Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Uncanny X-Men #510 Review

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Greg Land
This issue begins with Armor, X-23, and Pixie fleeing from the Sisterhood's attack for their own safety. Meaning Wolverine's lackeys who either reference him by speaking of him or by presence alone all the time. Where the hell's Lackey Idol when you need it? We'll consider Kitty and Jubilee the first two eliminated. Anyway, let's get the position of Logan's lackey down to one X-Tween. It's a recession, we need to cut down on our excesses!

Next we find Emma in the almighty White Hot Room or close enough with Jean Grey. The funny thing about this scene?

I actually think she looks pretty here. But that goes to hell when she gets replaced by the love child of Pam Anderson and Amanda Lepore:

While I was thrilled to see Jean again, I wasn't thrilled to see her naked. Thanks for the female objectification, Greg! Luckily, Jean Grey, much like Barbra Walters, managed a soft glow so she was never truly shown.

The horrible trainwreck that is Fraction trying to write Emma continued when Emma got up and criticized Lady M's costume. FRACTION LOOK OVER HERE:

Since her re-introduction, I've said Lady M is a white trash version of Emma and I did this with their similar tastes in costumes in mind. Lady M's costume is actually better than Emma's old one. It was an eyesore, but it was the price we had to pay for a well-written Emma. That and Emma's practically wearing that costume again considering she's in her bra and panties during the smackdown. All she needs are some knee-high platforms and arm-length arm-warmers and she's back to Morrison era. And here's some gems from Fraction:

I do not understand why writers have to have Emma say shocking things referring to taking a shit since it falls flatter than Emma's original chest. And secondly, FRACTION: JEAN IS MOMMA MUTATION! Emma is Auntie Emma. As in the alcoholic sister to your mom who lives a racy lifestyle that makes it so your mother can only see her twice a year? See how well that fits for Jean as Momma and Emma as Auntie?? Lastly, I can only imagine how many people Carol Danvers is going to beat up for identity theft when she gets back after the Moonstone incident. Anyone who's even just used her name in the bedroom is going to get a super-fist in the face.

Does this confirm Julian's death in an upcoming X-Force? Because it looks like he willed away his personality to Elixir since he didn't have one. And Cuckoos, de-perma smile and stop with the teenage hoe routine! Oh by the way, Land, thanks for lengthening their hair and slimming their waists due to their not being pretty enough. You, sir, truly create healthy and realistic depictions of women.

I hate to say it, but I found these panels absolutely gorgeous. The cackling Empath being my favorite. Well, minus those emergency red lights that confused the fuck out of me the entire issue, what a pointless piece of crap that was.

Recycled image time! A gold star to whoever can tell me where else we've seen this pose.

Now, at this point in time I should mention that Wolverine has been having a pointless battle with mind-controlled Psylocke and most of everyone else is engaged in some form of non-progressive battle. Just because Wolverine is overexposed in comic books doesn't mean he's getting it here, which is why I failed to comment on it until now.

In this instance, Psylocke is taunting Logan by saying she's not afraid to die. Which thanks to shitty Land, looks more like she's saying she's not afraid to take it from behind.

In the final pages of this issue, we find more sexism. This time from Dr. Nemesis where he says something to Wolverine like, 'Wow, I would've loved to see you get your ass kicked by a bunch of women'. And I hope you get fucking killed off, you goddamn misogynist! I'm so pissed he said that and none of the powerful women in there did anything.

The morning after their encounter. I just love having more fuel for the fire that is Wolverine and Cyclops' secret love. Seriously, both of them shirtless on their own page is good material.

And apparently they're talking about the fact that Wolverine had some of Jean's hair, which I'm sure is just the beginning of his hidden shrine to her, and it was stolen by the Sisterhood. I'm thinking this isn't her time to come back. The writers said it would planned out and delicately looked at. This is about as careful as a drunk guy in room full of fine china.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Uncanny X-Men #509 Review

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist?: Greg Land
This issue begins with the opening scene of Claremont-esque reflection of who the X-Men are and basic ideas about their move to San Fran that've already been established. Meaning timewaster!! To compound on this offense is Greg Land and his perma-smile bullshit. The worst one being the blasted student (Hope Abbott?):

You are in fucking school taking a test, Hope. What could possibly be making you happy enough to smile?
What was almost as bad was the emotionless Cuckoos shown smiling. Aren't you bitches not supposed to feel anything? I mean, I would love that fact retconned, but even before their bullshit diamond hearts they were never ones to be all smiles unless they were being cruel.

Jean Paul's part was a massive disappointment this time around. His grasping for an answer is ridiculous, not only because if he's anything like Pietro then he must have accelerated thinking ability so he'd have some confident answer. Even if accelerated thinking is not in the power set, he'd just be like, "This place needs my fucking hot self." Which by the way, I know Greg Land traced him off some hot model, but damn Northstar is quite sexy.

The freakout among the X-Men over "Prop X" is annoying. Almost as annoying as taking directly from recent events (Prop 8) and pasting them into a comic book. To me it looks like someone's run out of ideas.

Pixie's "badass" Danger Room fight was such a horrible move. Seriously Pixie, you have received the shortest end of the stick in going from a background character who was extremely likeable to an attempt at a sex symbol who is unremarkable and Logans' new sidekick. And apparently is 18 now (more on that later)?

Beast's science club: A wasted page of pointless banter. Then finally an idea of what's going on.

And then Sisterhood time where this time the recap was needed. Psylocke's history actually is important to what's going on and she's been banished to obscurity for awhile. Then the Sisterhood spaz out because heaven forbid delayed gratification happen.

Again, attack of the perma-smiles. Why are you bitches smiling?! She's just laying down the scene, no smiles necessary! Not only that, it's a good thing Maddie's a ghost because that fucking waist is impossible. almost as impossible as those boobs. I think Greg Land should be cursed with a rack that size and see how impossible it is to do anything when your back always hurts. Seriously Greg, average-sized boobs are more than fine.

The part where Northstar, Dazzler, and Pixie walk in drunk needs a lot of addressing. First off, Pixie, get some better taste in men. Scott Summers is the most plain X-Man of all. And as much as I really don't want to talk about her any longer, there's the instance of this:

Last we checked in, a year ago I think, Pixie was 15. You can't tell me she just aged 3 years while the rest of her class is more or less the same age or maybe just one year older. I'm not sure drinking age in Wales, but Canada is 19 right now. And if Jean Paul is truly Quebecois, then he's probably going off Quebec's law and that would be 18. Did we really just see Pixie get aged 3 years just so Land's pornifying of her is less of a problem?? On to other topics...

You're kidding right? A relationship built on an affair between an intensely manipulative woman and a manchild? Fraction, if you haven't forgotten, Jean's DEAD. Emma's not a clone of Jean. And the relationship between Scott and Emma is likely intensely dysfunctional and I think odds are good that they would be broken up by now if writers didn't think Cyclops being single would be a sin.

Thanks heavens before the discussion can get any worse, the Sisterhood attacks with Chimera pissed over no one knowing who she is. Chimera, even I had to look you up when you were introduced in Uncanny, you are as obscure as they fucking come.

The end of the issue reveals Logan to be the one Maddy wants. More Wolverine spotlight time? Seriously? He's one of the most over exposed characters ever. His popularity is going to run out if things don't lessen especially since quantity is taking over quality in a big way right now.

In summary, I felt like I had very little to say because Fraction disappointed by slipping back to mediocre.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Astonishing X-men #29 Review

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Simone Bianchi
First things first: Gorgeous cover!! Finally a cover without Wolverine and featuring this team's best members.

Now, I must criticize, Ellis does not seem to understand that Emma is not helpless without her powers. There is an issue of Generation X that is dedicated to this. She has self defense training; as any pole dancer, in her case ex, should have. I don't doubt Storm is superior to her in that arena since Storm led a team for a long time without powers, but Emma should not be saying she cannot protect herself.

Then it's onto Forge talk where we hear about the events of M-Day and the Messiah Complex. Again! Did you forget them? I'm sure we talked about them last issue and the issue before, but in case you forgot!

Hisako is the biggest WTF of the team. She joined because she got pulled into a mess, but she should've been off the team as soon as they returned to Earth. And now she's shot which I'd be happy about except she loves to whine and make "cutesy" remarks:

Cyclops: "Why the fuck is she still on the team?
Wolverine: "Y'know, I forget."
Just look at their poses and tell me that's not what they're thinking. Speaking of looking at their poses:

Every time I read Astonishing with Bianchi I wonder why I'm getting turned on and then I look at the near nudity of the men. Also, their posing is just so gay porn-y, seriously look through an Astonishing some time. Not that I'm complaining though! I fucking love it, Bianchi should make a porno comic after this stint.

Continuing, normally I hate extended fight scenes, but the two-page Storm-will-cut-a-bitch version was HEAVEN. If Storm were to be depowered again and put as head of a team it would be heavenlier because she knows how to kick some ass.

Also, the return of threats from Miss Frost was wonderful. Tacky bitchy humor out of Uncanny has left me questioning if this is my character, but Astonishing always reminds me that she is still the torture happy psycho I fell in love with.

Now the part I absolutely climaxed at was this entire page:

I would buy 30 of this fucking issue just for that page. Finally, the idiotic argument about Emma will feel about X-Force gets commentary because we who REALLY know Emma knows she would not give a fuck. She just did it now and even volunteered to cover for Cyclops. Then he PMSes over her lying thing. As if he did not know this about the ex-White Queen. He knows she'd lie to him if she thought it was right, but he should know that she will come to him when the time is right for her to tell him. To end the pointless argument on the planet of who will freak out over who's secret (Emma's Cabal and Scott's X-Force), Emma would be like, "...K, I have to go torture somebody. Oh by the way dear, I'm working with Osbourne to protect us from the government," and then Cyclops would have a man-child explosion as usual.

Now onto part 2 of my "Hisako, why are you here?" section:

You see the look again? They're wondering. And you know, there is one fucking fantastic line missing from here that would shut this endlessly annoying girl up (First line only:

Seriously Miss Frost, get on the ball.
To end my post, I want to comment on Bianchi's work since in my opinion it has significantly improved. The women no longer look like trannies and the men are sexual looking as ever. And this has to be one of my favorite panels of a gorgeous Miss Frost from this issue (though I question wearing hoops to any mission):

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dark Reign: The Cabal

As is the case with most of my posts on the Cabal, I'm pretty much going to comment mainly on Emma with only a couple things to say on the other stories.

I just looked up what was going on in the Dr. Doom story and I am not pleased. Emma being tied up to Dr. Doom's fucking chair as a sex slave is ridiculous. Please fucking die Doom, your arrogance pissed me off so much throughout this one-shot. Loki being tied up, whatever, she can turn into a man and make his masculinity feel challenged. The story in it self was good besides the Emma sex slave part, but what I want to talk about is the artist: ADI GRANOV! (click here to see). AND he made a fucking amazing costume for her which should be used instead of that shitty edit made to her AWESOME costume.

Continuing on The Hood story had egh art with an egh story up until the end. That part was good. Namor's story was good except the art used was ridiculously unattractive. Namor's a guy who lounges in his speedos ALL day. Give him an artist that will give him a sexy edge. Also, I noticed that Namor and Northstar are very similar creatures in the arrogance sense. Of course, A LOT of Marvel men are full of....themselves. Still, resemblance? I think so at least. Loki story was boring. I've never been a Peter Milligan fan and this just reinforces that. And I'm sick of Doom and his arrogance, I wish for his death at the end of this.

Now to the main event: Emma's story.

The artist was fine in this case even though last time since she was in the Hellfire club in the artist's (Daniel Acuna) pages she just looked like a cheap French whore so it looked terrible. Felt like too much perfume in a small room. Still, not Adi Granov. I liked that even paid attention to minor details like what Emma was wearing when the sentinels attacked since it barely differed from the usual and he even put in layered hair like it was.

Fraction finally wrote Emma like I want! Concerning the morning of the 16 million mutant massacre, Emma discusses how it was just any other Tuesday and says, "I said something dumb and bitchy masquerading as clever and naughty and mean. My first refuge when I've got nothing else to say." YES! Now you're getting it! There are just so many things that are finally correct with Fraction's Emma.

Revisiting her family sort of undid the damage done by that talentless crap Emma Frost series. We finally see Emma as she was in New X-Men #139: Flat-chested and scrawny. Everything is back as they should be although Christian looks old again which I wish he'd A. Be brought back B. Not as an old man since he can't be more than a few years older than Adrian.

I also love that Emma's motive for teaching was explained. The fact that she teaches to help kids that were in her place is a wonderful reason.

Finally, Emma Frost has been written right by Matt Fraction! I've bitched long and hard and it's like fate's responded. Or Fraction caught my bitching on CBR? One problem: It was all review and not a new story though it did show new insight into her character and was definitely her voice. After my first day of good quality Fraction I am excited to see where Uncanny X-Men #509 goes since I still don't have it.

Uncanny X-Men #508

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Greg Land

In this case, I will breakdown my complaints and compliments in the order they were presented in the comic.

First, what the hell was with that pointless Aiko story along with Domino's boring view of their world? Wasting space much? Personally, for her appearance I felt Domino had too much talk time with very few interesting things to say and minimal use of personality. Claremont-esque, no?

Then the next page when Logan hears Kwannon's body was stolen and he shouts and pops his claws. Oh you manly man, you. I am so sick of angry man syndrome at this point, I just wish for Logan's death.

Beast's science club meets again with one page dedicated to pointless talking and then Dr. Kavita Rao's reappearance, a character I have to say I am not thrilled to see is still alive. Then for the next page we hear for the umpteenth time that the Scarlet Witch has decimated the population. Really? You don't say! Then we hear about the baby AGAIN and Beast's barely useful findings in Endangered Species AGAIN. How many pages have we wasted so far?

Return to the Sisterhood where the Lady Masterminds are squabbling like children and wasting more panel time. Then finally something cool is going on, we have Betsy and Betsy's ex-body in the same room again.

Then another church scene between Emma and Kurt where Emma comes off as shallow and boring and Kurt is his annoying religious self. This little gem also comes from crappy porn artist, Greg Land. Wow, if she wasn't already being written badly, I'd be really pissed at how she's portrayed to be just any rich bitch.

Luckily, things pick up as Emma is asked to educate the Russian refugees on all sorts of things and she agrees which means she starts NOW. Her moment of nervous uncertainty is cute to see and then her nerves as she tries to settle herself into her new role. But as she begins, oh no wait for it, THERE'S ANOTHER ATTACK ON ALL PSYCHICS!!! We haven't seen this happen like 30 times in the past five years!! Bonus, cheesy titles to intro the psychics being attacked!! (Fraction, quit the hipster shit and just say who they are) One AMAZING thing that comes of this though is Karma is seen to be in BED with another woman. I'd be through the roof happy on this one if Land wasn't the artist drawing it. Also, she seems to be back to homely looking rather than the typical Land way of making girls get randomly long hair and super "hot" youthful looks.

Next part, I must gush about (and this is Fraction's writing so this is a first). Northstar!!! Now, not only is Northstar a cocky French bastard like me, but he's not afraid to say the GAY word and talk about his BEING GAY without overdoing it. Question though: Is Jean Paul Quebecois or not? I remember Austen wrote him saying he wasn't, but Austen is the Greg Land of writing so obviously I don't think that statement is researched. Still, something I wonder about. Or it could be like my Uncle who's SO QUEBECOIS and fits the stereotype so WELL but will never admit it. Also, Fraction you get big points for mentioning poutine which is like HEAVEN since everyone should know of the joy that is a Canadian poutine. Also, mild slap in the face to Austen for having Northstar ask Logan if this is just a gay mascot job offer. Fraction, writing Jean Paul is your calling because for the first time your writing is solid gold with this scene.

Next, we have the psychics waking up (AGAIN!) and we get treated to recycled Land image with Emma as the target again:

Look at that awkward arm. Not that the original image is any better, while less awkward in drawing, it's awkward because Emma is hiding behind a wall while Cyclops is pointlessly torturing a man. As if she would not be present and eating popcorn! Or just simply, she'd never fucking hide when Cyclops know she's there.

Next scene we have Miss Betsy being put back in original British body. Massive points to Fraction if he can: A. Write her correctly with personality, but not with one scarily close to Emma's B. Keep her in British body.

In summary, this issue went from terrible to good to fucking awesome to good. Fraction has finally set himself up on a platform where if he succeeds he can definitely turn me from writing mainly complaints to compliments. One biggie is learning how to write Emma correctly though, I will gladly give a writer's workshop to any writer willing enough to listen to my obsessive rants and reccomendations.