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X-Men comics of August 30 2017

August 31, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Working until 11 on Wednesdays is lame. Oh well. Here’s yesterday’s comics.

X-Men Blue #10, by Cullen Bunn, Giovanni Valletta, Scott Hanna, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna. Hank meets with Gazing Nightshade, one of the Madripoor mutants, and it’s nice to see them sticking around, because Bunn spent so much time setting up sub-plots and I really want to see some of them actually continue. He talks about his self-doubts, and she tells him he’s actually feeling guilt over what he’s done and the secrets he’s keeping. He then leaves, and meets with the Goblin Queen, who’s been helping him with his magic so he can feel important again. Bobby trains with Danger, who taunts him about Romeo not returning his calls. Lorna has tea with her dad. He wants her there to help him guide the kids, and to help keep him in line, which is a very sensible idea. Jean and Scott talk about the psychic rapport. Warren and Jimmy fly out to Colorado, to talk to the Sheriff who found Jimmy. And I won’t spoil how the issue goes, but all I’ll say is this: Bloodstorm. Anyway, this issue is . . . well, it’s busy. It’s a looooot of follow-up on things he’s set up. There’s more of the Jean/Scott/Jimmy triangle being pushed, and uuuugggh, I could really do without every part of that. Jean and Scott should be best friends who know they could be something more but who also know that what they already have is better for them right now. And Jimmy just sucks and he’s boring, and his brief scene with Warren does nothing to change that. Warren is actually pretty interesting in that scene. I don’t know, I just kinda like how Bunn writes Warren. He’s charming and nice and a good dude. His Bobby . . . honestly, it feels like Bobby is only in this book because Bunn had to include him. He’s given Iceman so little focus, and even here, he gets little. Like, this is probably the most focus he’s gotten since this book launched, and it’s two pages of Danger criticizing him and him whining back. After this current arc, Bobby really needs to get an actual spotlight issue, because Bunn is doing jack shit with the character and it’s not really fair to Bobby. The art is good here. Valletta’s got a nice style. It’s a very contemporary style, one that meshes well with the previous artists on this book. It’s definitely not a style that would turn anyone off, at the very least. It does work well for this series, and he handles the storytelling aspects well. The colours are great, of course, Guru-eFX are great at what they do. So overall, this issue’s still a bit of a mixed bag. It’s nice seeing some of the sub-plots get touched on, but few of them are given any room to breathe.

Jean Grey #6, by Dennis Hopeless, Paul Davidson, Jay David Ramos, and Travis Lanham. Jean is visiting Dr. Strange, who’s going on about the show he’s been binging on Netflix, while preparing her for a ritual. And it’s pretty funny, I’ll admit. Jean’s kinda annoyed that he’s not being more theatrical. Then he pulls her soul out of her body to try to remove the spirit that’s talking to her. They find Dark Phoenix, who sucks her into a memory, of a birthday right after Jean moved into the mansion. And there’s a couple great panels here.

Jean Grey #6

Bit of criticism of the Stan-and-Jack days.

Yeah, her treatment in the ’60s could get a bit rough. Though I’ll always remember the fact that she knocked over a frigging T-Rex. Seriously, talk all you want about how bad ’60s Jean was, she knocked over a T-Rex. Hell yeah. Anyway, Jean responds to that rant with this:

Jean Grey #6

That floating candle steals the panel for me.

A pretty interesting way of redeeming the problems with the ’60s version of the character. Add some layers to her treatment from the time. The next memory is from the ’90s, the X-Men vs. the Acolytes, and Strange guesses that Jean’s spirit is the adult Jean Grey. Huh. And the Jeans argue a bit, and it’s really interesting stuff, with another panel that I want to highlight.

Jean Grey #6

Subtle, Dennis.

This seems like it’s a commentary on fans who call Adult Jean the “real” Jean and want the Teen jean gone. Honestly, I can appreciate both versions. I do prefer Teen Jean, personally. I think the story of the O5 – rebelling against their destinies – is actually a really interesting story to tell. And it’s laid out really clearly here, with Teen Jean saying, “I don’t want to be you!” And Adult Jean actually shoots back that, just because there was pain and death in her life, it doesn’t make it a tragedy. Which is admittedly a very good response. I do want Teen jean to continue to aspire to be her own person, but making peace with her Adult Self would probably be a good step for that. Another memory! Jean and Emma arguing over Scott, which is presented pretty hilariously here.

Jean Grey #6

“You’re big and red and boring.” I love Emma.

And then some lessons on the Phoenix, and a test for Jean. This is a good issue, all about exploring the fact that Jean is still Jean. It feels, to an extent, like Hopeless is repudiating the people who bitch about Teen Jean not being the “real” Jean. The issue explores some of the main periods of Jean’s life. The early days with the X-Men, the ’90s, and the Morrison era. Each period gets its own tone, which is cool. The ’60s feels very innocent, the ’90s all about action, the Morrison era a soap opera at a school. These are all very fitting. Hopeless also has fun with Strange. The art is a bit mixed for me. Sometimes it’s great and epic, other times, it just looks weird to me. A lot of faces that just look off. But when it gets epic, it’s awesome. Still, all in all, a good issue.

And the non-X-stuff.

Black Panther #17, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chris Sprouse, Dexter Vines, Karl Story, Laura Martin, Andrew Crossley, and Joe Sabino. A guy gives a speech about Sefako, a god, which concerns a counselor, who reports it back to T’Challa. But the issue is mostly about Ororo’s return to Wakanda, the fact that many Wakandans are rejoicing her return and are worshiping her, and her own mixed feelings on the whole thing. It’s a great issue, one that really does a great job with Ororo. Coates is an old-school X-Men fan, and it shows in how he writes Ororo. Queen, goddess, but still human. A lot of people have problems with how she’s been handled in the X-titles in the past few years, and I suspect those people would love how Coates writes her here, because he shows her so much love and respect. I’d actually love it if he got to write an X-Men series. (I also still want Yona Harvey to write a Storm solo.) One thing that’s interesting about this issue is that, while it’s certainly connected to the larger story, it also feels somewhat self-contained. It’s almost a breather issue, even with a big fight scene. Because the issue isn’t about the plot, it’s about Ororo, and it’s great for that. Good art, too. This series has been on fire lately.

Black Panther & the Crew #6, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Yona Harvey, Butch Guice, Mack Chater,  Scott Hanna, Dan Brown, and Joe Sabino. A flashback shows Ezra accidentally killing his friend, Frank, marking the end of their revolution, with the promise it would come back around. In the present, it has, which is why Ezra called in the Crew in the first place. And a riot breaks out, which the Crew ends, and they bring in those responsible. It’s a decent finale, but not a great one. It is a bit rushed. I wish this book was continuing, because it was good, it was telling an interesting story about complicated issues, but it didn’t really get enough time for it. It ended as soon as the team finished coming together. I would’ve liked some more stories about the team working together. But alas.

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #22, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Lunella’s returned to Illa, to try to help her, despite Illa being very cross with her for leaving. Back on Earth, robo-Lunella is not doing a very good job at fooling Lunella’s parents. And Lunella helps Illa, and it’s great and sweet and I love it. This book is just so good. So much heart. It actually gets into some pretty deep issues, but always in a way that younger readers will be able to follow. There’s also plenty of science stuff that will go over their heads but maybe it’ll get them interested in science. And, of course, Bustos and Bonvillain do amazing work. I really do love this series.

Generations Hawkeye, by Kelly Thompson, Steffano Raffaele, Digikore, ad Joe Sabino. Kate is in the past, on a jungle island filled with snakes, bugs, heat, and the greatest marksmen in the world. Which includes Clint! In his old costume! And they bond! And Kate makes fun of his costume. The clear winning panel of the issue, of course, is this one:

Generations Hawkeye

An epic callback.

It’s a great issue. One thing I saw pointed out online, Kate’s thoughts are in modern-style caption boxes, Clint’s are in old-school thought bubbles. It’s a great touch. And a great issue! Kate and Clint have always had an amazing chemistry, and that still shows here. The plot is cool, an interesting premise and story, done well. But the real joy here is in the character work. Thompson does great work with both Hawkeyes. Clint is like his classic self, a bit arrogant, a bit more serious than his present self. But still a bit of a dork, too. And Kate is Kate. Kate is always Kate. And she’s just as Kate here. It’s great fun. The Wolverine issue is still the best of the Generations one-shots, but this one’s probably second.

Mighty Captain Marvel #8, by Margaret Stohl, Michele Bandini, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Caramagna. After repulsing another wave of Chitauri, Carol and the others debate what to do. Monica suggests leaving, and Hopper yells at her. A bit dickishly. And we actually get a scene that was in an issue of Secret Empire, with Carol telling Monica and America that she’s not leaving. (Including America offering to take them to a reality that’s a musical, and given how awesome the Rock Opera issue of KSD’s run was, I’m not sure that’s a bad idea.) There’s actually quite a few scenes taken from Secret Empire. There’s also an In Memoriam of Flo Steinberg. Which I’m realizing wasn’t in all this week’s comics, which is kind of a shame. She absolutely deserves it. She was a huge name in early Marvel, and an even bigger name in indie comics. As for the issue, well, I’m glad this Secret Empire tie-in is over, and given this issue had the Alpha Flight space station destroyed, I’m curious about what’ll come next. Also, this issue seems to imply that the new Quasar is dead? That’s weird. I wouldn’t have expected that to be a throwaway moment in Captain Marvel, given she’s Nick Spencer’s character. I would assume he’d be the one to kill her off.

America #6, by Gabby Rivera, Kelly Thompson, Ramon Villalobos, Walden Wong, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. America wakes up in a boxing ring, with Mindless Ones in her corner. The announcer is Arcade, and other villains are in the audience. And her opponent is her ex, Magdalena. A flashback to two hours earlier shows Kate chase after the helicopter that took America away, joined by Madrimar. They rescue Mags’ dad, which allows America and Madrimar to really fight back. And Madrimar is America’s grandma, which gets America pretty emotional. So, this series still has some issues. The pacing is still piss-poor, to be blunt. Rivera is not good at pacing. It’s just all over the place. But the emotional beats of the issue work better here.

And Animosity #9 is great, with creepy bees. Great stuff.


From → 2017

  1. G'kar permalink

    It’s not so much at Stohl just killed off Avril, Mighty Captain Marvel # 8 conformers that Quasar sacrificed herself to bring down the shield. I say that because she not with Carol’s group when they meet up with Sam Wilison and the rest of the resistance at the end of SE 8. Also, She hasn’t been seen again or mentioned after Secret empire #8. Which is a shame because we never really got to know Avril Kincaid.

    • It just makes no sense to me that Quasar’s death would be a throwaway moment in a tie-in not even written by the guy writing the event.

  2. X-Men Blue 6 could have been a good issue if it focused purely on the characters instead of throwing in a couple different plots. Although I am enjoying the series over all, it’s biggest problem is that the story is way too complex already. So yeah, saying it’s busy is a good way to put it.

    Jean Grey 6 is good as usual.

    Hawkeye: Generations is fun, and it reminds me of how much I want to catch up on the main series.

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