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X-Men comics of February 6 2019

February 7, 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Whew, this was a long day. It’s my birthday. I’m now 34 years old. I am not even in the vicinity of being in a place I want to be. But I’m now in counseling, and that should help. (My first session tomorrow.) So, hopefully, when I turn 35, I’ll be on a path to somewhere good. But the reason this was a long day is because I went to see my mom, and on the drive back, the roads were bad, there was freezing rain, and my friend’s car has terrible windshield wipers. It meant she had to drive really slow, so it was a loooong drive. But I made it! And now, comics!

Uncanny X-Men #11, by Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna. The issue starts with a simple truth.

thesame

Then tell a new goddamn story!

OK, I’m already pissed off. Acknowledging that the X-Men tell the same damn story over, and over, and over, does nothing to change the fact that this is that same frigging story AGAIN. Tell a new story. Tell a story that isn’t about every single human wanting to personally murder the entirety of mutantkind. Tell a story where mutants are doing pretty OK. Tell that story. GIVE US THAT FUCKING STORY, X-OFFICE. Don’t just lampshade the fact that you’re obsessed with doom’n’gloom to the point of the franchise being downright miserable to read. Cleverly referencing your own lack of creativity is not actually clever, it is infuriating.

But anyway, Scott gets hit on by a redhead in a coffee shop, then he steps outside to help Blindfold, who’s being harassed by some anti-mutant jerks. She tells him they’re all dead, everything’s changed forever, and not to do what he’s thinking of doing. He visits Ben Urich for help finding the X-Men, but Urich says they’re all dead. A drunken Scott gets visited by Madrox. Then he visits Callisto, and it seems the Morlocks are having issues.

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The “dog ate my homework” of the Marvel Universe.

Chamber is also with the Morlocks, and he chews Scott out for making the X-Men look bad. Yeah yeah, Cyclops was wrong, keep telling yourselves that anyone will actually believe that, X-office. Anyway, Madrox tells Scott where Blindfold is.

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Gotta love how respectful the X-office is of the New X-Men kids.

Yeah, Blindfold committed suicide. Scott then visits a rally by an anti-mutant woman running for Senate. Some brief chaos erupts when Scott calls her out, until Captain America breaks it up. And then Scott calls him out, too, for not doing jackshit to help the mutant cause. He’s not wrong. Things seem to be worse than ever for mutants – for the millionth goddamn time – and Captain America’s done nothing. It’s hard to be mad at Cap, though; no, I’m madder at the X-office. Scott then calls for any remaining mutants to meet him in Westchester, and he’s instead met by a whole bunch of anti-mutant dudes. And Logan joins to help him. Yippee. So. This is a well-made comic. But it’s a well-made comic that isn’t doing anything even the least bit new. There is nothing here I haven’t read. Mutants worse off than ever? That is the most common status quo they’ve had for the past nearly 15 years. M-Day until AvX was 7 years, then 4 years later, there was the Terrigen poisoning, which lasted another couple years, and less than two years after that ended, here we are. Blindfold is killed off for shock value, because it’s not like we haven’t seen former students killed for shock value. I’ll have more thoughts on that in a it. And it ends with Scott and Logan reunited, again. Hurrah, The dialogue’s good. The art’s good. The whole thing is handled competently. But holy shit, am I ever tired of every single thing in this entire story.

There are two back-ups. First, by Rosenberg, John McCrea, and Mike Spicer. Logan comes across Kid Cable, who tells Logan to look out for Scott. He goes to get answers from Layla. Hey, nice to see her again, still alive, living with Madrox. Now leave her alone. Don’t you frigging dare kill her off. She sends him to the sewers to talk to Blindfold, and runs into Velocidad. Hey, that guy. He’s old now. Which is reasonable. The way his power works guaranteed he wasn’t going to have a long life. Logan then finds Blindfold doing well for herself, in order to hide better. At the rally Scott attended, Logan meets Black Widow and Winter Soldier, and he calls them out for not doing more to protect mutants. Meh, whatever, I don’t give a damn about Logan. Having a bunch of people tell him cryptic shit isn’t exciting.

Second, by Rosenberg, Juanan Ramirez, and Rachelle Rosenberg. Loa’s dead. Aaaaaand here’s where I go on another rant. So. This issue kills off both Blindfold and Loa. Two 2000s female student characters. What it means is that, unless the story is going to end in a way that retcons everything, there are pretty good odds these characters are just dead. Blindfold might get to come back. Loa? She’s gone. She’s dead forever, and she will never be brought back. Because characters created later than around 1990? They don’t get to be resurrected. Synch’s been dead for 18 years now. Skin’s been dead almost as long. All the New X-Men kids who died on M-Day? Still dead. The ones killed in the bus attack a couple issues later? Still dead. Characters like Scott and Logan have guaranteed resurrections, they’ll never stay dead, they’ll always come back and get to be the most important X-Men again, with anyone who’d been prominent while they were gone being pushed back to the sides. (Think Kitty or Jean or Storm will be leading the X-Men after Age of X-Man? I think we all know who’s going to be the leader.) So killing off two in one issue? Yeah,the X-office clearly has a lot of respect for those characters. Anyway, blah blah, she sees she has no future and is going to die so she decides to kill herself instead. Real cheerful stuff. I’m fine with doing a story about suicide, although a content warning probably would’ve been a useful thing to include. Mostly, as I said above, I just hate the way the X-office kills off young mutants with plenty of potential, and then never resurrects them, because they’d rather engage in nostalgia-wank with old characters who’ve already been explored in extreme depth. So what-frigging-ever to this entire issue, which gives us nothing the least bit new, and kills off characters who won’t get to be resurrected.

Age of X-Man: Marvelous X-Men #1, by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Marco Failla, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Nate blah blah blahs as the X-Men engage in mundane activities, most of them using their powers. Storm washes clothes using a miniature rainstorm. Magneto prepares food with magnetism. Laura tightens a screw with her claw, and OK NOPE. Nope, can’t let this pass. This would not work. Her claw cuts through steel with ease. It should completely strip the screw the first time she turns her wrist. No, I’m sorry, I cannot accept adamantium claws as screwdrivers. But fine, there’s more story after this, so I GUESS I’ll move on. The team gets called together to deal with wildfires on the west coast. As some of the team rescue babies in birthing pods, Laura gets a flash of her sister. Yadda yadda, more rescue stuff, here’s the only important thing this issue:

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I think we all insist Fungus stick around.

Later, Laura talks to Nate about Gabby, and Nate just erases her memories of Gabby, again. This issue is . . . let’s go with unfortunate. This is mostly a set-up issue. The thing is, we already had a set-up issue. It leaves this one feeling a little redundant. The setting’s already established. So are the characters. So why do we need another issue establishing the setting and the characters? We do get some tension with Laura starting to remember Gabby, and X-Man doing a mind-wipe, and I’m hoping that’s going to be a central conflict in this series. But I’m honestly not entirely sure what the point of this particular series will be. This is only the first issue, but I’m already worrying about the possibility that this series might end up feeling a bit disjointed. We’ll see. The art’s nice. Failla and Milla make the perfect world look reasonably pretty. Milla’s pastels give the whole thing a dreamy quality, which fits really well. I think what I’d love is for flashes of memory to have more vibrant colours, to contrast better. Beyond that, this issue just feels superfluous.

X-23 #9, by Mariko Tamaki, Diego Olortegui, Walden Wong, JP Mayer, Scott Hanna, Chris O’Halloran, and Cory Petit. Gabby is trying to bond with the mute cyborg clone, while Laura doesn’t trust it. Beast has found the clone was made with corrupted DNA, so it doesn’t have a healing factor. He also found a signal being sent to it, and Laura goes out to trace it. Her enhanced senses pick up something very important about the place she goes.

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Valuable insights.

Back at the school, Gabby’s lost the cyborg. Also, X-Cow cameo! Turns out she’s a D&D fan! And Laura wrecks a whole lot of robots. It’s awesome. Gabby’s continued attempts to connect with the cyborg are really sweet. I love Gabby’s sweetness. Laura’s scepticism is sensible. And her fight with the robots is awesome. Great layout. So I like this issue. I’m worried there’ll be some horrible twist that’s going to be heartbreaking, though. I think Gabby’s going to be hurt, emotionally. Honestly, it’s probably time for her relentless optimism to face a serious pushback, so she can overcome it and all that. But it’ll still be hard to see. If I’m right about it heading that way. Anyway, still enjoying this series.

Wolverine: The Long Night #2, by Benjamin Percy, Marcio Takara, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. More investigative work, as the Feds check out Logan’s shack.

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Logan smells “groiny,” it’s canon.

The investigation of the shack is interrupted by the Strawberry Kids, a bunch of kid hooligans. Hooligans! Feral kids who use slingshots to fire sharpened pocket change. The poor deputy takes a coin to the forehead. One of the Feds, the nice guy, bribes one of the kids with candy, and the kid says Logan saved him after he fell off a ledge. Logan’s a hero! I guess. I don’t like kids, so I would’ve been fine with letting the brat fall. OK, I’m kidding, I don’t want kids to die. The Feds also find a letter Logan wrote but didn’t get a chance to mail, talking about Weapon X being after him. He killed a killer, which got him on Weapon X’s profile, so he ran to Alaska, leaving his girlfriend, Maureen, behind. The Feds also listen to a radio blast from that cult they heard about in the first issue. I continue to enjoy the investigation. I’m glad the focus is on the investigators, rather than Logan himself, as these people make much more interesting protagonists. Still, this issue had me less invested than the first. Not sure why. Didn’t quite click with me the same way. It’s still good, just not quite as strong as the first issue.

And the only non-X-Men Marvel comic is Champions #2, by Jim Zub, Steven Cummings, Marcio Menyz, and Clayton Cowles. Ms. Marvel and Viv died on the mission in the first issue. Luckily, Mephisto was feeling generous and gave Miles and Amadeus a freebie, which will definitely not result in any problems for them. Good issue.

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From → 2019, Uncategorized

4 Comments
  1. Yeah, Uncanny X-Men 11 is kind of terrible. What should have been an exciting issue where we finally see Wolverine and Cyclops teaming up again is, besides that fight scene, somewhere between a chore to read through and infuriating. Not to mention that reading all three of its stories back to back feels really repetitive. When are we going to get some entertaining X-Men comics again?

    Didn’t read Marvelous X-Men, but it sounds alright. Better than Uncanny at least.

    X-23 was good this week. Not quite great, but good.

    • Of course, seeing Scott and Logan team up again is part of what bored me about UXM #11, too. An underexplored character like Loa had to die so we could get these two hanging out again? What a waste.

      • I would have though that the main X-Men team disappearing should be enough to get them back together. But no, we need to add a couple extra character deaths, one of them pretty much off-panel, and another a very poorly executed suicide story.

        That’s not to say that suicide cannot be done well in fiction. A good enough writer can make a good story out of pretty much any dark subject. But this is not an example of a well done story.

      • Of course, given the X-Men franchise’s obsession with misery and suffering and murder and genocide, suicide is probably a reasonable response. It’s pretty clear that things will NEVER get better for mutants.

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