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X-Men comics of March 13 2019

March 14, 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So I saw Captain Marvel tonight. I liked it. It was good. Fun. Good performances all around. Cool handling of the Skrulls. Goose was cute. I would’ve liked more Minn-Erva. The Captain Marvel uniform looks awesome on-screen, and Carol looks epic when she gets glowy. I thought it did a good job borrowing different elements from Carol’s history. The memory loss, most particularly. I also really liked the cameos for Stan Lee and Kelly Sue DeConnick. Also, ’90s music! So, yeah, I liked it. But now, comics.

Age of X-Man: Marvelous X-Men #2, by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Marco Failla, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. In Central Park, Apocalypse is delivering a speech on the power of love. He brings out his son, Genesis, and shocks the crowd by kissing Genesis on the forehead. Some of the crowd decide to vandalize a nearby statue of Logan, which results in Laura having a memory of fighting beside him, and in her haze, she cuts one of the people in the crowd. That leads to a riot, which Apocalypse quells by preaching that love is not war. After, back home, the X-Men debate what to do about Apocalypse and his followers, without coming to any conclusions. They also tell Department X to keep an eye on things. Including Moneta!

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More comic stories need to revolve around cookies.

And, of course, other characters are having their own flashes of their real lives. More and more hints of X-Man’s world slowly coming apart. So, one thing I’ll note about this book is that, of all the Age of X-Man titles, it has the toughest job. The others are all allowed to do their own things, but this is the main one, so it’s the one telling the main story. That leaves it less overall freedom. It also means it ends up tying into the others more than they tie into this one. But this is a lot better than the first issue. It’s actually getting into a story now. There’s plenty of good character moments. The scene with the X-Tremists, while entertaining, felt unnecessary. Obviously, wait and see, they may be going somewhere with them. I just feel like it took a couple pages away from the core cast. Still, it’s a minor thing, and only a tentative criticism. Other than that, there’s good work here. Lots of developments. Good art, too. I like how thick Laura looks. She’s usually drawn really thin and lithe, but she’s Logan’s clone, so I always thought she should be short and stocky, like he is. And that’s how Failla draws her. So I appreciate that. He also gives us Blob picking blueberries off a tree, so kudos on that.

Age of X-Man: Apocalypse and the X-Tracts, by Tim Seeley, Salva Espin, Israel Silva, and Travis Lanham. The story starts in Kazakhstan, where a couple mutants are investigating why a town’s residents are getting sick. And it turns out the Tongue of Czernobog is killing everything within a certain radius. And then to New York, and Greenwich Valley, and a concert.

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Beatnik Dazzler is already an icon.

She’s even got an audience of black-clad beatniks who applaud by snapping.

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Screw mutants, this is the real threat to mankind.

Anyway, she gets a summons from Apocalypse. Meanwhile, Eye-Boy and Kitty are on a job. They find a Menorah! Kitty doesn’t recognize it. That’s so sad. She does get a flash of Hanukkah as a kid. Then Eye-Boy kisses her, but she rejects him, since he’s just a kid.

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Too bad Illyana, Rachel, and Karma are all not in this world.

Anyway, they then get summoned by Apocalypse, as well. Genesis is checking on the flyers that are going to be sent out advertising the Central Park meet-up, and the flyers left out the ‘R’ in ‘Embrace,’ so clearly, he shouldn’t have gone with the lowest estimate. Apocalypse and his Riders arrive, and do a ceremony where they breathe in the vapors of a woman named Unveil. And Apocalypse actually uses the “Turn on, tune in, drop out” phrase. Amazing. Anyway, this is a lot of fun. This issue’s just introducing the cast, but it’s done really well. It’s an interesting set of characters. Mod Eye-Boy is really charming. Still dorky, which is good. I’m intrigued by Unveil. I look forward to learning more about her. She seems cool. She’s from Barbados, I guess. Genesis is kinda whiny. Desperate to prove himself to his dad. But I’m sure he’ll get better. I am curious to see if this book will have any romantic relationships. The women are all adults and the men are mostly teens, aside from Apocalypse himself. I very much doubt we’ll get an Eye-Boy/Genesis ship, or a Dazzler/Unveil one. Though there is a kinda flirty moment between them, where Dazzler calls Unveil “pleasingly smooth.” She’s referring to the way Unveil’s power works, yes, but, I mean. “Pleasingly smooth.” And I don’t know, I think it’s a shame how few of the titles have canonically queer characters, limiting their opportunities to actually include queer relationships in their big story about forbidden love. And romantic love isn’t the only kind that’s forbidden, of course, but still. I’d like for the big event about love being forbidden to have some examples of characters whose relationships would legitimately be forbidden in the real world. So Dazzler/Unveil would be cool to see. Or Genesis/Eye-Boy. Or, shit, do both. Sadly, we’ll probably get neither. Oh well. I’m not a fan of the art. I just don’t like how Espin draws faces. I never have. I imagine I never will. His style just absolutely does not appeal to me. Even so, I enjoyed the issue.

Uncanny X-Men: Winter’s End #1, by Sina Grace, Nathan Stockman, Federico Blee, and Joe Sabino. Iceman helps with some flooding in Delaware, and gets told off by an anti-mutant bigot. Because of course he does. Then he heads back to the mansion, for his birthday. Michaela, Spit Girl, tells him she’s leaving the X-Men, because she feels she’s not making a difference. I feel like Bobby should point out that she’s like 16 and doesn’t need to be making an impact when her only responsibility is to get an education, but he tries to tell her she acts like she doesn’t matter. The X-Men are all at the Java A Go-Go for Bobby’s part. Hey, nice callback. Darkveil’s there, too. She used to go by Shade, before it was decided to bring her back. She introduced Bernard the Poet. Yay! But back at the school, Future Ice-Master tells Bobby that he’s going to hook up with Daken and accidentally help him conquer the universe. Fighting, then Jean shows up to see whatès keeping Bobby.

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Something that’s needed said for a while.

That’s catharsis for the people upset at the way Jean outed him. His continued ranting then dips into hilarious:

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I mean when you phrase it like that.

Before swinging back to catharsis.

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Cue straight guy writer focusing on all this stuff.

He gets a pretty good rant. And Ice-Master is convinced. And then accompanies Bobby to his birthday party. It’s a good comic. A nice sign-off for Grace. He gets to leave Bobby on a high note. His rant was pretty satisfying. Also, I like Grace basically telling all the Bobby/Daken shippers, “No, what? You know that’s a terrible idea, right? Do I have to actually explain why that’s a terrible idea?” There’s lots of nice nods to stories from throughout Grace’s runs on Iceman. It’s good. I’m not a fan of Stockman’s art, it’s just not an art style I enjoy, but he is a good visual storyteller, and that’s really the most important thing. So yeah, good finale. And now the next straight dude to write X-Men will just ignore all the character development, because permanent character development is an illusion.

X-Force #4, by Ed Brisson, Dylan Burnett, Jesus Aburtov, and Cory Petit. Ahab, having attacked Deathlok, is using Deathlok’s probability generator to figure out how much time he has before X-Force arrives. When Cable and Domino find the near-dead Deathlok, who mentions a “her” Cable is searching for.

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Domino does anger better than Cable.

Rachel, obviously. I am still furious at her being turned into a Hound again. It’s repetitive bullshit, and frankly, it smacks of misogyny. Anyway, General Constantin, in a suit of armour, attacks Ahab. Meanwhile, the mutant prisoners join the fight against Constantin’s soldiers. The group break up the Constantin/Ahab fight, and Ahab tells Cable he’s doomed Rachel. Oh, and there’s also a shocking death, and you know, normally I wouldn’t spoil a late-issue death, but . . . Warpath. It’s Warpath. Hey, you know how many people of colour this team had? One. You know how many it has now? None. Yep, this book has now managed to kill off its only person of colour. And yet another POC X-Man has been killed. Warpath will probably be brought back. Hell, maybe even in this series. But holy shit, the X-office is on a fucking murder spree lately, and it’s not the least bit surprising who’s bearing the brunt of that. The X-franchise is so frustrating. Mutants are an allegory for marginalized communities, so of course 90% of the characters who get any focus are white. And of course characters from real marginalized communities get marginalized within the franchise, and put at a higher risk of having horrible things happen to them. Bad enough what was done with Rachel – get her the fuck out of the hands of male writers, especially male writers who are hung up on nostalgia, especially male writers hung up on nostalgia who want to have her mentally violated, fucking ENOUGH with Rachel being mentally violated, any writer who pitches that idea should be goddamn fired on the goddamn spot – but now we’ve also got yet another POC character getting killed for cheap drama. And that’s all it is. It is 100% cheap drama. It’s a frigging shock value death, and it makes this entire series worse. Like, I was enjoying this. It was fun. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated the Rachel stuff, still, but that aside, I was enjoying this comic. And then he killed Warpath on the second-to-last page. And I don’t enjoy this comic any more. To hell with this damn thing, and frankly, to hell with Brisson.

X-23 #10, by Mariko Tamaki, Diego Olortegui, Walden Wong, Chris O’Halloran, and Cory Petit. Robert Chandler explains to Laura his evil plan: Manufacture killers designed to die before they can rebel, which he will sell for lots and lots of money. He’s basically the Apple of assassin manufacturers. Then he sets a whole bunch of them to kill her. Luckily, Gabby shows up with the cyborg she’d managed to convince to help her.

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FastGabb Special, or Gabball Special?

Sadly, the issue gets tragic after that. Still awesome and badass. But X-Assassin was too good for this world, it seems. It’s a great end to the arc. Phenomenal work with Gabby and X-Assassin. There’s so much heart. Genuine affection between them. And while I obviously hate to see Gabby cry, I think the story provided some valuable development for her. This arc also created real tension between Laura and Gabby, which is important, and it looks like it’s going to lead to Gabby wanting to do her own thing next issue. That should be really good. So yeah, sad as this issue is, it’s a great issue.

Dead Man Logan #5, by Ed Brisson, Mike Henderson, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. The X-Men attack a Neo-Hydra base, and their plane gets shot down, because it had been 5 minutes since they lost a jet. The team starts kicking Neo-Hydra ass, and Mysterio sneaks in to warn Sin and Miss Sinister that the X-Men are there. Sin reveals she never actually cared about conquering and dividing the world, she just wanted to see some chaos and have some fun, and now she’s excited for a chance to kill some X-Men. On the one hand, I like that her main motivation is having a good time. On the other hand, she really thinks she’s going to kill any X-Men? Like, maybe if Surge or Prodigy or Mercury were among them, she might kill one of them. Sin and Crossbones head out, and Crossbones is immediately shot to hell by Neo-Hydra goons who see him as Logan. Hell yeah, Mysterio.

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Mysterio’s finest moment.

Mysterio hopes to sneak off with Miss Sinister, while Sin just wants someone to die. She does get to shoot Logan a lot. He still manages to seemingly kill Mysterio. Seemingly. Good issue. The fight’s fun. Mysterio getting over on Crossbones was awesome. Loved that. Crossbones spent a couple issues threatening to kill him, and then Mysterio destroys him. Always happy to see a neo-Nazi dirtbag get wrecked. Sin is awful, too, but at least she’s fun in this arc. This does seem to be the end of the Mysterio arc, and it was a good one. Soon, Logan will be going back to the Wasteland, and that should be interesting. Yeah, all in all, this has been a fun comic.

Wolverine: The Long Night #3, by Benjamin Percy, Marcio Takara, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. A hunter tells the male FBI guy about spotting Logan running with some wolves, but also says that bear attacks are way more common than statistics indicate, because nobody in Alaska reports anything. Meanwhile, the female FBI agent talks to a bartender named Mallory, about a fight that broke out between Logan and some of the crew from the fishing ship Logan had been working on.

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Good way of judging a bar’s quality.

The two FBI agents, and the local deputy sheriff, head to meet Mr. Langrock, the town’s rich dude. The lady agent doesn’t seem to like his dogs. Super-friendly golden retrievers. Langrock makes a point of noting the breed’s loyalty, which isn’t suspicious at all. Does seem like he has something to hide, but if he does, he’s honestly really good at it. After the agents piss him off by asking about smuggling on his boats, they head back to their motel, where they each have their own way of continuing the investigation.

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I really like this guy.

The lady, meanwhile, has found out that Langrock’s son took Logan from the prison he’d been sent to after the bar fight, asked Logan to work for him as an enforcer, and now Logan plans on basically bringing down the town. More interesting detective work, no mysteries unraveled yet but some clues to a few, and definitely some theories. It’s a lot of intriguing stuff. The art’s great. I love Takara’s lines. And he’s a great visual storyteller. So yeah, this is a good series, mostly because, so far, Logan hasn’t been a major character.

That’s the X-stuff, here’s non-X-stuff.

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1, by Saladin Ahmed, Minkyu Jung, Juan Vlasco, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. I didn’t even realize Ian Herring was staying on. Awesome. His colours defined the book’s visual style for the past few years, him staying on will really help keep the feel of the character. Anyway, she beats up a dude named Deathbringer, then tells Nakia her origin story. And her dad now knows she’s Ms. Marvel. Nice. All in all, this new era’s off to a good start. Ahmed’s got a good handle on the characters’ voices, the art is excellent, the initial story seems interesting. Good start.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #42, by Ryan North and a bunch of artists. It’s Squirrel Girl’s 50th issue! So there’s line art from Derek Charm, Naomi Franquiz, and ERICA HENDERSON! Woot! And also Rico Renzi and Travis Lanham, as usual. But Henderson’s pitching in! I’ve missed her on this series. And it’s a delight to see her work again. This is a really fun issue where Squirrel Girl fights Kang in three times. Old Lady Doreen, Present Squirrel Girl, and 10-year-old Doreen. It’s a great issue. Also, I am 100% convinced that Nancy and Doreen are a couple. Nancy isn’t in a lot of this issue, but they do have a particular couple scenes at the end of the issue that only serve to reinforce my belief that they are in love and belong together.

Shuri #6, by Vita Ayala, Paul Davidson, Triona Farrell, and Joe Sabino. Shuri tracks the space grasshopper’s energy to Brooklyn, allowing her to team up with Spider-Miles. Though she was actually detecting energy put off by some kids gauntlets. Still, Spider-Miles team-up. With a trip to Coles High School. Kamala’s school! Man, Ayala and Davidson got to do one hell of a team-up. They lucked out. I really like Ayala here. Honestly, I think I like how they write Shuri more than I do Okorafor’s take. They write her more mature, I think it strikes a better balance between Movie Shuri and Comic Shuri. Of course, Ayala does benefit from getting to follow up on Okorafor’s work, and also from only having to do a couple fill-in issues. But yeah, I really like Ayala’s work on this. Marvel should definitely keep Ayala busy, if possible, because they’re a really good writer.

Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #6, by Seanan McGuire, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring, and Clayton Cowles. Gwen becomes a hero for hire, and the dialogue and art in this comic are just so dang charming and fun. It’s just fun.


From → 2019, Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. Sounds like Age of X-Man continues to be better than the main Uncanny series. So far it all sounds pretty good.

    I thought X-23 10 was good, but not great. The ending didn’t carry as much emotional weight to me as it felt like it should have.

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