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X-Men comics of July 5 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I had my first day of training at my new job today. It was very boring, as all first days of training are. But now, comics.

X-Men Gold #7, by Marc Guggenheim, Ken Lashley, Frank Martin, and Joe Sabino. It opens with a flashback to Magneto attacking Central Park and a father seeing his son die. In the present, the X-Men are playing softball again, because Guggenheim really wants to play up that nostalgia angle, while Kitty talks to Piotr, who’s still injured from the nano-Sentinel attack, and can’t turn to his steel form. Inside, Rachel and Kurt are making out. Blah! Claremont teased Kurt and Rachel during one of his 2000s X-Men runs, so this doesn’t come as out of nowhere as a lot of people will probably think, but it still sucks, because hey! This pretty much guarantees Guggenheim’s not going to have Rachel come out as bi. Not that I expected him to, of course, but it’s still a shame. Anyway, the Darkforce Dimension covers Manhattan, which includes the school, and also, there’s an anti-mutant killer in the school. He’s already killed a young girl. So some of the team is in Manhattan, fighting demons, while the others are searching the school for the serial killer. He’s not named in-story, but he’s a new X-Cutioner, a repeat of a ’90s antagonist. So this issue . . . I’d say it’s better than the previous issues. Marginally. It’s rehashing an old idea, but it’s an idea no one cared about at the time anyway, so no one will notice. Here’s my problem with it: The motivation behind this new X-Cutioner? It is stupid and tired. It’s been done before. So, so often. “A mutant killed someone I loved, so I’m going to kill all mutants!” It’s so over-used. It is the absolute laziest motivation to give an X-Men villain. And in this issue, at least, he shows absolutely no personality. And it’s not like Guggenheim’s left much room for him to be nuanced and interesting. He’s lame and boring. He’s not a character, he’s a tool to create tension. And he doesn’t create much of it, because, again, boring. Guggenheim does at least give Rockslide and Dust a brief scene. Dust deserves more attention. And Guggenheim does a little more character exploration, in general, than in the previous issues. Still pretty brief, but it’s there. The art’s good. I like Lashley’s style. He’s the best artist this book has had so far. Martin’s colours remain adequate. Still, the art isn’t good enough to balance out what is still a fairly lackluster series.

All-New Wolverine #22, by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher, Michael Garland, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Sabino. Laura wakes up in the hospital, with Gabby and Deadpool still BFFs. I actually kinda want a Gabby/Deadpool mini.

All-New Wolverine #22

Bestest of BFFs forever.

Carol lets Laura know the geniuses have made an inoculation and cure for the alien virus, and also that Laura’s been unconscious for two weeks, after she died absorbing the virus. Laura immediately heads over to SHIELD to continue working the case. They’ve tracked where the pod came from, and called the Guardians of the Galaxy to give Laura (and Gabby and Jonathan) a lift. For the record, Jonathan is wearing his costume and mask and it is adorable. Anyway, they go find where the alien girl came from. Awesome, as always. Gabby/Deadpool fun. Gabby/Laura fun. Some fun interactions between Laura, Gabby and the Guardians. And one hell of a cliffhanger. There’s a strong focus on comedy in this issue, as a breather between two more intense portions of the arc, and it’s great. Baby Groot rides Jonathan, OK? That happens. That’s a thing in this issue. You want to see that image? Then buy the comic. Because Baby Groot riding Jonathan the Actual Wolverine, the first actual wolverine in space. The story is still interesting, but the core of this particular issue is the tone, and how positive it is, to make the dark cliffhanger even more intense. The art is really good. Laura and Gabby seems to have more similar facial structure, but their facial structures do seem to change quite a bit, depending on the angle. It’s kind of a quirk of Kirk’s style, actually. But he absolutely nails the visual comedy, whether it’s facial expressions or background gags. The  various inkers and colour artists do good jobs. The art has a consistency to it throughout the issue, at least to my untrained eye, so that’s nice. Laura will always be the best Wolverine, and issues like this are a good example why.

And that’s the X-stuff. But here’s what else I picked up.

Unstoppable Wasp #7, by Jeremy Whitley, Veronica Fish, Megan Wilson, and Joe Caramagna. Janet’s trying to sleep, and talks about the ways in which being a superhero changes you, including how you sleep. She reveals that Carol Danvers glows in the dark, which is honestly amazing. She’s woken by a call from Matthew Modok, who lets her know Nadia’s in trouble, so Janet has to rush out to help. Nadia’s freaking out about Ying’s collapse, and Janet tries to calm her down, but just gets punched in the face for her trouble. Side note: Janet mentions that she’s been in therapy for most of her life. Another hero who tries to take care of her mental health! Yay! I love when superheroes are in therapy, because they honestly should be, given how stressful their lives are. Anyway, they go to the hospital, where the doctors operate on Ying, and Janet does what she can to comfort Nadia, even as she starts getting messages that her friends are being pulled out of GIRL by their parents. Janet narrates about how she was never the Team Mom, never the maternal type, but Nadia gets to her. It’s really sweet. So she starts making some calls to make things happen. But as she’s making a whole lot of phone calls, she gets interrupted by Whirlwind and Beetle. The fight comes with an amazing layout. This is a fantastic issue. It’s Janet-focused, and Whitley writes her so well. Smart, compassionate, funny, determined. I love that her power basically includes a large social circle. She knows people, and she knows how to talk to people. And that is absolutely a power. That’s more power than most superheroes, really, because even though talking to Cory Booker may not stop Mole Man, it does get other stuff done. Like funding for a lab. Janet’s determination actually keeps the book’s tone positive, even as the normally-irrepressible Nadia has a breakdown. And it shows Janet’s strength as a character. Nadia’s positivity is manic, and that means it’s also fragile. Janet’s positivity, while less ebullient, is more resistant to setbacks. And it’s a welcome presence at a time when Nadia is feeling her bleakest. The art’s wonderful. Fish and Wilson are both excellent. Fish has a knack for body language, and I think the stand-out scene, for me, is when Janet’s making all sorts of calls. While the fight layout is obviously what’ll get the most attention – because it really is fantastic – I think Janet casually growing wings and flying up to sit on the roof is just a really well-done sequence. And Wilson’s colours mesh perfectly with Fish’s lines. Even by the standards of this series, this issue is incredibly strong.

Hawkeye #8, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and Joe Sabino. Kate has a tense conversation with her father, in a younger body than he should have, which is contrasted with her meeting a new client, a girl who wants Kate to find her missing father. She calls her father a supervillain. The girl, Anna, talks about her dad, and it hits Kate close to home. Kate then walks Lucky, and sees Larry the stalker, talking to Mikka. She’s about to kick Larry’s ass, but Mikka stops her, saying she asked Larry to meet her. Back to the conversation with her father, who reveals his new body has suggestion powers. And then to the other story, where she goes to a fight club to find Anna’s dad. So, this is a good issue, but before I get to the praise, I do need to raise one complaint. There’s a double-page spread of panels, and it’s a poor layout. So, the way we’ve been trained to read comics is left-to-right, top-to-bottom. That’s how we prioritize. But this spread messes it up, by expecting readers to go top-to-bottom, left-to-right. It’s difficult for me to explain, because I’m terrible at explaining that sort of thing. But basically, the layout doesn’t really follow how we’re trained to read, which leads to some confusion for a moment. Other than that, though, this is a great issue. Kate tries to snark a bit, but she’s pretty clearly too messed-up by the meeting with her dad to snark well. Her head’s not on right, and it makes her act out in some wrong ways. She’s tense and wound-up, and that gets passed on to the reader. So a lot of the fun from the first arc is replaced by tension and drama. Which is handled just as well as the humour was. It’s some very strong writing. And some very strong art. Romero and Bellaire make the visuals a little darker and more subdued. Unsurprisingly, Bellaire kills it with her colours. She’s the best. And that one awkward layout aside, Romero’s style still works really well for the book, giving it a bit of a noir feel. This is a great issue.

Avengers #9, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso, and Travis Lanham. Thor is in an alien dimension, covered in muck. Evidently, in this dimension, she remains Thor, even separated from Mjolnir. One of the aliens helps her out, gives her food, takes her to find a way back to Earth. He also explains his world, and a ruler named Yod, some kind of monster who tore down their civilization, and also apparently brought constant storms. But Yod supposedly has a way for Thor to return to Earth. So, they head to Yod’s place. This is great. Waid lets Del Mundo draw weird stuff, and cool stuff, and it’s gorgeous. Del Mundo, guys. He’s so good. And he clearly brings out the best in Waid, too, as the writing is stellar. Clever and touching and just stellar. This is such a good issue. A great done-in-one tie-in to Secret Empire, though you don’t really need to be following Secret Empire to follow along. Honestly, the idea – Thor ends up in another dimension, without Mjolnir – isn’t exactly complex. It’s easy to accept as is, because it’s the kind of story that could be told without even needing set-up. There’s a couple epic moments, and a couple hilarious moments, and a couple heart-wrenching moments. It’s a really good issue.

Black Bolt #3, by Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward, and Clayton Cowles. Crusher and his friends have a plan for breaking out. Black Bolt’s part in the plan is to get the box from Spyder to turn off the power dampeners. He finds Spyder paying Death’s Head for bringing in a prisoner. So Black Bolt and Death’s Head fight, which results in one of my favourite Death’s Head tropes: He stops fighting as soon as money clears. With box in hand, Black Bolt rejoins the others, and they get their powers back, and go after the Jailer. Also, Metal Master is gay. He mentions losing the man he loved, in his quest for power. Neat! As always, excellent work. Ahmed and Ward are doing great stuff here. Ward’s art is weird and trippy and gorgeous. It really gives the book an air of being unnatural. Ahmed’s narration is dramatic, and the voices for the characters all compelling. This really is a good series, one worth reading.

Jem & the Holograms Misfits Infinite #1, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge, M. Victoria Robado, and Shawn Lee. The Misfits follow the Holograms through the portal to another world. The other world is pretty damn shiny. It’s a Jem world. But only for the rich. The rest live outside The Wall. And then Pizzazz wonders where Jem is. Jerrica comes clean about being Jem, but Synergy isn’t with them, so she can’t transform, and the Misfits don’t believe her. Until she sings. Then plans are made to get the Holograms to their dad, while the Misfits want to see what’s happened to them in this other world. As always, a delight. Weird and crazy, but fun and sweet. With wonderful art.

Snotgirl #6, by Brian Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung, Rachel Cohen, and Maré Odomo. Lottie’s life continues to be odd. At a brunch with her friends, they run into Cutegirl’s identical twin sister. Who’s very normal and pretty and has a family. Cutegirl’s real name is revealed as Winnie, rather than Misty. And also, she’s 32. She’s the same age I am! That’s weird to me. Then at a Meet & Greet the following week, Lottie meets a fan! Two of them, in fact, with the second being Caroline’s brother, who wants Lottie to text Caroline. That meeting goes . . . oddly. There’s even more going on with Caroline than it seems. O’Malley and Hung really are crafting a bizarre, twisty story. I love it. You never know exactly what’s going on, or where it’s going to go, and it’s captivating. Also, gorgeous art. This issue is sadly lacking in amazing outfits, with most characters dressed fairly normally, albeit still stylishly. But Hung and Cohen just do brilliant work. I love Hung’s line’s. Very loose and pretty. And Cohen does a great job on colours. She’s the new colour artist, and she’s a great choice. She brings perfect colours to the book. I really enjoy this series. Check out the first trade, and then come back for this issue.

The Wicked + The Divine #26, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles. Everyone’s looking for Sakhmet, after her slaughter in the previous issue, and Laura feels pretty much like garbage. So, standard WicDiv. It’s horribly good.

Uncanny X-Men #247 (1989, August)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I quit my job at Walmart Monday. Starting somewhere else tomorrow. But for today, by Claremont, Silvestri, Green, Oliver, and Orzechowski, “The Light That Failed.”

The Light That Failed

Cover’s kinda giving away the ending here.

The last issue ended with Master Mold about to kill Rogue. This one starts with Storm, Havok and Dazzler all blasting at Master Mold. Colossus and Longshot are there, too. Master Mold isn’t attacking, and Storm realizes the same thing Carol knew last issue: Their invisibility to electronic detection means it can’t see them. Rogue wakes up, back in control of her body, not happy about being in Ms. Marvel’s costume. Senator Kelly asks for help with his wife.

Uncanny X-Men #247

Poor woman. At least she died a hero.

Obviously, this is a pretty major moment here. And also a really sad one. The X-Men continue to pick apart at Master Mold, who can’t detect them well enough to counter. They work really well together, too. Good teamwork.

Uncanny X-Men #247

Fastball Special!

I think I actually like variations on the Fastball Special more than I like the Fastball Special itself. Storm apparently finishes it with a big bolt of lightning into its exposed chest. They have some questions, particularly about how it hit Rogue earlier. Psylocke says she was picking up the ghost image of a living awareness within Master Mold. Longshot feels bad about not being any help in the fight, so Ali comforts him.

Meanwhile, in the Outback, Jubilee is bored. She goes exploring, and finds Ali’s room, which is also a music style. It’s really nice. Jubille calls Lila Cheney “music for old fogies.” Rassum-frassum kids. And she doesn’t know who the X-Men are, so clearly, she’s not big on watching the news. Then she swipes one of Dazzler’s dresses. It’s not like Ali doesn’t have plenty more.

Back to New York, where Sharon Kelly is dying, but is still thinking of others, as she tells Robert to let the X-Men know Master Mold’s not destroyed. She really was too good for this world. He thinks letting the robot kill them is what they deserve. It’s moot, because Master Mold gets up before Kelly could’ve said anything anyway. And now it can detect the X-Men. It’s able to defend against them, and attack back. And things get interesting.

Uncanny X-Men #247

Robot identity crisis.

Colossus is hurt after being smashed into the ground, so Rogue borrows his power. Ali’s at the bottom of a hole she fell down, and finds the Siege Perilous still in her pocket. Rogue uses a pretty good strategy against Master Mold. She flies up to orbit, then flies down as fast as she can, made even faster by gravity, with the added mass from Colossus’ armour.

Uncanny X-Men #247

That impact is actually incredibly under-stated.

Master Mold’s wrecked, but immediately starts repairing itself. So Dazzler suggests they send it through the Siege Perilous. Rogue tries to shove it through, but gets grabbed, so she tells Ali to blast them both through. While that debate’s going on, Nimrod’s debating with Master Mold. He points out that the X-Men can only be seen by living beings, and the Master Mold/Nimrod synthesis can see them, but machines aren’t really alive. So:

Uncanny X-Men #247

Nimrod’s sacrifice is kinda sad. He was a good guy, in the end.

Later, after the X-Men have left, Shaw shows up to look at the battle scene. And Kelly tells Shaw to go ahead with Project Nimrod. Shaw and Kelly are being watched by Pierce, Deathstrike, and at least one Reaver. Pierce is sure the X-Men destroyed Master Mold, and the Reavers are going to destroy them. Meanwhile, that group is being watched, by Nanny and the Orphan-Maker. They’re going to save the X-Men. And then they’re probably being watched by, like, aliens or something. I assume that’s what the next panel would have been, were there space.

So, this issue. It’s great. The action’s really exciting. Good teamwork, and them getting to cut loose and go nuts on a big-ass robot. They use some good strategies. The modified Fastball Special, and Rogue’s meteor strike. Both very cool. But two big things happen here. First, the death of Sharon Kelly turns Robert Kelly into more of a hard-liner against mutants, and he makes things worse for them. Second, this issue marks the beginning of the end for the current line-up. Over the next few issues, the team is going to be whittled down, more and more. Rogue’s the first, if you don’t count Maddie, but pretty soon, they’ll all be gone. Oh, this issue will also have another pretty major repercussion, in the ’90s: Master Mold and Nimrod become Bastion, head of Operation: Zero Tolerance. Which is a very ignoble fate for Nimrod. Tragic, really.

There is also some good character work. Ali’s grief at sending Rogue through the Siege Perilous is a very strong moment. Given how much they used to hate each other, and especially how much Ali hated Rogue early on, it’s a really touching reminder of how far they’d come. They were genuine friends at this point, and Ali cared about Rogue, and was broken to lose her. Come to think of it, I’d kinda like to see their friendship revisited. But anyway, it makes for the most emotional moment of the issue. Not that Sharon Kelly’s death isn’t a little emotional, too. Though we’d literally just met her last issue, and knew almost nothing about her. Still, she seemed to be a really good, kind-hearted person. One has to wonder what would have happened if she’d survived. If she might have brought Kelly around to supporting mutant rights. Alas, we’ll never know.

Great art, obviously. Silvestri/Green/Oliver. They made for an excellent team. It’s why they worked together for so long.

So, yeah, another good issue.

There’s also Classic X-Men #36, a reprint of X-Men #130, the debut of Dazzler. And a back-up, but without John Bolton. But it does feature the X-Men debut of a man who’d be one of the franchise’s big writers in the ’90s! By Fabian Nicieza, Bright, Rubinstein, Oliver, and Rosen, “Outside In.” Moira is at the graves of her son and her ex-husband. Since she’s at graves, it’s obviously raining. Actually, she’s in Scotland, of course it’s raining. Honestly, I question the authenticity of any story set in Scotland where it doesn’t rain. Anyway, they go back to Muir Isle, and Sean tries to comfort her, but she just wants to mourn alone. He leaves, and she studies a paper on cloning.

He goes to the gym, angry at her for not letting him help her, and then remembering that he didn’t let her help him when he lost his powers. He goes to talk to her, but she’s in the lab, with her son’s corpse in a tube. She wants to clone her son. Whose name is revealed as Kevin. I forgot that was never revealed in the original story. He was always called Proteus, there. And I need to point something out.

Classic X-Men #36

This makes no sense!

So, first off, that code at the bottom is clearly “SUCRETS.” Which is a throat lozenge. Why is the lab’s access code the name of a throat lozenge? Second, none of the numbers have letters on them, even though the code is a word. Third, he’s pressing the number two, and none of those letters actually appear on the number 2 on keypads. ‘E’ is on 3. So this panel makes me angry. Anyway, Sean starts looking through one of Moira’s photo albums.

Classic X-Men #36

“Gun-toting housekeeper” is my kink, too, Sean.

He heads back to the lab, where Moira has one of Kevin’s skin samples, but she’s hesitating about putting it in the cloning chamber.

Classic X-Men #36

Seems practical to me.

Moira actually says it wouldn’t be cloning. Kevin’s reality-warping power is still present in his genetic structure, so he’d be re-creating himself. He’d be starting over, and she’d be able to give him the life she wanted for him. Sean tells her that her work trying to help Kevin allowed her to help hundreds of other mutants, a good legacy. She decides to let go of the past.

It’s a good story. Some strong emotions. Moira’s grief and guilt over her son’s life and death. It is hard for a mother to lose her son. For all that the story ends on an optimistic note, I can’t imagine Moira didn’t still end up with a lot of sleepless nights. Sean’s desire to help her is really sweet, though. He’s a good guy, and he cares about her, and he wants her to be happy. His argument that bringing Kevin back won’t do good is probably the right one. Who knows what would’ve happened if she’d succeeded. Nicieza’s always been great at this sort of story. He can kill it with big superhero stuff, too, but he excels at the quiet, character-driven stories. The characters have a lot of depth to them, and he addresses some complex stuff in smart and sympathetic ways. He had the bad luck of being an X-Men writer in the ’90s, when editorial was basically running the show, and crossovers were constant, which kept him from really getting to do much in terms of developing his own long-term stories. But he did spectacular work with a lot of done-in-one quiet time issues, much like this one.

The art’s great, too. I do wish they’d kept John Bolton for it, as this kind of story was exactly up his alley. But Bright’s great. Strong line work, good expressive work. Oliver on colours, so of course the colours are gorgeous. All in all, this is a really great story, a stand-out from Classic X-Men.

I should mention Daredevil #269, by Nocenti, JRJr, Williamson, Scheele, and Rosen. It opens with Spiral dropping Blob and Pyro off for a mission. They’re in a small town, looking for a young girl who’s a mutant, to force her to register. Blob and Pyro both argue over who’s going to get to bang her. And they pretty much terrorize the town. Until a stranger comes to town. It is, of course, Matt Murdock, Daredevil, who left New York after a particularly painful loss, and is now wandering around. He starts buying them drinks, to make them easier to deal with when he has to. He overhears Pyro learning the girl they’re after is in a church. Daredevil gets there first. We learn the girl is telekinetic, and then it’s Daredevil vs. Pyro. Pyro wins. So Daredevil tries a different approach. He tells Blob that Pyro got the girl they were after, making Blob jealous, since he wanted the girl. As they fight, the girl gets away, and Daredevil takes on Pyro and Blob. And wins. Then Spiral shows up and takes them away. It’s a really fun issue. The Nocenti/JRJr run on Daredevil was fantastic in general. This issue isn’t really a stand-out of the run, but it’s still a great issue. Blob and Pyro are even more abhorrent than usual, which fits the tone of the series, which tended to be exaggerated. While I’m not always a fan of JRJr’s art, it meshed absolutely perfectly with Nocenti’s writing. The inking and colouring helped, too, because Williamson and Scheele did brilliant work over JRJr’s lines. The whole run is worth reading.

Pull List for July 5 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Happy Independence Day, to you Americans. Personal news below. But first, tomorrow’s list.

I’ll go to the store for: All-New Wolverine #22, by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher, Michael Garland, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Sabino; Avengers #9, by Mark Waid, Mike Del Mundo, and Cory Petit; Black Bolt #3, by Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward, and Clayton Cowles; Hawkeye #8, by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Jordie Bellaire, and Joe Sabino; Jem & the Holograms Misfits Infinite #1, by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St. Onge; My Little Pony Legends of Magic #4, by Jeremy Whitley, Brenda Hickey; Snotgirl #6, by Brian Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung, Rachel Cohen; Unstoppable Wasp #7, by Jeremy Whitley, Veronica Fish, Megan Wilson, and Joe Caramagna; The Wicked + The Divine #26, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles.

I’ll also review: X-Men Gold #7, by Marc Guggenheim, Ken Lashley, and start giving full fucking credit on these X-Men titles, Marvel.

So that’s 9 frigging comics I’m picking up. And one additional review. Holy crap, this is a heavy week.

Most of it looks great. The Wolverine preview shows more Gabby/Deadpool goodness, though it seems like he won’t stick around, which is probably the right call. Either way, it’s always an enjoyable read, and Laura vs. Brood should be great. Avengers has Mike Del Mundo back, so hell yes. Gimme that Del Mundo art. Black Bolt has been better than I’d hoped, and shows no signs of slowing down. So, I have to keep buying it. Hawkeye’s been loads of fun, and with the current arc, Thompson is bringing in some heavy drama, too. The Jem comics are must-reads, especially when Jenn St.Onge draws them, because she’s amazing. Snotgirl is back! Which means more lovely Hung artwork! And more Lottie and Coolgirl and everyone else who isn’t Lottie or Coolgirl. Wasp will be a Janet-oriented issue, and the preview is pretty delightful. And has Millie the Model, and her friend, Chili. So that’s pretty neat. And WicDiv remains WicDiv. One of the best comics where you hate every single thing going on.

Anyway, personal news. Yesterday, I quit my job at Walmart. Tomorrow, I start training at a call centre, where I’ll be doing customer service for Canada Post. I only got confirmation of being hired yesterday, which means I wasn’t able to give two weeks notice at Walmart. Which sucks, because I feel like a dick for not doing it. But with my mom still wanting to sell her house – she’s mostly just waiting on finding somewhere else to live – I’m going to need full-time hours. And Walmart doesn’t do full-time. So, a call centre. I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about that. I spent 7 years working in a call centre. It was soul-crushing. That was doing customer service for cell phones for Americans. I doubt I’ll be offending any Americans reading this when I note that there’s a lot of asshole Americans. But honestly, the customers weren’t the worst part. Management was. The management at my old job sucked. Hopefully, the new place won’t be as bad.

There are some things I’m kinda looking forward to about it. Since it’s Canada Post, I can’t imagine there’ll be much focus on sales. (I won’t actually be working directly for Canada Post. It’s a third-party company Canada Post outsources to.) It’s tax-payer funded, so it doesn’t have the same profit motive as private companies. Less pressure to up-sell, I’m assuming. Also, being back on a set schedule will probably be good for me. I’ve been pretty messed up for the past couple years, and I think a major part of it is not having a set schedule. I can’t get into any patterns or habits, because I work different hours from one day to the next. Even though I’ll be working full-time, I suspect I’ll probably end up being more productive. I’ll do more blogging, do more reading, watch more stuff. I’ll spend my time better, even if I have less of it.

So, we’ll see how it goes.

And that’s it for this week.

Alpha Flight #72 (1989, July)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Happy Canada Day! We’re 150 years old today. We don’t look a day over 100, if I do say so myself. Anyway, I obviously had to do an issue of Alpha Flight today. So, by Hudnall, Talaoc, Sharen, and Chiang, “Endgame.”

Endgame

That guy has such a bad design.

Jeffries is sitting on the scraps of his Box armour, wondering what you do when faced with something you can’t beat. Then it flashes back to his call with Heather getting cut off. So he and Diamond Lil got ready to head over. Heather and Elizabeth were confronted by – sigh – the Sorcerer. He taunted Talisman, then he teleported the women to another dimension. Then he brought in Shaman and Sasquatch, then Box and Lil. And he taunted Heather about Jeffries having Lil in his arms. Talisman tells everyone not to attack the Sorcerer. Sasquatch attacked, and got his arm broken. Heather tried blasting him, but instead hit Lil. Which Heather presumably felt wasn’t a total loss. Then Jeffries jumped in and got his armour wrecked. The Sorcerer sent Lil flying away, then started killing Jeffries, until Talisman got involved, which was what the Sorcerer wanted. Because it meant he was free to attack the world and do whatever he wanted. Then he leaves.

Talisman explains the deal. The Sorcerer is a powerful and ancient evil, but he couldn’t do anything to the Earth unless Talisman’s side attacked him. And now they’re trapped in a barren world, while the Sorcerer is free to attack their world.

This issue . . . man, this issue’s lame. It’s a lot of posturing, and then a lot of the Sorcerer curb-stomping Alpha Flight. And there’s just so little about it that’s interesting. The Sorcerer is stupid. He has a terrible design, and a bland personality. “I’m evil, hahahaaa! I will now taunt you because I am so evil! And now I’m off to evil evilly!” That is boring. The Alphans themselves get little real personality here, either. Just lots of anger. The art, too, is pretty weak. Talaoc didn’t do great work here. Downright weird faces. Combat mostly came down to the Sorcerer ignoring being attacked, and hurting Alpha with vague gestures. Not the most exciting action.

So, yeah, all in all, this is a really boring comic.

X-Men Annual #13 (1989, August)

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Technically, I should be doing an issue of Alpha Flight today. But Canada Day is on Saturday, so I’ll do it then. And as long as I’m throwing out all the rules, I may as well skip to the 1989 X-Men Annual. Written, surprisingly, by Terry Austin! Art by Mike Vosburg, colours by Tom Vincent, letters by Ken Lopez, “Double Cross.”

Double Cross

This is a weird, weird story.

So. This is part of the Atlantis Attacks crossover, which happened in a bunch of the 1989 Marvel Annuals. You can get a run-down here, but here’s the gist: A Deviant named Ghaur and a Lemurian named Llyra want to rebuild the Serpent Crown so they can bring the Serpent God, Set, back into their reality. They also kidnap a bunch of women to be his brides. This event, to be blunt, is Not Good. It sucks. It’s stupid and shitty. It is more cohesive than the previous year’s Evolutionary War, I’ll give it that, but it’s still bad. It’s really not worth reading. But! I started this blog, so I am morally obligated to read this Annual! So let’s get to it.

Dazzler slips into Logan’s room to sleep with him, but the other X-Men, with a strange red-headed woman, interrupt. The red-head is Allison, in the body of Diamondback, a woman who was part of a team called the Serpent Society, and who had a thing with Captain America. Ali’s angry at Rachel for trying to sleep with Logan, and Rachel points out that Ali spent the night with Longshot. Which is pretty fair. Rogue drops in on Storm reviewing the tapes of Dazzler’s and Diamondback’s stories.

The Serpent Society had been hired by Ghaur and Llyra to collect some mystic items. Diamondback, along with Fer de Lance and Copperhead, were sent to steal something from a dude named Mr. Jip. Mr. Jip, by the way, was a Cloak & Dagger villain. A weird one. He’s been dead for a long time, and it’s kind of a shame. Mr. Jip was created by Terry Austin, so no real surprise he was brought into this Annual, even if he is an odd fit for an X-Men story. Anyway, Ali was nabbed while going through one of Gateway’s portals on a supply run to Sydney. And now I have to wonder if the X-Men’s Outback base was low on TP during this entire story. Jip wants the X-Men to collect the objects for him, so Ghaur doesn’t screw up his own schemes.

Over breakfast, Ali is angry at Rachel for eating sugary cereal. Then, when everyone gathers for the mission, Rachel starts to smoke one of Logan’s cigars, which really pisses Ali off, and that’s completely fair. Not cool, Rachel. Don’t smoke in someone else’s body. Not cool at all. No respect for other people’s property. Gateway whirls up a portal, but they don’t go where they expect to go. Dazzler and Wolverine end up in the Savage Land, much to Dazzler’s irritation. She’s angry at Logan. He didn’t even do anything. But eh, yeah, he’s a prick, so go on being mad at him. They have an image of a stone idol in their minds, so they go looking for it, and find a Serpent Society craft. Ali, who had split off on her own, gets captured by Puff Adder and Asp. Logan rescues her, and beats up an Australian boomerang guy named Boomslang. Marvel has at least two Australian villains who use boomerangs. Which is more than they need. This guy’s particularly useless.

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Likely a joke about Wolverine having an Australian X-Men in the Pryde of the X-Men pilot.

Anyway, Wolverine then knocks out Asp. But then he gets grabbed by Puff Adder, who starts to crush his insides, so Ali has to knock him out by throwing the idol at him. And when Wolverine touches the idol, they’re teleported away. So the story cuts to Lima, Iowa, and Havok, Rogue and Colossus. Inside a local shopping centre, they split up to find another totem. Colossus is attacked by Anaconda, Havok by Black Mamba, Rogue by Coachwhip. Anaconda crushes things, Black Mamba summons up Dark Force illusions of loved ones, Coachwhip, um, whips things.

X-Men Annual #13

“Dented goods.” Cute.

Alex gets one of the all-time great wins:

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Victory through soup.

Rogue just throws Coachwhip into a pillar, and I gotta say, it’s brutal.

X-Men Annual #13

That hurts just to look at.

Rogue broke a cement pillar with the woman’s face. We’re not given any indication that Coachwhip has superhuman strength or anything. And especially with that little red streak, it honestly looks like Rogue just killed her. Anyway, the three X-Men then go get the totem from Rock Python. Who has trick snake eggs that shoot steel ribbon on impact. Wisely, Python chooses not to fight.

And now, to the last group, in Iceland. Storm, Rogue, Longshot, and Diamondback. They’re there to find . . . a rock. Longshot immediately starts checking rocks. A team of Serpents lands. Cottonmouth, Black Racer, Rattler, and Bushmaster. Diamondback blinds Black Racer with a light burst, and Psylocke makes her run into a rock, and it just amuses me. Diamondback also convinces Bushmaster to leave the fight, as repayment for a time she saved his life. And all the while the fight was going on, Longshot was still looking for the rock, which he’s found. Rattler brings the hill down, which is a stupid move, considering he’s standing on the hill. He buries himself and Longshot. When Diamondback picks up the rock, the three women are teleported away. Mr. Jip switches Dazzler and Diamondback back to normal, then brings Longshot in. Turns out he fell into a hole in the rocks.

Then Sidewinder teleports in, and leaves with Diamondback and the trinkets. Jip’s annoyed at being tricked that way, and he teleports away the X-Men. Ali apologizes to Logan for being mean to him, and offers to get him a root beer. He accepts. Aw, happy ending for the X-Men.

It’s an odd story. It’s kinda fun. There’s some entertaining, if brief, fights. Austin does at least let it feel largely independent of the whole Atlantis Attacks crap. It ties in, but mostly indirectly. That helps things. It means you don’t really need to read the rest of the crossover to still get the full experience from this story. Bad guys have bad plans, another bad guy wants to disrupt those plans, boom, everything you need to know. The real joy of this story is the Serpent Society. I really do love those guys. They’re a supervillain trade union. That’s amazing. They all have snake themes, so they decided to join together, but they also decided to be smart and business-like about it. They’re a union. They have set rules regarding pay, health insurance, all that other boring stuff people don’t think about until they need it. It’s great. I love them. They’re the best. And some of them are weird, but they’re all cool.

The art in this issue’s good. Vosburg’s a fine artist. Nothing outstanding, but he did good work. Body language and facial expressions were clear and fitting, fights were choreographed well, it’s good work. The reality is the whole team did the best they could with a mandated tie-in to a lame crossover event. It’s not really their fault they couldn’t get the story above mediocrity, because none of the Atlantis Attacks stories managed that.

But there’s more! As the cover promises, a Jubilee story! By Sally Pashkow, Jim Fern, Josef Rubinstein, Gregory Wright, and Joe Rosen, “Jubilation Day.” Allow me to share with you the very first narration box:

X-Men Annual #13

I love Jubilee’s narration.

As you can tell from the clothes the girls are wearing, this continues on from UXM #244, the instant classic “Ladies’ Night.” So, after the women went through the portal back to Australia, Jubilee followed, though they didn’t see her. Jubilee complains to herself about being stuck in the desert with a guy who probably can’t even speak, and she has a point, we’ve never seen him speak.

X-Men Annual #13

Fair reaction to a half-naked guy saying “Welcome, child.”

Gateway leads her to a crater with a small tunnel, and she falls down it, into a room filled with coins, which she rides down.

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And she enjoys it.

She sneaks into the X-Men’s compound and steals some of their stuff, and watches a little baseball. Then heads back to her hidey-hole.

X-Men Annual #13

Moms get mom-wisdom, dads get dad jokes. It’s automatic.

Her musing on whether being a mom comes with spouting mom cliches is funnier in retrospect, now that she’s a mom. Shogo’s not quite old enough for the mom wisdom cliches. But man, Jubilee’s a mom now. That is crazy. How did I get this old? Anyway, back to her still being young. She starts trying on clothes, and talks about her parents being dead.

X-Men Annual #13

And her body being flat.

Jubilee’s dissatisfaction with her body will be a fun running gag for a couple years. Luckily, she still figures something out.

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Iconic look.

Sadly, we never actually get a full shot of her with that outfit. I wish we did. We should have. But she does get those killer shades. She heads to a cavern with a big lake, and gets attacked by a cyborg dog. She runs away, and it chases her. She gets scared and starts to cry, but the dog keeps going after her, so she’s forced to pop more fireworks to try to stop it. And she wins.

X-Men Annual #13

Damn straight!

So this story? This story’s great. It is weird the way she keeps referring to herself as a chica. I’m wondering if Pashkow knew Jubilee is Asian-American, not Latina. Or if it was just meant to evoke LA slang. Either way, chica aside, Jubilee’s voice here is an absolute delight. Her non-stop rambling narration is so much fun. She just keeps going, jumping from thought to thought, going back to old thoughts and then jumping to a new one, and it’s really fun. And through it all, you get the sense of a young girl who’s independent and brave, but also vulnerable and scared. She can take care of herself, clearly, but she also feels lonely. She wants to introduce herself to the X-Men, but she’s scared to, since she doesn’t know who they are or how they’d react. And even though she’s stealing stuff, she does still seem like a good kid. Jubilee is just the best.

The art on this story is great, too. Jubilee is really expressive. Her fireworks look great, some excellent colour work there. The dog-borg was freaky. I’m nervous about dogs as it is, a cyborg-dog with hans? Yeah, no thanks. There’s also some really great camera angles to invoke certain moods. When Jubilee slips into her hidey-hole, it feels really small, even claustrophobic. When she’s bathing in the lake, the angle gives the cavern a sense of size. There’s really good work like that all through this story.

So, yeah, as weak as the main story was, this second story was excellent. Jubilee!

X-Men comics of June 28 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Here’s comics!

X-Men Blue #6, by Cullen Bunn, Ray-Anthony Height, Ramon Bachs, Marc Deering, Terry Pallot, Irma Kniivila, and Joe Caramagna. 5 of those people were not credited in the solicit, because Marvel are assholes like that. (It’s a problem with all the publishers, actually, at least the ones who use Diamond. They’re all assholes.) But anyway! In Madripoor, Jean is watching fireworks and feeling bored. She wants to get out and have fun. She goes to see if Scott wants to head out, but he’s training with Magneto, and yeah, that probably is his idea of fun. Scott is like that. So then she goes and asks Jimmy, instead, and Hank invites himself along. And at one point, he sings karaoke. But then Jimmy catches a strange but familiar scent and follows it. An MGH sale is interrupted by a group called the Raksha. So then the X-Men have to fight them. The Raksha are kinda cool. A group of mutants protecting Madripoor, and trying to stamp out the nation’s Mutant Growth Hormone market. And trying to honour the legacy of Patch. Which is pretty cool, I’ll admit. Nice to see. Aaaaaaand now they’ll probably be dropped for a while, because Bunn seems to have some kind of ADD with this book and it’s getting a bit tiring. He keeps setting up sub-plots, and he’s got enough of them, it’s time to actually give the book an actual frigging plot now. The art’s fine. I don’t much like the faces. But the action is really good. Very good fight scenes. And nice scenery work, including background characters. Pretty neat designs for the Raksha. This is a good comic, but it’s also one that’s annoying in the larger context, just because it’s setting up another sub-plot, when we already have a whole bunch of them.

Jean Grey #3, by Dennis Hopeless, Victor Ibanez, Al Barrionuevo, Jay David Ramos, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Travis Lanham. Jean’s in the ocean, being attacked by a giant sea monster, and has to be saved by Namor, who is a sarcastic prick, but also has great abs. As they chase after the monster, she asks for his advice regarding the Phoenix. He tells her she has no chance. Then they find the monster and Namor gets paralyzed by venom in its sting, so Jean grab him and hide. And he’s still snarky. Then she goes into his head to see how he dealt with Phoenix possession. This is another good issue. Namor is at peak snark here, which is always a good time. The guy can’t speak without being condescending. Jean, for her part, mostly ignores it, instead just focusing on the issues. Those issues being the Phoenix, and a giant sea monster. I confess to finding this an odd series. It’s well-made, but it’s an odd comic, going from one guest star to the next, with no sign of that stopping any time soon. Next is Odinson, then Psylocke, then Emma. And then probably someone else. It’s just weird to me. It’s fun seeing her play off others, especially seeing her play off people she wouldn’t normally hang out with. But just the same, I do find it odd. The art’s good. I don’t always like Ibanez’s art, but I have no complaints at all here. Except maybe that we could’ve used more Namor abs. But other than that, the art is pretty much perfect in this issue.

Cable #2, by James Robinson, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Jesus Aburtov, Federico Blee, and Cory Petit. Japan, in 1543, Daimyo Amaru is at his summer palace, and is visited by a guy wanting his help. Amaru tells his guards to kill the guy, which doesn’t go well. The dude blows the palace up, then finds some ronin, to offer a trade. Two weeks later, they’ve defeated Cable, and are about to kill him. But he doesn’t die easy. He beats the thugs, gets his arm back, and gets information from the last dude. This is another pretty straightforward issue. Just a showcase of Cable being badass, basically. Which is fine, for what it is. But it doesn’t really give readers a reason to read it. We don’t get much personality from him. We arguably get more personality from the guy he’s chasing, who we only see for a few pages at the start. But we at least see that he’s reasonably intelligent and utterly ruthless. Cable is just a good fighter. At least we don’t get more nonsense of him bringing a gun into close-quarter combat. Still, there’s virtually nothing to say about this series so far. Two issues in, and Cable is still devoid of any actual character. And it’s weird, because Robinson is normally great at giving characters deep, complex personalities. But with Cable? He’s just writing a walking fight scene. And it’s kinda boring. At least the art’s excellent. Pacheco’s a top-notch artist, and the rest of the art team complements his lines excellently. While the writing is bland, the art is top-notch.

Totally Awesome Hulk #20, by Grek Pak, Robert Gill, Nolan Woodard, and Cory Petit and Joe Sabino. In Santo Marco, a reporter is asking some locals why their stretch of coast is relatively calm since their president’s fall. Then polar bears show up. Jorge handles it, which means a big guy punching a couple polar bears. Because sometimes, comics are just joy. Jorge’s a mutant, and the reporter turns out to be a Weapon X cyborg who kills him. Reverend Stryker is disappointed with the cyborg’s performance. The Weapon X team is still searching for the Weapon X program, with Amadeus and Deathstrike checking out the local Church of Human Potential. They met at a local actual church, run by a woman who didn’t much like them and kicked them out. Good for you, lady. Another solid chapter in the Weapons of Mutant Destruction crossover. With this being Hulk’s title, he naturally gets the bulk of the focus of this issue. Which is fine. Pak writes him well. Highlights his humanity and compassion, primarily, and it’s pretty sweet. He and Deathstrike play off each other surprisingly well. Deathstrike herself is actually just weirdly entertaining here. The Weapon X program remains horrific and evil. The issue starts with polar bears being punched, so really, what’s not to like? The art’s great. Gill and Woodard do great work. They make polar bears being lunched look great. There’s some good expressiveness. Some nicely subtle expressions. This is a good issue in a good crossover.

That’s the X-stuff, here’s what else I read.

Black Panther #15, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Wilifredo Torres, Adam Gorham, Terry Pallot, Laura Martin, and Joe Sabino. The Midnight Angels are fighting monsters. And Aneka and Ayo flirt while they fight. It’s pretty cute. I love those two. And they do a modified Fastball Special!

Black Panther #15

I love this.

The fight isn’t going well, but T’Challa and Shuri show up to help, and push the Vanyan back through their door. Shuri summons a whole bunch of dead warriors to help, and Zawavari closes the portal. Then he passes out while saying the gods are dead and the Originators have returned. This is great. I’m really enjoying this story. This exploration of what’s happened to the gods of Wakanda. It’s nice seeing Aneka and Ayo again – they’re really fun. And the issue ends with another character being brought forward. Which should be fun. This issue’s a little more action-oriented than the past couple, but it’s good combat, and T’Challa still gets to be cool. And Shuri gets to be awesome. The art’s good. Pretty much in line with the general style of the series, which is nice. The action is drawn well. Good fight choreography. Good Fastball Special. I’m thoroughly enjoying this.

Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #20, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Joe Caramagna. Moon Girl is on Girl Moon. Girl Moon is lonely. We get her origin, with her splitting off from Ego the Living Planet. Also, her name is Illa. And Lunella figures out that Lunella revolves around Ego, but her face never faces him, which is why she can’t find him. Also, when Lunella sketches on Illa, it tickles her, which is really cute. Meanwhile, on Earth, Lunella has a robot posing as her in class. And it is amazing. Dodgeball! Man, this issue is really something else. This series has always set a high bar, but this is good, even for this series. It’s so much fun. It’s full of moments that are cute and funny. Illa is nice, she’s sweet, but she’s also desperately needy and clingy, and honestly, I do kinda relate to her, just a bit. Lunella gets tired of her pretty quickly, which is understandable. There’s an enjoyable fight against some giant fleas, which lets Devil let loose and have fun. Bustos and Bonvillain continue to be a visual treat, with the comic being adorable. So much of the humour in this issue is visual, and those two absolutely nail it perfectly. This is a stand-out issue of an already-fantastic series, and I love it.

Occupy Avengers #8, by David Walker, Jorge Coelho, Martin Morazzo, Mat Lopes, and Clayton Cowles. Frank and Silas Fireheart have been acting as vigilantes in the Hydra-run America, by giving people food. They’re good folks. Hydra’s been taking food from farmers, giving them no money, and giving them little food back. Because, contrary to what Spencer seems to think, fascist states are actually really frigging bad at running things efficiently and fairly. I haven’t been reading Secret Empire’s main book, but I’ve read about it, and from what I’ve read, Nick Spencer seems to buy into the “they make the trains run on time” myth. The thing is? They frigging don’t. So farmers starving? That’s actually a waaaaaaaaaay more accurate depiction of what happens in fascist states than anything Spencer’s apparently included. Anyway, Hydra’s taking food from people, and the Pccupy team – minus Hawkeye, who’s leading the rebellion, of course – attack. With Tilda now wearing Nighthawk’s costume, after he was shot dead by Hydra. He was killed for being black, pretty much. He wasn’t even in costume when it happened. Tilda’s pissed, and she’s planning on destroying Hydra. And not by putting them in jail. She plans on killing. And she rallies a group of frightened farmers to back her. Meanwhile, in the Mount, Clint feels uncomfortable about banging Black Widow in a supply closet, with everything going on. Come on, Clint, the best time to have sex is when things are going to hell. Then he calls the others to give them a plan for building the fight against Hydra. Good issue. Good look at how the smaller people are resisting Hydra. The people who don’t get to be in events. It’s cool to see. Tilda is still awesome. I love her righteous anger here. Her desire to see Hydra crushed. Also, cool that she’s taking up the Nighthawk mantle, to honour her fallen friend. It’ll be a shame to see this series end, because I’ve enjoyed it. I think that might leave Walker with just Luke Cage, at Marvel. He deserves more books than that.

Mighty Captain Marvel #6, by Margaret Stohl, Michele Bandini, Erick Arciniega, and Joe Caramagna. Alpha Flight, and Carol’s allies, have taken a beating, and so has the station, and despair’s setting in. Carol blames herself for letting Captain Nazi trick her. Another Chitauri wave comes in, and gets fought off. Carol asks the Guardians to try to find some intergalactic allies, and she and Brand wonder if Wendy might be able to help, since she’s on Earth. The recruits wonder what they can do to help. Hopper feels terrible about not telling a girl (hopefully Wendy) how he feels about her. So just a lot of moping, really. Hopper can’t figure out a way to get a signal through the shield to Wendy. The cadets have an idea, but obviously, they don’t tell anyone, and instead try to do it themselves, because kids are stupid like that. This issue is actually really good. Better than usual. I don’t know if Stohl is getting the hang of comics, or if it’s just an unusually good issue. But I really like this. It’s a good character-driven issue. Lots of quiet moments to explore Carol and a few other characters. It makes for a strong issue. An enjoyable read. Good art, too. It’s clear and expressive, and pleasant on the eyes. I’d be fine with Bandini as the new permanent artist. I like his style much more than Rosanas’. And the colours are gorgeous. Arciniega’s not someone I’m familiar with, I think he’s new to Marvel, but I’m already very impressed. He does phenomenal work. Bandini/Arciniega make for a great art team, and I look forward to seeing more of this pairing, I hope.

Jem & the Holograms Infinite #1, by Kelly Thompson, Stacey Lee, Jen Hickman, Sarah Stern, and Shawn Lee. The Holograms and the Misfits are still at war, because there needs to be some sense of order to the world. Rio thinks the Holograms should come clean about Jem being an illusion, the Holograms think it would end their career. While the Holograms and Misfits argue and get ready to fight, Kimber and Stormer say hi. After the argument, Techrat approaches the Holograms for help saving the world. It’s a fun comic. It’s a shame Lee only did the line art for the first half of the issue, because she is so amazing and I wanted more of her. Jen Hickman’s great, too. It’s not like she’s a consolation prize or something. I just always want more Stacey Lee. If you haven’t read any of the Jem comics, then first why haven’t you read that series yet it is amazing, but second, you should be fine jumping into this. And then go back and read the rest of the series. Because it’s amazing.

Pull List for June 28 2017; Marvel: Legacy thoughts

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I have to wonder how much longer I’ll be doing pull lists, now that Marvel has CHANGED THE INDUSTRY FOREVER!!! with Marvel Legacy. But I’ll talk about that below. First, tomorrow’s pull list.

I’ll go to the store for: Black Panther #15, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Wilifredo Torres, Adam Gorham, Terry Pallot, Laura Martin, and Joe Sabino; Jem & the Holograms Infinite #1, by Kelly Thompson, Stacey Lee; Mighty Captain Marvel #6, by Margaret Stohl, Michele Bandini, and apparently no one else, just those two, ; Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #20, by Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Joe Caramagna; My Little Pony Movie Prequel #1, by Ted Anderson, Andy Price; Occupy Avengers #8, by David Walker, Jorge Coelho, Martin Morazzo, Mat Lopes, and Clayton Cowles.

I’ll also review: Cable #2, by James Robinson, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Jesus Aburtov, Federico Blee, and Cory Petit; Jean Grey #3, by Dennis Hopeless, Victor Ibanez, Al Barrionuevo, Jay David Ramos, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Travis Lanham; Totally Awesome Hulk #20, by Grek Pak, Robert Gill, and I would assume other people; X-Men Blue #6, by Cullen Bunn, Ray-Anthony Height, and who the hell knows who else because there’s no preview and the people who write up solicits think half the creative team doesn’t matter.

So that’s 6 comics I’m picking up, and 4 other reviews. Good week. On the flip side: I’m getting pretty goddamn fed up with not being able to find full creative teams for issues.

Lots of good stuff. Black Panther’s been excellent, and the preview shows Ayo and Aneka doing a Fastball Special and being super-cute with each other. And I’m enjoying this current Gods of Wakanda arc. Jem has been one of the best comics out there for the past couple years, and the Infinite crossover between the Holograms and the Misfits looks like it should be loads of fun, even if Stacey Lee’s only doing, like, half an issue (Jen Hickman will be doing the rest of the Holograms issues, Jenn St.-Onge still on the Misfits issues). Moon Girl is always a delight, and Girl Moon seems pretty cool and sweet. And Occupy Avengers has been good, and from the preview, Frank and Silas are showing up again. Those guys were great.

But none of this really matters, because Marvel CHANGED THE COMIC INDUSTRY FOREVER!!!1one. So, Marvel Legacy. Jokes aside: Holy shit, did Marvel ever screw that up. I am still absolutely flabbergasted at how much they screwed that up. They made a huge deal about having a massive announcement for Friday, and then Friday comes along, and its variant covers, homaging older covers. And . . . that’s it? It’s not even the full Legacy line-up, as Runaways, at the very least, was absent from it. So we don’t even know if there might be other titles they left out of the line-up. We sure as hell don’t know anything about any of the titles. We can assume that most will continue with their same creative teams. But there’s a few we don’t know. And Marvel told us jack shit about them. I guess because creative teams just don’t matter.

I mean, shit, they couldn’t even do the reveals of the covers properly. The gifs are set to change way too fast. The gif for the GotG cover didn’t even work. And a chunk of variants didn’t have the line artists credited. (None of them had colour artists credited, which is bullshit. Colour artists matter, Marvel. Give them the fucking credit they deserve, you assholes.) Also, of all the covers that had artists credited: Two women. And I know Veronica Fish did one, so that makes three female artists, out of aaaaaallllllllllllll those covers. They had Rob Fucking Liefeld do a cover, but they couldn’t ask Sara Pichelli? Come on.

I have seen zero excitement for Legacy anywhere. None. Every single reaction I’ve seen to Friday’s big announcement has been negative. It is astonishing just how few shits Marvel was able to stir up in anyone with this. And it was completely their own fault. They over-hyped it to the point of self-parody, so when it just turned out to be homage variant covers, everyone was too confused to even talk about how cool any of the covers were. And some of the covers are great! Stephanie Hans’ Death of Mighty Thor cover? Mmph! Hans is always amazing. Felipe Smith’s Moon Girl cover is wonderful. Dave Johnson’s Secret Warriors cover is great. Christian Ward’s USAvengers cover, Mike Allred’s Avengers cover, Juan Doe’s Royals cover, the Mighty Captain Marvel cover, Generation X, Veronica Fish’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl cover, Christian Ward’s Black Bolt cover, Kris Anka’s Wolverine cover. Plenty of other great covers, too. But no one’s talking about them, because Marvel promised something more, and then never delivered, and everyone’s talking about that.

(For the record, my Legacy pull list: America, Moon Girl, Luke Cage, Hawkeye, USAvengers, Avengers, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Generation X, Squirrel Girl, She-Hulk, Black Bolt, Wolverine, Ms. Marvel. 14 titles. Which is about as small as my Marvel pull list has been in years. Which is kind of a mixed thing. I think it’s good that Marvel’s cutting its line, but it is unfortunate for me that it means so many titles I love are among those cut. Well, my wallet will be happy.)

In personal news: I might have some personal news soon? I applied for a call centre job, to get something full time. The woman said she hoped to get me in for the July 3 training class, but I haven’t heard back yet to know for sure. So, I don’t know. It would just be a call centre, which, ugh. But I’d be doing customer service for Canada Post. So at least sales probably wouldn’t be a big thing. I hate selling. I’m no good at it, and I don’t like doing it. Customer service for Canada Post would probably come down to just being yelled at for 8 hours a day, and buddy, I used to do customer service for cell phones for Americans. You wanna yell at me? You go right ahead. So, much as I’d hate to work in a call centre again, getting full-time hours would be a help for me. Especially since my mom is thinking of selling her place, and when that happens, I’ll need to find a place of my own. Which will suuuuuuuck, and I’ll need full-time hours for that. And in the meantime, I can pay down some of my credit card debt.

Anyway, that’s it for this week.

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