour to balance it out. That and it’s always fun when Laura puts her stealth on.

    Jean Grey 5 is just fun. Psylocke makes a tough, but effective teacher.

    Generations: Jean Grey and Phoenix has some good storytelling moments, but there’s nothing special about it. Still worth reading if you’re enjoying the main Jean Grey solo book though.

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