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X-Men comics of June 5 2019

June 7, 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Had a counseling appointment at 10am this morning, so I had to go to bed early, so I didn’t have time for reviews last night. Oh well, a day late but they’re still fresh. For the record, I won’t be seeing Dark Phoenix in theatre, just on the off-chance you were wondering. I have no interest in it. So I’ll have for it to hit Netflix, and then I’ll livetweet it then. Anyway, let’s get to the comics, and we’ll start with the most painful one first.

Uncanny X-Men #19, by Matthew Rosenberg, Carlos Villa, Carlos Gomez, Bob Quinn, Juan Vlasco, Adriano Di Benedetto, Michelle Delecki, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna. We see a few months ago, Emma watched Havok’s X-Men team fight Sentinels, while musing to Vanisher that it’s gotten boring. Which makes one wonder why we can’t get something new.

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Lampshading a problem is not the same as fixing the problem.

This has become something of a trend with Rosenberg. He keeps noting how repetitive the story beats that he’s doing are. But he’s still doing them. He’s still the one with nothing new to add. So it’s not actually clever. I’ve seen clever lampshading of how often Marvel does certain things. The last issue of Squirrel Girl actually had a great bit where Ratatoskr referenced the fact that there’s a big event every summer. Squirrel Girl could get away with it because Ryan North isn’t writing those events. He’s tying into the current one, but he’s not the one deciding to do yearly events. But Rosenberg is the one who decided to tell the story he’s telling. He and his editors. So when he calls out the lack of originality in X-Men stories, he is part of the goddamn problem, so he should shut the hell up. Anyway, later on, she was raising money for a new mutant school, and the Warlock’d New Mutants under ONE’s control captured her. She’s forced to help them by controlling Anole into grabbing Beast’s mutant cure serum. She’s released, with a bomb in her head to ensure she doesn’t do anything to ONE. And honestly? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck this story. Fuck this entire story. All of it. Every single thing in this entire run, fuck all of it. Fuck it from the top right down to the bottom. Also, Vanisher gets killed. Because I guess killing characters off is literally the only idea that Rosenberg actually had. How clever and original. You know, kill enough characters, and it stops being shocking. It stops mattering at all. It just becomes, “Oh, hey, there goes another one, whatever.” But hey, at least Marrow and Elixir get to be completely useless members of Emma’s new Hellfire Club. They get precisely fuck-all to do, they contribute not a single blessed thing to the story, but they exist, woo yeah, that’s the content I’m craving. Also, I guess Cassandra Nova gets taken care of off-panel. There’s also a scene of her mentally convincing Scott to stay underground in his efforts to save the world, and also mentally convinces Logan to keep an eye on Scott. Meh, whatever. This comic is just so damn exhausting. Constantly killing off characters, making Emma responsible for the mutant vaccine and having her under the control of the bad guys, the utter bleakness. How am I actually supposed to care? Also, I am fundamentally opposed to Pretty Marrow. You, Marrow being drawn as an attractive woman with a few bone things? In some scenes, she looks almost completely human. In another, she’s got that awful, awful design from right before she dropped out of the comics, where she had that bone forehead-guard or whatever. Marrow shouldn’t look pretty. Marrow should look punk. Marrow should look like she’s ready to fight the entire world. That part’s not on Rosenberg, of course, but bringing her in solely as an extra is. And it rolls into the big problem with this run: It is WAAAAAAY too ambitious for the space it has. Emma forming a new Hellfire Club would’ve been a fantastic series, and that series could’ve given us Marrow being the Bad Bitch she is, and it would’ve been interesting to see why she would decide to join. But instead, she’s just there, same as elixir. Shit, even Mystique’s not actually doing much of anything, aside from posing as Captain America. And we get some follow-up on Sinister here, too, and he’s also poorly used. He gets some amusing dialogue, but I genuinely can’t believe that Sinister would ever actually be captured unless he wanted to be. He would definitely have escape plans. He’d teleport away, or blow up his body, or just slip off the shackles, or something. The only reason he’d let himself be taken prisoner is if it suited his plans, but there’s no indication of that here, and I don’t think that’s what Rosenberg’s intending, because again, he doesn’t have the space for that. Ultimately, this is a run that has several interesting series, none of which we actually get to read because they’re all being shoved together to jam in as many beats as Rosenberg can get before Hickman takes over.

Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #4, by Vita Ayala, German Peralta, Mike Spicer, and Joe Sabino. Forge tries to convince Bishop that the prison is for the best, and Bishop tries to remind people of the real world.

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Interesting stuff.

Dani talks to Lorna about Lorna’s brief burst of freedom last issue, and Lorna admits that it’s happened before, but no one else has ever remembered it before. Interesting that Lorna remembers. Regardless, Bishop is able to get a riot started. The recap’s short, but there’s a lot going on in this comic. The dialogue is really good. So is the art. It’s a great story. This issue is all about beginning to reclaim agency. Prison is all about oppression, this issue is about rebellion. Forge plays a great role in this issue, and it’s good to see him get such great use. And just . . . damn, we need Ayala on an ongoing X-Men comic. Give them Bishop, Gabby, Forge, Dani, Lorna, Hank, anyone they want to use. Because they’ve got a great ability to dive deep into characters and present them as complex and sympathetic. And they’re also handling this prison story in a really compelling way, as an criticism of prison as an institution. This is just such a good series.

Domino: Hotshots #4, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Michael Shelfer, Craig Yeung, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles. Domino, Diamondback, Outlaw, and Deadpool are all infected with Celestial tech. Black Widow, White Fox, and Atlas Bear think Domino should stand down so she can get checked out, Domino quite reasonably expresses scepticism. White Fox attacks Domino, but the fight gets cut short by the Iron Man drones, and Domino sends White Fox away for trying to get the power. Domino says the power is corruptive, and no one can afford to have it, and Black Widow and Atlas Bear finally agree with her. She also sums up what makes Outlaw so charming.

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Simple motivations are the best ones.

So they track down the doctor who got infected first. And Domino goes cosmic! It’s a good issue. Shame that White Fox gets kicked out. We do get some nice insight into her. Who she is, and why she does what she does. She talks about how lonely it is, being the last kumiho, the last of her kind, and Domino relates to her, but still can’t risk keeping her around. This issue also firmly cements Domino and Black Widow as friends, which is cool, I hope we see them team up again in the future. And Black Widow even comes to respect Deadpool, admitting she misjudged him. The dialogue’s clever, and the climax of this particular issue is really powerful, though it’s not the climax of the series, as there’s one issue to go. And there’s a pretty good lesson about how power should go to those who least want it, which is probably accurate. So, yeah, really good issue.

Dead Man Logan #8, by Ed Brisson, Mike Henderson, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. Dani tells Logan about everyone being after Bruce, Jr., the baby Hulk, because they all want to shape what he becomes. Creed shakes down the cannibals to learn what direction Logan went. Logan tells Dani about going to the past, and about the fact he’s dying. While Logan and Dani hug it out, Bruce slips away to a library.

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Just pay your damn fine, it’s only $10.

Those cultists apparently belong to Tranquility Temple, a peace cult that’s trying to kill Bruce to keep the world safe. And they have an old robot designed to fight the Hulk. And, uh. I don’t know, this just doesn’t do much for me? It’s not bad, the scene between Logan and Dani is pretty nice. But on the whole, I just feel kinda lukewarm on this stuff. Having Sabretooth back doesn’t help, if I’m honest. I guess Brisson figured it was necessary, put Logan up against his main rival and all that, but it’s not like Logan/Creed isn’t a fight we haven’t seen a thousand times before, so it’s hard to get excited for yet another iteration of it. So yeah, I just can’t get worked up to have a strong feeling on this right now.

That was the X-stuff, here’s the other stuff I grabbed.

Captain Marvel #6, by Kelly Thompson, Annapaola Martello, Tamra Bonvillain, and Clayton Cowles. Captain Marvel chooses not to be funny, Black Widow is a delicate flower, and Carol and Strange get body-swapped. There’s lots of funny stuff. Even Black Widow thinks the situation is funny. I enjoyed the issue.

Marvel Team-Up #3, by Eve Ewing, Joey Vasquez, Moy R., Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles. The end of the body-swap arc. It was fun. It’s a shame they lose their memories of the experience, though, I would’ve liked if they’d remembered. They would’ve kept each other’s secrets, and I don’t know, letting them be close like that would’ve been nice. Also, I really want Eve Ewing to write more Spider-Man. She does a really good job with him. Give her the next Spider-Man series.

Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #9, by Seanan McGuire, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring, and Clayton Cowles. Gwen vs. the Man-Wolf! Good issue. Very tense. Gwen is pissed throughout this issue. What with Man-Wolf trying to blow up her friends.

War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #3, by Greg Pak, Gang Hyuk Lim, Federico Blee, Andres Mossa, Erick Arciniega, and Clayton Cowles. Spam. Honestly, I love Greg Pak’s use of food in his comics focused on Asian and Asian-diaspora characters. Food’s a big thing in a lot of cultures, and Pak really embraces that in a really fun way.

From → 2019, Uncategorized

  1. At least we know that Uncanny is ending soon. Not everything Jonathan Hickman writes is good, but he’s bound to at least be better than this.

    • I’m honestly just waiting to see what the non-Hickman X-books will be. I want to see what they put Leah Williams on, and if Vita Ayala gets another book.

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