Big week for the Marvel U as the Real Big Event closes up. Elsewhere, new DC runs launch and the X-Men plow on through Second Coming. Here’s what’s on this week’s list:
Booster Gold #32 in which way too much dialogue sets off not a whole lot of story.
Justice League: Generation Lost #1 in which four of the JLI reunite for a Real Big Story.
Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #1 in which the X-Men look weird.
New Avengers Finale in which New Avengers ends before a new New Avengers launches.
New Mutants #13 in which Hope meets the rest of the class.
Siege #4 in which a universal reset button is pressed.
I’ll be covering the Siege event as a whole in a separate post, so we’ll leave that one alone for now. As for the other five, my thoughts (with SPOILERS included) will follow after the jump. So jump already.
If the mini-series of Formerly Known as the Justice League, I Can’t Believe it’s Not the Justice League and Defenders have taught us anything, it’s that when Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis get together for comic humor, it’s often hilarious but only if you put the extra effort into reading it. The best way to sum that up would be ‘overly wordy’, with tons of dialogue on every page. That’s still the case with their entrance towards Booster Gold, though if you do make the effort to read it, it’s worth it. My only qualm with the Booster Gold series is that he’s become a little too serious in recent times. I know that was kind of the point, but just because you make Booster a little snarky or make a mistake here and there, it doesn’t mean he can’t be an excellent hero.
Giffen and DeMatteis look to be trying to balance that, as Booster heads into the future to nab Dr. Fate’s helmet before a Darkseid invasion of Daxam can claim it. The problem is, Booster misreads a note from Rip Hunter, believing he needed to arrive on the 8th rather than the 5th, so he shows up smack dab in the middle of the invasion instead of just before it. Booster succeeds in his mission and does a good job in the situation he’s been put in, keeping the hero thing going, but the whole setup allowed there to be some lightheartedness in the whole thing, and it was a welcome change. Rip Hunter is back to being a gruff guy with his task, while Booster is back to being the pretty-much-willing hero of the timestream. No heartstrings being tugged here. I do like this pace of Booster, and I’ll keep reading the book. It’ll just take time to get through it.
Justice League: Generation Lost
One of the resurrections from Blackest Night not being covered in Brightest Day was Maxwell Lord, who gave the psychic whammy to Guy Gardner and snuck off on his own way. The heroes, of course, remember what Lord did during the buildup to Infinite Crisis, so a global manhunt begins to find him. Booster Gold is pulled from the front lines as the other heroes believe him to be too personally tied to it (since Lord killed Booster’s best friend the Blue Beetle), but Booster deduces where Max is going to be and pulls in the others he can trust (Fire, Ice, Captain Atom) to help out. Their arrival saves them from the massive psychic whammy Max unleashes on the world, which sets our plot for us. Max Lord has used his powers to make the world forget about him, and only these four former JLIers remember who he is and what he’s done. Since Lord was a key figure of the JLI era, that might have swept away that whole era from memory, which would actually benefit a number of heroes defined by it (Booster Gold and Blue Beetle mainly).
A lot of questions are raised for me here, as in what’s Max’s plan and what the rest of the world does and does not remember, but this is only the first of 26 issues, so I’m sure answers will come in time. It’s a good start to the series.
Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis
I’ve written about the preview for this a couple times, but now that the first issue has come out, my opinion has changed slightly on it. I had said that I thought this was a side story to the current (heavily delayed) Astonishing story eXogenetic, much like Ghost Boxes was to the last story, but now I see that it’s not the case. Instead, it appears to me that this should have been the next Astonishing story from Warren Ellis had his current one not been so ridiculously delayed. So instead of waiting for however long it’s going to take for that to come out, Marvel went ahead and published it as a mini-series. Much like eXogenetic, if this is meant to be in continuity, it’s quite behind the times. For one, the team is still made up of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Storm, Beast, Wolverine and Armor. And they’re still based in San Francisco, rather than the Utopia island where the X-Men have been since last year’s crossover with Dark Avengers.
But whatever – Astonishing is not a book meant to really mean anything anymore, so I’ll just take it for what it is. And I’ve got some issues with it. While Warren Ellis writes an excellent Storm, Beast and Wolverine, his Cyclops seems to be about nine years behind in character development, and his Emma Frost and Armor are pretty off. Emma Frost is coming off as a shallow tramp worried about nothing but herself (which is partially true, but not to the extent shown here) and Armor is pretty much just the spunky kid sidekick rather than the character she had been established as by Joss Whedon. But these are things that have been said since Ellis took over Astonishing – nothing new here. But the art…can’t say I like it at all. Emma Frost suddenly has hair down to her ankles, Storm is back to her mohawk look from the 80’s and Beast looks more like his old gorilla look rather than the cat he’s been for almost a decade now. It’s weird that all of these characters are looking so different when not reflected in any of the other ongoing stories. Is this in continuity, or has Astonishing merely become a new X-Men Unlimited?
After the first act of Second Coming hit the ground running with fast paced action, these past two parts have really settled the pace and let everything register. While last week we dealt with the funeral of Nightcrawler, this week we have Hope not really settling well amongst the X-Men. And by not settling well, I mean getting into a knockdown/drag out with Dani Moonstar of the New Mutants. Having lost Illyana to Limbo, Cannonball to the rescue mission to find her and Karma’s leg to Cameron Hodge, Mirage is a bit irked by Hope, not believing that she’s worth so much sacrifice. And we get the big revelation that Hope doesn’t think she’s ready to be here…but it’s a little too late to deal with that now. The issue closes with Donald Pierce blowing up the hangar and getting obliterated by Cyclops, who readies Utopia for an attack. Return to action next week, it seems.
And now, let me share with you my nerdboy irk. When Cable and Hope arrive at the mess hall, a number of mutants are hanging around in the background. Amongst these is Elixir, who is back to his golden look. You may not know this, but Elixir is an Omega-level healer. He has regrown Prodigy’s heart (ripped out by Belasco), regrown Vanisher’s arm (blown off by Blink), and healed pretty much anyone who needed to be healed. So why is Karma still down a leg? It should be a simple matter for him. The answer, I would think, is that it was a bit of oversight on the part of the artist who was probably done with the issue before the release of the final part of Necrosha, which saw Elixir kill Wither and go back to his shadowy death form. But I’m just saying.
- Brightest Day #2 continues DC’s 26-part story.
- Legion of Super-Heroes #1 gives us more of the pre-Zero Hour Legion, which is a good thing.
- X-Factor #205 continues X-Factor’s foray into Second Coming.
- X-Men Legacy #236 continues Second Coming proper.
- Oh, and Astonishing X-Men #34 still doesn’t come out.