X-Men 207

First off, let’s get that cover gallery out of the way! What cover gallery you ask? Why a recap of all 13 Messiah Complex covers of course! Yes, some (all?) had variants, but except for a few cases I couldn’t find all the variants within the time frame I’ve allotted myself, so one is good enough for now!

This space for rent.

OF COURSE THERE ARE SPOILERS

Soooo…from my forthcoming complaints it may sound like I disliked the series, or the finale, but that would be far from the truth. It was a fun ride, even if it didn’t make sense. I’m going to assume the reader has read this, since I’m not up for a giant recap. Check over at ComiX-Fan if you want that, they’ve been doing weekly recaps as an excuse for an article for the last 12, they should do one for the current issue soon.

Where are we left?

  • Professor X is crippled again, except worse – he’s got a hole in his brain! We know he’s not dead – the solicitations for X-Men Legacy at the end of the ish tell you this. So he’s just royally screwed again. How many times is this now? I think I’ve lost count. Pretty sure it’s at least three. He’s been shot/in a coma at least once before – that was enough to start off a whole crossover (EXecutioner’s Song, one of the last good ones) before, but now it’s just an endnote…or a new beginning! Du na na!
  • Bishop is bad. A lot of X-Men have found redemption over the years, like I’m sure Gambit is about to, but I don’t think there is any coming back from shooting Professor X in the head on accident. Mmm kay. This is really the worst/weakest part of the whole thing. Sure, they made it make sense with a modified version of his future – which I guess makes sense, the future he’s from (and hence his past) could have re-aligned itself to current events, while still allowing him to be born – that might bake sense in some crazy sci-fi logic. But still, it’s annoying. And seeing as how various folks (I think Tom Brevort may be one of them) have been re-iterating lately how much X-Men is about prejudice, I find it interesting that they have just reduced their minority population by what, 25%? But hey, who knows where this is going really. I was never that big on the whole guy-with-guns thing when Cable did it either. I liked the writers that had Bishop intelligently use his powers, but that wasn’t many.
  • I think Bishop is also short an arm now too.
  • Cyclops is a dick again, sort of. I’m guessing this badass-whatever characterization he’s currently running falls out of the Astonishing arc – which still has yet to finish. It does sort of make sense, following that at least. He’s also kind of stupid, because I don’t care how well trained against the X-Men the Marauders are – they are no match for 3 full teams, plus some kids. Instead he decides that the kids can get the job done? Sure, they did, but that was stupid. What about the random X-Factor members, and whoever else is hanging around. The future solicits look like he’s going into super-dick-overdrive. He’s got Wolvy’s team out killing people, THEN he enlists 3 of the x-babiekids to kill people??? MMMMM KAY.
  • Man, Storm did jack shit this crossover, she really should have just sat it out.
  • Actually, lots of people did jack shit. They probably should have just trimmed the teams down more before they started, so it wouldn’t look as haphazard and silly. So many people were AWOL…or maybe just background, when they would have probably had a bigger effect on things.
  • Cable took the baby to the future? OK…sure…whatever. Makes for an interesting new Cable series I guess.
  • Would MaliceSentinel really have monologued over Pixie or just snapped her neck? I vote #2.
  • Is Mystique dead too? Probably not, but that would be amusing. Rogue tried to kill her, I guess. Whatever, that made no sense either. The Mystique-Rogue arc did wrap up Claremont’s Destiny’s Diaries arc though…wow…when was the last time someone ELSE wrapped up one of his in a way that actually kind of made sense in the original context? OK. She’s not dead, she’s on the cover to next month’s Wolverine 62. Be nice to see that title in continuity again, at least for a little while. Not that I buy it anymore. Shelling out $$ for one Wolverine title (Origins) is enough.

OK, all that out of the way, the xover has done what it was intended to do I think – galvanize the audience and set-up the next set up to the new status-quo (post-Uncanny 500). Please, please, please do not restart the numbering after 500. That would be really annoying.

The battle scene felt like it actually needed a whole issue – this should have been a double sizer. Seriously, I’d pay money for an annual that just fleshed out this battle and made it more believable in the sense of how it would actually be with that many players on the field.

OK, so that’s done, what else was this week?

The Order 7

Yes, sadly this series is done on issue 10. 10!? They couldn’t even let it finish a year-arc? Lame! It’s incredibly well written, cohesive, and entertaining – and manages to be so while squarely in the middle of the post-CW Marvel U with a cast of 95% new characters. That’s crazy talk!

So yeah, another great issue here, not much action, but good dialog. I’m not sure the characterization here is square with Namor as of the end of his limited series (which is evidently where it is picking up), but that could just be because this is from an outside perspective, where the limited was clearly from his.

Pick the book up…hey maybe if numbers go up like crazy they won’t cancel it. Or they could do a volume 2 type thing who knows. This series would actually work quite well in a volume format (due to the year-long nature of their powers).

Young Avengers Presents #1: Patriot

I miss this series. It looks like this limited will be a nice stopgap though. I can’t quite square where in the world in falls in Cap continuity (maybe right between the last and next issue??), but it seems like it might squeak in. Not much to spoil here, just talking heads, but it’s a good read. Always nice to see the “other” Captain America mentioned too.

What else?

Stuff is picking up in Countdown. I guess it would be too much to ask for SuperTool & Monarch to kill each other, but I’ll request it anyway. I’m curious to see where the Red Robin bit goes.

She-Hulk 25 was pretty good, I just can’t get into the character. I feel horribly sad for that couple Peter David used for dramatic effect in this issue though.

Marvel Zombies 4 continues to march (or slog) onwards. I love Kirkman in general, but I’ve not been a big fan of this series at all so far. I mean, it’s well written and funny, but I just have LESS THAN ZERO desire to see Spider-Man kill his wife and aunt. And eat them. Really, who was asking for that? Foul. That being said, the ending of this issue brings up lots of interesting possibilities.

And it wasn’t really anything all that special, but there was some good stuff.

Avengers: Initiative #8

This title hasn’t failed to impress yet. More madcap happenings both above and below ground at super-hero-u. Clone more MVPs you say? That sounds like a brilliant idea! And yet, nothing ever works out quite that well does it?

The new Ant-Man shows up….and somehow Hank doesn’t recognize his design that went awol from shield. Really?? That would be the one spot of really poor writing in an otherwise awesome series. Slott is very attentive to continuity normally, so I have a feeling he has a fix worked out for this one. Hopefully it will be spelled out on paper somewhere.

More character reveals (I like lizard girl more now), Hardball continues to be an ass, although the ass-ness pays off here, and he has a nice not-ass moment. When did “Thor-girl” join? Did I miss that? I remember reading the Thors with her, but I have no idea what her deal is…will have to look it up.

Starjammers 4, err I mean X-Men: Emperor Vulcan 4

I’m still enjoying this series and curious how it is going to wrap up. I don’t like the “reveal” that the MKraan just found the crystal too, this cheapens their initial position somewhat – although it was their homeworld, at least at that point in time.

How is Havok going to deal with his brother is beyond me, but I’m sure they’ve got something in mind. Because, really, leaving him alive at this point is stupid.

Lilandra’s continued ignorance of actual Shi’ar behavior seems a bit out of character though, she was never naive before, why should she be about this? I guess that’s what happens when you mix religion into politics.

X-Men 206

Small cover shot because it’s so fucking ugly. But, that was the intent afterall. 9 issues in and the “future” plot thread is still shaping up to be a waste of time. I mean, I’m sure it matures at some point, but WTF?

We get a “traitor” reveal, but I’m sure it’s not what it looks like, telepathy or something I’m sure. If it is what it looks like, well, shucks. There goes 30% of the minority X-Men ;p.

Oh, and Warpath gets more bloodthirsty. Dude, you haven’t talked to Caliban in years…you just have to admit to yourself that you really weren’t that close. And he was really stupid, trying to take a bullet for a bullet-proof friend.

Giant-Size Avengers 1

Pretty much a fluff piece here, in retrospect I shouldn’t have picked it up. The “Spider-Man learns respect” thing was stupid, and the Emperor None or whatever thing was moderately funny, but I’m pretty sure the punchline there (hint: Wolverine) has been done before, or at least done in a spoof.

Some good cheesecake shots of the “Ladies of Avenging” lounging by the pool if you’re into that kind of thing though.

Serious continuity flaw on one of the first pages though. Pretty sure I saw Diamondback in there with the Serpent Society ladies…and she joined the Initiative over in #8…that and isn’t she an LMD or something? I seem to recall something happening with her not too distantly in Captain America, not sure what though.

I haven’t gone through the reprint material yet, it might be worth it, I just don’t care enough.

New Warriors 7

I’m really enjoying this incarnation, and hope it lasts a while, the writer is doing a great job of going in a different direction than other series and giving it a distinct role. There are also some nice reveals and moments for old school New Warriors fans here (although it just happened to concern a period during which I wasn’t reading – second volume maybe? I’ll have to check).

One thing I’m not sold on is the art, I really don’t like the way some of the characters look…and I’m still not sold on Angel looking totally different (PS who is watching their 15 kids?). I have to look up Stacy and see what she looked like de-powered, but she also looks pretty different here.

I also picked up the final available volume of Y trade (v. 9) and got the Planet Hulk trade from Amazon. Both are great reads.

Oh, I almost forgot, grabbed X-Men Messiah Complex: Mutant Files

Bunch of retread source material for the most part, but I was curious what clues might be in here for the coming year.

Sure enough, I think there were some – or some of the stupidest red herrings ever.

So it would have all the standard stuff you would expect of a current-related sourcebook (ie stuff that’s been featured recently): Marauders, Illyana, Predator X, Kimura, the Deadly Genesis stuff, 198 stuff, new Starjammers, etc.

What it also had was: Savage Land Mutates (W T F?), Phoenix (please sweet comic deity don’t rez her yet, wait for everyone else to finish their corpse runs!), Lifeguard & Slipstream, Trish Tilby. So, I suspect those 4 will be chewing some scenery this year, because otherwise there was less than zero reason to update their info. Unless, of course, maybe it’s totally accounting style and LG & SS never had an entry before? I suppose that is possible. I would like to see LG again though, but SS was stupid. I’m thinking LG/SS would fit right in with the Exiles and they are Claremont creations…./shrug. Mutates…ok, so someone is going to the Savage Land. Trish? Moving into one of the books supporting casts I guess.

The back cover also mentioned “Ghoul”, but I couldn’t find him/her/it inside. Hmmm?