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X-Men comics of January 9 2019

January 9, 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So I have a counseling consultation on Tuesday. I’m pretty nervous about it. I don’t like talking about myself, and my feelings. But I’ve lived with depression all my life, it’s time I tried to do something about it. Speaking of depressing things, there’s a new Captain Marvel trailer, and it has “Connection” by Elastica, which is an awesome song. And one that was originally released in 1994. It’s been 25 years since that song came out. I am so goddamn old. But hey, here’s comics.

Uncanny X-Men #9, by Matthew Rosenberg, Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, Yildiray Cinar, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna. X-Man has taken over Legion, and everyone’s a little concerned, especially since Nate’s kinda pissed. He grabs Madrox and starts punching him to try to create dupes, but it turns out it’s not Madrox-Prime. The main Madrox slipped away and is off drinking in a bar. So instead, X-Man turns Storm into his newest Horseman and sets the Horsemen to fight the X-Men, while he rants about how they’re the reason things can’t get better for mutants. The fight is going poorly, so Jean sends out a telepathic distress call to all the X-Men, which includes ones she never personally met, like Tempus and Goldballs.

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I see Maggott!

I also notice Frenzy working on a car. Cool. Her being into cars is a pretty cool little detail to add. Kylun’s in there, too, that weird-ass dude. Nice. Shame that Monet’s hair seems back to normal, I kinda dug the asymmetrical thing she had going on in Weapon X, would’ve been cool to see her continue it a little longer. Pixie can’t teleport them, though, so Armour comes up with the most insane plan ever to distract him.

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This idea proves she deserves to be on the main team.

Meanwhile, Beast yells at Anole for being stupid enough to give away the mutant vaccine Beast had been working on, telling him the government will use it as a weapon against mutants. Anole should not have been this stupid. He’s smarter than that. Also, Kitty saves that bigoted Senator from Apocalypse. And X-Man makes a very compelling argument that the fears the X-Men have always had about himself and Legion are the same fears humans have about mutants in general, which is a really good point. And it would’ve made for an interesting story, if that had been the story from the start. If this had been, from the start, a story about generational conflict. But until now, it never felt like that was the theme of this event. So, here’s a controversial statement: Bendis wrote event comics better than almost anyone else at Marvel. Because he made sure the themes were presented early and remained clear throughout. CWII, for all the online hate it got, was very clear in being a story about preventative justice. It had its problems, yes, but it also kept that theme at the forefront of the whole story. This event’s felt all over the place, with a lot of shit that felt like useless padding. Beyond that, trying to present the story now as a generational conflict comes with some fairly negative implications. Consider: Nate and David, the “grandchildren of the atom,” the younger generation, are mentally unhealthy to the point of being legitimate threats. Nate, who would be representing the youth in this story, is causing massive upheavals that will kill untold numbers of people in the name of a better world. He’s taken over people’s minds, he literally eliminated religious sites. He’s an extremist. And, if this story really is intended to have generational conflict as a theme, then the very clear conclusion to be drawn is that the youth are wrong. Further, that drastic action to improve the world is bad, and that the correct approach is the centrist approach of the X-Men. We must also consider how the New X-Men tie into the theme, of course. And that is: They whine about not being respected, debate among themselves whether they even deserve that respect, and then embrace the proven-ineffective centrist approach of the older generation. If the theme of this event is about generational conflict, then it’s handling that theme in the way that is most critical of younger generations. So, yeah, I have problems with it! As an action piece, it’s all very exciting. That spread of Jean calling X-Men around the world is cool, there’s some other really cool moments. The art is excellent, sells the action really well, it’s very good. But the overall story has, I think, officially lost me. I’m now only in this for the spectacle.

X-23 #8, by Mariko Tamaki, Diego Olortegui, Walden Wong, Chris O’Halloran, and Cory Petit. Laura and Gabby are under fire and call Beast to evac them and the woman they captured last issue. Gabby kicks some ass to clear a path.

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Very effectively.

And they head back to the school, where Beast confirms the girl is a clone, but with no healing factor. An X-23 cyberclone. Created by Dr. Chandler, the guy who created Laura’s trigger scent, and her clones. He’s back on his bullshit. As I said about the last issue, I have concerns with the book going back to this well again. One of the things I liked about Taylor’s run was the way it kept Laura moving forward, past clone angst, past “killing machine” angst. This series is going back there, and it’s a little disappointing. I like Tamaki, she’s a good writer, and she’s doing good work here. Laura thinks about how the fact that she and Gabby got past “living weapon” status didn’t provide her much comfort, because she knew someone would keep trying until they got their perfect killing machine, and she worried about the ones who wouldn’t be able to break free of it. That’s good stuff. There’s also continued tension between Laura and Gabby about what to do about the clone, with Laura repeatedly calling her an “it.” Again, it creates some good drama, and I do really like the way Tamaki is adding tension to their relationship. They still make a few jokes with each other, but they don’t have the perfect relationship they had under Taylor. And I really like what’s being done on that front. So I’m still enjoying this comic, even if I have a problem with the exact story being told.

Domino #10, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Michael Shelfer, Alberto Alurquerque, Anthony Piper, Victor Olazaba, Ed Tadeo, Carlos Lopez, and Clayton Cowles. Domino jumps off a building to catch Longshot and save him. She then prepares to defend him against Atlas Bear, but Outlaw steps in to knock Atlas Bear out. Once she wakes up, the team goes to the Mojoverse to try to save Longshot, who’s sick. While there, Atlas Bear has a change of heart and fights to save him. Also, Diamondback is delightful. She tricks a slaver and blows him up. With this being the final issue of this series, there’s lots of Domino narrating about herself and her friends. Example:

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It is a pretty great grin.

So yeah, Simone and her art team end things with a love letter to Domino and her friends. Obviously, it’s being relaunched as Hotshots, but still, this particular series is over, and it goes out with a bang. Lots of great art, exciting action, some great humour (and occasional terrible humour). I really liked all the art. There was a nice variety, and it all looked really good. This series was really good, it’s sad to see it end, though I’m also looking forward to Hotshots. I wonder if the second issue of that will be called “Hotshots: Part Deux.” If it’s not, I’m sure I’ll remember to make that ancient reference at that point. By the way, no bonus points if you get the reference, it just means you’re an old, like me, drawing ever nearer to your inevitable end.

Iceman #5, by Sina Grace, Nathan Stockman, Andres Mossa, Federico Blee, and Joe Sabino. It opens with a flashback to Bobby with Judah, and it’s a really sweet moment.

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That does seem to sum up how Iceman’s usually handled.

And then to the present, where it’s revealed – to the shock of no one – that the totally silent Iceman who melted last issue was just a golem, and the real Iceman has sneaked into Sinister’s lair. It was pretty obvious that it was a golem, I thought. At the Mutant Pride Parade, some of Sinister’s goons are about to start killing people, but the Morlocks stop them. Emma and Christian are there, and Christian wants to help stop the bad guys. He’s a good dude. And Emma is still That Bitch and I love her for it. Anyway, back to Iceman, who says Sinister is lonely. And also levels up with his powers, and kicks Sinister’s ass. Good conclusion to the mini. Iceman gets to show how powerful he is, makes a lot of bad jokes, and shows some of his heart. The flashback with Jonah, while sweet, really didn’t contribute much, unfortunately. I did like seeing Emma and Christian return for this finale. Still not a fan of Stockman’s art, but that’s just a matter of taste. He does good work, the action flows well and characters are expressive. He’s a good visual storyteller, which is the most important thing. It’s just a style I don’t like. As a whole, this series was good, but not great, and suffered, I think, from trying to do too much. It felt like there were a few different stories Grace wanted to tell, but since he only had the 5 issues, he smooshed them together. It still mostly worked, but some elements didn’t work as well as they would have, had Grace the space he needed. The Mutant Pride Rally stands out for that. Still, I’m glad he did include the rally, because it’s the kind of thing the X-Men franchise needs way more of in general.

And the non-X-stuff:

Captain Marvel #1, by Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain, and Clayton Cowles. Kelly Thompson on Captain Marvel! All-female creative team, too, which is good to see, I’ve been saying for a few years that this is a series that should be used to spotlight top-notch female creators. Anyway, in this issue, Carol gets swallowed by a kraken, and all she gets is a lousy t-shirt. Also, she and Tony bicker so well. And Hazmat! Yay! We knew she was going to be in the comic, but I didn’t expect her to get such a great introduction:

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I’ve missed Hazmat a lot.

Anyway, it’s a great comic. Thompson and Carnero come out strong. The dialogue’s snappy, the action’s smooth, there’s a lot to love. Plus, Hazmat! I love Hazmat!

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #40, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. Skrull mutant. The X-Men actually did that in ’99-2000. It didn’t really go anywhere. Anyway, G’illian’s story is very sad, but at least we get a bunch of squirrel names. Anyway, it’s a really good issue, very funny, but also very sweet. As usual.

Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #4, by Seanan McGuire, Rosi Kampe, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring, and Clayton Cowles. This issue’s Spider-Geddon aftermath, and I didn’t actually read Spider-Geddon (I’ll read it on Unlimited at some point, I’m sure), so I probably shouldn’t have started with this issue. Oh well, it’s still a really good story about grieving.

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From → 2019, Uncategorized

4 Comments
  1. That’s kind of a good way to look at Uncanny X-Men. The spectacle is impressive, but the story and character development often feels rushed. There’s no reason for a weekly series to feel rushed like this. I’ve seen weekly comics done well with Batman Eternal. It can be done. Same goes for DC’s year long weekly Trinity event. Then again, Countdown was a disaster, and on the Marvel front, Wolverines was very uneven and suffered a dreadful last issue.

    X-23 8 is really good overall. If the mentioning of the trigger scent is just a reference, then i don’t have a problem with it. And it is nice that there are occasional arguments between Laura and Gabby. After a while, their relationship didn’t feel real in All-New Wolverine. It actually feels like a sisterly relationship here. It’s an overall positive relationship, but it’s clearly not perfect.

    I didn’t find the time to read Captain Marvel yet (currently in the middle of house hunting), but I hope to catch up on that sometime soon.

    • Oh yeah, if Tamaki brings back the trigger scent, that’d be awful. And yeah, the arguments make their relationship even better.

      Good luck finding a house.

  2. Therapy is an investment in yourself and absolutely worth it. If the first therapist isn’t making a difference, then go get another one, they aren’t all going to be winners. It made a change in my life that I can’t understate. Go getcha some, you deserve it.

    • Luckily, I now have health insurance that covers it. I hate that I’m going to have to talk about – ugh – my feelings, but yeah, it’s something I’m in need of.

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