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).

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