Friday, August 27, 2010

The List #38 Part 2

X-Factor #208
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Emanuela lupacchino
This issue opens with Monet filling in for the voice of the reader, and questioning Layla on what her deal is considering her hanging out with Dr. Doom. Layla sort-of answers and Monet ends up fainting before anything else can be found out. I'd not mention this, but this also features the return of creepy, cryptic Layla so that's a big plus in helping restore my love for her. Meanwhile....

Rahne is a total bitch. Look at what she interrupted when her and the monstrosity in her stomach came bursting through the door--->

Pants were unzipped! People's comic book homo-quotas could have been filled for three years if they'd have been allowed to go further! But no, Rahne yet again gives me more fuel as to why she's the one of the X-Characters I hate the most.

Then she goes on a 'high and mighty' rant with her finger vertical and waggling in the air and proceeds to accuse
Shatterstar of brainwashing Rictor into this. Then she has a big fight scene with him. If you don't hate her yet, you will by the end of this issue.

Meanwhile, Longshot picks up some hoes and Darwin comments that he's tired of fighting when they come upon the Rahne/Star fight. Possibly a hint that he's that X-Factor team member leaving soon? Here's hoping, he contributes next to nothing to this series. And with Siryn and Madrox, it turns out they were duped into handing over the guy who used to be Hela's jester back to her, and that sets up the Vegas Trip for next issue.

The fight scene between Rahne/Star finally ends with Rictor explaining that he's genuinely with Shatterstar. She's hurt by this and says the most horrible thing:
At this point, I've had enough of Rahne Sinclair. Seriously, go die in a fire, bitch.
At first I thought she was lying on purpose to get Rictor back with her, but then I dug up my Necrosha issues of X-Force and turns out she really does have no idea that it's Hrimharri's. Whatever, she's still a bitch. What's worse is a rumor I've heard is that Miss Homo-Cockblocks is not just guest-starring, she's back on the team for good now. I'm not kidding about wanting her dead; I want her dead more than I wanted Cable dead. Seriously, she's like the Angelina of this series (Jersey Shore reference). No one wants you here, bitch! Oh and one last thing: Hela, who's getting an X-Factor visit soon, was involved in righting Rahne's pregnancy problems, so that may be something touched upon next issue. One good thing came of this devastating reveal:

Layla's onto you, Rahne!

And that's another push towards me loving Layla again. I'm so glad she's back to playing the weird girl who knows what's up. However, one thing I'm not glad to see is her ta-ta's hanging out. Girl, put those away, you were 13 two year ago, and we're just not ready for this.

Conclusion: Not as good an issue as the previous one, but still a great issue that makes X-Factor feel like it's getting revitalized after that dreadful, dragging FF crossover/Second Coming tie-in arc.

X-Men Legacy
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Clay Mann
Continuing from last issue, the X-Men take on the sentinels sent after the blonde girl with ease with Loa showing off her wonderful powers (here). I adore her powers, if I were an X-Man I would totally have her use her powers at every chance she had.

Turns out the blonde girl's name is Luisa and she's got a neat power:
Yes, she sounds like a modified Dazzler, but still, I think in a more awesome way here. Maybe because it has no connection to disco or other music scenes that have extremely soon expiration dates.

Paras' father has issue with taking her in, and Paras tries to calm him down while also revealing to the X-Misc. that he's getting married to his brother's fiance. Speaking of things that are weird, wasn't he determined to be the youngest New X-Man (14 then) right before it ended? What age is he now if he's able to enter a marriage in India?

Looks to be 16 by way of Taylor Lautner.
Obv. the transition from Scottie Young to another artist makes a difference (Pixie having suffered this the worst), but something about him strikes me as odd. I dunno, muscle-y 16 year olds just strike me as odd in general.

Everyone reacts to the news of engagement differently, Luisa having the most interesting reaction as she paints a picture on this:

No doubts about how she feels about Paras there. Later on we find out that for her this is subtlety. Exactly what's her idea of obnoxious? Rape?
Later on Magneto and Rogue have a talk about Luisa and how they can get her to tell them where she comes from as thus far she's been lying. Here's what Rogue's wearing during this little brainstorming sesh--->

...I haven't seen tops like those since the late '90's, and I haven't missed them. Ugh, just poor sartorial choices done by Rogue during this arc, seriously poor. During the discussion, Magneto also questions Rogue's choice in clothing. Her reaction?

Actually, he suggests to her that she should just siphon off the information from Luisa against her will with her powers, and she takes offense when he mentions that she's done it before.

In another room, Luisa tries to convince Paras to ditch his fiance, who we find out is boring and obedient, by using her lips. He shakes her off, and then comes the bright light of detail reveal as it turns out Luisa is Luz....and that she's one of the Childen of the Vault as they return (Serafina included) to collect her. Conclusion: Good issue, just not a whole lot else to say about that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The List #38 Part 1

Astonishing X-Men #35
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning
Picking up where we left off last issue with the X-Men in the zombie workshop, Cyclops decides to torch the place and escape through a tight exit. Beast voices his doubts about this and Cyclops replies along with a reference to Emma in the bedroom [Here]. Like a proper lady, she acts like she has no idea what he's talking about....mainly because it's her job to embarrass him with references to their sex life.

As the X-Men are trying to escape the inferno they caused their also met with the approaching guards of the place, so Cyke decides to cut a hole in the jet since it was probably doomed anyway. This leads to one of my great loves of Astonishing: Group shot time!!

You'll notice Emma's NOT in diamond form for a battle scene for once. This is probably because Ellis does not mention her as an
OMEGA LEVEL TELEPATH, so he doesn't have to deal with the problem of having a severely overpowered character in a fight scene. Speaking of which, according to [this article] Psylocke is now also an OMEGA LEVEL TELEPATH which I'm sure delights Psylocke fans, but with every addition to this category comes the diminishing of its specialness or meaning like how people use 'love' all the time instead of 'like'. How so? Because Jean Grey, Quentin Quire, Emma Frost, Professor Xavier, Psylocke, the Stepford Cuckoos, and very possibly No-Girl are all Omega-Level Telepaths. What's the problem? Who of the X-Community is a telepath and not Omega Level? All I can think of is Monet and in the end I'm sure it's a shorter list than the one above. As I mentioned before, [Omega level is just an entrance to pure suck] and I just hope that this trend dies off quickly (Psylocke fans, I'm not hating on Betsy, just the Omega Level classification).

Moving on, Ellis reveals that Emma still takes a special interest in her students:

From there Emma discovers the problem is two levels up which Cyclops immediately blasts with Wolverine leading the charge there. The reveal of this arc's villain is most....unexpected (and leads to one of the best group shots I've seen in a long time!):

Can I get that as a poster? Seriously.
Also, holy crap I forgot Abby Brand was still in this arc. Isn't she with the Secret Avengers now? Well, anyway, I feel like she's never been far away with her cousin Vicky Hand around (complete speculation/just-for-lols, but would you be surprised?).

Back to the story, the villain of. this arc. is............Yoanna! *Cue Free For All!* Actually no, but that would've been an improvement compared to what was finally revealed: A mutant. But angry message boarders hold those vile comments, it's not a mutant to further mangle the 198 rule, apparently it's a man whose mother survived Hiroshima so he's a technical mutant (as in one who could exist in real life). As if he's the ghost of Morrison's forgotten ugly mutants' past, he proceeds to criticise the X-Men for not being true freaks even Beast being generally likable to the eyes (this guy's frail, and gross-looking, also so weak he has to use a motorized wheelchair).

Note that Emma's almost looking to the 4th wall with a face that's totally, 'Yeah, so?'
It's basically Ellis commenting on how ridiculous it is that the X-Men are outcasts when they're all attractive and would probably be accepted as celebrities in the real world. Anyway, it turns out this guy's sole motivation for zombie-fest with the desecrating of Paradigm and Wallflower's bodies is just because these mutants are pretty so he feels he has no community with them so
he lashes out. Think it's anti-climatic and ridiculous? So does Emma as Ellis has her lampshade this moment by having her tell him he could've just written a nasty letter. 'Mutant' guy stands by his decision to try and kill them, so Cyclops goes and is about to kill him much to the horror of Storm and Beast who just told him off for this behavior. Instead Cyclops decides to let Abby Brand have him as her prisoner, and also instead of giving this guy his death wish, the X-Men are going to see to it that he's kept alive. From there the guy almost puts the building on self-destruct, but Hisako thwarts him. In the end, Wolverine smacks him in the face just in case he tries anything. Also much to the horror of his teammates. Here's his defense and a moment that makes me glad Wolverine's on the team (which is a rare feeling for me):

Oh honey, don't worry, you're as kind as a plague, and as mature as a fart joke, and for these reasons I love you!
This issue ends with Cyclops asking Brand if the bomb can still be detonated, she replies yes, and he says good because he was thinking about having Wolverine over it when it detonated. Which is a funny way to end it, but......that's it? That's really how this arc ends? As much as I appreciate Ellis saying everyone's too pretty to be believed because it's true, this felt anti-climatic and lazy.

Conclusion: As part of an arc, this issue is mediocre, but as an issue on its own, and being judged by how entertaining the characters were, it was great fun and I recommend you buy it ASAP. As I've said before, I still think Astonishing is one of the best, if not the best, X-Book, and I recommend it to anyone who wants the real X-Men. Also, a message to Warren Ellis, I'd like you to know that for writing Emma Frost 100% true to her Morrison/Whedon characterization despite other's horrible attempts and also your earlier fumbles, I offer you free sexual favors of gratitude which you can collect any time (you know, in the spirit of the diamond queen herself). But seriously, Ellis has Emma dead-on these days without missing a single beat, and I LOVE him for it. And I've critcized nearly every writers attempts at characterizing Emma, so for me to have no complaints is Haley's Comet rare.

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants- Storm + Gambit #1
Writer: Chuck Kim
Artist: Chris Bachalo
This book follows up the decision made in X-Men #2 to resurrect Dracula with the X-Men sending Storm and Gambit to be the ones to retrieve it as the vampires have put up shields to block from teleporting into their island base.

Rather than explain the plot, I'll just say the necessary: They're successful in the end. Also, this one-shot focuses more on Storm and her development with Gambit functioning as sidekick. I'd take more issue with this, but the lack of focus also means Gambit gets to just be the fun, charismatic thief that people love as opposed to the irksome attempts at developing his character further with his endless struggle with the uninteresting 'Death' persona.

Kim's Storm is a smart balance between a current regal Queen and a former warrior/thief returning to her old talents. Kim also takes an opportunity to have Storm wrestle with her feelings on killing that she's had to recently examine with the reveal of X-Force with the discovery that the shield blocking teleporting that needs to be taken down is powered by people being drained. A great conflict is brought in as time is of the essence with the vampires discovering Storm and Gambit's presence, but the only way she knows how to take care of the shield quickly is to bring it down with her powers and kill the human hosts (who are begging for her help). In the end she does bring down the shield, but is clearly wracked with severe guilt over what she's just done. It's the perfect move to put the task of killing (even if it's pretty much mercy killing) in the face of the Number 1 person opposed to the X-Men's recent kill-or-be-killed stance.

Kim's skillful handling of character even extended to ones who only played a minor role in this issue including Emma who sounded pitch-perfect when she was complaining about how ineffective Dazzler was in battle. It also continues a pre-existing rivalry between the Queen and the Cameo Queens, so good on Kim even though I believe Northstar and Emma could be divalicious as friends.

Bachalo's return to an X-Men-related comic is probably one of the most eagerly anticipated aspects of this one-shot, and he really was a welcome return, there's really nothing quite like his style. There was some fumbling with the fight scenes as things tended to get crowded and confusing to follow, which isn't an unheard of complaint on Bachalo's work, but for the most part everything was well-done.

Conclusion: This one-shot will probably be the best part of this event that piggybacks onto the current vampire trend, and it's simply a well-done story on its own. Bachalo and Kim were definitely welcome talents to the X-Men universe, and I for one would enjoy them gracing us with their presence again sometime soon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Uncanny X-Men #527 Review

Uncanny X-Men #527
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Whilce Portacio
This cover is such a source of irritation for me it's ridiculous. It's absurd that Emma is all, "Oh mah lands, he's about to kiss me!" plus the use of 'soft' colors for this cover. Instead this cover should be her reacting to Namor's advances with a playfully mischievous smile as if she were thinking it over (and in control as opposed to this cover). Yet again why I resent Dodson on anything besides a teen series.

On the actual contents of this issue, this issue is mainly about Emma going through the gallery of her notable former fucks, and I am just itchy thinking about it. I'm not saying Emma has crabs. I'm saying noted womanizers Sebastian Shaw, Namor, and Iron Man probably do. While I love Miss Frost, her choice in bed partners is disgusting especially since it's almost completely populated by manchildren. She needs to discover the joys of sexy, charismatic men like Gambit....I'd ship that. During Emma's first station of the cross, her meeting with Tony Stark, something caught my eye:
Emma totally looks like Lord Fanny here.
Emma's definitely had other moments where she resembled my favorite Invisible, and she definitely spoke exactly like her during Morrison's New X-Men, but I'll elaborate on that another time (probs in a comparison post).
Anyway, Emma basically meets up with Tony Stark to just establish that they're cool now considering their last meeting. Fraction takes this opportunity to try and mimic Morrison's take on how Emma speaks to verbose results (link). This issue you'll notice that word has made it to Fraction that we're tired of defanged Emma, so he attempts to write this by having her bitch at everyone. It's like watching a 16-year old blow a melodramatic hissy fit; it's painfully embarrassing to witness.

Emma next visits Sebastian Shaw and Danger gets in her face about her being worried that someone will find about her keeping him prisoner. Which after X-Force's big reveal it's not that big of a deal especially considering it's Emma Frost. Instead Emma explodes into a hissy fit and Box shows up to inform her that Colossus is looking for her. When she leaves, the real romance of this issue sets in:

*Insert robot love joke here*
Meanwhile Scott and Logan are in Japan going over how much longer they can keep their secret love for each other under wraps....what? It's right there in the subtext. Wolverine doubts Cyclops' ability to lead without the presence of a war, I doubt his ability to lead period, and then there's this little gem:

That really is the most f#@%ing ridiculous thing I've ever heard. And if all this tension in the relationship leads up to an engagement ring, then I'm boycotting Uncanny (which I probably should've done a long time ago). Meanwhile, Emma begrudgingly arrives to help Kitty and Peter. Here's her entrance:

This A. Makes me miss Fanny B. Makes me miss the day when Emma's development had little to do with a serious relationship with a man.
Kitty and Peter are asking for Emma because no one else can get into Kitty's mind right now and they simply want to communicate. Emma pitches another appalling fit at this, but I mean it's almost understandable considering this is the face Peter approaches Emma with (he's actually begging her for help in this panel).

That's a face only a mother could love.
Luckily she's dead so she's saved the futile effort of trying.
Emma finally reads Kitty's mind and it's 'revealed' that Kitty loves Pete. Really? That's what they were harping on Emma for? Kitty can't just make that dreadful heart hand symbol?

Let's take a pause on this to talk about the new mutant. He's the vibrating one in the teasers and apparently this one also is all about the tests and grades. Here's how the team coming to help him enters-->

Seriously Cece? First off, his family's freaking out enough concerning his being a vibrate-y mutant, is that really the only greeting you can think of? What's even more appalling is that the family accepts them rather than is like, "Uh, fuckoff strangers, go steal kids somewhere else,"

Everything is resolved once Hope arrives since now she's all of a sudden the perfect person to help ease new mutants into their new lives. I know I know, she's the 'messiah,' but if you're reading Uncanny then tell exactly what she's doing special that more experienced members can't? As evidenced by Emma, telepaths can take care of controlling the power levels of mutants, so why not send Xavier with Hope at least? Help restore his reputation? Anyway, everything turns out all right and the guy can live to test another day.

Back in the Atlantean column of Utopia, Emma has sushi with Namor has he tries to seduce her unsuccessfully. He asks the million dollar question during this scene:

Really Emma, when are you going to knock this shit off?
Anyway, it's all role-reversal this scene as we recreate someone trying to break up a Cyclops relationship, but with Emma this time being on the side of the tempted. Except Namor sucks at seduction and is just a prick the entire time. Back in the old days, Emma at least tried to act like she cared what Cyclops thought when she was seducing him (up until he went onto how he was possessed), and the entirety of her conversations with him weren't about badmouthing Jean (just partially).

This issue ends with Emma walking down to see the seemingly unconscious Shaw and telling him to 'sleep tight, you bastard' to which he smiles when her back turns. Conclusion: Someone needs to alert Fraction that he's not allowed to write Emma anymore. Also, someone needs to tell him the only romance we need to see more of is the blossoming romance of Danger and Box.

Apologies for being so late on this one, my Saturday was devoted to discovering Warren Ellis' free webcomic Freakangels. I completely recommend it to anyone who likes comics period.

The List 37

New Avengers #3
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immomen
This. Issue. Is. So. Chatty.
To open, this issue the dimension of the world tears and all sorts of demons are let out. The New Avengers engage them in battle and from there it is a complete and total chat-fest. We learn crucial information about our heroes such as Ms. Marvel has never seen Ghostbusters. Normally casual dialogue during a fight scene would have been welcome, even entertaining, but considering the amount of it and who it was between made it excessive.
Who was it between you now may wonder? Spider-Man and The Thing. I understand it's part of Spider-Man's 'thing' to yak like my Aunt Louise, but Bendis was beating us over the head with it this time. And of course, everything The Thing says annoys the piss out of me.

Meanwhile, Jessica had a solo battle scene as she attempted to get to the Avengers Mansion, and that was decent for what it was. Except she was going to get her fricking child who needs to make like Wanda's kids and disappear until its needed for a teen series. Also, in the end she got overwhelmed by the demons, but was saved by the timely arrival of Vicky Hand...

...And a massive fucking gun!!
Seriously, who'd she steal this thing off of, Cable in the 90's? Anyway, she's starting to prove she's actually useful to the team, and that's all well and good. Meanwhile, Iron Fist is trapped in a dimension of whiteout with two disembodied voices bickering over what they need to do to get the Eye of Agamotto from him. It's finally revealed that the person trying to get to the Eye as well as this arc's main villain is none other than Dr. Strange's former master/teacher/magic trainer guy. Oh noes!

Also during this issue the magic guys are in perpetual state of bitchery with each other over what needs to be done. They can't even get their shit together to quickly leave the fight scene to discuss what needs to be done. It seriously took so many word bubbles before they left, I can't
believe one of the Avengers didn't turn around and bitch at them to knock it off. At the very least Daimon Hellstrom remained shirtless and in tight leather pants the whole time, so it wasn't a total waste of page time. Ohhhh just look at him pose all sexy-like.

Hey now, stop playing with your nipples while Dr. Strange is talking!
...On second thought, keep going. At least it's something new considering once the magic guys finally left they ended up having a conversation that only repeated what was gone on. It's like I said: This issue is CHATTY.

Conclusion: This issue was one of my 'more-fun-to-make-fun-of' issues. It was good in some the Daimon Hellstrom ones. He's just bucking to be my new comic book boyfriend considering my former
boyfriend Warpath is now exiled to the terrifying void of character limbo. But seriously, this issue's excessive chatter will probably grate on your nerves, so beware.

Avengers Academy #3
Writer: Christos Gaga
Artist: Mike McKone
This issue opens by expanding on Hazmat's past and how her powers ruined her near-perfect life and how Osborn continued to screw it up. Which is foreshadowing of things to come.

Reptil finally got his kiss from Finesse this issue. It was weird, mainly because the way Finesse is so robotic about it makes her seem like she's doing it for money...ya know? And of course after that Stryker makes a comment on how there are a few things he hasn't tried, but luckily, Finesse is not interested.

The A.A. instructors (which I'm sure for a few of them works both ways) are having a themed week of having the students work with superheroes like Iron Fist and Valkyrie. The one to actually care about is Valkyrie's appearance talking to the girls because with it we get this revelation--->

Tygra's a feminist? Seriously? So now I have to take her seriously instead of just
comparing her to Tyra Banks? Dammit. Oh well, I'm sure I'll have a problem with her brand of feminism, I already dislike that she's bringing up her status as a feminist as a nuisance. For f@#$'s sake, Ty-Ty, don't play to that 'annoying feminist' crap, half the people who are tired of it barely have a f$%ing clue what it's about. Someone who's got their shit right though is Valkyrie:

I love her for this!
I know, I'm male, I shouldn't side with female supremacy, but I'm a big supporter of women saying, 'I'll do it my goddamned self, useless male!' especially with that mindf#@% Twilight being as popular as it is. Anyway, might actually tune into the Valkyrie one-shot coming up next week if there's more independent woman-loving goodness in it.

Meanwhile it turns out there's a big 'Scared Straight' thing going on soon with the students visiting The Raft that houses the Thunderbolts as well as many supervillans including Normy Norm. With this, Hazmat is planning to go fuck Osborn's day up when they get to The Raft, and manages to get Veil and Mettle in on it. Also it seems we're going to be having 'A Very Special Avengers Academy' soon as it seems Speedball is still cutting to feel.

The A.A.'s tour of The Raft is sketchy to start off with. And by sketchy I mean it's lucky that the cell doors have no holes in them because it would've been Silence of the Lambs all over again. Ugh. Ghost and Juggernaut are brought in individually to talk to the students, and Ghost goes off ranting about 'THE MAN' and just serving to reinforce my dislike for those types (as a college goer I encounter them and their Che Guevara shirts frequently). Juggernaut is oddly straightforward and helpful which is surprising since I thought he was still in "IM EVIL AGAIN!" mode. Oh well, guess that means his power levels are all of a sudden reduced again as well....

From there she recognizes he's using his angsty Penance energy signature rather than his Speedball one. And with that another point goes to Dr. Karla Sofen.
It seems Moonstone was called in to evaluate the kids as a group through observation. She's less than helpful, but at least she gets a massive dig in at Speedball. I don't actually have anything against Robbie, I just bitches being bitchy. From there Hazmat causes a blackout where her, Mettle, and Veil sneak off to go visit Osborn, and that pretty much leads to the events of the connecting issue of Thunderbolts.

Conclusion, this issue is a bit of a letdown considering the previous issues, but it's still a decent one, especially the Valkyrie part.

Thunderbolts #147
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Kev Walker
Did sales really plummet during Dark Reign or something? Because it seems there's a big push to get the Thunderbolts to mix it up with all the newer series as well as the latest crossover. I mean let's look at is: There's this issue with the A.A., the next two issues tie-in to Shadowland, and after that is a crossover between them and the Avengers. I know that even before Ellis' run, Thunderbolts has been a book that usually connects to other events going on in the MU (Civil War, Secret Invasion), but they generally stuck to one for at least an arc those times.

Returning to the cliffhanger of four Thunderbolts left to take on the creatures in the cave, it seems even in reduced numbers they can make short work of the creatures. A point of interest is Man-Thing saving Moonstone from one of the things with her saying, "I'll be staying on your good side." Yeah, and hoping Man-Thing doesn't remember that you were there when Ares chopped him in half I bet. (Speaking of my favorite god besides Jean, apparently Ares is getting resurrected soon! Yay comic book deaths!)

From there we get a brief look at the aftermath and then the next scene is directly after the blackout happens with the prisoners getting out. Songbird encounters trouble with this and Moonstone does the right thing:

Unfortunately, instead of Songbird and her bad haircut getting violently murdered by the overwhelming number of prisoners attacking her, the Troll girl they picked up last issue ends up helping her and saving the day. As if I didn't already dislike this 'raised-in-the-wild!!' character as it was, now she's just adding fuel to the hate fire by helping the ever-annoying Songbird. You can bet Moonstone and I were less than thrilled by those results (Moonstone's reaction being actually on-panel, but you can bet I was reacting the same off-panel). Meanwhile, you'll never guess who gets out (not kidding):

Purple Man!
This is some serious shit because if you haven't read Alias, let me inform you Purple Man is a seriously sick fuck and he messed with Jessica in one of the worst ways possible.
Cage then responds by taking on every guy who Purple Man is controlling with Purple Man afterwards simply telling Cage that he can just take him over. However, it seems Cage has nanites in him specifically designed to block him out, and then he fucking headbutts that asshole! Jessica married a good man *sniff*.

U.S. Agent is also having trouble with prisoners, especially with them thinking nothing of him as he's now without two limbs. In response the man gets out of his wheelchair and personally fucks up the day of every one of those assholes. This would be his victory pose-->

Meanwhile we get more reformed Juggernaut crap as it seems he helps two prisoners break out, but it's revealed he just led them to the jellyfish defenses. In the end, everything's recovered, no one dies which means Hazmat doesn't end up killing Osborn next issue like she had planned (not much of a spoiler there).

Conclusion: Definitely an improvement from last issue, but Songbird not dying was definitely a minus. Someday Moonstone and I will have our wishes come true, but until then Melissa lives to annoy another day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The List #36 + News

X-Men #2
Writer: Victor Gischler
Artist: Paco Medina
This issue opens with Colossus and Wolverine duking it out with a vamp with the two of them having battle chit-chat. Colossus definitely says something interest-->

Not a statement I'd agree with considering almost all my male friends drink beer and maybe less 1/4 of my female friends do. I mean, I do a
ppreciate his enthusiasm for hard liquor, it's got a soft spot in my heart too, but let's lay off the whole "Ugh, that's girly and girly's bad" crap.

The guy manage to get the vampire out into daylight to unexpected results. It seems the vampire has a gem on him that can take care of the effects of daylight. Wolverine and Colossus chase it until it leads them to a den of other ubervamps, but have no fear, Blade shows up to save the day.

Meanwhile, it turns out the vampires have focused in on turning Jubilee so that they can lure 'him' and turn him, who'll be the one to turn the rest. I'm assuming they mean Wolverine considering Jubes is his ex-si
dekick, and my response is this: For Christ's sake, does everything have to revolve around him? Ugh, I hope I'm wrong.

The X-Men review the situation which is that all the vampires are now united, D
racula's dead, and there's a fuck-ton of them about [This many]. The X-Men are thinking they're fucked until a very special someone brings this up:

Cyclops understands what Emma's suggesting and tells everyone of the plan: Resurrect Dracula.
Considering he's dead thanks to the currently ruling assholes, it'd throw a massive monkey wrench in their Vamp U.N. to have the Vamp King Dracula return. It's a great plan and the only thing that I didn't 100% expect this issue. And let me add that it's EMMA'S plan because I know reviewers are going to fuck it up and be like, "Cyclops proves he's a tactical leader this issue by coming up with the controversial 'Resurrect Dracula' plan." Uh, no assholes, that was Emma. Cyclops just interpreted what she was suggesting.

[Edit] Apparently everyone hates the plan, but I'm not sure why (explanations haven't been provided just yet). While Dracula is not going to come back and side with the X-Men (which so far is what people seem to think is the intention and possibly why they hate the plan), I doubt Dracula can completely push aside his anger over being killed by the Vamp U.N. and would probably create conflict in the ranks especially with those loyal to him. He would basically ruin the main problem (they're organized now) by being there. At least that's what I think so far. Agree or disagree? Feel free to explain why in the comments (be sure to be civil though).

OH and the issue ends with Jubilee lured out to the vampire lair and her getting bitten [Here]. You'll note that two out of three of the 'surprise' moments this issue also have a matching link to a teaser promoting it. Th
at's actually my biggest complaint: Like last issue, these teasers being released are giving away the majority of the interesting things happening during the issue. They're not teasers at this point; they're spoilers, and they're damn hard to avoid because everyone reblogs these teasers.

Conclusion: This issue is an improvement over the last one, but Marvel needs to chill out on the 'teasers' so something in this series can be genuinely unexpected.

Morning Glories #1
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Joe Eisma
Definitely the book I was most excited for this week especially considering it's written by Nick Spencer who did the amazing Forgetless (if you haven't read it yet, do it now).

We are introduced to the Academy with the opening consisting of an attempted breakout by two of the students who go to extreme measures to get out (by using science!). So we follow the guy as he kicks ass out of his way until he's ultimately stopped by the mandatory creepy villain a guy who looks like Nitro with a lesser version of Tildie Soames' powers. By the way, here's how Morning Glory Academy deals with students who attempt to make a run for it:

How very soft serve of them, no wonder why the students are so disobedient.
The faculties reaction to this is mostly indifferent considering this guy's not 'one of them'.
And as a side note, if you've read the interviews on this series then you know Jun, a character who also can kick ass, knows more about what's going in the academy than the others. My guess, considering the resemblance between the two (which is more apparent when he's not doing his Bloody Mary impression), is that the guy above was Jun's brother.

From there we get two-pages intros of each of the characters and the over-quoted comparison Spencer gave of this series to a cross between Lost and Runaways is now given evidence. How? Well, truth be told these intros are a bit weak, having to do with the character and shallow interactions with their parents, and I remember that's how Runaways also opened (its first arc was honestly somewhat weak).

The most notable of the introductions are: Hunter is awesome because he reads Morrison, specifically The Invisibles (oh how I miss Fanny!). However, good luck to the kid in understanding it considering I read it this summer and had trouble grasping the entire concept (I'm 20). The other ones were either meh or strange like apparently 'the emo girl' has a crush on one of her teachers [Here]. The one with the rebel kid, Ike, was just flat-out ridiculous and I had to un-suspend my disbelief for that one [Here].

Anyway, the next scene is of them all getting driven to the Academy by the a driver from the Academy, and to remind us that this is a sketchy place, they all get gassed to sleep (so they can't figure out how to get out). They wake up when they arrive at the school and figure it was a normal nap. They're all brought together for the first time with an opening presentation of Morning Glory Academy with a speech the involves mentioning that they need to discard their previous lives and a slideshow that involves a goat with it's throat getting slit. By now it's hard to believe the kids wouldn't be like, "What the fuck, seriously?" especially since Academy seems to be barely concerned with concealing the fact that they're up to something.

Following this they all go to their dorms, with the 3 boys rooming all together and the 3 girls rooming all together as well. An interesting exchange occurs in the boys room:

Ike follows this comment by saying "It's brokeback bunkbeds!"
And I have to say one can only hope because every teen series needs some homosexuality even though they're probs all straight. Meanwhile with the girls, Zoe's doing her best Cordelia of BtVS impression and Jade is having a meltdown. Why? She called her father and he's claiming he doesn't know her and that he's never had a daughter. Also, this is on her birthday, May 4th,....and it turns out it's all five of the other new students' birthday. Casey, the blonde braniac who takes charge, decides to approach her ever-annoying RA about both of these issues. In between her baby talk way of saying Casey's name (Casey-Spacey and worse), Pamela reveals it's 'encouraged' for the parents to do this and that the birthdays thing was all part of how they were chosen (it's also Pamela's birthday). Not catching on to the creepy spiral staircase their on, Casey follows Pamela downward claiming her parents would never participate in the forget tactic. Pam says she knows and reveals behind a door at the bottom of the stairs, Casey's parents chained, bloodied, and unconscious hanging on the wall. End issue.

So apparently this series isn't leaving any time for suspenseful buildup as revealed by the issue's end, so I guess we're just jumping in to the action then. I wish Spencer would have been a bit more subtle about revealing the sketchy factor of this school because really these is no break from being overtly reminded that this school is one fucked up place. In the end, I thought the issue was good, but could have been better especially with how the characters are introduced because so far only Hunter and Casey are remotely likable. However, one thing that stops me from giving any real judgement over this issue is the comparison to Runaways as that series also started out iffy, but quickly became one of the greatest comic book series I've ever read. Conclusion: you should definitely pick this issue up, I think great things will come out of this series.

And now for the news:
  • Poll results are in and it seems people are most looking forward to Uncanny X-Force with it receiving 17 votes which is basically half of the votes. X-Men Legacy followed with 6, then came X-Men with 4, New Mutants with 3, Uncanny X-Men with 2, and X-23 with 1. Fortunately no one voted for Wolverine, so that's good for me because I also had this poll to see which books I should be paying attention to for this blog. And that's it for the poll, be sure to vote on the new one.
  • This month's Batgirl was one of the lamest things I've read in awhile which would be why it's not being reviewed here. [Preview]
  • There's going to be a Thunderbolts/Avengers crossover soon. The only thing I'm really excited for is the battle between Moonstone and Spider-Woman in the token female vs. token female faceoff. [Source]
  • Another week, another Psylocke costume change request. Here's the latest one:
"There were honestly too many folks asking after Psylocke's costume, so I went with psycwave's specific wording with "Hey Axel, are the covers for Uncanny X-Force temporary as most seem to be just recolored outfits, namely Psylocke's? It just seems like the character is cursed to wear the thong outfit for all eternity never to be updated or the like, especially when many of the X-men go through costume revamps on a regular basis."

They are not temporary. Pyslocke is sporting her regulation X-Force silver-and-black tho - I mean, uniform. With it's streamlined aerodynamic design, and splatterproof material, it's the perfect outfit for bringing the fight to the doorstep of anyone who'd mess with mutants."

  • They also pretty much said Rachel Grey isn't going to be around for awhile which is good news to me considering I can't stand her and her constant angst-ridden "Mom!" crap. [Source]