Wednesday, April 28, 2010

X-Force #26 Review

Writer: Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
Artist: Mike Choi
I know I'm already a little late jumping onto the review train for this issue considering the plot of it has already been so over-predicted that it basically got stale the day after it hit the stands. Before I begin I have to thank Adi Granov for his gorgeous Emma Frost cover...which also had that girl, but she's not important. A problem with Granov's covers is that he keeps putting Emma in her Hellfire costume on the covers even though everyone else's is current. Does she really need to be running around in panties? Do pants inhibit her telepathy?

The issue begins with a look at all the main players and where they are currently. By the way, the issue is done by Choi who is talented, but as I've said so many times, a HORRIBLE choice for X-Force because his style is way too pretty. Like dark grey inks aren't going to remove the fact that everything he draws is too pretty. This sort of issue comes up in the opening two pages.

If you didn't already know who these characters were, what would age would you think these three characters are? Because 16/17 year old X-23 looks the oldest out of these three and around her early to mid twenties. Psylocke looks around 17 even though I'm pretty sure she's mid to late twenties. And Emma looks like kid Layla Miller in lipstick. So 13. Except she's late twenties. One thing Choi does succeed at more than any other artist it seems is making Psylocke look like she's actually Asian.

But moving on, it turns out Karma's in bad shaper considering her leg was just eaten up to mid-thigh. Which maybe should have killed her pretty quickly? But apparently, science of the X-World being like magic again, her uniform helps stop the bleeding. How? Especially from a major artery? Anyway, the NM are undecided as to where they should go and talking it over with Cyclops. Because it hasn't been emphasized in this past two years that every mutant life matters. Finally, Cyclops tells them to head back to Utopia. And then Prodigy cameo queens it to say that communication is down.

Back at Alpha team plus Cable, they're still busy with fighting off Smileys and it's ok. The only thing that really stuck out at me was Psylocke and X-23 doing a Fastball Special. Which was pretty neat. Also, Colossus was pissed, and continues to be throughout the issue, about Ilyanna's being pulled into Limbo. This continues to be covered in next week's Second Coming- Revelations: Hellbound (click for preview).

Turning towards Hope, Nightcrawler, and Rogue, Kurt's exhausting himself with all the teleporting he's doing. Rogue offers to help him out by siphoning his power and doing the rest of the way. He refuses. Then Bastion shows up and Rogue gets to show off all the powers she has in her. Which I found pretty epic especially since Rogue is always wonderful in a fight. But. Her and Nightcrawler get their asses kicked in the end. And just as Bastion is about to get to Hope, it happens. Second Coming's. Next. Top. Death. Isssss....

*cue Nick Nolan's "Free For All" that they play whenever someone wins ANTM*
Nightcrawler teleports himself so that Bastion's arm is right in Kurt's chest. He prays for strength and teleports Hope and himself all the way back to Utopia. Then dies. Later on, Alpha Team shows up and see Emma and Scott's faces. Psylocke asks, "Who?" and Logan already knows saying, "Elf." And that's pretty much the issue.

It was a powerful scene for what it was. But the thing is we all saw it coming, he was barely ever used, there was even a Manifest Destiny one-shot to emphasize this. Half of us probably won't even notice he's gone because we didn't notice his presence to begin with
. Essentially, I'm saying I'm over it, and hopefully that when he comes back (which hopefully won't be next week) that he's taken back out because someone knows what to do with him.

Now to address the poll which had the question, "
Who do you think is Second Coming's big death?" I have to say thank you to the 29 people that voted, I really do appreciate even just a simple thing like voting on one of my polls. The results for the poll are: Nightcrawler got 86% of the votes (25 people), Colossus got 0%, Beast got 3% (1 person), Archangel got 3% (1 person), and Other got 6% (2 people). So I definitely feel comfortable saying that those of you who read here weren't all that shocked by this issues big reveal.

Now for a bit of housecleaning which includes discussion of some recents news items and a new poll:
  • Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow! For a list of the comics are this year, click here. I'm planning on going to Coast City Comics for FBCD needs especially considering they've also got sales going on at the same time. And plus, they've got quarter bins and it seems every three weeks they call my name.
  • I found this picture of Cyndi Lauper recently and was just shocked. Take off a decade and she's Ariel, seriously. And I think it's perfect that Ariel's real life equivalent can be found in an 80's icon.
  • Marvel released a teaser image about the upcoming New X-Force. My guesses for the new team members and what looks REALLY likely considering the image are: Deadpool, Gambit, and Psylocke. And the flying one is probably Archangel. And for my new poll, I want to know from all of you "Which X-Man do you want to see in X-Force the most?" And of course, yet again for the Other option, please feel free to leave a comment saying who your vote goes to in specific.
  • Last week's Buy Pile had an amazing blurb in it about the Firestar one-shot:
Marvel, apparently, wants female readers. That's fine. However, making something as whiny, self-indulgent and bland as "Firestar" #1 is probably not gonna make hordes of estrogen-powered new fans ring up the Comic Shop Locator and rush to wherever this kind of tedium can be found.
I agree completely. Also, Marvel would do well to stop pandering to fan boys by having men always be the stars. Seriously, DC seems to get it with their solo female books, but Marvel, uh, where are yours? I know of a few, but I'm not even interested enough to list them. And the X-Men, supposedly a metaphor for minorities, has white, hegemonic males running everything. If Marvel's surprised by their inability to appeal to female readers, they stand alone there.


hasoon said...

Thank you for not being down with Marvel's sexism!

Mr. Hellfire said...

Hah, it's not just Marvel's.
I'm "that feminist friend" in my group of mostly female friends.

And yeah, I have serious issue with it, ESPECIALLY recently. It just seems to be getting progressively worse.

Yeah, I could dedicate a whole other blog to going off on sexism in comic books.

FSaker said...

I think both Psylocke and Emma are already in their early thirties; Emma, if I'm not mistaken, is a little bit older than the first X-Men. And there was a reference regarding Betsy's age, but I don't remember where...

Anyway, have you seen the preview for the next chapter of Second Coming? It's amazing how in only one page Fraction has managed to show Colossus flirting with Kitty and completely over the fact his best friend died, and Karma throwing a tantrum fully recovered from her wounds (apart from the amputated leg). Great continuity sense, indeed.

The next chapter is also the one that will show Kurt's funeral. I wonder if the X-Men will also pay their homages to Ariel or if they already forgot who she is, that she was living with them and that she died in the same rescue mission...

Mr. Hellfire said...

Emma's actually younger than the first X-Men, evidence can be found in the first arc of her solo series. And her age was last said to be 27 in 2002/03. So I figure 29 now with sliding time scale. And considering Betsy was part of the third generation 80's X-Men I'd estimate her to be younger than Emma.

And yeah, it's pretty appalling which I feel justifies my intense dislike for Dodson's braindead happy pencils. I mean, some it's Fraction's fault, but I'd say Dodson has poor capacity to draw a serious story that isn't teen-related.

Really? I thought they'd hold off on the funeral until after the crossover?

Jon said...

I looked at the teaser page for the New X-Force and I think that the person that you think might be Gambit is Fantomex (unfortunately...can't STAND him!). He has the same jacket as Gambit, but notice the gun as well.

BTW, I haven't subscribed yet, but I'm a big fan of your page.

Mr. Hellfire said...

That makes a lot of sense actually, hah. And that is pretty unfortunate, I'd actually love to see how Gambit deals with going from one of the thieves to an assassin, there's TONS of story waiting there.

And Fantomex pisses me off so very much.

And thanks very much, I'm glad you like it!