Friday, January 22, 2010

The List #21

First off, I have got to announce a very important change to my blog:
Some of you may have noticed that my images are kinda crap quality on this blog and tend to look sorta scraggly. Apparently my using .jpg for my image type is to blame, so I've switched to .png and it should look worlds better. I'm also going to go back in time and replace some of my old images with clearer ones. I'm not sure how far back I will go, but just something to look forward to.

Uncanny X-Men #520
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Greg Land
To begin, I had no idea that Land was the artist until I got this issue, and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. Mainly because Dodson is boring, cheesy, and produces that anime-ish idiotically upbeat tone. At least Land is ridiculous in a way that creates bitchy humor rather than just bitching.

The story begins with a team of Wolverine, Colossus, and Psylocke (all ex-Aussie years members!) being sent to hunt down the last Predator. For all of you Psylocke fans, it's a good month to like her considering her mini-series issue last week, her two appearances this week, and next week her appearance in X-Men Legacy.

They search the sewers and find Fantomex and EVA have done
the job already as well as taken care of the nanite issue. Also, an interesting point that has been brought up a few times, but it's good to note that Betsy's glow that we see apparently is also visible to the X-Men as opposed to most other psychics generally getting glow just for show to the readers.

Anyway, Wolverine tries to get Fantomex to help and Fantomex is all, "Bro, I'm not cool if I look like a joiner!" At
least EVA is characterized interestingly enough especially since we get to see her in spider mode.

Back at Utopia, Namor and Magneto are bromantic. Magneto goes to Cyclops and reveals he fixed the sinking problem behind everyone's back and also brought all the Atlantaens back in that process. Cyclops takes him outside and scolds him, but not before he takes a second to tell Emma that her logical decision of jumping off the sinking ship that is Utopia is stupid. Why? Because Utopia represents Cyclops' ego! It's fragile and poorly put together and requires more attention than its worth! If we abandon it, then we hurt Cyclops' feelings and that's worse than everyone drowning, starving, or sleeping in their own crap! And concerning the almighty verbal bitchslap Cyclops gives to Magneto? Magneto takes it. Yeah. Magneto is so fucking poorly characterized it's obscene how bad it is. His dialogue reads like a bros. And he's tail-between-his-legs at the first hint of irritation from Cyclops. Honestly, Namor, Magneto, and Cyclops' voices sound damned similar in diction and just general personality. Huh. All Fraction's favorite characters. I sure hope all the people applauding his 'excellent characterization' are beginning to regret their words right about now.

Oh and in reaction to Cyclops' disapproval, Magneto runs off to go meditate after having an unimportant conversation with Professor X. Oh and concerning the hunting team, they meet up with the stoppa
ble, unremarkable villains that are only there to say we have villain conflict this arc. That's all. Oh and Wolverine does his best impression of Underworld/Batman/Gargoyles:
Conclusion: This issue wasn't the total piece of shit Uncanny has been as of late. Land is surprisingly bearable, if not welcome, addition this issue. Buy it if you're desperate for a new issue of something.

Dark Avengers #13
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
This issue of DA is all about everyone's favorite annoying, childish, multiple personalitied (why have two when they both suck I ask?), unoriginally god-like bastard. Who gets defeated in battle like it's no one's business, even Exodus' disrespect in the Messiah Complex can't beat that.

Basically the story is concerning The Sentry and his death a few issues ago
(which one, right?). Anyway, so his wife thinks him dead for real, to which I say, Silly bint he will live until his plot value is fulfilled! Or when Bendis finally understands that The Sentry's fans are few and far too unimportant to matter. Well, anyway, the wife, who reveals herself to be an interesting character or at least for this issue, reveals that The Sentry's original origin story is total crap. Apparently he's a total fucking junkie.

It's pretty amazing, and it continues with a retelling of his origins as a junkie and as not really ever coming off as a superhero. It's a pretty decent story though not one I care to do a play-by-play on. The Sentry eventually comes back to life while the wife admits she should have killed him on their wedding night. It's the Void that's come back and it attempts to kill her, but The Sentry stops it and flies out into a star. He finds out he can't die and apparently he may be giving himself over to The Void. Fin. Conclusion: if you're up for a story that's between ok and good, shell out the cash.

Wolverine: Weapon X #9
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Yanick Paquette
I'm not a Wolverine fan. I think the attention he gets is absurd and he just serves to fulfill a vicarious need for fanboys to feel like they could be badass too. I read this issue for the Psylocke appearance because she is my very special second place in my X-Heart. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this issue at all.

But it was pretty damned neat. Here's the series summary so far for those of you who need to be caught up (Clickety). I do have to say that I find this is the only series of Wolverine I find necessary (and I've sampled the other ones).

Wonderfully enough, this issue's art is done by Yanick Paquette, who I am a fan of (besides his time on Young X-Men) and happen to adore his way of depicting Betsy. Especially because he makes her look convincingly Asian rather than a white woman with sharp features and stereotypically 'Asian' clothes.

The story begins with Garner calling on the X-Men to go find Logan, Psylocke and Nightcrawler being the ones to show. Betsy begins h
er job by getting out all the pertinent and necessary information:
Yet again her backside is relied on for the heavy-hitting. Hmmm.
Kurt and Betsy go to Dr. Rot's lab or however and find that he's made a psychic bomb. These psychic bombs basically looking like a bunch of crowded Martha Johanssons. Psylocke decides to try go about deactivating them with her psychic knife since apparently that's the most delicate way to deal with psychic bombs.

All the while this is going on, the sanitarium is failing at any trace of sanity as the patients are attacking some mob guys. Also, it'd be a good time to mention that this series does not hold back on gore whatsoever, but I'd say it's still within the entertaining category rather than just excessive. Actually, it's sort of creative in the way that it 'goes there'. Patients cannibalizing it up like
zombies and all.

Logan comes out of his insanity long enough to go after the series' villain so far, Dr. Rot. Right off the bat, Logan cuts out the Dr.'s guts but the Dr. seems less than deterred. Especially considering her reacts with a very special gift for Wolverine:

Yeah, I cringed at this too.
Dr. Rot takes off to go find a patient that he can use while Logan is distracted with the needles in his eyes. Funny enough, Dr. Rot is carrying around a giant nutcracker. It's purpose becomes clear a panel later:

With this patients brain, Dr. Rot makes a makeshift psychic bomb that causes everyone, including Kurt and Betsy, to go crazy for 30 seconds.

When they come out of it, Kurt finds he has purple hair is his mouth. Psylocke's of course. Luckily, they're both in two pieces and Dr. Rot gets away to be sewed up. Wolverine goes back to Garner to get coital, and Dr. Rot calls. And the issue ends with us learning the Wolverine has an active trigger now, just like X-23! Yay, reasons for them to bond!

Conclusion: This series is pretty cool, I recommend this issue and I definitely recommend trying the rest of it out which is what I may do.

Spider-Woman #5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Last issue, Jessica was falling to her death after jumping off the Hydra base. This issue she survives, of course, but at least she's banged up and passes out after surviving (I like my comics to be at least somewhat realistic). Jessica ends up with the police and her dealing with them ends up being the center of this issue.

She's as angsty as ever as she deals with the cops giving her a hard time. At least it's more reasonable than the Psylocke series which has more angst than Livejournal.

Anyway, Spider-Woman ends up getting questioned by one cop, she ends up finding out some of the cops are crooked and probably led Hydra to her. In response she scares the cop with her pheromones and tries to get him to tell her who's coming for her. He won't tell her, so she ends up taking her costume back and hitting the road. Which she meets the new Thunderbolts on.

Conclusion: buy this issue if you have already been collecting the series. But not to fear, next issue with the Thunderbolts vs. Spider-Woman is going to be worth reading by all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The List #20

Psylocke #3
Writer: Chris Yost
Artist: Harvey Tolibao
This issue we come back to Rage man almost killing Betsy. Again. With no actual suspense because we know Psylocke is going to come out of it without a scratch because she's the star of this series. Also, according to her hair, Betsy's near death this issue is brought to you by the letter 'S'. Unfortunately, this issue focuses way too much on Rage man. Which is a waste of page time because he is a cliche of a character: Overly aggressive, illogical man going to kill the man who killed his lover. Truly groundbreaking. It's like I haven't seen at least 30 mainstream films with that same plot before. And books. and video games. At least in the fight that continues between him and Betsy we get a neat side by side panels thing.

Ok, here's the entire plot of the issue in a few sentences: Psylocke and Rage man fight because both are trying to get to Matsuo to kill him. They find him, Rage man is taken out, Matsuo's disfigured so he wants a mercy killing, and Logan comes to make sure no one kills him since he wants him to suffer.

Yeah, I was on the edge of my seat too. Anyway, here are some details
of interest that happened in between all that, including this issue's Sash Watch. First off, Chris Yost appears to be under the impression that angst makes a hero more appealing. Like in the way, that packs it on to a ridiculous level. This beautiful wangst that we have on the side here is from Logan after he exits the bar. Except Logan has just been drinking or hitching a ride this series meaning we have no idea what the fuck his problem is all of a sudden. Seriously Logan, just because your mother wouldn't let you go to the My Chemical Romance concert doesn't mean you have to give up on life. I just love how Logan gets away with whining all the time and few people pick up on ridiculous he starts to sound after awhile. Yes, don't school me on his past, I know it's shit. But if he's really all Zen like he is these days you would think he'd understand to move on. Whatever, I suppose the translation of this would be: "I am a man. When I smile and seem happy, other men hate me. So I will conform to their values and seem sullen because people respect me when I'm mad."
Continuing on the same note, Psylocke has also been quite self loathing throughout this series. Again, I understand crap past and this series is about revisiting it. But the thing is is that this does not convincingly sound like a woman in her late 20's to me. To me, Betsy's angst lines up better to a 16 year old who's just been hit by the Overdramatic Hormones fairy. Of course, this just adds another reason to why I think Psylocke is the X-Men's Spider-Woman considering Jessica's series is littered with why she's broken, how hollow she is, and how one time her mom told her she couldn't use the mini-van.

Now onto Sash Watch! This issue Betsy's sashes displayed an ability that I think should be considered noted on her Wikipedia page. All right, so Betsy spends the page discussing how she loved Matsuo, he loved her, just basically mentioned love a few times.
And then at the last panel we find her sashes have formed into a heart. How neato supermo is that? Betsy's got mood sashes. Is there any way to pay Tolibao to make her sashes form into a frowny face when she's pissed next issue?

Oh, just so you know the deal with Matsuo because I was definitely surprised when he appeared in all his Dawn of the Dead glory: Matsuo killed Mariko, Logan's Japanese lovely, so Logan decided to disfigure him horribly once every year, but make sure he wouldn't die so he could suffer. So at the end of the issue Logan and Betsy have a conflict over her wanting to kill Matsuo. What this means for us next issue is that we're punished for liking Psylocke by having mandatory Logan overexposure time. It's going to be. SO. THRILLING. I LOVE HIS INCLUSION IN EVERY CREVICE OF THE MARVEL UNVERSE!

Oh and for conclusion: the only reason you should give money to anyone for this issue is if you are looking to collect the entire mini series.

Nation X #2
Writer #1: CB Cebulski and Jim McCann
Artist #1: Mike Choi
First story up is about Jubilee. Here's the idea: She meets up with the fan favorites of the New X-Men (it's nice to see them used somewhere), discusses the situation (no, not that Jersey Shore guy), has Surge be pointlessly pissy to her, and then she decides to finally send along some note to Logan that is really pointless. Get a cell and text him, honey.

Things to say about it? Dust pulls a pretty neat move.
Also, two things are concerning Surge: 1. What the hell was with her attacking Jubilee for not being a mutant anymore? To put it in other words, what was her motivation because her animosity seemed to come out of nowhere. Well. Her animosity towards depowered mutants at least
considering she's generally an unpleasant character. 2. Why were her eyebrows and eyelashes blue? Her blue hair is dyed for anyone wondering, and I have to say that it's rare, or at least for me, to encounter someone with unnaturally colored hair who also did their eyebrows that color. As for eyelashes, I'll just assume she had blue mascara.

Unfortunately, this story is pretty damned dry, the dryest aspect being that crap note, which I find just weird because Jubilee is the spunky X-Man. But points to her for remembering this--> At least someone does. And I have to say I think Storm should be depowered again and yet again be put in charge of a team. It'd help remind the audience that the depowered mutants aren't totally useless. Although, I doubt any of them are trained like Storm, but you get my basic idea.

Writer #2: John Barber
Artist: David Lopez

I have done a little extra interview reading concerning this story and it seems this is Mr. Barber's first venture into X-Writing since he was an editor before. And I would like to say unto him: Read your fucking stories closely before you write on a character. You wrote about two characters with very few appearances: Quentin Quire and Martha Johansson. Some of this a matter of fact and some of it's a matter of my opinion.

First off, the narration is in second person point of view. I get it: Martha has only ever had one line and that was in HCT. Other times it's a Cousin It or the teacher from Peanuts thing, where people repeat what she said or give the idea in their response because we can't understand her (in this instance it's because she's communicating telepathically). Whatever, second person point of view didn't become interesting all of a sudden because of those reasons. Also, she was a teenage girl before her brain was cut out, she does have a personality.

Which is another weird moment: When she possesses Iceman she does talk, but seems to have no idea how to use her contractions. Um. Yeah. Something I saw on some annotations for Y The Last Man, and I'm inclined to agree with: Why do writers seem to think contractions are totally fucking beyond people who are not regular English speakers with normal lives? Like I said, Home Girl in a Jar was a teenage girl up until some point in New X-Men. Never showed on panel, but read the news captions somewhere in Imperial and you'll see her mentioned as kidnapped.

Also, how is her 'second ability' the ability to turn of powers? Yeah, I know it's probably part of the deluxe psychic package, but to state it as a separate ability? I'm sorry, but explanation and PROOF please? I do not remember her ever doing anything like that.

Now onto Quentin Quire. Let me explain first off: I love the character for his arc in Riot at Xavier's and should I ever write X-Comics I'd like to have him as my breakout star. First problem: Where did Morrison state Quire as becoming vapor? He didn't seems to me. He was in liquid when he died and Xavier said he went onto a different plane of existence, which I assumed was physically a vegetative state. And then Pak and Land interpreted this as meaning Quentin melted?

More importantly, why is he still a 'villain'? At the end of Riot at Xavier's he apologized for his actions and had seen the error in his way. Greg Pak chose to ignore this and had him rampage again in Phoenix Endsong and in the end he yet again apologized and peaced out. As someone who's an avatar of the Phoenix, you'd think he'd be portrayed more intelligently instead of a predictable story where he, of course, does not win and invites the person that ends up defeating him and to go ahead and try. Which, y'know, with his million brilliant thoughts a second would mean he's smarter than that since he's not on drugs this time. Seriously, stop keeping this character as some static know-it-all and evolve him to being a useful, strange, unconventional X-Character. Rather than pretty, normal-acting, and moral.

Oh and in the end Martha gets her brain jar shattered and shards fall into her brain. Does that mean dead? Because brain outside of fluids pretty much says dead to me in the first place, but fucking shards of glass? So yeah, I'd say No-Girl's fate is uncertain.

Writer and Artist #3: Tim Fish
Basically this story is Northstar having trouble with his boyfriend being long distance. It'd be a good story except the art and basic script make it seem superficial. Like it was either gay ditsy feeling or anime-ish annoyingly 'cute', both of which I'm not a fan of whatsoever. Especially since we should be working towards having gay characters being taken more seriously instead of RicStar getting a slap in the face every issue and now this. Seriously, here's a dialogue example:

It's basic like this throughout the entire issue. It reminds me of when you learn a new language, so your sentences have no variation. I will give Fish mega-points for doing something though:

Northstar did have off-panel sexytime.
And he did end up holding hands with his boyfriend at the end of the issue, but I'm still going to rag on Fish for not going for the gold and having Northstar kiss his boyfriend on-panel.
Seriously, how hard is it for two characters in a serious, homosexual relationship to have an on-panel kiss? Is it only ones between exes wh
ere the next issues will devalue the kiss?

Writer and Artist #4: Becky Cloonan

All it is is Gambit has self doubt and self loathing so he leaves. Then he helps people and comes back to the X-Men. Oh. My God. Like that hasn’t happened thirty five times in this year alone.

Conclusion: Fag edition of Nation X did not work out so hot. Or at all. Don't buy it, but toon in next issue because we've got ANOLLLLLLLEEEEE! (Imagine Oprah's celebrity-announcing voice for that).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Mutants #9 Review

Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Paul Davidson
To begin, a new artist joins us this issue, Paul Davidson, who I find much better suited to the series' tone as opposed to Diogenes Neves. Davidson appears to be fairly new to comic book pencilling considering there's only two results for work he's done when I search him and that's a cover for Nova and I think he helped on the Utopia one-shot. Anyway, solid guy, I'm glad he's going to be back next issue.

The first four pages open with the new villain I assume, Crimson or something, who I've never heard of. Anyone wants to volunteer info, I'd welcome it. Then we continue to the science team analyzing Warlock and Cypher for lingering bad T/O virus things. Wells makes a pretty good funny moment here between Danger and Warlock. I never imagined Danger as the forward type or even just one who wants a companion, but then again she just had a marriage to Ultron in an alternate universe so she must be feeling some pressure to measure up.

Emma is also in the room during this checkup, challenging Cyclops on even allowing the New Mutants to reform. What the heck? Did the staff at CBR give her a call or something? I think it's funny that people are against the team considering Astonishing is one of the most unbalanced teams when it comes to powers while New Mutants actually has a good variety. Plus, Wells is reviving their staleness. Anyway, she continues on from there challenging Scott on accepting Cypher back in so quickly (found here). Why does Scott always feel the need to shut Emma up when she brings up a valid point? I swear, I should make a tag for that considering how often it appears even in just what I review here, imagine counting in all the other times I wasn't reviewing for. Seriously, letting an emotional manchild run the entire X-Men was a horrible idea especially when Emma's logical questions are constantly shot down.

He challenges Emma back with saying that they've had members attack other X-Men before and let them back in, but still, at least then they lived at the mansion, not trapped on an island. From there, Warlock reveals that Illyana isn't even truly Illyana, but "Illyana 2.0" which is an interesting development and good on Wells considering he's finally answering the question of Illyana. The scene ends with Emma looking to talk to Illyana about her 2.0ness.

In other parts of Dystopia, Amara is busy healing up in a vat of liquid hot magma (little Austin Powers for your pleasure) and Sam is visiting her. Doug ends up make an unwanted special guest appearance and it ends up with these amazing two panels (for the humor and for the art):

Also, at this point I have to mention Doug's 'language' shit. It seems Wells is trying to empower this formerly useless character by making Doug 'read' everything. Except sometimes it sounds it's going in the direction of what happened with Ink, making him a fix-it-all, or in this case, a know-it-all. I can only imagine that now he's going to be treated like the team telepath.

In terms of Emma and Illyana, they meet up and Emma starts the meeting with hitting the nail on the head with her logic hammer.

Apparently Illyana is not Illyana, but Darkchilde, the soulless version of her, that as I take it is only her in appearance. She has no memories of being Illyana, only Darkchilde during Inferno and the New X-Men and X-Infernus bit. Also, apparently not much of the personality. Darkchilde goes on to say she's darkness and pain and, y'know, her mom didn't let her go to that Taking Back Sunday concert and other terrible things. Emma pretty much looks at her unphased and says, Anole lost an arm and Pixie lost part of her soul when they were around you, you get no sympathy from me. Which is good on her considering how overly sympathetic most of the X-Men can be. Imagine Kitty dealing with this, minus their past best friend status and just making her one of the X-Men dealing with someone she knows vaguely, it'd be a nightmare to try to get to the real bottom of things with her.

Just a short aside, half the reason I love this issue and this team so much would have to be credited to the accuracy of Emma Frost's portrayal. Wells characterization of her is dead-on from the snark (above is her interrupting Illyana's angst story) to her skeptical leaning and of course, perceptiveness. He definitely writes the REAL Miss Frost. Honestly, if New Mutants fails, Wells should kick Fraction out of Uncanny and send him to write New X-Men Forever considering his obsession with referencing it all the time. Also, Davidson does well by Emma by making her face look exactly as it should: strong but beautiful. Admittedly this ends up as sub drag queen, but that's ok. Full-on tranny on the other hand is absolutely ridiculous, as can be seen with Cassaday and Bianchi.

Illyana goes over the future of things, in the image she showed Emma it turned out with Emma being the only remaining X-Man fighting Legion. Which pleases me greatly considering she keeps getting ignored in battles in the other books which seems to imply her as useless to anything but dialogue and X-politics. It also adds on another alternate universe with few survivors that has Emma as managing to survive or at least survive longer than most (Young X-Men End of Days and Old Man Logan).

The book ends with the discussion of Illyana saying that the X-Men's futures are doomed if she can't change things. Except I thought X-Factor was already laying claim to doomed X-future of the year. Suppose the Phoenix really will be needed soon what with all the multiple forms of death the X-Men need to get through for all these doomed future
s that apparently are meant to happen if no one changes things.

Oh and before I conclude, considering I skipped Cypher and Amara's reconciling since it was lame and included Doug's language crap again, can ANYONE tell me what Amara's personality is? I've basically got the idea for all the other members from reading this series and a couple issues of the old one, but concerning her I still have no idea what her personality is.

In the end, amazing issue, do go buy it. Even though I pretty much just rejected #8 last week, that's basically due to X-Necrosha being mediocre overall. This book is still good and buyable, and it's breathing new life to the New Mutants. Actually Rahne should come over for a drag of new life considering how suffocated she is in X-Force. Besides she needs to be present to make a big deal over the resurrection of Doug, just like last time and also she might actually be used if Wells has her.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

X-Factor: Nation X #1 Review

Writer: Peter David
Artist: Valentine De Landro
This issue is basically about X-Factor visiting Utopia, critiquing it, and leaving. Which feels a lot like David telling Fraction that his writing is total shit. Not complaining for a second though, I am ALL OVER IT. But seriously, sometimes it seemed to cross over from X-Factor's feelings to just saying, "This Utopia is a shit plan!" Makes me like David more anyway.

What can be seen in the preview is basically this women, the Crone Scribe of The Others I think it was, looking over the Holocaust, she uses people's blood as ink for her book which she uses to take notes on noteworthy events in history. She comes into play later. Then X-Factor shows up, fabulous group shot included (below) and it begs a few question. A. Where is Layla during 200, why is she there now? B. Why is Siryn with the group again all of a sudden? Is this supposed to be after the current arc? If someone could answer those question, that'd be more
than great.
A lot of the issue is X-Factor meeting up with X-Men, old friends and new, and working out their problems. And it was all pretty gay. Yes, that does mean that Rictor and Shatterstar finally got to talk. Zero resolution, but we'll go over that in a bit. Pixie and Northstar show up and introduce themselves to Shatterstar. As you can see in the panel, you can guess where that was going. Again.

It doesn't matter because apparently he's not Jean Paul's type anyway. Too bad, would've been better than who he actually did manage to kiss. Also, remember my gay comment about Iceman? Ok, most of my gay calling in this blog is just to spice up my boredom with the macho males of X-Men. Iceman, however, has been seriously discussed as possibly gay on other blogs, boards, and the almighty Scans_Daily. And I happen to think this was a wonderful example of David poking fun at that for all us speculators:

Too bad this isn't the person he ended up kissing either.
David, consider your gay and female fans, which I'm sure you have quite a few of, unserviced. (Play on fan service)
This leads to a serious discussion between Rictor and Shatterstar that I think was complete shit. As can be seen in the panel on the right, Shatterstar offers up an example, one that I think is totally unrelated, but Rictor argues it as if it is the legitimate reason.
What the hell?
The reason why Rictor is bristling is Shatterstar is basically being a manwhore and Rictor loves him. I'm not sure that they're in a relationship currently, but even so, if my ex was around I wouldn't be so rude as to be a hoe around him, given that we're on good terms like they are.
Honestly, this kissing thing really ruins the almighty kiss Shatterstar had with Rictor. As I had mentioned earlier, it basically devalued it as something not to be taken as serious
and I think that's a huge insult to the gay community who started this book again because of that kiss (I put it on my blog once that happened). Honestly, something like this should be saved for the hetero characters who already have healthy representations in the media as opposed to gay characters who have very little and it's not often remembered when it does happen. Besides, Longshot later on does a lame version of what Shatterstar's doing in this issue with Dazzler. Let him have that whole charming thing, let's have Shatterstar and Rictor be a legitimate couple with relatistic problems.

Back to the story, Shatterstar ends up kissing Boom Boom. She's thrilled to see her X-Teammate and so they go to catch up:
Loving the Mommie Dearest reference, but not using gay as a negative word. Tabitha of all people too, who I remember as that X-Force member with the butch haircut. Also, it seems Shatterstar targets pseudo-lesbians and gay, or possibly gay, doesn't it? Val Cooper, Boom Boom, Iceman, Rictor, and Northstar? Missing anyone?

Anyway, for anyone with me on the outrage of the misuse of Ricstar, it doesn't improve. There's no resolution to the deal, just Shatterstar talking to Boom Boom, which includes a spread eagle panel of him, with Rictor saying nothing. Yeah, that panel freaks me out too.

Back with Madrox, it turns out Layla's only aged five years since we last saw her. Unexpected considering she looks to me like mid- to late- 20's and I figured we were supposed to take it like that if we were going to take the Layla/Madrox idea seriously. I figured her originally to be 13/14, so I guess that would mean now she's 18/19? Anyone have any real numbers on her age? Madrox explains why he doesn't want to be lumped in with everyone else since it makes them all look like villains, Cyclops defends it, then Emma Frost, Magneto, and Namor, all ex-villains, walk in with Magneto saying, "Welcome to our brotherhood."

They continue to discuss things, Jamie brings up better points than Cyclops, hence the writer criticism feel that I support. Meanwhile Strong Guy is playing football with the students as he has the mentality of a child and therefore no real story. Darwin meets up with Professor Xavier and Siryn, Monet, and Longshot meet up with old friends Dani and Dazzler.
I happen to love the last panel, and I just have to say that David's humor is prime this issue. Also, do Monet and Dani have an irritation with each other? This is one of the rare times where I wish there'd be an editor box with, "It happened in ___ #324!" included.

Dani and Siryn go off to talk about Utopia, Siryn actually opens up about what happened with the baby to Dani. Siryn brings up a good Titanic comparison about the fate of the mutant species and she also says Utopia is basically moving the chairs, saving nothing really. Basically, David defeating all Fraction's point on why Utopia makes sense. Also, funny that Siryn should use the Titanic comparison consider the island is apparently constantly almost sinking.

In terms of Diva and Longshot, they reunite and Longshot is a cocky bastard and is like, "Sex now?" and Ali gives in. Which makes me miss the days (which I'm reading now in Essential X-Men Volume 9) where Dazzler wore the pants and Longshot was perpetually clueless. Probably could happen again, just get out some clippers for Diva and she'll back to having a personality and whatnot. Seriously, I think her extensions just are meant to repress any chance of her having a personality.

The rest of the issue is Layla finally forcing in Scott's face that Utopia will fail and he just ends up in denial. Btw, during this time there's a pretty attractive panel of Scott, minus the weird wavvy hair he has this issue. Seriously, who does your hair, gurrrll?

Anyway, issue ends with Darwin pissing off The Crone by stealing her book, she grows and there's a wonderful two-page X-Men fight panel. I think that David should really just write all the fight scenes for Fraction because his are considerably better. In the end, book is returned, X-Factor leaves, and nothing really changes except we get to see X-Factor see their friends again. Still, I say this book was worth it, especially since Rictor and Shatterstar are finally getting sort of addressed, and it's definitely worth the buy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The List #19 part 2

X-Men Legacy #231
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Clay Mann
First off, let's give some major love to another of my artist crushes Adi Granov, who I believe should draw every panel Emma is ever in. The cover is gorgeous and Psylocke looks amazing. Concerning this issue's artist, Clay Mann, I have to say I think he's pretty solid except for making half the girl's hair look like they're always in the humid tropical rainforest.

This issue opens with the Necrosha battle scene, Maggott cameo queens it for the undead, Blindfold comes up to Cyclops is like, "Bro, we gots to go
check this shiznit out at Muir Island," of course communicating in Bro-speak so that it's guaranteed that Cyclops understands. There's a little hinting about Blindfold's mom throughout the issue, which is probably some sort of attempt at making the character less of one that's only used when the plot needs a precog and then put back in her box afterwards.

It's decided that Nightcrawler should lead a team consisting of Rogue, Magneto, Trance, Blindfold, my girl
Psylocke, Colossus, and my much-missed Gen X-er, Husk. During the jet ride we get a couple revealing moments:

Trance yet again is giving sass.
Yet another demonstration of Trance being a total bitch. Trance, I love you, you weird, homophobic, test-loving bitch. By the way, she now has a tag under 'that bitch Trance' for any of you would like to see her other moments. Moving on to stranger things:

As if 'entertaining pleasant memories of our time together' wasn't already perve talk for 'I think of you when I give my dick an extended handshake,' considering the way his hands are positioned in the above panel it appears he's already entertaining these memories. On the jet! Trance, degrade him in order to help your low self esteem already! No, but seriously. Hands. IN weird places.

The plane lands and Carey proves himself to write an actually likable Nightcrawler. Who's team leader and ready to be a sarcastic diva apparently. I'd just like to say if the criteria for team leader was a sarcastic teleporter who's a total diva, I'd have to say I think my girl Ariel would have been better suited for the position. While scanning the island for threats, Colossus sort of becomes the instrument through which Psylocke fans speak through and asks Betsy a question concerning how she's using her powers lately. I think the results make a good page (Click here for it). Also, can we all take a big healthy glance at the caption given for Betsy's response. "SHOWWW!!!!!" Couldn't be a more appropriate verb for her demonstrating she can still use her telekinesis I guess, haha. No, I really do enjoy this, if I ever enter the super hero world, I want my captions to read "Ka-bam!" and "Sham-Wow!"

In other places in time, there's some boring Selene crap going on. It's a dose of boring with goth lingerie. Is she really supposed to be becoming respected as much as Emma? Is that the goal for her? Because if it is, I can comfortably say this is unlikely to happen and I'm not impressed. Anyway, what's important is in the panel of Selene's inner circle we find my boyfriend Warpath being taken prisoner and being dragged in most sexily! Seriously, is there a more hot way to be dragged unconscious? Anyway, we'll find out why he's been captured next X-Force. Along with his unwilling participation in S+M at the hands of dominatrix queen Selene. Or at least I wish.
Epic two panels of loveeeee.
Anyway, so the team finishes up scanning the island, reaches the source of their mission. We find out the almighty shocker is that Proteus is back and he possesses Blindfold. Not all that shocking and most people seem to have seen that coming. BUT I can guarantee that there was still an end of issue shocker, just not what anyone was expecting! All right so here it is. Look at the panel to the right, at Colossus' back. Now trail those eyes downward. Yeah. How long has Colossus been walking around with a fucking easy access hole? Can someone confirm or deny whether or not that's an original part of the costume? Also, does this confirm the 616 pairing of Northstar and Colossus that we'd all been hoping for? Just with unexpected bedroom positions? Either way, this issue was fun on it's own without my snarky help, definitely go buy it.

Spider-Woman #4
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
To start off, I have to side with The Buy Pile on their thoughts on this past issue at the very least. This past issue worked loads better as a motion comic as opposed to the book and I think the biggest reason why is because the progress was very limited. Viper brings Jessica to a cell with a weakened Skrull in it. She talks with it for 2.5, philosophizes on it, fights it, and breaks out of the Hydra base. Not exactly bursting with progress. I still think it's worth buying, the book is beautiful, but it's a difference of good and great with the book and the motion comic. Also, I have to say Maleev's work this past issue was gorgeous. The colors are amazing, it's like an acid trip when the Northern Lights are out (it's a compliment).

New Mutants #8
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Diogenes Neves
Whereas I agree with The Buy Pile about Spider-Woman, I think their last thought on New Mutants was totally unfair. This book is one of the better written X-Books lately. It actually has gotten me a bit excited as compared to half the others that I can find good things to say about and enjoy, but I'm not excited by. Whatever, The Buy Pile sometimes says some things that I find are dead-on, but generally I think their list is fucked and just goes to support whichever superdude's being most aggressively masculine and acting "correctly manly" this week. Oh hegemonic males, how you absolutely keep me in... gripping...entertainment....zzz.

As much as I just spent time defending this series, I have to say I think this issue is a piece of crap. I mean, I like this whole buildup of Feral coming to attack the team. Unfortunately that was built up for an anti-climax, but it did follow the theme of disappointment this issue. This issue is like save Amara, fight Hellions, save Doug, throw a yo out to Warlock, and wrap this up.

Most irksome of all, I found Dr. Gregory House....I mean Nemesis, to say something I found funny for once. This was in response to Sunspot bursting into the med ward and being all "We need help!" He was almost Emma-like in response, I have to say. I'd be wishing him death normally for this, but honestly, half the X-Dialogue lately seems to really predictable, general crap to fill the pages so the writer's claim they threw something on the damned scripts.

Anyway, in the end Warlock and Cypher are back on the team and the deal with Hellions has no resolution. X-Necrosha has basically been, for X-Force and New Mutants, just holding back the resurrected people with little to no progress. None of the enemies are being taken care of. It's almost as bad as Utopia.

What's worst is Cypher: his language angst is the most repetitive crap, it's more repetitive than a cycle of America's Next Top Model. Ugh, the fact that he's come back to the team in the end is just bad news, but I suppose if the NM fans really need the team's most useless and plainest member back then who am I to judge? Conclusion: Don't buy this issue. Why? Look at this cheesy final panel: