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X-Men comic of July 24 2019

July 24, 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Well, we’ve entered the Hickman era. So for the next little while, the only X-Men comics are his. Well, and Dead Man Logan. Of course Logan still gets a series. Anyway, let’s get into it.

House of X #1, by Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, and Clayton Cowles. Over the past few months, the X-Men have been planting flowers. They even planted one on Mars. In the present, Xavier telepathically summons a bunch of ambassadors to a secret embassy. His new mutant nation has designer drugs that treat a wide range of health problems, but they’ll only be made available to nations that recognize his nation’s sovereignty. So it’s a safe bet the US will be out. I mean, you really think the pharmaceutical industry would let the US government do anything that would cut into their profits? Regardless, the ambassadors go in and meet with Magneto, there as Xavier’s representative. We then cut to the X-Men bringing some kids through a gateway to Krakoa, which is where the X-Men now live. It’s the new mutant nation. Cypher and Sage seem to be the main ones running the computer system linked up to Krakoa, and Doug has a Warlock arm, huh, wonder if that’ll be relevant in the upcoming New Mutants series. Cut to space, where a ship docks at the Forge, a large space station that one of the ship’s crew describes as humanity’s last chance. Karima Shapandar, Omega Sentinel, is there, and not very excited about the whole thing. Also, the Forge is built around a Mastermold attached to a bit of Sol’s Hammer, something Tony Stark made back in Hickman’s Avengers run. Back on Earth, Toad is now a skilled computer hacker?

aslongas (2)

That gag never gets old.

Sabretooth is there, too, so someone’s already re-attached his head. The Thing and the Human Torch attack them. Then back to the tour of Krakoa, and maybe my favourite moment of the issue.

signs (2)

Genuinely funny joke.

It’s a language that’s telepathically implanted into the minds of mutants when they arrive on Krakoa. Magneto notes that a distinct culture requires its own language. There’s some interesting discussions about the whole situation. Magneto notes mutants have never conquered a people and made slaves of their population. Though, I mean, his second appearance kinda did just that? But OK, we’ll let that slide. Back in Manhattan, Sabretooth gets caught by the Fantastic Four, and Scott comes out to greet them. He starts off by congratulating Ben on his marriage, which is honestly kinda sweet. I like when superheroes who don’t interact too often are still friendly. Scott wants to take Sabretooth back to Krakoa, the Fantastic Four disagree, so Scott decides to let them have him. I imagine it wasn’t a tough call. Sabretooth’s a dick. Also, Sue expresses some concern for what Xavier’s doing, but Scott’s response is great.

takeit (2)

Powerful words.

And then back to the tour for Magneto to do a last bit of posturing. So. This is well-made, certainly. Lots of big ideas, presented well. It sets the stage well for the rest of House of X. It does have the same problem I have with so much of Hickman’s work: The big ideas take precedence over smaller character work. I’m all about the characters, that’s the thing I love most, so comics like this tend to leave me a bit cold. There is some cool Magneto stuff, and we get a couple nice little moments with a couple other characters. But the issue’s main focus is on world-building. And there’s still actually quite a bit left to do. We see very little of Krakoa itself. Xavier’s barely in the issue, though obviously his new idea dominates the whole thing. The idea of a mutant homeland isn’t exactly new – X-Utopia from a few years back, Genosha a few years before that, even Avalon a few years before that. Krakoa is a cool variation on the idea. And a mutant homeland is a valuable idea. Mutants having a place where they’re safe is important. My one concern is pretty much always a concern I have: We still need to see non-hostile interactions with humans. China seems on-board with Xavier, which is cool, and France is interested. But I think it’s also important to see mutants living openly among humans. I think seeing a mutant culture develop is important, and I hope that’s part of what Hickman’s going to do. He touches on it with language. I want it to extend to arts, fashion, athletics, holidays, cuisine, and all the other things that make up a culture. I want to see all that stuff get explored. And not just in the form of info-graphs. This issue’s got a few of those in here, I guess to explain things that the audience needs to know but which would slow down the story to explain on-panel.

The short of it is, this is a good start, but Hickman’s writing doesn’t always click with me, so I’m not entirely sold yet.

And the non-X-comics.

Magnificent Ms. Marvel #5, by Saladin Ahmed, Minkyu Jung, Juan Vlasco, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna. I don’t like her new costume. I’m sorry, I just don’t like it. And, ugh, her parents had their memories of her secret identity erased. Uuuuuuuuggggghh WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY why would you do that? It’s just going to lead to a rehash of stories that have already been done? What does this add? So now she has to go back to worrying about hiding it from her parents, yippee, great, it’s not as if we didn’t get those stories already. It’s a terrible idea. It’s going back to an old, tired, worn-out trope, for the sake of cheap drama that we already got plenty of in Wilson’s run. I’m now giving real consideration to dropping the comic. I suppose I’ll stick around a couple more issues, but Ahmed’s seriously disappointed me on this series so far.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #45, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Devil’s in love, but his girlfriend’s been dead for millions of years, poor guy. Also, the Zoe/Eduardo relationship gets more attention here, with Zoe finally standing up for herself more.

Marvel Rising #5, by Nilah Magruder, Roberto Di Salvo, Georges Duarte, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles. The Hudson River is a big fan of Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel.

Fearless #1, by LOTS OF PEOPLE. Three stories. First, by Seanan McGuire, Claire Roe, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Janice Chiang. Captain Marvel, Invisible Woman, and Storm all get invited to speak at a leadership camp for girls. All three are going about their normal routines before heading out. Sue is at home with Reed, Carol is cleaning space barnacles off the Alpha Flight station with a French woman I’m pretty sure is Aurora, and Storm . . . chases some guys out of a protected forest. Her daily routine consists of being epic. I love it. Anyway, seems like an intriguing story, and McGuire’s great, though I’m not big on Roe’s art style. I just find her faces weird and off-putting.

Second, by Leah Williams, Nina Vakueva, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Janice Chiang. Millie the Model story! A photo-shoot with other models and influencers. That’s it. That’s the story. It’s great. Lots of fun dialogue, one of them threatens to pee in front of everyone, Chili almost kills someone. It’s just a lot of fun.

And finally, by Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain, and Janice Chiang. Elsa calls Jessica Jones to get her out of prison. It’s great. Short and sweet with an absolute killer of a last page. It made me want a new series based on the characters who appear. That’s all I’ll say (except it has Bestverine.).

Shuri #10, by Nnedi Okorafor, Rachael Stott, Carlos Lopez, and Joe Sabino. The end of the series. Shame. It was pretty good. I’ll admit, I like Okorafor’s prose more than I like her comics. And I also thought this series was hamstrung a little by the need to write Movie Shuri. I tend to think complaints of comics-movie synergy tend to be exaggerated, but in this case, it was definitely happening. Oh well. It was a fun comic.

From → 2019, Uncategorized

  1. G'kar permalink

    Fearless was ok, but think the writer got a little carried away with Aurora’s accent, it seemed bit stereotypical but that might just be me.

    • It was, but honestly, I’m willing to chalk it up to Aurora being a troll. Exaggerating her accent just to piss Carol off.

  2. I’m not entirely sold on House of X either, but it’s got some interesting ideas. At least it doesn’t feel like the same story we’ve been reading on and off for the last 10 years. It’s also got some great lines of dialogue.

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