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X-Men comics of September 26 2018

September 26, 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Just two more days of getting up early. Then, starting Sunday, I work 3-11, which is way better. Even better, I get Wednesdays and Thursdays off. So it’s a pretty good shift. Woot. Anyway, I have nothing to talk about, so let’s get to it.

X-Men Red #8, by Tom Taylor, Carmen Carnero, Rain Beredo, and Cory Petit. You know, I think I’m just going to post the second page.

X-Men Red #8

Preach.

So, a couple key points here. First off, this woman is amazing and I love seeing her wreck her co-host. Second, her commentary and the scrawl on the bottom both indicate pushback to anti-mutant hysteria, which is so great to see. I’m so happy to see an X-Men comic acknowledge that, hey, there are in fact people who don’t want to kill every last mutant on the planet. There are people who actually support mutant rights. Because there should be! There absolutely should be humans who support mutant rights. Anyway, Trinary uses Searebro to scan for more Sentinites, and learns Cassandra Nova has released swarms of Sentinites (which we saw on the first page). Trinary can’t turn them all off without tearing her mind apart, so Jean creates a link with Gabby, whose mind continually repairs itself, and who can’t feel pain so won’t be screaming. Cassandra uses the opportunity to get into Jean’s head, which lets Trinary know where Nova is, and she gives the location to the others so they can go fight her. Nova’s in Genosha, so Storm heads off to wreck her shit. Quite effectively. And Trinary saves the day by using the hate on the Internet. This is good. It’s got some really cool ways to battle Nova. Cool plans being used. And one hell of a Storm-being-epic moment. Storm’s made of epic, and even for her, this was awesome. Trinary is great, too. Her big double-page splash is really cool. The story is good, as the X-Men actively fight back against hate, and that page I posted shows how it’s working. There’s also some good humour throughout the issue. And man, I love the Jean/Gabby relationship. I really do. I want these two working together for a long time, because they’re just so good. The art’s good. I think Carnero handles big moments a bit better than smaller talking-heads stuff, but he does a solid job on the small stuff, too. The big stuff is just a little bit better. I’m thoroughly enjoying this comic, one of the most positive X-titles in a while.

X-Men Blue #36, by Cullen Bunn, Marcus To, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. The X-Men (with Bloodstorm) meet up at the Cape Citadel missile base for some nostalgia, then head off to tie up loose ends.

X-Men Blue #36

Yay X-Babies!

Scott says goodbye to his dad and the Starjammers, in a touching scene, with the Starjammers saying he’ll always be one of them. Aww. The team heads back to Madripoor, tell the Raksha that Lorna and Danger will be training them, and Hank gets a sweet goodbye with Gazing Nightshade. A romance that never actually got to develop. The Mothervine mutants are taken to Xavier’s. Then a Scott and Jean scene, where they smooch. It’s a good final issue. As always, Iceman and Angel are entirely superfluous. They get a few comments here and there, but Bunn never gave a shit about them in this run, and he doesn’t start now. They’re only there because they had to be, and I suspect that, if Bunn had been allowed to choose the team, those two wouldn’t have been on it. I don’t care about either character, but I do think that was one of this run’s biggest mistakes. You’ve got the characters, find out what you like about them and how to actually fit them into the story. But whatever. I think my favourite scene was actually Scott’s goodbye to the Starjammers. That was a really nice moment. Jean saying goodbye to Pickles the Bamf was also oddly touching. Also great: The art. I love Marcus To. So much feeling in his lines. And for an emotional issue like this, he’s a perfect choice of artist. I was never particularly keen on this series. I thought Bunn’s stories weren’t particularly compelling, for the most part, and Jimmy was so damn boring. It was a damn sight better than Gold, of course, and it had plenty of good stuff, too. I’m not sad to see it end, though it is a bit of a shame for the O5 to return to their time. I’ve enjoyed their story over the past few years. But I suppose it was probably time.

Domino Annual, by a bunch of people. First, by Gail Simone, Victor Ibanez, Jay David Ramos, and Clayton Cowles (who lettered all the stories.) How Domino met Outlaw! Domino and Diamondback were on a road trip to form a posse. Also, Domino hates smooth jazz. Outlaw’s drinking in a bar, and a guy calls her a filthy mutie, so she throws him out. And a pool table after him. And then it’s a bar brawl.

Domino Annual

Wow.

Domino and Diamondback find her after she’s kicked everyone’s ass, and Domino provokes her into a fight. And Domino calls her Applejack. Which I find cute. It’s a good story. Very cute. Fun. The fight is great, and the banter’s top-notch. I dig the art, mostly, but there are some panels that look a bit off to my tastes. I’ve always had that issue with Ibanez. I’ve always found his art a little inconsistent. Mostly good, sometimes blobby.

Next, by Fabian Nicieza, Juan Gedeon, and Jesus Aburtov (who coloured the rest of the stories). Domino and Cable in the bath, a callback to early X-Force. The story’s mostly Cable, fighting in the future, and feeling pissy about his life, and Copycat posing as Domino. A whatever story. I love Gedeon’s art here, but Nicieza brings little to the table, especially with the story not even being Domino-oriented in her own Annual.

Next, by Dennis Hopeless and Leonard Kirk. Domino, having stolen a Russian military helicopter and the original Crimson Dynamo’s helmet, drops in on Piotr, drinking away his sorrows after his failed wedding. The current Crimson Dynamo is chasing her. So Domino and Colossus take the Commando out. It’s a really fun story.

Domino Annual

Little hat!

Domino and Colossus were really fun together. So it’s cool seeing Hopeless revisit that pairing. The art’s good, too, Kirk does solid work.

Next, by Leah Williams and Natacha Bustos. Nightcrawler holds a support group for visible mutants. More specifically, weird mutants. And dear gods, Doop gets a long speech. I’m not translating it. It’s too long for me to be bothered. In addition to Kurt and Doop, there’s Eye-Boy, Beak, Maggott, Marrow, Kylun, Toad, Bling!, Thumbelina, Stacy X, and a big woman whose name I’m drawing a blank on. And Stacy X gets, hands-down, the best moment of her entire existence.

Domino Annual

And maybe the best moment of the issue, too.

I wasn’t a fan of Stacy X. She had a cool premise, honestly – a mutant prostitute who used her mutation as a way of making money. But she was not handled well. Not at all. She was handled so poorly. So to see her actually get such a powerful moment, where she gets to talk about how hard it was losing her mutation, it’s great. I love it. The whole idea of this story, the RejeX, mutants who can’t pass for human forming a support group. That is the shit I live for. I want so much more of this content. It is so brilliant, and it plays so well into the mutants-as-minority angle. There should be mutant support groups. Absolutely. And it was a cool set of characters Williams and Bustos went with. I love almost all of them, honestly. Thumbelina! Maggott! Marrow! Bling!! So many great characters. And such a heartwarming story. And Bustos’ art! I love her work. I’ve loved her since the start of Moon Girl, and she continues to be amazing. So much heart. This is a great story and I want more of it.

And finally, by Leah Williams and Michael Shelfer. This was actually a framing sequence running through the issue, showing how she spent the day. She woke up after a night of fun with Warpath, posed as a clown to kill someone at a circus, killed someone on a small swamp tour boat, wore a schoolgirl outfit to kill a dude who was implied to be a child molester, and then wished Kurt goodnight after the support group. It’s a fun framing sequence. Lots of amusing visuals. The Annual as a whole is great, well worth reading. Just a lot of fun, and then that brilliant RejeX story. (I really, really hope we get to see more of the RejeX.) The Nicieza story is the only weak spot; the rest of the stories are excellent. Great writing, great art, great everything. I loved this.

Extermination #3, by Ed Brisson, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Joe Sabino. Ahab mind-controls Old Man Logan to attack Hank, Adult Jean refuses to let Scott go back to help, and Jean insists on joining X-Force to find Teen Cable. The two young mutants from the first issue turn out to be sleeper Hounds, which is a pretty good plan by Ahab. It’s how he turned Logan. And he also turns Nightcrawler and Shatterstar, who attack Scott and Jean, respectively. And Boom-Boom reveals she’s not great at online shopping.

Extermination #3

Seriously, how did she make that big a mistake?

Also, her friend is going nuts, and she throws a bomb in his face. She really does have only one answer to every problem. And Teen Hank gets captured by Teen Cable. On a totally random note, I kinda dig Boom-Boom keeping the skirt from the Dead Mutants mini. It’s a nice change of pace from normal spandex costumes. Anyway, the issue. It’s fine. It’s more action, some more twists, some attempts to scare readers by making them think a character was dead (Adult Beast, in this case). The characterization is mostly good. Boom-Boom is obnoxious, as she should be. On the whole, the story’s still pretty bland. The art is great, though. Larraz and Gracia are killing it on the art. It’s gorgeous. The action’s exciting, tension is high, emotions are strong. I love the art. So the book is worth picking up for the art, but the story isn’t blowing me away.

Old Man Logan #48, by Ed Brisson, Ibraim Roberson, Carlos Lopez, and Cory Petit. 6 months ago, in the Northwest Territories, in a small bar, a couple drunks are smack-talking each other, with the bartender trying to keep them from fighting. Then a mysterious shadowed figure insults them. 3 months later, a small group of people is trekking through the darkness, trying to escape The King. He finds them and kills one, badly slashing another’s face. In the present, a couple guys are standing guard while The King keeps their wives. Logan comes up, and gets knocked out by the two guards. A kid wakes him and frees him, and then Logan’s taken to The King, who turns out to be Maestro, the evil future Hulk. So I guess this is just trying to clean up that loose end from earlier in the run. Also, there’s implied rape, so edgy. Meh. I think I could do without this story, honestly. I find the whole rapist angle of Maestro makes him a lot less interesting. Because he’s totally a rapist. He orders women to serve him, and context makes it pretty clear what kind of serving he wants. And it’s just a background detail, something to show how bad he is, rather than being anything that actually affects the women. The women don’t matter at all, which is such a common approach to shit like this. So many stories where a bad guy takes over a town, turns the women into his sex slaves, and they’re lucky if they get so much as a line of dialogue, because they just don’t matter. Their suffering doesn’t matter. They’re not people, they’re props. It’s stupid and shitty and a frankly hack thing to do. It’s lazy writing.

Old Man Logan #48

This is shitty storytelling.

Brisson and Roberson aren’t making any actual attempt to examine the shitty trend of women being treated as sexual objects. Quite the opposite, this story embraces it without giving it a second thought. Look how sexy these women are. That’s not for the story, that’s for the audience. That’s so guys can ogle the hot sex slaves. It’s shitty. Roberson’s a great artist – and he even draws a couple women who aren’t drop-dead gorgeous – but this image sucks. The rest of the issue is whatever, I don’t give a damn about Logan or Maestro. But this aspect of the issue, this use of women as sexual objects, is just awful. So, screw this issue.

And I would’ve talked about the non-X-stuff I picked up, but someone took my clothes from the dryer and I don’t know what the hell to do. I left a note, hopefully they contact me. But it’s left me in absolutely no mood to continue talking about comics, so I’m done.

From → 2018

5 Comments
  1. X-Men Red continues to be a good read. It’s not as good as I hoped, but it’s at least consistently better than average. And it does show a lot more balance between mutant supporters and anti-mutant protesters than a lot of X-Men comics do.

    I’ve heard the final issue of X-Men Blue is really good. The series as a whole is a mixed bag, but at least it went out on a high note. At least it wasn’t X-Men Gold.

    I definitely agree that the art in Extermination is better than the writing, although I wouldn’t call the writing terrible either. It’s a serviceable enough story – just not anything special.

  2. The big woman from Domino Annual #1 is Briquette of the Hell’s Belles, an old (and very obscure) X-Factor villain group.

    • Thanks, I saw someone name her on Twitter last night. I was just completely blanking on her. But I remember the Hell’s Belles. They were pretty fun, actually.

  3. The Domino annual was the pick of the week for me, although I agree the Nicieza story dragged it down a little. Actually, it annoys me a lot more than that for tangential reasons. I follow Nicieza on twitter (he’s nice!) and back when the Domino ongoing was announced, I recall him tweeting about how he regrets having spent so much time writing her as an accessory to other peoples’ stories (mostly Cable’s) without giving her agency of her own. Which was very honest of him. So I was curious – hopeful? – that his story for the annual would do something to make up for that, perhaps for once present Neena and Nathan as actual equals rather than her being the sexy sidekick. Instead, we got THAT. Whatever that was. Gedeon does some great pencils and inks, as you say, but chrissakes, what was the goddamned point? Honestly, replace that story with 1 page of Skottie Young’s Kid Cable shooting an oversized supersoaker and screaming “MANPAAAAAIIIIIN” and you’d accomplish the same thing with greater economy and more entertainment value.

    Still, the rest of it’s all excellent. We got a bad guy combining robot heads and cars into doomsday machines, we got the return of my favourite X-ship, and we got the Rejex, who need their own book. At least a mini (I dare not hope for an ongoing). It definitely feels like a backdoor pilot, but because Leah Williams is the MVP of this issue, she’s able to let the concept breathe on its own while still pulling it back to Domino at the end (it does help that the main series has brought up her own uncertainty with her looks in previous issues) so it still gels as part of the whole. Brilliant.

    Picked up Extermination #3 on a whim too, likely because of the X-Forcers on the cover. It was…very much the middle issue of an event comic. Never a lot of plot motion, just the illusion of it via scrapes and peril. But, y’know, enjoyable enough. Mostly everyone sounds right, there’s at least some cool action beats, and Larraz’ work is invariably cool.

    Gonna assume you picked up Man-Eaters. It’s very good, and ‘dangerous’ in all the right ways, as expected. And you better believe I made sure to get the glitter cover.

    Here’s to hoping you get your stuff back.

    • Actually, I pre-ordered Man-Eaters too late, so I didn’t get it this week. Going to have to wait for a copy to come in.

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