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 #4

Issue 4 opens… in glamorous Santa Monica. Jubilee, the vampire is limiting her UV exposure with a super cute purple animal umbrella. Just Logan, Jubilee and Shogo having a beach day.

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However, back in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range a plane is making and emergency landing with the help of Storm, Rachel and Psylocke.

Stockton, Fresno and Sacramento are all reporting delayed landings due to fire.

Rachel and Storm are a little tense since the last issue where Storm was willing to destroy Karima to destroy Arkea. Rachel challenges Storm saying “Who died and made you leader of the X-Men?” Storm is unamused, she adds that she considered making a tactical call and Rachel couldn’t stop her if she tried.

While I am disappointed to see a rift between my babes so early on, this is a likely scenario. Storm and Rachel are both powerful and headstrong, but Storm’s more selfassured. Psylocke and Rachel gossip telepathically. Kitty and Rogue mind their necks… oh yeah, and the plane that’s crashing:

Flight 177 is chockful and has an engine blown. Kitty, Psylocke and Rogue hatch a plan involving brute force and grappling hooks. Psylocke admits she’s crushing on the virtual medieval quartermaster sim and wrangles in a jet with a psionic crossbow, Rogue absorbs Psylocke’s powers to finish the job… and she loves it, who wouldn’t want to be Psylocke? But she over does the telekinesis and starts sucking up all of Psylocke’s energy.

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The tension between the ladies stopping the crash lading is juxtaposed with cute vacation scenes with Logan, Jubilee and Baby Shogo as they pal around the because, Jubilee’s old house and the mall (where Jubilee made her first ever appearance).

The argument between Rachel and Storm is well done. Storm, rightfully, asserts that she never was willing to sacrifice Karima (rather the call was that if Karima wasn’t in there, they should shut her down to stop Arkea). Karima is the one who fought back against Arkea. Rachel didn’t save her. But under pressure things are perceived differently. But they talk it out. And Storm gets to end the issue with some class A heroics. (And I’m glad they worked it out now, because I dislike when heroes are off fighting a bad guy and dealing with their personal issues at the same time.)

After eavesdropping on the inner workings of the X-men (and stalking Jubilee and Logan on their day off). I’m stoked for BATTLE OF THE ATOM.

The art. Is different. David Lopez takes over here from Olivier Coipel. It’s more “serious looking” the lines on Rachel’s face are more pronounced, everyone looks more human than cartoon, the colors are more subtle and less bubble gum. I liked it better before. But that’s a matter of preference.

Also…

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Wolverine showed up on the cover (and Storm’s variant was way more awesome) and I bet you thought some claw ripping, hairy chest having, manly stuff was going down, huh? HAHA he goes to the mall with Jubes and babysits while she takes a nap.

PS- I want to see Jubilee doing really brutal vampire stuff! Gimme Gimme!

X-Men #3

When we last left our heroes, Kitty Pryde and the X-kids had stumbled on what they reckoned to be some sort of explosive. Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Rachel, Jubilee, baby Shogo and Sublime were in pursuit of Arkea, who is still inhabiting Karima and still hellbent on taking the planet back from humans. 

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The timer ticks down to zero and it appears that nothing has happened to the Jean Grey School for higher learning. Yeah… no such luck. And everybody else lands in Budapest (where Jubilee “adopted” Shogo). Arkea has taken over the bodies of many hospital patients. (It appears that’s her thing, although I might have missed why going to Budapest was necessary). Things get tense as Storm orders everyone to stop at nothing to destroy Arkea, even if it means destroying Karima. 

Back at school, the kids show their stuff against Arkea/Karima danger room drones, crushing atmospheric pressure, explosions and lots and lots of very expensive damage.

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Bling got to show off what she could do. And it was a good thing she was there. 

And everyone made it through their first mission as a team, however with the heated dispute about how to handle Arkea in Karima’s body there’s foreshadowing for future conflicts. Tons of action in this issue on all fronts. The Arkea inhabited coma patients were especially freaky. 

xmenxpert said it best, “If you’re not reading this, you’re wrong.”

I can’t even recommend it enough. Go get it.

Marvel Now! X-MEN #1 & #2

 

 

So I just picked these up today, #1 is about a month old, and #2 just came out today.

The covers!

Look at these lovely ladies. Image

 

And everyone’s looking all bad ass. Storm’s looking FIERCE with her mohawk and cleavage and impeccable posture. Psylocke is looking deadly serious. Kitty looks ready to play or pounce. & Rogue and Rachel are calm, composed and ready for anything. Which is good, because Jubilee up there is about to make some questionable decisions.

And then I saw Issue #2 and said…

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Freaking Seriously? There’s a baby?! 

Because even though I know that babies are the superheros of tomorrow, they don’t exactly scream “Hey! Mainstream Readership!” 

And the rest of the team is in the background at war with some machines. Which is a very accurate depiction of what is really going on here.

See, I’m not even mad about the baby. Jubilee adopted/stole him. She carries him in a backpack. He’s carrying an alien bacteria that can possess machines and is out for revenge/hellbent on taking over the Earth. 

Maternal instincts turn troublesome when Jubilee tries to bring baby Viggo to The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Along the way she is followed by X-foe John Sublime, and his sibling is inhabiting this baby. 

Jubilee calls her girls, and they come to her:

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awww look a baby! (Storm is not as enthused) 

Rogue averts a train crash, Psylocke works some fabulous telekinetic awesomeness on John Sublime. However, Arkea (the sister/alien bacteria) gets loose and inhabits a comatose Karima, sending the whole school into lockdown! Which is where issue #2 picks up. 

The first X-Man Arkea fights is Beast. The second is Rogue, there’s this one point where Arkea says ” You are stronger than the blue one yet your outward physiology presents as inferior.” And then Rogue punches her through the floor. Hooray!

Arkea/Karima gets away, Jubilee, (a now bacteria free) Viggo, Storm, Rachel and Psylocke fly out after her! Kitty Pryde and the X-Kids are left behind to clean up the destruction… however, one of them digs up a cliffhanger!

So pumped on this. Great story so far, action galore, distinct personalities that translate really well. The art is beautiful and intense. Everyone kicks ass in their own unique way. It’s the X-Men you already love just with less hairy chests. Only 2 issues out so far, so there’s still time to get in on the ground floor… I recommend you do!

“SECURE THE INFANT IT’LL KILL US ALL” 

Legit.

5 Mohawks!