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X-Men comics of November 14 2018

November 15, 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Stan “The Man” Lee. That one hurts. I legitimately took Monday off work to mourn. Celebrity deaths rarely mean much to me, but this one was personal. I’ve been reading Marvel for as long as I can remember. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until my 20s when I actually started reading any of Lee’s work, and I’ve always thought his stuff to be dated. But he was still Stan Lee. Co-creator of the Marvel Universe, and the guy who made comics cool. Even beyond his contributions as a writer, his work as an advocate for comics had a huge impact. He helped turn comics into a community. Marvel’s had a huge influence on who I am. So I owe a lot of who I am to Stan Lee. So, yeah, this one hit me hard. But life goes on. So, comics.

Uncanny X-Men #1, by Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, Mahmud Asrar, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna. Madrox asks Jean where Kitty is, and then Laura stabs him through the head. And then the whole team is killing Madroxes. But it was all in Jean’s head. She’s sitting at breakfast, where Laura is eating orange slices off her claws. Which can’t be hygienic, but she’s got a healing factor, so what does she care. Meanwhile, Kitty is taking some of the students to fight Forearm. The students aren’t impressed. Nor should they be, Forearm is a loser, but it’s part of his charm. Kitty phases through the plane’s controls, shorting them out, and keeps going, so the plane crashes. In Africa, Storm and Beast are dealing with unnatural rains and a brand-new lake that already has fish and plants. Back in the US, the kids are up against the MLF: Forearm, Samurai, Strobe, Dragoness, and Wildside. Strobe once melted Cable’s metal arm, and Dragoness is probably most notable for flirting with Cannonball. Samurai is most notable for being perhaps the least interesting member of the MLF. During the fight, Forearm says that the clinic they were attacking was making a vaccine to eliminate mutants. He also gets a pretty good shot in on Rockslide.

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I kinda want to see these two insult each other for a few pages.

Nightcrawler, Polaris, and Laura show up to end the fight. Which honestly feels like overkill. But hey, Fastball Special.

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At least the MLF had the sense to know they were boned.

In Manhattan, a politician is giving a speech about mutants being dangerous and the development of a vaccine to prevent the X-gene. Jubilee and Bishop are in the crowd, and I have to assume it’s a reference to Adam Reck’s Bish & Jubez comics. Why Marvel hasn’t hired him to do those as back-ups yet is beyond me. Anyway, I want more Jubilee and Bishop hanging out, they’ve got a good chemistry. Warren and Betsy are also there, and Betsy says that Jubilee is planning on throwing tomatoes, and I love Jubilee so much. Cannonball is there with Northstar, and Jean’s there with Bobby. After the Senator finishes up, Kitty’s supposed to go speak, but she’s still not there, so Madrox goes up instead. And then a swarm of Madroxes pop up. Fight! Psylocke uses telekinetic weapons, a sword and shield. Very English, she’s going back to her roots, that’s good. Since she doesn’t look Asian any more, she’s not using Asian weapons.

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This is pretty sexy, honestly.

And then things go from bad to worse, as they usually do. Soooo . . . kinda meh? It’s not bad. The mystery being developed is mysterious. Some fun character dynamics get touched on, there are some good character beats. There are some good jokes, as all three writers are funny. I really like Asrar’s art here. Asrar’s a weird artist for me. I go back and forth on him. Sometimes, I don’t like it. Sometimes, I do. This is one of the times I do. It looks really good. Rosenberg’s colours help a lot. She’s fantastic. I don’t know if she’s been nominated for an Eisner yet, but I guarantee, she’ll be getting those noms soon. She’s too good not to. Anyway, on the whole, I’m reserving judgment. This comis is by no means bad. It didn’t necessarily thrill me, but it didn’t turn me off. The test is going to be how I feel by the third issue, I think.

There are also back-ups. All have colours by Guru-eFX and letters by Joe Caramagna. They’re just showing what the characters were up to leading up to the rally. A Bishop one, by Matthew Rosenberg and Mirko Colak. He’s in civilian clothes, staking out a building where Dark Beast is holed up. Some guys sneak in and there’s a boom so Bishop runs in, but the action’s over by the time he gets there, and Dark Beast is gone. Bishop keeps searching, and a couple days later, finds Sugar Man. Hey! I actually like that guy. And now he’s dead. For now. I’m sure someone will bring him back at some point. Honestly pretty neutral on this story. It’s a decent enough Bishop story, I suppose.

A Jean story, by Kelly Thompson and Ibraim Roberson. Jean’s in a coffee shop, waiting for someone, and an old lady sits beside her, and they chat.

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She’s a ray of sunshine.

Jean agrees that the world sucks, but also thinks there’s still hope. The old lady disappears, and Storm joins Jean for coffee and disaster.

An Armour and Anole story, by Ed Brisson, Mark Bagley, and Andrew Hennessy. They’re sent into the sewers, and they’re pretty bitter about it. They complain about feeling unappreciated, and they’re right. They deserve better. All the New X-Men do. It’s been a long time since the X-office has given a shit about them. Anyway, Dark Beast attacks them, then runs off. And Anole and Armour get called in to help with the situation that Jean, Storm and Bishop are dealing with.

An epilogue, by Kelly Thompson, Mark Bagley, and Andrew Hennessy. The situation is dealt with, Anole and Armour are pissy when they get sent back to the sewers, Bishop is worried about his disaster-predicting thing no long working, Jean is upset over the death of the woman she’s talked to in the coffee shop, and I’m preeeeetty sure X-Man spies on her from the shadows. That’s my guess, seeing as we know Age of X-Man is the next event, and both Dark Beast and Sugar Man appeared and were scared of the one hunting them. Anyway, as a whole, the story is fine. It’s fine. Whatever.

Domino #8, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Jesus Aburtov, and Clayton Cowles. On a totally random note: There’s a pretty decent chance that Gail Simone and Stjepan Seijic are going to do a Wonder Woman/Tomb Raider comic. Seijic posted some little cartoons of Wonder Woman ad Lara Croft flirting, Simone said she’d write the team-up comic, and it really seems like they might do it. But anyway, Domino! She’s not happy about having been hired to bring back a dude in a box, so she lets Morbius out, which results in a fight. Domino lets him drink some of her blood so he’ll be strong enough to tell them what’s going on. Vampires are infecting themselves with Morbius’ blood to spread his genetic disease among the human population in order to wipe out humanity. Which is, uh, not a good plan? Anyway, the four head to Barcelona to stop the plan. It’s a fun comic. There are a couple moments that are clearly meant to be tense but which aren’t tense at all, and which have zero tension to them. Those moments are disappointing. But Morbius is handled well. Awful but with a certain tragic nobility.

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You have to respect his honesty, right?

As for the art . . . well. I get why people don’t like it. It’s definitely odd, with long faces and proportions and all that. But Baldeon drew the women in a hotel room with their shoes off. Do you know how rare that is? For an artist to say, “Hey, they’re in a hotel room, maybe they shouldn’t be wearing shoes.” Because what kind of maniac walks around a hotel room with their shoes on? So I respect and appreciate Baldeon for thinking of that. Also, he got to draw a nude beach. He did not fill it with people the readers want to see nude. Again, that kind of authenticity helps.

And that’s actually all the X-stuff this week. So, the rest.

Ms. Marvel #36, by G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. Flashback! To the Silk Road in 1257! Side note: I’m waiting for the completion of a graphic novel about the Silk Road, A Voyage To Panjikant, by Marguerite Dabaie. She’d planned on releasing it a year ago, but there have been some delays. Health issues, other paid work, and if I’m not mistaken, her first book, The Hookah Girl, got picked up by a publisher, so I’m sure she had to do some work there. Anyway, I’m not upset about the delay, shit happens, and she’s still working on it, so it’s all cool. But Ms. Marvel. Yeah, this is a flashback, with Sir Brunello and Sir Joshua, mercenaries acting as guards for Lady Zoe and Lady Kamilah on the Silk Road. And they come across a fight between an Inhuman and a Skrull. And this is a really cute, sweet story. I love it. It’s so good.

Unstoppable Wasp #2, by Jeremy Whitley, Gurihiru, and Joe Caramagna. Bobbi and Ying working out science problems while sparring is wonderful. Nadia makes terrible puns while fighting a bull statue. And Nadia and Janet have their weekly date night. It involves a fancy French restaurant, followed by wrestling. It’s a great comic. Really cute and fun, but there’s some real drama going on, too. Also, Bobby and Ying bonding is really nice to see. They make a good pairing. It might be fun if Bobbi took on Ying as a protege, continuing to train her in being a scientist-superhero.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #38, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. Apparently, some urchins have been found to have lived for 200 years. Neat!

Exiles #10, by Saladin Ahmed, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, Muntsa Vicente, and Joe Caramagna. Caliph Doom! More Thousand-And-One Nights fun. I might want to read that sometime, actually. Anyway, I still find this comic fun. It’s not great, but it’s enjoyable.

Captain America #5, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Sunny Gho, and Joe Caramagna. Cap beats the crap out of Taskmaster. Which is impressive. He also recognizes Selene. He does his homework, even when it’s X-Men villains. Good for him. Good comic. Coates is building an interesting story, and he writes Steve well.


From → 2018, Uncategorized

  1. Similar feelings from me about Uncanny. It’s fine, but it’s just so much setup, and when the only immediate consequence of what happens is another monologue-happy pretend politician scoring easy points on the X-Men’s public image…we’ve been here before. Jesus wept, I don’t think we’ve ever left. I liked seeing the MLF again, and being treated somewhat fairly – they’ve always got more sympathetic goals than the Brotherhood, and they should by rights be able to handle a junior squad. Not sure if I’ll keep going past this issue, but there are characters and ideas planned for later I’m more enthused by.

    Noticed the thing about the shoes coming off in Domino #8 as well, but something nagged at me until I checked again and – yep, Outlaw had really thick socks on under her boots. Makes sense, she’s the one most likely to use “oh my cotton socks!” in conversation. Generally this issue was more about the art than the writing for me: Baldeón and Aburtov pull some real class out the drawer, with the Hammer-movie title page, the horrible, bloated sub-aqua vamp king, and the big bite page with the ragged reaction panels of Neena falling in a wedding dress as a callback to last issue.

    So far as other stuff goes, picked up Black Order #1 on a whim. Decent stuff, not a revelation but it does enough to justify putting time into characters that weren’t meant to amount to much. The main highlight is in the previews, where Corvus Glaive has a minor crisis of confidence and his wife is…her approximation of supportive, I guess.

    Also got the first issue of Bitter Root, a new Image book from the Power Man & Iron Fist creative squad of David Walker and Sanford Greene. It’s set in 1920s New York and follows a family of, essentially, demon hunters who’ve been caging and detoxing raging man-beasts called Jinoo for many generations. The issue also ends with some Blade-lookin’ badass murdering a pack of Klansmen which doesn’t seem obviously related to the rest of the story but…who cares? It’s awesome.

    Annnnd I forgot to pick up Exiles. Nuts.

    • Yeah, the MLF became a bit of a punch line, but they were a cool idea, had some cool characters (and some lame ones, sadly), and deserve some respect.

      Baldeon definitely did some really good layouts in Domino this week.

  2. Uncanny had some good moments, and the series clearly has potential. I’d call it good overall, but not quite great. There’s just a bit too much vague mystery to feel like a complete comic, even with its extended length.

    • Not helped by a solid chunk of that extended length pretty clearly being used to set up Age of X-Man.

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