Nightcrawler #1

I don’t much care about Nightcrawler. Never did. But… Chris Claremont. 

Chris Claremont has written huge X-Men storylines. The source material that inspired both The Wolverine and the upcoming Days of Future Past. He’s a ridiculously big deal in the comic book world. He co-created pretty much all my faves (most of the major players in Brian Woods “all girl” X-Men) Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rogue, Rachel Summers, Madelyne Pryor (not my fave, but she notably recently resurfaced as a villain), and Jubilee. 

So I figured I would overlook the fact that Nightcrawler is “not my favorite” (and I know Dr. Chris is going to come over here and tell me about the time Nightcrawler fought Dracula, and how he was better at it than Wolverine because Nightcrawler is a man of faith even though he’s a weird looking dude. I know. Still not my fave.) Nightcrawler is not a Claremont creation, he’s the brainchild of Dave Cockrum who conceived the blue teleporting mutant while he was on a Navy ship in Guam.

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The start of the story really drew me in. The recently resurrected Nightcrawler is fighting Wolverine. Wolverine has recently lost his healing power and they’re testing out a new armor suit. Logan’s as fast as ever, Nightcrawler has trouble teleporting away, in fact. So Nightcrawler ramps up. And Wolverine busts out the claws. Without his healing factor this is especially painful and dangerous and Nightcrawler backs off, but Storm has to break up the fight. She then has a heart to heart with Nightcrawler about how things change and people have to decide what they are made of. Face who they are and deal with the consequences. 

Nightcrawler walks around the halls of the Jean Grey School, remembering how they lost Jean Grey and Thunderbird. And some X-kids and Professors wave “hello” (Quentin Quire, Cessily, a flirty? Rachel Grey …that might just be the art style).But then he goes to see Amanda and mini-Nightcrawler Bamfs. They are interrupted by an unknown assailant in a robot suit. Curiously, it becomes clear that he is after Amanda (who has magic powers, not mutant powers) the adorable Bamfs help save the day and Nightcrawler throws the attacker through a wall. And he vanishes. 

And Amanda decides that the creep might be after her fam. She declines calling in the X-Men and they go in pursuit at the close of the issue. 

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Amanda = Magik II/Daytripper (not art from this comic)

Regardless of the fact that the second half of the book was a random mystery to me, I enjoyed this. It was very apparent that Claremont was nostalgically writing Wolverine and it was somewhat overpowering Nightcrawler. Which I was okay with. Write what you know, and all that. But the end of the issue takes Nightcrawler out of his (and my) X-Men comfort zone. 

Todd Nauck’s art is very crisp, the fight scenes were dramatic and easy to follow, the Bamfs were adorbz, all the ladies have big eyes, long lashes and pouty lips. It’s very playful and certainly added to the somewhat surreal vision that Nightcrawler is walking around with while he’s just getting back to his life.

I will be reading.

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 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. 

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!