Hello, there. It certainly has been a while, hasn’t it? I took a much-needed break to get my thoughts together and to avoid bitching and moaning about the lack of X-News at Comic Con (all the new X-stuff came at C2E2). With that break, I’m about two weeks behind on my comic day reports, but since I had zero books this week, I am not taking a moment to get caught up. So let’s take a look back.
- Justice League: Generation Lost #6 in which the story takes a break to hop to the future.
- Uncanny X-Men #526 in which the X-Men start looking for new mutants.
- X-Men: Legacy #238 in which Rogue and Magneto head for India.
- New Mutants #15 in which the team takes a beer break.
- X-Factor #207 in which the cover gives away something not in the story.
Even though these stories are a week or two old, I’m still obligated to toss up a SPOILERS warning for the content behind the jump. Let’s begin.
Justice League: Generation Lost
Last issue, the story seemed to pick up as Booster Gold threw out the mission statement that despite Maxwell Lord’s statements, the old JLI team was convinced that they had to bring him down and end his manipulations. Apparently that wasn’t enough of a mission statement, so the book takes an issue to toss Captain Atom into the future and give us an Apocalyptic Future™ and vaguely hammer home the point. Apparently something about this issue was big enough for DC’s official blog to request fans not to talk about it until everyone had a chance to read it, but I got nothing out of it that seemed to warrant that. So people hate heroes because of a big explosion that fucked the world. So what? I think that was the second or third futuristic explosion that they had to stop in Heroes.
The problem with this issue is that it came off as a throwaway. Captain Atom jaunts to the future, hangs out a bit, then finds Power Girl who warns him of Max Lord. Big honking deal. The issue starts out saying that Atom just has to wait before he jaunts back, so it’s not even a story in which he has to find a way home. He’s just killing time – which sums the whole thing up. We’ll likely never see future Power Girl again, and the team already has decided to go after Lord. What is the point? So disappointing issue. Hopefully the next one’s better.
Is it a coincidence that the X-Men’s multi-year run of dread and misery has closed out at the same time Craig Kyle and Chris Yost left the franchise? I’m just saying. Anyway, the nightmare brought on by House of M so many years ago seems to finally be fading, and the X-Men have gotten back to seeking out new mutants. These mutants are not the same as the old brand, though, as the 19 year-old girl the X-Men find in Vancouver is having reactions to her genetic potential, but only manifests actual abilities once Hope makes contact with her. And therein lies the theme of the new mutants. While not actually developing their powers at puberty as was formerly the norm, these mutants seem to require the Special Touch of the “mutant messiah” to get going. Needless to say (mostly) this is an extraordinarily limited potential for the development of new mutants. Anytime any new mutant debuts, a creator is going to have to wheel out Hope to get them going?
Also, Hope takes a group (including Rogue and Cypher) to Alaska to go find her birth parents. Her mother was killed in the Purifiers attack that launched Messiah CompleX, so Hope ends up meeting her grandmother who inexplicably invites her home for some tea despite having no reason to know her and opening up about her daughter. Having Hope look for her parents was a needed bit of her story needing to be tossed out, so I’m glad that it didn’t make much time for as little as developed. The picture of Hope’s mom looked exactly like Jean Grey, but that may have been the fault of artist Whilce Portacio. All of his women’s faces look pretty much alike. Their hair is what defines them from one to the next. Note, please, that Hope’s father was left unknown and purposely left out of the story. But I’ll get to that in another article.
Also in this issue was a backup story in which Magneto learns of the Young Avengers and is told by Dr. Nemesis of the belief that Speed and Wiccan are the re-manifestations of Scarlet Witch’s twin children. I’m not familiar with the original story, though I am happy that Nemesis mentioned how odd it was that Scarlet Witch could have ever conceived children with the very robotic Vision. I was not so pleased that Madison Jeffries didn’t pipe up – it was a line made for him. This story – brought to you by the Young Avengers team of Allen Heinberg and Jimmy Cheung – goes into the Young Avengers mini currently ongoing, but that book will be so delayed before completion that I won’t be getting it until the trade comes out. The story there was perfectly fine, however.
Long story short – this issue actually made me consider buying the forthcoming Generation Hope ongoing announced at Comic Con. So mission accomplished, I suppose.
Joining Wolverine and Psylocke as characters that are being overused in the X-Books are Rogue and Magneto who also have their own ongoing here to deal with. With Second Coming done, this book returns to its theme of Rogue advising the younger students (in the absence of a New or Young X-Men title). That means Rogue takes Loa and Anole with her to India as perennial C-list student Indra has been summoned home by his family. That’s the background story that really just gives a reason for the other three, as well as Magneto, to be around when the new threat comes calling. It’s an interesting first issue for the story, but there’s really not too much to say about it. Mike Carey really nails the voice of Magneto, keeping him cool and confident (much like his Chris Claremont developmental days) but keeping the feeling that he genuinely cares about Rogue and (just as much) about her opinion of him. And may I just say that any book featuring Anole has a definite thumbs up in my book. The little green guy is awesome.
We also get a moment with Hellion, which every X-Book seems to be featuring. This is a growing story in which Rogue eventually helps him move past the fact that he got his hands blown off in the Nimrod attack. Thus far it still hasn’t donned on him that he’s a telekinetic and doesn’t really need hands, as his powers are an ample substitute for them.
The New Mutants had a rough time during Second Coming – Karma lost a leg, Warlock broke his promise not to kill, Magik got pulled into Limbo and Cannonball led a rough mission to rescue her – so Cyclops takes a moment to let the team take a break and get their heads together. Cannonball takes them to a remote cabin and makes them talk about things, but to get them on board, he also provides a cooler full of beer. Any fan of the original New Mutants probably loves this idea. The team has regained their closeness with one another from the original run, but also appreciate that their older than they were and can now indulge in adult activities. And just like any scenario in which beer and attractive young adults come together for extended amounts of time, common sense fades and indulgences are allowed. In this case, Karma gives in to Sunspot’s request to see how high her bionic leg is attached (dropping her pants a bit to do so) and Cannonball and Mirage start making out.
This latter part really intrigued me and it’s honestly something I was shocked to realize that I had never thought about before. Sam and Dani have had a friendly rivalry pretty much since day one when they were co-leaders of the New Mutants. This was revisited in X-Force when Dani was undercover with the Mutant Liberation Front and resurfaced again when Sam wouldn’t allow the de-powered Dani on the squad. I think a relationship between the two is a natural fit for the two – much more than Sam’s relationships with Lila Cheney or Boom Boom ever were. I do hope this goes somewhere…obviously.
The story also gets back to the demonic soldiers that popped up before the book was shanghaied into a crossover for three months, but they’re not ready to go after Illyana quite yet. Instead they target Pixie, who is another character that seems to be everywhere. This one is relevant – Pixie does have ties to Limbo – but the interaction between Pixie and Magik seems to have missed the finale of Hellbound in which the two cleared the air a bit. Pixie doesn’t really interest me, but Magik does, so I’m still interested. Good issue.
Another book that has been tied up in crossover, X-Factor gets back to business as a beautiful client shows up to get a necklace back. The story would suggest that this client is supposed to look familiar without blatantly revealing who it is, but unfortunately the cover gives away in no uncertain terms that it’s Hela. Siege knocked the interest in the Norse bit of the Marvel U straight out of it, but luckily this isn’t much of a Norse issue. The team finds the necklace and gets it, revealing its current possessor to be former Infinity Watch member Pip the Troll. And it saddened me that I knew exactly who it was before he revealed his name to the people around him.
The book also takes the opportunity to wrap up M’s deal with Baron Mordo in such a quick and throwaway sequence that I question whether there was more to it before it was known that the book would spend three months in Second Coming. M honors her deal with Mordo and suffers for it, but only via telepathic suggestion in his mind. It shows the ruthless streak of Monet that makes her such a bitch – and such an awesome character. She’s perfectly willing to let Mordo die and only made a deal with him to help her friends. It’s the type of act that would make a teammate claim how glad they were that she was on their side.
Perfectly fine issue, though I can’t help but think X-Factor suffered for its involvement with Second Coming. At least the team’s finally together. Oh yeah – and a pregnant Wolfsbane walked in on Rictor and Shatterstar. Oopsie!
Back to the regular pacing for me. We’ve got:
- Booster Gold #35 where Booster continues his nostalgia mission with Blue Beetle.
- Justice League: Generation Lost #7 gets the story back on track.
- X-Force: Sex and Violence #2…but really I may not get this one since the first issue sucked.
- X-Men #2 since we all need a little more vampire Jubilee, right?
- Neither Astonishing X-Men #35 nor Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #3 which are both suffering the “Astonishing Effect”. It’s incredible that two stories in the same title can be going through this.