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X-Men comics of November 21 2018

November 22, 2018

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Ugh, Black Friday weekend coming up. It’s going to be so busy. It’ll suck. In better news, I’ve finished She-Ra, and it’s so good. Such a great show. Really fun, great humour, great characters and character dynamics. Really positive, I liked the body diversity. The whole show is full of queer subtext, which made it even nicer when Spinnerella and Netossa were basically confirmed as girlfriends in the final episode. It’s a great show. I loved it. And now I’m watching Iron Fist season 2, which is . . . less enjoyable. But now, comics!

Uncanny X-Men #2, by Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna.Giant and extinct animals have popped up around the world, and various heroes have their hands full. The Rockies are lacking heroes, and see, this is why Iron Man formed the Initiative. Dinosaurs popping up in Montana wouldn’t be a problem if Montana had its own super-team. But noooo, one massive Skrull infiltration and a supervillain taking over the country, and suddenly having heroes everywhere is a bad idea. Anyway, a team prepares to head to Montana.

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Another day, another dinosaur.

Also, co-ed changing room? I don’t know, that seems iffy. I suppose most of them have probably seen each other naked at some point or another. Anyway, Jean senses Madrox in Kansas, and sends Storm there with a team. Jubilee is very upset that she doesn’t get to fight dinosaurs. Jubilee knows what’s cool. Back at the school Armour is angry that she and the other New X-Men were left behind again. She’s not wrong. On the other hand, I honestly find it hard to really enjoy this sub-plot because I know – I know, with 100% certainty – that it won’t actually end up leading anywhere. Oh, it’ll have a pay-off in this story, but once this event’s over? These kids will go back to not mattering. They’ll go back to being wallpaper. So a story where they complain about being wallpaper is really only worthwhile if it results in actual change, with them not being wallpaper any more. GIVE THEM AN ACTUAL FRIGGING SERIES AGAIN, X-OFFICE! I don’t give a shit about this lampshading about the New X-Men being ignored if it ends with them going right the hell back to being ignored. YOU MAKE THESE DAMN STORIES, YOU GET TO ACTUALLY CHANGE THINGS. But no, these bastards would rather ONCE AGAIN go back to Scott leading the X-Men and Logan being in a half-dozen comics a month than to actuallymake use of the New X-Men. And yeah yeah, maybe I’m just being cynical, maybe they actually will get another ongoing series, but the X-office has given me absolutely no reason, over the past several years, to believe that will be the case. Anyway, Beast is up at the smashed medical clinic, and overhears a couple cops complaining about muties, just to remind us that every single human being on the entire face of the planet hates mutants. Storm’s team fights a massive horde of Madroxes with weird bonus powers in Kansas, presumably his farm. And in Montana, Laura cuts her way out of a T-Rex’s stomach, because Laura is awesome. Best part is Jean being all concerned when Laura gets eaten, and Bishop saying, “Just give her a minute.” Like it’s the first time Laura’s been swallowed by something? Please. I do have one complaint about the moment, and it’s the lack of gore on her when she climbs out. Remember in Hopeless’ All-New X-Men run, Laura got eaten at one point, and when she cut herself free, she was just covered in gore. It was great. But Silva and Rosenberg leave her clean, which is disappointing. And OH HEY there’s an anti-mutant protest on the Xavier School front lawn, we don’t get enough anti-mutant protests, you know? So. Freaking. Tired. Knock it the hell off with this shit, X-office. We get the point, being a minority consists solely of people hating you for existing, no one is on your side, try something else already. Anyway, the issue. It doesn’t actually advance the plot at all, it just keeps throwing more dangers at the X-Men while reminding readers there’s A Mystery, and it’s Very Mysterious. Yippee. There are some fun character interactions, but it’s not like anything’s being done to advance any of the characters. Shit, even with the New X-Men, Armour’s pissy about being forgotten about by the X-Men, but the others have no real problem with it. (And, again, the only way this sub-plot is worth doing is if it leads to actual, ongoing use of the characters. If they get thrown back into limbo when this ends, then the sub-plot is an insulting waste of time.) Two issues into this relaunched UXM, and honestly, I’m already losing patience. Because, so far, there’s nothing really there. There’s some clever dialogue, a few cool moments. But there’s nothing really new yet. It’s still early. There’s time to wow me. Buuuuuuuuuuuut the solicits for #11 and 12 make clear that those two issues are going to be about Scott and Logan, so those issues will almost certainly piss me off (I love Scott, but he does not need to be the eternal leader of the X-Men, other characters exist, other characters can be allowed to lead the team). Sigh. At least some of the Age of X-Man minis look cool. I’ll be picking up X-Tremists, Nightcrawler, and Prisoner X, all based on the writers. I’m on the fence about Nextgen. I like the cast, but I haven’t read that much by Brisson, and what I’ve read hasn’t really blown me away. So I don’t know. I’ll figure it out later, I guess. But I’ll probably do that one digitally. As for UXM? At this point, it’s facing an uphill battle to win me over.

Astonishing X-Men #17, by Matthew Rosenberg, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata, and Clayton Cowles. The Reavers, now controlling Sentinels, think they’ve killed Havok’s team, and fly off. They were actually seeing holograms of the team, made by Dazzler. Nice, a callback to Eve of Extinction, when she used that trick against Magneto. Alex decides to call it quits, while the others call him out for it, and a window shows the Warlock’ed Dani and Strong Guy (and maybe Karma, maybe someone else, they’re really shadowy so it’s hard to tell), as a visual reference to Dead Souls, which would be cuter if I wasn’t still mad at that comic. The Reavers are attacking the X-Men, so Havok and his team go down to help out.

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Kitty REALLY likes how that laser feels.

The fight doesn’t go great, Banshee shows up and takes out one of the Sentinels, the Reaver who was riding it infects the nanotech Beast injected into Banshee to siphon off the Death Seed energy. Banshee loses control, so Dazzler just stands in front of him as he screams, because Dazzler is awesome. Case in point:

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Alison Blaire is a beast.

So that pretty much ends the fight. Piotr brushes off Kitty, Banshee declines any more experimentation now that he has his mind back. Alex and Ali have a really nice moment, I’ve missed their friendship. They crap on each other, but it’s always friendly, and there’s a lot of mutual respect. As for my opinions on the arc. Well, let’s set aside the art. My opinion on Greg Land is pretty well-established by now (I hate his art). So I won’t bother going on about that. In terms of the dialogue, it was good. Lots of funny bits. The story as a whole . . . mmmm, I’m mixed, I must admit. There’s a part of me that objects to the extent to which several team members were portrayed as losers. Alex admits he’s a bad leader, but he’s been a pretty successful leader on multiple occasions. I can buy that he’s a bad leader at this point in his life. That he’s in totally the wrong head-space to be a good leader. He just recently got over his Axis inversion, and given how often before he’s been a villain, whether through brainwashing or as part of a scheme, the fact that he’s not really acting the way he normally does is easy to reconcile. He’s forcing himself to be more irreverent than usual. Actually, no, I need to talk about the art, because that’s the real source of the dissonance for me. Alex has often been the kind of leader who makes jokes, but he usually had either a straight face or a subtle smirk for them. Land gave him the big grins, and that is what made the character feel less authentic to me. Rosenberg’s dialogue was fine, it largely fit the character, but Land’s art is not a good fit for Alex at all. Regardless, the Team of Misfits premise is handled well, as the arc shows them growing into a team, getting their shit together in time to save the day. Well, Dazzler had her shit together all along, and kicked the most ass, but that’s how it should be. Dazzler’s awesome. We’ve also got Banshee back more-or-less to normal, but in a way that gives the next writer to use him plenty of leeway in exactly what direction they take him. All in all, it was a good story, hampered by the art.

Weapon X #26, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Luca Pizzari, Roberto Di Salvo, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. Sabretooth wakes up in a hospital room in Hell, and someone from accounting comes in about his bill. Turns out, she’s one of the Morlocks that he killed.

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Hey, small Hell, huh?

She tells him he’s going to be spending a very long time paying off the things he did when he was alive. He doesn’t think he belongs there, until he finds his son also there. Meanwhile, Deadpool’s idea of Hell is apparently bombing at a comedy open mic night. Domino’s Hell is having to listen to his jokes. They’re rescued by Omega Red and Mystique. Sabretooth wants to bring Graydon back out of Hell, Mystique isn’t on board with that idea. Which is fair, since she’s the one who killed him. And then the devil shows up, explains that Azazel is using his powers to keep their bodies frozen in time so their healing factors don’t revive them, and has no objection to them going after Stryker. It’s a good comic, with some good commentary on the characters. Domino calling out Deadpool was really satisfying, pointing out that his constant need to be the centre of attention ends up ruining whatever those around him are trying to do. It’s a definite problem with the character. But Sabretooth’s portion of the issue is the strongest. He’s forced to confront the fact that he is a monster. He wants to believe he doesn’t belong in Hell, even as he thinks about getting revenge on the people in the hospital, and plans on murdering someone who keeps screaming. He’s “inverted,” he’s trying to be a hero, but he’s still The Worst, and the moment he realizes that is really effective. The art is good, it effectively tells the story, including the right emotional beats. This issue’s less fun than usual, but it replaces that with more weight, so it’s just as good.

Mr. and Mrs. X #5, by Kelly Thompson, Oscar Bazaldua, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Sabino. Rogue and Xandra are gone, which means the fight is over. The Imperial Guard and the Starjammers both leave, while Gambit and Cerise stay behind. Then a flashback to the fight, which was going poorly even before Deathbird showed up, but Xandra comes up with a plan. Which seems to go wrong, but it was an illusion. Naturally. Gambit’s not happy about it, though. He’s pissed that she didn’t warn him. She tries to calm him down, but then she accidentally absorbs him, along with Cerise and Xandra, until she puts the damper collar on. She’s pretty deep in shock, but Remy snaps her out of it by showing a pair of diamond rings Bling! gave him for the wedding. Remy’s a good husband. Thompson has sold me on the Rogue/Gambit ship. I was never really into it, but she does such a good job with it. This is another good issue, with Gambit, of all people, really giving Rogue a lesson on what a partnership is. So weird to see Gambit being the mature one. Feels wrong. But it’s sweet, because it shows just how much he loves her. She makes him a better person.

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Look how much they love each other.

Rogue’s power being more out-of-control than ever is an interesting development, we’ll see where that goes. Cerise and Xandra are now out of the book, but I hope we see them again, if not in this series, than in another one. Xandra gets to show how clever she is, with the plan for ending the fight by making everyone think she’s dead. I’ll miss Xandra. Oh, this issue also brings back Gambit’s cats. Yaaaaay! They’re good kitties. I like cats. I really like the art in this comic, too. Bazaldua and D’Armata draw very attractive people.

And the non-X-stuff.

West Coast Avengers #4,  by Kelly Thompson, Stafeno Caselli, Triona Farrell, and Joe Caramagna. Hawk-kate. Katehawk? Kate as a giant hawk. Not gonna lie, she rocks the look. Lots of action, lots of fun, America is now dating Ramone, Gwenpool and Quire continue their delightful hate-mance. Lots of great stuff. This is such a good series.

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #37, by Brandon Montclare, Georges Duarte, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Christmas issue! With Santa as a guest star, because Santa is canonically real in the Marvel Universe. Superheroes have teamed up with him. My favourite Santa team-up was with Captain Marvel, just because of how she didn’t even bat an eye at Santa being real. This issue isn’t a Santa team-up. Instead, Lunella has to finish Santa’s job. And it’s really cute and fun and it’s just so good. I love it.

Shuri #2,  by Nnedi Okorafor, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and Joe Sabino. It’s good. I enjoy it. It’s going to take me a little longer to adjust to it clearly being Movie Shuri, rather than Comics Shuri. But Okorafor has fun writing her. The story is fairly interesting, though it’s taking a weird detour with the next issue. I’m not sure about it right now, but I guess we’ll find out how it goes. Still, for the most part, I’m enjoying the series. But I’m more interested in LaGuardia, the Image comic Okorafor’s doing with Tana Ford. I get the impression it’ll be a lot more interesting.










From → 2018, Uncategorized

  1. You could have summed up your entire Astonishing X-Men review with that Kitty Pryde picture and that caption if you wanted. That pretty much says it all – good story with terrible art.

    I’ve read enough weekly comics to know that they often start a bit slow, so I’m not worried at all about Uncanny X-Men yet. That and the last page reveal gives me hope that they’ll start explaining what’s going on soon. That said,I can understand why someone would lose patience when both of the first two issues are really just building up towards some sort of mystery. Besides that though, Uncanny 2 is fun, with some great action and fairly good art. I liked it, but I’d like it more if we get at least some answers sooner rather than later.

  2. I quite like the art actually! At least in that pic, though I can’t figure out if they floating in cloud or lying on the floor 🙂

    • The Rogue/Gambit picture? They’re laying on the ground. On some alien planet or moon, I forget which.

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