New Comic Day Hangover

The 4th of July on Sunday knocked shipping back a day, so New Comic Day fell on Thursday this week.  But it’s a small price to pay for a Brand New Event going on with the X-Men, just as the previous Brand New Event is almost wrapping up.  So let’s get to it.  This week we have:

X-Force #28 in which we get the penultimate chapter of Second Coming with a hearty helping of deus ex.

And X-Men #1 in which we have vampires!  You know, just like the ones all of you potential customers love in that movie that just came out.

As always, there will be SPOILERS which may or may not sparkle in the sunlight after the jump.

X-Force
We are now to chapter 13 of Second Coming, which technically should have ended last week had it not been delayed two weeks during its weekly schedule.  And both delays were the fault of X-Force.  But of course, when you have art as pretty as Mike Choi and Sonia Orback’s, I’m guessing that the delay isn’t that bad.  Refresher: the X-Men have been sealed in an impenetrable bubble by Bastion who was sending Nimrods from the future to kill everyone.  Cable and half of X-Force went to the future to stop them but couldn’t get home since Cable’s time gizmo conveniently had only one jump left and the Nimrod portal went all reverse-Terminator and wouldn’t let organic material through.  Remember?

So Cable gave up the control of his techno/organic virus to allow him to make it through the portal, and this somehow allowed the rest of X-Force to travel through as well.  No, this doesn’t make a bit of sense.  If all you needed was a robot to go through first, why not just toss one of the sentinels you just blew up through?  And since Hope’s story requires Cable to not be around anymore, Cable subsequently explodes for no particular reason after doing so.  It seemed nearly gratuitous, much like the mission letters that Inspector Gadget would receive that always managed to explode in the face of Chief Quimby.  The whole process wasn’t explained nor did it work – it just filled two purposes that needed to be done before the end of the story – get X-Force home and get rid of Cable.  Mission accomplished.

Of course, with his grand plan of chucking a bunch of robots at the mutants having failed, the now-monstrous Bastion goes to kill Hope himself and we finally get to see her do something – and it’s exactly what you would have guessed.  She flares up with a huge amount of powers, seemingly channeling numerous characters’ abilities and blows up both Bastion and the entire dome itself.  With the earlier fight against Bastion that led to the demise of Nightcrawler, you would have expected perhaps a little more of a fight to close the whole thing out, but that was not the case.  Bastion shows up, taunts, then gets blown up.  But of course with such a ridiculously large cast, it’s not like the X-Men have actually fought anything as a team recently.  They usually just chuck Wolverine and two others at a problem.

There is of course one chapter left, due next week, but this seems like a letdown.  They could have yanked four chapters out of this thing and had Bastion attack immediately after launching the dome and had the exact same effect – all he would have had to do is blow up Cable himself.  And as with some other chapters in this story, it seems as if communication between creative teams broke down a bit.  In particular, Colossus is shown fighting with both arms after having gotten one of them mangled last chapter.  True, it’s nothing huge, but why have the sequence if you’re not going to have it dealt with?  The maiming has been so widespread around here, though, I really don’t mind if one gets quietly ignored.  It’ll probably turn back up in Uncanny where he regularly appears.

X-Men
Originally, this should have launched the week after Second Coming ended, but apparently Marvel didn’t feel the need to push it back to match the two week delay, so we get the next story launching a week before the previous one ends.  But unlike Second Coming or even Necrosha, Curse of the Mutants is not a line-wide story.  Uncanny, Legacy, New Mutants and the other books are thankfully being allowed to go about their business without having to waste another few months on crossover.  But that’s not to say that Marvel’s not trying to get more out of a story than it’s likely worth, as a number of tie-in books are launching for this thing, including a new Blade, a new Namor, a Storm & Gambit team up title and even the aptly named X-Men vs. Vampires one-shot.  I will likely be avoiding all of these unless I spot something in a preview that I really like.  But I’m getting off subject here.

The first chapter here is fairly straightforward.  A vampire shows up in a crowded San Francisco plaza and exposes himself to sunlight, causing him to explode, dousing a bunch of onlookers in gook, infecting them with the whole vampire thing.  This includes Jubilee who is conveniently hanging out there with Pixie, who conveniently gets up and leaves just before it happens.  The X-Club realize that Jubilee will be shopping for a coffin bed soon, so Wolverine launches an attack on a vampire gang and lops the head off of one just for giggles.  And that’s pretty much it.  It certainly didn’t feel like a #1 worth remembering.

There actually is a group of characters in the Marvel U who are perfectly at home fighting vampires.  The X-Men are not a part of the group.  To date, the X-Men have had only two encounters with vampires, both being Dracula, and not since Uncanny X-Men Annual #6 back in 1982.  These encounters are briefly mentioned as “Storm’s past with Dracula” but not elaborated upon.  That’s what the tie-in books are for, right?  Makes you miss the days of the * notations to mention where you could look something up.  This seems like nothing more than a move to cash in on the Twilight craze, which would explain why this issue wasn’t pushed back along with Second Coming, as the newest movie just came out last week…uh, I’ve heard.  But the common X-Men fan likely isn’t familiar with the vampire aspect of the Marvel U, so this may lack the importance they’re going for.  Hell, it’s a Jubilee story.  She hasn’t been a relevant X-character in 15 years.  But hopefully, they can change that with this story.

It’s a perfectly decent issue, though artist Paco Medina draws Pixie waaaaaaay to busty in the opening pages.  And it’s an X-Men book that actually might have a team of X-Men involved.  That would be a nice change.

Next Week

  • Booster Gold #35 reunites the team Blue and Gold team of Booster and Blue Beetle for an adventure in the past.
  • Justice League: Generation Lost #5 hopefully shines some light on Maxwell Lord’s plan.
  • Uncanny X-Men Heroic Age #1 is probably another anthology book that means absolutely nothing.
  • X-Force: Sex and Violence #1 gives us one more X-Force story from Kyle and Yost since the book is ending.
  • X-Men: Hellbound #3 ends the trip through Limbo that has conveniently tied up both remaining teleporters.
  • X-Men: Second Coming #2 ends Second Coming.
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