REMEMBER US, EVERYONE???
Well, Uncanny X-Men remains firmly out of (before?) Secret Wars, making trying to understand the Marvel Universe continually exasperating. The remaining/former students of Cyclops’ X-group, following the closure of their “school” (word used extremely loosely), venture out to become their own superhero group. Centered around the aforementioned Goldballs, the whole thing felt very dream-like; I was waiting for everything to be a fantasy in Fabio’s brain. But, for some reason, nope…all too real and all too silly. The end result is good — bringing the X-teams back together again (for the most part), but once we leap past Secret Wars, who knows if we’ll see these students again? I like the crew — I hope they stick around.
Oh, and side note: Are we never getting a resolution to the whole evil inverted Havok storyline from at the end of Axis? Poor Alex…
Okay, so we’re deep into Marvel’s summer event, Secret Wars, which is going to CHANGE EVERYTHING, right? As a true brainwashed Marvel-ite, I’ve been reading the main miniseries and a surprising amount of the tie-in issues. Overall, just to get a general idea of where I’m at with this whole thing, I’m pretty lukewarm. My biggest consistent complaint is the irregularity in which the story structure of Battleworld maintains. Do domains know that there are other domains? Can you cross or can you not cross domains? Story to story, sometimes I don’t even know what domain I’m currently reading about! The “rules” for this planet just don’t seem very consistent from writer to writer. For those who just want to read some fun stories, free from the weight of continuity, this may be fine. BUT, for me, Dr. Continuity? It gets a little frustrating.
Magneto #20 –
Here’s another bit that’s just annoying to me — while we’re in the middle of Secret Wars in some books, we’re also at the end of the 616 in others (nevermind being even more in the past in even others). Magneto, under the pen of Cullen Bunn, is still fighting a battle that we, as the reader, knows he has lost before he has even lost it (HEADACHE). The story is melodramatic to the point of silliness and the relationship between Magneto and his now-on-again daughter Polaris seems forced. Add this with Davidson’s muddy art and the ever-confusing role of Briar — let Secret Wars kill this book already.
E For Extinction #2 –
Here’s a prime example of “I don’t understand this domain”. E For Extinction is taking place in a domain tied to Grant Morrison’s run on X-Men, with the change of Xavier actually committing suicide. Magneto leads the Special Class in revolution and so on. In this issue, though, Xorn is introduced as a completely independent character from Magneto, which is something that just doesn’t make sense to me, knowing what (likely) happened in the past. I know that there’s a bonus of not being so tied down to continuity in that the writers get to tell a story how they want to, but:
1. Is that lazy writing?
2. Was introducing the ultimate Deus ex machina Xorn so necessary?
Besides that, I had some other problems with the issue. Magneto and Esme’s relationship is very clear and still skeevy and Beast is still being obnoxious with multiverse tinkering. But isn’t the multiverse dead? So what’s up with the ending?
I know I’m being a little nitpicky and, to be honest, it’s not a bad issue at all. The art fits excellently with the tone (in a Quitely-tone, but very much its own thing) and the dialogue gets very Claremont-ian at times — “Damn it! Overconfident. Just because I’ve got my powers back doesn’t mean I’m not rusty!” and “My gelatin is too thick for you to hit any of my vitals, chump!”. Mixed emotions on this title.
Future Imperfect #3 –
I like Ruby Summers and I like Layla Miller, so this issue had that going for me. Now, add in some political intrigue from the Maestro’s machinations, I am into this title. Land’s faces still are WAY too much in some places, but overall, I think he’s toned it down somewhat. With Maestro announced to be in the post-SW Contest of Champions book (as the main character?), this title may be a place that ties directly back into the main story, making this less of a quick “What If?” and more of a relevant story.
Old Man Logan #3 –
This is what I was talking about earlier — Logan is, without a doubt, unaware that there are other domains out there. Maybe it’s because his domain is very tech-light and barren? Did I just explain it? Is that No-Prize worthy?
I was SUPER excited at the end of last issue, thinking I was going to get an OML and AoA crossover, two of my favorite X-Men alternate realities. Instead, of course, I get a few pages of confusing art, an AoA Boom Boom that is EXACTLY the same as the 616 Boom Boom, and more domain crossing. Is this book the tour guide through Battleworld? The crazy cross-reality caper story? Who knows? What I DO know, though, is that for someone who was so reluctant to fight in the past, especially using his claws, Old Man Logan will now slice you up no questions asked. Here’s another character that we know will make it through — maybe everyone will converge on Doom in the finale and something will happen there? Is that a “no duh JK” I hear?
Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1 –
Once again, I’m not completely sure how to make sense of where this book is taking place (isn’t Manhattan supposed to be 616 and Ultimate Universes?) or get past the fact that I’m supposed to believe that the rest of the surviving 616 Marvel characters let Quill just sneak away, but whatever — this book is just plain fun. Like super fun. The story is pure “caper” and the art by Alta Firmansyah, somewhere in the “Christopher Anka meets Manga” world, is just perfect. It’s jam packed with cute cameos and fun references for the comic fan, with the right amount of alternate reality strangeness to keep it fresh without being too out there. I’m confused if this Kitty is supposed to be the Age of Apocalypse Kitty — she looks like her, but the personality is off and she’s working for the Future Foundation — but irrespective, I’ll put my gripes aside in the honor of what I like most about alternate reality stories — pure honest fun.
Marvel Zombies #2 –
The spiritual follow-up to Nextwave, but amplified as a character study, the character of Elsa Bloodstone really shines in this issue. Si Spurrier, as he does with nearly all characters from the British Isles, finds Elsa’s voice and carries this title, which otherwise could have been a fifth (sixth?) rehash of the Marvel Zombies theme, into a great Lone Wolf and Cub-style tale. Of course, a Marvel book wouldn’t be complete without a Deadpool appearance and far be it from me to question how shape-shifting extends to speech bubble font, but overall? A very good issue. The final installment is being released in October and, though we don’t see Elsa in an ongoing yet, I wouldn’t be surprised (or disappointed) if we got more of her post-SW.
I know that this week’s haul fully sheds light onto my Marvel-bias, but despite the mixed feelings on Secret Wars, I’m finding some bits that I really still enjoy. Is it just too much to ask for a map or something to let me know where on Battleworld we are each issue???
How do you feel about Secret Wars? High points, low points, no points? Leave your comments below!