Saturday, December 26, 2009

The List #19 part 1

Gotham City Sirens #7
Writer: Paul Dini
Artist: David Lopez
I generally don't like holiday-related specials these days. True, Harley and Ivy's 'Holiday Knights' is one of my favorite Harley and Ivy appearances. But usually the conflict is half-hearted, it's tacky, and somewhere in there all the conflicts are resolved (like Sage magically curing Gambit's blindness in that X-Men holiday issue?). This issue on the other hand restored my faith in this series. It's the second best issue out of the series, with #1 being the best. Anyway, this issue used the holidays as background with diving in the character's motivations being the main objective.

We start off with Selina, she kicks a couple bad guys' ass for the new Batman and meh, it doesn't matter because I only care about the Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman. Moving on we find Ivy spending her holidays in Central America, at peace with nature and all that. Her spotlight sort of answers a question that's been on my mind ever since I read Batman: Poison Ivy and that is: Why didn't she just go back to a land where she'd be worshipped and at home? And I think the following answer is one that I find believable and something that would make sense:
It makes sense to want to be in a place where there's an actual challenge as opposed to living in a place you already have dominance. Anyway, she goes over this and saves some tourists from being killed by drug dealers.

Back in the U.S., Harley goes to visit her family, something I forgot she probably had especially since I don't recall ever hearing about it being explored. Dini uses her family to explain a lot of her behavior, which is cool and all, but he almost overdid it, as if her entire being is defined by how her family is. Anyway, this starts with Harley coming home and her mom, to put it lightly, grudgingly letting her stay. Turns out Harley's the overachiever of her family, as her dad is a con, her mentally unbalanced mom just seems to be the one who lets all the bullshit slide, and her brother's a bum with kids.

Anyway, we find out what Harley actually gave some of her money to her brother for his kids and himself. The unfortunate part is he's a man and as Mrs. McClusky from Desperate Housewives would say, "Men are genetically incapable of realizing their dreams are stupid." Not that this applies to all, but if you're past 35, your band isn't going to fucking make it. Did anyone else see that episode of Intervention
with the guy and his dumb "band" dreams and how they were worse than his meth problem?? Ugh, when I was 17 and I had two friends in a band that actually practiced and they were surrounded by adoring fellow musicians and all I ever heard was their ideas that they'd get discovered in Bangor or some shit. Bangor?! Seriously!? I love having friends in bands, but I hate listening to their illogical plans to hit it big.

Back to Harley, her mother puts up with all her family's B.S. and is just content that Harley's brother isn't a criminal like Harley and her dad so she lets him sit around as much as he wants. It's very obvious the stress of having criminals in the family has gotten to her, and she ends up exploding at one point. Harley also goes to visit her father and during then she explains her motivation for going into Psych:

I find it goes too far in explaining her, but whatever. He fakes having turned over a new leaf, she buys it and explains she's also kept some of her fortune for him and her mom. Then it turns out he's still just as much a con as ever which is the last straw for her putting up with her family. She leaves the house to go back to the hideout and we get a tour of the remodeled version.

Overall, a massive improvement to the previous issues. Like almost all of them. Which is good since I've tried to root for this series since I heard about it, but it's hard to root for good characters being used incorrectly and ignored in their own series. Also, I have to say the spotlight, when not focusing on a male character, too often goes to Harley. Anyway, buy this issue and that's it.

Uncanny X-Men #519
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Terry Dodson
As can be seen in the preview, we start this issue off with another attempt by Fraction to try and be Grant Morrison by mirroring him. In this case, we get the re-intro. of Fantomex, a character I despise for his very forced 'badass' appeal. Seriously, we already have Deadpool, is this character really necessary? In more Fraction isn't Morrison news, Beast ends up saying "Sorry, million miles away" which is you've read Riot at Xavier's, you'll notice that in there too. This copy and paste shit really chaps my ass.

In other news, Scott is possessed by The Void now and everyone's all up in arms. Apparently Fraction's tried to justify this move and it still stinks like shit. How is Cyclops remotely useful to The Void if everyone knows Scott's possessed?! Seriously, with Emma's abilities the Void had the power to erase that fact from everyone. Fraction just does not play things out logically.
Anyway, Scott's possessed and The Void is apparently nothing but black ink that whispers your insecurities to you. Are we really supposed to take that as threatening. Worse yet, Cyclops beats it by using his repression, since he's a man of cimplicated depth and emotion! Seriously, Repression as a weapon? It's not genius, it's bullshit, people, do not be fooled. More interesting was in the event of The Void possibly taking over, we had a backup plan:

Psylocke's ass!
If this happens again, I'm just going to have to make a tag for it.
Anyway, the three boring sub-plots at work this issue: Magneto wants to save the sinking island, tells Namor to go get his peeps, looks like the imminent betrayal is shockingly imminent. That and apparently the Predators had nanobots on them. Oh and Beast is taking a break to go screw around in the probably-going-to-be-cancelled-by-issue-5 new series Sword. Finally, his whining has really done nothing but make me feel unsympathetic and wanting him to be out sooner. Honestly, in a world where Wolverine shrugs torture off every day and Fraction has no idea how to convey depth, I just don't see how anyone can sympathize with Beast and his traumitizedness.
Conclusion: Don't fucking buy this, it's not even funny it's horribleness these days.

What If? Astonishing X-Men
Writer: Jim McCann
Artist: Ibraim Roberson and David Yardin
To start, read this preview first, if you haven't already because it's fabulous and also saves me from having to post three million panels that I like from it. I'd like to say that I almost didn't recognize this version of Emma because it's her written right! And heaven knows we haven't seen that in awhile.

Also, what the fuck is with Jean on the cover? She looks so Bella Swan it's sickening. Stop looking hurt, Marvel's-substitute-for-God! This is definitely a good place to put the story since, A. it definitely was a stated possibility in the "Gifted" arc that the ex-teammate could have been Jean and B. this is when Scott and Emma's open relationship was really fresh. If you recall, in New X-Men we never found out who Scott chose since Jean died. Scott didn't even really go to Emma post-Jean re-death; Jean ended up pushing them together. So Emma's insecurity is totally justified.

The plot continues with the bit of Cassie Nova still in Emma and influencing her into taking the Phoenix out of the Cuckoos. Except seems to me that story happened much later than 'Gifted'. That and I would like to say that I don't think Emma was such a bitch in the older days just because Cassie Nova was up in her shit. Emma Frost is a bitch. Plain, simple, and absolutely unchanging. Anyway, Emma becomes Phoenix and ends up devouring the Breakworld before anything becomes an issue. She also attacks the Breakworld with something other than fire life incarnate:

Hide your fake Chanel sunglasses, boys and girls, or the Phoenix won't leave you with a shred of your self esteem!
Anyway, Emma returns to Earth and starts a killing spree there while the Astonishing team collects itself. Jean and Emma duke it out, they figure out Cassandra Nova has been influencing Emma and now with the Phoenix, it's barely even Emma now. In the end, it's the same conflict of wanting to save the teammate, but needing to rid the world of the Phoenix, and Kitty is the one who ends it:

Thankfully that plain jane bitch, Kitty, was killed in the blast of the Phoenix that followed.
So in the end, the Emma Phoenix killed the Stepford Cuckoos, the Breakworld, Beast, Lockheed, and most thankfully, Kitty. In the end, Wolverine, Scott, and Phoenix, aka the X-Men who are most overused, are left alive for the time being until a big crossover death is needed or a radical writer ends his run. At least we get this last panel that makes this all feel like a horror movie:

Oh, Cassie, youuuuu. Kill away, dear, I hate those pricks' Cyclops and Logan anyway.
The other story about Danger and Ultron hooking up is lame and depressing because the death count is this: All the Runaways, all of Xavier's students, and all the X-Men. And yet another sad Emma death!:

Seriously lamesauce story. And the Say What? is a cheap, unfunny attempt at humor. My conclusion is that you should considering buying this issue for it's first story, but if you were never that wild about Emma Frost in Astonishing, then maybe not so much.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The List #18 part 2

X-Force #22
Writers: Chis Yost and Craig Kyle
Artist: Clayton Crain
This issue begins with a glimpse of Emma's beloved deceased student, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and an explanation that many of the resurrected 16 million mutants were affected by the Decimation. This is pretty interesting information that I actually have wondered about before; if it's been gone over in Endangered Species then forgive me but I tuned out that crap side story almost entirely. Seriously, Beast exploring the overdiscussed Decimation is not an interesting read.

Shifting to the X-Men, we find Crain has gifted us with a beautiful two page fight scene which can be seen in the preview
here. This includes bit of Gen. X reunion, which is nice to see that the team is not entirely forgotten. But in that panel I think there is our second caption glitch in this week's batch of comics:

That or Husk is possessing Skin.
Again, the possibilities are endless.
Inside the X-Landfill, we find out Rahne is pregnant and it's killing her! Hooray! I'm sorry to all her fans, but I've almost never liked the character for her naivete and overly religious crap. Considering how much she's in Limbo in X-Force right now, it'd be a good idea to either let her die (and make me happy) or put her on the revived New Mutants team. Anyway, Wolf Prince guy goes to go howl at the moon and Hela appears to interfere with my wish fulfillment.

Back on Planet Selene, she's plotting to kill her resurrected mutants to complete her spell that requires souls and other ideas that I hate. Probably their metaphorical 'hearts' too because the ability to love and be passionte is totally stored in our blood pumper. I find it odd that Selene can use the resurrected for her spell because I'd be inclined to think they're 'impure' or 'have no souls anymore'. Possibly something that will
be covered later? Anyway, there's the big discovery of the blade required for the spell is missing, so Selene's elite go to attack the X-Men.

Speaking of the elite, you may have noticed the absence of X-Necrosha: The Gathering one-shot last week. That would be because all it was was Selene being evil and recruiting the characters with the same idea like five times. I have already had enough of that crap with Dark X-Men: The Beginning with Osborn forcing ch
aracters into recruitment for three issues. Now onto a set of panels worth noting:
First off, nice to see Dazzler being seriously used in combat. Second, who the hell is the redhead? My guess is that Morlock who's meant to resemble Jean with the weird tongue. But I find it off that anyone would let her on the island in the first place considering she's always up in the X-Men's grill. Third, holy shit, did Sooraya really just say 'What the hell'? Seriously, what she said overall seems totally out of character from her normally respectful-even-under-intense-cirumstances demeanor.

To conclude, buy this issue if you are following X-Necrosha, but otherwise be warned that it's a mediocre issue.

X-Men Legacy #230
Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: Daniel Acuna with Mirco Pierfederici
So as can be seen on the cover, Rogue begins the issue by using Emplate's powers right back on him. A bit surprising that her powers carried over to her astral form, but whatever works.

We also get a dialogue-less two-panel cameo of my favorite unconfirmed tranny, Ariel! Just so everyone knows, I totally picked up two issues of the only other series she's ever really appeared in, Fallen Angels, out of a $.25 bin during a fabulous sale at Coast City Comics. Seriously, if you're in the area and are a whore for sales like I am, then stop to pick up an issue or twelve.
Thanks to them, I now can know the magic of the 80's through Ariel.

Back to the plot, the drag net set to pull Emplate's astral lighthouse reels it in and Emplat
e ends up trying to suck Bling!'s energy to kill her, and some of the X-Men appear to save her. My favorite being:

My X-Boyfriend Warpath, of course. What a man, what a man, what a mighty delicious piece of man. Except Acuna could have done the face a little better and made it less aged looking. But at least he remembered to forget Warpath's shirt.

Anyway, Emplate gets sent to some uncertain fate of doom in the end. Later on, Bling! is getting interviewed by students and it turns out being saved is definitely something she's into. Yay for the X-Lesbians!

But boo on Hope Abbott. F'real honey, admitting you find someone is attractive isn't that big of a deal. Unless you're a total 'phobe. Seriously Hope, your enjoyment of tests and dislike of lesbians is absolutely backwards.

Anyway, the epilogue also includes Rogue and Cyke discussing her job offer and Cyclops mentions something that sounds very off to me:
Five years? Seriously? Didn't that thing come crashing down 15 years ago? 15 and 5 are huge differences. I was 15 five years ago, but I was 5 fifteen years ago. See the difference? I just dislike the sliding timescale in general since I think Storm was totally in her cougar 40's during X-Treme X-Men and that most of the senior X-Men should be aged to around that area.

That or numbers should never be mentioned in a sliding timescale.
Anyway, last page of the issue is Gambit being gorgeous and talking to an evil goth card with black lips. Oh and don't read A Girl Named Hope, I loathe the artist. And Cable. So just ignore that in this issue and X-Force since I forgot to mention that it was in X-Force and am too lazy to go fix it.

In conclusion, pick up this issue if you've been collecting the other issues of this arc, but ignore it unless you've got lots of extra cash. I know I said I'd promote it if it had Ariel, but one-panel does not feed my need. And also, this arc in general was sort of good, but not great, yet again like Carey since Legacy began.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

X-Factor #200 Review

X-Factor #200
Writer: Peter David
Artists: Bing Cansino with Marco Santucci
Warning: This month's issue is $5. But before you get so mad that you shit, just realize it's well worth the price. First, you get the story, which I believe goes beyond the normal 22 pages of story and feels much more fresh than X-Factor has been lately, then a backup Siryn story with Reverend Madrox (which is crap until the end, whatever), Bios on the entire team, and lastly but most importantly, Madrox #1. Which is done by Raimondi, my long lost artist love. So spending $5 on this, I think, is totally reasonable and I overall recommend picking this book up this month. Just be warned it takes forever to fucking read because of how much is in it, but I suppose that's a plus if you're only reading for enjoyment.

All right, the story is focused around the Invisible Woman vanishing. Don't call that irony though because the surprisingly bearable and maybe even likable member of the Fantastic Four, Valeria Richards will correct your ass:
I'd find it funnier if I didn't still screw up defining irony.
Also, I have to appreciate that while Valeria is characterized to be similar to Layla, you can tell that there definite differences between Layla and Valeria that can be easily picked out. Such as, Layla was more intuition and what she already knew while Valeria is more analytical and calculating. I have to say that it's the mark of great writer to write two very similar characters to be similar, but not identical.

I have to warn everyone of one thing: I hate the Fantastic Four. I barely have extremely general knowledge, I've seen them here and there (and too much in the FF vs. X-Men or whatever thing back in the 80's). I hate Franklin Richards most of all, for that blasted mini-series I just mentioned. I hate Sue Storm for her dumb housewife routine that she does a lot, especially when she left Reed in Civil War. I think they're horrible remnants of the 50's and need to go die in an overhyped crossover.

This issue is way too long for me to go through part by part and there's also very little to comment on, but I will say that Reed Richards is once again a irritating sketchy guy, Strong Guy's new look is terrible, The Thing and Strong Guy have the world's most pointless fight that just served to bore me because they ended up arguing over sports while fighting. Sports being a subject that puts me to sleep faster than discussions between musicians about music. Which is pretty bad because as soon as a musician even utters the word rhythm, I've tuned out. In other news, we had a caption malfunction:

That or Jamie could be in disguise as Shatterstar.
OR Reed could believe that Shatterstar is actually Jamie.
The possibilities are endless.
Overall, the story gets good with the Monet deal and we see Val Cooper again, who I like. David's humor is back in fighting form which is a relief because since #41 it had been mostly weak. Well. That damned Gladiator reference was weak in my opinion.

The next part of the story is about Siryn. Who, we find out, is depressed and not acting like herself. And slept with Deadpool again. The biggest way we can see that she's depressed is her oversized ugly sweater. Because nothing says depression better than the loss of all your good sense, especially fashion sense. In Siryn's little story, she encounters Rev. Madrox and they talk about why God let these things happen to her. I find Siryn's explaining how other priests have been no help (with accompanying flashback to the bullshit answers typical of a lot of religious people) to be pretty amusing. This story touches close to a message of Atheism, but instead it goes more to a philosophical 'What if?' discussion. OH and there's a discussion about Banshee's codename (which Siryn ends up taking on; which I find sad because I love the codename Siryn):

I wondered the same thing once I researched a bit about Banshees.
Afterwards we get the bios which I haven't even bothered to read yet, and lastly, there's Madrox #1 which is the most charming deal of this issue. Mainly because of Pablo Raimondi, who I've brought up as one of my artist loves. Honestly, I can't help it, I love his style and also how fucking sexy he makes all the male characters look. I swear he could make Strong Guy seem appealing. Seriously, take a moment and worship that undeniable sexiness--->

This issue definitely makes you wonder what X-Factor could have been had mutants stayed powered, and it just contributes to me feeling like the Decimation has been one of the most pointless and pointlessly drawn out ideas. I seriously think X-Factor may have had an easier time had Decimation not happened.

And on a final note, I have to say I found punkass Rahne with long hair and earrings and attitude to be much more likable than the standard version. Who I almost always dislike.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The List #18 part 1

Astonishing X-Men #33
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Phil Jimenez
This month we continue on with Astonishing still having a very similar zombie theme to X-Necrosha. It's honestly kind of sad because would this have happened some other time it would've been awesome, but now it just looks like a ripoff. Like don't get me wrong, I love zombie things, just watched Dawn of the Dead and last week played lots of Left 4 Dead 2, but still, there's no real reason why the X-Universe is having two separate zombie stories especially when one is a big crossover.

This issue is pretty much the same on energy level as the last two, it's good, but there's nothing that really sticks out. The first 8 pages are spent discussing what's going on. Except we had a couple pages dedicated to that last issue, so I just want to fucking move on sometime this year and 8 pages is definitely much for a setup of the plot. Especially when part of it is dumbass Hisako asking Brand questions. Seriously? I kept on wondering why the fuck no one was stopping her and telling her her only purpose on the team was to be backup muscle and make cutesy remarks that everyone ignores. Honestly, why the hell is she still on the team? Would she have retained the maturity and intelligence of Whedon's characterization of her, I could mayyyybe see it. But this is just messed up, the book is too serious to have use for some dumb-in-a-cheerleader-way high school girl. Seriously, look at the panel at the right (which is said to Logan when she's told to do something before him) and tell me that she doesn't make you wish she'd die in the next crossover.

Anyway, Brand questioned, fabulous panel of pissed off Emma, and then some Krakoa-like beast attacks and Cyclops does something amazing with his eye beam by splitting the thing in half (Click here for the scene, it's pretty awesome). And then we get two panels of pure faggotry that make me tingle with delight:
I love it when writers remember that Emma and Beast are all cultured and Emma especially has an interest in art. That and the continued adventures of shirtless Cyclops and Wolverine. Who are shirtless together again.

Not a whole lot else happened besides the team going to the ship chilling in the sky nearby and finding out some mutant from the past's corpse is doing it. Emma's dialogue was mostly good, she was a bit of a Chatty Cathy this issue and it ended up quantity over quality since some of her dialogue was really weak. But she was mostly irreverent so at least there's someone who has an idea of how to write Emma Frost these days. Egh, if you bought the last few issues, buy this one and if you didn't, do not.

Dark Avengers #12
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr. (mostly)
This issue is a disappointment. This time around we get Victoria Hand being objectified as she is a lesbian now or at least bisexual, so she obviously is a dirty creature and likes to be humiliated by being stripped (seriously, I don't find her being stripped around the time that her sexuality is revealed a coincidence, though it's probably more along the idiot mentality of "Lesbians are really sexy if they're, like, really hot").

Anyway, that and Molecule Man is being a villain of insanity that no one cares about since we've already got insane villains, on a team actually. You may heard of them, they're called the Dark Avengers? He's mundane.

And we get nude Osborn a lot which I keep finding weird since this happens too often. And he's older. And I really weird to see the face of an at least 50 year old man drawn with the body of much younger man. Seriously, even older men who get ripped still show signs of aging in their bodies. And why Osborn? The Sentry might actually have a fan if you showed him naked!

Which brings me to the next thing. This issue also focused on the Sentry doing amazing things that would be cool, given anyone cared about him. But they don't so every time Dark Reign has even shown the spotlight on the Sentry for a second has been a second wasted since no one likes an annoying god-like figure who's just always dying and coming back worse than Jean Grey.

My prediction is that Victoria Hand and The Sentry probs will die once Dark Reign finishes. Or at least that's what I'm praying to The Divas That Be for. One amazing thing did happen this issue though:
Moonstone definitely went back to being Norman's right hand, and it's beautiful because she got into character immediately to help manipulate the Sentry while everyone else was confused and didn't know how to act. Moonstone is manipulative, and it should be emphasized how quick on her feet she can be about acting.

Overall, boring issue, do not waste your cash. This is pretty unfortunate considering I like this title overall, but this past arc has been iffy.

Dark Wolverine #81
Writer: Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncolli
Checking in on Wolverine for a Moonstone appearance and I have to say I'm not sad to have ignored the title for the past few months. Nothing has changed, it's still a crap title with horrible art. I say just give the back book to that damned Logan and hopefully it will make one of his other title go away.

This issue basically poorly characterizes Moonstone and tries to make people think Daken is 'badass'. Anddd he's just a tired imitation, as I've said before. Anyway, Moonstone is poorly done in these ways:

a. Her inner monologue which lasts about 5 pages is absurdly
general. She talks about people and secrets the entire time or masks or something similar. And none of it is anything most people have not heard before. It's so plain, it's really sad that there are two writers working on this piece of shit. One thing that's fun is that when she lands there's a panel dedicated to her boots which is wonderfully divalicious.

b. Moonstone was the shit stirrer of the Thunderbolts during Ellis' run. She had her nose in everyone's business, she had no real alliances and she was just in it for herself. The same idea stands now, or at least it does if a writer has any idea how to write her character. So I call poor writing on her 'shock' as the 'revelation' that Daken is out to screw everyone over. Aren't all the Dark Avengers??

c. And to add a vicious insult to injury, they made her admiration of Daken go from interest of his mind based on her being a shrink to Twilight-like infatuation. An interest in Daken's mind is understandable, I'd feel similarly though he would not be the first Dark Avenger who's mind I'd want to probe. But this bullshit of her seeming like she's in Bella Swan-like admiration of him is so very out-of-character.

To close, do not buy this issue and do not spend a single cent on the Dark Wolverine deal.

To conclude on the post, I know it has been a lot of ranting about the fail of this week's comics, but I've still got part two to do with X-Factor, X-Force, and X-Men Legacy and the reviews for those are going to be more positive.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The List #17

Nation X #1
Writer #1: Simon Spurrier
Artist #1: Leonard Kirk
To begin I have to mention my love for the cover especially the inclusion of No-Girl on it. Seriously go check it out if you can find an image of it that isn't blurry as shit (Thanks CBR, makes you look super professional to have blurry previews).

Anywhoodaloo, the first story centers around Magneto and the students. It's a blend of awkward and cheesy and it does nothing for Magneto but
make him look more like a creeper and just a boring threat that the X-Men will have to take care they always do. Boredom. Kirk's art is a lot more bearable than it has previously been, but that's due to it being more colorful this time. To finish, this story is the weakest out of the bunch.

Writer #2: James Asmus
Artist #2: Mike Allred
Remember my constant bitching about how art and story need to come together to make a comic great? Well, sometimes one of them outshines the other in such a way that it doesn't matterhow mediocre one element is, you love the other element too much. This can be seen with Grant Morrison's run when crappy Igor Kordey kept subbing in for Quitely. Writing won over art. Well, this story is good, but the art by Allred totally outshines everything. As a new fan of Milligan's X-Force/X-Statix, I have to say I adore the man and I wish he was doing Uncanny. Why? Because in X-Statix he drew a satirical take on the super hero whereas Fraction right now is unknowingly serving up a campy take on the X-Men. The fact that he expects it to be taken seriously is absurd, it's like taking a B-Level horror movie seriously. Allred could definitely enhance that campy feel.

I adore this! Choose Brit Betsy!
Basically this story is a road trip between Kurt and Logan. Little goes on, but at the end Logan admits to being behind Scott as a leader...and much more.

Kurt's now in on the ongoing love affair!
Finally, I love Allred's take on Kurt and the man in general since this story would've been dull under any other

Writer #3: Chris Yost
Artist #3: Michele Bertilorenzi
Yost writes a good Iceman for this story, I mean a bit of a horn dog, but mostly an Iceman that I would love to see more often. Funny enough it depicts him being rejected by Dazzler. She denies him because she knows his secret. He really wants Jean Paul, but he has a boyfriend now. Come out of the closet, Bobby, we have techno remixes of Celine Dion's greatest hits. Diva always recognizes one of her gays, don't try to pull the wool over her eyes.

Bobby also mentions something that I've thought about recently, here's the update on the fab five:

Writer #4: Scott Snyder
Artist #4: David Lopez
This issue spotlights Colossus, which can be a dangerous thing considering the character's meant to be background. He's like my grandfather, he is content to be out of the spotlight and when you pull these sort of people out of the background they tend to seem awkward. Fraction proved this when he spotlighted Colossus awhile ago and the focus very clearly screwed his character up. Not only that, but Fraction can't write characters in the first place so... ya know. Anyway, the focus of this issue is Colossus' frustration with his little sister Illyana not returning his joy that they're reunited. Which is sad because as an introverted character, Colossus finally opening up for someone he loves so much makes for very raw emotion, and you almost feel the raw pain as Illyana ignores him. Anyway, this story is pretty good, bit of a downer, but a better take on Colossus than we've seen in awhile.

Summary about the entire book is that it is a lot better than the anthology books we've seen lately, infinitely better than that crap Dark X-Men book. I would say if you like X-Men you should definitely considering buying it.

And prep for next issue since it's totally fag edition: Gambit, Northstar, Jubilee, and No-Girl. It's going to be
goddamned delicious and you can imagine how excited I am for it to come out.

New Avengers Annual #3
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Mayhew
First off, you may recognize the artist, Mike Mayhew, from such books as X-Men Origins: Jean Grey and covers for Women of Marvel and Phoenix Warsong. Basically, this artist has generally "soft", "feminine" pencils, so he's called in more often for female-centered stories. Don't get me wrong, beautiful work, but I dislike that women stories get their own "feminine" art despite the fact that gory X-Force gets Mike Choi, the king of pretty pencils. While this doesn't always happen, I'm ticked that it happened this time.

Anyway, this issue centers around the fact that Clint Barton has been taken hostage. Luckily for all of us, Mayhew appeases the female and gay audiences by having Hawkeye in nothing but boxers the entire issue and sometimes it appears to be less. Oh and Mayhew draws a pretty fucking sexy naked man, so naked Hawkeye is definitely a good day. Oh and look at this contextless image:

Just ponderin' about what he's got.
Also, Normy Norm and the Dark Avengers are all up in Barton's grill, asking him where the Avenger's headquarters is and threatening to sic Venom on him. Which gives birth to another fabulous panel --->

Then the focus goes from this to the other stars of this issue, Jessica Jones, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, and Mockingbird, who are definitely the reasons why I reviewed this issue in the first place. The unfortunate part of this issue though is that despite the ladies being on the cover and being toted around as the stars of the issue, it's really more about Hawkeye. Which is fucking lame because
some of us here would like to read other characters besides the fucking hegemonic males. Like Spider-Woman I love, Ms. Marvel I like, Mockingbird I don't know and don't know if I want to, and Jessica Jones I'm probs going to start to discover since I've read some pages of Alias and am totally interested. So I'd like to see them more in the spotlight.

Anyway, Mockingbird discovers Clint left to kill Osborn and she freaks and runs outside to cry. Randomly, Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel are just chillin' outside, flying around. They decide to go find Clint since he probably got caught and Jessica decides to return to
superheroing. If this is a permanent thing, she should definitely consider a new costume or at least changing her hair to fit the costume better. Oh and this is a pretty panel of Ms. Marvel flying --->

Most of the issue is Clint getting interrogated by some psychic guy and he thinks of the Avengers headquarters and it shows them in the kitchen. Ok, question, are the scenes with Avengers in the kitchen sort of like an overused setting similar to Emma and Scott's constant bedroom scenes?

OH and for those of my readers who watch ANTM like I do, doesn't this panel of Ms. Marvel:

Look like Lauren Brie from Cycle 12?
If you say Lauren Brie's too pretty, then realize this girl looked a lot more attractive in pictures then in real life and should you watch the episodes with her in it I think you'll see the resemblance.

Oh and I have to say I adore Mockingbird's costume, it's absolutely gorgeous. Not only that, but she totally wears the same kind of boots that I do. So definitely am considering liking her just based on the fact that we probably both shop at the same place.

The issue ends with Clint getting rescued, the Avenger's changing their headquarters place, and Captain America is back. I'd say it'd be a good idea to consider this issue, but it's definitely not a must-have.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The List #16

Uncanny X-Men #518
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Terry Dodson
Ugh, so Dodson's back this issue. Please welcome back cheesy, anime-ish "cuteness" that just dilutes any comic book that isn't centered around teenage superheroes. Very little happens this issue, Magneto's all weak now and he's told he needs to save the ugly island. And Beast, he has such doubts, Sister James (I just watched the last scene of Doubt on Youtube, heh). Anyway, Beast's whining really and it gets tired. Most of the issue focuses on getting the Void out of Emma and it is the slowest plot I have ever seen.

Here's the scene: Scott goes into Emma's head, y'know, rather than Xavier because true love is better than high levels of experience with psychics. See the anime bullshit in here? Anyway, Scott sees Emma in her blank head (nothing but white background, wtf) and then there's other Emma's who start attacking him. And he figures out that they're not Emma except he figures this out like three fucking times. Anyway, it's the fucking Void since we all know it's fucking there in her head and they should, y'know, be prepared to encounter it?

On the other end, Xavier and Psylocke watch over the deal. Psylocke is basically there just to stand around and maybe kill someone if there's trouble. Ah, cameo queening. You may have wondered why I insist that Psylocke is a cameo queen considering she appears more often than the others. This is because no matter how B-going-on-A List she may be, Fraction always uses her like she's a D-Lister. Also, look at the world's most obvious statement from Xavier:

Ya think?
The issue ends with Scott basically saying something to the effect of that Emma's head always looks blank and his is always a hotel functioning as a cat house. That is fucking sad that Fraction is so dense. What should be said is that the landscape of their heads took on what was needed at the time; similar to what they did in the animated television show they had in the 90's. The kids version? Yes, I am saying children's television is smarter than Fraction. The conclusion is that apparently the Void wanted Scott and not Emma. Worst idea EVER. Seriously, powerful (but not omega) telepath or eyebeams? And what is the Void going to do? If it transferred behind everyone's back then it'd be different. Instead it was in front of three telepaths who can send a psychic shout to warn everyone about the problem. Oh whatever, at least the diamond Emma thing is over even though no one should've been able to enter Emma's head when she's in her diamond form. Conclusion: I'm so fucking glad my subscription to this comic just ended. I may very well start skipping issues.

X-Force Annual #1
Writer: Chris Yost and Craig Kyle
Artist: Carlo Barberi
First story is Logan being "badass" with a "heart-touching" plot. So lame. Second one is about Deadpool and is surprisingly good. Now let me explain that I don't generally like Deadpool. He's way too overhyped for the reason of his "explosive action" and "hilarious comedy" that is special since he breaks the fourth wall. Except he does way that too fucking often since writers do not seem to understand funny and just write a bunch of irritating cute-isms that fall flat just like they do with any Runaway's writer after Vaughan writing Molly Hayes. So there's few things about Deadpool that I've ever found funny. But this issue presents an image of Deadpool that I think actually deserves all the hype.

Rather than post all the good snippets, some poster on Scans_Daily did my work for me. So (click here) and I'm just going to make a few comments. First, I love Loa. Not for her personality since she doesn't have one, but for her powers since they're absolutely fun. She could either be one of the X-Men's biggest guns or their glorified paper shredder. And I love both ideas. Also, I love that at least Deadpool remembers continuity which includes the killing of Jean by Magneto since no one buys that Xorn/Sublime retcon. Anddd that last page/panel is the best. And on a final note:

I love this because when it was the animated series I always wondered how effective Wolverine could be with those fracking claws and Xavier's rule of not killing.

Psylocke #2
Writer: Chris Yost
Artist: Harvey Tolibao
This issue is basically a disappointment. I expected it to be a bit of a letdown next to last issue, but this is a bit much. I also tend to side with The Buy Pile's thoughts on this.

Oh by the way, what the fuck is with the sexual posing of the cover? Can we stop with the backside facing the viewer? And that waist is unreal in the most horrible way.

This issue focuses around three things: Wolverine doing his bullshit and getting more overexposure, Psylocke reflecting on her old life and fighting people, and this dumbassed mutant who blows shit up all the time without asking who's responsible for the "cliffhanger" this issue when he sees Betsy and just blows up even though they're on the same side. Ridiculous. Oh and there's a Yukio fight.

Here's something fun though:

Yes, that is a full panel dedicated to her flowing hair.
No cropping, that's the whole panel and I love it.
Almost as much as I love:

Her poised sashes. They're totally snake-like, I wonder if they can just bite people and suck the fabulous out of them for sustenance. Anyway, the conclusion is you should probably buy this issue if you got the first one, but it's definitely not going to be as exciting as last issue.