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X-Men comics of July 3 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I went to Spider-Man: Far From Home yesterday. I enjoyed it. Very good. Really cool way of handling Mysterio, and his reveal was great. It was also really nice to see MJ get plenty to do. The action was very exciting. Also, that cameo in the mid-credits. The whole theatre cheered. Anyway, today is comics.

Uncanny X-Men #21, by Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna. The X-Men break into the Hellfire Club.

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“A little from column A. . . .”

They find Emma inside. Elsewhere, Triage is being forced to heal ONE troops cut apart by Logan. He also manages to heal up Logan a bit, who was near-death after being subdued. Back at the Hellfire Club, there’s some entertaining banter between Emma and Alex, and then Hope puts a gun to the back of Emma’s head. Back at Logan, he finds Velocidad merged with Warlock, being used to create new Warlocks, and Logan mercy-kills him. So that’s another death. Of a POC, again. And I mean, it’s not like I ever actually liked Velocidad, he always came across as a douche. But still, more death. Oh, also, Banshee dies. Again. Because of fucking course he does, there weren’t enough deaths yet. Also, Evil General Guy turns off Illyana’s mutant power, which turns her into the Darkchild. And she takes the Gem of Cyttorak out of him and crushes it. And like, OK, Scott says that Illyana’s mutant power was what let her control the Darkchild. But that’s not actually true. It was her humanity that let her control it. It had nothing at all to do with her power. Illyana’s mutant power gave her a connection to Limbo, via her stepping discs. But the Darkchild isn’t directly part of her connection to Limbo, it’s the result of what Belasco did to her. So this retcon of her mutant power letting her control her Darkchild form is utter nonsense, coming out of nowhere. Not that that’s exactly out of the ordinary for this run. This issue, as usual, is well-made garbage. It’s not actually a poorly-made comic. It’s just infuriating in terms of the decisions made. It keeps going out of its way to piss me off. It keeps killing characters off, to the point where none of them are shocking any more. It is impossible to actually feel anything now when a character dies, because it’s just been too much. It is impossible to care about a damn thing happening in this comic, because it’s just a never-ending stream of death and misery, which is what the franchise as a whole has been since Decimation. The X-office needs to move the fuck on and actually allow some positivity into their stories, because as it is? I just do not give a shit about the misery any more.

Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #5, by Vita Ayala, German Peralta, Mike Spicer, and Joe Sabino. Riot! Bishop, Lorna, Dani, Hank, and Gabby take the opportunity to go Legion-hunting. In a cartoon hallway.

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Cue “Yakkity Sax.”

Legion sics his guards on them, so it’s a fight in a hallway full of doors that lead back to each other. It’s a pretty awesome fight. Gabby has fun, Lorna shows how dangerous she is.

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Never argue with Lorna.

Bishop, Hank, and Gabby continue on, find Legion, and during the fight, Legion turns into Shard to give them a hint to who’s behind it all. Then it’s time to deal with Legion. Great end to a great mini. This and X-Tremists were far and away the best of the Age of X-Man minis. Ayala used this book to explore prison and freedom and memory. Connection wasn’t as prominent a theme here as it was in other books, but that just let it look at things other books weren’t. And there was the sense of connection that can be built within incarceration. This mini also did a really compelling take on Bishop. I hope Ayala keeps using him in their next X-Men series, which I really hope they get. Give them Lorna, too, because they write Lorna as a major badass. Like, piss her off and she becomes unstoppable. Speaking of Lorna, I like the way Peralta had her just constantly surrounded by bits of metal. It was a cool touch. Peralta also clearly had fun with the hallway fight. Lots of cool bits in there. And the fight against Legion was also trippy and weird and cool, as it should be. Yeah, this mini was excellent.

Dead Man Logan #9, by Ed Brisson, Mike Henderson, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. Bruce, Jr. is fighting a robot, Dani Cage has a radiation gun pointed at her head, and Logan has no lungs. Logan still manages to take the robot down by electrocuting it. Then the three head to South Dakota to get Bruce, Jr. some medical aid. The remnants of the cult hunting Bruce, Jr. get found by Sabretooth. Safe bet they’re gonna die. In South Dakota, Logan meets in Forge, who’s got a nice little bunker where people are taken care of. Unconnected to the one Kate Bishop ran, I guess. Also, Speedball’s in Forge’s bunker, in a bubble, because his power’s out of control and if he bounces he’ll explode. And then the bunker is found. Decent issue. Logan and Forge catching up was nice. The cult stuff gets wrapped-up pretty quickly. The pacing of this issue feels weird. The stuff with the cult feels both long and short, somehow, and the rest of the issue just feels oddly long.  Actually, I think what throws me off is a couple pages that have timeskips, coming after each other. The lack of something in between a couple pages in particular throws the pacing off. I don’t know, it’s not a bad issue or anything, the pacing of it just didn’t quite click for me.

And the non-X-stuff.

Ms. Marvel Annual, by Magdalene Visaggio, Jon Lam Msassyk, and Joe Caramagna. Ms. Marvel vs. Super-Skrull! Also, a new minor villain, Shabang, who I love. She robs vintage clothing stores and makes explosions from her fists. She is great and I hope she gets more appearances, because I absolutely love minor villains. Everyone else gets excited about Doom or Magneto or Thanos or Dr. Octopus or other major villains, and I’m over here wanting the villain protagonist series about a woman who robs vintage clothing stores. Yes please, that is my kind of villain, just in it for the lulz.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #46, by Ryan North, Derek Charm, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham. Alberta has no rats, Ratatoskr am whale, and the day is saved through the power of John Locke. Man, I really hope Rachel gets to be an occasional supporting character in the next Squirrel Girl series, she’s so cool. I would read a series where she’s a part of the cast. Actually, wait, hold on! Hold on! So she stays in Canada at the end of the issue. So make her part of a new Alpha Flight. Come on, Marvel, you cowards!

Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #10, by Seanan McGuire, Takeshi Miyazawa, Rosi Kampe, Ian Herring, and Clayton Cowles. Swarm! This issue sees him upgrade from Nazi bees to Nazi bee dinosaur. This is why superhero comics exist.

X-Men comics of June 26 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert).

War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3, by Matthew Rosenberg, Pere Perez, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Travis Lanham. Rahne tells Sabretooth to let Illyana go, and Hrimhari defends Rahne against him.

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I always enjoy seeing Sabretooth get wrecked.

With Creed out of the way, Rahne and Illyana (and Hrimhari) meet up with the others. Oh and hey, remember how we were told that Rahne was mad at Karma? Karma mentioned Rahne looking at her with anger in her eyes? Yeah, we see them hugging. I’m honestly annoyed at that. They head back to the baseball stadium, where Hrimhari explains that he promised Enchantress he’d stay out of the war. Then there’s fighting, and Sunspot crushes a gem that was restricting Illyana’s magic. And it kills him. Which was spoiled in the main series, but yeah, by my count, we’re now at 5 dead X-Men in Rosenberg’s run, plus quite a few villains. Is this how he wants to ensure his run gets remembered? Pure, simple body count? Creed’s forces are tricked into a portal to Limbo, then Rahne tears Creed’s throat out with her teeth and orders the wolves to leave. Good for her. A few days after this, she gets beaten to death by some random jackasses because Rosenberg wanted to make an incredibly weak comment on trans panic murder. Also, Illyana cuts Creed’s head off and kicks it into a portal. Nice. Too bad he’ll be back. I hate Sabretooth. Little reminder that, in addition to being a murderer, he’s also a rapist. Yeah, that gets overlooked a lot, but he’s totally a rapist, and I hate rapist characters, so fuck Sabretooth, kill the sack of shit and let him stay dead forever and ever. Anyway. This was better than the main series. Sunspot’s death is crap, but that aside, this was a mostly-well-written story, with some good tension, and some good emotional weight to Rahne’s decision. Though Dani gets depressingly little to do, given the whole point of the event. Rosenberg tries to get some pathos at the end with Dani mourning the fallen Valkyries, but she got little enough to do in the event that the end moment feels like it’s an attempt to play catch-up. At least this mini wasn’t all about the white guys, though.

Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #5, by Leah Williams, Georges Jeanty, Roberto Poggi, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles. Jubilee issue! And right off the bat with some really powerfully relatable stuff.

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Very much yes.

So, yeah, this issue shows Jubilee remembering her son, and deciding to burn the fake world to the ground because she has nothing to lose. And it’s frigging awesome. It’s full of these super-heavy fees delivered in Jubilee’s style of affected detachment. There’s also a wonderful Blobsy moment. I really, really want this version of Blob to carry over to the main universe, at least for a while. Let him try to be this best possible version of himself, and let Betsy be there to support him in it. This issue is just fucking brilliant. Williams is a powerhouse writer. I think I’d rank this as the best of the Age of X-Man minis. Prisoner X is phenomenal, too, a close second, for many of the same reasons. But goddamn. Marvel should just give Williams full rein to do whatever she damned well wants to do. This issue is a killer finale to a killer mini, full of emotional moments but also some hilarious moments. She’s just got such a deep understanding of the characters, and of their emotional states. So. Fucking. Good.

Mr. and Mrs. X #12, by Kelly Thompson, Javier Pina, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Sabino. Candra needs to do a sacrifice to get her proper power levels back, and she tells Gambit to choose between Rogue or Bella Donna. But Gambit is more clever and more determined than anyone thought.

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Plus his knack for one-liners.

He frees himself, and gives Rogue a chance to free herself, and also a nice chance to demonstrate her newfound knowledge on how to control her power by controlling her fear. And that pretty much wraps that whole thing up, especially with Jean-Luc and Bella Donna also siding with Gambit and Rogue. Candra’s defeated, Gambit cements his status as King of the Thieves’ Guild, and there’s talk of babies. And that’s that. This series is over. Shame it had to end, I would’ve enjoyed more of it. I’m looking forward to whatever Marvel has lined up for Thompson next. There must be something, it’d be foolish of them not to keep her working for them. She brings so much charm and fun and heart to anything she works on. This series was a lot of fun, and Thompson successfully made me care for the Rogue/Gambit ship. Great art, too. Pere Perez is excellent.

Marvel Comics Presents #6, by Charles Soule, Paulo Siqueira, Oren Junior, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Caramagna. 1995. Hey, opening on Talisman! Neat! She senses the Truth’s imminent return, and contacts Logan with the X-Men, who join him in Montserrat, at the eruption of Soufriere Hills. The fight goes poorly. A lot of them die, including Scott, Ororo, and Talisman. Then the newest of the French witches shows up, with magic claws.

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She’s even got his snarl.

Logan reasonably deduces she’s his daughter. I’m honestly meh on this installment. Killing the characters didn’t have quite the impact it should have. The fact that two women of colour died is also annoying, even though their deaths aren’t going to stick, given this story is set in the past. Also, this issue features a Deadpool story set in the ’90s that makes fun of the comics speculator boom. Additionally, a coffee shop called “Two Live Brew” and I AM SO MAD AT HOW MUCH I LIKE THAT JOKE.

Major X #6, by Rob Liefeld, Cory Hamscher, Adelso Corona, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and Joe Sabino.

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. . . Fine. That’s pretty cool.

Anyway, it’s the end of the mini. This whole thing was a wild ride. Is it good? No, of course not, not even in the slightest. Is it enjoyable? Well, that depends on your own pleasure in the terrible. There are people who will love this mini as a trashfire. Others will just find it boring. For the most part, I found it boring and stupid. I didn’t care for it. But I have never understood Liefeld’s appeal.

Wolverine: Exit Wounds, which actually features 3 stories from different eras. First, by Larry Hama, Scot Eaton, Sean Parsons, Matt Milla, and Joe Sabino. This one is set in the Weapon X program, with the Professor, Dr. Cornelius, and Hines watching him remember stuff. He remembers confronting Creed over Silver Fox’s murder. He freaks out and has to be subdued. Then he’s sent out to kill wolves, and then sent out with the helmet on him to fight a bear, where he finally goes berserker, but doesn’t escape yet.

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Those wires get less reasonable every time they’re drawn.

I do find the wires funny. Take a guy with claws in his hands, cover him in wires, and send him to fight animals with more claws. Surely nothing could go wrong. Not like the wires are going to get ruined immediately. Honestly, this story is just weak. It provides no new insights, it’s just combining two frankly overtold Logan stories at once. It feels half-assed, like Hama didn’t really want to do a Wolverine story, but he had to, so he just tossed out the most generic Wolverine story possible. Nice art, though.

Second, by Chris Claremont, Salvador Larroca, Val Staples, and Joe Sabino. This one’s set after the Wolverine & Kitty Pryde mini. Logan takes Kitty and Yukio to a little restaurant to visit the wife of one of Logan’s endless old friends. Logan has a ridiculous number of old friends. Anyway, some ramen tyrant wants this woman’s recipes and to run her shop. And Logan makes some ramen.

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A pink apron and a cowboy hat. Fashion icon.

OK, Logan, knives are an actual thing, so why are you using your claws, which come out of your own body, to cut vegetable? That can’t be sanitary! Anyway, all snark aside, I like the way this story puts so much focus on the preparation of the food. I want more cape comics that make use of food. Less cool: the woman is descended from Logan. Ugh. Uuuuuuugh. What a stupid idea. That nonsense aside, it’s a fun little story. Light, low stakes, low tension, low drama, just a simple little story about food.

And finally, by Sam Kieth, Ronda Pattison, and Joe Sabino. Logan’s in some jungle, and he fights Venom.

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Kieth’s art is so charming.

It’s a nothing story, the draw here is entirely in the art. Luckily, Kieth’s art is great. So much energy and character. I love his style.





















X-Men comics of June 19 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I saw a bunny two nights in a row while walking home, so I’ve been pretty excited about that. I’ve also watched the first episode of Jessica Jones s3. I enjoyed it. It’s still going to take a while to get through the whole series. But it’s late, so let’s get to comics.

Uncanny X-Men #20, by Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna. It opens with some kid having an allergic reaction to the mutant vaccine. The kind of reaction that includes vomiting blood. Oh great, justifying anti-vaxxer paranoia. (That’s a joke. But seriously, screw anti-vaxxers.) Meanwhile, the Nasty Boys are dead. You know what? Let’s go on a huge digression. I liked the Nasty Boys. I grew up on the ’90s cartoon, where they were Sinister’s minions instead of the Marauders. But they were cool. They were fun characters, with some weird powers. I think they deserve to get used as legitimate characters. They deserve better than to be YET A-GODDAMN-NOTHER set of mutants to be unceremoniously killed off by Rosenberg because it’s the only idea he has. And it turns out they were killed by – OF ALL FUCKING PEOPLE – the Upstarts. The goddamn Upstarts. You know who the Upstarts are? They were a group of mutant villains in the ’90s who were in a competition to kill other mutants for points as part of some kind of game, for a prize that was never actually explained, because it was one of those idiotic ’90s plots that was never planned out in the slightest, where no one involved in creating the story had any idea where it was actually going, because marketing said that mysterious plots were popular. The group here consists of Shinobi Shaw, Sienna Blaze (who I actually liked), Fitzroy (who SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS), and Cortez (who’s only interesting as a wild card vying for control of a villain group). Blaze seems to have very tight control of her powers now, which actually makes her less interesting. Her power being ridiculously destructive, and her being pretty much completely indifferent to the damage, was charming. Now? Rosenberg just makes her, and the Upstarts as a whole, so damn generic. Shinobi gives some spiel about mutants failing to survive humanity, and keeping some pawns away from the Hellfire Club, then he kills himself, because, again, Rosenberg has no other ideas for this entire run. It also turns out that Dark Beast has found a way to render the mutant vaccine obsolete. And Logan confronts Emma.

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He’s not wrong.

Also, I want to know who was the asshole who thought giving Marrow her Pretty design was a good idea. Who’s the asshole who misunderstands her character and her history to such an extent that they thought, hey, let’s go with her worst design. Mystique vs. Kwannon is a pretty cool fight, though. I dug it. And good use of headgames from Mystique to get the drop on Kwannon. And hey, it turns out that Dark Beast’s anti-vaccine has put 5 kids into comas. Shocking! And Illyana kills Dark Beast. Because sure, why the fuck not, let’s just kill more and more and more and more characters. Kill the entire fucking franchise, it’s clearly what Rosenberg wants to do. Just murder every character. Christ, how does this series continue to be so frustrating and annoying? I just don’t understand what the point of this series is? It’s just non-stop misery and murder. You need some fucking hope spots once in a goddamn while, but Rosenberg just keeps laying on the misery and murder. Not to mention continually misusing so many characters. Yeah, mostly characters that don’t have big fanbases, characters who get little use anyway, but they still deserve better than the pointless bullshit Rosenberg pulls with them. Holy shit, this series cannot end soon enough. At this point, I don’t even give a shit what Hickman does, it cannot be worse than this. It has to be better, just by default, because this series is rock-fucking-bottom.

Age of X-Man: NextGen #5, by Ed Brisson, Lucas Werneck, Jason Keith, and Clayton Cowles. Anole’s blown up the library, which automatically makes me dislike him. How dare he bomb a library. They are important safe spaces and community centres. The X-Tremists show up to arrest the kids, but they escape. They head to BC, where Glob’s pretty sure the Life Seed is supposed to be. Instead, they get captured by the X-Men, and sent to the Danger Room prison. Aw, poor kids. This was a pretty good finale to a pretty good mini. The most middling of the Age of X-Man minis. Not great, not bad, just adequate. Some pretty good stuff in it, but it didn’t have anything to elevate it to the greatness of X-Tremists or Prisoner X. It clearly focused on the theme of platonic, friendship love, as opposed to romantic love or familial love. But it didn’t quite feel like it pulled the theme off. It was OK, but not as good as it could have been.

Age of X-Man: Amazing Nightcrawler #5, by Seanan McGuire, Juan Frigeri, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Travis Lanham. Kurt vs. the entertainment industry, basically. He grabs TJ and Celeste and then goes back for Meggan, who’s still in Mystique’s form, being attacked by all the movie people we saw in this mini. Then Kurt, Meggan, and Celeste all have a deep conversation, where Celeste talks about how the Cuckoos have taken major risks to keep wiping Kurt and Meggan’s memories themselves, rather than the X-Tremists doing it. Because they want to keep their family together, and that includes Kurt and Meggan and the others at the studio. And a really sad sacrifice has to be made.

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Ow, my heart.

Really good finale to a really good mini. I’d rank it third of the Age of X-Man minis, though not a distant third. McGuire is really good. So much emotion and pathos. I like that the Cuckoos aren’t actually enemies. The enemy is the system they all live in that prohibits love, and the Cuckoos are just doing their best to protect the people they care about, even if they have to do some bad shit to do that. Also, when this reality ceases to exist, Tenia Jean will also cease to exist, and that’s frigging tragic.

And, since I couldn’t get to the comic shop today, I can’t talk about any of the other comics that came out.

X-Men comics of June 12 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.

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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.

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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.

X-Men comics of June 5 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.

X-Men comics of May 29 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I miss having Wednesdays off. So I read “Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me,” and it’s really good. Highly recommend it. But for now, here’s X-Men.

Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #4, by Leah Williams, Georges Jeanty, Roberto Poggi, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles. Northstar sees Fred and Betsy in a sweet moment, and gets suspicious. He expresses his concerns to Bobby, who kinda brushes it off, but also kiiiiinda flirts. Northstar leaves, and has some thoughts of suicidal ideation. Of moving so fast he kills himself. At the office on Monday, Moneta’s back, her mind wiped enough to make her forget all that had been going on. And Bobby takes his sweater off. Then Northstar investigates a call about a movie theatre, where he runs into Rictor. It’s a theatre where people are allowed to smooch, while also watching old movies. And then Northstar, Rictor, and Iceman all start drinking. Meanwhile, Moneta uses her memory-fingers on herself, which is preeeeeeeetty gross. And Northstar talks to Bobby about feeling like he’s missing a part of himself.

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Oh yeah, this issue’s a rough one.

And then more and more memories. And uh, yeah, next issue might be pretty intense. This one’s frigging amazing. Leah Williams is one of the best writers Marvel has right now. She gets to the heart of the characters she writes in a very special way. This spotlight on Northstar does a lot to show that, much as he’s a prick, he’s also vulnerable and trying to protect himself, emotionally. He’s a great character, and Williams does such a good job with him. It’s also notable that this issue has a scene where three gay dudes are just hanging out, talking, being supportive. That’s, uh, not something you see a lot of in cape comics. Generally, if you’ve got two openly gay queer characters of the same gender in a comic, they’re going to smooch. This one shows queer community. The closest comparison I can think of is actually Julie Power helping Striker come out as gay in Avengers Academy. So that’s a nice touch here. And yeah, Williams pretty loudly says “gay rights.” If I might reference a meme. There’s also a great development with Jubilee at the end of the issue. And yeah, this is the best issue yet of X-Tremists, and X-Tremists is probably the best of the Age of X-Man comics, so this is basically the best issue to come out of the Age of X-Man event. This is such a good series. Highly recommended. Everything Leah Williams does is highly recommended. The X-office needs to let her do whatever the hell she wants. I’m also psyched for her Gwenpool series. It’s a pretty perfect pairing, honestly, especially if you read Leah Williams’ Twitter, where she shit-posts constantly and delightfully.

X-23 #12, by Mariko Tamaki, Diego Olortegui, Walden Wong, Chris O’Halloran, and Cory Petit. Laura’s wallowing in depression after Gabby stormed out. Then Gabby calls to ask how to stop a train. Though she insists she doesn’t need any help. Laura tracks her, and, uh.

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These are turkeys with X-23 DNA in them. Hence, X-Turkeys, as Gabby dubs them. Gabby’s trying to rescue them, and Laura’s not sure why. As they go through the rescue mission, she comes to understand what it means to Gabby, and what Gabby’s mission is. They make up, because they’re sisters and they love each other, but they also realize their missions are different. And that’s good. It’s sad to see this series end. I do hope Laura gets another solo soon, and I hope Gabby lands somewhere, too. But I also hope they get to be in different books for a while. Occasionally crossing over, working together when it makes sense, but leading separate lives for a little while. As for this issue, well, X-Turkeys. I mean. I don’t know what else you want me to say? X-Turkeys kinda says it all, really. It’s great. It makes for a lot of hilarious bits, and also somehow kinda sells just how important it is to Gabby to protect other clones with X-23 DNA. She fights for the turkeys because the turkeys are a part of her. They’re family. So it’s sweet, while also being hilarious. I really liked this finale, and I’ll miss this series.

Wolverine: The Long Night #5, by Benjamin Percy, Marcio Takara, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. Flashback, to Sherman convincing Logan to start fighting to protect the people of Burns. In the present, the FBI agents find the body of Brent Langrock, the guy they think is killing women, decapitated and tied to a tree, with cultists gathered around talking about the Long Night falling. And then, uh, they do one of the things that cults do.

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Honestly? Mood.

The FBI agents then go to the local taxidermist on a hunch, and find Brent’s head. And in a freezer, the heads of the women killed. And the taxidermist reveals that Hudson Langrock is a monster who’s been hunting women. Also, the female agent gets shot in the leg, and seems to be fine. Suspicious! They find out that Deputy Bobby’s been hurt, and he tells them about his encounter with Logan.

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Bobby had then gone to the Langrock Estate, and that family sure is great. And things come to a climax. This was a good mini. As I’ve said before, it helps that it’s not actually about Logan. He’s just kinda something that happens. The agents were really cool characters. The mysteries about the town of Burns were compelling, and all get wrapped up in really cool, clever ways. The twist with the agents is handled well. There’s enough hints in the series that something’s off about them that the reveal comes more as a confirmation than a surprise. I really like how it was done. The art was great. Takara’s excellent. And he does horror pretty well. Hudson’s monstrous form is awesome. Takara just killed it all through. And his character work also worked perfectly for the reveal of who the agents are. So, yeah, this is a really good comic.

Major X #4, by Rob Liefeld, Brent Peeples, Adelso Corona, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and Joe Sabino. Flashback! Namor, along with Nomar and Lora, bitch out the X-Ential for bringing them to a world where the waters are full of toxins that are killing the Atlanteans. Major X gets pissy about it. Which, like . . . they have fair grievances? The X-Ential does promise to purify the waters. In the present, Dreadpool brings Major X to Nomar and Lora, and the Major tries to fight but fails. Luckily for him, the two groups of bad guys betray each other, giving him a chance to escape with M’Koy and the young X-Ential.

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Liefeld is such a clever writer.

This comic is just so not good. And honestly, this comic doesn’t even reach the level of being entertainingly bad. This issue is just bad. It’s basically an issue-long fight scene, but it’s lacking in energy or impact. Beyond that, very little of the fight does anything to advance the story or the characters. It’s just bland and boring fighting. The plotting in this series is terrible, the dialogue is worse. And I’m not really familiar with Peeples, but I can’t say his art thrills me. At its best, it’s competent, but man, I hope this issue as a whole isn’t demonstrative of his work, because there are some moments of bad visual storytelling. Moments where I’m left unsure of exactly what happened. So yeah, this very well might be the worst issue of Major X yet.

There’s also X-Men Grand Design: X-Tinction #1, by Ed Piskor. But I haven’t read it yet. I will. And the rest of the Grand Design run’s been great, so I expect great things.

Aaaaaaand I didn’t actually get to the comic shop yet, so I can’t talk about the non-X-comics for this week.

X-Men comics of May 22 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). So, I finally caved and bought a Nintendo Switch, and Zelda Breath of the Wild. I’m loving it. I still suck at the combat, sadly. Oh well. I’m still having fun. Last night, I saw a freaking dragon. It flew right under me. Pretty goddamn majestic. I’ve actually already watched a Let’s Play of the game, so I know most of what to expect. I know all the plot and stuff. But whatever, I’m playing to see stuff that wasn’t in the Let’s Play. Mostly talking to NPCs and shit. That’s what I want to see. In comic book news, Squirrel Girl is ending, which is tragic. I’ve loved that series. So good. I hope the final issue ends with Doreen and Nancy kissing and being confirmed as dating. Because they’re definitely dating. Leah Williams is getting a Gwenpool mini, which is sure to be wild. But for now, let’s get to yesterday’s comics, since I was too tired to do them after work.

Age of X-Man: Amazing Nightcrawler #4, by Seanan McGuire, Juan Frigeri, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Travis Lanham. Fight! Two groups of mutants beating the shit out of each other in a mall while a crowd cheers them on. It’s really fun. Poor Surge gets dropped in a fountain. After the fight ends, Kurt spots Mystique and TJ in the crowd, but they disappear before he can reach them. Meggan’s also slipped away in all the confusion. Kurt decides to go looking for TJ, and Celeste offers to help, against Irma’s wishes. There’s actually a really nice moment where she explains that the Cuckoos aren’t all the same person.

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Something too many writers forget.

For the record, I think Bendis doesn’t get enough credit for restoring both the popularity and individuality of the Cuckoos. For a long time, they really were all treated as one character, all the same, and only there as extra telepaths. Then Bendis had Irma dye her hair, and the Cuckoos became individuals, and subsequent writers have gone with that more than they did before. Anyway, they find TJ, with Meggan, in a warehouse, watching TV. And things get weird and sinister. Really cool, though. This is a really good series. All about family, and the things people will do to protect theirs. There’s a lot of really fun stuff, some great character drama, top-notch art. So yeah, it’s just an excellent comic. And TJ is very cute. Unsurprisingly. There’s a development with Meggan that got a little uncomfortable, when I read the wrong thing into it, but that’s on me. The issue itself is excellent. I hope McGuire gets an ongoing X-title after this.

War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #2, by Matthew Rosenberg, Pere Perez, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Travis Lanham. Dani leads the team in fighting frost giants and saving civilians left in New York. Karma takes one over . . . and he pretty swiftly breaks free of the control, because Karma actually being useful just sin’t allowed. Anyway, the X-Men are protecting refugees at a baseball stadium, and it doesn’t tell us how long they’ve been at it, but Scott and Alex both have beards now. Scott’s beard is especially thick, and honestly, even in the middle of the end of the world, I would expect Scott to shave. You’re slacking, Scott! Meanwhile, there’s another team that seems to be focused on just harassing the frost giants. That team includes Hope, who gets ripped in half. There’s more of her. The team also includes Sunspot, who just keeps killing frost giants, despite the team needing one alive to interrogate. They get attacked by a wolf pack led by Sabretooth.

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She should know better, women aren’t allowed to beat Sabretooth.

They get rescued by Dani’s team, though Rahne gets captured. Illyana’s already been captured. Boooo. This is still better than the main UXM title, if only because it lacks anything that really pisses me off. But nah, it’s fine. It’s what you expect of an event tie-in mini. A few small character moments amidst explanations of what these characters are doing as part of this tie-in. It also benefits from having a reduced focused on Scott and Alex. Those two dominate the main book, with everyone else getting largely backgrounded as a result. This one could actually use more Dani focus, I think, but at least it’s not The Scott And Alex Show. Still, given the premise of the event, I would definitely want more Dani. Not enough of her. She’s one of the more prominent characters here, but it’s still not really her story. Rahne is the other one getting a lot of focus, and there’s a development at the end that definitely has major repercussions for her. Of course, we know she’s just going to get murdered by random dudes, so that sucks some of the impact out of the moment. Still, that aside, this mini, while not destined to go down as some sort of classic, is serviceable. It’s an event tie-in comic. It’s fine for what it is.

Mr. and Mrs. X #11, by Kelly Thompson, Oscar Bazaldua, Frank D’Armata, and Joe Sabino. Gambit returns to New Orleans. Side note: A newspaper headline says “Sanctuary cities for mutants will be prosecuted.” Which is supposed to show how bad things are, but you know what I got out of it? There are sanctuary cities for mutants. How bad is it that I see that as a positive headline? It’s also obviously meant to be a clear allegory for real-world sanctuary cities for immigrants, of course. Anyway, he’s back in New Orleans because the death of the X-Men has left a power vacuum that the Thieves’ Guild is looking to take advantage of. And Candra’s back! In a child’s body. Huh. Neat. Also, the Thieves’ and Assassins’ Guilds are united. Not the first time – they united in Gambit’s old ongoing back in the day, too. Gambit gets captured, all alone, certain that Rogue’s probably already rejoined the X-Men. But not so much.

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Rogue being a casual powerhouse is always fun times.

There’s also more jokes about chains. Rogue and Gambit are totally into the kink lifestyle. At no point has this series been subtle about that. They’ve made so many comments about chains and whips and everything. They are the kinkiest heroes. Anyway, this is great stuff. Bringing in the Thieves’ Guild was necessary, since Gambit is co-lead and it’s a big part of his history. Thompson does a good job tying it into ongoing events in the larger X-world. Candra’s return is cool. Yay Candra. The scripting is sharp and clever. The art’s great, Bazaldua continues to kill it. And D’Armata. His colour work is so good, and adds so much to the art. Colour artists get too little appreciation, and D’Armata deserves more appreciation, because he really does do an excellent job. Sadly, there’s only one more issue of this series. We’ll see if Thompson gets another X-Men title. It’d make sense to give her a team title, one with Rogue and Gambit and whoever else she wants to throw on the team. Jubilee? I feel like Thompson would have a lot of fun writing Jubilee. Throw in Laura as Jubilee’s BFF. Bishop should be there. Make it the Classic Hero X-Men Book. Well, I guess we’ll see what happens after Hickman’s big thing.

X-Force #8, by Ed Brisson, Dylan Burnett, Jesus Aburtov, and Cory Petit. X-Force have arrived in Cable’s team, and head for Ebonshire, per the message from Rachel. Cable has no control over his T-O virus, and it’s spreading, and it’s starting to get into Aliya’s cell. I wouldn’t mind Aliya getting to survive, actually. Not like she ever got to be much of a character. She was always Cable’s Dead Wife. She was in a series showing Cablee’s early years, where she was basically The Serious Competent Woman Who Resents The Untrained Emotional Man Who Is The Only One Capable Of Saving The Day. She was kinda flat, is what I’m saying. I’d like to see a comic about her leading Clan Chosen in Cable’s absence. Probably won’t happen. Anyway, X-Force asks around about Cable, and Blaquesmith accuses them of being spies for Stryfe. Domino’s hatred of Blaquesmith is something I always enjoy.

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This describes 25% of X-Men stories.

And then Stryfe’s guys attack. This is OK. It’s kinda fun. I still enjoy the art. Pretty sure we know now how Rachel will come back to herself, in the next issue, and it’s about fucking time and I still don’t want any man to write her again for a long, long, loooooong time, because every fucking guy just wants to do stories about Rachel being controlled by villains. But yeah, from the looks of it, Rachel’s freedom is basically going to be a result of Stryfe’s telepathic creatures just not controlling her any more. Wow, inspiring. So, presumably, next issue will show her waking up, pissed off, and one would hope that she’ll pretty much wreck all of Stryfe’s shit. Obviously, Cable has it in his contract that he’s the one who gets to actually defeat Stryfe, so my guess is Rachel’s going to wreck enough shit for Cable to get his powers back, then Stryfe will stop her and start bringing her under his control, and Cable will show up in time to save her and chase off Stryfe. And then she’ll fuck off into limbo without a single moment spared for any PTSD she might be suffering as a result of what’s happened to her in the past year. (And 2 years from now, some dude will include her in another series, and over the course of that series, Rachel will once again get an arc where she falls under the control of some villain and her teammates have to break her free. I mean, we could get a woman-written series where Rachel grapples with the trauma and violations she’s endured, as a powerful story on PTSD and recovery. But, you know, “Rachel falls under the control of, oh, let’s say Toad,” is sure to be a classic story, too.) Anyway. My feelings on Rachel notwithstanding, like I said, this is fine. The art’s probably going to be the biggest sticking point for most people, but I really like it, and I think it’s a fantastic fit for this series. I’m interested to see if Marvel gives Burnett anything else after this.

There’s also Wolverine: Infinity Watch, but I still refuse to read that one. And the non-X-stuff from this week:

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #43, by Brandon Montclare, Gustavo Duarte, Ray-Anthony Height, Tamra Bonvillain, and Travis Lanham. Dino-Thor. This isn’t really a War of the Realms tie-in. It’s a story about Thor taking Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur to Asgard to solve a riddle. And it’s adorable. I love it.

Unstoppable Wasp #8, by Jeremy Whitley, Gurihiru, and Joe Caramagna. G.I.R.L. Expo! And also killer robot girls. Lots of fun stuff, lots of drama. This series is ending with #10, and I’m very sad about that, because it’s been really good and positive and fun.

War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #2 by Greg Pak, Gang Hyuk Lim, Federico Blee, and Clayton Cowles. I’m enjoying this series. It’s good. Really cool stuff. Pak and Lim are making interesting use of these characters, and doing a solid job tying into WotR. Let’s be honest, Asia’s not going to be a big priority in the main WotR book, it’s seldom a priority in any Marvel title, so it’s nice to see it get a little focus here.

Shuri #8, by Nnedi Okorafor, Rachael Stott, Carlos Lopez, and Joe Sabino. A giant space grasshopper sings about the fineness of Wakandan girls.

X-Men comics of May 16 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). The Future Foundation is getting an ongoing. It’ll be written by Jeremy Whitley, who does good work. But it’ll be drawn by Will Robson, whose style I just do not like at all. Ugh. I guess I’ll at least get the first issue, if only to support Tong. Love my Tong. Anyway, Ottawa Comic-Con was this past weekend. I tweeted about it, and all the prints I got. There’s also a vlog about it from my friend posted at the end of the thread. I got a Storm commission from Marco Rudy. All in all, it was pretty OK. I didn’t bother meeting any of the guests. But now, comics! Once again, there’s few enough X-Men comics that I’ll do it tonight. It’ll be tomorrow before I get to the store for my other comics.

Uncanny X-Men #18, by Matthew Rosenberg, Carlos Villa, Juan Vlasco, Craig Yeung, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna. Logan tells Illyana he’s quitting, good riddance to the jackass. He also tells Illyana not to trust the others. Which reminds me, this series could’ve been really good if trust was a major plot point throughout. If everyone was questioning who they could really trust on the team. But that’s not the way this went. Then the X-Men go after the Marauders in the subway.

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Kinda loving Vertigo’s casual wear.

The Marauders deny responsibility for the latest Morlock Massacre, so the X-Men beat them up. Harpoon and Blockbuster surrender, and Chamber fries them, then gets stabbed in the back by Harpoon. So that’s Chamber dead now. Well hey, at least this time it wasn’t a woman being killed for cheap drama. Ugh, stop killing people, Rosenberg. Stop it. Enough. Though there is a big difference in the deaths. Rosenberg kills women off as A Statement. Blindfold’s suicide, and Rahne trans panic murder. Men are killed just for cheap shock. Truthfully, I don’t like either option. Anyway, Rosenberg’s frigging misery-porn run cannot end soon enough. End it. End it forever. Then Sinister shows up, fighting fighting, and OH MY FUCKING GOD ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME ROSENBERG YOU HACK?!

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Seriously? Fucking seriously? Wow. Talk about telling rather than showing. At no point did Rosenberg indicate Illyana had any feelings regarding Shan at all. Not a single moment. Not a line, not a dirty look, fucking nothing. And now, rather than actually show that Illyana’s mad, we get Shan saying Illyana’s mad. Christ. And that’s just the start of it. Shan says she was under her brother’s influence. But no, it was actually kinda the opposite. Shan was, in fact, freed from Tran’s influence. She went over the edge as a result of that. She spent so long with his soul mixed with hers that she felt incomplete with his soul gone, and she went to extremes to re-absorb him. That was what happened in that story. Now Rosenberg’s sitting here trying to pretend that wasn’t the actual story he told. Shan also says that Rahne hated her, and again, where was the single goddamn shred of that in this entire goddamn story, Rosenberg? This is shitty writing, and as a Karma fan, it is absolutely infuriating, in a way that I can’t even articulate. I try a little, here, but yeah, you have no idea how angry I am at this goddamn panel. The rest of the issue is just, like, yeah, it’s fine, I guess. A Marauder fight that isn’t particularly exciting. A Sinister encounter that’s not very interesting. A really weird thing done with Alex. Alex and Scott are still handled well, but other than that? The end of this run can’t come soon enough. To hell with this bullshit comic and it’s total dismissal of compelling character drama.

Age of X-Man: Marvelous X-Men #4, by Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Marco Failla, Matt Milla, and Joe Caramagna. It’s Xavier Day in London, and Apocalypse shows up to spread his message. So the crowd starts making out. There’s at least one gay couple shown, possibly more. It’s honestly kinda hard to tell the gender of some of the crowd. A lot of them lack obvious gender markers. I suspect there’s a few same-sex couples in the crowd.

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“Xavier could get it.” -Apocalypse

Anyway, the X-Men and X-Tremists try to break things up, and Colossus smooches Kitty. Boooooriiiiiiing. Then Apocalypse grabs Kitty and Dazzler and teleports away again, and Jean telepathically disperses the crowd. Later, the X-Men debate what to do, and see a news report about some fissures that are showing the past. Nate takes Jean to help seal them, while the others think about things, and Colossus feels unworthy to stay with the team because of his dirty thoughts about Kitty. And the X-Tremists come for him. I think this series still suffers from having to divide its focus too much. We don’t get much more in the way of plot development here, or of the others questioning reality. Laura is getting more suspicious, more certain that something is wrong. I wonder if she’ll be the one to end Nate, maybe? The story seems to indicate she’ll play a major role in ending the Age of X-Man. Which is cool. She and Colossus are the only ones who’ve had arcs continuing throughout the mini so far. Colossus has been falling in love with Kitty, Laura’s been feeling like something’s wrong, which is the more interesting story. I’m enjoying that part of the series. But this issue felt disjointed and rushed otherwise. As I’ve said in the past, this mini just has too much to do.

Age of X-Man: NextGen #4, by Ed Brisson, Marcus To, Jason Keith, and Clayton Cowles. Armour busts in on Glob pouring wax on Rockslide.

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Glob’s safeword is “Inhuman Torch.”

After a moment of awkwardness, she tells them that Anole fled the school, and they leave to find him. Pixie tells Angel and Sunfire that she thinks Armour might be on Unveil. Anole goes to Maggott’s safehouse and tells the others there he’s been exposed. Blob and Psylocke go to the school to investigate Armour and Anole. Armour, Glob and Rockslide go to the safehouse to find Anole, and Maggott’s kind of a douche, which leads to a fight. Best X-comic of the week, though it’s partly by default. There’s some really good character drama and conflicts, good developments, good plot development, and also, I think this mini might be anti-narc. I think a key theme is not to narc on your friends. Don’t trust adults. It’s good advice, honestly. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not, but I am amused by it. That aside, yeah, lots of interesting stuff in this issue. No chickens, though. A glaring absence that knocks points off its rating, or would, if I actually rated comics, which I don’t, because I don’t see the point, really. Anyway, of the 6 Age of X-Man minis, I would rank NextGen probably 4th. Solidly in the middle. (X-Tremists, Prisoner X, Nightcrawler, NextGen, Marvelous X-Men, X-Tracts, is my ranking, for the record.) Though Marcus To might be my favourite of the artists involved. He’s so great.














X-Men comics of May 8 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Ottawa Comic-Con is this Saturday! Sadly, there’s no one there I’m really excited about. Marco Rudy’s awesome, but I’ve read his stuff exclusively on Marvel Unlimited, so I have nothing I can have him sign. Anthony Rapp, Anson Mount, and Ethan Peck were all great on Star Trek: Discovery. A couple other actors who’ve done work I enjoy – Pom Klementieff’s Mantis is adorable and I love her and want good things for her – but I have no idea how to talk to people so I’m not likely to tell any of the actors that I like their work. I was hoping that, like, Leslie Hung or Jenn St.-Onge or someone like that would be there. But alas, no. In other news, season 2 of She-Ra is fantastic. The first half dropped, and it’s great. The D&D episode is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Anyone who still doesn’t ship Scorpia and Catra is just being cruel. Bow’s dads are amazing and I love them. Just so much to love. And one last note: I now work on Wednesdays. This week was light enough that I figured I could still do my reviews, but from now on, posts go up on Thursdays. But now let’s get to it!

Age of X-Man: Apocalypse and the X-Tracts #3, by Tim Seeley, Salva Espin, Israel Silva, and Travis Lanham. Evan stays with the injured Eye-Boy, while Dazzler and Unveil hunt Omega Red, with the aim of killing him to stop him killing others in their name. Back in the US, Laura drops Piotr off at his art gallery, so he can showcase the new pieces he’s done. Kitty’s waiting for him. Man, I’m so disappointed that this mini is even more Kitty/Piotr shipping. I’ve been pretty clear on not liking that ship. But beyond that . . . I mean, come on, it’s an alternate reality, and all you can do is shit we’ve seen already? Have the forbidden attraction be between Kitty and Laura. Or Piotr and Alison. Or Evan and Nature Girl. Kitty/Piotr’s been done, it’s boring, it’s predictable, why bother with it? Anyway, Evan and Eye-Boy have a great conversation, where Eye-Boy confesses jealousy that Evan never had to struggle to find the truth, and Evan says that his connection with his father lets him see bits of his father’s past, and they’re not always pleasant. Meanwhile:

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Light sledgehammer. Once again, Dazzler gets awesomer.

There’s more Kitty/Piotr, with them talking about feeling a connection, and Apocalypse gets pissy about them talking. And I gotta say, I don’t get this comic. I’m not a smart person, I miss the point of most stories, but I can usually tell that there is a point to them. This one? I just don’t get. It feels the most like a standard X-Men comic. But, like, nothing in Age of X-Man should feel like a standard X-Men comic. And this book arguably has the least reason to go that route. Age of X-Man is about a world where love is forbidden. The X-Tracts are a group of rebels trying to spread love. So how does that translate to fighting Omega Red. He makes some comment about how eventually will become one with him, which I guess sorta works as an opposite to X-Man’s “every man is an island” approach. But it’s not like this mini’s done a good job so far in setting that idea up. And added to that is the boring-ass Kitty/Piotr shipping, and I just don’t get the point of this mini. It’s so weird. Seeley’s Shatterstar mini was amazing, one of the best X-Men comics of the past couple years, And then this is, hands-down, the weakest Age of X-Man series. Not helped by the art. I just hate Silva’s style. I don’t get the appeal. Such weird faces. So, yeah, not great.

X-Force #7, by Ed Brisson, Dylan Burnett, Damian Couceiro, Jesus Aburtov, and Joe Caramagna. Deathlok’s trying to re-rig a time travel device so they can follow Stryfe and Cable, and he’s rather snippy about Domino distracting him to ask how long it’ll take. In the future, Stryfe threatens to kill his prisoners from Clan Askani if Cable doesn’t tell him where the rest of Clan Askani is hidden. Stryfe also has his telepaths working on Rachel, and I remain pissed off that this shit is being done with Rachel. Get her away from male writers who just want to subject her to the same loss-of-control bullshit. I remain So Frigging Done With This Shit. Meanwhile, in the present:

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616 Ed Brisson makes a lot more money than Real Ed Brisson.

I should read some trashy romances sometime. They seem fun. Back in the future, Rachel is forced to send out a telepathic message summoning Clan Askani. So, this comic is better-made than X-Tracts. If nothing else, I like the art. Personal taste and all, but yeah, I like the rawness of it. Not always, there are panels that didn’t work for me. But yeah, on the whole, I liked the art. The writing is mostly good, too. This is one of the better issues. Each member of the team gets a chance to talk about how they’re feeling. Interesting pairings, too. Boom-Boom and Warpath spent a long time as teammates, but they seldom really talked. And we also get a scene between Cannonball and Shatterstar, who also never talked much. I like seeing that sort of thing, characters who don’t get to interact much, getting to interact. It’s always interesting. So I liked those scenes. They definitely made this issue much better than the rest of the series has been. Buuuuuut . . . we’ve still got Rachel being mind-controlled and used as a pawn and a tool. I can’t take this comic seriously as long as it pulls that shit. It makes me legitimately think less of Brisson as a writer, because it’s so frustrating that male writers keep pulling this same shit with her. She’s a character whose backstory is essentially comprised of trauma, much of which resulted from bad guys controlling and using her, and what do these writers do? Have bad guys control and use her. And then do not-a-single-fucking-thing to actually explore how she feels. Writers keep robbing her of agency, and not a one of them actually gives enough of a shit about her to let her feel anything about it all. Give her to a woman who explores the kind of lifelong struggle with trauma that comes from being violated. It’s clear we’re not going to get that in this series. This series is using her as a plot device, not a character. Bleh. Anyway, I’m pretty sure this is the series’ high-water mark, and it won’t be as good as this again.

And I won’t actually get to the comic shop until tomorrow. So I can’t comment on the week’s non-X-stuff.

X-Men comics of May 1 2019

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I saw Endgame last night. And, uh, a second time tonight, with my friend. (I wore my X-Men t-shirt, because I gotta rep my people.) I enjoyed it. Really good. I did think they pushed the comedy a little too much with Thor, at least at a couple points. There was also a really gratuitous callback at one point – a lot of the callbacks we get are great, but there was one that was painfully forced. And there were a couple other minor complaints. But for the most part, yeah, really good. But now comics.

Uncanny X-Men #17, by Matthew Rosenberg, Carlos Gomez, Guru-eFX, and Joe Caramagna. So Rahne actually is dead. The ending of the last issue wasn’t some fake-out, Rosenberg actually went ahead and killed Rahne, I guess because we need to know what the stakes are? It’s important to remind people that belonging to a minority means never getting to have a normal life, and having to constantly be on guard against being murdered by random assholes? Killing off Blindfold, Loa, and Strong Guy clearly just wasn’t enough. Holy shit. At least Rahne’s bound to come back, sooner or later. She’s a white character created before the ’90s, of course she’ll be back. But still, holy shit, Rosenberg, think you could stop killing characters for a little while? Anyway, while everyone else goes to the funeral, Logan grabs Kwannon and hunts the guys who killed Rahne. On a side note, this issue also reveals that Rogue and Gambit are believed dead. Also, Rahne’s death is mostly used an allegory for the murder of trans women.

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It’s very subtle.

Hey, you know what’d be way better than allegorically murdering trans people? Letting trans people actually frigging exist in your comics. I wonder if Marvel’s ever thought of that? And in particular, I wonder if the X-office has ever thought about including trans characters? I mean, I know the X-office loves its allegorical representation, but maybe they could consider actual representation, too? It’s long past time they included a trans mutant. It’s not tough to do. Every writer wants to make a thousand new mutants, ask one of those writers if they have any ideas for a new trans mutant who can join the team. Next teen title they do, trans student, boom, done, easy. Anyway, yeah, Rosenberg killed off yet another character in order to do some bland commentary on Trans Panic Defence. Kudos on not supporting the murder of trans folks, I guess. Get back to me when he includes trans characters in his comics. Beyond that? It’s a funeral issue. Characters talk about how great Rahne was and how tired they are of burying their friends, while Logan goes for vengeance. Nothing particularly stands out about it. And I mean, maybe it’s just me, but . . . Dani and Rahne were always described as soulmates. Whether you read that as platonic or romantic, that’s how close they were. So maybe it would’ve been more effective if she’d been the one who confronted her soulmate’s murderers? Instead of a bland eulogy about believing in Rahne. Ah, but then we wouldn’t have gotten oh-so-crucial Scott/Logan pissing match. Yeah, that definitely takes precedence over anything else. After all, we’ve only seen that dozens of times over the past 45 years. Bleh. This book continues to just make me mad.

Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #3, by Vita Ayala, German Peralta, Mike Spicer, and Joe Sabino. Bishop narrates as we see various people experiencing memory flashes. Bishop thinks that his time travel experiences give him an advantage with the conflicting memories. Meanwhile, Gabby pops the claws to try to kill a random girl who did literally nothing to her but who Gabby is convinced is a psychic.

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Clone Power fistbump, alongside super-scary Gabby.

Hank gets her to calm down, and then Dani talks to Hank about how she’s missing the anger that always drove her. She then helps Lorna free herself. Which doesn’t go as expected. And we also get one hell of a last page reveal. This continues to be a great series. There’s hints about something else going on with Dani, as Hank mentions he’s only able to think when she’s around. Given there’s another Dani in the “real” world, I’m very curious what the deal is with this Dani. You know, I’d be totally OK with two Dani Moonstars going forward. Especially if one continues to be written by Vita Ayala. Who I really, really hope gets an ongoing X-title. They’re doing great work with these characters. I love their take on Gabby, too, this violent criminal jerk take on her. It’s interesting to see. I’m also wondering if, perhaps, Lorna’s severe mental health issues in this mini are related to her being bipolar, if maybe this reality is exacerbating it. Regardless, this is a great comic.

Domino: Hotshots #3, by Gail Simone, David Baldeon, Michael Shelfer, Jim Charalampidis, and Clayton Cowles. Diamondback reflects on how people have always called her a snob. Even teachers called her that. But Domino saw past that and saw more, and Diamondback loves her for it, and is willing to take some really stupid risks for her. Like, for example, letting go of the hurtling plane to get to a better position to grab Domino’s hand.

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Great layout.

Once the plane’s done crashing, Natasha calls Stark to tell him to back down and let Domino’s team hunt down the artifact. And Domino still clearly has a girl-crush on her. While Diamondback decides to hook up with Deadpool. Which is . . . unexpected. There’s another round of settling doubts about loyalty, which has gotten old already. We can do without any more of that. And Tony helps them actually track the target, but they’re not the only ones tracking it. Good issue, aside from the repetition of having the new ladies agree to work together. Diamondback and Deadpool is very unexpected, and unless Simone gets tapped as the next Deadpool writer – which she should be! – won’t actually go anywhere. Alas. But other than that, the crash is exciting, there’s more good character stuff and the wonderful relationship between the trio. A cool moment when they find new opponents. And a great cliffhanger that raises the stakes considerably. Really good issue.

Dead Man Logan #7, by Ed Brisson, Mike Henderson, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit. Logan walks into a tiny town in Florida, gets attacked by some dumbasses who think attacking a guy with claws coming out of his hands is a good idea, and he takes one of their trucks. Road trip! Then he gets ambushed and captured by cannibals. They hold him for weeks, until he gets rescued by Dani Cage and Bruce, Jr., the Hulk baby who’s now a Hulk 7-year-old.

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Make her the Captain America of the Wasteland!

I really do hope that she ends up getting Captain America’s shield, and decides to become Captain America in this reality. I love Dani Cage as the Captain America of the future. She’s awesome. Plus, “I am the shield!” is a pretty awesome catchphrase. Anyway, she beats Logan up and tells him off for disappearing for 7 years. Which is fair. It’s a sign of how weak Logan is that he almost died at the hands of a bunch of cannibal hicks. Helps demonstrate the poor health he’s in. I look forward to more road trip stuff. Road trips make fun stories. We’ll see how good a foil Dani makes for him. She should be good, she usually is, but this isn’t normal Dani. She’s someone who won’t put up with his bullshit, that’s always important with Logan. There’s a development at the end of the issue that I had to kinda roll my eyes at, even knowing it was coming. But other than that, this is good. Solid issue.

Major X #3, by Rob Liefeld, Whilce Portacio, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., and Joe Sabino. Oh good, Portacio, this comic wasn’t painful enough to read as it was. I’ve never liked Portacio’s style. It’s so creepy to me. And not in a good way. Anyway, Logan and M’Koy spar in the Danger Room, when Cable an Major X teleport back in, with a couple sliders to get them when they need to go. Back in Atlantis, Deep Six reports back on destroying Graymalkin, but get chewed out for failing to kill Major X. Major X and M’Koy travel to the start of the 21st Century, to where the X-Ential came into existence. Or X-Istence, I suppose is the pun I should be making, with this book. While there, they get attacked by Dreadpool and the Scourge, a team of generic ’90s-looking baddies. And, oh my non-existent god, what it this line?

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Wow. Wow. W O W. Wow. Wow? Wow.

Wow. Just . . . wow. I think that one panel actually summarises this entire series. If you like this panel? Well, you baffle me, but you’ll probably enjoy this comic. If this panel makes your cringe and makes you feel like maybe comics were a mistake, then yeah, you probably won’t think very highly of this series.

And the non-X-stuff.

Champions #5, by Jim Zub, Juanan Ramirez, Marcio Menyz, and Clayton Cowles. War of the Realms tie-in! Cyclops helps out his team. It’s a really nice issue, with Scott coming around just when Ms. Marvel needs him most, to remind her of the good the Champions do. It’s really good. Scott’s such a good guy, and this issue is all about him being a good good guy.

Marvel Team-Up #2, by Eve Ewing, Joey Vasquez, Felipe Sobreiro, and Clayton Cowles. Body-swap shenanigans! It’s really fun.

Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #8, by Seanan McGuire, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Herring, and Clayton Cowles. Another great issue. I love Miyazawa’s art. It’s so good.


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