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X-Men comics of August 22 2018

August 23, 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). My farewell dinner was yesterday, which is why I didn’t post. I move tomorrow. I’ll leave Cornwall, and since my mom’s already sold her house, I can’t imagine I’ll ever be moving back here. Can’t say I’ll miss the place. There are three things I’ll miss: My cat, my LCS (Fantasy Realm), and a great local Greek restaurant called Philo’s. That’s it. Still, I have to admit, I’m kiiiiinda freaking out a bit. I lived in Ottawa before, but that was for college. This is for life. And I really don’t have a fallback if things don’t go well. Beyond that . . . holy shit, I’m moving. I’ve had to pretty much pack up my life. I’m having to abandon most of my books – I’ve got two kitty litter boxes with books I plan to bring with me, and two more with books going into a storage locker my mom’s getting. (And I’ve got a few other large books I’ll need to get a box for.) And 5 boxes of comics I want to bring, with I think 8 or 9 comic boxes going into storage. And that’ll basically be it. Clothes, my laptop, some little knicknacks, a few DVDs, a few CDs. But so much I’m leaving behind. So many books being left behind. As a book-lover, it hurts to abandon them. Even if I was never going to read any of them again, I liked having a bookcase full of books. It looked nice, you know? But all I can bring is what’ll fit into my friend’s car.

But hey, comics, right? I picked up a couple older comics, too. I got a copy of New Mutants #1, and even better, New Mutants Annual #1. Steal This Planet! Gods, do I ever want that cover on a t-shirt. Just the artwork, with the text removed. Because it’s a hell of a cover. I don’t collect old comics, but I saw that, and I couldn’t say no. And I picked up New Mutants #1 while I was at it. They were both cheap. $14 and $8. I think he only charged me $20 for the pair. Oh! I don’t think I mentioned it on here, but a bit ago, I watched I Kill Giants. It’s really good. Not as good as the comic, but very good, worth watching. I recommend it, especially if you don’t mind crying a bit. But! Comics!

X-Men Red #7, by Tom Taylor, Carmen Carnero, Rain Beredo, and Cory Petit. While Teen Abomination attacks Atlantis, the team trying to steal the dead ambassador’s phone from a plane get shot at. Trinary gets winged, and loses her connection with her pet Sentinel, which was flying above the plane. Gentle punches Teen Abomination out of the water, right into Storm’s mercy. She zaps him. So Atlantis is saved. Which just leaves the team on a falling plane. Of course it goes well, too. And Jean makes a statement to the world.

X-Men Red #7

Pretty great panel.

This issue is tough to talk about. Not much really happens. It’s got some exciting action, but even then, not that much. And almost nothing that really tells us anything about any of the characters. So on the whole, the issue actually feels like kind of a waste. I’d say the plane stuff is more interesting than the Atlantis stuff. Trinary getting shot adds some tension. Laura gets shot, too, she really should’ve kept the body armour. Gabby had the right idea. Wear something that doesn’t let bullets enter you. Anyway, as fun as the plane dive is, the issue as a whole is still, frankly, boring. Taylor can do better than this.

X-Men Gold #34, by Marc Guggenheim, Michele Bandini, Erick Arciniega, and Cory Petit. Ororo’s parents are back, thanks to Uovu, the god whose name literally means Evil. In New York, Kitty beats up some robbers in Mandroid armour, and Illyana shows up to talk to her about the wedding. Kitty tells her not to feel guilty about what happened, and also says Illyana will always be her sister. I guess Guggenheim wants to make it super-clear that Kitty’s totally straight. Bleh. It really does come across as Guggenheim trying to shoot down the decades of speculation about Kitty being queer. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s hoping to get another chance to have Kitty and Piotr get married, somewhere down the line, because that’s the ship from when he was younger, and he’ll be damned if it’ll go any other way.

X-Men Gold #34

“That should stop talk of them as lovers.” – A man who grossly underestimates how hard queer people cling to subtext.

“You’ll always be my sister.” Uh-huh. Nice try, Marc. Back in Africa, Ororo catches up with her parents, and also continues to investigate Uovu. She finds an underground chamber with the corpses of dead villagers, including Ainet. Which means, of course, super-dramatic Ororo.

X-Men Gold #34

Queen of Drama.

She confronts Uovu and he ups the evil factor. The Kitty/Illyana scene is the weakest part of the issue. The stuff with Storm, honestly, I feel like it needed a little more time with her and her parents. There was barely anything. Her shock and uncertainty about whether they were real, and then a couple panels later of her saying she doesn’t like being called a superhero. I think the issue would’ve benefited from showing her spending a little more time with her parents. As it is, their return doesn’t actually mean much, especially since they’re likely to die again next issue so Guggenheim can try to get cheap angst out of it, without putting in the work to earn it. We’ll have to wait and see next issue, of course, but that would be pretty typical of the rest of Guggenheim’s run: Trying to get people to care about things without putting in the work to make them care, and instead relying on them coming in with an emotional investment already. I have no complaints about the art, though. I love Bandini’s lines, and Arciniega’s colours. So the book looks good. It’s just bland writing.

Mr. and Mrs. X #2, by Kelly Thompson, Oscar Bazaldua, Frank D’Armata, and Travis Lanham. The Imperial Guard shoot down the cloaked ship Deadpool and Rogue are on, Cerise teleports away with the Guard, and Gambit heads down to the surface to make sure Rogue’s still alive. Deadpool tells Rogue that the egg is his, and he wants to get it back. Rogue declines. There’s banter and fighting, and then Technet shows up. It’s all fun and charming. Really fun, really charming. The dialogue’s great, with the three playing off each other really well. Rogue and Deadpool’s recent history in Uncanny Avengers gets lots of nods, especially their kiss. Deadpool flirts incessantly with Rogue, who still likes him as a friend and doesn’t actually seem too bothered by the flirting, she just doesn’t like the timing, what with the egg that’s being hunted. Rogue spends a lot of the issue trying to be The Responsible One, mostly because someone has to.

Mr. and Mrs. X #2

And it’s clearly not going to be these two.

I will say that the art makes it seem like she’s having fun despite herself. Not sure if that’s intentional or not, I’m guessing it is. She doesn’t seem to get upset or annoyed by the two, or really, by the Technet fight, either. A couple moments where she gets angry when the fight isn’t going quite the right way, but mostly, there’s a sense that she’s kinda having fun, and even enjoying Deadpool being around. The story progresses a bit at the end, with an interesting reveal, and it’ll be cool to see where that goes. But mostly, this comic’s all about the fun and the charm, and the book brings it.

Hunt For Guyverine: Mystery In Madripoor #4, by Jim Zub, Thony Silas, Leonard Kirk, Felipe Sobreiro, Andrew Crossley, and Joe Sabino. This issue kicks off with Psylocke being drained by Sapphire Styx, and her mind falling into a pit. She looks at some memories of her life, and then starts digging around in Sapphire’s head. Interestingly, being out of her body has her appearing in her white form, which is different from usual. Normally, even her astral self is Japanese. She finds a sliver of Logan’s soul, and frees it, so they can mess with Sapphire’s mind. And then she breaks Sapphire’s body apart, to reveal herself, in her white body. Magneto’s still too weak to stop the rocket, so Kitty hops aboard, while Psylocke, Jubilee and Domino fight Viper and her team. And obviously they’re victorious, the day is saved. Psylocke uses misdirection rather than ninja skills, so she really is back to her ’80s self. With that all done, Jubilee checks how Psylocke’s doing, in the way only Jubilee can.

Mystery In Madripoor #4

The mini couldn’t end without Jubilee getting one more bit of food.

That’s fitting. Jubilee was there when Psylocke first got her memories back after turning Japanese. Nice that she’s there when Psylocke gets her own body back. And she asks the perfect questions. She does also ask how Betsy feels, but that she starts by asking if she remembers the dumb shit is great. But yeah, the big thing here is that Psylocke is white again. This is something a lot of people have wanted for a while. It was always weird that she was turned into an Asian. It was uncomfortable, and a lot of people hated it. At the same time, she was visual Asian representation. I know X-Plain the X-Men had on an Asian-American woman who talked about her complex feelings about Psylocke looking Asian without having been born Asian. I imagine there are other Asian-Americans with similarly complex feelings about her. Still, this was probably the best way to go. The question is whether it’ll stick. Psylocke’s iconic as a ninja. She was even just added to Future Fight, with her ’90s leotard and baffling gratuitous straps. That look is how she’s best-known. It’s what most readers grew up with, it’s what she had in the ’90s cartoon (which she barely appeared in, but still), it’s what she’s worn in video games. X-Men Apocalypse had her looking like that. So it’s her definitive look. And we know how much the X-Men office loves going back to what’s familiar. So is Psylocke going to remain white, or in a couple years, is some other writer going to find some way to make her a Japanese ninja again? In the meantime, I do think it’s a shame she’s lost most of her fighting skills. I assume she’ll still get moments here and there where she beats people up while talking about being trained by Wolverine, but she won’t be a ninja any more. No more awesome acrobatics, no more ridiculous telekinetic weapons. The Uncanny X-Men teaser does indicate she’ll still use psychic knives. Eh, maybe she’ll still have some of her ninja skills. I kinda hope so. All that said: This mini ultimately has nothing to do with Logan, and would’ve been better as something other than a Hunt For Guyverine tie-in. Letting it be its own story would’ve done a lot to make it more palatable. As with the other minis, this was well-made, but still a shameless cash-grab.

Old Man Logan #46, by Ed Brisson, Damian Couceiro, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit. Something bad is going on in Nova Scotia. Logan’s in Ontario, and he gets picked up by Alpha Flight. Guardian, Puck, Snowbird, and Shaman. Shaman confirms Cecilia Reyes’ diagnosis of Logan’s skeleton poisoning him. He tells Logan he’s dying and there’s no way to stop it. As the group explores the town that was wiped out by some sort of alien plant thing, Logan and Puck talk about being old. Logan admits he wants to be with his family. They find the alien plant, and the people and animals it’s been absorbing, all dead. Logan and Puck do find, of all things, a post office that the vines have avoided. And then they almost get killed by the vines.

Old Man Logan #46

The best motivation to be a vegetarian.

Also, superhero comics are great:

Old Man Logan #46

The friendliest polar bear.

Anyway, this is fine. Logan feeling old and tired is interesting. His willingness to die, even hoping for it. It’s somewhat unusual in a superhero comic, though far from unheard of. It was also nice seeing Alpha Flight again, or at least some of them. Puck! Snowbird! Man, I love Snowbird, I wish she got more to do. Regardless, Logan’s fatigue mixed with the plot of an alien plant is an interesting enough read. Good art. Not familiar with Couceiro, but he does good work. I like him. Be interesting to see how his style develops over the next few years.

And the non-X-stuff.

West Coast Avengers #1, by Kelly Thompson, Stefano Caselli, Triona Farrell, and Joe Caramagna. Land sharks! Kate being crazy! Snark! Cute boyfriend! Wet towels! Giant Tigra! BRODOK! This comic is ridiculous and awesome and great. The whole creative team kills it. Caselli’s lines and Farrell’s colours provide the perfect complement to Thompson’s dialogue. The whole thing is so much fun. But there’s still sincerity, which is crucial. Kate and Johnny are a cute couple, and the Gwenpool/Quire animosity is loads of fun. I love it all. Also, we get to meet the worst heroes in LA.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #34, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Devil, now Devin, goes to school, and antics ensue. Also, Eduardo totally likes Zoe but can’t admit it. And Princess is awful. This comic remains great. Really fun. Looks great, lots of funny bits. I really gotta wonder why you’re not reading it yet.

Black Panther #3, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Daniel Acuna, and Joe Sabino. This is such an odd story. It’s very exciting stuff, though. Lots of action. Only a few small character moments here and there, and I’d like more focus there, but Coates and Acuna are doing a big and ambitious story and it’s pretty great.

Wakanda Forever: Avengers, by Nnedi Okorafor, Oleg Okunev, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Sabino. Nakia gets the meeting with T’Challa that she’s been looking for, and he asks her to help stop the monster she’s unleashed, and apologizes for how hard her life’s been. T’Challa’s a good dude. Also, Storm finds the Mimic-27 uncreative. It’s a good finale to the arc. The Avengers get very little to do. This is mostly about the Dora Milaje, and mostly about Nakia’s redemption. So that’s cool.

Life of Captain Marvel #2, by Margaret Stohl, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Marcio Menyz, Marguerite Sauvage, and Clayton Cowles. Carol struggles with learning her father cheated on her mom, a very polite Canadian gets murdered by an alien, and Carol does not understand her family. This is pretty good. It has the heart and emotional weight that Stohl’s run has lacked.

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From → 2018

3 Comments
  1. G'kar permalink

    Well, x men Red was pretty good. I thought Life of Captain Marvel # 2 was just a good as the first issue, yeah poor Farmer guy offered to take Kree lady (well I’m guessing she Kree.) to the hospital and got a fist to the face. I thought the Han and Leia action figures in Carol’s room was a nice touch. Also, I liked the interaction between Carol and Louis, it seems he had a crush on Carol when they were younger. Even though we’ll probably never seen Louis again after this mini at least we learned something about him.

    • What I liked about the farmer guy is that he was so Canadian. “Oh hey, naked blue lady coming out of an explosion, I should make sure she’s OK.” An American would be grabbing his gun and telling her to keep back, but the Canadian politely asks if she wants some clothes. And yeah, Louis seems like a decent guy. But man, that accent. Stohl’s clearly a Claremont fan.

  2. I’d say X-Men Red 7 is good, but not great. The plane action is the best part of this issue because of the added tension and how the team needed to act quickly to prevent a disaster. Apart from that, there’s nothing special about this issue. Very little room for character moments, the Atlantis fight felt too short, and the ending felt a bit rushed.

    The sooner X-Men Gold ends, the better.

    I forgot that West Coast Avengers released this week. I’ll have to pick it up next week if there are any copies left.

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