X-Factor 39

January 23, 2009

was very good.

and very sad.

and I have no idea where it’s going now.  You should pick it up – although the resonance won’t be near as strong if you haven’t been a long-time reader.  Seriously, this thing has been brewing since nearly the beginning of the series.  Ouch.

I’ll be cutting my pullbox back substantially in preparation for son #2 in the next month or so.  X-Factor will be staying on….I’m not sure what else.  Maybe Guardians of the Galaxy.  Maybe New Avengers.  Maybe Avengers: Initiative and X-Force (who would have thought that would be the continuity whore’s book?????).  We’ll see.

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Storm & Vixen

January 15, 2009

Is it intentional or just coincidence that both big companies have decently promoted (as far as I can tell) limited series running now with their main/only long-term black female characters visiting fictitious African countries?

Of course I’m talking about the Storm (X-Men: Worlds Apart) and Vixen (Vixen: Return of the Lion)  limited series – which you already knew if you read the title of the post, which you did if you weren’t brain dead.

Of course, it’s amusing/sad/mind boggling that both companies only have one prominent black female.  Seriously.  One.  Marvel has a few (a REALLY small few) decent black supporting females: Monica Rambeau – who has gotten some screen time lately in Black Panther (and Nextwave of course!), Cecilia Reyes – yes I know she’s Puerto Rican yada yada – I always liked her and wish she could get a regular gig again (currently guest starring in NYX), and I think Spider-Man even has a new black female in his supporting cast…some rich girlfriend of Harry Osborn’s I think.  DC, on the other hand, I can’t think of any.  I’m sure this is partially because I’m not a DCophile but still, I read a lot of DC books and I can’t think of…oh wait – Steel’s daughter!  Anyway, my point is that there really aren’t very many, so each companies only/most prominent black female getting a limited series at the same time seems really….low.   So what’s the deal here?

Mind you I’m not complaining!  I’m just examining an interesting coincidence.

Annnnnnnnyway.

Both series are actually pretty good.  I say actually because limited series based around single characters having some dumb adventure that doesn’t affect continuity tend to suck.   IMHO anyway.   It looks like both these could have potentially pretty heavy continuity effects though – I’m REally curious how much of an effect the Storm one will have on the Black Panther series..as it is playing pretty heavily with the Wakandan cast.

The Storm series gets a bit of extra press from the title – X-Men: World’s Apart – you wouldn’t even think it was a Storm-centric series!  Cyclops & Emma figure into it a little, and Nezhno more than a little, but it’s still a far cry from a straight X-Men Limited.   Then again, maybe that’s how they are branding everything lately.  Storm is certainly featured prominently on the covers (as you can see).

Storm also gets to be super badass and blast an airplane out of the sky from across the globe.  Also, the villain of this particular arc – who has very specific ties to Storm – is a great match because their powers are so unrelated ie he’s on a whole different playing field.   She “seems” really out of her league…but that won’t be the case of course!

Vixen’s looks to be doing a power refinement & re-definement, and those usually play back into the main series.  She’s getting a bit of a streamlined functionality and less/no reliance on her magical totem – which is cool, because I’d think having to rely on a necklace for everything could cause problems if oh, I dunno, someone rips it off your neck.

The covers are really interesting to me in their archetypicality (look ma I can make up words!): they are very focused on their leads involved in some aspect of their powers – Storm flying, soaked in the rain, both, etc.  Mari/Vixen juxtaposed with various animals.  They could be the covers for anything really, nothing ties them down to the specific story.  Nothing wrong with that, I just find it interesting.  Comic covers seem to sway back in between the two poles of either being like these covers and going hard for iconic/archetype or being very directly related to what happens in exactly the issue for which they grace.  I don’t particularly favor either – they are both much better than Marvel’s idiotic zombie & ape variant covers that have jack shit to do with jack shit and are uglier than a dress made of elephant rectums.

duh, right? (Neverminding that what happened prrrooobbbbably couldn’t actually happen, given standard comic logic and past situations involving characters dealing with someone messing with their mind, as well as the fact that the other X-Men should be able to take down Wolverine – or at least knock him a distance away from the fray.)

What’s the reason for reading this though?  I guess it’s just like any other Marvel What If? story – everything ends horribly if the characters do anything that veers from the as-written path.  Although Millar said this somehow IS continuity I think, and ties in with his FF & Marvel 1986 runs (which would mean that reality warping/transporting guy)…so we’ll see.

Not worth buying imho, although the art is  good.  If you like seeing a bunch of dead villains & X-men.  The last page has “wacky Millar gimmick” written all over it.

I guess I’m curious how it ends…but mainly because I just want know the point of all this is.  Why bother telling such a long story with no potential pay-off (other than him possibly killing a bunch of bad guys, which may or may not happen, and really doesn’t matter in much sense because all the good guys are already dead).