Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The List #23 part 2

Uncanny X-Men #521
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Greg Land
This issue begins with Magneto meditating on the mountain and Scott and Emma coming up to check up on him and just be nosy. Also, it's not like they having anything better to do like say run Dystopia. A really weird thing happens when Emma realizes she's shut out of Magneto's mind: she gets a really unnecessarily angry face courtesy of Land.

Back at the fight scene between the X-Men and the predictably defeatable team we see some really idiotic crap. Like Psylocke being surprised that the invisible enemy also is invisible to her telepathy. Uh, Betsy, she's still got her gloves on, it's not that hard to figure out. And in a 'shocking' turn of events, Fantomex comes to save the day. I will be even MORE 'shocked' if he joins the X-Men (which was hinted at the end of this issue). Ugh,
Fraction's attempt at making his wet dream of a team is really on my last nerve. Carey will you please replace him? Also during the fight scene and the entire issue really is awkward panels/dialogue:

The reason why I show these two panels is that they would have looked better this way or something like it. Instead the first one was at the bottom of the first page and the other one at the top of the second, causing a wtf pause in between. And awkward things like this run rampant throughout the issue.

Land definitely did not help the confusion, although he did laughably try to draw an outstretched hand. Which looked more like a nub with long sausages on it.

In the end, the predictably losing team loses. But not before Brain Child (or whoever the leader is) releases HX-N1, a new strand of influenza for mutants that sounds
nothing like copying and pasting the swine flu story into X-terms! Someone deprive Fraction of the Internet please. Before he turns Dazzler into Lady DazDaz and the next big storyline is whether or not Diva has a peen or a vag.

In reaction to the virus being released, EVA goes into Squid Mode and swallows the X-Men in order to protect them. Yeah, I loved it for all the wrong reasons too. Anddd just in case you didn't think Fraction was trying to be Morrison already, apparently the source of the defeatable team and the disease is none other than John Sublime. Bets on when Cassie Nova's going to make a comeback? Logan's response was worse than the revelation actually:

Isn't that the case for half of the X-Villains?? Anyway, in the end it turns out the now perpetually weak Magneto, who you may recall as being severely weakened by the Predator attack (which Fraction seems to have forgot in his explanation on CBR's X-Position) is bringing Kitty back from the depths of space. Yeah, rather than bitch up a storm about how none of this makes sense, I'm just going to take the stoner way and accept it for what it is: A campy take on the X-Men.

Whatever, I hate Kitty, next issue is all about her comeback, andddd my conclusion is don't buy this issue.

Joe the Barbarian #2
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Sean Murphy
A big reason why I'm including this series is it just so happens to take place (well, when Joe's taken his insulin) in Portland, Maine which is about where I live and a place I enjoy greatly. Also because I love Morrison, the man could take a turn for the worst and start Claremont-ing it up and I would still have supreme respect for him for making Emma what she was in New X-Men.

But honestly, this series really isn't about Morrison. His writing is really more background. For this mini-series, the artist Sean Murphy is the star and rightly so because he is astonishingly talented. Also, do acquaint yourself with his Deviant Art blog. In there is probably one of the most dead-on posts I have ever read in the world and it includes this:

I’ve always struggled with drawing women because I refuse to draw the normal “big tits/small-waist/cookie-cutter” types that you see in some mainstream comics. And if I have to draw one, I’ll struggle to make it look more like an actual life drawing of a REAL female body rather than a rip-off of a million poorly drawn women in comics. I'm not always successful, to I feel like I do try. In my opinion, drawing cookie-cutter bodies of anatomically impossible proportions does three things:
1. It makes our industry look juvenile—like a bunch of giggly kids doodling big tits in our notebooks during 3rd period.
2. It’s an insult to the female reader. Which is probably one of many reasons why they usually don’t read mainstream books.
3. It makes the artist look like an uncreative dumb-fuck who doesn’t take pride in noticing how different female bodies types are. Usually because he doesn’t know or understand women (nor does he care to try). And he’ll usually get away with it because most of the women he meets are at cons where he doesn’t have to make any effort.
For this, I'm pretty sure Sean Murphy could draw Emma Frost as a complete man and I would forgive him. Seriously, one of the best comments ever, go read the rest of the post here.

Moving on, last issue was about setting things up, and it was appropriately priced at $1 since it was a bit slower paced. The series so far basically revolves around a diabetic boy who's hallucinating because he hasn't taken his insulin in awhile. I know I just made it sound lame, but there's more to it, the hallucinations make an interesting story about his toys and rat being under attack and what not.

Murphy's landscapes look amazing in this issue, the one featuring the toy town thing Jack was being held in looked very reminiscent of one of the towns in Midgar from Final Fantasy 7 and his grassy settings on the side of the mountain remind me quite a bit of Digimon World 1. Both things I played around Joe's age (assuming he's 12) so Murphy makes things age appropriate. Rather than anyone who's written Molly Hayes from Runaways since Vaughan who seems to think being five years old and thirteen are the same thing.

Basically the plot this issue is Joe rescuing his pet rat, Jack, and escaping from the villain team (deathcoats I think?) and Joe also having a vision from "Lord Arc" who looks like a sun, telling him he'd better not f#@$ it up or Lord Death will be on him. Like I said, the storie's really not so much the focus as Murphy's art is, and yes it is worth the buy.

Conclusion, go out and buy both issues 1 and 2 this instant. They only cost $3.99 together which is like what you've been paying for a subpar Marvel book these days, so get out some cash for two issues that would be worth pricing $2.99 each.

Oh and before I go, I have to make one last complaint, it concerns the Women of Marvel variants:

Exactly why did they have to use the mohawk Storm variant (my FAVORITE version of Storm) on something as forgettable and insignificant as Doomwar?


Selene said...

Speaking of that "Verre" character,in issue #515 it was mentioned that she turns invisible in direct sun-light.But there was no present sun-light in the scene!

As always,a very enjoyable review!

Mr. Hellfire said...

Mmm, Fraction just loses all over with his post-Utopia issues.
And thank you!