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X-Men comics of April 17 2019

April 18, 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert).

Uncanny X-Men #16, by Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna. Scott hands over the MLF to Captain America, minus Hope and Banshee. They talk a bit about trust, and the after, Alex calls Scott out for lying to Cap. He thinks Scott’s going down a wrong path. Then Scott gathers the team to announce he’s stepping down as leader. Dani suggests they go democratic. Illyana then suggests that all sins should be forgiven, which is SO FUCKING STUPID WHEN THE WOMAN WHO LITERALLY USED HER AS A MURDER WEAPON IS RIGHT THERE! Like, is Rosenberg really going to just sweep that shit under the rug? Are you fucking kidding me? What the hell was the point in turning Shan into a supervillain when he’s not going to bother dealing with the fallout? This is stupid. It is so goddamned stupid. It is shit writing. Straight-up, that is bad writing, it’s setting up something that should lead to immense inter-personal tension and drama only to immediately drop it. Look, I hated what Rosenberg did with Karma in Dead Souls, but I hated it because it felt like she didn’t get to be a part of what should have been her story. A lot of the major elements – the idea that Tranh’s been influencing her, his desire to be free of her, even Shan not wanting him loose – those were things I’d wanted to see for years. I just hated the execution of it. Even Shan using Illyana as a murder weapon isn’t actually bad in itself, it was only bad because of the way it was handled. And now we’re just supposed to pretend it didn’t even happen? Fuck you, Rosenberg. If you’re going to do shit like that, then commit to it. Show fallout from it. Show that Illyana is rightly angry at Shan. Show her outright threatening to kill Shan. Show the other New Mutants expressing their disappointment in Shan’s willingness to use Illyana that way. Don’t just say, “Nah, they’re all cool now, it’s fine, no problems at all.” Holy shit. So frigging stupid. Anyway, they then go to deal with Magneto and the Brotherhood, who are attacking a military base, but it’s not actually Magneto, it’s Joseph. And Hope and Banshee are now working with the X-Men. And Rahne also quit before the mission, but that’s OK, it just means we get a last-page reveal where Dani senses Rahne being killed, because we need a reminder that things are dangerous for mutants. Rosenberg went an entire issue without killing someone, so he was getting restless, I guess. And he also kills Joseph, who’s dying for, like, the third or fourth time now.

deadbane (2)

Of frigging course she is.

Rosenberg seems to be under the illusion that twists and shocks are what make a good X-Men story, but you know what people love about the X-Men? The soap opera shit. You know what this book entirely lacks? Soap opera shit. Remember when Rogue joined the team, and everyone was really suspicious of her, and outright hostile to her for what she did to Carol Danvers? Watching Rogue earn their forgiveness, trust, and friendship made for a great story. And Rosenberg uses this issue to declare that we can expect absolutely nothing like that to happen here. Yeah, Alex bitches a little at Scott, whatever. Everyone’s totally fine with Hope being there, despite the previous issue having her assassinate a politician (and shoot Scott in the head, but most of them have probably fantasized about doing that once or twice themselves). And again, Shan used Illyana as a murder weapon, and not only has that still not even been mentioned, but Illyana is the one who declares that no one can hold a grudge. Let’s also remember that Shan re-absored Tranh, and Illyana was certain that Tranh had been influencing Shan for years, so there’s a very valid reason to doubt how much Shan can be trusted. It would make for some great, compelling drama. But instead, we get fucking Joseph. Yeah, that’s much better. Christ. Not even a good take on Joseph. It’s Joseph trying to be Magneto, rather than Joseph being the hero Magneto could’ve been, which was the actual point of Joseph as a character. Having him trying to be Magneto makes him vastly less compelling. There’s no point in using him if you’re not going to make him who he actually is. Ugh. I hate this run on UXM.

Age of X-Man: NextGen #3, by Ed Brisson, Marcus To, Jason Keith, and Clayton Cowles. Armour and Glob try to confront Anole about what happened at the house fire, but Angel sends them to their classes. Rockslide asks Professor Madison Jeffries about the Life Seed, and is given a book that Rockslide is sure wasn’t in the library records. In the Civil Management class, Sunfire teaches the kids about Unveil, and Pixie suspects Armour is taking it. Rockslide talks to Glob about the book being too convenient, and Glob tells him he’s right, that the world isn’t real and they’re trying to cover that up. And then Armour manages to confront Anole, and things quickly go south.

04breakdoor (2)

Doors have long been the X-Men’s greatest nemeses.

It’s a good issue. The plot continues to move along at a good pace. There’s good character moments. Rockslide growing suspicious of the teachers, and Pixie’s concern for Armour. Man, we need a new volume of New X-Men, because these characters are so good. Armour and Pixie make for a really good friendship. I really like it, Pixie really cares about Armour and wants to help her. I love good friendships in comics. And this comic’s all about friendship. Friends trying to help and protect each other. And also Shark-Girl really likes Nightcrawler’s Mission Mutation movies. And Marcus To’s so good. I love his art. I’ve loved it since that New Warriors series he did a few years back. He’s great, and just keeps getting better. He’s very strong at facial expressions, especially Anole, who is honestly just a visual delight all the time because of his facial expressions. Yeah, this is a really good comic.

Age of X-Man: Amazing Nightcrawler #3, by Seanan McGuire, Juan Frigeri, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Travis Lanham. Mystique knees Kurt right in the groin. She escapes him, but leaves behind a folder with files about Tenia Jean. Aw man, TJ, but different. I miss Talia Josephine! I know she showed up in Ahmed’s Exiles, but still, I miss her. At rehearsal the next day, Kurt’s distracted, and talks to Meggan about TJ. She’s uncomfortable about the whole thing.

11judging (2)

Great speech.

But she does agree to help him. They ask Celeste for help finding TJ, and then Irma gets them to Portland, with a mall tour. Which runs into a complication. And this is another great issue! Strong handling of the theme of family, and the risks one takes for family. Kurt is willing to risk it all to meet his daughter. Meggan loves him, he’s her family, so she’s willing to risk it all to help him, even though she clearly understands, more than he does, the problems that come with having a family. I’m very curious about Mystique, though. I’m curious what the Age of X-Man Mystique is like. She’s clever, clearly, getting past the studio’s security, able to handle herself in a fight against Kurt, and manages to escape him. But is she good or bad? How manipulative is she? Does she have any sort of ulterior motive, or is she trying to help her son? I’m curious to see which way McGuire and Frigeri go with this Mystique. And I’m eager for TJ, even if it’s not classic TJ. But I hope she’s at least got some of TJ’s attitude, even if she is only 4. Anyway, yeah, the point is I’m enjoying this series.

Major X #2, by Rob Liefeld, Brent Peeples, Scott Hanna, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and Joe Sabino. Some background on – sigh – the “X-Istence.” The mutant utopia on another world. Hate, death, blah blah blah, they fled to another world. There’s also Atlanteans there, led by Nomar, because Liefeld is great at names. There was tension between the Atlanteans and the X-Ential, a tense meeting took place, and three days later, the X-Ential disappeared, and the world with him. Cable joins Major X, his son, on the mission to look for the X-Ential. They go to Graymalkin, and holy shit, Sharkskin.

sharkskin (2)

Liefeld’s a good writer. Also, wow, deep cut.

He was in the New Mutants tie-in to Atlantis Attacks, waaaaaaaay back 30 years ago. This is a character who hasn’t been seen in 30 years. Eel and Undertow, his teammates, are also there. Kinda neat, actually. Yes, they’re stupid characters, but it’s fun seeing them pop up, even just for a quick fight scene. Anyway, this comic sucks. Liefeld’s a bad writer. The art’s not too bad. Better than the writing. But this is still a bad comic, to the surprise of no one. But I can’t hate it. It’s bad, but it’s harmless. When you compare it to a certain other comic that came out today, it’s just harmless fun. Turn your brain off and laugh. Whatever.

And the non-X-stuff.

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #2, by Saladin Ahmed, Minkyu Jung, Juan Vlasco, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. Kamala is swole, has a smiting hand.

West Coast Avengers #10, by Kelly Thompson, Moy R., Triona Farrell, and Joe Caramagna. The series finale. A shame, because we were right on the verge of Kate, Johnny and Noh-Varr entering a three-way relationship, and I was ready for it. But alas, no. Anyway, I’ll miss this fun, weird comic.

Shuri #7, by Vita Ayala, Paul Davidson, Triona Farrell, and Joe Sabino. I think Ms. Marvel has a slight girl-crush on Shuri. Also, lots of good kids all around. And Graviton’s entertaining.

From → 2019, Uncategorized

  1. Killing Wolvesbane off-panel. Pointlessly bringing Joseph back and turning him into a villain again? Nobody caring that Shan is being completely untrustworthy? By the sound of it, this series keeps getting worse.

    I know that Hickman’s Avengers run wasn’t all that good, but I can’t see his upcoming X-Men run being worse than this.

    • Hickman’s Avengers was bold, I just found it emotionally empty. I’m more interested in character than plot, and his Avengers was all about plot. I expect his X-Men story to be much the same, plot over character.

      But yeah, Rosenberg is just frustrating me. Like, it seems like he wants us to assume Shan is trustworthy, even though, based on his own damned story, she shouldn’t be. The reader should be suspicious of her, too, but instead, she’s acting completely normal. Which robs us of compelling drama.

      • Hickman’s Fantastic Four did have some great character moments though. Hopefully his X-Men run is closer to his FF run than it is to his Avengers run.

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