Thursday, August 29, 2013

Comics: I read XMen #4. It pissed me off. Here's why.

So, Marvel Now, Xmen 4.Once again I find the worshipful reviews of the latest issue (#4) of the new X Men run laughable.  *Spoilers Ahoy*

Maybe I'm completely off base, but nothing was right about this book to me.  Other than mostly good art (with the exception of some of the O faces, mostly made by Psylocke, more on that to come), there is really not much to redeem this book, and it's flaws far outweigh it's good points.  For Example:

Jubilee, who is a favorite of mine, fares better than most, and her mopey attitude could be chalked up to her trip down memory lane and her new responsibilities coming home to roost, but she still feels entirely too dour, only perking up and acting like herself on say two occasions.  Her dialogue reads like the kind of thing that belongs in Narration Bubbles, but apparently those are taboo now.  No marvel character can have a thought without voicing it, even if they aren't telepaths. Well, besides Deadpool and Hawkeye.  Man, I wish I was reading Deadpool and Hawkeye instead...

Where was I?  Ah yes.

Wolverine is presented as a doddering "Daddy Warbucks".  There is not one panel in which he is not standing around in street clothes grinning like a dope, and if I need to tell you what's wrong with all of this, welcome to the Marvel Universe, because this is clearly the only thing you have read about it.

Rachel has a cliched and out of character "Who Died and Made you Leader" Squabble with Storm, clearly for the purposes of manufactured tension and willfully ignoring Storm's long history of leadership (she was leader of many Xmen teams, a queen, and a goddess for crying out loud). 

Speaking of which, Storm comes across as a gruff "My Way or the Highway" type, also completely out of character, and she spends entirely too much time (as in any time at all) discussing with Rachel whether they can make a good team, sounding less like a group of friends who are working together out of necessity, and more like a Warcraft Pick up group squabbling over loot.  Not to mention how this conversation derails the concept of their book, a group that was thrown together by a crisis; they already sound like an old married couple, not even one issue later.

Rouge and Kitty might be the only characters who are not completely out of character, but they are also the ones with the least to do beyond resolving the Airplane plot and being bitchy to Psylocke respectively.

And speaking of, Psylocke gets the worst of it.  For starters, she is portrayed as a nymphomaniac, a title I would not have applied to her; she is one of the few female characters that writers allow to pursue her desires, so I guess that makes her a slut.  She refers to a virtual character in a Danger Room sim as "Hot to Death" in the middle of a rescue operation, which prompts Kitty to imply that "The Only action she's getting is with Danger Room simulations, no wonder she's wound so tight". Oh, and she keeps making faces like Kitty is doing something freaky to her from behind. Maybe I was wrong about Kitty up there.  But most ridiculous of all is the fact that she uses her powers to form a Purple Energy Crossbow with a grappling hook and rope to tether the Blackbird to a damaged airplane.  Seriously, it took her years to develop the focus needed to form anything more complex than a knife, and that was just a katana, aka a bigger knife.  Now, a few hours in the danger room and she's skanky Asian Green Lantern.   While other reviews I read praised this as creative, it struck me as incredibly lazy and dismissive of the established character. 

Not to mention that the airplane plot is utterly cliche to begin with, the kind of thing 80s or 90s Xmen books would have resolved in 3 pages at best.  The Jubilee plot makes a lot more sense, as she has a lot on her plate now, but other than some interesting reminders of her personal history with the Xmen, it is hamstrung by it's odd dialogue and 'Grampa Wolvie' angle.  It's like the writer had this scene all written out with no particular characters in mind, then plugged in Jubilee, because she's a major focus of the book, and then plugged in Wolvie because all he really knew about her was "Used to Hang out with Wolverine a lot" (Google Search hard at work), then peppered in a few references to her first appearance (Which I'm sure required a detailed Google search once again) and presto, heartwarming scene! 

I know this is a one-and-done Bottle-Issue, and it was likely rushed to make way for the upcoming War of the Atom event, but seriously, that's no excuse.  People need to quit pretending this book is good, cause so far, it really isn't. 

3 Psylocke/Rube Goldberg Contraptions out of 10.

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