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X-Men comics of June 12 2019

June 13, 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Was late enough finishing last night that I didn’t feel like doing this post. So I did it today instead. So Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel. I hope Zelda’s playable in it. I’m still playing BotW. I’ve unlocked the whole map, done two Divine Beasts, and gotten a handful of memories, and the Master Sword. So I’m doing pretty OK. Still lots of game to go. I’ll wait until I finish it before I get Ultimate Alliance 3. Where I will almost certainly be maining Ms. Marvel. Hell yeah. Anyway, comics!

Age of X-Man: Marvelous X-Men #5, by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Marco Failla, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Flashback! To the early days of the X-Men, but with Nate as a member. And Xavier’s not much of an expert on literature.

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This is actually false.

Shall I point him towards mythology? Just to start? We tend to treat Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey as the only legitimate way to tell a story, but it’s not, it’s one way to tell a story. A common way, especially in Western literature, but there are other options that are just as valid. Present Nate is watching the scene through one of the cracks in his world, and gets philosophical. Elsewhere, the other X-Men are helping investigate the murder of Moneta. Aww, that’s a shame, I liked Moneta. She’s awful. I wanted her to be moved to the real world and join Emma’s Hellfire Club. While they all argue over what to do, Nature Girl listens to the bacteria in Moneta’s body. Huh, neat. She gets to see a memory of Moneta going to a poetry club, asking around about Piotr, and confronting Apocalypse. Which leads to a memory of Nate changing Apocalypse to fit his new world. And then Apocalypse killed Moneta. Poor Moneta. She tells the others, so now there’s more debate about what to do. But they do know the world is fake. This is good, though I do have one notable complaint. This whole mini felt like it was building up for Laura to be key to breaking the illusion, but not really, no, it was actually Nature Girl who did it. Which is fine, Nature Girl’s cool. It just feels like a missed opportunity. It’s narratively unsatisfying that Laura didn’t play a bigger role in breaking Nate’s illusion. There’s still the Omega issue, I guess. But I’m somehow doubting she’ll be an integral character there. Oh well. Other than that, the issue’s good. Revelations are handled well, and some characters – particularly Laura – very much embrace who they really are. Kurt is reluctant to believe it all, which adds a fairly interesting element of conflict. Still, while this is a fine issue, Marvelous X-Men as a whole is probably the second-weakest of the Age of X-Man minis. Which was the weakest? Well, let’s get to that one.

Age of X-Man: Apocalypse and the X-Tracts #4, by Tim Seeley, Salva Espin, Israel Silva, and Travis Lanham. A nice little opening on Eye-Boy seeing glimpses of events all over the world, and then closes in on Genesis taking on Omega Red. In New York, Apocalypse is sermoning, and I’m not sure if the crowd is supposed to look entranced or if Espin just draws really creepy eyes. Piotr enters to talk to Kitty, and she takes him to her room for talking and smooching. Bleh.

menorrah (2)

I do like the Menorah as Kitty’s connection to her true self.

I’m sorry to the Kitty/Piotr shippers, but I just do not like that ship. It’s creepy and uncomfortable. (Also, Illyana is the Rasputin that Kitty should be smooching.) Back to Russia, where Dazzler and Unveil are having some trouble convincing some farmers to leave the area of the fight against Omega Red, until Unveil convinces them to leave.

commune (2)

Mind control is unethical, calling it something else makes it OK.

Genesis and Omega Red keep fighting, until Omega reveals that there’s all sorts of deception going on, and that Genesis was sent to retrieve Omega Red as Apocalypse’s weapon. And then he kills Evan. Aw, poor Evan. I want to state first off that I really do not like Espin’s art. At all. I do not like it in the least. So that definitely drags down my own personal enjoyment of this comic. Beyond that, though, this just isn’t a great series. It feels unfocused, and while I ca forgive that in Marvelous (as the main book of the event), I can’t forgive it in this series, which should have a strong focus and a clear point. Yes, it’s about love, in its different forms. But so are the other minis. And this one handles that theme in the least-compelling way. Kitty/Piotr is just predictable, and nothing about how it happens is at all surprising. It’s done because it has to be done, because Kitty and Piotr have to get together, because people are unable to get beyond their favourite ships from when they were growing up. That predictability makes that particular plot thread boring to me, especially since I don’t ship them. The Omega Red plot finally has a point, by showing that Apocalypse is a lot more sinister than he lets on. Which Marvelous also did this week. Ultimately, X-Tracts feels like it did the least to make itself worthwhile as a separate book. It tied most closely into Marvelous, but in the process, it did the most to repeat beats that were appearing in that book. Prisoner X dealt with something the main book didn’t, the prison for repeat offenders. X-Tremists showed us what that team does, and delved deeply into each of them, their mindsets and motivations, which the main book didn’t have time to do. NextGen shows us the school. Nightcrawler is focused on his on adventures, showing us a side of this world that the main book didn’t have space for. X-Tracts does none of that. We get little real insight into Dazzler or Unveil, or even, frankly, Eye-Boy. We spend very little time on the mission of the X-Tracts, of spreading love. We don’t get anything that truly sets this book apart from Marvelous, that does anything Marvelous wasn’t already doing. So on top of being the least-useful of the books, it’s also the one with, I would argue, the least-interesting story, and the least-compelling character exploration.

X-Force #9, by Ed Brisson, Dylan Burnett, Jesus Aburtov, and Cory Petit. Fighting. Until Blaquesmith slows time. While he tells X-Force where Cable is, Boom-Boom punches one of Stryfe’s goons a bunch of times. Boom-Boom seems like one of the funnest characters to write. Once X-Force gets to the prison, they split into two teams. Domino, Boom-Boom, Shatterstar, which is clearly Team Fun. Then Cannonball, Warpath, Deathlok, which is Team Mostly-Sensible. They’re the ones who find Cable, with his T-O virus out of control.

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See? Sensible. Where’s the fun in that?

Domino’s team tries to sneak up on Stryfe, but he’s a telepath, so that doesn’t go great. Meanwhile, throughout the issue, Rachel has someone in her head trying to free her. Mother Askani, it turns out. So Rachel helps herself break free. That’s actually kinda neat. So it’s about frigging time Rachel got free, I want her to be the one who kicks Stryfe’s ass next issue, and never do another story ever again where Rachel falls under a villain’s control. Rachel shouldn’t have had to break free, because she shouldn’t have fallen under Stryfe’s control, and she sure as ever-loving fuck never should’ve fallen under Ahab’s control. Anyway, my continued anger at that entire goddamn plot aside, this issue’s pretty decent. I can’t say it’s great. It’s got some fun moments. But it’s also just not really anything exceptional. I do like the art, I like how raw it is, and it works particularly great during action scenes. The art is probably my favourite thing about this series. The art, and Boom-Boom. She’s always delightful, and she continues to be wonderful this issue. But a lot of the story just feels somehow lacking. Maybe it’s because it’s Cable vs. Stryfe is kinda played out. Stryfe might be played out in general, for the moment. And we don’t even get his shining armour covered in spikes. He’s wearing rags, looking all post-apocalyptic. Which makes sense, since this is literally a few years post-Apocalypse. But still, there was a certain charm to Stryfe’s regular, ridiculous outfit, and this one lacks that charm. I don’t know, this series isn’t bad, but I just can’t say it’s particularly great or memorable.

Major X #5, by Rob Liefeld, Brent Peeples, Adelso Corona, Romula Fajardo, Jr., and Joe Sabino. Major X, M’koy, and the X-Ential teleport to Genosha, and are surrounded by Sentinels, under the X-Ential’s control. We also meet Aura.

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Very intimidating.

Then the X-Ential merges with Aura. And the Administrator, the bad guy from the past couple issues, attacks. Which is a bad idea, considering the army of Sentinels. In Atlantis, Namor uses the Horn of Proteus to summon a monster. And it turns out that Major X’s mother is Storm. The son of Cable and Storm. OK, so. Storm also had an alternate-reality child with T’Challa. So now we have a connection between T’Challa and the Summers Family. Neat. Actually, while I’m here, instead of talking about this comic, let’s talk about something more interesting. Alex Summers and Janet Van Dyne had an alternate-timeline daughter, connecting Janet to the Summers Family. Janet has officially adopted Nadia, who is the daughter of Hank Pym, so the Summers and Pym families have a connection. Vision married Wanda and had children with them, which leads to a link, however distant, between the Summers and Maximoff families. Mostly indirect, and involving time travel, alternate timelines, magic, robots, and other utter nonsense. I just felt it was worth noting. As for this comic? Look, it’s Liefeld, what do you want me to say?

Anyway! Non-X-stuff!

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #45, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. There’s a truly lovely use of Robert Frost’s famous Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening. The issue is, and this may surprise you, wonderful.

Giant-Man #3, by Leah Williams, Marco Castiello, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Sabino. Moonstone! Cassie! Sea turtles! This is real good. Leah Williams is phenomenal. One of the best writers Marvel’s got. This mini was great, and this conclusion is fantastic. Williams does such a good job getting into the heads of the characters she writes.

Champions #6, by Jim Zub, Juanan Ramirez, Marcio Menyz, and Clayton Cowles. Hummingbird! Nice! And I kiiiinda ship her with Viv? Based on a two-panel interaction? Actually, based on Viv brushing her hair behind her ear in a way that felt like “oh my gosh cute girl looking at me.” Also, Power Man gets to not die. Boy, does he ever not die.

Ironheart #7, by Eve Ewing, Luciano Vecchio, Geoffo, Matt Milla, and Clayton Cowles. Wasp! Zombies! Lots of zombies! It’s really fun. This is a very good series.

From → 2019, Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. Didn’t pick up any X-Men comics this week. At this point I’m just waiting for Hickman’s run to begin. Not saying it’ll be good, but I’m at least looking forward to giving it a chance.

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