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X-Men comics of April 3 2019

April 4, 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). In personal news, I’m going to be looking at a new apartment next Tuesday. $775 for a shitty little basement bachelor. Doesn’t even have a stove. But at least it would be my own place, rather than just renting a room from some random old lady. And new She-Ra on April 26! Woot! I am excited for that. I’ve been waiting for the second season since I finished the first one. And this Saturday is the beginning of the final season for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, which is sad. I kinda hope that, with the series ending, they take the opportunity to have someone come out as openly gay. For now, though, comics.

Uncanny X-Men #15, by Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna. Shan confesses to Dark Beast about her sense of guilt, as she was responsible for the Warlockification of the other girls, and Dark Beast offers to help. Wow, Rosenberg’s just going to make Karma an idiot as well as a murderer. Cool cool, so glad Rosenberg likes her so much and is using her so well. Bleh. Meanwhile, Captain America is trying to offer the X-Men his help, saying Val Cooper can’t be trusted, that the X-Men need to be discreet and stay out of the public eye. In other words, do the exact opposite of what’s actually required for civil rights movements to succeed. Real helpful, Steve, sit the hell down. Then the team heads off to where they think Hope’s MLF is hitting next, and Chamber shows the proper way of dealing with anti-mutant protesters.

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Always Punch Nazis.

The MLF calls out the X-Men as “puppets of the human elite,” and they’re not wrong. The biggest problem the X-Men have always had is their dedication to respectability politics. They need to be out in the streets, blocking traffic, being a nuisance, demanding attention. Scott talks to Hope about Cable, then Logan ambushes her from behind and she accidentally shoots Scott in the head. Right through the visor. And then Logan stabs Hope, though she does survive. Scott, of course, survives the headshot, though he loses an eye. Also, the girls are rid of the transmode virus. Funnily enough, I just last night noted on Twitter that Karma and Dani, the two WOC on the team, are the ones made to look inhuman. The two white girls who were infected with the same thing got to keep their normal appearances, but the non-white women both looked alien and Other. I wondered if it was something Rosenberg planned to do something with, and figured it probably wasn’t. Turns out, I was right, he had no plans for that angle. Probably for the best, I honestly wouldn’t trust him with an angle like that, but still. It was weird that for a few issues, the only non-white people on the team were also the only ones who didn’t even look normal. This issue does also touch on Karma’s guilt at betraying her friends, but the scene doesn’t have the weight it should. We needed earlier scenes of the others, especially Illyana, showing resentment towards her. It would’ve made her sense of guilt and shame a little more impactful. I’m also annoyed we didn’t get to see an sort of discussion before Dark Beast’s offer was accepted off-panel. Rosenberg’s trying to do a lot of things here, and it means that a lot of it ends up getting very short shrift. The scene with Cap probably should’ve been put off a bit longer, to give a little more space to the team discussing Dark Beast’s offer. The conversation Scott and Hope had about Cable . . . it was well-written, but somehow felt out-of-place. I would’ve liked it more if Hope had just told him what she was doing had nothing to do with Cable, and was just a matter of doing what needed done.  Of course, assassinating that anti-mutant politician lady is just going to make things even goddamn worse for mutants, I’m sure. Also, Logan attempting to kill Hope because she shot Scott seems a bit silly, seeing as Logan attacking her is what made her shoot. Additional note: I’ll be genuinely pissed if Val Cooper does betray the team. For a long time, Val was one of the pro-mutant humans in the government. She was ruthless but she was still trying to help mutants. If Rosenberg has one of the most prominent pro-mutant human characters end up betraying mutants, it would be a colossal dick move. The franchise needs more humans who support mutants, not fewer. So, yeah, I still have lots of complaints. As for the art, it’s Larroca, I’m just not a fan of his style. Never have been. Just doesn’t appeal to me. He’s a competent storyteller, there’s just always been an emotional flatness to his art that turns me off.

Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #2, by Vita Ayala, German Peralta, Mike Spicer, and Joe Sabino. Psylocke visits Warden Forge, who tells her he thinks Bishop can be redeemed. Psylocke reminds him that his job is to incarcerate, not rehabilitate. So Forge is now vastly more sympathetic, while the Age of X-Man as a whole gets another layer of sucking ass. Prison should have a focus on rehabilitation, the biggest problem with the real-world justice system in most countries is that it’s focused on punishment over rehab, which leads to people who are basically permanent prisoners. Anyway! Bishop tries to talk to some people in the courtyard, but they harass him instead. He’s an X-Man, a cop. He goes into the commons, to talk to Lorna, who has hidden depths.

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Not totally sure that’s an ability, but OK.

Lorna tells him off, and Gabby says the X-Men were the ones who brought Lorna in, which Bishop has no memory of. Gabby also reveals that she’s the one who accidentally convinced Lorna she’s in a straitjacket. Then he gets into a fight with Beast, which ends with Beast offering some advice. And then we get this:

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Vita, no.

Bishop talks some more to Dani, about their memories of another world. Then, Shard! And things get very interesting. This comic is really good. Ayala is telling a really good prison story. There’s nothing exploitative going on, no attempts at shock value or anything like that. Bishop gets roughed up a bit, but there’s no murder attempt, no shower scene, nothing like that. People in prison just don’t like the ex-cop. It’s expected. But Ayala also uses the story to criticize punishment-based justice systems, and rightly so. Prisons, especially in the US, exist solely to lock people up, mostly people from marginalized communities. (Side note: For-profit prisons are a fucking abomination and should be abolished.) It’s not about inmates “paying their debt to society,” it’s about oppressing black people. So I think it’s no accident that the protagonist of this series is a black man. Psylocke telling Forge that the prison is there solely for incarceration is a really good scene. And I’m very much intrigued by what’s happening with Shard. Her death, in Bishop’s turn-of-the-century solo, was bullshit. It wasn’t a good series, and Shard’s treatment throughout was especially bad. Kinda hope this series brings her back. Even if it doesn’t, the comic’s doing some really interesting stuff with her, that has me excited. Solid art in this comic, too. Peralta keeps things visually interesting. This is a really good comic. Best X-title of the week, by a wide margin.

Domino: Hotshots #2, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles.

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Omigosh, I love Inez more than ever now.

Now, she’s infected with some kind of Celestial code that gives her Celestial memories. But she’s fine. Totally fine.

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Totally normal thing to say.

Meanwhile, Deadpool’s threatening to team, and Black Widow is threatening back. Her dialogue suggests a lack of prior encounters, and that can’t be right. They must have run into each other, right? A quick Google search brings up a story in Way’s Deadpool run where he teamed up with the Secret Avengers, but Way’s run was so bad it’s no surprise everyone would forget it happened. But I would’ve thought they would’ve had other encounters, too. Huh. Anyway, the women all pound the shit out of Deadpool, until he gets fed up, which is exactly what Domino was worried would happen. She knows him, and she knows how dangerous he is, especially when he stops making jokes. And I gotta say, the Domino/Deadpool friendship is a wonderful one. I would love to see them on a team together, with their friendship as a major element. And let Simone write the book, because she writes the hell out of him in this issue. She wrote him before, of course, though the title was changed to “Agent X” shortly into her run. And she does such a good job with him in this issue. He’s hilarious, but also heartbreaking, which is exactly what Deadpool should be. Once Domino calms him down, he says Stark hired him to retrieve the artifact. He also joins the team. Domino then makes everyone swear that the goal is to destroy the artifact, not to bring it to any government. This is really good. Some great escalations on several fronts. Simone absolutely nails Deadpool, it’ll be a real shame if she doesn’t get another chance to write him. Shit, let her take over his solo again, with Skottie Young leaving. We’d be guaranteed to get Domino and Outlaw showing up, and I’d be fascinated to see what else she would do with the character. She gets him, with Domino saying, “He always reminds me of a broken heart.” Which is such a good line about him! That gets so deep to the core of the character. But OK, moving on to other stuff. There’s also some good leadership tension between Domino and Black Widow, which I enjoyed. And, of course, Simone continues to make Outlaw one of the best characters out there. Those opening panels about her. So good. And as with last issue, Baldeon’s art is great. It’s a lot more conventional than his art on the Domino ongoing, which gives it a wider appeal. This issue was fantastic.

. . . Fiiiiiiiine. Major X #1, by Rob Liefeld, Adelso Corona, Dan Fraga, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and Joe Sabino. Yes, I am taking it upon myself to discuss Rob Liefeld’s new X-Men comic, so you don’t have to. The things I do for this blog. Well, maybe it won’t be so bad, let’s stay optimistic, right? Major X is a time traveler, one who’s arrived right around the formation of X-Force. Cable and Major X fight a bit, until Major X cuts off Cable’s metal hand to get his attention. And we get some backstory. He comes from an alternate future where mutants moved to another world, an “X-Ential” is key to their existence, and something’s happened to it, so now their world’s collapsing, and Major X and M’koy only escape by using the untested warp drive on his motorcycle. Back in the past, Logan attacks Major X, and Major X is winning, until Cable shoots him in the back. Not very sporting. Major X asks for their help, and then Dreadpool attacks. And then it’s Deadpool to the rescue. And then Major X is revealed as Cable’s biracial son. So, Liefeld did the pencils on this comic, so I’ll spare you any panels. You’re welcome. As for the story, I have to admit, I’m more mixed than I expected. I mean, it’s not good. Like, at all. Liefeld’s never been much better as a writer than as an artist, so this isn’t a good comic. It’s got some painful cliches in it. But there are also bits that are just so ridiculous that I can’t help but be amused. Deadpool vs. Dreadpool is probably the highlight of the issue. But yeah, on the whole, this comic is bad, it’s just a matter of opinion on whether it’s so-bad-it’s-good. I lean towards it being just bad, but we’ll see if it improves with better artists in the next few issues.

And I didn’t read anything else because I felt sick.

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From → 2019, Uncategorized

3 Comments
  1. Sounds like this week’s Uncanny X-Men had at least a few decent things going on, but the issue as a whole sounds like a mess. Too much going on.

    Prisoner X on the other hand sounds really good.

    Mr. X … I have one question regarding the existence of this comic. Why?

    • Major X, sorry.

    • I think Rosenberg’s definitely trying to do too much too quickly. And Prisoner X is great.

      As for Major X, it exists because there’s actually been a movement back towards appreciating him over the past few years, because comic fans have gotten tired of cynicism and want to embrace fun again.

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