X-Men #14

Part 2/6 of Bloodline. 

Rachel and Monet are chasing down the shooter that seriously injured two students at the Jean Grey school. Monet shows no mercy after the culprit tries to take out bystanders in a trainstation and then suicide, Monet and Rachel go full force at him with disregard to who is watching. 

Back at the school Storm tries to get answers from her future daughter Kymera while Jubilee does what ever she can to teach her infant son to protect himself. “Come on Shogo, push the beep beep.” And Psylocke locks the school down. “Anyone breaches this school. I’ll hear it in my brains.” 

Storm officially made them a team and chooses that they will take a silent vote for leader, no judgements (half of them can read minds… that’s not really going to work). Suddenly there is an explosion in the east wing. The shooter is escaping (because it was a really bad time for a team meeting) the room is burning and the fire suppression has been disabled. Monet and Rachel decide that they’re going to take the guy apart. He’s about to say “You can’t stop the Future” when Kymera comes out of nowhere with her panther and lays the smack down. But she sees a timer on his head counting down. She retreats, a hawk delivers Shogo to her, she calls for her mom then the man explodes and Kymera is sent tumbling (Shogo pushes the beep-beep). 

Outside: Menacing characters plan to attack them again at dawn.

BromoSuperior

with art by Phil Briones. Hellion and co are stuck in Psylocke’s danger room program. This side story isn’t really grabbing me. But Briones’s version of Psylocke is perfect.

Comicbook catch up #3

Featuring: Uncanny X-Men #20, X-Men #13, Harley Quinn #5

Uncanny X-Men #20- Maria Hill is still attempting to interrogate Hijack. Then Maria’s brain gets hijacked. By telepath mutants and present day Cyclops, AKA Scott Summers: face of a group of deviants, devil in disguise, killer of Charles Xavier, egomaniac… etc. Maria Hill has been compromised. Continuity is a major issue. She is “a lesser character” but has been playing important roles in comics I read. As far is this series is concerned, style and dialogue are on point. 

Maria Hill crushes on Cyclops. By the way.

But out of the exchange all that Cyclops learns is that the enemy is using Cerebro to find them. Eva encourages Emma to yank cerebro. And then suddenly Scott jets to talk to “old blue buddy” Beast. Emma is left behind. …polite students pretend not to notice. Outside of the Jean Grey School: Scott is stopped by big leagues Storm, Rachel Grey +Iceman and then attacks AS SHIELD finds what’s happening.

X-Men #13 Vampire Jubes on the cover =so promising… Image

Mann’s art gets front and center instead of being the last 5 pages. Psylocke and Storm have a woman to woman about who is really leading this X-Men team. Psylocke say that Storm should throwDOWN (and I agree.. Rachel is a latecomer in this crew. She’s not the leader.) Water color backgrounds are gorgeous (but there is less care taken when Mann’s art was 5 pages- still it looks AWESOME) Jubes is there while Beast does Shogo’s check up; but he also wants to know more about the side effects of vampirism on Jubilee’s end…  Rachel Grey is bumming. And I don’t blame her, progeny of the Phoenix and whatnot. but her drama vs. Storm’s?! Ororo any day. 

Then one of the kids get hit: Primal. Quentin Quire couldn’t trace it. (and he can’t take that; he’s young no one can tell him he’s wrong) Turns out… this shot was made with surgical precision. Literally. Surgeons had that gunshot was intentionally made not to hit his heart. 

So Shogo tries to be …ummm… claimed by “The Future” Jubes didn’t do vampire stuff…

#THEFUTURE

Harley Quinn #5 THE DOCTOR IS IN

still bored. the art is the same. atmosphere is the same.

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. 

X-Men #11

I was so pumped for this issue. #10 left us with a masterfully executed cliffhanger: Mach 1 Sentinels rising from the ocean with Jubilee, Bling!, Quentin, Mercury, etc., waiting to take them on. Ana Cortes is finding herself in over her head with the Arkea situation. Arkea is ready to unleash some Omega Level dames.

Issue #11/Ghosts part 2 picks up with Ana and Amora having an a debate between and within themselves about what they are about to do.  They do it, of course. They’re bad girls and they’re outclassed, there’s no turning back. Held in Stasis, her soul distributed into the very air of a contain cell -reassembled by Amora: Lady Selene/The Black Queen/the oldest mutant.

And after that it starts to get hairy. Wait, is it hairy? Or is it just Anka’s weird art style?

No seriously. Is that a hairy armpit or is it just sketch lines?

No seriously. Is that a hairy armpit or is it just sketch lines?

I mean, if Selene Gallio (not Gallo, not Galio -as it has been spelled in the past 2 issues) who debatably came to life before the middle ages and before disposable razors doesn’t change her beauty routine to fit patriarchal fashion standards that’s fine by me.

But that’s not the only time that they art was a distraction.

When we leave the bad girls to see the good girls they are on the Cortes Yacht. Some were there last issue. Some were new arrivals. So I saw this:

Look at the top left + bottom right.

Look at the top left + bottom right.

Since we can barely see any of their attire and have no distinguishing facial features for some reason I could only gather that Monet was talking to herself somehow. Next page I figured out it was Karima. No one addressed her by name and in the last issue she was on the plane.

Anyway, on the yacht the girls put together that Yuriko was dead, Arkea was dead maybe they’re recruiting more dead mutants. Monet figures this out employed logic that is a complete stretch yet somehow EXACTLY what’s happening. They contact Sabra who confirms that there have been buyers for the genetic material of both Maddie Pryor and Selene (and apparently no one else, for some reason) (and also WHY would this be for sale? How is it not in their vault?).

At the Jean Grey School: Quentin Quire is babysitting John Sublime. QQ is everyone’s high school’s too-cool, punk rock nerd and he’s fanpoodling at John Sublime for being such a big bad. Sublime sees Shogo go by with Storm’s daughter from the future who never went back after BotA and somehow everyone was okay with that. Sublime says ominously, “Check your books Quire for a nasty example of a serial killer called ‘The Future’ something just reminded me of him.”

In Japan, Typhoid Mary and Lady Deathstrike are playing with swords. Ana’s in control and the cracks in her sanity get deeper. She asks Mary to kill her, she’s in over her head. She wanted power. She wanted to be popular. Maybe she wanted to meet Cyclops (I don’t know). But Arkea, her plan, it’s too much. Mary refuses. Ana goes at Mary, says she’ll force her if she has to.

Arkea enters, says “spare us your dramatics” and tells her that Maddie’s consciousness is primed. The plan is to add the consciousness of Jean Grey’s genetic clone into the same host as Yuriko? Ana’s already got too many voices in her head. So she ups the dramatics and impales herself on her samurai sword. To be continued..

SOMEHOW there’s a MEANWHILE

(it’s really a BEFORE)

Clay Mann did the art here and it was the best looking. We’re back to Catalina Island. Pixie and Bling! are taking out a Sentinel. Bling! gets dragged into the ocean, Mercury summons Pixie back to the plane and goes to save Roxy. Hellion and Jubilee are working on another. Quentin Quire is in the plane (see how it’s a “before”, not a “meanwhile”?) Karima is also in the plane and now in the last pages we find out that Pixie transported her to the yacht (but we didn’t see Pixie on the yacht). Jubilee turned into mist to escape the fist of a Sentinel and didn’t rematerialize… dun dun dun

Clay Mann’s art is fantastic, by the way. Shout out to Seth Mann and Paul Mounts, too. The layers are perfect. The water looks like actual water. Lights and lasers stand out above really REALLY ON POINT fight scenes.

Look at Pixie's laser, look at Bling!'s sparkle, look at all that STUFF in the background.

Look at Pixie’s laser, look at Bling!’s sparkle, look at all that STUFF in the background. All their pages are like that.

WHAT was happening with the timing in this issue? So QQ goes back to the Jean Grey School and doesn’t say anything about Jubes? Maybe… Maybe he wouldn’t say anything, but no one there seemed concerned. Wood really wanted to dual cliffhangers to work. And they would have. If Karima wasn’t on the yacht and Quire wasn’t the one with Sublime. Maybe it still “works” …technically. So much cool stuff happened this issue I just wish it wasn’t foolishly bogged down with spelling errors (yeah, I nitpick, and what?), trying to decipher who is talking and why/how they got there, and whether something is ‘meanwhile’ or “before”. I shouldn’t have to do that.

But, eff yeah; Black Queen! So, that forgives a lot.

X-Men 10.NOW or X-Men GHOSTS #1

Marvel, srsly why are we numbering things like this? STOP.That small gripe aside, I was so pumped for this issue! 

Art by both Kris Anka and Clay Mann.

A mobbed up rich girl from Columbia and a deadly assassin from Osaka are Lady Deathstrike. She’s teamed up with the re-empowered Amora the Enchantress and Typhoid Mary to wage war as the New Sisterhood against the X-Men. They need recruits, they need powerhouses, they need to resurrect the dead.

But so do the X-Men. Monet, who got thrashed by Amora last issue quips about another take and then joins Psylocke and Storm. 

Ana Cortes is fighting herself, it’s not as fun as she thought it would be to be a super villain. 

Pixie and Rockslide are collecting the Arkea bomb that she was sent into space after the attack on the school in the earlier issues. And Rachel and Beast are running tests on Sublime, Rachel and Sublime squash their romance while Monet and Psylocke follow a bad lead and end up on an empty yacht. 

Arkea finds new recruits. Lady Deathstrike/Ana/Yuriko protests.. Arkea drops the hammer, Lady Deathstrike is an inferior specimen. Arkea is using her for resources and she threatens her. She requests even more female firepower;

Madelyne Pryor

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Genetic clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister who once married Scott Summers. AKA Red Queen, AKA Goblin Queen. Mother of Cable.

Selene Gallio

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AKA Black Queen. Oldest mutant. Rachel Grey once tried to kill Selene (Wolverine stopped her by critically injuring Rachel so she wouldn’t be a murderer.. oh, jeez. I think Rachel is getting a re-match). Heavy duty telepath, sorceress and psychic vampire. 

So the S-Class Supreme mutants are coming out!

Oh yeah, and there are still Mark 1 Sentinels rising out of the ocean. Jubilee, Bling!, Hellion and Pixie are on the beach of Catalina Island to handle it while Karima, Quentin Quire and Mercury track from the plane… but the plan changes on the fly when Sentinels start repairing themselves.

Cliff hanger!

Great art, great set up. Glad to see Jubes back out in the field! But Vampires vs. Giant Robots?? hmmm… 

This book continues to fascinate and Ana’s about to realize that she bit off more than she can chew once Madelyne Pryor and Selene Gallio get up in this.

X-Men #9

Monet shows off what a powerhouse she is in this issue instead of just trading catty quips with Jubilee. Sublime is being interrogated by former fling Rachel Grey when Arkea becomes aware again. Uh-oh. Jubilee and Karima do some human style crime busting and the track Ana/Yuriko/Lady Deathstrike to Dubai. 

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Arkea, however is harder to pin down. She/they came to earth as bacteria on a meteor which broke into several pieces as it hit Earth’s atmosphere. Since alien bacteria have no care for political borders or alliances the X-Men get a little help from SHIELD to prevent this from starting WW3. 

Monet is the first on the scene in Dubai where Reiko has androids being built per Yuriko’s instructions. Amora is stunned, Typhoid Mary is impressed. Yuriko tries to tell her what John Sublime has warned but Reiko becomes possessed by Arkea. Arkea also senses that Sublime is alive (Yuriko believed she had killed him, but Psylocke made a last minute save) and with the X-Men. 

Yuriko asks Arkea for an upgrade. Odin’s curse is lifted from Amora and she gets her powers back. Monet crashes through the building at Mach 3 and messes up their Body Shoppe while Typhoid Mary makes off with Reiko/Arkea. Amora engages with Monet and Ana/Yuriko leaves her to deal with the lone X-Men. 

Reiko propagates the Arkea virus and 6 major alerts go off across the globe. Karima is at risk for repossession, Monet is left for dead AND Sentinels are rising out of the ocean. 

Well, that was quite an eventful story. Arkea was this team’s first major villain and caused a major rift between Rachel and Storm when there was a disagreement over how to handle Arkea (Storm said Psylocke should take out Karima and there has been a power struggle between Rachel and Storm since). Well, Arkea is back with a definite vengeance and now has some serious firepower in the form of these Sentinels. As if “The New Sisterhood” wasn’t enough of a threat! These villains will be along for the rest of this story arc and the next, so there is no easy resolution.

This series is just consistently awesome. Can’t wait for next month!

X-Men #8

X-Men #8

The eighth issue of “Brian Wood’s X-Men”/”The All-Girl X-Men” keeps it low on the Y chromosomes with All-Girl enemies! Post- BoTA the in-fighting hits a low for this team as they unite to stop Lady Deathstrike!

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(My HBD tweet from Brian Wood, so huge.)

An intruder alert goes off at the Jean Grey School, the first to respond is Psylocke. It’s Typhoid Mary. She’s grabbed all the medical info on Karima, Shogo and Arkea. 

Mary escapes but Psylocke is on her trail (after getting dressed in the yard, much to Quentin Quire’s pervy amusement). Rachel (who sleeps in her full X-Men uniform) calls John Sublime to tell him the bad news. Except he’s already at the Cortes Compound, home of the new incarnation of Lady Deathstrike. 

Ms. Cortes, ahem… Yuriko is excited about the prospect of injecting Arkea. Treating alien bacteria hellbent on taking over the world/his sister as a body modification just not amuse John Sublime. 

But he believes that the X-Men will stop her (after all, they have stopped him and Arkea before).

Typhoid Mary shows up, believing she’s lost her tail. She’s psyched to learn that the Arkea live sample is a contagion. Lady Deathstrike cracks open the biohazard bag. John Sublime struggles to get the sample from her. When he does, he finds that the sample is inert. He shows off his big brain, telling the villainesses how he would find other samples that could potentially be alive. But he says he won’t. And they can’t kill him because they need the information! Ha ha ha, John Sublime will have the last laugh.

Or not. Typhoid Mary scrambles his brains and gets the info. She takes off with Lady Deathstrike and leaves John drooling on the carpet. Betsy steps in, scoops John up off the floor and they head back to the Jean Grey School. 

The bad girls land in Norway. Enchantress fights them with a stick and gives Typhoid Mary a thrashing. Enchantress has been stuck there 2 months. Thor exiled her and stripped her of her powers. Enchantress saw the meteorite strike nearby, Lady Deathstrike says that if she shows her the meteor that she can make Enchantress more powerful than Odin himself. 

Bling! and Jubilee are having their Degrassi Junior High moment. Bling! points out the hypocrisy of the “inclusive” X-Men before planting a kiss on a somehow surprised Jubilee. 

But Monet struts by and tells Jubilee that they’ve got a mission.

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…That’s not from this issue, it’s a #throwbackthursday to their Generation X days. 

The THREE villainesses find the meteorite and make a pact, a sisterhood, to stand against the X-Men!

This issue was really enjoyable. A ton going on. Jubes is getting all the afterschool special plotlines… isn’t she a vampire?! Jubes, do vampire stuff! On the art front: I’m enjoying Terry Dodson’s take on the girls and since he and Wood go back with Monet, Jubilee and the crew to Generation X I have high hopes for the rest of this story arc!

+ You know we’ve discussed KP Vampire Slayer before- Including how the now Professor K was the inspiration for Buffy Summers. But did you know:

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Circa 2000- Monet St. Croix faces off against Vampire DeLaCorte …completely unrelated to Jubilee being covered in vampire blood in a terrorist attack/being bitten by Xarus, son of Dracula in 2010.

interestingly enough Dodson drew this comic up to this issue and Wood started writing the one right after.