(Nerd) Newsday Tuesday

Sleepy Hollow is months away, but showrunners are already teasing fans and showing off new cast members. Check out this video from Matt Barr  answering a fan question that was posted on the show’s instagram.

Word hits that the 6th Resident Evil film is likely to be the last, Jovovich and director hubby Paul Anderson seem resolute about this. But it’s unlikely that the zombie craze will die with it. Tor speculates about possible future resurrections and incarnations for Alice and the Tyrant Virus infected.

Marvel posted a preview of Jean Gray using her new powers in All-New X-Men

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As you can see, I am way behind on comic reviews. This week I’m getting SERIOUS. Promise.

Regardless: I am most pumped about the news that there will be NEW POWERPUFF GIRLS!

AND!!! I just found out about Tim Burton’s 1982 short version of “Hansel and Gretel” it’d be a crime not to share!

 

All-New X-Men #27

Now this one’s interesting. Bendis kill me because #26 was focussed on drama, feelings, the shattered team dynamics. This one? Not so much. Non-stop action and revelations. 

The Charles Xavier from the future Brotherhood? Mystique’s child with Charles Xavier. I still don’t know exactly how that works.. And Raze is his half brother, the child of Mystique and Wolverine. Raze had been parading as his mother long after she had died. Weird. Raze has also shifted into the form of X-23 and infiltrated the New Xavier School. It happens fast, one of the Cuckoos, Mindee, is under future Jean/Xorna’s control. Future Cyclops delays the Brotherhood with a giant laserbeam. 

Kitty, Beast, Angel, Magik, Eva, Iceman and Christopher are all fighting Raze (who’s bringing the mindfuck) while being psychicly tortured by Xorna and CX. Young Jean, Emma Frost and Cyclops are trying to get over to the others without being tracked. 

Young Jean: “We should call for help.”

Emma Frost: “We would but everybody hates us.”

The Future Brotherhood’s heavy hitters infiltrate Young Jean’s psychic shield and Emma knocks her out. Cyclops is not pleased.

In the final panel we see Xavier confronting Young Jean, saying that he knows now that she’s the biggest threat and she’ll be dealt with first.

BotA is STILL wreaking havoc.Bendis is still killing me with his weird acing and cliffhangers. I love it. Stuart Immonen is a great artist. In the past some of the fight scenes have been convoluted, but this issue was amazing. Even with the shapeshifting villain it was easy to keep up with.

All-New X-Men #26

OOoooh Young Jean Grey showcasing her brand new psionic powers on the front cover.

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That doesn’t happen in the story. Jean Grey is having nightmares of levelling the X-Men with devastating ferocity. She wakes up screaming and is comforted by Scott. Not the young Scott: he’s in space now. But Cyclops: “Old Cyclops” or “Present Day Cyclops” or “the Cyclops that’s supposed to be here.” The two have been thoroughly ignoring each other. Because it’s weird. It’s really weird. The way he looks at her is almost paternal, but they still talk like old friends when he confesses that he’s jealous of all the time that Young Cyclops is spending with his space pirate dad. But Jeannie ramps up the icky with the line, “You’re so much older. I think that’s why I like you more than younger Scott. It’s like instead of hoping you’d grow up to become this man. You’re here. The man I hoped you’d be.” Cyclops puts the kibosh on that, he tells her they can NEVER. And then he tells her she’ll be training with Emma Frost to help stay in control of her new powers. Emma Frost is also his ex, she has a mountain of a grudge against Jean Grey… and yeah, this is going to get weird. “Well.. why should this be different than everything else?” 

Kitty stops by and eavesdrops, she notes that he handled it well but reminds him that being alone in her room is not appropriate. She earns a “Yes, ma’am.” While an apprehensive and lonely Jeannie still can’t sleep.

Angel, out for a morning fly sees Laura leaving school. He tries to stop her, she yells at a bear. No one knew she had feelings for Scott, but she doesn’t open up for just anyone. And Angel, physically incapable of knocking her out and dragging her back heads back for reinforcements. X-23 finds herself being followed… by young Scott. Who stabs her. Holy WTF it’s Mystique (who has been terrorizing Amazing X-Men, posing as Dazzler while draining her of her mutant growth hormone). 

Angel, back at the school riles up KP, who is all “No way, we can’t lose Laura,” while Bobby says “Who’s Laura?” and Angel says “Literally the only girl we know who’s not Jean Grey.” 

They find Laura, worse for the wear and she stammers out that it was a shapeshifter, not only that, the shapeshifter has been interloping for sometime now. And she knows Laura’s personal shit. That’s not going to go over well. But while they are distracted, Molly, Deadpool, Xorna, future Beast are marching in. The Future Brotherhood is back!?

Bendis and his dialogue always floors me, it’s perfect. His writing really helps you get in the mindset of the characters. Little things, like Cyclops saying he worries about Hank not being able to undo his mistake (and now with the Brotherhood back, I wonder if he’s to blame), Iceman being so young/clueless/self absorbed that he’s been calling Laura “Wolverine Clone.” Kitty is being written as a full grown woman with good decision making skills again, which is nice. That lapsed for a bit. Stuart Immonen is just wonderful, pensive facial expressions abound. The first page where Jean Grey envisions herself as the Phoenix is majestic.Backgrounds disappear as KP flies into a rage.

Hey: I just realized that Mystique stole X-23’s backpack! What’s up with that. 

All-new X-Men #24

AKA Trial of Jean Grey part 5 (of 6).

After a slow paced part 4, we jump right in this issue. King J-Son of Spartax interrupts Gladiator’s trial on the grounds. That Jeannie is still a child and he lets Jeannie know thgat the Shi’ar have killed her whole family. (Oracle’s stolen glance at her; that complete ‘oh, shit ‘ expression? Perfect) She escapes.

The Guardians, Starjammers, KP, and the Original X-Men are closing in. Anxiety getting to Scott Summers. His father is watching him make the same impulsive decisionsover Jean that the older Scott Summers did. The Guardians lay the majority is the smackdown on the Shi’ar Imperial Guard.

But while Jean was on the run she felt herself turning into the Phoenix…

Talk about self fullfilling prophecy.

So she goes to turn herself in. One more issue left and I’m desparate to know which way everyone is going!

…Especially X-23 I hope she becomes BFFLs with Angela and Gamora and still hooks up with Young Cyclops in outerspace sometimes.

All-New X-Men #23

In which everyone’s favorite Omega-Level Ginger has an intergalactic existential crisis. 

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Jean Grey is one of the most important X-Men characters. IGN voted her #13 in Top 100 Superheros. She’s brought back from the dead a few times, plotlines of decades worth of books and many of the films have revolved around other character’s relationships with her. She’s been Marvel Girl, the Phoenix and the Dark Phoenix- which of course is when she went “planet eater” and genocidal. She’s was copied. She was cloned. Her child from an alternate timeline came to Earth. And recently she was brought back from the past in her younger form where she faced her future self (who appeared as Xorna) from an alternate timeline.

But even with all this revolving around her… she’s just one being… and in the scheme of the universe… How important is Jean Grey? 

To the Shi’ar she is very important. But they don’t care about her relationships, they don’t care what a special snowflake she is. They only care about one thing: that she murdered a planet. Anything else that she accomplishes is overshadowed by the acts committed by the Dark Phoenix.

The Shi’ar want her to answer for her crimes. 

But it’s complicated: technically she hasn’t committed them. She’s aware of what will happen. If she goes back to her time, Xavier will wipe her mind and it will all re-happen. 

So, I’m wondering what the Shi’ar’s plan is here.

Option 1: 

Kill her.

The Shi’ar would introduce a whole new timeline where she did not become the Dark Phoenix, but no one can really be sure what would happen. That seems unreliable. And, right now the time space continuum is so disrupted that the timeline is permanently altered and Jeannie and co. are still in the future without it having any repercussions. Well… yet, anyway. But they are tampering with things with no guarantee. 

Option 2:

Imprison her? Same deal for the Shi’ar above but with the added heat of X-Men raining fury on them for taking one of their own.

Is there an Option 3? What is the End Game here?

This issue doesn’t provide much info in that aspect. What we get is Scott Summers waking up on the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship after having a dream where he confessed his love to Jean (even though he’s recently been getting closer to X-23, I wouldn’t mind if Young Cyclops and Wolverine’s genetic clone went the “friends forever” route). Even to a groups of mutants who, collectively, can pass through walls, shoot lasers from their eyes, are made of ice, can fly, pass through walls and heal a bullet wound in a moments notice- a talking Racoon, 2 murder girls, a (sort of) talking tree + more are still really weird. 

Jean Grey is imprisoned in a Bubble by Kallark (Gladiator), her telekinesis and telepathy doesn’t work there. This version of Jean Grey has this out of control Sookie Stackhouse thing happening and she relies heavily on reading the thoughts of others. Not being able to causes her to bug out. And they drop her into… the ocean? still in her containment bubble.

Professor Kitty Pryde blames herself for not seeing this coming. which is a duality. I don’t think she should have seen it coming, but she shouldn’t have been confused about WHY the Shi’ar showed up in Part 1. While they debate X-Men saying repeatedly that Jeannie didn’t actually DO it… and Rocket reminding them, “Yet.” Then the Shi’ar attack their ship. Angela wants to board the ship and take them down, Groot goes along as back-up. 

Jean Grey meets with Oracle who explains what’s happening here. She’s under arrest and getting ready to be brought before tribunal. Oracle sees that she has no first hand knowledge of being the Phoenix (How would she? She hasn’t been the Phoenix?) somehow she’s perplexed by this. Jean lashes out and acts threateningly towards Oracle. And… she goes back in the bubble.

After being struck by the Shi’ar, the Guardians’ ship is on fire. Gamora and X-23 make friends. Rocket says he’s going to propose to Angela. Gamora starts to head out. Suddenly, there’s another ship! They get blasted with purple lasers and it’s revealed that the pilot of THAT ship is… Summers. No, not that Summers, Major Christopher Summers, USAF.  

There are things Immonen does very well, which corresponds heavily with what Bendis does well. Bendis writes great characters, great reactions. Immonen draws great expressions and great body language. On these pages we see an off his game and defeated Scott Summers hunched over, sullen and it correspond to the voice we should hear perfectly.. Jean is questioned by another “minder” (telepath) and we see her demeanor change for outraged to regretful. But for me these fight scenes are disjointed, weird lighting and coloring obscures what’s happening to who. 

Speaking of “What is happening?!” Christopher Summers firstly is Scott’s father, the alias Corsair was supposedly dead (at the hands of his son Vulcan, who was not raised on earth and slaughtered Shi’ar’s after being incubated and sold into slavery). So… what is going on here? He’s also the leader of Starjammers, who pillage and pirate Shi’ar ships.

“I hate space” I’ve had very bad luck in space!” -KP

One of my favorites, Greg Rucka, is writer of the (SOME SPOILERS LIVE HERE–>) upcoming Cyclops series that spins off the events in Trial of Jean Grey. Honestly, the spoilers keep me more confused about what will happen to Jean Grey.

All-New X-Men 22.NOW

or The Trial of Jean Grey #1:

After an anticlimactic previous issue this story arc *promises* to be much more. And will also con me into reading Guardians of the Galaxy… ergh CROSSOVERS.

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The original X-Men +KP +X-23 are back at the New Xavier School. X-23 is working on her combat skills, Beast is doing some heavy duty theoretical mathematics, Iceman’s making snow angels… and Angel’s just trying to eat a burger when Jean Grey comes and starts a shouting match with Scott (who’s mind she’s reading without permission… again. And she keeps doing it. But in all fairness, he’s not really giving her a chance and is judging her for being herself after all the incredibly weird shit she’s been through, including; knowing how she dies, seeing her future self has joined the Brotherhood, watching her future self die, knowing Scott ends up with Emma Frost etc.) While she gets in touch she freaks out and levitates Angel’s burger. Control is not what she is in. 

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For the record: Iceman and Angel would totally eat these

Outside: some explosions from the sky, Bobby tries to build an ice wall but there’s Shi’ar, in fact. The Shi’ar have been mingling with the X-Men since 1977! They are an alien humanoid/avian race that has hyper-advanced technology. Their homeworld was put in SERIOUS peril by Jean Grey during her the Phoenix heyday and they killed her family in case the Phoenix was attracted to her genetics… yeah: They figured out she’s back in some version. 

X-Men rush into action to protect the school. Kitty tries to disable their tech while X-23 gets wicked pissed. Jean Grey tries to throw off their attacks using telekinesis and everyone goes full force… to no avail. They get trapped in bubbles. Bobby tries last minute heroics, but they take Jean Grey. 

But then… it looks as if the Shi’ar are coming back… but they aren’t… it was the Guardians. It was actually pretty damn funny. But as a whole this issue didn’t do it for me. It’s definitely the art. Stuart Immonen: I cannot understand what was happening in those fight sequences. Maybe it was BMB’s fault, he seems great at writing dialogue and angst… but not much else. I know that it was just the set up but if you want me interested in a 6 issue crossover with a book I don’t read and a team I don’t care about (I don’t bandwagon jump because there’s a movie, kids) you’re going to have to give me more… Bobby’s action hero antics were awesome but they couldn’t carry the issue.

All-New X-Men #20

The Original X-Men and Kitty Pryde, now teamed up with Cyclops try to make nice with X-23 (Laura Kinney) who freaks the heck out -partially because the Charles Xavier School is housed in the Weapon X facility but even more so since she almost died in the Arena and then was hunted by a religious mutant-hater cult called the Purifiers.. As Wolverine’s genetic clone, it rightfully gives her the creeps. 

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And this series in particular has a track record of putting things on their covers that have little to do with actual events. X-23, with her long flowing hair making out with young Scott Summers. Oh that did not happen. But X-23’s hair did grow considerably since her last appearance and Scott had a crush for sure. 

KP tries to get X-23 through her recent trauma, while Jeannie pulls a Sookie Stackhouse and allows Laura absolutely no privacy within her own. Professor K knocks her down a notch and says that she can’t be intruding on Laura (or anyone) like that. After a heart to heart with young Cyclops, X-23 decides that she wants to take on the Purifiers  So she tracks them.

William Stryker’s son is holding a meeting, speaking to his fellow zealots. Getting everyone all riled up.

But, it should be noted that Scott Summers + Co. have proved themselves varying degrees of dangerous. And the Original X-Men are breaking the laws of time and space.

The sneak in, KP sabotages the electricity, Jean takes over the Purifiers small minds and then everyone attacks. It goes well and good for our mutant friends until Stryker makes some sonic telekinetic emanation and everyone falls flat.

So he’s one of those self-loathing mutants? 

Hmm…

Unlike in other issues, I very much enjoyed the teenage antics. Fickle Scott Summers, jokes from Angel and Bobby about why someone would want to MAKE Wolverines, Jeannie playing pranks on the Purifiers. 

What I didn’t really understand: It was just KP, X-23 and the young ‘uns. Admittedly, the Purifiers came across as a weak threat and they’re all capable. But no Magik? no Stepford Cuckoos? 

And KP’s orders to follow X-23 but answer to Scott (the young Scott who at the beginning of Battle of the Atom almost died apprehending Animax which threatened current timeline Scott as well) were perplexing. X-23’s role I understood because it was her fight… but putting the inexperienced version of Scott in the leadership role made little sense.

Major cliff hanger.