01/09/08 – Venoms, attaaaaack!

January 10, 2008

Uncanny X-Men 494

And don’t forget “Baaaaad Bishop, no donut!”

We find out why one of the alternate futures is important (but not the other, still nothing from it yet? I wonder if it’s Cable’s future? That’s my guess anyway).

Lots of talking, and more whining about Caliban again, who really should have known better. Some characters stand around, sometimes very large in a panel, and say nothing (I’m looking at you Iceman! I see you playing Tetris on that terminal!).

There’s also the opening fight scene, which makes you wonder if people forgot about Bishop’s powers. I mean, I guess they explain why having Sunfire unload on him doesn’t kill him…but, he can blast back you know. The guns are superfluos when he has real ammo…

Hey, where is Colossus anyway? I lost track. Nightcrawler & Cannonball are injured at least, I know that. Kitty Pryde? Where’s she? Making out with Colossus? I don’t see either of them in the team shot, and I don’t think they turn up in X-Factor (see below) either. I’ll just assume they’re in the hospital or something for now.

This issue was kind of meh in general. Well, ok not meh, it was filler. It was strong filler though!

X-Factor 27

Lots of things happen here. Or at least lots of pieces move into place for things to happen.

One very important player “dies” off camera.

One dies on camera, but it’s ok, he was just a dupe.

One is left in a very sad place…in such a way that you almost thing Peter David saw this silly crossover coming 27 issues ago and PLANNED for that shit (now the marriage makes sense, DOESN’T IT? 😉 )

The plot device (or “plot-culling” device) that is Predator X finally shows up…and based by the baby X-Men’s survival rate so far, I’m worried about them. It’s much easier to kill off a new character than an old…and frankly I like most of these new characters better than some old ones. Gambit? Ready for him to go. Cyclops? Well, he’s finally getting some balls, so give him time. Iceman? No, I love Iceman, keep him around. Wolverine? Been there, done that. Besides, isn’t he an Avenger now? Let’s kick him out of the X-books entirely. Mystique? She had her chance at redemption (see X-Men Forever)…I’m almost tired of her, but somehow her insanely predictable turncoat-ed-ness is starting to grow on me, so maybe keep her around. Angel? I actually liked him better with the healing blood and alternate Soulsword. Seriously, at least then there was some excuse as to why he wasn’t dead 10 seconds into every fight. That was one change that didn’t need to be retconned (just like the metal wings…also good!).

We find out more or less exactly how Bishop & Cable’s future’s figure into current X-Men cannon – it’s not stated explicitly that Cable’s is the other extant future, but I suspect it is. Otherwise why bother with all this and shoehorning Bishop’s future in? It’s actually a pretty neat writing trick if this is the way they go, and I hope it is. One is from bad Baby’s future, and one is from good Baby’s future, or that’s how it looks so far. It would be more interesting I guess if they were actually just from different points in the same future (and future #2 with the other Madrox is something else)…and that by Cable’s timeline Baby’s actions have come to be viewed in a positive light or something.

Great issue overall. Lot’s of good stuff happens, and lot’s of stuff is set up to fall down.

Mighty Avengers 7

I’m just waiting for it to get to issue 9 or 10 or so when it catches up to New.

But I’m enjoying the wait. Bendis is, as almost always, entertaining. We get some more of what I suspect to be Skrullation clues, and the intro to what might be a right-nasty disaster (except that we already know how it winds up *sort of* from an issue or two ago of New), and some great character moments.

Also, Janet trots out a parade of new outfits for someone! Man, remember when she used to always change her costumes? That got annoying didn’t it. I actually liked it when she was part bug, I thought that looked cool. And it would be hard for her to costume over stuff like that…. Anyway, she tries to pull a Queer-Eye on Wonder-Man – but I thought those costumes she trotted out were just nasty-silly-70s-retro. But I guess she showed that same set to Cage before, so maybe that makes sense…

Anyway, here’s my guess on the Skrull-in-team thing: Either Black Widow or Wasp. Sentry’s wife being one is just too obvious. I mean, she was dead 10 pages before then not dead? That’s fast, even for Marvel. I don’t think they’d give us that blatant of a clue yet, so I suspect there’s something entirely different going on – did he hallucinate her death? Why has no one else mentioned that she died? Did they just not find out? Probably I guess. So yeah, Black Widow & Wasp. Powers not that hard to dupe, neither of them been involved in anything too interesting in the last 10 years or so, neither of them particularly interesting now. Hell, I’ve always just been mildly amused by the Black Widow. Really? Up there with Thor & Iron Man? Even Wasp has powers…she’s just got that stupid dart gun and some soviet training.

I was thinking there might be a clue with who does and doesn’t have thought bubbles, but that seems to vary by issue. I suppose Wonder Man could pretty easily be a Skrull too. I’m going to say that would also be “too easy” though and put him on the back burner. But I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Ares? No. Seriously, no. Sentry? Going to say no, with all the craziness & power and all. Hulk would have squashed the Skrull out of him. Iron Man? Nope. That much is obvious. Spider-Woman? Now THAT would be a kick. I’d applaud that, but I doubt it.

Exiles: Days of Then and Now

Although I’m seriously tired of the “Days of Noun Verb” and “Days of whatever yada yada” headlines, this was a pretty good Exiles one-shot. I’m not sure where the hell it falls continuity wise (between 99 and 100??), but that’s not too much of an issue – except that the Exxies have never been shown acting this way before – but hey, it’s comicland!

All in all, worth picking up. Definitely better than Die by the Sword. Whatever that was.

Thunderbolts 118

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Warren Ellis (man……Nextwave..Nextwave..NextWAVE!), and this title is very well written, and the story is fairly interesting….BUT I miss my old “new” Thunderbolts. I miss the progress Moonstone was making, now she’s just stupid and petty again. Ellis does love petty characters….especially stuck up petty women. He’s good at making them interesting, or at least interesting to read, too. BUT, I’d rather he didn’t do it to characters who writers had spent years moving OUT of that territory. So yeah, more stuff happens here…Swordsman takes like 20 years backwards character wise – buuuutttt I’m guessing it’s mind control, so thankfully that doesn’t really count, and Venom acts all nasty. Which is fine, because it’s just Venom. Although that particular symbiote used to have a decent/twisted sense of honor. No innocents and all that.Wonder where that went.

NEXTWAVE volume 2

Da na na nuh na nuh NEXTWAVE!

They stole the Batmobile and shat under the tires!
They wear your grandmother’s underpants rightside in!
NEXTWAVE!

Oh god…but seriously folks….NEXTWAVE!

Faceless ones…nameless ones…whatever…on skateboards. Oh God. I think I’m gonna be ok. I think I’m gonna be ok. I swear.

I waited for the trades to buy this one, maybe I shouldn’t have. Maybe we’d have more issues to read in the bathroom, or maybe not. Sometimes it’s good when good things end before they fall asleep at the wheel in a drunken teenage binge, and wakeup with a dead shriner impaled on the little Buick symbol and an alien baby sleeping sedated in their kidney-cum-womb.

Jack of Fables volume 1

I don’t like this one as much as Fables standard, but it’s a long time in between trades, and I want to keep my lovely wife fed on a steady diet of good comics so she doesn’t forget about them ;). I like where the story is going in the current issues, and I’m hopeful for the future too, so I’ll just consider some of the early arcs (I didn’t like the Vegas one much) a warm up.

Odds and ends:

Hulk 1: Not NEARLY as bad as I expected, considering Loeb’s horrid track record and churching out brain mulch lately (he does hold the record for stupidest Wolverine story every written – the same story is definitely in the running for stupidest Marvel ever written too). I’m curious how they’re going to explain the whole thing – especially since the Hulk’s “Hulkiness” went back through space to gift like to Baby Hulk.

Suicide Squad 5: Checkmate style politics and backstabbing. If you like that, you’ll probably like this. I think I missed the last issue so I’m mildly lost and already bored. Hey where’d that nifty fire sword go?

Countdown 16: Man. Shit is happening now. I was thinking they’d save Monarch for the Final Crisis…but lo and behold he is actually the Countdown finale! Doh, how did my blind ass miss that?? I’m liking this. Let’s see where it goes.

Onslaught Reborn 5: Seriously? This series is still going. OK. Mm, female Bucky is here now, just as Bucky-Bucky becomes Cap? Does Brubaker know crazy-Loeb&Liefeld want to make female Bucky to Bucky-Bucky’s Cap?

The Twelve 1: Comic book young guy (who looks like Beck!) told me this was good, and I didn’t believe him. It just didn’t look that interesting. Sure, JMS is good, but the prequel didn’t do much for me … anyway, the issue is quite readable with a nice twist at the end to keep you curious. 70-30 I’ll be picking this up in trades.

Nova 10: Is this series getting cancelled? It sort of looks that way. Damn, I hope not! It’s a good series, I just don’t want anything else in my pull right now (I already added the Order and the new X-books). This one is so close to hitting the pull box…so close. But still, not quite.

Wolverine 61: OK, he’s officially back to his 1982 power levels I guess, and this is what it took us to get there. OK, whatever. It wasn’t all that bad, and some reigning in did need to be done (but not do the degree it was done in the 90s with dog Wolvy and weak-smokey-coughy Wolvy) to hold off the crazy resurrection powers. But. But something I dunno the involvement of magic and god/angels just rubbed me wrong. Now he’s got fucking EVERYTHING in his origin. I mean, he’s an old guy, so I guess that’s ok. But still. If he was a City of Heroes character he’d be a mutant/tech/sci/magic origin. And maybe natural too just for kicks. Too much screams ceiling cat! Too much! It was millions of times better than Loeb’s arc though. I actually considered buying those just to try to wipe my ass with every page of every issue and mail them back to Marvel. I’m on a high fiber diet right now so I could totally do it.

But then my ass would be all red and chafe-y and scratched up, and that’s no fun.

Bloggers note: Yes, I have been just linking to other images out there on the net. That seems like the rational thing to do, no sense wasting space hosting images that are already hosted right? And they’re soooo small…. but seriously, any other bloggers know what the official etiquette is here? Should I be copying and re-hosting every image?? Making each image a click link to the hosting page (man would that be a lot of work)?

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