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X-Men comics of November 22 2017

November 22, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I didn’t do a pull list yesterday because it was just a tiring week. Working until 11pm every night, but then going in for 9am Saturday? Ugh. No fun. So I just didn’t have the energy to write up a pull list post. Might be the same for the next couple weeks, too. But hey, I got today off, so comics!

X-Men Gold #16, by Marc Guggenheim, Lan Medina, Jay Leisten, Craig Yeung, Frank Martin, Andrew Crossley, and Cory Petit. Kitty debates Bigoted Lady Whose Name Is On The Panel But I Still Don’t Actually Give Enough Of A Shit To Actually Learn Or Type Because Holy Hell The Ham-Fisted Handling Of The Allegory Will Never Stop Bugging Me. Anyway, apparently, Congress passed the Mutant Deportation Act, and I want to reiterate how stupid that idea is, because, like, does it apply to mutants born in the US? Does it apply to mutants with US citizenship? Because you can’t deport people with US citizenship. But whatever! Kitty and Piotr are still a thing, unfortunately, and they get a hotel room. We do get to see a crowd at the school, supporting mutants, so that’s nice to see. There really, truly, desperately needs to be more of that in the X-Men comics. We need to see that, no, not every single human on the face of the planet hates mutants. That being part of a marginalized group does not in fact mean that everyone else hates you, and that there are people who support marginalized communities they don’t belong to. So good on Guggenheim for showing that. Then aliens show up looking for the alien dude who was in the Brotherhood. And Logan threatens to start stabbing people who don’t stay calm, because Logan has one solution for every problem. And hey, apparently he and his second-in-command are lovers. Neat, I guess. This issue is better than the norm, I’ll grant that. It’s still Marc Guggenheim, who is, of course, a sexist hack. (Fun fact: A woman who worked for Guggenheim straight-up said he hates women. Fuck Marc Guggenheim, a sexist hack who should be fired and replaced by a woman of colour. On everything he does, really.) So it’s still not actually good. Just less bad. Kitty calls out bigotry, and yippee for the pretty white girl always being the one who calls out bigotry. Another standard thing with the X-Men, sadly. But hey, at least Guggenheim is trying a semi-original plot with this Negative Zone stuff. I don’t think Claremont every dragged the X-Men into the Negative Zone. So congratulations, Guggenheim, for your very first original idea as an X-Men writer. You’re still a sexist hack who should be fired from the book and replaced with a woman of colour, but hey, it’s nice that the book isn’t 100% pure nostalgia-wanking any more. The art’s good. No complaints there. I have trouble having an opinion on the art one way or the other, if I’m honest. This is such a meh book.

Generation X #9, by Christina Strain, Amilcar Pinna, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles. The students are cleaning up the mess caused by Krakoa in the last issue. And Lin proves once again that she is great at decisions by talking Trevor into letting an opossum look after Shogo. The opossum is called Mrs. Opossum. Gods, I love this book.

Generation X #9

Lin makes a good point.

Everyone’s trying to find Jubilee and Roxy, who are buried beneath the museum that collapsed, and Quire accidentally drops a wall on Mercury and Nathaniel, which leads Ben to finally snap and call Quire out on being an asshole who doesn’t think about other people. And we get more of the Ben/Nathaniel ship-teasing that is going to be the death of me. Strain is trying to murder me with this. It is attempted murder. Trevor helps with the search for Jubilee, with his neat new See-Through-Things power. Down in the tunnel, Jubilee and Roxy find some of Monet’s victims, which prompts the start of a panic attack in Roxy, and it’s neat that she reacts so strongly to Emplate. I like when characters actually have reactions to past trauma. I also really like Jubilee and Roxy’s growing friendship. Roxy sasses her pretty well. Also, I might be wrong, but there’s an interaction between Roxy and Mercury that makes me think Strain might be continuing what Wood set up between them a few years ago. I hope so, it’d be cool to have that come back up. I really do love this series. So much. It’s so good. I will admit, once again, that Pinna’s art style doesn’t appeal to me. He draws really weird faces, with freakishly giant mouths. So it’s hard for me to blame anyone who skips this book as a result of the art. But the whole team is doing some great storytelling. And I love that the series isn’t focused on superheroics. It’s very much a character-driven series, with great drama and interpersonal relationships. The Ben/Nate ship gets a very strong focus here, Jubilee and Roxy get along really well, and there’s some very good work with Quire here, and his own relationship with Ben. I also continue to thoroughly enjoy the Lin/Trevor friendship. They play off each other so beautifully.

Generation X #9

“She’s an opossum?” might be the best explanation for anything.

The issue also has some really sad moments. Bits that are punches to the heart. And, naturally, there’s more setting up stuff with Monet. So it is building to a bigger superhero thing. But mostly it’s the character interactions that keep this book so enjoyable. I love it.

All-New Wolverine #27, by Tom Taylor, Juann Cabal, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. Laura brings Daken inside, and he tells her she’s being watched from inside the house by the Orphans of X. Laura’s cousin, Megan, is kinda adorable, and her aunt, Debbie, is kinda badass. Megan waves cheerfully when introduced, while Debbie tells him to put down the gun or get out of the house. I don’t know if it’s because Laura’s there, but I like to think Debbie is just that cool. Then Daken shoots Laura’s mom. And angry Laura is goddamn terrifying. Daken gets the shit sliced out of him, until the Orphans of X start calling out Laura and the other Wolverines. They hate the Wolverines for all the murders they’ve committed and gotten away with. Which is, you know, fair. I figure Laura probably deserves a pass, given she was literally raised as an assassin, and since she left that, most of those she’s killed have been bad people trying to kill her or others, and even so, she’s still turned away from killing except when absolutely necessary. Daken? Yeah, Daken should be in prison. He’s a sociopathic prick with a history of killing solely for his own amusement. But yeah, the Orphans have valid criticisms, and are pretty clever in their approach. They make for good antagonists. Laura’s family reacting to Daken was entertaining. The fight was good. The art’s great. Cabal does very good work. Woodard’s colours also remain excellent. Much like with Herring on Ms. Marvel, I like how Woodard’s colours on Wolverine provide a real sense of visual consistency throughout the run, even as line artists change. It’s entirely too easy to undervalue the work that colour artists do, and it’s important to give them credit. Woodard has cemented, in my mind, the way Laura is supposed to look. (And Gabby, for that matter.) No matter the line artist, as long as Woodard colours her, she looks right. So, much praise to Nolan Woodard. And the rest of the creative team, because this series remains excellent.

Cable #151, by Ed Brisson, Jon Malin, Jesus Aburtov, and Travis Lanham. Still 13 years ago. Cable’s team and Selene and her Externals reach an agreement not to bother wasting time fighting, much to Shatterstar’s disappointment. One thing I find interesting: This story is supposed to take place 13 years ago, according to the first page. Shatterstar mentions that Selene was supposed to have killed the other Externals a decade earlier. So . . . is that supposed to be a reference to the ’90s story where Selene killed the other Externals? So is Brisson just ignoring the sliding timeline entirely? And why is Shatterstar in his ’90s outfit if this is supposed to have happened in 2004? I don’t even know, man. Regardless, Cable recruits a couple more people so they can split into two teams to find two more Externals. Selene retrieves Blink from where she was lost outside the universe. Something we saw way back in Necrosha. Cable recruits Armour, which does lead to a pretty great line.

Cable #151

NAMES ARE HARD, guys!

Shatterstar recruits Laura, whose just finished slaughtering a bunch of faceless goons. I notice one of the soldier-types she kills is a woman, and honestly, it’s always nice when evil organizations try to practise egalitarian hiring. I know it’s a weird thing to like, but when a group of generic faceless evil soldier-types include some women who are killed alongside the men? It does make me happy. Yay feminism! The External Cable’s team – which is him, Armor and Doop – goes to see is a precog, who invites them in for tea, and this Burke guy pretty much immediately became my favourite External. He’s so nice! Longshot, Shatterstar and Laura go after Saul. And Laura is awesome. She is so hyper-violent and it’s actually pretty great. This is good. I think I’m figuring out the timeline, though it’s really poorly-explained. It is basically forgetting that Marvel has a sliding timeline. “13 Years Ago” means it’s set at the same time as the comics that came out in 2004. Ideally, this series should be set “a few years ago,” with Selene having killed the other Externals “a few years” prior to that. Anyway, this is pretty good. It feels very ’90s, which is fitting, given it’s about the Externals. The art feels very ’90s, too. I’m not a fan of Malin’s style. He tells the story well, I just don’t find it aesthetically pleasing. But the story is good. Brisson and Malin are doing interesting stuff. It’s a weird team. I’m not sure why Cable recruited Blink. Longshot makes sense – he needed her to read Candra’s body. Shatterstar makes sense – Cable knows him. Doop was an odd choice, but sure, OK, I’ll allow it. Laura? If you’re expecting a fight, there’s not many people more useful. But Armour? Especially 2004 Armour? She’s just a kid. She’s got an effective power, yeah, but there are so many other possibilities that would make more sense. So I’m not at all sure why he went with Armour. I love her, but still. Anyway, it’s still a fun comic, I’m still enjoying it. Also, this:

Cable #151

I’m not even totally sure why I love this so much.

That’s the X-titles, but I got sooooo many other comics. So, here’s quick talk about them.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #25, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Ben and Johnny are bringing some of Reed’s old junk to Lunella’s lab, and she finds HERBIE. Yay HERBIE? There’s some break-ins. Lunella reveals she’s been looking for Reed Richards. We drop in on Eduardo and Zoe, who are still The Best. And the Silver Surfer shows up. It’s a fun issue. The art remains gorgeous. Bustos and Bonvillain are just so good at what they do. Montclare’s doing good work, too. His Thing and Human Torch are both kinda obnoxious, but it’s amusing.

Black Panther #167, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leonard Kirk, Marc Deering, Laura Martin (with Matt Milla), and Joe Sabino. Shuri pays Thunderball a visit in prison. T’Challa needs him. Shuri is not impressed with him, and threatens to kill him if he slides back into villainy. Shuri’s hardcore like that. But hell yeah for having Dr. Franklin back in this book. And this issue also builds off a plot point from Amazing Spider-Man #648, when Sajani tried to make artificial Vibranium, and I love the way the shared universe can just randomly grab shit from other books. Also, Shuri shows T’Challa the Djalia, which is neat. And he learns some dark truths about Wakanda’s origin. More good stuff. Coates continues to build one of the most politically-minded comics I’ve read. He doesn’t shy away from the dirtiness. I like that. And Kirk’s art is great, too. Man, I remember when he worked on Peter David’s X-Factor. Now look at him. Good for him.

Luke Cage #167, by David Walker, Guillermo Sanna, Marcio Menyz, Joe Sabino. The Ringmaster has augmented hypnotic powers that have allowed him to take over an entire town. And now Luke Cage is under his control. Another inmate in the prison tries to get Luke to remember who he is, which leads to a prison riot. It’s good stuff. The Ringmaster is genuinely sinister. Which is unusual for him. He’s usually kind of a joke. But here, he gets to be evil, and entertainingly so. Great art, too. Good comic.

Captain Marvel #126, by Margaret Stohl, Michele Bandini, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Caramagna. Carol wakes up in space, and finds a space station. Zeta Flight. The computer calls her Corporal Danvers. The station’s crew seems to be missing. So, weird stuff! Puck has hair, and it doesn’t actually look bad on him. Carol’s total confusion throughout the issue is funny, especially a conversation with Black Widow, where she has absolutely no idea what’s going on. It makes for an enjoyable read, more or less. And, of course, pretty art.

Silver Sable & the Wild Pack #36, by Christa Faust, Paolo Siqueira, José Luis, Cam Smith, Terry Pallot, Paulo Sequeira, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Sabino. Before I talk about the comic, can I talk about Christa Faust? I’d never heard of her before she was announced for this one-shot. She does a lot of tie-in novels. Her original novels tend to be Hardboiled crime fiction. Before she became a writer, she worked in Times Square peep booths, then as a fetish model and a professional Dominatrix. She is, in short, pretty awesome. But anyway, the comic! Symkarian Neo-Nazis have captured a boat full of refugees. Much as I hate Neo-Nazis, I have to admit, these are some buff ladies. But, of course, it’s Silver Sable to the rescue, though not before she has to stab a shark that bit her leg. And she also slices the throat of an old Nazi woman. It’s easy to forget that Sable is hardcore like that. This issue also has a pretty perfect panel:

Silver Sable #36

She speaks for us all.

It’s a good issue. A solid one-shot. If Faust took on a Silver Sable ongoing, I’d definitely read it. She has Sable’s voice down well. Cold, but not as cold as she’d like to be. She’s still got that heroic streak she just can’t get rid of, and which hits her at the least convenient times. The issue’s also got some fun bits, outside of the Neo-Nazis. Who, as I said, are at least awesomely buff ladies. The art’s good, too. Good art team. Good expressions, good action. So, yeah, this was a good comic, and it’d be interesting to see what this creative team would do with an ongoing.

From → 2017

3 Comments
  1. Unfortunately my shop ran out of Generation X again before I got there, and I got there pretty early. So I’ll just need to add it to my annual Black Friday order.

    All-New Wolverine 27 is fantastic. Lots of tension, intense build-up, and just enough humour to mix it up a bit. Some good Easter Eggs in the art too – read the tombstones in the graveyard if you haven’t already.

    Cable 151 is fun. I’m sure the writer has a good reason for using Armor, and we may just not know it yet. I’m willing to give this series a chance to find out what it is.

    Glad to hear that Captain Marvel seems to be improving. If it continues to do so, I might need to start picking it up again. Still going to wait and see though.

  2. Gen X #9 continues to remind me why it’s my favourite current X-book. Honestly, being able to dredge some worth out of Quentin would be impressive by itself, but Strain can do that while also giving her full team/class opportunities to grow or show off, and walk the knife-edge of maintaining this very teen-friendly mix of humour and heart while still letting the tension grow on the fringes. And while I harbour the same issue with Pinna’s…long (?) faces, he’s excellent at staging scenes and showing expressions. Praying this one goes as long as it can.

    Cable #151 isn’t so impressive, but it continues the series’ upward climb away from the first 5 issues’ blandness. Malin’s art will never be for everyone – maybe not even for half a potential audience – but luckily I’m a 90s kid at heart so I find a certain joy in the oddness. He pulls off some nice tricks with his layouts too, like how on the page with that Armour panel you put up, Doop is chasing a butterfly through the bordering white spaces. And Brisson gets how to humanize Cable with brief flashes of whimsy in-between the teeth-gritted action man barks, which is pretty key.

    I don’t know what’s going on with Captain Marvel #126, but that’s decidedly intentional. ‘Dark’ mirror universes are old hat, but at least Stohl seems to have gone for a more imaginative change than just making everyone Nazis or whatever. Surprising to see the recurring villains dealt with so suddenly, though I doubt I’ll have trouble coming to loathe their replacement. Even regular Star-Lord is a punchable git.

    Glad you picked up the Silver Sable one-shot too. For what seems to be a comics debut, Faust did incredibly well. One-shots aren’t easy given how much needs to be in them to feel like a complete story, and given the art team still needs a decent amount of space to breathe, but here we get a simple plot, reversals of fortune, solid action beats AND good character work and it’s still over and done with in 22 pages. I wanna put this with Warren Ellis’ Moon Knight issues on a special shelf marked ‘COMPRESSED STORYTELLING: HOW IT WORKS’.

    • On Cable: Malin definitely brings the ’90s feel, even if the book is actually meant to take place in 2004. So I do appreciate that about the book.

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