Uncanny X-Men #19.NOW

or Uncanny X-Men vs SHIELD #1

I was reading Uncanny X-Men during BotA and then I stopped when the crossover ended (although I kept up with All-New X-Men) but I decided that the new “jumping off point” was the perfect time to get back into it. Brian Michael Bendis writes stuff I want to read. That’s the long and short of it.

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So those other X-men at the Charles Xavier school have been under attack by SHIELD designed Sentinels (this truth came out near the end of BotA when Xorna/Jean Grey forced SHIELD helicarriers to attack the X-Men and exposed this new weaponry) because of this Cyclops has become increasingly reclusive and paranoid. The face of the New Mutant Revolution is considered a terrorist by SHIELD and in the early pages we see Maria Hill trying to track down Cyclops, she confronts and interrogates Hijack. And Raven (who has been living as the disco diva) draining Disco Dazzler of her “mutant growth hormone”. It’s heavy.

Cyclops and Eva (who? I’m not sure) are monitoring cerebro for mutant activity when they see some that is… significant. They rush to be the first there. With a “To me, my X-Men” Cyclops, Magik, Emma Frost, the Cuckoos, Christopher, Eva, et al., rush to the scene.. but it was a trap and they are confronted with these new Sentinels. Emma and Magik make fun of each others shirts before they try to GTFO.

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Which they can’t- their mutant powers are being disrupted. Luckily Magik’s sorcerer powers still work (she’s been studying with Dr. Strange lately) and Eva can still create a “time bubble” (and Emma Frost whispers a “you have to tell him” when Cyclops thanks her.. I have questions). The Sentinels run off.

And the X-Men are left in the middle of some serious destruction. People are pissed, people are scared,

And Cyclops declares war on SHIELD… and whoever else.

Jeez. BMB is just phenom. Let’s face it. And if there’s anything I like more that a hero rising it’s an ego maniac driving himself into a paranoid frenzy. Oooh, and I love Magik, I was hoping she’d hang out with KP’s team (they’re in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy right now) but this works for me.

But I have questions:

I’ll link some reviews in hopes they’ll come over and explain.

xmenxpert reviews this week’s Uncanny X-Men and X-Men #12 -and I agree, Magik is her own book worthy… I mean seriously, LongShot (who?) has a book… Wolverine has 3. STAHP

healed1337 also liked this month’s Uncanny X-Men over X-Men #12.

Hi guys, hope that got your attention: Who the heck is Eva and where did Rogue go anyway?

X-Men #12

So after my MANY COMPLAINTS about last issue… my hangs ups have almost all seemed to be addressed this time around.

Selene Gallio’s name was spelled right, Monet and Karima looked like two separate people, they addressed who was where (with a role call, which seemed like a response to complaints that I -and seemingly others- had last time).

The “Meanwhile” was still a “Before” (Quentin Quire was on the plane telepathically combating the Sentinels..

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at no point “Meanwhile” could QQ have been at the school with John Sublime last issue ..anyway…

In Japan, Ana Cortes bites the dust (at the close of #11 she stabbed herself through the gut with a sword). And there’s a slightly baffling scene of Madelyne Pryor’s resurrection. And then they introduce who’s on the inbound X-Jet.. which Rachel groans at. And it comes off as BWood being annoyed at readers being annoyed last issue -but I’m so vain, I think this issue is in direct response to me. Anyway; Storm, Rachel, Psylocke, Money, Karima got a tip about Lady Deathstrike’s whereabouts …from Ana. 

Arkea’s the queen bee of the hive mind so they decide to shut her down. They know she’s still recruiting and know it is likely that both the Black Queen and Red Queen have joined up.Monet crashes through the building (again) but instead of heading right for Arkea she goes to get some revenge on Amora while Psylocke has a rematch against Typhoid Mary. Rachel doesn’t get a rematch against Selene (long ago, Rachel faced off with her but Wolverine injured Rachel to take her out of the fight so that she wouldn’t be a murderer) but instead gets attacked by her mother’s genetic clone. 

But Storm negotiates. She tells Madelyne and Selene to just walk away and go elsewhere, just let the X-Men take care of Arkea. 

You don’t span decades with X-Men wanting you dead- or in Selene’s case; centuries- and survive without being a little self serving. They just got their lives back… so they walk away. 

Monet grabs Arkea’s host Reiko (after Arkea goes batshit and makes a run at Storm) and Karima shoots her with a weapon specially engineered by John Sublime. Then Karima says she’s taking a gig with Sabra and Gabriel. 

Okay… This time I liked Anka’s art fine. Maybe the last issue was just rushed, I don’t know. It looked better. The characters were distinct, the lines were clean. The backgrounds were stylishly sparse. 

Then we get to this dubious “Meanwhile”

Cessily and Roxy finally get their issues worked through…

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Mann’s art is so good! Paul Mounts colors are so good! This picture that I took with my smartphone in my crappily lit den does it o service. It’s really just gorgeous. This little side mission was certainly fun albeit somewhat convoluted. Look at the ripples! Look at the facial expressions. It’s so good!

Jubilee makes some comments to Julian that aren’t quite suitable for work. Anyway, Sentinels handled. 

I actually kinda dig Quentin Quire, he reminds me of my high school friends. He can come around if he wants.

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Is Jubilee actually gonna do vampire-y stuff. I feel like they’ve been teasing me with this for 8 months. 

This is one of my fave series, I’m glad to see it was back on track this month. I did think it was weird that Selene and Madelyne just walked off, now there are two big bads on the loose, I’m sure they will be popping up somewhere soon. This was a much better issue, I’m still a little baffled about the way the story is being split up.. but I’m okay with it as long as there is consistency and cohesion between the two plots. 

She-Hulk #1

I haven’t read She-Hulk since “Fall of the Hulks” (2009-2010). This is one of the reboots/revamps that was a “weird decision” for Marvel. Red She-Hulk got cancelled in October last year, leading to a bunch of people doing what people do on the internet: whine & make assumptions. This was announced around the same time that Brian Wood’s “All Girl” X-Men began as well and a bunch of fans were all “Butfemalebooksdon’tsell,justlookatRedSheHulk.” without realizing that it wasn’t because Ms Red was a female character, but because she was a knock off of a knock off. On two counts. Red Hulk is a knock-off of Hulk, Red She-Hulk is a knock off of Red Hulk. She-Hulk is another version of Hulk, and Red She-Hulk is a version of She-Hulk. Red was created to destroy Hulks. Well, she wasn’t entirely created. Underneath the ripped leathers and red skin beats the heart of Betty Ross-Banner, Bruce Banner’s wife who had died of over exposure to gamma radiation (caused by Bruce, exacerbated by Abomination).

But anyway, Marvel didn’t listen to any of those ramblings and is debuting or rebooting a few female fronted books:

Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Electra and, of course, She-Hulk;

Which brings us to Jennifer Walters. Bruce’s cousin, received emergency blood transfusion from her cuz to save her life after being shot up by gangsters and got her green skin. She has control over herself, unlike Banner. She usually stays in her lean, mean and evergreen form.

In #1, Jennifer is given a review at the law firm she’s employed by. She believes herself exemplary, working nearly 3,000 hours the previous year even while teaming up with other supes to save the city -numerous times! But the partners decline to give her a bonus, they admit they were hoping she’d bring in some high profile clients -say, Reed Richards or Tony Stark for example. After breaking a $50,000 table-

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She heads for the bar. Which is where she runs into Holly Harrow, widowed wife of Jonas Harrow. She’s alleging that Tony Stark has been using tech created by Harrow. She doesn’t take the case, but says she’ll talk to Tony. This leads to an automated legal department which gives her some convoluted run around, leads to a court case in which she is outed as having a previous romantic relationship with Stark, then to some investigating, murderous robots, 70s tech and catching a glimpse of Shulk’s purple underoos.

It was very humorous. The art is very 70s/80s. Bright and empty backgrounds, silhouettes, expressions that are clear without being very detailed. Jennifer was born in 1980 and it really struck me that they used this aesthetic; making an old character feel brand new, and making the new series look oldschool: Down to the cassette tape, down to her chic pencil skirt, down to Tony Stark’s porno mustache. Great work by writer Charles Soule and artist Javier Pulido and colorist Muntsa Vicente. It was really exemplary. Very nice to see Jennifer Walters as a super tough Ally McBeal instead of being bogged down by Hulk-family drama.

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Also Kevin Wada nailed this cover.

(all new) Marvel Now! Point One

This $6 book features previews/prologues for some debuting/rebooting series that start up in the next month or so. These include Ms. Marvel, Silver Surfer, and Black Widow. The framework for these really random stories follows Loki in the search across space and time for 5 keys. My favorite of which was the first, he wins the key from a face eater in a poker game and escapes by giving the toothy aliens paper cuts on their eyeballs and making a run for it.

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Silver Surfer gets a retro look courtesy of Michael Allred. Allred is well known for the indie comic “Madman” which I haven’t read but my boyfriend told me was kind of like Adventure Time but for grown ups. The art is very distinctive (Pete picked up on it from across the table and distracted by empanadas). Dan Scott crafted a tale for Norrin where he in travelling in a very Whovian way with companion Dawn Greenwood. She doesn’t know as much about him as she could…

I couldn’t work up any interest in the All-New Invaders story.

Black Widow gets real. Really real. And beautiful. Subdued colors, soft features, water colors; Phil Noto’s art in her tale, “Predator,” is simply gorgeous. Nathan Edmondson presents her as we’ve come to know her: cunning, mischievous, bold, sassy…  conflicted and deadly. Always a predator.

The first glimpse of Ms.Marvel really made this worthwhile to me. A shapeshifter trying to be everything to everyone, fighting trash monsters, working her way up to hero status. Hideout envy. Meanwhile she still has family obligations AND school… her family pressures her to be a straight A student, wants her to marry a nice man… she might be a shapeshifter but can she fit their expectations? G. Willow Wilson’s “Garden State of Mind” made me remember what it was like to be a Sophomore and have my sassy pants on. Adrian Alphona’s art the scene, the costume is on point. They keep it modest and authentic and I dig it.

The Avenger’s story “Short Term Fixes” has Hulk loose on the SHIELD helicarrier again. That’s always happening.

Ms.Marvel the “shape changing, mask-wearing, sixteen-year-old super Moozlim from Jersey City” and Loki being Loki were certainly the highlights. The Silver Surfer was good but I will probably never keep up with the series. 

This book is mainly for the completists (or the curious) preparing for the next wave of books. I would have saved my six dollars if I didn’t fall into both of these categories.